Current Schmitt-Fellows Leadership
Hometown: Livonia, Michigan
Research Interests: Gonzo & Hunter S. Thompson, Literary Journalism, Surveillance Capitalism, Vladimir Nabokov, First-Year & Creative Writing
John's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About John: I was born and raised in southeast Michigan. Halfway through elementary school, I asked my parents to try homeschooling – and looking back, that quiet, introverted, and acutely solitary environment was the perfect prep for long-term graduate study. I earned my B.A. in English and Sacred Theology (2008) at a college that no longer exists; the dissolution of my alma mater in a business deal gone sour was a grim introduction to the corporate realities of the higher education industry. I earned my M.F.A. in creative writing (nonfiction) in 2011 at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA and my M.A. in English at Marquette in 2013. After two years teaching first-year writing at Marquette I began my pursuit of a Ph.D. To clear my head between months-long stretches of staring professionally at books and screens, I enjoy long-distance cycling and canoeing Michigan’s rivers; I’m also an inveterate marathoner, I still paintball whenever I get the chance, and I play for the Milwaukee Hurling Club.
Scholarship: Scholarly interest in Gonzo journalism and its most famous practitioner, Hunter S. Thompson, has increased exponentially since I began my Ph.D. work in 2015, and it now seems all but certain that I will earn my degree in time for the consolidation of a discrete subfield in Thompson and Gonzo. My work presents Gonzo as an ongoing transhistorical as well as transnational phenomenon, and in so doing looks to undo some of the harm produced by the monofocus on Thompson against writers who have been historically overlooked and undervalued for reasons of gender, race, and class prejudice. It further underscores Gonzo as a locus for logics and practices of resistance with a particular eye toward their utility against the rising threats of surveillance capitalism. Outside of my dissertation I also pursue archive-driven study of Vladimir Nabokov and writing pedagogy in both the first-year and creative classrooms.
Leadership: My leadership at Marquette proceeds from opportunities to serve my peers. My initial role as a casual locus of mutual assistance for my fellow grad instructors (a resource for trading ideas, workshopping assignments and documents, occasional panic management, etc.) has developed into a balancing of the same informal support with more formal capacities (new-instructor orientations; pedagogy practicums) to build a dynamic cohort of graduate instructors. In 2015 I was invited to help develop and pilot a fresh model for the first-year English curriculum and assist grad instructors in preparing for its campus-wide rollout. As co-president of the Association of English Graduate Students, I launched new initiatives to raise funds for graduate students to travel to conferences and archives (the inaugural Shakespeare 5K Run/Walk tripled the grant budget). Our team revitalized the professional programming for grad students, developed scholarly resources, and worked across department lines to advocate for students after cuts were made to subsidized health insurance. I will continue to promote, organize, and amplify compassionate service of others at Marquette and beyond.
Hometown: South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Research Interests: 21st Century Fiction, Postmodernism and Post-Postmodernism, Poststructuralist and Deconstructive Literary Theory
Matthew's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Matthew: Some of my clearest childhood memories are of watching Alzheimer’s ravage my grandmother. While I didn’t fully understood what was happening then, watching simple actions and routines become impossible for her, and seeing the pain in eventually forgetting her own children while still remembering who I was, made very clear the severity and tragedy of the illness as well as the complexity, and fragility, of the brain. It’s a topic I returned to often in projects and essays in high school as I became more and more focused on the development of treatments and research into neurological mechanics. I, like most high school students with overly ambitious dreams, wanted to find the solution. When I moved to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, I began on track to major in biology and psychology with an eye toward a career in neuroscience. Working under professors in their individual labs was often exciting and deeply interesting. The longer I spent in labs, however, the more I had to face the reality that it wasn’t as fulfilling as I had hoped. My English and Philosophy courses, on the other hand, challenged my thinking in ways that I had been craving. I needed the narrative, and indeed metanarrative, of it all, which I found in literature and theory. I continued my study of English by attending Marquette for my master’s degree and continuing for my Ph.D. Now I wrestle with questions of Postmodernity and its descendants, seemingly a far cry from Alzheimer’s research. While I still do my best to keep up with developments in the latter, I like to think I’m not so far afield from where I began. After all, it’s the capacity of the mind and of thinking that fascinate me, of the worlds they can imagine and ways in which they make sense of life and, unfortunately, all that they may forget someday too.
Scholarship: My dissertation analyzes a five 21st century novels – Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost (2000), David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad (2011), Zadie Smith’s NW (2012), and Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) – and considers how they wrestle, implicitly and explicitly, with the history of the 21st century and its effect on formal innovation and literary periodization. To do so, I draw upon humanism, cosmopolitanism, and decolonization.
Leadership: I have had the fortune of uncovering and honing my leadership skills and strategies in several ways at Marquette. I served as a teaching assistant and as the Assistant Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the Norman H. Ott Memorial Writing Center. My own sense of leadership focuses on how to make leadership diffuse and how to help others recognize their own fluid positioning between teacher and student. I have become an effective intermediary between faculty, graduates, and undergraduates both within and beyond the writing center, while also developing and running several new programs at the writing center.
Program: Religious Studies
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Research Interests: Racial justice, epistemology, spirituality, conversion of heart
Stephen's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Stephen: Two things stick with me from my childhood bedtime routine. First, my parents would always corral my two younger sisters and me for prayer, the Catholic trifecta of an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. Secondly, if we were lucky, my dad would settle us into sleep by inventing stories about the adventures of our alter egos. Mine was “Curious Stephen,” a nickname that I have always assumed referred to my intellectual interest and not my oddness. The unfolding of my life has proven those rituals to be formative and prescient. Religious faith continues to be my driving force, and twenty-eight years of Catholic school have encouraged me to ask questions of that faith and to use it as a launching pad for exploring the questions of life. Ignatian prayer practices, journaling, and poetry writing allow me to dive into self-reflection. Questions about justice, society, and the good life arise from volunteering at homeless shelters and food pantries, attending diverse parishes, and spending plenty of years in academia. Friends know that my curiosity in the kitchen means that brunch at Steve’s means being subjected to some experimental dish—one of the ways I explore the wonder of creation. All these activities help me to better ask (if not answer) the ultimate question, “Who is God, and what does that matter for us?”
Scholarship: My dissertation asks what we in the white community need in order to recognize truths about racism that conflict with our own current views and experiences of society. Although it is primarily people of color who have been silenced in our communities, whites today often feel excluded or attacked if they question certain progressive presumptions or arguments about racism. One result is that whites lose hope in the possibility of reaching a shared understanding of racial justice. My project argues that these points of impasse can be productively understood not as attempts to silence white voices but to point out biases that prevent whites from having a clearer view of the issue. Accepting this constructive criticism involves a difficult conversion that may leave whites feeling uncertain and confused. I propose the Christian concept of kenosis, self-emptying, as a guiding metaphor for successfully navigating this disorientation.
Leadership: Much of my recent leadership activity has been as a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), a Catholic organization that offers person-to-person assistance to those in need. I currently serve as the president of my church’s SVdP group and spiritual advisor to another local chapter. As a member of the SVdP National Formation Committee, I help to shape formation strategy and produce materials for volunteers across the U.S. At Marquette, I am on the organizing committee for an annual conference on the work of philosopher and theologian Bernard Lonergan. I served as treasurer and president of the Association of Graduate Students in Theology. I also was one of the founding leaders of two ongoing programs for graduate students: campus ministry-supported faith sharing groups and a series of theology faculty presentations that offer insights on professional academic life.
Program: Biological Sciences
Hometown: Hartford, WI
Research Interests: Neuronal mechanisms underlying sleep apnea and obesity-associated disordered breathing
Sarah's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Sarah: I grew up in a little farm town in Wisconsin, about an hour from Milwaukee. When I was old enough to start working, I had a number of diverse jobs: detasseling corn, working in a factory, working as an office assistant. In May 2008, I graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science, becoming the first of my family to go to a four-year college. While I successfully obtained a position as a clinical lab scientist at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee, I found myself longing for a more intellectually challenging setting where I could make significant contributions to society. I was initially drawn to the Navy, where I felt I could be a part of something bigger. However, after my first annual training, learning to be an officer, I had the realization that I could combine my love for science with my desire to make a difference by going back to school for my Ph.D. and becoming a science advocate. I joined the Biology Ph.D. program at Marquette in 2017.
Scholarship: I began my graduate research in Dr. Deanna Arble’s Lab studying translational research questions governing the brain’s involvement in obesity, diabetes, circadian rhythms, and disordered breathing. I co-authored a review in Frontiers in Endocrinology in 2018 and published a first author original research paper in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2020. During the past school year, I presented my work, as a poster, at three conferences. I received a Trainee Professional Development Award to present at the 2018 Society for Neuroscience conference in California and a Marquette Graduate Travel award for the 2019 Society for Neuroscience conference in Illinois. Last summer, I had the pleasure of working with a student on her summer research project, which I developed over the past year and I am now writing it up. Currently I am investigating the neuronal mechanisms underlying sleep apnea and obesity-associated disordered breathing.
Leadership: I began developing my leadership skills as an undergraduate in the clinical laboratory science program. When I was a junior, I helped organize our junior dedication ceremony. During my senior year I took on the role of president of the clinical lab student council. After graduating, I started working at the VA Hospital. My favorite part of the job was mentoring the clinical laboratory students in our laboratory. After a few years of mentoring, I was invited to guest lecture at Marquette. Teaching made me realize that I could be more of a leader, so I applied to become a Navy Reserve Officer. I was accepted and started in the Navy Reserves in 2016. Once I started in the Ph.D. program at Marquette, I found myself in new leadership roles. During my first year as a graduate student, I was a teaching assistant for General Biology for both semesters. During my second and third years, I took on the role of co-graduate student representative in the Department of Biological Sciences and I was voted into the Graduate Student Organization, as the logistics chair. Throughout my research, I have enjoyed mentoring multiple undergrads and look forward to continuing working with them.
Program: Counseling Psychology
Hometown: Maseru, Lesotho
Research Interests: Anti-racist Training and Development, Multicultural Training in Healthcare, Culturally Responsive Healthcare
Mackenzie's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Mackenzie: As a child, my parents’ work relocated our family often, from my birthplace of Lesotho on throughout Africa and the South Pacific. Preparing meals in packed kitchens and long talks around the dinner table were common in our family. I learned the value of breaking bread to bridge conflict, including even the most stubborn of sibling rivalries. In my adolescence I attended a small Baha’i Faith boarding school in British Columbia, Canada. Later as a young adult I witnessed the transformative power of community organizing as I learned from leaders fighting for racial justice in Chicago. My journey has been profoundly impacted by the wisdom and guidance of my mentors, who have challenged me to always act with agency, integrity, and accountability. In my home I love to design and create space—I come from a long line of women with a talent for collecting and curating. Now living in Wisconsin, I’m thankful for the great outdoors and take every opportunity to camp and hike.
Scholarship: My master’s program specialized in the study of Latinx mental health, wherein I learned the salience of sociocultural context in the assessment and treatment of health conditions. Since 2013 I have been a member of the Immigration, Critical Race, and Cultural Equity Lab (IC-RACE) in Chicago; our scholarship focuses on addressing the influence of racism and interlocking systems of oppression on health, identity, and access to resources. Since arriving at Marquette in 2017, I’ve worked with Proyecto Mamá, a community-engaged research initiative aimed at identifying the cultural strengths and health needs of pregnant and postpartum Latinx mothers in the Milwaukee area. Finally, my doctoral dissertation investigates avenues to foster antiracist development among white graduate trainees, including the potentially transformative role of racially conscious mentoring relationships. Ultimately, I value scholarship as a fruitful tool with which to promote health equity and advance social justice.
Leadership: As an adolescent I developed leadership skills through facilitating service-learning groups for youth, serving as senior editor for school publications, and holding positions on student government. As a young professional, I served as clinical services manager of an integrated healthcare program that provided addiction and rehabilitative services to adult men in the Chicagoland area. Since coming to Milwaukee, my clinical training within health psychology has challenged me to demonstrate leadership in advocating for the behavioral health needs of my patients within the interdisciplinary care teams. I’m particularly passionate about leading training efforts with healthcare teams to bolster culturally responsive services and practitioner competency. My experiences have led me to believe that successful leadership involves humility, mutual empowerment, and a willingness to challenge the status quo.
Program: Clinical Psychology
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Research interests: Mental health disparities among Latinx youth and families, childhood ADHD, culturally responsive mental health care
Anne's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Anne: I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., where I had the privilege of attending the Washington International School, an International Baccalaureate language immersion school. My early education in a globally-minded environment had a tremendous impact on my intellectual development and personal values. I now recognize that my international school education prepared me to pursue a career path as a bilingual clinical child psychologist. As an undergraduate student at Kenyon College, my passion for this work was bolstered by the wonderful mentorship of Dr. Irene López, who played an influential role in my desire to pursue a career in Latinx mental health disparities.
Scholarship: My research and clinical interests focus on culturally sensitive strategies to mitigate Latinx mental health disparities, particularly among Latinx children with ADHD and their families. In my work with my current research mentor, Dr. Alyson Gerdes, I have had the opportunity to examine specific factors such as parent/child acculturation patterns, parental mental health literacy, and family functioning, which may impact treatment accessibility and mental health outcomes among Latinx youth. I hope to pursue a career in academia that will allow me to further my research in this area, in addition to teaching and maintaining an active clinical practice. My goal is to contribute to a body of translational research that improves the availability of high-quality, culturally responsive mental health care, which ensures that all children and families with mental health concerns can access services that will benefit them.
Leadership: Throughout my time at Marquette, I had numerous opportunities to engage in community-based research, teach and mentor undergraduate students, and provide psychological services to members of the Marquette and greater Milwaukee communities. Within these roles, I strive to lead by advocating for those I work alongside. As an aspiring child clinical psychologist, I value a multidisciplinary treatment approach involving parents, teachers and other care providers. Managing these collaborative relationships requires effective leadership and communication skills, which is something that I pride myself on. While much of my training has focused on learning strategies to effectively guide youth and families toward making changes at the individual level, I also recognize my personal and professional responsibility to work for change on a systemic level. I hope to utilize my role as a clinical scientist and practitioner as an opportunity to speak to those in power in order to enact changes at the policy level. I am eager to have the opportunity to continue to formally develop my leadership skills through the Arthur J. Schmitt Fellowship during the 2020-21 academic year.
Hometown: Little Chute, WI
Research Interests: Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers, Cognitive Aging, Neuroimaging
Elizabeth Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Elizabeth: I grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin and developed an interest in working with the aging population while volunteering at an assisted living facility when I was in middle school. I pursued my undergraduate degree at St. Norbert College, where I was selected as a U.S. Department of Education Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholar. The research opportunities afforded to me through this program combined with my work in assisted living and coursework in physiological psychology solidified my interest in pursuing the neuroscience of cognitive aging with particular attention to memory and Alzheimer’s disease. When I’m not working on my latest research project, I enjoy reading, rock climbing, traveling, and trying new food and drink.
Scholarship: My primary research focus aims to advance early detection of risk for Alzheimer’s disease during healthy, asymptomatic stages of adulthood using neuroimaging methods like EEG and fMRI. My goal is to develop preventative approaches to interfere with risk for future cognitive decline. My work also investigates complex cognitive processes like memory and executive functions throughout the course of healthy, typical aging toward characterizing deviations from healthy aging trajectories. These research aims are supported by comprehensive training in Clinical Psychology (M.S.) and Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (Ph.D., ongoing) as well as receipt of awards including the Trainee Professional Development Award (Society for Neuroscience), Dean’s Research Enhancement Award (Marquette University), and Love of Learning and Graduate Research Grants (Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi). I have been fortunate to have presented my work at various national and international conferences, including plenary talks at the recent International Neuropsychological Society (Denver, CO) and Aging and Cognition (Zurich, Switzerland) meetings.
Leadership: During my time at Marquette University I have actively advanced my leadership skills within both academic and community contexts. As a McNair scholar, I learned early on the value of genuine mentorship; thus, I particularly enjoy my role supervising and collaborating with undergraduate students in the research lab. To date I have directly supervised 19 students, including three honors theses, poster presentations, and co-authorship on peer-reviewed journal articles. Within the greater Milwaukee community, I actively serve on the Outreach and Awareness committee for the Milwaukee County Walk to End Alzheimer’s (Southeastern Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Association). While Alzheimer’s disease is among the top ten causes of death in the United States, many people are unaware of its impact and unfamiliar with local resources, making the opportunity to interact with individuals, families, companies, and larger communities around Milwaukee to promote awareness and share resources particularly important to me.
Philip Sutherland, S.J.
Hometown: Chehalis, WA
Research Interests: Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Political Philosophy
Philip's Biography, Scholarship & Leadership
About Philip: When I began my undergraduate career at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, I was going to be a scientist! The problem was that while I liked the lectures, I hated the laboratory work. I could not see myself working in a lab for the rest of my life and being happy. However, I did love my theology courses and ended up double majoring in theology and chemistry. It was not until my M.A. at Loyola University Chicago, as a Jesuit, that I started to enjoy philosophy and appreciate its ability to critically examine the implicit assumptions we all have but rarely examine. One of my professional goals is to help other Jesuits in formation appreciate philosophy and find ways to apply the content they learn in the classroom with their ministerial lives and vocational identities.
Scholarship: I have a forthcoming book chapter about birthright citizenship as a commodity that can be valued and traded on a market. I examine the justice of an institution that confers a great many benefits not on people who earn them but upon those lucky enough to be born in a certain location. A more just way of allocating citizenship would be to confer it upon people who choose to be citizens and who show their commitment to a democratic society in a world in which the barriers to such trans-national migration are relatively low. My dissertation topic is to dialogue Aristotle’s De Anima (On the Soul) with a contemporary philosophy of consciousness. As a Christian, I believe that we possess a soul and I think that self-consciousness is as close to a definition of a “soul” that philosophy has achieved, and it is this self-consciousness that makes human beings unique rather than merely very smart chimpanzees or very slow computers.
Leadership: My vocational identity is wrapped up with my leadership both on campus and in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I have been available sacramentally by presiding at Masses and hearing confessions for Campus Ministry, for our Church of the Gesu and other parishes, and for our three Jesuit secondary schools: Nativity Jesuit Academy, Marquette University High School and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. I have also helped with the Kairos retreat at Marquette University High School and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, the Marquette Experience Retreat, which helps undergraduates to integrate Ignatian spirituality into their lives, and with Marquette’s Campus ministry pilgrimages to Holy Hill in Hubertus, WI, and to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI. Every week I lead a Camino group for faith-sharing and fellowship with other graduate students from across the university. Within the Department of Philosophy, I have been leading incoming graduate students in reflection and discussion about Marquette’s Jesuit identity, the role of philosophy in Jesuit education and how they might fit into this mission no matter their faith background.