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Mary Hoeft to speak about experiences in Nepal and Japan during Thursdays at the U

| Linda Tollefsrud

Mary Hoeft, professor emeritus of communication arts and French at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County, will be the featured speaker for the Feb. 8 Thursdays at the U lecture.

Mary Hoeft

Mary Hoeft

She will present “Extraordinary Journey to Kathmandu” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall in Ritzinger Hall at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County. The presentation also will be livestreamed at

Hoeft journeyed to Nepal on three separate occasions to teach educators how to teach. In April 2023, she also taught first-graders at a school in the slums of the capital city of Kathmandu.

Hoeft will talk about her experiences at that school and at a school in Butwal, where Rice Lake residents sponsor 25 children. Without this sponsorship, the children would be unable to attend school.

From Nepal, Hoeft traveled to Akita, Japan, where she taught public speaking on a Fulbright scholarship before returning to Rice Lake. Hoeft will include a discussion of her experiences in Japan during her Feb. 8 talk.

After teaching communication arts and French at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County for 50 years, Hoeft retired in 2021. She enjoys attending her grandsons’ sports events when she is not globetrotting.

The Thursdays at the U weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests. In addition to the livestream option, the recordings are archived on the Thursdays at the U webpage.

The next lecture in the series will be Feb. 15, with Dr. Kim Ammann discussing the Winged Freedom Raptor Hospital in Spooner.

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at