Archive for the 'College of Education' Category

A Message From the Dean

COED center full colorMarch 31, 2020

Dear College of Education Friends—

My heartfelt hope is that you and your families are healthy and taking every precaution to remain so.  Regrettably, on the advent of April 1st, the COVID-19 virus is all too real, all too pervasive and insidious, and all too potentially deadly.

Surely, you’ve followed the emerging situation with great interest and trepidation, particularly as it impacts your own lives. Along the way, you’ve likely noted that colleges and universities across America have been adversely affected by the pandemic, and in deeply significant ways. Marquette University and the College of Education are no exceptions.

The upshot of the situation has been an enormous number of logistical challenges, the most dramatic of which has been the suspension of all face-to-face classes. In our case, that meant faculty had to move more than 70 courses online in less than 10 days, and that our students had to prepare themselves for a very different type of educational experience. Moreover, there were high stakes hurdles to clear with practica, internships, and student teaching, all of which carry major implications for licensure and accreditation.

In addition, the University and College commencements, along with Alumni awards, and our own Mission Recognition event, have all been postponed, and many questions remain about summer school and fall enrollment. To be honest, it’s not clear when genuine normalcy might return.

Despite this monumental disruption, both Marquette and our College of Education have risen to confront this unparalleled circumstance in compelling fashion. Our students, faculty, and staff have demonstrated incredible levels of sensitivity, adaptability, and determination. Their response has been truly inspiring.

As a result, we will be able to march into the future together, united as an academic community, to honor our instructional, scholarly, and service missions. And in the Jesuit spirit of magis, we are exploring what more we can do to be present to our families, alumni, friends, and community.

Make no mistake, though, the way forward will be demanding. There will be problems to solve that we never expected or faced before. And the economic toll will be significant. In response, the University and College will need to be inventive, opportunistic, strategic, and skillful, so as to maintain our intellectual, operational, and fiscal viability.

Through all of this, I have every confidence that we can work through this unprecedented situation with the support of friends like you. We ARE Marquette after all.

Lastly, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or words of encouragement you might have.  And please stay healthy and safe.

Bill Henk signature

Dr. Bill Henk, Dean
College of Education

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Ari Williamson

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Ari Williamson, one of our current juniors studying secondary education and history!

Ari L Williamson PhotoI grew up on the west side of Chicago, more specifically in the Austin community, and I have lived in Milwaukee since the July 2017 (when I started Marquette University). My mother is a single mother. I live with my mom and sister.

My favorite educational experience is the in-class discussions in my education courses talking about learning theories theorized by men and women. I hope that one day I can come up with a theory of my own that will be used in college/university classrooms. I chose Marquette and the College of Education because a friend of mine, Alex Johnson, was an education major. Based on the good things she said about the college, I was interested.

Outside of the classroom, I like to play basketball and do photography. To me, it means freedom. It means self-expression. Where I come from, shame played a big part in our everyday lives and it inhibited my growth. Being self-expressive is one of the main reasons why I want to become a teacher

I’m figuring out who I am as a teacher. I want to be great, so I need to do a lot of self-reflection. I’m inspired by a lot of people. But, I really admire comedian George Carlin, Lena Waithe and Jay-Z. These are people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and I respect that. Being courageous may be scary but it is the ONLY way.


Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Juwonna Walker

This year, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Juwonna, one of our undergraduates!

UnknownHi, my name is Juwonna Walker. I grew up on the North and East side of Milwaukee, for the majority of my life. I have also lived in Texas, Minnesota and Tennessee. I currently work, play, and live right here in Milwaukee. I have a huge family from many different states. I have six siblings on my mom’s side, and two siblings on my dad’s side. I am the oldest of all my siblings, and they are a variety of ages. It is never a dull moment in my family, because there is so many different personalities.

I work for the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office as a Victim/Witness Clerical Assistant. I like having the opportunity to work there because I interact with so many amazing staff members and have the opportunity to gain experience for my future career in social work.

My favorite educational experience is participating in field placements. I have been working with children for many years now in various positions and communities. Field placements give pre-service teachers the opportunity to get teaching experience, interact with students, and develop and learn pedagogies for our own classes. The most exciting opportunity I had this semester is being able to draft my own math mini lessons to work with one-on-one with a middle school student.

I transferred to Marquette from another local university in 2018. I chose Marquette because I wanted to Be the Difference for black and brown children in urban schools. I felt at Marquette I could receive the best education to adequately prepare me to teach in Wisconsin schools. I have always majored in elementary education because I love working with and learning from students in 3rd-8th grade.

When I am outside of the classroom I am volunteering as a Big Sister for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I have been a Big since my first semester at Marquette, after being a participant in SERVE. When I’m not doing that, I am attending cultural and social justice events on campus, to learn more about how I can be an active member in change. I also run track and field as a sprinter, my events are 100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x200m, hurdles, and long jump.

The inspiration for my work is seeing children that come from where I come from, speak the way I speak, and look the way I look to have opportunities to do great things. When I look at black and brown children, I see inventors, scientists, artists, and people that are capable of amazing things. So, I want to be a person who advocates and assist children accomplish their dreams.

Want to learn more about the College of Education and our students? Visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to continue the conversation!

Alumna Carrie Hanson Named 2020 Herb Kohl Teaching Fellow

hansonCarrie Hanson, ‘Ed 14 and a social studies teacher at West Allis Central High School, has been named a 2020 Herb Kohl Teaching Fellow. The Kohl Teacher Fellowship “recognizes and supports teaching excellence and innovation in the State of Wisconsin.” Each year, 100 fellowship recipients and their schools each receive a $6,000 grant to help them pursue professional development or realize goals for their classrooms.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity and owe my gratitude to the many mentors who have guided me along my teaching path. So many of my first mentors were the educators I worked with at Marquette who helped me to see the bigger picture of teaching, which extends so much further than the walls of my classroom. To be intentional in my interactions with my students and my community, to give freely of my heart, to see the dignity in people even if they might not see it in themselves, those are some of the things that I think about when I try to reflect on what I learned at Marquette.”

Congratulations, Carrie!

On Professionalism, Social Media and Privacy

By Kathryn Rochford

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and that you’ve started the semester off strong! It’s going to be a busy one, but I hope it treats us all well.

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about an experience I had last semester that today is growing increasingly more relevant. This experience relates to the theme of professionalism, social media, and the issue of privacy.

Last semester I was blessed to spend my field experience at Marquette University High School, an all-boys, Catholic high school. I learned so much about teaching styles, classroom management and the importance of relationships with students. However, being one of the two females in the classroom (the other being my coordinating teacher), there were some instances of awkwardness. The main one I want to focus on is when I was casually scrolling through Instagram, and I got a notification of a new follower request. I clicked on the notification to see who it was and, with sudden dread, I realized it was one of the students in the classroom I observed.

A million thoughts seemed to flood through my head. How did he find my Instagram when I’ve never told the students my first name? Why did this specific student follow me if it’s not a student I regularly held conversations with? Do I mention the topic with the student? With my coordinating teacher? Do I make a class announcement about the importance of privacy and the separation that needs to be maintained between students and teachers online?

After careful consideration, and plenty of frazzled conversations with my teacher friends and non-teacher friends alike, I decided to bring it up to my coordinating teacher. She laughed for a bit and said she was surprised that specific student followed me, since again, he never talked to me much. She shared stories of how this has happened before to other observing students she’s had and the issues it had caused them. She recommended I leave it unanswered, since I didn’t want him to see I rejected the request and then keep requesting to follow me. I decided I would follow that advice since it seemed like the easiest path.

Lately it feels as if we are warned more and more about what to put on our social media as potential employers can and will use your posts as a determining factor on whether to hire you. It never really occurred to me that my students, and possibly their parents, would be looking me up, too. It reminds me of a policy my teachers in high school had that even if we did friend request them, they wouldn’t accept the request until after we had graduated. In the case of my soccer coach/ history teacher, he used to tag my mom in photos of me so I could still see the posts.

I thanked God I had my profile set to private not public, and that even then I am careful with what I post. If I had one recommendation for new education students, it’s to set your profile to private so people must request to follow you and to still limit what you post. Your future students don’t need to see pictures of you at parties in college or drunk at a bar on your 21st.

This new idea of professionalism in the workplace may be a bit hard to get used to. It’s hard to see so many other college students freely posting and saying what they want to on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. They can post some of the fun memories we have with them that may be NSFW. I’m sure this part of adulting and learning what should be shared and what shouldn’t be is hard for everyone when they hit that point, but the issue for us as education majors is that transition happens as you are trying to figure out what college is and who you are as an adult. However, this idea of professionalism carries a different weight with it when you are an education major, especially one here at Marquette. Here at MU, we are blessed to enter the professional world a bit earlier than most, with opportunities for service-learning beginning freshman year.

So, while this may be a more serious topic than I usually post, I feel it is especially relevant as we move into times where our students could be trying to find our social media. Overall, social media can be a wonderful tool to connect us, to bring us to the latest ideas, and to share aspects of our lives. Yet when it comes to our lives as educators, it’s time to switch into private mode. Hopefully a few of you can learn from my story and won’t have to have an awkward interaction like that. If you do have something like this happen in the future, I hope you can face it head on, without the minutes of panic I seemed to have.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Cynthia D’Amico

We are excited to be spending time getting to know our students right here on the Marquette Educator! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Cynthia D’Amico, a doctoral student in the EDPL department.headshot (1)

I’m originally from Winnetka, Illinois, and I live there still. This means I have a long commute up to Marquette for my classes, but I don’t mind the drive. Favorite driving podcast: The History of the English Language with Kevin Stroud. I am on episode 130 (at about an hour an each—lots of drive time) I have a daughter who getting her Master’s in Education at Nortwestern University, a 22-year-old son who is poet, a reader, and a writer, and a daughter in high school.

Teaching is my favorite educational experience—always! Even when I am the teacher, I am a student as well. This year, I am looking forward to taking my class on Advanced Research Statistics. I love data, and I cannot wait to learn how to use research tools to plan and measure change. I entered Marquette’s Educational Policy and Leadership Ph.D. program to gain a deeper understanding of the current educational landscape in what appears to be an age of dwindling democracy, and how I could effectuate positive change on a broad scale. I choose Marquette specifically because I strongly believe in the principles of Jesuit education: an education without a guiding moral perspective, to me, seems to devalue the process and the outcome. I was also drawn to the sense of community that I felt the first time I spoke with Drs. Sharon Chubbuck and Cynthia Ellwoodabout the program. I wanted to be in a program where the faculty knew and supported students in a collective journey.

Outside of the classroom, I am always reading books related to education, equity, motivation, mindset, and how the brain works. I also volunteer as a literacy/writing coach in a first-grade classroom, and run a class at my local library as well. I find true joy in helping others learn in new and creative ways. Always try to be in the process of learning something new, or something old from a new perspective.

I have many rhetorical heroes who inspire my work. At the top of the list is Frederick Douglass. “There can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and that virtue cannot be bestowed. It must be developed from within.”

Others include:

Abraham Lincoln
John Adams
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Desmond Tutu
Nelson Mandela
Toni Morrison

Learning how to communicate effectively in English is challenging in the best of circumstances, but for students who enter the school system without having been immersed in academic English, the challenge sometimes becomes insurmountable. I went from practicing law to teaching English at a Title I high school in Chicago. While I struggled to provide my students with the tools they would need to succeed in college, many lacked foundational skills in academic English upon which to build, and that made my job much more challenging. Knowing how to write well did not mean that I knew how to teach the nuts and bolts of foundational English well.

As I set out to teach (or reteach) myself how the English language worked, I discovered a dearth of effective programs that I, personally, could use, or that I could offer my students. And so, the journey began. The more I researched, the more frustrated I became trying to teach the complicated nuances of the English language in a way that understandable and accessible for all types of students. I spent years developing and refining materials that ultimately became very successful with high school and college students, but I realized that if we could reach students earlier, we could have a profound impact on their educational trajectory. I partnered with a former special-education teacher and elementary school principal for more than a decade, understood first-hand the challenges of providing teachers and students with materials to satisfy the demands of the Common Core State Standards. I have founded a company called The Color of English as I continue to look for positive ways to disrupt the educational status quo and create opportunities for educational equity. If you would like more information, check us out at the or on Instagram at color_of_english!

I have been overwhelmed by the nature of the support at Marquette even beyond the College of Education. Marquette’s entrepreneurial 707 Hub has been a terrific resource for me during this journey!


Getting to Know Sabrina Bartels

In honor of National School Counseling week, we’d like to introduce you to Sabrina Bartels, an alumna of our Masters in School Counseling program and a regular blogger for the Marquette Educator! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts

Helpinghands.svgI would like to think that I am a true Wisconsin girl. Over the years, I’ve acquired some specific talents that clearly indicate that I am from the Dairy State, such as drinking from a bubbler, making a brandy old-fashioned, and being able to name the Packers offensive line, just to name a few. I guess that makes it even more ironic that I, sadly, must admit that I am not Wisconsin born and raised.

Okay, half that statement is false. I am Wisconsin raised, but not born. See, I was adopted from South Korea when I was four or five months old, so part of my identity lies in my birthplace. But the vast majority of it comes from my wonderful parents and the good ol’ Midwest.

I grew up in Cudahy, which is home to Patrick Cudahy and their famous Applewood smoked bacon (fun fact: if you go by the Cudahy Family Library and the wind is just right, the entire parking lot smells like bacon. It’s pretty heavenly.) I lived with my parents, Jack and Diane – yes, just like the song! My dad actually grew up in Cudahy when he was younger, so I felt pretty cool being the second generation to grow up there. My immediate family is small, but we are pretty close. My dad and I used to watch Packer games together every Sunday, and if we couldn’t be physically together, we would text each other. My mom and I like cooking and baking together, or just catching up on our favorite TV shows. I got married in 2014 to my husband, Rob, and gained an awesome extended family, which includes my nieces and nephew. Getting to be “Aunt Sabrina” is probably one of my favorite things, and I love being able to spend time with each of them! Most recently, we went to a Monster Truck rally to watch the Megaladon truck (one of my nieces is big into megaladons right now.)

My parents always stressed the importance of hard work, education, and faith, all values that I found in common with Marquette University. I joined Marquette Nation in the fall of 2007, intent on becoming a news anchor or reporter. But by the time I hit my senior year of college, I was burnt out, and started doing some real soul-searching to pinpoint what I wanted to do with my life. I knew broadcasting wasn’t the life for me anymore – when you live with the mantra of “when it bleeds, it leads”, you hear a lot of depressing things – and I knew that I wanted to do something that would not only promote positivity, but that would make a difference in someone’s life. I had been a Burke Scholar during undergrad, and had spent a lot of time volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter at Marquette, so I knew that working with youth was definitely what I wanted. After a lot of talks with advisors, hours of research, and some reflection, I decided to get my Master’s degree and become a school counselor.

It’s funny: I applied to two other schools besides Marquette, but I never actually thought about what would happen if Marquette rejected me. After four years of living on campus, I saw Marquette as my home. To me, that was my only option. I never considered another school as seriously. Maybe that’s because I remember applying for my undergraduate degree to many of the same schools, and feeling as though some of those schools strictly saw me as a number, or a certain “quota” that they had to meet. I felt like Marquette truly valued me as a human being, and I didn’t want to lose that connectedness. In the end, I was super blessed that Marquette said yes, launching me into a whole new chapter of my life.

I graduated with my Master’s in 2013, and have been working as a middle school counselor for the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District ever since. In some ways, it’s been a seamless transition; in others, it’s been quite an experience! Marquette prepared me to be a good counselor, but I’ve always maintained that no matter how much you learn in grad school, none of it compares to that gritty, real-world experience that you gain from the job. Books can only take you so far sometimes, and this is definitely a profession where some of it, you will have to learn from experience.

I love my job. I’m not just saying that; I really do. I love my coworkers, my admin, and my students. My admin are so supportive, and my coworkers are like family. We have a “work dad” who looks out for us and gives us advice, and a “work mom” and “work aunt” that are always there when we need them. And as for my students, they can be both a challenge and a joy. At my school, we “loop” with our kids, so I follow my students as their counselor from sixth through eighth grade. I think that’s one of the best things we do. I am able to build relationships with my students and their families, and in turn, they build a relationship with me. When my sixth graders transition to being seventh graders, they know that I will continue to be a constant in their academic careers. That’s really saying something, and I never realized how much of an impact that can have on someone. A lot of my students don’t have consistency in their lives – they may not know where their next meal is coming from, or which parent is going to be home that night – so it’s nice when they know that I will always be there for them.

And honestly, I have never looked back. Really. I have never once regretted leaving the world of broadcasting and becoming a counselor. And while counseling is all about the delayed gratification (most of my students don’t always listen to my advice right away, but I’ve had a number of high schoolers come back and tell me “your advice makes so much sense now!”) I’m okay with that. I know that in the end, I am making the world better. I am helping educate our future, and that is plenty of reward for me.

Plus, there is so much more on the horizon for myself, and for my district. We are moving further into the world of Project Based Learning, and are continuing to make fantastic strides in ensuring that all students have the mental health support that they need, whether that’s by having counselors, social workers, or school psychologists in the buildings. We have been starting up new programs at my school, including the Hope Squad and WEB leaders, to help give students more leadership roles in the building. Times are changing, and my district is ready to meet that challenge.

As much as I love my job, I promise that’s not all I do. I have a lot of different hobbies, and I try to fit them all in when I have time! In addition to spending time with family and friends, I love reading, cooking, writing, watching sports (preferably football or baseball, but it’s all about Marquette basketball come November!) and bike riding. Reading has always been my biggest passion though; my parents have fond memories of me reading “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” when I was in preschool. Though I will read almost anything, I am on a historical fiction kick. If you want a beautifully poetic book about World War II, please read “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. It is worth all the hype that surrounds it. I promise.

People always ask me what kind of advice I would give to future counselors, and it’s hard to say. I have so many things that I want to share, and if I had the chance, I would probably write a book about it. There is so much to learn, and yet, it’s not possible for you to learn everything. Like I said before, nothing prepares you for that very first day of being a counselor. Nothing can prepare you for how your heart will break when one of your students is being abused, or how sweaty you will become when you have to have a hygiene talk with a student. You have to be able to roll with the punches and just see how things turn out. I am far from a perfect counselor, but every day, I believe I learn something new that makes me better. A better counselor, a better daughter, a better wife, and a better person overall.

So maybe that’s my advice: learn something new every day. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You won’t look dumb, or ineffective. Consulting with others is all a part of the growing process.

Oh, and if you worked with a school counselor when you were younger, tell them thank you. It will mean the world to them.

Happy National School Counseling Week!

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