Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Fall 2015

Award Recipients

Faculty Awardee


Award Name

F. Bryan Pickett Biology St. Ignatius Loyola Award for Excellence in Teaching
David Dennis History The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen
John Kelly Biology The Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

F. Bryan Pickett

Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Ignatius Loyola Award for Excellence in Teaching

Professor Pickett has made a lasting impression on the students of Loyola and, in the words of one of his students, "is an inspiration for the world of higher education."  Another student, in his nomination of Dr. Pickett for this award, stated, “Dr. Pickett was an invaluable teacher and adviser for me and I know for a fact that this is a popular opinion among his students. Dr Pickett as an example of what it means to be a Jesuit professor who cares for the whole person--his impact on his students is truly powerful."

Apparently the transformative quality of Dr. Pickett's work with students is mutual, as he states, "I cherish every student who in fact transformed me." In reflecting on his work with students in partnership with his wife, Dr. Pickett explains, “students are people who needed us to be there with them and for them, not some days or one day, but every day.”

Since joining Loyola in 1996, Dr. Pickett, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, has continued to significantly impact the academic and professional lives of his students through mentorship, both while students at Loyola and well beyond, and the promotion of social awareness.  He truly embodies the Ignatian values of commitment to excellence, global awareness, social justice, and cura personalis, and is entirely deserving of our University's most prestigious teaching award. 


David Dennis

Professor, Department of History

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Professor Dennis comes from a long line of educators, and he credits his family of teachers with instilling the importance of engaging honestly and directly with students as opposed to assuming a “professorial” air in the classroom.    When he enters the classroom, he recalls his days as a freshman student and speaks to the newest students at Loyola as equals, sharing the wonder he felt upon learning the material for the first time. 

Paramount to David’s teaching methodology is the emphasis on the Humanities as a record of personal responses to historical conditions.   In the words of one of his colleagues,  “Dr. Dennis makes it obvious to the students that the arts are a vital, necessary part of developing 'people for others' at the same time as helping to safeguard a ‘society for others.’ My sense from listening to some of the students is that they are really developing an awareness of how their own interaction with, support of, or participation in various artistic and cultural venues is a genuine contribution to society.”

David earned his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1991, and has taught in the Department of History at Loyola since 1992.  His most recent book is Inhumanities: Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 


John Kelly

Professor, Department of Biology

The Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen

Professor Kelly believes actively engaging students in the learning process is critical to their success.  Specifically, he incorporates a learning technique known as “think-pair-share,” in which he poses a thought-provoking question to the students to encourage discussion with neighboring students as well as the larger group.  John is also a firm believer that the development of community and involvement in service are two of the most important aspects of the college experience.  Specifically, he encourages student involvement in the broader scientific community, which helps dispel the notion that science is simply a list of facts and is actually a community activity that engages people from all over the world in a search for knowledge. 

John maintains an open-door policy with his students and is grateful for the support the Loyola environment provides in caring for the student as a whole person. In the words of one of his students, “Professor Kelly is a fantastic teacher, utilizing various methods to reach students and keep learning active and engaging for different types of learners.  He cared greatly for us and our learning.” 

John received his PhD from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1998, and has taught in the Department of Biology at Loyola since 2001.