Who We Are -- Committee on Equity & Inclusion - Marquette University College of Nursing

The purpose of the MUCN Committee on Equity and Inclusion is to foster an inclusive, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive learning and working environment that critically examines biases and promotes social justice and equity. Ultimately, the commitment to and promotion of inclusion, belonging, and equity is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff within the Marquette University College of Nursing community.

Through this work we will recognize the inherent worth of individuals and celebrate our accomplishments and the cultural heritage of those represented in our community. The committee's vision is to inspire changes that contribute to the transformation of each student into the Marquette Nurse who will protect, promote, and optimize the health and abilities of individuals, families, and communities and create an environment in which students, staff, and faculty feel proud, safe, and valued.


MUCN Committee on Equity and Inclusion Members

Terrie Garcia

Juanita (Terrie) Garcia, Ph.D., RN - MUCN Committee on Equity & Inclusion Chairperson
Marquette University College of Nursing Clark Hall 207
Phone: 414-288-3822
Email: juanita.garcia@marquette.edu
Role: Director of Inclusive Excellence and Student Success
Joined MUCN: 2007

My philosophy entails cultivating an environment that fosters a sense of community and belonging for all and is based on my beliefs about the need for activism to promote social justice and to remove social determinants of health and education that impede equitable access to resources. As a member of the MUCN Equity and Inclusion Committee, I am committed to pursue efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion at MU and MUCN.


Abir Bekhet

 Abir Bekhet, Ph.D., RN (she/her/hers)
Marquette University College of Nursing Clark Hall 333
Phone: 414-288-3847
Email: abir.bekhet@marquette.edu
Role: Professor
Joined MUCN: 2009

Why did you join the MUCN Committee on Equity & Inclusion and how do your passion, education, and purpose intersect with DEI work?

My teaching, research, and service extend and embrace our understanding of inclusiveness, multicultural programming, and community outreach activities. I have been teaching “Culture and Health” since 2010.  In this course, I broaden the students’ experiences through various activities that promote and advocate a “welcoming and learning” environment, while nurturing and embracing cultural, ethnic, racial, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other human differences. My goal is to help students walk out of the class, having a greater appreciation for human diversity and recognize that the strength of our community comes from its diversity! 

My program of research focuses on the effects of positive cognitions, resilience, and resourcefulness in overcoming adversity in vulnerable populations that include Egyptian and American older adults, Caucasian and African American caregivers, Arab students, family caregivers of persons with autism, serious mental illnesses, and dementia, children, and nursing students. My research is unique and raises awareness about diversity and health disparities. Thus, my research has contributed to the university mission and the greater good of the Marquette’s community and beyond.

Service to the college and the community is another example of extending and embracing multicultural programming and community outreach activities. As a mental health nurse researcher and educator, I believe in educating the whole person, which is congruent with Marquette University mission. As a member of the committee, I hope to generate and pursue initiatives and recommendations that strengthen and empower Marquette college of nursing to increase representation of diverse students and faculty while maintaining a welcoming environment and to strengthen our college commitment to inclusive excellence in education, research, and service.


Marilyn Frenn

Marilyn Frenn, Ph.D., RN, CNE, ANEF, FTOS, FAAN (she/her/hers)
Marquette University College of Nursing Clark Hall 353
Phone: 414-288-3845
Email: marilyn.frenn@marquette.edu
Role: Professor & Interim Associate Dean for Research
Joined MUCN: 1991

I have always worked with traditionally under-represented groups through my research, since they are over-represented among those with childhood overweight and obesity and are also over-represented among those living in poverty. I now am working through the American Academy of Nursing, the Marquette University Poverty Research Initiative, and the College of Nursing Committee on Equity & Inclusion to address these disparities.


Isabella Ibarra

Isabella Ibarra (she/her/hers)
Emails: isabella.ibarra@marquette.edu
Role: Student Committee Member and currently enrolled in Marquette University College of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program
Joined MUCN: 2019

Why did you join the MUCN Committee on Equity & Inclusion and how do your passion, education, and purpose intersect with DEI work?

As a first-generation Hispanic student in the College of Nursing, I recognize the importance and value of DEI work within the program. In my personal life, I have had many conversations related to improving commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within various settings, and I love seeing the positive changes that have come from those discussions. Embedding equity and inclusion into the nursing program requires purposeful and well calculated efforts, and I feel that as a committee we have been able to make so much progress towards establishing a more welcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff. As a member of the committee, I hope to implement systemic and sustainable change for current and future students and help them feel heard, valued, and respected.


madaline mccarthy

Madaline McCarthy she/her/hers

Email: madaline.mccarthy@marquette.edu

Role: Graduate Student Representative on the DE MSN Subcommittee, MUCN Equity and Inclusion Representative, Ambassador for the DE MSN Program, Committee for International Women's Leadership

B.A. in Psychology, DE MSN at Pleasant Prairie
Research Assistant at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Research Assistant for Dr. Jessica Zemlak 
Research Assistant for Dr. Lisa Grabert
Research Assistant for Dr. Jackie Christianson
Research Assistant for Dr. Alan Burkard 
Assistance in the Marketing Campaign for the DE MSN Program

Joined MUCN: Jan. 2022

Why did you join the MUCN Committee on Equity & Inclusion and how do your passion, education, and purpose intersect with DEI work?

My mother fled Laos during the Vietnam War with her family and was relocated here to the United States. Unable to speak English, completely unfamiliar with the culture, she struggled to obtain her High School Diploma. She had me as a teenager and during that time we were at the mercy of government assistance. But she insisted that I go to school to become better. I am the first generation in my family that has received an undergraduate degree and the first to attend a graduate program. It is my desire to seek further education and obtain my PhD in Nursing and specifically focus on mental health. This would not have been possible if the faculty at Marquette University had not welcomed me with open arms, which has allowed me opportunities to return the kindness and understanding that they have shown me. By being a part of the MUCN Committee on Equity and Inclusion I would like to represent the Cambodian, Laos, Thai, Vietnamese, and Dai community as a wife, mother, student, and future healthcare worker. It has put me in a position to "be the difference" and encourage others like me that there will be a place for them at this wonderful institution. 


Taylor Rose Pamperin

Taylor Rose Pamperin, M.Ed. (she/her/hers)
Marquette University College of Nursing Office of Student Services Clark Hall 112D
Phone: 414-288-5632
Email: taylorrose.pamperin@marquette.edu
Role: Graduate Student Success Advisor
Joined MUCN: 2016

Through my career in non-profit and higher education, my focus has been on student support, engagement, and development and the shared responsibility of contributing to a culture dedicated to equity, inclusion, and mutual respect since 2005. I have had the privilege of creating and contributing to student, faculty, and staff-facing programming and participating in greater community-wide activism focused on engaging and expanding knowledge of disparities and recognizing the inherent worth of individuals and communities. Through persistent and thoughtful work, I will promote social justice by identifying and addressing bias and subsequently continue MUCN’s journey as an inclusive, anti-oppressive, and anti-racist community focused on justice and equity. 


Maria Pena

Maria Peña, MSN, RN, CNE (she/her/hers)

Email: maria.pena@marquette.edu
Role: Full-time Nursing Faculty; Clinical Course Coordinator
Joined MUCN: 2019

From my twenty years of military service to my current position on Marquette’s College of Nursing Committee on Equity & Inclusion, being involved in equity and inclusion efforts has been a part of my working and volunteer endeavors since 1996. My current Ph.D. studies are focused on creating a more diverse nursing student body and faculty and subsequently a more diverse nursing workforce representative of all of the populations we serve.


Tobin Tito

Tobin Tito, MSN, AGNP-BC, RN (he/him/his)
Email: tobin.tito@marquette.edu
Role: Full Time Faculty
Joined MUCN: 2017  

As an undergraduate and graduate student pursuing an education from Marquette University at the College of Nursing, I did not see fellow peers/professors/mentors that looked like me. I barely even saw male nurses of color in the field that I could relate to or discuss their experiences. One of the main reasons why I wanted to participate in such a crucial committee at Marquette University was to add a different perspective to the MU community and to the College of Nursing. I want to actively add to the diverse perspective in the field of nursing.