A $1 million gift from Marianne and Sheldon Lubar will allow Alverno College to prepare more future teachers and help them reach graduation. The scholarship is for juniors and seniors majoring in elementary or secondary education, and is awarded to students who not only have financial need, but who are also recognized by the Alverno College School of Education as very strong students with a high aptitude for a career in education. One such student, Sarah Fadness, is a senior who is working with first graders as student teacher at Shepard Hills Elementary in Oak Creek. “I’m honored to receive this scholarship,” said Fadness. “I know the value of an Alverno education, and because of this I’ll be able to turn around and share all I’ve learned with my students. I can’t wait to get in the classroom and start teaching.”
Fadness will graduate in May, along with seven other Marianne Lubar Scholars. The Lubars have been inspired for many years by the real world experience Alverno students get. “I can easily relate to the students who start out as freshmen without the confidence to know how to express themselves,” said Marianne Lubar. “Through their excellent training at Alverno, they emerge as self-assured, assertive women who will be our next generation of leaders in this community. Shel and I are very pleased to be able to help them gain the education they need to achieve.”
Students who become Lubar Scholars are chosen the second semester of their sophomore year, with the scholarship support beginning their junior year and continuing through their graduation. In September 2016, the inaugural group of recipients got the good news. “I feel blessed and fortunate that I was chosen for such a generous scholarship,” said Edna Gonzalez, a senior graduating in May. “I am forever grateful for the Lubars, and what they do for our community.”
Gonzalez, who wants to be a math teacher, is currently student teaching at St. Joan Antida High School in Milwaukee. “This last year, my parents and I were struggling to figure out how we would be able to pay for the next two semesters,” she said. “When I found out I was receiving this scholarship, I felt like three tons came off my shoulders. I was so overjoyed.” Excited to meet her students in the fall, Gonzalez has a message for them, particularly the girls. “I want to be a math teacher because sometimes girls, especially girls of color, think they can’t do math, or that math isn’t exciting. But here I am. I am like them, and math has changed my life.”
“Alverno College has an important role to play in assisting our area K-12 schools,” said Patricia Luebke, dean of the Alverno College School of Education. “We have a reputation for developing strong teachers who are classroom-ready. The Marianne Lubar Scholars program is going to help us do even more.”
Alverno College has long been a leader in teacher education. In 2009, then U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited Alverno College as a school that does an exemplary job in training and preparing teachers for the classroom. He noted that 85 percent of Alverno graduates are still teaching in the classroom five years after graduation, an extremely high retention rate. The comments came at a speech at Columbia University.
Alverno College is hosting a forum on stereotyping, the possible consequences and strategies to reduce its negative impact. Stereotyping has long been considered a potential source of inequality for diverse social groups within our community. This forum will explore the origins of stereotypes, how they form and why they persist. Attendees will learn how to enhance their awareness of implicit preferences, as well as approaches to tackling explicit stereotyping in our society.
The Alverno Forum series seeks to join community leaders in discussing cutting-edge topics that have a daily impact on the lives of people in our community and beyond. The next discussion in this year’s series takes place on Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sister Joel Read Conference Center. The Alverno Forum series is free and open to the public. For more details, please visit our website at http://www.alverno.edu/forum/.
In an increasingly rare opportunity to hear the first-hand accounts of Holocaust survivors, Alverno College will hold its 16th annual Holocaust Remembrance Service, the largest non-Jewish gathering of this type in the Midwest. The service remembers the six million Jews who perished, and honors those who resisted and survived. This year’s speaker is Holocaust survivor Eric Blaustein, who was imprisoned at Buchenwald. The service will take place on Wednesday, April 5, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Pitman Theatre, and will include a talk back. The event is free and open to the public.
Blaustein was born in Germany in 1926. When he was 12 years old, German officers arrested thousands of Jews, including Blaustein’s father, and sent them to concentration camps. The date was November 9, 1938, a night that would become known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. Blaustein managed to avoid Nazi authorities until December 1944, but at 17 he was sent to Buchenwald. In the Camp, he assumed the identity of a dead Italian prisoner and was able to survive until American forces arrived. His talk at Alverno will fall 72 years and a day after Buchenwald was liberated.
For those who are unable to attend the service, a live stream will be available at http://www.alverno.edu/holocaustremembrance/.
By the time college students have completed three-quarters of their academic program, it might seem like their path to graduation is set. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. As students near graduation, their academic programs are at their most rigorous, and increasing textbook and supply costs, class scheduling conflicts or maxing out of federal financial aid availability can create unexpected challenges to degree completion. Alverno students who face challenges in their final semesters are often low-income students and students of color who are juggling jobs and significant family responsibilities with their educations, leaving them with a razor-thin margin of error.
For these students, even a small crisis or financial setback can put them at risk of falling behind, dropping courses, taking leaves of absence or withdrawing from academic programs. The personal and community impact of non-completion can be profound. Without the earning power a degree or credential provides, students often struggle with meeting their financial obligations, including repaying student loans that they may have incurred. This issue is magnified in high-demand fields where positions remain unfilled, preventing employers from growing and communities from prospering.
To help propel more at-risk students to graduation, Alverno College has been awarded a $199,600 College Completion Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Alverno is one of 14 two- and four-year colleges in five states that were awarded College Completion Grants.
Alverno will use the grant to launch a new program to support nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are vulnerable during their final semesters. Nursing was chosen because it is the largest major at Alverno, and because Milwaukee faces a looming shortage of nurses, especially nurses of color. As the most diverse four-year college or university in the state, Alverno nurses often choose to practice in medically underserved communities, helping to address an urgent need in Wisconsin. The program will begin in the fall and work with approximately 40 eligible students per year. Participants will be given small grants and nursing-focused pro-active advising in order to address small problems before they derail progress, ensuring that students are connected to the appropriate campus support services as well as external services.
“We’re optimistic that this grant will allow us to bridge the gap for students who are close to graduation,” said Peg Rauschenberger, MSN, RN, interim dean of the JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing at Alverno College. “Alverno is dedicated to graduating the highest quality nurses, and ideally this will help get more nurses working in the communities that need them the most.”
“We are impressed that Alverno College and our other grant recipients critically analyzed their institutional data and then proposed comprehensive plans to help struggling students cross the finish line and begin careers in high-demand fields,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “Given our philanthropic focus on advancing completion, we’re interested to see how these plans can positively impact graduation rates for low-income students, first-generation students and students of color.”
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 $172 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 home.mygreatlakes.org.
Author Kate Hennessy, granddaughter and biographer of Dorothy Day, will be in Milwaukee leading book talks at both Alverno College and Marquette University. Her book, The World Will be Saved by Beauty, provides a look inside the family of the revered activist now being considered for sainthood. The events, which are free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, February 21 at 2 p.m. in Alverno College’s Bucyrus Conference Center, and Wednesday, February 22 at 2:30 p.m. in Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries.
Day was a social activist, a pacifist and co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. A controversial figure, Day was named a “great American” by Pope Francis in his 2015 speech to Congress. The youngest of Day’s grandchildren, Hennessy draws upon her own relationship with her grandmother, as well as letters, diaries and interviews to give readers a never-before-seen look into Day’s private life. Hennessy’s talk will be a reflective and heartfelt discussion of Day and her legacy.
Copies of Hennessy’s book will be available for purchase and signing at Alverno College. For more information or to register for the event at Alverno, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information or to register for the event at Marquette University, please visit marquette-hennessy.eventbrite.com.
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 www.alverno.edu or call 414-382-6100.
About Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries
Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries are a key partner in the research and teaching mission of the university, providing access to a vast range of research and archival collections, instructional services, dynamic spaces for study and collaboration, and deep expertise with managing scholarly information. The collections include more than 2 million print volumes, 30,000 digitized historical materials, and the J. R. R. Tolkien archival collection. Onsite services include a variety of comfortable study spaces, the Digital Scholarship Lab, and a café. Learn more about the libraries at www.marquette.edu/library.