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12 PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT Educators around the clock Graduates benefit from Jesuit-based approach to student affairs education Collaborating with student affairs professionals at St. Norbert to connect students with the community harnessed her passion for social justice work. “It had never occurred to me to pursue a career in higher education,” Johnson says. “I discovered a personal joy connecting with students and giving them chances to develop their skills, engage in dialogue about ethics and diversity, and see themselves as active citizens.” Re-energized, Johnson enrolled in the College of Education’s master’s program in college student personnel administration. After receiving her degree in 2012, she was hired by the University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, where today she advises, trains, and supports students and student groups engaged in community service and social action. “... the Marquette program “I love the work,” she says, praising “how the Marquette program prepared me — mind, body and spirit — for this role.” prepared me — mind, body and spirit Kids don’t dream of growing up to work in college student personnel administration, or student affairs for short. Yet competent and compassionate student affairs professionals are vital to any college wanting to educate and serve its students. Graduates say the Marquette student affairs program, now celebratimg its 10th anniversary, embodies the deepest professional ethic of their field by hewing closely to fundamental Jesuit values: caring, striving for better and promoting social justice. — for this role.” — Brianne Johnson, Grad ’12, of the University of Michigan’s Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning Brianne Johnson figured she was heading toward a law career in the nonprofit sector when she graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and international studies. But even after giving a graduate program in nonprofit management at Marquette a try, she couldn’t shake the nagging sense she was missing something. So the native of Kingsford, Mich., took a break, signing up with Americorps VISTA. Assigned to St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., she managed a campus service program linking college students with community volunteer opportunities — and discovered an unexpected new path. “Student affairs professionals now view themselves as educators who significantly contribute to providing seamless learning experiences for students,” writes Rev. Andrew Thon, S.J., a founder of Marquette’s program and one of its two full-time faculty members. His recent short book, The Ignatian Imperative, examines how those Jesuit principles align with the values of the student affairs profession. Marquette’s program not only lives up to that ideal, participants say — it does so with a powerful mixture of theory and practice. Assistantships on campus help many of the students pay part of their costs and, more important, bring to life their classroom studies. “We bring in our own experiences,” says Patrick Schweiger, in his first year as a member of the 2015 class. “I’m not just sitting in the class, but I’m bringing in those real-world interactions that we have.”

Education Magazine 2014

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