Josha Sietsma Named 2022 Lowell Milken Center Fellow
The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational non-profit, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to Josha Sietsma, a teacher at Corderius College in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Josha teaches Social and Political Sciences, Holocaust Studies and Classic Japanese literature. He is also head of the Humanities department. Josha arrived in Fort Scott on June 26th for a week of collaboration with LMC staff.
The LMC Fellowship is a merit-based award for educators of all disciplines who value the importance of teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning. The Center selects exemplary teachers from the United States and around the world who will collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.
Josha Sietsma is a high school teacher at Corderius College in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The last ten years, he has organized and taught study trips related to the Holocaust. With a personal connection (family members were murdered in Dachau), he takes his students to former extermination camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dachau and Bergen Belsen. One aspect that highlights his classrooms is the use of books. Through classic stories, beautifully written lines and a good cover, books have the power to connect a learning community.
Characteristic to the work of Josha Sietsma is the interdisciplinary aspect. His last project connects the Nebraskan State Capitol with Philosophy of Architecture and the origin and validation of Human Rights. Important in all his teaching and work is the continuing call for articulation of underlying values. Nebraska has had his attention since he read a small article on the Sandhills in the early nineties, and he dreams to one day live (in) the Good Life.
Outside of his professional education field, Josha owns a small publishing company that specializes in historical baseball scorebooks, stickers and lapel pins. He is also the founder of two foundations: a thinktank serving local politicians by providing research and the JAS-san foundation. The latter is a foundation to promote the use of Classic Japanese literature in the classroom.
LMC Executive Director Norm Conard says, “We are extremely excited to have Josha as a member of our 2022 group of Lowell Milken Center Fellows. His vast experiences as an outstanding educator in the Netherlands, a leader in Holocaust education, and an expert in Japanese literature bring new dimensions to our knowledge base. It is a certainty that we will all gain much from the opportunity to have Josha on our team.”
While in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and support in helping students cultivate a passion for learning through the creation of projects that initiate positive change. Fellows will be equipped to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students, applying and evaluating the stories of these role models who have changed the world throughout history.