Getting to Know Tina McNamara

Continuing our series about our faculty and staff, we interviewed Tina McNamara in order to get to know her better. Ms. McNamara is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Advising & Student Services here at the College of Education.

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Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in Milwaukee?

I grew up in Lewistown, Ohio, population 200! I moved to Milwaukee in the fall of 1989 to attend graduate school here at Marquette and definitely experienced a lot of culture shock during these first few months. Now that I’ve lived here so long, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I met my husband here (he’s from Louisville, Kentucky), and we have two sons, Michael (16) and Stephen (22).

What is your favorite educational experience growing up?

I’ve had lots of great experiences, but probably the most influential experiences for me occurred during second and third grades. I was fortunate enough to have the same fabulous teacher for both years. She really instilled in me a love of learning and especially a love of reading. We have stayed in touch all these years – I always see her whenever I am back in Ohio visiting my family.

So what drew you to Marquette and the COED?

I initially chose MU for graduate school because I wanted to go somewhere that had the resources of a large school but still had a small school feel. Moving to a city was also appealing to me. The opportunity to return to MU after being gone for several years, and particularly to work with Education majors, was just too good to pass up. Teaching and teachers are very important to me. Several of my family members are teachers, and I taught in Alverno College’s Weekend College program for over 20 years. I always felt the work I did as an instructor at Alverno helped inform my work as an advisor here and vice versa.

It sounds like you really enjoy your time here at MU! What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

Every year is exciting! One of the things I enjoy most about my job is seeing how much our students grow and develop during their time here.

What activities to you do when you are outside of the office?

When my boys were younger, I was very involved in activities at their grade school. I was even a Cub Scout leader for 10 years. Currently, I help out at my son’s high school, and I’m pretty involved at my Church. One hobby I particularly enjoy is singing – I have been a member of the Community Chorus for many years. I’m also an avid reader and movie-goer.

I think it’s important to try to find balance and explore a variety of interests. Singing, reading, going to movies, volunteering at school and Church, all help keep me sane!

You can learn more about the College of Education along with our undergraduate and graduate programs by visiting us online!

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