Archive for the 'My Marquette Experience' Category

Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program: Reflections from Christine Reinders

Christine Reinders holds a Master of Arts in Literacy and Director of Instruction license from the College of Education. During the academic year, she is the Literacy Specialist at Lake Shore Middle School in the Mequon-Thiensville School District. Since 2016, she has worked with Dr. Kathleen Clark as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for the Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program in the Hartman Literacy and Learning Center. Although the Center is not running this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, we asked Christine to share some insights as the LIVE TO DREAM reading program hits its fifth anniversary.

DSC_2406Marquette Educator: What do you see as the benefit to the community (students, children, leadership team)?

Christine Reinders: The Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program is a tremendous gift. The program gives young children, who often feel challenged in the area of literacy, the opportunity to grow in their reading and writing achievement, but also feel success. For many children, our program is the first time they’ve felt success in their academic journey. Once students feel success, they grow more self-confident and more willing to take on new academic challenges. While our program grows students’ reading and writing achievement, which is crucial for success in the 21-century, it also plants the seed of life-long learning.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love being a part of the ​Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program for many reasons and I cannot identify just one aspect as my favorite. Working alongside my mentor and Director of the Hartman Center, Dr. Kathleen Clark has been very rewarding. Dr. Clark possesses a wealth of knowledge and I continue to grow from her year after year. Additionally, educators participating in the summer reading program are eager to grow in their professional practice, and I love that I am able to share my knowledge and experiences with them. The children are always amazing. Many of the students participating in the Dwyane Wade “Live to Dream” Summer Reading Program feel challenged in the area of literacy. I love and cherish the days when our students begin to feel success as a reader and writer. Suddenly there are more smiles and bouts of laughter, and soon their self-confidence begins to shine through. It’s the most rewarding aspect of the entire summer and I am so fortunate to be a part of it.

What opportunities do you see for the future of the program?

Honestly, the future of the program is contingent on funding. With continued funding, we can continue to strengthen the literacy achievement of children living in the City of Milwaukee. In the future, I would love to use students’ growing strengths in reading and writing to foster learning and growth in other content areas. I dream of developing a social studies and socio-emotional hybrid curriculum that would give students the opportunity to learn about strong leaders and provide them with ways in which they can use their literacy prowess to become a successful leader. I want students to feel that they are valuable members of society that have the power and knowledge to make the world a better place.

Thank You, Faculty

Stephanie Ganoe graduated this spring with a Master of Science degree in counseling from our Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department. In gratitude, she shared the words below.

university-student-1872810_960_720Marquette Faculty:

In my two short years being a part of the Marquette family I learned a lot from each and every one of you. I learned various therapeutic theories, counseling skills, ethical guidelines to adhere by, statistics and research methods, how to differentiate between diagnoses, and so much more. While I’m forever thankful to have had the opportunity to learn these essential skills that will carry me through my career, I am writing to thank you for teaching me so much more.

Thank you for teaching me how to be a upstanding member of my community and larger society. Thank you for teaching me to be an ally to those facing injustice and an advocate for change. Thank you for teaching me to speak up for those without a voice and amplify the voices of those not being heard. Thank you for teaching me how to shut up and listen. Thank you for pointing out my privileges and teaching me how to use them to help others. Thank you for teaching me to find the root cause of injustice and providing me with the skills to make change, even if that change is within myself.

I know that because of what you all have taught me that no matter what job I hold or where my career takes me, I will always be able to help others and fight to make the changes that our world needs. Our world desperately needs more people like all of you right now and I will never be able to thank you all enough for giving me even the smallest amount of your knowledge and skills to pass on to others. I will always try my best to carry what you all have taught me to help make this world a better place for everyone.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Stephanie Ganoe
Class of 2020

Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program: Q&A with Dr. Kathleen Clark

This summer would have been the fifth session of the Hartman Center’s Dwyane Wade LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program. Even though we were unable to run it due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still thinking about the impact its had. We recently caught up with Dr. Kathleen Clark, Director of the Hartman Center, to ask for a little more insight into the program. 


Marquette Educator: Could you share how the backstory of how this program came to exist?

Kathleen Clark (KC): In 2014, I applied for a Wisconsin Read to Lead grant to fund a summer session that would be a variation of the Hartman Center’s after-school reading program. The program would have included 60 hours of literacy instruction for students across 6 weeks and 90 minutes of professional development for teachers each week. Governor Walker’s Read to Lead Development Council did not fund the grant. Marquette University Advancement officers approached the Wade’s World Foundation with the grant’s contents and the foundation funded the program for three summers with the agreement that Marquette University would find community partners to fund an additional three summers of the program. The program’s inaugural session was in the summer of 2015.

What do you see as the benefit to the community (students, children, leadership team)?

The program benefits the community at multiple levels. Most visibly, we work to prevent the summer slide in learning that many children who are growing up in low-income circumstances experience, and we have been successful: Five summers of data reveal that 46% of children have maintained their instructional reading level across the summer and 54% have increased their level. Moreover, statistical comparisons of pre- and post-program scores on multiple assessments show that children have made significant gains in the ability to recognize words and read with comprehension.

The program also benefits the teachers. The teachers participate in approximately 40 hours of professional development (PD) as part of the program. A portion of these hours are allocated to teaching aspects of the reading process within the program and others are allocated to the summer’s additional curriculum. To date these have been the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Units of Study for Writing (2017) and the University of California at Berkeley’s Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading integrated literacy/science curriculum (2018, 2019). Additionally, each teacher has a mentor. The mentors are licensed reading specialists, directors of instruction, and classroom teachers with considerable expertise in reading. Mentors work individually with teachers on aspects of instruction that are areas of focus for them, most of them self-selected. The PD teachers receive strengthens their instruction in the program and, moving forward from the program, instruction in their home classrooms.

What is your favorite part of the program?

I love that we are able to provide intensive, high-quality, small group instruction that is targeted to children’s specific reading needs as well as to enable children to grow in writing ability and science knowledge as these curricular areas can be less emphasized in the primary grades. An aspect of the program that is particularly special to me personally is the opportunity to collaborate professionally with educators who are my former students and to learn from them as we work together to prevent the summer learning slide.

Reflections from a Double Alumnus

49502238502_d208a05167_oBy Brock Borga, Ed ’12 and Grad ’19

My name is Brock Borga. Receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Sociology and my Master’s Degree in Educational Policy and Leadership (with license in both principalship and director of curriculum), Marquette University has been a huge part of my life. I have been part off the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for the past eight years at St. Anthony School of Milwaukee. The first seven years of my journey at St. Anthony had me teaching 3rd grade, and I have moved positions this school year to the Dean of Instruction.

In my new role, I observe teachers every other week and have coaching sessions with the teacher after the observation. In these coaching sessions, we reflect on what teaching practices went well and what could have gone better. It is from those reflections that we create an action plan together and I come back to observe the action plan in action. I started off teaching in the Muskego-Norway School District, and while my time there was great, I didn’t feel connected with the students, staff, or community around me. I knew that there was somewhere for me to feel accomplished with my teaching. I remembered my time as an undergraduate at Marquette University and the schools I was able to work with through my courses, and knew that schools throughout Milwaukee were my calling. Because Marquette has instilled faith throughout its courses in my undergraduate courses, I began looking at schools through the Archdiocese. It is there I found St. Anthony School of Milwaukee. My time there has been wonderful. The students are eager to learn, the parents repeatedly state how blessed they are to be a part of the school, and the faculty is eager to continue their professional growth for the community we teach.

Before I was in this administrative position, I was been given additional opportunities to grow at my school that would not have been possible otherwise. I was able to have two student teachers from Marquette University be with me in the classroom (one from August 2017-January 2018 and the other from January 2019 – March 2019). It was an amazing experience not only giving back to Marquette, but practicing many of the leadership skills I was learning about in my graduate courses. I apply many of the practices that were discussed in my graduate courses in my new position, ranging from leadership styles to having effective conversations with teachers.

Marquette has helped me achieve these additional opportunities, outside of helping me achieve my administration license / master’s degree. I am both blessed and honored to say I have been a part of Marquette University for my entire undergraduate career and my graduate career. It is all thanks to the Catholic Schools Personnel Scholarship that I am able to continue my professional growth and achieve the goals I have set.


To Our 2020 College of Education Graduates

0314Great happiness and celebration should have been the spirit of the day.

May 17, 2020, stood as a date that all College of Education faculty, staff, and graduating students, along with their families and friends, had marked on their calendars long ago.  When the academic year began last August, no one could have envisioned how today would turn out.  All went according to plan until February.  Then soon afterward, EVERYTHING changed.

The insidious COVID-19 virus has profoundly rocked our world, now claiming over 300,000 lives and destroying the fabric of far too many families.  No one has been left untouched.  The  rhythms of our professional and personal lives have been thoroughly disrupted, and this very day the disease has stolen the momentous celebration all Marquette University graduates, like you, so richly deserved.

Maybe it’s fitting that it never stopped raining and the clouds refused to part.  Almost nothing seemed likely to raise our spirits anyway.

Frankly, I pouted all day. Genuine mourning. Every time I looked at the clock, my mind turned to what I should have been doing instead.

First off, at 7:00 a.m. I would have been getting ready for the University commencement.  On the road by 8:00 to arrive at Fiserv Forum and park. Head to the dressing room to get robed along with my University leadership colleagues and the stage party, then visit with faculty next door. Line up around 9:15 to enter the arena, and emerge to the wonderful sight of our graduates and tens of thousands of guests in the audience. That always makes my heart beat faster. Then I’d take in the full ceremony – from the invocations to the degree recognitions to various show stopping “pyrotechnic displays” – as well as the many words of wisdom and the singing of the Alma mater.  Just plain glorious, and it gets me every time.

Then around 11:30 I’d hustle to the Pabst Theater for the College of Education reception and our own more intimate ceremony. There is no event all year long that is more meaningful, joyous, and gratifying to me, nor to the rest of our faculty and staff. Marching in with the graduates to “Pomp and Circumstance,” then having the opportunity to savor our own Jesuit-inspired invocation, a musical tribute to the students and their parents, the graduation address, and most prominently, the awarding of the individual degrees.

Literally nothing in my role as dean gives me greater pleasure than watching our excited graduates walk across the stage, one by one as their entourage cheers. The brightness in their eyes and the enormous promise it portends electrifies me. And when I hand them a diploma and shake their hands, it’s genuinely humbling. What an honor it is to offer heartfelt congratulations for an achievement that represents so much hard work and dedication, including the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made.

When the ceremony concludes, the faculty and I process out to the song Set the World on Fire by Britt Nicole. Go ahead, click on the title and give the tune a listen right now. Why?

Because I did about halfway through writing this message, and much to my surprise, my spirits were lifted even if it was through teary eyes.

Right then and there, EVERYTHING changed yet again. But this time for the better.  No more funk. My focus shifted from gloom and doom to a deep appreciation for all the gifts we have been given, and most importantly today, the privilege to have joined you on your journeys to well-earned Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees. What a treat it has been for our faculty and staff.

Speaking of whom, I also thought about the significant efforts they put forth to create videos to acclaim and congratulate many of you, and the modest tokens they sent to bachelor degree recipients (until something more substantial can be given to all graduates later)!  These gestures are done out of respect for, pride in, and care for you. Cura personalis after all…

Graduation from Marquette University signifies a significant tribute to your intellect, your perseverance, your skill acquisition, and your commitment to social justice. The sinister coronavirus couldn’t stifle any of it. In fact, it made you and all of us in the College of Education resilient and stronger. So, try to think of May 17, 2020, as a case of delayed gratification, because on August 30, God willing, we will be able to accomplish most of what should have happened today for all of you who can make it.

And with luck, the sun will be shining.

In winding down, I encourage you to pay attention to the lyrics of our final processional, an homage to God and the plans He has for you.  My favorite stanzas are:

….take my dreams
Come and give them wings.
Lord with you
There’s nothing I cannot do.

I wanna feed the hungry children.
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father’s hands.

And finally, I came across a prayer today that feels like a nearly ideal gift for our situation, and it appears below.

My parting words to you now are, just as they would be at our College ceremony, “May you hold Marquette University, the College of Education, and the Society of Jesus forever in your hearts.”

God bless you, our beloved graduates.

Dr. Bill Henk, Dean
College of Education
Marquette University

A Prayer for All Graduates Facing an Uncertain Future
By Debbie McDaniel

Dear God,

We pray for our graduates today and lift them before you. We thank you so much for these we love and for the work you are continuing to do in their lives. They are a gift to us and to many others. And during this season of new beginnings, we ask that you would make their way clear. We ask that you would keep their footsteps firm and remind them that you are with them, always. May they sense the freshness of your Spirit over their lives in amazing ways, may they be strengthened, instilled with hope, for the new roads you have in store.

And today, again, we release our children straight into your tender care. Because we know that’s the best place they could ever be. We thank you in advance for all you have in store, for this day, for this year, for their lives.

We pray for protection, for your covering, that you would surround their lives as with a shield. Protect their coming and going. We ask that you would help them to live aware in a dark world and keep harm or evil intent far away. We ask that you would hide them in the safety of your powerful presence.

Our world is currently anxious, fearful and uncertain. We pray our graduates are filled with your courage and strength, that they may be a light to their friends and neighbors in this uncertain time.

We ask for your wisdom and clear direction over their lives, that you would give them understanding beyond their years. Thank you that your timing is perfect. We pray that you would direct their steps, that your plans for them would prosper; that every place you have determined for them to walk would be paved clear. We ask for you to open doors that need to be opened and close every one that should be shut tight. Allow every gift and treasure you have placed inside their lives to grow, develop, and flourish, to bring you glory.

We ask that you would remind them every day how very much you love them, that they would find security and confidence fully in you, knowing that you are trustworthy and true.

We ask that you would teach them your ways and fill them with an unquenchable desire to learn your Word. Give them a compassionate spirit, and the wisdom to look beyond outward appearances to the heart within. We pray that you would surround them with friends and leaders who would challenge them to press closer to you.

We ask for your peace to cover them. We ask for laughter and joy to fill their days. We pray that you would give them boldness and courage to face challenges set before them, with the confidence and peace that can only come from your spirit.

We ask that you would raise up greatness in their lives, greatness in this generation, willing to stand strong and true, passionate for you, believing that you have designed them for purpose and good works, which you have planned and prepared in advance for them to do.

Be a lamp for their feet, and a light to their path. Shine over them. Fill them with your spirit. Bless them with your favor and peace.

In Jesus’ Name,


Dr. Melchert Publishes New Book

melchert-tim-2020In April, Dr. Timothy Melchert published Foundations of Health Service Psychology; An Evidence-Based Biopsychosocial Approach. This volume is a thoroughly revised and updated second edition of his first book. It describes a contemporary science-based approach to the clinical practice of psychology. The scientific understanding of human psychology has advanced dramatically in the last 25 years, and Melchert’s books have focused on the implications of those advances for understanding human nature in general and the process of psychotherapy and behavior change specifically.

For many people, there is no more interesting topic to contemplate than the nature of human nature. We tend to be fascinated with the amazing abilities, soaring intellect, and creativity of the human mind. Some of our personal experiences, with others or when alone, can bring great contentment, joy, and sometimes even exhilaration. But people are also capable of very hurtful and even depraved behavior, and the psychological suffering caused by mental health problems and disorders can be unbearable.

Melchert notes that until recently, the extremely complicated nature of human psychology was not well understood from a scientific standpoint. Psychologists and other behavioral scientists lacked comprehensive, empirically-validated explanations for the tremendous variability in human behavior, the unconscious nature of most mental activity, or why we can be the nicest of creatures but also the nastiest. The primary reason we lacked those explanations was simply the tremendous complexity of the human mind and brain. Indeed, the human mind and brain are widely regarded to be the most complicated system known to exist in the universe. But major scientific progress has been made in recent decades. Though we are still early in understanding many of the details involved, the neural and behavioral sciences are steadily uncovering the way the mind and brain actually work.

Melchert argues that education, practice, and research in the behavioral health field need to be continually updated so they keep current with the advancing science. Much has been learned about the evolutionary basis for why humans are “designed” the way we are, the importance of childhood experience for later mental and physical health, the prevention and treatment of mental health concerns, and many other topics. Many traditional orientations and practices that guided psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers in the past are now outdated. The field now takes a much more evidence-based and integrated approach to understanding people’s behavior, personality, psychopathology, and the process of psychotherapy and behavior change.

The contemporary practice of psychology requires a modern understanding of the science of human development, functioning, and behavior change. Melchert’s book shows how this type of understanding can be gained.

2020 Outstanding Secondary Pre-Service Teacher: Elli Pointner

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Please join us in congratulating this year’s Outstanding Secondary Pre-Service Teacher, Elli Pointner.

Professional Picture

Throughout my four years at Marquette, I’ve had countless professors and mentors who taught me so much and who provide opportunities and skills for me to learn through experience in the classroom and outside of class, through field placements. So, thank you…I’m forever grateful for your accompaniment, your wisdom, your passion, our community. Thank you for helping me grow into the educator I am to day, and thank you for being my home at Marquette.

2020 Outstanding Counselor Education Counseling Psychology Graduate Students: Peter Grau and James McDonald

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Our 2020 Outstanding Counselor Education Counseling Psychology doctoral students, Peter Grau and James McDonald, reflect on what this award means to them.

“…the amount of support that we get at Marquette to do the things that we’re trying to do is pretty remarkable. And I know that both of us have had a lot of big things, good things happen this year that I think wouldn’t have happened without the community around us. So, thank you…”

2020 Outstanding Counselor Education Counseling Psychology Master’s Student: Alice Lindo

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Our Outstanding Counselor Education Counseling Psychology Masters student, Alice Lindo, shares her reflections on what this award means below.

file[4404]I am honored to have received this award. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. Marquette is such a special community, and it’s great to be in an environment that overlaps with my own personal values. May we never forget where we come from, and always strive to incorporate service, social justice in all parts of our lives, and display excellence by living authentically. Leading by example. Thank you to the faculty in the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department who inspire me daily by doing just that. I hope to do the same.

2020 Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Teacher: Olivia Commer

Each spring, the College of Education celebrates faculty, students and friends with the annual Mission Recognition awards ceremony. As this year’s event had to be canceled, we wanted to share some thoughts and words from our student winners. Olivia Commer is one of two Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Award winners. 


I just wanted to take a little bit of time to say thank you to all the incredible professors who work in Marquette University’s College of Education. I truly would not be who I am today without their help and I greatly appreciate everything they’ve done for me the past four years.

You can also see Olivia’s full remarks on our YouTube channel.

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