Daily, we walk by hundreds of people on Marquette sidewalks. Students, faculty and Milwaukee residents pass by unnoticed as music blares through headphones or eyes lock onto the one friend we recognize.
But what if we made time to ask one of these strangers about their life at Marquette?
This week, inspired by the New York Times’ “One in 8 Million” project, we take a closer look at three of these individuals who happen to be unexpectedly amazing.
Kelsey Stockton – Cobeen Hall Director
By Tess Quinlan, Special to the Tribune
Kelsey Stockton was thankful that the fire alarm at Cobeen Hall went off on Thursday at 4 p.m. instead of 4 a.m. Stockton, who is the hall director of the all-female freshman residence hall, spent the past summer in a Cobeen apartment with her husband and fellow Marquette employee, Dave Stockton. They awoke early one morning to the fire alarm.
“Our alarm goes off very infrequently,” Stockton said. “This was the first accidental building alarm we’ve had this year, since the summer when no one was here except for us. Thankfully, it’s not something that’s a frequent issue.”
A fire alarm is just one of the things that Stockton deals with on a daily basis. She oversees all of the staff at Cobeen, including resident assistants (RA’s) and the facilities manager. She advises hall council, deals with student conduct for Cobeen, handles room changes and controls the budget.
Sounds like a lot, right? Stockton takes it all in stride. As a former Marquette undergraduate, Stockton served as an RA at Straz Tower for two years and switched over to become the Cobeen facilities manager in her senior year.
She pursued her master’s degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where she met her husband, Dave. The two met at an interview for the college personnel program and married a year after their graduation from graduate school. Dave is the coordinator for student programs in Marquette’s office of student development.
“I think if he wasn’t here, it would be easy for me to stay at work all the time,” Stockton said. “So because I work where I live, it’s easy for me to get to my office. Last year, I was more likely to disappear and just go sit in my office until midnight or 1 a.m. if I wanted to work on a project. But now it’s like ‘I should probably go home. I have a husband. I should probably go say hi to him.’ It’s hard when your offices are so accessible to go home at times.”
This is the first year that both Stockton and her husband have lived in the strictly female residence hall. New public safety officers have no idea who Dave is or why he wants to be let up the stairs without an escort. Students who do not know him will question his presence. While many know the Stocktons individually, rarely do students make the connection that they are married and live in Cobeen.
“It’s interesting because we’re both on opposite schedules,” Stockton said. “A lot of my heavier work nights are Tuesdays and Wednesdays with hall council and with RA staff meetings. With (Dave’s) work at Late Night and MUSG, his work is usually Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.”
During Orientation week, Stockton was running RA training, while Dave was setting up a carnival for the incoming freshman class.
“She came home at about midnight after RA training, just in time for me to leave,” Dave said. “That’s what orientation is like. We really don’t see each other.”
Even though their schedules can differ dramatically, the two still make time to see each other, venturing into Milwaukee for brunch regularly on Sundays. Both Dave and Stockton admit that this is not a normal lifestyle, but since Stockton knows a hall director is not typically a long-term position, they are willing to make these temporary sacrifices.
Stockton said that this job is not for everyone, but it seemed to work out for her.
“It’s not just a job,” Stockton said. “It really is a life. It’s a lifestyle. It’s something that personality wise and skill wise, it’s a good fit. I applied to be an RA by chance, and I have no idea what I would be doing right now if I hadn’t.”
Mark Konewko – Carillonneur
By Olivia Morrissey
Mark Konewko is a choir director and music instructor at Marquette University, but he is also the musician behind the beautiful music of the 48 bells in the University Carillon, located in the Marquette Hall bell tower. It takes decades to master the difficult and archaic notes of the carillon, a once-ubiquitous instrument that is now a rarity in the United States, let alone on college campuses.
Konewko holds a Masters of Music degree in Organ Performance and studied the carillon instrument at the University of Utrecht in Amersfoort, Netherlands. He became Marquette’s carillonneur in 1999 after the death of long-time university carillonneur William Geisheker.
“When I heard of the carillon tower at Marquette, I introduced myself to Mr. Geisheker and came and played the carillon with him a couple times,” Konewko said. “We developed a kind of friendship, and after he passed away, the university asked me to be the carillonneur.”
Konewko said the relatively small number of carillonneurs in the United States usually assume a full-time and paid position, but he is in his twelfth year at Marquette as an adjunct professor and part-time, unpaid carillonneur. He said he does not mind volunteering his services, as he plays the carillon simply for the love of the instrument and music.
Konewko’s love of music extends to vocal performance. He is the director of the University Chorus, which practices on Thursday evenings in the Varsity Theater and holds concerts each semester.
Before arriving at Marquette, Konewko was a student of organ performance at the American Conservatory of Music. One of his professors, a carillonneur in Chicago, invited Konewko to visit the carillon tower at the University of Chicago. Konewko was reluctant to accept the invitation, but did not want to disappoint his instructor.
When his professor sat down at the carillon instrument and began to play, Konewko was overcome by the loud clapping of the bells and the player’s skilled fist movements on the rod-like batons jutting out from the face of the instrument.
“I’ll never forget the experience,” Konewko said. “I was standing directly behind him, watching his shoulders move, and when he finished, I was totally transfixed. I asked him, ‘Please, can you show me how to play this?’”
His professor agreed, and Konewko began taking lessons at a church in Chicago and at the University of Chicago carillon tower. A couple of years after his training began, Konewko was awarded a scholarship to study the carillon in the region of its birth, Amersfoort, Netherlands. At the University of Utrecht, Konewko was immersed in the “environment of the carillon” and brought his expertise to Marquette’s campus.
“We have a fine instrument here, a very fine instrument,” Konewko said. “Now that it has been restored and we have a brand new practice instrument, the potential is just huge.”
The original carillon instrument, which was housed in the playing chamber amidst the bells in the carillon tower, was in a sad state of disrepair when Konewko accepted the position as carilloneur. When the original instrument was installed in 1964, no metal umbrellas were affixed to the wire trackers of the instrument, allowing Wisconsin levels of precipitation to seep into and warp the wooden console.
With a new practice instrument in his office and a restored instrument in the playing chamber, Konewko would like to hold concerts and expositions featuring the carillon and allow interested students to learn to play.
Konewko teaches Music 2140: Carillon Discovery, which is offered to both musicians and non-musicians annually each spring semester. Marquette students learn the various aspects of the instrument, from its history to the methods of pouring the bell formations. Still, if students are unable to fit this course into their schedules, Konewko encouraged them to seek out the music emanating from the top of Marquette Hall.
“When you hear music, like songs and things other than the hour, that really is me playing,” Konewko said. “When I play, I leave the office door open and the door that leads up to the tower open, so if people are walking on the street and wanted to come up, they are always welcome. It gets lonely up here, so it’s nice to have people come up and visit.”
Many students may have come to think of the bells as a reminder of lateness or background noise on a bustling campus, but Konewko said he believes the ringing of the bells, even if only to toll the hour, adds a certain something to Marquette’s campus.
“The carillon bells become part of life at Marquette,” Konewko said. “Not only do they keep time, but they create an ambiance that I think really affects the lives of the students and faculty at Marquette.”
Sandrea Batiste – Pep Band Member
By Caroline Campbell
Sandrea Batiste, a junior in Marquette University’s College of Education, was born on Nov. 6, 1990. Famed American composer John Philip Sousa was born on the same day in 1854. This coincidence would be meaningless, if Batiste did not play the sousaphone.
The sousaphone was invented by Sousa himself, and is similar to a tuba. Batiste plays the sousaphone for the Marquette University pep band, which plays at all Marquette men’s and women’s basketball home games. They also often travel with teams to away games and tournaments.
Batiste first began playing the sousaphone her freshman year of high school, when her band director suggested she try. Before that, she played a couple different instruments.
“I actually started out playing the flute, and I hated it,” Batiste said. “I think I played it for two weeks and I was like, ‘This sucks.’”
Batiste stayed in band throughout high school and into her time at Marquette because band had been a social outlet for her. She is traveling to Madison Square Garden in New York in March to play at the Big East championship tournament, and traveled to Newark, N.J. last year when the Golden Eagles played in the Sweet Sixteen.
“That was pretty sweet,” Batiste said. She added, “It sucks that they lost, though.”
One factor that has positively impacted her decision to continue in band is the memories she has because of her experiences.
“I think one of my favorite memories, (is) when we had (Marquette Madness) this year,” Batiste said. “A little boy, he came up to me and he was like, ‘Can I please take your picture?’ I was like, ‘Oh, sure!’ and he was like, ‘I’m not being weird, if I take pictures with people in the band, I get extra credit in my band class.’ … We chit-chatted and he played the trombone and it was really cool to just connect through music that way.”
At home, Batiste has a hard time deciding whether she enjoys playing for men’s or women’s games more.
“I kind of like the women’s games better because I’m friends with a lot of the girls on the team, so I think that factors into it, but then it’s like, the atmosphere in the Bradley Center is just so fun to play in, so I like them both,” she said.
Pep band director Erik Janners shares a similar sentiment.
“It’s hard to beat a really big-time men’s Big East game,” Janners said. “Those are awesome, but actually, unless it’s a really good Big East game, I kind of think we have more impact at the women’s games.”
Janners said he likes the impact the pep band has on the atmosphere in the Al McGuire center, because the band makes up a larger proportion of the audience.
“Thirty pep band members screaming their heads off in an arena for 2,000 versus whatever the Bradley Center has,” Janners said. “So, I think we have a lot more impact on the game, but it’s hard to beat a big men’s game. Those are really awesome.”
According to Janners, students who play in the pep band must also be enrolled in either Symphonic Band or Wind Ensemble, which are concert groups and offered as classes for credit through the College of Communication.
“The concert groups are really where our students get better, where they refine their skills,” Janners said. “Pep band is just fun … it’s more about volume … it’s there to entertain the audience and pump up the audience. We have a good time.”
The pep band practices from 3:00 to 4:20 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday — a long time to play, according to Batiste. However, she truly enjoys her time spent in rehearsal and at basketball games.
“If I didn’t do band, I’d be done with class Monday, Wednesday, Friday at one and I’d just bum around and do nothing,” Batiste said. “It’s just a really good stress reliever so it’s not even like it’s a big time commitment, because I enjoy it so much.”