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VOLUME XXVI NUMBER 3 | Fall & Winter 2016





HERESTOTHEBOLD.COM #herestothebold The Mount Mary University “Here’s to the Bold” marketing campaign has entered its second year with new inspirational stories that showcase the extraordinary work of our students and alumnae. Watch for the latest stories around town on billboards, in newspapers, area movie theaters and online throughout the fall and winter. The Here’s to the Bold campaign recently received two prestigious MarCom Awards. The overall campaign received a gold award for institutional branding, and the campaign’s introductory “anthem” video was awarded a platinum award for best video/film in higher education.

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Athletes in Action A Win for One, a Win for All

Hmong Fashion Culture and Couture

Presidential Tribute Future Forward, Ever Faithful

Professional Pioneers in STEM

4 Student Spotlight


19 Mount Mary Serves

Hmong Fashion Design

20 Then & Now

21 Calendar of Events

Photo Gallery

Video and written reflections on President Schwalbach’s leadership

Madonna Award Winners

22 Donor Impact

Video Tributes

Interior Designer

25 Campus News

Jamie Fink, ‘03

Additional campus news

26 Women’s Leadership 30 Achievements and Accolades

Cover: President Eileen Schwalbach reflects upon her accomplishments.

34 Class Notes 36 In Memoriam 37 Reflection

©2016 Mount Mary University Compiled by Mount Mary Office of University Marketing and Communications, Scott Rudie, Editor Contributors: Eva Ennamorato, Joan Hartin, Kathy Van Zeeland, Kou Vang, Sister Joan Penzenstadler, SSND, Office of Alumnae Relations, Office of University Advancement. Mount Mary University is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

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A win for one, a win for all


er body in full swing, Adrianna Nester draws back her elbow, extends her arm and connects with the volleyball. Spike. Point Mount Mary. From the bleachers, there is a tight-knit group of her supporters. You could call them her squad as they are chanting Taylor Swift lyrics: “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22!” Nester, a middle hitter and Blue Angel Number 22, has fans at every home game. And each time she earns a point or aces a serve, they are sure to cheer her on.

2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of the state-of-the-art Bloechl Center being built, thanks to generous donors F. Richard and Eileen Bloechl.

Nester, a freshman criminal justice major, moved from California to study at Mount Mary University. Already, she has her own cheering section and embodies the spirit of the team and the community. “Being around so many other women who support me is just the best feeling ever,” Nester said. “I feel comfortable to be myself and speak my opinion without fearing getting shot down.” Blue Angels #22 Adrianna Nester, in action (above).

Campus spirit is about sporting the blue and white to represent Mount Mary, but it is also about being passionately supportive of those around you. You can find this spirit in those who come from across the nation to pursue their goals. The act of moving across the




ARE FROM OUT OF STATE country is an act of courage. Coaches from various sports specifically target out-of-state students for this reason. “We’re looking for trailblazers,” Assistant Athletic Director Kelsey Peterson said. She explained the type of student who fits in well at Mount Mary needs a distinctive personality trait of recognizing the strength in the unity of women. “Once we get a few brave ones, others will follow.” Nester is part of a growing number of student athletes who come from out of state. In fact, 58 percent of student athletes come from out of state, compared to an overall average of 14 percent of undergraduate and graduate students from out of state.



Recruiting out of state students not only increases diversity on campus, but also widens the awareness of Mount Mary. “The more students who become Blue Angels, the bigger our impact will be,” Peterson said. Nester and other women posess courage, making them fierce athletes but also women in the classroom who are eager to know their purpose and make their mark on the community. Nester smiled. “It feels good knowing all these women want to become someone of importance in the world. We all have one another’s back, and that is a support system I would not give up for anything.”


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A transfer student from UWMilwaukee, Natasha designed her pre-pharmacy coursework under the guidance of Cheryl Bailey, dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences and Steve Levsen, chemistry director and her advisor. She plans to continue to pharmacy school after she graduates. “With my chemistry background, I’m fascinated learning about how drugs react with the body,” she said.

The first step:



atasha Tang, ’18, learned to read a prescription, code a label, research patient profiles, locate medications on the pharmacy shelves and operate a cash register.

All this, on her very first day of her internship. Natasha needs to complete 120 hours of practical training in order to become a certified pharmacy technician. A chemistry major at Mount Mary, Natasha is taking an additional online certification course in order to complete her internship at a Walgreens pharmacy. “They had me doing everything,” she said, and that suited her well. “I’m ready to work my way up.” Internships offer students an immersion in their field of study. Natasha will work between 12 and 18 hours a week through the beginning of December in order to gain her certification. She wants to work in a retail setting through her junior year and switch to a hospital pharmacy in summer. “Doing the online coursework and becoming certified is a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it,” she said. “I want to have my foot in the door.”


As part of her internship she is learning the practical aspects of the job. For example, she can explain that +q4h is shorthand for take one every four hours. And she’s learning that the qualities of persistence, pragmatism and care are as important on the job as they are in the classroom. The hardest part of the job, she said, isn’t particularly difficult. But it is extremely important to be precise because people’s wellness is on the line. “Counting out pills is so important because you have to be exact,” she said. “This is a fast-paced job but I have to take the time to be careful. I can’t rush myself.” Eventually Natasha hopes to get trained to administer flu shots and other skilled tasks. But for now she is proud of these first steps up her career ladder. “I’m super proud that I’ve gotten this started,” she said. “This was a huge accomplishment for me.”

Off-campus & in the community Internships provide valuable experience for students and offer employers an opportunity to connect with the bright, upcoming members of tomorrow’s workforce. The vast majority of Mount Mary students - 78 percent – completed an internship during their college years, according to recent figures. Is there a “typical” internship? Internships can be highly structured or loosely defined. These work opportunities are, however, monitored by Mount Mary department faculty to make sure students are engaged in learning, not running errands or doing busywork.

What do the students gain from the experience? While students do gain work experience, they may or may not get paid for their work. They do, however, typically receive college credit for their on-the-job experience. Depending upon their field of study, students need to work about 45-50 hours per credit hour to fulfill credit requirements. Some departments (such as Dietetics) require an internship in order for a student to graduate. In other programs, internships are optional.

How do students find out about internships? Faculty advisors work with students to share information about internships; however, students often research and find opportunities on their own through professional networking. Some departments, such as Dietetics, have well-established partnerships within the community for placing students.

Where have Mount Mary students recently worked? They are everywhere! Working in all facets of the community, from nonprofits to clinics and businesses, they are learning practical skills on the job. Here’s just a sampling: This summer, Michelle Hawkins, International Studies, worked in Valencia, Spain as an intern for fundacion por la justicia and served as a student blogger for International Study Abroad (ISA).

Carlie O’Donnell,‘ 19, Justice, interned for Rep. Paul Ryan’s district office in Janesville. “From scheduling requests to responding to comments and concerns from constituents, to even getting to hear groundbreaking stories before they hit the news, I got to see and do it all,” she said. “Working in his office this summer showed me that no matter how small you are on the ‘office food chain,’ you can always play a part and make a change.” Courtney Lehmann, Art, is participating in a new Under the Wings mentorship program through the Lakefront Festival of the Arts. The program coaches young artists in the business and marketing work necessary in becoming a professional artist. Andrea Monacelli, Merchandise Management, completed a visual merchandising and social media internship at MOdE and has stayed on, working parttime at this Wauwatosa boutique. “I plan to stay with MOdE for quite some time,” she said. “I’m hoping that after graduation a management position may open up since we are expanding.” Lauren Wiech, Graphic Design, completed a summer internship with the Tosa Tonight concert series; this semester she is an intern at Make-a-Wish-Wisconsin.

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ashion design students Panyia Xiong and Beth Yang feel exhilarated by what took place at this year’s Fashion Week in New York City. By seeing Indonesian designer Anniesa Hasibuan debut a collection of Muslim-inspired fashion, complete with hijabs, they witnessed a fashion-forward woman standing true to her heritage.


And these aspiring designers, proud of their Hmong heritage, are now looking into the future and thinking: “That can be me.” “As a designer I want to bring out the importance of clothing,” said Panyia. “It’s up to our generation to speak up.”


Hmong-inspired fashion is familiar to Mount Mary runways. At the CREO fashion show held in May, which showcases the work of fashion design students, a number of Hmong students have drawn upon their background in designing their collections, incorporating Hmong techniques, designs and colors. In fact, a quarter of the fashion designers graduating from Mount Mary this year are of Hmong descent. Many of them are eager to address a fashion niche that showcases who and what they are: Hmong, American and proud.

BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO TRADITION Beth Yang, a fashion design senior at Mount Mary, enjoys putting together streetwear styles that have Hmong influences. This fabric is batik printed, and the skirt features inlaid strips of fabric and tiny accordion pleats. She purchased it on a visit to Thailand in 2014.


Traditional Hmong clothing is distinctive for its highly embellished needlework known as paj ntaub or flower cloth (see sidebar on page 8). Traditional clothing is detailed and painstakingly made, with complicated pleated skirts for women that require a keen ability for fabric manipulation.

Red and black is a striking Hmong color combination that Beth Yang used in her CREO 2016 designs (above). Another colorway is pink and green, as seen in this swatch of fabric.

Milwaukee is home to a significant number of Hmong families, said Malika Lor ‘ 12, who sits on the board of Wisconsin’s Hmong Consortium. When the organization hosts the Hmong New Year at the State Fair Expo Center in early December, some 10,000 people are expected to attend.

time or ability to engage in the timeintensive pursuit of hand-stitching this type of elaborate clothing. Lor sees both a business opportunity and a cultural imperative. She said the market is ready, so she is launching a line of Hmong special occasion wear this month, called Malika Lauj.

Tradition dictates that everyone “Ten years ago it wasn’t a thing to will be wearing brand new outfits each day. Traditional costumes turn inside and want to get to know are optional for men, but most that side of yourself,” she said. “But of the women now, it is.” wear traditional clothing, said Traditional clothing is AS A DESIGNER Lor. Many of ripe for modernization. these large-scale I WANT TO Malika is updating Hmong New styles to reflect a more BRING OUT THE Year celebrations modern sense of fit also include IMPORTANCE and comfort by using fashion shows. OF CLOTHING. more fitted styles “In California, the and using elastic, IT’S UP TO OUR celebration lasts a zippers and other nonGENERATION TO week and 100,000 traditional notions. people will be there,” SPEAK UP. Lor said. “And “I want to highlight — PANYIA XIONG everyone wears a what is so beautiful new outfit every day.” about our clothing but I’ve wanted to make While such outfits have it more modern and fit better,” she traditionally been hand-sewn said. “It is what makes us Hmong. by members of the family, not all modern Hmong families have the We can’t lose that.”

INTEGRATING INTO THE EVERYDAY Clothing has great meaning and sewing is a skill of intergenerational importance to Panyia, who is a fashion design senior. Her mother still sews traditional outfits for the family. And as a child, Panyia remembers sitting with her grandmother, threading the needles as her grandmother stitched. Her parents were proud when she told them she wanted to study at Mount Mary and pursue a career in fashion. “They didn’t know that I could do that,” she said. She titled her collection of fashion designs from last year “Stripes of Culture,” and she worked insets of paj ntaub into garments that were decidedly modern: A jacket, a minidress and a crop top. She describes her everyday style as a “London, Annie Hall-look,” and is intrigued by the idea of blending ethnic techniques into street fashion. This fusion represents who she is: “I am Hmong-American, and I design clothing that is Hmong and wearable,” she said. “I am drawn

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to the ethnic look. It connects me to who I am.” The students see a future bright with possibility for Hmong fashion because they also bring a modern edge to their skills, with the ability to leverage everything from 3-D pattern-making, industrial equipment and social media savvy. Beth, for example, is a senior in fashion design and is a fashion blogger active on Instagram, YouTube and other media channels.

INSPIRATION WITHOUT BORDERS For next year’s CREO show, both Beth and Panyia have chosen to design modern streetwear collections that reflect other influences and aren’t as reliant on their Hmong heritage as their collections from years past. Inspiration, they say, strikes on many different levels.

It’s also a sign of their progression as designers, said Sarah Eichhorn, co-chair of Mount Mary’s fashion department. Mount Mary’s curriculum encourages students to expand their interests and abilities, she said. “It’s a big world out there and students learn that they’re not just designing for themselves,” she said. “They explore design for different target markets.” Some other niches students explore can be anything from menswear, designing for children or creating fantasy clothing such as cosplay costumes. “We celebrate a diversity of design,” Eichhorn said. Another Hmong student, Goldhlis Thao, finds inspiration in other aspects of culture. For example, her senior collection that will be shown at this year’s CREO is based upon characters from Japanese animation. Eichhorn is pleased when she sees this process of self-discovery take shape. “By the time they are working on their senior thesis, they have a good idea what they like,” she said. “Their work reflects what kind of designer they are.”

Panyia has said her experience at Mount Mary has involved opening herself to new things, learning, “and then taking them back to being Hmong,” she said.

BRINGING WORLDS TOGETHER In the four years since her graduation, Malika has worked at Harley-Davidson as a quality product specialist to ensure that all clothing produced for the company is up to Harley-Davidson standards. She is premiering her line of Hmong-inspired special occasion clothing in her spare time. Her Harley experience has helped her understand the inner workings of the fashion industry, such as the process of production and the logistics of working with suppliers overseas – “being at Harley has upped my confidence,” she said. She is starting with a soft launch and will officially begin taking orders in March. So far she has launched her website and

WHAT IS FLOWER CLOTH? the Fabric of Hmong Lives.” A double The Hmong textile art of paj ntaub is created snail-shell design, then, may symbolize through a complex sewing process requiring two families linked in marriage. skill in techniques such as cross-stitching, chain stitching, applique and reverse applique. Another type of paj ntaub, called “story cloth,” can be traced back to the For this delicate work, paj ntaub (pronounced refugee camps in Thailand. “pan dau”), is sewn using multiple layers of Stories and narratives are depicted cloth and an inch-long needle. through embroidered images. Some of these wall hangings depict folk tales The stylized motifs may include geometric or recall village life. Others detail the or curved forms with symbolic meaning. For real-life journeys such as escaping example, a snail shell may represent family from Laos, crossing the Mekong River, growth, with generations spiraling out from living in refugee camps and resettling ancestors at the center, according to Mary Louise Buley-Meissner in her essay, “Stitching in the U.S.


Panyia Xiong’s design, first and last image, Middle photo, traditional striped or arm-band outfit.

will exhibit some of her pieces at the Hmong New Year party. She’s also gotten an endorsement from a popular Hmong singer, Maa Vue, who is based in Green Bay. So far, her plan is to outsource skirts and some separates overseas, and to a sewing company owned by her relatives in Wausau. She will stitch the bodice pieces herself and do all of the needlework by hand. All of her experiences have prepared Malika for this moment.

“Mount Mary creates strong women who will make a change,” she said. “That really stuck with me and gave me the strength to follow my dreams and go for what I really want.” Keeping their culture alive is an outreach that transcends fashion, Beth and Panyia agree. “We have a history of being broken and oppressed, no country is our own,” Beth said. After the Vietnam War in the 1970s, the population fragmented as refugees fled to camps in Thailand and have resettled in other parts of the world, including the U.S. Yet thanks to strong community ties with one another and

the ability to stay connected through social media, “we have a strong sense of community, and that has helped us as designers.” “I want to connect Hmong people in different parts of the world; connecting them through fashion, that would be awesome,” Panyia said. “Everything I make has meaning behind it.” Given how far Mount Mary students and alumnae have taken Hmong fashion and their aspirations for the future, the runways of New York Fashion Week don’t seem so far away. View an online photo gallery at

COLOR AND CLOTHING PROVIDE CULTURAL CLUES Within Hmong culture, clothing is a key ethnic and clan identifier; its history goes back much farther than that of Hmong written language. Cultural affiliations fall into three basic groups, the Blue or Green Hmong, the White Hmong and the Striped Hmong, although many subgroups exist. Names of the three basic Hmong groups are derived from the color of women’s traditional clothing. Blue or Green Hmong sew skirts from batik-dyed cloth, while White Hmong

use white or undyed cloth. Striped Hmong wear black shirts with blue stripes appliqued around the sleeves. “The clothing the Hmong wear … gives these groups their name and identity,” writes Patricia V. Symonds in her book, “Calling in the Soul: Gender and the Cycle of Life in a Hmong Village.” Please note that for the purposes of this article, the term “Hmong” encompasses Blue or Green Hmong, White Hmong and Striped Hmong.

Malika Lor, ‘12, is launching a line of Hmong-inspired special occasion dresses that include needlework she stiches by hand.

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to the WLI. I feel that by using empathy, I have become a more compassionate person unto others, as well as myself. I wonder what the world would be like if every human knew of the difference between sympathy and empathy. 2. LIFE IS A ROLLER COASTER OF UPS AND DOWNS: During an emotional and reflective lecture on confidence, we were given the task to map out our lives, creating a graph in which the top half represented the highs in life and the bottom half represented sadness and lows. We were asked to think back to the very start of our lives and pull out memories that impacted us and to plot them on our graph.



3. EMOTIONS AFFECT THE BODY: It is obvious that we all feel anger, sadness, happiness, joy, frustration and any other emotion in between, but where do you feel that particular emotion? Do you feel sadness pressing down on your shoulders or crushing your chest? Do you feel joy in your lighthearted-heart or perhaps in your hands and feet? Is excitement felt on the top of your head or in the center of your stomach?

shley Tannert, Communications, attended the Mount Mary University’s Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) summer program, a fourday intensive experience which brings together college students from across the region to delve into leadership topics of confidence, mindfulness, self-defense and women’s leadership.

1. THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYMPATHY AND EMPATHY: I learned to differentiate sympathy (feeling “sorry” for someone) and empathy (putting yourself in that person’s shoes, understanding them and supporting them). The instant I learned of this difference I knew that my ways of thinking had been changed.

“In just four days it felt like we had talked about everything under the stars and formed an unbreakable, yet unspoken bond and understanding of one another,” she said. “Everyone looks different, speaks differently, has different thoughts, hobbies, and passions, yet we are all so similar.”

I felt so strongly about my lesson in empathy that I felt I had to share it with my friends and family. Every person I shared this with had no idea that a difference between sympathy and empathy existed, or what the full meaning of empathy truly was.

Each of us laid on the ground and had the outline of her body traced. With the use of various paints and brushes, we painted our emotions onto our bodies in correspondence to where we felt them. Color, line, and shape all took a whole new meaning to me. It was incredible to see the connection between our bodies and our emotions.

Now that some time has passed since learning of this difference, I use empathy more and more in my daily life, a skill that I had not done previous

Now that I am able to connect emotion to specific areas of my body, I feel more in touch and in control of my emotions than I ever have before.

Here, Ashley reflects on the experience that shaped her and encouraged her to grow professionally.


What developed on each woman’s graph was a crazy roller coaster full of highs and lows: No matter how many consecutive lows we had, a high point was always soon to come. This showed me that out of all the negative moments I have had in my life, I have experienced just as many, if not more, positive ones. No longer am I afraid of the negative things in life for I know there will always be good to come.

4. CHANGE TAKES PLACE OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE: In life we will be faced with tasks we have never attempted before. Our fear of failure may consume us so heavily that we choose to stay within our comfort zone, thus never trying anything new, never growing, never learning and preventing us from experiencing what life has to offer. And what is the key to growth? Confidence. As soon as you step outside your comfort zone you gain experience. Both failure and success are beneficial to one who seeks growth. I feel now that I am more outgoing than I have ever been in my entire life. Undeniably, the 2016 Summer Leadership Institute has changed me. This notion of change penetrates and rocks my very soul, permeating into my ways of thought, my actions, and my words. How incredible to think that the power to create immense change and become a leader starts within ourselves.

The concept of linking emotions to actual spots on my body was something I had never thought about. This practice of ‘body mapping’ was very therapeutic and eye opening for me.






eated behind the desk of her office, Mount Mary President Eileen Mihm Schwalbach is ensconced in not only the rich 103-year history of the institution, but how her time leading the community has intersected with a foundation first laid by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Schwalbach announced in April that she plans to step down at the end of the 2016-17 academic year, after nine years in the role. As she pauses to reflect upon her time as president, Schwalbach remembers not only highlights and key accomplishments, but the students and professional colleagues who help make those highlights and accomplishments a reality – accomplishments that position Mount Mary to move smoothly into the future. This reverence for mission, while at the same time carefully studying and anticipating the needs of the community, marks Schwalbach’s respect for the past and foresight into the years to come. Most certainly, the future will bear an imprint of the legacy she has crafted, nurtured and is bringing forth through the constant cycle of growth, expansion and change. The stories here serve as a time capsule of highlights from Schwalbach’s presidency. There is a common theme that runs throughout the stories from her presidency: Create for today, innovate for tomorrow and stay true to the bold, pioneering spirit that fuels our mission. This is the timeless legacy of Eileen Mihm Schwalbach.

FIRST A COLLEGE, NOW A UNIVERSITY Sometimes, it is the small moments that give rise to large-scale transformation, Schwalbach said as she reflected upon a precise moment of change. In 2011, university leadership was hard at work developing the doctoral program in art therapy, and Dr. Schwalbach was posed with an interesting question. “Bruce [Moon, professor of art therapy] said at a meeting, ‘If you are graduating with your doctorate, do you want to graduate from Mount Mary College or Mount Mary University?’” This was not a simple case of semantics. The moniker of “university” has a meaning that is quite distinct from college. The question at hand was whether “university” was indeed a better fit for Mount Mary.


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See a creative video tribute to President Eileen Schwalbach.

“That really began the conversation,” Schwalbach said. It certainly was not the first pivot point for the University, which started as St. Mary’s Institute in 1851 and became St. Mary’s College in Prairie du Chien in 1913 and became Mount Mary College when it moved to the present location in 1928. The university is now home to two doctorates -- first art therapy and then occupational therapy. These key additions helped forge a critical path to the university’s future direction, said Karen Friedlen, vice president of academic and student affairs. “Calling ourselves a university challenges us to achieve more and enhance academic excellence here,” said Friedlen. “We always need to continue growing, but she also felt that we deserved the title. She was not afraid to drive that conversation. That takes a tremendous amount of courage and foresight.”

EXPANDING IDEAS, DEVELOPING PROGRAMS Having a vision for education deeply rooted in the excellence of the past is a mindset well established at Mount Mary. Foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Mother Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger was, according to biographer M. L. Ziegler, “decades ahead of the development in the public sector, and to some extent for a leader for them.” Schwalbach explained how she has used the past to help steer and guide the direction of the future by describing the key programmatic additions she has helped to bring about. In 2011, Mount Mary launched its first doctorate — and the first doctorate in the country — in art therapy.


Last February, the university was approved by the Higher Learning Commission to offer an RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program, one that incorporates a unique concentration on nursing leadership. “She has always been very mindful of community needs,” Friedlen said. “You can look at the market and identify where there are jobs very quantitatively. But she takes that information and connects it to the mission of the university.”

FACILITY ENHANCEMENTS SUPPORT LEARNING The pristine and historic buildings that make up the Mount Mary campus have served to welcome generations of women to further their educational goals.

Moving into the future, Schwalbach has identified wellness as a fundamental turning point for the university’s strategic plan.

In the words of Edward A. Fitzpatrick, president at the time when Mount Mary opened its doors in 1929:

“The ‘Wellness Initiative’ will focus on providing teaching and learning experiences that address the wellness of the whole person: physical, emotional and spiritual,” she said. “We not only will be providing an excellent education for our students, facilitating their development as creative leaders in their fields, but we will also be meeting the needs of our community for leaders who can transform health care to better meets the needs of patients.”

“As too often in our mass education, the individual is lost sight of. At Mount Mary College the individual will be the primary concern of everybody in the college from the chancellor and dean down to the youngest faculty member.”

Occupational therapy, dietetics, counseling and art therapy are among the successful programs with holistic views of health and healing. In addition to the RN to BSN program starting this fall, a new program in food science is set to begin in spring.

As the careful custodian of the campus, Dr. Schwalbach understands that Mount Mary’s bricks and mortar must always be able to support the rapidly changing dynamics of higher education in the 21st century. As always, students come first.

“Mount Mary is uniquely positioned to integrate already successful programs, add new health-related programs and infuse it all with creative learning and leadership skills,” Schwalbach said.

Over the course of her presidency, Schwalbach ensured that the physical upgrades to campus were aligned with

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enhancing the overall learning experience: Additional electronic classrooms, a Barnes and Noble College Bookstore and enhanced spaces in the admissions center, dining hall and grill. A significant project was the renovation of the first floor of the Haggerty Library to house a new Student Success Center and Learning Commons with facilities for academic resources, career advising and student counseling as well as a new computer lab. More than just a cosmetic facelift, the library renovation was specifically designed with student service in mind and the realization of the changing nature of 21st century learning. The resulting Student Success Center provides integrated resources to all students including academic advising, accessibility services, career development services, the counseling center, service learning and tutoring and testing services. Before the renovation, these key student support offices were scattered throughout the campus, resulting in student confusion and frustrated walks around campus to find the proper office for their specific needs. “Dr. Schwalbach really began to see how we could seamlessly provide multiple levels of service to students,” Marci Ocker, accessibility services coordinator, said. “And that getting us all in one place would allow for more cohesiveness, more referrals and more efficient services for the students. The Student Success Center has really made a difference with coordinating service and making it easier for students.”

A VISION FOR CREATIVITY For an ever so brief period of time, it was 1789 again at Mount Mary. Clad in period clothing and armed with the Enlightenment ideas that defined this era, Mount Mary students were immersed in the rancor of the Estates-General, the unity of the Tennis Court Oath and the promise and peril of the French Revolution. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, now that’s creativity in action,’” she said. Schwalbach recalls this classroom scene that she witnessed in vivid detail as a highlight of delivering education in which study Top image: Archbishop Jerome Listecki presents Dr. Schwalbach with an olive wood carving of Jesus that represents servant leadership.


THIS UNWAVERING DEDICATION TO TRANSFORMATIVE EDUCATION IS THE LEGACY THAT WE HAVE INHERITED. IT IS OUR DUTY, OUR RESPONSIBILITY, OUR CALL TO HONOR AND CARRY ON THIS IMPORTANT WORK. — D R. EILEEN SCHWALBACH, FEBRUARY 2012 areas such as history and literature came to life. This clearly was not a standard “memorize and multiple choice” approach to student learning. This was something unique and unforgettable. Due to the Creative Campus Initiative, this scene is not uncommon at Mount Mary. Since its launch in 2012, the initiative has infused creative approaches in all areas of the student experience. Again, what was old has become new. Mother Caroline’s vision for women’s education was being called a “daring and visionary enterprise” as far back as 1850. “When we think about our students and the skill set that they need, regardless of what profession they go into, we wanted to make sure they have a skill set that allows them to think with agility,” she said. Wendy Weaver, dean for academic affairs, helped explore and implement the Creative Campus Initiative and was impressed with Dr. Schwalbach’s complete commitment to the concept. “We have defined creativity through attributes that can be developed as skills, rather than talents,” Weaver said. “The Creative Campus Initiative believes we all can become more creative.”

Middle image: Students greeted the updated Barnes and Noble Bookstore with enthusiasm upon opening in 2011.


Bottom image: The renovated library created the space necessary to create the Student Success Center, which allows for a more holistic approach to student support services.

The campus community, shaped around the concept of creativity and mission, has come into vision. Weaver said initiatives such as the

Creative Campus have been successful due to the depth and breadth of ideas from across the campus, which she says is a tribute to Dr. Schwalbach’s leadership. “It takes humility to take your campus through design thinking, handing your power over to empower others,” she said. “That’s pretty impressive.” As the end of her leadership comes into clear focus, her belief in unity, wellness and a commitment to students is strong, enduring and bright. Schwalbach offers a smile as she recalls her words from her inaugural address seven years ago on Sept. 11, 2009: “We will be able to do this work, to educate to transform the world, only by working together.” Mission and vision, future and faith. This is the timeless legacy of Eileen Mihm Schwalbach. View video reflections by Milwaukee-area and state leaders regarding Dr. Schwalbach’s leadership at

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Growing More

Than Food



uring the late 1990s, I was both a high school math teacher and a student in the graduate program in education at Mount Mary University. The ‘90s had been declared the “decade of the brain” by President George H. W. Bush. Researchers and educators were energized by this idea, which debunked popular notions that people fell into two categories, right-brained (analytic) and left-brained (creative). This shattered the belief that creativity was the purveyance of only a few. We were beginning to understand that creativity could be learned and, therefore, taught.

I was fortunate to have an advisor here at Mount Mary to help me navigate the complexity of those challenging and enlightening times. That advisor was Eileen Schwalbach.


Her experience as a high school English teacher had positioned her well for this role and for the study of creativity which, as president, she would later promote.

More than a decade later, President Schwalbach set into motion the Creative Campus Initiative. MMU’s Creative Attributes were defined: Agility, experimentation/ —DEB DOSEMAGEN exploration, imagination, open mindedness, and the ability to navigate complexity.

My graduate studies enabled me to see the types of situations I encountered as a teacher through a new lens: I was challenged to explore what this new research meant for my students’ learning. I responded with agility and flexibility as staffing and demands changed. I experimented with new strategies for deepening my students’ understanding of the mathematics they were studying. I was inspired to a new level of professionalism.

I am privileged to be involved in several Creative Campus initiatives, in the form of book discussions, PED Talks (featuring faculty who utilized creative PEDagogy) and Design Thinking workshops. For me, the value of efforts within the Creative Campus initiative give a common language to conversations across disciplines about critical and creative thinking and about teaching and learning. Eileen’s commitment to creativity will spread into the future. I am grateful for the ability to recognize and cultivate creativity, here and within my sphere of influence. Deb Dosemagen directs the graduate program in education. Read an additional reflection by Art Therapy professor Lynn Kapitan




ardening has always been a hobby of Ncais Vang, and when she was exploring internship opportunities, it became a calling. Ncais, a sociology major and nutrition minor, has a deep interest in creating healthy communities. “When I talk about fresh, I mean things you can pick from a garden,” she said. “It’s about giving nutritious, fresh items to our neighbors.” Ncais has worked as an intern at the community garden on Mount Mary’s campus over summer and early fall. She waters, plants produce, weeds and harvests several times a week. Each time she harvests the garden, she pulls between 10-20 pounds of fresh vegetables including banana peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and other seasonal goods. Then Ncais packs up the fresh produce and delivers it to Northwest Baptist Church Food Pantry.

Dawn McClain Northwest Baptist Church Food Pantry

Located on the corner of 92nd and Grantosa, only a mile away from Mount Mary, the Northwest Baptist Church Food Pantry serves community members on the northwest side of Milwaukee. A good amount of this food is distributed and consumed within only a few miles of where it’s grown. The food pantry serves about 360 people on a monthly basis through the Emergency Food Assistance Program and The Stockbox Program. “We have been fortunate enough to receive fresh produce weekly from Mount Mary University,” said Dawn McClain, emergency food pantry coordinator. “All donations are what makes this pantry able to help so many people and are very much needed and appreciated.” Mount Mary University Dietetics and Sociology departments have been delivering donations to the food pantry for more than three years. Faculty members work with students to clean out the garden each spring, plant seedlings and maintain records of the garden map to allow for purposeful crop rotation. “The experience of consistent tending of the garden and donating produce is a way that our students learn about social justice,” says Dean of Natural and Health Sciences Cheryl Bailey. “Students like Ncais are growing more than food; they’re connecting the ‘mutual relationship’ between a community and a garden.”

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CALENDAR EVENTS Mark your calendar for April 11-16, 2017 to attend the Graduate Art Therapy Show.


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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett proclaimed Oct. 7, 2016 as Mount Mary Occupational Therapy Day in the city of Milwaukee. The declaration came in the form of a formal document presented at a reception for the Occupational Therapy Department during homecoming week (Top photo). The announcement recognized the contributions made by 75 years of occupational therapy at Mount Mary University, which has graduated 2,105 therapists over the years.

In addition, Milwaukee Alderman Jim Bohl (not pictured) presented a Milwaukee Common Council resolution that also recognized the 75th anniversary of the program.

Barrett has not been a stranger to campus. In 1990, when he served as a Wisconsin State Senator, he paid a visit to Mount Mary to participate in a tree-planting ceremony outside of Notre Dame Hall. He is pictured at center in the bottom photo during a visit to campus. In this photo, Barrett is pictured with Sister Mary John Van Vonderen (left), Sister Ruth Hollenbach, president of the university at the time (standing next to Barrett) and Sister John Ignace Kuzniewshi, right, who was head of the business office for many years. The other two people in the photo are not identified.

Music Department Recital 2 p.m., Stiemke Hall

Alumnae Association Christmas Luncheon - Milwaukee 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m., Milwaukee Yacht Club Contact Alumnae Office (414) 930-3025

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Gospel Choir Christmas Concert 7 p.m., Our Lady Chapel

Alumnae Association Christmas Luncheon - Chicago 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., The Clubhouse, Oak Brook, IL Contact Alumnae Office (414) 930-3025


Winter Commencement 11 a.m., Alumnae Dining Hall


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Mount Mary University Week

Founders Day and Honors Convocation 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Alumnae Dining Room

MARCH 2017

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Untold Stories Spring Showcase Contact Justice Dept. (414) 930-3351

Writers on Writing: Poets Contact English Dept. (414) 930-3359

APRIL 2017

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Marian Gallery: Graduate Art Therapy Show Running through April 16, 2016

Art Therapy Symposium Contact Art Therapy (414) 930-3366

Music Department Recital 2 p.m., Stiemke Hall

MAY 2017

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CREO Art and Design Showcase Multiple locations Spring Commencement 11 a.m., Bloechl Center




For all of Mount Mary’s upcoming events visit


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In other words, this is what ignites our efforts to provide a one-of-akind creative culture. How is it used? This nuts-and-bolts Mount Mary Fund supports basic initiatives such as:




Every Alum. Any Amount. Every Year. Think about it – if 10,000

The phone rings. Mount Mary is on the line. What’s the story? If you see Mount Mary on your Caller ID, it’s a student on the line and she’s reaching out to update your information, learn more about your Mount Mary experience and give you an opportunity to pledge your support. Lisa Breitsprecker is the senior director of Development. Here, she takes a moment to describe the Phonathon, and how it connects students and alumnae around the topic of sustained giving.

We call it the Phonathon, and thanks to 13 tireless students, party lights, glow sticks, streamers and many, many boxes of pizza, it happens for four to five weeks twice a year! It’s a blend of phone calls and fun. We hold theme nights, they play bingo, have dance breaks (the Twist is a favorite) and, of course, enjoy an occasional slice of pizza now and then.

These students are trained extensively to be able to answer questions about the university’s latest updates. They have participated in wide-ranging information sessions, learning about Catholic identity with Sister Joan Penzenstadler, vice president of mission and identity, and with health science faculty, learning about the importance of modern food labs. Professionals from the BMO Harris call center team also addressed students on the realworld importance of building these telephone communication skills and Mount Mary’s Career Services team shared how to best market the skills on students’ resumes.


These students are so excited to be making calls and hearing stories of alums. They have some really good conversations; this experience pulls two generations together. So next time you see it’s a call from Mount Mary, pick up the phone and share your story. We promise you’ll have a student eager to learn. Here are some of the questions that we are commonly asked during Phonathon:

What is sustainable giving? Think

about the meaning behind the word, “sustain.” It means to endure and provide what is needed, to continually hold up the weight of something. Sustainable giving, therefore, means to donate annually, giving toward the most fundamental necessities of the university. Annual giving, if not otherwise restricted, is placed into the Mount Mary Fund. This fund is unrestricted, so university leadership can direct the funds based upon the current priorities of the institution.

Mount Mary alumnae gave an average of $100 each year ($8.33 per month), that would total $1 million extra dollars a year to support the transformational education a Mount Mary student receives!

Is there a way to automate my donation? In the months to

come, you’ll be hearing more about Mount Mary’s monthly giving program, which enables donors to contribute without the hassle of monthly or annual payments. It’s really nice for those on a fixed income, and for younger donors who are willing to give up the cost of a coffee or lunch each month.

Could this get any better? Yes! Our most generous donors

belong to the President’s Circle. To express thanks to this highly engaged group of alumnae and friends, a lovely gift was created to capture their spirit of generosity. Students in an innovative hybrid class, created expressly for fashion design and graphic design majors, undertook the challenge to create Mount Mary’s first signature scarf. Some 30 designs were submitted to a jury of faculty, fashion merchandising alumnae and the jury panel for the Starving Artists’ Show. Fashion design major Amy Barger created a design incorporating an impressionist sketch of the tower with a watercolor-inspired blue background. This year’s design is printed on silk. Students are already hard at work brainstorming next year’s design.

SLOW, STEADY AND SUSTAINED: OVER TIME, ALUMNA’S GIVING ADDS UP SIGNIFICANTLY Cecilia “Cis” Holzhauer, ’72, of Las Vegas, NV, is a strong believer in payback. Even during the lean years, after she graduated and started a family, she made it a habit to give back to the university, even if it was only a little bit. As time went on, she consistently revisited her ability to give and adjusted along the way. She’s donated for 18 consecutive years, always finding a way to give more. Last year, she and her husband took a major leap into the future when they finalized their wills and established an endowed $25,000 scholarship named after her mother, Clara Cotter. “Our donors may not always give huge amounts, but they provide annual support that, added up, makes a huge impact for the university’s ability to fund its priorities,” said Lisa Breitsprecker, senior director of development. Cis graduated with a degree in history and for many years has been a trainer for the Internal Revenue Service. Because she recognizes the connection between the past and the future, it makes sense that Cis has set up her contributions in a sustainable way. “I’ve always believed that you give back with the measure that you were given,” Cis said.



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TAX-FREE OPTION FOR DONORS OVER AGE 70 Individuals who are age 70 ½ or older may give to Mount Mary University through their IRAs without being subject to income taxes on their gift. “We’ve been getting a lot of calls about this,” said Lisa Breitsprecker, senior director of development. “When the amount withdrawn from the IRA is paid directly to charity, it is not counted as federally


taxable income. This is an important development and people are really thinking about it, especially this time of year.”


Congress approved legislation that allows a tax-free gift from your IRA (known as an IRA charitable rollover). This legislation was in effect last year, and has now been made permanent. This enables you to make gifts from your IRA for 2016 and for future years.

You may transfer any amount (up to $100,000) directly from your IRA to Mount Mary University.

You must be 70 ½ or older at the time. You must make your gift by Dec. 31, 2016.

Call the Development Office at (414) 930-3034 to get the Depository Trust Company (DTC) number (Mount Mary’s identification number for giving purposes to STEAM).

Fund honors commitment to STEAM growth for the next three years, as the School of Health and Natural Sciences expands its health and wellness programming to supporting community and economic growth and well-being. “STEAM scholarships are vital to recruiting and retaining students who understand the value of a transformative education, and diversity is necessary for innovation and a new perspective on health and wellness in our community,” Owens said. With almost 50 percent of students being Pell-eligible and approximately 100 percent of the university’s full-time undergraduates receiving financial aid, she stressed that the need for scholarships is great. Creativity has been a cornerstone of Eileen Schwalbach’s presidency. In commemoration of her commitment to the intersection of STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) and art and wellness, an endowment fund has been set up to honor President Eileen Schwalbach. “What better way to show appreciation of Eileen’s leadership than to establish a named endowment fund that will support the very mission that she has worked tirelessly to bring to life,” said Pamela Owens, vice president of development. “President Schwalbach’s passion for helping women find their voice and live to their potential will now continue in perpetuity.” Owens said that the purpose of the fund aligns with the 2016-19 strategic plan, which will help guide campus


If you are interested in honoring President Schwalbach in this important and meaningful way, please visit and click on the President Schwalbach Tribute Fund under the gift designation. Schwalbach’s vision is for Mount Mary University to lead the preparation of diverse health and wellness professionals who will be compassionate advocates, Owens said.


Search underway to select next president The Mount Mary University community has begun a comprehensive search process for a new university president, and finalists for the position are currently being reviewed.


To ensure an open and transparent process, a presidential search website was launched earlier this fall. It is designed to be a central hub for all manner of updates regarding the process. The site can be accessed at This site is updated with the latest news. In addition, visitors will find a search timeline, a FAQ section, an updated listing of search committee members, information about Academic Search, and other content. In September, a full position description was posted, along with a nomination form. The community was encouraged to nominate candidates that they felt were a good match to the position. Interviews of finalists for the position are taking place in November, and it is anticipated that a new president will be named in early January.


The Heart of Learning

Mount Mary researchers and faculty stand at the forefront of building trauma-sensitive learning environments.



To facilitate the search, a 15-member search committee was created in late spring, with representatives from the Board of Trustees, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, senior administrators, faculty, staff, alumnae, students and the Milwaukee community. In addition, Academic Search Inc., a consulting firm that has worked exclusively for nearly 40 years in searches for presidents and senior administrators in higher education, is assisting the presidential search committee.




Handle with Care Through 75 years of change, Mount Mary’s occupational therapists continue to treat the patient and the person

MOUNT MARY MAGAZINE RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS HONOR Mount Mary Magazine recently was recognized with a highly prestigious Gold MarCom Award for best magazine – educational institution. MarCom, sponsored and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), is one of the oldest and largest creative competitions in the world. It recognizes outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers. Winners were announced in October as judges reviewed the more than 6,000 entries from throughout the world. Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. Mount Mary Magazine is published twice a year by the Office of University Marketing and Communications, and is designed to share the inspirational stories and news of the Mount Mary community to alumnae, friends, and other external audiences. In addition to the print edition, the university has also launched an online version of the magazine –, which contains enhanced magazine content, including additional news, photo galleries, video interviews and more.


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UNIVERSITY MAKES INCLUSION A PRIORITY At the All-University Workshop held prior to the start of the school year, faculty, administration and staff spent a full day delving into inclusion practices through an examination of academic trends, best practices in community and industry, university procedures, and emerging strategies. Erickajoy Daniels, senior vice president for diversity and inclusion at Aurora Health Care, presented the keynote address that touched upon the connection between leadership, creativity and inclusion.

Professional Pioneers:

Alumnae panelists discuss STEAM, careers and more An alumnae panel discussion intended to promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers for women, quickly turned to a much larger topic as panelists shared their stories of challenges and accomplishments:

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A TRAILBLAZER? By sharing their stories, the group offered rich advice, no matter the profession or stage of life. The panel included Jana Champion, ’84; Mary Otterson, M.D., ’80; and Allie Salamone, ’12. The event, which took place during Homecoming week, was part of the university’s Women’s Leadership Studio Series and the Office of Alumnae Engagement. The program was presented through the generous support of Ginny Cornyn, ’62, who established an endowment fund to support WLI. Cornyn’s career included 32 years at Xerox Corporation, managing operations for a cutting-edge technology leader of the time. An English major who also studied history and German, she said her unconventional background actually served her well in the world of information technology. Presently, eight percent of Mount Mary’s undergraduate

students are pursuing degrees in the conventional fields of STEAM — biology, chemistry and math – a 200 percent increase over the past six years.


abroad. Because of her young age, she said people are prone to discount her wealth of experience. “As a young woman, people wondered about me, ‘Could I do this?’ I learned that you have to come to the table with humility, but with the confidence that you can prove yourself,” Salamone said.


Champion, bureau director of the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory, rose through the ranks by using the examples of the SSNDs as her guide. “The SSNDs at Mount Mary were a driving force; you never felt there was anything you couldn’t do because they kept pushing you,” she said of her Mount Mary years.

Otterson ultimately became a professor in the Department of Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, but she admits the path had twists and challenges. She was a ballet dancer in New York City who realized that, in a city rife with talent, she would never become a prima ballerina. She turned to dietetics and chemistry before setting upon the field of medicine.

In leading by example, the SSNDs helped influence her sense of empathy, a valuable quality for someone who is, quite literally, investigating the scene of a crime: “I’ve always felt myself to be an advocate for the silent,” she said. “A victim’s voice can’t be heard.”

As an M.D., Otterson endured grueling hours. The hospital quarters where she would sleep while she was on-call were extremely uncomfortable and unaccommodating, particularly when she was pregnant.


When she spoke up, she found that other doctors supported her and her concerns. “Everybody else was afraid to say something. You have to stand up for what you think is reasonable. And then in the future, help the ones who come after you.”

Salamone, an occupational therapist, has worked in a variety of settings, from pediatrics to homebased care, both in the U.S. and medical trips

“Our community believes in the foundational premise of inclusion,” said President Eileen Schwalbach. The university’s economic diversity rate, based upon undergraduate Pell students, is 49 percent. A campus climate survey of students found that 83 percent of Mount Mary students agree that attending a school with a diverse student population is important to their educational experience.


Erickajoy Daniels

ADDITIONAL NEWS ONLINE • Publishing Institute recap • $2.6 million grant establishes Succeed Scholars Program • Starving Artists show sees increased attendance Visit


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Daring, ambitious, indomitable, barrierbreaking, compassionate and bold. These words describe the qualities of a Madonna Medal winner. “We look to them and see the very best in all of us,” said President Eileen Schwalbach. “For years, I have had the pleasure of presenting Madonna Medals to extraordinary women who have touched me and inspired me. Their life’s work connected them so deeply to the mission of this university.” This time, Schwalbach was on the receiving end of the honor, as she accepted a special Madonna Medal for her


dedicated service to the university and the Alumnae Association. “I am full of gratitude, joy and a full awareness of the spirit and the legacy of this honor,” she said. The Alumnae Association also recognized the accomplishments of the following 2016 awardees: Gwenn (Balling) Rausch, ’72, Occupational Therapy, CEO of Heartland International Health Center, who leads a federally qualified health center that serves 20,000 patients in Chicago, received the Madonna Medal for Professional Excellence.

2 Alumnae Awards Night photos (clockwise from upper left) 1. President Eileen Schwalbach (left) with Kathleen Bayer Schneider, ‘68, chair of Awards Committee. 2. Kate DeCleene Huber


Therese Durkin Connors, ’71, Education and Spanish, received the Madonna Medal for Community Service. Her volunteer efforts include coordinating clothing drives for women and children in Guatemala. She is also the founder of Little Flower Healthcare Registry, a network for in-home caregivers in Chicago.

3. Kathryn Maegli-Davis 4. Karen Muth 5. Therese Durkin Conners 6. Gwenn Rausch


Kathryn Maegli-Davis, ’71, Home Economics and Sociology, has served on the University’s Board of Trustees since 2009 and has established a significant endowed scholarship fund that supports three students a year. She received the Madonna Medal for Service to the University/ Alumnae Association.


Karen Muth, ’87, Public Relations, Professional Writing and Journalism, received the Madonna Medal for Service to the University/Alumnae Association. She has been involved in the university’s Starving Artists’ Show since she was in elementary school. Today she chairs the Registration and Correspondence Committee and is the new provider promotions manager at Aurora Health Care. Kate DeCleene Huber, ’01 and ’03, Occupational Therapy, chairs the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis. She receives the Tower Award, which recognizes the potential, innovation and motivation of alumnae who have graduated within the past 15 years. For more information on this year’s winners, including video tributes, please visit

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This section highlights recent noteworthy accomplishments and awards of the Mount Mary University faculty, staff and students.

FACULTY AND STAFF Jordan Acker Anderson, Chair, Art and Graphic Design, received a juror’s award for her

painting, “Hex Sign: Chapel” in the Wisconsin Visual Artist Southeast Chapter exhibit at the Anderson Arts Center in Kenosha, Wis., and was juried into the 2016 Wisconsin Artists Biennial, held at the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, Wis. Her work is currently part of the “Waysides” exhibit at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Kohler, Wis. Additionally, she published an article on empathybuilding collaborations between groups such as corporations and marginalized populations in the Spring/Summer 2016 edition of the Mid America Print Council Journal.

Mary Jacqueline Buckley, SSND, ‘51, a

former home economics faculty member, alumnae director, dean of students and Board of Trustees member, recently celebrated 60 years of service to God.

Joan DiProspere, SSND, former member

of the Board of Trustees, recently celebrated 50 years of service to God.

Sarah Eichhorn, Fashion, gave a number

of presentations in October, including a workshop on “bundle dyeing,” a process of fabric dyeing using natural dyes at One-One Thousand studio in Madison, Wis.; and a lecture on sustainability in clothing at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wis.

María Elena Ferrer-López, SSND, former member of the Board of Trustees, recently celebrated 50 years of service to God.

Deb Heermans, ’80, Art and Graphic Design, was an invited juror in the selection of artists for the 2016 Morning Glory Fine Arts and Crafts Fair held in downtown Milwaukee in August, sponsored by the Wisconsin Designer Crafts Council.

Counseling faculty members Terri Jashinski, Lee Za Ong, Victoria Sepulveda and Melissa Smothers delivered a presentation, “Assessment of Counselor Trainee Skills and SelfEfficacy” in October at the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference in Minneapolis. Minn.

Frances Therese Jungwirth, SSND, who taught German at “Hex Sign: Chapel” by Jordan Acker Anderson

As a member of the artist collective, Paintallica,

Josh Anderson, Art and Graphic Design, exhibited in a site-specific installation called “Double Vision Quest” at the Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis, Minn.


Mount Mary full time for 43 years and part time for seven years, recently celebrated 80 years of service to God.

Lynn Kapitan, Art Therapy, was honored as a lifetime member

of the American Art Therapy Association in July. Kapitan and fellow faculty member Bruce Moon both have received this distinction; Mount Mary is the only program ever to have two honorary lifetime members on faculty simultaneously.

Travel, study, repeat: Multiple study trips to France deepen understanding of social system Joe Dooley, Social Work, spent a

month this summer observing (and often diving right into) the social work system in Angers, France. This trip marked Dooley’s second return to the region, an agricultural area of the Loire Valley known for its winemaking. He spent a semester there during a sabbatical in 2014, and returned again in the summer of 2015. “When you re-experience, you get a deeper understanding,” Dooley said. He has presented guest lectures for students and professional social workers, and he became the only American member of an organization against gender discrimination.

He visited government-run organizations such as a child protection agency, a group home for the disabled, and a unique child care cooperative known as a crèche. Among the highlights were planning meetings at the group home – “the system is structured around giving people as much independence as possible” – and a leisurely lunch with youngsters at the crèche, a child care center staffed by social workers tasked with encouraging social development of children ages 0-3. He intends to pursue intercultural collaboration by documenting his process and writing a manual for American social workers.


As part of the August Investiture ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year, faculty members recognize excellence within their ranks by presenting awards based upon recommendations by students and fellow faculty members. (LEFT) Jane Olson, ’82, Occupational Therapy, received the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award for full-time faculty members. She is the post-professional program director and teaches graduate courses in occupational therapy theory, clinical reasoning and research; she also teaches undergraduate courses in psychosocial practice and research. (RIGHT) Tanya Keenan, English, received the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award for part-time faculty members. She teaches English Foundations, College Reading and Thinking, Composition I and Composition II.

Joe Dooley, center, returned to France this summer for his ongoing exploration of the French social work system. He’s pictured here with historian Christine Bard, left, and psychologist and sociologist Emmanuel Gratton, right, colleagues from the Université Angers.

“Already, students in my Social Policy class are learning another point of view on how people in other cultures respond to giving help,” he said. “It’s helpful for them to see alternate views of how systems can work.”

Georgeann Krzyzanowski, SSND, ’66, former director of buildings & grounds for 24 years and currently the evening and weekend administrator, recently celebrated 60 years of service to God.

Lee Za Ong, Counseling, shared ways to

connect with and involve immigrant and refugee families in October in a presention at the Catholic Educators Conference of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Annora Polega, SSND, ‘65, former

administrator of media communications and manager of the bookstore, celebrated 60 years of service to God.

Kathleen Poorman Dougherty, Dean of the College of Humanities, is participating in a yearlong leadership development program by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). She is one of 30 administrators chosen from across the nation for this program.

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Tammy Scheidegger, Counseling, will represent

Mount Mary University within a partnership to improve mental health services for Milwaukee children and create an early intervention system of care. The partnership, which also includes Milwaukee Public Schools, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Aurora Family Services, Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has received an eight-year, $1.8 million grant through the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment, administered through the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Victoria Sepulveda, Counseling, delivered a

presentation, “The Accidental English Professor, or How I Address Social Justice Through Students’ Writing Needs” in October at the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference in Minneapolis, Minn.

Send us your updates! Access our online form at:


STUDENTS Six art students along with faculty member Jordan Acker Anderson participated in and attended the SWAN Day celebration and exhibit of Milwaukee Women Artists, which was part of the International Ninth Annual Support Women Artists Now Day. A total of 167 female artists from the Greater Milwaukee region participated in this exhibit. The following art students participated: Becca Basten, Shannon Franklin,

Denisse Hernandez, Lauren Kidd, Liz Mueller & Emily Williams.

Leticia Clark, English, received the English Graduate Program New Writer Scholarship for 2016-17.

Cecily Conard, Art Therapy, was selected as a finalist for the Best of Photography 2016 publication from Photographer’s Forum magazine.

Lea S. Denny, Grad., CMH Counseling,

presented her thesis “All Nations – One Tribe: Healing Historical Trauma Together” at an International Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Her research involves identifying the prevalence, pervasiveness and transmission of historical trauma as intergenerational trauma, and pathways for post-historical trauma growth. Additionally, she has recently received an $8,000 scholarship to receive the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutic (NMT) training offered by the Child Trauma Academy and renowned trauma author, researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Perry.

Flag designs by Liza Goetter and Lauren Wiech, Graphic Design, reached the semifinals in the People’s Flag of Milwaukee competition, sponsored by Greater Together and American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Their designs were included in an exhibit at Milwaukee City Hall.

Catalina Gonzales, Biology, received a $2,000 scholarship from the Pompeii Women’s Club of Milwaukee.

Michelle Hawkins, International Studies, completed a summer internship

at the Foundation for Justice in Valencia, Spain which works to promote human and minority rights in Spain, Africa, and Latin America. Additionally, Michelle received the Rath Distinguished Scholarship for students who have high academic achievement, merit and leadership. As part of a design project in the Commercial Interior Design Studio class last spring, students worked with the PEARLS for Teen Girls organization on an office redesign. (PEARLS stands for Personal Responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Respect, Leadership and Support). After the students presented their design solutions, the staff and teen girls viewed the designs and voted for their favorites.

Erica Marion, Biology and Criminal Justice, was awarded

a scholarship by the West Suburban Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to attend the weeklong National College Conference of Student Women Leaders at the University of Maryland this summer. Erica is currently the vice president of the organization’s new campus chapter, AAUW @ MMU.

Sandrea Smith, ‘18, Justice, was selected to receive the

Justice student goes to Washington through unique summer program Pang Kou Xiong, Justice, spent three

weeks in Washington learning more about how the government works though a unique summer program. She raised more than $1,000 for the trip, received a $1,000 scholarship and was able to attend the three-week Washington Seminar, which was sponsored by the Wisconsin Public Policy Institute. As part of the seminar, Pang was able to meet congressional and executive leaders, lobbyists, and other policy influencers, and hear their perspective on issues ranging from solitary confinement to immigration


and the role of the military. Through the experience, she was also able to explore the environment, energy, health, the economy, and social justice issues.


Healthy Shelves Project

Wisconsin Women in Government organization’s 2016-17 undergraduate scholarship.

Sara Terrel, Art Education, was a featured artist this spring in the RAW Showcase MKE.

Carlie O’Donnell, Justice, interned for U.S. Rep. and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan this summer.

Graduate Art Therapy students Emily Giles, Cassie Graveen and Joshua Larson worked with high school art students on “We Speak,” a student-created exhibit that uses art as a tool for social activism, identifying and addressing women’s rights violations, including human trafficking and gender-based violence. It was on display at Gallery @ Large on Milwaukee’s south side through September. The inspiration for this artwork comes from the “Untold Stories” writing workshop for local survivors, led by Mount Mary faculty.

Lisa Stark (center) plans a strategy for testing recipes for the Healthy Shelves project with dietitian Christine Evans, ‘14, (who came to assist for the day) and dietetics graduate student Vanessa Lawrence.

The Healthy Shelves initiative, a cooperative project between Mount Mary dietetic students working under the direction of Lisa Stark, ‘90; University of Wisconsin Waukesha County’s Extension Nutrition Education Program; and the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, has been publicized in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, TMJ4 and USA Today. To view the media coverage, visit

The Cream City Foundation, in partnership with BMO Harris Bank and Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. (WHD), launched a post-secondary educational scholarship program to develop leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer + (LGBTQ+) community of Southeastern Wisconsin and awarded $1,000 scholarships to master’s student Paige Flanagan

and Hilary Schneider, both in the master’s program for counseling.

Termeria Taper, Biology and Writing for New Media, has been nominated for the Story

of the Year Pacemaker Award from the Associated Collegiate Press for a story she wrote for Arches on the topic of diversity. These awards are often referred to as the Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism; winners will be announced later this fall. See her work and the work of the finalists


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DESIGNER MAKES HER STATEMENT Could you describe yourself in 25 words? Jamie (Gumieny) Fink, ’03 can. Fink has the distinct ability to keep things simple, despite her growing accolades in the world of interior design. Her Instagram bio@jamiefinkdesigns is proof positive: Mama to 5. Midwesterner. Married to a Rockstar. Interior Designer *HGTV Alumn *Featured in Apartment Therapy + Young House Love + IKEA + Design Sponge There’s plenty more to the story for this alumna, whose home in Brookfield, Wis., is getting international attention.

To check out a gallery of Jamie’s work and media gallery, visit Pictured here Jamie and her husband, AJ, their daughters Sophia and Charlotte, and their sons Etienne, Laurent, and Nicasio.

A segment of the thesis written by Rachel Dobrauc, ‘13, “Going Global in the College Writing Classroom,” was published in the Wisconsin English Journal in spring. Cynthia Dohmen LaConte, ’84, was named one of the Women of Influence by the Milwaukee Business Journal. LaConte is the chief executive officer at Dohmen in Milwaukee. Pamela Moehring, SSND, ‘60, received the Outstanding Catholic Christian Service Award from St. Mary Catholic Schools in Appleton, in recognition to her lifetime commitment to education and chaplaincy. She taught biology at Mount Mary and also served as the dean for graduate and continuing education. She is currently serving as the full-time chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. A photograph by Angela Mae Parker, ’16, is included in the Photographer’s Forum Best of College & High School Photography 2016. She was also a featured artist this spring in the RAW Showcase MKE. A book by Tom Matthews, ‘08, titled “Life Support,” will be published by St. Martin’s Press in early 2017.


Articles in the spring quarterly issue of the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association were written by the following Mount Mary alumnae: Jennifer Delucia, ‘15, Leara Glinzak, ‘14, Emily Nolan, ‘14, and Rachel Slezak-Abrams, ‘14.

A book by Jessica Akin, ’06 & ‘14, titled “Parenting and Pregnancy: The Ultimate Teen Guide,” was published by Rowman & Littlefield in June.

Rev. Kathryn Reid Walker, ‘10, became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Eau Claire this summer. She has been a pastoral counselor in a holistic health center and served as career counselor at Mount Mary.

Staff members from the Sojourner Family Peace Center selected a poster by Sophie Beck, ‘16, to be included as part of educational outreach for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. She created the poster for a class project in spring, when students from Mount Mary’s Advanced Graphic Design II class learned about the topic of family and dating violence for this project by touring Sojourner’s


new facility and speaking with staff members. Additionally, Beck has been nominated for national Pacemaker awards from the Associated Collegiate Press for a display ad she created last year as a designer for Arches. These awards are often referred to as the Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism; winners will be announced later this fall. Candice Block, ‘14, graduated with an MFA from Washington University in May. Her thesis work was on exhibit at the Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, Mo. Liduvina (Perez) Caban, ’11, has joined the team of exhibit and trade show specialists at Exhibit Systems in Brookfield as a graphic specialist. Exhibit Systems, an exhibit and display company offering one-stop service for trade shows and events, has twice been named a Future 50 business by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. Rev. Krysta Deede ’97, has been named pastor of First United Methodist Church in Tomah, Wis.

Lila Saavedra, ’12, was profiled by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service for her work as an urban initiative specialist at the Girls Scouts of Southeastern Wisconsin. Lila graduated from Mount Mary’s Midtown Scholar Program. Brittany Seemuth, ’16, is a news reporter for the Germantown-Menomonee Falls Now publication. Amanda Webster, ‘13, recently wrote and published the book, “With Envy Stung.” This is the first book in the Valley of the Bees trilogy.

Outstanding dieticians recognized for contributions At the Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WAND) Awards Luncheon last spring, five of the 13 WAND awards went to Mount Mary alumnae, faculty and current students. They are: • M  arian Benz, MS, RD, adjunct faculty: 50th Anniversary as a Member of WAND • C  indy Dexter, RD, 2015-16 Dietetic Intern: Outstanding Dietetic Student • L  aura Graney ’91; MS, RDN, CD, CBE: Outstanding Dietetic Leader of the Year • A  shley Hackert, RD, 2015-16 Dietetic Intern: Student Scholarship recipient • M  ichelle Kozeniecki, ’12; MS, RD, CD, CNS: Young Dietitian of the Year

Best wishes and continued blessings A number of School Sisters of Notre Dame who are Mount Mary alumnae celebrated anniversaries of their service to God: • 5  0 years: Patricia Gehling, ‘73; Janet Heiar, ‘74; Kathleen Storms, ‘72; Marie Rose Van Deurzen, ‘70; Esther Wagner, ‘73 • 6  0 years: Maxine Bauer, ‘67; Margaret Buresh, ‘66; Alice Mary Druffel, ‘68; Adele Marie Hofschulte, ‘66; Rita Jirik, ‘67; Rose Marie Krebs, ‘67; Marie Estelle Kuczynski, ‘65; Marie DeLourdes Larente, ‘65; Carol Lesch, ‘66; Ruth Anne Lichter, ‘66; Marilyn McCue, ‘64; Joann McMahon, ‘66; Imelda Marie Mulloy, ‘65; Mary Francita Orcholski, ‘64; Judith Schuck, ‘67; Helen Stejskal, ‘67; June Marie Tacheny, ‘64; Jane Thibault, ‘66; Kathy Van Hulst, ‘57; Mary Delbert Weisensel, ‘64; Pauline Zweber, ‘69 • 7  0 years: Joan Emily Kaul, ‘56; Mary Niva Langreck, ‘53; M. Luella Zollar, ‘59 • 7  5 years: Rita Garity, ‘56; Mary Ernest Gibson, ‘65; Lucille Heidenreich, ‘51; Janice Koziolek, ‘54; Mary Leonelle Schiferl, ‘54 • 8  0 years: Mary Louis Pihaly, ’48 In addition, a number of former and current Mount Mary staff members are celebrating SSND anniversaries. This list can be found on page 30.

FALL & WINTER 2016 | 35




REFLECTION By Sister Joan Penzenstadler, SSND, Vice President for Mission and Identity

Deaths of Alumnae:

1939 Sister Marian Blong, SSND on May 11, 2016 1942 Marian Conarchy Weithofer on Feb. 23, 2016 1943 Virginia Gough Netzel on May 1, 2016 1944 Florence DuChateau Holznecht on March 17, 2016 1945 Marion Kohlmetz Kowalsky on Jan. 28, 2015 1946 Kathleen Michel Reitz on May 10, 2016 1946 Henrietta “Hank” Skibba Penn on July 19, 2015 1948 Dolores “Dee” Goodman Basch on March 23, 2016 1948 Catherine Turkal Garvey on May 11, 2016 1948 Mary Virginia Lang McCormack on Aug. 3, 2016 1949 Joan Patricia Gokey Lawrence on June 6, 2016

1956 Sister Mary DePaul Olszewski, SSND on Aug. 8, 2016 1958 Loretta Cinquini Silkowski on Feb. 18, 2016 1958 Madeleine Murray Goggins on March 21, 2016 1959 Sister Dolores Marie Jehl, SSND on March 3, 2016 1960 Sister Mary Virgene Pable, SSND on May 25, 2016 1961

June Ellen Schmitt Wittemann on July 5, 2016

1965 Sister Mary Raynalda Szyszka, SSND on March 1, 2016 1966 Patricia Peter McCord on Oct. 11, 2014 1966 Elise Moore on Nov. 9, 2014

1949 Mary Grace Eannelli Hardin on Aug. 23, 2016

1966 Sister Diane Marie Ruplinger-Zoeller, SSND on March 22, 2016

1950 Sister Mary Briant Foley, SSND on April 4, 2016

1966 Sister Donna Mae Straub, SSND on Feb. 11, 2016

1950 Marcella Banaszak Greiber on April 27, 2016

1967 Mary Ann Maher Fleischmann on April 19, 2016

1950 Marilyn Bauer Joers on Feb. 6, 2016

1970 Sister Phyllis Kernz, SSND on Feb. 13, 2016

1950 Carolyn LaMarche Mantey on July 18, 2016

1972 Margaret Cunningham Hoffman on Aug. 11, 2015

1950 Laverne Tomasini Salvat on Feb. 22, 2016

1983 Deloris Hayward Holtman on Nov. 2, 2014

1952 Sister Mary Carolyn Stahl, SSND on March 4, 2016

1985 Anna Toohill Dixon on June 18, 2016

1953 Sister Mary Willene Grossaint, SSND on Aug. 17, 2016


1954 Margaret Paulus Streff on Jan. 9, 2016

2000 Lori Jasinski Wankowski on Dec. 1, 2015

1954 Ruth “Queenie” Rasmussen Gambs on April 28, 2016

2004 Catherine Quinn on April 6, 2016

1954 Loyola Hemmerich Pawlowski on June 26, 2016

Deaths of MMU Faculty & Staff

Tammy Jackson Swessel on July 8, 2015

1955 Mary Elizabeth Grady Gericke on Sept. 7, 2015 1955 Ruth Lemley Kaczmarek on Feb. 2, 2016

1955 Nancy Stordeur Haupt on May 17, 2016

1950 Sister Christyn Willems, SSND on July 4, 2016

1955 Sister Mary Joel Robin, SSND on March 23, 2016



Angela Sauro on July 8, 2016 Sister Mary Gregory Smith, SSND on April 28, 2015

From the beginning, leadership for a School Sister of Notre Dame has been a gift called forth in response to the needs in society. Pioneering educator Mother Caroline Friess, who laid the groundwork for what would become Mount Mary University, was a leader recognized by the civic and church officials of her day. The prologue to our SSND Constitution states that Mother Caroline was the one “who, through courageous leadership, adapted the congregation to life on another continent, perceptively reading the signs of the times, risking innovative response to t he needs of the new world.” Past SSND presidents also risked innovative response to needs that were emerging. Sister John Francis Schuh (1954-1969) established a major in fashion design in 1965, building on our strong liberal arts base, especially in art. During the tumultuous years of the 1960s, she hosted speakers and workshops concerned with interracial justice, and she initiated the Pro Urbe medal to honor community leaders. Later, Sister Ellen Lorenz (1979-1987) carried through with a leadership style that emphasized collaboration and a keen sense of how to promote the integration of learning in Catholic higher education. Her design of the core curriculum in 1972, with its center being the search for meaning, radiated out to every academic realm. Dr. Eileen Schwalbach has upheld this legacy of leadership in the way she has inspired our identity

sister joan penzenstadler as a university and as a creative campus. With courage, collaboration and creativity, she found ways to provide access and excellence. Thus, she initiated the Caroline and Grace Scholars programs even before she became president. There is another characteristic that permeates SSND leadership and one that Dr. Schwalbach has been steadfast in carrying through. There is no endeavor that an SSND would undertake without the support of prayer. Dr. Schwalbach, too, has given prominence to prayer before every meeting, every challenging situation and every joyous occasion. Prayer upholds the rhythm of our lives and gives focus to our leadership. As we look to the future, the SSND tradition of leadership continues to be sparked by a hope that what we undertake is, indeed, giving rise to the future we envision.

FALL & WINTER 2016 | 37

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Mount Mary Magazine Fall/Winter 2016  
Mount Mary Magazine Fall/Winter 2016