Professional Colleagues

Click here for  Bemidji PEDL Coordinator Recommendation   Kris Nei Recommendation


Wini Froelich, Education Program Associate, Mill City Museum
Barbara came to Mill City Museum in early 2012 with her newest project Ode to Gluten.  I immediately saw the opportunity to have something a little different that what we had had in our museum for installation exhibits for some time.

It was an interesting piece presenting ample opportunity for conversation and creation!  When we installed it in the rail corridor area of the public space in the museum it fit so well it livened the space and created new conversations right away. Part of being an exhibiting artist at Mill City Museum usually requires some form of public engagement and seeing as Barbara is an educator we decided to ask her to create a family day event around her piece.  Barbara is a great idea generator and together we came up with a plan to invite families to create their own pieces from memories, images and objects.  Barbara was adamant that these pieces should not be just “make and take” things that would get tossed out on the way home but instead created and brought materials that would spark children and families to really think about art.  What creating art is – how to make it important to you – the basic concepts of art. Her program was highly successful because she put many hours of thought into how to fit her goals into our parameters of time but still make the experience valuable and meaningful to the young creators.  She has a wonderful sense of how to encourage and guide at the same time.  I enjoyed both working with her and admired her work with families on our Ode To Gluten Family day. Wini Froelich, Education Program Associate, Mill City Museum
Jill Waterhouse – Mentor- Women’s Art Resource of Minnesota   Bridges-RecommendLtr-2013
Danielle Ricci-Director Borealis Dance Company, Minneapolis  Borealis Dance is excited to collaborate with artist Barbara Bridges as we come together to create an artistic voice on the important issue of addiction in our community. By collaborating through the arts, we seek to bridge the gap across the arts, providing a deeper connection to our work for our audiences to experience, as we create opportunities for learning through observation and discussion. Danielle Ricci-Director Borealis Dance Company, Minneapolis

Martin Tadlock-Provost, Bemidji State University  Barbara put Bemidji State University on the map nationally in the online educational world by building our distributed learning program in teacher education and pushing us to excel.  Her creative approach to building academic programs, teaching, and learning pushes the boundaries of normalcy and complacency, setting the expectations bar very high for students and her colleagues.  She is a highly motivating, an inspirational leader, and a creative person who builds incredible networks and partnerships. Barbara is always ‘on deck’ and a joy to work with!   Martin Tadlock-Provost, Bemidji State University

Dr. Patricia L. Rogers
Dean, HSHE and the School of Graduate Studies, Currently, Provost, Winona State University
As Barbara moves into her early retirement from Bemidji State University and her academic life, she has created and exhibited  an art work, Ode to Gluten, a work that promotes social discourse on the topic of gluten intolerance. See bridgescreate.com to  view information related to this project. It has already been viewed by thousands at the 2013 Art-A-Whirl where she collected  data on gluten intolerance questions from over 350 viewers.

As is her tradition as an arts educator, she does not start the discussion from a specific position but instead asks the Socratic  questions, inviting and empowering all voices to be heard. She plans to create large public art works and drawing upon her 20  years as a K-12 art teacher and 15 years as a curriculum developer in higher education, she hopes to facilitate public discourse  on a variety of contemporary topics of interest to our K-12 students.Sincerely,Dr. Patricia L. Rogers, Dean, HSHE and the School of Graduate Studies, Currently, Provost, Winona State University


Colleague- Math and Science Specialist  Michael Urban Letter


Student Thank Yous
Greene Letter   Mohs Student Letter   Powers Testimony

Zoller You Made a Difference

Student Shelby

Student Nate Brager   Bi-Polar Student Testimony

December 3, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to describe to you how the classes and curriculum designed by Dr. Barbara Bridges have had a practical impact on my personal and career growth. The way in which Dr. Bridges designs curriculum forces a student to step into the realm of creation and innovation. She is not satisfied that a student is able to remember, understand, and parrot information back to her on a discussion board. She wants to see students using the critical and creative skills gained in her classes to increase their market value in the work force and to be a better member of society. What do I mean by this?

I will provide 2 specific examples: First, I had the privilege of taking Dr. Bridges’ class entitled “The Learning Community.”  One specific element in this class that facilitated personal and career growth for me was learning how to design a website. I own and operate a chiropractic practice which had a website prior to class with Dr. Bridges, but it was not very effective in educating patients or communicating how my services could benefit patients. Through candid, caring feedback, Dr. Bridges pushed me to redesign my website in practical ways that attract patients. Since I launched my new website, my patient volume has increased to the point where I will be considering adding another chiropractor if this trend continues. Patients frequently comment on the helpfulness of the educational videos I added to the website, as well as other helpful information. Also I was selected as the “2014 Readers’ Choice Chiropractor of the Year” in our local newspaper. These things could not have happened without the guidance perspective that Dr. Bridges provided for me. I will always be grateful to Dr. Bridges for making 2014 a monumental year for my personal growth and career development.

My second example of personal and career development facilitated by Dr. Bridges comes from a class I just completed called “Critical and Creative Thinking.” In this class, Dr. Bridges required a lesson plan in which she was very specific about the requirement that we must show evidence that our lesson plan would help students grow personally and professionally. How would it help students improve themselves? How would it help them get a job? Throughout the process of this assignment, Dr. Bridges again shared her expertise via candid, caring feedback. She forced me to press students to face practical, difficult questions in my field that sometimes get avoided in our politically correct society. In developing this lesson under Dr. Bridges’ leadership, I feel I have gained the skill to create authentic curriculum in my professional field that would be suitable for the classroom and continuing education. As a new educator, I have a long way to go in perfecting this skill, but Dr. Bridges has provided the building blocks for me to add another facet to my career. Again, I will always be grateful to her for that.

If you would like to discuss aspects of Dr. Bridges’ teaching style or curriculum design further, please do not hesitate to contact me at 952-457-6206.

Respectfully, James M. Gibbs DC, ATC, Professional Education Graduate Student, Bemidji State University