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The Heart of Learning

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


TABLE CONTENTS 1 2 8 10 12 14

Ask the President The Heart of Learning

Care in Action

Wellness at Work

The Cause for Social Justice

Madonna Medalists

16 Alumnae Story 18 Leading Lady 19 Calendar of Events 20 Mount Mary Serves 21 Then and Now 22 Donor Impact 24 Women’s Leadership Institute 26 Announcing the New Campaign 28 Campus News 32 Achievements and Accolades 35 Class Notes 36 Alumnae Briefs 37 Reflection

Š2015 Mount Mary University Compiled by Mount Mary Office of University Marketing and Communications, Scott Rudie, Editor Contributors: Christina Carayannopoulis, Eva Ennamorato, Helle La Plant, Kathy Mangold, Susan Marshall, Amy Merrick, Sister Joan Penzenstadler, SSND, Lynn Sprangers, Jessica Wildes, Office of Alumnae and Parent Engagement, Office of University Advancement. Mount Mary University is sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.




Q. WHAT MAKES A MOUNT MARY EDUCATION DIFFERENT? A. I am often asked how Mount Mary differentiates itself from other higher education institutions and what it does to help our students realize their potential in a rapidly-changing world. Employers want to know how the University is creating an environment which gives our students 21st century skills to help them mobilize people and ideas. As you read this magazine, you will learn how Mount Mary transforms women to be bold leaders of change. In big ways and in small ways the impact of a Mount Mary education is transforming the world.

Mary as a place where employers can look for talent to help them innovate and seize opportunities with fresh perspectives.

Our Leadership for Social Justice course, a requirement for first-year students, increases awareness of how leadership, social justice and creativity are connected. Students are introduced to the depth “BEING A CREATIVE of thinking required in a college CAMPUS HELPS environment and in the places they DIFFERENTIATE MOUNT will land after graduating. Our students MARY AS A PLACE WHERE develop the ability to work with teams, build consensus, and resolve conflicts. EMPLOYERS CAN LOOK They learn how to develop a plan of FOR TALENT TO HELP action - and carry it out.

THEM INNOVATE AND We have inherited this legacy from our founders, the School Sisters of Notre Our Women’s Leadership Institute adds SEIZE OPPORTUNITIES Dame. For nearly 103 years, Mount to the Mount Mary experience by giving WITH FRESH Mary has helped students find their our students connectivity to the people PERSPECTIVES.” voices, surrounding them with strong and the world around them. We believe academic programs and increasing their confidence to that leaders who achieve connectedness are able to offer act, lead, and take risks. their best work and bring out the best in those around them. It is their connectedness to themselves and others To lead in today’s world, we know creativity is key, that helps encourage creativity among followers and and therefore, we have embraced becoming a Creative brings about transformational change. Campus. We are infusing creative teaching and learning throughout the classroom and campus through five core Mount Mary is distinctive - proudly so. We believe that competencies: agility, experimentation, imagination, our students are discovering how their education can open-mindedness and ability to navigate complexity. We be a model for what they will do beyond Mount Mary, have developed tools to measure and assess outcomes. becoming a new generation of bold leaders who create Being a Creative Campus helps differentiate Mount and bring about positive change.

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ike a storm cloud looming over a child’s head, trauma is a condition that inhibits learning and paints a bleak forecast for long-term health.

Trauma can be intensely personal — every child reacts differently to profound emotional suffering – but when it happens within populations of students it becomes an institutional issue as well. Educators struggle with the question: How can school environments become more sensitive to students who endure ongoing abuse, neglect, dysfunction and other forms of trauma? Based on Mount Mary University’s longtime focus on trauma treatment, researchers at the University are implementing strategies for creating trauma-sensitive learning environments.

SHIFTING FROM CAUSE TO RESPONSE As a school counselor at a Milwaukee Catholic high school in the mid-1990s, Carrie King, Ph.D., played a number of roles with the students she served. She remembers seeing the same group of kids over and over again for chronic behavior problems. They all had different labels — post-traumatic stress, abuse, personality disorders — “a big constellation of symptoms,” she recalled. Yet they shared a commonality, an inability to control their behavior to the point of causing a disruption in the classroom and forcing the teacher to send them out. No matter what got them there, they all landed in the same place, the school office. The term “trauma” has become a blanket concept that covers the various types of conditions and circumstances that can cause compromise a person’s ability to respond to situations and environment in ways that are emotionally,

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developmentally and socially appropriate. Trauma sensitivity is an awareness that a person’s emotional condition may be compromised, whether it’s due to poverty, instability, poor health or abuse. Acknowledging the presence of trauma makes schools more capable of fashioning a cohesive response. Today, King is working to shift the focus away from labels and diagnoses. Instead, she and colleague Tammy Scheidegger, Ph.D., have made it their goal to keep the kids out of the principal’s office and in the classroom. For that, schools in Milwaukee are ripe with opportunity and Mount Mary’s efforts are being recognized as transformational, both locally and nationally.

PROGRAM MAKES HEADWAY Milwaukee is a city in dire need for trauma-sensitive intervention. U.S. Census figures from 2014 indicate the city is the fifth most impoverished big city in the country, with 42.1 percent of the children under 18 living in poverty. Last year, Mount Mary faculty and researchers led by King and Scheidegger began a one-year project, conducting research and programming at Northwest Catholic School in Milwaukee (see story on page 8). Office visits were cut in half, as were incidences of classroom disruption and defiance. Results were most remarkable among younger students, with an 80 percent reduction in classroom disturbance and 79 percent decrease in office visits. Calls home to parents dropped by 86 percent for this younger age group. This work has gained local attention through the Precious Lives series, an ambitious two-year journalism initiative by local radio stations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Weekly dispatches chronicle the impact of gun violence in the community. The project at Northwest Catholic School has also garnered national respect; in March the duo is headed to Montreal to conduct “Trauma-Sensitive School Pilot Study Within an Urban School Setting,” a 90-minute presentation at the national conference for the American Counseling Association. Some 5,000 professionals are expected to attend the conference.


UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA Before joining the faculty at Mount Mary, Scheidegger counseled those in trauma. For 22 years she was a licensed counselor in Ohio. She also belonged to a critical response stress management team during disasters and emergencies. She witnessed firsthand the need for trauma counseling, both at the point-of-impact and in its aftermath. She also conducted routine training for emergency room nurses, helping them withstand the ongoing encounters with trauma. Trauma, she points out, has a ripple effect that goes on to touch those indirectly affected — and this includes teachers and those who work with kids, too. Mount Mary is the only private university in Wisconsin to offer a certificate of completion in trauma counseling. The coursework


THIS IS A STRENGTH-BASED PERSPECTIVE, NOT A DEFICIT MODEL WHERE THE FOCUS IS WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? THE PARADIGM SHIFTS WHEN YOU START ASKING, ‘WHAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU?’ INSTEAD. addresses the effects of both single-incident and ongoing trauma. Counseling graduate students and licensed professionals may participate in the certification. “Our brains and bodies develop differently if exposed to trauma at an early age,” Scheidegger said. “The science of trauma has proven that our brains and bodies become sensitive to triggers unconsciously that, if repeated, develop pathways and develop into hot buttons.” For that reason, the loud slam of a classroom cupboard has the power to unduly startle and set off a negative chain of reactions for a child who lives in a violence-ridden neighborhood and unconsciously associates any loud noise with the sound of gunshots. These neurological responses are difficult, if not impossible, to rationally override. “You cannot just think yourself out of this,” Scheidegger said. To make matters worse, these flight-or-fight self-preservation responses can be passed on from generation to generation, according to population studies that have been done with groups as varied as descendants from Holocaust survivors and displaced Native Americans.

department. “You can’t do what you’ve always done. “It’s hard, it’s frustrating to have 30 students, each needing something slightly different from you.” The push toward greater trauma-sensitive practices is appealing, Dosemagen said, because they offer flexibility to minister to the individual child — whatever his or her needs may be. Step one, she said, is not rushing to judgment. “We need to step back and recognize the power of our words to become less accusatory,” Dosemagen said. “When we see an issue our verbal responses need to be reframed from ‘can’t you cooperate’ to ‘what’s happening here?’ “I don’t want my students to make judgments about a child’s motivation — to say, for example, that a child is lazy. Maybe he is in an environment where he can’t possibly sleep at home,” she said. “Rather than make accusations we must put that energy into

In order to address the problem in schools, King and Scheidegger knew they would have to embed strategies that were familiar to counselors, but perhaps not to teachers. To that end, they set out to bring counselors and teachers closer together.

WHAT TEACHERS FACE No two children are alike, in learning styles or response to trauma. So just imagine a classroom full of 30 students, many of whom come to school bearing the emotional scars of trauma. “The challenge for educators is that response doesn’t always come in predictable ways,” said Deb Dosemagen, chair of the education

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helping change that child’s behavior.”

to enter into the child’s world — Dosemagen recalls the positive response a teacher got from wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle watch. “It sends the message that you care about and share their interests,” she said.

If the teacher focuses on changing behavior, the environment shifts dramatically, Scheidegger said. This is now a safe place where students can experience more learning and build more connected relationships. “This is a strength-based perspective, not a deficit model where the focus is what’s wrong with you,” she said. “The paradigm shifts when you start asking, ‘what’s happened to you?’ instead.”

Children have tremendous abilities, even those burdened by trauma, Dosemagen said. “Stop and consider their assets. They may have enormous resilience because they’ve survived. They may be more flexible than those coming from a routine environment.”

If you want to change the behavior, make the incentive something that is truly motivating to the student. That requires empathy.

Be adaptable — some students find comfort in structure while others don’t. See if it’s possible to build in some flexibility. For example, allow students the option to answer a writing prompt or select a topic of their own.

Collaborate with students to resolve behavior problems to avoid battles for control.

Be on the lookout for predictive behaviors that indicate acting out

And here’s where Mount Mary’s creative thinking strategies resonate particularly well: “You set high expectations and have to help students meet high expectations. This is where creative thinking comes in,” said King.

SOLID STRATEGIES FOR ALL King and Scheidegger are quick to point out that making schools more trauma-sensitive does not mean heaping the role of counselor upon teachers who are already stretched thin. Instead, the intention is to build a consistent, school-wide framework that provides teachers with solid teaching strategies and connects them to a network of support within the building and the community. Here are some trauma-sensitive strategies Mount Mary researchers suggest:


Help students transition between topics — Switching from one activity to another can be disruptive and students may need extra guidance when “switching channels.”

Teach routines and practice them — Specify exactly what it means to line up correctly for lunch, for example, provide clear expectations and give them an opportunity to practice the behavior, both individually and as a group.

Get to know students and call them by name. Find ways


behavior is likely to occur and use intervention strategies. •

Configure the classroom so that stimuli is minimized and students don’t feel confined. Create a space in the room where students can go for a selftime outs. Hang posters in the classroom that show calming techniques reminding students how to breathe and position their bodies in times of stress.

Many of the strategies above offer students a measure of control — and that’s the ultimate goal — equipping students with the ability to control their triggers themselves.

THE ONGOING CHALLENGE Tackling pervasive trauma within an educational institution is like doing battle with a multi-headed hydra. It is best effective when done at every level — with teachers, administrators and parents working together. Parents, especially ones in trauma-struck communities, have difficulties attending after-school activities such as the information night held at Northwest Catholic. At last year’s program, the participation rate among parents was disappointingly low. King and Scheidegger hope to acquire funding that will enable them to revisit Northwest Catholic School to meet with parents, students and staff alike. The challenges haven’t ended there. The new school year brought significant turnover of both teachers and students. In order for the emphasis on trauma sensitivity to stay effective, the tactics from last year will have to be re-introduced and embraced as a whole. “It’s difficult for a large institution to roll out a comprehensive trauma-sensitive environment,” Scheidegger said. “Good practices one at a time don’t make for trauma-informed care. All the pieces should be pulled together under the auspices of trauma-informed care.”

Childhood Trauma Type 1 Trauma

The emotional and psychological devastation from a one-time event such as the loss of a loved one or an accident.

Type 2 Trauma

Trauma that is ongoing, such as abuse or neglect. Trauma-sensitive practices recognize that this type of trauma has more potential for long-term consequences, and is more complex to address and manage

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s health maintenance organization:

. . . .

Proved the link between childhood trauma and future well-being. Proved that coping with the aftermath of childhood trauma isn’t something that only happens among a certain segment of the population. The study focused on a large sampling of mainstream Americans — 17,000 members of a health care organization. Two-thirds of its participants — and, by extension, Americans in general — have endured some sort of childhood trauma.

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Establishing relationships among teachers and counselors is a good place to start — but as a whole it’s difficult to bring them together. Counselors at high schools often have huge caseloads and at smaller elementary schools, there may not be a counselor at all. In her multi-disciplinary class on educational strategies, Dosemagen makes sure that the soon-to-be counselors and teachers she instructs have a chance to break down the silos that keep them apart. “This is a great place to start the conversations that aren’t happening in schools,” Dosemagen said of her class. “Addressing trauma is a community-wide project — we’ve heard from teachers, counselors and principals that there must be a consistency among environments. “Collaboration isn’t as pervasive as it could be,” Dosemagen said. “There’s a huge potential there.”

A CALL TO ACTION Ultimately, Scheidegger and King believe their trauma-sensitive mission has the power to transform the very face of Mount Mary University. They issued a challenge at an all-University workshop earlier this year to connect resources and creating an emotionally safe, traumasensitive environment within the boundaries here, as well. “We can train people to change the world, but we need to make sure the women who we send out are well themselves,” King said. “I would like to see Mount Mary University be trauma-informed in everything we do,” King said. “Providing students with an environment that is emotionally safe gives them the perspective they need to go out and make an impact.”




hile the concept of creating a trauma-sensitive school may seem lofty and philosophical, it all boils down to meeting a single goal.

It is, quite simply, to keep kids learning. For the Mount Mary University researchers at Northwest Catholic School in Milwaukee, the goal of fewer disruptions — in the form of classroom reprimands, visits to the office and calls home — meant establishing an environment which took students’ trauma-laden lives into consideration. The presence of trauma is well-documented, and the challenges at the school are formidable; only 11 percent of the students are considered proficient at reading and arithmetic. Some 90 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, a reflection of poverty. To this day, the homepage of the school’s website includes a picture of Laylah Petersen, a 5-year-old kindergartener at the school who was shot and killed at home, sitting on her grandfather’s lap. The first step, in autumn 2014, involved 18 hours of in-service for teachers to support them in breaking the cycle of sending disruptive students out of the classroom. They learned to understand the condition of trauma. Teachers also needed solid strategies for building trust with students, recognizing signs of

Wanda Melton, '14, school counselor

emotional overload and behavioral strategies to address disruption in the classroom. Northwest Catholic School’s two counselors are both Mount Mary alumnae, as is one of the teachers. They delivered programming along with graduate students and faculty members Carrie King, Ph.D., and Tammy Scheidegger, Ph.D. This work was supported by a $8,300 grant by the Charles E. Kubly Foundation and also included outreach to parents and in-school lessons for students using a mindfulness-inspired curriculum called Mind Up. Wanda Melton, one of two of those counselors, is at work bringing this groundbreaking trauma research to life. “The trauma-sensitive program is awesome at our school,” she said. “It has helped us to incorporate a lot of different techniques to help the kids to be aware of themselves. It’s rewarding. Most schools teach what to expect when you graduate. What Mount Mary taught me was to expect the unexpected.” “The impact on Mount Mary University and Northwest Catholic School was remarkable,” according to the final grant report. Teachers reported that thanks to the tactics the students learned, they could witness their students “visibly calm down.”

The statistics back up the anecdotal evidence; calls home to parents dropped by as much as 86 percent for lower elementary students. Markedly fewer students were sent to the office and classroom disruption and defiance dropped by 80 percent for lower elementary and 56 percent for upper elementary. To build upon this success, researchers have applied for funding to extend the programming into the present school year. As a reminder of this project, King keeps a “mindfulness jar” on her bookshelf. It holds bluetinted water and gold glitter. Shake the jar and the glitter and water swirl in chaos; hold it still and the contents gradually settle peacefully back into place. “It’s a powerful metaphor to show kids that even after turmoil, it’s possible to calm back down again. They need to see that regulating physical and emotional health is possible.” To learn more about Mount Mary’s work at Northwest Catholic School, listen to Episode 24 at or visit

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Brady Corporation employees engage in personal wellness and job satisfaction exercises as part of the Creating Authentic Leaders program.


ore than half of all Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs, a distressing thought for universities and corporations that cultivate young professionals for the workforce. Labor market researchers at the Conference Board, a global business membership and research organization, indicate that this number is improving slowly, according to the group’s 2015 Job Satisfaction Survey, but there’s a long way to go. A grant from the Milwaukee-based Brady Corporation has enabled Mount Mary’s counseling and art therapy faculty to create a program for burgeoning executives that explores the connection between personal wellness and job satisfaction.

Counseling faculty member Carrie King, Ph.D., helped design and deliver the programming with graduate art therapy director Chris Belkofer, Ph.D. King said she recognizes the difficulties that midlevel managers especially can have in reconciling their position at work with their personal identity:

pressures from the top and the bottom — not everything is within their control.


Perception of strength — Some leaders, particularly women, fear that they will be perceived as weak or vulnerable if they act with sensitivity, said King.

While Brady’s corporate participants have benefited from programming this fall, the impact could extend into the community and far beyond. The Creating Authentic Leaders program, developed with the support of the Brady Corporation, delivered 18 hours of training sessions to the company’s emerging leaders. The programs fostered team building, sharpened leadership and communications skills and emphasized all-around wellness. Participants also engaged in creating art to help them develop their emotional intelligence.

Effectiveness — Middle managers can face

Cultural differences — While we communicate professionally on a global level, we live within our own cultural context and this can cause misunderstandings, and challenges in motivating and managing others.

Physical toll — Stress can manifest itself as physical pain. During a body mapping activity, students identified that the stomach, jaws, shoulders and neck are of the hot spots, “where we hold our stress,” King said.


Most of the programming brought the Brady execs to campus for Friday morning sessions, with one notable exception. One morning in October, accompanied by counseling faculty, Terri Jashinsky, Ph.D., the group met at Transitions Equine, LLC to work with the horses as part of team-strengthening activities. While the experience with the horses was special, the time participants spent developing a clearer understanding of how their stress and emotions are reflected onto others and how to manage their stress was invaluable. “We’ve simply given them tools to support their goals,” King said. “We plan to do a three-month follow-up and expect they will have a higher job satisfaction and work locus of control as well as general feelings of wellness.” The activities designed for this program debuted this summer at Mount Mary’s Women’s Leadership Institute, which is designed for college students who have not yet entered the professional workplace. King intends the next step will be bringing corporate managers and students together for hybrid training. The Brady Company’s Foundation Group has supported this project with the intention of creating a program for a wide outreach, said Carlo Emanuele, a manager at Brady and member of its foundation board.

Emanuele said he is proud of the leadership qualities this program has inspired. “It’s important to us to develop strong leaders — they will be our future executive team,” he said. “Emotional intelligence is what separates a really good business professional from everybody else.”

“We are supporting this effort to create a big impact on business leaders in Milwaukee and beyond,” Emanuele said. “This isn’t a selfish benefit to the company’s bottom line. The net benefit to Brady is in building future leaders for Milwaukee.” The Brady Company has longstanding ties with the city; the company is more than 100 years old and employs 6,400 people in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Fiscal sales in 2014 stood at $1.23 billion. “With this support, Mount Mary is enabled to make an impact on the greater community,” said Ann Kahl, the University’s director of corporate & foundation relations.

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THE CAUSE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE Redesigned course addresses issues of today


or more than a decade, the Leadership for Social Justice course has been foundational for introducing first-year students to the concepts of social justice, the principles of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the mission of the University. Through a partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, this course has been realigned to apply creative thinking concepts and give students a project-based opportunity to work directly with community organizations. The course introduces students to the 4Cs — community, compassion, competence and commitment — and explores Catholic teachings of social justice. The new updates retain those keys areas of content, but introduce new techniques from the Center for Creative Leadership, such as Design Thinking. Students apply creative thinking to concentrate deeply on a social justice issue (such as youth violence, human trafficking or homelessness) through a collaborative group project. The group identifies an organization in the community and helps them identify and solve one of their key problems. “We are keeping the best, richest parts of the leadership and social justice aspects of the course and infusing the course with some new approaches to get at the same leadership goals we’ve had,” says Wendy Weaver, dean for Academic Affairs.



The collaborative group project in particular provides an excellent opportunity to grow useful skills for the workplace. Students have worked with groups such as Pathfinders, an organization that works with teens in crisis, and Express Yourself Milwaukee, an organization that immerses young people in the arts so they can learn to express themselves in positive ways. Representatives from the organizations visit the class, students do an onsite visit to learn about the organization firsthand, and then the organization identifies a problem or issue they would like to solve but haven’t had the time or resources to put toward solving yet. The students then use Design Thinking to talk to people at the organization and conduct research about the issue. Next, students analyze what they’ve learned and use humancentered design approaches to identify potential solutions.

world,” says Melody Todd, assistant professor of art therapy and a faculty member who teaches the Leadership for Social Justice course. At the end of the course, the students present their solutions to the organization, and the organization provides feedback and can then choose whether or not to adopt the solution. Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, chair of the Justice Department and a Leadership for Social Justice instructor, said she’s seen her students blossom in the new course format. They may have anxiety when they first start working on the community projects, but over time she sees them become excited and

humbled about the complicated problems that exist in the world. They build up their resilience and courage to leave their biases behind and help solve a problem. In essence, they gain confidence in their abilities and discover a passion for helping others. “For our community partners, having the students spend eight weeks of time or more thinking deeply about the issues the site is facing, brainstorming potential solutions, and putting the prototype ideas into a presentation that is provided back to the site, is a major collaborative gift,” says Jordan Acker Anderson, chair of the Art Department and a faculty member who teaches the course.

“We really focus on the different ‘isms’ — racism, sexism, heterosexism — and approach those ‘isms’ with open hearts to understand the idea of privilege and injustice that exists in the

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POWERFUL STORIES BEHIND THE MADONNA MEDAL INSPIRE US ALL What makes the Madonna Medal so extraordinary? We put that question to President Eileen Schwalbach, who offered some perspective on the medal and its importance to the Mount Mary community:

• Trailblazing — Suzanne Carlton, ‘64, has served in many capacities for the Chief of Staff to the U.S. Army, a particularly remarkable feat for a woman and a civilian.

“The alumnae who receive these medals represent the transformational aspect of Mount Mary’s education,” said Schwalbach. “These creative leaders have all seen need within their communities and turned them into opportunities.”

• Indomitable — It took 11 years for Marie O’Brien, ‘08, to receive her degree — but in the meantime she started three companies including Enterforce staffing, which serves the needs of Fortune 1000 companies. She is currently back at Mount Mary as a student, pursuing her MBA.

Here’s a look at some of these qualities, and how past Madonna Medal winners have put the spirit of the University into action: • Daring — The year after her husband died, Mary Rademacher Rose, ‘63, devoted herself to improving the conditions for students at St. Joseph’s Comprehensive High School for girls in the rural African village of Bafut, Cameroon, and raised a halfmillion dollars for improvements to the school. • Ambitious — In addition to developing her own line of gourmet food products, Kathleen “Murph” Burke, ‘65, has been active in local, state and national civic affairs as an arts advocate. She started her company, Murph’s Original Irish Products, from the Mount Mary kitchen. Years later, she received an honorary degree from the University for her outstanding service.


• Barrier-breaking — Olga Valcourt-Schwartz ,‘56, was a committed advocate for bilingual education, serving as the director of bilingual/multicultural education in the Milwaukee Public Schools. "Olga Village,” a housing community for seniors on the United Community Center campus, is named in her honor. • Visionary — Trendsetter and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama has been seen wearing dresses by renowned fashion designer Donna Ricco, ‘81. • Scholarly — Surgeon, researcher, author and lecturer Mary Francis Otterson, ‘79, has been recognized internationally for her contributions to medicine, particularly within the field of gastrointestinal research.


Event recognizes outstanding alumnae On Oct. 9, the Madonna Medal Awardees for 2015 were honored at Mount Mary University Alumnae Awards Night. Three Madonna Medals are awarded annually, while a relatively new award, the Tower Award, is given to a promising young alumna. Here is a list of this year’s winners: • Compassionate — As vice president of SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan, Safia Choudrhy Awan, ‘85, helps manage the largest orphan care charity in the world. She has overseen the development of many projects in Pakistan, from medical facilities, crisis response initiatives, residential homes to vocational training opportunities. • Trusted — Magna Werra Schley, ‘35, served as a dietician to Hollywood stars, including John Wayne. As the head dietitian at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., she also began the area’s first meals-onwheels program. • Extraordinary — After coming to the U.S. from Greece on a high school exchange, Natel Kypriotou Matschulat, ‘67, embraced her new country, ultimately moving to New York City and becoming the state’s senior deputy commissioner for the state’s department of commerce. “This is how we’re furthering the Sisters’ legacy, living out the mission of the institution,” Schwalbach said. More than a hundred alumnae have received Madonna Medals, which are given in the following categories: Professional Excellence; Community Service; Service to the Alumnae Association. The Madonna Medal depicts some of the iconic imagery that is dear to the University, three arches and an image of the Madonna herself. It is a symbol that represents both the humility and power of those who serve in the Mount Mary tradition. This idea — of celebrating noteworthy achievements that inspire a future call to action — lies at the very heart of the Madonna Medal.

Sister Patricia Ann Obremski, SSND, ‘63, a science professor with more than 50 years of teaching experience, received a Special Madonna Medal for her longstanding commitment to fostering an appreciation of science. Her innovative courses explore ways to meld faith and science. Mary Jo Stermer Park, ‘70, received the Madonna Medal Award for Community Service. Her peace education initiatives reach disparate audiences from elementary school students and teachers, to police recruits and those who are incarcerated. Julie Alexander, ‘81, received the Madonna Medal Award for Professional Excellence for her advocacy work. Throughout her life and her career, she has committed herself to promoting positive change surrounding issues of independent living and employment for individuals with disabilities. Jennifer Treptow Montalvo, ‘08, received the Tower Award for Excellence, for her legal work with low-income individuals, particularly immigrants who need assistance in the complex process of applying for visas.

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It’s exciting for anyone to make plans and watch them materialize before your eyes. It’s particularly thrilling for Michelle (Jaksic) Kool, a facility planning senior specialist for Northwestern Mutual, who is on the forefront in supporting the company’s tremendous growth and expansion. Kool was a sophomore in interior design when she heard one of the company’s design professionals speak at Mount Mary. After the presentation Kool struck up a conversation about internship possibilities. She applied, interviewed and was hired. She worked as an intern for three years and was hired as a fulltime employee soon thereafter.

The challenge, she said, is to make sure more than 6,000 employees and contractors have productive workspaces and facilities as construction proceeds on the 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons.

Her youth has been an asset at work, and her progressive spirit has been encouraged. Michelle is involved “THE CHALLENGE in many design projects that employ invigorating colors, IS TO MAKE SURE modern furniture, cubicle-free MORE THAN 6,000 workspaces, which reflect the company’s desire to move boldly EMPLOYEES AND into the future.



She’s also put her energy to WORKSPACES AND work at Mount Mary’s Starving Artists’ Show, co-chairing the FACILITIES AS entrance gate committee for the past six years with friend and “Having work experience while CONSTRUCTION alumnae Rachel Connet. There attending school helped me PROCEEDS...“ are two highlights to this work, apply my education to real-life she said: On the day of the event situations,” she said. she most enjoys the anticipation of the early birds who show up at the entrance gate at Today Kool works on a team with four daybreak. fellow facility planning senior specialists to plan, develop and implement space The other perk of being on the planning changes at the two Northwestern Mutual board for the show, she said, is revisiting the campuses, located in downtown Milwaukee campus at points throughout the year. and Franklin. She analyzes client needs to develop floor plan options and product “We hold planning meetings throughout solutions by leveraging specialized software the year so I’m able to appreciate being and building codes as guidelines. She back here in all seasons,” she said. “I feel coordinates projects with multiple internal connected to campus.” skilled trades’ teams and other vendors to create efficient and innovative work environments.

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Terri Holzen, Ph.D.

Introducing genetics research into the classroom


erri Holzen, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, understands the delicate balance between research and educational responsibilities, and she is determined to find ways to infuse her groundbreaking genomics and genetics research into the classroom for the betterment of her students. Holzen, who earned a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Chicago and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, hopes her work has the potential to uncover new insights into how cells become cancerous. Holzen is resuming her studies of the unique properties of yeast. Yeast are eukaryotic organisms, like plants and animals, which means that they contain cells with


a nucleus, and this creates promising new avenues of research on cellular division within human beings. “It’s a very useful organism to perform genetics on,” she said. “A lot of the processes that I’m interested in, that involve DNA repair or DNA replication, have pretty much stayed the same [in yeast] throughout evolution. While I’m not dealing with human cells, the work done on yeast cells provide insights into what is happening in human cells as well.” Holzen is interested in studying the genetic programs that are in place in yeast cells that regulate when a cell replicates its DNA. Cells replicate their DNA immediately before they divide, and irregular cell division is closely related to cancer. “Many of the genes involved in starting DNA replication, if

overactive, may be linked to certain kinds of cancer,” she said. While the research is highly specific, the potential implications are quite broad. To that end, Holzen is applying for grants through the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation to acquire funding for the necessary equipment to continue this research at Mount Mary. In addition to the potential for substantial scientific contributions, Holzen is developing a stronger link between her research and the classroom. Her goal is to create a small research lab at Mount Mary and extend opportunities to students to assist her in her work, either during the academic year or as an independent study during the summer. “I am an educator but I’m also a scholar, and I should be an example of scholarly activity to my students,” she said.



MARCH 2016

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

Winter Commencement


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Marian Gallery Show: Michael Velliquette Running through February 21, 2016 H.O.P.E. Workshop 8:30 a.m., Haggerty Library 115 Contact Alumnae Office (414) 930-3025


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Founders Day and Honors Convocation 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Alumnae Dining Room

Marian Gallery Show: Reginald Baylor Running through April 3, 2016

Voices of Leadership Stage Series with Shabnam Mogharabi (CEO, Soulpancake) Women’s Leadership Institute, (414) 930-3332

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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 2016

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Marian Gallery: Graduate Art Therapy Show Running through April 16, 2016 Art Therapy Symposium Contact Art Therapy Dept. (414) 930-3366

MAY 2016

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Music Department Faculty Recital Contact Music Dept. (414) 930-3225

CREO Fashion and Design Show Learn more at Spring Commencement

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CAROLINE SCHOLARS SERVE Generosity goes both ways in the Caroline Scholars program. The full, four-year scholarship awarded annually comes with one stipulation -- that students log in 300 hours of community service during each academic year. It’s not seen as an obligation; rather, students and the University see it as an opportunity to expand their commitment to social justice. This full scholarship package, partly funded by the Burke Foundation, is designed to enable students to delve into all aspects of service learning, said Michelle Pliml, director of Advising and Career Development, who co-directs the program with Kathleen Dougherty, dean of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. Six incoming freshmen are inducted into the program every year. “Students are enabled to commit themselves to service because their expenses are paid; they focus the time and energy outside of class working for social justice in the community that most college students must devote to working in order to pay for school,” Pliml said.

and benefit from peer support to process their experiences in depth.” For example, last year one scholar worked overnight shifts at a sexual assault treatment center, and grew tremendously, but also benefited from the ability to come back and debrief with her peers. This year, the scholars are working at sites such as Agape Community Center, Luther Manor, the Hunger Task Force Farm and Voces de la Frontera. As a group the Caroline Scholars select a social justice topic to discuss in detail during their class time together. This semester, they’ve selected the topic of homelessness. They’ve learned that homelessness and other social justice concerns — mental health, marginalization and more — are deeply entwined. “They start to see the internal connectedness of community issues,” Dougherty said.

As individuals, each of the Caroline Scholars identify an issue they would like to address — poverty, violence, homelessness, to name a few — and identify a community organization that aligns with that mission. They spend their service hours onsite and return to campus for classes that allow them to process their experiences.

“The students who go through this program are models of what Mount Mary students should embody: Women leaders for social justice, working to transform the world,” Pliml said. She said that students are free to pursue their own course of learning and can apply it, regardless of what their future careers may be.

“This is rewarding, but also hard, emotional work,” Dougherty said. “They’re seeing challenging situations

“We hope they take this to whatever their next step in life is,” said Pliml.





THEN & NOW A new class of students are calling Mount Mary University home. A total of 84 students from eight states moved into Caroline Hall during Move-In Day Aug. 26. By mid-afternoon, the parking lot near Bergstrom Hall was busy with families lugging baskets of clothes, bedding, laptops, rolled-up rugs, and personal trinkets. In total, there are 213 students living in the residence hall – full capacity. As students, parents, and friends piled belongings on carts to tow away, they shared a mix of emotions. Sarah Anklam, an art therapy student, and her mom traveled 18 hours from Georgia.

“We were tired and stressed out, but I did enjoy getting to ask my mom college questions on the way up,” Sarah said, recalling plenty of time on the road given extensive construction on the way up to Wisconsin. “I was really excited as I started to move in, but it was also really overwhelming. There was a lot of new information to learn and new people to meet.” Move-in day is organized by Residence Life, and more than 30 students and staff volunteered to move luggage and boxes into the residence hall. “Move in day is a tangible way for our students to start their new chapter at Mount Mary,” said Kayla Sell, director of Student Engagement. “I enjoy meeting new students and connecting with families on this significant day.”

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Alumna’s gift reflects the leadership lessons learned in corporate life If you ask Ginny Cornyn to tell you a little bit about herself, she gives a hearty Irish laugh and offers a playful bit of caution: “I’m 75 years old, so this may be a long conversation.”

relations manager in locations around the country, from Virginia to California. “What we tell kids about how the world is going to be, that’s how my career actually was,” she said.

“Like many women I expected to work a couple of years, then settle down, get married and raise a family,” she said. “That did not end up to be my life path.”

Certainly, her high-voltage career led her far from her Midwestern origins. But Ginny has never forgotten her formative experiences at Mount Mary. With her support, the University offers students two programs designed to develop the leadership qualities Ginny believes are foundational, the Studio Voices of Leadership speaker series and the Summer Leadership Institute, a four-day training conference.

Instead, Ginny became a leader for the digital age, growing and advancing as quickly as the innovative technology of the time. In the mid-1970s she was sent to England as a technical marketing manager for Xerox, becoming the company’s first female expatriate. Upon her return she worked as a product manager, IT manager and community

Today Ginny works as a community advocate in the greater Portland Ore., area, providing leadership to organizations that serve the homeless, provide health care to the poor and shelter the abused. For fun she sings in the cathedral choir and serves

Indeed, Ginny’s career has spanned continents, professions and decades. Reflecting upon her past — including five distinctly different leadership positions at Xerox Corp. — she acknowledges her legacy as a trailblazer. But that’s not what she set out to be when she graduated from Mount Mary in 1962.






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as a judge for high school and middle school robotics competitions. It reminds her of her days in the tech world — “and lets me revisit my geeky side.” Ginny acknowledges that her career was fast-paced, cutting-edge and occasionally cutthroat. As a woman in the male-dominated tech world of the time, she encountered blatant discrimination that sometimes hindered her effectiveness as a leader. But she never let these experiences stop her; they became learning opportunities for the next time such situations would arise. “I always wanted to make sure that next time, I would have the ability to handle that type of circumstance,” she said. Along her career journey, she credits the mentors who supported her through rough patches. Through her gift to the University’s leadership initiatives, she passes along that legacy of mentorship. “I want women to be able to maintain their self-respect and not have it be given or taken away. “I want them to have knowledge of their own value.”

Help transform the lives of current and future students by supporting Mount Mary University.








Donors by Type





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Summer Leadership Institute participants smile after completing the program.


By Susan A. Marshall, Founder, Backbone Institute, LLC College students seem to be having a tough time lately if you believe the popular press. Pundits say many are ill-prepared for the responsibility of higher learning and independent living thanks to helicopter parents and teachers afraid to assign tough grades for fear of damaging fragile psyches. Mount Mary University takes this particular bull by the horns in its Summer Leadership Institute. College women from around the state of Wisconsin spend one week on campus learning how to sharpen and strengthen their leadership capabilities. My workshop focused specifically on Confidence. In it, we worked on critical thinking and decision-making skills. We distinguished critical thinking from assumptive thinking, wishful thinking and memory, and demonstrated the power of recognizing and accepting reality as it is, not as we wish it would be. As a consequence, women learned how to identify their assumptions and suspend them in order to


WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE participate in circumstances as they exist. Additionally, they learned to set emotion aside in order to make intentional decisions, act with positive expectation, and accept the responses of others. Essentially, they learned how to change their mindset from a stance of fear and conflict to one of curiosity and learning. Journaling is an important part of this work. Learning to capture events, reactions, and assumptions is critical in “connecting the dots,” to reach effective decisions and act in ways that foster engagement and collaboration. As the participants began to experience new responses, their willingness to take greater initiative grew accordingly. Feedback from the session is typically enthusiastic. I believe this is because in being challenged to do things they might otherwise resist, participants learn they have capabilities they did not appreciate and the resilience to overcome other challenges. They are inspired by their own growth and eager to continue developing themselves as leaders.

A journey of self-discovery: Leadership program nurtures new mindset By Christina Carayannopoulis The Summer Leadership Institute is an intensive, residential program open to all college women. The purpose is to teach women about themselves and show them how they can become leaders within their lives and communities. It is filled with seminars including “Design Thinking,” “Health and Wellness” and “Public Speaking.” “I assumed it would be very formal but it was so comfortable; we were talking to each other, making jokes, and sharing our memories,” said participant Naureen Fatima, a sophomore Health Communications major at Mount Mary. It felt like we already knew each other from before.” Each class session runs between one hour and four hours long. The classes are not like typical lectures; they each provide a hands-on, interactive experience unique to the session’s topic and any notetaking is optional. “It’s a good opportunity to learn about a lot of different topics, boost confidence and have fun,” said Arielle Hay, a junior Neuroscience and Biology double major from Carthage College. While intensive and starting shortly after the semester ends, the WLI Summer Leadership Retreat is so much more than going “back to school.” It shows how women can make a big difference in the world through their leadership. “After going through the program and listening to different speakers talk, I started to make time for myself,” said Fatima. “I became much more aware of the fact that ‘leadership’ is not all about

Students in the summer institute explored self-awareness by "body-mapping" obstacles on their personal journey to leadership.

‘me’ or ‘my way or no way.’ In fact, it’s about asking other people’s opinions, giving each other respect, and learning from each other’s different backgrounds.” The Women’s Leadership Institute prides itself with making longlasting connections in a teamcentered environment, leading to a better understanding of one’s personal journey. The program is sponsored each year by community organizations interested in developing strong leaders, and Mount Mary University extends its deepest thanks to the Brady Corporation for its generous support. Questions can be directed to Darcie Maurer at or (414) 930-3332.

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Announcing the new campaign...




Mount Mary has engaged Manifesto, a Milwaukee-based marketing agency, to help develop the new campaign, which is designed to highlight how Mount Mary University lives its mantra of being a Creative Campus. The new messaging asserts that “Mount Mary Creates Bold Women.” The centerpiece of the new campaign is a microsite – – which tells the stories of bold alumnae and students. Each story will showcase different alumnae and demonstrate how they’ve made their mark on the world. “The bold tradition of Mount Mary first began with the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who had the foresight to create a place of higher education for women at a time when women didn’t go to college,” said Scott Rudie, senior director for university marketing and communications. “The new campaign both celebrates and builds upon that tradition as it tells the story of how Mount Mary is shaping the creative leaders of tomorrow.”

The goal is to increase awareness of the impact of the Mount Mary experience with key audiences, including prospective students, parents, employers, and other key influencers. “Part of our strategic process is honing in on the singular point of differentiation that defines an organization’s purpose,” said Tim Dyer, partner and chief storyteller at Manifesto. “What we uncovered at the center of Mount Mary was a culture-defying belief that measures success not only in salary, but significance.” The campaign will be visualized in the Milwaukee area via a new emphasis on digital advertising, emerging platforms such as streaming radio, and complemented by outdoor and print advertising. Content will be shared across social media as well, utilizing the hashtag #herestothebold. “We wanted to investigate atypical channels where the millennial audience lives and breathes,” Dyer said. “This includes an ‘anthem’ video that has the potential to be shared across the social landscape or a Pandora streaming radio ad that connects with the female audience we are trying to reach. From day one Mount Mary has had boldness in its DNA, and our job is to help expose it.”


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Rachel Barker (left), Hank Aaron (center) and Billye Aaron (right) pose together at Turner Field in Atlanta.

Student receives new Hank Aaron Scholarship “Being able to have a conversation with someone who is financially supporting me throughout my academic career really puts into perspective how important attaining my degree is here at Mount Mary. I will be forever thankful.” These words are from Rachel Barker, sophomore Art Therapy major, and the first recipient of a new Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation 4 for 4 Scholarship at Mount Mary University. Upon his retirement, the baseball legend and his wife Billye began a foundation to support promising students who are facing financial challenges in pursuing their dreams of a college education. Their $104,000 gift to Mount Mary grew out of a visit to campus in 2013 when Billye Aaron


was keynote speaker at the University’s Centennial celebration and in memory of their dear friend Joe Kennedy, a retired Milwaukee educator.


As part of her selection, Rachel traveled to Atlanta on Sept. 20 to meet the Aarons and attend a ballgame at Turner Field with other Chasing the Dream scholarship recipients from other colleges and universities - at no cost to these students. Rachel adds: “The best advice I got while in Atlanta is not to give up on your goals.” Learn more about supporting scholarships. Contact the Mount Mary Development Office at (414) 930-3399 or


Campus Ministry travels to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis By Amy Merrick At the crack of dawn Sept. 25, 16 students and staff members piled into two vans and set out on a pilgrimage more than 850 miles away to see Pope Francis during his first visit to the United States. Lea Rosenberg, director of Campus Ministry, organized the trip and hoped the students would sense the community aspect of the Church and enjoy this extraordinary opportunity. The students and staff set up a home base in cabins at a campground just outside of Philadelphia in New Jersey. On Saturday morning the students, along with Rosenberg and Eva Ennamorato, University Marketing and Communications, headed into Philadelphia and into a crowd of 300,000 people for the Festival of Families. The group walked five miles to get to the security checkpoint and into the festival. Once inside, there were 40 jumbotrons to broadcast the Pope’s Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Papal Parade and Prayer Vigil.

waving to the Pope, my stomach was filled with butterflies. I felt happy, and I was left with teary eyes.” On Sunday morning, the women headed back into Philadelphia for the 4 p.m. Papal Mass attended by 800,000 people. The Mass was offered in multiple languages and reflected a community of Catholics coming from many different states and countries to partake in an historic occasion. “The Pope talked a lot about love,” Rosenberg said. “He reminded us to look out for each other. We felt the universality and community of the Catholic Church in the crowds and in meeting so many other visitors.” Sister Joan Penzenstadler, vice president for Mission and Identity, was thrilled that members of the Mount Mary community participated in such a unique opportunity. “This experience could help our students see that we at Mount Mary are part of a tradition that is so much bigger than we ordinarily envision,” she said. “Pope Francis embodies the depth and expansiveness of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and I hope our students sensed connections between the Pope’s message and what they are learning on our campus.”

Finally, at 7:30 p.m. the Papal Parade began. The group watched with great excitement as the Pope rode past them just a few feet away. “Seeing the pope so close up was a highlight,” Rosenberg said. “I felt his powerful presence. Most Popes ride in a luxury vehicle enclosed in glass. Pope Francis rode in a Jeep Pope-mobile with most of the sides open, so he could be closer to the people.” For Sheila Suda, a student from Chuuk, Micronesia, the trip to Philadephia to see the Pope was a crescendo of many years of Catholic schooling. “Having the opportunity to go see the Pope was an experience no words can describe,” she said. “While standing behind the first row

View a video recap of the trip at

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Outstanding Teaching Awards Honoring faculty who demonstrate creative teaching and dedication to students

Mount Mary University presented the 2015 Teaching Excellence Award on Aug. 24 to Marmy Clason, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Communication Department and Austin Reece, M.A., A.B.D., adjunct instructor in the Philosophy Department. Outstanding teaching is an integral part of Mount Mary University’s mission, and the Teaching Excellence Award recognizes outstanding faculty who demonstrate innovative teaching techniques; knowledge of current developments and research in the field; and dedication, enthusiasm, and support of students’ personal, moral, and intellectual growth. Clason has been nominated by students over multiple years. Students write that she “takes time to know us and truly cares about how we are doing.” As the advisor for the English Honor Society, she takes the time to search for a quotation that is particularly matched to each student to personalize the induction ceremony. Clason has consistently high course evaluations, and her colleagues value her generosity, candor, and sense of humor. Reece is praised by his students: “[He] aroused my curiosity about things I did not think I would find of interest,” and his colleagues recognize him as “scholarly and organized. Each student is engaged and active in discussion.” Reece helped organize an event on healing from trauma through writing. He is also an educational specialist for violence prevention, including preventing child sexual abuse. This year’s two award winners were selected by a committee comprised of faculty, students, the past year’s award recipients, and Wendy Weaver, the dean for Academic Affairs.



Rudie named senior director for university marketing and communications Scott Rudie has been named the new senior director for university marketing and communications at Mount Mary University. He began Sept. 8.

Scott Rudie

Rudie’s responsibilities include managing the University Marketing and Communications team, developing strategic communications and marketing programs to build the University’s image regionally and providing project management leadership in the development and implementation of brand imaging and overall communications.

Rudie comes to Mount Mary University with more than 17 years of experience. His background in higher education marketing and communications includes senior leadership positions at Moraine Park Technical College and Cardinal Stritch University. A believer in the value of a Catholic education, he brings expertise in messaging, branding, creative direction and project management. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Master of Arts in History from Cardinal Stritch University.

New student orientation redesigned Days before the school year starts in August, every new student attends New Student Orientation, and this year the program was changed to meet the needs of today’s college student. New Student Orientation is a two-day experience in which students learn about campus resources, meet new classmates, and engage in activities designed to prepare them for academic and social life at Mount Mary University. This year, programming related to resiliency was added to introduce them to Mount Mary University’s emphasis on a Creative Campus. “People who are resilient are more likely to take responsibility for the things that happen in their lives. Even if it’s not their fault, or outside of their control, they recognize they have the power to react and respond in a way that helps move them forward. This is an example of the ‘creator’ mindset,” explained

Kayla Sell, director of Student Engagement. Sell organized activities for orientation and coached several facilitators who taught the lessons to small groups of new students. Students took turns identifying victim versus creator language: “I’m terrible at math,” versus “I find this class challenging, so I’ll start a study group and ask more questions in class.” They were asked to talk about typical challenges in a college students’ life using creator language. “The ‘creator’ mindset causes people to see multiple options, choose wisely among them, and take effective actions to achieve the life they want. When you take responsibility for the outcomes in your life, you empower yourself to create change,” Sell said. She hopes that students can apply this mindset to the challenges and opportunities they will experience throughout their college career.

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This section highlights recent noteworthy accomplishments and awards of the Mount Mary University faculty, staff and students. FACULTY AND STAFF Ann Angel, English,

served as contributing editor and wrote one of 15 stories by awardwinning writers of young adult fiction for Things I’ll Never Say, Stories About Our Secret Selves, published by Candlewick Press. Stories in this anthology focus on how secrets can shape or change our lives.

Mary Beth Duffey, English, took the first of three modules in Mindfulness Training this summer. She is incorporating mindfulness practices into the College Reading and Thinking class for first year students at Mount Mary this semester.

Mary Ellen Kohn-Buday, World Languages, co-presented “Making

the Curricular Match: Teaching the L2 Skills in their Order of Acquisition in the L1,” along with Jane Berne of the University of North Dakota at the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese in Denver in July. She also attended (with alumna Julie Hafenstein, ‘96, Spanish, English and Art) the workshop “Telling the Stories of Wisconsin Immigrants through Children’s Literature,” at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in June.

Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, Justice, published “Elder Mediation:

An Overview for Estate Planners,” in Estate Planning Journal for Thomson Reuters in October.

Sandra Keiser, Sarah Eichhorn (pictured below on left) and Susanne Maroske, Fashion, participated in an international workshop in Paris in July, “A Paris Salon: Nurturing the Creative Spirit.” Keiser was also a facilitator at the event. Participants were guided through a series of experiences designed to rekindle their creativity and expand their fashion horizons. Museum visits, hands-on workshops and cultural experiences stimulated creative responses in the form of haiku, hat making, textile dying and sketching. The salon format was enriched through dialog with international design professionals and artisans.



Sister Patricia Ann Obremski, SSND, Physics,

was awarded the Madonna Medal at the Alumnae Awards Night on Oct. 9.

Laura Otto, English, was

selected to be an inaugural board member of the newly formed Wisconsin College Media Association, a statewide group that fosters and supports student news media in Wisconsin’s colleges, universities and technical schools. She also led a writing session, “Sensory Storytelling,” at BlogHer ‘15, the preeminent conference for women bloggers, held in July in New York City. She will also serve on the panel, “Capturing Your Own Voice,” at BlogHer Food ‘15, the world’s largest conference for food content creators, in November in Chicago.

Eric Robinson, Library director and Dan Vinson, coordinator of User Services and Library Assessment, presented the session,

“Home Grown: Outreach and Assessment Techniques Without Using LibQUAL+,” at the spring Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries conference.

Special Alumnae Invitation

H.O.P.E. WORKSHOP: HINTS TO OPTIMIZE POTENTIAL EMPLOYMENT A career development workshop for alumnae Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 at 8:30 a.m., Mount Mary University Contact Alumnae Office: (414) 930-3025

ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACCOLADES STUDENTS Megan Ivanyos, English, received a scholarship to attend the Associated Collegiate Press' summer journalism training camp to learn digital storytelling.

Emily Ristow, Sara Sybesma and Pa Kou Vang (garment pictured left), Fashion, submitted designs for the International Textile and Apparel Association's Undergraduate Design Exhibition in November at the ITAA annual meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Brittany Seemuth, English, secured a competitive, full-time paid internship through the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. She spent the summer working as a full-time reporter for the Campbellsport News and Kewaskum Statesman. Tara Strook, Justice, became the first MMU

student to intern with the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, located in Milwaukee Wisconsin, this summer.

Milwaukee Press Club honors Arches staff Staff members of Arches – the Mount Mary student newspaper – won multiple awards from the Milwaukee Press Club’s annual Excellence in Journalism Competition: • Best Critical Review – Gold Award to Brittany Seemuth for "A Goodkind of Change" • Best Editorial or Commentary – Gold Award to Shannon Venegas for "Horsin’ Around: Final Goodbye to Phi" • Best Editorial or Commentary – Silver Award to AshLeigh Brown for "This Brown Life: Does This Make Me Look Old?" • Best Website Design – Silver Award to Mount Mary University - Arches website The students were honored at the Gridiron Awards Dinner, held at the InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel, in May.


CLASS NOTES Susan Richter Loesl, ’83, received the National Art Education Association, Council for Exceptional Children, VSA, Beverly Levett Gerber Special Needs Lifetime Achievement Award in New Orleans.

Jan Revenig Britt, ’93, (pictured right) joined Ixonia Bank’s Oconomowoc branch as assistant vice president – branch manager. Shelly Hoerz Dretzka, ’95, was promoted to human resources director at Commerce State Bank with locations in West Bend, Cedarburg, Elm Grove, and Sheboygan. Ana Donat Melo, ‘00, (pictured left) became the executive director at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts.

Jana Janesko Champion, ’84, (pictured above) was appointed director of the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory. Susan Pillar Muenter, ’86, (pictured below) was awarded the 2015 Milwaukee Business Journal Human Resources Award. She was also named as examiner for the 2015 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, responsible for reviewing and evaluating applications.

Marie Smith O’Brien, ’08, was honored by Catholic Memorial High School with their 2015 Alumni Legacy Award for Professional Achievement. Christine Dawley, MS, LPC, ’09, was recently promoted to manager of Spiritual Care at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Nicole Fischer, ’12, was named a Dohmen Scholar of 2014-2015 while at Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. Christine Kucharski Finerty, ‘13, opened a private practice, Touchstone Counseling, with a primary focus on women’s issues. Alexandria Quella, ’14, began working as an architectural lighting designer with Affiliated Engineers in downtown Chicago. Current projects include Northwestern University’s Lake Front Athletic Center, Longmont Hospital in Colorado, and Knox College Arts Building in Galesberg, Ill. Claire Holman, ’15, began at Altacare of Montana as a therapist working in an elementary school.

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ALUMNAE BRIEFS Marriage of Alumna:

Deaths of Alumnae:



Leslye Schlack married Jeffrey Bronstad on May 9, 2015

2014 Katie Roell married Dr. Derrick Schinderle on July 11, 2015

Marie Hiegel Pinter on March 24, 2015

1944 Ruthanne Suelzer DeWald on July 17, 2015 1947 Lois Ricker Kerns on August 2, 2015 1948 Betsy Donohue on January 23, 2015 1949 Dorothy Herkowski-Bitters on June 1, 2015

Birth of Alumna’s Child: 2001 Kate DeCleene Huber gave birth to Merna 2003

Catherine Huber on June 25, 2015

2010 Tiffany Watts Buell gave birth to Keira Ann Buell on March 8, 2015


Jean Hammond Polakowski on January 17, 2014

1953 Honora Salmon Lynch on September 8, 2015 1953 Margaret Kenny McNally on March 11, 2015 1955 Lorraine Vande Walle, on July 11, 2014 1956 Mary Ann Oprsal, SSND, on June 13, 2015 1958 Alice Steinkellner Donahue on March 18, 2015 1958 Eleanor Tysall Dailey on June 27, 2015

Death of Alumna’s Spouse: 1956 Jeanne Jarvis Bronikowski; husband Edwin Bronikowski, Jr. on June 20, 2015 1961

Mary Laughlin Hobert; husband Leonard “Tag” on September 26, 2015

1964 Katherine Cross Schwar; husband Benedict Thomas “Tom” on July 21, 2015 1965 Karen Pfersch Hess; husband Michael on July 17, 2015


Mary Sandra Boltz Moser on December 22, 2014

1959 Charlene Blastic McClure on August 17, 2015 1961

Carole Zajac Aiken on September 8, 2015

1965 Julie Steiner on August 12, 2015 1966 Paulette Victoria Kallas on April 22, 2015 1969 Teresa Copps Drakos on May 5, 2015 1972 Kathleen Jeske McGovern on March 16, 2015 1993 Elizabeth Marie Butek-Beasley on May 10, 2015 2010 Lauren A. Weinfurt on August 12, 2015

Photos at top, from left to right: Keira Ann Buell born to Tiffany Watts Buell, `10; Katie Roell, `14, and Dr. Derrick Schinderle; Merna Catherine Huber born to Kate DeCleene Huber, `01, `03; and Leslye Schlack, `11, and Jeffrey Bronstad



REFLECTION By Sister Joan Penzenstadler, SSND, Vice President for Mission and Identity When I saw “The Heart of Learning” as the lead story in this edition of the Mount Mary Magazine, I immediately recalled parallels with the educational vision of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. S. Miriam Jansen, SSND, has written a reflection on this vision which is titled “Love and Learning,” that is, education that is sourced in the heart. In the 19th century, several experiences converged to shape the love and learning vision of Mother Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, our foundress. The historical events that left many families impoverished and schools closed seared her heart. Strong spiritual leaders and innovative educators influenced her conviction about the education of the whole person. And the profound love in the depth of her being wove together her pedagogy of idealism with a Gospel vision of the person. This vision of the intimate connection between love and learning has traveled through two centuries and continues to be the hallmark of education in SSND spirit. Trauma-sensitive learning environments echo what Mother Theresa in Europe and then Mother Caroline in North America hoped to build. Of course, they would not have used those words, but they were committed to creating safe environments where the person could come to the fullness of her potential. Rather than jumping to judgment in a challenging situation, how many times must she have asked the

same question that Dr. Deb Dosemagen suggests: “What is happening here?” In this 21st century world of violence and instability, the work of Drs. Carrie King and Tammy Scheidegger reverberates strongly with the SSND vision of education which began at another time of upheaval. School Sisters of Notre Dame ground themselves in the transforming love of the Triune God. This love is the heartbeat of their vision and gives impetus to their creative power, their audacity, and their hope. Drs. King and Scheidegger and Dosemagen are carrying on this legacy of love and learning. A charism can never be captured in any historical time, because a charism is a gift of the Spirit meant to take shape in the way each era needs it. As others now give shape to the founding dream, let us celebrate and nurture the future that it promises.

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Starving Artists’ Show raises $80,000 Mount Mary University’s 46th Annual Starving Artists’ Show took place Sept. 13 on the University’s west lawn, and the event raised more than $80,000 in support of student scholarships. Thousands of visitors made their way onto campus for the show, which featured more than 230 local and national artists offering original artwork priced at $100 and under.

Mount Mary Magazine Fall & Winter 2015-2016  

Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, bi-annual alumnae magazine for fall/winter 2015-2016 featuring articles on trauma-sensitive c...

Mount Mary Magazine Fall & Winter 2015-2016  

Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, bi-annual alumnae magazine for fall/winter 2015-2016 featuring articles on trauma-sensitive c...