Make a Difference Monday

Recent alumna Beth Turbak, Arts ’13, has never been one to sit still. While at Marquette, Beth participated in the Global Village living-learning community on campus, as well as traveling as far as Chile and Honduras. On a constant pursuit to live out Jesuit ideals, Beth’s words are concise on how her time at Marquette shaped her undergraduate career. She says, “It was Marquette who asked, ‘Where does your passion meet the world’s need?’”

Marquette first appealed to Beth with its “tight-knit community, but also the invitation to engage with the wider Milwaukee community.” Her time as a student at Marquette was characterized by internships, Global Brigades, a semester abroad and service as a Manresa scholar. Beth utilized Marquette’s resources to push herself out of her comfort zone to discover how she could best serve her community locally, nationally and globally.

Admitted as a speech pathology major and graduating instead with a degree in social welfare and justice, Beth credits various mentors, experiences and conversations throughout her time at Marquette with shifting her focus toward medical social work. Her heart for others and dedication to Jesuit values led her to serve in the Milwaukee community as well as in South and Central America.

Throughout her journey, Beth has been guided by the timeless challenge of St. Ignatius of Loyola to “go forth and set the world on fire.” When describing her time since graduating, she explains that, “as my Jesuit education had so shaped me, I knew that I wanted to continue seeking experiences in service, community and social justice.” She spent time as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest member working with an end-of-life care program in Washington before returning to her home state of Minnesota to pursue a master’s degree in social work.

Discussing her post-graduation accomplishments, Beth once again reminds us of how Marquette is not an experience that ends after four years. “The most significant accomplishment post-grad is to have stayed very close with my Marquette family. Upon graduation, we found ourselves across the country and world. This speaks to the foundation laid by our Marquette experience to remain close into life’s next chapter and continue so throughout those to come.”

For Beth, it is all about connections: connections with those whom she serves through her social work, with the Jesuits and with her Marquette family. She views donating to Marquette as an alumna as one way she remains connected while ensuring opportunities for future Marquette students.

Beth does not hesitate to highlight the role Marquette plays in distinguishing its graduates: “Our Jesuit education calls us to pursue where our passions meet the world’s need. Our Marquette community and education instills in us the courage to do so.” Her service to each community she has established herself in has no doubt put her passions to use, a result of an encouraging Jesuit education at Marquette. Beth truly characterizes Marquette pride, not only by recognizing the financial gift she is offering as a donor to the university, but by embodying the ideals of Marquette. Alumni still find themselves calling Marquette home; however, they are the people that make this place home. Their warmth and passion for others encourage the next generation of doers and inspire the next wave of students to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

Originally published at

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