Archive for the 'Marquette University' Category

On Professionalism, Social Media and Privacy

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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:

Aristotle
Abraham Lincoln
John Adams
Gandhi
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 www.colorofenglish.com 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!

Week 7: The End

Laine Dolan, an elementary education and communications studies student in the College of Education is spending part of her student teaching semester abroad. She is teaching at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, and is blogging about her experience. This post originally appeared on Laine’s own blog

p121The time has finally come: the last week of student teaching in New Zealand is over. However, here is a recap of the final week of this incredible experience!

My class had been working hard at their play of The Rainbow Fish and finally got to perform it for some other classes on Monday. The costumes turned out adorable and the students read their lines very well! I think I might have a few future Broadway stars in my class.

The last week of school we also had a water day where the kids enjoyed soaking me with squirt guns and a huge slip ‘n slide was set up on a hill. Another student teacher and I may have enjoyed the slip ‘n slide more than our students! My class also created their own jandals (sandals) after we read the story Crocodiles Christmas Jandals. I also continued to share my passion of lacrosse with my kiddos as we had some chances to practice their skills more. Finally we ended the week with some well earned ice blocks (popsicles).

Oh! Don’t let me forget about the final assembly! There were awards, each year level sang songs, and most importantly… the American teachers put together a little something for the school. We also were lucky enough to be pulled on stage with the Pacifico group to try to learn their cultural dance moves. It is a Pacifico tradition to bring people into their culture by having them try the dance with them. It was quite the surprise to us to be pulled on stage again but we did our best!

It’s the people that really make the most impact on experiences in life. I am so grateful to have been places with Janet these past seven weeks. She has been so fun to work with and has helped me grow as a teacher in so many ways. On our final day, after the bell rang and school ended, all of us American student teachers headed to Bethells beach for one last afternoon hangout.

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I am so thankful for each and every person that I met while student teaching in New Zealand. There were countless people that went out of their way to make us all feel welcome. Lisa (a teacher at Swanson) hiked and got burgers with us the first weekend. Mike (a teacher) dedicated so much time to help us make traditional Maori bone carving necklaces. Hazel (a teacher and host of Sarah) took us hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling. Matt (a teacher) took us surfing. These are just a few of the numerous people that made this trip so special.

Most of all I am thankful for the girls asleep on the beach above. I could not have asked for a better group of girls to be stuck with every day for the past seven weeks. Sarah, Alee, Erin, Maddy, and I made so many memories this trip that I will never forget. I’m lucky to have four new best friends! See you all at St. Norbert College when I visit soon!

Thanks for following my blog!

The End.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Jennifer Orta

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 Jennifer Orta, one of our current M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program!

IMG_4518I grew up in Aurora, Illinois, which happens to be a suburb of Chicago, as many of us are who are at Marquette. I went to undergrad here in the College of Arts and Sciences and graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology and Spanish for the Health Professions in May 2019. I am now getting my master’s degree in clinical Mental Health Counseling specializing in Children and Adolescents. So I’ve lived in Milwaukee for almost five years and most likely will stay here for a few years since I recently got engaged to my best friend and college sweetheart, René Martinez (Engineering, ’18).

I love talking about my family. My family means the world to me. I would not be here without them! Throughout my academic journey, my family has been nothing but supportive. My parents immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1994 in search for a better life. They were not planning to stay for long, but then I came along and they realized the amazing opportunities I could have here. I have a younger brother, Salvador who is a senior in high school (I am trying really hard to convince him to come to Marquette!). My mom, dad, and brother are my inspiration and motivation to push through when times are tough.

My college experience has been different than what I expected. I am a first- generation college student. My parents were always and still are very supportive of my academic journey. I was a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out college applications and FAFSA, but my mom and dad were always there as support. I found a large community at Marquette of first-generation students. I found comfort in the programs and opportunities that were available at Marquette for students like me such as the Ronald E. McNair Scholar’s program that helped me conduct research in the Milwaukee community.

I currently am working at Ulta Beauty on the weekends and at the EDPL office. Come visit me for your makeup/skin care (IG: Jennymakeup96) or printing needs!

When I was looking for a master’s program, I was looking for three things: accreditation, fit, and social justice. I found all of those here! The College of Education prepares students with the knowledge and skills to excel in their fields. The college also prepares us to go into the world and fight for those who need a voice. I found my passion, working with the Latinx community, though the values that I learned here at Marquette. My ultimate goal in life is to create focus groups or support groups for children of immigrant parents. Our story is very unique and sometimes overlooked.

I am completing my second semester in the CECP master’s program. As part of the program’s and licensure requirement, I am completing my practicum and internship at Sixteenth Street Community Health Center. I am supervising an amazing woman and team of counselors who share my passion. My supervisor specializes in childhood trauma. It is difficult hearing the stories of children who have experienced trauma at such a young age. But seeing them flourish and grow makes it all worth it.

Advice that I would give to anyone in higher ed: DON’T GIVE UP! You are standing on the shoulders of giants who would move earth and sky to see you prosper. When times are tough, think about who you are doing this for… do it for yourself. You deserve it!

Every Country Should Have Thanksgiving

Laine Dolan, an elementary education and communications studies student in the College of Education is spending part of her student teaching semester abroad. She is teaching at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, and is blogging about her experience. This post originally appeared on Laine’s own blog

p98“Every country should have Thanksgiving” said a random New Zealand lady at a rest stop on the side of the road, and I could not agree more. This woman had started up a conversation with the other American student teachers and me when we stopped for a quick break to take in some views on our drive back from a weekend trip. The friendly woman overheard us talking with our American accents and was quick to ask if we were from the States. She then started to express her love of the idea of Thanksgiving, and wished that she and every other country in the world celebrated it too. It was in this moment that I realized I had never appreciated thanksgiving enough.

Every year, as every other American does, I express what I’m thankful for around Thanksgiving. Usually it’s the typical things like family, friends, food and a house I am thankful for, but this Thanksgiving I am thankful for Thanksgiving. It really is amazing to think an entire country as big as the United States all stops on the last Thursday in November every year to be thankful. Students get off of school. Majority of adults get off of work. People travel home to their families. All to sit down and share a meal with your loved ones and give thanks.

The woman at the rest stop was not the only New Zealand person who mentioned to me that they love the idea of Thanksgiving and wished they celebrated. Multiple people throughout November mentioned to me how much they wish they celebrated. With each person who mentioned something I became more grateful that I am able to celebrate it every year in the States.

During the week of Thanksgiving in the States, I got to teach a lesson to my New Zealand students about Thanksgiving. I read a few Thanksgiving books that they loved, and they wrote about what they were thankful for and what they would do if they were a turkey on Thanksgiving. I of course also had them do the classic activity of creating turkeys using their hands for the feathers and feet for the body. It was so fun teaching kids who knew nothing about our holiday of Thanksgiving. It was also extremely interesting because New Zealand has a similar but different history than the United States. Like in the United States, native people (the Maori) were living in New Zealand before the English came to settle. Although they were different periods in time, the English in the United States and New Zealand were presented with the same situations but had handled it differently. The pilgrims in the United States forced the native Americans out of their land. In New Zealand, the English and the Maori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This treaty ultimately gave the Maori people power to continue to celebrate their culture and traditions. It led to more Maori culture being in the New Zealand curriculum and ultimately taught in every classroom in New Zealand. Although it is said the English people in New Zealand might not have had the best intentions with the treaty, it ultimately was what gave the Maori the power to get Maori culture integrated into New Zealand curriculum.

I enjoyed sharing the American holiday of Thanksgiving with my students in New Zealand this year, however, I think I will need to have a proper Thanksgiving meal when I get back to the states in the Spring. Thanksgiving without a turkey and stuffing is just not the same.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Veronica Mancheno

This spring semester, 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 Veronica Mancheno, a doctoral student in the Educational Policy and Leadership department.

Triatlón 2019I was born and grew up in Ecuador. I came to the US at the age of 19 with $200 in my pocket and my brother to care for. Like all immigrant stories, mine is filled with hope, disappointments, celebrations and struggles all of which have gotten us (my sons and I) to where we are. My brother is back in Ecuador after 13 surgeries at Shriner’s Hospital in Chicago. He is now married and has his own family. He works in IT. Our immigrant story is a whole story in and of itself!

I moved to Milwaukee in 2007. It was my first year as a single mother living in a completely new city with no relatives nearby and working for the first time as a full-time, public-school teacher. My sons were five and three years old at that time. My parents and my siblings live in Ecuador with their families. And although that is 3,157 miles away, we communicate every day. We generally get to visit them every two years. My sons and I live here. My oldest, Alejandro, is now 17 years old and a senior in high school and my youngest is 15. Sebastián is a sophomore. Both attend Rufus King, a Milwaukee Public high school that we love.

I have been teaching since before my oldest was born! I started working full time in 2007. Right before coming to Marquette, I worked at Highland Community School (Montessori, MPS charter) in many capacities including teacher (in all levels) and administrator. My ultimate favorite thing to do is to teach and to learn, which means that I absolutely love being a teacher. I have taught children from 3 years to 21 years (young people). I have found joy in all ages and stages of development.

As a student… I loved my first couple years of schooling. However, I hated high school. Once I moved to the US, I began to study in a Technical College. I was already married by then and so my education very much depended on my husband’s job (I’m no longer married). I ended up transferring to Carthage College when my husband came to work in Kenosha Unified School District. I received my undergrad with a major in Spanish and a minor in Education in 2007 from Carthage. Then, I moved to Milwaukee and worked for a couple of years before I started my master’s degree at Alverno. I loved my experience at Alverno because there were no grades. I had never experienced the academic rigor that a ‘no grade’ evaluation system brings. I focused on Administrative Leadership and on Curriculum and Instruction, and I graduated in 2012. In 2014, I begun to study for the AMI Montessori Elementary certification. This took 3 years of studies in total. During all these years, I worked full time and studied part time plus being a mom. That was a whole lot of work!

Now, I’m here at Marquette. I teach one undergrad class, I’m the research assistant for two professors (Drs. Ventura and Gibson) and I’m a full-time doctoral student (and I’m still a single mom! Sometimes I wonder how in the world things get done in my life?). What I have loved about my experience at Marquette is the support I have received from the professors at the College of Ed. Their knowledge coupled with their experience and compassion has guided me from the very beginning.

I met with all the local universities that had a doctoral program in education. I was explicitly looking for:

  1. A doctoral program that could support and guide me in my research regarding students and teachers of color.
  2. A program that understood the complexities of the education of ethnic minorities and low-income families. I was particularly focused on how the representatives of the university talked about race and class to me (an immigrant, Latina, bilingual and single mother). I was truly looking for something beyond the skin-deep type of discourse regarding ‘diversity’ and ‘how good it is’ for education.
  3. A doctoral program that had a scholarship or work/study type of funds because I did not want to work and study part time. I wanted to give myself the gift of studying full time. Something that I have never had the opportunity to do.

Needless to say, Marquette’s College of Education met all three. I will never forget the first meeting with Cynthia Elwood and Sharon Chubbuck. The way they had a conversation with me about race, class and education was distinctly different than the way the conversation had unraveled with the other local universities. They listened to me. That was striking and I talked for a long time, and they listened the whole time! I remember coming out of that meeting thinking: this is it! I will be at Marquette! – even though I hadn’t applied yet! I had the certainty in my heart of knowing I had found where I was meant to do my doctoral program.

I have always been keenly aware of injustices. As a young child, the rights of animals and nature were very important to me. As I got a little older, I recognized the injustice done to children who had to work and couldn’t go to school. I was also aware of the division of social classes and the inequitable structures in society. As an adolescent, I opposed any claim, ideology, or group of people that thought themselves better than others or that created laws that maintain inequalities. As an 18-year-old, I remember wanting to become the ministers of education of my country (what would be the secretary of education in the US). I felt that education can pull us all out of poverty. As I have gotten older and have become more aware of the complexities of human society, I have zoomed into the education of children who come from low income backgrounds as well as ethnic minorities. I believe that an equitable education is not provided with the objective of creating a generation of good workers or professionals. An equitable education is provided as a matter of human development and the dignity of the communities that have been historically oppressed. This I am passionate about!

Who inspires me? Children, the children and young people that have sat in my classrooms. My sons and my parents are the strength that keeps me going.

I have little time left after study/work and home. If there are no impending responsibilities, my favorite thing to do is to be with my sons out in nature. We also love going to back home to Ecuador and spending time with our family there. Of course, we are not able to do these things often enough.

To keep my sanity and also because I love it, I swim, run and bike. Although, in the last two years it has been more of swim and bike due to a back injury. I like to participate in the Iron Girl sprint triathlon.

I also do enjoy reading non-fiction. If I’m not reading research stuff, I’m reading books on nutrition, health, spirituality and/or memoirs. To develop a habit, there needs to be the initial motivation. Although, that won’t take you very far. There also needs to be a mix of just discipline, of doing it even if you don’t feel like doing it. Raw discipline is what gets you to do something during the tough days. There also needs to be a continual source of inspiration – why do you ultimately do what you do? And this inspiration cannot be a ‘negative’ by that I mean, not based on something ‘bad’ about you that you want to change. But rather the inspiration should come from the positive. And lastly, I believe there needs to be a group of people who inspire you and who like you enjoy the positive trait you are trying to develop. For example: I work out primarily because I love feeling the power that comes from sore muscles. Weight loss – although a natural consequence of exercise and good diet is not the reason. Weight loss is a negative. Feeling powerful, agile, and flexible, these are positives. And feeling those traits when I’m out in nature with my sons is my reward! My sons then are art of the group of people that inspire me and that also enjoy feeling powerful, agile and flexible – more so than me since they are adolescents!

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

 

 


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