Archive for the 'Faculty spotlight' Category

Introducing Dr. Karisse A. Callender

Photo Jan 20, 11 20 16 AM copy

The College of Education is pleased to introduce you to one of our three new faculty members for the 2017–2018 school year. Dr. Karisse A. Callender is an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education Counseling Psychology department. She holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Texas A&M University — Corpus Christi. We caught up with Dr. Callender to ask her some questions about her views on education, Milwaukee, and her favorite books!



I want to prepare my students with the foundation to go into their respective communities with knowledge to help them develop behaviors and skills that are holistic, and career-sustaining, as they work with their clients and colleagues.

Tell us a little more about yourself! Where did you grow up? What’s your favorite book?

Dr. Karisse Callender: I am from the beautiful island of Tobago, the smaller of the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. As a child, I loved reading and that hasn’t changed in my adult life. Two of my favorites for this year are The Compassionate Achiever by Christopher L. Kukk and The Prophet by Kahil Gibran. I don’t drink coffee but I love hot teas and usually drink several cups each day! My education began with an undergraduate degree in behavioral sciences (psychology with a sociology minor), a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling (concentration in alcohol and other drug abuse) and a doctoral degree in counselor education. I am a licensed professional counselor and substance abuse counselor, and I worked with adolescents, adults, couples, and families in both outpatient and residential settings with presenting issues related to mental health, substance use, and trauma.

How long have you lived in Milwaukee?

KC: I am new to the Milwaukee area and so far, I love the many activities I can enjoy outdoors and being in a vibrant city. Although it will take some time to adjust to a bigger city, I am excited to call Milwaukee my new home and look forward to creating many happy memories here. I would like to learn more about the culture and explore outdoor activities, community organizations, and anything that is local to Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

What is your favorite educational experience?

KC: When I teach and I observe students struggling to understand the concepts in their textbook or from materials in class, my favorite thing to do is to draw from my clinical experience to provide them with a real-life example and interpretation of what they read. It’s amazing to see how their eyes light up when they finally experience the “aha!” moment. As a doctoral student, one of my favorite educational experiences was learning how to design, implement, and manage a fully functional online class and teach a module online.

What do you see as an exciting opportunity for this upcoming academic year?

KC: I am excited to get into my research agenda and collaborate with students, colleagues and community organizations. I look forwarding to playing a role in bridging the researcher-practitioner gap as I learn about the needs within the community. I want to prepare my students with the foundation to go into their respective communities with knowledge to help them develop behaviors and skills that are holistic, and career-sustaining, as they work with their clients and colleagues.

What are your research interests?

KC: My research interests are grounded in three primary areas: trauma, addiction, and clinical supervision. I am interested in studying the effects and implications of trauma and addiction across the lifespan and interventions that are most appropriate for this population. As counselors and counselor educators we often supervise individuals at different stages of their professional development. I want to find out about specific supervision needs and interventions for students and counselors who may be in recovery, and those who work primarily with clients with trauma or addiction diagnoses.

Across my research agenda, my intention is to find out what works for whom, how it works, and under what circumstances. I’m also interested in discovering ways to bridge the researcher-practitioner gap through my teaching, research, leadership, and service.

What drew you to Marquette and the COED?

KC: The mission of Marquette resonates with me on a personal and professional level. I share the belief that through excellence in my work, faith in myself and others, and compassionate leadership and service, I can inspire and encourage others. The COED has a nurturing and caring environment which indicates that this is a place where I can flourish as part of the faculty and as an individual. I believe I am very fortunate to be part of Marquette University, the COED, and especially the CECP department.

Dr. Callender will teach “Group Counseling” along with “Human Growth and Development” this fall. Want to know more about the College of Education? You can learn more about our new faculty and degree programs by visiting us today!

Welcome Back, Dr. Terry Burant!

The College of Education is excited to have Dr. Theresa J. Burant return as our new Director of Teacher Education this year! Whether she’s teaching, swimming, or dancing to country music, Dr. Burant is loving her return to Milwaukee. Read on to learn more about one of our newest faculty members!

Tell us about yourself!

Terry Burant: I am a Milwaukee native, although I left for the west coast as soon as I earned my high school science teaching credentials. I started teaching and coaching swimming in southern California and taught in New Mexico, earned my Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Tucson, then taught at the University of Wyoming. Although I am new to the position of Director of Teacher Education at Marquette, I’ve been teaching here off and on since 2001.

In addition to this amazing opportunity in the College of Education at Marquette, being in, around, and on water drew me back home to Milwaukee. I lifeguard, swim, and canoe as often as I can. I also walk and (sort of) run along Lake Michigan; even my workout studio is on the river in the 3rd ward. One of my favorite rituals every summer is swimming in Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands. My lifelong dream is to paddle the perimeter of Lake Superior; moving back to Wisconsin gets me a little closer to that dream!

I’m also a huge lover of Summerfest and music of many kinds; every summer I try to see how many times I can get to the fest. I only made it six times this summer; so, this gives me a goal for next year. One of the highlights this year was spending about five hours with my niece, in the pouring rain on opening night, to see Frankie Ballard (a country singer). Now that I live near my niece again, I’m sure I will be seeing more country shows with her as she’s my go-to country girl! I started taking her to concerts when she was 12, and she’s now 27; we’ve seen so many artists over the years. It’s impossible not to have a great time with Sarah next to me singing and dancing!

While it might not be fashionable to say this, I also love Wisconsin winters. After living in sunnier places for so long, I look forward to those long stretches of gray and damp days from November to March when I can wear my favorite coats, boots, hats, and scarves. Pretty sure you will find me back in the Polar Bear club on New Year’s Day. I’ve been told that my winter enthusiasm is a little annoying so I apologize in advance.

What is your favorite educational experience?

TB: In a formal school setting, the first one to come to mind is my Urban Studies class at Wauwatosa East a long time ago. Our teacher made the city and its issues come alive for us; his enthusiasm, humor, love for the city, and inquiry-based methods remain with me today. Another would be my doctoral program at the University of Arizona. I had the most helpful, wise, and caring committee members. This school experience felt like the best of kindergarten as I was free to design and explore topics and projects of interest to me, although, of course, the responsibility for learning was literally all on me!

What do you see as an exciting opportunity for the College of Education this academic year?

TB: We have so many; but, the new Core Curriculum gives us the perfect opportunity to rethink our programs and review where we’ve been and where we hope to go. We have such a talented, thoughtful, and passionate faculty and staff, and I look forward to our work together in the coming year.

I’m also excited to reconnect with alumni and make connections between and among them and our current students. I’ve always been happiest playing a connecting role, and I am driven to strengthen the Marquette College of Education’s presence in the city. I wholeheartedly believe in cura personalis and hope that this will be evident in my daily work.

Can you tell us about the time you talked to Taylor Swift?

TB: I will always be a Swiftie! It’s kind of a long story; but, while teaching chemistry, I was explaining the steps of a problem to my students and somehow the abbreviation for the steps brought T. Swift to mind. On the spot, I got a little carried away and dramatic in my explanation and created an acronym associated with her as an aid for my students’ memories. Over time, we started calling the problems “Taylor Swift” problems (although I was, of course, careful to make sure that my students understood what the problems were really about and were using the language of the discipline as they described their work). A few weeks later, Taylor was in town at a radio station and I called her up to tell her how my Marquette High sophomores had problems named after her in our class. With that signature T. Swift enthusiasm, she exclaimed, “that’s the best story ever!” and she gave us an autographed picture for our classroom. So yeah, I’ve been to see her three times in three different cities, and I look forward to whatever she’s cooking up next!

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

Dr. Bob Fox Honored at Community Engagement Symposium



Dr. Bob Fox and Penfield Children’s Center were honored at the first Community Engagement Symposium held on Marquette University’s campus on November 15, 2016. The award for the Community Engaged Partnership Award recognizes a “faculty/community organization partnership that demonstrates excellence in respectful, bidirectional collaboration; makes a positive difference in the community; and enhances knowledge.”

Since 2003, the Behavior Clinic has served inner-city families with young children with developmental disabilities. Offering mental health services for children who are experiencing significant behavior and emotional problems, the Clinic also offers specialized training and supervised clinical experiences for graduate students. In addition, research in the clinic contributes regularly to the field of pediatric mental health.

Congratulations to the Behavior Clinic and Dr. Bob Fox, making a difference in the lives of Milwaukee’s youngest children.


Personnel Passions Project: Dr. Sarah Knox


These are just a few of the many words we could choose to describe the way in which Dr. Sarah Knox approaches her love for choral music.  When she’s not teaching or conducting research related to relationships in the counseling profession, Dr. Knox uses her love for music to transport listeners into a space where song begins to blur the line between the temporal and divine.

She started singing in a community-based choir while in graduate school. During her last year, she also sang in her first of what would turn out to be five Episcopal Church choirs.  She has always loved the ritual and tradition of the Episcopal Church and — to her — their worshipful choral music is especially lovely.

She candidly remembers many a Christmas eve, waiting with her parents and brother for the BBC broadcast of the Kings’ College Festival of Lessons and Carols, from Cambridge, England. The broadcast begins with a boy chorister as soloist, singing the first verse from the back of the church with the voice of an angel.   The rest of the choir then joins in for the next verses as they process into the nave, and eventually the congregation sings as well. She still can’t make it through the opening hymn (“Once in Royal David’s City”) without crying.

To her, “it’s just unspeakably beautiful and moving. And to be a part of that in my own church is indeed a blessing. I have always been moved by music, so, week to week, singing in an episcopal choir is a vital part of any connection I have to a divine presence.”

When asked what she finds most challenging about choral music, Sarah states that it’s usually easy enough to learn the notes, but to “make music” is often another matter entirely.  What is often difficult to achieve as individual can be even more challenging to achieve in communion with others.

But, despite its challenges, Dr. Knox notes that there are rare (and treasured) moments when all the voices in the choir come together and operate as one — when they all unite in an ironically mindless way (in great part because they’ve allowed themselves to enter into the very soul of the music, rather than remaining on the outside, thinking things through note by note).  These are the moments that bring true joy.

They are also the moments that most reflect Dr. Knox’s thoughtful philosophy when it comes to music: “We are individuals, yes,” she says, “but we find meaning and joy — NOT as individuals– but in our deep connections with others. And perhaps it is in those connections that the divine exists. Donne was right: no man (or woman) is an island.”

For more photos of Dr. Sarah Knox in action, click here.

Personnel Passions Project: Dr. Francesca Lopez

Not only is Dr. Francesca Lopez dexterous in the areas of educational reform and psychology she is also happens to be quite handy with metal and glass.

Dr. Francesca Lopez with her husband, Javier, and their children Diego, Javier, and Ani

After a seemingly innocent bracelet purchase at a craft fair, Francesca’s creative senses begin to itch and she was tempted to try and make a matching necklace.  As those creative juices began to flow, she stocked up on supplies. Starting simply with beads, she began to wear her “creations” to work, and people started to buy the items, some requesting to buy items she was wearing!

In a fairly short period of time, Francesca began expanding on the types of materials she used for her creations. She began to branch out, first using leather and India glass, then crystals and art glass, and finally incorporating semi-precious stones, silver, and pearls into her work. She even made custom pieces for weddings and individuals who had something particular in mind. Francesca went from selling to friends/colleagues to setting up her own website and having her pieces sold in boutiques in Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, and Texas.

For Francesca, making jewelry is part therapeutic/relaxing, and part exhilarating.  The process of creation — making something from nothing — is part of jewelry-making’s great apeal.   She loves playing with eye-catching colors and shapes that stand out.  She also prefers pieces with intricate designs, often using Balinese silver for this very reason.

Despite her success and the popularity of her art, it was always a challenge to make the effort to sell her hand-made pieces, Dr. Lopez reports. She gleaned far more joy from the creative process than the sales aspect of her work.  Nonetheless, Francesca’s work has gained notable acclaim. The January2012 edition of Bead Style magazine showcases a few of Dr. Lopez’s stunning pieces. In addition, the winter 2012 edition of Everyday Gemstones also features her work.

Although Dr. Lopez never made jewelry with the express intention of selling it, the fact that people purchased the items to help fund her hobby was a huge plus.  As she states, “I was self-taught, and had fun learning through my own mistakes.  I think that if someone wants to try to make something and finds pleasure in doing that, then there are endless possibilities.”

For a slideshow of Dr. Francesca Lopez’s handiwork, CLICK HERE.

Personnel Passions Project: Fr. Andrew Thon, S.J., D.J.

Fr. Andy Thon, S.J. grew up listening to the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, collecting many 45s and albums, and playing disc jockey with all his records. His love of music was more than just a hobby. In fact, his last part-time job before he entered the Jesuit seminary was as a DJ at a small radio station.

And Fr. Andy kept his interest going by carrying his record collection whereever his various vocational positions took him — including here at Marquette.

Photo by Ben Smidt

Fr. Andy has enjoyed all the different and changing genres of music through the years. He especially enjoys playing music at special events like Marquette’s Midnight Run’s Walk/Run fundraising event, Senior Citizens Prom, and the Hunger Clean-up. For the Hunger Clean-up, Fr. Andy plays morning and service-related music. When the Jesuit schools’ Heartland Delta conference met at Marquette several years ago, he put together songs that related to each of the schools. He even played the theme from the “I Love Lucy” show for the Spring Hill College group in honor of their president, Fr. Greg Lucey.

When asked what is difficult about this hobby, he reflected that in his younger years as the SJDJ, he would play music at dances and reunion events.  “As rock’n’roll music developed into many different types of music,” Fr. Andy reflects, “it became harder to please everyone and often people suggested songs that only they liked. I decided that I actually enjoy interacting with the crowd more than just playing songs.”

However, there are fond memories and fun stories that come along with the unique experiences of being a DJ and vital member of the Marquette community. His traditional opening song for the Hunger Clean-Up as hundreds of participants gather is “Wake Up Little Suzie.” Students congregate on the lawn west of AMU lawn, and the speakers face McCormick Hall.

“Some have accused me of blasting the music at McCormick in retaliation for my being woken up late at night during my many years of living in McCormick,” Fr. Andy says, “That allegation is not totally true!”

And yet we still wonder…

Our hobbies are often reflections of our personal motivations. For Fr. Andy Thon, he initially wanted to be a DJ because he thought he could have some positive impact and be a good role model working with youth. He then chose the Jesuit life with the same motive of wanting to be a teacher.

But, whether he is playing music in support of community service, bringing students and senior adults together in celebration and music, or teaching eager young minds; Fr. Andy Thon certainly has an uplifting impact as Marquette’s very own, SJDJ.


Personnel Passions Project: Dr. Robert Fox

When he’s not focused on his work as Psychologist at the the Behavior Clinic or conducting research related to pediatric mental health, Dr. Robert Fox takes to the serenity and peace of the open waters.

Dr. Robert Fox - Photo by Jenni

Having grown up near a lake, Dr. Bob Fox began fishing at an early age.  So, it was only natural that he and his wife, Theresa, would purchase a lake cottage in Northern Wisconsin where they would have the opportunity to relax and pass along the tradition of fishing to their children.

Jenni, Tom, and Ben were each introduced to the art of fishing as early as age three.  Infused with their father’s infectious love of both the calm and excitement of the wild, they all developed in their skill and love for the sport.  Although it is his eldest son Tom who seems to have followed most directly in his father’s footsteps, every one of them continues to enjoy fishing to this day.  Even the youngest of his grandchildren have inherited a love for the open water.

“Eliza, who will turn 2 in Aug, enjoys fishing or least throwing the worms in the lake!” Dr. Fox explains, “And, our youngest grandchild, who is 9 months old, also likes boat rides; so we plan to give her a pole for her first birthday.”

Dr. Fox admits that looking forward to the reward of time spent enjoying a fish fry with his family and friends is part of what continually draws him back to the water.  But it’s also the excitement of the unknown, never knowing what he will catch, that gives him joy.

Although he prefers walleye and perch due to the fun of the catch and quality of meat they provide, Dr. Fox also enjoys fishing/hunting for Muskie.  In fact, this past Father’s day he received the gift of a guided fishing trip for muskie on a local lake.

But, regardless of whether he’s out on a small lake in search of pan- and game-fish or paddling down a rapidly rushing stream in pursuit of trout, it’s fishing that pulls Dr. Fox away from his busy academic schedule and draws him back to the place that both revives and refreshes.

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