Colleagues honored at 2024 Staff Excellence Awards

Five Marquette staff members were honored with Excellence in University Service awards, and one staff member received the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award at the 2024 Staff Excellence Awards on Thursday, May 23, in the AMU Monaghan Ballrooms. 

All six honorees were selected for exemplifying the university’s mission of excellence, faith, leadership and service. 

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion 

  • Dr. Michael P. Dante, director of the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality 

Excellence in University Service Award  

  • Tim Carter, senior graduate admissions counselor in the Graduate School  
  • Calley Hostad, multi-media manager in the Diederich College of Communication  
  • Brigid Kinsella-Alba, assistant director of mission engagement in the Office of Mission and Ministry  
  • Laura MacBride, associate director of the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis  
  • Jennifer Russell, senior director of marketing in the Office of University Relations 

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

Dr. Michael P. Dante, director of the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality 

Dr. Michael Dante leads the Faber Center for Ignatian Spirituality with a sense of caring for all people. He serves as a spiritual director and friend for many on campus since arriving at Marquette in 2012. 

For almost 20 years in his retreat and spiritual direction ministry, Dante has accompanied others as they, too, encounter and respond to God’s love and invitation. He recently completed writing a new 45-page guide, “An Ignatian Retreat Exploring Black & White Race Relations.” This retreat allows participants to know they are deeply loved by God, allow that love to help them reflect on some of those painful racially charged moments in U.S. history, and be inspired by others that have endeavored to bring healing and harmony to our nation’s racial past. Additionally, his article, “A Spiritual Direction Approach Aimed at Creating Belonging on Campus” that will be published this May in Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, outlines a methodology for furthering D.E.I. efforts from a spiritual perspective. 

Dante brings together diverse groups of people from across campus to connect and share their joys, struggles and find inspiration from their colleagues, building a community of belonging that nurtures the spiritual, intellectual and emotional well-being of everyone. 

“I am deeply humbled to have my personal and professional work around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging recognized by this award,” Dante said. “My hope is that it inspires others to behold God’s image in all people, reverence each other’s unique stories and experiences, and work together to ensure all feel seen, valued, and respected. If we can further this work, our world will be a more just and beautiful place.” 

Tim Carter, senior graduate admissions counselor in the Graduate School

As a senior graduate admissions counselor, Tim Carter recruits and advises students in the STEM and business disciplines – a job description that undersells his willingness to go above and beyond for these students. Given his focus, Carter often works with international students who are inexperienced in American life or customs. He goes out of his way to ensure they feel welcome, picking them up from the airport, assisting their move-in process and providing a friendly face to turn to if anything goes awry. Much of this work takes place outside traditional business hours, and sometimes requires fending off disruptive weather to accomplish.

Carter additionally spends countless hours texting, emailing and traveling to events to meet students and extol the virtues of Marquette and the city of Milwaukee. He consistently demonstrates the welcoming nature of Marquette in all his interactions.

“I am humbled and so grateful for this recognition received,” Carter said. “At this institution, you are surrounded by great people doing great things. You can’t help but to go above and beyond yourself to do the good work for the students and community.  Marquette means the world to me.”

Calley Hostad, multi-media manager in the Diederich College of Communication 

Calley Hostad takes on a variety of roles within the Diederich College of Communication, thoughtfully and strategically supporting event programming, the college’s peer mentorship program and various student success initiatives. She advises students, guiding their career development, and has made a major impact on the college’s ability to serve its faculty and students better. She does all this with humility, professionalism and a positive mindset. 

Hostad serves as chair of University Staff Senate and previously co-chaired the senate’s communications subcommittee, held the role of secretary, and represented Staff Senate on the Strategic Planning Core Team. Additionally, Hostad is part of the Telehealth Research Community’s leadership team, on the Securing Our Future Steering Committee, and has been a member of the Wellness Committee as well as other university-wide work groups and initiatives. 

“I’m beyond honored and humbled to be selected as a Staff Excellence Award recipient,” Hostad said. “Marquette is truly a special place filled with exceptional people, and I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of this community.” 

Brigid Kinsella-Alba, assistant director of mission engagement in the Office of Mission and Ministry 

Brigid Kinsella-Alba has dedicated herself to the life and mission of Marquette for the past 16 years. As assistant director of mission engagement, she plans, coordinates and promotes multiple Mission-oriented events and initiatives throughout the year, including Mission Week, the Marquette Colleagues Program, the Ignatian Summer Series and the weekly Ignatian Moment in Marquette Today. Last year, she was one of the co-chairs that helped oversee seven working groups as campus honored the Ignatian Year, marking 500 years since St. Ignatius of Loyola’s life-changing “cannonball moment.” 

Kinsella-Alba is commended for her consideration, kindness and attention to detail, as well as her openness in sharing her own faith journey as a way to help others. Her work in critical for Marquette’s faculty, staff and students understanding and appreciation of the richness of Marquette’s Catholic Jesuit tradition. 

Kinsella-Alba was additionally influential in the development and the ongoing success of the Marquette Moms employee resource group, which supports moms as they strive to balance work, professional development and family. 

“I am honored to receive this award and so grateful to work with so many amazing people,” Kinsella Alba said. “I am lucky to get to do the work I do every day.” 

Laura MacBride, associate director of the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis 

As lead of student success analytics on campus, Laura MacBride supports the Student Success Initiative in several ways, including analyzing the effectiveness of various interventions and implementing new tools like data visualizations and dashboards that centralize numerous data sources and connecting previously siloed resources for student success colleagues. MacBride prioritizes conversations with student success stakeholders, working to map out important processes and finding ways to enhance student success work, and building data and analytics literacy on campus so that those working to support students feel empowered to use data and analytics to inform actions and decisions.  

MacBride is commended for her commitment to building community and collaborations on campus, as well as her reliability and professionalism. She has consistently improved the quality of the processes followed to analyze university data and produce more accurate results. In doing so, she ensures Marquette serves its students to the best of its ability. 

“There’s so much phenomenal work going on around campus in terms of folks building interventions to improve student success and equity of student outcomes,” MacBride said. “I’m grateful to be honored with this award and would like to share the honor with my colleagues who inspire me daily with their commitment to student success.” 

Jennifer Russell, senior director of marketing in the Office of University Relations 

In her role as senior director of marketing, Jennifer Russell is responsible for managing a variety of large-scale projects, ranging from the distribution of materials like Marquette Magazine and the college view books to marketing efforts for large-scale initiatives like the Sport and Service of Humanity. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure these projects are executed seamlessly, always keeping the team on track by creating goals and deadlines while remaining flexible. 

Russell is known as a great problem-solver and a consistently helpful collaborator, often the connector behind the scenes who is making the whole project happen – all without taking credit. She serves as a mentor to many in the Office of University Relations and regularly thinks about how to support professional development for younger staff members. She consistently checks in on her employees both from a work and personal perspective, creating a supporting environment on her team. 

“During my 12 years at Marquette, I have worked with people from nearly all areas of campus from the smallest projects to biggest initiatives,” Russell said. “To be recognized like this for my role in moving the university forward – it means the world to me.”