The Center for Peacemaking and the Diederich College of Communication have teamed up to create a new interdisciplinary graduate assistantship to tell the story of our community and the impact of community-enriching programs, particularly that of Near West Side Partners Inc. and its Promoting Assets, Reducing Crime (PARC) initiative.
Megan Kass, a second-year master’s student in the Diederich College of Communication, is the first PARC graduate research assistant in the Center for Peacemaking focusing work on narrating PARC’s achievements. She also mentors a team of undergraduate students who work on various research projects, attends weekly PARC meetings with various organizational constituents and collects content to write Marquette Today features.
“PARC has opened my eyes to the community-enriching programs happening in our own neighborhood,” Kass said. “This opportunity has allowed me to grow personally and professionally as I have gotten the chance to work with countless Near West Side, City of Milwaukee, and Marquette constituents. I am excited to share the many accomplishments of Near West Side Partners Inc., the PARC team, and the Center for Peacemaking and I hope to inspire more people to get involved.”
Dr. Kati Berg, associate dean for academic affairs in the Diederich College of Communication, and Pat Kennelly, director of the Center for Peacemaking, initiated this opportunity as a result of their recent participation in the Ignatian Colleagues Program, a national program of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities designed to educate and form administrators and faculty more deeply in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition of higher education.
“Communication is about storytelling and communication professionals possess the creativity to ‘Be the Difference,’ which is why the College of Communication is partnering with the Center for Peacemaking to tell the story of our community and the impact of community-enriching programs and partnerships in our local area,” explained Berg.
Promoting Assets, Reducing Crime is a multi-year collaboration launched in 2015 that engages neighborhood anchor institutions, residents, city leaders and other stakeholders to promote assets and reduce crime in Milwaukee’s Near West Side neighborhood. It is a project of Near West Side Partners and is funded through the support of five anchor institutions: Advocate Aurora Health, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation.
As spring Commencement approaches, Kennelly and Berg are seeking applicants who are looking to obtain a master’s degree in communication. The cost of the assistantship is split between the Diederich College of Communication, providing tuition credits, and the Center for Peacemaking, providing the stipend. Most work placement hours will be spent at the Center for Peacemaking and in the community.