Wednesday, April 27

Arts And Sciences



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Dean's message

As we wrap up another exciting year in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, I can’t help but be very optimistic about our future. Great things are occurring on our campus that will positively impact our students. The university shared a progress report on the development of a campus master plan in March. We are studying how our campus master plan can help Marquette be among the most innovative and accomplished Catholic and Jesuit universities in the world. The goal is to create places where ideas turn to action using innovation and entrepreneurship, elevate the quality of the student experience, build community, provide more engagement opportunities for faculty, staff and students, and celebrate our Catholic and Jesuit identity and values.

There’s plenty to look forward to in our college, too. We added a Master’s degree program in Applied Statistics, four new Bachelor’s degrees, and five new minors beginning in fall 2016 to give students more choices in exciting, developing fields of studies. We received a $354,000 grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corp. to create 170 new paid and unpaid internships during the 2015-2018 academic years. The Global Water Center is complete; Marquette occupies the sixth floor and faculty and student led projects are underway. Our Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science is on pace, with the help of a $1 million National Science Foundation grant, to double the number of high school teachers who can teach computer science programming in Wisconsin schools.

Beginning fall 2016, the College of Professional Studies Leadership and Organizations degree will be housed administratively in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. This move will continue to provide wonderful opportunities for adults seeking an accessible undergraduate degree at Marquette.

We have a great deal of innovative and creative new initiatives on campus, and we look forward to watching them grow and prosper. As always, thank you for your support.

Great alumni receiving awards this week

Four distinguished Arts and Sciences alumni who have made tremendous contributions in the world will be honored this week. Dr. Herman J. Viola, Arts ’60, Grad ‘64, is our Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. Herman is quite the adventurer, fitting for a Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution. He’s lived his latest book, Mapping the West with Lewis & Clark, by traveling the famous Lolo Trail on horseback about 20 times. Jay O. Rothman, Arts ‘82, receives our Professional Achievement Award. Jay is truly a entrepreneur, whether he’s leading Wisconsin’s largest law firm, Foley & Lardner LLP, or serving as chairman of the board of directors of Children’s Hospital and Health System. Richard C. Shadyac Jr., Arts ‘79, leads ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. It’s a daunting, yet rewarding task that Richard embraces. Our Young Alumnus of the Year is Seth T. Gurgel, Arts ‘02. A tireless advocate for Asia’s most vulnerable people, Seth is working to empower public interest law advocates across Asia and connect them with lawyers, law firms and corporate social responsibility programs who support their work. Seth is the Asia Director for PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law, founded at Columbia University Law School.

Exciting new majors/minors

We always are looking at enterprising ways to create new majors in emerging fields and further our position as a place for innovative degree programs. This year the college added a record four new majors and five new minors for the Fall 2016 semester that will give students new academic directions to pursue with terrific growth potential. The new majors are Bioinformatics, Data Science, Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies. The new minors are Arabic Language Studies and Culture, Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies, Culture Health and Illness, and Law and Society. The college also added a Master’s degree program in Applied Statistics. These programs arose from current employment data, student surveys and faculty input. These changes build on interdisciplinary work in the college and compliment the new STEM-BS/MBA accelerated degree programs that were initiated last Fall. These new programs also represent areas of our faculty expertise, scholarship and research and thus the college is poised to deliver very high-quality programs.

College holds first ever awards ceremony

The college held its first-annual awards ceremony honoring faculty, staff and students for outstanding contributions to the college and university in the areas of scholarship, teaching, mentoring and service. Award recipients include Dr. Alison Efford, Teacher of the Year; Dr. Andrei Orlov, Scholar of the Year; Dr. Julian Hills, Mentor of the Year; Dr. Michael Krzewinski, Outstanding Part-Time Faculty; Dr. Eugene Schlesinger, Graduate Student of the Year; Ms. Brittney Wyatt, Graduate Student Teacher of the Year; Ms. Kaitlin Kentala, Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar; Ms. Carolyn Wilson, Outstanding Senior; and Mrs. Mary Minson, Outstanding Staff Member. This event also provided an opportunity to highlight faculty scholarship from each department. The event was held on April 19th in the beautiful Eisenberg Reading Room in Sensenbrenner Hall.

New internship program helps students

To bolster efforts to make students immediately ready for their careers, we were awarded a three-year, $354,000 Career Ready Internship Grant to create 170 new paid and for-credit internships. This grant, funded by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, is for undergraduate students in the college with particular focus on students in Marquette’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). EOP is a federally-funded academic program that assists low-income and first-generation students, whose parents do not have a baccalaureate degree, to attend Marquette. For a variety of financial reasons, many students cannot participate in unpaid internships. The goal of this program is to make the pursuit of internships accessible to all students. The grant also provides an opportunity for Marquette and its students to further connect with the surrounding neighborhood through Near West Side Partners Inc., a non-profit organization that includes Marquette and other large employers in the area. The mission of Near West Side Partners is to revitalize and sustain the neighborhood west of Marquette’s campus as a thriving business and residential corridor. “What an outstanding, on-target grant,” Marquette President Michael R. Lovell said. “This grant provides access to invaluable educational opportunities that will position our students on a strong path for future career success, while at the same time providing a wonderful opportunity to foster deep partnerships between Marquette and employers in our Near West Side neighborhood.”

Fulbright Faculty Award: Global Flex Award

Dr. Richard C. Taylor, professor of philosophy, was named a recipient of the Fulbright Global Flex Award. The Fulbright Global Flex Award provides academics the chance to travel abroad and engage in research and teaching opportunities in a handful of different countries. As a recipient, Dr. Taylor will teach and conduct research in Ankara, Istanbul, and Pisa, Italy for six weeks at a time at each place for the next three years. Dr. Taylor’s teaching and research will focus on “Aquinas and ‘The Arabs’ to show commonalities and shared thinking in medieval philosophy in intellectual figures of the lands of Islam and Europe.” 

Fulbright Student Awards

The college is very proud of Olanrewaju (Lanre) Awoiska and Robert Borowik, who have each been awarded 2016-17 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant awards. Lanre will serve in Colombia while Robert will serve in Azerbiajan. The Fulbright U.S. program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think.

Lanre will receive a bachelor of arts in Spanish for the Professions this May while Robert will receive a bachelor of arts in Middle/Secondary Education and is also majoring in both History and Economics.

Dr. John Pustejovsky, associate professor of German serves as Marquette’s Fulbright advisor and promotes the Fulbright U.S. Student Program on campus. Dr. Pustejovsky provides information and guidance to all Marquette students interested in applying for a Fulbright fellowship.

New autism consortium on campus

In March, we formed the Marquette Autism Consortium to promote the exchange of ideas among people and groups on campus who are interested in autism spectrum disorder. The consortium seeks to increase opportunities for awareness and inclusion, education, collaborative efforts, research, community connections and development of resources for individuals and families. The consortium is directed by Dr. Amy Vaughan Van Hecke, associate professor of psychology. It builds on the success of the Marquette Autism Project and will bolster research and support broader community outreach. The autism project began nearly 10 years ago in the college. Multiple research studies on autism spectrum conditions currently are being conducted at Marquette. They include brain and physiological responses to social skills treatments in adolescents and young adults, training community members to identify autism in young children, and technology development for autism screening at toddler well checks. The National Health Interview Survey released in 2015 found one in 45 children have a prevalence for autism and other related developmental disabilities. “With the increasing rate of autism being seen in children, it’s important for Marquette to respond right now to increase research and develop efforts to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder,” Van Hecke says. “This is a real indication of our commitment to autism awareness, student support and research.” 

Marquette key to teaching high school students computer programming

There was plenty of excitement around Cudahy Hall earlier this month when 275 high school students from 15 Wisconsin communities participated in a computer science programming competition sponsored by the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Department. The event was funded in part by a $35,000 CS4HS grant from Google. Many of the students attending the competition are learning computer science in their schools with the support of a $1 million grant we received in 2014 from the National Science Foundation. We doubled the number of students participating from a year ago mainly because the NSF grant allowed us to develop high school teachers who are now teaching computer science in Wisconsin high schools. “This wonderful grant has created the supply of students to support this competition,” said Dr. Dennis Brylow, associate professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science. Marquette is on pace to double the number of computer science teachers in Wisconsin over the three-year period of the NSF grant. In Milwaukee Public Schools, computer science has been greatly expanded due to the grant. All sophomores at Morse Marshall High School take computer science and six of the 10 largest high schools in Milwaukee now have or are exploring computer science courses. 

Media call on our political scientists to provide election commentary

When national, regional and local reporters need expert opinions on the presidential elections they are turning to Marquette’s political science professors. Dr. Julia Azari, associate professor of political science, has been a regular columnist and election night live blogger on, the prestigious website run by Nate Silver. Dr. Azari also has been quoted in The New York Times, Newsweek, National Public Radio and CBS News among others. Dr. Amber Wichowsky, who runs the Marquette Democracy Lab on campus, has shared her expertise with Wisconsin Public Radio and the Washington Post. Dr. Lowell Barrington, associate professor of political science and chair of the department, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times. Dr. Paul Nolette, assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Karen Hoffman, visiting assistant professor of political science are regularly are quoted in local media and often are in-studio guests on our local CBS affiliate.

Noted Lectures and symposia

Many noted lectures and symposia have been held during the spring semester.

  • Dr. Tim McMahon (Department of History) and Dr. Leah Flack (Department of English) co-organized a semester long series of public lectures to highlight the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
  • The History Department, along with the Center for Urban Research, Teaching, and Outreach, sponsored a public lecture and panel discussion on “Marquette, Race, and the Near West Side: Past, Present, and Future”
  • The Departments of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science and Philosophy hosted a full-day inter-disciplinary symposium on the Ethics of Big Data.
  • The Departments of Foreign Languages, Social & Cultural Sciences and Biological Sciences co-hosted a series of talks on “Designing Sustainability into our Curriculum: from Foreign Languages to Biology.”

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