Press Release

Alverno College Students Awarded Scholarships

September 1, 2015

Several Alverno College students have been awarded scholarships for the 2015/2016 academic year.

  • Cecilia Marrero, an Education major, has been awarded the American Family Insurance Scholarship in the amount of $650.
  • Mariah Brown, a Media Design major, has been awarded the Sentry Insurance Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.
  • Ivelisse Gonzalez-Lozano, an Education major, has been awarded the UPS/CIC Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $2,450.
  • Jodi Bellas, a Nursing major, has been awarded the WAICU First Generation Scholarship in the amount of $5,000.
  • Kalimah Al-Mujaahid, an International Business major, has been awarded the Rath Distinguished Scholarship in the amount of $10,000.
  • Cecilia Stoll, an International Business major, has been awarded the Rath Distinguished Scholarship in the amount of $10,000.
Categories: Press Release

WOW! Women of Wisconsin Exhibit to Open at Alverno College

August 28, 2015

WOW exhibit

The Alverno College Art and Cultures Gallery will feature a director’s invitation exhibition called WOW! Women of Wisconsin September 2 through October 2. This exhibition will feature the work of women artists from all media, including painting, photography, sculpture, metal work, mixed media and drawing. Located in the brand new Alverno Art and Cultures Gallery, the powerful exhibit celebrates established and emerging women artists from diverse backgrounds and the limitless ways in which they express themselves artistically. The gallery will host an opening reception on September 11 from 4:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with a champagne toast at 6:30 p.m. Visitors to the opening reception are encouraged to explore not just the gallery, but the adjacent, brand new studios for painting, sculpture, ceramics, print, art therapy, glass and metal. The new studios are part of a $30 million expansion and renovation, the most significant enhancement in the college’s 128-year history. Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Artists featured in the exhibit include:

  • Pamela Anderson – painting
  • Cindy Cech-Auxier – mixed media
  • Michele Burnie – painting
  • Valerie Christell – photo montage
  • Ann Marie Cianciolo – jewelry
  • Linda Johnson-Dynek – painting and photography
  • Jody Emery – metal relief sculpture
  • Nina Ghanbarzadeh – drawing
  • Judith Golombowski – digital print
  • Brooklyn Henke – painting
  • Janet Hudachek – mixed media artist
  • Hai-Chi Jihn – metalsmith
  • Susan Kraus – jewelry
  • Geri Laehn – photography
  • Nancy Lamers – painting
  • Dara Larson – mixed media
  • Sue Lawton – illustrator/writer
  • Teresa Lind – sculpture
  • Jill Newton-Moore – photography
  • Karen Watson-Newlin – acrylic painting
  • Rosemary Pearson – acrylic/mixed media
  • Nirmal Raja –– interdisciplinary
  • Mira Kathlene Rychner – sculpture
  • Katerina Nissa Sanerib – sculpture
  • Denise Schanz – sculpture
  • Colette Odya-Smith – painting
  • Lynda Sommers – sculpture
  • Maria E. Tammi – sculpture
  • Colleen Volland – ceramics
  • Kate Weishaar – painting
  • Jean Smaglik-Wells – ceramics
  • Kim E. Wilson – jewelry
Categories: Press Release

Global Union Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary

August 4, 2015

Global Union 2014

Global Union, a free festival of world music and culture, will celebrate its 10th anniversary on September 19th. The festival will take place at Humboldt Park from noon – 6 p.m., rain or shine and will feature four bands. Food and merchandise vendors will also be on hand. This year’s Global Union includes artists from Morocco, Poland, Colombia and Montreal, emcee Marcus Doucette of Radio Milwaukee, and WMSE’s Paul Cebar spinning vinyl between sets.  This family-friendly event also includes interactive music and activities in the Global Union Family Tent.

The lineup for this year’s Global Union includes:

  • 12:30 PM:  Aziz Sahmaoui and the University of Gnawa

Ancient African Islamic spiritual religious songs and rhythms are combined with electric guitars and keyboards. The music is an intoxicating affair, visceral and groove-centric yet also nuanced and multilayered. Sahmaoui’s lyrics address modern challenges such as poverty and warfare through a folkloric prism.

  • 2:00 PM: Karolina Cicha and Bart Palyga

Traditional Polish folk instruments, such as the morinhuur, dorar, drumla, duduk, accordion, pipe and mandolin are joined by modern samplers and loopers, as well as ancient overtone singing. Don’t miss this duo’s first tour in the United States!

  • 3:30 PM: Boogat

An international hip hop collectivebased in Montreal, Boogat is a rapper, writer and producer. He is gaining an international following, primarily in the United States and Mexico, and his music can be heard on the television series “Homeland,” as well as the movie “The Forger” starring John Travolta. 

  • 5:00 PM: La Chiva Gantiva

This blend of Afro-Colombian rhythms, rock, afrobeat and funk makes for an exciting, explosive show, winning over music lovers and the media alike. Their incredible live energy is punctuated by exuberant horn riffs.

Alverno Presents 

Alverno Presents, the performing arts series of Alverno College, is celebrating its 56th year.  The series has innovated beyond our history as the longest running, continuous arts presenter in the city, to our niche of presenting contemporary dance, world music and jazz and an array of performance events. Alverno Presents shares the school’s mission by ensuring broad access to and participation in learning, experiencing and developing the arts for the learning community of Alverno, and our community as a whole.  For more information on Alverno Presents, special projects, media reviews and more, visit, contact Alverno Presents Managing Director at 414-382-6151, or e-mail

Alverno College Awarded Two-Year College Ready Grant from Great Lakes

July 29, 2015

Alverno College was one of nine colleges and community-based organizations that received a College Ready grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Nearly $270,000 will fund two full years of rigorous extracurricular instruction in math and English for a cohort of 75 high school students who enter their junior year testing below but within striking distance of reaching college readiness standards.

“The lack of academic preparation among college freshmen is a persistent problem we are determined to address,” says Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “The goal of our new College Ready grant is to learn whether and how an additional year of support and instruction can move even more students closer to college readiness—before they arrive on campus. We’re eager to see the results Alverno College and its students can achieve in the next two years.”

Alverno College’s Reading the World: English and Math College Success Academy will provide three hours per week of academic instruction and support, starting in the students’ junior year, to help more of them reach college readiness benchmarks on the ACT test by the time they graduate. The goal of Alverno’s Reading the World Academy is to strengthen critical math and English skills among first-generation, low-income, minority high school junior and senior girls in order to prepare them for successful college level work. Students will participate in hands-on learning activities geared towards improving ACT scores and college-readiness skills.

“With this College Ready grant, Alverno College can help Milwaukee girls succeed in college by developing college-ready skills in math and English,” said Mimi Czarnik, professor of English and program director for Reading the World: English and Math College Success Academy. “The grant also will allow us to provide resources for the girls and their families to get ready for college acceptance by improving their ACT scores, learning to write good essays, preparing applications, and practicing financial planning.”

Great Lakes’ first two-year College Ready grants, totaling $4.2 million, were awarded to nine colleges and community-based organizations in Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin through 2017. Their established programs will expand to help more than 800 high school students reach college readiness benchmarks on the ACT, ACCUPLACER or Compass tests. Doing so will help these students improve their math and English skills so they are prepared to pass the gateway classes needed to earn their degrees.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to nearly 9 million borrowers – as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $130 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit

Categories: Press Release

Alverno College Elects Don Layden Chair of the Board of Trustees

July 14, 2015


Alverno College, ranked first in the Midwest for doing “the best job of educating undergrads” by U.S. News & World Report, announced the election of Don Layden to chair of the board of trustees. He joined the Alverno College board of trustees in 1997, and most recently served as co-chair of the college’s Promise & Power capital campaign which raised more than $30 million.

Layden is a partner in the Milwaukee office of Quarles & Brady LLC, a law firm serving clients around the world.  He also serves as operating partner for Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners, advising the funds on investments in payments and transaction processing, business services, and health care IT. Layden began his career as a partner at Quarles & Brady before he went on to hold senior management positions at Metavante, Marshall & Ilsley Corporation and Fiserv. From there he served as president of NuEdge Systems before an acquisition returned him to Metavante in 2004. He currently serves on the boards of Firstsource Solutions Ltd., SafetyPay, SnowShoe, Catalyzt and other companies. His nonprofit involvement includes Summerfest, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Consuelo Foundation, Three Harbors Council Boy Scouts and the advisory board of United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

“Don has demonstrated great leadership on the board over the years,” said Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., president of Alverno College. “He understands the value of an Alverno education, and his dedication to our mission is second to none. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that we can continue to serve our students for years to come.”

Layden follows the successful three-year tenure of Mary Beth Berkes, who served as chair of the board from 2012 to 2015. Berkes will remain on the board of trustees.

In addition to electing Layden chair of the board of trustees, Alverno College named Jean Maier vice chair. Maier joined the board in 2009, and has chaired Alverno’s Advocacy Task Force. After 34 years in various leadership roles, she retired from her role as executive vice president of enterprise operations and technology at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Financial Services in 2014. Following retirement, Maier served the Northwestern Mutual Foundation in its support of educational efforts in Milwaukee. In addition to her work with Alverno, she serves on the boards of City Year Milwaukee and Milwaukee Excellence, a proposed charter school. Her daughter is a 2012 graduate of Alverno College.

Alverno College also named Allen Leverett, president of Wisconsin Energy Corporation, treasurer of the board of trustees. Leverett was appointed to the board in 2011.

Categories: Press Release