The University of Mary, a private Catholic college that will begin a collaborative partnership with ASU this fall, recently announced the names of two new administrators at its Tempe branch.
Jo Markette, a Hamilton High School English teacher, will serve as the program coordinator. ASU alumnus René Ramún Rosales, who has served as an academic adviser at Grand Canyon University for the last several years, will be the program’s adviser and recruiter.
The collaboration between ASU and the North Dakota-based University of Mary was announced earlier this year. The University of Mary will hold classes in theology and Catholic Studies in the All Saints Catholic Newman Center, a church adjacent to the Tempe campus.
Students could earn a major or minor from the University of Mary while taking their general education courses at ASU or take one or two classes from the University of Mary while earning their degrees from ASU.
Markette said she believed the partnership would provide more opportunities for all students by allowing students to pursue Catholic higher education without leaving Arizona or the Phoenix area. Currently, there are no Catholic colleges or universities in Arizona.
“Many college-aged students yearn to explore and discuss topics such as theology as they navigate their way into adulthood,” Markette said. ”(The University of Mary) in Tempe will provide that specifically focused venue within the context of a public education as well as provide the opportunity to create a smaller community within the large body of ASU students.”
In addition to serving as program coordinator, Markette will teach courses. She has worked as a public school teacher for 20 years and served as adjunct faculty at two Pennsylvania Catholic universities.
She holds four degrees: a bachelor’s in English education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in theology from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, a master’s in theater from Villanova University and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Diane Fladeland, Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Mary, said Markette and Rosales were chosen for their complementary skills and experience.
Rosales, the program’s adviser and recruiter, is an Arizona native and ASU graduate. He is coming to the University of Mary from Grand Canyon University, where he spent the past four years as an academic adviser.
He said it was important to him to build a community among students at the University of Mary’s Tempe campus.
The school will offer four courses in the fall semester, with class sizes of approximately 24 students. He said they anticipate having to open more because of student demand.
“I would like to provide exceptional service to students interested in the program, connecting students with services which will make their college experience easier and memorable,” Rosales said.
Both Markette and Rosales have traveled to Bismarck, N.D. for an orientation on the University of Mary’s main campus and faculty or staff from the main campus will visit the Tempe campus frequently to offer support, Fladeland said.
“(Markette) and (Rosales) are terrific people committed to our mission and serving the students at ASU,” she said. “We are very excited to implement this unique model of delivering higher education that puts the student and their needs first (by) removing institutional barriers that fail to serve students.”
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