Press Release

Alverno College Will Hold its 150th Commencement on December 19 and 20

December 16, 2014

Alverno College will hold its 150th commencement this weekend as 190 students walk across the Pitman Theatre stage (39th St. and Morgan Ave.) to receive their undergraduate degrees.  The ceremony will be on December 20 at 2 p.m. Forty-three master’s candidates will receive their degrees from Alverno on Friday, December 19, at 7:00 p.m.

Commencement activities for undergraduates will begin with an 11 a.m. liturgy in the Alverno College chapel, followed by a brunch for degree candidates and their families.  The undergraduate commencement introduction will be given by Ashley Palmer, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with supports in Women & Gender Studies and Philosophy; the undergraduate invocation will be given byYesica Camacho, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Communication with supports in Psychology and Spanish Healthcare Interpretation;and the student address, “The Alverno S,”will be given by Samantha Robinson, who will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a support in Elective Studies. The graduate commencement invocation will be given by Katherine Holmes, who will receive a Master of Science in Nursing degree. A champagne reception will follow the graduate commencementceremony.  Camacho and Palmer are Milwaukee residents, Robinson is from Pleasant Prairie,and Holmes is from Kenosha.

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Alverno College Awarded College Ready Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation

November 19, 2014

Alverno College has earned a College Ready continuation grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, thanks to the impressive success of the Girls’ Advanced Academy of Science and Mathematicsprogram last year. A $92,876 grant will help the Girls’ Advanced Academy enhance its efforts and help even more students prepare to pass college-level courses.

There is an undeniable link between academic preparation and college completion. When students are underprepared for the rigors of college education, they need remedial courses to help bridge the gap. But these are essentially high school-level classes at college prices, and too many students become discouraged and leave college without graduating. In fact, of the 60 percent of community college students who are required take remedial classes, only one in four ever completes their degree or certificate.

Alverno College is driven to make a difference, and was one of 11 programs invited by Great Lakes to build upon their success offering extracurricular academic support that helps students prepare for the rigors of college-level courses. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the Girls’ Advanced Academy will continue to motivate and prepare low-income, first-generation, minority girls for success in college in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

“Moving students toward greater opportunity in life benefits us all,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “We fund programs that understand the root cause of what holds students back, and take bold steps to overcome these obstacles. We look forward to seeing the impact Alverno can have on helping more students graduate and achieve their full potential.”

“With this second College Ready grant, Alverno can continue to help high school girls maximize their potential and love for science,” said Justin LaManna, assistant professor of Biology and co-founder of the Girls’ Advanced Academy.  “We provide high school girls the opportunity to really get engaged in applied science, and they truly enjoy their experience.”

Alverno’s Girls’ Advanced Academy received a Great Lakes College Ready grant in May 2013. Under that grant, 38 high school juniors enrolled in the program and gained valuable hands-on, project-based experience focusing on math, chemistry and biology. Girls’ Advanced Academy will continue to improve academic performance by tracking – and increasing – ACT scores and specifically ACT Science Reasoning scores.

Great Lakes College Ready continuation grants, totaling $2.1 million, were awarded to colleges and community-based organizations across Minnesota and Wisconsin. About 2,800 students from low-income households, students of color, and students who are first in their families to attend college will get extra academic support during the 2014-2015 academic year. This grant is just one way Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates works to achieve its goal of helping more students benefit from their investment in higher education, and graduate ready to reach their full potential.


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Alverno College Course Will Visit Places of the Holocaust

November 10, 2014

Alverno College is offering a four-credit travel course to the places of the Holocaust. The class, which begins in January, will culminate in a trip to Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic. A non-credit option is available to the public so that members of the community can learn side by side with Alverno students.

The travel course will be led by Dr. Amy H. Shapiro, professor of Philosophy, and Sue DaBaco, assistant director of Office Services and an Alverno MBA student. The class will meet for two hours bi-weekly, and will place an emphasis on the history, geography and politics of genocide.

“It might sound ironic, but study of the Holocaust can be one of the most uplifting and unique experiences in a person’s lifetime,” said Shapiro. “It brings us close to the depth of despair and forces us to know our selves and the world better.  A trip of this kind deepens and expands our personal relationship to history and our present world.”

A significant portion of the class will focus on the geographical relationships of cities to killing centers, and the mechanics and strategies of mass murder. The class will also study the history of Eastern European Jewry and the vestiges that are left today.

At the end of the semester, students will immerse themselves in the places of the Holocaust including Treblinka, Belzec and Auschwitz, as well as Vilnius and Kaunas, Lithuania; Warsaw, Lublin and Krakow, Poland; and Prague, Czech Republic. Travel dates are May 30 – June 12, 2015.

Space is limited to 25 people, and registrants must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid passport. More information is available at

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Alverno College Awarded Career Ready Internship Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation

November 3, 2014

Alverno College received a $150,000 Career Ready Internshipgrant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation for the 2014-2015 academic year. Internships provide college students with valuable workplace skills and networking opportunities that often lead to job offers after graduation. But not all internships are paid, and many students can’t afford to work for free.

As a Great Lakes grant recipient, Alverno College is building lasting partnerships with local businesses and nonprofits to develop new paid internships for students who receive financial aid. More than 100 students are expected to benefit from these opportunities this year. Money from the grant helps to cover the cost of professional attire, gas, parking and child care. Some students are even able to reduce part-time job hours in order to focus on their internships.

“Our Career Ready Internship grants provide college students real-world experience in their fields of study, and a better chance at competing for jobs after graduation,” said Richard D. George, Great Lakes’ president and chief executive officer. “This program has the added benefit of developing relationships of lasting value between colleges and employers. We look forward to seeing the impact Alverno College can have on helping more students graduate ready for success in the workforce.”

“The Career Ready Internship Grant has provided Alverno students the opportunity to make internship decisions based on the merits of the internship and how it will help their careers, rather than on their immediate financial needs,” said Susan Leister, director of the internship program at Alverno College. “It equals the playing field for many students who have to consider the financial implications of an internship over those students who do not have similar financial worries.”

Great Lakes Career Ready Internship grants, totaling $5.2 million, were awarded to 40 colleges and universities across Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin for the 2014-2015 academic year. These new grants expand on a successful pilot at 19 Wisconsin colleges during 2013-2014, in which 98 percent of interns either re-enrolled the next semester or graduated. This year, a total of 2,235 students receiving financial aid who might not otherwise consider – and profit from – an internship will gain professional experience and progress toward graduation. This grant is just one way Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates works to achieve its goal of helping more students benefit from their investment in higher education, and graduate ready to reach their full potential.

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Latest “Status of Girls in Wisconsin” report reveals troubling patterns

October 28, 2014

The latest “Status of Girls in Wisconsin” report from the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls reveals a number of persistent, troubling patterns for Wisconsin girls, especially in the areas of stress, depression and suicide; bullying; TV, online and social media engagement; and weight and exercise.  Yet, the 2014 report did note some improvement in areas including sexual activity, teen birth rates and smoking.

This is the third report on the status of girls in Wisconsin as part of Alverno’s continued commitment to raise awareness regarding issues and challenges that impact girls in our state.  The first report was released in 2007, with an update in 2010.  The 2014 report focuses on girls (in most cases ages 10-19) across the state of Wisconsin.  Data are drawn from various sources compiled and analyzed by the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls research team.

Some of the key 2014 findings include:

Stress, Depression, Suicide and Harmful Behaviors

  • One-third of girls in Wisconsin reported symptoms of depression.
  • Girls in Wisconsin reported higher rates of considering suicide and making a suicide plan compared to boys.



  • More than a quarter (27%) of girls report being victimized by bullying.
  • An equal number of girls (27%) under the age of 15 report the highest incidences of cyberbullying.


TV, Online and Social Media Engagement

  • Nearly a quarter of Wisconsin high school girls watch three or more hours of TV per day on an average school day.
  • The rates of girls playing video or computer games for three or more hours per day have more than doubled since 2011. (35% in 2013 vs. 16% in 2011.)
  • Nationally, 81% of online adolescents report using social media.  Up to 90% of adolescents are posting personal information including photos of themselves. (Pew)


Weight and Exercise

  • More than half (60%) of high school girls in Wisconsin reported that they attempted to lose weight.
  • Less than half of all high school girls in Wisconsin report that they are physically active at least five days a week.


The report also noted some encouraging news including:

  • The number of Wisconsin high school girls having sexual intercourse is down to 37% in 2013 from 40% in 2007.
  • Teen birth rates have declined steadily over the past 20 years. In 2012, the birth rate (per 1,000 females) for those ages 15-19 in Wisconsin was approximately 22, a 6% decrease from 2011.
  • Smoking is on the decline for high school girls both in Wisconsin and nationally, and Wisconsin high school girls continue to report smoking at lower rates than boys. In 2013 the percentage of high schools girls who reported smoking was about 10%, while around 14% of boys reported smoking.


On the topic of education, a slightly higher percentage of girls (90%) in Wisconsin public schools graduated with a regular high school diploma during the 2012-13 school year compared to boys (86%), but Wisconsin girls still lag behind boys in mathematics and science at the advanced level and in science.

The “Status of Girls in Wisconsin” report provides information, without extensive interpretation, to serve as a catalyst for young women and girls and the agencies that serve them to voice their perspectives on the issues and challenges they face and work to develop the solutions, programming and resources needed to address these issues.

The report is still the most comprehensive consolidation of information about the issues facing girls in our state.  Several universities and colleges nationwide have followed Alverno College’s lead in presenting data to improve the lives of girls.

The full 2014 “Status of Girls in Wisconsin” report, as well as an executive summary, can be found at

The Alverno CollegeResearch Center for Women and Girls is a center devoted to taking scholarly research out of the world of academia and into the real world where it can inspire, transform and support initiatives that improve the lives of women and girls in Wisconsin and beyond. The center also partners with community agencies to evaluate programs, fosters discussion about important issues and identifies emerging research topics that can make a difference in women’s lives.

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