Archive for the 'Counseling and Human Services' Category

Getting to Know Heather Wolfgram

Heather Wolfgram joined Marquette University and the College of Education as a Director of Development in November of 2018. With several years of exerience in development on behalf of nonprofit organizations, Heather is ready to to advance the mission of both the college and the university. Read on to get to know Heather, and check out the rest of our series getting to know faculty, staff, and students!

IMG_9016 I’m originally from Big Bend, WI, and I’ve been back in Milwaukee for five years. My family is BIG and very close. All of my extended family still gets together for every holiday. My immediate family gets together almost every Sunday for dinner. Kids and dogs are welcome.

I have my Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. I absolutely loved the experience. I learned so much and had the opportunity to build what I think is a really broad skillset. As a social worker I’m drawn to community organizers like Saul Alinsky and Barack Obama. Grassroots community organizing can be incredibly impactful. I’ve always been passionate about higher education and life-long learning. Marquette offered me an opportunity to make education accessible (through donor-funded scholarships) to those who might not have thought it was possible. I also really admire the Jesuit commitment to service and giving back to the community. As I move into my new role, I’m excited about partnering with Dean Henk to build the College of Education Leadership Council.

When not at work, I’m an avid cyclist. I love the combination of being outside, being social, and contributing to my health. When I moved back to Milwaukee, I joined a female cycling club called the Bella Donnas/Cadence. These are some of the most supportive, compassionate, and welcoming women I have ever met. Many of them have become close friends and will likely lead to life-long friendships. I would encourage any women who are cyclists or interested in becoming cyclists to ride with Cadence this spring/summer.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Marquette family and I look forward to learning everything I can about the College of Education.

The College of Education provides outstanding academic programs, generates nationally recognized research, and engages in significant community outreach. With the assistance of those who believe deeply in the importance of schooling and mental health across the spectrum, we can be more impactful in all of these social justice pursuits. To contribute to scholarships or community outreach endeavors, contact Heather Wolfgram today! 

 

Celebrating 10 Years and Giving Back

IMG_1505By Hannah Jablonowski

Marquette University’s College of Education is collecting warm winter clothes for Penfield Montessori Academy (PMA), a local elementary school, in celebration of the tenth anniversary since we became a college. Marquette and the College of Education have a strong connection with PMA. Located close to Marquette’s campus, current students and alumni work within the school, and the College of Education could not think of a better way to celebrate our tenth anniversary than to help out!

The weather in the Midwest has been at a record low, and it is necessary for everyone to be warm. PMA is in need of winter clothes for their students. As part of a Jesuit community that embraces helping those in need, the College of Education started a winter clothing drive to collect materials needed to help keep these students warm and safe. The drive is continuing through February 15th, but items that were already donated were delivered this week due to the recent cold temperatures. With multiple coats, hats, scarves, and gloves already donated, Marquette’s College of Education is excited to see what other items will be donated and how we can continue to be the difference within our community.

If you are willing and able to help out but cannot make it to campus to drop off any donations, please view Penfield Montessori’s Amazon Wishlist for items you can buy and have automatically shipped to the school!

 

The Importance of Mental health: A Letter From One Marquette Student to Another

counselorBy Sabrina Bartels

Earlier this month, the Journal Sentinel published this article on Markus Howard. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.  After reading it, I felt compelled to write a little note to him.

Dear Markus,

To start with a cliché: you don’t know me, but I know a little bit about you. I am an avid Marquette fan, having graduated from Marquette with my undergrad degree in 2011 and my Master’s in School Counseling in 2013. I have watched games where all the odds have been stacked against us, and seen you help lead the team to victory. Earlier this month, you helped elevate the team over Creighton, scoring a historic 53 points and whipping Marquette nation into an absolute frenzy.

And because of your skill, my 8th graders have started taking notice. They talk about how great you are and how much they want to be like you. They talk about going to Marquette someday and playing in the Fiserv Forum. I’ve had kids try to imitate your three-point shot so they can use it during their own games. They talk about someday beating your free throw point average.

You are an absolute hero to them because of what you do on the court. For me, you are a hero for what happens after the game has ended.

You may not know it, but I’m hoping my students are watching you because of the way you portray yourself. You make sure to stay humble. (I just saw an interview you gave after the Creighton game, and when asked about how you are so effective at what you do, your response was “I play on a great team.” Nothing about how you scored about half the points Marquette made that night.) You give back to the fans. You volunteer and work hard. You are a great leader on the NCAA Division I Men’s basketball Oversight Committee. But most importantly, you’ve gone public on the importance of mental health in athletes.

As a counselor, mental health is my daily job, but it’s often hard to put it into perspective with my 13- and 14-year-old students. My kiddos come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and all of them come in with a different perspective on counseling. Some students love having me at school, so they can talk about their problems. Some just think I’m a friendly person to have around. But then there are some who view counseling as weak. They don’t want to ask for help, for fear of how that makes them look. And these are the kids that I struggle connecting with the most. It’s almost like we have little boundaries up that are hard to overcome.

The fact that you talked about seeing a psychologist as “just another practice” has really opened up the door to a lot of my students. Suddenly, talking to a mental health professional is not taboo. It’s not weird; it’s not only for people they think are “crazy.” It’s for everyone who needs someone to talk to. And my hope is that my students start to embody that mentality, that counseling is something that can help everyone, regardless of age, race, orientation, socioeconomic status, etc.

You’ve also opened the door to talking about mental health openly. A lot of my students think that mental health – good or bad – is a very private thing, or something that could never happen to them (“I’m a good student, so I can’t have anxiety”). And while it is in some respects private, talking about how mental health has affected you or someone you know can open doorways to others sharing their own personal experience, which all helps reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

It was also important for my students to hear why spending time with people you love is important. Some of my students are going through a phase where it isn’t cool to spend time with family, or people in general who love them. In an age where isolation is all too common, having someone whom they look up to emphasize the importance of connection is all the more special.

So thank you. Thank you for speaking out and using your voice to inspire others. Best of luck the rest of this season.

We are Marquette!
Sincerely,

A grateful school counselor

Be Present to Receive the Gift

By Karisse Callender

downloadA lot happens during the holiday season. There’s a lot of food, celebrations, family visits, travels, and time with loved ones. No matter the situation or our experiences, there is a gift we can all give to ourselves – the gift of mindful living so we can be present, in the moment, to fully experience life.

 

Here are some mindful tips and suggestions for the holiday season to help you remain present:

  • Practice gratitude: I use the word practice because being grateful takes intentional effort and it is a habit that needs to be cultivated. During this season, take a moment to think about at least three things you can be grateful for. It can be as simple as “I’m grateful for having a meal today,” “I’m grateful for a safe place to sleep,” “I express gratitude today for waking up.” A gratitude list can help to remind us of the simple things in life that make the biggest difference. On the days when it seems hard to find something/someone to be grateful for, think about what you would express gratitude for if you were having a good day.
  • Set intentions: Think about what you want this holiday season to represent for you. Is this a time for you to bond with distant family? Create new rituals with loved ones or for yourself? Is this a time to be contemplative and introspective? Whatever your intention, write it down and work towards it.
  • Journal: This is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and feelings over the holiday. It’s also a way to sit with what you are experiencing, in the moment. What did you learn about yourself? How did your intention(s) manifest? What were you able to do for others? How have you grown in the year? What lessons from the holiday can you take into the new year? How have you shown yourself loving-kindness over the holiday?
  • Radical acceptance: It would be ideal if things happen the way we want, all the time. However, that’s not the reality of our lives. When we feel confused and have no control over how things happen, you can remind yourself that “it is what it is, it is as it should be.” In other words, you are recognizing what is happening, as it’s happening, and acknowledging that it is out of your control.

Mindfulness is less about sitting still and more about being present in our lives – each moment, each experience, each day. When we take the time to be attuned to what is happening within and around us, we learn more about ourselves and our needs, and what we are capable of giving to others. As we think about what we can give to others, another mindful practice this holiday season is to remember and reach out to those who may also be in distress. Some may experience grief, a sense of loss, poverty, homelessness, and discord in relationships. As we think of the ways we are blessed and the simple privileges we have, let us also think about how we can be the difference for others.

May you all be happy, healthy, and at peace during this season and the new year. Be well.

Changing Climate: Counselors Getting Crafty!

By Sabrina Bartels

At the start of this school year, the Student Services department decided to help “beautify” our building. Here are some fun things we did to help our school climate!

  1. “Be the nice kid” quote. This was one of the most difficult things we did, but it was definitely worth it. We started by purchasing white paint and painting over a small section of the brick wall. We then projected a picture of the quote on the wall and traced the lettering, before finishing off the words with a couple coats of paint. It was finicky and stressful, but we’ve gotten tons of compliments on it. If you’re thinking of adding this quote to your school, we recommend picking up a variety of brushes to accommodate the different fonts. Also, this is a team activity – all the painting can get very tedious for just one person! Be the nice kid
  2. Drake bulletin board. Our students love this one (and also use it as an excuse to sing the song “Hey Keke.”) We saw a bulletin board on Facebook that used the quote, so we adjusted it a little to fit our school and added our own picture of Drake. We hope that it encourages our students to start thinking about their post-secondary education paths. It’s also a fun way to incorporate a little pop culture into school! Bulletin Board
  3. And speaking of education paths … we added a bulletin board outside of Student Services so we could post our own educational paths. Our students love seeing where all of us went to school! We’ve also used our new bulletin board to post inspirational quotes for our students to read. Educational PathwaysEducational PathStudent Services board
  4. Inside Out bulletin board. We also created a bulletin board that offers students a gentle reminder about what we do in Student Services. So often, we have students who don’t know what our roles are, or what they can talk to us about. Inside Out
  5. Pennants. In September, we sent out emails to (almost) all of the colleges and universities in Wisconsin, asking for pennants and any “swag” the colleges had to promote their school. The responses we got were overwhelming! Around 15 schools (Marquette included!) not only sent us pennants, but were super generous in sending us t-shirts, temporary tattoos, stickers/decals, water bottles, and more! Thanks to their kindness, we are able to start discussing post-secondary education right now with our students. We wanted to hang them over the bulletin board outside our office, but are trying to find something better than duct tape to hold them up.

Getting to Know Our Students… Meet James McDonald

We are continuing our blog series Getting to Know… Our Students this week with James McDonald. James is in his first year of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program, and his return to Marquette AND the College of Education is both a personal and professional homecoming.

DSCN0834I am a Marquette alumnus and first year Counseling Psychology PhD student. I completed the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program here in 2017. I began my PhD at the University of Georgia, but had the chance to come back to Marquette to work with Dr. Cook and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! Seattle, Washington to be precise. My family small! Nowadays, it’s mostly just my Mom and me. We have some distant family in other parts of the country, but holidays are quiet (haha). This will be my third year living in Milwaukee and I love it. It’s a perfectly sized city, with tons of beautiful old buildings and friendly people.

Being in a PhD program is a wonderful privilege because ideas and professional development are the focus. Marquette is such a tremendously supportive and challenging student-focused environment, and I am very proud of the education I have received here. My other favorite educational experience was during my first semester in the master’s program here at MU. Dr. Cook offered students the opportunity to participate in additional counseling skills groups outside of class and to receive real-time feedback. That experience, more than any other, propelled my counseling skill development.

This year, I have one focus: research, research, research! My dissertation is in the early stages of development and it is so exciting to see it begin to come together. There is a ton of research happening in the department and I am hoping to take the opportunity to be involved in as much as I can!

Initially, when I applied to the master’s program at MU I was drawn to the philosophy of the training program and that it was accredited and well-respected. I also had a thirst for adventure and to experience something new after spending most of my life in Seattle. I wanted to be challenged! During my time at MU, I have come to respect and appreciate the rigor of the training and have grown tremendously as a professional. The faculty and staff work tirelessly to provide a rich educational experience for students. Coming back for my doctoral work was such a natural fit; it felt like coming home!

Outside of the classroom, I love music. Before coming to graduate school, I was in a band in Seattle for years. After relocating to Milwaukee, my friend Peter (who is also in the doc program here) and I started playing together and are working on getting a group together. We’d like to record something and hopefully play some gigs in the area! It’s been fun to keep a connection to that part of myself. Otherwise, I am always down for a good sci-fi, drama, or comedy flick.

My passion for my work is all about building the knowledge and skills as a psychologist to be of service to clients and communities. As a field, all our research, policy, advocacy, and clinical efforts must be focused on making a meaningful difference in the lives of our clients. Feel free to reach out to me if you are at all interested in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s or Counseling Psychology doctoral program (james.mcdonald@marquette.edu)! It can be very confusing. I am always happy to chat or help as best I can!

Getting to Know Our Students… Meet Katherine Lubar

This fall, we’re excited to get to know our students better, and we hope you are, too! Read on to meet Katherine Lubar and learn about her background and passion for clinical mental health.

Katherine LubarI am in my second year of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program. I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and went to undergrad at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. I also spent a semester abroad in France during undergrad and worked in Denver with a ministry serving homeless youth for a summer. I moved to Milwaukee in the fall of 2017 to start grad school at Marquette.

My parents still live in Minnesota, and my older brother and his wife live in Milwaukee. My brother, sister-in-law, and I are all in grad school at Marquette this year!

This academic year, I have an internship in a counseling center at another college this semester as part of my master’s training. It is exciting to be able to apply the knowledge and skills I’m learning in my courses and further develop as a counselor through my internship experience.

I chose the College of Education and Marquette because I love the focus on social justice, advocacy, and multiculturalism within the College of Ed and how these are strongly incorporated into every aspect of the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology programs. The sense of community within the department and the support for students from faculty and staff also drew me to Marquette’s program.

In my free time, I love running, biking, yoga, and other sports, and I enjoy reading, cooking, and sewing when I have extra free time.  I also love spending time with friends and family and traveling as much as possible!

 


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