Archive for the 'Faculty spotlight' Category

Let’s Talk About Sleep

This post originally appeared on Dr. Karisse Callender’s blog Islander Journey on June 25, 2018.


By Karisse Callender

I recently attended a presentation on sleep and what lack of sleep does to your body. We got a magazine with information on sleep, a bath bomb, and a lavender roll-on! (jackpot!)

2018-05-22 09.44.09It wasn’t the first time I heard this information, and yet I found myself feeling surprised while the presenter shared the information from the National Sleep Foundation. How come? There’s so much information about the importance of sleep, how much we should get, and developing good sleep hygiene. So why was this information so surprising to me? I think it’s because I take this for granted and just go about my day without thinking about the quality of my sleep unless I feel tired during the day.

Since I attended that presentation, I’ve been thinking about my sleep habits and how I prepare for bedtime. So, random but not random, when I got home from the presentation I cleaned up my night table and put up tips for preparing for bed in a nice frame. I diffused oils, changed the sheets and was excited to get into bed. I could not sleep! I did everything we talked about and just couldn’t sleep! Ha! How ironic, right? Anyways…let’s get back to this sleep talk.

I also experience sleep difficulties on and off. So I decided to pay closer attention to my sleep habits and decided to track my sleep. I also kept a log/journal to track what happened in my day/my mood/food/activities (I know…i’m a little extra). Here’s a look at my sleep chart for one week. I think I may continue keeping a sleep log.

fullsizeoutput_a29It is quite helpful to observe and notice how much I sleep as I can also make connections between the number of hours of sleep and other things that happen in my day.

So, although you may know this information already, I want to share some tips I learned to help with getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Keep your bedroom as comfortably cool as possible (it’s also a good excuse to have lots of cozy blankets and pillows on the bed!)
  • Try to sleep in a dark room (even the light from clocks can disturb your sleep. You can always try using an eye mask or cover the clock, or get room darkening drapes)
  • Avoid eating and exercise at least 2 hours before bed
  • Limit your use of technology (yes, put your phone down and get off social media!) at least 1 hour before bed.
  • Limit liquid intake before bedtime (mostly to avoid getting up several times per night to go to the bathroom).

It’s also a good idea to develop a routine for bedtime – that way you create a habit with activities that pretty much sets you up for classical conditioning. In other words, when you have a consistent routine, once you begin that process your body gets the hint that you are winding down to sleep. Depending on your job or family life, it may be difficult to have an exact bedtime; however, your routine to prepare for bed should be as consistent as possible. When I was completing my master’s degree I had a lot going on especially in the last year of the program. It was difficult for me to have a consistent bedtime (and awake time), mostly because I did overnight shifts. I struggled to get to sleep on the nights I did not work and my body was constantly confused. What I realized was that it was more important for me to have consistency with the routine, and not so much the time. Actually, on those mornings when I came off my shift, if I started the routine I did at night, my body began to relax and I could get to sleep (most times).

My sleep routine has been consistent (mostly), although there are nights when I just cannot sleep and I’ve learned to accept that. Here are some of the things I do to prepare for bed (in no specific order):

  • I meditate. I usually begin and end my day with some kind of meditation, whether it’s a guided meditation with a theme or practicing vipassana (insight meditation). I aim to do this daily but there are days when it doesn’t happen.
  • drink a cup of tea (no caffeine). Ideally, I would drink this tea while doing nothing else. Other times, I drink the tea while watching the news or reading.
  • take a shower. This helps me to relax, especially because I use lavender or mint shower gel. Those scents help me to unwind.
  • diffuse essential oils. My bedtime blend is usually a combination of lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and a protective blend to keep things healthy 🙂
  • I cream my hands when I get into bed with anything that has eucalyptus and or lavender in it (sounds weird….I know ha!)
  • Once I’m settled in bed, I put on an eye mask (most times)

The great thing is that you can make your bedtime routine whatever you would like it to be. The important thing is that it creates a relaxing environment and allows you to unwind.

Do you have a bedtime routine? If not, think about some simple ways that you can begin to create one that is unique to your needs.

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die.
And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

This Is Not a Service Trip: Dr. Melissa Gibson

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Dr. Melissa Gibson

As students of education, we are trying to understand the relationship between pedagogy and the social contexts of schooling.

In Pamplona Alta with Luís & Yisella.

People keep asking us, What are you doing here in Perú? We are not volunteering. We are not missionaries. We are not voluntourists. What are we then? There doesn’t seem to be a familiar paradigm for answering that question, and we always get a bit of a cock-eyed look when we explain, We are here studying education in Peru. Researching, do we mean? Teaching about education, do we mean? Practice teaching, do we mean? Nope. We are studying education in Peru.

Why, then, the trip to Pamplona Alta, where families opened up their bathrooms to us to show us the engineering marvel of a dry/compost toilet? Or why keep going back to El Agostino to play soccer and jump rope? What is this, if not slum tourism or voluntourism?

Pamplona Alta, a pueblo jóven, or informal settlement. Lima is over-populated and unplanned, and there is a shortage of livable space. Pueblos jóvenes were settled by folks living in other parts of Lima or in the highlands who wanted homes of their own. From nothing but a dusty and rocky mountainside they’ve constructed, from scratch, a community. This one, Nueva Rinconada, is especially tightly knit and committed to the gradual improvement of living conditions. With only one public school serving all of Pamplona Alta—much of which is inaccessible by car and without running water—the question of context in education is especially pressing.

As students of education, we are trying to understand the relationship between pedagogy and the social contexts of schooling. I guess you can do that theoretically, but those relationships become clearest when we are actually immersed in differing contexts and when we can actually begin to experience different philosophies of education put into practice. Because we are working with a Jesuit university partner while we are here, we are lucky to get to visit and learn about various Jesuit social projects. So in Pamplona Alta, Luís, a biologist working with PEBAL, walked us around to show us his work—which included installing fog catchers and dry toilets. In El Agostino, Patí and all of her Encuentros programs welcome us visitors to get to know their work with children in the neighborhood. Through partnerships and relationships, we learn about not only the different neighborhood contexts of Lima but also about how different people are approaching their work in these contexts.

Legos, ping pong, foosball, soccer, and scooter riding. Every kid’s dream of how to while away an afternoon.

The Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm calls us to cyclically move through an investigation of context, experience, and rigorous reflection. We are, therefore, here to experience a context both similar and different from our own; our seminar readings provide some structure and prompts for our reflection. We continually cycle through these three phases of Ignatian pedagogy, knowing that the final two components—action and evaluation—will come later, in our own context, where we are actors and agents and not visitors.

So no, we are not volunteers or missionaries or teachers or researchers. We are not here to fix anything, to engage in charity, or to feign to have the answers. We are also not here to ogle. No, we are here to learn, and we are lucky to do so in partnership with communities and individuals who are so deeply involved in positive social and educational change.

We are students, and we are here to learn.

Looking down on El Agostino from the losa, or slab, in the mountains where we played soccer and practiced our Spanish with neighborhood kids.

Embracing Change

Originally published on Dr. Karisse Callender’s blog “Islander Journey.”

 

flower-2372998_1920By Karisse Callender

I just wrapped up my first academic year as a faculty member and it still seems unreal! So may experiences seem like it happened just yesterday – I remember making the move to begin my doctoral program, all the study groups, comprehensive exam, job interviews, and the move to my current location. I guess time does fly when you are having fun! There were so many changes that seemed to happen in a short space of time and at times I felt very overwhelmed. Sometimes change is a challenge for me (because who likes stepping out of their comfort zone?), but it’s an additional challenge when several changes happen at one time.

So how do you embrace change? How do you practice acceptance of what is and not try to change things to be as you prefer it? I think the answer lies in the ability to practice radical acceptance, self-compassion, and to have genuine people who you can trust to share your struggles.

Radical acceptance: It’s so much easier to want to control how things “should” be instead of accepting what is actually happening. Radical acceptance (which can be difficult at times. I mean..come on) is accepting what is happening in your life as it is. For example, one thing I had to radically accept was that I was at a phase in my life where certain changes were inevitable and there was nothing I could do to change it. I actually wrote “it is what it is and not what I think it should be” on a post-it and placed it where I can see it often. This served as a reminder for me to let go of the need to control everything (let’s face it, that’s exhausting!)

Self-compassion: Saying negative things to myself during the process of change will not make things any better, although, it does seem like the easiest option, right? I mean it’s easier (at least for me) to think “there’s no way you can compete with these people” than to believe “you have skills and knowledge that someone will benefit from.” I had to practice a lot of self-compassion during my transition, especially because I felt (and still feel) that strong imposter syndrome and it was taking over my brain! I confided in a dear friend and was able to share my struggle of comparing myself and having the inadequate button pushed!

Having genuine people to talk with: I just mentioned that I had a friend I confided in and I cannot say enough how helpful it was. What was most helpful was that she validated how I felt and at the same time provided support and encouragement. I also have another friend who happened to be going through the same transition, so it was a relief to go through this with someone. I think the key is to be intentional and careful about who you seek support from – not everyone can give us what we need when we need it (and that’s okay).

Despite the challenges, I’ve learned to embrace these changes with compassion and I am still learning to trust the process. It’s an exciting and anxiety provoking time, and I am grateful for all the experiences!

How do you deal with change? What helps you when you have to make major transitions?

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 
― Lao Tzu

Marquette Meets Peru

This summer, seven of our undergraduate teacher education students and one intrepid faculty member are spending a month in Peru studying the educational system and discussing their own philosophies of education. They are writing and reflecting on their journey, and we are following along! Read on for excerpts and blurbs from Dr. Gibson and the students’ blogs. You can read more on Marquette Meets Peru and check back for updates here.  

Dr. Melissa Gibson

 “So in the first two days of seminar, my job is to make the familiar strange—and to make the strange familiar. It’s the students’ job to start making their own sense out of this, which is what you’ll read about in this next installation of blogs.”

Now that the initial excitement of the first few days in Peru has morphed into a weekly routine, it is time for us to get down to academic business. Our university partner here in Peru calls our program, “Diverse Contexts of Education in Peru,” and that is exactly right. The course syllabus describes our task this way:

This course will examine the philosophical underpinnings of various educational approaches in the US and Peru, as well as the key issues, policies, and practices that are part of global debate about what constitutes a high quality and equitable education. The course will combine educational field studies in Peru with traditional seminar meetings in order to link theory, research, and practice. Students will work comparatively between the contexts they are encountering in Peru and the contexts they may know intimately in the US. Topics addressed will include [1] the social context of schools; [2] theorizing and distributing educational aims; [3] educational (in)equity, neoliberalism, and school reform; [4] race, class, and language; and [5] approaches to educational change. Students will articulate their own emerging philosophies of education, and they will comparatively analyze an educational issue facing Peru and the US.

To do this (which is a mighty big task for our month!), and after throwing ourselves into the broader context, we hunker down with some key topics: What kinds of schools are there? What are the challenges that schools are facing? And what makes a school or educational program good or just?

To investigate these questions, we visited two schools—one, a prestigious private American school; the other, a Jesuit public school (you read that right!) serving working and middle class students. We also considered the global privatization of public schooling, which is rapidly occurring here in Lima, and the push to redefine a high-quality education around twenty-first-century skills and around liberation and social change.

Our first seminar.

The visit to Roosevelt is a hard one for me, as the instructor. Especially after spending time in El Agustino and meeting students at UARM, who are generally not from Lima’s elite, the extravagance of the Roosevelt campus can be disheartening. How can this one school community have so much, and millions of Peruvians have so little? That’s a hard inequality to stomach—and as the students note this week in their blogs, it’s an inequality that made them deeply uncomfortable. As it should.

But. That inequality is not that different than what we see back in the US between, say, privileged suburban schools and low-income schools in segregated neighborhoods. It’s just that the inequality is so much more visible at Roosevelt. It’s a challenge to help my students recognize this about our home context.

But also. Roosevelt is a pedagogical exemplar in some ways. Thanks to their “sky’s the limit” resources, they get to do what so many other schools feel is out of reach: deep dive inquiries. personalized learning. experience and travel. interdisciplinary curriculum. entrepreneurship. And they are trying to do all of this in the service of socially responsible students who can lead lives of integrity. The global elite exist. So how should we be educating them in the service of justice and equality? Can we even do that?

A tiny taste of learning at Roosevelt. A student’s outline for his documentary on the Peruvian music industry, made during an in-depth unit on economics.

It can be hard for my students to see past the makerspace and the lush playing fields to the underlying pedagogy and philosophy.Yet this is what we’re here to do: to connect context with philosophies and pedagogies. And by doing so here, in a place so seemingly unfamiliar but also kind of like a distant cousin to the US, we ultimately should be able to turn that critical and hopeful gaze back on our own context.

So in the first two days of seminar, my job is to make the familiar strange—and to make the strange familiar. It’s the students’ job to start making their own sense out of this, which is what you’ll read about in this next installation of blogs.

Getting to Know Dr. Leigh van den Kieboom

VandenkieboomDr. Leigh van den Kieboom is  an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy & Leadership (EDPL). She teaches Elementary and Middle School Mathematics as well as Teaching in the Middle School. All throughout this semester, we’ve been getting to know our faculty a little better by sitting down to see what makes them who they are!

 

Tell us about yourself!

I am a mathematics teacher educator with twelve years of K-12 teaching experience who enjoys guiding pre-service teachers as they learn how to teach in our preparation program. I’ve worked in several school districts in the Milwaukee area and have been at Marquette University in the College of Education since 2000.

So where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Milwaukee area and completed an undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before finishing a doctoral degree at Marquette University.

Sounds like you’ve had many educational experiences! What is your favorite one?

As a K-12 student, I did not particularly enjoy mathematics. I found the subject challenging. I often asked my K-12 mathematics teachers to explain WHY the procedures I was using to solve problems worked. Most often, I received a repetition of the procedure rather than an explanation of the concept involved in the procedure. This was frustrating for me. While in college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, my views of teaching and learning mathematics changed as I began to study WHY the procedures for problem solving worked. I was fascinated as I revisited the K-12 mathematics scope and sequence with a view toward teaching and learning that included using multiple and hands-on approaches to solving problems. I learned how to use reasoning to explain the thinking involved in the procedures I used to solve problems. I became passionate about sharing what I had learned with others. As a teacher, while most of my colleagues, espoused teaching reading as the favorite part of their practice, I was drawn to teaching and learning mathematics.

Whoa, that’s an amazing change in thinking about math! What drew you to Marquette and the COED?

The focus on social justice drew me to Marquette University and the College of Education. I was particularly drawn to a teacher preparation program that utilized a variety of urban school settings that provide pre-service teachers the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of K-12 students.

We’re glad that the COED was a good fit for you! What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

Revisions to the Marquette University’s common core as well as change to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s teacher licensing has created the opportunity for faculty in the College of Education to reimagine the coursework involved in the teacher preparation program.

Who is your inspiration for your work?

My mom and dad were both public school teachers. They loved their practice and spent years serving the students and parents in the school districts in which they worked. I grew up in their classrooms, first learning about teaching from them! Their passion for teaching inspired me to continue the same journey.

We’ve heard a lot about what you are like as a professor, but what do you do when you are outside of the classroom?

I am an avid sailor. I am part of a family crew (husband Jan; two sons, Pieter and Willem) who race a 38’ sailboat named “Nighthawk” on Lake Michigan. We enjoy weekly course races as well as long-distance races, The Queens Cup (South Shore Yacht Club to Muskegon Yacht Club) and The Chicago-Mackinac Race (Chicago to Mackinac Island). You can find me out on the water most of the summer!

Tell us more about what racing means to you!

Racing on Nighthawk is a beautiful experience that combines time on the water with family. We work as a team in different kinds of weather conditions on Lake Michigan. The most exciting part of the summer racing season is the Chicago-Mackinac race. We join over 300 sailboats in Chicago and sail 333 miles north to Mackinac Island. The race, which usually takes three days, includes weather patterns of every kind, from sunny skies to dark thunderstorms. The crew works 24-7, taking shifts through the night to keep the boat sailing.

Any advice for readers who are interested in sailing?

Marquette University has a sailing club. Interested participants can learn how to sail (on Lake Michigan) with friends from Marquette University!

You can learn more about the College of Education along with our undergraduate and graduate programs by visiting us online!

Getting to Know Dr. Sarah Knox

sarah_knoxThe College of Education is excited to continue allowing students to better know its faculty and staff. Dr. Sarah Knox is a professor for our Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology (CECP) program. Read on to learn more about Dr. Knox!

Tell us about yourself!

I am a Professor in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology department of the College of Education, having been at Marquette since 1999. Born and raised in central Ohio, I enjoy the Midwest (though the winters can be a bit of a drag), and am an avid Ohio State fan . . . GO BUCKEYES! I did my undergraduate work in Secondary English Education at the University of Virginia, and taught high school English in Howard County, MD, for 11 years. While teaching, I completed a Master’s in Liberal Arts at Johns Hopkins, and later completed both a master’s and doctoral degree in counseling psychology at the University of Maryland. My mother and brother live in Ohio, and I am mom to a two-year-old furry feline.

Wow, sounds like you’ve had many educational experiences! What was your favorite?

As a student, my favorite experience was in my doctoral program. For the first time in my academic career, I felt that the program wanted, and was deeply invested in, me as a student . . . I was not just a social security number or an anonymous face in a lecture hall. The smaller classes, and my cohort of 8, really provided a nurturing and supportive learning environment, and I was extremely fortunate to work with an amazing advisor.

So what drew you to Marquette and the COED?

I was excited about the opportunity to contribute to a department that was undergoing very promising transitions. I could have gone to other institutions where I would have plugged myself into a very solid existing system, but I was intrigued by the opportunity to contribute to the development and evolution of our programs.

I’m glad you were able to find ways to contribute to our department! What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

I am excited to see how the next several years unfold for our department. Lots of growth is on the horizon, and I am eager to see how these developments enable us to serve our students and the communities with which they interact even better.

We’ve gotten to know quite a bit about Dr. Knox, the professor. What do you do when you are outside of the classroom?

I am quite involved in both choral music and exercise. Music-wise, I sing with two groups (an Episcopal choir; a small group of women who specialize in early music), and each brings connection and joy. As for exercise, I run and bike as often as I can, occasionally hike and swim, and am indeed grateful that my health allows me to do so.

You can learn more about the College of Education along with our undergraduate and graduate programs by visiting us online!

Getting to Know Dr. Melissa Gibson

IMG_6588

Dr. Gibson being kissed by a monkey on her recent research trip to Bali.

Dr. Melissa Gibson is  an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy & Leadership (EDPL). She teaches Elementary Social Studies Methods and Middle/Secondary Social Studies Methods. All throughout this semester, we’ve been getting to know our faculty a little better by sitting down to see what makes them who they are!

Tell us about you! How would you describe yourself?

Thinker. Writer. Mother. Sister. Traveler. Friend. Activist. Creative. Silly. Disorganized. Doubtful. Outspoken. Grounded. Spontaneous. Loyal.

So where did you grow up? And how long have you lived in Milwaukee?

I grew up in the Chicago area, suburbs mostly. I say I’m “from” Elk Grove Village, but I’ve also lived in Skokie, Lake Forest, Harwood Heights, Edgewater in the city—and for many years, I pretended I lived in my older sister’s Lincoln Park and Irving Park apartments. But I have also lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for five years; Madison, Wisconsin, for six years; and Guadalajara, Mexico, for three years. I’ve been in Milwaukee since July 1, 2015.

What was your favorite educational experience?

My most pivotal learning experience was the semester I took off from college to go to Paris. This wasn’t study abroad; this was eighteen-year-old me hopping on a plane to look for work and a place to live and make friends and… When I look back on it now, it doesn’t seem that crazy, but at the time, it was the hardest and most independent thing I’d ever done. In terms of school-based experiences, I don’t know that I can pick a specific one. I’ve been lucky to have phenomenal teachers and mentors throughout my life.

What drew you to Marquette and the COED?

I felt kinship with a university and college that expressed a moral imperative to work for equity and justice in our schools. I also loved the collegiality, the smallness, and the need for faculty not to be hyper-specialized. I’m a generalist at heart. Also, Milwaukee is close to my family and my husband’s family.

We’re glad that Marquette is a good fit for you! What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

I am excited to be returning to Peru for our second study abroad program. For me, it is a mix of all the things I love about this work—most especially, that putting it together has been a creative endeavor. Looking forward, I love the openings that the new core and DPI revisions to certification are creating for us to creatively reimagine teacher education. I hope we, as faculty, can imaginatively think about placements, course sequences, and “high-quality” education.

And, what do you do when you are not teaching?

Not counting all the hours I spend doing laundry, cooking dinner, and resolving sibling quibbles (= parenting), I write a blog and I love to work on my house and garden. I’m also a NY Times crossword addict.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to write about you! As a fellow blogger, what does blogging mean to you?

I have always been a writer, since my first-grade award-winning Young Author’s Contest poem about my pets. Writing is how I make sense of the world. It is creative, reflective, expressive. I often can’t express in speaking what I can in writing, and I find I can be more vulnerable in writing than I can in face-to-face situations. While my blog is non-fiction/personal essay/social commentary, I’d love to move into fiction writing at some point—I keep a notebook of novel ideas, and every time I drive to the UP, I work a little more on the details of my future screenplay about unlikely love in the northwoods.

Do you have any advice for readers who are interested in blogging?

Start a blog! They’re free. Read Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird. Share what you write, even if it’s just with your best friend.

Who is the inspiration for your work?

My own teachers inspire my work, Mrs. Bessey and Mrs. Harper especially. But also all of teachers who saw moments when I was struggling, personally or academically, and they treated me humanely, with mercy, and with patience. I am also inspired by all the K-12 students I’ve worked with, but especially those whom I’ve failed in some way.

You can learn more about the College of Education along with our undergraduate and graduate programs by visiting us online!


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