Posts Tagged 'Kathryn Rochford'

A Letter to a Girl

downloadBy Kathryn Rochford

To the girl who used to stay up late procrastinating just to enjoy being around her friends, keep enjoying yourself.

To the girl who loved pizza nights with her friends, Monday night Bachelor watch-fests, playing catch on the third floor, giving massages, having dance parties. Soak it all in.

To the girl who loved going to classes even when she was exhausted, who loved seeing professors and friends and classmates on the sidewalk, memorize what it’s like.

Remember what this is like and soak it all in because before you know it and can even process it, it’s all taken away from you.

To the girl who sits at her desk all day staring at a laptop filled with updated syllabi, PowerPoints of notes and videos to watch for “lectures” you will get through this.

To the girl who sits with tear-stained cheeks driving a car full of things from an empty dorm room that wasn’t meant to be empty yet. It’s okay to grieve.

To the girl who unpacks in her room overwhelmed by feelings of loss, of the lack of fairness, of fear of how long this will happen. You’ll get through this.

To the girl who is tired of doing the same thing every day and just wants to be with her friends again, it’s ok to cry.

To the girl who FaceTimes her friends all the time just to feel like she’s with them for a little bit, enjoy those phone calls. Think of the memories you had.

To the girl who is scared of getting sick or of anyone she loved and cares about getting sick, it’s okay to be afraid.

To the girl who wishes none of this happened, so does the rest of this world. It’s okay to feel these emotions.

You’re grieving the loss of time with friends, the college experience you thought you’d always have, the events you looked forward to this spring. You’re grieving how happy you were even in the worst of weeks because at least you were with your friends and going to classes.

To the girl who will emerge from this, I hope you never forget it. I hope you remember the lessons you learned about what’s really important.

To the girl who comes out of this, remember how strong you are and how you made it through one of the worst situations life could throw at you. I mean a global pandemic doesn’t happen often. Or ever for that matter.

To the girl who will someday rejoin her friends at parties, restaurants, school and sporting events. Soak it all in. Never forget how much these things matter to you because you lost it all once.

More than anything, remember this too shall pass. Things will get back to normal at some point. You can get through this. I believe in you.


On Professionalism, Social Media and Privacy

By Kathryn Rochford

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful winter break and that you’ve started the semester off strong! It’s going to be a busy one, but I hope it treats us all well.

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about an experience I had last semester that today is growing increasingly more relevant. This experience relates to the theme of professionalism, social media, and the issue of privacy.

Last semester I was blessed to spend my field experience at Marquette University High School, an all-boys, Catholic high school. I learned so much about teaching styles, classroom management and the importance of relationships with students. However, being one of the two females in the classroom (the other being my coordinating teacher), there were some instances of awkwardness. The main one I want to focus on is when I was casually scrolling through Instagram, and I got a notification of a new follower request. I clicked on the notification to see who it was and, with sudden dread, I realized it was one of the students in the classroom I observed.

A million thoughts seemed to flood through my head. How did he find my Instagram when I’ve never told the students my first name? Why did this specific student follow me if it’s not a student I regularly held conversations with? Do I mention the topic with the student? With my coordinating teacher? Do I make a class announcement about the importance of privacy and the separation that needs to be maintained between students and teachers online?

After careful consideration, and plenty of frazzled conversations with my teacher friends and non-teacher friends alike, I decided to bring it up to my coordinating teacher. She laughed for a bit and said she was surprised that specific student followed me, since again, he never talked to me much. She shared stories of how this has happened before to other observing students she’s had and the issues it had caused them. She recommended I leave it unanswered, since I didn’t want him to see I rejected the request and then keep requesting to follow me. I decided I would follow that advice since it seemed like the easiest path.

Lately it feels as if we are warned more and more about what to put on our social media as potential employers can and will use your posts as a determining factor on whether to hire you. It never really occurred to me that my students, and possibly their parents, would be looking me up, too. It reminds me of a policy my teachers in high school had that even if we did friend request them, they wouldn’t accept the request until after we had graduated. In the case of my soccer coach/ history teacher, he used to tag my mom in photos of me so I could still see the posts.

I thanked God I had my profile set to private not public, and that even then I am careful with what I post. If I had one recommendation for new education students, it’s to set your profile to private so people must request to follow you and to still limit what you post. Your future students don’t need to see pictures of you at parties in college or drunk at a bar on your 21st.

This new idea of professionalism in the workplace may be a bit hard to get used to. It’s hard to see so many other college students freely posting and saying what they want to on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. They can post some of the fun memories we have with them that may be NSFW. I’m sure this part of adulting and learning what should be shared and what shouldn’t be is hard for everyone when they hit that point, but the issue for us as education majors is that transition happens as you are trying to figure out what college is and who you are as an adult. However, this idea of professionalism carries a different weight with it when you are an education major, especially one here at Marquette. Here at MU, we are blessed to enter the professional world a bit earlier than most, with opportunities for service-learning beginning freshman year.

So, while this may be a more serious topic than I usually post, I feel it is especially relevant as we move into times where our students could be trying to find our social media. Overall, social media can be a wonderful tool to connect us, to bring us to the latest ideas, and to share aspects of our lives. Yet when it comes to our lives as educators, it’s time to switch into private mode. Hopefully a few of you can learn from my story and won’t have to have an awkward interaction like that. If you do have something like this happen in the future, I hope you can face it head on, without the minutes of panic I seemed to have.

Some thoughts on the recent message from President Lovell concerning the College of Education

art-artistic-bright-220502By Kathryn Rochford

I am inspired by where we will take this program, regardless of any possible changes to a college that will shape hundreds of impactful educators.

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog, life has gotten busy over the past few weeks! I wanted to start off by saying I am so happy to be back on campus and have really been enjoying sophomore year so far. It’s been great to reconnect with friends, get to know new professors and explore Milwaukee more and more. I can’t believe we are already at the seventh week of school; this semester is really flying by!

However, a month ago, I received an email that caught me off guard. I remember going about my day, business as usual, when the email from Dr. Henk, the Dean for the College of Education came in. He wanted to clarify a statement made by President Lovell regarding the current affairs of the College of Education and that it would be undergoing an evaluation to examine the efficiency of our college. I remember being taken aback as I wondered what this possibly could mean for our college, for my fellow peers and me, and even for the future students looking to become educators just like me.

My first thought was immediate confusion. How could this be happening? What could this mean? Could the higher-ups in the university have used language that made sense to students? (You may think I’m kidding, but I had friends of mine that were googling specific words we read in the statement and in the emails we received.) I remember walking into an education class that day and feeling this air of confusion, anxiety and concern surrounding my peers and me. We started class off that day asking our professor to clarify what was happening. As weeks went by, I started to hear about it from other students of different majors, asking me what was happening, expressing their concern for our college and for the students in it. I even had friends tell me that they felt it was ridiculous we weren’t getting more information about it and that we had every right to be fighting for our college, and I agree with them.

My peers and I were frustrated with the lack of information, the lack of inclusion of students, and even the constant reassurances that everything was fine. It felt to us like we were being disregarded or that our voice in the matter wasn’t as important. And yet, it caused my fellow students and me to start these discussions on why the College of Education is so important and why it means so much to us. It gave me this immense feeling of camaraderie and this sentiment that while we may not know exactly what’s going on, were going to be a part of a fight that truly meant something to us.

As more information came out, thanks to an email received from Dr. Henk about a week ago, we realized that these changes that may happen to our college weren’t as imminent as originally feared, but it still is concerning me that we might be undergoing quite a bit of reorganization over the next few years. I understand the reasoning behind all of it, but I hope these changes are minimal. I want the best for the incoming future educators of the generation behind me, I want students who haven’t even considered their future career path to have the same opportunities I have been given when I chose this college.

If I have learned anything while going through this process, it’s that I am so excited to be part of a group of people that feels the same way I do about the College of Education and its importance. I love the discussions I have with my peers about what it means to be in a specialized college for our major. I truly feel like I am meant to be here, in this college, and I feel so blessed to be a part of a peer and academic group that is set on making a difference in this world. I feel as education majors we really take Marquette’s mission statement to heart. We all go out into the world wanting to “Be the difference” for our future students and colleagues.

While change may be coming to the College of Education, rest assured we as students want to be involved and informed throughout the process of these changes. We want to be a part of the discussion about the importance of our college and its place in Marquette. In his last email to us, Dr. Henk described how much we inspire the faculty and staff of the College of Ed, and I share his sentiment. I am inspired by where we will take this program, regardless of any possible changes to a college that will shape hundreds of impactful educators. I’m excited to see the difference we, as students, will make in the world and in our student’s lives.


My Trip to Washington, D.C.

Capitol ViewBy Kathryn Rochford

Happy July, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I love getting patriotic when the Fourth rolls around. Recently, I had the opportunity to travel with my family to our beloved nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. It was a trip full of many tourist activities, delicious food, and most importantly, amazing learning opportunities. It allowed me to reflect on how far we’ve come as a nation and how far we can go in the future.

Here are my thoughts on my trip to Washington D.C.

It is our job as educators to teach our students the curriculum of course, but also to instill values and skills in them that they can use throughout their lifetime.

Day One

The first day of my family’s trip, we went to Mass and then to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. This first day there left me a bit dumbfounded as I marveled at the architecture style and the massive amounts of history that occurred in this very city. The Museum of American History was a fun one to go to, especially for me, as I have always had a fascination with history. I also enjoyed this museum a lot because it had a superhero exhibit and anyone who knows me knows that I am a massive superhero fan, especially with Marvel movies and comics. It was fun to be able to enjoy it with my siblings and take in the pricelessness of all the artifacts.

Day Two

On this day, we started off by going to the African American Museum, which is also the newest museum in D.C. It was the most interactive museum we went to, with all the modern technology making it fun for all ages, especially my younger siblings. I really enjoyed learning about the history behind African American culture, fashion and influence on media. My favorite exhibits were those on sports, with all the replicas and videos on practically every famous African American athlete, as well as the exhibit on music, with all the awards, replicas and costumes from the artists. The music exhibit also had an interactive table where you could press a song you wanted to hear and hear it, with some music dating as far back as the early 1900’s.

On this day, we also went to the Air and Space museum. As a person who has never been very into science and engineering, this place kept me interested with the number of artifacts housed in such a historic building. We enjoyed watching the Apollo 11 film by CNN as it held new footage from the moon landing that was nearly 50 years ago. It was almost like I could live it myself; you could feel the excitement, anxiousness and nerves of every person in the video: the spectators, mission control and the astronauts. What a historic day to celebrate here coming up soon.

Day Three

The White House was a fun stop my family had in D.C. since we had planned and gained access to go inside for a tour. The stark realization that so many of our country’s leaders have walked those halls blew my mind. I remember spending almost too much time looking at all the intricate details, architecture and decorations, and soaking in the view from the red, green, and blue rooms overlooking the rest of the National Mall. If you ever get the chance to travel to D.C., I recommend trying to get into the White House as it’s an impressive experience.

The Capitol Building was another unforgettable stop on my family’s trip, especially since we called our local Congressman’s office and were able to get a tour from his interns. This aspect of the tour was a bit different as all the other ones we did had been self-led. I enjoyed having people my age that we ask questions of and getting to know what their favorite parts of the job were. I even thought it was funny since the interns had a bingo list of all the Congressmen and women they would run into throughout the summer. My favorite part of the tour was when we stopped in the center of the building and were able to see paintings of Washington, key moments in our nation’s history, and even unfinished sculptures of Lincoln (symbolizing his unfinished presidency), along with  women who have shaped this country (leaving room for the first female president, of course).

Day Four

My favorite part of the entire trip was touring the Library of Congress. As a lover of literature and an English major, I was utterly speechless throughout the entirety of the time we spent in there. I could write a whole blog alone on what it meant to me to see everything in there, and every fun fact I heard, but I’d like to focus on two things.

First, the statues I have pictured below. If you look closely, you’ll notice one is an older man and one is a younger man: this was meant to symbolize the importance of lifelong learning. What a fitting idea for a library that houses such important works, but also for teachers to understand! I feel it’s important to recognize that we will learn as much from our students as they will learn from us. It is our job as educators to teach our students the curriculum of course, but also to instill values and skills in them that they can use throughout their lifetime. We truly have the most important job as we mold the minds of future generations; what a powerful sentiment and an important responsibility.

library of congress

Secondly, if any of you are fellow book lovers like me, my wildest dreams came true when I found out you can get a Library of Congress library card. It takes about 10 minutes, but then you can go into the iconic Reading Room and hold the history of our country in your hands. To say I was dumbfounded is an understatement. I could hardly speak for thirty minutes after we left; I was too busy processing everything.

So, to sum everything up, Washington, D.C. was one of the most fun vacation spots I’ve ever been to with my family. It truly is a city that can entertain all ages, but the history alone in that one city is important to feel and experience on one’s own. Learning more about our country helped me to go into this holiday week with a deeper understanding of what it took for our country to gain its independence, and an even deeper appreciation to live in such a place. This Fourth of July, I hope you were able to take a moment to reflect on what it means to you to be here, to be in a country that values our freedom, and remember the sacrifice it took for thousands of men and women to keep it that way.

What I Learned in My First Year at Marquette

19260312_1571859482847597_3920726082226429607_n-700x503By Kathryn Rochford

Hi everyone!

Happy Summer! I recently just finished my freshman year here at Marquette and boy, did I learn a lot. I challenged myself academically, physically and mentally. I grew and changed in so many ways. I met some of my best friends here, I started a new sport, and I connected with professors and fellow students in class. I cheered on our boys’ basketball team all the way through March Madness. Also, it goes without saying, I even survived the polar vortex in Milwaukee, which is one of the most impressive feats of the school year.

While this year was full of so many ups and downs, I’m so happy to be here at Marquette, and especially in the College of Education. I’d like to share the top 5 things I learned from my first year of college.

College is both harder and easier than you expect it to be.
Yes, I know that seems like I’m contradicting myself, but it’s true! The hardest part of college, especially at the beginning of each new semester is adjusting to a new schedule, new professors and their teaching styles, and fresh faces in your classes. You might think you’ll have tons of time since classes only take up a fraction of your day, but between studying, working out, making time for friends, eating at relatively normal hours and getting a somewhat functional amount of sleep, it’s harder to balance than you think!

The easiest part of college I found comes with course load and making friends. As with most things in life, I quickly learned you will get out what you put in. Balancing course load is easy when you’re proactive, have your syllabus laid out every night, and have a master calendar to check on upcoming deadlines. Making friends, while intimidating at first, gets easier when you get involved in clubs you’re passionate about. It may take some time, but when you find those quality friends, hold on to them.

Having a reusable water battle is a blessing.
Yes, yes, we’ve all heard how important drinking water is, but you don’t really think about just how important it is until it’s 4 p.m. in Milwaukee and it’s still 90 degrees out and your building has no air conditioning. Trust me, you’ll want to hydrate yourself as much as humanly possible. Bonus, it helps save the turtles and cuts down on plastic waste! A reusable water bottle with a filter built into it is even easier to use since you can fill it up at any tap.

Don’t bother bringing your whole wardrobe from home.
Not only does this take up way too much space in your itty-bitty dorm room, but it’s also stressful to pack at home. And then when you do go home for break, you have no clothes to wear because they’re all back up at school. My advice: go through the clothes you own, as likely you own more than you think, and donate the clothes that don’t fit, don’t get worn, etc. You help others in the long run, and you free up some space in that closet of yours. Bringing your whole wardrobe is kind of pointless because if you’re like me, you’ll only alternate between the same few bottoms and maybe 10-15 tops until laundry day anyway. Bottom line: no matter how much you’re tempted, DON’T DO IT.

Learn how to write a professional email.
This skill is incredibly useful for so many reasons, whether it’s looking for an internship, writing for a scholarship or addressing professors, administrators and advisers. Always have a subject line that explains the problem, or if possible, highlight the class and section you’re in so professors can be more prepared to respond to you individually. Greetings are huge, and when in doubt for a class, always say professor or doctor. Get in the habit of addressing your question in paragraph form: explain what your question is, how you interpreted the solution and then ask for their suggestion to the solution. Then, explain how you can be contacted and various meeting times if needed. Always proofread for clarity and/or grammatical/spelling errors, too. By creating this habit, it establishes you as a student that invests in their learning and understanding of content, as well as helps to establish a relationship with professors.

Milwaukee is a fun city: explore it.
Looking back at this past year, the one thing I wish I had done more of was explore. First semester, I hardly even visited downtown Milwaukee, and I only ever left campus to run errands or go to the mall. Once I found my best friends, I found I had so much more fun during the week by doing quick runs to the beach, to Kopps, or Aloha Poke. Those fun little adventures created memories I’ll never forget and helped me to realize that there’s so much I haven’t seen or done yet that I can’t wait to do sophomore year. That’s the beauty of being in a big city: there’s a restaurant for nearly every culture, concerts for every music taste, and beautiful views of the skyline at night or the lake on a sunny afternoon. But, make sure you are aware of your surroundings: have a charged phone, headphones so no one bothers you but you can hear what they are saying, google maps pulled up on your phone or easy access to an Uber or the bus system. I learned more than book smarts here at Marquette, I also learned some street smarts too, and safety is of utmost importance in a big city. My biggest tip for any incoming freshman is to explore and take advantage of the warm days while you’ve got them, otherwise before you know it it’s snowing on the second to last week of school and all you want to do is stay inside.

Freshman year: you were fun, and you taught me a lot. Bring it on sophomore year!


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!


On the 10th Anniversary of the College of Education: Kathryn Rochford

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?

We are pleased to share the entries with you, starting this week with our first place winner, Kathryn Rochford!

Abstract colorful holiday background of sky with fireworks and starsBy Kathryn Rochford

On the 10th anniversary year of the College of Education being designated as a college, it is necessary to address why it is important that this is so. By establishing Education as its own college at the university, Marquette not only demonstrates to the university and its community partners that it has a commitment to educating and training its students for success in the workplace, but also that Marquette cares for the generations that have not even been born yet as it places an emphasis on training and developing successful teachers that will lead these next generations in the pursuit of knowledge. When the College of Education stands on its own, it shows that Marquette strongly values and emulates its mission statement of service, excellence, faith, and leadership. Teachers bring forth all these elements in the classroom by serving students day after day, and by helping their students to pursue excellence and to become the best version of themselves.

While the faith teachers express is not always their religious faith, teachers do hold tremendous faith in students and their capabilities. Teachers lead the next generations in their pursuit for higher education and inspire students to model and become good citizens. This demonstrates to the community that Marquette is serious about producing eligible candidates for employment at schools in the area and beyond, and that Marquette values deeply the thorough training and preparedness of its graduates for the teaching career they face. The College of Education, by standing as its own college, exemplifies the truths it holds throughout all the university and personifies the elements of service, excellence, faith, and leadership in the teachers it graduates and sends into the workplace.

The College of Education is also important to me both professionally and personally by having it designated as its own college. It is important to me personally because it shows me that Marquette values me as a student and a prospective teacher, and wants to ensure that I am receiving individualized guidance and preparation for my examinations at the end of my senior year for my certification as a teacher (attention not offered in majors with colleges that directly apply to them). It is important to me professionally that Education is designated as its own college because it shows my future employers that I attended a school with a college that cared deeply about its own students and desires for the future educators of the world to be as experienced as possible in preparation for their future careers. I am proud to be part of a college and university that instills in me the values that every successful educator should demonstrate in their classroom: service, excellence, faith, and leadership, as well as a college that wants to ensure that I am well-prepared for my future serving others by providing direct guidance and practice for my future career.

Happy Anniversary to the College of Education!

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

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