Archive for the 'Student spotlight' Category

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Sarah Crosby

This fall, we’re running a series getting to know students from all our programs in the College of Education. This week, meet Sarah Crosby, a graduate student from the great state of Illinois. And, catch up with all our other students on the blog!

crosbyMy name is Sarah Crosby, and I have the privilege of being a first-year student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program in the Educational Policy and Leadership department here at Marquette. My role at Marquette–besides that of a graduate student– is as a Graduate Assistant for the College of Education. As I was researching for graduate programs I knew after spending five years in Kansas completing my undergraduate work that I wanted to be closer to home. I am originally from Rockford Illinois,  but I’ve recently relocated to Milwaukee for my graduate degree. However, I would consider Wisconsin to be a central part of my life; for the last twenty years my family and I  have spent the majority of our time in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Besides spending time in Green Lake, my family and I are  huge K-State fans. My family plays a central role in my life, and I am so excited to be close to them again!  When I am not doing school work or my Graduate Assistantship, I love to spend time with my family, being outdoors, working out,  watching K- State sports, and watching old classic tv shows.

As I was researching graduate programs, I was looking for somewhere that was closer to home but — most importantly — had a mission of family and serving others in a holistic approach. Consequently, when I arrived on Marquette’s campus for SAHE’s interview day in February, I instantly felt the family feel that I was looking for, especially in the College of Education. I felt like the faculty and staff I intermingled with really cared about me as an individual and not just a number. That has continued to play out as I am now officially a Marquette student! With that being said, I am incredibly excited for the opportunities that the SAHE program and my  Graduate Assistantship will entail these next two years.

Interested in learning more about SAHE at Marquette? Check out our website for all the details; we’re now accepting applications for next year’s cohort!



Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Alli Bernard

We’re continuing our fall series getting to know our students with Alli Bernard this week. Read on to learn more about Alli’s journey to the College of Education!

alliMy name is Alli, and I am a senior at Marquette. I am studying secondary education and English language arts with a minor in Spanish. I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, which is a suburb right outside Chicago. I have lived in Milwaukee for 4 years, while I have been a student here. I will most likely stay in the area when I graduate and teach in Milwaukee. I have a mom, dad, and a 14-year-old sister who just started high school. Fun fact, my family owns a bowling alley and restaurant in Wheaton, Illinois (it’s called Fox Bowl)!

My favorite educational experience was getting the opportunity to study abroad in Peru for a month in the summer of 2018*. While there, we took two courses (Philosophy of Education and Critical Inquiry), looking at education from a Peruvian standpoint and background. I think this experience really stretched my knowledge as a teacher and allowed me to experience how education is viewed in other cultures and countries. We were able to spend time in different classrooms as well, which was very valuable because we could see how they were similar and different from our classrooms in the United States. Plus, getting to hike Machu Picchu was pretty exciting!

I am extremely excited to student teach in the spring. I have been looking forward to it for a long time and cannot wait to fully immerse myself in teaching. I have had a few student teachers in my K-12 schooling, and I think it is so different from having the full-time classroom teacher. Everyone gets to learn from each other and build relationships. Although I am also a bit nervous, I am excited because it is the next step I have to take in order to be a full-time teacher (which is the goal). I am excited to ease my way into it and by the middle of the semester, be teaching full-time and handling everything classroom related. It puts me one step closer to my dream (cheesy, right?).

I was drawn to Marquette because of the College of Education. I loved how small it was, because I knew that it would be the best way to interact and get to know my fellow students and professors. I have always preferred smaller settings but knowing that my graduating class is only around 70 people (if even that) is what sealed the deal for me. I also liked that we got out into the Milwaukee community from the very first education class. It helped solidify that I did want to be an English teacher and that I believed I was in the right field. I also liked that it was in a city with an urban setting, because it is something that I have not gotten to experience as much and therefore was intrigued by it.

My inspiration stems from my many amazing elementary school teachers who showed such a love for their students and their work. A special shout-out to my first-grade teacher Ms. Karr, who was probably the initial inspiration for me wanting to teach. I learned so much in that class and had such a strong relationship with her. I want every class of mine to feel as loved and intelligent as I felt every day in her classroom. I am also constantly inspired by the students I have had. Their creativity, strength, and intelligence is what brings me back time and time again. Their desire to learn and willingness to try new things inspires me to be the best teacher I can be to help them grow and achieve their goals.

If this program has taught me anything outside of classroom and teaching techniques, it is that teachers are some of the strongest, most resilient, and necessary people in society. Appreciate all the teachers and educators in your life. They deal with so much and do so much outside of the classroom that people are not even aware of. Teaching is so important and the work that is done truly changes lives. I do not know where I would be today if not for all the amazing teachers I had throughout my schooling.

*Want to learn more about our study abroad trip to Peru this summer? Check out Dr. Gibson’s FAQ’s to see if this is the program for you!


Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Rebecca Vandersluis

This fall, we are spending time getting to know our students! You can get to know more of our students and our faculty/ staff on previous posts. Read on to meet Rebecca Vandersluis, one of our Noyce Scholars in the Masters in STEM Teaching Program.


I grew up in Maryland just north of Baltimore. After college, I moved to Florida to begin working in project management at CSX Transportation and have had the opportunity to live in many parts of the country: Maryland, Florida, Washington, Rhode Island, Tennessee, California, and Wisconsin. My husband is Captain Matthew Vandersluis, Commanding Officer of Navy and Marine Corps ROTC Unit here at Marquette. We have three teenagers and a black labrador named Maggie. In my free time, I enjoy walking, reading and baking. My family inspires me every day to keep working toward my passion and my goals.

I must say my current experience at Marquette is my favorite educational experience. I feel like I am able to be fully engrossed in the education and really want to learn. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a teacher but was discouraged from doing so. I actually received my substitute teacher license in California and transferred it to Wisconsin. After subbing in Wisconsin I thought I would look into getting my teaching license. My first call was to Marquette University where the Noyce STEM Teaching program was explained to me!

I feel as though many earlier decisions have led to this point and this feels like the cherry on top. The Noyce Program is giving me an opportunity to pursue a dream I thought I had let slip away. After graduation, I’m looking forward to having fun while helping my students realize anyone can learn Math.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Dan Kim

This fall, we’re spending time getting to know our students a little better. This week, read on to meet Daniel Kim, a freshmen here in the College of Education. And, check out our other posts to catch up now!

daniel kimHi, I’m Dan Kim, a freshman studying in the College of Education. I am currently majoring in Secondary Education and Biological Sciences. I graduated from Adlai E. Stevenson High School just last May of this year. I honestly don’t think the idea that I’m a freshman in college has even fully hit me yet, as at no time during my senior year did it hit me that my time in high school was running out–not even during my graduation. I spent my time as a senior enjoying the little moments and relishing in the impactful ones. I’m definitely looking forward to my time at Marquette, making sure to make just as many memories as I did in high school!

I’ve actually lived in two different states before coming to Marquette. For the first five years of my life, I lived in the city of Chicago, constantly moving around from the city and its suburbs. I spent my childhood in Iowa City, Iowa, living there from age five to ten. When I entered middle school, my parents decided to move back to Chicago, so I spent four more years there. Right before I entered high school, my parents had caught wind of a phenomenal school located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, so they decided it would be best for us to move into that area. Currently, I am living in the suburbs of Chicago, but technically you could say that I’m living in Milwaukee since I am attending Marquette. I have lived in Milwaukee since the official move-in day for freshman students, so for about a month and a half.

Both of my parents work in the medical field; my dad works as an internal medicine doctor, and my mom is a registered nurse. I do have a sister who is currently a sophomore in high school, and I have to admit, she is much smarter than me. My family as a whole is not too different from any other Korean family in America. Of course, most people who come over to my house for the first time notice all the things that are a part of my culture than the typical American culture; for instance, most Korean families have an extra fridge called a “kimchi fridge,” and my family is no exception.

In high school, I was a part of many different clubs as an upperclassman. One particular club that I loved was an organization called Operation Snowball. The way I had always described Operation Snowball in high school to attract new participants was by explaining that it was like a summer camp held in the winter within just two days. In Operation Snowball, students can either be a staff member, or apply for a director position, and plan a two-day retreat. It is almost completely student-run; teachers who sponsor the club are mainly there to make sure everything runs along smoothly and to supervise without interacting all that much. My favorite part for planning an Operation Snowball retreat was deciding the different topics we would talk about and games we would play in our small groups. Every staff member, with a co-staff member, was in charge of a small group consisting of five to eight participants, planning different activities to become more comfortable with one another. The end goal was to be feel like a family by the time we left the camp.

One upcoming opportunity I am very excited for is studying abroad! I want to learn more about my culture and my language, and I feel that the best way for me to that is to study abroad in South Korea. I’ve been to Korea many times already, but I’ve never lived there. I was born in Chicago and never really felt too interested in my cultural heritage until high school. I definitely cannot way to make new experiences in Korea, especially the student life there, as I know it is much different from life here in the states.

After graduation, my goal is to become an Environmental Biologist. But I am not entirely sure what I want to do when I want to settle down and have a family, as Environmental Biologists travel constantly to different countries around the world. I had always had an interest in education, as I find myself enjoying teaching others subjects they might not know or fully understand, so I thought that I should become a teacher after being a biologist for twenty or thirty years. I knew I wanted to double major in biology and education, and I had heard that Marquette has a really good education program when I was applying for colleges my senior of high school.

During my free time, I usually find a place where I can sing, as it is one of my passions. In high school, I was a part of my school’s most advanced choir, as well as an all-guys acapella group called “Just the Guys.” I’ve taken voice lessons for two years as during my sophomore year I lost interest in playing the drums and picked up singing.

Singing to me is something I can do almost anywhere, as most musicians need to carry their instrument around if they want to play it. For us vocalists, we always have our instruments on us: our voice! Of course, your singing voice is going to be different from your normal talking voice, but your “instrument” will always be with you no matter where you are. I find singing relaxing, so I usually sing when I feel frustrated or stressed out from school work to let it out.

Practice whenever you can, and if you feel like you need more help, ask other musicians to hear you sing and give you constructive feedback on what you need to work on. Singing can be learned by anyone, as with any instrument out there. You just need to put in the time and effort if you want to become a respectable vocalist. Honestly, I don’t have a musician or a singer I really look up to. My favorite band is Imagine Dragons, mainly because I find their music very enjoyable, and I always look at the message any song portrays. Imagine Dragons does this particularly well, as most of their songs have some kind of deeper meaning. However, I wouldn’t say I look up to them as an inspirational figure.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next four years here at Marquette. Even though I’m only a freshman, I’ve already had quite a few great experiences with the great people I’ve met. I can’t wait for what Marquette has in store for me next!

Getting to Know Our Students… Meet James McDonald

We are continuing our blog series Getting to Know… Our Students this week with James McDonald. James is in his first year of the Counseling Psychology doctoral program, and his return to Marquette AND the College of Education is both a personal and professional homecoming.

DSCN0834I am a Marquette alumnus and first year Counseling Psychology PhD student. I completed the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program here in 2017. I began my PhD at the University of Georgia, but had the chance to come back to Marquette to work with Dr. Cook and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! Seattle, Washington to be precise. My family small! Nowadays, it’s mostly just my Mom and me. We have some distant family in other parts of the country, but holidays are quiet (haha). This will be my third year living in Milwaukee and I love it. It’s a perfectly sized city, with tons of beautiful old buildings and friendly people.

Being in a PhD program is a wonderful privilege because ideas and professional development are the focus. Marquette is such a tremendously supportive and challenging student-focused environment, and I am very proud of the education I have received here. My other favorite educational experience was during my first semester in the master’s program here at MU. Dr. Cook offered students the opportunity to participate in additional counseling skills groups outside of class and to receive real-time feedback. That experience, more than any other, propelled my counseling skill development.

This year, I have one focus: research, research, research! My dissertation is in the early stages of development and it is so exciting to see it begin to come together. There is a ton of research happening in the department and I am hoping to take the opportunity to be involved in as much as I can!

Initially, when I applied to the master’s program at MU I was drawn to the philosophy of the training program and that it was accredited and well-respected. I also had a thirst for adventure and to experience something new after spending most of my life in Seattle. I wanted to be challenged! During my time at MU, I have come to respect and appreciate the rigor of the training and have grown tremendously as a professional. The faculty and staff work tirelessly to provide a rich educational experience for students. Coming back for my doctoral work was such a natural fit; it felt like coming home!

Outside of the classroom, I love music. Before coming to graduate school, I was in a band in Seattle for years. After relocating to Milwaukee, my friend Peter (who is also in the doc program here) and I started playing together and are working on getting a group together. We’d like to record something and hopefully play some gigs in the area! It’s been fun to keep a connection to that part of myself. Otherwise, I am always down for a good sci-fi, drama, or comedy flick.

My passion for my work is all about building the knowledge and skills as a psychologist to be of service to clients and communities. As a field, all our research, policy, advocacy, and clinical efforts must be focused on making a meaningful difference in the lives of our clients. Feel free to reach out to me if you are at all interested in a Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s or Counseling Psychology doctoral program (! It can be very confusing. I am always happy to chat or help as best I can!

Getting to Know Our Students… Meet Katherine Lubar

This fall, we’re excited to get to know our students better, and we hope you are, too! Read on to meet Katherine Lubar and learn about her background and passion for clinical mental health.

Katherine LubarI am in my second year of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s program. I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and went to undergrad at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. I also spent a semester abroad in France during undergrad and worked in Denver with a ministry serving homeless youth for a summer. I moved to Milwaukee in the fall of 2017 to start grad school at Marquette.

My parents still live in Minnesota, and my older brother and his wife live in Milwaukee. My brother, sister-in-law, and I are all in grad school at Marquette this year!

This academic year, I have an internship in a counseling center at another college this semester as part of my master’s training. It is exciting to be able to apply the knowledge and skills I’m learning in my courses and further develop as a counselor through my internship experience.

I chose the College of Education and Marquette because I love the focus on social justice, advocacy, and multiculturalism within the College of Ed and how these are strongly incorporated into every aspect of the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology programs. The sense of community within the department and the support for students from faculty and staff also drew me to Marquette’s program.

In my free time, I love running, biking, yoga, and other sports, and I enjoy reading, cooking, and sewing when I have extra free time.  I also love spending time with friends and family and traveling as much as possible!


Getting to Know… Our Students! Meet Zachery Cramer

As we continue our series getting to know our students a little better this fall, we’d like to introduce you to Zachery Cramer, one of our SAHE students! And, check back to meet more students each week right here!

DSC_1325My name is Zachery Cramer, and I am a second-year graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program (SAHE)!

I was born and raised in central Illinois — Princeville, IL, to be specific. I’ve been slowly moving north over the years as my undergraduate degree is from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, where I studied Hospitality and Tourism Management.

I’ve lived in Milwaukee for a year and a month now! I live on the eastside and about a 5-minute walk from Bradford Beach. It’s definitely a nice change of pace after basically living in a corn field for 22 years.

My dad is a farmer and mechanic, and my mother is a Special Education Aide for middle schools. My younger sister just graduated high school and has been accepted to cosmetology school (so exciting!). Over the last several years, our family has become more dynamic as they have started to foster, and we have welcomed several dozen little ones in and out of our family.

My favorite educational experiences have been through my graduate program. There have been multiple courses where I lacked confidence in the topic areas, but our professors have done an amazing job in challenging my peers and me. Thanks to their work and belief in me, I feel like I’ve become more confident in my academic work and my capacity for engaging in new content.

This year I am serving as the Alumni Relations Chair for the Graduate Organization for Student Affairs in Higher Education (GO SAHE). I’m stoked to be able to engage with our alumni network from the SAHE program to serving as mentors, resources, and more for our current students. I’ll also start job searching in the spring, but I’m not too excited for that process yet.

I work a lot. I have a Graduate Assistantship (GA) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I serve as the Riverview GA and the Leadership Programs GA. There, I supervise Resident Assistants, help to oversee a building of 150 students, and facilitate leadership programs for all of campus, from individuals to student organizations. This semester I am doing my graduate internship through the Marquette Student Wellness Center where I supervise the office assistants, work with our marketing and social media, and assist with other programming that comes out of our office.

A hobby that I have gotten into over the last year is running outside. I’ve become a snob where running inside is no longer enjoyable, and I need to be outside in the fresh air. This semester I plan on running three 5Ks! The Panther Prowl (UWM), Homecoming 5K (Marquette), and Hustle for Hearing (NIU). Running has been a very calming way for me to get outside and exercise while also allowing me to decompress after a long day/week.

I’ve also started “reading” audiobooks. Thanks to OverDrive (a super helpful app to check out) I can register my Milwaukee Public Library card. It allows me to check out books for a week at a time and listen while I’m commuting back and forth from Marquette to UWM to home. Just in August and September I finished seven books. If you have recommendations for good dystopian books, please let me know!

I really want to be able to support students as they go through their collegiate careers. When I was an undergraduate student I changed my major six times and never felt like I belonged in the classroom. It was thanks to student affairs professionals that I felt connected to the campus and the activities in which I was engaged. Thanks to these experiences and professionals, I now know that I am in the right place and doing the work that I’m meant to do.

I want to give a shout-out to some of my cohort members! Without them and the connections and experiences we have, graduate school would have been ten times harder than it already is. When I first decided to come here I was worried about being queer at a Jesuit institution, but I’ve felt supported the whole time I’ve been here! For those cohort members that work with me, thank you for making sure my work is quality and supporting me when I needed help. For those that share identities with me, thank you for helping to make being queer at Marquette possible. For those that meet up with me every Sunday for coffee, crying, and reading, thank you for always being willing to stay on topic (or completely veer off track).


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