The Engineering Living Learning Community offers academic support and social connection for first-year students.
By Matt Curran
Tim Winger, Eng ’22, arrived at Marquette from California to a campus full of strangers. Though enrolled as an engineer, he considered himself undecided and worried engineering might not be the right fit.
“I truly believe that without living in the Engineering Living Learning Community, I would not be an engineer today,” Winger says.
The Engineering Living Learning Community, or LLC, is co-led by the Opus College of Engineering and Office of Residence Life to help more than 70 first-year engineers transition into life at Marquette. From study sessions and student success workshops to beach days and bonfires, engineers in the LLC receive academic and social support to help find their footing on campus.
Clare Murphy, Eng ’22, still remembers making valentines with her floormates during that first cold February at Marquette. The LLC gave her more than happy memories though; it helped Murphy find her voice.
“The LLC increased my confidence to put myself out there and introduce myself,” she says, explaining that this continues to empower her to expand her professional network and land engineering jobs.
Grateful for his freshman year in the LLC, Winger returned as a peer mentor for his next three years at Marquette. “I knew that I wanted to help this program flourish and help other freshmen, like myself, thrive in engineering,” he says. Winger credits the mentor role for broadening his worldview as he met more students seeking his help. Plus, he now has a long list of friends to rely on — at least one partner from the LLC was in almost every one of his engineering group projects.
Organized by Jenna Lassila, Grad ’15, the Opus College’s assistant director of academic advising, and Tracy Gerth-Antoniewicz, assistant director of residence life education, the community continues to adapt to maximize engineers’ early success. The team has found that engineers participating in the LLC are about 10 percent more likely to be retained from first to second year than their non-LLC counterparts.