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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Education Award Recipients

Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology Achievement Award

Julian SwartzJulian M. Swartz, Grad '08
Memphis, Tenn.

To Julian, Marquette is the place that helped him answer the question of “Who am I?” with “Who I am!” As director of player development for University of Memphis men’s basketball, he is helping the student-athletes in his care do the same.

Julian was Wisconsin’s top high school basketball player in 1999 and a freshman on the UW–Madison Final Four team in 2000. Behind the scenes, the obsessive compulsive disorder that had plagued him since childhood was flaring; he left the program and enrolled at Carroll University.

A chance encounter in 2005 with the Marquette men’s basketball program dovetailed with him being accepted into Marquette’s graduate counseling program, setting the stage for three years of work in the West Allis–West Milwaukee School District. While there, he implemented social emotional learning techniques, helping students be mindful of and manage their emotions and relationships.

All the while, Julian coached eighth-grade basketball and helped his brother when he was head coach at Waukesha (Wis.) South.

Then came the Memphis opportunity. Julian says he strongly believes in the importance of developing positive relationships, including those with players to whom he serves as a trusted confidant.

“I believe that what I do professionally is really a combination of counseling, teaching and coaching,” Julian says. “My passion for trying to make a positive difference in the lives of others evolved from being surrounded by wonderful role models that illustrated what character and servant leadership truly embodies.”

Fun Facts
Hometown: Waukesha, Wis. (Waukesha South High School)
Someone (past or present) with whom you'd like to have dinner: I’d like to have dinner with both Joanne Quick and Dr. Terry Young to simply say thank you.  Joanne is renowned in the school counseling profession and has been a true mentor and role model for me. Terry is easily the best counselor that exists and has been of tremendous influence in my life. Both of them have positively touched and impacted so many lives, including myself.
Marquette faculty or staff member who had an impact on you, and how. During my experience, the entire Marquette faculty was excellent and instrumental in my development. I am very grateful to Dr. Alan Burkard, who I consider a positive mentor in my life. He taught me the overall art of teaching and counseling, the critical skills necessary to be effective, and helped shape my overall approach of positive solution-focused interaction. I think he represents what a genuine, empathetic and overall high character leader looks like.”
What is one of your favorite Marquette memories? My favorite memory was receiving my master’s degree at Commencement. I’m not one to get proud easily, but that achievement meant a great deal because of what an education from Marquette really represents.
When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up, and why? I always have had a love for basketball and for helping others. Not only did Marquette provide an education in counseling, but I also was very lucky to serve as a graduate assistant for three seasons under Tom Crean and the men’s basketball program. Marquette is where I realized that my passion for both could evolve together professionally, which it has.
Who has been the most influential person in your life, and why? My mother and father have easily influenced me the most. From my mother (Kathleen Swartz, a retired high school teacher), I have learned the traits of kindness, compassion, empathy and unconditional love. From my father (Bill Swartz, a retired sixth-grade teacher and longtime basketball coach at the high school and youth levels), I have learned the fundamentals of teaching, the discipline of hard work, the passion to help make a difference for others, and the beauty and humility in random acts of kindness.
Who is your Marquette legacy? I really had no connection to Marquette from a family standpoint, which is why I’m so grateful to a place that creates lasting friendships, relationships and wonderful memories.