Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Spring 2017

Award Recipients

Stacy Neier Beran Quinlan School of Business - Marketing Peter Hans Kolvenbach Award for Engaged Teaching
Jennifer Parks Department of Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies Alice B. Hayes Award for Advising & Mentoring
Stephen Mitten, SJ Institute of Environmental Sustainability Mary Therese Langerbeck Award for Undergraduate Research Mentoring
Timothy Hoellein Department of Biology

Stacy Neier Beran

Senior Lecturer, Quinlan School of Business - Marketing

“Day 1, everyday.” This is the motto of Professor Stacy Neier Beran—and, she feels, it should be everyone’s, regardless of age or profession. Dr. Neier Beran has implemented this creative approach in her classrooms for eight years now, effectively keeping the joy and sheer interest in learning alive for both herself and her students. She explains this approach as one that “intentionally invites students to look at every class-related interaction as possessing the renewed curiosity, grit, and enthusiasm the actual first day of any academic term brings.”

Her teaching load is composed completely of Engaged Learning courses, which proves to be demanding, but Neier Beran is no stranger to such daunting tasks. Throughout her educational and professional career, she has continually invested in her professional development (e.g., Assessment Certificate Program, Ignatian Pedagogy Certificate). She has filled her CV with a generous listing of services performed and numerous educational experiences, as well as the challenging load of courses she teaches at Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business.

The vitality and passion with which Dr. Neier Beran approaches teaching is infectious, inevitably being passed on to each of her students. Her genuine involvement in her students’ learning is an exceptional demonstration of Loyola’s Ignatian values. Stacy Neier Beran truly values her profession and the impact it has on those around her, as she demonstrated with this closing statement: “Our students deserve Day 1 experiences, and it is my awesome privilege to journey with the students to position a reality transformed by curiosity, grit, and enthusiasm into their grasp.”

Jennifer Parks

Professor, Department of Philosophy, Associate Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies

In her many roles at Loyola, Dr. Jennifer Parks teaches both graduate and undergraduate students and serves as the faculty advisor and coach for the Ethics Bowl and Bioethics Bowl teams. Her involvement in helping students is apparent in the hours she spends on a variety of tasks, including assisting and advising on writing applications and resumes, writing letters of recommendation, arranging and supervising internships and talking to students about their career planning. But she contends that the students motivate and inspire her, “and they remind me why my work matters.”  As a strong believer in cura personalis.

Dr. Parks views her students, not just as students, but as people who have contributions and skills that need to be explored and shared. In the nomination statements received supporting Dr. Parks’ qualifications for this award, her students rate her skills of promoting engagement in service and community as excellent. As one of her student nominators stated, Dr. Parks challenges students to think about bigger ethical issues and carry those issues into their professional development. She is steadfast in her support of students relating to all aspects of their lives. But perhaps the most important qualification shared by a nominator is this: “Dr. Parks is the model of who I hope to be as a professor one day.”

Stephen Mitten

Advanced Lecturer, Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Fr. Mitten values the collaboration that makes student experiences positive as they develop team skills for future research: "I have learned that research is a multi-person activity where members of a research group share their ideas, comments, suggestions, and where members learn from each other's work." Mitten knows first-hand about scientific team effort in his work at the LUC Retreat and Ecology Campus; there he has helped student develop outcomes and timelines for a number of important projects and encouraged them to be self-directed and self-motivated. As a mentor and advisor, he sees his role as helping students reach their potential in all aspects of the working relationship.

One of his student nominators talked about the power of a strong mentor: "There are few professors that truly sit and listen to a problem you are having in research and let you find your own words . . . This research project was an example of his trust in me."  Students contend that as Fr. Mitten works with them, he starts to expect more and encourages them to continuously improve and move forward. His guidance leads his students to strive to be creative scientists and follow in their mentor's footsteps.

Timothy Hoellein

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

According to Professor Hoellein, "my most successful mentorship experiences occur when I help students identify their natural talents, cultivate new abilities, and make progress towards career goals . .  What is more important is that I help them find their sense of calling." And he lives by example, sharing with students how his personal calling challenges him to educate the public, his students and to contribute to the scientific record. By working with such organizations as the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Hoellein gets students involved in community and environmental work that helps them explore their purpose.  While he measures the impact of his interactions with students both objectively and subjectively, he contends that the most positive reward comes from witnessing student mature, develop their ambitions and succeed at tasks they identify for themselves.

His student nominators comment on how accessible Dr. Hoellein is, despite his heavy teaching load. One student noted that he serves as her professor, mentor and trusted advisor, a partnership that has helped her focus on her personal research interests while honing her analytical and scientific research skills.  Students applaud him for his research that helps address our current environmental concerns--once again setting the example he instills in his students: make your research your calling to make this a better world; get involved.