Press Release

Practicing Mindfulness in an Active Classroom

October 19, 2016

Alverno Forum

Alverno College is hosting a forum on practicing mindfulness in the classroom. The interactive program will engage educators in developing mindfulness practices and give attendees the opportunity to hear from each other how mindfulness supports teaching and learning in diverse contexts. Presenters will share what current research about the mind and brain suggests about strong practices, and will discuss how developing mindfulness practices for teacher and students can set a positive tone in the classroom, lower stress, and create safe and trusting relationships.

Presenters include:

  • Patricia Luebke, dean, Alverno College School of Education
  • Desiree Pointer Mace, associate dean of graduate programs, Alverno College School of Education
  • Susan Lubar Solvang, president and founder, Growing Minds
  • Lori Gustafson, outreach specialist, Center for Healthy Minds
  • Amy Shapiro, academic director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Alverno College

The Alverno Forum series seeks to join community leaders in discussing cutting-edge topics that have a daily impact on the lives of people in our community and beyond. The next discussion in this year’s series takes place on Thursday, October 20 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Joel Read Conference Center. The Alverno Forum series is free and open to the public. For more details, please visit our website at

Categories: Press Release

Alverno College Awarded $2.7 Million Hilton Foundation Grant to Honor Catholic Sisters

October 19, 2016

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded Alverno College a $2.7 million grant to raise awareness of the legacy and current contributions of Catholic women religious and to expand upon National Catholic Sisters Week, launched in 2013 through a previous Hilton Foundation grant. Led by Andrea Lee, IHM, president of Alverno College, the Hilton Sisters’ Project will extend its geographic reach, placing new emphasis on young women in Latino communities. Lee secured the original project grant and managed the project from 2013 through 2016 while she was president of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. Because of her leadership and business acumen, the grant will be housed at Alverno College to remain under her leadership. Because oversight of the expanded project will remain with Lee, Alverno will maintain overall fiscal responsibility, oversee project expenditures, coordinate project site initiatives and ensure financial and project outcome accountability to the Hilton Foundation. Sister Ann Oestreich, justice coordinator for the Sisters of the Holy Cross for nearly 20 years and currently a national leader in the efforts of Catholic sisters to end human trafficking, will oversee project operations and coordinate efforts across project sites in Minnesota, Texas, California and Wisconsin.

“Religious life is a gift to our world, and as women religious, we are delighted to share it,” said Sister Carol Rigali, provincial of the School Sisters of St. Francis United States Province Leadership Team. “Alverno College is an ideal location to further the relationships between women religious across the United States and women in Catholic colleges and universities. This Hilton-funded outreach focuses on the future, as we continue to share the profound impact of women religious, past and present, on our church and society. This also is an opportunity for touching hearts and minds with the stories and contributions of Catholic sisters.”

Alverno College will coordinate and administer the funds supporting four national initiatives to:

  • Expand the reach of National Catholic Sisters Week and its web-based resource, SisterStory, which will continue to be based at St. Catherine University in St. Paul;
  • Place new emphasis on young women in Latino communities, particularly in Texas and California, which will be based at Mt. Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles;
  • Engage approximately 10 dioceses around the country to design technology and social media-supported programs to attract and engage young adults; and
  • Develop web-based curricula and materials for teachers in K-12 Catholic schools and religious education programs, which will be based at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

“I am delighted that Alverno will be the home for this grant, given the possibilities for making visible to a larger audience the service of women religious in meeting human needs through education, health care, social work and pastoral care,” said Sister Mary Diez, president of the School Sisters of St. Francis and a former faculty leader at Alverno College.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $83 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2012. The Foundation’s current assets exceed $2.2 billion.


Categories: Press Release

Alverno College Launches New Doctorate of Nursing Practice

October 4, 2016


In response to demand and the increasingly complex health care landscape, Alverno College is launching a post-master’s Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree and the first doctorate offering at the college. The program is for nurses looking to increase their marketability and maximize their potential for career growth. Alverno’s JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing is fully accredited and widely recognized as one of Wisconsin’s top nursing programs.

“We are excited to offer a doctorate degree to our nursing students and to advanced practice nurses in the community who are looking to advance their careers and earning potential,” said Margaret Rauschenberger, MSN, RN, interim dean of the JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing at Alverno College. “I often hear employers say they can always spot the Alverno graduates, and now we can offer our exemplary education to those wishing to earn a terminal degree.”

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported substantial growth in DNP programs between 2006 and 2014. In that time, the number of programs increased from 20 to 264. From 2013 to 2104, the number of students enrolled in DNP programs jumped from 14,688 to 18,352. Advanced practice roles for nurses include clinical nurse specialists (CNS), nurse practitioners (NP), certified nurse midwives (CNM) and certified nurse anesthetists (CRNA). Nurses with a DNP will be able to assume leadership roles in complex clinical environments, lead the development of health care policy and serve as expert clinicians in health care.

Open to both women and men, Alverno’s DNP will launch in January and will offer two tracks, leadership and direct care. The leadership track requires 32 credits to complete, and the direct care track requires 30 credits to complete. Twelve courses will be offered in a flexible hybrid format that blends online and classroom education, and a cohort model will offer year-round courses in eight-week blocks. Students can choose to attend full or part time, and can complete the program in 18 months with full-time attendance.

Alverno College has educated nurses for more than 80 years and is home to one of the largest undergraduate schools in nursing in Wisconsin. Students interested in applying for or learning more about the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program can find more information at or call the admissions office at 414-382-6100.

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Alverno College Highest in the State in its “Strong Commitment to Teaching” Category

September 13, 2016


Alverno College is ranked in the top four Midwest Regional Universities for its “strong commitment to teaching” in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 America’s Best Colleges guidebook. In the seven-year history of this category, Alverno is the only Wisconsin college to receive this recognition in the Midwest Regional standings each year. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans were asked to “identify schools where the faculty have an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” This marks the 16th consecutive year U.S. News & World Report has recognized Alverno in its annual rankings.

Alverno is also recognized once again on the list of “Most Innovative Schools” among Midwest Regional Universities. This category, which distinguishes schools for “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities,” was brand new last year, and this is the second time Alverno received this recognition.

“Alverno has been leading the way in curriculum development and using in-depth assessments for a long time now,” said Andrea Lee, IHM, president of Alverno College. “This recognition shines a light on our dedication to student success, and I am looking forward to seeing where we can take that success in the coming years.”

Alverno College was also recognized for “Ethnic Diversity.” Schools nominated in this category are recognized as colleges where students are most likely to encounter undergraduates from a different ethnic group than their own. The college also received high marks for “First Year Experience,” which distinguishes schools that bring small groups of students together with faculty and staff on a regular basis, whether it’s through first-year seminars or other academic programs.

With these rankings, Alverno College is in the company of such prestigious schools as Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, and Yale University.

Overall, Alverno College remained in tier one in the category of Master’s granting colleges and universities.

This is the 32nd edition of the U.S. News & World Report annual college rankings. The rankings are published in the September issue, in a separate college guidebook, and posted online at The rankings measure up to 15 academic performance indicators for each institution. Quantitative data that assess a college’s performance in areas such as graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, financial resources, student selectivity and alumni giving account for the college’s score. Then colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers based on their composite weighted scores.



Categories: Featured, Press Release

Alverno’s Arts & Cultures Gallery Kicks off 2016-17 Season

August 19, 2016

The Alverno College Arts & Cultures Gallery is kicking off the 2016-17 season with a powerful and provocative exhibit that represents female heroism during the Holocaust. Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females is a four-part exhibition by artist Linda Stein. The exhibit explores the opportunities people have to resist scapegoating and discrimination, and honors the women who bravely made a difference while facing numerous horrors.

Stein, who has been obsessed with the theme of protection since 9/11, was drawn to studying the Holocaust. In her research she discovered that while many people have been recognized for their courage, less attention has been placed on the women who took a stand. The exhibition features ten original tapestries and 20 box sculptures depicting the women who risked or lost their lives.  Heroic Tapestries represents different aspects of bravery during the time of the Holocaust, from Jew and non-Jew, child and adult, World War II military fighter and concentration camp smuggler, and record keeper and saboteur. Stein’s Spoon to Shell sculpture blends spoon and shell into an amalgam of materials addressing physical and emotional abuse. Protector is a mixed media piece that features a shadow of Wonder Woman, symbolizing the brave defender. The fourth part of the exhibit is a seven-minute looped video highlighting the female heroes of the time of the Holocaust.

Stein has been honored with the 2016 National Association of Women Artists award for her “Outstanding Contribution to the Arts.” Her archive is housed at Smith College.

The exhibition runs from August 24 through October 1, and will provide a catalyst for conversation, reflection, exploration and hands-on activities. In conjunction with the exhibit, Alverno will invite Milwaukee area middle and high schools for an art workshop and round table discussion on bullying, personal responsibility and heroism. For the community at large, a variety of programs and workshops are being planned through partnerships with the Jewish Community Center and the Holocaust Education Resource Center. On September 15, an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature a public conversation with the artist at 6 p.m.

Categories: Press Release