Howard B. Eisenberg Service Award
Catherine A. Ritterbusch, Arts '96, Law '00
Catherine Ritterbusch says her first real experience as an advocate came in a contracts class when she was a first-year law student. "It was the first — and only — time that I challenged a professor on a grade," she explains. The professor conceded a few points, but, she says, it was "one shy of how many I would have needed to change the grade."
Since graduating, Cathy has achieved remarkable success as an advocate for others. As an assistant professor and chair of the Justice Department at Milwaukee's Mount Mary College, she enjoys guiding students in their intellectual and personal progress. As a Marquette alumna committed to serving others, she has amassed a substantial resume.
Cathy is a founding member of Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic and has provided hundreds of hours of legal services to people in impoverished neighborhoods. She is on the Legal Services to the Indigent Committee of the Milwaukee Bar Association and is president of the Association for Women Lawyers, through which she exposes inner-city students to opportunities in law.
Beyond her volunteer work in the legal profession, Cathy has been a grade school tutor, served meals at a local shelter, packed toys and food for Milwaukee's House of Peace, and helped provide rides for the elderly. She also has worked with Common Ground, a Milwaukee organization devoted to addressing the city's social issues in a nonpartisan way, and the Cambodian Countryside Development Foundation, which provides funds for nonprofit agencies in the country.
The future may call Cathy to the bench, politics or educational administration, but one thing will not change: her commitment to her faith and to people.
"I believe each and every interaction we have with one another — from simple gifts of a smile or an encouraging word to bigger gifts of time and wisdom — can have the potential for impact beyond our imagination," she says.
Fun facts about Cathy
What she wanted to be in grade school: An actress, teacher or news anchor, though those were fallbacks to acting