Stritch Blog

Posted By Cardinal Stritch University April 11, 2018

Spring 2018


A Message from President Kathleen A. Rinehart, J.D.

As President of Cardinal Stritch University, I am very honored to work with extraordinary faculty and staff who are highly dedicated to the preservation of our Franciscan legacy and the transformational education we provide to our students. More particularly, the faculty and staff of COEL continue to provide impactful leadership through innovative programs and scholarship that will shape the future of education. We look forward to keeping you updated throughout the year regarding the work of COEL and the achievements of our students.

Note from the Dean

Dr. Freda R. Russell
Dean, College of Education and Leadership

The College of Education and Leadership (COEL) continues to live out the legacy of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi with transformative approaches to preparing educators and school leaders.  Our alumni are leaders in the communities where they live, work, and play.  They lead from an inside-out approach (self, others, organizations), helping learners to critically reflect on their beliefs, assumptions, interpretations, values, feelings, and ways of making meaning.  In the process, they develop the ability to participate freely and fully in rational discourse and realize their potential as socially responsible leaders within their own lives and the communities where they are engaged.  We are in constant collaboration and engagement with local, state, and national educators, educational systems, and agencies where we observe and participate in new practices, dialogue about current research, and learn about the changing expectations and legislations that influence the curriculum of our programs.  This engagement impacts decisions about where, when, and how we deliver content.  As we continue to Reach Forward, we recognize the changing world of learning.  Our programs are designed to instill the skills and knowledge required to lead systems today and foster the ability to know yourself as a leader and how this intersects with your core values so that you can contribute to making your organization better in the future, no matter what that future will look like.


KnowledgeWorks, a nonprofit organization that supports the development of a system-wide approach to educator learning and impact, proposed a framework for redefining readiness for the future of learning.  In its 2040 forecast, KnowledgeWorks addresses the changing nature of the world of work where advances in digital technologies will shift employment structures and the way in which people will organize and access work.  PreK–12 school systems and higher education institutions will need to adapt again to this changing paradigm and begin building learning ecosystems that are inclusive of smart digital tools, artificial intelligences, and digital assistants to support the performance of the American workforce.  To this end, Cardinal Stritch University is designing personalized, competency-based, micro-credential programming.  With our Canvas Learning Management System, educators can lead their own learning, at their own pace, supported by an online platform and in collaboration with their school/districts.  We are currently piloting this innovative programing in the Cudahy School District with our first micro-credential certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  Through our Southeastern Wisconsin Educator Project (SWEP), we will solicit input from our school districts regarding what additional competency-based professional learning experiences are valued.

New Teacher Pipeline

In fall 2017, the College of Education and Leadership (COEL) and the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) developed an agreement to collaborate on a New Teacher Pipeline (NTP) preparation program in support of paraprofessionals who are currently employed at MPS and wish to obtain teaching certification while gaining on-the-job experience.  NTP participants must continue their employment at MPS throughout the program in order to remain eligible for tuition discounts and incentives.  MPS, in collaboration with the COEL, work closely in the identification and selection of qualified paraprofessionals to be program candidates and begin coursework in our evening undergraduate teacher education program, offered in blended and online learning formats.
We have been preparing teachers and school leaders specifically for urban environments for more than 10 years.  Our urban teacher education programs are designed to prepare educators with the knowledge skills and professional dispositions needed to be effective in PK–12 urban school cultures.  Learning experiences support candidates as they consider how to plan for effective instruction in urban settings.  In the program, there is a focus on identifying and meeting the needs of students with learning disabilities and bridging home and school language and culture in the learning environments.

Institute for Conflict Studies at Cardinal Stritch University

The Institute for Conflict Studies is designed as an interdisciplinary forum for people engaged in a wide range of professions, including business, law, health care, education, public service, and nonprofit management, to enhance their understanding of conflict. Participants learn about processes such as negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and public policy consensus building in order to help them identify, prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in their everyday work and community lives. The Institute’s first initiative is professional development programs focusing on negotiation and mediation.  The first program, a 40 hour mediation and negotiation training, will be held at Stritch from June 18-22.  This training will be followed by two days of advanced training in August.  For more information, see

Mission: To educate participants on how to identify, prevent, manage, and resolve conflict
Vision: To understand that conflict is a necessary part of collaboration
Core Values: Tolerance, Openness, Participation, Collaboration

Presenters for the Summer Program:

  • Laila Hick: Vice President for Transformation at Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee)
  • Danielle Carne: Carne Dispute Resolution (Madison)
  • Howard Bellman: Mediator, Arbitrator, and former Secretary of the Department of Industry, Labor, and Human Relations
  • Janine P. Geske: Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice
  • Eva M. Soeka: Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Studies and former Director of Marquette University’s Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution

Advisory Board Members:

  • Danielle Carne: Carne Dispute Resolution (Madison)
  • Laila Hick: Laila Hick, Vice President for Transformation at Northwestern Mutual (Milwaukee)
  • Michael Rust: Executive Director, Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center
  • Beverly Taylor: News Anchor, WITI Channel 6 (Milwaukee)
  • Julie Tolan: Executive Vice President/Owner, Lauber Business Partners


The Institute has four major components: 

1. The Center for Dispute Resolution Training
The Center is designed to provide skills training in mediation, arbitration, and facilitation to professionals who are interested in becoming third-party neutrals or are participants in third-party processes.

2. The Center for Conflict Research
The Center is designed to add to the body of scholarly knowledge on conflict and the processes used to address conflict, which is usually an interdisciplinary inquiry.
3. The Center for Conflict and the Curriculum
The Center is designed to coordinate undergraduate and graduate courses that contain material related to conflict and the processes used to address conflict.  The Center also coordinates the interdisciplinary graduate certificate in dispute resolution. 

4. The Center for Conflict and the Community
The Center is designed to provide opportunities for the Stritch community to engage with the private, public, nonprofit, and governmental sectors, as well as other academic institutions, on issues that produce inherent conflict.
For more information please check: 


Mission Driven Leaders: Dr. Ryan Krohn, Class of 2001, 2014 

A Balancing Act: “To reach out, you must have roots; to grow roots, you must reach out.”


Ryan Krohn has dedicated his thoughts and efforts to reveal the primary function of any educational system – learning.  As director of The Institute for Personalized Learning, he engages with pioneers in the field of education to build powerful networks in Wisconsin and across the nation.  Frustrated with a system that frequently tells students “what they are not, rather than what they are,” Ryan seeks to push back on the system with processes and practices that nurture powerful learners.  Ryan believes that “we have a design problem, not a people problem,” and that by placing “learning” as the primary function, we can create the optimal design for each learner.
Ryan earned a master’s degree in adaptive education from the University of Minnesota and a second master’s in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.  Thanks to a “powerful network,” Ryan earned his PhD from Cardinal Stritch University, as he researched transformational leaders and their successful transformation of a traditional educational environment to a personalized learning system.

For more information and to RSVP, visit this link.



COEL Alumni Awards

Every year outstanding alumni and mentors are awarded at the Recognition of Outstanding Early Career Educators and Pre-Service Educator Mentor event held by the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education in Madison. This year Alexandria Harris and Justine Armitage from the College of Education and Leadership were recognized.
Alexandria Harris
Alexandria is an outstanding teacher who advocates for students by immersing herself in their education.  During her short tenure at her school, Alexandria has made a positive impact by getting involved with carious building committees and learning opportunities for her students.  Alexandria’s school administration speaks highly of her.  She succesfuly completed the Projet METRO residency program through Cardinal Stritch University.  She is a bilingual African-American who teaches at Academia de Lenguaja y Bellas Artes in Milwaukee.

Justin Armitage
The faculty and staff at Cardinal Stritch University, College of Education and Leadership awarded Justin Armitage, Assiatant principal of Milwaukee Lutheran High School the Pre-service Educator Award.  As an assistant principal, Justin has made outstanding contributions to teacher education at Stritch through his overall support for our programs and his willingness to support our teacher candidates.  The Teacher Education Division at Cardinal Stritch Universityhas adopted a partnership model approach to best support its teacher candidates in the field. We are thrilled to count Justin and MLHS as one of our most valued partners in teacher preparation. Candidates greatly benefit and enjoy the learning experience they receive in the field from Justin and his cosps of teachers. 



The Voice of Hope

In this issue of Reaching Forward, we are featuring a teacher candidate who is as passionate about becoming a teacher as she is talented.  Ilse Merlin-Tiburcio is a sophomore in the teacher education program that leads to a licensure to teach in elementary education and plans to minor in mathematics and possibly ESL (English as a Second Language). Ilse is also the recipient of the 2018-2019 Dr. Robert Flahive Award. The Flahive scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen and transfer students competing as part of one of our intercollegiate athletic teams.
Ilse sang as part of a presentation in one of her classes, trying to demonstrate how she could use her voice and music to engage her future students in learning.  The activity is part of the artsHUB integration of art in the curriculum.  The instructor of the course, Dr. Corey Thompson, and Ilse’s classmates were amazed by her beautiful voice and let her know it.  They encouraged her to participate in a contest to display her voice.  Ilse sent a video of her singing to the Racine Symphony Orchestra.  She won the contest and will be performing at the Racine Symphony Orchestra Lakeside Pops Concert Festival Hall on Friday, August 24, 2018.  Ilse is a DACA student who hopes she can continue working hard and earning her teaching licensure so that she can pursue her dream of becoming a teacher, teaching in an area of high shortage and high need, and becoming a U.S. citizen through that hard work. 



Palmer Scholarship Recipients

Teacher candidates enrolled in the College of Education and Leadership have the opportunity to apply for the Palmer Scholarship. 

Palmer Scholarship: The Palmer Education Abroad Scholarship was established through the generosity of Allen and Barbara Palmer.  Mrs. Palmer is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University.  The Palmer Scholarship provides financial support to students enrolled in the College of Education and Leadership who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise be able to participate in an education abroad program for the duration of a semester. The purpose of this scholarship is to support the participation of Stritch education majors/minors in a Stritch Education Abroad Program of their choice.

Ezra Bretl

Ezra was awarded the Palmer Scholarship in fall 2017. 

Here are Ezra’s responses to a few questions:

Why did you choose to participate in a study abroad program? 

There were a few reasons that sparked my interest in studying abroad. One of my sisters studied abroad when she was in college. Her stories, experiences, and pictures were so interesting to hear about and see. I wanted to have an experience like that of my own.When I was a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy with my high school choir. For a week, we traveled throughout Italy to a number of different cities performing, sight-seeing, and really taking in the culture. While it was amazing to have the opportunity to do this, I still was craving a new experience. In my first semester attending Cardinal Stritch University, a former recipient of the Palmer Study Abroad Scholarship came and spoke to one of my classes. The moment the class was finished, I e-mailed my advisor and set up a meeting to start planning to apply for the scholarship.

Why did you choose Barcelona?

I chose Barcelona for a few different reasons. I wanted to study in Europe and wanted a culture that was fairly different than the culture in the United States. Barcelona fit both of these. I also wanted to have a homestay experience, which Barcelona had. Of my final destination choices, Barcelona was the clear winner when it came to all of the different things I was looking for.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from your experience abroad that (a) can help you personally in life, and (b) as a future history or broad field social studies teacher?  

There are so many different lessons that I learned from my experience abroad.  I think the most important that will serve me in life is the growth I made in both confidence and independence.  I had never traveled alone, had never been away from home for that long, and the list goes on.  My semester abroad forced me to become comfortable being uncomfortable, which will most definitely have a great impact on the rest of my life.  I visited a total of seven countries over my semester abroad and had the opportunity to observe and live with many different cultures.  The most important lesson that will serve me as a future educator is the multicultural understanding I gained.  This will help me not only to teach students who come from different cultures, but to educate students on different cultures as well.

Abigail Allcox

Abby will travel to Berlin in spring of 2019. 

Here are Abby’s responses the questions she was asked:

Why did you become interested in a study abroad program?

My high school put on what we called international week.  During each class period a presenter would talk about what their different travel experiences.  After watching a few, I always got the travel bug and wanted to explore the world.  I never got to travel in high school, but hearing my classmates talk about their trips pushed me to travel abroad in college.  I also had my parents pushing me to travel.  They always believed I would learn a lot from my experience and I believed they were right.

Why did you pick Berlin?  

I picked Berlin because it is so rich in history. I love learning about WWII and I felt that Berlin would be a perfect place to get a new perspective. My learning wouldn't stop there; I could learn about the cold war or go back, further back in history and learn about reformation history. I knew I would never get bored learning about the history of Germany.

What do you expect to learn from this experience?

I am very excited for this trip because I am getting the chance to be immersed in a different culture. I've never been outside the U.S. and this is a chance to experience life outside of Wisconsin. This is a chance to widen my horizons and understand a culture different from what I know.

Do you have any fears?  If yes, why?  

I am a little worried I will be homesick. I love my family so much and being two hours away from them can be hard sometimes. It may be hard not being able to visit them at all over the course of the semester. I think it will be okay though. I'll make sure to keep myself busy and send them lots of pictures. I know this experience will be worth it by far, even if I will end up missing my family.
We wish our Palmer Scholarship recipients the best of luck in life and in their chosen profession of teaching.



Faculty Publications since Spring 2017

As is the tradition, the faculty members of the College of Education and Leadership have been involved and engaged in scholarship as well as teaching and service.  The following is a brief glimpse of several faculty members’ publications.

Book in Publication:

Jones, J., Baran, M., & Cosgrove, P. (Eds.).  (in press). Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
A number of the faculty of the College of Education and Leadership utilized their experience and scholarship to write various chapters of this book focused on teaching adult learners.

Chapter Authors:

Baran M.  (in press). Teaching the adult learner: Building trust and motivation. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Bradley, D.  (in press). Effective online learning for adults: Ragan’s principles applied. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Byrd, C. & Lansing, S.  (in press). Putting paint to canvas: Artful teaching strategies for teachers of adult learners. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Dimmitt, E.  (in press). Arts integration techniques in the adult learning environmentIn J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Dimmitt, E.  (in press). Professional learning communities and adult learning and teaching: Best practices in learning and collaboration in building a community of learnersIn J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Fallahi, M.  (in press). Assessment of learning in higher education. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Fallahi, M.  (in press). Making instruction work for adult learners. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Jonas, P.  (in press). Theories of humor for adult education. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Jones, J., Baran, M., & Steuber, J.  (in press). Effective teaching strategies to connect with the adult learners’ worldview. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.
Russell, F.  (in press). Adult learners: Standards for teacher effectiveness and conditions for optimal learning. In J. Jones, M. Baran, & P. Cosgrove (Eds.), Outcome-based strategies for adult learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Learning.

Additionally, faculty members have also published manuscripts and chapters in scholarly books and journals:

Baker, A. (2017). Foreword. The narrative experiences of African Americans with disabilities: A call for critical reflection.  In S. A. Robinson (Ed.), Untold narrative: African Americans who received special education services and succeeded beyond expectations (pp. vii-ix). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Baran, M. L., & Jones, J. E.  (in press). Enhancing education through open degree programs and prior learning strategies. In C. Stevenson (Ed.), Bridging the pathway from the master’s to a doctoral program in higher education through portfolio assessment. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishers.
Baran, M. L., & Van Harpen, G.  (in press). Leadership, culture and school success in high-need schools. In E. Murakami, D. Gurr, & R. Notman (Eds.), Creating a culture for learning in a high-need inner city USA school: The unique leadership challenges. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Cosgrove, P. B.  (in-press). Teaching an elusive phenomenon: Qualitative research, validity, and the cover of the big tent. International Review of Qualitative Research.
Jones, J. E., & Baran, M. L.  (in press). Family life education around the world. In M. Robila & A. Taylor (Eds.), Family life education and practices in Norway. New York, NY: Springer.
Pauly, H. M., & Knuth, A. S.  (2017). Functional communication in the inclusive classroom. TASHConnections42 (1), 22–28.
Weisling, N. F.  (2018). Afterword. In S. A. Robinson (Ed.), Untold narrative: African Americans who received special education services and succeeded beyond expectations (pp. 121–126). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
Weisling, N. F., & Gardiner, W.  (2018)Making mentoring work. Phi Delta Kappan, 99 (6), 64–69.



An Education Ambassador to Cuba: Dr. Aaliyah Baker

Dr. Aaliyah Baker will travel to Cuba as a member of the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME) delegation.
Spring 2018 Professional and Cultural Exchange

Cuba: Revolution in Race and Education

Upon acceptance into the Spring 2018 Cultural and Professional Exchange titled Cuba: Revolution in Race and Education, Dr. Aaliyah A. Baker will travel to Cuba with the National Association for Multicultural Education, an international association in which Dr. Baker is a member.  Dr. Baker reflects on her work in multicultural education and is reminded of the words spoken by the Dalai Lama: “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into the water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”
Dr. Baker will travel with an interdisciplinary group of about 20 National Association for Multicultural Education members.  The mission and focus of the professional and cultural exchange is social justice—that which advances and advocates for equity and social change.  Similar to the work of Sr. Jeannine and the Franciscan values of Cardinal Stritch University, as a university faculty member, it is important to become a part of movements with the purpose of bringing about better relationships between and among people (Stritch Magazine, Summer 2015).

Dr. Baker’s mission is to empower individuals to be agents of social change.  Through deeper engagement of critical inquiry and discovery of multicultural educational practices and philosophies, we can enrich the lives of Stritch students and constituents.

Similar to this cultural exchange, Dr. Baker has traveled internationally twice before as an independent researcher and scholar in the field and as a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad Project participant.  Both travel opportunities consisted of guided group tours and cultural immersion.
When asked “What is your interest in visiting Cuba?” Dr. Baker responded by writing:
This will be my first time visiting Cuba.  A short while ago, I read about the increased diligence of citizens who wish to restructure the nation of Cuba in their post-revolutionary state.  This kind of revolutionary thinking has always fascinated the critical scholar in me.  Furthermore, I have always been fascinated with sociocultural models of learning that explore human experience alongside human agency and empowerment.  I teach Sociocultural Models of Language, Literacy and Learning.  This opportunity will complement my approach to understanding notions of identity, critical discourse, and human experience, while providing a unique gateway for my students and peers as well.

For more information about NAME and its mission in Cuba, you can watch this video here.

Degree Programs in the College of Education and Leadership

Stritch offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. FInd a full list at

Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
  • B.A. or B.S. in Educational Studies

Master's Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Inclusive Education (Regular and Special Education)
  • Master of Arts in Language and Literacy
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Urban Education
  • Master of Arts in Urban Special Education
  • Master of Science in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership

Doctoral Programs

  • Doctorate in Language and Literacy
  • Doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service (Ph.D. or Ed.D.)
  • Doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education (Ph.D. or Ed.D)
  • Doctorate in Special Education

Licensure Programs

  • Bilingual Education Licensure
  • Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Licensure
  • District Administrator Licensure
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Licensure
  • Reading Teacher 316 Licensure

Learn more about the College of Education and Leadership     Refer Stritch to Someone You Know


Read Past Newsletters

November 2017
April 2017
October 2016

About Cardinal Stritch University

Cardinal Stritch University began as a teaching institution for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in 1937. Today, Stritch offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs that help students develop new skills, gain career-related experience and build professional networks.

Stritch is known as an excellent choice for studying businesseducationliberal artsleadershipnursing, and the sciences. Students with diverse faith and cultural backgrounds embrace and live our core Franciscan values of creating a caring community, showing compassion, reverencing creation and making peace. On campus, students cheer on our athletic teams, the Stritch Wolves, as they compete in 17 men’s and women’s sports. Students from all majors are engaged in artistic opportunities and participate in gallery exhibitions, theater performances and music concerts.

The University offers courses at our campus in the North Shore of MilwaukeeBrookfieldMadison and online. Undergraduate and graduate classes are also available through partnerships with technical colleges and employers.

With more than 34,000 alumni, our graduates are known for their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures. Through education, academic support, mentoring, and career opportunities, we help students find their mission in life.

Have questions or want more information?