1. Freshmen will be asked about their experiences

As part of Marquette’s participation in a project to study the first year of college, all freshmen will receive an e-mail this week inviting them to take a short online survey. The purpose of the study is to produce a plan of action for improvement campus-wide, with recommendations expected from throughout the Marquette community.

Marquette is one of 20 four-year institutions participating in a comprehensive, campus-wide self-assessment of the first-year college experience during the 2008-09 academic year. Faculty and staff who regularly interact with first-year students were surveyed last month.

“Student opinions are a critical part of our evaluation process,” said Dr. Peggy Bloom, vice provost for undergraduate programs and teaching. “We want to hear what students think about the programming we currently offer, both in and out of the classroom — and also get their ideas about what else is possible.”

The Office of the Provost and the Division of Student Affairs are working with the Foundations of Excellence project of the Policy Center on the First Year of College, located in Ashville, N.C. Foundations of Excellence is a structured, research-based self-study process that involves a policy review and a comprehensive examination of current practices, in addition to the surveys.

Eight work groups will be formed to review the survey results and program findings. Students will be invited to participate.

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2. HRA appointments still available; wellness survey ends Thursday

Employees can still schedule a biometrics screening through Friday, Nov. 14. Call 1-877-765-3213 and press “1” to make an appointment for your on-campus screening on register online through the HR benefits Web site. The biometrics screening is the first part of the Health Risk Assessment employees must complete to qualify for a discount on their 2009 health insurance premium.

The second part of the HRA is a confidential, online questionnaire which must be completed by Monday, Nov. 17. Employees will need their biometrics data and MU ID number (use this INSTEAD of your Social Security number). Employees who completed the biometrics screening on campus received both their data and an instruction sheet from the Aurora representative. Employees who saw their own health care provider for the biometrics screening should request a copy of the necessary data (height, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose); go online to complete the questionnaire.

All employees are encouraged to read the benefits information packet and use MyJob  to add and modify benefits by Monday, Nov. 17.

The HRA online questionnaire is a totally separate activity than the e-mail that all employees received last week inviting them to complete a short, anonymous survey to assess the wellness interests and needs of the Marquette community. The survey is an initial step in the university’s wellness initiative being coordinated by the College of Health Sciences, in cooperation with the Department of Human Resources. The college is in the process of hiring a wellness coordinator who will oversee wellness activities on campus and facilitate Marquette’s involvement in Milwaukee’s Well City Program. A reminder e-mail will go out Tuesday, Nov. 11, to employees who have not completed the survey; the deadline for response is Thursday, Nov. 13. Contact Dr. Paula Papanek, director of the exercise science degree program, at 8-5069 for more information.

The Department of Human Resources will also host a Benefits Assistance Day Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in AMU 254. Employees will be able to ask benefits questions and get one-on-one assistance with benefits enrollment from human resources staff.

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3. United Way donors eligible to win Harley motorcycle

United Way donors of any new gift of at least $25, or a gift that increased from the previous year by at least $25, by Friday, Nov. 14, are entered into a drawing for a black, 2009 Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King motorcycle. Marquette employees who make their $25 donation to the United Way through the Marquette Community Campaign by the Nov. 14 deadline are eligible.

The Community Campaign offers employees the opportunity to support Marquette Today, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and the United Performing Arts Fund through Nov. 26. Donations can be made through the online giving form or paper pledge forms available by calling 8-0391.

Everyone who completes a Community Campaign pledge form will also be eligible to win two tickets to a Milwaukee Bucks game in the Marquette suite at the Bradley Center. UPAF and United Way also offer additional donation incentives.

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4. The Cherry Orchard opens at Helfaer Theatre on Thursday

Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard will be presented by the Department of Performing Arts at the Evan P. & Marion Helfaer Theatre from Thursday, Nov. 13, through Sunday, Nov. 23.

The Cherry Orchard is the story of a once-wealthy family whose estate, including the cherished cherry orchard, is about to be sold to pay for mounting debts. Living in the past and maintaining an extravagant lifestyle, the family’s inability to accept help has left the future of their beloved cherry orchard in danger. If the orchard is lost, they will lose their way of life as well as their family identity. Written on the verge of the Bolshevik Revolution, this classic play highlights the growing uncertainty of the future and the budding possibility of hope when faced with the unknown.

Ticket prices for the general public range from $5 to $18 and can be purchased by contacting the theatre box office at 8-7504. Discounted tickets are available for senior citizens and Marquette students.

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5. Jazz ensemble and band to hold concerts

The Marquette Jazz Ensemble will perform a variety of selections representing the broad range and different styles of jazz, including swing, blues, bebop and fusion Thursday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Weasler Auditorium. The concert will include selections by Chuck Mangione, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Sting and other jazz musicians.

The theme of the Marquette Band’s fall concert is “Struggle and Triumph,” as the band performs a variety of works that “touch upon humanity’s struggles and the eventual triumph over obstacles.” The repertoire includes a musical setting of the Dylan Thomas poem “Do not go gentle into that good night,” written by Elliot del Borgo. The concert takes place Sunday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Varsity Theatre.

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6. Inaugural Theotokos Lecture examines Mary’s role in theology

Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, will present “Woman of Many Names: Mary in Eastern and Western Theology,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, in the Tony and Lucille Weasler Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

As the Theotokos lecturer, Daley will review and compare the main characteristics of Eastern and Western approaches to Mary’s role in the mystery of salvation and the effects these characteristics may have on how Christians conceive and celebrate her in the Church’s tradition.

This is the inaugural Theotokos Lecture, which is organized by Marquette’s Department of Theology. The annual lecture is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and takes its name from an ancient honorific title given to her.

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7. Marquette honored as “College of Distinction”

Marquette is featured in the 2008/2009 edition of Colleges of Distinction, published by Student Horizons. Schools are selected who demonstrate excellence in four areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. The publication utilizes and expands upon the criteria identified by the National Survey on Student Engagement, including graduation rate, faculty to student ratio, experiential learning opportunities, alumni giving rate and rate of employment after graduation.

Marquette, one of only 205 schools in the nation selected for the book, was recognized for its Jesuit education tradition, the Core of Common Studies, service learning opportunities, urban campus, study aboard opportunities and its large offering of student organizations.

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8. ORSP holding meet-and-greet for new director

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will hold a meet-and-greet event with its new executive director, Keith Osterhage, Tuesday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Holthusen 341. Refreshments will be provided.

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9. Five departments holding colloquiums

The Department of Biomedical Sciences will host Dr. Brock Grill, postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Cramer Hall 087. Grill will present “How to Make a Synapse: Molecular Insight into Synaptogenesis and Axon Extension.”

The Department of Psychology will hold a colloquium Thursday, Nov. 13, at 10 a.m. in Cramer Hall 038. Dr. Alan Scoboria, associate professor of psychology at the University of Windsor, will present “False autobiographical belief and memory formation: Mapping the landscape between ‘That never happened’ and ‘Now I remember.’”

The Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science’s colloquium will be Thursday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m. in Cudahy Hall 401. Dr. Craig Struble, associate professor of mathematics, statistics and computer science, will present “Doing a Year’s Worth of Computing in a Week: How to Utilize Marquette’s Growing Computing Resources.” Refreshments will be served at 3:30 p.m. in room 342.

Dr. Dominik Duelli, assistant professor of pathology at Rosalind Franklin University Medical School, will present “Cancer Discoveries with Fusion and Exosomes” for the Department of Biological Sciences’ seminar Friday, Nov. 14, at 3:30 p.m. in Wehr Life Sciences 111.

The Department of Chemistry will hold a colloquium Friday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. in Todd Wehr Chemistry 121. Dr. Sandra Whaley Bishnoi, assistant professor chemistry at the Illinois Institute of Technology, will present “The Biomedical and Analytical Applications of God Silica Nanoshells and their Environmental Implications.”

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10. Suicide prevention and distressed student programs offered

The Counseling Center will offer a free “Question, Persuade and Refer” suicide prevention training session Friday, Nov. 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in AMU 252. The training is a nationally recognized program that teaches attendees how to ask someone if he/she is suicidal and how to persuade the individual to accept a referral for counseling. RSVP to the Counseling Center at 8-7172.

The Counseling Center is also offering a training program to assist employees who work with distressed students. Topics will include mental health data on Marquette students, ADA and FERPA laws, how to respond to threatening students and campus resources. Department trainings can be scheduled by calling Linda Somppi, office associate, at 8-7172.

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11. Submit orders for 2008 Marquette holiday cards

The Office of Marketing and Communication is offering holiday cards for purchase this Christmas season by campus departments and offices. The cards are pre-printed with a general greeting from Marquette and enough space for handwritten personal messages or signatures. Orders will be accepted while supplies last.

Additional information, including images of the cards and how to order, is available online.

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12. Campus food drive attempting to break world record

Campus Dining Services is teaming up with Campus Kitchens to collect canned goods to feed the hungry in the community over the holidays. The "Cans Across America" event Wednesday, Nov. 12, is part of a nationwide effort to raise as many pounds of canned goods as possible in one day to break a Guinness World Record. The currrent world record for non-perishable food items donated in a 24-hour period is 396,832.07 pounds, according to Sodexo.

Canned goods can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in all residence hall dining rooms, Marquette Place, all Brew Cafes’, the Annex, Parking Lot A and Campus Towne.

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13. Relay for Life holding kick-off meeting

Colleges Against Cancer will host its 4th Annual Relay for Life Kick-off on Tuesday, Nov. 11, in Marquette Hall 200. The meeting is to provide information about Relay for Life and to start signing up teams.

Relay for Life is April 24 and 25 at Valley Fields.

For more information, e-mail Veronica Debiase.

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14. Soup with Substance to address restorative justice

Campus Ministry will host Soup with Substance from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, in AMU 163 with Rev. Roger Brooks, United Church of Christ pastor, Milwaukee. Brooks will present “Restorative Justice: A Sensible New Approach,” and will lead a discussion about the Community Conferencing Program of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office. A simple meal of soup and bread will be served.

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15. Mass in German to be held Wednesday

Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honorary Society, will host a Mass in German at St. Joan of Arc Chapel at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. Rev. Robert Joda, S.J., assistant professor of German, will be the celebrant.

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16. Bagel sale to benefit premature baby research

In honor of National Prematurity Awareness Day, the student organization Circle K will host Bagels for Babies on Wednesday, Nov. 12, and Thursday, Nov. 13, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Lalumiere and Straz halls. Bagels will be sold for $1; condiments for $.25; and a bagel, spread and bottle of water for $2. Proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes and premature baby research.

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