Alumni National Awards


BurnsAmanda Lloyd Burns, Arts ’09
Madison, Wis.

Ever since Amanda Burns walked across the stage at graduation in 2009, she’s been on a mission to take care of others. At Marquette, she knew she mattered to the community, and she wants to instill that in young children. Amanda seeks to be the difference in the lives of not only children but also educators.

As a project manager for the Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN), she ensures early care and education serves children and their families in ways that affirm their values. She helped launched a tremendous, expanded menu of services for early care and education providers around the state. By pooling resources and leveraging economies of scale, WEESSN provides the background supports for family childcare providers and group childcare directors, which saves them time and money. As a result, they can redirect their energy to focusing on quality care and education for the kids. Amanda has helped grow program offerings from a few southern Wisconsin counties to what will be roughly 75% of the state by the end of 2022.

Amanda also engages in work that cultivates a socially just world. She co-authored a kindergarten curriculum that she presented to several national conferences. Her curriculum stressed diving into diversity and equity equality with young minds.

Amanda attributes service learning and a liberal arts education as crucial experiences in her life, helping open her mind and heart to broader perspectives. “Engaging in work that serves others and makes an impact on the world in what small ways I can will always serve as my own personal mark of success,” she says.

Name someone (past or present) with whom you'd like to have dinner.
Barbara Bowman, an American early childhood advocate and expert.

What is one of your favorite Marquette memories?
One of my greatest memories is from my time helping launch W.Y.S.E, which was a non-profit mentoring organization which pairs middle school girls and college-level females. The founding director had been a mentee with W.Y.S.E in her middle-school days in Chicago and felt called to launch a chapter at Marquette, and invited me to assist, along with a few others. We organized it with Bruce Guadalupe school, and I still recall the relationship I had with my mentee and recall our weekly sessions with those young ladies so fondly.

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