Marquette University News Release

‘Tis the season: Holiday story ideas from Marquette

November 23, 2009

The economy, the Christmas Star, international holiday traditions and more

As you develop news stories this holiday season, Marquette University offers the following ideas and related experts to assist you. Please feel free to contact any of these individuals directly; otherwise, contact Andy Brodzeller or Chris Stolarski in the Office of Marketing and Communication.

For additional holiday ideas see our 2007 and 2008 holiday advisories.

A shrinking Christmas budget
The Christmas presents under the tree might be fewer in number this year as families cope with a challenging economy. Money and finances can be one of the harder things for families to discuss, but Lynn Turner, professor of communication and expert on family communication, can explain why it’s important and what families can do to start a conversation.

Lynn Turner
Professor, Diederich College of Communication
Office: (414) 288-6351
Home: (414) 962-8456

What’s under your tree?
Just what should Santa leave under the tree for all the good little boys and girls? Robert Fox, a child mental health expert and director of the Behavior Clinic, can share how to select appropriate gifts for children. Key considerations include making sure the gift is age appropriate, that it is mentally stimulating and that it encourages hand-eye coordination.

Robert Fox
Professor, College of Education
Office: (414) 288-1469
Home: (414) 785-6201

The history and significance of Advent
In Latin, “advent” means “the coming.” What is the historical basis of Advent, and why do Christians celebrate this season of preparation? Rev. Doug Leonhardt, S.J., associate director of University Mission and Identity, has the answers.


Doug Leonhardt

Associate Director, University Mission and Identity
Office: (414) 288-7837

Safe snow shoveling
Everyone dreams of a white Christmas, but it comes with a cost: shoveling. More than a simple annoyance, shoveling can put a lot of strain on the body and even cause serious injury if not done properly. Christopher Geiser, clinical assistant professor of exercise science, discusses how to prepare for the lifting and what to do when you wake up with that sore back.

Christopher Geiser
Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Health Sciences
Office: (414) 288-6210
Home: (414) 699-6160

Was there a Christmas Star?
An important part of the Christmas story details how the Magi followed the Christmas Star to Bethlehem to find the newborn King. Was there really a Christmas Star and what could have caused it? Chris Stockdale, assistant professor of physics and expert on supernovae, can share some theories.

Chris Stockdale
Assistant Professor, Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
Office: (414) 288-7069
Home: (414) 975-9634

A global celebration
Christmas and other winter holiday traditions are celebrated by cultures worldwide. Terry Miller, director of the Office of International Education, can discuss some of the customs and practices enjoyed by people from around the world. And, when practicable and as availability allows, Miller can help coordinate interviews with some of Marquette’s international students for their unique perspectives.

Terry Miller
Director, Office of International Education
Office: (414) 288-3208
Home: (414) 202-2516

Layaway programs
First used during the Great Depression, layaway programs are experiencing a revival this holiday season. With the holiday shopping season accounting for 50 percent of annual sales for many retailers, Dennis Garrett, associate professor of marketing, explains how retailers are hoping layaways and other incentives will help improve their bottom lines.

Dennis Garrett
Associate Professor, College of Business Administration
Office: (414) 288-3371
Home: (262) 377-0997

O’ Tannenbaum, O’ Tannenbaum
Many American holiday traditions are rooted in the history of the Christmas season in Germany — especially here in Milwaukee. Stephani Richards-Wilson, assistant dean in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and expert in the history, literature and lore of Germany, can weave the Christmas tale from the Old Country.

Stephani Richards-Wilson
Assistant Dean, Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
Office: (414) 288-5305

About Office of Marketing and Communication

Office of Marketing and Communication

1250 W. Wisconsin Ave. | Milwaukee, WI 53233 | (414) 288-7448 View all posts by .