College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Management Recipients
Young Alumni of the Year Award
MARK A. SCHOENFELDER, BUS AD '02, and
SARAH SWEARINGEN SCHOENFELDER, BUS AD '02
Mark and Sarah are a Washington, D.C., power couple: he as a director and assistant general counsel at Capital One and she as a senior manager in the forensic practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP.
Their lives underwent a major focus adjustment in September 2013 with the arrival of their first child, Luca Tomas. They are enjoying family life and taking too many pictures of Luca.
At Capital One, Mark supports and advises on external reporting, financial disclosure, and the development of compliance processes.
“Do everything with integrity,” Mark says. “At Marquette, I learned the value of surrounding yourself with people you trust and who believe in you. When you are in that situation, you are more likely to take risks and achieve your potential.”
Sarah’s work involves forensic accounting; anti-money laundering investigations; and financial intelligence services in support of the defense, law enforcement and intelligence communities.
“Marquette’s commitment to service and self-development were the right fit for me, and I bring these principles into my professional life, where I focus on the development of my staff as much as my own,” she says.
Both do extensive pro bono work for their community. Among others, Mark’s has worked with CARACEN, an organization providing social and legal services for Latinos, and Wills for Heroes, which provides free estate planning to first responders. Sarah has taught financial independence courses to victims of domestic violence and prepared income tax returns through VITA, an IRS program helping the underserved.
Later this year, they expect to complete the endowment of the Sarah and Mark Schoenfelder Scholarship Fund in the College of Business Administration.
Fun facts about Sarah:
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Favorite quote: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — Pablo Picasso
Dream dinner guests: “I think dinner with Brian Williams and Jon Stewart would be hilarious and intellectual. That’s what I want out of dinner: entertainment and conversation that makes me think.”
Favorite Marquette memory: “I really enjoyed living in Cobeen my freshman year and making relationships with other girls, which lasted past graduation. I still keep up with many of the 3 West crew, and having my “wing family” eased the transition from home to college.”
Faculty person who had an impact: “Rev. Raymond Gawronski, S.J., who taught THEO001 and World Religions class. He radiated peacefulness, and his class was a bit of calm in an otherwise-hectic semester. He gave me the biggest compliment I have received to date when he told me I had a beautiful soul. Mark and I had THEO001 together and sat only a few seats away. Perhaps it was meant to be.”
Career she aspired to in grade school: “I wanted to be a doctor but then decided that it was too much school before you actually started working. However, if I had the opportunity to go back and get another degree, I would pick chemical engineering or something related in the scientific field.”
Most influential people in her life: “My parents have been a great influence, whether they know it or not! They taught me accountability and responsibility from a very young age and have been there to help me learn from the multitude of mistakes I’ve made. Both of my parents’ families value higher education and lifelong learning. I look forward to instilling these beliefs in Luca.”
Fun facts about Mark:
Hometown: “I never had a hometown growing up, but because I have lived in D.C. since 2004, I guess I have to consider it my hometown now.
Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Dream dinner guests: “My late grandfather, C. Norman Gonderinger, a county judge in rural Nebraska.”
Faculty person who had an impact: “Rev. Raymond Gawronski, S.J., was probably the most peaceful person I have ever met. The homework assignment he gave me on the first day — go down to Lake Michigan and watch the sunrise — is the only one I remember from Marquette.”
Favorite Marquette memory: “Tough to narrow it down to one, but I never had more fun than my sophomore year living in Schroeder Hall.”
Career he aspired to in grade school: “I wanted to be a pediatrician until I realized it would be acceptable for my patients to throw up in my offices.”
Marquette legacy: “I have two brothers who attended, Stephen, Eng ’99, and Matthew, Bus Ad ’08. Through the scholarship that Sarah and I started, we hope to have an ever-increasing Marquette legacy.”
Most influential person in his life: “My wife. She has taught me about selflessness, love, friendship and compassion.”