Tag Archive | "Academics"

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Advising At Marquette: Does Marquette fulfill promise to give students individualized advising attention?

Posted on 29 January 2009 by Katelyn Ferral

Bringing up academic advising during standard small talk among Marquette students is sure to bring about a series of broad, but equally fervent responses. Academic situations vary from student to student, but academic advising at Marquette and its effectiveness in preparing students for graduation is often described as either a nightmare or a godsend.


While students who enter Marquette as first semester freshman are assigned a departmental major adviser, transfer students follow a somewhat different advising track. Meghan Dolan, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences transferred to Marquette from the University of Arizona at the beginning of her sophomore year. She said advising was a factor in her decision to transfer.

“I didn’t have an adviser at the University of Arizona,” Dolan said. “I didn’t know who to go to with questions about required courses and what ones would go with my major. I didn’t know who to talk to, and just had a general lack of direction.”

Dolan said after being accepted into Marquette, she received an e-mail from the Advising Department at the College of Arts and Sciences over the summer and then was able to then meet with an academic adviser to map out the courses she needed before she registered for classes.

“I met with my adviser before school even started and we talked a lot, which was really nice. She set up sheets and helped me map out my gen eds and everything I needed to do to graduate on time, and how I could get classes to double count for requirements, because I behind on credits,” said Dolan. “She’s been super helpful.”
Dolan met with her adviser twice more throughout her first semester, and said her adviser made herself very available to discuss any questions and concerns.
“She was really good about making sure I was adjusting and fitting in and making friends, making sure I was in the right classes.”

After her first year at Marquette, Dolan was assigned a major-specific adviser to meet with every semester before registration.

“I have a specific academic adviser now, but she’s relatively new and I’ve always wondered, do they really know what I need other than what’s a good major-related course for me to take?”

As positive as Dolan’s advising experience as been, College of Communication junior Joe Gacioch hasn’t been as fortunate, his advising experience at Marquette has been, in his words, “below average to say the least.”

Gacioch entered Marquette as a broadcast and electronic communication major, and was initially assigned a faculty member in that department as an adviser. Gacioch switched to Public Relations, subsequently changing advisers.

“She was either in her first or second year at MU, so she was unclear as to what classes I had to take to fulfill core, college and major requirements. As such, I basically had to figure out my requirements on my own,” Gacioch said.

Gacioch explains that although he is required to meet with his adviser, he usually has his classes already picked out.
“I was in Johnston Hall, not just her office, for eight minutes for my last advising session,” Gacioch said.

In addition to his poor experience, Gacioch said many of his friends have also had “below average experiences with their advisers.”
“I think that many students are unsatisfied with the advising system, as a whole, because of the lack of required sessions.”


Each college at Marquette individually organizes and assigns advisers to students who have declared a major, but the Advising Center in the College of Arts and Sciences has a distinctively comprehensive program for Arts and Sciences students, transfer students and students who have an undecided major.

According to their Web site, the Advising Center utilizes full-time professional advisers who are available to assist students with “choosing a major, utilizing study skills techniques, determining career goals, selecting and scheduling courses and preparing for professional school.”

The Advising Center promises that their advisers will know students well and meet individually until a major is declared and other questions regarding courses, majors and careers are answered.

Brenna Vogel, who is an Academic Adviser at the Advising Center for College of Arts and Sciences takes that promise seriously. As a full-time pre-major adviser, Vogel works with 150 students on a one on one basis. Vogel typically meets with freshman, sophomores and transfer students from other universities or colleges within Marquette until they are paired with a faculty adviser in their area of study in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I really get to know the students that I serve,” Vogel said. “I aim to see each student three times a semester, more if he/she wants. If a student is on academic probation, I meet with him/her weekly to make sure that we are working together to achieve academic success.”

Vogel also assists students with study abroad plans, summer school options and to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college, holds workshops on time management, organizes the College Majors Fair and does curriculum presentations during Orientation and Preview.

“I love what I do and I love my students. Advising is extremely rewarding and truly gives me a chance to get to know students on a personal level. My goal is to embody “cura personalis,” care for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.”


College of Communication Associate professor, Dr. Ana Garner has been a faculty adviser for 16 years, and said faculty are expected to become familiar with the requirements of the major, college and university when advising students.

“The College of Communication has always held information sessions as things changed. Since faculty oversee requirements and course content they are usually familiar with changes that occur. The information sessions help fill in the gaps.”

Garner said College of Communication faculty undergoes supplemental training as academic requirements change and said balancing an advisee load is a part of being a faculty member just as much as teaching and researching.

“It is part of the ebb and flow of academic life, thus advising demands change as we move through the academic year in the same way the other work does.”
In his role as chair of the political science department, Dr. Lawrence LeBlanc, who has been advising and teaching at Marquette for 40 years, is responsible for assigning and meeting with all students who declare a major in political science.

“Yes, I would consider myself accountable to the College for the efficiency of the advising program in Political Science,” LeBlanc said. Students can either choose or be assigned an adviser after meeting with LeBlanc. He said, “the ability for students to choose their adviser is important.”

“I make every effort to be sure that students have advisers they will be comfortable working with,” LeBlanc said. “Advising is very important, but not all students see it as very important. Some want help not only with course selection but with working out, or at least thinking about, career plans and options. Others do not and are very self-reliant in making decisions on such matters.”

LeBlanc, who received the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Advising Award in 2006, said he was given no training on advising when he first came to Marquette.

“From time to time I went to advising workshops, particularly when I served as a Freshman Adviser in the College of Arts and Sciences. I do not require that the faculty undergo special training.”

Despite the lack of a formal training program, LeBlanc said the faculty in his department consult among themselves and share knowledge and insight on advising.
“Our objective is to provide first-rate advising to students, and I would say that we almost invariably achieve that.”

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YES – Marquette should maintain its core curriculum

Posted on 21 November 2008 by Austin Wozniak

The core curriculum at Marquette University is designed to give students exposure to a broad range of fields and create students with interests and knowledge extending beyond their majors. The core curriculum both keeps within Marquette’s Jesuit educational principles and creates well-rounded graduates. It should, without question, be kept.

A well-educated person is more than a technician. A technician is very good at a narrow range of tasks and functions, but lacks understanding, knowledge and abilities outside that area of expertise. If students were permitted to only take classes within their majors, you may very well have a graduate that is extremely good at discussing and writing about political science issues. But imagine that graduate entirely lacking in understanding of the philosophies that contribute to our political system. Imagine them addressing political issues, such as education, without the slightest clue of what a science class entails or requires. The core curriculum is an essential means to creating educated people, because to be truly educated means being more than just an expert on one solitary thing.

The core curriculum helps to address some of the fundamental issues with the United States education system as well. If the U.S. was efficient at creating high school graduates with deep understanding of, and proficiency in, a large base of topics, then perhaps the university could allow students to focus more on their majors. However, unlike many other developed countries, U.S. high school graduates lack this wide knowledge base and basic skill sets. This is a separate issue, and one that must be addressed in the near future if the U.S. is to stay competitive over the long haul, but it is also a reason why universities should have a core curriculum requirement – a U.S. high school level understanding of various subjects is insufficient to be considered well versed, educated and competitive on the world market.

Marquette’s “core of common studies” does a good job exposing students to philosophy, theology and the myriad cultures of the world that one does not see in Milwaukee. However, I think the core curriculum should be expanded to include a general business class for non-business majors. I would argue that having a general business class in which students learned, for example: how to calculate mortgage payments, understand how benefits such as insurance work, understand the value of early retirement savings, learn about the various retirement savings vehicles, learn to generally read a financial statement and balance a checkbook – the simple business related tasks everyone must do – would be extremely valuable. I am routinely surprised by the general lack of understanding regarding simple financial instruments and day to day financial tasks that is displayed by the general public, and I think Marquette would do well to ensure its graduates are not in that boat.

Aside from this addition to the core curriculum, I feel that Marquette’s core is fairly comprehensive and does well to ensure that graduates are more than technicians. In the long run, it is up to the students themselves to stay curious and to, every once and a while, read a book on something new and continue the life – long process of learning. However, if a student is to receive a degree with Marquette’s name on it, it is entirely reasonable for Marquette to demand the student have a base of knowledge extending beyond the student’s major. Having a wider knowledge base gives the graduates more to draw from for problem solving and makes it easier to find common ground with the many various people that will be met each and every day. In short, the core of common studies is essential to providing well rounded graduates and should, if anything, be expanded.

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NO – Marquette should not maintain its core curriculum

Posted on 21 November 2008 by Adam Ryback

Marquette’s core curriculum is based upon the guidelines set by St. Ignatius, founder of the Jesuit Order, for education within the Society of Jesus. According to the University’s website, “In the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius states that, ‘… in the universities of the Society the principal emphasis ought to be placed on (theology)’ (IV.12.1). In turn, says Ignatius, the study of theology … requires knowledge of (1) the humanities … (2) the natural sciences and (3) philosophy.”

The origins of this come from medieval universities where the curriculum involved the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric) and the quadrivium (astronomy, geometry, arithmetic and music). These are the basic studies which are a part of the modern core curriculum, used by liberal arts colleges today. Marquette requires that all undergraduates take courses involving these or similar subjects. I am glad that Marquette is attempting to live up to the standards set by St. Ignatius.

The whole point of a core curriculum in Ignatius’ mind was to help students understand theology by providing them with a background in other studies. However, the university is reversing the process. The university provides students with a basic background in theology and similar studies in order to help them prepare for business classes, engineering courses etc… This is not what St. Ignatius had in mind.

Over the course of the twentieth century, our nation’s universities have gradually shifted away from the traditional ideals of a university. In fact, the traditional university has been replaced with a glorified trade school. The university is now a place where students avoid as much of the core curriculum as possible in hopes of avoiding classes like history, philosophy, theology etc. The average university student receives a minimum amount of knowledge in studies which contribute toward critical thinking and rational decision making.

As a business student, I am cognizant of the simple fact that if you enter the university and receive a degree in philosophy or a similar subject, you quickly come to the conclusion that you must enter law school, teach philosophy or drive a bus. Consequently, most people, myself included, decide to major in something like accounting, electrical engineering, marketing etc. As long as employers prefer applicants with degrees in these areas, our current system will not change.

Therefore, the only way to help St. Ignatius recognize Marquette as a Jesuit university once again is to make a stronger core curriculum. Presently, there are a limited number of classes in our core of common studies, in comparison to medieval universities. And those which we do have tend to be watered down. Quite frankly, if undergraduate tuition costs $27,720 for this year alone, I want to receive an education worth $27,720. Why should I pay that much money for a core of common studies that could be replaced by taking AP or IB courses in high school? One of the four pillars of this university is excellence. Why not have it reflect our core curriculum? I do not care whether or not our university ranks well against other colleges in this area. Excellence is not determined by rank. Excellence is determined by doing your best to live up to your God-given abilities.

Now many people may say that this will merely take up more time and consequently more money. After all, a stronger, longer curriculum will merely result in more time at college, which will obviously cost more money. Nobody wants to do that. People would rather be content with mediocrity. At $27,720 a year, I guess I can understand why. Nevertheless, the cost does not justify the fact that this is a Jesuit university. We are meant to live up to the educational ideals of great men, like St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier and even Pere Marquette.

As mentioned before, the style of education in place today is what a trade school used to be. There is nothing wrong with a trade school. Thousands of Americans have benefited from going to trade school. But trade schools are concerned with teaching people what they need to know for their jobs. Universities are meant to go beyond the basics, and to teach people about science, language, rhetoric and arithmetic. I have no problem with degrees involving the arts and science. But I do think that degrees in business and communication should be reserved for trade schools, or maybe even a new, different kind of university or school. Please keep in mind that, as I said before, I am a business student. Nonetheless, I believe that our current educational system should be reformed, especially Jesuit institutions like Marquette.

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Where to buy textbooks, expensive but necessary

Posted on 21 August 2008 by Jacob Jasperson

You have checked and double checked, packed and repacked. You have been school shopping, grocery shopping and clothes shopping. You might even have a list that you will check again (that makes twice) before you take off for school. You’re all set. Except for when those pesky classes start and you actually have to learn.

Fortunately, all the information you will need for your classes has been conveniently bound into one location: textbooks. You are already paying an arm and a leg or two for tuition, and many find themselves surrendering both arms in the aftermath of textbook shopping. There’s no doubt that textbooks are expensive, but you can save yourself a little bit of money if you know what all your options are, and are willing to do a little leg work – assuming you still have both after paying tuition. Once you have all the information, you can decide what works best for you.
BookMarq is the university owned and operated bookstore located just north of the Annex on 16th Street, the same street that McCormick Hall is on. Textbooks are always in abundance, and the convenience of being able to order your books online is very appealing to many students. Bookmarq’s central location makes them very accessible to students on campus and if you order your books online, you can have them shipped to your home or pick them up at the store. The academic sections and books are well marked and easy to find.

BookMarq does not provide this level of convenience and ease for free; prices tend to be slightly higher than the alternatives. Students who choose the campus bookstore generally do so for convenience. “When I have to take my business to a campus bookstore, I take it to BookMarq because I can use my Marquette Cash there,” said Amanda Wolff, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. BookMarq’s number is (414) 288-7317.

Sweeney’s: If students are not willing to pay for that level of convenience, but do not want to look off campus, they generally head to Sweeney’s. Located on the corner of Wisconsin and 17th streets, Sweeney’s is campus’s independently owned bookstore. Prices are generally cheaper, but books are harder to find and not always readily available.

Sweeney’s tries to make their main customer the student and not the University, as they argue BookMarq does. Sweeney’s will be relocating after the fall semester to 14th and Wells streets, a location that used to be a Chinese restaurant, if any of you were curious about the pagoda over the front door. Their store hours for August are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information about Sweeney’s or to order books online, click here.

Online Options: Many students are beginning to explore alternatives to campus bookstores. Online textbook shopping has exploded in the past couple of years, with more and more students trying to save any amount of money they can. Some popular sites include Amazon.com, half.com, textbooks.com, barnesandnoble.com and chegg.com to name a few. “[Chegg.com] has definitely become my favorite,” said Wolff. Chegg.com is a book rental site that rents books to students for the semester, then takes the books back with no return shipping charged. Many students, however, are weary to try online options because of the security risk involved; students are afraid that books will never be shipped or they might receive the wrong edition.

Whether you buy at BookMarq or Sweeney’s, Barnes and Noble or Amazon, almost everyone suggests shopping around a little bit before pulling the trigger. “Wait until after the first day of classes to buy your books,” said Andrew Schueller, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “A few times a ‘required’ book wasn’t needed at all, so wait until your teacher personally hands you a book list and then buy those.”

So no matter where you buy from, it is important to explore all your options first, and hopefully buying books doesn’t have to be too painful.

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Take advantage of opportunity: learn!

Posted on 20 August 2008 by Robert Christensen

As you begin your freshman year at Marquette you quickly realize that you are on your own. Your nagging parents are replaced with fellow students who would like to go out, watch movies, play video games, who would like to do anything… except study. It is very easy to start skipping class and fall behind in your coursework. This behavior will not only result in terrible grades but it will cause you to miss out on a major opportunity here at Marquette – learning.

In high school many of the classes probably seemed dull and pointless. While you may run into some similar courses here at Marquette, there are many great professors to learn from and a variety of different subjects to learn about. Do not pass up this opportunity.

Every student is required to take classes from the Marquette core curriculum. At first you may believe this requirement is unnecessary. Many ask why a math major needs to study philosophy or theology anyway. The goal of these required courses is to make every Marquette student well rounded, or at least to allow everyone to experience unfamiliar subjects that they may enjoy.

Some of the most important classes in the core curriculum are the theology classes. Marquette requires most students to take at least two theology classes. These classes are not simply limited to Catholic theology but extend into other religious beliefs including various Protestant faiths, Islam and Judaism. These courses not only give you a lot of information on these different religions, but deal with some of the most important questions people ask themselves such as: How am I going to live my life? or what type of person do I intend to become?

Also in the core curriculum are classes on philosophy, diverse cultures and history. All of these courses deal with ideas, individuals and events that have impacted the world we live in today. Many of the problems we currently face have already been dealt with and in order to solve them it can only help to study the decisions people have made in the past.

In order to enjoy these types of classes you have to search out the courses you are interested in and find a good professor to take it from. Throughout my time here at Marquette I have benefited from some extremely passionate and intelligent professors. In order to help you with your search I would like to share with you the professors I have been influenced most by and urge you to take some of their classes.

Professor Mark Armstrong teaches courses on international politics; he is extremely informed on current events and the history of the 20th century. Professor Michael Fleet also teaches in the political science department; he is very knowledgeable about political systems of countries all over the world. Two other professors that offer unique and informative clases are Professor McGee Young and Professor Ryan Hanley.

In other subjects, the Rev. William Kurz, S.J., teaches excellent theology classes, and Dr. Olga Yakusheva teaches many economics courses. I highly recommend taking economics, as it is an extremely important subject that forces individuals to think logically — something people in America often fail to do. Professor Daniel Meissner teaches history courses on China and East Asia, which count for the diverse cultures core requirement. There is currently a Facebook group for him entitled “Dan Meissner: Confucian Gentleman and Shinto God,” so you know he must be popular.

These are just a few of the professors from whom I have had the benefit of learning over the past three years. I urge you all to take advantage of the great opportunities you will have over your college career to develop into informed individuals. This will not only make you a more interesting person but will also make life more enjoyable for you.

As Socrates once said, “The greatest pleasure in life is talking about the questions that really matter with the people that really care.”

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TAs overcome language barriers

Posted on 07 November 2007 by Abbi Ott

In large classes with lab components, students must rely on Teaching Assistants to teach and assist them through their studies. The Graduate School actively recruits these TAs from all around the world, leaving students with a teacher who is not a native English speaker. Oftentimes this leads to frustration.

“It was a terrible experience [at first],” describes Joe Flask, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, about his international TAs, “I couldn’t ask them any questions and if I did, I couldn’t understand what they were saying back to me.”

Dr. Stephen Merrill, the Chair of the Department of Mathematics, explains how his department recruits international graduate students, with over one hundred applicants for the four to ten open TA spots. “Overseas TAs are more experienced teachers than United States TAs. They may need help slowing down their speech, but they are highly qualified,” says Merrill.

International TAs must meet strict requirements. First, they must be qualified for the graduate program for which they are applying. Second, the potential TA must have a high Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score. This high score weeds out any “marginally fluent” candidates, says Merrill.

Despite their qualification, students still complain about their ability to understand their TAs. To try and bridge the language gap, the Office of International Education offers a weeklong training seminar when the new international TAs arrive in the fall. At this seminar, professors evaluate the TAs on their skills and help them to assimilate to life at Marquette.

The TAs also take a placement test on writing, speaking and listening in English. If the TA does not pass this test, they are required to sign up for a two credit class called American Language and Communication Skills for Teaching Assistants. The instructor, Jean Czaja, an English as a Second Language Lecturer, works with these TAs to try and improve pronunciation and listening skills.

Czaja, whose class consists of six TAs this semester, describes, “Many TAs are happy to be placed in the class so that they can get the extra help that they need.”

Merrill also works with his department to improve communication but also describes, “The problem tends to be with accents and students who have little exposure to foreign accents.”

Czaja agrees, “Communication is a two-way street.” She even hands out brochures to the departments listing ways that students may better interact with their TA.

“I like the language barrier because it keeps me awake in class,” said Nate Cinefro, a junior in the College of Engineering. “All you have to do is be patient.”

Flask says, “I just learned how to prepare better and asked other people in my labs if I had problems.”

Merrill contends that this adjustment is part of college. He says, “Foreign TAs are part of the college experience—learning to deal with people whose cultures and languages are from all around the world.”

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MU Evaluation: drop undergrads and charge them for it

Posted on 07 November 2007 by Daniel Suhr

Most of us agree that tuition to attend Marquette is pretty expensive right now. As tuition continues to increase at a rapid rate, well over inflation, our tolerance for a huge hike is very limited. But that is precisely the prospect on the horizon.

What is more, they want us to pay higher tuition for more classes taught by teaching assistants and instructors rather than professors. More money, less personal attention.

Marquette worked really hard to keep this secret from us, even more shockingly (shocking only in an objective sense; we’ve come to expect this from the Administration, unfortunately). The University commissioned a study of our graduate programs by The Yardley Group, a national higher education consulting firm. The Administration treated this “Yardley Report” as classified information, even sending the Academic Senate into closed session to prevent its public discussion.

A copy was leaked to me by someone who cares about students, and it proposes a transformation of the Marquette we know (you can read it for yourself at http://www. gop3.com). Each of the following recommendations of the report would increase costs for Marquette:

  • hire more faculty so that each professor has to teach fewer classes
  • p r o m o t e more associate professors to full professorship, with appropriate salary incentives
  • hire additional bureaucrats in the Provost’s office
  • hire a “critical mass” of postdoctoral researchers who don’t teach classes
  • increase all faculty salaries
  • spend more money allowing professors and graduate students to travel to conferences
  • allow Ph.D. students to attend school for free
  • rovide free health insurance for graduate students, and subsidize it for their families

Separately, each of these ideas is good or bad, but all would increase costs. Taken together, they represent a monstrous cost increase.And since the Report says we should not charge graduate students tuition, these costs will inevitably be passed on in significant part to undergraduate students.

The Report calls for professors to spend less time in the classroom. It criticizes a recent decision by the College of Arts & Sciences to let professors teach more core classes, suggesting instead they be taught by instructors, adjuncts and TAs.

This exposes another important point: students have allies on the faculty in this fight. This Report only makes recommendations; Marquette must choose to adopt them. MUSG needs to step up and take an active role in the conversation about Marquette’s future. To ward off a tuition hike of this magnitude, MUSG needs to engage and work with our faculty allies.

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Les Aspin: Marquette’s greatest pride or shame?

Posted on 07 November 2007 by Catherine Cronce

With prominent advertisements springing up across campus, the Les Aspin Center for Government has been gaining more attention from students this semester than ever before. Widely seen as merely an internship in Washington, D.C. for Political Science majors, the Les Aspin Center is actually open to all majors and offers a program in Milwaukee, an exchange program in Africa and summer internships in D.C.

Previously known merely as the Marquette Washington Intern Program, The Center was renamed in honor of its benefactor, Les Aspin, after his death in 1995. Les Aspin was an assistant professor of economics at Marquette University before his election to the United States House of Representatives. He was named the Secretary of Defense in 1993 under the Clinton administration, where his term was racked with problems, including the infamous fiasco in Mogadishu.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense Web site, as a result of his refusal to send tanks and armored vehicles to the U.S. forces in Somalia, enemy “forces in Mogadishu killed 18 U.S. soldiers and wounded more than 75 in attacks that also resulted in the shooting down of three U.S. helicopters and the capture of one pilot.” Aspin claimed that the request had been made in the context of humanitarian aid, which had prompted his refusal. He resigned shortly after in 1994, citing personal reasons and returned to Marquette University as a professor of international policy. Due to his influence in creating the internship program, Marquette decided the Center should be renamed in his honor.

Although the Les Aspin Center is focused on students with an interest in public policy, it does not limit programs to political science majors. According to Kathryn Hein, the Assistant Director of the Center in Milwaukee, the number of communication and journalism majors in the program is rapidly increasing. Over the past few years, the Center has sent approximately 10 biomedical engineers to Washington per year for internships at the Food and Drug Administration. Communication majors often intern in press offices or at local newspapers, such as the “Washington Post”.

While in Washington D.C., students take 15 credits of classes two days per week, then intern three days per week. Internships are matched to the students’ interests and political views, and allow them to be a part of day-to-day activities in the Capitol.

Kyle Mayo, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Aspin Council, a committee of program alumni, said, “I went to committee hearings, wrote memos…I wrote amendments to the federal budget!”

Kevin Seifert, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, alumnus of the Washington program and co-founder and chair of the Aspin Council, said he gained immensely valuable experience, while at Les Aspin. As an intern in Congressman Tom Petri’s office, he gave tours of the Capitol building, attended hearings and worked alongside the congressman.

“It got my foot in the door for a lot of opportunities for after graduation…You need that in Washington,” Seifert said.

In addition to the Washington D.C. program, the Les Aspin Center sponsors a program based in Milwaukee, placing students in local, city and state government offices for a three-credit internship. The Kleczka Internship Program is also available to all majors and targets students with financial need, allowing them a stipend of up to 1500 dollars, so that students can focus on the internship and not a job.

The Center also sponsors an exchange program with Africa, which brings approximately 18 students from East Africa for six weeks and 18 from West Africa the following semester also for six weeks. Participants spend five weeks in Washington, D.C., learning about the American process of government and American culture and another week in Milwaukee on the Marquette campus. Over winter break, about 18 Marquette Students spend a week in Africa meeting with government leaders and talking to graduates of the Aspin Africa Program.

The Center’s programs take student needs into great consideration to allow them a glimpse into the workings of the country. Marquette is beginning to accept applicants from other universities to partake in this opportunity to work in the Capitol as well, including students from Loyola, University of Wisconsin- Madison and University of Pittsburgh.

“You are in the power hub of the country,” Mayo said.

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Attention Juniors: Graduate school scholarship opportunity

Posted on 02 November 2007 by Staff

Marquette juniors, who are interested in careers in public service in federal, state, or local governments, or in non-profit public service groups, are invited to apply for a 2007-2008 Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

In April 2008, the Truman Foundation will award approximately 70-75 Scholarships nationally. Marquette students have been successful in this competition in the past, including a national finalist in 2007.

Marquette University can nominate up to four students for the 2007-2008 competition. The scholarship award covers eligible expenses up to $30,000 per year for graduate study for a public-service related degree (which can include law school).

In addition, recipients receive leadership training, graduate school counseling, preferential admission and merit-based aid to some premier graduate institutions, and internship opportunities with federal agencies.

To be eligible, students must be full-time juniors, U.S. citizens or nationals, in the upper quarter of their class, and committed to a career in public service.

The Foundation defines public service as employment in government at any level, uniformed services, public-interest organizations, non-governmental research and/or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service oriented non-profit organizations such as those whose primary purpose is to help the needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment. It seeks “change agents”, that is, persons who aspire to leadership positions in federal, state, or local governments, or in the not-for-profit or education sectors which they can influence public policy and change public programs. This may include many fields of study and work.

There is a requirement to work in public service for three of the seven years after the completion of graduate study.

Answers to questions about eligibility and more details on the program can be found at the Foundation’s website: www.truman. gov.

Interested students should contact McGee Young of the Political Science Department, the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative, William Wehr Physics 407 (X8-3296) as soon as possible. Application materials will be available online at the Truman website.

The application deadline for the Marquette competition is November 26, 2006.

Submitted by Professor McGee Young

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Marquette needs to expand language offerings

Posted on 08 November 2006 by Josiah Garetson

When you think of Marquette, you may think of the university’s global perspective on education or its dedication to service both here and abroad. That was one of the reasons I chose to come here. For a university to move up in the national rankings, as seems to be the goal lately, it needs to constantly reinvent itself and be on the cutting edge of the programs offered.Marquette seems to be lagging behind in one area: its foreign language offerings. “Nontraditional” foreign languages, specifically Mandarin Chinese and Arabic have been added to the curriculum at five other Jesuit universities, including Georgetown and Boston College, but are not offered at Marquette. Marquette’s administration recently declared its intentions to become one of the top five Catholic universities in the nation. One of the things the university can do in order to achieve this goal is to diversify its foreign language offerings.

But why Arabic and Chinese? You may think that Marquette’s interests would be better served by enhancing existing programs in other departments, but based on informal student surveying, there seems to be enough of an interest to warrant Mandarin and Arabic programs. Japanese is one of the smaller foreign language programs, but it has enough of a student base to sustain.

Today foreign languages are often tacked on to other majors to boost resumés and increase marketability after graduation. A language minor almost always enhances a business major. A cover story by Time Magazine said that Mandarin is the world’s fastest growing language to learn, a fact that coincides with the phenomenal growth of the Chinese economy. While English is the universal common language, Mandarin, with 1.4 million speakers, has quickly become second.

Chinese is also a new language to learn in high schools. In a recent survey by the College Board, Chinese came back as the most requested Advanced Placement course option. This 2006-2007 school year is the first time that it will be offered with the other AP exams. If Marquette were to promote Chinese, it would be an incentive to students who are committed to learning Mandarin to come here, whereas these talented prospective students go elsewhere.

With the current conflict in the Middle East, and our dependence on foreign oil making the global political sphere evermore complicated, students with Arabic skills are also in high demand.

Madeline Wake, Marquette provost, stated that, “Student interest will be a major determinant in the way we address adding these languages.” She added, “Dr. Castenada, chair of Marquette’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is exploring the issue at present.” Dr. Castenada could not be reached for comment. Wake said even the Rev. Wild supported the idea.

It seems that for either an Arabic or Mandarin program to become reality, it will be up to students to put pressure on the administration.

Ideally, the university should take the initiative. If Chinese or Arabic were offered, they might start off small. With the proper development, however, they could become valuable additions to Marquette’s reputation as an educational leader as well as an institution that prepares students to become truly global citizens.

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