Marquette Momentum: New leadership program offers students personal and vocational development opportunity

By Jenna Thompson, Comm ’21, communication intern in the Office of Marketing and Communication

As soon as first-year students hesitantly wave goodbye to their families on move-in day, opportunities to get involved on campus are endless. Leadership is core to Marquette’s identity as one of its four foundational pillars, and student leaders play integral roles on campus.

Joining clubs, sports teams and organizations during O-Fest are great ways to get involved on campus, and higher impact programs that focus solely on leadership are also available for students.

Some students may recognize STAR (Students Taking an Active Role) as a six-week leadership workshop. New this semester, STAR has been re-designed into a cohort-style, high-impact program now called “Cardoner Scholars.”

Sponsored by the Office of Engagement and Inclusion and inspired by Ignatian pedagogy, the program offers students six leadership development workshops throughout the semester. Cardoner Scholars will include a cohort of first- and second-year students — emerging leaders who seek the opportunity to reflect and discern their own Marquette experiences.

“It is our hope that students lean into the Marquette mission to learn more about themselves as leaders through self-discovery, reflection and peer relationship building,” says Jess Burkart, coordinator for campus programs in the Office of Engagement and Inclusion.

The program is named for the vision St. Ignatius had at the Cardoner River in Spain in 1522, where he reflected on the great need for balance in everyday life. As Cardoner Scholars, students will take moments to step away from the busy college schedule and reflect to deepen their leadership skills and elevate their transformative Marquette education.

“Cardoner Scholars will provide a space to pause and be authentic with their peers while prioritizing their values within their own personal leadership development,” Burkart adds.

As part of the leadership program, some students may also be selected to attend the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (NJSLC) held each summer at different Jesuit universities across the country. Last year, Marquette sent four students to the conference, which took place at the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan.

Grace Tubay, a junior in the College of Health Sciences, attended NJSLC in 2019 and enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people, while growing spiritually and as a leader.

“I had the amazing opportunity to present a leadership session with three other Marquette students,” Tubay says. “We emphasized how Ignatian spirituality connects to leadership, and how to ignite the spark within us in order to set the world on fire. It was a very meaningful experience for me.”

Opportunities for Cardoner Scholars expand further than attending workshops or a conference. Consistent with the university’s Jesuit, Catholic identity, there will be a special focus on vocational discernment — participants will learn how to apply key elements of Ignatian spirituality to their personal lives. Students will learn more about prioritizing themselves and their leadership skills through the Cardoner Scholars program.

Students who are interested in applying should do so online by Friday, Jan. 31. Contact Burkart with questions.