Posts Tagged 'getting to know'

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Patrick Witt

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 Patrick Witt, one of our post-baccalaureate students studying to be a secondary education teacher!

E8A99178-4CAC-400A-BD2F-3B5C5B9D1F22I am a first-year post-baccalaureate student. My field is broad field social studies, secondary education. I grew up in Whitefish Bay until I was twelve, when my family and I moved to La Jolla, CA. I pledged to my parents that I’d come back to Wisconsin, and I kept my promise!

As an adult, I spent six years in Milwaukee earning my Bachelors and Masters degrees in History. I also returned in the summers of 2011 and 2012 to work with Marquette University’s Freshman Frontier Program. So, I’ve spent a lot of time here. My wife and I moved back permanently last August. In truth, my heart never left Wisconsin. When I’m not in class or working, I love being outdoors, from doing something simple like working on my garden to hiking with my wife and dogs. Anything outdoors is therapeutic.

My family is wonderful. My wife is my best friend and an inspiration. She serves our community as a social worker. Her selflessness and work ethic pushes me to better myself daily.

I enjoy being in the classroom, where I can see theory in action. I love interacting with students and witnessing learning firsthand. In the upcoming academic year, I’m looking forward to going out and implementing what I’ve learned over the last two semesters. I was drawn to the College of Ed because I believe that teaching is my vocation. I’ve always loved MU’s cura personalis philosophical approach.

My content area is Social Studies, but my true passion is history. I love studying, teaching, and writing about history. The study of history is the best way humanity can come to understand our current condition, our problems and our triumphs.

Getting to Know Our Students: Meet Kathryn Rochford

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 Kathryn, a member of our freshman class!

krHi! My name is Kathryn Rochford, and I am a freshman studying Secondary Education and English and minoring in Spanish. I grew up in the very heart of central Illinois in Morton, a small suburb of Peoria, about four hours away from Milwaukee. However, I was born in Singapore and have lived in Washington, Illinois, Denver, Colorado and Morton. This is my first time living in Milwaukee, or a big city in general, and I’ve been here for about eight months now. My family has always been kind and supportive and as I am the oldest of four kids, it was hard to leave them first semester. I have a brother who is a junior in high school, a sister who is a freshman in high school, and a brother in fourth grade currently. My mom stays at home to manage our super busy family but spends a good majority of her time volunteering in my home parish. My dad is the general manager of gas and medium speed engines at Caterpillar, Inc. I am blessed to have grown up in a family that was so close and helped me pursue my passions, whatever they may be.

My favorite educational experience was during my senior year of high school where I had the opportunity to spend two hours a day, three days a week working at the local grade school to help a Spanish-speaking student in his classes. I would translate his classes for him, help him with his homework, and even helped him to learn a bit of English. It was one of the most rewarding experiences to watch him grow in his fluency and understanding of his schoolwork. I saw how much my work impacted him and his family when his mother came up to me one day to express her gratitude and thanks for helping her son. Just hearing how my simple volunteer work impacted their family was heartwarming. It was also interesting because I conversed with her in Spanish only and my friends that were standing around me were like “What just happened?!” and it was fun to impress them like that.

An exciting opportunity I see for this upcoming academic year is field experience. I am excited to be in a classroom during the day interacting with students instead of after-school programs like my service-learning opportunities have been thus far. What drew me to Marquette and the College of Education is the fact that I would be interacting with students almost immediately with my education major, whereas other universities I looked at wouldn’t have me in a classroom until I was a junior. Marquette’s whole mission statement of “Be the Difference” really struck me as unique in my college search process, and I felt it hit at who I am as a person.

Outside of the classroom, I am quite busy! I am currently on the club rugby team with practices twice a week and tournaments every few weekends. I also am a part of the book club here on campus, so I am usually somewhere reading a book. Soccer is also one of my passions and has been for almost ten years now, so I play intramural co-ed soccer when I can. My weeks are usually packed but it’s so fun to be involved in so many things, especially rugby, which was a completely new sport for me! My advice for readers who are interested in any of those activities is to put yourself out there; I did not get as involved first semester, so at O-Fest for the spring I had a mission to get involved in sports/clubs that interested me. It can be difficult to try a new hobby, especially an established one such as rugby, but it can be so rewarding in the end when you do.

My inspiration for my work is the countless teachers and administrators who made a real impact on my development in grade school and high school. Especially in high school, I became close with a lot of the teachers through my work in student council, participation on the varsity soccer team, and the curriculum advisory committee for the district as a student representative. My teachers and administrators would check up on me from time to time, and even made an effort to come support me outside of school at my soccer games, which made me feel like they saw me as a person, not just as a student. I hope to make a similar impact on my future students one day.

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!


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.

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!

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.


Getting to Know Our Students: Mia Meyle

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 Mia, one of our current freshmen!

miaMy name is Mia Meyle, and I am a freshman studying elementary education and communications. I grew up in Deer Park, Illinois, and I have lived in Milwaukee ever since I started school at Marquette last fall. I have two older brothers who are graduating with degrees in construction management and fire science at the end of spring 2019. My mom works as a human resources manager and a high school counselor. My dad is a project manager for Motorola Solutions.

I chose Marquette because I love being right in the center of the city of Milwaukee. There are so many great volunteer opportunities in all the K-12 schools nearby. A club that I participate in outside of the classroom is called MU Pollinators. When we meet, we get to do all sorts of crafty Pinterest type activities like making Chapstick, dipping candles, or harvesting and jarring our own honey. It’s extremely fun and tasty! If you’d like to receive emails for this club, you can contact this email address

My favorite educational experience is the time spent tutoring at a technical institute in Les Cayes, Haiti last summer. I helped teach English and computer skills to Haitians aged 5-25. These abilities are key for them to be able to apply for higher-end jobs in their community, such as airport attendants, hotel clerks and governmental roles.

The people that inspire me to have such passion for education are honestly all the amazing students. I see the future in their eyes and seeing them thrive drives me. I like knowing that I’m making a real difference in their lives. They bring me real joy. The social justice issues surrounding the educational system are a huge heartache to me. I want only the best for my students, and I hope to make many positive changes for them in the years to come.

As I am exploring job opportunities for myself, I recently signed up to take the WorkKeys test so I can get my paraprofessional license. That way I can apply for jobs as a teacher’s aide for summer school in Illinois. My oldest brother took this test a few years ago and he didn’t have a hard time with at all, even though standardized test taking isn’t his strong suit. It’s really exciting that I am able to take hold of this opportunity so early on in my studies. I highly recommend my fellow Marquette education friends to take advantage of this! Having the classroom experience would be a great resume builder and an amazing learning experience.

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!

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