Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Council

Remarks by Tim Classen, Concerning 2017 Award Winner


Thank you. Good afternoon, I am Tim Classen, President of Loyola's Faculty Council. It has been a wonderful afternoon to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of faculty, hear from university leadership, and welcome new members to the Loyola community on this beautiful day. I have traveled out to Maywood from my home in Andersonville the last two years to present this award, so I am happy to be at Lakeshore campus for the first convocation for both HSD and Lakeshore faculty this year.

The Faculty Council's service committee, chaired this past year by James Conley from universities libraries, is tasked with reviewing and selecting the Faculty Member of the Year from a pool of incredibly accomplished faculty. I have been involved in these reviews the last several years and it is always a great challenge given the exceptional credentials of the faculty nominated for this award. It is my great privilege to be able to introduce this year's winners of Loyola's Faculty Member of the Year, Mark Kuczewski, professor of Medical Ethics in the Stritch School of Medicine and Maria Vidal de Haymes, professor in the School of Social Work.

Only once in the last 50 years of this award has it been given to more than one faculty member in a single year, but as we progressed with our deliberations this year, these two candidates stood out for their exceptional contributions to the Loyola community through teaching, research, and service. And in both cases their work has provided enormous benefit beyond Loyola. With their common interests and great efforts in improving the plight of immigrants, we realized that it was a fantastic opportunity to award both Mark and Maria. And it is a nice coincidence to award this to representatives from both our Lakeside and HSD campuses at this joint convocation. 

I would like to make clear that the qualifications for this award are not necessarily based on contributions that are particularly timely. But I acknowledge that in light of current political events I am gratified to be on a faculty with both of these scholars working on important issues related to the immigrant experience. 

Mark Kuczewski completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at Duquesne University following an undergraduate degree in psychology at NYU. He has been a member of the Loyola faculty since 2000 and now serves as the Director of the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy, chairs the Stritch School's Department of Medical Education, and is the Fr. Michael I. English professor of Medical Ethics. His research has included a focus on issues of the New Professionalism movement in medical education that emphasizes a commitment to social justice in medical practice. 

Mark has served on Loyola's University Collaborative on Undocumented Students for the last five years and has been instrumental in making the Stritch School to be the first medical school in the country to admit DACA students [the first cohort of which will graduate this coming spring]. His service nationally has included serving as President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and on the editorial boards of several leading journals in bioethics. Mark's efforts in working with medical students resulted in receiving the Transformative Education Award from Loyola's Department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs two years ago and the Moral Courage Award (with former Stritch Dean Linda Brubaker) from Faith in Public Life. 

On a personal note, one of the first events in which I was involved upon joining Loyola was a conference on Latino health organized by Mark and held at Cristo Rey High School in Pilsen. It provided a wonderful example of the integration of academic research with efforts at community outreach and efforts to improve the plight of the immigrant community that Mark has pursued during his career. 

Maria Vidal de Haymes completed her Ph.D. in social work at the Ohio State University following a Masters Degree at the University of Chicago and undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska. Since arriving at Loyola 25 years ago, Maria has made substantial contributions to the School of Social Work and its students through her teaching, service and research including numerous externally funded awards. She is the Founding Director of the Institute for Migration and International Social Work in the School of Social Work and has served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Poverty for over 20 years. Last year, her efforts were rewarded with the Partners in Advancing Education for International Social Work Award. This award highlighted Maria's "career mission to pursue grassroots consciousness raising amongst poor migrants to affect community and policy response to action." 

Maria's work, in the classroom, community, conferences and beyond, has focused on the experience of South and Central American immigrants and refugees in the U.S. and their economic and political acculturation in North America. For more than a decade, she has represented Loyola in the Jesuit Migration Academic Network. She has advised many students in the School of Social Work, taken them on numerous study abroad trips, and inspired them to pursue careers seeking to fulfill Loyola's mission of social justice for all peoples of this world.

In summary, I am exceptionally happy to present on behalf of Faculty Council Loyola's 2017 recipients of the Faculty Member of the Year Award to Mark and Maria for their wonderful scholarship, service to the university as well as many diverse communities and teaching and mentoring students as they both exhibit and enhance Loyola's goal of "working to expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice and faith". 

So, please join me in congratulating Mark Kuczewski and Maria Vidal de Haymes as this year's recipients of Loyola's Faculty members of the Year. We will now hear brief remarks from both recipients and present them with plaques to acknowledge this achievement.