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
Juanita (Terrie) Garcia, Ph.D., RN - MUCN Committee on Equity & Inclusion Chairperson
Marquette University College of Nursing Clark Hall 207
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.
Marilyn Frenn, Ph.D., RN, CNE, ANEF, FTOS, FAAN (she/her/hers)
Marquette University College of Nursing Clark Hall 353
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.
Tana Karenke, Ph.D., RN (she/her/hers)
Role: Clinical Assistant Professor and Mentor/Advisor Specialist for Project BEYOND-2
Joined MUCN: 2022
Within the college I have a dual position as a Mentor/Advisor Specialist for Project BEYOND-2 (PB2) and as faculty. Situated within PB2, I have the rewarding opportunity to collaborate with many of our diverse students and staff. For the last 3 academic years I have witnessed the tremendous amount of strength, resilience, and wisdom our underrepresented students bring to our Marquette community. I have listened to many stories of the challenges our students face on campus and in daily life. Some of these challenges are familiar to me, as I am a first-generation college student that has experienced financial hardship. Yet there are many challenges I have not experienced personally, and that is why it is a great honor and privilege to serve on this committee to continue the work, allyship, and responsibility to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community.
Kim Whitmore, Ph.D., RN, CPN
Role: Assistant Professor
Joined MUCN: 2021
I joined the MUCN Committee on Equity & Inclusion because I want to be part of the change that is needed to ensure the Marquette College of Nursing is an inclusive, anti-racist, and anti-oppressive learning and working environment that critically examines biases and promotes social justice and equity.
I have had the honor of serving diverse communities across Wisconsin for more than 20 years. As a home care nurse in Milwaukee, I witnessed first-hand the impact of racism and the social determinants of health on the wellbeing of families from historically marginalized backgrounds. In my role as the Policy Section Chief and State Health Plan Officer for the Wisconsin Division of Public Health, I worked closely with the Minority Health Office on a variety of initiatives to help promote health equity across Wisconsin. My current program of research is focused on supporting families of children with special healthcare needs. I partner with the Latino community to better understand the unique challenges they face in accessing support, and work collaboratively to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate services that meet their needs.
My commitment to equity and inclusion is also deeply personal. As a White woman in an interracial marriage who is raising biracial children, I have witnessed, and been impacted by, implicit bias and racism on far too many occasions. I met my husband at Marquette over 20 years ago. As an African American man, his experience at Marquette was very different than mine (as a White woman), unfortunately. I want to help ensure that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status, have the same opportunity to have the amazing Marquette experience that I had.
Taylor Rose Pamperin, M.Ed. (she/her/hers)
Marquette University College of Nursing Office of Student Services Clark Hall 112D
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 Peña, MSN, RN, CNE (she/her/hers)
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, MSN, AGNP-BC, RN (he/him/his)
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.
I joined this program to contribute to the important work of promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within the healthcare industry, starting here on campus for current students and generations to come. I aspire to help develop and implement initiatives that will impact the lives of nursing students, faculty, and, most importantly, the patients we serve by fostering conversations that address pressing issues within our community to cultivate a welcoming environment for all to thrive socially, emotionally, and professionally.