Tour Guide Spotlights: Meet Emma, Johnnie, DJ & Alana

You won’t feel like part of a herd on a Marquette campus tour. Specializing in one-to-one connections, tour guides are Marquette’s best ambassadors and invaluable assets in a competitive era for college admissions.

In addition to the tour guide spotlights below, read the companion piece: Secrets to Tour Guides’ Success.

Emma Brown

Emma brown

HOMETOWN: Williston Park, New York

MAJOR: Nursing

ABOUT HER: Her mom is also a nurse. “I knew Marquette Nursing was
a special program. I was drawn to the city’s hospital systems and serious clinical experience.”

TOUR GUIDE STYLE: Self-described cozy and warm. “I found comfort in my own tour guide, who also came from out of state. I enjoy being a comforting presence for someone else considering moving here from far away.”

WHAT SHE SHARES ON TOURS ABOUT NURSING: “Learning to care for the whole person — cura personalis — has been huge. There’s so much more to someone than their physical injuries. Marquette isn’t just teaching you how to be a nurse; they’re teaching you how to be human.”

SOMETHING LIFE-CHANGING AT MARQUETTE: “Camp Kesem is the most impactful thing I’ve ever been a part of. We host a weeklong summer camp for children of parents with cancer. They can come, let go and just be kids again.”

A STORY SHE TELLS AND WHY: When her 18th birthday fell on the first weekend of her first year, during the pandemic, she faced the prospect of being alone, until her brother (then a senior) and his friends stepped in. “They held a birthday party for me. Now, I always say the people of Marquette are the kind of people who will throw you a birthday party when no one else will.”

Johnnie Brooker

Johnnie brooker

HOMETOWN: East Orange, New Jersey

MAJORS: Journalism and political science

HOW HE GOT HIS NICKNAME, “MR. MARQUETTE”: From the start, he’s been very involved: the Marquette Wire, Urban Scholars, the University Honors Program, The Les Aspin Center, his fraternity, and the list goes on. “I love having a positive impact on people. As my dad says: We’re blessed to bless others. That’s why I get called ‘Mr. Marquette.’”

TOUR GUIDE STYLE: “Other guides poke fun that my tours run long and rightfully so. I make my tours intimate and personal. When it’s time to discuss meal plans, I sit down with families in the dining hall.”

WHAT HE SHARES ON TOURS ABOUT JOURNALISM: “The Diederich College of Communication has amazing professors. The staff, the dean, my adviser — I’ve built genuine relationships with all of them. A close-knit community makes us family. I show off the beautiful space in the college that I call home and where I strive to make a difference.”

in one. We’re a city campus in downtown Milwaukee, but behind the library, you’re in our green space — the best of both worlds.”

A MEANINGFUL REFLECTION HE SHARES: “Families ask me why a Jersey kid would come out here for school, and I always answer: ‘Marquette is truly the school for me. It has everything I could possibly want, except a football team.’”

DJ Lenius

DJ Lenius tour guide

HOMETOWN: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

MAJOR: Civil engineering

ABOUT HIM: He’s played every intramural sport from beach volleyball to inner-tube water polo, and co-founded the Outdoor Adventure Club. “For being in a city, Marquette offers easy ways to get out and enjoy the outdoors.”

TOUR GUIDE STYLE: “I’ve been told I’d be a good camp counselor. I think that’s a compliment; I like leading with that kind of enthusiasm.”

SOMETHING HE SHARES ON HIS TOURS ABOUT ENGINEERING: His work with Engineers Without Borders has him designing water systems for communities in Guatemala. “It’s applying what you learn in the classroom to a real-world project that’s getting implemented to help a community have clean drinking water. And it really fits the service mission of the Jesuits.”

A FAVORITE FEATURE OF MARQUETTE: “The super strong sense of community here is one of the best things we have going for us. Whether it’s the student community or the interaction with your professors, they really want to get to know you.”

A STORY HE TELLS AND WHY: During COVID, a friend from one of his first-year classes was quarantined and didn’t have a chance to inform a professor. “After class, the professor reached out to check on him and make sure everything was okay. It warms my heart that professors want to make sure that everything is going well in your academic life and your personal life.”

Alana Walkush

Alana Walkush tour guide

HOMETOWN: Seattle, Washington

MAJOR: Advertising with a minor in marketing

ABOUT HER: She has lived in the Sigma Kappa sorority house, is a member of the Native American Student Association (NASA), and is a marketing intern for the Career Services Center.

TOUR GUIDE STYLE: Genuine and relatable: “I feel like the biggest asset we have as tour guides is being very real with students.”

SOMETHING SHE SHARES ABOUT STUDYING COMMUNICATION: “I like to bring up that a good part of our work is group projects. For advertising, there have been projects where we take a brand or product and get to create a whole ad campaign. From writing creative briefs to designing the ads, it’s been a great learning experience.”

A FAVORITE FEATURE OF MARQUETTE: “You’ll find your community here. For me, it’s in my marketing classes, NASA, my sorority and my core friend group. It’s many communities, but we’re all connected through Marquette.”

A STORY SHE TELLS AND WHY: After including it on their preference list, Walkush and her first-year roommate wound up in less-popular O’Donnell Hall (since taken out of use). “I thought the world was over and I hadn’t even started school. But I’m still best friends with everyone from O’Donnell — we bonded over the fact that it was small and the oldest residence hall. So, I tell students on my tours: You can get your last choice for housing, and it’s not the end of the world.”