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Alumni Awards Inspire 2021

Association of Marquette University Women (AMUW) Award Recipient

 

MARY NEVILLE BIELEFELD AWARD

Monaco-WilcoxRachel K. Monaco-Wilcox, Arts ’99, Law ’04
Richfield, Wis.

As Founder of the LOTUS Legal Clinic, Rachel Monaco-Wilcox created an organization to change the world one person at a time. Now, through an advisory role for the National Crime Victim's Law Institute, her insights on providing comprehensive legal services, advocacy and creative survivor empowerment can reach survivors of sexual violence and trafficking across the country to help them experience a true sense of justice.

To evolve and adapt to our changing world, Rachel has used this year to work differently – through witness, reflection and mentoring conversations – and to delve deeply into her art and writing. Her hope is that this period of perspective-taking will pay dividends later through contributions that have a wide reach and unique impact. “Marquette’s cura personalis was, and continues to be, real for me. The experience inspired me to dream big and follow my heart as the best way to serve the needs of the world,” she says.

As a student, the individuals who especially inspired Rachel were the Jesuits who lived in the "Jes Res" where she was a kitchen employee - Fr. T Caldwell, Fr. Kelly, Fr. Zeps, Fr. Class and President Wild, and all those living there from 1997-1999.  "Their creativity, compassion, zest for life, pursuit of intellect and beauty, humor, humility and ability to listen has modeled a way of living that I return to in both my best and worst moments." Rachel says.  

For Rachel, winning this award is very special. During her tenure as AMUW president, she presented this very award to three other women. “I only hope I can carry the mantle on behalf of all of us by living the next half of my life in truth to the example they have set.”

Fun Fact:

A scholarship winning essay about a Robert Frost poem and a Russian olive tree brought Rachel to Marquette while keeping her connected to her treasured family roots. “The scholarship was a sign that my gifts were important, and I could feed them at Marquette,” she explains. “The Russian olive tree grows at my childhood home. Seeing it was like having a direct channel between [home and Marquette].”