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 usnews.com. 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.
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.
Leslie Henry has been named director of the music therapy program at Alverno College, one of the longest-running music therapy programs in the country. In her new role, Henry will provide leadership in the music therapy program, recruit, retain and advise music therapy students, teach courses, coordinate all clinical internship experiences and collaborate with other community colleges and universities.
Henry brings 22 years of experience as a music therapist to her new role. Before coming to Alverno she worked at the Clement Zablocki Veteran’s Health Administration where she provided clinical music therapy on the Inpatient Acute Behavioral Health Unit. She has also worked for the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, Seasons Hospice, St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Her work included providing music therapy to children, teens and adult as well as terminally ill patients; designing treatment plans; grant writing; program development; managing staff and budgets; and coordinating volunteers. As a graduate of Alverno’s Music Therapy program, Henry has also stayed connected by teaching a course in creative music making and facilitating a seminar for music therapy majors and professional music therapists.
Henry earned her Master of Music with an emphasis in Music Therapy from Colorado State University and her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Alverno College. She holds the designation of a neurologic music therapist – fellow, which is endorsed by the World Federation of Neurologic Rehabilitation, and in 2016 she was awarded “Music Therapist of the Year” by the Wisconsin Chapter for Music Therapy for outstanding clinical skills and community service.
About Music Therapy at Alverno College
Alverno College was a pioneer in music therapy, creating its program in 1948. Graduates of our music therapy program work in a multitude of settings including geriatric, adult and child mental health, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, hospice, medical centers, cognitive and physical disabilities, private practice, public schools, and physical rehabilitation. Alverno College operates an on-campus music therapy clinic where students can apply their skills under the supervision of a certified music therapist while helping meet the needs of community-based clients.
Music therapy uses music within a therapeutic relationship to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of clients. Once the strengths and needs of the patient are identified, the music therapist provides treatment that includes creating, singing, moving and listening to music. Music therapists are in high demand, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for all recreational therapists will grow 12% through 2024. Alverno’s program boasts a 100% job placement rate for music therapy graduates within three months of graduation.
Ann Romei has been named director of residence life at Alverno College. In this role, she will provide leadership, supervision and direction for all aspects of residence life, respond to incidents and emergency situations, and work closely with other departments on recruitment and retention of residential students.
Romei comes to Alverno from the University of Missouri – Columbia where she was the resident hall coordinator. There she supervised student staff, served as a hearing officer for all university and residential life policy violations, participated in the crisis response rotation, and developed and maintained relationships with faculty and staff stakeholders. Prior to that she worked at Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Mississippi in the offices of residential life.
Romei earned her Master of Arts Higher Education/Student Personnel from the University of Mississippi – Oxford and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn.
Jessica Ott has been named Alverno College’s new director of athletics and head basketball coach. In these roles, she will head the basketball program, lead the athletics department in recruitment and retention efforts, supervise all athletics personnel and oversee the overall development and operation of the athletics department.
“We are thrilled to have Jess join our staff and lead the program,” said Jim Oppermann, senior vice president for finance & management services and chair of the search and hiring committee. “We are confident and honored to have her guide us into the next chapter of Inferno athletics.”
Ott comes to Alverno from the Milwaukee School of Engineering where she was a two-time Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Coach of the Year while serving as the assistant director of athletics since 2009, and head basketball coach and senior woman administrator since 2002. Prior to becoming the assistant athletics director, Ott served as the assistant athletics facilities director, assistant sports information director and head softball coach. She brings 16 years of coaching experience and 15 years of administrative experience to the Alverno Inferno.
“It is an honor to be named Alverno’s next director of athletics and head basketball coach,” said Ott. “I’ve always admired the sense of pride of Alverno’s student athletes and how well prepared they are for success on and off the court.”
In 14 seasons as head basketball coach, Ott compiled 146 wins. She earned her first coach of the year honor in 2009 when she guided the Raiders to the first .500 season in program history with a 13-13 record. The team had 11 more wins than the previous season, which earned the best turnaround of any team in NCAA Division III during that season. She was honored with her second award in 2012 when she led MSOE to the first winning season (17-10) in school history. Her 2015 team went 20-7 while last year’s squad went 18-8 and 16-4 in the NACC, just a game back of first place.
Ott inherits an Inferno team that was 14-11 (11-9 in NACC play). It was Alverno’s third winning season in the past four years. “I am very excited for the first day of practice,” added Ott. “This team is youthful and talented. I am looking forward to adding to the foundation that has been built over the years and eager to connect with many great alumnae and supporters.”
Ott is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point where she was named Most Valuable Player three times, honored as Female Athlete of the Year in 1999-2000 and was inducted in the Athletic Hall of Fame. She was a three-time first team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player for the Pointers, she still holds the UWSP all-time record for most three-point field goals made (223) and is third on the career scoring list with 1,592 points. The New Glarus native will begin her duties at Alverno on July 18 succeeding Brad Duckworth, who served as the director of athletics and head basketball coach for nine years. He was recently named the new director of athletics at UW-Stevens Point.
About Alverno College Athletics
Alverno College is a member of the NCAA, Division III and of the NACC. The Alverno Inferno was founded in 2000 and offers seven intercollegiate sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. Alverno’s athletics department is a six-time winner of the NACC annual food drive competition, Cans Across the Conference, and has won the NACC Sportsmanship Award four times.