Proud Past, Promising Future of
Marquette Educational Opportunity Program
Three Minority PhD Fellows Announced
October 14, 2004
MILWAUKEE – Marquette University is proud to celebrate the 35th
anniversary of its Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), an academic
program that motivates and enables low-income and first generation
college-bound students to enter and succeed in higher education.
As part of the weekend-long anniversary celebration, Marquette
will formally recognize the first recipients of the Mitchem Dissertation
Fellowship, a program that provides support to minority doctoral
candidates while they finish their dissertations. The event will
take place outside the EOP offices on the fourth floor of Marquette
Hall at 4:00 p.m. on October 15, 2004 . Dr. Arnold Mitchem, the
namesake of the program, will be in attendance to congratulate
A Proud Past: The Educational Opportunity
The first EOP class, recruited in 1969, was made up of 40 undergraduate
students, and funded with a modest grant of $40,000. Thirty-five
years later, the program has expanded to more than 100 pre-college
and undergraduate students per year, and is funded by four grants
from the U.S. Department of Education.
“This program brings together diverse people to create
an extended family with similar values and goals, and turns student
aspirations into student achievements,” said Alexander Peete,
an EOP alumnus who currently serves as an associate director of
the program. “It created a fertile ground for me to grow from
humble beginnings, and provided me with tools and opportunities for a
Marquette 's EOP program now includes:
- Upward Bound , a pre-college program that
prepares high school students to enter and successfully complete
college. It accepts young people from either low-income families
or from families where the parents do not have college degrees.
- SAMM (Science and Mathematics at Marquette),
a pre-college Math and Science Upward Bound program offering
specialized math, science, writing and technology classes.
- Student Support Services enrolls eligible
students who show potential for success at Marquette . It offers
a network of supportive services, financial aid assistance,
a pre-enrollment summer program, academic counseling, specialized
courses, seminars and tutoring.
- The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program prepares
eligible students for graduate school. During the academic year,
students attend monthly seminars, meet visiting scholars, and
participate in student and professional conferences.
Some EOP alumni are household names in Milwaukee , and in fact,
across the state. They include state Senator Gwen Moore, current
candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, if elected, Moore
will become the first African American elected to Congress from
Wisconsin; Wisconsin State Representative Pedro Colon; Willie
Hines, president of the Milwaukee Common Council; Ashanti Hamilton,
Milwaukee alderman; and Rubin Anthony, deputy secretary of the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
A Promising Future: The Mitchem Dissertation Fellowship
A key factor in diversity in higher education is a strong presence
of culturally diverse faculty members. Despite recent increases
in doctoral degree attainment, fewer than 12% of doctoral degree
recipients in 2000 and fewer than 10% of full time U.S. faculty
were African American, Hispanic/Latino or American Indian/Alaska
Native, although these groups represented more than 30% of the
adult U.S population. The Mitchem Fellowship at Marquette University
aims to directly address this level of under-representation in
"In its 35 year history at Marquette , the EOP program has
helped to pave a path to success for hundreds of minority students."
said Marquette President Robert Wild, S.J. "We are
proud to now build on our commitment to diversity with the first
Mitchem Dissertation Fellowships. It is essential that the
professorial ranks in this country become more reflective of the
diversity of the students in the classroom. The Mitchem
Fellowship Program is a positive step toward that goal."
Named after the founder of Marquette 's EOP program, Dr. Arnold
Mitchem, the fellowship is awarded to scholars from under-represented
racial and cultural groups who are working on their dissertations.
The fellowship provides students from other U.S. universities
one year of financial support, including a stipend, fringe benefits,
and research and travel funds. This year, Marquette is proud to
award the first three fellowships. The appointees are:
- Sheila Collins, a doctoral candidate in the department of
English at the University of Kentucky,
- Amina Lolita Gautier, a doctoral candidate in the Department
of English at the University of Pennsylvania, and
- Elizabeth Arbuckle Wabindato, a doctoral candidate in the
Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan.
The three fellows are in residence at Marquette for the 2004-2005
academic year, during which they will teach one course in their
area of specialization while completing their dissertations. They
will also participate in a formal mentoring program.
Dr. Arnold L. Mitchem earned his doctorate in education from
Marquette in 1981, and is an internationally recognized champion
of educational opportunity. Mitchem founded Marquette 's Educational
Opportunity Program and served as its director from 1969-86; currently
he is president of the Council for Educational Opportunity in
Washington , D.C.
For more information on the Educational Opportunity Program,
Dr. Mitchem, or the Mitchem Fellowship, please contact Jennifer
Schwarz in the Office of Public Affairs at Marquette University.