Archive for the 'Lessons I've learned' Category

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Andy Holmes

This fall, we are continuing our series 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 Andy Holmes, one of our doctoral students in the Educational Policy and Leadership Department and a clinical assistant professor/ educational specialist in the Physician’s Assistant program here at Marquette!

aholmesI am originally from Janesville, WI. After high school, I went to Valparaiso University for my undergraduate degree and National-Louis University for a Master’s in Education. I taught English in the Janesville school district for a while and then moved into a curriculum/ librarian/ innovation specialist position; I also coached drama, swim and soccer. I initially started working on my doctorate in 2015 after I learned about UW-Milwaukee’s Information Studies program at a conference. About a year later, I got a job at MSOE as an educational technologist, traveling back and forth from Janesville. In 2017, after my family moved with me to Milwaukee, I started working as a clinical assistant professor and education specialist here at Marquette in the Physician Assistant (PA) program. My wife and I have two children: a son who is starting high school this fall and a daughter who is in 10th grade at Brookfield East. They are on the debate and forensics teams together—and they assure me they’re going to be the state champs!

When I think about the year ahead, it’s often difficult to separate my work from my academic pursuits. I’m excited to be officially enrolled in the Educational Policy and Leadership department’s Ph.D. program. I feel like I have found my niche and I am passionate about the readings and topics, along with the Jesuit mission. The big draw for pursuing this degree was that in searching for a dissertation topic in information studies, I found myself continually circling back to education. Working in the PA program, I’ve recognized a pressing need for education specialists within healthcare. This degree marries my two disparate roles: I look forward to exploring ways in which I can innovate PA education.

Outside of the classroom, I love to ref soccer with my son—it’s a way of getting exercise and spending time with him. I enjoy reading with my daughter and going on walks with my family and dog. When I think about my family and their relation to my work, I have to say I am inspired by my wife. After my undergraduate experience, I graduated with a theatre degree, went back home and started working at a restaurant, where I met my wife. I started subbing in the local schools, and she encouraged me to get a teaching degree, then a Master’s… she always pushes me, challenges me. My wife works hard to make sure our family values are aligned with what is good and right in the world. She runs everything in our home: my kids and my wife are my reason for everything!

Teaching wasn’t my first-choice career. Somewhere along the line I’ve learned that I have an affinity towards nurturing people, to develop higher-order thinking, to see when students have those “a-ha” moments, and those sparks of inspiration. I just love knowledge and the transfer of knowledge. I’ve learned that I have a passion for social justice that I did not initially recognize in myself. I’m excited about the topics and EDPL’s social justice slant on education. I lean towards those topics and critical theory speaks to me. Most people can talk about a favorite teacher or subject, but when I think of my favorite educational experience, it’s paradoxical. It’s both the best and my least favorite life experience: the journey from high school teacher to higher education professor. It’s been both exceedingly difficult and wonderfully mind-blowing. I’ve learned there is so much possible in the world, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

Interested in learning more about graduate programs in the College of Education? Check out our website– or, better yet, come see us in person!

Some thoughts on the recent message from President Lovell concerning the College of Education

art-artistic-bright-220502By Kathryn Rochford

I am inspired by where we will take this program, regardless of any possible changes to a college that will shape hundreds of impactful educators.

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog, life has gotten busy over the past few weeks! I wanted to start off by saying I am so happy to be back on campus and have really been enjoying sophomore year so far. It’s been great to reconnect with friends, get to know new professors and explore Milwaukee more and more. I can’t believe we are already at the seventh week of school; this semester is really flying by!

However, a month ago, I received an email that caught me off guard. I remember going about my day, business as usual, when the email from Dr. Henk, the Dean for the College of Education came in. He wanted to clarify a statement made by President Lovell regarding the current affairs of the College of Education and that it would be undergoing an evaluation to examine the efficiency of our college. I remember being taken aback as I wondered what this possibly could mean for our college, for my fellow peers and me, and even for the future students looking to become educators just like me.

My first thought was immediate confusion. How could this be happening? What could this mean? Could the higher-ups in the university have used language that made sense to students? (You may think I’m kidding, but I had friends of mine that were googling specific words we read in the statement and in the emails we received.) I remember walking into an education class that day and feeling this air of confusion, anxiety and concern surrounding my peers and me. We started class off that day asking our professor to clarify what was happening. As weeks went by, I started to hear about it from other students of different majors, asking me what was happening, expressing their concern for our college and for the students in it. I even had friends tell me that they felt it was ridiculous we weren’t getting more information about it and that we had every right to be fighting for our college, and I agree with them.

My peers and I were frustrated with the lack of information, the lack of inclusion of students, and even the constant reassurances that everything was fine. It felt to us like we were being disregarded or that our voice in the matter wasn’t as important. And yet, it caused my fellow students and me to start these discussions on why the College of Education is so important and why it means so much to us. It gave me this immense feeling of camaraderie and this sentiment that while we may not know exactly what’s going on, were going to be a part of a fight that truly meant something to us.

As more information came out, thanks to an email received from Dr. Henk about a week ago, we realized that these changes that may happen to our college weren’t as imminent as originally feared, but it still is concerning me that we might be undergoing quite a bit of reorganization over the next few years. I understand the reasoning behind all of it, but I hope these changes are minimal. I want the best for the incoming future educators of the generation behind me, I want students who haven’t even considered their future career path to have the same opportunities I have been given when I chose this college.

If I have learned anything while going through this process, it’s that I am so excited to be part of a group of people that feels the same way I do about the College of Education and its importance. I love the discussions I have with my peers about what it means to be in a specialized college for our major. I truly feel like I am meant to be here, in this college, and I feel so blessed to be a part of a peer and academic group that is set on making a difference in this world. I feel as education majors we really take Marquette’s mission statement to heart. We all go out into the world wanting to “Be the difference” for our future students and colleagues.

While change may be coming to the College of Education, rest assured we as students want to be involved and informed throughout the process of these changes. We want to be a part of the discussion about the importance of our college and its place in Marquette. In his last email to us, Dr. Henk described how much we inspire the faculty and staff of the College of Ed, and I share his sentiment. I am inspired by where we will take this program, regardless of any possible changes to a college that will shape hundreds of impactful educators. I’m excited to see the difference we, as students, will make in the world and in our student’s lives.

 

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Nelly Gilhooly

This fall, we are continuing our series 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 Nelly Gilhooly, one of our undergraduate students in the College!

nelly gilhoolyMy name is Nelly Gilhooly, and I am a current freshman in the College of Education. I am studying Middle/Secondary Education and History. I grew up in Mount Prospect, IL, which is a small suburb of Chicago. I have never lived in Milwaukee before, and I am very excited to be here! Both of my parents work in a school environment. My mom is a first grade teacher, and my dad is a school engineer. I also have two sisters, one older and one younger than me.

My favorite education experience I have had was during high school. My Advanced Placement U.S. History (APUSH) teacher would show us crazy videos and songs at the beginning of each class to make my classmates and me excited to learn. This upcoming school year, I am very excited to learn more about something that is meaningful to me and learn about subjects I am passionate about. I was drawn to Marquette’s College of Education because I immediately loved the feeling I had here. I was very impressed by the connection the tour guides would make with each of the prospective students, and I also appreciated the hand written letters I would receive from the College of Education throughout the school year. My family also went to Marquette, so I am excited to be attending this school knowing how much this school has done for them.

This year, I am excited to go to sporting events and meeting other students at Marquette with similar interests as mine. I know by getting involved on campus, it will help me to make friends that will last my entire lifetime. Although I have only been here for a few weeks now, I would advise any new students to be outgoing and as social as you can be. You never know what you could miss out on! Do not be afraid to be yourself and enjoy the time you have. My inspiration for being an educator are my high school teachers. There was never a time where I felt uncomfortable or didn’t understand what was going on in class. They truly made my high school experience more enjoyable.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Jasmine Babineaux

The College of Education is excited to continue allowing our readers to better know its faculty, staff and students. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Babineaux, one of our graduate students in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program. Read on to get to know her better!

jasmineI was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana! I moved to De Pere, Wisconsin in 2015 to pursue by Bachelor’s Degree at St. Norbert College. I graduated this past May with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing and Business Management. I’ve been in Milwaukee for a full month now. My grandparents raised me from a baby! I have a 1 year old brother named Levi and a sister who’s 6 months younger than me.

I’m a Graduate Assistant in the Office of International Education. I have two favorite educational experiences: studying abroad in South Africa for a couple of weeks and in London for a semester. Also, attending the LeaderShape Conference the summer after my sophomore year of undergrad was a turning point in my personal growth. That experience still guides me to this day. For this academic year, I’m looking forward to brainstorming places to do my practicum experience!

My decision to attend Marquette was divinely ordained, honestly. I came to the Open House with a friend who is from Milwaukee and was planning on moving back here. One of the faculty members and current students sealed the deal for me. I felt seen and that I would get the most intentional graduate school experience from the SAHE Program that aligned not only with my professional aspirations, but also with my character. I have always loved Milwaukee, the richness of culture, and the big city aspect. I planned to move back to the south, but for some reason I was lead here.

Outside of the classroom, I perform my poetry and write social commentary, I take salsa dancing classes occasionally, collect plants & name them, spontaneous road trips, I host a podcast! Check out my podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Anchor: Respect Her Mind

My inspiration is my baby brother; my best friend, Jordan; my mom & grandparents; young people in general. Other inspirational figures are Ericka Hart and Elaine Welteroth – their work speaks to me in ways that I can hardly explain.

Reflections of a Middle School Counselor

downloadBy Sabrina Bartels

When people ask me what it was like being a first year counselor, I often mention that there are some things grad school never prepares you for: that first, super awkward conversation about hygiene; the first time you have to call Child Protective Services about the abuse of one of your students; the patience you must show every time a kiddo tells you that another student is looking at them in a funny way … AGAIN. In some ways, working in a middle school is “baptism by fire” – you just have to jump in, do it, and reflect afterwards. The things you hear, the things you see – some of those things you really don’t know how to respond until you are in the middle of the situation.

For me, I also experienced a bit of a culture shock in my first job. I went to a parochial school for my elementary and middle school years. My entire 8th grade class was 15 students, the majority of whom I had gone to school with since kindergarten or first grade. All of our parents knew each other, since they volunteered at different school events together. Things changed slightly when I went to public high school, but in different ways. Sure, my graduating class was bigger (I think we were around 230 kids for my senior class,) but it was smaller than a lot of other schools. The city I went to high school in also has a very quaint feeling to it (I often tell people it was like living in the movie Pleasantville.) I loved it, and thrived there, but it still gave me a nice sense of security. I would say that it wasn’t until college that I began having classes with multiple students of different ethnic backgrounds, or was greatly exposed to people who didn’t have the same upbringing as I did.

So you can imagine my naivety (and shock) going into West Allis, which is a much more diverse area. There are some students at my school who are shouldering adult burdens that I can’t even imagine tackling when I was in middle school, much less now as an adult. Their strength and resilience are just amazing.

This past August, our school district asked Dr. Christopher Emdin, author and professor at Columbia University, to give a keynote to start the school year. Listening to him, I wish he had been there my first year of counseling. Not only is he a phenomenal speaker, he tackles the subject of urban education with humor, common sense, and empathy.

If you are a first-year educator, please do this: get a copy of Dr. Emdin’s book called “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood … and the Rest of Y’all Too.” Read it. It will change your life and how you work as an educator, regardless of where you work. I promise you. And if you ever get a chance to hear him give a talk, please do it. He is wonderful.

I love his book “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood …”, and the chapter I found most prolific (for me) is called “Code Switching.” Dr. Emdin notes that not every student in every classroom feels validated for who he or she is. Some students come to school and can successfully navigate between their “home” culture and their “school” culture because they are very similar. I think about my own upbringing – my rules at home were pretty similar to what they were at school: work hard, listen to adults, ask questions, things like that. This is very different from some of my students. I remember one of my students telling me that school wasn’t important because it wasn’t teaching him about real life. When I asked what he meant by that, he explained that school was not going to teach him how to care for his younger siblings, stay safe in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee, or help his parents with their financial struggles. To him, school was a barrier, an inconvenience that took him away from his real goals in life: get out of his neighborhood, help his parents, and look out for the little kids. I had never heard this before.

The idea with code switching is helping students consciously realize when they need to “code switch” from their home mode to school mode. It also invites teachers to learn the slang and culture of each of their students. Dr. Emdin gives a great example of his book: having students imagine themselves at the local park, watching people play basketball. Then invite the students to talk the way they would with their friends. Encourage them to use this as the “privileged” language in class for a while. After this, ask students to imagine themselves at a fancy Ivy League school with manicured lawns and meeting with the adults at this school. How would students speak then? What does that privileged language sound like?

I always like when my students come into my office using slang, even when I don’t know what it means. First of all, it is a great bonding opportunity with students – they can teach an adult some of the up-and-coming slang that is popular. (Of course, when I use these around my nieces, they roll their eyes at me and tell me I don’t sound cool …) Secondly, this gives me the chance to see where my kiddos are coming from. I remember one student telling me that the slang she used was directly from her family, who were all from a certain city in Mexico. She told me all about how the slang her family used was different from her close friend’s family, who was also from Mexico, but a different city. And the added bonus of staying up to date with the cool new terms? When I hear kids using certain slang in the halls, I can figure out what they’re saying and (for the most part) whether it’s a compliment or not.

A lot of Dr. Emdin’s book is geared towards teachers (I do not co-teach a class, for example), but I would argue that every educator could learn something from it. He has great insight on camaraderie and courage, which I also took some advice from, and think every educator – administrator, counselor, and teacher – could benefit from reading. It makes you reflect on your practice and how you can grow from it. I’m not saying that it will prepare you for everything (again, you will NEVER know what it’s like to have some conversations with students until that opportunity presents itself,) but it will give you a good heads-up about working in a more urban environment and what you can do to help build relationships with your students. I will definitely be using some of his tips and ideas with my new 6th grade class that just started at the middle school. I look forward to sharing how this works with them!

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Emdin, I encourage you to check out his website!

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Kat McConnell

This fall, we are continuing our series 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 Kat McConnell, one of our doctoral students in the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department!

katmccI was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. My family (including four little sisters!) still live in St. Louis, so I like to get home to visit fairly often. After getting my BA in Psychology and Sociology at Maryville University in St. Louis, I moved to Muncie, IN in 2016 to get my MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Ball State University, and then I moved up here to Milwaukee last summer to start my PhD in Counseling Psych at Marquette!

I love the opportunity to engage in research with faculty and fellow students. I am a part of the Culture and Well-Being Lab at Marquette, and I’ve had the chance to present our research at a couple of conventions with them in the past year, which is both a lot of fun and a great learning experience. This year I will be starting a practicum at the Milwaukee VA that I’m very excited about! I’ll be doing a palliative care rotation, working with patients living with serious illness, and their families.

When I was looking for doctoral programs, my main priorities were finding a program somewhere in the Midwest, so that I can be somewhat close to home, and finding a program with a welcoming, inclusive academic culture. I found both of those in the Counseling Psychology (COPS) program at Marquette. The College of Education and the COPS program cultivate a collaborative and supportive environment that I felt at home in from my first interview.

When the weather is nice, I love to be outside. Milwaukee has so many fun outdoor festivals and beautiful parks to hang out at during the summer. When it’s colder, I love to indulge in local theater, go to the movies, or curl up on my couch with a good book or Netflix show. And any time of the year, you can find me camped out at my favorite Colectivo, which is my go-to  homework/research spot!

I’m passionate about the areas of serious illness and death/grief, with attention to diverse and underrepresented populations. I’ve had the opportunity to work in these areas as a chaplaincy intern in my masters program, and look forward to learning more this year with my VA practicum in palliative care. Although serious illness and death can be an emotionally taxing area, I also find it to be one of tremendous potential for personal growth. I find it a privilege to go on the journey of making meaning out of difficult circumstances and personal loss with clients. My hope is to continue to work in an integrated healthcare setting after graduation, as well as staying engaged in research on how we can better support diverse clients facing illness, loss, and stigma in the health care field(s).

 

Getting to Know Our Faculty: Meet Dr. Julissa Ventura

We’re excited to introduce you to Dr. Julissa Ventura who joined the Educational Policy and Leadership department this fall as an assistant professor. Read on to learn more about her, and don’t forget to check out our other posts featuring faculty and students!

ventura-julissa-2019

I grew up in West New York, New Jersey, which is as its name says is west of New York City. Although I was born and raised in Jersey, I am Salvadoran as both my parents are Salvadoran and immigrated to the United States in 1980’s. I have only lived in Milwaukee for about a month, since August 2019, but am familiar with Wisconsin because I spent seven years in Madison studying for my Master’s and PhD in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Like I mentioned, both my parents are from El Salvador, and they still live in New Jersey with my two younger siblings – my brother who is 26 and my sister who is 17. I like to think that having a sister whois in her teens keeps me cool since she keeps me up to date on all the trends.

My favorite educational experience is a research internship I did my senior year at Swarthmore College where I received my undergraduate degree. I was working through the University of Pennsylvania on a project with Latinx parents and their experiences in schools in Philadelphia suburb. Part of my internship was to facilitate an afterschool homework club with teachers and Latina mothers. I did a lot of translating between the teachers and the mothers, but also saw how a research partnership between a university and a school could make a difference in the lives of marginalized parents and students. I saw how the mothers learned much more about the different activities and services at the school, and the teachers learned about the mothers’ lives, cultures, and hopes for their children’s education. This experience inspired me to go onto graduate school and also engage in community-based research.

An exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year for me will be to get to know more students, faculty, and staff across campus. I want to connect to some of Marquette’s community and diversity initiatives and also get to know what students are passionate about on campus.

I was drawn to Marquette because of our social justice-oriented mission and the current efforts that the university is making to increase community partnerships as well as the diversity of its students and faculty.

Outside the classroom, I like to go to concerts – my partner and I really love going to see Latin American bands/artists. We just attended the Los Dells Latinx music festival over Labor Day weekend. This past summer I have also reconnected with my hobby of reading novels and find that it’s a really nice way to decompress and relax after work.

Both my parents are my inspiration for the work I do to create and foster educational opportunities for marginalized communities. My parents are the most courageous people I know as they both immigrated at a very young age, leaving behind all of their family to build a home in a country they didn’t know. They always pushed me to take every educational opportunity that came my way because they never had those opportunities, and it is their encouragement and support that has gotten me this far. So, to honor all immigrant parents do for their children, I am inspired to persevere in the struggle to create spaces of equitable educational opportunities for marginalized students in both K-12 schools and in higher education.


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