Alverno College

Jodi Eastberg Named Executive Director of Center for Academic Excellence

September 21, 2017

Jodi Eastberg, Ph.D., professor of history, has been named executive director of Alverno College’s Center for Academic Excellence. The appointment was effective August 1.

In this new role, Eastberg will provide leadership for Alverno’s Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) and partner with Alverno faculty and staff to provide opportunities for high-achieving students to get the most from their college education. Launched in fall 2015, the CAE offers student-faculty research fellowships, intensive courses, conference and study abroad experiences and fellowships, seminars, and the Doherty Scholars program. Data shows that students who engage in academically rigorous programs and co-curricular opportunities have significantly higher success reaching their educational goals. Alverno’s CAE provides multiple opportunities for this type of individualized and high-impact academic engagement.

Because of the Center’s strong focus on meaningful research opportunities, Eastberg will also oversee the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls. With a focus on providing research that supports the understanding and improvement of the lives of women and girls, the Research Center for Women and Girls will provide another platform for the substantial in-depth academic opportunities that will allow high-ability students and faculty researchers to engage directly with the community.

Eastberg began teaching at Alverno in 2005 and most recently served as chair of the history department. In 2014, she and a colleague developed and led an interdisciplinary course on coastal cities that studied Milwaukee – investigating the ways culture, economic development, political dynamics and the environment are affected by its location on the water. The semester culminated in a trip to coastal cities along the Baltic Sea: Gdansk, Poland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Kalmar and Malmö, Sweden. Eastberg was promoted to professor in May 2017.

Scott Zeman Named Vice President of Academic Affairs at Alverno College

September 14, 2017

Scott Zeman, Ph.D., has been named vice president of Academic Affairs at Alverno College. Zeman, who most recently was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., begins his appointment November 1.

A professor of history whose areas of scholarly interest include atomic history and culture, Zeman has overseen academic affairs at Salve Regina since 2014.

“Scott brings an array of impressive experience to Alverno, including a deep interest in excellent teaching, along with sustained interest in women’s education and the education of first-generation students,” said Andrea Lee, IHM, president of Alverno College. “His desire to direct his significant skill and experience to our mission around the education of women is amply evident. It is a joy to welcome Scott to campus.”

“I am delighted and honored to be joining Alverno College as vice president for academic affairs,” said Zeman. “I was deeply impressed by the kindness and warmth of all the people I met, the profound sense of community, and the clear understanding of the college’s mission.”

As chief academic officer at Salve Regina, Zeman oversaw all academic components of the university, including academic support services, the library, the registrar’s office, international programs, sponsored research, career development, community service, faculty development, the center for academic excellence, the center for teaching and learning, and institutional research. Accomplishments at Salve Regina include leading the creation of its strategic plan and vision, creating the Office of Sponsored Programs, and creating partnerships with the Rhode Island Department of Education and Miami Dade College, the largest minority-serving college in the United States. Additionally, Zeman established faculty-led initiatives on civic engagement, diversity and writing across the curriculum; secured external funding to support innovation in the curriculum and community engagement; and oversaw the implementation of a revised university core curriculum.

Originally from Scottsdale, Ariz., Zeman earned his doctorate from Arizona State University. Before his work at Salve Regina University, he served as dean of the College for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at St. Thomas University in Miami and as associate vice president for academic affairs and director of faculty development at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Zeman is a member of the American Historical Association, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Organization of American Historians, and the Popular Culture Association. He has published and presented widely in his areas of scholarly interest.

Zeman succeeds acting Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathy Lake, Ph.D., who will work on the implementation of Alverno’s strategic plan in the School of Professional Studies, which comprises the college’s programs in Business and Education.

$210,000 Grant Supports Launch of Emergency Grant Program at Alverno College

July 5, 2017

Alverno College has received a $210,000 Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates to operate and maintain a student emergency aid program. Emergency grants will be integrated into the college’s overall student success strategy with the goal of improving retention and completion rates.

Alverno College serves students from diverse backgrounds, and a situation that might be a headache for one can be a major financial crisis for another. If a student is already struggling to make ends meet, an unexpected car repair or medical bill might cause that student to withdraw from college.

“Thanks to the Dash Emergency Grant, we have the resources to provide modest emergency grants to our students in times of greatest need,” said Vicki Schreiber, associate dean of students. “For some of our students, these emergency funds can be the difference between dropping out or finishing their degree. By helping students get to graduation, we are putting them on a path to better employability and higher earning potential.”

Alverno College will begin making student emergency grants in fall 2017. Students will complete an application detailing their financial emergency. An Alverno College committee will review the application, and expenses up to $1,000 will be paid within two business days of approval. By quickly removing financial distractions, students can refocus on their studies and continue toward graduation.

Alverno College is one of the first four-year colleges to receive a Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes. A combined $7.2 million in grants was awarded to 32 colleges in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“Dash Emergency Grants for four-year colleges build on the success two-year colleges have achieved since Great Lakes began supporting emergency grant programs in 2012. These colleges report students who receive emergency grants stay in school at better rates and graduate in larger numbers. We’re pleased to extend our Dash Emergency Grant to Alverno College and other four-year colleges to help more at-risk students overcome financial obstacles to completion,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes.

About Alverno College

Alverno College, a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college for women, exists to promote the personal and professional development of its students. The college has earned accolades and respect internationally for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, and has consulted with three U.S. presidential administrations on accountability and outcomes in higher education. For the last seven years, Alverno College has been ranked one of the top five schools in the Midwest doing “the best job of educating undergrads” by U.S. News & World Report. Educators from throughout the world visit Alverno to learn about its proven, student-centered teaching methods.

Alverno offers more than 60 major areas of study, including graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology and business that are open to women and men. For more information about Alverno, visit or call 414-382-6100.

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 more than 8 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 over $200 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

Sister Joel Read, who shaped Milwaukee’s Alverno College and was among nation’s top college innovators, dies at 91

May 26, 2017

Sister Joel Read, Alverno’s longest-serving president and a trailblazer in education reform, passed away at the age of 91. This collection of all of the media coverage demonstrates what a profound impact she had on the city, our community and beyond.

  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran this story about her, as well as this tribute written by Alan Borsuk. They also ran reactions from alumnae and others.
  • Several other publications also ran stories including BizTimesThe Business Journal, Inside Higher Ed and Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.
  • TMJ4 aired a story remembering Sister Joel that featured an interview with her from 2003 when she retired.
  • CBS58 aired a story that included a statement from Mayor Tom Barrett, and posted this on their website
  • Here is Mayor Tom Barrett’s statement in its entirety: “Sister Joel Read was a magnificent person and in many ways larger than life. Sister Read and I worked on education issues together. As a member of Congress and as Mayor, I would often sit down with her and gain her thoughts on what more we can do to improve education. She would let anybody know how she felt and why she felt that way, which I respected immensely. Education was her calling and clearly her passion in life. It went beyond education in the classroom, but also how you educate the whole person and have a more involved electorate because that was very important to her. I believe that her legacy will live on at Alverno College and in Milwaukee because her fingerprints were so strong. She was a saint in the City. My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones during this time.”
  • There was a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editor about how privileged Milwaukee was to have Sister Joel.
  • Several TV stations covered her funeral, including TMJ4, 12 News and CBS 58. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also covered her funeral.

Alverno College Launches New Teacher Licensure Program for Paraprofessionals

May 24, 2017

Alverno College is launching a new teacher licensure program in the fall, aimed at paraprofessionals who have an associate’s degree or at least 60 college credits. The new program can be completed in 24 months, and courses will be offered in the evening and online. For 130 years, Alverno College has been educating teachers, and our ground-breaking abilities-based curriculum is one that more and more school districts are adopting. Students in this program will have the advantage of experiencing the curriculum firsthand, learning from educators who are leaders in the field.

“We’re excited to offer this new program that will allow professionals already working in the classroom to advance their careers,” said Patricia Luebke, dean of the School of Education at Alverno College. “Whether starting out as a paraprofessional or a teaching assistant, graduates of this program will be prepared to take their place in the front of the classroom.”

The bachelor’s degree completion program is open to both men and women, and requires 60 credits to complete. There are opportunities to earn credit for prior experience, including classroom experience, relevant community or volunteer work, in-service training and other professional development. The program also includes an 18-week student teaching experience that paraprofessionals may complete at their current sites. Students who don’t have the required 60 college credits at enrollment will have the opportunity to earn those credits. “We’ll work with students individually to get them where they need to be to enter the program,” said Luebke.

The program will begin in August. An information session will be held on June 8 at 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public. For more information about the new teacher licensure program for paraprofessionals, please visit To register for the on-campus event, please visit