Archive for the 'Why I Chose Marquette' Category

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Tyanna McLaurin

This fall, we are continuing our series 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 Tyanna McLaurin, one of our Student Affairs in Higher Education graduate students and the Assistant Director of Service Learning at Marquette!

tyannaI was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. I had the pleasure to going to a variety of schools when I was younger so I’m can adapt quickly to new spaces and I’m unafraid of change (well, somewhat). My favorite educational experience was living overseas as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. While the experience was not part of a “formal education,” it was indeed a life changing time for me. I learned so much about community work. Much of what I learned stays with me today.

I’ve been out of school for a long time, so the start of every semester is exciting. I’m challenging myself to be open to growth and to do my best. I know I got this! I work as the Assistant Director of Service Learning. I love working in higher education and want to continue on this career track. The Student Affairs in Higher Education Program was attractive to me. I like the relationships I can build with faculty and the support of students.

Outside of the classroom, I do so much. I work with Milwaukee Film-Black Lens Program as the Community Outreach Coordinator. Milwaukee has the 9th largest film festival in the country and I get to spread the word within and among my networks about this gem. History, specifically, African/African American History, tends to be my inspiration for my work and passion. I’m never surprised by social unrest or ‘isms that plague American society. This was all foretold through history. I use history to remain knowledgeable and keep going.

Want to learn more about our graduate education programs? Head on over to our website for more information– or, even better, come visit us on campus!


Schools…Are They Failing?

This summer marks the third College of Education faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru. Dr. Melissa Gibson and 11 of our students are studying and learning in Lima while also traveling the country. Their blogs are originally posted on Marquette Meets Peru, and we’re excited to share them with you!

By Brooke McArdle

We spent this past week in Cuzco, moving around a lot to visit our last school and afterschool program, as well as visit various ruins and experience more of the Andean culture. I did not know what to expect from Cuzco and I did not realize how much I missed the sun! During our time in Lima, we had only a few hours of sun on one Saturday; however, in Cuzco, I think it was sunny almost every day. Our bus trips up, down and around mountains as well as our train rides made me feel like I was in another country because it was so different from Lima. The geography, languages, weather, and culture all differed from what I had experienced in Lima with my host family and while visiting our different educational contexts there.

Cuzco was mountainous, open and sunny, whereas Lima was congested, the air was polluted, sky cloudy, and car horns could be heard at all hours. Spanish, while it was dominant in Lima, seemed to wrestle with Quechua in Cuzco, linguistically and culturally. These differences were only replicated and echoed in the schools and educational contexts in both Lima and Cuzco. One thing that we saw in both contexts was how privatization impacts education. In Lima, we worked at La Inmaculada for a week and in Andahuaylillas we spent time at Fe y Alegria, both schools have some degree of Jesuit influence. Fe y Alegria is a public school, but more so of a charter school, as the Jesuits fund the social programs for the school.

books-3946080_960_720.jpgThe mission of La Inmaculada, in the spirit of Jesuit pedagogy, is whole person formation with an emphasis on social justice. One of the ways La Inmaculada cultivates this is through the service learning program, which I’ve mentioned in another blog. The purpose of the service learning program is to build relationships between students from Pamplona Alta and La Inmaculada. One of the key aspects of the Jesuit Pedagogical Paradigm is experience, a way to tie in what students learn in the classroom to their personal lives. Creating relationships with students in Pamplona Alta provides students at La Inmaculada with not only friendships but insights into what they learn about in school. This was one of the important aspects of Jesuit education at La Inmaculada.

A central component of the mission of Fe y Alegria was perpetuating and reinforcing the existence of Quechua culture in students’ lives. During our orientation to Fe y Alegria, we watched a video that detailed the importance of integrating Quechua culture into the curriculum. Classes for the younger students begin in Quechua and bilingual education (Quechua and Spanish) begins in older grades. Students learn traditional practices from Andean culture, like dying yarn and weaving. In one of the classes that I observed, the teacher asked the students about their connection to Quechua. She asked how many of the students’ parents spoke Quechua, and majority of the students raised their hands. She then asked how many of the students spoke Quechua, and one student raised their hand. She then proceeded to ask her students why they did not speak Quechua. From the students’ responses and what we have learned about the perception of Quechua and Andean culture, it was clear that parents did not want their children learning Quechua because of the dominance of Spanish and the perception that Spanish is better. The Jesuit mission at Fe y Alegria is to break these perceptions and stereotypes about Quechua and work with families and students to incorporate it into students’ lives. Although both La Inmaculada and Fe y Alegria have Jesuit influence, their missions differ because of their contexts. While La Inmaculada works to provide its students with experiential learning and emphasize the importance of relationships through its service learning program, Fe y Alegria concentrates its attention on the importance and relevance of Quechua, the culture and language prominent, but also preyed upon, in the Andes. The different contexts of Lima and Cuzco play an important role in determining the direction and aims of education for schools in these areas.

In addition to context, privatization was something we saw with La Inmaculada and Fe y Alegria. The article “Worldwide, Public Education is Up for Sale,” by US News, discusses the possible ramifications of privatization. The article discusses how public education is under attack and notes how many people argue that public education is failing so as to advocate for increased privatization of education. However, the article discusses how privatization does not necessarily mean better quality education and better outcomes. It offers the example of Chile, where privatization led students “to self-segregate by religion, social class, race, and family income,” which hurt students and outcomes (page 3). Cabalin’s article, “Neoliberal Education and Student Movements in Chile: Inequalities and Malaise,” also looks at Chile and the impact of neoliberalism and privatization. Cabalin discusses how neoliberalism in education has resulted in the increased privatization of education and thus, disregarded the concept of a just education. In Chile, privatization resulted in more segregation and the further allocation of privileges to the wealthy. The resulting stratification has not bettered the quality of education. In turn, it has generated more inequality. Since the Jesuits play an important role at both La Inmaculada and Fe y Alegria, it is important to consider these schools within the context of privatization. At these schools, the Jesuit mission and its goals for the students are woven throughout the curriculum and schooling experience. Without the Jesuit influence, I doubt the students at La Inmaculada would build relationships with students from Pamplona Alta and I question whether Quechua would hold a privileged place at Fe y Alegria.

In the United States, I’ve heard privatization discussed in the context of outcomes, namely the idea that children educated in private schools perform better. However, this is a misconception, and one that has consequences for equity in education. In Peru, private influence at La Inmaculada did seem oriented to outcomes but with the shadow of Jesuit pedagogy, embodied in supplemental programs, lurking in the background. Conversely, at Fe y Alegria, Jesuit influence seemed more concerned with the incorporation and survival of culture and language native to the Andes, in addition to student success and outcomes. To me, this was another contextual difference between Lima and Cuzco, and one that is incredibly important. The emphasis on preserving and respecting culture is something I loved seeing at Fe y Alegria and it was not something that was only espoused, I physically was able to see it at work in the classroom. As a teacher, care and recognition of culture is something that I want to always be aware of and working towards because I think it is one of the ways that teachers can connect to students and their families in a genuine way.

Reflections on my First Year of Grad School

downloadBy Jordan Mason

As spring begins to make its appearance, a semester draws to a close. While there are still a few projects and assessments to be completed, I find myself in awe of how quickly this past year has flown. As a graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program here in the College of Education, I have almost successfully completed two of our four semesters. In that time, there have been several people and things for whom and which I have been grateful. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

  • Our top-notch faculty: I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of faculty I am taught by. Dr. Jody Jessup-Anger is an outstanding wealth of knowledge; she encourages us to think critically and pushes us to explore other perspectives. Fr. Andy Thon brings his years of experience in Student Affairs and on Marquette’s campus to provide us with a better understanding of how institutions of higher education operate. Dr. Karen Evans provided our cohort with a solid foundation of research concepts to utilize in our courses and careers to come, and Dr. Jodi Blahnik of Marquette’s Counseling Center has prepared us to navigate the world of helping students more effectively. I am grateful to our faculty.
  • The opportunities this program provides: I have also been impressed by the immense opportunities available to us as SAHE and COE students. For example, a cohortmate of mine is taking advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland. Two of my classmates serve on executive boards for higher education organizations. Our practicum requirement ensures we will gain valuable experience in a Student Affairs environment, and the variety of assistantship opportunities allow us to explore our interests and passions. I am grateful for the experiences I have had in the SAHE program.
  • My wonderful cohortmates: Most importantly, I am grateful for the individuals I am experiencing this program with. I appreciate the conversations we have regarding topics in higher education. I appreciate the support we provide one another during a stressful week. I appreciate the laughs and the friendships built to last long after graduation. I am grateful for my cohortmates.

I am grateful every day for choosing Marquette University as the institution to pursue Student Affairs. Thank you, Marquette!

On the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Thomas Schatz

This year, the College of Education is celebrating its 10th anniversary since becoming a college! In commemoration, our undergraduate students were invited to participate in an essay contest with the following prompt:

Given our rich history, (1) Why do you think it is important that we are designated as a College (for instance, within the University and to our community partners) and (2) Why is our being a College important to you professionally and/or personally?

Read on for our next essay, and you can catch up with all the entries in other posts!

Marquette_University_campusBy Thomas Schatz

Marquette’s College of Education is reaching the ten-year anniversary of its designation as an individual college. A designation worth celebrating because of how it has affected the curriculum, and more importantly, the people who are invested in the Milwaukee educational system and education as a whole. The separation from the College of Arts and Sciences has allowed for countless new opportunities to be discussed and implemented. This includes new educational experiences such as the college’s summer Peru trip and even a new major, Educational Studies, to become part of the College’s offerings. It has certainly been a great ten years, and there is no better time to be a student, faculty, or supporter of the Marquette College of Education.

The world needs great leaders to enter the teaching force more than ever now. Because of this immense need, there also needs to an emphasis on calling people into the vocation of teaching. The individual status of our college has allowed for outreach to ensure this need is met by qualified teachers across the country. Even looking at just my freshman education class, I see students from coast to coast come here looking for a truly unique curriculum that not only will prepare us to teach but prepare us to become transformative leaders for the next generation of students. This means more educators, and well-prepared educators at that, are now schooling in Milwaukee. This effort is only greatened when you factor in how being an individual college allows for more funding for student scholarships. This is something that as a student I am eternally thankful for, and I am certainly not alone in this sentiment. This is a grand gesture in a time where money has become such a strong deterrent for amazing students considering the life of a teacher. The college has been an undeniably powerful source at dispelling this issue.

Lastly, I cannot discount all the ways in which the college has personally affected me beyond even what is mentioned above. I truly feel as if there is one thing that everyone looks at as a beacon of light and hope in a world that can be so dark sometimes. This beacon of light is education. Education is a gift that needs to be shared and given by those best prepared. The College of Education truly buys into this thought of teaching for social justice, a theme very in line with the Jesuit values of Marquette. I come to Schroeder Complex every day knowing that I am being surrounded by professors and students alike that feel the same way as I do. Marquette educators are not mere teachers. No, far from it. Rather, we are leaders that go out to set the world ablaze and change lives everywhere. So, on the tenth anniversary of our outstanding college, I thank the college for all it offers me, and I hope everyone joins me in thanking them for what they do to Be the Difference.

Interested in learning more about the College of Education and our ongoing service to our community? Or our undergraduate programs? Check us out online today!



Getting to Know Our Students: Leslie Alton

This year, 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 Leslie, one of our current graduate students!

IMG_1990My name is Leslie Alton, and I am a second year in the Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Barrington, went to undergrad at Ohio Wesleyan University, and then made my way to Milwaukee. I moved to Milwaukee in the summer of 2017, and its charm has been growing on me ever since. My favorite educational experience is the internship that I have been able to do as a part of the program. My placement is at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in the Counseling Services working with the students on myriad issues/concerns. I love using what I learn in the classroom and applying it to my work at internship, as well as growing into the skills and feeling more confident as a counselor.

With graduation in May, I am excited to enter the workforce and start my career as a counselor. I was drawn to Marquette because of the people I met. While a lot of schools have good programs to offer, the people I came across during the interview process and faculty I spoke to are what set apart Marquette from other programs. When I am not busy with everything school wise, one of my favorite hobbies is rollerblading, and I would suggest that anyone who is interested in rollerblading prioritizes learning how to stop! The inspiration that I have for the field of counseling stems from all of the internships that I have had since the beginning of college. At each internship I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of people who have the drive and passion to make a difference in the lives of others, and I hope to do the same!


Getting to Know Our Students: Maya Kolatorowicz

This year, 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 Maya, one of our current freshmen!

Educator PicMy name is Maya Kolatorowicz, and I am from Westchester, Illinois – a suburb about twenty-five minutes west of Chicago. I have loved living in and exploring Milwaukee over these past seven months, but one thing I still know for sure is that the Bears will always be better than the Packers and the Cubs better than the Brewers!

My family is, without a doubt, the best thing that has ever happened to me. I was adopted from India at age one, and I am the only child of two amazing and loving parents. I am also blessed to be a cousin to 32 others – and counting! Many members of my family – my parents, several aunts, and a now even some cousins – once were, still are, or are currently studying to become teachers. To teach is a calling, and to dedicate oneself to teaching is a genuine vocation. For me, to teach is also to join a community of teachers that have surrounded me throughout my life, guiding me and shaping the person that I am. As a freshman in Marquette University’s College of Education, studying Elementary / Middle Education, I feel humbled and excited to officially join this community of teachers, and I cannot wait to inspire and to be inspired by my students.

Attending Marquette University continues my Catholic education, as I attended both a Catholic grade school and high school in the suburbs of Chicago. As I think back on my favorite educational experience, the first thing that comes to mind is my time in high school. My entire high school educational experience was unique and one that I remember fondly because I went to an all-girls high school – Trinity High School, in River Forest, Illinois. My educational experience at Trinity High School holds a special place in my heart because of the incredible spirit, supportive classmates, and hardworking teachers. Trinity always reminded me that, as an empowered woman, I can and I will become a leader who, through word and action, changes the world for the good. There is no slowing down in sight, as Marquette University builds on the call that I received from Trinity High School, reminding me to be the difference. As I engage in more eye-opening educational opportunities, such as serving as a teacher’s assistant as a part of service learning in the schools, I hope to fulfill this call – inspiring and being inspired by all of the students who bring so many important gifts to the classroom.

Here at Marquette, I look forward to perfecting the Spanish language as I take on Spanish as a second major. In my life, I desire to use the skill of speaking another language to break down barriers and build bridges between communities – advocating for justice and inclusion. On a smaller scale, I plan on continuing to regularly take the yoga sculpt class here at Marquette, because doing so reminds me of the utmost importance of caring for my body and spirit so that I can reach my fullest potential and therefore help others to reach their own. I also hope to get involved in some type of musical group at Marquette, as I find so much joy in singing and know that singing has the potential to bring joy to others, as well. In the future, I also want to prioritize my participation in service experiences that will allow me to grow in relationship with the larger community of Milwaukee.

I know that Marquette University has so much to offer me, and I could not be more excited to fully immerse myself in the community and spirit that Marquette University is. I am incredibly happy and sincerely blessed to be able to call Marquette University home for the college years ahead and for many more years to come.


To My Future Colleagues in the Educational Administration Program

downloadBy Oscar Silva

To my future colleagues:

The Educational Administration program in the College of Education and its faculty mean the world to me, so I hope my passion is able to be conveyed through this letter.

When I began looking for a program to get my administrative license, I had a set of expectations that the school had to meet. I needed the courses to be rigorous and relevant, and I needed to work with professors who were dedicated and experts in their field. Marquette met all of my needs and surpassed my expectations. One look at the curriculum, and you will see how relevant the work is towards helping our kids. You can immediately see the difference on paper between this program and others. Once you meet the others in the program, your decision will be solidified. The emphasis on equity and learning about the politics of education promotes the type of thinking to begin the work that is needed in the city. The concepts Dr. Ellwood and her colleagues teach you will seep into your way of thinking. Raw ideas are transformed into methodical plans with each project and research assigned. You are immediately able to put into
practice how they teach you to look at data. Each book and piece of research you will read can be applied to your work. The rigor is balanced with the relevancy of each course. There is not one piece of information or assignment that I was given that was irrelevant to the work I wanted to do in the future.

Let me be clear, the work is not easy. It will take dedication and motivation that is difficult to balance when you are still teaching, but the dividends will be fruitful. You will be working alongside other passionate individuals who have a similar mission. Work with them, confide in them, trust each other and the work becomes easier. The professors have a wealth of information and the resumes to prove their impact in various school districts. You will be learning from the best to become the best.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need more information about the program. I could go on for days, but I wanted to keep it short. Best of luck in your decision-making, and I hope to see you around campus soon!


Interested in learning more about our graduate programs in Educational Administration? We offer a supportive cohort model and generous financial support to teachers in the greater Milwaukee area and Catholic school personnel!

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