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About Dr. Schwalbach
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As President of Mount Mary College, Dr. Schwalbach leads with a passion for the College's traditions of social justice and educating women to transform the world. Her vision and action on important community issues is making an impact in Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin.
Access to Higher Education
Access and excellence in higher education are often described as being in tension with one another—that striving for one makes the other more difficult to achieve. Yet Dr. Schwalbach believes the solution is attainable. She continually challenges faculty and college administration to maintain standards of excellence that support, not inhibit, education for all.
"Our strategic plan calls for us to become a national model for the conversion of academic access into academic excellence, grounded in academic rigor that works in concert with providing opportunities for students with potential and the desire to succeed, regardless of their socioeconomic background.
Our School Sisters of Notre Dame sponsorship demands that we work with the conviction that educational excellence empowers all those served to reach their full potential so that they might work to transform the world."
Catholic Education for Women
Mount Mary College is a Catholic College for Women sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The College's pursuits are consistent with and supportive of its mission and vision. Among the most important facets of these statements are the mission's emphasis on "excellence in teaching and learning with an emphasis on thinking critically," and the vision to "educate women to transform the world." In doing so, the College seeks to integrate faith and reason through rigorous scholarship devoted to the exploration of theological, philosophical, ethical and scientific principles.
Such exploration requires an environment allowing free inquiry and open discussion. This is an essential part of the intersection of faith and reason that is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. This intellectual interchange is enriched by the inclusion of diverse voices and viewpoints and reflects the College's commitment to constructive and critical engagement with others in pursuit of truth and justice.
In addition, President Schwalbach believes in the merits of an education focused on women.
"The Women's Colleges Comparative Alumnae Research Project offers compelling evidence that women's colleges do a better job in the following areas:
These are the skills that we are teaching as we educate to transform the world."
"Our promotion of social justice springs from the teaching of Jesus, who gave us the command to love our neighbor. Catholic social teaching has taken that charge and fleshed it out to provide principles that guide our curriculum and our initiatives. We work to transform the world through valuing the dignity of the human person, acting for the common good, especially that of the poor and vulnerable, and stewarding creation."
Prior to joining Mount Mary College as a professor, Dr. Schwalbach spent many years teaching in the classroom for Milwaukee Public Schools. Her experience in one of the largest urban school districts in the country instilled in her a deep understanding of the complex challenges school administrators, teachers, students and parents face. She believes the solution must come from a collaborative effort that involves the entire community.
"Certainly women have made many advances since the founding of women's colleges. Yet for many reasons, there is still a huge disparity in the number of women who govern us, who run businesses, and who sit on corporate boards.
Wisconsin is 36th in the number of women-owned businesses. Women in our state own 26% of the businesses compared to 29% nationally (The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee, December 12, 2010). Women make only 77cents for every dollar that men make doing the same work. For women of color the picture is even bleaker. African American women make 67.5 cents and Latinas make 57.5 cents for every dollar that a man earns. This wage disparity increased last year in 20 states (National Committee on Pay Equity).
While these disparities exist, it is difficult to argue that we don't need nurturing environments that educate the whole person. I hope that in 2020 these statistics will show that women have gained true equality."