Page 1



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


TABLE CONTENTS 1 2 8 10 16

Reflection from the President

Handle with Care

Practical Science, Promising Future

Enterprising Women

Millennial Spirit

More than 220 graduates received their diplomas at Mount Mary University’s spring commencement ceremony, which was held May 14 in the Bloechl Center. Doug Dietz received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his work as an Innovation Architect at GE Healthcare.

7 Student Spotlight 13 Leading Lady 15 Mount Mary Serves 20 Alumnae Story 22 Donor Impact 24 Then & Now 25 Calendar of Events 26 Campus News 32 Achievements and Accolades 35 Class Notes 36 In Memoriam 37 Reflection


Occupational Therapy's

75th anniversary

Alumnae-owned businesses Soccer balls for Syria CREO 2016 Spring 2016 Graduation Cover: The work of Occupational Therapy alumnae Laura Collins, ‘13, Ann (Klonecki) Tesmer, ‘94, and Ann (Bartoz) Becker, 89, reflects the wide scope of this profession.

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


Acts 20:24 Yet I consider my life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

These words from the Acts of the Apostles resonate so strongly with me because the call to “ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus” has been so clear and so profound. When I was finishing my doctoral work at UW-Milwaukee, still teaching English at Milwaukee Tech, my major professor called me into his office to tell me that Mount Mary was searching for someone to teach the English methods class. When I was serving on a committee for Milwaukee Public Schools, Sister Ellen Lorenz, who also was on the committee, called me aside after one meeting to tell me that she wanted me to apply for the director of the graduate program in education at Mount Mary. When I was a faculty member, President Patricia O’Donoghue called

me into her office to ask if I ever considered administration. When I responded, “no,” she said, “Well, I’m going to make you a dean because I think you’d be good at it.” When the vice president for academic and student affairs decided to become an art therapist, President O’Donoghue again called me into her office, and you guessed it, I became the next VPASA. And finally I received a call from the chair of the Board of Trustees, asking if I would be the acting president. While these calls were so explicit, they shouldn’t have surprised me because as one of the sisters recently said to me, “You have SSND in your DNA.” For truly that is how I feel. I was educated in grade school by the SSNDs, as were my parents and all their siblings. My mother became an associate and kept me updated on the lives of all the sisters I knew as a child. So for me being president of Mount Mary has been so much more than a career opportunity. It has been an honor and privilege to further the legacy and the charism of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, those amazing

women who founded a college for women before women could vote. Together we are living out the mission and vision of a university, dedicated to the transformation of the world through education. Together we have accomplished so much in eight years. We celebrated a centennial, became a university, and launched the Creative Campus initiative. We have strengthened academic programs, adding two doctorates, one in art therapy, the other in occupational therapy. We’ve made more than $15 million in renovations of living and learning spaces to improve the student experience, and the endowment has grown by more than $15 million. Each of these calls prepared me for the next phase of my life. Next year I’ll be finishing “my course” as president of Mount Mary. As I think about what’s next for me after more than 40 years in education, I know that again there will be a call. I just have to listen. Read more about President Schwalbach on page 26.

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 1






n 1941, when Mount Mary was considering whether to establish this discipline, the president of the college, Dr. Edward Fitzpatrick, queried registered occupational therapists around the U.S. working in this newly emerging field. The responses came in from 12 different states. They indicated the personality traits necessary for this type of work – initiative, poise, patience, cheerfulness, sympathetic understanding and a sense of humor – “leading Dr. Fitzpatrick to surmise that perhaps only saints could be therapists,” according to an early account of the department’s history written by Peg Mirenda, ’47, who served as program director from 1971 to 1987. Throughout its 75-year history, Mount Mary’s program has proven as flexible as those ideal practitioners, molding itself to serve the shifting needs of the times. For this story, three alumnae – Laura Collins, Ann Becker and Ann Tesmer – are profiled to exemplify the dynamic spirit of the OT community. “Occupational Therapy morphs into what the needs are,” said Jane Olson, ’82, who served as the program director from 1997 to 2009 and now directs the graduate program. “We teach not just the knowledge, but how to live it out in a way that makes a difference.”


In the early part of the 20th century, OT emerged as a practice of the Arts and Crafts movement, a social philosophy that recognized the connection between well-being and handcraft. Some of Mount Mary’s earliest workshops involved metalsmithing, woodworking and weaving – purpose-driven activities that served as pathways for war veterans with missing limbs, for example, to heal and ultimately become re-integrated into the workplace. Before long the definition of meaningful activity expanded to encompass every aspect of independent living. Today occupational therapists work in hospitals, nursing facilities, home health care, schools, outpatient clinics, mental health clinics, community health clinics and more. As the world changes, health needs expand and technology advances, this need-driven profession continues to be challenged by the same question Mount Mary leaders raised 75 years ago. And that is to look around and ask: What can a Mount Mary OT do to make the world a better place?

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 3


While parents might not understand the importance of OT goals such as building bilateral coordination or the child’s ability to cross the midline, for example, they surely want their children to become capable of tying their shoes or writing their names. When occupational therapists listen and understand these unspoken concerns, they can transform concern into powerful motivators.

ANN (BARTOSZ) BECKER, ’89 ANN BECKER: WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND FAMILIES From the very first minute she enrolled in Mount Mary’s occupational therapy program, Ann (Bartosz) Becker, ’89, knew she wanted to work with children because she understood the power of early intervention. Today, as the vice president of programs for Penfield Children’s Center, Ann still marvels at how an occupational therapist can change the world. She remembers watching a therapy team working with an infant and, after closely assessing the child’s muscle tone, coordination, eye contact and sensory skills, recommending therapy before an official diagnosis. “Early on, my team recognized red flags which indicated ongoing, long-term neurological problems, abnormal muscle tone and overall delays in development for this girl,” she said. “Because they recognized the abnormal development signs, the girl was able to receive early crucial treatment to facilitate her development.” At age 2, the girl was officially diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Becker works closely with families of children with developmental delays and disabilities to integrate an array of therapy services and early education programming. She said her occupational therapy education helped her understand the importance of practicing on two levels: Treating the condition and treating the person. This is a mindset that helps her work with families to communicate, motivate and really listen.


“Our job is to find out what’s meaningful to families and pinpoint how the disability is impacting their day,” she said. “We need to explain to them that we are not just working on building particular skills; we are building up the function of the skill. “OTs look holistically at the physical and mental aspects of a person; that’s helped me look at and explain the bigger picture to people,” she said.


When Laura Collins, ‘13, graduated from Mount Mary, she began working as an occupational therapist on the transplant unit at Froedtert Hospital – against the warnings of some colleagues. “This unit had the reputation of being a tough place to work because of the difficult and heavy caseload,” she said. The transplant service performs liver transplants, and also double lung, kidney and pancreas transplants. Many patients awaiting liver transplants suffer from liver disease caused by alcoholic cirrhosis. Hepatic encephalopathy, a loss of brain function, is often present, due to the inability of the liver to remove toxins from the blood. Collins has been here three years – working with patients on everything from strengthening to safety awareness and self-care and impulse control. She finds the


work rewarding, because of the support she can offer through the intense variability of waiting for a donor. One of her patients was called nine times with a potential donor match. “Each patient and his or her family members go through an emotional roller coaster with each admission,” Laura explained. “They experience the adrenaline rush and excitement from knowing they are being called in because this ‘may be the one,’ to the disappointment upon learning the organ wasn’t viable. There’s so much emotion for them,” she said. On his tenth trip to the hospital, he received his new liver. “It’s rewarding to see patients, who come here at their very sickest, to be able to walk out the door. These patients are routinely in and out of the hospital and oftentimes I am treating them pre-transplant and post-transplant, which includes the very sickest patients in the Transplant ICU.” It’s not unusual for Collins to work with patients on strengthbuilding exercises directly at the bedside. Her work represents a trend Mount Mary faculty members have recognized, that occupational therapists are working with more medically fragile patients than ever before. The department recently installed $30,000 worth of equipment that replicates an ICU bed, to

Emerging niches within

Occupational Therapy

It may be an understatement to say that occupational therapists of tomorrow will be called to serve more diverse needs than ever. The American Occupational Therapy Association has identified these fields of growth and need:



Childhood obesity

Transitioning into adulthood for children with disabilities


Chronic disease management


Public health and disease prevention



Recovery and peer support

Veterans’ and wounded warriors’ mental health


Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Aging in place and home modifications

Community mobility and older drivers


Autism in adults

Cancer care and oncology

Hand transplants and bionic limbs



Aging workforce

New technology at work

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 5


She keeps this idea of person-centered care at heart as an administrator, writing strategic and leadership development plans and setting organizational goals. This process comes naturally to her, because it closely parallels the therapy plans she’s been writing for so many years. Devising measureable goals, documenting progress, describing the tactics and making revisions have always been in a day’s work.

ANN (KLONECKI) TESMER, ’94 ensure that students become familiarized with such equipment and the medical environment they may one day find themselves working in (see page 24). “Our focus remains on engaging patients in activities that are meaningful, but we have to understand diagnoses and how medically complex our patients are,” Inda said. “We still focus on the people, but we cannot ignore the devices attached to them.”


Recently, Ann (Klonecki) Tesmer, ’94, was named executive director of clinical operations for Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Community Physicians, a primary care and multispecialty group with more than 350 physicians practicing in more than 25 health centers and clinics in southeastern Wisconsin.

“People ask me all the time if I miss clinical care – yes I do, but serving as a leader allows me to apply the broad perspective I learned as an occupational therapist. “There is growing acceptance within health care with the idea that we are not doing something to our clients, we are working with them to achieve their goals,” Tesmer said. “That wisdom has always been common knowledge at Mount Mary University.” Please join us for a celebration of OT’s 75th anniversary during Alumnae Reunion Weekend Oct. 7-9. For more information, visit

She transitioned out of clinical practice to health care years ago, but says she still considers herself an occupational therapist at heart. When she was a therapist specializing in hand care, she treated patients recovering from traumatic hand injuries. She knew that bringing them to wellness meant more than treating the physical injury. They needed understanding, too. “Working toward the betterment of patients goes beyond splinting, and treating fractures or wounds,” she said. ”I really needed to listen to my patient to realize they were also suffering from underlying fears of not being able to work or support their families,” she said.


Current students and faculty pose with various editions of the textbook for this profession. The first edition of the book came out in 1947 and was 416 pages long. Today the book contains 1,262 pages and is printed on paper as thin as the Bible.

See enhanced online coverage of OT’s 75th anniversary at


SEARCH FOR INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING BRINGS STUDENT FROM TOKYO TO MILWAUKEE From a young age, Aiko Satake was encouraged to try new experiences. Before enrolling as an international student at Mount Mary, Aiko attended Sacred Heart University in Toyko, Japan. She credits her education and her mother, Miyako Tsuji, in bringing her to Mount Mary, in fueling the desire to experience a new culture and to use English in her future career. Aiko’s mother also studied at Mount Mary for a summer and a semester and shared with Aiko her memories of the support she felt at this allwomen’s institution.

This school year, Mount Mary has 40 international students hailing from 22 different countries. Many of these students participate in the University’s International Club. At the club’s multicultural fashion show held in spring, students showcased a piece of their culture through dance, song, and modeling traditional garments. Aiko sang a traditional Japanese melody and accompanied herself on the violin. Aiko makes the most of every minute here. You can find Aiko in the Notre Dame Chapel singing in Gospel Choir (her mom belonged

Aiko’s mother, Miyako Tsuji, pictured above and in top right photo (with former President Sister Ruth Hollenbach, SSND), attended Mount Mary for a time in 1988 and enjoyed both gospel and madrigal singing (above).

to the Gospel Choir, too); on the soccer field; or in the residence hall studying between classes and practice. On weekends, she’ll take a field trip to downtown Milwaukee with the department of Student Engagement. Every day is an opportunity for an understanding of a new culture. Being on the soccer team is another setting in which Aiko has explored cultural traits. This is her first time on a team sport, and Aiko has learned about communication and balancing her time. “[In Japan] I swam, played ping pong and tennis,” she said. “Team play is difficult because communication is very important.” Aiko will return to Japan this summer. She looks forward to graduating from Sacred Heart in 2018. After graduating, Aiko wants to pursue a career in advertising using English and the cross-cultural understanding she’s developed here.

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 7



s food makes its way from farm to fork, there are critical links in the delivery system that require a generous portion of science, including ensuring freshness, quality and safety.

The science behind food safety, manufacturing and product development will be offered at Mount Mary starting in fall; it complements the food and science programs already well established here, said Cheryl Bailey, dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences. “This program builds on strengths of both the chemistry and dietetics departments,” Bailey said. “It also has the opportunity to build synergy with many other departments since food has so many aspects that intersect with other disciplines.”


Food science as a course of study is markedly different than dietetics, Mount Mary’s other food-related program. Think of dietetics as the intersection of food and behavior, such as disease prevention and health promotion. Food science, on the other hand, is the study of the chemistry of food and how food can be made into products to be shared with the world.


The practical nature of working with food, paired with the prospect for a healthy income, make this field particularly appealing to


female scientists, said Bailey, a scientist with a research background herself. She is committed to strengthening both Mount Mary’s science offerings and increasing the representation of women in science and technology overall. “We hope to grow our chemistry program through food science,” Bailey said, particularly as “women find food chemistry really interesting.”


Manufacturing food and beverages (particularly beer) have historically been associated with the city’s character. “Food and beverage define our history and our future,” historian John Gurda writes in his book, “Eat, Drink, and Be Prosperous - A Short History of the Milwaukee Region’s Food and Beverage Industry.” The large number of food manufacturers places significant local demand for food scientists, although currently, only two four-year degree programs exist in the state,


at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stout. Students now enrolled in the two-year food technology program at MATC will have the opportunity to transfer directly into Mount Mary’s program.

BY THE Numbers

A look at our region's food industry

food & beverage production accounts for of the southeastern Wisconsin’s overall manufacturing sector

According to national figures from the U.S. Department of Labor from 2013, the average salary for a food scientist is $65,340.


Brands such as Usingers, Sargento and Miller-Coors have a highprofile presence in the area, yet there are other, lesser-known brands in the area with a large global impact on the food industry. The Danish-based Chr. Hansen company, for example, operates some of the largest food culture and enzyme factories and natural color formulation labs in the world, right here in Milwaukee. “Our company has a large and broad need for food science engineers and food specialists,” said Christian Steffensen, a marketing manager for the company’s food coloring division. But the company doesn’t hire just anyone; they look for scientists who understand the company’s mission of upholding wellness throughout the course of food processing. “We look for people with an understanding that food processing is different than it was 10 or 20 years ago,” Steffensen said. “There is a greater focus on natural foods with fewer ingredients and additives.” Certainly, the new food science program will bear the mark of Mount Mary’s mission. “Food sustainability spans everything from scientific examination on a molecular level to global issues of accessibility and fair trade,” said University President Eileen Schwalbach. “With this new program, we have the opportunity to create an intersection where social justice, wellness, nutrition and food science come together.”

largest food companies in the world have operations locally


is home to more than

food and beverage manufacturers that employ




SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 9

ENTERPRISING WOMEN Why Mount Mary women have what it takes to succeed as entrepreneurs




f you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business and being your own boss, it turns out you’re not the only one. Self-employment ranks third on the list of employers of Mount Mary alumnae. But behind the passion, ideas and dreams lie the realities of hard work, risk and a large investment of time. This living-on-the-edge dynamic is not for everyone, said Todd Sobotka, who teaches Introduction to Entrepreneurship. In addition to teaching as an adjunct at Mount Mary, Sobotka is a portfolio manager at BrightStar, a nonprofit foundation that raises funds for early-stage, rapid growth companies based in Wisconsin. He spends his days fielding pitches from prospective entrepreneurs – much like the reality TV show “Shark Tank” – and can speak with firsthand authority about the risks inherent in entrepreneurship. “You can lose everything – your savings, your car, your home, your husband or wife – you want to make darn sure you want to do this.”


Women make the best entrepreneurs, Sobotka said, because of the natural abilities to juggle multiple priorities, build relationships and articulate strong messages. Here at Mount Mary, the entrepreneur class is open to all students regardless of their field of study because students typically have a desire to create products or become independent within the context of their profession, said Mary Fletcher, chair of the Business Administration Department in the School of Business. Many of the students on the entrepreneurship track are occupational therapists, dieticians, fashion students and arts majors, hoping they can one day strike off on their own. Cultivating their professional expertise, developing their business sense and gaining confidence through project-based learning is an ideal foundation.

Words of wisdom Roxanne Schatz has owned Amelishan Bridal for 20 years, growing it from a 2,800 squarefoot retail shop to a 14,000 destination bridal salon. She offers some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

• DO be optimistic • DO arrange a business loan that provides for some income during those first lean years • DON’T grow too big too fast • DO have faith in yourself • DON’T make mistakes … but do have learning experiences every day

“We strongly emphasize the ethical side of running a business, that there is a third partner in this type of business relationship, and that is society,” said Fletcher. “Social entrepreneurship means that businesses somehow benefit the community.”


“The business tools are not going to make you successful,” Fletcher said. “It takes passion.”

Students spend the semester researching, surveying the market, developing their idea, creating their plan and assembling a proposal using a lean startup philosophy and a template called Business Model Canvas.

While Sobotka calls entrepreneurship a “sexy” topic right now, thanks to reality TV and many local initiatives to nurture a fledgling community of startups in Milwaukee, Mount Mary’s program makes sure students realize there’s more to it than making money, Fletcher said.

They aren’t graded based upon the viability of the business because sometimes, the most sound business decision an entrepreneur can make is to be strategic and not move an idea forward.

Roxanne Schatz, ‘74, photo courtesy of Elizabeth Schatz, Atelier Photography

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 11


GAIL SCHREINER BAST, ’89 Such critical thinking skills are essential when you are alone at the helm, steering the ship in the real world, say alumnae entrepreneurs. “You are making all your decisions for yourself, even ones that don’t have anything to do with the product you are selling,” said Sydney Deutsch, ’11, who purchased her family’s tailoring and dry cleaning business in Wauwatosa. She added a small boutique and renamed the business Hyde Park MKE. “It is up to you to take initiative for your future and your present,” said Gail (Schreiner) Bast, ’89, who has owned and operated her business for 10 years.


There’s a word Bast uses repeatedly when describing the character trait that has gotten her through the highs and lows of overseeing an office, interfacing with clients and managing staff. That word is “gumption.” “You need an understanding of where you want to be right now and where you want to go,” she said. “You need to always, constantly be taking steps. The worst thing you want is inertia – that’s the absence of gumption.”


SYDNEY DEUTSCH, ’11 Bast started her business, Association Acumen, in 2006. Today her company serves 15 clients and acts as the headquarters for 10 associations, meaning, she answers to 11 different boards of directors. She is surrounded by entrepreneurial spirit. Both her father and husband have been selfemployed. But the seeds of gumption, she said, were cultivated at Mount Mary, where she graduated with degrees in business administration and professional writing. “Being in a supportive environment enables you to grow in your own comfort zone and clearly develop what you are thinking and saying. These are the basic building blocks you need for your formative adult years. “I use every bit of those degrees in the work I do today.” Join the conversation: Learn more about alumnaeowned businesses and tell us about a business you own. Visit




Hunley pursued occupational therapy after a successful career as a manager at First Wisconsin Corporation (now U.S. Bancorp).

Julie Hunley, Ph.D.

ulie Hunley, assistant professor of occupational therapy, pursued her chosen field as a second career because she sought to have a more direct and positive impact on people’s lives. And her recent research has deeply connected her to that fundamental purpose.

“The older I got, the more appreciation I had for the scarcity of time,” she said. “If I was going to be working on something, I really wanted it to be something that fed me as a person as well.” This realization began a journey that led her to the study of occupational therapy and ultimately a faculty position at Mount Mary University, where she has found herself leading efforts to apply the positive attributes of yoga to women recovering from breast cancer. The use of yoga was a “completely new level of learning” for Hunley, one that she was eager to fully pursue. “Breast cancer can be devastating to mind, body, and spirit. I wanted to be able to decrease health risk and increase selfefficacy,” she said. “Yoga seemed to be a reasonable vehicle to be able to do that.” Hunley noted that breast cancer mortality is 39 percent higher for African Americans, and health disparities are compounded by poverty in Milwaukee, where 38 percent of African Americans live below the federal poverty level. Physical activity was identified by the American Cancer Society as a way to reduce disease risk for African American breast cancer survivors, yet access to neighborhood health and wellness services is limited. To further explore a link between yoga and survivorship, Hunley located

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 13


an existing wellness group called Sisters 4 Cure and worked with them to recruit about 20 African American women, who came to Mount Mary for six weeks last summer for the yoga wellness study. As the six weeks came to an end, there was clear evidence that yoga was serving as a highly effective activity for women who have had breast cancer. The women reported less pain and greater ability to enjoy the important activities of life. Hunley was especially moved by the individual stories of women who saw their condition improve. “It’s the relationship building with the women themselves, and seeing their capacity for everyday life increase,” she said. “There was one grandmother who could now squat down to the floor. When she started, she couldn’t touch her toes. Just seeing that transformation in the women gave life to the research. It was not just numbers; these were real women.” Hunley’s work, which was funded through a generous donation from OT alumna Sharon Owens Stoffel, ‘75, is generating national attention. She presented her research at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in Chicago and at the Medical College of Wisconsin last April. The attention is gratifying, as Hunley is especially proud that the work targets an underserved population. It has also reconnected her with the motivation for initially pursuing an occupational therapy career. “It was really transformative – for the women in the study, for me, and the students and other faculty involved,” she said. “The layer of race is easy to forget, but it’s something that I had to directly address, and (this research) has had a positive change.”


Online Connect with us, for more information and to share your news with us.



Humanitarian message transformed into action

mid the flurry of media coverage and concern for refugees from other countries, Mount Mary students asked the question: How can any one person help refugees across the world? Students in Dr. Jennifer Laske’s Introduction to Islam course were introduced to Syrian-American pediatric neurologist Tarif Bakdash, who frequently travels to refugee camps in Jordan and holds weekly Skype calls with a clinic in Syria. “This is the worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st Century,” he said. ”We need every human being on Earth to help us.” Bakdash described a turning point in his life: Visiting his mother at the hospital as she recovered from being injured by a letterbomb. Only seven years old at the time, he recalls asking God, “Please don’t take my mom.” His mother was spared, but Bakdash said the violence that plagued the Middle East during his childhood has not stopped; Syrian children continue to plead with God – daily – to spare their families from further violence.

STUDENTS DEFLATE SOCCER BALLS FOR CHILDREN IN REFUGEE CAMPS Mount Mary students recognize that sometimes the smallest actions can help a person or community. To that end, students collected donations of soccer balls

that Bakdash brought to the Syrian refugee camp in Jordan this spring. Students were motivated to form a soccer ball drive as a response to the profound need Bakdash described. They realized it’s a drop in the bucket but it’s a start in creating positive change. “Torture, assassinations, and collective punishment occur daily, and famine is used as a tool of war. These soccer balls are a mere BandAid for these children; they just want to go home,” said Michelle Hawkins, International Studies major. Michelle holds several leadership positions in student organizations on campus, and looks to Bakdash as a mentor. “The Syrian people need the world to stand up and stop the fighting. They need real, lasting peace.” The International and Theology Clubs, as well as Mount Mary Athletics, collected two suitcases worth of soccer balls, deflated them, and sent them on Bakdash’s medical mission trip, which was profiled extensively in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Journey to Jordan” series. See local media coverage of Mount Mary’s Soccer Balls for Syria deflating party and Bakdash’s mission trip:

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 15

THE MILLENNIAL Lauren Keesler, ’17. Heart artwork, page 17, middle square by Meaghan Dugan, ’16, bottom square by Natalie Akins, ’16.

Creativity, optimism and a desire to make a difference


he desire to have an impact in the world, underpinned by a pervading optimism, is

a common attribute of Millennials. Mount Mary’s Creative Campus channels the optimism and can-do spirit that defines this generation. Mount Mary student Denisse Hernandez, ’17, aspired to be an artist, but found that the act of producing art wasn’t quite enough for her. “I was trying to do fine art but it felt like something was missing,” she said. She found it difficult to reconcile her




love of art with her desire to have a career with direct impact in the lives of others. Growing up in Brownsville, Texas, she was surrounded by gangs and poverty, and realized the need for committed individuals with an affirming need to help. She also experienced the tremendous community-building power of art. “Whenever people went into the art room, those issues vanished,” she said. “The interaction that art had in my community really made a difference. Art really has a personal effect on a human being.” This realization led Hernandez to the art therapy program at Mount Mary, which provided the opportunity to develop her ability to directly perform transformative work with her artistic talents. She will graduate in 2017. The desire to have an impact in the world, underpinned by a pervading optimism, is one of the most commonly associated attributes for Hernandez’s generation -- the Millennials. Typically described as the generation that followed Generation X, with birth years ranging from the mid 1980s to 2000, Millennials are a rising force in our culture. Mount Mary has embraced the notion that the optimism and joy found amongst Millennials is closely connected to creativity. In 2012, Mount Mary launched the Creative Campus Initiative, designed to address the need to educate tomorrow’s workforce with the kind of creative leadership skills that are aligned with the Millennial generation’s spirit and energy.

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 17


The initiative has infused creative approaches in all areas of the student experience within five core competencies: agility, experimentation, imagination, open-mindedness and navigating complexity. These attributes align well to the desires of today’s Millennials. “It has been clearly demonstrated that our society needs growth within the creative economies to fuel the 21st century economic engine,” said President Eileen Schwalbach, Ph.D. “Tomorrow’s leaders will need to come up with new ways to organize and synthesize information to solve complicated social problems. As a result, the Creative Campus helps our students realize the optimism and can-do spirit that is coming to define their generation.” The Creative Campus Initiative allowed Hernandez to find specific ways to solve problems and address critical issues. Last year, for example, Hernandez attended the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies Conference, where she presented research that she conducted about the dynamics of war and those displaced by chronic violence. “I am very encouraged by Mount Mary to go out there and use the

skills I have, and encourage and improve where I live,” she said. “It’s infused in the classes, and I was able to analyze who I was and was challenged to creatively problem solve.” Michelle Pliml, director of academic advising and career development at Mount Mary, interacts with Millennials on a daily basis. As she assists students in discerning the career that may be most appropriate for them, she confirms that it is not a generalization to call Millennials optimistic. Even though the formative years of this generation have been characterized by a wide range of unique societal challenges (including the Sept. 11 terror attacks and the Great Recession), a unique sense of optimism pervades. In a 2016 USA Today/Rock the Vote Poll of 18-to-34year-olds, more than two-thirds of Millennials predict they will be more successful in their professional lives than their parents were. Statistics indicate that Millennials eschew traditional notions of success like high salary or status for careers and positions that allow them to have a positive impact on the world. “We hear a lot that they want to do something that matters, something that has an impact, something big,” Pliml said. “They know they want it to matter.” Drawings by fashion design students, bottom art by Sharon Arbtin, ’17.



The link between optimism, joy and creativity was further explored as part of the Women’s Leadership Institute’s spring event, which welcomed Shabnam Mogharabi, CEO and executive producer at SoulPancake.


SoulPancake, a media and production company founded by actor Rainn Wilson and recently named one of Fast Company’s “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies,” was founded to “create smart, uplifting, meaningful, shareable content targeted to the Optimistic Millennial.” As SEO, Mogharabi leads an organization whose purpose is to find new ways to explore the notions of joy and optimism. Part of the mission statement for SoulPancake is to “champion creativity.” Mogharabi described some of the videos that have gone viral, such as a large “Street Compliment Machine” that prompted random street-goers to reflect on what their loved ones really mean to them, and the iconic “Kid President” video series that has been viewed more than 100 million times. Each SoulPancake project, she said, blends simple concepts to create big emotions. Mogharabi has come to understand the perspectives and attitudes of both Millennials and the generation to come, which has been dubbed, “Generation Z.” Through their content at SoulPancake they work to celebrate the joy and hope you can find in addressing difficult questions. “Joy evolved to become the emotion we have come to lead with at SoulPancake,” she said. “Joy doesn’t sugar-coat life; it helps you deal with it, and expressing your gratitude will make you a happier person.”

Learn more about the Creative Campus Initiative and the University’s creative response to the work of SoulPancake at

Over the course of the spring, members of the faculty embarked upon a creative examination of the work of Mogharabi. Based upon their academic disciplines, faculty members engaged students in activities designed to explore creative responses to what SoulPancake refers to as “life’s big questions.”

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 19




Esperanza Perez, ’16 RISING TO THE TOP And although she was miles away from home, both literally and figuratively, she explained confidently that this was where she was meant to be.

Esperanza Perez’s career has taken an incredible path, from an all-women’s education to a coveted position at a Big Four accounting firm. Through it all, one characteristic has defined her strategy – and that is persistence.


Esperanza, who graduated in BE SAID FOR May from Mount Mary and the AUDACITY, TO BE Promise Program with a degree in accounting, has accepted BOLD AND WILLING a position as an associate at TO GO FOR IT.” PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco (PwC), where she will — KEVIN DUFFEY, work for the auditing department MENTOR TO ESPERANZA in international business. PEREZ AT BAIRD

She persuaded her interviewers that determination, focus and tenacity gained from an allwomen’s environment were her finest selling points. “At Mount Mary, the mission is to encourage women to strive and grow. Everybody believes in that mission.” She credits the Promise Program staff for their support: “They were always there for me.”

“I can’t even tell you how impressive this is,” said Kevin Duffey, Esperanza’s mentor at Baird in downtown Milwaukee. “It’s as good as it gets in the industry.”

Esperanza has much to celebrate this month. As the daughter of immigrants from Mexico, she is the oldest of five children and the first in her family to graduate from college.

Last summer, Esperanza landed an internship at Baird’s Milwaukee headquarters. As she developed a strong interest in investment banking, her mentors at Baird introduced her to their colleagues at PwC’s Milwaukee office. She impressed them immediately, and received their support as she progressed through the national interview process.

When she arrives in California, she’ll give herself one week to settle down and move in before she starts working and, during her off-hours, studying for her CPA. Her goal is to take the test and get certified within six months.

When the time came to interview in San Francisco, Esperanza arrived at Three Embarcadero Center, PwC’s 31-floor skyscraper in the city’s financial district.

“I’m going to make the best of San Francisco,” she said. “And I’m going to keep networking like crazy.”

View a video featuring Esperanza’s story, “A letter to my sister,” at

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 21

Freshman Nancy Lor had the opportunity to meet Jude and Nora Werra, donors who set up an endowment last year in honor of Jude’s mother, Harriet Lillian Kroner Werra, ’25.

ENDOWMENTS HONOR PRICELESS MEMORIES Catherine (Arnold) Loeser, ‘68, was in eighth grade when her grandmother gave each grandchild 50 shares of stock in Massachusetts Investors Trust. Catherine kept the stock for more than five decades, paying little attention to its growing value, until she decided it should go to Mount Mary University, where she received training for the occupational therapy career she loved. For Jude Werra, Mount Mary was a constant presence in his life, through his family’s many connections here. He smiles broadly when he recalls how he served as an altar boy at the chapel while his mother, Harriet Lillian Kroner Werra, ‘25, played piano at Mass and many other campus events.

individuals who establish endowments, it’s the idea of turning their gratitude for the past into a tangible benefit for the future. The idea of endowments appeals to future-focused


Werra knew he needed to find a way to ensure his family’s legacy, through an endowed scholarship that “carries the Werra name that’s been around Mount Mary University for 100 years,” he said. That legacy dates back to when Harriet attended St. Mary’s Academy in Prairie du Chien after the deaths of her parents. Later at Mount Mary, she met her husband through his sisters, who also attended school here.


If there’s a common theme among

donors like Loeser and Werra, because it is structured for infinite giving, said Pamela Owens, vice president of development. This type of giving represents a “deep commitment to the

organization and its mission,” said Owens. “Endowments are the lifeblood of an organization which, over time, support the sustainability of the organization.”


Think of an endowment as a “nest egg” that is invested, but never diminished. In time it grows in value, and a portion of these earnings is used, mostly to fund scholarships. Currently, five percent of the value of the fund is awarded annually (see graphic). “It is truly a lasting legacy that goes into perpetuity,” Owens said. Loeser truly appreciates the value of growing worth over time. Her stock multiplied from an initial 50 shares to 5,000 shares. She was delighted to turn over the stock, valued at $159,000, to Mount Mary.

Catherine (Arnold) Loeser, ’68

“I’m an OT diehard; it’s a field I love,” said Loeser, who spent her career working primarily in Racine nursing homes, schools and rehabilitation centers. “Mount Mary really gave me a lot.”

The scholarship endowment is set up for $100,000; the remainder was used for Occupational Therapy Department initiatives such as the ICU lab (see the Then and Now feature on page 24).

ENDOWMENT 101 Endowments are established with a minimum gift of $25,000 (donors may take up to five years to build up this amount). The vast majority of endowments at Mount Mary (67 total) take the form of scholarship aid to students; however, 11 other donors have directed their endowments toward other purposes, such as supporting particular departments or University initiatives. Mount Mary’s total endowment is approximately $18 million. Donors may direct the funds to be used for specific purposes.



There’s great flexibility in how donors choose to set up their endowments. They can name the endowment or they can opt to make it anonymous. They can start up a separate endowment or contribute to a larger, existing one, like the Alumnae Scholarship Endowment Fund. Depending upon the endowment structure, the donor may also be able to specify scholarship criteria – a single mother, a biology student or a first-generation student, for example - or direct the money toward a specific department. Endowments can be structured as family trusts, direct donations or bequests; Owens suggests consulting a tax attorney to determine the most beneficial scenario based upon an individual’s personal circumstances. Mount Mary’s $18 million endowment pool is managed by Baird under the advisement of the Board of Trustees’ investment committee. Growing the endowment base isn’t just a financial objective for the University. A larger financial base has direct implications for students and programming, as more scholarships can be awarded, facilitating recruitment and retention.

Help transform the lives of current and future students by supporting Mount Mary University. Please call us at (414) 930-3034, or Visit

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 23



Back in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, occupational therapists donned lab coats and attended shop classes for hands-on practice in skilled trades such as woodworking and metalsmithing. In the years after World War II, a primary focus for occupational therapists was rehabilitating veterans, helping them regain coordination and strength. Emil Kronquist (top photo, left) – known as Mr. K., – had trained as a silversmith in Denmark and in England – and pressed upon his students the importance of such skill-building in “re-educating injured bones


and muscles, and giving (the veterans) new hope,” according to an early historical account of the college by Margaret Finnegan Mirenda, ‘47.

The scope of occupational therapy has significantly widened since those early days (see cover story on page 2); it’s not unusual for occupational therapists to work at a patient’s bedside, just hours after surgery. “OTs of today require a different type of knowledge,” said department chair Kari Inda (bottom photo, left), who oversees a program that remains true to its activity-based mission while providing a working knowledge of the medical complexities of today. “Our students need to be confident within a medical environment.”


CALENDAR EVENTS Mark your calendar for the Starving Artists’ Show on Sept. 11.

JUNE 2016


16 20-24

1 3-9 7

Transfer and Adult Open House 4:30-7 p.m. North Dining Room

Fashion Boot Camp Grades 7-12

JULY 2016

11-16 14

Private College Week Contact Admissions: (414) 930-3024

HOPE Career Workshop 8:30 a.m., Haggerty Library 115


11 27 30

Starving Artists’ Show 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., West Lawn of Mount Mary

Wisconsin Education Fair 9-11 a.m., Bloechl Center

Publishing Institute 7-8:30 p.m., Stiemke Hall

Publishing Institute 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Stiemke Hall & Classrooms Homecoming on the Mount and Alumnae Reunion Weekend

Alumnae Awards Night • Presentation of the Madonna Medals and Tower Award • Special recognition and reception in honor of the 75th anniversary of Occupational Therapy


Alumnae Reunion Weekend and Marian Club Luncheon Honoring the Class of 1966 Registration opens Aug. 1, 2016


Untold Stories Workshop Stiemke Hall

Alumnae Christmas Lunch in Milwaukee Dec. 6 VIEW ALL OF MOUNT MARY’S EVENTS ONLINE AT MTMARY.EDU

Alumnae Christmas Lunch in Chicago Dec. 13

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 25


Mount Mary University President Eileen Mihm Schwalbach, Ph.D., announced April 28 that she plans to step down at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. The University hopes to have a successor in place by July 2017.

University,” said Marie O’Brien, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. “We are producing students that are both problem identifiers and problem solvers throughout our community.

She said the timing was right to make the transition. The University is financially sound, has successfully transitioned from college to university status, has added several innovative and highly successful academic programs, and has made key physical improvements to campus – all of which positions Mount Mary to move smoothly into the future.

“President Schwalbach has been an outstanding leader for Mount Mary University,” said Sister Mary Anne Owens, provincial leader of the Central Pacific Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Mary’s sponsoring organization. “She has devoted her heart and soul to this institution, and her deep respect for faculty, administration, staff and students is obvious.”

Under Dr. Schwalbach’s stewardship, Mount Mary moved up more than 20 spots in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of private universities to No. 75 in 2015 and the number of freshman applicants increased by 50%. In 2012, Dr. Schwalbach presided over the change of then Mount Mary College to Mount Mary University.

Dr. Schwalbach began at Mount Mary in 1993 as a parttime instructor and joined the faculty full-time in 1997. In 2003, she began as associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs and in January 2004 became interim vice president for Academic and Student Affairs. She became permanent vice president in July 2004, provost in 2007, and served as acting president from September 2008 through February 2009 when she was named the 11th president. Prior to Mount Mary, Dr. Schwalbach was a teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools for 25 years.

In addition, Dr. Schwalbach led the University through strategic planning that resulted in the Creative Campus Initiative, designed to address the need to educate tomorrow’s workforce with creative leadership skills. “Dr. Schwalbach’s leadership has added tremendous value to the academic programs at Mount Mary


Please see President Schwalbach’s reflection on her decision on page 1.


A global look at healing Mount Mary’s growing collaboration between its Art Therapy Department and the medical college in Zagreb, Croatia, moved another step forward in April, when faculty members from the School of Medicine at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, participated in a keynote discussion at Mount Mary’s 2016 Art Therapy Symposium. Croatia does not have an established art therapy profession. However, in the wake of the Cold War and the country’s civil war, the country’s medical experts

recognized the healing power of art therapy and connected with department chair Christopher Belkofer. Mount Mary was the first university in the U.S. to offer a clinicalfocused Ph.D. in art therapy. “Croatia’s health care system struggled to meet the complex needs of a generation suffering from trauma and its aftermath,” said Belkofer, who has delivered art and neuroscience workshops in Zagreb. The panelists covered a number of topics of interest to both cultures, such as the

Christopher Belkofer, chair of the art therapy department, leads Branka Kandić-Splavski, M.D. and medical student Filip Derke on a tour of Gerhardinger Center.

effects of PTSD on the mind, body, and culture as well as exploring contemporary health-care systems both in the U.S. and in the former communist system of Croatia.

Mount Mary has accepted its first art therapy student from Croatia. The student will start in fall.

Deb Brenegan

Faculty members guide stories of survival Survivors of gender-based violence tapped into the healing power of words and art through Untold Stories, a project led and taught by faculty members Rachel Monaco Wilcox of the Justice Department and English professor Deb Brenegan.

who created visual representations of the survivors’ healing experiences. Graduate students from the University’s Art Therapy Department have worked with the high schoolers, along with community partner Arts at Large.

Monaco Wilcox and Brenegan met with survivors for a number of writing workshops to put their stories and feelings into words. Once competed, these stories were passed along to art students from Washington High School, Alliance High School and Messmer High School

“The only shame in rape is that too many survivors don’t have a safe place to express themselves,” according to James E. Causey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has written about Untold Stories. “In order to survive, they need to know that they are not alone.”

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 27


Mount Mary honors contributions of former president Sister Ruth Hollenbach, SSND, fifth president of Mount Mary University, died Saturday, Jan. 16 at the age of 91. During her tenure from 1987 to 1995, she led the institution through record-breaking enrollment and numerous facility upgrades, such as the renovation of the lower level of the Haggerty library, which now houses the campus technology center and computer labs. Mount Mary, which was considered a College at the time, celebrated its 75th anniversary the same year Hollenbach arrived. Some notable University accomplishments from her tenure include the launch of the Master of Science in Art Therapy program; the development of the Master of Arts in Education: Professional Development program; and the accreditation of the

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program. In a 1989 interview with the Milwaukee Sentinel, Hollenbach said, “women who are truly fully competent can also be understanding, openminded and compassionate. These are special characteristics of women that are so desperately needed in business, government and all the professions.” Prior to her tenure at Mount Mary University, she helped found and served as director of the Maria Center in South St. Louis and taught special education for the St. Louis Province. She had also served as professor and administrator at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, from 1967-1978. Sister Ruth earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and science

Sister Ruth Hollenbach, SSND

from Webster College in 1952; and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1957 and 1960, respectively. “To have spent 70 years of my life actively engaged in education has been true fulfillment and happiness,” she said at her Jubilee celebration last year.


Proudly supported by the Mount Mary University Alumnae Asscciation



University mourns passing of beloved fashion instructor Sandra Tonz Alumnae gather for community service project in her honor Tonz was remembered as an educator who put the needs of others before her own, and she structured activities to emphasize that value upon her students. At the end of each semester, Tonz would create class projects that involved supporting those in need. Over the years, these projects included help for the homeless, disadvantaged children, and others. In that spirit, a group of alumnae gathered at Mount Mary on May 23 to create and sew garments for children in the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital. Former student Allison Jarrett, ’13, came up with the idea and texted her fellow fashion design graduates to gauge interest. Despite busy schedules and long distances, a total of about 50 gathered on the ground floor of Fidelis Hall to sew hats, kangaroo blankets, onesies, and other tiny garments for ill and newborn infants.

Sandra Tonz, a longtime fashion design instructor and former director of the Fashion Boot Camps, died April 11, 2016. Tonz taught at Mount Mary from 2001 to 2015, and her courses included advanced pattern construction, special occasion, designing with leather, and tailoring. She was well remembered by former students for her commitment to education as well as her abiding patience.

“It was never about her; it was always about giving to others,” said Jarrett. “That was Sandy. Even if we didn’t have a particular textbook for class, she would go out of her way to help us get that book.” A mainstay of the University’s CREO student fashion design shows, Tonz committed herself to the extra work to make those highly complex shows a success.


“Every teacher has to be patient, but she went above and beyond,” said former student Emily Royston, ’12. “I was a first-time sewer, so she had to sit down and show me, step by step. She was very kind-hearted.”

“Sandy was always the one to help,” said Jarrett. “We had her phone number on speed dial. We would be up late at night at the lab and she would say, ‘Call any time.’ And if she couldn’t solve it over the phone, she would come in first thing in the morning.” “I see my role at Mount Mary as a catalyst for my students,” said Tonz in 2014, “to provide them with foundational skills that will spark their own creativity.”

Alumnae and friends who would like to honor Sandra Tonz are encouraged by make a donation to the President’s Emergency Fund at Mount Mary in Sandra’s name at

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 29


BEST OF SHOW - Bon-Ton Fashion Award Tamara Sanchez





STUDENTS DESIGN, MODEL AND EXHIBIT CREATIVITY AT CREO CREO, the School of Arts & Design’s annual celebration of creativity, extended over two weeks and multiple venues in April and May. CREO is Latin for “to make, create, produce.” Exhibits, recitals and receptions filled the campus galleries and performance spaces. On campus, CREO showcased the student work with senior shows for Studio Art and Graphic Design as well as a School Showcase, featuring of the work of a diverse representation of students from studio art, graphic design, art therapy, fashion, interior design classes. Performances in music and dance completed the showcase. On May 6, the celebration culminated in a live runway production organized and executed by fashion design and merchandise management students, who spent a semester planning every detail of the event. The show, themed “Synergy,” featured over 75 garments, including collections from senior fashion design students. Achievement awards were presented from community and industry supporters such as Bon-Ton, Florida Perry Smith, Kohls, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, A.J. Ugent, Target and Nancy Zieman of the public television series, “Sewing with Nancy.” The fashion show was held at the Father Carney Performing Arts Center at Pius XI High School. For a look at more highlights from year’s show, visit

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 31



This section highlights recent noteworthy accomplishments and awards of the Mount Mary University faculty, staff and students. William “Bilhenry” Walker, Academic Services, installed an

exhibition of sculptures at Milwaukee City Hall in February, titled, “Crime Scene at 11th and Atkinson.” This sculpture celebrates the lives of three young men gunned down on a street corner in 2014. Additionally, he installed eight table-top sculptures at the Cliff Dwellers Arts Club in Chicago in spring and will display the monumental sculpture, “Synaptic Sinew V” (right) in Downtown Peoria, Ill., for a year starting in June.

Jordan Acker Anderson, Chair, Art and Graphic Design, received a Best in Show award for her painting, “One in Four: To March Towards” at the 2015 Members’ Show at the Museum of Art.

Ann Angel, English, served as contributing editor

and wrote one of the 15 stories in “Things I’ll Never Say, Stories About Our Secret Selves.” The book has been listed on the CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) Choices 2016 list.

Linda Delgadillo, Ph.D., director of the Urban Education Fellows Program and three coaches, Mark Finger, Jan Guerin and Mary Kashian, conducted two presentations at the 26th National Association for Alternative Certification Annual Conference in New Orleans in March. They presented a workshop session on coaching and participated in a round table discussion entitled, “Visual Evidence: Video Recording is an Effective Tool to Support and Coach Beginning Teachers.”


Sue Nieberle, major gift officer in the Office of Development, became a Certified Fund Raising Executive

(CFRE) in December 2015. She was certified through the CFRE International, which is administered by 15 different philanthropic associations.

James Conlon, Ph.D., Philosophy, published “The ‘Holy Fool’ in Talk to Her (Hable con ella)” in Philosophy and Film, Volume 20, 2016.

Krista S. Moore, Ph.D., Sociology, coordinated a research

project for 14 students in her Community Based Research course; students worked with Interfaith Older Adult Programs to conduct a survey with a sample of their 2,400 volunteers to determine how well Interfaith does with its training, communication and recognition of the volunteers, as well as their overall satisfaction. The students also conducted interviews and focus groups with staff members who supervise volunteers to discover practices that are effective and areas for improvement.


Jason Meyler, Ph.D., Spanish, presented “Illegal Alien’s

Guides to Contemporary Imaginings of U.S. Latin@ and Latin American Identity” at the Latino Art Now! Conference in Chicago in April. He will present “Oneiric Latinidad – Dreaming Latin@ Identity One Image at a Time” at the Latino Studies Association Conference in Pasadena, Calif., in July.

Jennifer Laske, Theology, presented “A Catholic

Environmentalism: Laudato Si and Beyond,” at the St. Nicholas of Myra Conference on Catholic Social Thought II at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, in December 2015.

Kayla Sell, director of student engagement, received the Wisconsin College Personnel Association’s award for Outstanding New Professional in fall 2015.

José Olivieri, Board of Trustees, has been named one of

the most influential Hispanic leaders in Wisconsin by Madison 365. He co-founded and chairs the Immigration Practice Group at Michael Best & Friedrich in Milwaukee. He is also former chairman of the firm’s Labor and Employment Relations Practice Group, and helps lead the Higher Education Special Practice Group. He earned the NFL Hispanic Heritage Award in 2013 and received the prestigious Leaders in the Law Award in 2015.

Rachel Monaco Wilcox, JD, Justice, presented “Trauma

Informed Legal Advocacy and the LOTUS Legal Clinic” at a variety of conferences and legislative sessions this spring, and presented “Getting the Story Right; SurvivorCentered Policy Change” at the National Crime Victim’s Law Institute 14th Annual Conference in Portland, Ore. Through her work with the LOTUS Legal Clinic for sexual assault survivors, she has also provided expert legal testimony in court. The clinic recently received an anonymous donation of $70,000, which will fund a clinic coordinator position.

Michael Gonring, Justice, taught Leadership and the Law as

a Special Topics Course, which featured presentations by many notable women achievers in law, including Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler; United States Bankruptcy Judge Bath Hanan; and Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper, among others.

Kari Inda, Ph.D., OTR, and Jane Olson, Ph.D., OTR, FAOTA, Occupational Therapy, gave two presentations at The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) annual conference in Chicago in April. The presentations were titled, “Strategies to Enhance Certification Exam Performance in Occupational Therapy Candidates” and “Closing the Gap Between Practice, Education and the Professional Doctorate.”

Melissa Kraemer Smothers, Ph.D., Counseling, presented “The Relationship

Between Gender Role Conflict, Coping and Burnout Among Male Law Enforcement Officers” at the American Counseling Association’s Annual meeting in Montreal, Canada in April along with alumna Allison Lancione, ’15.

Kristen Roche, Ph.D., Business Administration, published the paper “Job

Satisfaction and the Educated Entrepreneur” in the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in late 2015, and presented “Educational Mismatch and the Earnings Distribution: Where Does the Mismatch Bite?” (co-authored with Dr. Keith A. Bender, University of Aberdeen) at the 2016 Midwest Economics Association Annual Conference in April in Evanston, IL. Additionally, Dr. Roche received the 2015 UWM Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award, recognizing her for outstanding professional achievements and civic involvement and partnerships with the university.

Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth, Ph.D., Philosophy, wrote “Thinking Woman, A

philosophical approach to the quandary of gender,” a book of biographies and ideas about women from the history of philosophy. The preface is dedicated to how Mount Mary gave birth to the book. She presented the book at the Women’s Roundtable on New Books on Gender at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga., and has spoken at local libraries on the book. She was the keynote speaker at the North American Luther Forum in St. Paul, Minn.

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 33


At the University’s Founders Day, celebrated on Feb. 22, 2016, the following staff received SSND Heritage Awards:

Rose Lanier, Housekeeping staff; administrator Karen Friedlen, vice president of academic affairs and student affairs; and Art Therapy faculty member Lynn Kapitan.

STUDENTS Haley Coleman, Biology/Health Science, will travel to China for two weeks in June as part of the Emerging Leaders/U.S.China Study Delegation sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She is one of 20 students selected nationwide to participate in academic, cultural and reflection activities in Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou.

International Studies students Michelle Hawkins and Patricia Gerber participated in the Rocky Mountain Model

Arab League Conference at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colo., in March. Michelle was council chair for the Political Affairs Council on the Secretariat and Patricia Gerber represented Jordan on the Environmental Awards Council. Hawkins also spoke at the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition in Milwaukee because of her bringing a special film on Syria to campus.

Gianna DeLoney, Spanish and Communication, was

named as a recipient of the federally funded Gilman Scholarship for study abroad. Gianna will spend five weeks studying in Granada, Spain this summer.

The Leadership for Social Justice class Grace Scholars section one, led by faculty member Rachel Monaco-Wilcox,

donated 20 handmade quilts and wrote individual gift letters to Lad Lake/St. Rose programs for at-risk young women in partnership with LOTUS Legal Clinic and the Material Girls of Baraboo, Wis. This was part of class projects in human-centered design. Under the direction of interior design faculty chair Genevieve Szeklinski, first-year students designed a chapel space for Divine Mercy Parish in South Milwaukee. The space was being used as a school gym but needed to be converted to a parish chapel. Each student created designs, submitted on 18” x 24” boards, and they were left at the parish for parishioner review and voting. A design by Katie Link was selected and completed over the summer and fall of 2015 and was dedicated on Feb. 14, 2016.

At the University’s Founders Day, celebrated on Feb. 22, 2016, the following students received awards: • The Mother Theresa Award was awarded to senior Michelle Hawkins, an international studies student. • The Mother Caroline Award was given to junior student Elizabeth Perez, who has volunteered extensively within the Hispanic community.


In January, Arches staff members traveled to Minneapolis for the annual ACP Best of the Midwest College Journalism Convention and won seven Best of Show awards, including: • Second Place - Best Newspaper Special Edition for reMARK (food issue) • Third Place - Best Publication, Four-Year College, Less Than Weekly • Third Place - Best Website for

• First Place, Best Multimedia Package by Emily Chapman, Brenda Reasby and Sereta Bruchett Milwaukee Press Club honors Arches staff Arches staff members won the following awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s annual convention in February: • Graphics: First Place, Rennie PattersonBailey; Third Place, Sheila Suda • Feature Writing, First Place, Leea Glasheen; Second Place, Nhung Nguyen • General Reporting, First Place, Sara Raasch • Column Writing, Third Place, Shannon Venegas Nhung Nguyen won a $1,500 WNA Foundation Scholarship for her work on Arches. Brittany Seemuth, English, the most recent editor-in-chief of Arches, was named a Future Headliner by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Every year, the WNA selects five rising stars working in the Wisconsin newspaper industry as emerging leaders in news media. Award recipients are either students or professionals younger than 30. This year, Brittany was the only student to win the award.


CLASS NOTES Carol Abraham, ’83, was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2016. This competition is based on advocacy, achievement and communication. Carol is a retired occupational therapist (OTR), the founder of the worldwide Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Day and serves as the director of community outreach for Coalition to Cure Calpain 3. She has Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, a rare progressive neuromuscular disease and she has been using an electric wheelchair for mobility for more than 25 years. Stacie Anthony, ‘98, was the featured guest artist at a reception at VIVA Gallery in Viroqua, Wis. Stacie’s jewelry collection, known as “Winged Woman Art,” explores her deep connections to ancient and earthly symbols. ( Stacie is also the owner of Gary’s Rock Shop, a specialty nature store located on Main Street, Viroqua. Sydney Deutsch, ’11, recently opened up her own business, Hyde Park MKE (, a women’s store featuring apparel, accessories and home items, as well as tailoring and dry cleaning. Sydney took over her grandfather’s tailoring and dry cleaning business and added the retail element; she is also an adjunct faculty member at Mount Mary. She wrote the curriculum for the University’s Fashion Styling class. Kim Dunn, ‘97, has been named creative director of The Roberts Group in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In her new role, Dunn oversees the creative department while continuing to support the full-service health care marketing agency. Carmen Eskra, ’07, joined Eppstein Uhen Architects as an interior designer in the Workplace Studio. She has been involved in multiple project types including inpatient and outpatient health care, hospitality, financial/ retail and manufacturing, while specializing in projects in the corporate sector. She is a third generation interior designer and Milwaukee native. Mari Maldonado, ‘13 & ‘15, is the director of community affairs and fund development at La Causa, Inc. in Milwaukee. She oversees and directs the community affairs and fund development team in donor relations, event coordination, grant solicitation, market implementation, public relations and volunteer

recruitment. She also promotes La Causa, Inc.’s visibility through speaking engagements and community events. Emily Nolan, Ph.D., ‘14, was recently profiled in about her business, Bloom: Center for Art and Integrated Therapies counseling center in Bay View, and the practice of art therapy and the healing process ( arttherapybloom.html) She is also an assistant professor and internship coordinator for Mount Mary’s Art Therapy Department. Kathryn Schoos, ’12, received her doctor of chiropractic degree in December 2015 from National University of Health Sciences of Lombard, Ill. She is now working at Blue Hills Chiropractic, LLC. Traci Singleton, ’15, is now the accounting and benefits assistant at School District of South Milwaukee. Janet Stikel, ‘14, was named the director of graduate admissions at Alverno College. Debra Trakel, ’75, recently became the director of client services at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. Jo Ann Weizenicker Kuharske, ’91, has been recognized as a distinguished professional in her field through Women of Distinction Magazine. She is a personalized blended learning lab coordinator at Morse Marshall High School for the Gifted and Talented. The program she oversees helps students gain the credits they need to graduate.

Send us your updates! Access our online form at:

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 35


IN MEMORIAM Deaths of Alumnae: 1937 Catherine Boehm Wick on Jan. 10, 2016

1959 Mary Verfurth on Nov. 21, 2015

1938 Kathryn (Hermie) Kuhlmann Rivers on Dec. 25, 2014

1960 Darlene Wolf Barrocas on March 16, 2014


1960 Joyce Heinen on Nov. 27, 2015

Helen Voulgares Vans on Feb. 21, 2016

1942 Mary Margaret Bauer Mee on Aug. 14, 2015

1960 Ann Atkinson Huggett on Jan. 1, 2015

1943 Margaret Martin Lindl on Jan. 15, 2016

1969 Rosemarie Buch Domiani on Aug. 13, 2015

1946 Margaret Regan Bach on Nov. 30, 2015


1946 Carmen Weber Jacobs on May 28, 2014

1976 Christine Castelaz on Oct. 14, 2015

1949 Janet Bunzel Acker on July 28, 2015

1985 Christine Hilt Franken on Feb. 17, 2016

1949 Margaret Doyle Baumann on Sept. 2, 2014

1994 Heather Booth Boehnen on Nov. 12, 2015

1950 Rosemary Dabbert Ameling on Jan. 23, 2015

1994 Amy Lyn Klimke Bremer on Feb. 19, 2016

1950 Martha Smolka Anderson on Oct. 26, 2015

1950 Patricia Dineen Foley on Nov. 18, 2015 1950 Mary Kilkelly Savignac on Feb. 12, 2016

Mary Ellen Hughes Vinz on Jan. 25, 2016

Florence DuChateau Holznecht on March 17, 2016

Deaths of MMU Faculty & Staff

1950 Phyllis Poull Swatek on Jan. 20, 2016 1951

Emily Forster Koehler on Aug. 13, 2015

Sister Ruth Hollenbach, SSND., on Jan. 16, 2016


Joan Sujack Zulfer on Feb. 21, 2016

Joan Korsmeyer on Feb. 10, 2016

1952 Mary Bonness Ludington on Oct. 27, 2015

Mary Laumann on Feb. 20, 2016

1954 Sally Jewson on Dec. 29, 2015

Father Paul McGuire, SCJ, on Feb. 22, 2016

1955 Mary Knape Teuschl on Dec. 31, 2015

Sister Mary Briant Foley, SSND, ‘50 on April 4, 2016

1956 Jeanne Jarvis Bronikowski on Feb. 5, 2016

Sandra Tonz on April 11, 2016

1958 Arlene Peterson Feltz on Sept. 25, 2015

Sister Marian Blong, SSND, ‘39 on May 11, 2016

1958 Arlene Willisch Gembala on Dec. 2, 2015 1959 Barbara (Bobbie) Neuman Bergmann on Sept. 1, 2015



REFLECTION By Sister Joan Penzenstadler, SSND, Vice President for Mission and Identity From its beginnings, the Occupational Therapy Department at Mount Mary has educated with the values that the School Sisters of Notre Dame hold as critical in order for education to be a transformative experience. When I look into what is happening in the OT Department, I perceive students being challenged to hone their critical and creative skills and I also see them striving to see, really see, the person before them. Their listening to and encouragement of the one with whom they are working helps them appreciate what it means to address the whole person. Faculty members go to remarkable lengths to support each student, modeling how to hold each one as a person of dignity and worth. Development of honest and respectful relationships carries over to the relationships our graduates aspire to develop with their clients and colleagues. Faculty attest to the transition from student to therapist that takes place after the fieldwork experience and that continues through each stage of transformation. Layers of pondering, trying new approaches and creating effective treatment plans are involved in moving more deeply into the process of what it means to be a healer. In significant ways, the “Virtus et Scientia” motto etched on the seal of Mount Mary is lived out within our occupational therapists. This motto is the legacy of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and continues to

sister joan penzenstadler provide educational direction. “Scientia,” knowledge, provides the necessary basis to navigate the complexity of the 21st century. “Virtus” provides the moral development, the formation of the human heart, which helps to shape the decisions that need to be made, as SSND are convinced, in light of Gospel values. Despite the daunting challenges in health care and on the global scene, Sister Miriam Jansen, SSND, expresses our hope in the future in her presentation titled “Love and Learning”: “These times are blessed; they’re graced and privileged. So let’s not be afraid. Let’s push out the boundaries of how we have defined ourselves and respond to the demand of our mission in a rapidly changing world context. As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Jesuit priest and paleontologist, reminds us, ‘The only task worthy of our efforts is to construct the future.’ We are playing on a planetary commons and our commitment must be to a global generation.”

SPRING & SUMMER 2016 | 37

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Milwaukee, WI Permit No. 340 2900 North Menomonee River Parkway Milwaukee, WI 53222-4597




9‘ 1, ‘96, ‘01, ‘06,




, ‘71, ‘76, ‘81, ‘86,


1‘1 , ‘16, ‘36, ‘41, ‘4 SP




Tonz Remembered:


Oct. 7-9, 2016 | Sandra Tonz passed away April 11, 2016. She was a faculty member in the Fashion Department from 2001 to 2015.

56, ‘ 6, ‘51, ‘ 61, ‘66


Mount Mary University Magazine Spring - Summer 2016  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you