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On the Tenth Anniversary of the College of Education: Rebecca DeBoer

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!

teacherBy Rebecca DeBoer

If you asked me 10 years ago about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I can guarantee that I would have never said teacher. I would have said I wanted to be an famous artist or someone who works with animals. Yet, here I am today; an Educational Studies and Psychology major in Marquette’s College of Education. Over the course of my life so far, I have volunteered and worked with children in a variety of settings. I have learned the joys a child can find in the words of a book, and the fun a child can experience with hands-on activities at a museum. Instead of finding passion in the arts or animals, I have found passion in the idea of helping to develop young minds and cultivating their God-given talents.

Just as I learned and grew throughout these past 10 years about what drove, inspired, and made me unique, so did Marquette’s College of Education. By education’s standing as a separate college, Marquette gives students like me a specialized opportunity at furthering my career, which in turn, furthers my quality of life. Components like Service Learning and internships help expand my experience and knowledge of what is to come in the adult world we are about to take on. Another major importance of having the College is the community it instills. Meeting people within Education ensures you have a community of students and professionals you can turn to for advice or simply a friendly face. Along with the relationships you build comes life lessons. In Dr. Lorentz’s class (my first education class of my life), I learned that “mastering” a talent or idea is never true mastery. As a teacher, we do not always truly know everything. It is okay to not know and accept new ideas. As Education majors, our careers are that of learning about learning, so how can we not ever be faced with developing ourselves along the way?

Having a separate College of Education shows current and incoming students who want to go into the field that there is a place to cultivate their goals and future careers. Through this, we see that the professional importance and personal importance of becoming an educator is intertwined. We as educators (and soon-to-be educators) take our various qualities and passions and put them out in a professional manner, after years of cultivating and “mastering” them. Thanks to the College of Education, we have the ability to “master” this knowledge and grow into the best version of ourselves.

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

Behind the Scenes of the Hartman Center’s Handprint Mural

hc 2015The Hartman Center’s LIVE TO DREAM Summer Reading Program kicked off its first session in June of 2015. Local schoolchildren boarded buses and arrived on campus just like during the school year. But they were in for the surprise of their lives one Friday morning when basketball legend and Marquette alumnus Dwyane Wade stopped by to visit.

In addition to playing games, enjoying a picnic, and listening to a read aloud with Mr. Wade, the children, with some help from the Office of Marketing and Communications, created a mural showcasing their handprints. There were 60 children, 12 smocks, 15 teachers, one large plastic dropcloth, rollers and a whole lot of paint — plus (pun intended!) a lot of helping hands.

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Today the finished product hangs on the wall of the Hartman Center as a thank you for the generosity of someone who’s given a lot. And in this small corner of his alma mater, children compare their hands to those of Mr. Wade in wonder.

Interested in learning more about how you can be a part of the Hartman Center’s impact? Contact our Director of Development, Heather Wolfgram, for more details!

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Sonia Escamilla

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 Sonia, one of our current students in the Student Affairs in Higher Education graduate program!

IMG_1727[1]My name is Sonia Escamilla, and I am a first-year graduate student in the Education Leadership and Policy department. I am also a current graduate assistant in the Center for Intercultural Engagement. Although I have moved multiple times around the country in my life, I call Milwaukee my home. I was born and mostly raised on the southside over the 16th street bridge. My family is my mother, one sister, two brothers, three nephews and one niece. We are all very sarcastic yet loving individuals, and very close with one another. My family is my motivation for everything that I do. I come from a first-generation, single-parent home that was always supportive of my dream to go to college. I also attended Marquette University for my undergraduate career. I graduated in 2016, receiving my degree in Biomedical Sciences. I am the first in my family to pursue a graduate degree and the plan isn’t to stop here!

My favorite educational experience was being part of EOP (Educational Opportunity Program). This TRIO program is designed to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds be successful in college, and that it did. I am forever grateful for this program, without EOP I may not have been granted the opportunity to go to college, grow as a professional and not only expand my network but have a family on campus. This program helped me become acclimated to campus, meet inspiring individuals, and overall expanding my knowledge.

An exciting opportunity coming up is that I will completing my summer practicum at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, working as the STEM Activities Director for Pre-Orientation Programs. This program will welcome students interested in pursuing a STEM career. This will help me prepare for my long-term goal, being an administrative position specifically for a STEM related program. I have never been to the east coast, so I am very excited to enhance my professional development while exploring a new part of the country.

I was drawn to the College of Education through a friend/mentor of mine who also went through the same program. I wanted to pursue a program that I could still return to my first love (STEM) but be in a position to help students be successful in this realm. I also knew that this program would improve helpful skills that are essential to be successful in an administrative role. I ultimately chose Marquette over other competing programs due to the way the curriculum is set up and the assistantship that was also offered in my package. Having an assistantship and practicums included in the curriculum, I knew I would get the needed experience to be a confident and trusted professional. Almost one year in the program, I know I made the right decision thanks to a supportive faculty and cohort.

Outside of the classroom and off campus, I am extremely social and involved. I love traveling, biking, dancing, listening to music, watching sports, volunteering in my community, and love learning new things. In between all these fun things, I LOVE spending time with my family especially babysitting for my nephews and niece. I also love spending my time with my sorority sisters of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. Milwaukee is a great place to explore, try new foods and simply spend time with all my loved ones.

My inspiration is my family. I grew up in extremely humble upbringings and I never imagined myself being in the position that I am in today. Everything I strive for is in the name of my family’s hard work and the sacrifices they made.

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!



Ms. Jackie Herd-Barber: Advocate for Milwaukee Youth

Below is the keynote address given by Ms. Jackie Herd-Barber at the Youth Frontiers Ethical Leadership Luncheon on Thursday, March 28, 2019. An extraordinary community volunteer, Ms. Herd-Barber received the organization’s prestigious Ethical Leadership Award on this occasion. She is also the recipient of the Education Advocacy Award given by our College of Education and the Champion of Education Award bestowed by the Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee. Her words were so inspiring that we asked if we could share them here, and she graciously agreed. In so very many ways, Jackie embodies what we espouse at Marquette: the pursuit of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and leadership expressed in service to others. We could all better ourselves by embodying the spirit and actions of what she outlines in her remarks.

Helpinghands.svgI am humbled to accept this award from Youth Frontiers, and I do so in honor of the many volunteers who serve as models and mentors for Milwaukee youth. The word volunteer means doing something from the heart. I can volunteer because of the support I receive from my dear husband and best friend, Michael, my wonderful children Lauren and Justin, and my parents, who showed me by their example what it means to really care. My mom is with us today. I am grateful to be a part of Youth Frontiers’ mission to inspire today’s kids to grow in the virtues of kindness, courage and respect.

There is no such thing as a self-made person. No one can boast about accomplishing anything all by themselves. Everyone has received help along the way from both human and divine hands. I can stand here because, when I was a teenager, I had adults in my life, like my parents and teachers who loved me and taught me the difference between right and wrong. I stand on their shoulders. We stand on the shoulders of the great people who have gone before us.

Now, it is our turn to provide strong shoulders for today’s youth to stand on. Whenever I hear people complain about “these kids today,” I get fired up. Because I want to say: “When you see a struggling youth, are you allowing that kid to stand on your shoulders?” You and I have built careers, lives and families because someone was there to help when we needed it the most. Just think, if there was no one by our sides to lend a hand, where would we be now?

Youth Frontiers’ mission is to build the next generation of ethical leaders. The starting point to becoming an ethical person is to listen to our inner voice. Our inner voice tells us to do what is good and to avoid doing what is bad. It is a voice which tells us to be decent people and to treat others fairly, to be honest and to take responsibility for our mistakes, and to learn from them. Some of our youth hear their inner voice loud and clear, others barely hear a whisper. Youth Frontiers helps kids turn up the volume.

But life can become very hard for many Milwaukee kids. Violence, family tragedies and poverty traumatize our kids to a point when they can no longer hear the words of hope and courage deep within their souls. To help turn up the volume, it takes a caring adult to show the way. Through story and personal testimonies, kids can tune in to their inner voice and discover the correct path to take. Easier said than done, but I have seen first hand how a parent, a coach, a teacher, and any adult who cares enough to reach out to a struggling kid can make a profound difference and turn a life around.

I attended the Youth Frontiers’ retreat this past December, and the theme was courage. It takes courage to do the right thing. Think for a moment. Have you ever been bullied? Have you bullied someone else? Did you ever stand by and watched someone be bullied? Let’s be honest. Most of us can say yes to at least one or two of those questions.

Let me share a story with you. There once was a star football player who entered the cafeteria and saw the skinniest freshman sitting in his favorite place. The football player said, “Hey, why are you here?” The freshman froze and couldn’t move. The football player grabbed the kid by his shoulder and tossed him aside along with his lunch. No one protested as the skinny freshman went to find another seat. That is often how the world is – the strong win and the weak lose.

Imagine in your mind’s eye: what if the skinny freshman stood up and said “no” to the star football player? What if some other students stood up to protect the freshman? And now, imagine this: What if the star football player sat down next to the freshman and said: “How are you doin’ man?” and began a conversation because that star football player was once a skinny freshman who needed a friend.

Imagine if we could find a way for kids to have the COURAGE to not be the bystander, not be the bully or the bullied. How do we build confidence and courage in a society that isn’t doing it? I do believe that Youth Frontiers has the recipe and the formula to start changing hearts and minds.

In my work with students – one of the main reasons I do this is I want ALL kids to have the same opportunities that I had, and that my kids have. All kids should have the chance to go as far as their talents, abilities and determination will allow them. When obstacles like poverty, violence and racism get in the way, we need to be there to allow the kids to stand on our shoulders and see a better future.

And so, here’s my challenge to you: can everyone in the room think of a way to have an impact in 2019 and beyond?

Make it a goal, that I’m going to make a difference in a kid’s life who needs me. There’s always someone that needs someone. Make a commitment to make a difference in a school! And, since this is a fundraising lunch, invest in our kids with a gift in any amount that is right for you. Your gift will help Youth Frontiers serve more kids and help them overcome obstacles and enter a path to education and a family sustaining career.

Together, let’s make a difference. Thank you!

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Julia Bigoness

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 our blog series. Read on to meet Julia, a member of our freshman class!

bigonessMy name is Julia Bigoness, and I am a freshman studying Elementary Education and Spanish. I grew up in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago and have been living in Milwaukee for almost nine months. I have one older brother who attends Georgia Tech and one younger brother in seventh grade. My mom is a nurse, and my dad is a criminal investigator and an alumnus of Marquette University.

I chose Marquette University because it is super close to the city. I felt a sense of community whenever I took tours of the school. I always felt like it was a home because I could see myself on campus for the next four years. One of my favorite things about the College of Education is that I can jump right into the classroom setting. I also like how there are a variety of schools where I can do service learning and experience different environments.

My favorite educational experience is service learning. I think that it is so cool that starting freshman year, I am able to be in the classroom. Service learning helped me apply what I have learned in the classroom to what I see during service learning. I look forward to going to service learning every week because I love to see how I can make a difference in a child’s day and how they can improve my day. Attending service learning helped me confirm that I am pursuing the right major.

One exciting opportunity that I am looking forward to this upcoming academic year is perfecting my Spanish and being able to start field observations. My goal is to be fluent in Spanish by the time I graduate and to be able to communicate to children and all of those that I encounter in a bilingual school setting.

The people who inspire me are the students in my service learning classrooms. I learn so much from them, and they help me apply what I have learned in the classroom. They are always so cooperative and willing to participate. I am so excited to become an elementary teacher and have my own classroom to inspire students and help them learn!

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

A Word About Our CECP Diversity Scholarship

gala 2018By DJ Ferrer

My name is DJ Ferrer, and I am the recipient of the 2017 Diversity Scholarship in the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology (CECP) program. When I decided to return to Marquette University as a graduate student in the program, my goal was to work with Asian immigrants who are having trouble adjusting to the culture of the U.S. Receiving the scholarship was part of the foundation that helped me as I progressed towards that goal, as the scholarship money was used to help pay for the textbooks that would guide what I learned in the classrooms.

Being the 2017 recipient was also a title that stuck with me throughout my time as a graduate student as it was a reminder of why I was on campus. During the second semester of my graduate studies, I found myself applying to Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center in order to be an intern therapist at the site during the rest of my time in the College of Education. This site focuses on aiding homeless and runaway youth by providing crisis services and therapeutic interventions so that they can have their own foundations towards a healthier future. It was at this site that I learned how much a person’s culture can impact not only that person’s current environment, but also that person’s development as a human and how they got to where they were today.

Whenever I met with the youth at the shelter, I made sure to be as culturally competent as I could be so that I can better help the youth through their situations. I even ended up winning the 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year Award at the site during the second year of my program, which is a testament of how hard I worked to aid the youth at the site. Also, during my second year, I became the Diversity Chair for the CECP’s Graduate Student Organization (GSO). It was during this time that I took the Multicultural Counseling course, which is a required course for Marquette’s curriculum. As the Diversity Chair and a student who was learning more about diversity, I learned just how multifaceted the subject of multiculturalism and diversity can really be. As my time at Marquette comes to a close, the monetary value of the Diversity Scholarship is long gone, but the honor of having the title as the 2017 recipient has stayed with me and will continue to stay with me moving forward as a professional counselor.

My resumé showcases accomplishments such as 2018-2019 Diversity Chair for the CECP GSO and the 2018 Student Volunteer of the Year at Walker’s Point Youth and Family Center, but earlier than both of those achievements, I am proud to list the 2017 recipient of the CECP Diversity Scholarship. My current plans after graduate are still to work with Asian immigrants who struggle adjusting to the U.S. culture, but I am now aware of the other cultural aspects of these individuals and how they affect each other. I would like to incorporate all aspects of the cultures of my future clients in order to best provide therapeutic interventions. This is a value that was stated when I applied for the Diversity Scholarship and that was further expanded upon because of my Marquette experience.

The CECP GSO would like to cordially invite you to attend the 2019 Diversity Gala on May 4th where we will announce to 2019 recipient! Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and help to fund the scholarship for deserving students like DJ!

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