Graduate Student Success


Do you have a success to share with Marquette University's Graduate School?  We'd love to hear from you. Please fill out this form and tell us about your new job, presentation, publication, or any other award or honor.


Cory Haala, a doctoral candidate in the History department, recently received a $5,000 grant from the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames. This grant will be used for a three-month research trip during the summer of 2018 to archives in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The research at these various archives will explore the emergence of prominent women's caucuses in Midwestern politics.


All of Marquette’s Clinical Psychology candidates for predoctoral internships matched with internship positions for the fifth year in a row. This is a very competitive process and Marquette consistently rates above the national average for internship matches. Read more about the process in Marquette Today.


Jennifer Mara photoJennifer Marra, a sixth-year doctoral student in the Philosophy department, recently traveled to the American Philosophical Association Conference in Kansas City, MO., to present her research, entitled Cassirer on the Politics and Morality of Humor. In her presentation, Marra explains how comedians and philosophers ought to proceed during the current political situation in the United States. Her paper leans heavily on the word of Ernst Cassirer, a Jewish philosopher during the time of Hitler's reign, and his promotion of critical engagement. Upon receiving her Ph.D., Marra plans to pursue a career in academia.


pictureDavid Marra, a fourth-year graduate student pursing his degree in clinical psychology, recently attended the annual International Neuropsychological Society meeting in New Orleans, LA. At the conference, Marra presented a research poster, entitled "An updated exploration of the frequency of suboptimal effort in a healthy undergraduate sample," which explored the frequency that students put forth sub-optimal effort in psychological testing. Marra also presented a paper, entitled "Cognitive reserve predicts post-operative cognitive decline in anterior temporal lobectomy patients," which demonstrated how higher education is associated with better cognitive outcomes in patients who undergo neurosurgery to treat intractable epilepsy. He believes his research may help clinicians form more accurate prognoses for their patients. Once he completes his doctoral program, Marra hopes to work at an academic medical center.


pictureCurrent Ph.D. candidate in the History department, Cory Haala, has been awarded the Minnesota Historical Society Legacy Research Fellowship, which rewards him a $5,000 grant for research in the Gale Family Library. Haala's project, titled "The Many DFLs in Rudy Perpich's Minnesota," focuses on the widespread and varied grassroots within the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party in the 1980s, and themes in Midwestern liberalism during the Reagan Administration and beyond.


pictureCongratulations to current Master of Science in Nursing student, Monique Tarrant, for receiving the 2016 Milwaukee Black Nurses Association (MBNA) Graduate Scholarship! The mission of the MBNA is to support, empower, and educate nurses of color around the Milwaukee area, and Ms. Tarrant continues to live by this mission through her work. To learn more about the scholarship and the MBNA, visit their website.


Ph.D. student in History, Maggie Nettesheim-Hoffmann, has been awarded the Humanities Without Walls (HWW) PreDoctoral Fellowship for 2017. As a Fellow, Maggie will receive a $5,000 stipend and attend a summer workshop in Chicago. The Humanities Without Walls is a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 15 major research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond. Based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This is the first time HWW has sponsored a summer workshop. Guided by one of the leading public humanities organizations in the nation, these workshops encourage humanities doctoral students to think of themselves as agents of the public humanities and showcase opportunities beyond the walls of the academy in an uncertain academic job climate. Learn more about Humanities Without Walls online.


Gary P. Klump, a third year Ph.D. student in the Religious Studies program, recently traveled to San Antonio, TX for a conference sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature. At the conference, Klump gave a paper presentation about his research, entitled Androdyne: The (Re)Union of Male and Female Qumran. In his presentation, Klump discussed the myth of the Androdyne, and its connection to a passage in the Qumran Damascus Document. After completion of his program, Klump hopes to teach at a small Catholic liberal arts school.


Congratulations to one of our recent graduates, Matt Costello, on his new job opportunity as a senior historian at the White House Historical Association! Costello earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Marquette University, and was a research fellowship recipient. Costello is a great example of the knowledge our students gain from programs at Marquette University, and how this knowledge allows them to succeed in their career aspirations.


pictureMaja Whitaker, a second year graduate student studying speech-language pathology with a Bilingual English-Spanish specialization, recently attended a conference in Philadelphia, PA sponsored by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. At this conference, Whitaker presented a poster, entitled Vowels Acoustics in English-Accented Spanish, which demonstrated the qualitative research she has done in her field regarding this area. In her research, Whitaker examined that English-Accented Spanish speakers may show greater variability in individual vowels compared to native Spanish speakers. Whitaker, who recently received the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship, plans to either work as a speech-language pathologist with elementary-aged students or in a medical setting with adult patients upon receiving her Masters of Science.


Miguel Sotelo, a second year doctoral student, recently traveled to Minneapolis to give a presentation on his research, entitled Methods for Whole-Brain Probabilistic Tractography in Acute and Chronic Stroke Survivors. In his presentation, Sotelo explained the methods he implemented to use a probabilistic model of brain connectivity with information of local fiber orientation, and the results the research yielded. Sotelo plans to receive his Ph.D. in Functional Imaging, and eventually teach at the university level.


Brice Cleland, a graduate student in the Clinical and Translational Rehabilitation Health Science program, recently attended the Society of Neuroscience Conference in San Diego, California. At the conference, Brice presented his research on whether the affected limb in stroke survivors retains motor abilities during pedaling.


Ashley Moss, a sixth year graduate student in the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program, recently traveled to Savannah, GA for a conference sponsored by the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. At the conference, Ashley presented research she conducted on the sleep quality and disease outcomes among adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Ashley is currently interning at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and plans to pursue a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Psychology after completing her current doctoral program.


Evan Hess, a third year graduate student at Marquette University in the neuroscience program, was featured in the influential Fall 2016 issue of the Society for Neuroscience quarterly newsletter. In his research, Hess found that astrocytes are a key component in compulsive behaviors.


Brian Pattengale, a third-year Ph.D. student studying Chemistry, presented his research on the application of ZIF-67 to Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution at the Gordon Research Conferences at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. His research aims to fundamentally understand the transient photodynamic catalytic events that underlie solar fuel conversion reactions. After earning his degree, Brian plans to pursue research and continue a postdoctoral position.


Marquette University hosted its 7th Annual Diversity in Psychology Research Conference on Saturday, October 8th. We were excited to welcome undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from Marquette and 16 colleges and universities.

Congratulations to the winners of the poster competition:  


First Place: “I’ll Pray for You”: Religion-based Microaggressions and Adverse Psychological Symptoms

Jenin Kimber and Kevin Karl

 Second Place: Authentically American? Examining the Relationship Between Levels of Patriotism and Anger when Viewing Violence Against Ethnic Groups

Camille Lester and Nakia S. Gordon

Third Place: The Effects of Assertiveness and Race on Reactions to Female Speakers

Stephanie Lopez


First Place: I-sharing after a Gender Threat Increases Liking for a Gay Man and Decreases Defensiveness

Juan Zapata

Second Place: Give Us a Curriculum and an Outline

Lucas Mirabito and Nicholas Heck

Third Place: Measuring Young Women's Experiences with Benevolent Sexism: Scale Structures and Correlates

Debra Oswald, Maha Baalbaki, and Mackenzie Kirkman


Tom Bouril, a recent alumnus of the Marquette University Graduate School and former Marquette TA, was announced the winner of the 2016 MA Essay prize from the North American Council for British Studies. Tom's MA essay was written under the direction of history professor Dr. Carla Hay. Tom is currently a doctoral student at Syracuse University, where his studies are focused on African History.


This summer, graduate students in the Biological Sciences program participated in a research 'elevator talk' competition. The science conducted in their research labs can be complicated, so the students used these elevator talks to break down their research projects into 60 second, easy to

understand presentations. Summer research students, which included undergraduates from

Marquette University and other institutions, served as judges. Videos of the elevator talks can be

viewed online.


Laurie photoThe Nurses Foundation of Wisconsin recently announced that Laurie Kunkel-Jordan, a current Marquette University Ph.D. student in nursing, is the winner of the 2016 Research Grant. Laurie's research explores newly graduated nurses and preceptorship. You can read more about Laurie's research on the Wisconsin Nurses Association website.


Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Anthony Correro was selected as an inaugural recipient of the Milwaukee Cream City Foundation's LGBTQ+ Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship was created to support LGBTQ+ and ally students pursuing post-secondary education.


Doug photoDoug Lyke is currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Biological Sciences department and had the honor of presenting a poster at the Allied Genetics Conference in Orlando, FL this July. Doug's posted was entitled Early Stage Prion Formation and the Insoluble Protein Deposit (IPOD) and his research looks at proteins that are directly related to neurodegenerative diseases in the model organism yeast.  Specifically, Doug's work focuses on the cellular pathways by which these proteins enter their diseased conformation.  The significance of this work is that it will hopefully uncover details of the pathways that these different diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's take in their early development stages, and then this information could be applied to developing better treatment options in human health. In the future, Doug hopes to use his degree to work as a scientist in the biotech industry. Doug was also awarded the Summer 2016 Jobling Travel Award.


Drew photoDrew Williams, third year Ph.D. student in Computational Sciences, presented at the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America's national conference in Washington D.C. Drew presented two posters: Access Ruler: An Accessible Measurement Application for Determining Accessibility in the Built Environment and xFACT: Developing Usable Surveys for Accessibility Purposes. Access Ruler relies on using a laser ruler, in conjunction with an iOS application that obtains measurements taken by the ruler and stores them in a list. Pairing the laser ruler with the application is a single-button process. Access Ruler improves the accessibility of the process of measuring building features for accessibility, in addition to retaining accuracy and ease of use. xFACT is a desktop application designed to assist in deploying accessible, usable assessments.  xFACT can create one survey for multiple types of assessments, and tailor it to the needs of the user with very little effort on their part, thus improving the assessment-taking process for determining accessibility, and other such uses. 

lucasSecond year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Lucas Mirabito traveled to Denver, Colorado to present his research at the American Psychological Association's (APA) conference. Lucas's poster presentation, entitled “Give Us a Curriculum and an Outline!” Insights from Gay-Straight Alliance Advisors on Providing Mental Health Programming to LGBTQ Students, investigated the feasibility of a mental health promotion program designed to be implemented in a gay-straight alliance (GSA) group meeting in high schools. GSA advisors (usually teachers at the school) were asked about how they would like such a program to be designed, how much need they felt there was for the program, how they felt students would react, and the common mental health challenges they hear from their students. It has been shown in past literature that LGBTQ high school students face a greater number of mental health challenges and stressors due to their identity. Currently, no mental health promotion program specifically designed for this population exists. This research represents an attempt to meet the unique needs of LGBTQ students in a culturally appropriate way. Lucas is also the recipient of a $1,000 research grant from the APA.


Cory Haala, Ph.D. student in History, recently presented at the Agricultural History Conference in New York. Cory's presentation, Rebuilding Rural/Urban Liberal Networks in the Upper Midwest during the Reagan Revolution, focused on how liberal organizations across the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin attracted farmers and other rural voters to their cause in the 1980s by attempting to limit cultural conflict and promote a shared sense of socioeconomic injustice.

Earlier this summer, Cory also presented at the Midwestern History Association Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. There, he presented a research paper entitled Mikhail Gorbachev’s Saint Paul Summit and the Construction of a New Midwestern Identity.


Foreign Languages and Literatures student Julia Grubich recently presented her research at the International Conference on Afro-Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian, and Latin American Studies in Accra, Ghana. ICALLAS is a conference that promotes the study of issues related to Africa and the peoples of African ancestry in Brazil and the Spanish-speaking world. Julia's paper, Como vivimos:Los desafios de ser africano en Espana, explores the literary works of Donato Ndongo and Mamadou Dia and their representation of the immigrant African in Spain.


Ryan Warner Ryan C. Warner, 2nd year Ph.D. student in Counseling Psychology, attended the Black Graduate Conference in Psychology in Miami, FL this spring. Ryan presented a poster on factors that support career success for first generation, low-income college students. The purpose of Ryan's research is to investigate the factors, strengths, and resources  that enabled first-generation, low-income, college alumni of color to achieve career/life success. Outcomes of this study will provide ideas for how we can best empower such students at the individual and systemic level. Ryan's career plans include serving as a psychologist, researcher, and consultant to provide mental health services and promote psychological well-being for minority populations. Ryan is also a recipient of the Marquette University Graduate School Diversity Fellowship.


The third annual Marquette Graduate Student Humanities Conference was held Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23. This year, graduate students from Marquette united their efforts with graduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The keynote speaker and workshop leader at this year’s conference was Dr. Heather Cox Richardson, distinguished professor of history at Boston College. She teaches the history of the 19th century, paying particular attention to the transformation of political ideology from the Civil War to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Graduate students from the History and English departments participated in organizing the conference including: Patrick Bethel, Thomas Bouril, Matthew Douglas, Margaret Nettesheim Hoffmann, Ashley Meddaugh, and Michele Weber from History, and Matthew Burchanoski, Patrick Mullen, Sareene Proodian, and Katie Sterr from English.


Stephanie HoodSecond year Clinical Mental Health Counseling master's student, Stephanie Hood, presented on Career Exploration and Liberation: A Career Program for First Generation, Low-Income College Students in Montreal, Q.C., Canada this spring for the American Counseling Association and Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association. The study presented theoretical background, implementation, and evaluation of a career development seminar for incoming college freshmen who are the first in their family to attend college and who also come from low-income backgrounds. The intervention was a three-day program that integrated traditional career development theories with liberation psychology. Stephanie and the other presenters shared the results of a mixed-methods evaluation of the seminar, along with recommendations for similar programming.


Erin QuasneyErin Quasney, Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student, presented her research on Neurobehavioral Examination Performance and Motor Intrusion Errors in Mild Cognitive Impairment versus Dementia at the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology Conference in February in Boston, MA. Her project examines the ability of a newly developed, rapidly administered measure of broad cognitive function with a specific focus on identifying signs of executive dysfunction to distinguish between dementia subtypes and between dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Proper diagnosis of dementia spectrum conditions is necessary to better inform patients as well as their families and care providers about issues related to disease management and course.


Katie Hazlett ElvermanSixth year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student Katie Hazlett Elverman presented her poster on Preclinical Markers of Risk for Alzheimer's Disease in a Task of Inhibitory Control at a conference sponsored by the International Neuropsychological Society in Boston, MA in February. Her study revealed significant genetic differences in event related potentials in healthy older adults, revealing a new marker of Alzheimer's disease risk, and indicated the importance of executive abilities, such as inhibition, in preclinical Alzheimer's disease. She found that inexpensive and easily accessible event related potentials may be more sensitive to preclinical risk than cognitive testing alone.


AmandaBaum photoAmanda Baum, fifth year Chemistry Ph.D. student, presented at the Bioinorganic Chemistry (Gordon Research Seminar) Conference in Ventura, California in January. Her presentation on Biologically Relevant Fe(II) Complexes Containing Redox Active (Hydro)quinone Ligands focuses on the preparation and characterization of synthetic metal complexes that mimic the structure and/or function of iron-containing enzymes in nature. These efforts combine inorganic synthesis, spectroscopic methods, and reactivity studies. Her research group expects that studies of the synthetic models will provide insights into the function of the biological enzymes and also reveal new and interesting chemistry.


History Ph.D. student, Matthew Douglas, presented two presentations for the 2016 Newberry Library Graduate Student Conference in Chicago, Illinois in January.


Matthew Costello, History Ph.D. student, works for the Washington Papers at the University of Virginia where he serves as Project Manager of the George Washington Bibliography Project, an online database and website that catalogs over 10,000 books that feature George Washington in some manner. He traveled to the Fred W. Smith Library at Mount Vernon in January to co-present the project status to the library staff and project donors. He discussed ideas for promoting the project in the next six months, and the website will go live in 2016 and serve as an educational resource and scholarly tool for anyone interested in George Washington, early American history, and histiography.


Maria Bengtson, Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student, won the Pierce Prize Competition last week at January Dissertation Boot Camp. She gave a two-minute presentation on her rehabilitation engineering research for her dissertation, and her peers voted her presentation as the most clear, concise, and compelling of the 17 competitors. The Pierce Prize Competition is a friendly competition on the last day of Dissertation Boot Camp that honors Mr. Craig Pierce, who retired from his position as the Assistant Dean of the Marquette University Graduate School in May 2015 after serving the Graduate School for 17 years and starting our first Dissertation Boot Camp 10 years ago.


Third year Clinical and Translational Rehabilitation Health Science Ph.D. student Brice Cleland presented at the Society of Neuroscience conference in Chicago, IL this fall. His presentation, entitled Reducing pedaling-related brain activation volume post-stroke does not depend on task performance, investigates factors that contribute to movement-related brain activation in stroke survivors. A recent study demonstrated that stroke survivors have decreased brain activation compared to controls during a pedaling task. This change in brain activation may result from changes in the structure or function of the brain or changes in the way that movements are performed. The factors causing changes in brain activation post-stroke are important because they potentially can be manipulated to improve brain activation and movement. When Brice graduates from Marquette, he plans to work as a researcher and professor at a university.


Shaun Miller, sixth year Philosophy Ph.D. student, was a presenter at the North American Sartre Society's conference in Bethlehem, PA. Shaun's work, entitled Bodily Consciousness: A Sartrean Response to Irigaray, focused on philosopher Luce Irigaray's critiques of Sartre's phenomenology. The main criticism is that Sartre is ignoring the body when it comes to relationships. Shaun responded in his research by defending Sartre against Irigaray by offering textual evidence that Sartre does pay attention to the body in the way that Irigaray asks for. Moreover, understanding Sartre's notion of the body can give insight on what it means to be a conscious being by focusing on the body. During his time at Marquette, Shaun plans on finishing his dissertation about the ethical assumptions of sex education programs in the United States.


Kimberly Engels phot Fifth year Philosophy Ph.D. student Kimberly Engels recently had the honor of     presenting a research paper at the North American Sartre Society's conference, held at East Stroudsburg University in Bethlehem, PA. Kimberly's paper was entitled Ethical Subjectivity in Sartre and Foucault and focused on the ethical thought of Sartre and Foucault, arguing that each presents ethics as a type of self-creation in relation to the social practices of one’s historical epoch. Kimberly developed Sartre’s and Foucault’s claims that creating oneself as an ethical subject involves critical reflection, empathy, and creative invention. Her research is significant to the discipline and to the wider community because she contributes historical scholarship on Sartre and Foucault, and further presents a conception of ethics that is compatible with contemporary moral practices. Kimberly was also awarded the Smith Family Fellowship for 2015-16.


Benjamin Linzy is currently a master's student in the History department. This November, Benjamin had the honor of presenting a research paper, entitled The Shame of Nations: International Responses to Genocide in the Wake of the 1948 Genocide Convention at Northern Illinois University Graduate Student Association's eighth annual conference. He also presented his paper Indigenous Eclipse: How indigenous victories shaped the British Empire, 1842-1885 at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Southern Historical Association.


First year History Ph.D. student Cory Haala presented at the 41st Annual Great Lakes History Conference at Grand Valley State University in October. The paper he presented, entitled Remembering and Rebuilding Farmer-Labor Gains in 1970s Minnesota, focused on the role historical memory played in the revival of a modern progressive movement in 1970s Minnesota. In his presentation, he argued that a new generation of liberals used the rhetoric, publications, and names of the Farmer-Labor Party in creating new networks which challenged the rising tide of conservatism in America.


Masters students in the Foreign Languages and Literatures program Sandra Baer, Julia Grubich, and Caitlin Carini all attended the Newberry Workshop on Don Quixote on October 15th in Chicago. The workshop allowed MA and PHD students from around the U.S. to connect, network, and share different opinions and theories on the well-known novel Don Quixote. The students reported that it was interesting getting to know people from all around the U.S. with different backgrounds and majors, such as political science, history, and English. Caitlin recalls that her favorite part of the workshop was touring the rare books section of the library where the Newberry staff displayed old, rare editions of Don Quixote that they had collected over the years. 


Dylan SnyderDylan Snyder is currently a 5th year Ph.D. student in Marquette's Biomedical Engineering program. This fall, Dylan presented his research, entitled Effects of wrist tendon vibrations on cortical activity during arm stabilization, during a poster presentation at the Society for Neuroscience Conference in Chicago. This research is focused on the human brain and how it uses sensory information to control the body. More specifically, how the brain uses sensory information to control, arm stability. Past research in Dylan's lab has shown that applying vibration to the forearm flexor tendons can improve arm stability. Even though the application of tendon vibrations is known to improve the function, the mechanism behind the improvement is unclear. During his time here at Marquette, Dylan has built a passive robotic device that allows him to investigate how the brain controls arm stability and explore the mechanisms behind improved arm stability with applied tendon vibrations. Once the mechanisms of arm stability and tendon vibration are better understood, it may be possible to transfer this knowledge into the clinical setting to improve current neurorehabilitation techniques and to develop therapeutic devices. After graduating from Marquette University, Dylan plans to enter into industry and design neurological devices meant to restore or enhance function.


DJ HobbsD.J. Hobbs, 3rd year Philosophy Ph.D. student, traveled to Atlanta, Ga. to present his research at the Society for Ricœur Studies conference this October. His paper, entitled Ricœur's Hermeneutics of Translation and the Case of Religious Language, discusses D.J.'s interpretation of the motivations behind Paul Ricœur's account of translation as “linguistic hospitality.” It subsequently tests this model against the difficult case of religious language. Although Ricœur's view of translation accounts well for the everyday occurrence of translation, D.J. argues, certain instances of religious language remain beyond its scope. This position stands in contrast to the attempts of some philosophers to extend Ricœur's model to religious speech without qualification. The article therefore serves to help keep Ricœurian hermeneutics of translation on the correct path towards its most practical uses. After attaining his doctorate, D.J. intends to remain in academia, hopefully securing a tenure-track job to continue his research and teaching.


Sophie SchunkSecond year Biomedical Engineering master's student Sophie Schunk had the honor of presenting her research at the Biomedical Engineering Society's Conference in Tampa, Florida. Sophie's poster presentation described a nonlinear computer simulation model for blood glucose regulation consisting of 3 compartments for glucose (blood plasma, muscle tissue/mitochondria, non-muscle tissue), insulin and glucagon control action, and new approaches for addressing the diverse nature of meal and exercise inputs. Results illustrate how differences with meal type (slow vs. fast glycemic index [GI]) and exercise/activity based glucose-glycogen consumption affect predictions of blood plasma glucose dynamics and hormonal control action. Current challenges are addressed with model personalization, providing input flexibility for body mass, muscle ratio, stress, and types of diabetes (T1D, T2D) informing drug delivery design. The model was created in Matlab (and Simulink) with future implications and algorithm development to help inform diabetics on how to best regulate blood glucose. Sophie is currently completing her master's thesis at Marquette and hopes to work directly with diabetic medical devices and supplies in a clinical applications role after graduation.


Jen Bonniwell is in her third year of the Electrical and Computing Engineering Ph.D. program, and she presented the results of her accepted paper, entitled Performance Analysis of Resilient Dynamic Feedback H2 Controllers, at the 2015 IEEE Multi-Conference on Systems and Control, in Manly, NSW, Australia. Her presentation provides an a priori analysis procedure useful to engineering system control designers by aiding them to make insightful selections of components with adequate tolerances. Jen was also awarded the Schmitt Leadership Fellowship.


Do you have a success to share with Marquette University's Graduate School?  We'd love to hear from you. Please fill out this form and tell us about your new job, presentation, publication, or any other award or honor.