Posts Tagged 'Diversity Gala'

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!

Being the Difference in a Struggling Milwaukee: 2013 Diversity Gala

DiversityTreeEach year, the Graduate Student Organization of the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology department hosts a celebration of sorts.

Their annual Diversity Gala aims to bring together CECP faculty, students, alumni and community members to celebrate the profession and raise money for counseling scholarships for students of color.

This year’s gala takes place on Saturday, May 4, 2013 beginning at 6:00 p.m. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and a cash bar. And everyone is invited.

“The Diversity Gala is such an important event because it highlights the department’s commitment to social justice and diversity,” says Dave Doucette, CECP master’s student in clinical mental health counseling. “As mental health professionals, we have discovered the significance of advocacy work and awareness of multicultural issues that might arise while working our clients, whether they are students in a high school or individuals battling substance use.”

“Our department recognizes the need to enroll and train individuals who identify as an ethnic or racial minority to diversify not only the department, but the Marquette community and overall helping field,” Doucette continues.

The Diversity Gala serves as a philanthropic effort to highlight, celebrate, and raise awareness to these issues, especially the continual fundraising for the Diversity Scholarship, awarded to an incoming or current CECP graduate student that identifies as an ethnic or racial minority.  This Diversity Scholarship is intended to reflect and support the value of students who are actively promoting diversity and social justice within the CECP department and will continue to do so within the mental health field.


In 2011, newly admitted master’s student Affi Okokon received the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology Diversity Scholarship award.

“The Diversity Gala was the first interaction that I had with the students and faculty of Marquette’s CECP department, and it was a wonderful way to be introduced to the counseling program,” Okokon recalls. “The whole gala itself was a very festive and exciting experience, and I really enjoyed listening to the keynote speaker.

“As an African American female, it was uplifting to know that I was starting a counseling program that had a strong emphasis on acknowledging and celebrating diversity in the Milwaukee community. After attending the gala and meeting influential faculty members, students, and community leaders, I left with a feeling of empowerment and reassurance that Marquette’s CECP department was where I belonged. The Diversity Gala is a wonderful event, and I have continued to attend every year that I have been a student in the counseling program.”

But, the gala is about more than scholarship funding.  Each year, the graduate student organization also brings in a well-respected keynote speaker that actively interacts with and engages the audience in issues of advocacy, social justice, and diversity.

For 2013, the keynote is Ron Kuramoto, Director and Facilitator for Future Milwaukee. As a facilitator and consultant, Kuramoto’s clients have included People of Color Conferences for the National Association of Independent Schools, the Institute of Diversity Education and Leadership (IDEAL) Milwaukee of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Community Transformation Project of Marquette University, the Leadership Southern California program as well as contracted programs for the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, Cardinal Stritch University, and the University of Southern California.

This portion of the event allows all attendees to reflect on and pay particular attention to their own attitudes and glean useful knowledge that can be applied in every day life.

In other words, this interaction with the keynote speaker empowers all individuals to more deeply consider how they can become advocates for social justice and diversity in their everyday lives.  This sense of inspiration can unite the audience and larger community as a whole.

For more information about the 2013 Diversity Gala, including how to buy tickets, visit the College of Education web site.

You’re Invited! Diversity Gala at Milwaukee Public Museum

In Human Diversity Lies the Creativity of GodWant to make a difference in the lives of students?

Consider attending our annual Diversity Gala at the Milwaukee Public Museum!

This formal celebration of culture and diversity offers a unique opportunity to create connections within the community and show your support for diversity in the mental health profession.  Organized and initiated by the Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology graduate student organization, the Diversity Gala is a fund-raising event supporting the endowment of the CECP Diversity Scholarship, an award presented to to selected counseling students who come from culturally diverse backgrounds.

This year’s Gala will be held on April 17, 2010 from 6 p.m.-11 p.m.
Tickets are $40 per person or $300 for a table of 8.

The ticket price include hors d’oevres, dinner, and dessert.   Feast on a delicious selection of passed hors d’oeuvres while you peruse the Streets of Old Milwaukee, the European Village, Costa Rican Rainforest, and Third Planet Earth.  Then sit down to enjoy dinner and a selection of wonderful desserts.

A keynote address will be presented by Christopher Boston, Director of Sustainable Communities at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Milwaukee.  The Gala will also feature a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting the Diversity Scholarship. Attire is semi-formal.

Reservations must be made on or before Friday, April 2, 2010. Regretfully, late requests cannot be accommodated. Upon receipt of payment, you will receive an e-ticket confirmation of your reservation for the evening.

For more information regarding the venue, please visit  To purchase tickets or obtain additional information, please contact Brittany Gresl, Social Events Chair, at

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