Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

2023-2024 Winners

2024 St. Ignatius Award for Excellence in Teaching Winner

Ping Jing, PhD

Associate Professor

School of Environmental Sustainability

Ping Jing is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Sustainability. She has been a member of the Loyola community since 2009. She holds a PhD degree in Atmospheric Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the impacts of climate change on weather patterns and air pollution. She has actively engaged in enhancing STEM education for undergraduates, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds in science. By integrating experiential learning projects into her research activities, she has facilitated the involvement of over 20 students in funded research. She has taught 11 courses at Loyola, including Climate Change, Energy and the Environment, and Environmental Sustainability in China. Her commitment to educational excellence and mentorship is not just a professional obligation but a personal mission to inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.

A nominating administrator stated, "Dr. Jing substantially exceeds expectations in the classroom, as well as in her advising, mentoring, teaching to mission, and actively engaging students in the learning process. In AY 22-23, Dr. Jing taught 159 undergraduate students in ENVS 224 Climate Change and advised 18 undergraduate students and 2 graduate students in research on air pollution, climate change, and biodiesel. Dr. Jing is also engaging in 2 course research projects in her Climate Change class: in one project, students will wear air quality monitoring vests to measure air pollution in their neighborhoods, and, in the other project, students will take thermal infrared images of their buildings. In both projects, she and the students will be engaging community partners to disseminate their research results and working with them to find solutions that work for each community."

View the video below to see Dr. Jing accept her award and talk about her approach to teaching.


2024 Alice B. Hayes Award for Advising and Mentoring Winner

Paula Tallman, PhD

Assistant Professor

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Anthropology

Dr. Paula Skye Tallman is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology here at Loyola and a Research Associate in the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum of Natural History. She received her BA from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD from Northwestern University. Dr. Tallman’s research integrates perspectives and methods from anthropology and global health to examine how environmental factors are linked to human health in South America and Southeast Asia. Her most recent action-oriented research examines the relationship between water insecurity and women’s health in Peru and Indonesia and supports environmental education and gender equality in local communities. In total, Dr. Tallman has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles and received over $1 million in funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the Schmitt Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the British Academy. She also runs two leadership coaching programs for graduate students at Loyola and stays busy with her kids, Cliff and Hazel.

A nominating student stated, "Dr. Tallman eagerly agreed to be my research mentor after I met with her after her class. I am continually impressed by her dedication to my project, despite everything else she has going on in her life, between bigger projects, teaching, parenting, mentoring other students, and fighting through difficult health issues. Dr. Tallman makes an effort to understand my personal and academic interests and goals, and she sets me up for success in reaching them. Because of my work with her on her research and my own research project, I feel more confident in taking other job and research opportunities. I am reaching academic goals I never thought I could because of her ongoing communication and mentorship."

View the video below to see Dr. Tallman accept her award and talk about her approach to teaching.


2024 Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching First Years Winners

René Luís Alvarez, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor

Arrupe College


Dr. René Luís Alvarez is a Chicago native who earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Loyola University Chicago’s College of Arts and Sciences. He also holds a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration from New York University and a Master of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Dr. Alvarez earned his PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty of Arrupe College as a part-time adjunct instructor when the College opened in 2015. Since 2016, Dr. Alvarez has served at Arrupe as a full-time faculty instructor and academic advisor. He was promoted to the rank of Clinical Associate Professor in 2021. At Arrupe, Dr. Alvarez teaches two survey courses of Western Civilization and two survey courses of United States History, as well as a course of Mexican American History. Dr. Alvarez currently is nearing the end of his two-year term as Arrupe’s Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs for Faculty Development, and is the faculty advisor for Arrupe’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society for two-year degree granting institutions. His current research interests focus on improving history education, specifically the teaching and learning of the past among first-generation, low-income students in higher education. In his spare time, Dr. Alvarez enjoys listening to the music of Bruce Springsteen, tending to his house plants, and watching reruns of the original "Law & Order."

A nominating faculty member stated, "While many first-year students may have started college with a preconceived notion of studying history, Dr. Alvarez engages them at a richer level. Instead of simply memorizing names and facts, he asks his students to take on the role of professional historians. They read and analyze primary and secondary sources. These sources then become the basis for detailed class discussions and interpretations. Dr. Alvarez’s classes also incorporate a variety of class tours and field trips to university partners, including the Special Collections and University Archives in Cudahy Library, the Women and Leadership Archives in Piper Hall, and the Loyola Museum of Art. These visits allow students to make their own interpretations about people and societies using text-based evidence and ancillary secondary source materials."

View the video below to see Dr. Alvarez accept his award and talk about his approach to teaching.


Michael Nguyen, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor

Arrupe College

Environmental Sciences

Dr. Michael L. Nguyen is a Clinical Associate Professor at Arrupe College. He earned his BS degree in Geology from Juniata College before pursuing a PhD in Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His dissertation research focused on iron and carbon cycling, and the fate and transport of nanomaterials. Since joining Arrupe College in 2018, Dr. Nguyen has taught courses in Environmental Science and Chemistry and has served as an academic advisor. He is currently working on creating a course-based research experience for Arrupe College’s environmental science laboratory course in collaboration with faculty and staff at the School of Environmental Sustainability. In his spare time, Dr. Nguyen enjoys fishing, cycling, cooking, and playing tennis.

A nominating administrator stated, "Dr. Nguyen is a highly effective and engaging teacher who helps first year students (the majority of whom are first generation students of color) develop confidence and proficiency in science and an ardent commitment to environmental sustainability. In the words of one first year student, 'Thank you very much, Professor Nguyen. Thank you for having patience with us. The subject is tough to understand and it's difficult to find interest in, but your connections and real-life statistics made me fall in love with helping the environment. I have changed my lifestyle and I feel very happy about it. Thank you for teaching me concepts and skills that I will take with me in my personal life. I love the environment and I'm so happy I took this course with you.'"


2024 Magis Award for Part-Time Instructors Winner

Marina Ross, MFA

Adjunct Instructor

College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Marina Ross is an artist and instructor based in Chicago. She earned her MFA in painting from the University of Iowa in 2018 and her BFA in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in New York; Saint Petersburg, Russia; and throughout Chicago at Baby Blue Gallery, ARTRUSS, SULK, Goldfinch Gallery, Heaven Gallery, and The Franklin, among others. She received an Illinois Arts Council Grant and the Stanley Award for International Graduate Research from the University of Iowa to attend the Saint Petersburg Artist Residency in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She also runs a critique group for professional artists in Chicago. 

A nominating faculty member stated, "Ross' projects challenge students to explore their own personal relationships with their identities through creative output. She looks at issues of culture, trauma, and identity within her projects, and creates a safe space within her classroom for students to explore. She is deeply empathetic with her students, who often reach out to her for issues outside of her courses. In her classes, she asks students to visit several art exhibition spaces throughout the city, including non-profit spaces, to widen their sense of the community they work in. As well, she facilitates dialogs in which students of a variety of backgrounds work together toward a greater understanding."


2024 Peter Hans Kolvenbach Award for Engaged Teaching Winner

Amy Kyhos, MBA

Executive Lecturer

Quinlan School of Business

Department of Management

Amy Kyhos is the graduate program director for the Quinlan School of Business executive degrees, director of the Executive and Professional Education Center, and an executive lecturer. She teaches organizational behavior, international management, strategic management, international business, and organizational development and change. She served as visiting professor at Universidad del País Vasco in Bilbao, Spain, teaching international management. She was awarded a course development grant from Loyola's Hank Center, which led to the establishment of MGMT 399: Leadership and Management in the Jesuit Tradition. In this course, she leads a study abroad trip for her students in northern Spain. During 2014-22, Amy served as director of the Quinlan Honors Program. She is a member of the Ricci Scholars Faculty Advisory Board and teaches in the Executive and Professional Education Center for custom program clients and in the Mini-MBA program. For five years, Amy was the faculty lead for Quinlan's annual undergraduate case competition. During 2022, Amy was Quinlan's Faculty Director of Career Development. Amy joined the Department of Management in 2009 and brings her students twenty years of business experience from her previous career working with corporate, agency, and association clients at Allstate Corporation and with global agencies Golin and FleishmanHillard.

A nominating student stated that Professor Kyhos "is always connecting class to the real world, examples from her life, or making us realize connections we have to class in our lives that we might not have realized before, and always making us collaborate with our classmates and allowing us to meet new people and new friends." She is also "always teaching about what it means to be human and the psychology that goes into management, always inspiring us to be empathetic towards others and to think critically about the world around us and things we might not see normally."

View the video below to see Amy Kyhos accept her award and talk about her approach to teaching.