Dean's Monthly Messages

Message from the DeanDr. Bostic shares a monthly message to all students, faculty and staff in the college.  

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Graditude and Hope
March 2024

March is a month that brings signs of hope: the reaching of midsemester, the end of winter, more sunshine, spring break. This year, March has inspired both gratitude and hope. Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to highlight the achievements and legacy of women across our College and University and far beyond.

Metrics and Meaning
February 2024

February has once again brought many causes for joy. They include faculty review season—a chance to pause and appreciate the work of our faculty colleagues over the past year—in addition to admissions visits and alumni events on National Marquette Day and beyond. For those who celebrate Lent, I hope the season has been meaningful thus far. Lent calls for both work upon the self and engagement with the world, inviting conversion in our hearts and in our lives. Although our world privileges the quantitative, we know that Lenten practices—prayer, fasting and almsgiving—are at their heart qualitative.  

Student Success
January 2024

With the New Year many of us set new intentions for what we’d like to achieve in the coming months. A resource to that end, Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, was recommended by an alum who visited my class last semester. The author suggests motivating good habits by giving yourself some small reward, like a short chat with a colleague. Rewards need not be large to be meaningful. Duhigg’s insights recall Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and the social context of virtue formation. It is through community that we form habits crucial to a flourishing life.

A Season of Joy and Wonder 
December 2023

Advent, the season of waiting and expectation, is a wonderful time to look to the future and reflect upon how we will live out Marquette’s mission in the months and years to come. Doing this kind of discernment, I have been drawing inspiration from many quarters...

Reasons to be Thankful
November 2023

In this season of Thanksgiving, I hope we all can pause to consider our many reasons to be thankful, both at Marquette and beyond. From my perspective, this month has offered an abundance of such reasons.

Leadership and Civic Life
October 2023

With election season approaching, and so much need for wisdom across our communities, lately my own reflections have focused upon leadership. As many of you know, I frequently turn to Fr. Karl Rahner S.J. for insight. In his book Christian in the Market Place, Rahner writes about the leaders of religious orders in a way that is pertinent to all leaders, whether appointed or elected. He observes that the more responsibility there is in a role, the less likely it is that the holder of this role will excel in it. Thus, “more important duties will be more inadequately carried out than lesser ones.” Yet there is still reason for hope: “people sometimes do grow in stature in performing more difficult tasks.”

Season of Creation
September 2023

Our focus on integration spans many crucial topics in research and teaching, including integral ecology, or care for one another as well as for all of creation. This month, around the world, people of faith have been celebrating the Season of Creation. This is an ecumenical effort to draw attention to care for our common home. Stephen Pluháček and I co-authored a brief essay on this topic that appeared in Marquette Today. In it, we suggest that today’s challenges are not simply ecological or social, but fundamentally spiritual and theological. The essay is available here; I welcome your comments and questions.



Purpose, People and Place
August 2023

Welcome to a new academic year! For those just joining the community, welcome to Marquette! When I came to Marquette three years ago, it was thanks to the three P’s: Purpose, People and Place. I was drawn to the ways in which Marquette lives out its Catholic, Jesuit mission. I connected with the people here and wanted to work with them every day. And I was drawn to the city of Milwaukee and all of the ways in which our university interacts with the broader community.

A Season of Reflection
July 2023

Summertime greetings! I hope that this month has brought you a somewhat slower tempo—at least during the Gift of Time when campus was largely closed—to rest and contemplate. I am reminded of the encyclical Laudato Si’ where Pope Francis describes “the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution” and in the same paragraph remarks that “we […] need to slow down and look at reality in a different way” (114). These two imperatives go hand in hand. Sometimes to know how to proceed, we need first to pause and go deeper. 

Celebrating Success
June 2023

A highlight this month was hosting our annual Alumni Awards events. The awardees from A&S and Education are incredibly inspiring. They have variously shepherded a hospital system through the pandemic, invented green technologies, founded a Catholic high school, developed educational materials in English and Spanish for those living with autism, modeled what it means to own and operate a values-based business, and engaged in the crucial task of fostering non-violence. Thanks to all of these alumni for Being The Difference and illustrating the best of what a Marquette education can mean.

Celebration Season
May 2023

What a momentous time of year! With Commencement we celebrate the achievements of students and colleagues who have completed their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Many of our departments have hosted end-of-academic year events and honored exceptional students.

Integrated Excellence
April 2023

This month has provided ample evidence of the excellence that characterizes our College. Nine of our faculty colleagues were honored at the Distinguished Scholars Reception on April 4. You can read about the awards here. The work of these colleagues crosses the natural and computational sciences, social sciences and humanities. I am so proud of their achievements; please join me in congratulating them.

Meet Ourselves Where We Are
January 2023

In the College of Arts & Sciences we held our third annual Virtual New Year Workshop on January 13. The workshop is an opportunity for faculty and staff colleagues to gather and build community while articulating our vision for the future. The focus was threefold: generating ideas for the university’s Strategic Planning 2030 initiative, deepening our connection with the college tagline “the difference is in the and” and digging into our strengths and aims, particularly our Catholic, Jesuit mission and our charge to ask big questions.

Advent and the And
December 2022

This month I was invited to share a reflection at the annual Advent Luncheon of the Association of Marquette University Women (AMUW). My theme was the three A’s: AMUW, Advent, And.

Data Science
October 2022

Marquette has unique opportunities to engage in data science research and teaching from broader and deeper perspectives. Data science, computer science or statistical and mathematical sciences are foundational to a number of projects animated by our mission. In addition to data ethics, examples include community engaged projects in the Near West Side aided by geospatial mapping, the Poverty Research Initiative and the BLEST Hub as well as confidential computing, hazard mapping, solutions to food insecurity, peer health education, medical imaging and mathematics education.

August 2022

This time in the academic calendar provides opportunities for celebration and reflection. Many of our new full-time faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences attended the President’s welcome dinner. The University’s Office of Student Development hosted a series of wonderful programs as part of New Student, Transfer Student and Family Orientation; I have loved meeting so many new members of the Marquette community. The month of August is a time of significant transitions. Through it all, I hope you will find moments for reflection. Pay attention to what is happening around you and within you. If you need help, just ask. I want to encourage students in particular to reach out to faculty and staff. We are here to support you in your academic journey. 

Integral Ecology
July 2022

I hope your summer has been a good one thus far. As I mentioned in last month’s message, for my family this season brings significant milestones. One of them is my husband’s and my thirtieth wedding anniversary. We celebrated this month with a visit to Yellowstone National Park, where we spent our honeymoon and have returned for our anniversaries every five years. In Yellowstone, the earth is tangibly alive, with bubbling mud pots, geysers and geothermal features in a spectrum of colors. The expanse, peace and stunning beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the big sky, the rivers and lakes bring to mind both the preciousness and the precarity of the natural world.  

Ignation Year
May 2022

As our academic year draws to a close, we have an opportunity to look back and to look ahead. We consider how the path we have taken prepares us for what lies ahead. We can reflect upon what we have accomplished and what remains to be achieved. This particular year has been a special one, as we have celebrated the Ignatian Year, or the 500th anniversary of the fateful cannonball injury that set Ignatius of Loyola on a path that would lead him to become a priest and found the Society of Jesus as well as the 400th anniversary of his canonization.

A&S Influentials
December 2021 

Both our Fall semester and an eventful year—filled with opportunities as well as challenges—are drawing to a close. Your outstanding work this year has spanned groundbreaking research, transformational teaching and significant community engagement. You have garnered prestigious grants, fellowships and awards. Thank you for your dedication. I hope you will pause to reflect upon all that we have achieved together.

A Hope-Filled Future
September 2021

I hope your Fall semester is off to a wonderful start! This is my second academic year at Marquette, yet in some ways it feels like the first. This year has brought my first opportunity to participate in the Convocation for New Students and other events like our Orientation Open House for New Undergraduates and various meet-and-greets with incoming graduate students. What a joy it is to encounter students just embarking upon their academic journey. The energy across campus with students attending in-person classes underscores the vibrancy of Marquette’s educational enterprise.

December 2020

Both our Fall 2020 semester and a most unusual and challenging year are drawing to a close. The past months have compelled us to face a pandemic, racial injustice and economic hardship. This triple crisis has rippled across the globe and affected us right here in Milwaukee and at Marquette. We will hopefully never again experience a year like 2020. 

Welcome Message from Dr. Bostic

"Greetings! I am delighted and honored to serve as your Dean. What drew me to Marquette are the purpose, the people and the place. I look forward to working with all of you to fulfill Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit mission..."