Alverno College’s Poll Worker Project Wins State-wide Award

March 6, 2014

Alverno College’s Poll Worker Project has been awarded Wisconsin Campus Compact’s 2014 Esther Letven Campus-Community Partnership Award. This award recognizes outstanding partnerships between higher education and the community that produce measurable community impact as well as student growth and learning.

Nearly 200 Alverno College students were actively involved in the political process as they trained to be poll workers for the 2012 presidential election. The training provided students an opportunity to practice their own effective citizenship, one of the eight abilities embedded in the Alverno curriculum.

“Effective citizenship means our students take an active role in civic life,” said Susan Leister, director of Alverno’s Internship office and the coordinator of the Poll Worker Project. “Taking part in the election process really opened their eyes to the rigorous work that goes into running an election, and to the responsibility they have to vote.”

In partnership with the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, Alverno has offered poll worker training sessions on campus for three presidential or mid-term elections; the first was for the 2008 presidential election. In 2010, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission awarded Alverno a grant to train students as poll workers. The grant was one of only 15 awarded nationally in a competition that drew more than 200 proposals. It made it possible for Alverno and the Election Commission to recruit and train students – including Spanish-speaking students – to help with election activities and recruit future poll workers. Poll worker responsibilities include greeting voters, verifying voters’ polling sites, registering new voters, handing out ballots, handling voting machines, and helping to maintain traffic flow at the sites.

The Alverno College Poll Worker Project and its partner, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, will be honored at the Wisconsin Campus Compact Annual Civic Engagement Institute on March 20 in Madison.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Alverno College highest in the state in its “Strong Commitment to Teaching” category for the second consecutive year

September 10, 2013

Alverno College was ranked in the top three Midwest schools for its “strong commitment to teaching” in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 America’s Best Colleges guidebook. In the four-year history of this category, Alverno College 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 thirteenth consecutive year U.S. News & World Report has recognized Alverno in its annual rankings. In addition, Alverno has been listed 30 times in the highly respected U.S. News & World Report standings since 1983.

“It is an incredible honor to be ranked highest in the state for educating undergrads,” said Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., president of Alverno College. “Our students are our top priority, and there is nothing more important to us than educating the future leaders of our community.”

Alverno College was also recognized for “First Year Experience,” “Learning Communities” and “Senior Capstone,” and was the only Wisconsin college or university listed in “First Year Experience” and “Senior Capstone.” With these rankings, Alverno College is in the company of such prestigious schools as Princeton University, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Stanford University, Duke University and Yale University.

Overall, Alverno College remained in tier one in the category of Master’s granting colleges and universities.

This is the 30th 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 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 75 percent of a college’s score. The other 25 percent is based on a peer assessment survey the magazine sends to top officials at each school asking them to rate the other colleges in the country.

Categories: Press Release

Alverno College Music Professor Honored with a 2013 Vatican II Award

August 19, 2013

Michael Kamenski, assistant professor of Music at Alverno College, will be honored with a 2013 Vatican II Award for Distinguished Service for outstanding contributions to the Church and society later this fall. The awards, established in 1991, recognize men, women and young adults who exemplify the Catholic Church’s vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council.

Kamenski, Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Sebastian Parish, Milwaukee, will receive the Service in Liturgy award for his work as a musician, liturgist and teacher at multiple parishes over the past several decades. According to the Archdiocese, the recipient must:

  • have evidenced the imparting of an ever-increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful by careful preparation and implementation of worship services and preparation of liturgical ministers
  • have shown a consistent interest in promoting ecumenical sensitivity among all churches
  • have given witness to the connection of liturgy and social justice by their involvement in the life of the community.

A prayer service and award ceremony will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St., Milwaukee, 7 p.m. on October 22. This event is free and open to the public, with a dessert reception to follow.

Mary Diez Receives “Education Advocacy Award”

April 24, 2013

Mary Diez, SSSF, Ph.D., dean of the Alverno College School of Education, was recognized by Marquette University’s College of Education with its Education Advocacy Award. The award recognizes individuals who make significant or systemic contributions to the local, state or national educational landscape through their work. Diez was presented with the award on April 23 at Marquette’s annual College of Education Mission Recognition Evening. The event honors individuals and groups from both within and outside the Marquette community who have made significant contributions toward advancing the college’s social justice mission. This year marks the 5th annual Mission Recognition event for Marquette.

“These awards celebrate the many extraordinary individuals and organizations that help the College of Education achieve our social justice mission,” says Marquette College of Education Dean Bill Henk. “It is our way to both to commend and voice appreciation to exceptional students, early-career professionals, and faculty, as well as cooperating teachers and practicum supervisors, education champions in the community, and our partner schools and human service agencies.”

Categories: Press Release

Harvard’s Howard Gardner to Receive Inaugural “Sister Joel Read Outstanding Educator Award”

April 12, 2013

Alverno College will present the inaugural “Sister Joel Read Outstanding Educator Award” to Howard Gardner, Ph.D., who is widely considered one of the leading educational theorists of our time. Gardner is the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences. His wide-ranging work has provided the foundation for innovations in teaching, understanding student progress and integrating moral development into school cultures and curricula.

The award recognizes and honors innovators whose insights, leadership and practice have changed the practice of education for the better, and is named for Alverno College President Emerita Sister Joel Read, who is also widely considered a leader in education innovation. As part of the award, the Alverno community will engage in extended study and discussion of Gardner’s ideas and accomplishments.

Gardner will receive his award at a dinner in his honor April 18 at 5:30 p.m.  At the dinner, Gardner and Sister Joel Read will discuss the need for colleges and universities to focus on individual students and provide learning strategies that enable them to achieve their potential.  The discussion will be moderated by Alan Borsuk, senior fellow at the Marquette Law School and longtime educational columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Categories: Press Release