Alverno College

Where College Students Are Most inspired by Their Peers

September 26, 2017

How inspiring is an Alverno education to our students? More inspiring than any other college or university in the nation, according to new rankings from The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. And we beat out some impressive company: MIT, Brown University and Harvard University. Students across the country were asked: “Do you think your college provides an environment where you feel are surrounded by exceptional students who inspire and motivate you?” You can read the full Wall Street Journal story for all the details.


Alverno’s New Strategic Plan Aligns Strengths and Priorities with Milwaukee Region’s Emerging Workforce Needs

September 26, 2017

Alverno College announces its strategic plan, after a comprehensive year-long planning process that was built around invited input from the College community, alumnae, and key business and civic leaders in Milwaukee and around the country.

The new strategic plan, the first led at the College by President Andrea Lee, IHM, aligns Alverno’s strengths and priorities with the Milwaukee region’s emerging workforce needs. Preparing students for careers in education, nursing and mental health are the top areas of focus. The plan also demonstrates the College’s continued commitment to academic excellence and developing strong women leaders. As part of the plan, Alverno introduced five new programs this year.

“Our pledge to the Alverno community and the region as a whole is to continue to strengthen and grow a mission-driven, market-focused college that benefits students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumnae,” Lee said. “The direction and priorities of our new strategic plan position us and our students well for the future by building upon the College’s legacy and strengths.”

“We believe meeting student needs is more important than ever given that there are so many choices today in higher education,” added Kate Lundeen, vice president for Enrollment Services. “Though Alverno is nationally known as a leader and innovator in higher education, we must remain nimble and flexible by growing and reimagining existing academic programs and adding new ones that students and leaders in our region have requested. Our goal is to prepare highly skilled, critical-thinking, mission-centered graduates ready to fill the region’s employment and leadership needs.”

New Education Programs Prepare Teachers for Urban and High-Need Schools

To better prepare teachers for urban and high-need schools, Alverno redesigned its undergraduate curriculum to place greater emphasis on multicultural classrooms and meeting the needs of diverse learners, which will result in four new Education programs. A paraprofessional to teacher degree completion program launched in fall 2017. Planned for the future are a Montessori teacher licensure partnership; graduate licensures for pupil services and special education administrators; and certificates and digital badges for trauma-informed education. Alverno will increase the number of hours students spend in the classroom before graduation – triple what was previously expected – and include a full senior year internship that will make Alverno graduates more desirable to school districts while providing more assistance to area schools.

The College also will place a priority on ensuring that more teachers of color are working and serving in Milwaukee classrooms.

Health Care Priorities Focus on Leadership Development, Technology and Non-Nursing Opportunities

Alverno’s critically acclaimed JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Care Professions will add advanced leadership-focused programs, incorporate technology-rich elements into existing programs and offer alternatives for students who wish to work in health care in non-nursing roles. New initiatives include a master of science degree program in gerontology for primary care nurse practitioners; a 12-month fully online bachelor’s degree completion program for RNs; and the expansion of programs in pre-physical therapy, health education and health informatics.

New Behavioral Health Programs Address Shortage in Providers

Alverno plans to meet the critical need for more mental health providers by building upon the College’s established undergraduate programs in psychology, music therapy and art therapy and master’s programs for licensed professional counselors and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Alverno will launch a bachelor’s degree in social work, pending accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, and will expand its Music Therapy offerings with a graduate-level program in fall 2019. Additionally, a master’s degree in School Psychology will launch in fall 2018 to meet the increasing needs of behavioral health specialists prepared to serve students in schools throughout Wisconsin.

New Programs Expand Commitment to Academic Excellence and Women’s Leadership

Building on its long history of developing strong women leaders, Alverno will launch challenging new programs designed to help women achieve their highest academic aspirations.

Additionally, Alverno’s Center for Academic Excellence will provide new opportunities for students to partner with faculty on research projects. The Austin Doherty Scholars program, which targets students seeking to stretch their academic engagement, is being expanded. Two other existing programs are also growing: the Executive in Residence program, which brings executives to campus for a full day of group discussions focused on their career; and the Women in the C-Suite program, which partners small groups of students with female executives who share insights about their career, as well as challenges they face and the opportunities they’ve taken.

The College plans to add 500 students in five years, bringing overall enrollment to 2,500 by 2022.

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