Stritch Blog

Posted By Cardinal Stritch University November 28, 2017


Note from the Dean

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

Wisconsin has not been immune to the national crises in the teacher talent pipeline in PreK-12 schools, in shortages of students enrolling in teacher preparation programs, in recruitment of teachers of color, and in school cultures that present challenges for retaining good teachers. As I reflect on these challenges, it led me to construct the following questions:  How might Stritch help to reshape the public’s perception of teaching as a noble profession? How can we help potential teachers understand the value of teaching and the lasting impact teachers have on the well-being of children and families? How do we approach teacher preparation as a reflective, rigorous process through which teacher candidates learn about themselves, their students, and educational practices so they, as beginning teachers, can make informed decisions that positively impact student learning across all contexts and with students of all abilities? The answer to these questions lies in our ability to intentionally engage in our local, state, and national communities, gaining an understanding of educational needs in order to effectively create academic programs and professional learning experiences that contribute to the development of more confident, competent, values-driven educational leaders.
In his book Great by Choice, Jim Collins states, “Far more difficult than implementing change is figuring out what works, understanding why it works, grasping when to change, and knowing when not to.”  In recognizing the need for children to have equal access to opportunities for art experiences, we revised our teacher education programs to support beginning teachers’ abilities to appreciate the visual arts and to develop the knowledge and skills of arts integration across the curriculum.  The artsHUBmke is an innovative collaboration between Cardinal Stritch University’s Undergraduate Teacher Education program, Arts @ Large (A@L), and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) that is supported by funding from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.  The artsHUBmke builds the skills of pre-service student teachers, new and veteran classroom teachers, arts specialists, community artist educators, and university faculty to design and implement arts integrated teaching strategies that engage students in dynamic learning experiences. There are three tiers of involvement for Stritch teacher candidates.  The first level of involvement (Tier 1) engages teacher candidates early in redesigned course curriculum and field experiences in Arts@Large schools.  The second level (Tier 2) includes summer professional development and student teaching in a HUB school.  In the final level (Tier 3), teacher candidates present their new knowledge and skills of arts-integrated applications in the development of their educator Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) portfolio.
In response to the state and national crisis in the teacher talent pipeline, the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has implemented changes in the form of an “Emergency Rule” as of June 17, 2017, that leads to amendments, repeals, and the creation of rules relating to PI-34 legislation that governs the licensure of school personnel. The following highlighted changes are believed to be helpful in making the teaching licensing process responsive to school district staffing needs and to give institutions of higher education more flexibility in their admissions processes:

  • The creation of a one-year license with stipulations (replacing emergency licenses and permits).

  • The creation of a three-year license with stipulations as part of a district-sponsored pathway for experienced teachers to receive another teaching license in a new subject or developmental level.

  • The removal of specific testing (Praxis CORE and Praxis II) and GPA requirements from the rule to allow educator preparation programs flexibility in their admissions policies.

  • Teacher and pupil services candidates are now allowed to demonstrate content knowledge with a 3.0 or higher GPA in their license area or by successfully completing a content-based portfolio thus removing Praxis II test requirements.

  • Content knowledge will be determined by the candidate meeting one of the following requirements: (1) having a cumulative GPA of not less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for courses in the subject area or position, (2) passing scores on standardized tests approved by the state superintendent, which shall include the state's model academic standards, or (3) successfully completing a content-based portfolio designed by the institution of higher education.

As you read our Reaching Forward newsletters and faculty research briefs, please know that these are just highlights of our work.  We are more than happy to talk with you further about potential partnerships on new initiatives that are valuable to your schools/districts.


Faculty of the Year Award 2016-2017

Every year a faculty member is awarded for her or his distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to the University and the community.  The faculty member is nominated by students. 
In spring of 2017, Dr. Preston Cosgrove, from the Leadership Division, shared the Cardinal Stritch Award for Outstanding Faculty Member with Dr. Dawn Wankowski, from the Department of Natural Sciences.
In recommending Dr. Cosgrove for the award, students enrolled in the Leadership for the Advancement of Service and Learning in Higher Education program wrote:
As members of Cohort 50 within the Doctoral Leadership Program, we would like to nominate Preston Cosgrove for the Faculty of the Year award. Preston embodies each of the four pillars of our Doctoral Leadership Program: leadership, learning, service, and research both inside and outside of the classroom.  He is not only an excellent and effective educator, but he has impacted each of us outside of his instruction as well. His positive influence transcends his role as professor, leaving a lasting and profound impression on his students.
Leadership: Preston is an advocate for the betterment of the doctoral program. He promotes what is working, but he also believes that there is always room for growth in himself and his students. His honesty and candor is not only refreshing, but it is appreciated by his students as he works diligently to provide the best example of what leadership looks like both within his classroom and outside of it.
Learning: Preston seeks continuous feedback with the intent of improving instruction and genuinely reflects on student responses, using them to tailor his teaching to our needs. He seeks new methods to enhance our experience and follows best practices. He has a passion for exploring and learning about new topics, bringing both knowledge and enthusiasm to his classroom. His instruction is personalized and his dedication to the preparation of his lessons does not go unnoticed by those receiving them.
Service: Dedicated to the betterment of his students, Preston serves the Stritch community through his efforts both inside and outside of the classroom.  He is available for students and provides prompt and meaningful feedback on both assignments as well as in his capacity as an advisor.  Outside his faculty role, Preston is active in his community and is a strong advocate within the adoption community in addition to his church.  He shares with his students these experiences, modeling and inspiring service among them, as well.
Research: Preston believes in teaching ethical and moral research practices.  An active scholar himself, Preston shares with his students the successes and setbacks of his research experiences.  These candid and informational personal testimonials help to encourage students and provide context in what may otherwise feel like an intimidating process.  Preston is honest, supportive, and challenges his students by providing frameworks within which they may work while simultaneously pushing them to take their efforts further. 
Our experience with Dr. Cosgrove has given us a strong foundation to build upon as we continue our journey. His exemplary efforts to reach students and to hold himself personally accountable for providing meaningful learning opportunities for them is invaluable. He embraces his role as an educator but thrives on the reciprocal relationships with his students, where learning goes both ways. It is with great respect for his contributions that we nominate Dr. Preston Cosgrove for Faculty of the Year.

Celebrating Years of Experience

In this edition of Reaching Forward, we celebrate two faculty members who have served the College and the University in different positions at the staff, faculty, and administration levels for decades.  Their dedication is an indication of stewardship of the Franciscan values on which the University has been built, values that have been the foundation of thousands of women and men who carry that tradition beyond the borders of the state and country. These celebrated faculty are Dr. Marna Boyle and Dr. Peter Jonas.

Dr. Marna Boyle

 Dr. Boyle would sum up her professional life in three words: Stritch and Education.  As a member of the education community for 52 years, from teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools since 1965 to teaching at Cardinal Stritch since 1976, Dr. Boyle has served the University in various capacities.  Dr. Boyle remembers:
In 1976 I showed up at Sr. Joanne Marie Kliebhan’s, chair of the Special Education Department, office door at Stritch seeking a job.  She informed me that there were no open positions but encouraged me to go back to school and pursue a degree in Learning Disabilities, which was a new field of study at the time.  I returned a few years later, having completed the program, and was hired as a faculty member in the growing Department of Special Education. 
During my years as a faculty member, I served as the Director of Student Teaching and Chair of the Department of Special Education.  At that time, Stritch had one of the largest special education programs, including a graduate degree that attracted students from other countries. I taught courses in early childhood, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities, and I supervised student teachers in their practicum experience in local school districts. 
At this time, the University (then College) was expanding, and many new faculty members were hired.  The faculty governance was evolving with a new structure that was supportive of faculty.  I served as the Chair of the Faculty Council while these changes took place. 
In 1991, I was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of Faculty by then- president Sister Camille Kliebhan.  I continued in that role for 17 years under the leadership of Sr. Kliebhan and Sr. Mary Lea Schneider.  Under the leadership of Sr. Mary Lea Schneider, the University expanded its degree programs, offered its first doctoral-level degree, changed to University status, constructed new buildings, and increased its enrollment.  In 2001, a major grant was awarded to the University from the Teagle Foundation that funded the Stritch Franciscan Pilgrimage program.  It was clear that the presence of Franciscan sisters was diminishing so the University needed to reaffirm and deepen its Franciscan values.  The grant allowed for faculty and staff to be sent to Assissi for ten days to be involved in activities and intellectual endeavors focused on Franciscan values. The goal was to deepen our identity as a Franciscan institution of higher learning.  The University focused on our Franciscan values, and I was fortunate to play a part in the development and implementation of the grant.
In 2009, I returned to a teaching role and continue to teach in the area of special education to this day. Recently I am learning to teach in a virtual environment.  Online or face to face, I am inspired by my students as future teachers and am proud to be part of the academy and of a Franciscan community of learners.


Peter M. Jonas, Ph.D.

Learning, Laughing, and Leadership most accurately describe Dr. Peter Jonas.  Peter is a professor of research and statistics in the Doctoral Leadership Department at Cardinal Stritch University and is well known for his wise-cracking comments and lectures on humor.  However, beneath the humor is a message: if you get people laughing, you can teach them anything. 
Dr. Peter M. Jonas is currently a professor, and he previously served as the chair of the Doctoral Leadership Department from 1997 to 2011.  As a university professor, Dr. Jonas teaches in the areas of research, leadership, and technology.  From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Jonas served as the Dean and Assistant Professor in the College of Business and Management.  In 2016, he celebrated 35 years of service at Cardinal Stritch University.  Peter has served as faculty and dissertation chairperson in the doctoral program for 20 years. Over the years Peter has written three books in support of his research (but only the two books on humor are any good (J)):  Outcomes Assessment in Higher Education Linked with Strategic Planning and Budgeting [2nd ed.] (2013), Laughing and Learning:  An Alternative to Shut-up and Listen (2009), and Secrets of Connecting Leadership and Learning to Humor (2004).  Moreover, Peter has made more than 200 presentations across the country talking about humor, research, leadership, and assessment.  In addition, Peter has authored more than 40 books, manuals, and articles in professional periodicals and has served as a consultant for more than 50 different organizations, typically in the areas of professional development and program evaluation.
Peter Jonas has a doctorate in History from Marquette University and has written, or served as an external evaluator for, more than 20 grants over the last 10 years.  He has been involved in consulting, speaking, and serving as a national keynote speaker at more than 25 conferences.
In addition to teaching, Peter has served as the dissertation advisor for more than 50 doctoral students over the past 20 years.  He has completed four different webinars, been a guest blogger on several different educational sites, and is a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association (WIAA)-sanctioned referee for high school soccer.  Peter believes that his previous work in education is fine but his best work is yet to come.  Nevertheless, his professional accomplishments are overshadowed by his pride in his three children (a nurse, an environmentalist, and a lawyer) and his four grandchildren. 

A Milestone 

Every year the University publishes a snapshot of the programs and honors associated with each college and program. The COEL Snapshot shows the number of teachers, principals, and superintendents who are graduates of the College of Education and Leadership.  This year the College reached a milestone in that 75 superintendents currently leading school districts in Wisconsin have graduated from the College of Education and Leadership. We celebrate the accomplishments of all of our alumni and individuals who completed the requirements with us for a license to teach or to lead. 

Mission-Driven Leaders Series

Every year Cardinal Stritch University presents a series of Academic and Community Engagement activities, including the Mission -Driven Leaders Series.  This year the Mission-Driven Leader event will be held on April 19, 2018 and features Dr. Ryan Krohn, a class of 2014 alumnus of the College of Education and Leadership.  Dr. Ryan Krohn, aligned his values with actions to achieve positive results for his organization and business and for the society at large. 

Young Scholars Visit Stritch

 On Tuesday, November 21, 33 5th graders from LUMIN's Renaissance Academy in Racine, Wisconsin attended Cardinal Stritch University for a  'Day at College'.  Under the leadership of a team of faculty led by Dr. Corey Thompson, Christina Meekins, Amber Sanders, accompanied by Wolfie, the mascot.

These young scholars heard from a panel of Stritch students, received a tour of the University and interacted with students in ED 205, Education for Diversity, all in preparation for their return visit to campus next month when they will tour the first ever Stritch Museum of Cultural Diversity, a project created by the ED 205 students as a part of the ArtsHUBMKE grant partnership.  These young scholars, who may enter Stritch, or any other college of their choice, in the year 2025, had an enjoyable time and received a plethora of knowledge about being in college. 

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

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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?