Three Arts and Sciences professors honored with Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award

Wheelock (left), Smith (center) and Tobin (right)

Three professors in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences received the Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award. Dr. Darren Wheelock, Dr. Robert Smith and Dr. Theresa Tobin were honored for their project, “Bringing Mass Incarceration into the Classroom: Expanding the Blended Course Model.”

The award grants up to $20,000, which this group will use to develop several blended courses for traditional Marquette students and students who have a history of incarceration. The goal is to create a blended class model with a high-impact educational experience for both types of students while creating a pathway to higher education for those students who have been incarcerated.

The first blended course model cohort — a mix of Marquette students and students from the Milwaukee Women’s Correctional Center (MWCC) — with their certificates of completion.

“This expansion of the ‘blended course’ model exemplifies our guiding values and contributes to Marquette’s efforts to address mass incarceration and reentry in the Milwaukee area,” Provost Kimo Ah Yun said. “These courses will create important pathways to higher education for current and released prisoners and make a significant impact on the educational practice for both the traditional students and those with incarceration backgrounds.”

Mass incarceration has been identified as an issue of significant national concern. The effects are profound and include homelessness, joblessness, poverty, divorce, and health and educational disparities. Milwaukee has felt those effects acutely — the city is home to the ZIP code (53206) with one of the highest rates of black male incarceration in the country.

A group of students from the second cohort (Marquette students and students from MWCC) presenting their final project on income injustice for incarcerated people.

“Current and formerly incarcerated students are severely underrepresented in educational attainment beyond high school,” said Dr. Meghan Stroshine, chair of social and cultural sciences. “As men and women for and with others, we must address issues that continue to plague communities and affect our surrounding communities. We are ideally situated to create a program that expands educational opportunities for those who can benefit most in creating a better life forward through advanced education.”

The first students from MWCC to complete the course.

Wheelock is an associate professor of social and cultural sciences. Smith is the director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach (CURTO), as well as the Harry G. John Professor of History. Tobin is the associate dean for academic affairs and student development and an associate professor of philosophy in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. Marisola Xhelili Ciaccio, a doctoral student in the philosophy department and the Carceral Studies Fellow for CURTO, is also playing a key role in the project.

The Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award is an annual award given to a team of two or more faculty members to develop, implement and evaluate a specific teaching project. One award of up to $20,000 is given to the selected project team for one fiscal year. 

Congratulations to Marquette University’s faculty and staff award recipients for the 2019–20 academic year. Marquette is blessed to have some of the most dedicated and talented faculty and staff members in higher education. And the university holds in high esteem its tradition to honor these remarkable individuals at awards and recognition ceremonies throughout each spring semester.

Aligned with our mission, these recipients display the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others.

Please read on, and enjoy profiles of the deserving women and men who were recognized this spring.