Loyola University Chicago

Damen Student Center

Student Complex

Staff: Bryan Goodwin

Position: Director, Student Centers
Office: Student Complex
Year first affiliated with Loyola (in any capacity): 2007
Alma Mater: Illinois State University (Go ‘Birds!)

I come from a small town in central Illinois called Danville (on the border of Illinois and Indiana). I am the middle brother of (3) boys, all of whom work in the higher education industry (Texas and Maine). I am the son of a father who practiced law, and a mother who was a part time educator and home maker.

I received a private, catholic education from grades K-12 and my family was very active in the community and with our local church. This community connection shaped my values and allowed me to develop relationships that remain strong to this day. I later went on to attend Illinois State University where I was very active in the Greek system (Lambda Chi Alpha) and took full advantage of what the university had to offer both inside and outside of the classroom. I LOVED college!

I joined Loyola as a professional staff member in 2007 after receiving a graduate degree from Illinois State University in Sport Management. While I wasn’t sure if working in higher education would be something that I saw myself doing as a career, I have been blessed with the opportunity that Loyola has presented me. 8 years later… I’d say things are going great.

I work with students on a couple of different levels. First…I am a supervisor. I have about 50 student staff members that I work with and that support the Damen Student Center and Centennial Forum. These students look to me for guidance both job related and non-job related. I consider myself lucky that they think of me as someone that they can come to for advice about anything.

Secondly….I support student organizations that have programs in the Damen Student Center and need guidance on what we can do to make these programs successful. It gives me a lot of pride when a student group is thankful of the support we provide and I strive every day to make sure that we are providing the best support that we can.

We strive to support the Loyola community in whatever we might be able to help with. I consider our office the “pull a rabbit out of a hat” department. We are resourceful. We don’t say “no” a whole lot. Coming from CFSU (the old union for those that weren’t around to see it), I consider ourselves very blessed to be in the new facility that is the Damen Student Center. As a result, I feel a certain obligation to students to exhaust all of the possibilities that the facilities and our resources can support.

I think often times I get a chuckle out of some of the conversations that I overhear students having in their own social time.  When you don’t really know the context of what they are talking about and only hear snippets, it’s fun to imagine just what they are talking about. Additionally, any time I have to work with members of Facilities Management, I laugh. As much as they walk around the campus in a seemingly grumpy mood---they actually make me smile every time I work with them on something.

I’d like to think that students see me as someone that will support them in just about anything that they want to do within the Student Complex. I’d like to think that when students have questions pertaining to our area of work, that they are referred to talk to me---not because they HAVE to….but because they have heard that I can help. I’d like to think that the hundreds of students that I have supervised think of me as a great supervisor and someone that they learned something from. Maybe one day they might think about how I would handle a situation and elect to do that

When I think of social justice….I think of a variety of buzz words and phrases: RESPECT. AWARENESS. OPPORTUNITY. EQUITABLE. BREAKING DOWN STEREOTYPES. HUMAN.

I consider myself very blessed to work for an institution that values social justice. I have to admit that before I started working for Loyola, I didn’t think too much about this issue. I am constantly aware of this issue in everything I do now. At the end of the day….I try and break down social justice to a very simple thought: “what are we doing as individuals to make sure that we are treating ALL people with respect as human beings.” I know that there is so much more to this issue than that….but if everyone started simple like this, we might start seeing some real change in our world.

I had very little knowledge of the Jesuit way of life before I began to work at Loyola. Yes…I was raised catholic and still (to a certain extent) am a practicing catholic. Working for Loyola has both strengthened and challenged what I grew up learning through the catholic faith. I almost see myself now as a “Catholic-Jesuit hybrid” that loves a lot of the concepts of both faiths. As a father, I am so blessed that I can pass on some of the Jesuit beliefs (Magis, Cura Personalis) to my children.

Everyone usually says something about the Lake, but my favorite spot on campus is Madonna Della Strada Chapel. Church has always been a very soothing and reflective place for me regardless of where I am in my life. I don’t go as often as I should, but when I need to relax or just sit calmly and speak to a higher power, this is usually where I will go. This works until I see that there is a light bulb out and I worry about whether there needs to be a work order placed :)

There are so many, but I will choose one from recently….I brought my daughter Grace to Family Weekend this past year, and she was so excited to see Sister Jean. Grace has seen her bobble-head and has also seen some of the TV appearances that she has done (WGN, UMC Video, etc.) that Grace views Sister Jean as a celebrity. Well….we were able to track Sister Jean down in Damen and they spent about 5 minutes talking and they took a picture together. This was a Saturday. When I came in on Monday, there was a small bag in my office with some pom-poms and a personal letter from Sister Jean to my daughter. Needless to say….Grace was thrilled and still has the pom-poms in her room. I am so happy that Grace was able to meet such a wonderful person and have that experience.

I think the obligatory advice would be to “get involved”, but I will just say….ENJOY it. Try and develop a sense of pride for YOUR school. NEVER want to leave and ALWAYS be excited to come back. I think that sometimes students get so wrapped up in their studies, work, balancing things, etc. that they fail to “stop and smell the roses” from time to time. The hope is that you will MISS LOYOLA when you leave. If you miss Loyola….that means that you have really enjoyed your time here.