Archive for the 'Lessons I've learned' Category

Racism On Our College Campuses: What Can We Do About It?

This post is excerpted from a post written by Dr. Ryan C. Warner (Class of 2019) that originally appeared on as a part of the series, “CARED Perspectives,” developed by the APAGS Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Posts in this series  discuss current events and how these events relate to graduate students in psychology. If you are interested in reading more, please see Dr. Warner’s full piece and follow him on Twitter!

RCP_9005By Ryan C. Warner

Similar to the rest of society, colleges and universities are not immune to racial discrimination. With “Blackface” party incidents and “noose” hangings making news at numerous universities all over the country, racially underrepresented students face challenges beyond the academic scope of tests, papers, and projects.

As a current graduate student of color who has attended various predominantly white universities, I can attest to the fact that racial discrimination can be displayed covertly (e.g., microaggressions) or overtly. These incidences have a profound impact of an individual’s well-being, and can impact their retention and life satisfaction. But the main question is, “what can we do about it?”

At the individual level, we need to all stand up to racial injustice when it occurs. Silence is compliance and only encourages and enhances racial injustice in the world. Individuals of all backgrounds and skin colors should point out bigotry when they see it, which will ultimately create social awareness and bring light to these issues.

At the institutional level, university leaders should make systemic changes to enhance inclusivity for students of color. One example may include requiring that all students, faculty, and staff attend diversity training focusing on racial equality and inclusion. Additionally, ensuring that campuses have a bias incident report system in place can offer a resource for students to document their experiences of racial microaggressions, which may assist with providing evidence that these incidences do in fact exist. This documentation may be useful with further presenting evidence for the need of diversity resources and inclusivity programming.

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Dr. Ryan Warner is a graduate of the College of Education’s Counselor Education Counseling Psychology doctoral program

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Mac Goertz

We are continuing getting to know our students this fall! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on our blog series. Read on to meet Mac Goertz, a counseling psychology doctoral student.

IMG_3300I’ll be entering into my third year in the Counseling Psychology doctoral program this year. While I have some remaining coursework, my main focus is now with clinical training and research.

Currently I’m training at two different practicum sites— I provide individual psychotherapy to patients in an integrated primary care setting at the Behavioral Medicine Primary Care Psychology Clinic at MCW/ Froedtert Hospital, and I conduct integrated psych testing with kids and adults at Psychological Assessment Services, LLC.

I very much enjoy working with Dr. Lisa Edwards in the Culture and Well-Being Lab. Over the past two years the lab has focused on a community-engaged research initiative called Proyecto Mamá, which seeks to assess the perinatal mental health experiences of Latina moms in the Milwaukee area using qualitative and asset-mapping research methods. The project is funded by a Marquette University Women and Girls of Color grant and is paving the way for future projects within the community, including Círculo de Mamás, a support group for Latina moms that we are developing at Sixteenth Street Clinic.

In my own research I’m curious about factors that promote critical consciousness around issues of race and racism. In particular, I want to know what helps White people become more racially aware and engaged. I want to know what moves Whites to engage in anti-racist work and how we can be better at doing this. In my own journey, I’ve had mentors that have been transformative in helping me to engage with race and consider my own racial attitudes, in particular through the IC-Race Lab (Immigration, Critical Race, and Cultural Equity Lab) in Chicago, IL. Thus, I’m interested in studying the potentially meaningful role of mentorship in promoting racial consciousness among White students.

I moved to Milwaukee in 2017 from Chicago, IL where I worked in addictions counseling in the West Loop of Chicago for a few years. In 2015 I received a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in Latinx Mental Health from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Before Chicago I lived in St. Augustine, FL where I attended Flagler College and earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Both of my parents grew up in small towns in the Midwestern U.S and followed lifelong careers overseas. I was born in Maseru, Lesotho before our family moved to Swaziland, Uganda, and eventually Vanuatu in the South Pacific. In the 7th grade I attended a small Bahá’i boarding school in Vancouver Island, British Columbia where I remained through high school. I have two older brothers—and now two sister-in-laws! Family is foundational in my journey—they are the “strength to my sword arm,” as my mother would say.

The work of Dr. Lisa Edwards and the Culture and Well-Being Lab motivated me to apply to the Counseling Psychology doctoral program at Marquette. Dr. Edwards is a phenomenal force with an inspiring history of research in the areas of multicultural counseling, positive psychology, and Latinx psychology. She is also a mom—something that has been really important for me to see role modeled in academia.

I love the outdoors. Wisconsin has some incredible places to camp and hike. I’m a big fan of the Oak Leaf Trail where I enjoy walking my dog in the morning and evenings. I also love to hunt for antiques and oddities—I come from a long line of women with a talent for collecting and curating old and new. It’s important to me that my living and working space feel like me and where I come from. Mannequins, taxidermy, old farm tools, family quilts, and house plants line the walls of my home and the Airbnb apartment I manage.

Dr. Joseph L. White will forever be a guiding light in my journey. Considered the Godfather of Black Psychology, Dr. White was a change maker who revolutionized how we think about multicultural, strengths-based psychology today. His life and wisdom inspire me to keep moving forward and remind me that I have a responsibility to use my platform and privileges to work toward equity, healing and liberation.

The other force that inspires my work is my grandfather, Horace C. Walters. He was the last of his generation that I got to know and I recognize his story as so important to who I am. His life has taught me about love and family, about the importance of kindness and being true to conviction. I strive to honor him in the values I live by and the changes I fight for.


Getting to Know Our Faculty: Meet Dr. Alie Kriofske Mainella

The College of Education is excited to continue allowing our readers to better know its faculty, staff and studentsDr. Alie Kriofske Maniella joins our faculty in the department of Counselor Education Counseling Psychology this fall. Read on to get to know her better!

alie-k-m-2019I was born in Milwaukee and lived in the lower level of a duplex on 68th and Center. When I was a little girl, I made five goals for myself that have stuck with me all my life: to join the peace corps, fall in love, make a record of music, write a book, and interact with a monkey. I have the last two left. When I got a little older, I decided I’d love to be a university professor and am so glad to get to realize that dream at Marquette University.

I have been working with people with disabilities since I finished my undergraduate degree and continued that work when I joined the peace corps after college. I have a partner named Tad (there’s the falling in love goal checked) who is a writer and two kids. My son Coen is 15 years old and my daughter Lucy is 11. We love travelling and music (Coen is named for Leonard Cohen and Lucy for Lucinda Williams). We just got a dog. His name is Petey, and he’s a beagle mix and a very tenderhearted dog.

I have always loved school, particularly when writing was involved. I was involved in the creative writing program at UW Milwaukee in my undergrad and love to write short stories in my free time. I was a Trinity Fellow here at Marquette University while I got my Master’s Degree and fell in love with the culture here. I am so happy to be back.

Aside from creative writing, I also am a musician; I write songs (there’s the make a record of my music task on my list, though it was a CD that I made in 2002). I also play the guitar and the ukulele; you can find me playing and singing on my front porch and various farmers markets, street festivals and open mic nights.

I am passionate about disability rights, sexual health education and the mixing of these two topics. I love talking to parents about how to talk to their kids about sexual health and willingly dole out advice to anyone who has questions, so feel free to stop by my office in the Schroeder Complex if you have been asked a hard question by a young person in your life and aren’t sure how to phrase the answer! I’m inspired by so many who have worked in the various intersecting fields that I work in:

  • Beatrice Wright for her pioneering work in framing disability as a positive challenge,
  • Ed Roberts for his advocacy for himself and others in the creation of Independent Living Centers in the US,
  • Sonya Renee Taylor for her poetry, art and activism in self love, and
  • of course Dr. Ruth.

I feel tremendously grateful for being invited to work, teach and research at Marquette University in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology department in the College of Education.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Tyanna McLaurin

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 Tyanna McLaurin, one of our Student Affairs in Higher Education graduate students and the Assistant Director of Service Learning at Marquette!

tyannaI was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. I had the pleasure to going to a variety of schools when I was younger so I’m can adapt quickly to new spaces and I’m unafraid of change (well, somewhat). My favorite educational experience was living overseas as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. While the experience was not part of a “formal education,” it was indeed a life changing time for me. I learned so much about community work. Much of what I learned stays with me today.

I’ve been out of school for a long time, so the start of every semester is exciting. I’m challenging myself to be open to growth and to do my best. I know I got this! I work as the Assistant Director of Service Learning. I love working in higher education and want to continue on this career track. The Student Affairs in Higher Education Program was attractive to me. I like the relationships I can build with faculty and the support of students.

Outside of the classroom, I do so much. I work with Milwaukee Film-Black Lens Program as the Community Outreach Coordinator. Milwaukee has the 9th largest film festival in the country and I get to spread the word within and among my networks about this gem. History, specifically, African/African American History, tends to be my inspiration for my work and passion. I’m never surprised by social unrest or ‘isms that plague American society. This was all foretold through history. I use history to remain knowledgeable and keep going.

Want to learn more about our graduate education programs? Head on over to our website for more information– or, even better, come visit us on campus!


Reflections on the 2019 MUSCLES Camp

Marquette offers a summer camp addressing literacy and social communication skills for children on the spectrum, aged 6-11. The MUSCLES (Marquette University Summer Communication, Literacy, and Enhanced Socialization) camp occurs during three weeks in summer. An interdisciplinary initiative of the Colleges of Education, Health Sciences, and Arts and Sciences, the camp not only serves local children but also employs students. We caught up with Megan Smith, Class of 2019, to find out more about her experience.

MUSCLES 2019 meganBy Megan Smith

As a student, I connected with Dr. Walker-Dalhouse in class through her course and my work experiences in the College of Education. She invited me to participate in the camp two years ago, but it didn’t work out given my work schedule. What overall drew me in was through working with students on the autism spectrum, I had observed the fact that there are so many misconceptions about what student on the spectrum can and cannot do. Through my own curiosity, I discovered that there is not a lot of research out there, just speculation and was concerning to me as an educator. Thus, when I was told about the research, I was eager to participate.

My favorite part was watching the kids make friends and accept on another and not see differences. They look at the world through their eyes and see only similarities (an aspect that we as humans forget to see). The most challenging was learning each of their personalities in such a short period of time. I felt like I just ‘really’ got to know them, and camp was over.

I feel this will help me teach ALL young scholars. Through understanding how a variety of learners see the world and how they learn, I can better meet all students where they are and help guide them to success. This practice helps me see there are multiple ways to succeed at one task.

Prior to the program, I had always taught social skill and academic skills such as reading in isolated time periods I knew that cross-curricular teaching was possible, but I had never felt confident but now I truly see the benefits and that children grow and prosper when taught via a cross-curricular curriculum.






My Trip to Washington, D.C.

Capitol ViewBy Kathryn Rochford

Happy July, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I love getting patriotic when the Fourth rolls around. Recently, I had the opportunity to travel with my family to our beloved nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. It was a trip full of many tourist activities, delicious food, and most importantly, amazing learning opportunities. It allowed me to reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation and how far we can go in the future.

Here are my thoughts on my trip to Washington D.C.

It is our job as educators to teach our students the curriculum of course, but also to instill values and skills in them that they can use throughout their lifetime.

Day One

The first day of my family’s trip, we went to Mass and then to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. This first day there left me a bit dumbfounded as I marveled at the architecture style and the massive amounts of history that occurred in this very city. The Museum of American History was a fun one to go to, especially for me, as I have always had a fascination with history. I also enjoyed this museum a lot because it had a superhero exhibit and anyone who knows me knows that I am a massive superhero fan, especially with Marvel movies and comics. It was fun to be able to enjoy it with my siblings and take in the pricelessness of all the artifacts.

Day Two

On this day, we started off by going to the African American Museum, which is also the newest museum in D.C. It was the most interactive museum we went to, with all the modern technology making it fun for all ages, especially my younger siblings. I really enjoyed learning about the history behind African American culture, fashion and influence on media. My favorite exhibits were those on sports, with all the replicas and videos on practically every famous African American athlete, as well as the exhibit on music, with all the awards, replicas and costumes from the artists. The music exhibit also had an interactive table where you could press a song you wanted to hear and hear it, with some music dating as far back as the early 1900’s.

On this day, we also went to the Air and Space museum. As a person who has never been very into science and engineering, this place kept me interested with the number of artifacts housed in such a historic building. We enjoyed watching the Apollo 11 film by CNN as it held new footage from the moon landing that was nearly 50 years ago. It was almost like I could live it myself; you could feel the excitement, anxiousness and nerves of every person in the video: the spectators, mission control and the astronauts. What a historic day to celebrate here coming up soon.

Day Three

The White House was a fun stop my family had in D.C. since we had planned and gained access to go inside for a tour. The stark realization that so many of our country’s leaders have walked those halls blew my mind. I remember spending almost too much time looking at all the intricate details, architecture and decorations, and soaking in the view from the red, green, and blue rooms overlooking the rest of the National Mall. If you ever get the chance to travel to D.C., I recommend trying to get into the White House as it’s an impressive experience.

The Capitol Building was another unforgettable stop on my family’s trip, especially since we called our local Congressman’s office and were able to get a tour from his interns. This aspect of the tour was a bit different as all the other ones we did had been self-led. I enjoyed having people my age that we ask questions of and getting to know what their favorite parts of the job were. I even thought it was funny since the interns had a bingo list of all the Congressmen and women they would run into throughout the summer. My favorite part of the tour was when we stopped in the center of the building and were able to see paintings of Washington, key moments in our nation’s history, and even unfinished sculptures of Lincoln (symbolizing his unfinished presidency), along with  women who have shaped this country (leaving room for the first female president, of course).

Day Four

My favorite part of the entire trip was touring the Library of Congress. As a lover of literature and an English major, I was utterly speechless throughout the entirety of the time we spent in there. I could write a whole blog alone on what it meant to me to see everything in there, and every fun fact I heard, but I’d like to focus on two things.

First, the statues I have pictured below. If you look closely, you’ll notice one is an older man and one is a younger man: this was meant to symbolize the importance of lifelong learning. What a fitting idea for a library that houses such important works, but also for teachers to understand! I feel it’s important to recognize that we will learn as much from our students as they will learn from us. It is our job as educators to teach our students the curriculum of course, but also to instill values and skills in them that they can use throughout their lifetime. We truly have the most important job as we mold the minds of future generations; what a powerful sentiment and an important responsibility.

library of congress

Secondly, if any of you are fellow book lovers like me, my wildest dreams came true when I found out you can get a Library of Congress library card. It takes about 10 minutes, but then you can go into the iconic Reading Room and hold the history of our country in your hands. To say I was dumbfounded is an understatement. I could hardly speak for thirty minutes after we left; I was too busy processing everything.

So, to sum everything up, Washington, D.C. was one of the most fun vacation spots I’ve ever been to with my family. It truly is a city that can entertain all ages, but the history alone in that one city is important to feel and experience on one’s own. Learning more about our country helped me to go into this holiday week with a deeper understanding of what it took for our country to gain its independence, and an even deeper appreciation to live in such a place. This Fourth of July, I hope you were able to take a moment to reflect on what it means to you to be here, to be in a country that values our freedom, and remember the sacrifice it took for thousands of men and women to keep it that way.

Adios Lima

This summer marks the third College of Education faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru. Dr. Melissa Gibson and 11 of our students are studying and learning in Lima while also traveling the country. Their blogs are originally posted on Marquette Meets Peru, and we’re excited to share them with you!

By Brooke McArdle

Lima, Peru…the Plaza de Armas de Lima by dayI truly cannot believe how fast our time in Lima has flown by. It seems crazy to me that soon we will be on a plane to Cuzco, having completed three of our four weeks in Peru. My time in Peru has been amazing and also challenging for a variety of reasons. I have enjoyed getting to know the culture and the people, as well as picking up on whatever Spanish I am able. In addition, I have definitely felt linguistically inadequate several times on this trip, which is difficult to deal with, especially in settings were everything is in Spanish. With all of these different experiences and feelings, my third week in Lima is drawing to a close and I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the different educational contexts here and also have been able to connect them with what I’ve experienced not only as a pre-service teacher, but also as a student.

We have been able to partake in a variety of educational experiences, each uniquely structured to fit the context and students which they serve. Two of the different experiences we worked with this week were: Tupac Amaru and Lombriz Feliz. As I discussed in my previous blog post, Tupac Amaru is a public school, geared to prepare their students to work in a trade for the betterment of their local community. Contextually, this approach for schooling is practical because the goal is to help the community flourish as a whole. Having students who can participate in and help their community with their trade has a positive effect on the advancement of the community. One of the things that we have talked a lot about in seminar and that has stuck with me is the idea of creativity and curiosity in education. In the article, “Shop Class as Soulcraft,” Matthew Crawford discusses the importance of manual labor in education and its connection to cultivating creativity. Crawford describes the connection that exists between the self and the product of manual work, specifically how the product of manual labor emulates its maker, a humanizing process. Therefore, Crawford makes the argument that this manifestation then enables the maker to engage creatively with their world. Consequently, he argues that critical thinking stems from manual labor and crafts, both of which we deprive students of in our schools. At Tupac Amaru, the trade is the center of the curriculum and students are encouraged to connect with their trade to explore their creativity and expression. For example, in the metalworking classroom, students welded scorpions, elephants, or bicycles, which were, as Crawford would argue, expressions of themselves. While there is a practical aspect of this type of education, it also enables students to explore their world through their own abilities and interests, making their education even more relevant for the students.

In addition to this experience, we also visited Lombriz Feliz this week. Lombriz Feliz is a community composting organization just on the outskirts of Lima. They were started in 1991 with the intent of minimizing waste and organizing their waste management. A group of German missionaries worked side by side with the community to begin a composting program. Since then, Lombriz Feliz has thrived, producing organic humus that helps plants better grow in the desert climate of Lima. The organization has also been asked to educate other communities, including wealthier communities, about how to compost successfully. One of the things that I really enjoyed learning about Lombriz Feliz is how the community came together to recognize and solve a problem. With the help of the missionaries, the community worked democratically to better itself. The Chavez and Soep article “Youth Radio and the Pedagogy of Collegiality”discusses the implications of educational relationships rooted in interdependence. The authors explain that the Youth Media program is meant to encourage shared interest and investment in a final product, which then creates not only a more robust product but also a relationship and community. The experience at Lombriz Feliz is based on this type of teaching and learning experience. The ideology behind Lombriz Feliz is communal advancement not only through participation, but by working together. Their composting requires the active participation of community members to continue the process. Consequently, the educational structure of Lombriz Feliz is relationally based and emphasizes the importance of both personal and communal contributions.

The approaches of Tupac Amaru and Lombriz Feliz demonstrate different approaches to learning than the traditional banking system of education that Freire discusses in “Pedagogy of Freedom.” Personally, I believe that a classroom should incorporate components of both. I think that capitalizing on student creativity and curiosity is essential, which Crawford suggests can be accomplished through manual labor and crafts. Allowing students to actively participate in their education through creative engagement is crucial in helping the students to maximize their full potential. Additionally, redefining the relationship between teachers and students is also important for allowing this creativity and potential to take shape in schools. Education should not be about menial bits and pieces of information but about creating confident and capable learners who are able to engage with others and their world. Consequently, teachers should provide relevance, emphasize personal value, and exist to guide students in their own self-actualization.

In connection with my own educational experiences, these are two aspects that I wish I would have seen more of in my primary and secondary education and even at university. Personally, I think younger grades tend to emphasize creativity more. I remember these classes being filled with the type of hands on work that Crawford describes, where I was encouraged to explore and create what I thought was relevant to my education in the context of the given assignment. As I got older, however, rote memorization and templated assignments and essays became the new normal. Similarly, throughout my whole educational experience, I have had few teachers who have treated their classroom as a collaborative space where teachers and students work together to learn. Instead, the teacher is the sole authority and the students are expected to observe and respect this hierarchy. With my experiences in mind, I want to take both of these aspects, cultivating an environment ripe for creativity and working side by side with students, and implement them in my future classroom because I feel that these are two key components for helping my students thrive.

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