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Making a Difference

Read the latest stories featuring students, faculty, and alumni, from Loyola's School of Education, who are making their mark in the field of education.

A statue of Mamie Till-Mobley stands tall.

The Legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley

After Emmett Till was murdered in 1955, his death was the spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement. It also ignited his mother, Loyola alumna Mamie Till-Mobley’s, MEd '71, career in education.

The Madonna della Strada from the south-east.


Loyola University Chicago Opportunities in Catholic Education Program–coined LU CHOICE–is a two-year, field-based teacher formation program dedicated to Catholic education. It provides participants with full scholarships as they complete their master’s degrees in elementary education and gain Illinois certification.

School of Education faculty value collaboration with others.

Bridging Cura

In an ever-changing world where society is forced to constantly adapt to its new realities, academia, too, faces this same obstacle. Recently, Norma López, PhD, and Demetri Morgan, PhD–School of Education faculty–were awarded funding from the Joan and Bill Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage for their research project, Bridging Cura: Faculty of color socialization at a Jesuit institution.

Rome's skyline captured from afar.

From Chicago to Rome

The School of Education recognizes that it is invaluable for students to become globally minded advocates, leaders, analysts, researchers, activists, scholars, and educators - this is why Loyola is home to dozens of study abroad programs that promote life-changing experiences for students. Loyola graduate, Laurel Brooks, earned her Masters in Education in Higher Education in 2023. During her time at Loyola, Brooks studied abroad at the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) during the summer of 2022.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

Combating Racism

In the classroom and beyond, Loyola School of Education faculty and students have been forging an important path toward a world without racism. Whether it be in lecture halls, on YouTube, or in nationally recognized news outlets, members of the School of Education community stand on the front lines of developing a more just and equal society for all.

A student sits in a classroom.

Resisting Oppression in Education

Johnnie Campbell is a PhD student in Loyola University Chicago's Higher Education Program with an emphasis in Education Policy Studies. He is a Chicago Native from the South Side, and his predominant research interest is the ways Black men resist the forms of oppression that manifest in college environments. In addition to his studies, he founded his own movement, The Resistance Roundtables, LLC, where he centers marginalized and historically minoritized groups to offer new perspectives and provides a platform and voice to these identities.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

Learning While Teaching

Kevin Ho is pursuing Loyola’s Master of Education degree through the Language, Culture, and Curriculum program while creating safe and equal spaces for the students he teaches at Nicholas Senn High School.

A student rehearses their dance in Loyola's Palm Court.

Timing is Everything

For Amy Wilkinson, M. Ed., timing isn’t limited to choreographing performances and rhythm, but rather taking advantage of an opportunity that would eventually lead to positively impacting the arts and the educational communities of Chicago. Cue the MEd Dance Residency program, a one-of-a-kind opportunity in the state of Illinois.

Loyola School of Education graduate and commencement speaker, Michele Helmer in her classroom

For the Love of Teaching

The School of Education's 2023 student commencement speaker, Michele Helmer, is an Elementary Education major and Reading Instruction minor from Minneapolis, MN. She has been a student teacher in a 3rd grade classroom at Wildwood IB World Magnet School. Teaching young children reading and literacy skills has become a passion for her throughout her time at Loyola and is one of the many reasons she pursued an education degree. Upon graduation, she would love to teach first grade.

Loyola senior Maeve Donlin is the recipient of the 2023 Presidental Medallion.

2023 President's Medallion Winner

Chicago native Maeve Donlin began her education online during the COVID-19 pandemic. She found her community within the School of Education, discovering that Loyola's Jesuit mission, with an emphasis on social justice and global community, transformed her perspective. She found her calling to work in urban teaching settings, such as Chicago Public Schools. All of this and more led to her being named as one of the 2023 Presidential Medallion winners.

Alpha Sigma Nu induction 2023, Dr. Reed congratulating Dr. Newell.

Alpha Sigma Nu Induction

Loyola University Chicago offers a wide variety of organizations that allow students to flourish throughout their academic careers. One of the most prestigious and honorable organizations that select Loyola students have the opportunity to join is Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education.

Loyola School of Education graduate, Aidan Doyle's headshot

Aidan Doyle

School of Education Senior, Aidan Doyle, reflects on his journey at Loyola. From the first time he stood on the Lakeshore Campus, the summer before his freshman year, Doyle knew Loyola was the place he'd call home. The last four years prepared Doyle to be a more responsive, intentional teacher for every student within his future classroom.

Loyola School of Education elementary teacher preparation student artwork

Early Pride Matters

Early Pride Matters is designed to bolster positive and supportive educators and classrooms. The website, launching in 2023, will include inclusive class activities and lessons, children’s books, tips to foster inclusive communities, and tips for educators on how to be an ally.

Loyola School of Education students integrate art into learning at the Art Institute of Chicago

The ARtS Initiative

Dr. Seungho Moon created the ARtS Initiative to promote multiple perspectives and critical thinking through art-based inquiry and to fight against social numbness in education. He uses art in the Chicagoland area and the ARtS principles to help people think about how the artwork’s narrative can be dramatically different if it is looked at through a contrasting social, gendered, or racial lens.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

From Passion to Progress

Loyola School of Education joined forces with the Illinois Prison Project’s director of education, Renaldo Hudson. The two partners convened to use academic voices in collaboration with lived experiences to tackle issues concerning the American prison system and how society’s systems at large have failed to support its people.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

Loyola Future Teacher Club

The Loyola Future Teachers Club, an affiliate of Illinois Education Association (IEA), engages teacher candidates in professional development, social networking, and service projects with local schools. See what club members have to say about their positive experience with with the organization.


Counseling Psychology student Tiffany Fang’s OP-ED published in Chicago Tribune

In March 2021, author Tiffany Fang was profoundly affected when six Asian women were killed by a white gunman in the Atlanta spa shootings. Writing was her tool to reclaim the narrative and tell the story from her vantage point.

Creating a meaningful education.

Sayani is pursuing her master's degree through Loyola School of Education’s Language, Culture, and Curriculum program while working as a teacher at Chicagoland’s Old Orchard Junior High School.


Fostering a spirit of collaboration

Amidst a national shortage of culturally and linguistically diverse school psychologists, Loyola School of Education faculty aim to alleviate the stressors of this shortage, felt by students and schools, in three Illinois districts.

students and teachers sitting around a table talking

Field-based, Intentional Preparation

Students have real world experiences embedded in real world needs which fosters real world growth.

Inclusive Texts in Elementary Classrooms

Inclusive Texts in Elementary Classrooms demonstrates how to put children’s diverse and storied experiences at the center of classroom curriculum.

Nicholas Senn High School Summer Science Internship

Thirteen public high school students had the experience of a lifetime.

SOE Summer Updates

SOE students and alumni are drawing on their science skills this summer.

SOE Students Lead and Support Engaging Summer Programs

This summer, four of our students are working with the McCutcheon Community School Initiative and its Summer Explorers Camp for Pre-K - 8th grade students.

Building Tomorrow's Science Teachers

School of Education's Dr. Lara Smetana will present at the National Science Teaching Association's web seminar in the series, Preparing the Next Generation of Science Educators.

Loyola Professors recognized with Outstanding Book Award

The Curriculum Foundations Reader, co-authors by Drs. Tocci & Moon, were awarded the 2022 Outstanding Book Award from the Society of Professors of Education.

School of Education alumni Sydney Delghingaro and Alyssa Hoffman in the LUC Biology greenhouse

School of Education and Biology collaboration secures National Science Foundation funding

Congratulations to Drs. Mike Grillo (Biology) and Lara Smetana (Education) on securing funding from the National Science Foundation for the 5-year project entitled Pre-service Teacher Research Experience in Biodiversity Studies.

EL-Focused Graduate Program Centers Teachers’ Practice Above All

The Language, Culture, and Curriculum MEd program is an online degree program seeking applicants from the United States and around the globe for its next cohort, slated to begin in August 2022. This program prepares educators for multilingual learners, commonly referred to as English learners, in a variety of contexts from prekindergarten through higher education.

Congratulations to Dr. Seungho Moon on newest book release.

The School of Education at Loyola University of Chicago is excited to celebrate the work of Dr. Seungho Moon for his book publication entitled, The Flows of Transnationalism: Questioning Identities and Reimagining Curriculum (Routledge, 2022).

*see attribution below

Grant awarded to Big City Social Studies Group (BCSS) which was co-founded by Loyola professor Dr. Charles Tocci.

Big City Social Studies Group (BCSS), co-founded by Loyola’s own Dr. Charles Tocci, receives grant from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Photo: Sharnequa

School of Education students receive DFI Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that Sharnequa Hunter and Janese Nolan received the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship (DFI Fellowship)!

Celebrating the work of Loyola University School Partners initiative

The School of Education is honored to celebrate the work of Mitch Hendrickson, Dr. Jon Schmidt and, and Dr. Dave Ensminger supporting community schools.

Loyola Faculty receive BLOOME Award

The School of Education at Loyola University of Chicago congratulates Drs. Mike Grillo (Assistant Professor in Biology) & Lara Smetana (Associate Professor in the School of Education) on their Plant Biology Learning Objectives, Outreach Materials & Education (BLOOME) Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists

Dr. Hui Xu awarded grant from American Psychological Foundation

The School of Education is excited to celebrate the continued work of Dr. Hui Xu, assistant professor of counseling psychology at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Eunju Yoon and students publish work in The Counseling Psychologist

The School of Education is honored to celebrate the work of Dr. Eunju Yoon and her students. They recently published - A meta-analysis of acculturation and enculturation: Bilinear, multidimensional, and context-dependent processes in The Counseling Psychologist.

The Bloomsbury Handbook of Theory in Comparative and International Education

Join us in celebrating the work of Dr. Tavis Jules and colleagues on their publication of The Bloomsbury Handbook of Theory in Comparative and International Education

Loyola Researchers Receive Spencer Grant: Supporting English Learners and Immigrant-Origin Youth and Families

The School of Education is excited to announce that Dr. Amy Heineke and Dr. Liz Vera were award a grant from the Spencer Foundation. The grant is titled: English Learner and Immigrant-Origin Youth and Families: A Comparative Case Study of Learning Experiences During and Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Lara Smetana with Scholars Audrey Brinkers and Scarlett Chan at the Midwest Noyce Regional meeting in St. Louis.

LUC-Noyce Scholars launches a new Mentoring Program for Science & Math Teachers

Loyola is one of the recipients of the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program’s competitive grants, thanks to the hard work Dr. Lara Smetana, Associate Professor in the School of Education, put into securing it.

Critical Scholarship for Social Justice in Higher Ed Through Student-Run Journal

Graduate students across the country, under the leadership of current editor and Loyola PhD student Sydney Curtis, are running a successful peer-reviewed journal that takes aim at power, privilege, and oppression in higher education and student affairs, providing actionable scholarship that can affect meaningful change in higher education. They are also running the journal in a way that embodies the Jesuit value of cura personalis.

Greeley Center Thought Leader on Excellence and Equity

Michelle Lia and Debra Sullivan, newly appointed co-directors of the Greeley Center, are delighted to be taking the reins as COVID and a renewed focus on equality in the US has put Catholic schools in a unique position to deliver on their mission as never before.

School of Education and School of Law Join Forces to Reform School Discipline

Pamela Fenning and Miranda Johnson move in two different worlds, but their passions intersect around reforming school discipline—moving from a punitive to a restorative model and addressing practices that disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities. So a few years back, they decided to join forces and bring the best of both the School of Education and the School of Law together to offer a certificate in School Discipline Reform—the first interdisciplinary certificate to be offered at Loyola.


Administration and Supervision Programs Moving Online

“Schools are open, leaders are leading, and the business of school is still going on,” said Debra Sullivan, the Administration and Supervision Program Chair for the School of Education. “The whole crux of this program, regardless of how it’s delivered, is that it’s grounded in job-imbedded learning. The core assignments are all real-world leadership activities that real principals do, and so online coursework is a really valid delivery method.”

School of Education named as one of the nation's top teacher prep programs for strong training in classroom management

Loyola’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program has been named among the top in the country for strong training in classroom management strategies by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization.

MEd. and Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction now The 3Cs—Curriculum, Culture, and Communities

For years, Loyola has maintained strong partnerships with neighborhood schools and community organizations in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhood. Through insight gained from that work and the fundamental question they were considering, Seungho Moon and David Ensminger have transformed the traditional Curriculum & Instruction programs into what they’re informally calling The 3 Cs—an MEd and EdD in Curriculum, Culture, and Communities.

Krolikowski Chair Using Video to Combat Trauma from Racism

Matt Miller, the newly named recipient of the Father Walter P. Krolikowski, S.J., Endowed Chair, has a deep passion for making mental health services relevant and accessible, and an equal passion for addressing the impact of racism on People of Color.

Pathways Initiative To Bring More Diversity to Evaluation Field

Loyola is one of five Chicago-area universities bringing to life the Pathways Initiative (PI), a new program designed to strengthen the diversity of the Chicago-area evaluation field.

Loyola Alumna and Golden Apple Award Recipient Reflects on Her Experience with the School of Education

“Rome changed me,” Perry recalled. “It hit me the hardest in the best way possible and made me a more reflective person. Loyola taught us to stay balanced."

Leading with Hope

"As a team, we were having conversations around maintaining Catholic identity and the things that are central to our mission—community, support, and faith development."