Archive for the 'Student spotlight' 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

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.


Remarks from Dr. Cynthia Ellwood for the Class of 2020

Although we cannot hold our commencement ceremonies as we typically have, many of our faculty and staff have shared their best wishes for the Class of 2020. Below are remarks from Dr. Cynthia Ellwood for the students completing their Masters in Education degrees this spring.

accomplishment-ceremony-education-graduationMy good friends and colleagues:

In some other world, right about now, many of you would be gathering in the Pabst theater to be celebrated by us. That’s not what we’re living right now, but it’s still a milestone. So, let’s take a moment.

When you were admitted into the Educational Policy and Leadership programs, whether Educational Administration or Educational Policy and Foundations, it was because we saw in you someone who shared the values and aspirations of our program – a commitment to justice and opportunity for all people, an appetite for rigor, and the desire to pursue your studies as part of a community.

Now a few years later, here is what I see in you. You have come together as family across many personal histories and educational sectors. “Cohort” does not begin to capture you have become as a community.

High demand and high support has become a watchword phrase among us. You not only speak it, you live it. You have challenged and nurtured each other through this program. More importantly, you have increasingly found new ways to challenge and nurture the young people you serve. We saw this change in you from your first semesters in the program. And as your convictions have grown over the years, we have seen you exercise the courage to advocate among other adults for change that better challenges and supports our young people. You’ve become leaders.

 We have seen each of you grow dramatically more capable and confident in wielding the skills of leadership. But much more importantly, you have become adaptive leaders – people who recognize the underlying complexities and human dynamics of the challenges educators confront. You have become people who know how to pursue thoughtful, creative, systemic change.

Finally I see in you a group of individuals who show a deep, critical, independent understanding of what justice looks like. Each of you has wrestled with what words like “social justice” actually mean, each of you has examined inequities in your own personal and professional worlds, and, in the face of this ever-deepening understanding, you have found opportunities for action.

You have not waited to act, you have already begun. And you have developed a hopefulness and a resolve that absolutely humbles me.

You are the beacons that light our future and the future of our young people. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey.

Please check out our YouTube channel or follow the College of Education on Facebook or Twitter to hear more from our faculty as they congratulate our graduates.

Ambiguous Loss During a Pandemic

Helpinghands.svgBy Jennifer Rodewald

Grief and loss are complicated matters that directly affect individuals and family systems. These can become more complicated when considering the impact of ambiguous loss, which can come in many different forms. There is the ambiguous loss that involves a physical presence with a psychological absence. This would include people who struggle with addiction, mental health struggles or trauma. The other type of ambiguous loss involves a physical absence with a psychological presence, which could include things such as an elderly parent moving into an assisted living facility, a child leaving the home, losing a job, or having to move. The most relevant current event that reflects ambiguous loss featuring physical absence with psychological presence is social isolation due to COVID-19.

Mental illness struggles are an example ambiguous loss with physical presence and psychological absence. On an individual level, severe mental illness can make it difficult to function on a daily basis (i.e., maintaining good physical and sleep hygiene). This can also extend to the rest of the family system in many ways, such as a family member transitioning into the role of the individual’s caretaker or having more people outside of the immediate family enter the family system by hiring professional help in the home. When discussing mental health struggles that do not overly impact an individual’s day-to-day functioning, there are still other considerations. For example, if an individual is depressed and has a hard time feeling motivated to do either daily tasks or hobbies, others in their family system will feel that impact. On top of that, if the individual cannot communicate their feelings, there can be conflict and higher tensions among the family system. Essentially, there is a lack in psychological functioning that is mixed with being in the physical presence of others, which is a form of ambiguous loss.

We are all dealing with our own individualized ambiguous losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected billions of people’s everyday lives. While my spouse is still going to work, I am no longer going to my internship site. I am lucky enough to be able to do telehealth with the clients that wish to do so, but that number has been dwindling down. I have somewhat abruptly terminated one particular therapeutic relationship because the client just couldn’t talk while in his home, due to others being there who could hear our sessions. There is also the fact that we no longer are going on campus for classes. This has been a difficult transition for everyone, and I wanted the chance to reflect on how it is affecting my family.

I thought a good way to conceptualize how this has affected my family would be to follow Worden’s Task-Oriented Model of Loss. I completed the first task of accepting the reality of the losses just last week. Things have been difficult, and I think it was made more so by fixating on the people, places, and interactions I am missing due to the pandemic. This made it impossible for me to focus on homework assignments and my compulsions significantly increased. Because of my lack of focus and increase in compulsions, my patience was also limited, and it was easier for me to become frustrated with my daughter over things I would not normally be frustrated by. It also meant I was not communicating with my spouse at the level I normally would—I was afraid I would come off as overreacting (surprise, I was sometimes—also underreacting—sometimes at the same time!) and would let things I was worried about or grieving over bottle up until my grief and anxiety would just explode from my eyes (in the form of tears).

I am currently working through the process and adjustment tasks in the model. I have started to be able to address how I’m feeling about the inability to physically be in the same room as friends, peers, and professors. I have also begun to be able to articulate what it is like to work with clients more on the phone as well as to have their therapy terminate earlier than what was planned. I also sometimes think about what it is going to be like when this period of social isolation ends (and when it will actually be, but I realize thinking about that is something that can send my compulsions up, so I try to keep that to a minimum). It will be a different world on some practical, day-to-day levels, as well as on a larger scale for businesses, schools, and families.

As I mentioned earlier, doing telehealth is a different experience with clients. There is one client who simply was unable to do this mode of therapy, so we terminated the first time I called him from home. We had discussed the possibility of therapy ending prior to this call, and it was still a disappointment for me to have to end a month before planned. Luckily for my client, I was able to transfer him to another counselor at my site who is still physically going there for sessions. I am mainly only doing phone sessions with two other clients for the next few weeks. Working with clients has also served as a solid distraction from my own ambiguous losses, even though one of them discusses how social isolation is affecting her (which is understandable). Despite the similar topic, it is so helpful to be able to focus on someone else during this time. I suppose that is another piece being the idea of the “wounded healer.”

Ambiguous loss is something that can affect anyone on individual, family, and systemic levels, with the current pandemic as an example of physical absence with psychological presence. After this pandemic has passed and we get out to the other side, there will still likely be losses to work through. This is why it’s important to connect where we can, stay mindful and grounded if we are able, and to reach out to others and let them know we are not alone in this.

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.

2020 Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Teacher: Cynthia Zuñiga

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. Cynthia Zuñiga is one of two Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Award winners. 

C95FAD23-37F9-4A78-9DC7-7CF4F0564747It is an honor to win this award. I’d like to send a huge thank you to all of the professors, staff and everyone else whom I have met through the College of Education. They are the people who have taught me and truly prepared me for the moment when I get to have my own classroom.

In addition, there are no words to be able to thank my family for the immense support they have given me throughout these four years. There was never a day that my mom wouldn’t remind me of the change that I will make in my classroom. As a minority, there is always that sense of “not being good enough,” thankfully my parents squashed that mindset for me right away. They reminded me that my culture and my background are the foundation of the educator I want to become, and they were right.

As I just accepted a teaching position in a dominantly Latinx school community for next year, I am eager to remind my students of the power they hold and the force of nature they will be in this world. With this award, everything that has occurred during these four years has come full circle. All of my late nights were worth it. All of the classroom observation hours were worth it. All of the twenty-plus page lesson plans were worth it. Every single factor that has made up my four years in the College of Education has led up to this moment. Once again, thank you, Marquette, for honoring me with this award and for everything they have taught me along the way.

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