Loyola University Chicago

News & Features


A creative response to gun violence


Mia Zierk (left) and Langtian He take turns printing posters at the Delicious Design League, a local design/illustration company. The two were part of artist-in-residence Rick Valicenti’s “Heartbreak” course, which encourages students to examine gun violence through an artistic lens. (Photo: Nicole Ferentz)

By Drew Sottardi  


That’s how many people were killed in Chicago in 2016, according to Police Department statistics, making it the deadliest year in the city in two decades.

It’s a staggering number, so large that it can be difficult for many people to comprehend. For college students in particular, Chicago’s homicide problem can seem a world away—something that only happens in certain parts of the city and that doesn’t affect them at all.

Loyola artist-in-residence Rick Valicenti wants to change that line of thinking. He hopes to move beyond the raw data and show that there are actual victims behind the statistics. And he’s doing it through art.

Since the beginning of the year, Valicenti has been teaching 20 students in a capstone class called “Heartbreak: Responses to Chicago Gun Violence.” The course brings together fine arts students and visual communication majors to flex their creative muscles and examine gun violence through an artistic lens.

It’s a philosophy Valicenti calls “moving design”—or, in his words, “to see what happens when design and creativity enter the conversation around a difficult issue.”

“Our focus has been in response to gun violence and how we, as empathetic creative individuals, can awaken civility, public awareness, and policy discourse—and all the while renew respect for life,” Valicenti said.

A personal perspective

To help his students better understand Chicago’s gun violence, Valicenti brought in a series of guest speakers. They included aldermen, activists, an emergency room physician, and a young Chicago woman who has lost more than 20 loved ones to gun violence.

For Valicenti, who has worked on moving design projects around the world, using art to shine a light on social issues is nothing new. But for many of his students, this merger of art and social justice has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Jack McCusker, a junior majoring in visual communication as well as advertising and public relations, is part of a team working on four zines, or mini-magazines, about gun violence. The zines will feature text and images and be distributed to local businesses, hopefully to spark conversations among customers and residents.

One way students are doing that is to tell the stories of homicide victims beyond the generic information you would find in a police report. So instead of listing someone as “a 21-year-old black male,” the students might create a word cloud about the victim that says “talented singer, best friend, uncle.”

That made more sense than just trying to tell people about the issue, McCusker said. 

“People know what’s going on,” he said. “They don’t really know what to do about it. So we’re trying to get people to care about an issue that they already know about.”

Fellow visual communication major Timberlene Gilliam, also a junior, said she had grown immune to all of the news about homicides in Chicago—until she started working on one of the zines.

“One of the people we’re featuring died the day before my birthday last year,” she said. “While I was out celebrating with friends, he was fighting for his life. That definitely changed my perspective.”

Fine arts majors in the class did their part as well, creating paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and ceramic pieces to put their own spin on the issue. Those works will be displayed in the University’s Ralph Arnold Gallery during the upcoming Weekend of Excellence.

An inspiring installation

But the main piece to come out of the class will be a large, hands-on art installation on the East Quad that starts at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The project will mimic a forest filled with fallen trees, a powerful metaphor for the lives cut down by gun violence in the city, Valicenti said. Rounding out the piece will be several long white tubes, on which students will write the first names of every homicide victim in Chicago from 2016 and early 2017.

It’s a simple act, Valicenti said, but having each student write roughly 40 names also serves a much bigger purpose. “It’s a solitary moment that causes you to reflect and connect with a lost soul,” he said.

Visitors will be invited to stand amid the installation and watch dancers and hear remarks from people affected by gun violence. They’ll also be encouraged to pick up the tubes and carry them in a procession to Palm Court in the Mundelein Center, where the pieces can be restored to their upright position.

Valicenti hopes the installation will help people realize that gun violence isn’t an issue confined to only a few neighborhoods in Chicago. It affects us all—and we all must play a role in helping to solve the problem.

“If we can inspire 20 people to do one thing about gun violence, we will have succeeded,” Valicenti said. “And if each of them can inspire 20 more, then we might be able to actually move toward a better place regarding the issue.”

• Click here for more information about the Ralph Arnold Gallery, including hours of operation and location.
• And click here for a Q&A with Rick Valicenti, written by student Alexandra Senycia, president of the Loyola Art History Club.

Five Loyola alumnae win NSF awards


Kaitlyn Lovato (BS ’16) is one of five Loyola alumni to receive a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The award provides a $34,000 yearly stipend and tuition allowance to students who pursue research-based master’s or doctorate degrees at accredited institutions in the United States.

‌Much like her research, Kaitlyn Lovato (BS ’16) is proof that determination and persistence are the keys to success.

A 2016 McNair Scholar at Loyola and now a first-year graduate student at Rice University in Houston, Lovato is working to develop chemical technology that could revolutionize the drug development industry.

Lovato is one of five Loyola alumni to receive a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The award provides a $34,000 yearly stipend and tuition allowance to students who pursue research-based master’s or doctorate degrees at accredited institutions in the United States.

“I’m kind of the person who needs to define things,” she said. “I just wasn’t going to go into undergrad without a major. I knew that I liked chemistry in high school, and surprisingly it worked out well.”

She found her passion at Loyola while working on an antibiotic project in the chemistry lab of Daniel Becker, PhD. After learning about bacteria resistance and different ways to combat it, she decided that she wanted to pursue medicinal chemistry.

Right now, Lovato and her team at Rice University hope to discover new methods of synthesizing biaryl compounds—such as antibiotics and even anti-cancers. Specifically, she said, they’ve found a compound with antibiotic activity; this discovery could help fight antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

After graduation, Lovato says she is planning to pursue a career in drug development and to work on finding ways to defeat these drug-resistant strains.

Though this is only her second semester of research in graduate school, Lovato has found that when it comes to success, nothing is guaranteed. For each negative result, she gets one step closer to a positive one.

“In research or in life, you may think you’ve failed but that’s not the end of that path,” she said. “Stay motivated because success will come in the end.”

The other 2017 fellowship recipients are:

Emma Zajdela (’16), mathematics and theoretical physics, pursuing a doctorate in decision-making and risk analysis. “My research will look at successful scientific collaborations in the Middle East, often referred to as science diplomacy, and use game theory to identify and model factors that contribute to their success."

Kema Malki (’15), molecular biology, pursuing a doctorate in microbial biology at the University of South Florida. “I am currently characterizing the bacterial and viral communities within some of Florida’s freshwater springs and am interested in learning not only about what the present communities look like but how they change in response to anthropogenic impacts.”

Sarah Naiman (’14), environmental science, pursuing a master of science in environmental communications at Cornell University.  “The research will investigate the presence and influence of misperceived norms on Latino environmental behaviors. I then plan to explore the ways in which normative messaging can correct a misperceived norm and promote environmental behavior among Latinos.”

‌Megan Baumann (’08), sociology and history, pursuing a doctorate in geography at Penn State. “My field research in 2016 and 2017 was/is funded by Bioversity International, an agricultural research-for-development institution working on the tricot approach, a structure in which farmers trial various dry bean varieties that may be well-suited for the climatic conditions in their regions. As I move from my master's degree into doctoral research, my research will investigate farmers' local knowledge of their landscapes related to their management of seeds.”

Honorable mention:  Marie Turano (’16), chemistry and biochemistry, is in the first-year of her PhD program at Loyola University Chicago, working with Dan Killelea, PhD. “I’m investigating how the chemical and physical properties of metal surfaces are affected by high concentrations of oxygen atoms absorbed on the surface and into the topmost portion of the bulk solid.”

If you are interested in applying for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship or other esteemed scholarships and fellowships, please contact Lisa Knepshield and Jim Calcagno, PhD, at the Fellowship Office: LUC.edu/fellowshipoffice.

A top Peace Corps producer

03-09-17-Peace Corps-rankings-story

Peace Corps volunteer Molly O’Brien, who graduate from Loyola in 2014, hosted an English and leadership development camp for students in Thailand earlier this year. ”I was so proud to see all of my students come together and have fun, make new friends, and learn,” she says.

From Nicaragua to Indonesia—and plenty of points in between—Loyola University Chicago alumni are serving in the Peace Corps to make the world a better place.

Explore an interactive map of where Loyola’s graduates are serving.
Click here for the full Peace Corps list of top volunteer-producing schools.

2017: No. 14
2016: Unranked
2015: No. 24
2014: No. 16
2013: No. 18

With 18 Ramblers currently volunteering around the world, Loyola ranked No. 14 among medium-sized schools on the Peace Corps’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. Since the Peace Corps began in 1961, 476 Loyola alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

Molly O’Brien, a 2014 Loyola graduate, is now serving as a youth-in-development volunteer in Thailand. As a student, O’Brien participated in alternative break immersions and service groups like Loyola4Chicago, while earning bachelor’s degrees in history and communication.

She said the University’s emphasis on service and social justice prepared her well for Peace Corps service.

“I saw volunteering not as something you just did to take up time, but as a way to learn about the world and all of the wonderful people in it,” O’Brien said. “Loyola often encourages students to consider a year or two of volunteering after graduating, but it wasn’t a brochure or website that convinced me. It was my entire Loyola experience.”

In Thailand, O’Brien improves leadership and life skills among youth by promoting volunteerism, improving English speaking skills, and teaching communication and critical thinking skills within her community.

“My community recently hosted an English and leadership development camp, and I was so proud to see all of my students come together and have fun, make new friends, and learn,” O’Brien said. “They are teaching me just as much as I am teaching them, and they make every day worth it.”

After she completes her service in 2018, O’Brien hopes to work for a nonprofit organization focused on overcoming barriers that women in developing countries face. Her dream job, she said, is to work for the United Nations and improve girls’ education across the world.

Loyola was joined on the list by two other universities in Illinois, earning the state the unique distinction of being among only 11 states and the District of Columbia with three or more ranked schools. 

The 18 Loyola alumni now serving in the Peace Corps are in the following countries: China (3 volunteers); Morocco (3); Tanzania (2); Albania (1); Benin (1); Guinea (1); Indonesia (1); Mongolia (1); Namibia (1); Nicaragua (1); Thailand (1); Togo (1); and Uganda (1).

History on display

History on Display

Archivist Kathy Young recommends that visitors to the Special Collections dedication ceremony on Friday see at least the nine items above. Click on the photo to learn more about each. 

Tucked away on the second floor of Cudahy Library, just steps from the stacks and students, sits one of Loyola’s hidden gems: the Archives & Special Collections department.

Recently renovated and home to more than 14,000 rare books, archival collections, and artifacts, this section of the University Libraries is a slice of historical heaven. But it’s not just for bibliophiles or history buffs.

To celebrate the updated space the University is hosting a dedication ceremony on Friday, February 24. The event will run from 3- 5 p.m. and include a special blessing by Stephen Schloesser, S.J., chair of the Department of History.

The dedication is the perfect chance for anyone interested in the collections to stop by and learn more, said archivist Kathy Young. Among the items that will be on display: photo albums from St. Ignatius College and Loyola University; 19th century political cartoons by George Cruikshank; and 21st century editorial cartoons by Scott Stantis.

For Young, who has been at Loyola for 15 years, it’s a joy to welcome students and non-academics to her department. Many of them have never seen a rare book—let alone had a chance to turn the pages of one.

“It’s fun to see how the students react to being here,” she said. “We had a French class come in and use 200-year-old books. That definitely got them excited.”


The University Archives & Special Collections department is open throughout the year. Click here for more information, including hours and days of operation. 

Fun and philanthropy


Students give it their all during Delta Sigma Phi’s annual tug-of-war tournament, which raises money for the American Red Cross. Last year, Loyola’s 20 sorority and fraternity chapters raised more than $136,000 for various charities. (Photo: Murillo Goncalves)

By Neha Simon  |  Student reporter

Although it makes up only 15 percent of the school’s enrollment, Loyola’s Sorority & Fraternity Life is one of the strongest community service efforts on campus. In the past year, Loyola’s 20 sorority and fraternity chapters raised more than $136,000 for charity and logged over 6,000 service hours volunteering throughout Chicago.

To learn more about Loyola’s sororities and fraternities, visit the Student Activities & Greek Affairs (SAGA) website.

Sorority & Fraternity Life started at Loyola in 1924 and has since flourished into a 1,400-member group attracting students from all ends of campus. Founded on the ideas of brotherhood and sisterhood, many students find their closest friends in their Greek family.

Senior Nick Kimble is the past president of Tau Kappa Epsilon. He went through recruitment the fall of his freshman year—and immediately identified with the tenets of his fraternity.

“I really got along with the strong, driven culture that my fraternity stood for,” Kimble said. “We are a close group and seeing my brothers grow and change over the past four years has been one of the best parts of my college experience.”

The Sorority & Fraternity Life community at Loyola is organized into three types of councils: Interfraternity, Panhellenic, and Multicultural. There are six organizations each in the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils, and eight in the Multicultural Greek Council.

While all sororities and fraternities help students bond, plan activities, and volunteer in the community, the multicultural sororities and fraternities place a high value on culture and diversity. Most of the multicultural chapters are on campus, but there are a few that meet elsewhere and have members from Loyola and other universities in the area. 

Loyola senior Aksa Rashid is the past president of the Multicultural Greek Council and has been a member of Delta Phi Lambda, a sorority that advocates Asian awareness, since the fall of her sophomore year.

“I didn’t even know multicultural sororities existed before I came to Loyola,” Rashid said. “But once I joined, my eyes were opened to all the good work they do and how much they care. Plus, Loyola doesn’t exactly uphold the stereotype of Greek life.”

The stereotype that usually runs through people’s minds revolves around a Greek Row—a block of large houses that headquarter each fraternity and sorority. But the city of Chicago prohibits these houses, leaving Loyola chapter leaders to think outside the box to come up with activities.

“It pushes us to be more creative in event planning and gets us engaging with the community instead of staying inside a house,” said Kimble, who spearheads his fraternity’s “Jokes for St. Jude” event that brings a Second City show to campus to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Last year the event raised $15,000.

Loyola’s unique Sorority & Fraternity community is anchored in its philanthropy work, proven by the impressive amount of money the groups raise and hours they devote to service. It may not fit the standard idea of fraternity and sorority life, but it symbolizes much more than that to the students who are a part of it.

“I think Loyola’s community represents the best of what Greek life was intended to be: a closely connected community driven by service,” Kimble said.

See the world differently

See the world differently

• Click on the picture above to see images of students abroad.
Go here for details about Wednesday’s Study Abroad Fair. 

Last year, more than 800 Loyola undergraduates studied in another country. Some went as far away as China; others stayed closer to home and studied in Mexico or Cuba.

But regardless of where they went, they all got to experience life in a foreign land while earning credit toward their degrees.

And they all came back transformed.

“Before I went to China, an upperclassman told me that studying abroad would be the highlight of my college experience,” said Saeger Godson, a Loyola senior who spent his entire junior year in Beijing. “And I would absolutely agree with that. I came back so much more enlightened about how the world perceives me as an American and how the world actually works.”

The first step

On Wednesday, February 1, Loyola will host its spring Study Abroad Fair in the Damen Student Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair, which is free and open to all students, will feature alumni who have studied overseas, as well as staff members who can answer questions about Loyola’s many study abroad programs.

“The fair is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about studying abroad,” said Kelly Heath, associate director of the University’s study abroad programs. “We’ll have tables set up for each program and a lot of helpful information. It’s a great first step for anyone who is curious about the process.”

For more information, visit Loyola’s Study Abroad website. You can also read what Loyola students have to say about their time abroad on the Go Global blog.

Loyola offers a truly global education. It has a campus in Rome and a center in Vietnam—and its students can choose from more than 150 programs in 70 countries. Here are some highlights from 2015-16:
• 865 Loyola undergraduates studied abroad
• The top destinations were Rome (358 students), Spain (115), and England (62)
• Loyola students earned more than 8,000 credit hours while abroad
• They were awarded a total of $275,498 in study abroad scholarships

Loyola’s online programs shine in latest rankings


Loyola’s online bachelor’s degree programs are ranked No. 21 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Loyola University Chicago’s online bachelor’s degree programs are among the best in the country, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

Released in early January, the 2017 Best Online Programs list places Loyola at No. 21 in the nation for bachelor’s degrees, tied with two other universities. Loyola is one of only two Illinois universities to crack the Top 50 in the rankings, which include more than 300 public and private colleges.

Loyola began offering one online bachelor’s program in fall 2011, with 26 students enrolled. Today, more than 360 students are enrolled throughout six online bachelor’s degree programs: the RN-to-BSN; applied studies; applied psychology; criminal justice; information technology; and management.

Sarah Dysart, director of online learning at Loyola, said the University’s program has grown quickly because it meets the demands of today’s students.

“Across the country, more and more students are seeking out the flexibility of online courses,” Dysart said. “A lot of times they are in a situation where they can’t do the traditional four years on a college campus, and online courses give them the chance to get their degree while still living their lives.”

The U.S. News & World Report rankings were based on four general categories: student engagement; faculty credentials; services and technology; and peer reputation. Loyola scored especially well in the first two categories, Dysart said.

“The programs all have a strong emphasis on allowing students to engage with each other and with the faculty member who is teaching them,” she said. “We have several different technologies, from discussion boards to video conferencing software, to make our online programs as engaging as possible.”

Faculty members at the University receive training to help them teach online, Dysart said. The instructors also have excellent credentials, and most of them have terminal degrees in their field. “They truly are experts in what they teach,” she said.

And Loyola also has made it a point to give its online students the same services that on-campus students receive, Dysart said. That means online learners can access the Writing Center or the Career Development Center, for instance, to help them find a job after completing their degree.

Dysart believes the recent growth in online learning at Loyola is only going to continue as more people embrace the idea and see how well it works.

“Studies show that online learning can be just as effective—if not more effective—than face-to-face environments,” she said.

To learn more, visit Loyola’s online learning website.

‘O Holy Night’

Hear two Loyola students sing a stirring duet of this Christmas classic—plus see the University decked out for the holidays.

Loyola Limited to hire, mentor local teens


Under the initiative, high school students will get a chance to work in one of Loyola Limited’s businesses (such as Felice’s, above).

By Elizabeth Czapski  |  Student reporter

Helping the community is Loyola Limited’s latest addition to its business agenda. The student-run enterprise, which operates businesses such as Felice’s restaurant and Chainlinks bike shop, recently submitted a proposal for an initiative to employ six students from Sullivan High School in Rogers Park.


Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into one of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

Nick Coulson, Loyola Limited’s director of human resources, and Sean Connolly, assistant director of Loyola Limited, presented the proposal in October as part of “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World,” Loyola’s five-year strategic plan. The proposal—the first Plan 2020 initiative to be developed and brought forth by Loyola students—falls under the fourth institutional priority of the plan, which focuses on developing partnerships within the local community.

Coulson said after hearing about Plan 2020, Loyola Limited thought it could help them turn an existing idea into a reality.

“[This is] something we’ve always wanted to do, but we just never had the means within our own budget to do it,” he said.

Coulson and Connolly’s idea was to hire six high school students to work at Loyola Limited businesses. Loyola Limited will also add a new student position—high school employment program coordinator—to oversee the program.

Employment sites include Felice’s, Chainlinks, and the Loyola Limited office. High school students will gain experience at all three as they rotate throughout the duration of the program.

The proposal, Connolly said, provides a safe after-school activity for teens and will provide them with transferable skills as they prepare for college and careers. The high school students will also get a head start on planning for the future with campus tours, assistance with applications, and seminars on resume building.

“It’s more than just working within our own businesses,” Coulson said. “It is giving them a full-fledged program experience.”

The proposal is meant to benefit not just the Sullivan High School students but everyone involved. Loyola Limited’s regular student employees will have the chance to mentor high school students working there, serving as role models and giving advice when needed. “I’ve seen what a connection between a high school student and a college student like myself can do,” Coulson said.

Connolly hopes that during the program’s first year, which begins in 2017, the high school and college students—as well as the Sullivan and Loyola administrations—will view the program positively. After that, the program could increase the number of high school students employed at Loyola, although six is a promising start, Coulson said.

“Obviously right now it’s only six students, but that’s six lives that we’re now able to impact,” he said.

Faith and social justice

In this first installment of our Loyola Lens video series, James Prehn, S.J., discusses faith and social justice—and how they are at the heart of a Loyola education.

Celebrate the season


Start the Christmas season at Loyola in style—and with a visit from Santa Claus—at the annual tree lighting celebration in the Damen Student Center. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

Another Christmas season has arrived. From alumni holiday gatherings to caroling downtown, there are endless ways to celebrate on campus and around Chicago. So grab your coats and scarves and enjoy!

Damen Student Center tree lighting
Dec. 1, 5 p.m.
Start the Christmas season at Loyola with the annual tree lighting celebration in the Damen Student Center. Details.

Caroling at Cloud Gate
Fridays through Dec. 16
Bundle up and get ready to belt out some holiday classics during Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. This festive series is part concert, part sing-along at the world-famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” 201 E. Randolph St. Details.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
Dec. 2-4, 9-23, 26-31; Jan. 1
Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo for a fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday activities throughout the grounds. 2200 N. Stockton Drive. Details.

Black Alumni holiday Jingle Mingle
Dec. 3, 7 – 10 p.m.
It’s time once again to gather as a community and celebrate the holiday season. The Black Alumni Board invites you to join fellow Rambler graduates for the fifth annual holiday Jingle Mingle, an evening of food, drinks, friendship, and fun. Lewis Towers, 16th Floor. Details.

Polar Palooza
Dec. 3, 12 – 8 p.m.
Dec. 4, 12 – 6 p.m.

Polar Palooza, the annual two-day outdoor winter festival for Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods, is back and co-hosted by Loyola University Chicago, the Rogers Park Business Alliance, the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, and Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward. Enjoy food from local restaurants, live music, synthetic skating, a meet-and-greet with Santa, and—on Sunday—a visit from a live reindeer. New attractions this year include a beer garden, holiday movies at The New 400 Movie Theater, and a merry-go-round. 6601 N. Sheridan Road. Details.

Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan
Dec. 6 – Jan. 8
The story of Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child has had great appeal throughout the world as a story of a family facing both hardship and hope. See how artists across the globe have depicted the Nativity at this annual Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) exhibition. 820 N. Michigan Avenue. Details.

Loyola Gives
Operated in conjunction with the Catholic Charities: Sponsor-A-Family program, Loyola Gives sponsors families by raising funds and purchasing needed items and gifts for the holidays. Details.
• Gift drop-off
Water Tower Campus: Dec. 6., Baumhart Hall, Terry Student Center Lobby
Health Sciences Campus: Dec. 7., Cuneo Center, Room 270
Lake Shore Campus: Dec. 8., Damen Student Center, Atrium

An Advent Spirit of Hospitality
Dec. 7, 6:30 – 9 p.m.
After a brief biblical grounding, the group will explore art, music, and prayers in preparation for the feast of Christmas. Special attention will also be given to the popular religious practice of las posadas, which brings to life the experience of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter and a place for Jesus’s birth. Cuneo Mansion and Gardens. 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. Details.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec. 8, 5:15 – 6 p.m.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day for those who follow the Catholic tradition. Come celebrate Mass at Madonna della Strada Chapel. Details.

Dec. 8, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Joyola! returns this season for a grandiose evening of holiday celebration showcasing a mix of sacred and secular works. The night will feature performances by the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Women’s Chorus, University Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. Mundelein Center. 1020 W. Sheridan Road. Details.

Desserts in December
Dec. 9, 5 – 7 p.m.
Need a break from studying or just a few sweets in your life? Students, faculty, and staff are invited to Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs’ annual event for holiday treats. Damen Student Center, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, Multipurpose Room. Details.

Advent Vespers
Dec. 10, 5 p.m.
Join Mundelein alumnae and friends to celebrate this Advent-Christmas season. We will begin the evening with our tradition of Advent Vespers followed by a reception, and then we will enjoy Lessons and Carols, the Christmas mystery presented in song and scripture. Piper Hall. Details.

Lessons and Carrols
Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 11, 3 p.m.
Loyola’s most popular holiday event returns. In the tradition of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, the world-renowned Christmas Eve worship service at King’s College Chapel, this service features a series of lessons juxtaposed with liturgical music performed by the University’s choral ensembles. Madonna della Strada Chapel. Details.

Alumni Christmas lunch
Dec. 13, 11:30 a.m.
Join President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, this Christmas season for the annual alumni Christmas luncheon. Lewis Towers, 16th Floor. Details.

Finals Breakfast
Dec. 13, 9 p.m.
This free late-night breakfast for students is a Finals Week tradition at Loyola. Finals Breakfast provides students a chance to take a study break, refuel, and catch up with friends before the last stretch of exams. Faculty and staff serve students meals to provide support and boost morale during this stressful time of the semester. Gentile Arena. Details.

Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Dec. 14, noon – 1 p.m.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a holy day for those who follow the Catholic tradition. Come celebrate Mass at Madonna della Strada Chapel. Details.

Advent weekly Mass
Dec. 14, noon
Enter into the Advent season of preparation and prayer. Those interested may request to pray through Advent with the accompaniment of a spiritual director. Health Sciences Campus, Cuneo Center, Room 250. Details.

Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 17, 9 a.m.
Hosted by GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade), this event features a morning of crafts and activities to celebrate the holidays. A continental breakfast will be provided and Santa will be ready for pictures. Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Family Matters of Rogers Park. Damen Student Center, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, Multipurpose Room. Details.

Christmas at Christine’s’
Through Dec. 23
This new holiday musical puts a spin on the Christmas season. Journey across the world, as Christine Bunuan sings her way through the holiday songbook and a lifetime of yuletide. Silk Road Rising theater. 77 W. Washington St. Details.

Christkindlmarket Chicago
Through Dec. 24
Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. The unique shopping experience—paired with traditional German food, drinks, and entertainment—makes the market a must-see for the holidays. 50 W. Washington St. Details.

Winter WonderFest
Through Jan. 8
For the 16th year in a row, families from near and far will flock to Navy Pier and bask in seasonal bliss without bundling up. The PNC Bank Winter WonderFest returns with more than 24 rides and attractions and 170,000 square feet of indoor entertainment for all ages. 600 E. Grand Ave. Details.

Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Through Jan. 8
This holiday staple at the Museum of Science and Industry features international Christmas decorations—and even indoor “snow.” Guests can celebrate festive traditions from around the globe with a forest of beautifully adorned trees, each one decorated by local volunteers from Chicago’s diverse communities. 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. Details.

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’
Through Jan. 8
Tis the season to celebrate everyone’s favorite “Peanuts” pals as they dig past the commercialized gimmicks of presents and decorations to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Through a pageant and a spindly tree, Charlie Brown and friends bring the holiday spirit back to life for families once again. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St. Details.

Ice skating at Millennium Park
Through March 5
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park kicks off the winter season with skating and special programming. Admission is free and open to the public, with skate rentals available for $12. Michigan Avenue between Washington Street and Madison Street. Details.

Loyola adds to its study abroad lineup


Students can now enroll in new faculty-led study abroad programs to Iceland (above), Cuba, and Panama.

By Neha Simon  |  Student reporter

Loyola’s newest set of courses will take students not only outside the classroom, but outside the country.

The Office of International Programs is now offering faculty-led study abroad programs to Iceland, Panama, and Cuba. (The University already offers nearly 20 faculty-led programs to other countries.) The three new courses are centered on community engagement with activities that encourage students to take their knowledge from notebook to action.

“Students really enjoy the opportunity to bond with the faculty and dive deep into the curriculum in a hands-on way,” said Kelly Heath, associate director of the University’s study abroad programs. Each three-credit course is narrowly tailored to explore a specific issue pertinent to the region and highlights the expertise of the faculty who lead them.

Panama City, Panama

When: Spring Break
Class: TLSC 231: Teaching Writing and Science in Elementary Schools
Taught by: Lara Smetana, PhD, and Sarah Cohen, PhD

Elementary education or special education majors can learn to teach writing and science in a nine-day field-based course in Panama. This course will let students dive deep into the techniques of teaching in various school and non-school contexts. The class also will visit the Panama Canal locks and the Smithsonian’s Barro Colorado Island ecological research center to help students understand the science and engineering elements of the Next Generation Science Standards. Learn more here.

Havana, Cuba

When: Summer
Class: PLSC 300: Cuba Today—Politics and Society
Taught by: Peter M. Sanchez, PhD

Spend two weeks learning about the rich cultural traditions and the quest for social justice in the tropical island once called the Paris of the Caribbean: Cuba. In this class, students will take a first-hand look at the country’s rapidly changing communist political system. The class also will work with local school administrators and visit the Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site in western Cuba. Learn more here.

Reykjavik, Iceland

When: Summer
Class: ENVS 224: Climate Change or ENVS 398: Sustainability Management in the Global Context
Taught by: Richard DiMaio (ENVS 224) and Nancy Landrum, PhD (ENVS 398)

Students interested in exploring environmental issues abroad can now select one of two courses in Iceland. Both classes will spend time in Iceland’s famous Solheimar eco-village and visit museums, national parks, and geothermal power plants. Students also will plant native tree species to ensure a carbon neutral trip and see the region’s most popular attractions: Gulfoss waterfall and the Blue Lagoon hot springs. Learn more here.

Ready to return

These short-term courses are perfect for any student interested in learning a favorite subject abroad. Some classes meet periodically before the trip to review course materials, get acquainted with the faculty leader, and offer guidance to one another before embarking on the adventure together.

“There is a high level of support from faculty and students on the trip,” Heath said. “Even though these programs are short, the students engage so deeply with their destination that many of them return to Chicago wanting to go back.”

Social justice in action


Loyola sends weekly groups to the St. Thomas of Canterbury soup kitchen, just one of many volunteer programs that students can take part in while at the University. (File photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Lauren Krause

Loyola students quickly learn that a Jesuit education is about much more than books and lectures. It’s about expanding your horizons—and opening your mind—to become a man or woman for others.

Students hoping to put social justice into action can volunteer through a number of different programs offered by Loyola’s Campus Ministry department and its office of Community Service & Action. The opportunities listed below vary on time commitment, location, and type of service—but they are all rooted in the Jesuit ideal of creating a more just world.

St. Thomas of Canterbury soup kitchen

Loyola sends weekly groups to serve the community at the St. Thomas of Canterbury soup kitchen, located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. The center accommodates between 90 to 150 individuals per evening, and volunteers are needed to serve meals, set tables, and clean. Groups depart from the Lake Shore Campus every Tuesday and Friday at 3:30 p.m. The only requirement is to wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes. Learn more here.

Alternative break immersion trip

Students looking for a more immersive venture can sign up for one of the dozens of alternative break immersion trips that take place in the winter and spring. Whether it’s gardening in West Virginia or assisting poverty-stricken communities in South Dakota, each trip offers volunteers an experience based on four primary goals and guiding principles: living simply, deepening faith, building community, and doing justice. Learn more here.


Loyola4Chicago’s mission allows undergraduates to experience diversity in Chicago first-hand. This group offers several volunteer options ranging from tutoring sessions, assisting second-language adult immigrants, working with adults with developmental disabilities, and caring for the homeless. The program also includes a reflection component to build understanding of how service fits the Jesuit educational goal of becoming “persons for others.” Learn more here.

Labre Ministry

For those who prefer a service commitment with less structure, the Labre Ministry serves the Chicago homeless, providing them with food and friendship. Led by students, the group departs every Thursday from the Water Tower Campus and seeks out the hungry and poor members of Chicago’s downtown community. Labre’s mission targets solidarity, rather than charity, and focuses on relationship building rather than the act of providing food itself. Learn more here.

Health Sciences Division

Students in Loyola’s Health Sciences Division also have plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Options range from one-time service days to extended international immersion trips. Many of the HSD’s current service programs were started by students, so if you have a project you’re passionate about, contact the University Mission office to turn your idea into a reality. Learn more here

Loyola leading the charge for children’s rights


Law student Alison Davis (left) and Katherine Kaufka Walts, director of Loyola’s Center for the Human Rights of Children, presented a report in October before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Walts called it “an incredible opportunity for the CHRC and Loyola to contribute to national policy on important children’s rights issues.”

By Drew Sottardi  |  Senior writer

For the second time in four years, Loyola’s Katherine Kaufka Walts has traveled to the UN in Switzerland to advocate for children’s rights.


Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into one of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

Walts, who is the director of the University’s Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC), was in Geneva in October to present a report before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Joining her was third-year law student Alison Davis, a CHRC Children’s Rights Fellow.

The two presented their findings—technically, an “alternative report” to a 2016 U.S. government report—on the status of child trafficking in the United States. Their goal? To elevate the issue of child labor trafficking and to make recommendations on how to help all children who are victims of human trafficking.

“Right now, the human trafficking field—which includes governmental agencies, law enforcement, service providers, and academia—is predominantly focused on sex trafficking,” Walts said. “And so we advocate in our report that we need to focus on both forced labor and sex trafficking.”

Underage victims of human trafficking, whether it’s for sex or forced labor, face similar challenges, Walts said. They are abused physically, mentally, and emotionally—and even sexually—and are kept from growing up in a nurturing environment.

“If you’re a child working 80 hours a week as a domestic slave or on a farm, or a child forced into prostitution, you’re being denied a healthy development of mind, body, and spirit,” Walts said.

A national leader

Loyola’s CHRC is the only academic center in the country broadly dedicated to the rights of children. It not only works with faculty, staff, and students from across the University, but also community groups, service providers, non-governmental organizations, and policy makers.

“How major systemic issues and problems are solved is not through the lens of one discipline or profession,” Walts said. “It’s about getting the perspective and the input from experts and stakeholders from a variety of fields.”

The report that Walts and Davis presented in October is no exception. The CHRC worked with organizations from around the country—from faith-based groups to legal centers—and received supporting signatures from more than 50 of them. The University of Chicago’s Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights and ECPAT-USA, which submitted a separate report on sex trafficking, also worked on the report.

That wide-ranging approach and ability to draw from multiple experts in the field puts the CHRC in a unique position, Walts said.

“We are one of the leading organizations in the country in drafting an alternative report on behalf of civil society in response to the governmental report,” she said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for the CHRC and Loyola to contribute to national policy on important children’s rights issues.”

When the CHRC presented its report to the UN in 2012, many of its recommendations were adopted, Walts said. Those suggestions now serve as important policy tools for advocates, service providers, and decision makers across the U.S.

Walts and her team made 10 recommendations in their 2016 report, and she’s hopeful these will will be adopted as well. The top two recommendations: ensure that legislative policies and research efforts address both labor and sexual exploitation of children; and provide all unaccompanied migrant children and children who are victim-witnesses in criminal cases with an independent attorney or advocate to represent their interests.

Under current U.S. law, undocumented children don’t have a right to counsel, Walts said. This means many of these children—some as young as 3 years old—are standing alone in courtrooms before judges and attorneys in adversarial proceedings. 

“It’s completely ludicrous. I’m an attorney, and I get nervous in court sometimes,” Walts said. “This is just another example of where we’re not treating children as children.”

An educational experience

For Davis, the third-year law student, going to Geneva was a chance to turn her research into action.

As a CHRC scholar, Davis studied the treatment of underage trafficking victim-witnesses in criminal justice proceedings. Her work served as the foundation for part of the report that she and Walts presented to the UN committee. And it helped advance an issue that others have been working on for years.

“We weren’t just representing children, but we were representing organizations and experts in the field whose research we included in our report—people who’ve been dedicating their lives to the issues we were able to speak on,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of weight to that.”

The hands-on experience that Davis gained was invaluable, Walts said, and such experiential learning is also a hallmark of a Loyola education.

“It’s a unique opportunity to work on the critical, cutting-edge issue of child trafficking,” she said. “I think it gave her a really comprehensive perspective. When it comes to applied, real-world experience, it’s important for students to understand how their work impacts people in the field.”  

G.M. Filisko (JD ’98) contributed to this story. 


• Visit the Center for the Human Rights of Children website for more information on its mission and work.
• Read the complete 2016 report the center presented to the UN in October.

Loyola senior honored for spring break heroics


Jackson Kozlowski, a member of the Indiana Army National Guard, received the Indiana Distinguished Service Cross for helping two friends who were injured in rough surf during a trip to Puerto Rico. “I was just thankful that I had been to the training that I had been to,” he said.

By Anna Gaynor

In September, a unit of the Indiana Army National Guard presented the Indiana Distinguished Service Cross to one of its own, Loyola senior Jackson Kozlowski.

The award isn’t something Kozlowski, an exercise science major, ever expected. He received the honor, which is given to members of the military who go “above and beyond the call of duty,” after stepping up in a tense situation during his spring break.

“I mean it’s cool, but when I came back, I wasn’t looking for an award or looking to have something given to me,” said Kozlowski, a private-first class. “When I received it, all I could really think about was, I don’t really need this. I’m fine with just having everybody come back and be safe.”

At the beginning of March, Kozlowski and four friends from Loyola made the trip to Puerto Rico for sightseeing and a little beach time. The day after they arrived, the group drove to a remote beach near San Juan. To get there, the five had to walk through some dense trees and scale down rocks.

Unbeknownst to them, that beach was prone to dangerous, irregular waves and had already been the site of several serious injuries. After about an hour, three large waves suddenly hit the beach. While Kozlowski and two of his friends were still on the sand—two others, Thomas Arnieri and Allysa McGann—had ventured out about 50 feet into the water. The waves knocked both of them off balance and slammed them into the submerged rocky reef.

“I saw her first,” Kozlowski said. “She popped up, and I could tell something was wrong just from her face. It didn’t look right.”

After he pulled McGann ashore, he saw that she had suffered a large gash on her shoulder and hip.

“It was just like a trigger went off in my head,” Kozlowski said. “This is not spring break anymore. This is time to take care of things and fix it.”

His other friend, Arnieri, was able to make it to shore himself but had suffered a large cut on his calf as well as three fractured vertebrae. Kozlowski used towels and clothing to apply pressure to the victims’ wounds, which weren’t immediately life threatening. He then directed the others to call an ambulance and to help keep the two awake and alert.

“I was just thankful that I had been to the training that I had been to,” Kozlowski said. “I’d just come back from basic training. I’d been trained as a combat medic. It was really fortunate that I knew what to do and could do the right thing. It’s good timing, I’ll say that.”

Both required surgery, and the three who weren’t injured cut the trip short as well. After getting back from Puerto Rico, Kozlowski was encouraged by his father, a colonel in the Indiana National Guard, to submit a narrative to the Army about the incident. A few months later, he was told to he’d be receiving the Indiana Distinguished Service Cross.

But for Kozlowski, he’s just happy he was able to be there for his friends.

“I would’ve thought that in the situation where someone needs help anyone would’ve been there to help them,” Kozlowski said. “It just so happens that I was there for these people and fortunate enough to have been trained by the military to do it. That doesn’t mean that someone who isn’t trained could not have done it. I was just fortunate enough to be there at the right time.”

Jesuits elect new Superior General


Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., (right), the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus, is greeted Friday morning in Rome by his predecessor, the Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J. (Photo: Don Doll, S.J.)

By Drew Sottardi  |  Senior Writer

Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., of Venezuela was elected Friday as Superior General of the Society of Jesus, becoming just the 31st man to hold the position since the order was founded in 1540. He is the first Latin American leader of the Jesuits, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church.

Before being elected by his fellow Jesuits at the General Congregation in Rome, Father Sosa held several leadership positions within the Society. Most recently, he was in charge of the Interprovincial Houses and Works of the Society of Jesus, a network of international universities and residences in Rome.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, the 67-year-old Father Sosa is an accomplished scholar with a doctorate in political sciences from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He has taught at colleges around the world and speaks Spanish, Italian, and English. (Click here for a complete bio of Father Sosa.)

Father Sosa succeeds the Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., 80, who announced in 2014 that he would be resigning this year. Father Nicolás officially stepped down October 3 after leading the Jesuits since 2008.

A different perspective

Like Pope Francis—the first Jesuit Pope and a native of Argentina—Father Sosa has a long history of helping the poor and marginalized, especially in Latin America. That mission and worldview resonates with Mark Bosco, S.J., director of the Joan & Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage and associate professor of theology and English at Loyola.

“It’s really exciting that we have a non-European leader,” Father Bosco said. “Father Sosa brings a different kind of experience with the Church and has a much more profound sense of the stark poverty in South America. Having Father Sosa and Pope Francis at the same time really shows that Latin America is now a mature and vibrant community for Catholicism.”

Thomas Regan, S.J., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Loyola, has known Father Sosa for more than a decade. The two first met at an international Jesuit conference in 2004, and they spent three months together in Rome as part of the General Congregation that elected Father Nicolás in 2008. Father Regan considers the new Superior General a “Jesuit’s Jesuit” and says the Society has chosen the perfect man for the position.

“He’s a staunch supporter of higher education, truly a world citizen, and a passionate promoter of the Society’s social justice initiatives,” Father Regan said. “We will be well served.”

Father Regan believes the new Superior General’s background in academia will be a huge asset for Jesuit colleges in the United States.

“Higher education in this country is at a critical moment,” Father Regan said. “Fortunately, we’ll have someone at the top who understands not only the Jesuit dimensions of higher education but, having taught at Georgetown University, understands the pressures that colleges in the United States face.”

When asked to describe the new Superior General as a person, Father Regan was quick with his response. “He’s just a really nice guy,” he said.

The scene from Rome 

Brian Paulson, S.J., provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province, was in Rome as part of the Jesuit delegation that elected Father Sosa. He said via email that he first met the new Superior General a few years ago—and he, like Father Regan, was immediately impressed.

“He’s really warm, friendly, and down-to-earth,” said Father Paulson, who has a master’s degree from Loyola and served as rector of the University’s Jesuit community from 2010 to 2014. “He puts people at ease, and he is a very careful and good listener. … I am especially impressed by what I have learned about his work in Venezuela. My prayers are with him as he takes up these awesome new responsibilities.”

Among the 215 Jesuits in Rome for the General Congregation were two Loyolans: Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., University chancellor; and José Mesa, S.J., a visiting professor in the School of Education. Both men are taking part in the congregation as non-elector delegates, so they did not vote in the election for the new Superior General.

In an email exchange, Father Mesa described the gathering in Rome as “a time of grace, friendship, and amazing companionship among all members of the congregation.”

He believes Father Sosa will put an emphasis on social justice, “making sure that the voice and the concerns of the marginalized are central to everything we do.”

“I think it will be an exciting time for renewal, networking, and creativity,” Father Mesa said, “and to explore ‘the audacity of the improbable and even the impossible’ as Father Sosa stated in his first homily as Superior General of the Society.” (Click here to read more remarks from Father Mesa.) 

Looking to the future

The General Congregation, which elects the Superior General, is the ultimate authority in the Society, said James Prehn, S.J., who is a University vice president and special advisor for mission and identity to Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD. “When they’re not in session—which is most of the time since they’ve only met 36 times in almost 500 years—the Father General is the ultimate authority,” he said.

And even though Father Sosa will have tremendous leeway in setting the agenda for the Jesuits, he doesn’t have a blank slate.

“He does not make laws,” said Father Prehn, who also is the rector of the Jesuit community at Loyola. “He’s more like a chief executive, if you will.”

Father Prehn said it’s too early to tell what areas Father Sosa will focus on and what priorities the Jesuits will set under their new leader. But there’s one issue in particular that Father Prehn would like to see the Jesuits tackle: racial inequality.

He pointed to Loyola’s Arrupe College, which educates mostly minority and low-income students, as an example of how the Jesuits are “working toward justice in an American society that can be racist. … It’s an attempt to rectify an historic injustice.”

Many people are curious to see how Father Sosa will work with Pope Francis, his fellow Jesuit. If history is a guide, Father Prehn said, you can expect an easy friendship.

“Pope Francis made a point—I think it was within 48 hours of being elected—of asking Father Nicolás to come over for a photograph,” Prehn said. “And that wasn’t by accident.

“So I would imagine that the new Father General will also have a warm relationship with the Pope.”


• See pictures of Father Sosa celebrating with his fellow Jesuits after he was named the new Superior General. Photo gallery
• From October 7: Hear Father Sosa talk about the differences—and similarities—between the Jesuits at the 36th General Congregation. Watch video

Celebrating service


Loyola encourages its students to take the lessons they learn in class and use them to help others. Last year, Loyola students worked with 793 organizations around Chicago and the world. (Photo: Mark Patton)

By Neha Simon  |  Student reporter

For the seventh year in a row, Loyola University Chicago has been named one of the top colleges in the country for community service and civic engagement. 

The 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, announced in September, highlights colleges and universities that reach out to the surrounding community and direct their students toward a life of service. Loyola was recognized in all four categories: general community service, interfaith community service, economic opportunity, and education.

Loyola’s consistent inclusion on the list is the result of the University’s emphasis on community engagement, an effort spearheaded by the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL).

Patrick Green, the founding director of CEL, works extensively with other departments and faculty to ensure that students are living out Loyola’s mission of “expanding knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith.” On a day-to-day basis, that includes encouraging educators to help students apply what they learn in the classroom to the world around them.

“Students learn more deeply and critically through experience—especially service-learning, academic internships, and undergraduate research,” Green said.

Green works with campus partners, such as Megan Barry of the office of Community Service and Action, to collect data on student and faculty service hours, engaged learning, and research projects. Last year, thousands of Loyola students played some role in serving the community. Among the highlights: 

  • 2,519 students participated in a service-learning course.
  • Those students provided a total of 113,350 hours of service.
  • 1,280 students enrolled in an academic internship course.
  • Loyola students worked with 793 organizations around Chicago and the world. 

“It’s just a statement of Loyola’s commitment to both breadth and depth of community engagement in all structures of the University,” Green said.

A new way of thinking

This year’s service winners included Adler University, the University of Northern Iowa, Springfield College, and Georgetown University. Nationally, many universities emphasize research, while others focus on service. But few bridge the gap between the two, Green said.

“Loyola challenges some of the binary thinking about higher education institutions by focusing on research and community engagement,” Green said. “We lift up the new modes of education by raising community engagement work as central to the knowledge creation and generation process.”

One of the ways the CEL does this is through its Social Justice Internship program. Chosen students engage in service internships while also taking an academic course. Loyola has built deep relationships with community partners such as Catholic Charities and Misericordia, which have provided rich learning environments for interns.

The CEL program was especially impactful for former academic intern Cristina Rodriguez. After spending a year working in Catholic Charities’s Immigration Center, she was inspired to change her major, sign up for the Peace Corps, and apply to graduate school.

“Before working there I didn’t realize how passionate I was about working for underrepresented communities,” Rodriguez said. “The work is so rewarding.”

She spent her time working on the organization’s Survivors Project, which helps facilitate citizenship for undocumented families who have been victims of a crime. Rodriguez, who is fluent in Spanish, served as a translator to help write personal statements and fill out applications.

A springboard for life

Now, six months after her academic internship ended, Rodriguez still visits the center weekly to conduct research as a Johnson’s Scholar. She works with a faculty advisor to study self-empowerment programs catered to undocumented immigrant women. Her experience at the center also inspired a second research project working with undocumented students at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. She hopes to apply what she’s learned to pursue a future in immigration policy.

“I would’ve never been interested in policy before this internship,” Rodriguez said. She also emphasized how the paired academic course organized by CEL deepened her experience. “I could share my experiences with other interns and really learn about the importance of my role as an intern.”

As for Green, he’s beginning a new round of data collection for the 2015-2016 Honor Roll application. It’s a long process, but it quickly reminds him of the impact of the Center for Experiential Learning.

“Time and time again our alumni come back tell us their story,” he said. “Their service-learning, academic internship, or undergraduate research experience has been a springboard for them to move on to their next goal in life.”

Loyola to host urban history conference


The Urban History Association is coming to Chicago later this month for its biennial conference. “Chicago is a great place to teach urban history because it’s literally all around us,” said Loyola professor Timothy Gilfoyle, PhD, who is the group’s current president.

More than 650 urban historians, scholars, and authors from around the world will come to Loyola in October for the Urban History Association’s eighth biennial conference.

The event, which runs from October 13-16, will feature more than 150 workshops and roundtables for experts to discuss their research and exchange ideas. It also will include presentations by current and former Loyola students, as well as tours of several Chicago neighborhoods.

As a major research university in one of the largest cities in America, Loyola has always had a strong interest in urban history—and in the history of Chicago in particular.

“Chicago is a great place to teach urban history because it’s literally all around us,” said Loyola professor Timothy Gilfoyle, PhD, who has been at the University since 1989.

Gilfoyle is the current president of the Urban History Association, and he said the conference is an excellent way to highlight all of the work Loyola is doing in the field.

“We’ve got outstanding faculty,” he said. “We’ve hired a number of leading urban historians in recent years, and we also have the Center for Urban Research and Learning. So we’re very well positioned to be a leader in urban history.”

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Working Urban,” and the event will focus largely on labor issues and the different forms of employment found in cities. But the theme is also a play on words, Gilfoyle said, and the conference will include sessions on how urban historians actually work.

Highlights of the conference include:

• A discussion with University of Michigan professor Heather Ann Thompson, PhD, whose critically acclaimed book, “Blood in the Water,” examines the Attica, N.Y., prison uprising of 1971.

• A roundtable on author and activist Jane Jacobs, whose 1961 book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” profoundly influenced urban planning in America and beyond.

• A discussion about Playboy magazine’s shift away from nudity, led by Loyola associate professor Elizabeth Fraterrigo, PhD.

• A look at Martin Luther King’s “End Slums” campaign in Chicago, which launched 50 years ago.

As for Gilfoyle, he hopes the conference will drive home the importance of urban history in today’s world.

“We’re living in a time of rapid urbanization,” Gilfoyle said. “We don’t really live in an urban society. We live in an urban world.

“And with globalization, you really can’t escape urbanization. Urban history is more relevant than ever in trying to help us understand some of the changes that are happening now.” 


What: The Urban History Association’s eighth biennial conference
When: October 13-16
Where: Philip H. Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago
How to attend: Although online registration is closed, you can sign up onsite beginning October 13. Visit the conference website for more details.

‘Loyola has transformed me...’

See how Loyola University Chicago is transforming students and preparing them to lead extraordinary lives.

See the world differently

See the world differently

• Click on the picture above to see images of students abroad.
Go here for details about Wednesday’s Study Abroad Fair. 

Last year, more than 800 Loyola undergraduates studied in another country. Some went as far away as China; others stayed closer to home and studied in Mexico or Cuba.

But regardless of where they went, they all got to experience life in a foreign land while earning credit toward their degrees.

And they all came back transformed.

“Before I went to China, an upperclassman told me that studying abroad would be the highlight of my college experience,” said Saeger Godson, a Loyola senior who spent his entire junior year at The Beijing Center. “And I would absolutely agree with that. I came back so much more enlightened about how the world perceives me as an American and how the world actually works.”

The first step

On Wednesday, September 21, Loyola will host its fall Study Abroad Fair in the Damen Student Center from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair, which is free and open to all students, will feature alumni who have studied overseas, as well as staff members who can answer questions about Loyola’s many study abroad programs.

“The fair is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about studying abroad,” said Kelly Heath, associate director of the University’s study abroad programs. “We’ll have tables set up for each program and a lot of helpful information. It’s a great first step for anyone who is curious about the process.”

The big picture

Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, came to Loyola in late August to talk about the benefits of studying abroad. In an interview with The Phoenix, Loyola’s student newspaper, Kennedy said living overseas is about much more than sightseeing: It also plays a key part in building international relations.

“I think the reason that more and more students are choosing (to study abroad) is they recognize this is a globalized world and none of the problems we are facing can be solved by any one country,” Kennedy told The Phoenix. “Every time you go abroad, you’re an ambassador for the United States. … But you bring back so much of the world here.”

For more information, visit Loyola’s Study Abroad website. You can also read what Loyola students have to say about their time abroad on the Go Global blog.

Loyola offers a truly global education. It has a campus in Rome, as well as course locations in Beijing and Vietnam—and its students can choose from more than 150 programs in 70 countries. Here are some highlights from 2015-16:
• 865 Loyola undergraduates studied abroad
• The top destinations were Rome (358 students), Spain (115), and England (62)
• Loyola students earned more than 8,000 credit hours while abroad
• They were awarded a total of $275,498 in study abroad scholarships

A look back at Mother Teresa’s visits to Loyola


James F. Maguire, S.J., who served as president of Loyola University Chicago from 1955-1970, gives an honorary degree to Mother Teresa in 1976. (Photo: Loyola University Chicago Archives)

On September 4, Mother Teresa was declared a saint in a canonization Mass held by Pope Francis in the Vatican. But more than 40 years before that historic event, she received an honorary degree from Loyola University Chicago during a 1976 ceremony at the Conrad Hilton Hotel.

In the citation read at the ceremony, Mother Teresa was recognized for her tireless work to help the poor in India. “With an expansive and deep living love for humankind, Mother Teresa of Calcutta has, like Christ, given her life for her friends. And the friends she has chosen are the most rejected and injured and flawed persons of this imperfect world.”

Mother Teresa, who died in 1997 at age 87, also visited the former Mundelein College on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus in 1974 to discuss her missionary work. Here are some images from her two Loyola visits. 


Sister Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, escorts Mother Teresa outside Piper Hall. (Photos: Women and Leadership Archives, Loyola University Chicago.)

Sister Marilyn Jegen, BVM, greets Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa speaks to a packed room during her 1974 visit.

Loyola named 7th greenest college in America


Loyola came in at No. 7 on the Sierra Club’s 2016 Cool Schools rankings for U.S. colleges—and was the only Illinois school to crack the Top 30. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

For the second time in three years, Loyola University Chicago has been named one of the greenest colleges in America by the Sierra Club.

The 2016 Cool Schools rankings, released September 6, place Loyola at No. 7 out of more than 200 participating schools. Loyola is the only Illinois university in the Top 30 in the rankings, and the only Chicago school to crack the Top 90. Loyola ranked No. 4 in the 2014 rankings.

The Sierra Club praised Loyola for several green initiatives including its eco-friendly residence halls, its extensive biodiesel program, and its trayless cafeterias (which help reduce food waste). The rankings also mentioned the University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, which opened in 2013 and now offers several eco-majors and minors.

Loyola’s commitment to sustainability, however, extends far beyond its buildings. It’s woven into the University’s culture and is a key part of “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World,” Loyola’s five-year strategic plan.

Below are links to more examples of how Loyola is working to make the world a greener—and better—place.

• The Institute of Environmental Sustainability
• Current research
• Eco-friendly facilities
• Environmental focus areas
• The Searle Biodiesel Program
• Water conservation

‘Forge the future that you want’

Hear associate professor John Donoghue, PhD, give a rousing lecture to his History 211 students on the first day of class. Plus, see pictures from around campus as the fall semester begins.

Introducing the Class of 2020

2016 New Student Convocation

• Click on the picture to see images from the New Student Convocation.
• See more photos from Welcome Week 2016 in our official Flickr gallery

By Anna Gaynor

On August 26 more than 2,600 freshmen students—the largest incoming class in the University’s history—took part in Loyola’s annual New Student Convocation.

Coming from 44 different states and more than 40 countries, the students walked across campus and through Cudahy Library’s green doors to mark the beginning of their academic careers. They were joined on the procession by more than 500 transfer students.

And all of them received a rousing welcome from the Loyola community.

“There’s way more people than I can really wrap my head around,” said incoming student Catherine Still, a psychology major from Minnesota. “I’ve met so many cool people, and it just doesn’t end. There’s a ton of people.”

Fellow student Nate Dugener also was blown away by the festivities and was eager to start his college career.

“I love Chicago, just being in Chicago,” said Dugener, who is from Michigan and plans to study environmental science. “Just to be able to be on my own, meet new people, and get new experiences—I’m pretty excited for what’s to come.”

After Dugener, Still, and the other students finished their walk, they gathered in Gentile Arena to be officially inducted into their graduating class. Unlike previous years, though, they weren’t the only ones starting a new journey at Loyola. Joining them was Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, the University’s new president, who was taking part in her first New Student Convocation at Loyola. 

Her welcome speech was an introduction to Loyola’s mission as well as a primer on the freedoms and responsibilities that come with college life.

“You get to determine how you spend your time, who you get to know, what courses you take,” Dr. Rooney said. She drove her point home by light-heartedly telling the students: “If you don’t have any clean socks to wear, or if you realize at midnight that you forgot to eat dinner and the dining halls are closed, you will be reminded that, oh yes, you are now independent. Enjoy!”  

But Dr. Rooney stressed that the students wouldn’t be navigating college on their own.

“Beginning today, may Loyola be a place where you always find community, family, and connection, where you learn and grow, and especially where you are inspired each and every day to go forth and set the world on fire,” she said. “We welcome you, and we embrace you with open arms. May today be the start of a fantastic year and many, many more years ahead to come.”

A message to remember

Convocation also featured another notable speaker: Bryan Stevenson, the author of this year’s First-Year Text, Just Mercy. Stevenson, an activist attorney, is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Having spent his career helping the poor and incarcerated, Stevenson asked incoming students to start reflecting on their role in fighting against the injustices that happen every day.

“I believe that each of you has a unique and important gift,” Stevenson said. “I believe you can use that gift to change the world, and I’m not just saying that. I genuinely believe that all of you have the power to do something that can make the world better.”

In Just Mercy, Stevenson chronicles the humble and challenging beginnings of the institute—as well as some of the death penalty cases that have marked his career. His legal work has provided reversals, relief, or release for more than 115 wrongly imprisoned individuals on death row.

“You’ve got to stay hopeful,” Stevenson said. “I really want you to try to remember that, because your hopefulness is essential to your capacity to change the world. I actually believe that hopelessness is the enemy of justice. … When you become hopeless about what you can do, you sort of become part of the problem.”  

Common ground for all students

All incoming students received a copy of Just Mercy to read over the summer. And while reading the book was essentially a homework assignment, it also served a greater purpose: to bring students together in a common conversation about social justice. 

“Since I’m not from the U.S., it is very important to be aware that these issues are happening not just here, but everywhere,” said Mariana Sosa, a student from Ecuador who plans on taking a pre-med track at Loyola. 

She wasn’t the only student that Stevenson left an impression on.

“When I first got the book, I was like, ‘Oh, summer reading?’ ” Still said. “But I read it, and it was so interesting. I kind of reconsidered my major even. I just thought it was really, really fascinating and inspiring.”

With more than 2,600 students, the Class of 2020 is the largest incoming class in Loyola’s history. Here are some facts about them (as of August 26):
• They come from 44 different states and more than 40 countries
• More than 40 percent are students of color 
• Average high school GPA: 3.74
• Average ACT score: 26
• 26 are enrolled in the Rome Start program 

Letter leads to meeting with President Obama


Loyola sophomore Noor Abdelfattah met President Barack Obama after writing him a letter about the misconceptions people have of Muslim Americans. “When I think of being an American, I don’t think of us versus them,” Abdelfattah said. “It’s just we as a whole.” (White House photo)

By Anna Gaynor

While some students may have spent their summer at an internship, part-time job, or the beach, Noor Abdelfattah had a once-in-a-lifetime experience she will never forget.

It started with a letter—and ended with meeting the president of the United States.

“I honestly wrote it just one afternoon,” said Abdelfattah, a Glenview, Illinois, native and sophomore at Loyola. “I wrote it within two to three hours, and then I just sent it. If I knew this would’ve happened I would’ve put a little more effort in, but, I mean, I guess it’s all good.”

As a Muslim American, she felt the need to write the letter because she wanted to address common misconceptions people have about her faith and the roles of Middle Eastern immigrants and their families in the U.S. (You can read the letter she sent to the president on the White House website.)

“My story, just how my family came here, what they went through, and where we are right now, shows our accomplishments,” Abdelfattah said. “With hard work and dedication, just like any other American, Muslim Americans can accomplish a lot.”

After she sent the letter, Abdelfattah thought that was the end of it. A few weeks later, she got a voice mail from a number she didn’t recognize. Turns out it was a staff member from the White House inviting her to a dinner celebrating Muslim Americans as well as Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

At first, Abdelfattah wasn’t too nervous about the dinner. That is until the morning of the July 21 event, when the staff revealed a surprise: She was one of 15 attendees who would be meeting and having their photo taken with President Barack Obama. Then she got nervous—but in a good way.

In spite of her nerves, celebrating with so many remarkable Muslim Americans reflected back to Abdelfattah the exact message she wanted tell the president in the first place.

“I wanted to focus my letter on that, on how even though we may be perceived as different, we do pretty much everything any other American does,” she said. “Even at the event, there were literally people from a variety of areas. There were people who work in the government, there was the Olympian (Ibtihaj Muhammad), there were people who serve in our military. It just showed how even though this country is diverse—we’re all pretty much the same.”

With the new school year starting just weeks after her trip to Washington, D.C., Abdelfattah is looking ahead with excitement, and her brief meeting with President Obama has left a lasting impression.

“Coming to Loyola and living in this country, when I think of being an American, I don’t think of us versus them,” Abdelfattah said. “It’s just we as a whole. We have to definitely support each other and stick with one another, especially when facing difficulties and hardships.”

Conference helps build better educators


The next Focus on Teaching & Learning conference is August 18. Please RSVP here by August 15 if you would like to attend.  

By Drew Sottardi  |  Senior Writer

College professors must constantly learn new ways to teach their students. And in today’s fast-paced world, that constant change can be a little overwhelming.

Enter Carol Scheidenhelm, PhD.


Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into one of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

As the director of the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, Scheidenhelm helps Loyola’s professors and instructors become better educators. Twice a year she works with others to organize the Focus on Teaching & Learning (FOTL) conference, which gathers faculty members from across the University to share insights on leading a classroom in the 21st century.

“It’s really a way for faculty to teach other faculty,” Scheidenhelm said.

The one-day conference is open to all instructors, from new faculty members who may not be familiar with Jesuit education to tenured professors looking to better connect with today’s students. Topics at the fall 2016 event include sustainability, technology, and Ignatian pedagogy. (You can see a complete list of discussions on the conference website.)

But the conference does more than bring faculty members together, Scheidenhelm said. It reinforces the University’s mission and helps instructors clear up some misconceptions about Jesuit education.

“The perception was for so long—and still is among some people—that Ignatian pedagogy is about teaching students to be Catholic,” she said. “That’s not it at all. It’s about helping students develop mind, body, and spirit: cura personalis. It’s an effective approach to good teaching.”

There are five components in Ignatian pedagogy: context, experience, reflection, action, and evaluation. A lot of other universities use the same principles, Scheidenhelm said, because they are the foundation of strong teaching.

“But the difference with a Jesuit education is that it’s really intentional,” she said. “It calls our attention to each of the pieces and forces us to look at them seriously and to think and write and plan around them.”

And what really separates a Jesuit education is the emphasis on reflection and action—having students go beyond just learning facts and figures. That might mean students study poverty and then volunteer at a soup kitchen. Or they take a business ethics class and do an internship for a non-profit organization.

“We want our students to take the information they learn in class and make a difference with it,” Scheidenhelm said.

Revamping the classroom

To help make that happen, Scheidenhelm created the Ignatian pedagogy certificate program in 2015. It shows professors how to do more than stand in front of a classroom and talk; it shows them how to engage their students so they can get the most out of their education.

Anthropology lecturer Catherine Nichols, PhD, recently completed the one-year program, which features six workshops, a lecture by visiting professor José Mesa, S.J., a service project, and a final presentation. It was hard work, Nichols said, but well worth the time and effort.

“It made me a lot more reflective about how I teach and made me a much stronger teacher for my students,” she said.

Before coming to Loyola two years ago, Nichols had never received any formal training on how to teach a college course. So she taught her students the same way she had been taught: with long lectures, written exams, and research papers.

But after taking a group of Loyola students to an Indian reservation in South Dakota for her service project—and seeing how the students responded to the experience—Nichols changed the way she teaches. Now she has her students venture into the local community to do more hands-on learning.

“I try to design assignments for my students that emphasize experiences,” she said. “It really helps them reflect on what they’re learning and then, hopefully, take action.”

Teaching with technology

At the upcoming conference, professors will learn another key lesson: how to teach with technology.

In the past few years, online learning has become a bigger part of higher education. At Loyola alone, more than 3,900 students took at least one class completely online last year. It’s a trend that started years ago—and it will almost certainly continue.

“Across the country, more and more students are seeking out the flexibility of online courses,” said Sarah Dysart, director of online learning at Loyola. “A lot of times they are in a situation where they can’t do the traditional four years on a college campus, and online courses give them the chance to get their degree while still living their lives.”

When online learning first came out—especially at for-profit colleges—it didn’t have the best reputation for quality, Dysart said. But it’s gotten much better since non-profit institutions have started offering online programs, and many more people have embraced the idea. Plus, Dysart said, it works.

“Studies show that online learning can be just as effective—if not more effective—than face-to-face environments,” she said.

One example of its benefits, she said, is it can draw out students who might be reluctant to speak up in a large lecture hall. In an online discussion board, those same students can take the time they need to collect their thoughts and then craft their message.

And while this increased participation is great for students, it can lead to more work for professors. So the conference will have sessions on how to use technology effectively and efficiently—without reinventing the educational wheel.

“All professors have a philosophy about how they want to teach,” Dysart said, “and we don’t want to completely upend what they’re doing in the classroom. So when we talk about blended and online learning, I always say that technology is a tool—just like a textbook or a chalkboard.”

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, officially takes over as 24th president of Loyola

2016 Mass and Feast of Saint Ignatius Faculty & Staff Picnic

• Click on the picture above to see images of Dr. Rooney and others at the annual Feast Day of Saint Ignatius Mass and picnic.
Watch a video of fellow Ramblers welcoming Dr. Rooney to Loyola. 

By Drew Sottardi  |  Senior Writer

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, became Loyola University Chicago’s 24th president Monday, making her the first lay leader in the University’s 146-year history.

Dr. Rooney, who was elected by the Loyola Board of Trustees in May, brings a wealth of education and leadership experience to the position. Before joining the University, she served as president of two colleges, worked for the Department of Defense, and was a managing director of Huron Consulting.

Despite being away from academia for several years, Dr. Rooney said she’s eager to return to the world of higher education—and for good reason.

“Education provides a foundation,” she said when she was introduced to the Loyola community in May. “It is the backbone behind vibrant, thriving communities, and frankly, an engaged society. Education enables individuals to grow, to thrive, and to reach their greatest potential.”

A chance to come together

Before officially starting her new position, Dr. Rooney got a taste of life at Loyola at the annual Feast Day of Saint Ignatius picnic. She made her way around the tables set up on the West Quad and spoke with faculty members, current staffers, and retirees. 

“It was an absolutely great way for the community to come together,” she said. “I enjoyed walking around, meeting people, and getting to understand a little bit more about what they do, what their passions are, and how they see their roles focusing on our students.”

Karen Berg-Helfgot, a staff member in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, was one of the many people who chatted with Dr. Rooney at the picnic. But she didn’t recognize the University’s new leader at first.

“She introduced herself and I said, ‘Oh, you look so familiar, I feel like I’ve met you before,’ ” Berg-Helfgot said with a laugh. “And it took me a few seconds to realize, ‘Of course I’ve seen her before—standing at the podium in Mundelein Auditorium when she was introduced as the new president.’ ”

The two shared a good chuckle over the exchange, and Berg-Helfgot said the light-hearted encounter left an impression on her.

“(Dr. Rooney) seems very warm and approachable,” she said.

Berg-Helfgot, who got her master’s degree from Loyola and has been working at the University for a little under a year, said she’s looking forward to Dr. Rooney’s tenure.  

“I’m very excited to see what new ideas she may have as the first female and lay president of the University,” Berg-Helfgot said. 

That sentiment was echoed by Mary Ann (Kelley) McDermott, professor emerita in the School of Nursing.

“I’m delighted that she’s the new president,” said McDermott, who got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Loyola in the 1960s. “It’s just wonderful. Between Germany, England, maybe the U.S.—and now to have a woman president at Loyola—it’s great to see women leaders like that.”

As someone who has been a Rambler for more than half a century, McDermott has seen her share of change around the University. (“I remember when this was a football field,” she said, gesturing toward the West Quad.) And, like many of her colleagues, she’s optimistic about Loyola’s future. 

“I think there are plenty of good things to come,” she said.

Embracing a new concept 

Also at the picnic was Father Thomas Regan, S.J., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He talked about his first meeting with Dr. Rooney in May—and how he was immediately impressed with her experience.

“The scope of her background is something we really need,” he said. “Loyola is a very complicated place and to have the experience she has in law and medicine will be very helpful. She’s also dealt with huge economies of scale at the Department of Defense, and that will give her a leg up as well.”

Father Regan, who has held various leadership positions throughout his academic career, said it was inevitable that Loyola would one day have a lay leader. After all, he said, it’s happened at several other Jesuit universities around the country.

“I’ve seen Jesuit schools with a lay leader, and once they embrace that concept, the leadership is better,” he said. “As I like to say, we need competence, not a collar.” 

See more photographs and read the story from the May 23 news conference when President Rooney was introduced to the Loyola community.
• Read her official Loyola biography

‘Just Mercy’ is the 2016-17 First-Year Text


This year’s First-Year Text is Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” a memoir of his efforts to defend the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. (Photo: bryanstevenson.com/Nina Subin)

The fall semester may be weeks away, but incoming Loyola students have already received their first homework assignment: Read the book Just Mercy.

Written by activist attorney Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Just Mercy is a memoir of his efforts to defend the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. The book received universal praise after it was published in 2014 and won multiple awards, including the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction. (Click here to read a review in The New York Times.)

With its themes of race, inequality, and justice, Just Mercy aligns with Loyola’s mission and beliefs. And it will help connect incoming students with the Loyola Experience, said Bridget Wesley, director of Loyola’s office of Student Transitions and Outreach.

Wesley believes the book will inspire students to seek out knowledge, think of their role in society, and better understand how to treat people.

“We have to make efforts to know the realities of others,” Wesley said. “If we choose to ignore that then we are complicit in their struggles. We need to know what others experience in order to bring about change.”

To extend the themes of the book, Loyola also created a series of events called Communities in Conversation. These events—which include lectures, films, and volunteer activities—give Ramblers a chance to come together and talk about what Just Mercy means to them. Stevenson will kick off this year’s series by speaking at the New Student Convocation in August. 

Throughout the year, Wesley said, professors and staff at Loyola will incorporate themes from the First-Year Text into their classrooms and departments.

“We are particularly excited about this year’s series, because we have a new partnership with the Center for Criminal Justice, Research, Policy, and Practice, that is in-line with the new strategic plan set by the University,” Wesley said.  

• Click here for more information about the First-Year Text program, including how to enter the annual essay contest.
• Faculty and staff who are interested in getting a copy of the book should contact the office of Student Transitions and Outreach at firstyearexperience@luc.edu.
• Several University departments will host a discussion about the book on August 15. All faculty and staff members are welcome to attend, and a light lunch will be provided. RSVP here before August 9.

Stevenson received an honorary doctorate from Loyola in 2011 and spoke at the Stritch School of Medicine’s Commencement ceremony that year. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including a prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” which he won in 1995 at the age of 36. 

Loyola hosts annual town-gown conference


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses the crowd at the International Town & Gown Association’s annual conference on June 6. “Universities are a major driver, not only in talent, but also in the ideas they generate for the next economy,” he said. (Photo: Mark Beane)

More than 300 university professionals, city managers, and mayors attended the International Town & Gown Association’s 11th annual conference at Loyola on June 5-8.

The participants—who represented more than 100 colleges and universities, plus dozens of cities in the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada—met to share insights and ways to improve campus-community relations. Topics included neighborhood redevelopment, off-campus housing, partnerships with K-12 schools, and more. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was the event’s keynote speaker.

Loyola was chosen to host the conference because it has been involved in the town-gown movement for years, said Summur Roberts, director of Community Relations for the University. And under Loyola’s five-year strategic plan, “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World,” the University will have an even more active role in Rogers Park and Edgewater.

“At Loyola, we really embrace the connection between the campus and the community,” Roberts said. “I talk about it as one phrase: ‘campus-community.’ It’s not ‘the campus’ and then ‘the community.’ It’s all one thing.”

Roberts pointed to Loyola’s partnership with Senn High School and the Summer on the Plaza series as prime examples of how the University is working with the community. Earlier this year Loyola launched Lake Shore Community Partners, which builds on its existing relationships within Rogers Park and Edgewater. The initiative focuses on four priorities: health, business, education, and safety.

During his remarks at the conference, Emanuel talked about the important role universities play in their communities.

“Universities are a major driver, not only in talent, but also in the ideas they generate for the next economy,” he said. “Their capital investment is key to our economic structure.”

Emanuel also talked about what City Hall can bring to the table—whether it’s building a bike path or streamlining the permitting process.

“We’ll do things with you that help your neighborhood and also help the city of Chicago, so your capital investments and our capital investments have a multiplier effect,” he said.

For Loyola, those investments are not some fleeting fad or one-off project, Roberts said. They are long-term plans to help the entire community.

“We’re looking to directly engage in a meaningful and impactful way with the local communities,” she said. “We want to support those communities in every possible way. We are in, of, and for the community—at all times. Not just when we want something, but every day.”

This was the first time the ITGA conference was held in Illinois, and just the second time it has come to the Midwest. Next year’s conference will be in Eugene, Ore.


• Learn more about Loyola’s campus-community initiatives on the Community Relations website.

• Click here to get more information about the International Town & Gown Association.

Five Loyolans win Fulbright, NSF awards


Kelsey Egan (’16), a student in the School of Social Work, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Greece, where she will be working full-time with elementary and high school students.

Five students and alumni of Loyola University Chicago recently received major awards to support their studies and research.

Two received Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants, while the other three received awards from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Since 2010, Loyola has produced 14 Fulbright student scholars and 10 NSF Fellows.

Both programs are extremely competitive and prestigious, said Lisa Knepshield, Loyola’s fellowship coordinator. And, she said, they are a great example of what students can do with a Loyola education.

“The Fellowship Office is always pleased to announce the winners of these major awards, not just to celebrate them, but to show other Loyola students and alumni what they can potentially accomplish,” she said. “There are a lot of other really talented Loyola students and alumni out there, who are competitive for these and other awards—and we want to work with all of them.”

Established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. It offers research, study, and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. There are two main types of Fulbright awards for U.S. students: a research/study award, which supports students working on a project in a foreign country; and an English Teaching Assistantship award, which places students in foreign classrooms to help local teachers.

This year’s Fulbright recipients are:

Kelsey Egan (’16), a student in the School of Social Work, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Greece, where she will be working full-time with elementary and high school students. Egan (photo at top) also plans to volunteer with Greek homeless shelters, following on her past work with Streetwise in Chicago.

Riti Patel (’14), who earned bachelor’s degrees in international studies and finance, received a Binational Fulbright Internship to Mexico. She will be placed with a corporation in Mexico to dissect the cross-sectional functions among Mexican culture, business economics, and policy to understand how all pieces influence internal strategies, as well as advancing her own entrepreneurial knowledge.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and math. To receive the fellowship, students must be pursuing research-based master’s or doctoral degrees at accredited institutions in the United States.

This year’s NSF Graduate Research Fellows are:

Katherine Bruder (’16)‌ is an evolutionary biology major and advisee of Catherine Putonti, PhD, director of Loyola’s bioinformatics program. Bruder will begin her doctoral research this fall at the University of South Florida, where she will study bacteriophages in freshwater springs.

‌Michaela Mozley (’15)‌ is a first-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Utah, where she is an advisee of Patricia Kerig, PhD. Mozley is studying how experiences of trauma contribute to involvement in the juvenile justice system—specifically, how trauma may lead to callous/unemotional traits and even more severe offending. 

Aaron Kirkman (’12) is working for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, having completed a double major in economics and math/computer science at Loyola, where he was an advisee of Timothy Classen, PhD. Kirkman will continue the research he started as a doctoral student in economics at Northwestern University, studying the effects of government policy on individual health as well as the structure of healthcare- and healthcare-related markets.

These four students received honorable mention for the NSF program:

Emily Sible (’16) is majoring in molecular biology, with plans to earn a graduate degree in environmental biology.

Cassondra Batz (’14), who earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, is pursuing a doctoral degree in industrial/organizational psychology at Purdue University.

Ligin Solamen (’14), who earned her bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics, is pursuing a graduate degree at Dartmouth.

Megan Baumann (’08), who was a double major in sociology and history at Loyola, is pursuing a graduate degree in geography at Penn State University.


Visit Loyola’s Fellowship Office website for advice on applying for the Fulbright and NSF programs, as well as other grants and scholarships. For more details contact: 
• James Calcagno, director of the Fellowship Office, at jcalcag@luc.edu
• Lisa Knepshield, fellowship coordinator, at lknepshield@luc.edu

Loyola opens mental health clinic


Richard Renfro, PhD, director of the new clinic, and Interim President John P. Pelissero, PhD, cut the ribbon on the new Loyola Community and Family Services clinic. (Photo: Mark Patton)

By Ana Plefka  |  Student reporter

University leaders cut the ribbon March 29 on the new Loyola Community and Family Services clinic, an effort to provide low-cost behavioral and mental health services to the members of the Rogers Park and Edgewater communities. The clinic strives to improve the quality of life for local community members by addressing societal health disparities.


Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into several of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

“There is a great need for mental health services across the board, but especially in this area,” says Richard Renfro, PhD, director of the new clinic. “Very few mental health clinics cater to marginalized families and children. My hope is that this clinic sends a strong and positive message that Loyola is committed to the needs and well-being of all our community members.”

The clinic is part of the University’s five-year strategic plan, Plan 2020, and is a project of Lake Shore Community Partners, a new program that builds on the University’s existing relationships in Rogers Park and Edgewater. Lake Shore Community Partners will focus on four priorities—health, business, education, and safety—and work to improve the quality of life for area residents through economic and social efforts.

Offering psychological assessments and individual, group, and family therapy, the clinic will act as a resource for families who live in the communities around Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. With help from community partners, the clinic aims to serve families that would otherwise not have access to behavioral and mental health care due to low income or inadequate health insurance.

“Sometimes therapy is pictured as this really comfy, warm, and safe thing,” Renfro says. “But a lot of times you enter the community, and it’s not simple. It’s messy, but it’s definitely a necessity.”

The clinic will also be a training facility for graduate students within the School of Education and the School of Social Work. Starting in the fall, students will spend half of their time at the clinic and the other half working at schools in the area, such as Senn High School, the clinic’s first school partner.

Renfro hopes that in the next few years, the clinic will expand the types of mental health services offered, but for now he’s happy to see the project get off the ground.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to create something from scratch,” he says. “This is not something that happened overnight, and now it’s coming to fruition. At the University level, everyone is excited.”


Location: The Granada Center, 6439 N. Sheridan, Suite 300

Phone: 773.508.3390; email: LoyolaCFS@luc.edu

Online: Find more information on the clinic website.

Forum to discuss lead poisoning


The recent lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, has raised public awareness of the problem of childhood lead poisoning in Chicago.

Representatives from the City of Chicago and Cook County public health departments, as well as national experts in lead poisoning, will gather at Loyola University Chicago on Monday to discuss working together to combat issues surrounding lead poisoning and its devastating impact on families in local communities.

The day’s topics include the primary sources of lead poisoning and effects on children, current strategies in place to address the problem in Chicago and Cook County, and additional tactics that need to be implemented to eliminate lead poisoning in the most vulnerable communities. 

Featured speakers include:

        • Helen Binns, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
        • Susan Buchanan, MD, MPH, Director, Great Lake Center for Children’s Environmental Health/Region 5 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
        • David Jacobs, PhD, Chief Scientist, National Center for Healthy Housing, and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
        • Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD, Director, Center for the Human Rights of Children, Loyola University Chicago
        • Terry Mason, MD, Chief Operating Officer, Cook County Health and Hospital Systems
        • Julie Morita, MD, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health
        • Anita Weinberg, JD, Director, ChildLaw Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago


When: Monday, April 4, from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Where: Philip H. Corboy Law Center, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom (10th floor), 25 E. Pearson St., Chicago.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Art is in her DNA


Loyola biology professor Hunter Cole sits in front of her artwork inside the Quinlan Life Sciences Building. Cole, who has a doctorate in genetics, also has a passion for art. “I’m an artist,” she says. “I need to create art.” (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Kristen Torres  |  Student reporter

If you’ve ventured into the Quinlan Life Sciences Building recently, you may have noticed 14 oil paintings surrounded by LED lights—all designed by Loyola biology professor Hunter Cole, PhD.

Cole, who has a doctorate in genetics, is also an accomplished artist whose work has appeared in galleries around the world. By mixing her love of art with her background in biology, she’s transforming the way people see science.

Here, she talks about blending her two passions, how a trip to Paris inspired her to become a painter, and why art can give students a different perspective on science.

How did you come to mold together your love for art and biology?
My mother was a very artistic person; she played the flute and the piano. She was also into drawing and poetry. We had some of her art framed and hung up around the house. My father also took me to art and science museums all the time growing up in San Francisco. So I was surrounded by art and science when I was younger.

Still, most people focus on one discipline.
I’m an artist—I need to create art. Even during my undergraduate work in plant genetics, I was always drawing and taking pictures. I became more serious about art during graduate school, because scientific research and lab work can be frustrating. I also traveled to Paris, and seeing all those original pieces of artwork on display made me think that I could turn my doodles into actual paintings. I came back inspired to combine art and science. And now I use art as an avenue to teach students about science.

Tell us a little bit about your experience teaching Liberal Arts Biology.
I teach the genetics labs, along with Liberal Arts Biology—a course I created while teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. My department chair at the time asked me if I could teach any course, what would it be, and thus came Liberal Arts Biology. I brought the course to Loyola and began teaching it in 2005. It brings together biology subject matter with art as a medium of exploration.

What does a student have to gain from taking this course?
We cover several topics, from molecular biology to human anatomy, and students can do all sorts of things. They can look at microorganisms, use DNA as an artistic medium, even create music based on DNA sequence. It’s a Core Curriculum course for non-science majors, but I still get plenty of biology students in my classroom. It gives them a different perspective and let’s them see things that can be done with science beyond just analyzing a set of questions. Looking at it from an artistic perspective, you’re able to come up with different solutions for how organic things actually work.

What other projects are you working on?
I’m in the middle of putting together an art installation that will raise awareness about endometriosis—a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. I filmed endometriosis cells growing and dying, and I’m overlaying that footage with interviews I took of women talking about their experience with the condition. I filmed subjects in Chicago and in Australia, so there’s a worldwide component in the work. I have endometriosis, and I had myself filmed discussing my experience.


Read more about Cole and see images of her artwork at huntercole.org. You can learn more about her Loyola installation on the Department of Biology website.

Loyola launches Lake Shore Community Partners


Loyola has been working for years with area schools, including Nicholas Senn High School (above). “The University’s presence can be felt throughout our school building,” said Mary Beck, interim principal at Senn, “and our community is stronger for it.” (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

Loyola on Monday announced the launch of Lake Shore Community Partners, an innovative program that builds on the University’s existing relationships within Rogers Park and Edgewater. The initiative will focus on four priorities—health, business, education, and safety—and work to improve the quality of life for area residents through economic and social efforts.


Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into several of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

The program is a key part of Loyola’s Plan 2020, a five-year roadmap that promotes social justice and aims to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world.

“Plan 2020 is rooted in our commitment to address complex societal problems locally and globally,” said John P. Pelissero, PhD, interim president of Loyola University Chicago. “With the creation of Lake Shore Community Partners, we have a clear opportunity to leverage our resources and join with community leaders to implement innovative ideas and strategies, while embracing and sustaining the cultural and economic diversity of our neighborhoods.”

Leaders from Loyola and the community, including neighborhood aldermen Joe Moore (49th Ward) and Harry Osterman (48th Ward), will work together on the initiative. Below are highlights from each of the four priorities.

Partners for Health

The Loyola Community and Family Services clinic is the anchor project for Partners for Health. The clinic, which will provide low-cost mental health services to families in Rogers Park and Edgewater, is housed in the University’s Granada Center on Sheridan Road. It was developed by a number of Loyola partners, including the School of Social Work and the School of Education.

“There is a great need for mental health services across our city, but it is especially needed on the far north side,” said Richard Renfro, PhD, director of the new clinic. “Very few mental health clinics cater to marginalized families and children. My hope is that this clinic sends a strong and positive message that Loyola is committed to the needs and well-being of all our community members.”

In addition to helping neighborhood families and children, the clinic also will be a training facility for graduate students within the School of Education and the School of Social Work. Starting in the fall, student externs will spend half of their time at the clinic and the other half working at schools in the area, such as Nicholas Senn High School, the clinic’s first school partner.

The clinic will open to the public later this month and be fully operational in fall 2016. Community partners and the public are invited to join Loyolans for a tour of the facility and a staff meet and greet on Thursday, April 7, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Learn more about the clinic at LUC.edu/lcfs.

Partners for Business

Loyola’s Department of Community Relations will work with neighborhood leaders to spur economic development around the University. One key component of the plan is to help develop and promote “RogersEdge,” the retail district near Devon Avenue, Sheridan Road, and Broadway that bridges Rogers Park and Edgewater.

“I am passionate about economic development that respects the historic culture of our Rogers Park and Edgewater communities, while balancing incoming development into RogersEdge,” said Jennifer Clark, associate vice president of campus and community planning at Loyola. “I look forward to kicking off a local branding and marketing effort with both neighborhoods that will help put in place an economic infrastructure to serve future generations.”

The University also will offer short-term leases to help local businesses open “tiny shops” in the Granada Center. The first small shops are Third Coast Comics and Local Goods Chicago; both businesses will share retail space at 6443 N. Sheridan Road. Third Coast Comics opened in early March, and Local Goods Chicago will open in April. A grand opening celebration will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 8.

“Loyola has been exceedingly supportive in aiding our mission to cultivate and sustain a vibrant community in Rogers Park,” said Sandi Price, executive director of the Rogers Park Business Alliance. “We anticipate the continued development and promotion of RogersEdge to be an inventive way to increase retail options in our neighborhood.”

Partners for Education

Loyola has deep relationships in dozens of K-12 schools across Chicago, including more than 50 current initiatives in Rogers Park and Edgewater schools. To kick off the Partners for Education program, the University will invite local principals and community organizations to discuss needs and develop new initiatives that can broaden Loyola’s involvement in these schools.

“As an educational institution ourselves, Loyola is committed to utilizing our relationships and leveraging our resources to support the children located in our backyard,” said Terri Pigott, PhD, dean of Loyola’s School of Education. “We have hundreds of students, faculty, and staff working and volunteering in classrooms across the city, and we will continue to support the efforts of local K-12 teachers and administrators while identifying new ways we can all be more effective.”

One example of how Loyola can lend its resources to the community is the work that has occurred at Nicholas Senn High School for the last four years.

“We consider our relationship with Loyola to be a true partnership,” said Mary Beck, interim principal at Senn. “Our students are learning from Loyola students, Loyola students are learning from our teachers, and our teachers are learning from Loyola faculty members. The University’s presence can be felt throughout our school building, and our community is stronger for it.”

Partners for Safety

The fourth part of the community partnership, Partners for Safety, began earlier this year with a State of the Neighborhood Forum. Members of Loyola’s Campus Safety department joined Alderman Moore and representatives from the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Transit Authority to discuss existing safety initiatives in the area and to address questions from the audience. Moving forward, Loyola will work with these groups and others on more safety programs for the neighborhood.


Loyola and community leaders expect additional initiatives and projects to grow under the Lake Shore Community Partners umbrella. The local community will have a number of opportunities to work with the program, which will offer a formal request-for-proposals process in the future.

For now, anyone interested in getting involved with the program can contact Jennifer Clark, associate vice president of campus and community planning, at jclark7@luc.edu. You can learn more about the program at LUC.edu/lscp.

Service trips provide alternative to school breaks


Several Loyola students took part in a service trip this January to Jamaica, where they worked with orphaned children who have developmental disabilities.

By Kristen Torres  |  Student reporter

Jae Shin has been on four Alternative Break Immersion (ABI) service trips since her freshman year, but her recent trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica, has by far been the most impactful on her life and education.


Visit the Alternative Break Immersion website for program destinations, dates, and fees.

“Working with disabled individuals was one of the more enlightening experiences I’ve had at Loyola,” said Shin, a senior who is majoring in special education. “I learned so much about how to love others and value life and all different types of people with a wide range of abilities.”

The group stayed at a facility run by Mustard Seed Communities, an organization that cares for orphaned children with developmental disabilities.

“The children in Jamaica don’t have the resources or services that they would get if they were in the U.S.,” Shin said. “But despite the organization’s limitations, the children are still cared for and loved so deeply.”

Loyola offers more than 20 ABI trips through the Campus Ministry department—and interest in the program has soared in recent years.

“During the 2012-2013 school year we had 14 trips with 116 students participating,” said Susan Haarman, who oversees Loyola’s ABI program. “This year we almost doubled that with the creation of 10 new trips and 240 student participants.”

Each trip has a unique focus, ranging from immigration to urban issues, to education and justice, and more. The trips typically last seven days and are offered in January, May, and during Spring Break.

“ABIs are a great opportunity for students to round out their Jesuit education,” Haarman said. “We can’t teach students concepts without giving them a chance to grow their compassion in the real world.”

Junior Hannah Goheen, who has been on two service trips, said her experience in Jamaica made her more self-aware about her own privilege.

“One of the pillars of the ABI program is simplicity,” said Goheen, who is getting a double major in social work and political science. “Going on these trips puts into perspective what should be important in life. I always return from my ABIs with a renewed worldview.”

Daily reflection is also a key component of the program.

“I joke to a lot of people that you shouldn’t be able to graduate until you’ve gone on an ABI,” Shin said. “I’ve learned so much more outside of the classroom, and I owe it all to my Jesuit education.”


Over Spring Break, the Loyola men’s soccer team will take part in a service trip to Peru. The players will work with an organization that helps rehabilitate former gang members by bringing them together to play soccer. Check the Athletics website for updates and first-person accounts from players.

Student leaders discuss new Magis Scholarship


Catalina Cipri, co-president of the Latin American Student Organization, was one of the driving forces behind the new Magis Scholarship Fund. “There are so many undocumented students who are working hard at Loyola but unfortunately can’t receive federal financial aid,” she said. (Photo: Mark Patton)

By Anna Gaynor

The Magis Scholarship Fund isn’t just unique because of who it benefits—it also has an origin story completely unique to the University.

Loyola students conceived the idea, stumped for it, and then overwhelmingly approved it in a spring 2015 vote. The scholarship’s mission is to not only help undocumented undergraduates with school costs but also to jumpstart conversations in and outside the classrooms.

“There are so many undocumented students who are working hard at Loyola but unfortunately can’t receive federal financial aid,” said Catalina Cipri, co-president of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). “So it often compromises their ability to work as hard in school because they have to work to pay for their tuition.”

In December, the University’s Board of Trustees approved the students’ vote to add an individual $2.50 student fee each semester—raising roughly $50,000 each year for undocumented students. The initiative was a joint partnership between LASO and the Unified Student Government Association, now called the Student Government of Loyola Chicago.

Creating conversations

For Flavio Bravo (above), last year’s student body president, the Magis Scholarship Fund was an easy cause to support. During his freshman year, the Phoenix native won Loyola’s First-Year Text essay contest about Enrique’s Journey, the nonfiction book about a Honduran boy’s search to find his mother in the United States.

Also that year, Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., current chancellor and former president of Loyola, signed a statement of support for undocumented students along with other presidents from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. About a month later, Bravo was invited to be a student representative at a Washington, D.C., meeting discussing the issue.

“As a freshman, that was really transformative to see that,” Bravo said. “It was a really big deal. For me from the beginning, it was a clear message: Our summer reading book was Enrique’s Journey, the head honcho, Father Garanzini is signing this statement. This is a great sign that this is the type of work Loyola is invested in.”

It was during his sophomore year that the idea for the scholarship came about. The two student groups held forums, visited classrooms, and met with faculty and staff to bring awareness and find fundraising support. But they also found something else coming from their efforts.

“A lot of people would come up to me and Flavio and say, ‘Because of this initiative I’ve had great conversations on campus, in my classes, or with my friends,’ ” Cipri said. “It was great to see that we started a conversation, and that was what surprised me most.”

A University-wide effort

The Magis Scholarship Fund is part of a larger effort to support undocumented students on Loyola’s campuses. In the fall, the University awarded five full scholarships to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students. (The DACA Scholarships will be renamed Magis Scholarships to honor the student-led effort.) At Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, 35 of its 158 students are undocumented, and while they cannot apply for federal financial aid, they are receiving scholarships.

At the graduate level, Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in 2014 became the first medical school in the United States to accept and admit qualified students with DACA status. The school now has 14 DACA-status students in its first-year medical class and six in its second-year medical class. (Read more about Stritch’s efforts to accept undocumented students in this Huffington Post story.)

“We couldn’t have done this if there wasn’t that conversation already on campus,” Bravo said.

For Cipri, a meeting with John P. Pelissero, PhD, Loyola’s interim president, a few weeks before the Board of Trustees meeting, showed her how much Loyola listens to its students.

“If the Board of Trustees wouldn’t have accepted this, or if Dr. Pelissero would not have allowed this, or if we wouldn’t have been able to do classroom visits, this initiative would not have been able to grow the way that it has,” she said.

After undergraduates voted to approve the fund in 2015, the initiative received some more good news. Don Graham, chairman and CEO of Graham Holdings Company and founder of TheDream.US, gave $50,000 to the University to match the student body’s fundraising efforts. Bravo hopes that they will be able to continue raising funds while also raising awareness.

“What started at $2.50 is over $100,000 now,” Bravo said. “Education is a process, and we don’t need necessarily to wait until we have our degrees in order to work on this type of initiative.”  


Students admitted for the fall 2016 semester can apply for a Magis Scholarship through their application status page or on the Financial Aid website. The application is open to newly admitted freshmen (deadline: March 4, 2016) and to transfer students (deadline: May 2, 2016).

Finalists will participate in an on-campus interview, and five scholarships will be awarded to new incoming students in the fall. The scholarships are renewable.

To donate to the Magis Scholarship Fund, visit LUC.edu/give and write in “Magis Scholarship” to direct your gift.

An alternative approach to Thanksgiving


Can’t make it home for the holiday? No problem—there are plenty of other Thanksgiving options available for Loyola students.

Kristen Torres | Student reporter

Thanksgiving is rooted in tradition. We grow up associating turkey and stuffing with the holiday. We play football in the yard—at least we attempt to—and reflect on our good fortune.


Loyola has options for students who can’t manage a trip back home. The University will host a free Thanksgiving meal for students on November 28 at the Damen Student Center. International students in the Quinlan School of Business can attend a Thanksgiving dinner on November 22 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Schreiber Center; RSVP’s can be made here.

Yet despite the emotional attachment we’ve grown to pair with Thanksgiving, some students aren’t able to head back home to be with family and friends. Instead, students here and abroad are finding new ways to celebrate the holiday.

Sallyann Concannon, an international student from Galway, Ireland, who is studying at Loyola for the fall semester, is spending the holiday break with her roommate’s family in Wisconsin.

“I don’t know much about the holiday, but I’m assuming it’s something like Christmas, right?” Concannon said amid nervous giggles. “If it’s anything like the holidays back home, I’m excited for the turkey and ham that goes along with it.”

Pia Molina and Megan Prokott, junior roommates who live off campus, are opting to stay in town for the holiday break.

“Sadly, the work grind is all too real now,” Prokott said. “Going home isn’t feasible, so we’re throwing a Friendsgiving instead.”

The duo proceeded to name every single food item on their shopping list for the meal—cranberry-orange stuffing and all.

“Our list is pretty extensive,” Molina said. “But if we can’t go home we’re at least going to eat like we are.”

Students spending the semester abroad are also finding new ways to spend the American holiday.

Wesley Rieck, a junior finance major studying at Loyola’s Vietnam Center, is celebrating with other students in his program.

“For those of us who aren’t going out traveling, we’re getting together at our program director’s house and attempting to have a traditional family-style meal—turkey and stuffing included,” Rieck said.

Get ahead with a J-Term course this winter


J-Term, which runs from January 4-15 this academic year, helps students catch up, get ahead, or graduate early by enrolling in a three-credit course over winter break.

By Kristen Torres | Student reporter

Junior Danny Sherry credits his academic success largely to his decision to enroll in a January Term class last winter.

“I was stressed. I was so busy with school, work, and an internship,” Sherry said. “I saw multiple 18-credit semesters coming my way and knew I needed a way to lighten the load or I’d go insane.”


Find more information—including a list of frequently asked questions—at the January Term website.

Luckily, Sherry found a solution. Enrolling in a tier-two history Core requirement, Sherry was able to complete three credits in just two weeks.

“It was the most intense two weeks of my life, but it was worth so much,” he said. “It gave me back the ability to have a regular course load for another semester.”

January Term, also known as J-Term, was launched at Loyola in 2012 to help students catch up, get ahead, or graduate early by enrolling in a three-credit course over the winter break. Students can take classes on campus, online, or abroad during the two-week term, which runs from January 4-15 this winter.

“Students really appreciate the immersive nature of J-Term because it allows them to focus exclusively on one area of interest for 10 class days,” said JoBeth D’Agostino, associate provost for curriculum development.

Senior Catalina Cipri is graduating early with a degree in International Studies. Being able to take Social Work 201 last winter spared her from having to tackle 21 credits in a single semester.

“It was very demanding,” Cipri said. “We had three or four assignments due daily on top of a lecture. It was a great class, though. I gained a lot of perspective. There were a lot of assignments, but none of them were tedious.”

J-Term classes from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Social Work, Quinlan School of Business, and the Institute of Environmental Sustainability are available for enrollment now through January 3 on LOCUS. 

Veteran actor to star in ‘Galileo’


“It’s not about me, it’s not about my performances,” says Ross Lehman, artist in residence for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. “It’s about that educational experience of students working with somebody who has been doing this for a very long time.”

By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

Ross Lehman has won over audiences on Broadway, the West End, and in Chicago, where he most recently starred in the Goodman Theatre’s production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Now, as artist in residence for the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, he’s taking the stage as the famed scientist in Loyola’s Mainstage production of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo.  

The production, directed by theatre department head Mark E. Lococo, headlines a series of events in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s letter to the Grand Duchess Christina about his confirmation of the Copernican theory that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the solar system. That finding, of course, directly contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church. The play details Galileo’s conflict with the Church, and his own conflict with himself.

The story of this struggle between science and the powers that be strikes many chords with audiences today, Lehman said.

“It’s an election year, and there are candidates, and people in power, who are still arguing that there is no such thing as man-made global warming,” Lehman said.

Written shortly after World War II and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the play also has implications about personal responsibility.

“It’s about taking responsibility for what you put into the world,” Lehman said. 

Through his plays, Brecht wished to advance social justice by shining a light on issues of war, poverty, and inequality. Lehman stressed the value of theatre as a tool to highlight these issues.

“Theatre reflects,” he said. “It serves as a witness to history and social injustice.”

As artist in residence in the production, Lehman performs with a cast of Loyola theatre students. His role is to not only act, but to serve as a role model and resource for budding actors and actresses.

“It’s not about me, it’s not about my performances,” he said. “It’s about that educational experience of students working with somebody who has been doing this for a very long time.”

But it’s not just about seeing Lehman succeed—it’s about learning how to try, and fail.

“It’s not just about how what I do works, it’s about how what I do doesn’t work, and letting students see that,” Lehman said. “That can be uncomfortable for me.”

Buy your tickets here for Galileo, which runs November 13-22. The production is part of Celebrazioni Galileaiane, an interdisciplinary celebration of Galileo’s accomplishments.

Read Ross Lehman’s blog on the Arts Alive website.

Alum to appear on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’


Sister Alicia Torres, a 2007 Loyola graduate, will appear this month on a special “Thanksgiving Soup-er Stars” edition of the popular Food Network show “Chopped.”

Cooking has been a passion of Sister Alicia Torres since she was a teenager.

Having recently professed her final vows as a Franciscan Sister in the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, Torres puts her skills as a chef to good use by helping feed 700 families a month in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood. But Torres recently proved she’s no ordinary soup kitchen cook when she competed on the popular Food Network show Chopped.

Torres, a 2007 Loyola graduate, is one of four soup kitchen cooks who will appear this month to raise money for charity on a special “Thanksgiving Soup-er Stars” edition of Chopped. On the show, each cook receives a mystery basket of ingredients and has to come up with a way to use all of the items to prepare a custom dish. After each round—appetizer, entree, and dessert—one contestant is eliminated by a team of judges until one chef remains.

For Torres, appearing on the show is an opportunity to call attention to a critical issue that she encounters in her own backyard—and one that effects people nationwide—on a daily basis.

“I tip my hat to Chopped and the Food Network for making it a priority to use their influence to help shed light on the issue of hunger in our country, especially as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday,” she said.

“Working together with every person of good will, we can make a big difference and help end hunger person by person, neighborhood by neighborhood. All it takes is a little creativity, a lot of determination, and a deep faith that God’s providence will never fail.”

• See Torres compete on the Food Network’s Chopped on Monday, November 9, at 7 p.m. You can visit the show’s website to find additional times. 
• Read more about Torres and her love of cooking in this Chicago Tribune story

Social justice in action


Loyola’s Labre Ministry, which provides the city’s homeless with food and friendship, is just one of many volunteer programs that students can take part in while at the University. (File photo: Heather Eidson)

By Lauren Krause

Loyola students quickly learn that a Jesuit education is about much more than books and lectures. It’s about expanding your horizons—and opening your mind—to become a man or woman for others.

Students hoping to put social justice into action can volunteer through a number of different programs offered by Loyola’s Campus Ministry department and its office of Community Service & Action. Each opportunity listed below varies on time commitment, location, and type of service—but they are all rooted in the Jesuit ideal of creating a more just world.

St. Thomas of Canterbury soup kitchen

Loyola sends weekly groups to serve the community at the St. Thomas of Canterbury soup kitchen, located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Senior Adam Williamson participates weekly and says that while he initially looked at his attendance as an obligation, he now looks forward to the fulfillment side of service. “I always tell people my life goal is to continuously put smiles on people’s faces through service,” he said.

Williamson says he’s able to meet that goal through the soup kitchen, but he challenges himself to recruit more student volunteers and to get them committed to the cause. “I try to tell volunteers to visit at least three times before giving any solid judgment,” Williamson said. 

Groups depart from the Lake Shore Campus every Tuesday and Friday at 3:40 p.m. The only requirement is to wear pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes. Learn more here.

Alternative break immersion trip

Students looking for a more immersive venture can sign up for one of the dozens of alternative break immersion trips that take place in the winter and spring. Whether it’s gardening in West Virginia or assisting poverty-stricken communities in South Dakota, each trip offers volunteers an experience based on four primary goals and guiding principles: living simply, deepening faith, building community, and doing justice. Learn more here.


Loyola4Chicago’s mission allows undergraduates to experience diversity in Chicago first-hand. This group offers several volunteer options ranging from weekly tutoring sessions, assisting second-language adult immigrants, and working with the homeless. Senior Marta Makowski participates with Big Brothers Big Sisters and cites the hope she sees in her little “sister” as motivation.

“As children who are constantly faced with daily struggles associated with violence, family, multi-family homes, and poor education, I am in awe of how strong they are at such a young age,” she said. “It encourages me to keep unfolding their critical thinking and give them a consistent support system.” Learn more here.

Labre Ministry

For those who prefer a service commitment with less structure, the Labre Ministry serves the Chicago homeless, providing them with food and friendship. Led by students, the group departs every Thursday from the Water Tower Campus and seeks out the hungry and poor members of Chicago’s downtown community. Labre’s mission targets solidarity, rather than charity, and focuses on relationship building rather than the act of providing food itself. Learn more here.

Health Sciences Division

Students in Loyola’s Health Sciences Division also have plenty of opportunities to volunteer. Options range from one-time service days to extended international immersion trips. Many of the HSD’s current service programs were started by students, so if you have a project you’re passionate about, contact the University Mission office to turn your idea into a reality. Learn more here

Loyola’s No. 1 fan still going strong at 93

Sister Jean

Sister Jean has been team chaplain of the men’s basketball team for nearly 20 years.


By Jodi S. Cohen
Chicago Tribune reporter
March 5, 2013

It was minutes before game time and the Loyola Ramblers entered the tunnel, ready to rush onto the basketball court.

But there was one last order of business.

The team huddled with a 5-foot-tall, 93-year-old nun wearing a Nike workout top, black skirt, and maroon sneakers with gold laces. “Sister” was embroidered on the heel of one shoe. “Jean” on the other.

The players bowed their heads. “As we face the Vikings today, we know what we have to do. We can win and we are going to go out there and do it,” said Sister Jean, who stands nearly two feet below the tallest player. “We want to watch especially No. 3 and No. 21 and No. 33. We have beaten them before and we can do it again. So get in there and do it well and don’t get hurt.”


Officially, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt is the chaplain for Loyola University Chicago’s men’s basketball team. But after nearly 20 years in that position, she’s become so much more. Students chant “Sis-ter Jean” before games, and referees pose for pictures with her. She even has her own bobblehead.

The tiny woman with the short white hair and thick trifocals is the team’s adopted grandmother, or more aptly given her years, its great-grandmother.

On Saturday her prayers came true when the team won its last regular-season game, 87-60, against Cleveland State University before going on the road for the Horizon League playoffs that begin Tuesday night.

And as much as the student athletes say Schmidt keeps their spirits up, the truth is that Schmidt needs them, too. She is the star of Gentile Arena, and her face lights up the minute she walks in the door.

Born in 1919 in San Francisco, Schmidt said she wasn’t necessarily an athlete growing up, but she played on her Catholic high school basketball team.

After graduation she joined the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and she spent two decades working as an elementary school teacher and principal and coaching girls basketball, volleyball, softball and track.

She took a job teaching at the Catholic all-women’s Mundelein College near Loyola’s campus in Rogers Park in 1961. She was still there 30 years later when the college affiliated with Loyola.

Loyola’s then-president saw Schmidt in the stands at basketball games and in 1994 asked if she could help the team. Its chaplain, a Jesuit priest, was retiring, and the team needed a replacement.

“I said, ‘I have never been a chaplain to a basketball team before, but I would love to do it,’” she said.

And she’s done it ever since, along with many other duties at the school. Three days a week she ministers to students riding the university’s shuttle bus, handing out prayer cards during finals week and reminding them of upcoming events. She lives in a dorm with 400 freshmen.

While most of Loyola’s sports teams have a chaplain, she is the only woman to serve in the role.

When Loyola introduced new head coach Porter Moser last year, Schmidt was there in her customized Nikes in the school’s colors.

“She gave me a high-five when I walked into the press conference,” Moser said. “And five hours later, I got an email from her evaluating every single current player on the roster.”

Schmidt prays with the team before they take the court, and leads the fans in an opening prayer before game time. When the broadcaster introduces the team, she is the last one announced — and gets the loudest applause.

After each game she sends an email to Moser and a separate one to the players. A typical note will include some analysis: “You executed the ball well”; some religion: “As always, we ask our God to help us earn a WIN”; and some gentle reminders: “You must use your time management skills as you prepare for finals which will be here very soon.”

Every team member gets his own version of the email, ending with Schmidt’s thoughts on that player’s performance.

“She knows exactly what each person did in that game, what we brought to help the team, and she reminds us of it,” said sophomore Joe Crisman, a guard. “She tells us to keep at it, and that is huge. It means everything.”

On Saturday, Schmidt arrived at Gentile Arena about an hour before game time and didn’t stop working the arena until tipoff, circling the court and shaking hands with her fans.

She may not know everybody’s name, but they all know hers.

“There she is,” referee Tim Fitzgerald said, pointing to Schmidt as he walked onto the floor.

“Sister Jean, we love you!” screamed senior Andrew Gaillardetz.

“She’s the center of the men’s basketball program,” said university Provost John Pelissero. “We pay (coach) Porter to do that, but Sister Jean is the inspiration.”

Schmidt smiled at the compliments and shook her head, but she was clearly enjoying it.

Frank Biga, 64, a longtime fan with courtside seats, offered Schmidt some pregame advice.

“The prayer should be more biased,” he joked.

To be sure, the Ramblers (15-15) have had a rough year, with injuries sidelining some of their best players. The team started three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior Saturday.

“We need a good prayer tonight,” assistant coach Rick Malnati requested before the game.

“A short one,” Schmidt replied.

“Short, but powerful,” Malnati said.

With five minutes until game time, Schmidt stood at the microphone to recite the opening prayer.

“We ask you, Lord, to look favorably on our Ramblers,” she said. “May we play with our hearts, our minds, our bodies, remembering to be alert with our eyes on the ball.”

With the prayer over, the student section, known as the Rowdies, started chanting: “Sis-ter Jean. Sis-ter Jean. Sis-ter Jean.”

She turned to them, smiled and gave a thumbs up. Then she took her seat to watch the game.

As affable as she is before the game, she is mostly silent during it. She sits with her hands folded in her lap, twiddling her thumbs.

She clapped when the Ramblers scored and groaned when they couldn’t get a shot off on time. “Oh, Jordan,” she said when senior standout Jordan Hicks made a foul. “C’mon, Ben,” she said when captain Ben Averkamp readied for a free throw.

But there’s no loud cheering or booing from Sister Jean. And of course, there’s no cursing when things go wrong. Sometimes she prays silently — “in my heart,” she says — that nobody gets hurt.

With two minutes left on the clock, and the Ramblers ahead by 20, Schmidt left her seat and watched the final minutes from the tunnel. At the buzzer, she gave two thumbs up and hugged the players as they headed to the locker room.

“The pregame prayer was a good luck charm,” Hicks said to Schmidt at a postgame party. “You were on your game.”

“I can pray. You can work,” Schmidt said.

And with that, the team’s regular season — and final home game — was over. “See you next season,” she said as she left the arena.

Back at Regis Hall, where she lives in a suite, she sat down at her desk and typed her postgame email to coach Moser.

I know we will continue our hard work, our playing to the end of the game and the sharing of the ball on the court. I believe that we can come out #1 in the league if we put our whole being into each game.

Yes, it is one game at a time and each is a different game, and performances are spread differently. May God watch over our men and keep them healthy and WINNING.

Good luck and GO RAMBLERS.

Watch a Chicago Tribune video about Sister Jean here.


Loyola’s biodiesel program featured on Reuters TV

Biodiesel story

Loyolans react to news of the first Jesuit pope

Ceremony to induct Gathii as new Wing-Tat Lee Chair


Scholar James Gathii brings a long record of teaching and practice to the School of Law.

The Loyola University Chicago School of Law will induct James T. Gathii as the Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law at a special ceremony on Thursday, March 14.

As the Wing-Tat Lee Chair, Professor Gathii will pursue teaching and scholarship, and bring to the School of Law international conferences, lectures, and exchange programs for students and faculty.

Gathii brings to Loyola a distinguished record of scholarship, teaching, and practice in the field of international human rights and international trade. He most recently served as the associate dean for research and scholarship and the Governor George E. Pataki Professor of International Commercial Law at Albany Law School. He has worked throughout his career to establish legal and economic structures designed to prevent and remedy human rights violations in Africa.

“We are thrilled to have an international scholar as superb as James joining us at Loyola,” said David Yellen, dean of Loyola’s School of Law. “Our students will benefit tremendously from his broad range of expertise, especially in international trade and economic law, as well as human rights.”

Gathii has published more than 60 articles and book chapters and two books, African Regional Trade Agreements as Legal Regimes and War, Commerce, and International Law. He holds an LLB degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya; an SJD degree from Harvard Law School; and a diploma in the practice of law (admitted as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya) from Kenya School of Law.

At Thursday’s induction ceremony, Gathii will lecture on “Judicial Activism in Africa’s International Trade Courts.” Special remarks will also be provided by Penelope Andrews, the president and dean of Albany Law School, and Makau Wa Mutua, the dean and the SUNY Distinguished Professor and the Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar at SUNY Buffalo Law School.

The induction ceremony is free and open to the public. It begins at 5 p.m. at the Philip H. Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St., in the Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom on the 10th floor. A reception will follow the ceremony and lecture.

 For more information, visit Loyola’s School of Law.

Register now to complete your bachelor’s degree

Learn more about Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies here.

Loyola going dark to shine light on smart energy use

Earth Hour

This weekend is another chance for Loyola and its students to show their commitment to sustainability.

On Saturday night at 8:30, Loyola—along with hundreds of millions of people around the globe—will turn off all non-essential lights during Earth Hour to raise awareness for sustainability and the environmental challenges we all face.

Loyola invites all faculty, staff, and students to join in Earth Hour and take a stand on climate change. Participating is easy:

• Turn off your lights, TVs, computers, and other electronics this Saturday starting at 8:30 p.m.

• Invite your friends for a lights-out, unplugged gathering for international solidarity.

• Why stop after an hour? Make conserving energy part of your daily living.

• And spread the word—we are all in this together.

 At Loyola, we take sustainability to heart and apply it to everything we do—from the courses we offer to the buildings we construct. For instance:

 • Through renewable energy installations and a commitment to LEED-certified buildings, we’ve cut our energy use on the Lake Shore Campus in half over the past decade—saving the University more than $2 million a year in energy costs.

• Loyola has saved more than 58 million gallons of water thanks to its conservation efforts on campus. The University also is leading the region by banning bottle water on campus to save students money, reduce plastic waste, and address global water privatization.

• Loyola offers nearly 80 courses across the University that touch on sustainability concepts. Programs such as ChainLinks, the Biodiesel Lab, and the farm at the Retreat and Ecology Campus let students take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply those lessons to the real world.

Click here for more information about Earth Hour, and go here to learn more about Loyola’s sustainability programs.

Father Garanzini on the election of Pope Francis


Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

It was with great anticipation that we learned yesterday that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as our new pope, Pope Francis. His selection as the first Jesuit elected to that most holy of offices comes as a surprise to most Jesuits, who see ourselves as working for the Holy Father on the frontiers of knowledge and service to humanity, and most importantly to the poor and marginalized. Our work is most often in schools, parishes, refugee camps, and retreat houses, not usually in the halls of Church administration.

And yet, Pope Francis is very deeply rooted in his—our—tradition, which has been handed down and entrusted to us from our founder, St. Ignatius Loyola. Pope Francis was a professor and rector of a theological faculty. He is very familiar with academia and he taught literature, psychology, philosophy, and theology before becoming Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He is uniquely committed to social justice and the plight of the poor, and his worldview is most assuredly rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, of which he is a dedicated scholar and student.

Please join me in praying for Pope Francis and for our Church. It is our hope that together we can continue to inspire and engage women and men for lives of service to our communities and to the world.

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
President and CEO, Loyola University Chicago

Match Day especially sweet for pair of Stritch students

Match Day

Video from NBC 5-Chicago. (If you can't see the video with your browser or on your mobile device, try watching it here.)

Match Day is the most anticipated day of the year for medical school students, as they learn where they will spend the next several years of their medical training.

On Friday, 141 fourth-year students at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine received sealed envelopes containing their residency destinations. With the nervous suspense of the Oscars, students opened the envelopes to find the name of the medical institution that will become their new home. The room filled with screams, applause, and tears of joy.

But for two soon-to-be graduates, this Match Day was especially sweet.

Ali Hausfeld was in her first year of medical school at Stritch when her father and sister were killed in a plane crash as they flew to pick her up for Easter weekend. Less than three years later, Hausfeld and her boyfriend were involved in a serious car crash that left her with five broken ribs, a broken hip, and a dislocated ankle. Despite those setbacks, Hausfeld persevered—and on Friday she was surrounded by her mother and more than 30 family members and friends when she opened her envelope. (Watch an NBC 5 video of her story above.)

Sarah Bauer, another fourth-year Stritch student, was born with spina bifida and spent countless hours in doctors’ offices as a child. Although she had a milder form of the birth defect—which can leave some people paralyzed or in wheelchairs—she still underwent three surgeries while growing up, including one when she was just 5 weeks old. Shaped by those experiences, Bauer now wants to be a pediatrician to help other children. Read her inspirational story here in the Chicago Tribune (registration required).

At the heart of who we are

Just as Loyola continues to shape its campuses to improve its students’ university experience, the Core Curriculum is helping students better meet their academic, spiritual, and intellectual needs. The Core will not only influence our students as they earn their degrees, but it will provide them with the skills they’ll need after they leave school and pursue their careers.

One of these skills is understanding diversity and the appreciation that different cultures bring different perspectives to many situations. Without being aware of that in the workplace, students are going to miss something extremely important. That is not a skill you can easily put into a class, but it is one you can promote in a curriculum and educational program.

Another skill is being able to examine the ethical dimensions of every issue. It is one thing to ask if a practice is legally acceptable, but it is another thing to say, “This is an area that could lead us into greater risk-taking than is warranted.” We want to form graduates who are responsible for the society around them.

It’s called a Core Curriculum not just because it’s central to a Loyola education, but because it deals with what is at the core of a well-rounded person. The Core also encourages analysis across branches of learning. The ability to understand what different disciplines bring to an issue—how business or philosophy or the sciences might approach the same questions of truth or goodness or beauty—is invaluable. Those are the kinds of things you want to give in a broadly liberal education, and many schools miss the mark by training students for only one area of expertise.

Take, for example, a finance student. She will not graduate from the business school with just a degree in finance—she will have had as many hours of Core Curriculum as her major. Students graduating today will very likely have a number of careers, and we want to prepare them for that. That’s the liberalization of the program.

We hope our students will use the Core to begin to question how they can affect the world. We want them to ask, “What are our responsibilities to one another? What builds the human person and what detracts from that? What role do the arts play in making our daily life individually and collectively richer and more humane?”

By the end of their time at Loyola, they will have built up a set of skills and values that will help them far beyond the confines of the classroom. The Core Curriculum prepares our graduates to give back to their communities, to promote global and social justice, and to make a difference in the lives of others. Or, as we say: It prepares people to lead extraordinary lives.

Learn more about Loyola’s Core Curriculum here.


Loyola institute will focus on environmental issues

The Institute of Environmental Sustainability strives to create solutions to the stress on our planet’s natural resources, expanding knowledge in the service of humanity through teaching, research, and outreach activities on pressing environmental issues.

Learn more about Loyola’s sustainability programs here.

Doctors, nurses teaming up to improve care for patients


Loyola University Chicago is challenging the old practice of medicine where the physician is in charge and manages a patient with little input from nurses or other health-care professionals.

More than 250 Loyola medical and nursing students gathered in March for an Interprofessional Education Day on Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus to learn how to work as a team to deliver safe and effective care for patients.

“The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Stritch School of Medicine are taking a progressive approach to teaching by educating medical and nursing students together,” said Linda Cassata, PhD, RN, associate dean for the undergraduate program at the School of Nursing. “Stressing the importance of interprofessional skills and teamwork will improve the quality of health care.”

Third-year medical students, senior undergraduate nursing students, and accelerated bachelor’s nursing students had lively discussions that were facilitated by faculty from both schools. Video clips illustrated interprofessional competencies, including values and ethics for interprofessional practice; roles and responsibilities; interprofessional communication; and teams and teamwork.

“This was one of the more engaging sessions of the year, which helped me better understand nurses,” said third-year medical student Greg Eisinger. “I thought it was valuable to talk with the nursing students about what they do and to get their perspective on the communications issues between physicians and nurses.”

The workshop also allowed students to witness similarities in their disciplines and to see how working together can reduce medical errors.

“It was refreshing to learn how similar the medical and nursing professions are and that fostering communication can have a positive impact on patients,” said senior nursing student Christine Ninchich. “You reduce the risk of mistakes when everyone has a voice in patient care.”

Loyola offers ongoing, small-group interprofessional education for nursing and medical students to participate in simulated patient experiences in Loyola’s Center for Simulation Education. This facility includes a clinical simulation center with a six-bed virtual hospital and home-care environment where teams of students learn together how to better care for patients.

“We are beginning to see more multidisciplinary clinics in hospitals and outpatient settings, so education must prepare our students for this shift,” said Michael Koller, MD, assistant dean for educational affairs at the Stritch School of Medicine. “Loyola’s program is unique in that it has tremendous support of both faculties and a medical and nursing school that are located in close proximity to each other making interprofessional education possible.” 

Learn more at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Stritch School of Medicine websites.

On campus

Loyola Weekend

Ex-Sen. George Mitchell discusses peace on Thursday


On April 11, 1963, Pope John XXIII issued his last papal encyclical, Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), a document in which he outlined the importance of working together to promote universal peace.

On Thursday—exactly 50 years later—former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell will speak about “Making Peace by Negotiation and Agreement, and not by Recourse to Arms,” the title of his speech coming directly from a proposition in the encyclical. Mitchell’s presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. in Kasbeer Hall on the 15th floor of the Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St.

Kathleen Maas Weigert, the Carolyn Farrell, BVM, professor of women and leadership and assistant to the provost for social justice initiatives, said this encyclical carries heavy historical importance, especially for a Jesuit university.

“As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, we have an obligation to keep educating each generation about the important documents that shape the work we do in the world, and this is one of them,” Mass Weigert said. “It’s a historic statement that we are all responsible for building peace.”

And Mitchell’s actions, Mass Weigert said, help drive that point home.

“It’s a great honor to have someone who was so intimately involved in one of the most difficult situations,” said Maas Weigert, speaking of Mitchell’s involvement in negotiating peace agreements in Northern Ireland and Egypt.

Mitchell’s speech on Thursday is free and open to the public; a reception will follow. Find more details about the speech on the Institute of Pastoral Studies website.

Welcome to the Damen Student Center

Couldn’t make it to Wednesday’s opening? Don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know about Loyola’s new student center.

Damen Student Center Opening Activities

SOME SERIOUS SCISSORS Loyola student Amanda Levigne, who won a contest to cut the ribbon at the Damen Student Center opening, gets the party started Wednesday morning. "The center is gorgeous," said Levigne, a biology major from Orland Park. "It's exactly what students need." At far left is Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.

For more pictures

Go to our Flickr gallery to see even more photos from Wednesday’s grand opening. 

About the building  

Built on the site of the old Alumni Gym, the Damen Student Center has more than 100,000 square feet of usable space. How big is that? Big enough to hold more than 40 average-sized U.S. homes or 21 NCAA basketball courts.

The center has more than a dozen lounge spaces and conference rooms, ranging from small to, well, massive. The largest meeting room—the Sister Jean Hall—can hold up to 400 people for lectures.

If you’re hungry, the Damen Student Center has got you covered. It has a dining hall and a separate food court, which means you’re never more than a few feet away from a delicious meal.

Other highlights

  • A 35-foot climbing wall that is accessible from the Halas Sports Center and can be viewed from inside the student center.
  • A 125-seat theater for movie nights; the cinema also can be reserved for special events.
  • A gaming area with Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox 360 consoles, plus a library of games.
  • Ireland’s, a sports lounge on the lower level with pool tables and flat-screen TVs.
  • New Campus Ministry offices and separate worship spaces for different faiths.
  • New offices for several Student Development departments and other groups.

And it’s sustainable too

  • The center is designed to be LEED Silver-certified to conserve energy and be as environmentally friendly as possible.
  • High-efficiency fixtures help the center reduce its water use by up to 30 percent.
  • Half of the roof is devoted to green space to provide insulation and absorb rain.
  • ­An 80-foot by 40-foot skylight helps brighten the center and drive down lighting costs.
  • Natural ventilation throughout the center keeps air-conditioning use to a minimum.
  • During construction, three-fourths of the building waste was diverted from landfills.

They said it

“This is a place where student leadership can grow, where students can come together, and where we can fulfill our Loyola promise of educating the whole person.”

—Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola

“The Damen Student Center transforms Loyola by uniting the Rambler family and giving students a place to thrive. This building will be the hub of social activity on campus.”

—Robert D. Kelly, PhD, vice president for Student Development

“This student center will transform our campus culture. From now on, we will know Loyola as so much more than an institution of higher education. We will know it as our home.”

—Julia Poirier, 22, graduating student body president

“It’s beautiful. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. It’ll be fun to finally have a place to watch movies and rock climb and just hang out.”

—Michael Russo, 21, a health systems
management major from Wheaton

“It’ll be a great space for so many different things. There’s so much more you can do here than any other building on campus.”

—Sanjana Kantayya, 18, an international studies
and pre-med major from Rockford

“It feels like we’re more connected to the University and all the other departments. It’s a lot more welcoming than where we used to be.”

—David Lewis, 20, a sophomore and director of day trips
for the Department of Programming

What’s in a name?

The new student center is named after Arnold J. Damen, S.J., who founded St. Ignatius College, the predecessor of Loyola University Chicago. The college opened in 1870 on the city’s West Side and narrowly escaped the Great Fire of 1871, which started just blocks away. As the University’s first president, Damen oversaw a faculty of four priests and a student body of 37 young men.

For more information

Visit the official Damen Student Center website and see the building through its various stages of construction.

New student center takes campus life to next level

Damen Opening

Couldn’t make it to the April 3 opening? Don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know about Loyola’s new student center.

Damen Student Center Opening Activities

SOME SERIOUS SCISSORS Loyola student Amanda Levigne, who won a contest to cut the ribbon at the Damen Student Center opening, gets the party started on April 3. "The center is gorgeous," said Levigne, a biology major from Orland Park. "It's exactly what students need." At far left is Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.

For more pictures

Go to our Flickr gallery to see even more photos from the grand opening. 

About the building  

Built on the site of the old Alumni Gym, the Damen Student Center has more than 100,000 square feet of usable space. How big is that? Big enough to hold more than 40 average-sized U.S. homes or 21 NCAA basketball courts.

The center has more than a dozen lounge spaces and conference rooms, ranging from small to, well, massive. The largest meeting room—the Sister Jean Hall—can hold up to 400 people for lectures.

If you’re hungry, the Damen Student Center has got you covered. It has a dining hall and a separate food court, which means you’re never more than a few feet away from a delicious meal.

Other highlights

  • A 35-foot climbing wall that is accessible from the Halas Sports Center and can be viewed from inside the student center.
  • A 125-seat theater for movie nights; the cinema also can be reserved for special events.
  • A gaming area with Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox 360 consoles, plus a library of games.
  • Ireland’s, a sports lounge on the lower level with pool tables and flat-screen TVs.
  • New Campus Ministry offices and separate worship spaces for different faiths.
  • New offices for several Student Development departments and other groups.

And it’s sustainable too

  • The center is designed to be LEED Silver-certified to conserve energy and be as environmentally friendly as possible.
  • High-efficiency fixtures help the center reduce its water use by up to 30 percent.
  • Half of the roof is devoted to green space to provide insulation and absorb rain.
  • ­An 80-foot by 40-foot skylight helps brighten the center and drive down lighting costs.
  • Natural ventilation throughout the center keeps air-conditioning use to a minimum.
  • During construction, three-fourths of the building waste was diverted from landfills.

They said it

“This is a place where student leadership can grow, where students can come together, and where we can fulfill our Loyola promise of educating the whole person.”

—Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola

“The Damen Student Center transforms Loyola by uniting the Rambler family and giving students a place to thrive. This building will be the hub of social activity on campus.”

—Robert D. Kelly, PhD, vice president for Student Development

“This student center will transform our campus culture. From now on, we will know Loyola as so much more than an institution of higher education. We will know it as our home.”

—Julia Poirier, 22, graduating student body president

“It’s beautiful. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. It’ll be fun to finally have a place to watch movies and rock climb and just hang out.”

—Michael Russo, 21, a health systems
management major from Wheaton

“It’ll be a great space for so many different things. There’s so much more you can do here than any other building on campus.”

—Sanjana Kantayya, 18, an international studies
and pre-med major from Rockford

“It feels like we’re more connected to the University and all the other departments. It’s a lot more welcoming than where we used to be.”

—David Lewis, 20, a sophomore and director of day trips
for the Department of Programming

What’s in a name?

The new student center is named after Arnold J. Damen, S.J., who founded St. Ignatius College, the predecessor of Loyola University Chicago. The college opened in 1870 on the city’s West Side and narrowly escaped the Great Fire of 1871, which started just blocks away. As the University’s first president, Damen oversaw a faculty of four priests and a student body of 37 young men.

For more information

Visit the official Damen Student Center website and see the building through its various stages of construction.

1963 team to be inducted into basketball Hall of Fame


The 1963 squad is the first college team ever to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

Fifty years ago, Loyola played one of the most important games in the history of college basketball. On Tuesday, it was announced that the entire 1963 Rambler team will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 1963 squad—the first college basketball team ever to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame—officially will be inducted on Nov. 24 in Kansas City, Mo.

“The induction of our team into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor for all of us,” said center Les Hunter, a member of the 1963 Loyola team. “We are very proud and humbled by this great honor.”

When Loyola faced Mississippi State in the 1963 NCAA tournament a half-century ago, it did so with four African-American starters, a rarity in the civil rights era. Mississippi State, by contrast, featured an all-white lineup and was banned from playing integrated teams. But the Maroons (as they were called then) left Mississippi under the cover of darkness to play the Ramblers in the Midwest Regional, a game that would become known as the “Game of Change.”

After beating Mississippi State, the Ramblers went on to win the 1963 championship, becoming the first—and only—team from Illinois to win the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. But the 1963 team’s impact went far beyond the basketball court.

As ESPN.com reporter Dana O'Neil wrote in a 2012 profile of the team:

“When flashbulbs popped at the historic handshake between African-American player Jerry Harkness from Loyola and Mississippi State’s Joe Dan Gold, everyone realized that their March moment was far bigger than a basketball game.”

“That game, if you ask me, was key,” Harkness told ESPN.com last year. “I felt like it was the beginning of things turning around in college basketball. I truly believe that.”

In addition to winning a national championship and playing an important role in the civil rights movement, the 1963 Loyola team also excelled in the classroom. The starting five of Harkness, Hunter, John Egan, Ron Miller, and Vic Rouse earned a total of 11 college degrees. When the entire nine-man roster is factored into the equation, that number jumps to 19.

And now, they can all add Hall of Famer to their resumes.

Why Loyola? See why these students plan to come here

More than 4,500 people attended Loyola Weekend on April 6 and 7, the largest turnout ever in the event’s history.

The weekend—an invite-only occasion for admitted students and their families—highlights Loyola’s academic programs, its study abroad options, and the University’s state-of-the-art campus, among other things.

In the above video, learn why these six incoming students plan to enroll at Loyola in the fall. All admitted freshmen can secure their spot at Loyola by submitting a deposit by May 1 at LUC.edu/deposit

April at a glance

April calendar

April at Loyola started with the grand opening of the Arnold J. Damen, S.J., Student Center on the University’s Lake Shore Campus. Designed with students in mind, the new center is the place to go to study, grab something to eat, or just hang out with friends.

Here’s what else is going on at Loyola in April:

APRIL 19-21

Weekend of Excellence
Various locations across the University
Each spring, Loyola honors students who have excelled on and off campus during the academic year. This is an opportunity for them to share the fruits of their learning with family, friends, and neighbors. Visit the Weekend of Excellence website for more details.


Shakespeare Celebration
7:30 p.m., Newhart Family Theatre
Held in honor of the late Bernard McElroy (1937-1991), professor of English at Loyola, the McElroy Celebration combines lecture and performance to explore major themes in Shakespearean theory and criticism. Learn more and reserve your seats.


University Libraries Terry Lecture
7 p.m., Klarcheck Information Commons
Chinese-American writer Anchee Minn, author of several historical novels and a memoir about her life in China during the Cultural Revolution, will talk about her latest book, “Pearl of China,” and her upcoming memoir, “The Cooked Seed.” The event is free and open to the public. Visit the Friends of the Libraries website for more details.


Fatherhood: Ideas and Illustrations of Modern Parenting
6 p.m., LUMA
In conjunction with the exhibit “Choosing Fatherhood,” LUMA will host photographer Lewis Kostiner and Shipra Parikh, PhD, adjunct professor at Loyola’s School of Social Work. They will discuss modern fatherhood and what they have learned about men, their desires, and their ability to raise children. Go to the LUMA website to RSVP for the event.

A note about the listings: At Loyola, we are committed to providing students with an unmatched learning experience—both inside and outside the classroom. That’s why you’ll see events ranging from a trip to Wrigley Field to a celebration of Shakespeare. A Jesuit education does more than simply educate; it helps people broaden their horizons and become, well, better people.  

Ramblers making move to Missouri Valley Conference


LU Wolf and the Rowdies will have a new home in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Loyola University Chicago has accepted an invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference, it was announced Friday by University President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., and Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Dr. M. Grace Calhoun. The Ramblers will begin participation in all sports with the exception of men’s volleyball, which remains a member of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), for the 2013-14 season. Loyola’s membership takes effect July 1, 2013.

"I am pleased to announce that Loyola University Chicago will be joining the Missouri Valley Conference," Garanzini said. "The MVC has a great reputation and a strong competitive profile both in athletics and academics. I believe this partnership with the Missouri Valley Conference will enhance our national visibility and have a positive impact on the experience of our student-athletes."

"We are very honored to have received this invitation to join the Missouri Valley Conference, one of the most historic and competitive conferences in the country. We look forward to reestablishing nationally competitive programs and growing Loyola’s modern athletics brand," Calhoun said. "I am confident Loyola will not only be a strong and valued new member of the conference athletically, but will also enhance the reputation of the conference through the addition of a world-class university in a world-class city with student athletes who excel academically, athletically, and in life."

"This is a historic moment for the Missouri Valley and for Loyola University, and we strongly believe in the commitment and the potential that is very evident with this institution," said MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin. "Their University leadership has made a very significant investment in athletics facilities and in staffing in recent years, and we are confident that Loyola is going to be a great competitive fit in our conference."

Loyola’s athletics program, which is known for its storied traditions in men’s basketball and cross country/track and field, has achieved unprecedented growth in the last few years. This year the University celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic achievements of the 1963 men’s basketball team, which won the NCAA championship. Since 2005, five Rambler programs have advanced to at least one NCAA championship, and entering the 2013 spring season, Loyola ranked No. 1 in the Horizon League’s all-sports standings as it strives to win the McCafferty Trophy for the first time in program history.

Founded in 1907, the Missouri Valley Conference is the nation’s second-oldest NCAA Division I athletics conference, second only to the Big Ten Conference. In its first 106 years, the Valley has had 32 members, but Loyola is the league’s first member from Chicago.

The change in conference affiliation for Loyola comes after 34 years in the Horizon League, of which it was the only remaining charter member from its inception in 1979. Likewise, the Missouri Valley Conference has been known for its stability. Before Creighton University’s announcement last month that it would be departing the conference, the league has not had a change in membership since 1996 when Tulsa left for the Western Athletic Conference.

Other members of the Missouri Valley Conference (as of July 1, 2013) include Bradley University, Drake University, the University of Evansville, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Missouri State University, Southern Illinois University, the University of Northern Iowa, and Wichita State University.

Sit. Stay. Smile.

By Rianne Coale • Journalism major, Class of 2014

Are you stressed out by finals week? Do you need to take a break from all your studying? Or do you simply miss your family pet and want a friendly companion to talk to?

Then let Tivo lend you a helping paw.

Tivo, a 5-year-old purebred black Labrador retriever, is the newest addition to the Wellness Center at Loyola University Chicago and is trained specifically to be a best friend whenever he’s needed.

Tivo joined the Wellness Center team last year and is ready to work and assist anywhere he is needed around campus. He was rescued from an animal shelter as a puppy, and after extensive training, he became a licensed therapy dog.

“When he was a younger dog he did the TOPS obedience course at the canine training center for obedience,” said Joan Holden, Tivo’s official holder/trainer. “Then he worked at the sheriff’s department for a three-week obedience training. He lived with me over the summer, and I went through three more training sessions.”

Research has shown that people are drawn to pets and animals, and the Wellness Center is using that information to find new ways to engage with students on campus.

Diane Asaro, the Wellness Center director, couldn’t be happier with Tivo.

“Tivo’s job description includes being loved and playing,” Asaro said. “We use Tivo with patients for calming, for outreach in the residence halls, and to be sent out with a human counselor in hopes that students can come and pet the dog as a way to connect with the Wellness Center outside the office.”

Tivo is a hardworking dog and even has his own program, Talk with Tivo, where he visits places around campus for an hour each week with a counselor to connect with students. Counselors may bring him into counseling sessions and incorporate him into the therapy process.

“I think that dogs can help in so many ways,” said David deBoer, associate director and clinical psychologist at the Wellness Center. “Many students have left loved family pets at home, so Tivo can be a kind of surrogate pet or transitional object for students missing their dogs.

“Tivo really serves as a comfort, pleasure, and joy for college students—a friendly reminder of the comforts of home.”

When Tivo isn’t out saving the world, he lives with Father Justin Daffron in Campion Hall. After a long day with a rigorous schedule that starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m., Tivo is free to go home to Campion, where he enjoys an evening filled with fetching his favorite ball and running in his grassy play yard on Sheridan Road.

The Wellness Center approached Daffron with the idea of a therapy dog, and when he moved into Campion Hall this fall, “the Wellness Center re-approached me, and asked if I would be willing to take Tivo,” he said.

“That is when the relationship was formed. I had never had a dog before, and I wanted to help the Wellness Center,” Daffron said. “I think it is just great to have him there, and he is able to help students in ways that we can’t.” 

Why Loyola? See why these students plan to come here


At first glance, it would seem that these four incoming Loyola students have little in common.

One loves politics and hopes to someday work as a campaign strategist. Another plans to study communications and run on the track team. The third wants to become a doctor and help senior citizens. And the fourth would like to be an emergency room nurse in the city.

But despite their different goals and aspirations, the four do share some common ground: They all attended Loyola Weekend in April, and they all plan to enroll here to make their dreams a reality. And each of them can’t wait to get started.

Read more about these four members of the Class of 2017 below. 

Pari Cariaga 

East Ridge High School (Woodbury, Minn.)

What brought you to Loyola?

“It was important to me that I have a religious education. When I was younger I went to a non-denominational Christian school, and then when I moved to Minnesota I went to a public school—and I realized that I really missed that religious aspect.”

What do you plan to study and what would you like to do after graduation?

“Political science. I would like to be some sort of strategist. I love watching the news, following politics, reading books.”

What was your favorite part of Loyola Weekend?

“I loved attending Mass on campus. Both my mom and I started tearing up when we realized this was going to be my new home. And then later in the Mass my dad whispered in my ear: ‘Peace be with you. Welcome to your new home away from home.’ ”

How does it feel to officially be a Rambler?

“It’s great. I’m just so excited to start a new chapter in my life.”

Any hobbies or things you like to do outside of school?

“I’m president of my school’s drama club, and I also do some community theater. So I hope to continue doing that when I come to Loyola.” 

Nicholas Prajka

Carl Sandburg High School (Orland Park, Ill.)

What brought you to Loyola?

“I’ve always wanted to go to Loyola. My uncle went there years ago, and that got me interested in the school. Then they recruited me for track—and that was it.”

What do you plan to study and what would you like to do after graduation?

“Communications, either journalism or public relations. I’m not sure what I want to do when I graduate, but I’ve got a few years to figure that out.”

What was your favorite part of Loyola Weekend?

“Everything was great, but my favorite part was the food. I can’t get enough of it. Seriously, I didn’t eat breakfast that morning so I could load up when I got there.”

How does it feel to officially be a Rambler?

“I remember how cool it felt to wear my high school track jersey at a meet for the first time, so I can’t even fathom how it’s going to feel to put on a Rambler jersey and run for Loyola. I’m sure it’ll be way better than I can even imagine.”

Any hobbies or things you like to do outside of school?

“I play a lot of ultimate frisbee, and I’d love to keep playing at Loyola. But with track practice and school, I doubt I’ll have the time—or energy—to do it.”

Maddie Stonis

Lincoln-Way Central High School (New Lenox, Ill.)

What brought you to Loyola?

“I was looking for a Catholic school because I wanted to meet people with the same interests that I have. I like that Loyola has small class sizes because that’s how I learn best. And I like the location, too. I like that it’s close to home.” 

What do you plan to study and what would you like to do after graduation?

“I want to major in biology and minor in Spanish. I plan to go into the pre-med program and then go on to medical school and maybe specialize in geriatrics. It seems like a lot of people forget about senior citizens, and I don’t think you should.”

What was your favorite part of Loyola Weekend?

“I really liked meeting so many new people throughout the whole weekend. And the new Damen Center was amazing. I can see why everyone is so excited about it.”

How does it feel to officially be a Rambler?

“It feels great because a lot of my classmates at this point aren’t sure where they want to go to college. I like the fact that I know where I’m going to school, and I’m confident that I made the right choice.”

Any hobbies or things you like to do outside of school?

“I do a lot of extra-curricular activities at my school, and I also volunteer for the Lions club. And then in my spare time, I like to read, crochet, and make cupcakes.”

Karissa Wappel

Carl Sandburg High School (Orland Park, Ill.)

What brought you to Loyola?

“I really liked the nursing program and how it was direct admit. Then when I visited, I fell in love with the campus. The lake is beautiful, and I just felt at home. It’s really nice and everyone is very friendly.” 

What do you plan to study and what would you like to do after graduation?

“I’m going into nursing, and after I get my degree I’d like to work in an emergency room at a hospital somewhere in the city. I don’t mind the blood and guts.”

What was your favorite part of Loyola Weekend?

“We got to see the simulation lab that I’ll be using in nursing school. It was really nice to see where we’ll be practicing our nursing skills before we work on real people. It was really neat to see all that.”

How does it feel to officially be a Rambler?

“I’m so excited. I can’t wait to be part of the student body.”

Any hobbies or things you like to do outside of school?

“I do traditional Chinese dance. I’ve done it since I was three, and it’s sort of a combination of ballet and theater. We perform at fund-raisers and things like that. I also like to read, and I run with my dad.”

Project takes on legal side of health care inequality

Health Justice

Emily Benfer, director of the Health Justice Project, speaks with students.

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to come at it from all sides. The newest of the law school’s five clinics, the Health Justice Project, aims to do just that.

The clinic’s format, a medical-legal partnership, takes a holistic approach to clients’ problems—“We call it preventive lawyering,” says Director Emily Benfer—by identifying the cascading barriers to health for low-income families.

These barriers can include food instability, disability, difficulty in school, unsafe or unsanitary housing, or problems with public benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps. Cases may include a variety of health-related matters, such as housing code violations, special education, or public benefits denials.

The clinic is a partnership with the Erie Family Health Center, which has 13 sites across Chicago. Law students enrolled in the clinic will help train health care professionals to identify social determinants of health problems that could be resolved through legal intervention. Once clients are referred, the clinic provides advice, other referrals, and legal representation.

“Research shows that social conditions often impact health more than medical conditions,” says David Buchanan, MD, MS, chief medical officer for the Erie Family Health Center. “For many patients, the Health Justice Project partnership will have a greater impact on their health and longevity than any pill our physicians could provide or medical procedure we could perform.”

The Health Justice Project, together with Erie and representatives of Loyola’s schools of medicine and social work, will work to address systemic problems through public policy reform.

Students are excited about the new clinic. Says Drew McCormick, a recent graduate who worked with Benfer: “Through experiential learning at the clinic, Loyola students will discover the true meaning of advocacy.”

The Health Justice Project also allows law students to gain experience with direct client representation and will help them to develop practical lawyering skills. The 88 law students who have participated in the clinic since December 2010 have served more than 1,000 patients of Erie Family Health Center, trained more than 140 health care providers, and collaborated with social work, public health, and medical students to overcome social determinants of health for their clients.

 Learn more about Loyola’s Health Justice Project here.


How do urban youth cope with violence and stress?

How do urban youth cope with violence and stress?

“I don’t want this research to just sit in journals," Noni Gaylord-Harden says.

As a graduate student working with African-American children in poor communities in Tennessee, Noni Gaylord-Harden, PhD, was struck by the fact that, even with exposure to multiple stressors, some kids did succeed.

“I started looking into factors that might explain why some kids become successful despite [such hardships],” she says. “I began to focus on the strengths and assets embedded in African-American families and communities that could buffer the effects of stressors.” These included coping strategies, parent-child relationships, and a strong extended-family network.

While conducting research on teens from under-resourced communities on Chicago’s south and west sides, Gaylord-Harden has found that stress caused by such challenges as poverty, community violence, and school struggles has a negative effect on children’s functioning, but less than might be predicted.

“Anxiety and depression are not as high as you might expect, and we’re exploring why that might be the case,” she says. “We’re also finding that some strategies typically considered to be maladaptive are actually adaptive. Avoidance, for instance. ... If you understand how to stay away from dangerous people and places, you’re going to do better.”

What interests Gaylord-Harden is how positive adult-child relationships can encourage effective coping. In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul, and the University of Virginia, she is developing an intervention that uses mentors to teach youth effective coping.

“We know that kids cope better when they have a supportive relationship with adults,” she says, “and we’re using mentoring relationships to support the coping efforts.”

Studying how African-American culture may influence youth’s response to stress can sometimes be controversial in the psychology community, Gaylord-Harden says, but she feels it makes an important contribution.

“Psychology has an interesting history with race,” she says. “Research has long been conducted with white middle-class kids and the findings generalized to everyone. Most research on youth of color has focused on the deficit model—there’s an expectation that if there were differences between African-American and other youth, they were viewed as deficits.”

“Now we’ve begun to challenge those beliefs and think about the strengths and assets of African-American youth and families that have been largely ignored,” Gaylord-Harden says. “We’re saying that within any cultural group there are going to be ways that people navigate their environment that are different from other cultural groups.”

Gaylord-Harden recently received a two-year federal grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how African-American and Latino boys in urban neighborhoods process the violence around them—specifically, to see if they become desensitized to it.

“A lot of people are interested in ways to stop community violence, and with desensitization, it’s believed that kids become emotionally numb to what they see,” she says. “Instead of showing distress, they actually show higher levels of violence and aggression. So we’re trying to figure out how and when to intervene and who is most at risk.”

Whether she is conducting research or teaching Loyola students the importance of viewing psychology as a science, Gaylord-Harden wants to make an impact. Top on her list is moving increasingly into school and community intervention work.

“I don’t want our research findings to just sit in scientific journals. Nobody reads those but us,” she says. “Let’s take our findings and figure out how they can be used to develop effective interventions for young people.”

Learn more about Loyola’s Department of Psychology here.

Felice’s serves up pizza, real-world business lessons

By Akanksha Jayanthi  •  Journalism major, class of 2013

For Loyola students, a job at Felice’s Roman Style Pizza is more than just a way to earn a few extra bucks.

It’s a way to learn how to run a business.

Felice’s, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in February, is operated entirely by undergraduate students—the only pizzeria in the country that can make such a claim. The restaurant is a part of Loyola Limited, an entrepreneurial company on campus that is run and managed by undergrads.

Asma Kadri, chief marketing officer of Loyola Limited, says the first year of Felice’s was a great learning experience.

“We’ve done a lot of experimenting in year one: recipe development, making sure we had everything like payments squared away,” says Kadri, a senior international studies and advertising and public relations double major. “Now, not only is it all squared away, but it’s all going really well.”

Being a student-run business has its ups and downs, Kadri says, but it also provides some bragging rights.

“It’s something that we hold as a point of pride, not just for Felice’s, but in general for our student-run business program,” Kadri says. “In our third year of Loyola Limited being active, we’ve run higher business capital than any other student business in the nation.”

Erin O’Neill, a junior communication studies major with minors in math and Polish studies, is one of the managers and pizza artisans at Felice’s. Like  Kadri, she takes pride in what they have accomplished.

“I’m really proud to tell people Felice’s is the only student-run restaurant and that we’re still alive after a whole year of having to figure everything out from scratch,” O’Neill says.

Kadri says there is a loyal group of customers who dine at Felice’s who “wholeheartedly” believe in the company. She says many of their customers are alums of the John Felice Rome Center who are looking for a slice of pizza to remind them of their days studying in Italy.

O’Neill says she often sees customers on campus and remembers their names and pizza orders because they come in so frequently.

“It says a lot for our business and how we treat our customers because people are always coming back for more,” O’Neill says.

While Felice’s continues to see success, Kadri says they hope to expand its reach further into the Chicago community and on campus in terms of students getting involved with Loyola Limited, which also currently manages The Flats and ChainLinks.

“Loyola Limited doesn’t partner with just the business school. It’s interdisciplinary,” Kadri says. “We hire for attitude and train for skill.”

O’Neill says that she feels like she learns something different after each shift and that the lessons she learns at work aren’t confined to the restaurant.

“[Loyola Limited] wants us to understand that this isn’t just a place you show up to and work and go home. There are a lot of things that can be applied from here to later on in life,” she says. “It’s about more than just pizza.”

Welcome to the ultimate classroom


Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus is taking college learning to new heights.

By Akanksha Jayanthi • Journalism major, Class of 2013

Students looking to escape city life and find their “Walden” may be hard pressed to do so in an urban environment like Chicago. With Loyola’s Office for Outdoor Experiential Education, however, students interested in these outdoor experiences now have a platform for such excursions.

In 2009, Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini. S.J., initiated plans to establish an official office for outdoor education to be a resource for students who expressed desire in outdoor experiences. The Office for Outdoor Experiential Education, also called Ramble Outdoors, was officially founded in spring 2010.

Paul Miller, the director of Ramble Outdoors, said student interest has far surpassed anything they originally imagined when beginning to shape the program.

“We continue to be surprised by students who love the city but have a deep hunger to spend time in natural settings,” Miller said. “We’ve been trying to catch up.”

Students play an integral role in Ramble Outdoors as student facilitators, the largest component of the Ramble Outdoors team. They are in charge of leading group excursions either in the wilderness or at the Challenge Course at the Retreat and Ecology Campus.

“The students make [Ramble Outdoors] possible,” Miller said. “Student empowerment is at the core of the success of the program. There are lots of places on campus for them to practice leadership, but few that provide such unique consequences and direct feedback.”

Rose Brickley, a senior anthropology major and environmental science, art history, and visual communications minor, was part of the inaugural class of student facilitators. She said being part of this initial group has been a great experience to help shape the experience of future facilitators.

“We joke a lot because the world of outdoor leadership is variable; you don’t know what’s going to happen outside, just like this team and seeing where it will go in the future,” Brickley said.

Timothy Seed, a senior environmental science major with a history minor, was also in the first class of student facilitators.

“The leadership role for my generation of student facilitators encompasses everything. We are the support team for the growing program,” Seed said.

And the program continues to grow. Brickley said they are leading more trips every year. The rock wall in Halas Recreation will be staffed by Ramble Outdoors. Requests for excursions to the Retreat and Ecology Campus’s challenge course are climbing. Additionally, Ramble Outdoors is leading a kayaking trip in Florida over spring break, the first spring break trip that is open to the entire campus, instead of just a particular student group. All their trips have sold out and have had a waiting list, which speaks to their success and popularity.

Miller said the experience of outdoor education is one that mirrors Ignatian pedagogy’s four processes of knowing: experience, reflection, judgment, and action.

“Natural environments offer quiet, reflective spaces that students don’t have access to in the city,” Miller said. “It puts people in a context where true relationships happen, and meaningful and authentic communities are formed in a space that is set apart. It makes us ask the big questions.”

Brickley echoed these thoughts and added that the skills learned in the wilderness are applicable to everyday life.

“Outdoor experiential education is very valuable because it engages diverse groups of people in learning styles, interests, and types of groups. It’s a great classroom to be used in all sorts of different contexts,” she said.

As students continue to express an interest in the wilderness, Ramble Outdoors will be able to lead them there.

“It’s not uncommon to hear people say, ‘I want to get out there. How do I do that?’” Seed said. “We help them.”

July at a glance

July calendar

Get the most out of your harvest this summer with a farming workshop from Loyola.

July at Loyola starts with Summer Session B, which is a great way to earn credits toward your degree while taking in all that Chicago has to offer during the summer. If summer school isn’t in your plans this year, there are still plenty of other things to do and see on campus this month—including a farming workshop and an art exhibit that will change the way you see everyday objects.

Here’s a sampling of what’s going on at Loyola in July:

July 1 to August 9

Summer Session B
Various locations and times
Make the most of your summer by taking courses at Loyola. You can earn up to eight credit hours per session—plus you’ll get to experience Chicago in all its warm-weather glory. See what courses you can take and how you can stay on track to graduate on time.

July 1 to September 23

Loyola Farmers Market

Every Monday, 3 – 7 p.m.
Nestled on the southwest corner of Albion and Sheridan roads, the Loyola Farmers Market brings local growers, producers, and specialty vendors to Rogers Park. This is the third year for the market, which started as a student project in Loyola’s Solutions To Environmental Problems (STEP) Food Systems course. Fall hours are 2:30 – 6:30 p.m., September 30 through October 14. Learn more about the market and all it has to offer.

July 9

Transfer Student Orientation
Lake Shore Campus, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Loyola’s 1870 Orientation for transfer students is a mandatory one-day program that introduces you to life at Loyola. You’ll meet with an academic advisor and register for your fall courses—and you’ll hear juniors and seniors talk about what Loyola means to them. Other dates are July 30, August 6, 9, 13, and 16. Sign up now to begin your Loyola Experience.

July 12-13

Freshmen Student Orientation
Lake Shore Campus, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Our 1870 Orientation for freshmen is a two-day program with a mandatory overnight component for all students. During orientation, you’ll meet with an advisor and learn about the resources in place to help you throughout your academic career. We also will introduce you to the values and traditions that will enrich your Loyola Experience from now through graduation. Other dates are July 15-16; July 18-19; August 1-2; and August 21-22. Register today for one of the sessions.

July 13

Farm Workshop Series
Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus; 2710 S. Country Club Road, Woodstock, IL; 1 – 5 p.m.
Our Happy Harvest and Food Preservation workshop ($30) will show you the best methods for harvesting your vegetables so plants stay healthy and continue
 to grow all season. Learn harvesting techniques, explore 
new seasonal recipes, and discover ways to can, pickle, and sun-dry the harvest for future use. Click on the Farm Workshop Series link on the Retreat and Ecology Campus website.

July 21

Summer Celebrity Organ Series

Madonna della Strada Chapel; Lake Shore Campus; 3 p.m.

Enjoy the swelling sounds of a leading virtuoso as Loyola presents: The Summer Celebrity Organ Series. Hosted at the University’s Madonna della Strada Chapel, this festival will awaken your senses as 4,000 pipes reach their fullest capacity. This month, the organist from Paris’s famed Notre Dame Cathedral, Olivier Latry, is the featured artist. Admission and parking are free. Learn more about the organ and the upcoming performers.

July 26

Ignatian Service Day
Various locations, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In honor of the Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, University staff, faculty, and retirees will volunteer at Misericordia in Rogers Park and at several Catholic Charities early childhood development centers. Full details on the service projects, departure times, and transportation are available at the registration page. Registration is open through July 19.

July 31

Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (Mass and picnic)
Madonna della Strada Chapel, 11 a.m.
All are welcome to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Ignatius of Loyola with an 11 a.m. Mass in Madonna della Strada Chapel. Afterwards, food will be served in the East Quad—and after that, well, let the games begin! Minute to Win It, anyone? See the schedule for the day.

Through August 10

More Than Naked art exhibit
Ralph Arnold Fine Arts Annex; 1131 W. Sheridan Road
Some people choose to shop local. Others eat local. Here at Loyola, we exhibit local with an exhibition of Chicago’s own emerging artists. More Than Naked consists of art in which the materials are very evident, but through the artist’s manipulation, the finished piece becomes something far beyond a few scraps of cardboard or bunches of string. The gallery is open to members of the Loyola community (with a University I.D.) from 8 to 10 a.m. daily; for others, it is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays or by appointment. Learn more about this free exhibit and read interviews from the artists involved.

Stritch makes history with its DREAM announcement


Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is the first medical school in the nation to announce that it is accepting applications for admission from undocumented immigrants in response to President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“As a medical school built on Catholic and Jesuit values we have a tradition of reaching out and encouraging the growth and development of future doctors from all walks of life,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, dean and chief diversity officer of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The DREAM Act enables qualified undocumented immigrants to receive a two-year, renewable authorization to remain and work in the United States. Criteria to obtain DACA status include arrival in the U.S. before age 16, current age under 31, specified levels of education or military service, and an absence of felony conviction or problematic record of misdemeanors.

The decision to consider applications is a conscious step to help fill a void in the medical community. The United States is facing a significant shortage of physicians. In addition, large portions of the population are underserved by current distribution and demographic profiles of physicians.

“DREAMers represent a previously untapped source of qualified and diverse talent that will enrich the medical education environment, the medical profession and lives of patients,” Brubaker said.

Mark Kuczewski, PhD, director of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine’s Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Public Health, also believes this is a beginning step in meeting a major public health disparity—access to care.

“We believe these students will help broaden the diversity of the physician workforce. This will benefit not only the many patients who one day these physicians will serve, but also our entire student body.  This will help all our students better understand the variety of cultures and people they will be treating,” Kuczewski said

Students win federal grant for their biodiesel research


A team of students from Loyola University Chicago has been awarded a People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for developing a more natural way to reuse water from biodiesel production.

The P3 Award is a multi-phase grant program that invests in sustainable solutions to environmental problems. The Loyola team presented "From Pollution to Possibility: A Sustainable and Interdisciplinary Solution to Biodiesel Production Wastewater" at the EPA’s P3 award competition in Washington, DC. They were awarded a $90,000 grant to further research and implement the program.

This is the second time Loyola has been awarded a P3 Award. The first grant, awarded in 2008, was used to establish Loyola’s biodiesel program, which turns cafeteria vegetable oil waste into biofuel.

“We are combating climate change and reducing our carbon footprint with our biodiesel program,” said Zach Waickman, Loyola’s biodiesel lab manager and mentor of the P3 Award team. “The process, however, creates a byproduct that contains methanol, potassium soaps, and free fatty acids. With this grant we can now find a way to sustainably use this byproduct.”

This year’s competition featured approximately 300 students showcasing their sustainable projects. A panel of judges convened by the American Association for the Advancement of Science recommended the winners out of 45 teams following two days of judging. Loyola was one of six universities and colleges to receive the coveted P3 Award. Other schools included University of Massachusetts Lowell, Radford University, San Jose State University, Georgia Southern University, and Cornell University.

Loyola’s P3 team is made up of three faculty/staff mentors and five undergraduates who range in grade level from freshman to senior and are majoring in subjects from physics to English. The students are part of Loyola’s Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP) courses, which are part of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability and bring together students, faculty, staff, and community mentors to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and action around issues of environmental sustainability.

A new approach to medicine

Loyola University Chicago broke ground Aug. 16 on a $137 million medical research and education building that will support nearly 500 scientists and staff working together to improve human health.

The Loyola University Chicago Center for Translational Research and Education is scheduled to open in April 2016 on the university’s Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. The five-story, 227,000-square-foot building is a collaboration among Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University Health System, and CHE-Trinity Health.

Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola University Chicago, said one of the biggest challenges in health care is acquiring new knowledge and producing great doctors and nurses. “This new Center will transform the practice of Catholic health care education and research for the benefit of students, patients, and our society as a whole."

Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Loyola’s Health Sciences Division, told nearly 300 scientists and dignitaries: “It is almost certain that someone in your life – possibly you – will benefit from the work that is done at this health sciences campus. Patients right across the street and around the world will be able to enjoy healthier lives, thanks to Loyola health sciences. Excellence in research translates into excellence in patient care.”

Larry Goldberg, president and CEO of Loyola University Health System said: “This is about discovery, and translating that discovery to the patients who we serve. Bringing together this collection of researchers and clinicians to really build something great. . . will bring us forward for the next 10 to 15 years.”

The center will include open laboratory and support space for 72 principal investigators plus space for 40 lead scientists engaged in desktop research such as public health, health services, nursing, bioinformatics, and epidemiology. A 250-seat auditorium will provide a link with the local community, serving primarily as a showcase for health-related programming.

In 2011, Trinity Health (now CHE-Trinity) acquired the health system from the university. As part of this agreement, the university and CHE-Trinity will share the cost of a $150 million research enterprise, comprising the $137 million building and funding to attract and support leading researchers.

The center will accommodate principal investigators, postdoctoral trainees, physicians, nurses, fellows, graduate students, and students from Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Researchers now scattered among buildings throughout the Health Sciences Campus will be centralized in the research and education center. The center will be built on what is now a parking lot between the medical school and an office building.‌

On hand for the groundbreaking ceremony were (from left): Larry Warren, interim COO, CHE-Trinity; Larry Goldberg, President and CEO, Loyola University Health System; Richard Kennedy, PhD, Vice Provost of Research and Graduate Programs, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division;  Richard L. Gamelli, Senior Vice President and Provost, Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division; Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., President and CEO, Loyola University Chicago; Bill Laird, Senior Vice President and CFO, Loyola University Chicago; Jackie Taylor Holsten, Health Sciences Committee Chair, Loyola University Chicago Board of Trustees; Linda Brubaker, MD, dean, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; and Vicki Keough, PhD, dean, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Why is Rome so incredible? Let Loyola count the ways

Loyola students talk about their time in Rome—and why it’s an experience they’ll never forget. Learn more about the John Felice Rome Center and how you too can be transformed by a semester in the Eternal City.

Find an amazing adventure at the Study Abroad Fair


Are you ready to explore the world and expand your horizons?

Then come to Loyola’s annual Study Abroad Fair to learn how you can turn your global dreams into a reality.

Loyola offers more than 100 study abroad programs in 55 countries. So whether you want to study Italian history, learn how to speak Spanish, or explore Southeast Asia, you’re sure to find a program that’s right for you.

The Study Abroad Fair is Sept. 18 on the fourth floor of the Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons. The fair is free and is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will receive a free Vietnam Center water bottle and a chance to win a $500 Amazon.com gift card.

Visit our Study Abroad website for more information.

Volunteers lend a hand along Safe Passage routes


Michael Dantley, dean of Loyola’s School of Education, helps a student on a Safe Passage route at McCutcheon Elementary School.

As the dean of Loyola’s School of Education, Michael Dantley knows the value of a safe learning environment. That’s why he helped students along a Safe Passage route on the first day of school outside McCutcheon Elementary School in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

After the Chicago Board of Education voted earlier this year to shut dozens of public schools across the city, officials created the routes as a safe haven for students who now will have to walk farther to get to school—and possibly through gang territory.

Dantley, who was joined by more than a dozen faculty and staff members from the School of Education, said Loyola has a long-standing relationship with McCutcheon, which made the volunteer effort an easy decision.

“We’re doing this to show our commitment to the students and families we’ve worked with through the years, and to demonstrate the importance of the first day of school as setting the stage for the rest of the school year,” Dantley said. “Every student should feel safe in school.”

Dantley and company weren’t the only Loyolans helping students return to school.

About 50 people from Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law volunteered on the first two days of school to assist students who were displaced by the closings.

Their goal? To help the families of children who are attending a new school and to ensure that the students have access to a quality education.

“Our intention is to lend our legal expertise to assist in identifying issues early so they might be resolved,” wrote members of the monitoring project in a letter to Barbara Byrd-Bennett, chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools, in August.

Visit the School of Education website to learn more about Loyola’s programs and its work with the community. And visit the Education Law and Policy Institute website to learn about its mission and programs.

Photo by Mark Beane

Ibie Hart, a first-year law student at Loyola, hands out information outside Courtenay Elementary School in Uptown. 

Expanded Family Weekend celebrates all things Loyola


The entire Putis family—Julie (from left), Pat, Edward, and Jennifer—will be at Loyola for Family Weekend. 

When it came time for her daughters to decide where they wanted to go to college, Pat Putis never put any pressure on them to attend Loyola. But deep down, she hoped they would pick her alma mater.

“I had a great college experience,” said Putis, whose husband, Edward, also graduated from Loyola. “But I don’t want my children to live vicariously through me. I want them to live their own lives and have their own experiences.”

The Loyola gene clearly was passed down, however, because both of the Putis daughters now attend the University. Jennifer is a junior majoring in public relations, and Julie is a freshman studying finance and international business.

Their mother couldn’t be any happier.

“I am so proud of them and the decision they made to come to Loyola,” Putis said. “I have a special place in my heart for Loyola, and now that my two daughters are there, I’m even more connected.”

That connection will continue when the entire Putis family comes to campus Friday through Sunday for Family Weekend, a three-day event that gives parents and siblings a chance to see the University up close and experience life at Loyola.

In the past, Loyola hosted Parents Weekend, which was small and catered only to the parents of first-year students. After reaching out to families—and getting feedback from them—Loyola reimagined the concept to create its new Family Weekend. Now, families and friends of all students can come celebrate the Loyola Experience. And that should make for a record turnout.

“We’re expecting about 2,000 people to attend,” said Robert Kelly, PhD, vice president for Student Development. “When it was just for the families of first-year students, we would get about 600, maybe 700 people.”

Loyola has planned dozens of events for the weekend—from a screening of “Monsters University” for younger siblings to parent and family workshops on how families can navigate the transition to college. There’s even a football game scheduled.

“Some alums really wanted to bring back club football to Loyola, and they’ve been working with student leaders and campus recreation to make that happen,” Kelly said.  “So we’re going to close the weekend with a football game Sunday night in Evanston.”

And what does Kelly want families to take away from the weekend?

“Parents are going to be immersed in everything Loyola, just like their sons and daughters are every day,” Kelly said. “It’s a weekend where they can see why we’re so proud of the University and why they should be as well.”

51 years in the making: Newhart wins 1st Emmy


Bob Newhart (left) and Jim Parsons share a scene on CBS’s ‘The Big Bang Theory.’

Good things really do come to those who wait.

Loyola alum and comedy legend Bob Newhart won his first Emmy on Sept. 15—more than half a century after receiving his first nomination for television’s highest award.

Newhart, who graduated from Loyola in 1952, won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Professor Proton on CBS’s hit show The Big Bang Theory. This was Newhart’s seventh Emmy nomination; his first came in 1962 for writing The Bob Newhart Show.

“I’m amazed at all the attention this is getting,” Newhart told The Hollywood Reporter after he won.

Known for his dry wit and self-deprecating humor, Newhart reacted to his Emmy win in, well, typical Newhart fashion.

“I was right in the front row (when they called my name) and my first thought was, ‘Boy, I hope I can make it up those stairs!’ I’m 84 and you worry about things like that,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. (Read the entire interview for more on Newhart’s historic evening.)

Loyola dedicated the Newhart Family Theatre last fall in recognition of the Newhart family’s many contributions to and friendship with Loyola and Mundelein College. Newhart’s sisters—Sr. Joan Newhart, BVM; Pauline Quan; and Virginia Brittain—graduated from Mundelein College in 1949, 1952, and 1965, respectively.

“When I graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 1952, it would never have occurred to me that one day there would be a Newhart Family Theatre on Loyola’s campus,” Bob Newhart said at last year’s dedication ceremony. “It is a great source of pride and honor for all our families.”

Institute hopes to reduce global health disparities


Amy Luke (orange dress), PhD, and other Loyola faculty members pose with villagers during a research project in Ghana. Luke will serve as the director of Loyola’s new Institute of Public Health. 

Loyola is establishing a new Institute of Public Health, a scholarly program dedicated to reducing the global burden of disease, improving international health, and decreasing health disparities due to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gender, environmental, and other factors.

The institute will:

  • educate students for careers and leadership positions in public health;
  • conduct internationally recognized research on factors that contribute to disease and health disparities;
  • work within local and global communities to improve health and reduce disparities;
  • recruit a diverse faculty and student body that will improve understanding of the causes of and solutions for health risks and disparities.

“The Institute of Public Health exemplifies Loyola University Chicago’s Jesuit Catholic commitment to social justice,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of Health Sciences.

The institute will build upon the master of public health (MPH) degree program that Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine established in 2009 to provide the breadth and depth required to educate future professionals and link students with community projects and public health research.

Amy Luke, PhD, professor of Public Health Sciences in Stritch School of Medicine, will serve as director of the Institute.

Luke received her PhD in human nutrition and nutritional biology from the University of Chicago in 1994, and continued her training  as a research associate in Stritch’s Department of Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology. Luke has led National Institutes of Health-funded projects on the causes of obesity and cardiovascular disease in Africa, the Caribbean, and metropolitan Chicago. She also mentors junior faculty, MPH students, and medical students.

Luke’s responsibilities will include continued development of internationally recognized research, education, and community outreach that incorporates faculty expertise from throughout the university. She will assist Holly Kramer, MD, MPH, director of the MPH program, in the program accreditation process, and work with Richard S. Cooper, MD, chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, to recruit faculty that support public health initiatives and related doctoral programs.

October at a glance

Sophomore Retreat

Oct. 11–13

After almost two full years as a Rambler, you deserve a weekend to unwind. This retreat at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus brings sophomores together through team-building activities, individual/group reflections, and meaningful conversations. Register now for the retreat.

Loyola Farmers Market

Oct. 14

This is the last market day of the season, so come on out and load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—plus farm-fresh eggs, locally raised meats, and baked goods. 2:30–6:30 p.m.; 6590 N. Sheridan Road. Visit the Loyola Farmers Market site to learn more.

Sign up for J-Term

Oct. 14

January at Loyola just got a lot cooler. Take a two-week course during J-Term and earn three hours of credit to stay on track or get ahead in your studies. Check out the J-Term site for more information.

Fall student concert series

Oct. 16

Loyola’s Women’s Chorus, University Chorale, Schola Cantorum, and Chamber Choir perform various selections as a part of this fall’s student concert series. 7:30 p.m.; Mundelein Auditorium. Buy your tickets today.

 iPad/tablet design course

Oct. 18–19

Tablets and iPads are changing the way people get their news. This Society for News Design quick course will help you understand code and get you ready to design for today’s high-tech devices. Loyola students, faculty, and staff can sign up for free by sending their name and e-mail address to SND Executive Director Stephen Komives at skomives@snd.org by Oct. 16.

Loyola 360

Oct. 18–20

Now is your chance to meet other first-year students, eat great food, and take in a fun-packed weekend at Loyola’s scenic Retreat and Ecology Campus. Loyola 360 is open to all freshmen and will help you learn more about the University and find your place in it. Come join us—we can’t wait to experience Loyola 360 with you. Register now for the retreat.

Ten Thousand Ripples

Oct. 19

Artist Indira Freitas Johnson and social anthropologist Lise McKean invite you to the Loyola University Museum of Art to talk about community-based public art, social practice, and civic engagement. Join us to discuss Johnson’s Ten Thousand Ripples project, which is on display at LUMA. 2– 4 p.m.; 820 N. Michigan Ave.; free. RSVP at luma@luc.edu or 312.915.7608.

Exercise Science Week

Oct. 21-25

Get fit this week, thanks to a series of free fun-filled events hosted by the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. The festivities kick off Oct. 21 with Chicago’s largest Zumba class at 7 p.m. in Gentile Arena. Other activities include fitness assessments, yoga classes, and a weight room orientation. Open to students, faculty, and staff. See the complete schedule online.

Annual Edward Surtz Lecture

Oct. 22

University of Notre Dame history professor Brad S. Gregory will present “Buying In: The Reformation Era and the Makings of Modern Consumerism” at this year’s Edward Surtz Lecture. Inaugurated in 1976, this series of annual lectures honors the memory of Fr. Edward Surtz, S. J., one of Loyola’s most distinguished teachers and scholars. 7:30–9:30 p.m.; Piper Hall (Lake Shore Campus); free and open to the public. Find more details on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Managing your research

Oct. 24

Feeling overwhelmed by your research? Not sure what to do with all those sources you found? This class will introduce you to tips, tricks, and tools—from cloud storage to mind-mapping—to help you keep your research organized and under control. 3–4 p.m.; Information Commons, Room 120; free. Visit the Loyola Libraries site for more classes and workshops.

Masquerade ball

Oct. 31

It’s Halloween—so join Loyola’s Department of Programming (dop) for some food, fun, and dancing! Come dressed to impress; we’ll provide the masks. 8 p.m.–midnight; Damen Student Center, 2nd floor; free.

Medal of Honor recipient coming to campus Thursday


Former Army Capt. William Swenson receives the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama at an Oct. 15 White House ceremony.

The nation’s newest Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Capt. William Swenson, will speak at Loyola on Thursday afternoon.

Swenson received the honor—the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat—for saving more than a dozen lives after his squad was ambushed in Afghanistan in 2009. He is the second person to receive the Medal of Honor for that battle, according to the Army’s official website.

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Captain Swenson unhesitatingly led a team in an unarmored vehicle into the kill zone, exposing himself to enemy fire on at least two occasions, to recover the wounded and search for four missing comrades,” reads the official citation on the Army website. “(His) extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service.”

Swenson graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and joined the military in 2002, according to the Army website. He received numerous awards and decorations in his military career, including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Army Commendation Medal.

Swenson will speak Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom on the 10th floor of the Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson St. His speech will be followed by a brief reception.

The event is free and open to the public.

Loyola launches hepatitis research network in Africa


Although it does not receive as much attention as AIDS, hepatitis has long been one of Africa’s most serious health problems.

To study how to better prevent and control hepatitis, physicians and researchers from Africa, the United States and Europe recently launched the Africa Collaborative Hepatitis Network, known as HepNet.

The initiative is led by Jennifer E. Layden, MD, PhD, and colleagues from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

HepNet is an outgrowth of a study Dr. Layden and colleagues are conducting in Africa. The researchers hope to estimate the prevalence of Hepatitis C in Ghana and Nigeria; determine the major ways Hepatitis C is transmitted; and identify the genetic factors in patients and in the virus that influence outcomes.

An estimated 12 percent to 15 percent of the population of Africa has chronic infection of Hepatitis B, and 3 percent to 6 percent have Hepatitis C. In the United States, by comparison, about 2 percent of the population has Hepatitis C and less than 1 percent has Hepatitis B. In Gambia, 62 percent of all cancers are liver cancer, which is almost always due to the hepatitis virus.

Hepatitis C has been infecting people in Africa for the last 500 to 1,000 years. But hepatitis often receives less attention from public health officials and the general public than other serious infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Dr. Layden said.

Dr. Layden and colleagues from Loyola’s Public Health Sciences Department organized the inaugural HepNet meeting Aug. 12-13 in Kumasi, Ghana. Several studies already are being organized.

The inaugural meeting included physicians and scientists from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cambridge. In addition to Dr. Layden, representatives from Loyola’s Department of Public Health Sciences and Department of Medicine included Amy Luke, PhD; Lara Dugas, PhD;  Nallely Mora, MD; Steven Scaglione, MD; and Thomas Layden, MD.

HepNet will provide an infrastructure for researchers to communicate with one another, share resources, find other investigators, standardize studies and publicize findings, etc. The multidisciplinary network will include public health specialists, physicians, geneticists and virologists.

Researchers and scientists from the United States and Europe will collaborate closely with local physicians and public health officials. Both sides will benefit. Africa will get added resources to fight hepatitis. Researchers, in turn, will gain a better understanding of the host-virus biology, which could lead to better treatments and new vaccines, Dr. Layden said.

“HepNet is facilitating a functioning group of dedicated investigators who are working to understand and control hepatitis,” Dr. Layden said.

Dr. Layden is an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist. She is an assistant professor in the Departments of Medicine and Public Health Sciences of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

He traveled 9,378 miles to come here


You can add Chicago to the long list of cities where freshman Nikhil Sequeira has lived.

By Gillian McGhee  |  Student reporter

“Where are you from?" is a go-to icebreaker, one that new students on campus ask of one another quite frequently. But for freshman Nikhil Sequeira, there is no simple answer to the question.

  • This year Loyola welcomed
    2,512 first-time freshmen students.
  • 87 of them—like Nikhil Sequeira—come from outside the United States.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the Class of 2017 hails from Illinois.

“It’s difficult for me to say where I’m from,” he said.

In his 19 years, Sequeira has lived in seven cities all over the world, moving frequently for his father’s work. At the New Student Convocation in August, Sequeira was named the student who traveled the greatest distance to attend Loyola: He logged 9,378 miles from Singapore to Chicago and endured a grueling 29-hour plane ride.

“It was terrible,” he said with a laugh. “I hate long plane trips. It took me like a week to get over my jet lag.”

Sequeira was visiting his father in Singapore, where his dad now works, before beginning his journey to Loyola. This is the first time Sequeira has lived in the United States, and it’s the fourth continent that he has called home. Sequeira was born in India but has lived in Australia, Bahrain, and Luxembourg because of his father’s career.

His lifestyle made for a lot of transitioning in and out of different cultures and leaving good friends behind, but Sequeira has few qualms about his constant state of motion.

“It’s great,” he said. “I love change. I love new places.”

Sequeira attended several international boarding schools while growing up, and he’s fluent in English and French. He considered coming to Chicago for college because his brother, a recent University of Pennsylvania grad, had just landed a job in the city. After being thousands of miles apart, he thought it would be nice for the two of them to live in the same city again.

Sequeira, who was deciding between George Washington University and American University in Washington, D.C., chose Loyola after visiting in May.

“The campus is just amazing,” he said.

But he’s really hoping that Loyola will provide him with a place where he can find his passion. A declared economics major for now, Sequeira said he’s open to learning and trying new things.

“I basically just want to find something that I really like to do,” he said,  “something that I would consider doing for the rest of my life.”

Still, no matter how many stamps he collects on his passport or whether the Windy City steals his heart, Sequeira said, “India will always be my home.”  

See how Loyola helped them stand out, succeed


In today’s economy, recent college graduates face fierce competition for jobs. These three members of the Class of 2013, however, were able to stand out from the crowd and find jobs in their areas of study.

What helped them do that? A degree from Loyola.

Ashton Mitchell

Major: Communication studies
Job: Desk associate at CBS-2 Chicago

Talk a little about your new job and what you’ll be doing.

“I’ll work for the assignment desk and follow up on stories that they’re working on. I’ll help write scripts, do some production work, conduct interviews, and answer questions from the public.”

 And how does it feel to know you’ve already lined up a job?

“It’s exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. It feels like all of the work that I did during my time at Loyola is paying off.”

What were some of your favorite courses at Loyola?

“I did a radio practicum for WLUW and a news program called Lunchtime News. I got to anchor, write, produce, and report a news broadcast. That was a really great experience, and it solidified that journalism was the path I wanted to pursue after graduation.”

Any favorite memories outside the classroom?

“I studied abroad in Australia when I was a sophomore, and that was a defining experience for me. When I was there I didn’t have a declared major, so I got to take a bunch of different classes in art and creative writing. I got to travel around a lot, and I really grew as an individual and it helped me focus when I got back to school.” 

How did Loyola help prepare you for your job?

“Loyola encouraged me to be a curious person and to never be afraid to ask questions or talk to people. I’ve had so many wonderful mentors here and so many resources that gave me really practical and hands-on experience.”

Any advice for seniors who'll be graduating next year?

“Take advantage of a lot of opportunities that you may not be completely sure about. Say yes to a lot of things that scare you—but will probably surprise you and inspire you in ways that you never thought possible.”

What do you plan to buy with your first paycheck?

“I’m sure I’ll just buy something practical. But I may go out and celebrate a little bit with my friends.”

Richard Parra

Major: Advertising and public relations
Minor: French
Job: Media associate for Rosetta Interactive Marketing Agency in New York City

Talk a little about your new job and what you’ll be doing.

“I’ll be working in digital marketing and focusing on ad buying with Google and doing some search engine optimization—with a little bit of social media sprinkled in there.”

And how does it feel to know you’ve already lined up a job?

“It feels pretty good, honestly. It took a lot of stress off, and I’ve been able to sleep a lot easier since finding out I got the job. It feels good.”

What were some of your favorite courses at Loyola?

“I had some new media classes that got me interested in digital marketing and advertising. They were a great introduction into that world. And I definitely liked a lot of my foreign language courses. I had some upper-level French classes that only had 10 other students. That’s unheard of at a lot of other colleges.” 

Any favorite memories outside the classroom?

“I studied in China, and that was a great experience. I also had a few internships that I really enjoyed.”

How did Loyola help prepare you for your job?

“The advertising world is changing everyday, so it’s hard to create a curriculum that keeps up with everything. It’s not like history or math, where things aren’t changing all the time. That said, I think my professors did a great job of staying on top of the technology and broadening the scope of what they teach.”

Any advice for seniors who’ll be graduating next year?

“You’ll probably get a lot of rejection letters, but don’t let that keep you down. I really believe it’s as much your personality and your skills and your education as it is chance. So just keep your head up. Everyone at Loyola is bound to do well after college.”

What do you plan to buy with your first paycheck?

“My second month’s rent. New York City isn’t cheap.” 

Anthony Valletta 

Major: Operations management
Minor: Sport management
Job: Associate production supervisor for Nordson Corp. in Amherst, Ohio

Talk a little about your new job and what you’ll be doing.

“Nordson is a huge manufacturing company that makes all kinds of things. Basically, there’s not a day that goes by that you don’t use something that Nordson helped make. The inside of pop cans are coated by Nordson spray guns, for instance, and the glue you use to install windshields comes from Nordson. So I’ll be supervising a team in the division that makes nozzles for dispensing guns.”

And how does it feel to know you’ve already lined up a job?

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders. It puts my mind at ease to not have to juggle being a student and having to find work.”

What were some of your favorite courses at Loyola?

“I took several business classes that apply directly to what I’ll be doing: quality management, system analysis, and project management. Hopefully I can use those on the job.”

Any favorite memories outside the classroom?

“I studied abroad in Rome, which was very cool. I’m also involved with Enactus; it’s a student group that does service projects. I helped teach financial literacy to high school students, things like how to set up a budget and how to apply for financial aid when they go to college.” 

How did Loyola help prepare you for your job?

“They provided a base of knowledge to continue building on. They’ve given me not only the tools to succeed in college, but also the experiences I need to bridge the gap from the classroom to the real world.”

Any advice for seniors who'll be graduating next year?

“Get an internship as soon as you can. Start looking for a job as soon as you can. But enjoy your senior year.”

What do you plan to buy with your first paycheck?

“My friends and I have been planning a trip to Cancun for a while, so I’ll pay that off. Other than that, no crazy plans.” 

Stritch, exchange students learning from one another


Hannah-Lisa Akunyumu-Tetteh (from left), Samuel Kodzo Togbe, and Nana Esi Abaidoo are attending the Stritch School of Medicine.

For the past three years, Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine has partnered with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology School of Medical Sciences (KNUST) in Ghana to create a successful student exchange program.

Coordinated by the school’s Center for Community and Global Health (CCGH), the program offers students at both schools a chance to learn by immersing themselves in the other country’s medical community for several weeks.

This year the students from Ghana were Samuel Kodzo Togbe, Hannah-Lisa Akunyumu-Tetteh and Nana Esi Abaidoo. The students rotated as sub-interns on the colorectal and surgical-oncology services as well as the hematology and oncology services. They also spent time in the Advanced Procedure Education Center.

“It’s an amazing experience to see how physicians interact with patients in other areas of the world,”  Hannah-Lisa said. “What we see in Ghana is different than what physicians see here, and it has broadened our knowledge and helped us to be better prepared for what we do and will see in the future.” 

Samuel, who is planning on becoming a surgeon, is grateful for being able to observe and talk to Loyola surgeons.

“There are so many specialties that we don’t have in Ghana,” Samuel said. “It was amazing to learn about technology and to get a broad view of what is out there. Surgical management here in the U.S. does a lot to help patient outcomes, and I hope to bring some of what I learned back to my future practice.” 

Hannah-Lisa and Nana both are interested in primary care.

“Patients here have so much more access to information and have great questions and the chance to help make decisions about their health care,” Nana said. “I want to bring that back to my future patients so we can make the best decision about their needs together.

“We all have the same goal of wanting to help the sick and relieve those who are in pain. We can learn from each other how to accomplish that goal.”

In spring 2014, six fourth-year Stritch students will travel to KNUST to complete an elective in inpatient medicine.

“Everyone who has participated in the program returns enriched by new clinical experiences and exceptional teaching,” said Amy Blair, MD, medical director of the CCGH. “They also are challenged by the health disparities seen between our populations. The impact has increased their global perspective and has a far-reaching effect on the students’ future care of marginalized populations.” 

For Blair, one of the most powerful aspects of the program is seeing the direct impact on the students from both countries.

“It is wonderful what these four weeks do for our students,” Blair said. “To see how it develops their clinical skills and expands their view of medical care globally.

“What always amazes me is to hear about the impact we have on the students from Ghana. They see us as models in how we treat our patients and really, each other. This program truly is beneficial for everyone involved.”

She excels on—and off—the field


Senior Tricia Stonebraker led Loyola in points this season while carrying a 3.788 GPA.

Tricia Stonebraker, a senior on the Loyola women’s soccer team, has been named as one of 10 honorees to receive the Missouri Valley Conference Leadership & Service Award, the league announced earlier this month.

Stonebraker is the first Loyola student-athlete to receive the honor and, of the 10 fall honorees, is the only women’s soccer player to be recognized.

“What a great honor for Tricia,” said Loyola head women’s soccer coach Barry Bimbi. “It has truly been a pleasure watching her grow and mature as a person and player over the past three years. Tricia has set the bar very high for future members of our program in terms of community service and leadership.”

Stonebraker enjoyed her most productive season in Rogers Park this fall. The Anchorage, Alaska, product tied her single-season high as a Rambler by netting three goals and dished out a career-high five assists, more than doubling her career total from the start of the campaign. Her 11 total points led the team, and she played a major role in helping Loyola finish third in its inaugural season in the Valley, far surpassing outside preseason expectations.

Off the field, Stonebraker is a standout both inside and outside the classroom. Amassing a 3.788 GPA while majoring in psychology, she has been a member of the Dean’s List in every semester of her undergraduate career.

Among her many other extracurricular activities, the midfielder is a member of Loyola’s prestigious Maroon & Gold Society, a group of seniors demonstrating a commitment to leadership, academic excellence, and service to others.

Monday: Hear a Jesuit reflect on his life and faith


Are Jesuits Catholic?

Nov. 25

Rev. Robert Braunreuther, S.J., reflects on his life as a Jesuit, the great mysteries of the Catholic faith, and how they are embedded in St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises. Noon–1 p.m. Cuneo Hall, Room 417, Lake Shore Campus; free.

Honoring students for scholarship, service


Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., shares a laugh with Medallion winner Whitney Smurr and Terri Pigott, associate dean of academic programs in the School of Education. (Photo by Bruce Powell.) 

Under the magnificent domed ceilings of Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, members of the Loyola community gathered Nov. 8 to honor this year’s recipients of the President’s Medallion. The annual award recognizes students in each of Loyola’s schools for their outstanding scholarship, leadership, and service.

This year’s President’s Medallion winners are:

  • Julie Breckenfelder (Quinlan School of Business)
  • Rianne Coale (School of Communication)
  • Anthony Dwyer (School of Continuing and Professional Studies)
  • Gregory Eisinger (Stritch School of Medicine)
  • Kevin Mundackal (St. Joseph Seminary)
  • Devan Patel (Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing)
  • Gwendolyn Purifoye (Graduate School)
  • Whitney Smurr (School of Education)
  • Kristen Totten (School of Law)
  • Shahtaj Usmani (College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Taha Zaffar (School of Social Work)

“Each of tonight’s recipients was recommended for this award by their academic dean because they exemplify a wonderful combination of achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service,” said Jane Neufeld, dean of students.

“In addition, they are seen as persons of integrity, good reputation, and manifest leadership in serving others,” Neufeld said. “In short, they are students for which Loyola and its founders can take great pride.” 

After the private awards ceremony led by Neufeld and Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., students, faculty, and staff were welcomed into the ballroom for a night of dining and dancing while gazing out on the panoramic views of Lake Michigan.

Congratulations to each of this year’s President’s Medallion recipients. Check back later in the winter for profiles of each of the winners.

From the Corps to the classroom



Former Marines and current Loyola students Daniel Serra (left) and Tyler Conlan take a break from class with Serra’s service dog, Eli.

By Drew Sottardi  |  Senior writer

Daniel Serra and Tyler Conlan are not your typical college students.

Sure, they go to classes, listen to lectures, and take final exams. They also grab an occasional bite to eat with classmates and go downtown for a night out.

But after talking with them for just a few minutes, it’s obvious that Serra and Conlan are a lot different than many of the undergraduate students at Loyola. Serra and Conlan, you see, are former Marines making the transition from military life to the civilian world.

And they’re making that transition at Loyola with about 200 other veterans—men and women who have served their country and now are moving into the next stages of their lives.

These are their stories.

Loyola senior Daniel Serra served four years of active duty in the Marines, including two tours in Iraq. He spent another four years in the reserves.

A lifelong dream

Daniel Serra has a simple message for people who may have a skewed view of veterans.

“We’re not all like Pat Tillman,” he said, referring to the former NFL star who joined the Army Rangers and was killed in Afghanistan in 2004. “We’re regular people, but some of us are dealing with some pretty serious issues.”

Serra would know. He has post-traumatic stress disorder and uses a service dog at home and on campus to help calm him down when he’s feeling stressed out.

“He helps me with my nightmares and comforts me,” he said.

This clearly isn’t what Serra, 30, had in mind when he dreamed of joining the military as a child. The son of a Brazilian father and an American mother, Serra grew up overseas and spent most of his childhood in South America and Europe. But he always pictured himself in a U.S. military uniform.

“I was fascinated by the military, ever since seeing movies like ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Heartbreak Ridge,’ ” Serra said. “I always wanted to join the military, and after 9/11 happened, it made all the more sense to join.”

So when he came to Milwaukee 10 years ago—some good friends of his lived there—Serra wasted no time moving forward with his lifelong dream. He walked into a Marine recruiting station a few days after coming to the United States and enlisted in the military within a year.

Serra would go on to serve four years of active duty, working as a supply clerk at the Marine base in Twentynine Palms, Calif., for a year and a half before shipping out to Iraq and fighting in Fallujah for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was eventually transferred to a base in Okinawa, Japan, and after a little more than a year on friendly soil, he was sent back to Iraq.

Serra left active duty in 2008—at the height of the Great Recession.

“I was torn about leaving the Corps and leaving behind a steady paycheck,” he said. “It was definitely scary, but I was ready.”

He moved to Chicago, joined the reserves, and started thinking about his future. After attending Harold Washington College for a few semesters, Serra transferred to Loyola in the fall of 2011 and immediately dove into the role of full-time student.

“I take my grades and classroom time very seriously because of my time in the military,” said Serra, who is on track to graduate in May with a biology degree. “In the Marine Corps, there is never an excuse. Your work needs to be completed on time. I spent more than a year in Iraq, and my education is something I fought very hard for—literally—so I’m not going to squander it away.”

At Loyola, Serra helps run the Student Veterans Association and serves as an advocate for veterans’ issues on campus. He hopes his work will help new veterans make the same successful transition he’s made.

In the meantime, he’ll continue studying and working toward his degree. He’s even considering getting a master’s degree after he graduates. But if that doesn’t pan out, Serra should be just fine.

He recently met with recruiters from a large Silicon Valley company. He’s hopeful that he’ll get a second interview.

This is the second time at Loyola for former Marine Tyler Conlan (right, shown here in 2011 with actor Jon Gries at Camp Pendleton in California.)

A tradition of service

Tyler Conlan comes from a long line of Marines. So when the time came to join the military, the choice was obvious.

“My family has a tradition of Marine Corps service, going all the way back to before World War I,” he said. “A male member of my family has served in every war since that point. Even my grandmother was in the Marines.”

Conlan, 23, actually spent a year at Loyola before enlisting in the Corps. He came here in 2008 after graduating from high school in Michigan, only to realize he wasn’t quite ready to be a college student.

“It wasn’t for me at the time,” Conlan said. “I wasn’t mature enough to be in school. I was screwing around, getting bad grades.”

He decided then to do what generations of Conlans had done before him: join the Marines.

Conlan tested into the highly selective Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., where he spent more than a year in a full-immersion program to become fluent in Arabic—a language he had never spoken before enlisting. He then became a cryptologic linguist, complete with security clearance, and translated foreign communications.

But shortly after starting his new position, Conlan started having epileptic seizures. He went through a battery of tests—including being strapped to a hospital bed in a dark room with strobe lights going off inches from his face—to determine what was triggering his seizures. Blinking lights were ruled out, but illness, stress, and a lack of sleep were all found to bring about episodes.

Doctors declared Conlan physically unfit for active duty, and he received a medical discharge in 2012. His military career was over.

Conlan, who is able to manage his epilepsy with medication and proper rest, decided to give college another try. He enrolled at Loyola as a sophomore a few months after leaving the Marines, and he is seeking a double major in classical civilization and women’s and gender studies. He’s also taking courses to get a minor in entrepreneurship.

While the academic side of Conlan’s return to college has gone smoothly—“The student that I was before and the student that I am now are vastly different,” he said—the social side has been challenging at times.

“I do feel socially disconnected from the other students sometimes,” said Conlan, who lives off campus in a Rogers Park apartment. “There’s a huge gap between an 18-year-old and a 23-year-old. It’s tough. ... Believe me, my younger friends constantly remind me of my age.”

Conlan has joined a fraternity and is active in other organizations as well, including the Men’s Project, a leadership initiative run by the department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. He also helps run the Student Veterans Association at Loyola with Daniel Serra, his friend and fellow former Marine. Like Serra, he’s doing what he can to help other veterans ease back into the civilian world.

Conlan would like to someday become a university professor. But before he pursues a career in academia, he’d like to work for a nonprofit or join the Peace Corps—essentially trading one Corps for another.

“Service is incredibly important to me,” he said, “and since I can’t serve in the military any more, I’d like to find another way to help people.”

Advisor Brian Keiller and other staff members at Loyola are working to help military veterans get the services they need on campus.

An advocate for veterans

Brian Keiller is the director of Loyola’s First and Second Year Advising department, where he typically helps teenagers navigate their way through college. But about five years ago, a veteran came into his office looking for some assistance.

“He was about two weeks out of Afghanistan,” Keiller said, “basically still shaking the sand out of his boots. And here he was thrown into this completely different environment. He just needed to talk to someone.”

Keiller, 46, can relate to what these veterans are going through.

Although he never served in the U.S. military, Keiller did spend two years in the Territorial Army (Scotland’s equivalent of the National Guard), so he understands military culture. And he understands how important it is to help a fellow veteran.

“I saw it as an honor and a privilege that this veteran would share his experiences with me,” Keiller said. “I lent him an ear and realized that we didn’t have a lot of support services specifically for our veterans. So I’ve worked with others around Loyola to change that.”

Keiller teamed with several departments—from the Office of Student Financial Assistance to the Wellness Center, among others—to form a support network for Loyola’s veterans.

“I call it the Coalition of the Willing,” said Keiller, who also serves as the faculty advisor for the Students Veterans Association and the Armed Forces Club. “We have a group of dedicated people on campus working now to help veterans get what they need.”

The University is hoping to do even more, he said, including hiring a full-time employee who would work exclusively with veterans. That new hire also would be a veteran—and ideally someone who knows Loyola and its Jesuit values, Keiller said.

Keiller is keenly aware that many of the veterans he works with made huge sacrifices while serving in the military. So lending a helping hand to them is the least he can do.

“These men and women served us,” he said. “Now it’s our turn to serve them.”

Student reporter Jade Anderson contributed to this story.

Students find their callings far beyond the classroom


There are some things you just can’t learn in a classroom.

These members of the Class of 2013 found their callings not just by listening, but by doing, through service-learning, academic internships, student employment, and research. These experiences—facilitated through the Center for Experiential Learning—helped them find their direction or choose a new one, all while contributing to the community in which they live.

Here are some of their stories.

Olivia Chan‌

Major: Biology
Minors: Math, chemistry, anthropology


Worked on conservation research at the Shedd Aquarium

Impact: “Before my undergraduate research class, I never really thought about community-based research, or even compared it to the type of research I do, which is usually quantitative.”

Plans: Chan plans to continue her research before entering medical school. She also plans to continue working at the Shedd.  

Matt Razek

Major: Psychology
Minor: Biology


Served as a resident assistant on the Loyola campus

Impact: “Sophomore year, I discovered that my passions did not lie in the field of medicine like I originally thought. My interest became ignited by working with my residents and helping them through personal, academic, and social situations. I knew my passion from the position and being involved on campus informed my decision that I wanted to spend the rest of my life on a college campus.”

Plans: “I definitely see myself attending or working at larger, public institutions or Jesuit institutions for my entire career. I am currently applying to graduate programs for a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs.” 

Addaline Stoll

Majors: Psychology, sociology

Worked at Children’s Home and Aid: Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Child and Family Center

Impact: “My academic internship involved working with children who have been severely abused. These children have taught me more about myself than I could have ever hoped to teach them. I now appreciate what I have been blessed with, and never take anyone in my life for granted. I learned that I am very passionate about helping children and their families succeed.”

Plans: Stoll still works at the Rice Center and, after graduation, hopes to become an employee there or at another location within Children’s Home and Aid before returning to school to earn a master’s degree in social work. 

Mo Sullivan

Majors: Communication studies, international studies
Minor: Spanish


Worked on the tenant leadership committee, Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Harold Washington Building

Impact: “The course opened my eyes to a field for which I am extremely passionate and made me confident that I want to pursue a career that focuses on making positive social change within my community.”

Plans: Before pursuing a graduate degree, Sullivan would like to complete a yearlong post-graduate service opportunity in the hopes of working with communities and organizations that promote social justice.

The concussion controversy


In 2013, the NFL settled a lawsuit brought against it by former players who alleged that playing football led to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. The media and some researchers have claimed that the disorders result from a syndrome called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)—a brain disorder caused by repeated concussions and head trauma that occur in sports.

Despite the settlement, Loyola neuropsychologist Christopher Randolph, PhD (left), doesn’t believe that CTE exists. 

‌In his latest study, Randolph, a professor at the Stritch School of Medicine and the former team neuropsychologist for the Chicago Bears, screened hundreds of former NFL players for cognitive disorders. About 35 percent, a notable amount, reported subjective concerns about cognitive impairment. Randolph conducted further testing of 41 of the players who did show cognitive impairment, and compared them to a control group of non-athletes with similar complaints. He found no significant difference in the patterns of cognitive deficits between the two groups, both of which met criteria for a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

This means, according to Randolph, that there does not appear to be a distinct affliction, such as CTE, that affects former football players. In fact, he says there is no solid definition of CTE agreed upon by neuropathologists, and there are absolutely no clinical diagnostic criteria, so CTE cannot be diagnosed in a living individual.

Some proponents of CTE, according to Randolph, characterize it as a neurodegenerative disease, leading to, among other things, a high likelihood of suicide. But, in fact, he says, “The all-cause mortality rates of NFL retirees are only half those of men their age in the general population, and the suicide rates of NFL retirees are even lower. Retired NFL players as a group appear to be physically and mentally healthier than the general population of men their age.”

Randolph recently participated in a public debate with Robert Stern, PhD, of Boston College, a leading proponent of the theory that sports concussions cause CTE. Stern argued that the accumulation in the brain of a protein called tau, which has been found in the brains of former football players who committed suicide, indicated CTE. But, according to Randolph, that same amount of tau can be found in the brains of healthy people as well. 

 “There are no epidemiological data to suggest the existence of CTE,” he says. “There are no data to suggest that there are any long-lasting or permanent results of concussions, no matter how many you get, let alone a distinct syndrome.”

The bottom line, according to Randolph, is that the disorders that affect former football players fall within clinically established forms of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, and that current evidence doesn’t support the definition of a new syndrome. Randolph prefers to err on the side of caution, he says, because diagnosis can affect action.

“The proponents of CTE strike me as being unjustifiably alarmist,” he says. “There are consequences to the propagation of a belief that every psychological or neurological symptom experienced by a retired football player may be the manifestation of CTE, when we don’t even know if such a disease exists. Imagine you are a retired NFL player who develops a major depression. How might your actions differ if you believe that you are in the grips of a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, rather than a treatable depression?” 

Randolph does call for further research, particularly on why a significant percentage of former NFL players have subjective complaints of cognitive impairment. He suggests that cumulative brain damage from repetitive head injury may reduce a person’s cerebral reserve, making him or her more susceptible to the clinical manifestation of degenerative brain disorders later in life.

“If there are late-life consequences of repetitive head trauma from contact sports, it’s more likely to be due to diminished cerebral reserve, which leaves individuals with less ability to fend off the effects of neurodegenerative diseases,” Randolph says, although he intends to keep collecting and analyzing data to more fully explore the issue.

Read about other research projects at the Stritch website.

Could this be a $1 million idea?


Loyola’s Hult Prize team, clockwise from lower left: Dominika Ryba, Karolina Krawczyk, Alfonso Cortes, Alex Gonzalez, and Emily Edkins.

By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

At first glance, Loyola business students and science students seem to be different breeds entirely. Biology majors conduct research and experiment in laboratories on the Lake Shore Campus, while finance and business majors pitch products and talk numbers downtown.

But, as it turns out, they’ve got chemistry.

A five-person team of business and science students from Loyola has advanced to the regional round for the prestigious Hult Prize, an international competition that awards $1 million in seed money to students with the best idea for a social enterprise start-up. More than 10,000 teams submitted ideas for this year’s Hult Prize; those original proposals were whittled down to about 300, putting the Loyola team in elite company.

This year’s competitors were tasked with reducing and managing chronic diseases in global slums. The plan, when implemented, must be able to help 25 million people by the year 2019.

When senior biology majors Dominika Ryba and Karolina Krawczyk learned of the competition, they knew they wanted to give it a try.

“It started out simplistically, in the Information Commons,” Krawczyk said. “We really had no idea about any of these topics. Going about and making a plan and reaching the milestone required a lot of research.”

They realized, however, that they were in over their heads with some parts of their plan.

“We’re both science majors,” Krawczyk said. “We know how chronic diseases work. We know what we could do to help and treat these individuals once they’ve been diagnosed, but we couldn’t figure out how to go about dealing with the financial aspect of our plan.”

The pair turned to the Quinlan School of Business for help. One of several people to respond was instructor Leonard Gingerella. With a specialty in social entrepreneurship, Gingerella was quick to lend a hand.

“He was willing to put together a group of business students to meet a few times a month and go over and try to make progress on a realistic plan,” Krawczyk said.

This group included three students who would later be added to the team: finance major Emily Edkins, business major Alfonso Cortes, and biochemistry major Alex Gonzalez. The team worked to develop the plan, which aims to expand the use of telemedicine globally, starting in the urban slums of Valparaiso, Chile.

Telemedicine uses technology, such as laptop webcams, to let doctors provide health care to patients at a distance. Essentially, it allows everyone to communicate without anyone having to travel. Doctors can even use telemedicine to diagnose illnesses and prescribe medication to treat patients.

While countries such as Brazil have been using telemedicine systems for years, Chile’s program is mostly untouched—which made it the ideal starting point for the team.

“The Valparaiso slum, where we are planning to set up our first portal system, has almost complete phone and Internet coverage,” said Krawczyk, emphasizing that much of the high-tech infrastructure is already in place. 

And because Cortes and Gonzalez are both fluent in Spanish, the team was able to translate and use international research. The model involves a plan to expand into other countries, with the potential to one day be supported by government-funded health care systems. The initial $1 million seed fund would be used to purchase telemedicine equipment, Krawczyk said.

The Loyola team will compete on March 7 and 8 in San Francisco against teams from dozens of institutions, including Harvard University, Stanford University, and MIT. There, the students will pitch their plan to a panel of international judges.

If they win the San Francisco regional, the Loyola team would take part in an intensive summer program at the Hult International Business School, where they would be able to further develop their plan and even visit Chile. From there it would be on to New York City, where the final six teams from around the world will present their ideas at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting—with former President Bill Clinton serving as one of the judges.

For now, though, Loyola’s team is focused on its presentation in San Francisco.

“We’re just so grateful for everyone that helped us—the College of Arts and Sciences for sponsoring us and the Quinlan School of Business for the aid,” Ryba said.

“Helping people worldwide corresponds directly to the Jesuit mission,” Krawczyk said. “It’s what Loyola is about.”

Learn more about the competition at the Hult Prize website.

Building them back up


Life After Innocence Director Laura Caldwell with Jarrett Adams (center) and Antoine Day, who are renovating a Chicago property to create housing and services for exonerees.

When wrongly convicted people are freed from prison, their journey has just begun. Exonerees—people exonerated of crimes for which they were convicted—have lost years of time with family, earning power, and every other opportunity.

They’ve been through the significant emotional and mental trauma of incarcerated life. They are frequently short on money with no place to live, no ID or access to medical care, little ability to use current technology, and only the clothes they’re wearing.

Contrary to a general belief that those wrongfully convicted regularly receive remuneration, many receive no financial judgment, according to Laura Caldwell (JD ’92), founder and director of Loyola’s Life After Innocence project. Life After Innocence offers guidance, pro bono legal services, and additional support to exonerees. Students and professors involved with the project help exonerees expunge their records, find housing, search for employment, obtain counseling, obtain computer and cell phone skills, and much more.

“I tell my students that small actions make big changes,” Caldwell says, “especially in the lives of people starting over from scratch.”

Life After Justice, a project spearheaded by exonerees Jarrett Adams and Antoine Day, is a spinoff of Life After Innocence. Adams, who served nearly 10 years for a rape he didn’t commit, earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice after his release and is now a second-year law student at Loyola and a full-time investigator with the Federal Defender Program. He is planning a career in criminal defense, an area he says is in great need of dedicated attorneys.

“My family couldn’t afford an attorney, and my public defender decided not to investigate—not even talking to witnesses,” Adams says. “I’m not bitter, but I’ve got a goal, a destination to reach. ... Now I have an opportunity to keep other people from experiencing what I’ve experienced. I don’t expect to change the world, but I do expect to further the trend of helping people the way I was helped.”

Day, wrongly convicted of murder and attempted murder, spent 13 years in the criminal justice system. Putting his own experience to the service of others, he’s now outreach coordinator of prison reentry at the Howard Area Community Center Employment Resource Center. In this position, Day mentors at-risk teens and parolees, implements job training and placement programs, and runs neighborhood stabilization and anti-violence programs.

Safe, stable housing is a critical unmet need of exonerees, many of whom leave prison with no place to stay. Life After Justice aims to provide a base of housing plus an overlay of training and counseling services to help exonerees find jobs, address their emotional issues, and otherwise adjust to their new freedom.

Located on Chicago’s West Side, the Life After Justice building originally belonged to Day’s aunt. Renovations to the property are set to begin soon.

“A lot of guys are getting exonerated and have nowhere to go,” says Day, who originated the idea of Life After Justice and enlisted Adams’s collaboration. “They’re put in situations that are really dangerous for them. When they come out, they need someone to trust, someone they can build a relationship with.”

Adds Adams, “This isn’t going to be just a house, but a launching pad, with an emphasis on mentoring and therapy. We’re taking broken men and helping them put their lives back together.”

Caldwell, who started Life After Innocence five years ago, said she is looking forward to taking the program to the next level.

“When we started, I had four students and three clients,” Caldwell recalls. “Now, I look down the table in our clinical space and see an adjunct professor, 10 to 12 students enrolled in an established, effective program, and an exoneree who’s now a law student.

“It’s beyond my wildest expectations. And we see how much more we can still do.”

This story appeared in the winter edition of Loyola magazine.

Other strides

Supported by Loyola alumni John Cullerton (JD ’74), Illinois State Senate president, and Michael Madigan (JD ’67), speaker of the Illinois House, Life After Innocence pushed for legislation that automatically expunges—rather than seals—the records of exonerees when they obtain Certificates of Innocence. The Illinois General Assembly passed the legislation last year, adding some mental health benefits for exonerees.



Weekend ‘tech fast’ gives students a taste of life without smartphones


By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

If you’re a typical Loyola student, your morning might look a lot like this:

First, you wake up to the loud tones of your smartphone’s alarm clock. Stumbling out of your top bunk, you use your phone’s flashlight app so you don’t wake up your roommate. Then, on the train ride to class, you scroll through your Twitter feed, “like” a friend’s new profile picture, or send a good morning text to your mom.

Such is the life of Loyola students and the two worlds they live in: the bustling city of Chicago and the virtual world displayed on their smartphone screens.

Loyola instructor Richelle Rogers takes her communication and new media students out of their virtual world by assigning them a “tech fast”— a weekend without smartphones or computers.

“The purpose of the tech fast is to help students see new media through a different lens,” said Rogers, who assigns the fast every semester. “Most students describe themselves as digital natives, so I’m asking them to take a step back and strictly become an observer of technology’s impact on our everyday lives.”

Rogers’s course, which is required for all School of Communication students, examines the way we interact online and in person through technology. For many students, going a weekend without using a smartphone would be a nightmare—like  walking around campus without wearing any pants. But Rogers has her students go unplugged for a few days, and it opens many of their eyes to their reliance on technology.

“We all think that we know how to plan ahead, but we don’t,” sophomore Breana Drozd said. “Our generation does things based on impulse.... You remember that you need something from the grocery store at the last minute, so you call someone. You decide that you want to meet somebody for coffee, so you shoot them a text.

“Not having that luxury was difficult, and I had to really think about my plans for the day before leaving for class.”

Senior Amr Ahmed agreed.

“I forgot to contact friends to set times to hang out,” he said. “I didn’t realize how impossible it was to reach them. I didn’t have their numbers memorized or in written form anywhere.”

Others, like freshman Danielle Sullivan, gleaned a big benefit from the weekend: more sleep.

“I woke up feeling well rested,” Sullivan said. “I slept soundly without the temptation of online shopping or Tumblr to steal my snore time, or the buzzing on the bedside table to wake me in the night.”

This has inspired her to change her habits for good.

“I no longer use my phone or computer while lying in bed before falling asleep,” she said.

Almost universally, the students said they became more aware of their surroundings. 

“I was surprised how much I noticed,” Drozd said. “For once, my eyes were actually open and focused on my surrounding environment. Everywhere I turned, my peers all had their eyes glued to their technological devices, even if they were sitting with a group of friends. For the first time, I realized how problematic our over-indulgence in technology was becoming.”

Letting go of the phone let many of the students enjoy some of the simpler pleasures in life.

“Almost all of the students write about the shuttle rides to and from the Lake Shore and Water Tower Campus,” Rogers, the instructor, said. “Several students admitted before the tech fast they never really looked out the window or had a meaningful conversation on the shuttle.”

Now, maybe more students will enjoy the lake instead of their screens.



Meet the three new Ricci Scholars who will study abroad next year


Loyola University Chicago has selected its 2014–2015 Ricci Scholars, students who will travel to Italy and China during their junior year to study, travel, and conduct cross-cultural research. The Ricci Scholars program offers a scholarship to highly qualified students who spend their junior year at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center and the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies.

Students apply for this unique and prestigious scholarship as sophomores; prepare their research proposals, conduct field research, and travel as juniors; and then complete their projects as seniors at Loyola.

Three Loyola sophomores have been chosen as the next group of Ricci Scholars. The cohort includes: Gustavo Arreguin, Sanjana Kantayya, and Jacob Miller.

Each of these scholars has performed at the highest levels of their class academically, and each enjoys the support of a faculty mentor. During their stays in Rome and Beijing, they will participate in regular classes, in addition to carrying out their Ricci Scholars projects.

Launched in the fall of 2007, the Ricci Scholarship program is supported by the generous gift of a donor to Loyola University Chicago. The scholarship covers round-trip travel, language tutorials, program seminars, research expenses, and study travel.

Unlike other international experiences, the Ricci program allows students to engage two cultures within the span of nine months—Western European culture in Rome and East Asian culture in Beijing—and challenges them to integrate these experiences with a third culture, that of the United States. This triple cultural immersion, achieved through a coordinated effort linking Chicago, Rome, and Beijing, is currently unparalleled by any other study-abroad program. The Ricci Scholars program brings together the cultures of East and West in an educational context that reflects the complexities and opportunities of the 21st century.

Learn more about the program at the Ricci Scholars website.

Gustavo Arreguin

Gustavo Arreguin hails from Evanston, Illinois. He is an international studies and Spanish double major with minors in Catholic studies and political science. Arreguin has been awarded a scholarship to examine how the images and memories of the 20th-century dictators Mao Zedong and Benito Mussolini have been reconstructed, revised, and/or perpetuated in their respective countries in the early 21st-century. He will make use of a wide variety of sources, from architecture and public iconography, to the contents of museums and art exhibitions in Rome and Beijing in order to illuminate this topic. 

Sanjana Kantayya

Sanjana Kantayya is a member of Loyola’s honors program and is majoring in international studies, with a minor in Arabic language and culture. She hails from Rockford, Illinois. As the daughter of a medical missionary, she has had the opportunity to travel abroad to Nigeria and India and learn about their developing healthcare systems. For her cross-cultural project, Kantayya’s proposing to explore how religion shapes interconnections between culture and healthcare in Italy and China. She is especially interested in what Italians and Chinese see as defining, causing, and maintaining health and how these conceptions are shaped by their respective religious traditions. 

Jacob Miller 

Jacob Miller of Algonquin, Illinois, is another member of the honors program. He is pursuing a major in sociology and minors in English and women’s and gender studies. Miller’s project will look at the place currently occupied by Marx and Marxism in Italy’s post-industrial and China’s post-communist economies and societies. To address this larger question, he will examine how the classic works of Marx are currently interpreted and taught in institutions of higher learning in Rome and Beijing.



Loyola Weekend recap: Thousands visit University for tours


Incoming students and their parents load up on Loyola gear at the University’s “L” Stop Spirit Shop during a tour of the Lake Shore Campus. (Photo by Nan Li.)

Nearly 4,000 visitors took part in Loyola Weekend on March 29 and 30, making it one of the best-attended weekends in the event’s history.

The weekend—an invite-only occasion for admitted students and their families—showcased Loyola’s academic programs, its study abroad options, and the University’s state-of-the-art facilities, among other things. 

All admitted freshmen can secure their spot at Loyola by submitting a deposit by May 1 at LUC.edu/deposit

More online

>> Scroll through more than 100 photos of Loyola Weekend.

>> See other University pictures at Loyola’s main Flickr gallery.

>> Visit our YouTube channel to learn why Loyola is the right choice.

>> Find out what makes the Quinlan School of Business so special.

‘TODAY’ visits Loyola to discuss Pope’s one-year anniversary

March 13 marked the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’s election as the leader of the Catholic Church. NBC’s “TODAY” show came to Loyola to get students’ thoughts on his papacy and find out what they think about “The Francis Effect.”

“He does a very good job of representing our generation or the community that I have here at Loyola,” senior Mary Simon said. “He’s a really perfect face for faith in action.”

Added fellow senior Stefanie Gorski: “In our generation, people can identify with him because he just talks about how to love each other.”

Watch the entire video above and check out this “NBC Nightly News” segment looking back on Pope Francis’s first year as pontiff.

Also, Loyola is marking the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis with a March 27 symposium, “Habemus Papam +1.” The event—which will feature speakers, Vatican experts, and panel discussions—runs from 1– 5:30 p.m. in the Information Commons. It’s free and open to the public.

Get complete details at the symposium website.

Match Day: Stritch students take next steps in their medical careers


George Hoganson (center) celebrates on Match Day after finding out he’ll do his pediatric neurology residency at Washington University in St. Louis—his first choice. 

George Hoganson took a different road to medical school than most.

The son of a physician and a nurse, he felt drawn to a career in the health field—but not as a doctor. He started working as an Alzheimer’s researcher and was moved by the patients’ stories.

More online

See nearly 100 more Match Day photos in our Flickr gallery.

“Working with the older adults in my research, I realized what an honor it was to help people as they progressed through their illness,” Hoganson said. “Health is so much more than just a physical disease or ailment. It is multidimensional and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that.”

Married and with three young children, Hoganson will soon graduate from Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine and begin his second career. On Friday—commonly called Match Day—he and his fellow fourth-year medical students learned where they will do their hospital residencies and take their next steps as physicians.

For Hoganson, there was plenty to celebrate. He will be going to Washington University in St. Louis—his first choice—to complete his residency in pediatric neurology. 

“It is one of the best programs for pediatric neurology,” Hoganson said, “and I just can’t wait to get started. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but when I opened that envelope it was amazing. This is just such a wonderful feeling.”

Linda Brubaker, MD, dean and chief diversity officer at the Stritch School of Medicine, had words of encouragement for all of the students before they opened their envelopes.  

“You are amazing students and we know that wherever you go today, you will elevate the level of care to men, women, and children across America,” Brubaker said.

The students, who wore T-shirts that read “May the odds be ever in your favor”—a riff off the movie “The Hunger Games”—broke out into a flash mob dance to celebrate the occasion. Then at 11 a.m., they tore into their envelopes with their family and friends at their sides.

Vanessa Alonso, a first-generation permanent U.S. resident who is pursuing a career in primary care/adult internal medicine, rejoiced with her mother when she saw she had received her first choice, matching at the University of Chicago.

“I’m so excited,” Alonso said. “All the hard work over these last few years is represented on this paper. I am extremely grateful and overwhelmed. U of C is bringing care to many who are underserved, and that’s what I want to do.”

Born in Colombia, Alonso moved here with her mother when she was 12 and has dual citizenships. For most of her life she has dreamed of becoming a doctor. Her experience at Stritch has fueled her desire to serve those most in need, especially those in the Hispanic community.

“We came to this country with nothing, but I am where I am because of the hard work, love, and dedication of my mother,” Alonso said. “She taught me to follow my dreams and thanks to her and Stritch, that’s what I’m doing.

“As a Hispanic woman, I am very aware of the disparities my people encounter in our health system. It is my goal to help close that gap.”

By the numbers

>> 59 percent of the Stritch class will be staying in the Midwest.

>> 36 percent are staying in Illinois.

>> 16 percent are remaining at Loyola.

>> 34 percent will be in primary care residencies.

>> 66 percent will pursue specialty training.

>> Learn more at the Stritch School of Medicine website.







Loyola alum is leading the (water) way


“When you understand water’s true value and what it takes to get it to you, it’s like an astronaut seeing earth from space for the first time,” says George McGraw, who graduated from Loyola in 2009. You see how small the planet is and how connected we all are.” 

• George McGraw will give the keynote address Friday at the College of Arts & Sciences/Institute of Environmental Sustainability Commencement ceremony. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. in Gentile Arena.

• See how you can help at the DIGDEEP website.

When Loyola alum George McGraw gets behind the podium Friday to deliver his Commencement speech, he’ll be talking to an arena full of students who are only a few years younger than him.

But don’t mistake his age or youthful looks for a lack of real-world experience.

McGraw, who graduated from Loyola in 2009, is the founder and executive director of DIGDEEP, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to making clean water more accessible and sustainable in every community.

It’s an idea that sprung out of a research project on human rights he conducted while he was a student at Loyola. After finding out that water is not considered a right under the International Declaration of Human Rights, McGraw made it his mission to change how people think about the world’s most precious resource.

“I assumed because there was water running through my taps, that water was a human right,” McGraw said. “But that hasn’t been the case for most of human history.”

McGraw extended his research project into his graduate work at the United Nations University for Peace, where he earned a master’s degree in international law. McGraw published that research in Loyola’s international law review, and his work is now required reading in some college classes on human rights.

He went on to create DIGDEEP in 2011, which has field programs in New Mexico, South Sudan, and Cameroon. But DIGDEEP does more than bring clean water to those who need it most; it helps people—especially Americans—see their water usage in global terms.

“As a country that consumes the most water of any other country per capita, we need to take this more seriously, not only because it will help us treat others as equals, but because we’re facing our own water crisis here at home,” McGraw said.

“When you understand water’s true value and what it takes to get it to you, it’s like an astronaut seeing earth from space for the first time. You see how small the planet is and how connected we all are.”

Read a longer version of this story in the next issue of Loyola magazine.



Anthem singer takes center stage


Chidinma Uchendu poses with her mother, Chinwe, who is visiting from Nigeria. “I’m very fortunate to have the kind of mother that I have,” said Uchendu, who was born in Nigeria and sang the national anthem at her Commencement ceremony. (Photo by Natalie Battaglia.) 

• Watch Uchendu profiled on ABC, CBS, and Fox News.
• Listen to Uchendu sing during Arch Madness.
• See photos of her performing at Commencement.

Although she was born in Nigeria and went to high school in New Jersey, graduating senior Chidinma Uchendu is right at home in Chicago.

As an undergraduate at Loyola, Uchendu was in more clubs and organizations than she can remember. (“I should really get out my resume for this,” she said when asked to recall her on-campus activities.) She also worked in several University departments and is on a first-name basis with many Loyola administrators.

But it’s what she did during halftime of a college basketball game earlier this year that turned Uchendu into a true campus icon.

Uchendu—who goes by Chi (pronounced Chee)—was plucked from the stands at the Ramblers first-round Arch Madness game in St. Louis and asked to sing for the crowd. Most people in such a situation would butcher a few lines of an old standard like “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and then sit down to a round of sympathy applause.

Not Uchendu.

 She calmly grabbed the microphone and belted out 30 seconds of beautiful, soul-stirring Italian opera. And the crowd, as the saying goes, went wild.

“It was a good time—and we won the game,” said Uchendu, who sang throughout high school and was in the choir briefly at Loyola. She took some time off after her freshman year but returned to singing in 2013 when she studied in Rome with renowned opera singer Delia Surratt.

Uchendu reached out to Loyola administrators last fall to see if she could sing the national anthem at Commencement. She was in Rome at the time, however, which made it difficult to set up an audition.

Her St. Louis solo changed all of that. After hearing her perform at the game, Loyola’s Commencement committee tapped Uchendu to sing at the College of Arts & Sciences May 9 morning ceremony, where she graduated with degrees in philosophy and black world studies. Uchendu’s mother—a teacher and a huge influence in her life—flew in from Nigeria for the ceremony.

“Knowing and remembering what my mother and I have gone through—and the sacrifices she made for me and how difficult it’s been—singing the national anthem at my college graduation in front of her is truly an honor I’ll never forget,” Uchendu said, fighting back tears. “I’m very fortunate to have the kind of mother that I have.”

Uchendu plans to keep the family tradition of educating others alive and already has been accepted into the Teach for America program. 

“Coming from Nigeria, I’ve seen what happens when people are denied an education,” Uchendu said, “so I’ve always had a passion for providing people with equal opportunities.”

“When I came to this country, I realized that some things aren’t as different as you would think,” she said. “No matter how wealthy a country is, there are still people who suffer and who lack certain basic amenities.

“And I believe education is a basic amenity that everyone should have access to.”



Cultivating a better business


Loyola alums Dave Miller (left) and Stephen Rivard have been friends since high school and were roommates in college some 40 years ago.

By Anastasia Busiek  |  Editor, Loyola magazine 

Learn more about the business at the Iroquois Valley Farms website.

In 2007, Dave Miller (BS ’75) left a 30-year career in banking and real estate finance management and moved into organic farmland investments. He had reconnected with friends and family who had been doing organic farming, and he decided to purchase his uncle’s 10-acre farm near Danforth, Illinois, in Iroquois County.

He wanted to make a new career out of buying farms, managing them, and converting them back to organic. Miller brought his idea to Stephen Rivard (BS ’75, MD ’79), a friend since high school and his roommate at Loyola.

“Dave and I have been dear friends all of our lives, effectively,” Rivard says.

Rivard, who at the time co-directed the emergency medicine department at Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois, was interested in organic farming on the basis of its health implications.

“The chemicals that are now in the DNA of our food are poisonous,” he says. “We can neither digest nor assimilate these chemicals. If what we eat has no contaminants and is not modified, it’s healthier for us.”

With Miller’s business experience and Rivard’s medical expertise, the two came up with the concept that became Iroquois Valley Farms.

Miller and Rivard put together 10 friends and family members to buy 142 acres in Iroquois County. They now have more than 100 members and buy about a farm a month. Miller is CEO of Iroqouis Valley Farms, and Rivard is the Chair of the democratically elected board.

Iroquois Valley’s business model is to buy farmland and lease it to mostly organic, mostly young, farmers.

“You’re an organic farmer, either currently in operation or thinking about it,” Miller says. “You need 80 acres, but you can’t afford to buy the land outright. So we buy it, you lease it, and you’re off and running.” The plan is that the farmland will remain with that farmer for years to come.

“When we buy a farm, we don’t intend on selling except to the farmer,” Miller says. “It’s our intention that the farmer will have that land for the rest of his or her life.”

Iroquois Valley develops relationships with farmers looking to transition land to organic, and doesn’t move to buy land until it has a tenant prepared to farm it. As Miller puts it, “We’re not a trading company; we’re a food company helping to impact the next generation of farmers.”

It takes three years to transition conventional farmland back to an organic state. A farmer cannot use pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or other synthetic toxic chemicals, and must use no genetically modified seeds, in order to meet USDA organic standards. Planting a diverse rotation of crops naturally rebuilds the fertility of the soil.

Microbacterial life returns, and earthworms—which Miller calls “the livestock of the soil”—flourish. The farm can now produce foods and feed that are certified organic.

“When we change the soils that we farm, we change the foods that are grown from those soils,” Miller says. Initially, the primary crops were hay, corn, soybeans, and wheat. Now farmers are starting to grow specialty grains, like spelt, and edible beans. New farms provide organic feed grain, hay, and pasturelands for organic dairy production. It is up to each farmer to determine what to grow and sell within the local market.

After seven years of leasing the land, Iroquois Valley will provide a purchase option to the farmers, although the farmers don’t have to buy it.

“In this business, historically, people have intended to sell the land,” Miller says. “You would take the money, take in investors, and then sell after five to 10 years. We designed a company in which you don’t sell the land; you sell the stock.” If the farmer doesn’t buy the land after the initial lease, Iroquois Valley can continue to hold it.

“It takes time and energy to show investors this, and to make them into believers,” Miller says. “Typical investment capital isn’t always enlightened about sustainability or its importance. We provide that enlightenment.”

“We’re encouraging people to invest in a healthy alternative to the stock market,” Rivard says. Although bringing committed investors on board can take years, the efforts of Miller and Rivard are bolstered by the growing trend toward socially responsible investing.

“How do we change the world? Eat healthier and invest in what we eat,” Miller says.

Through this combination of education, purchasing power, and commitment to sustainability, Iroquois Valley Farms has cultivated a social enterprise business model that works—and one that Miller and Rivard hope will change farming, investing, and public health for the better.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of Loyola magazine.

Bill Plante marks 50 years at CBS News


Loyola alum Bill Plante started working for CBS News on June 1, 1964. Fifty years later, he’s still going strong.

Plante, who grew up in Rogers Park and graduated from Loyola in 1959, is the network’s senior White House correspondent and has covered every presidential campaign since 1968. He’s also reported on the war in Vietnam, Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic civil rights march through Alabama.

Before he had a front-row seat to some of the biggest news events of the past half century, Plante was a Loyola student—a very involved Loyola student, according to a 2013 interview in “Compass,” the School of Communication’s alumni magazine.

Plante wrote for the school newspaper, served as student government president, and worked at two radio stations. But it was his time in the classroom that paid the most dividends, he said.

“The liberal arts education at Loyola is what helped and prepared me for what was to come,” Plante told “Compass.”

“Students should consider themselves to be in a good spot at Loyola,” he said. “The Loyola of today was such a far cry (from) what it was 50 years ago.”

Visit the “Compass” website to read the rest of the interview.



His goal? Keep World Cup team healthy



Loyola’s Dr. Nathaniel Jones (left) is serving as a team physician for the U.S. Men’s National Team during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 

‌Jones’s primary role is to provide medical care to more than 150 friends, family members, and staff members associated with the men’s soccer team. He also will assist in caring for the players, as needed.

Jones grew up in Recife, Brazil, where the United States played Germany on Thursday. His mother is Brazilian and he is fluent in Portuguese. He now lives in Elmhurst, Ill.

 In 2012, Jones also was a team physician for the U.S. men’s national under-20 soccer team.

Jones is an assistant professor in the departments of Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He practices sports medicine at Loyola University Medical Center. 

Art with a heart


“People don’t realize how powerful expressing themselves through the arts is,” Mercedes Inez Martinez says. “So I tried to build a forum where that was possible, where you could try new things and allow yourself to create.”

By Aaron Cooper

When Mercedes Inez Martinez (BA ‘11) walks into the classes she teaches at John Barry Elementary School on the northwest side of Chicago, her main goal is to help children learn music and performance. But Martinez, who is part Mexican and part Spanish, also passes on her knowledge of Latino culture to the predominantly Spanish-speaking student body.

Learn more at
• mercedesinez.com 
• sonmonarcas.com
• magi-cac.org.

One minute, she’s teaching children about basic music theory, like note reading, singing techniques, rhythm, harmony, melody, and vocabulary. The next she’s teaching them Aztec drumming and about the Aztec legend of the white eagle, the founding of Mexico City, and how that all relates to images depicted on the Mexican flag.

In addition to her teaching, which is supported by a contract with Pulse Beat Music, Martinez founded and is artistic director at the MAGI Cultural Art Center in Pilsen. She is also a vocalist, guitarist, and accordionist who performs with various groups, including the Mexican folk band Son Monarcas (“They are Monarchs” in Spanish), referring to Monarch butterflies. She also does freelance scenic design and painting of sets and backdrops for theater companies.

Martinez grew up in El Paso, Texas. She got to know Chicago during summers in high school while attending improvisational comedy workshops at Second City and working with sound and lights at Lookingglass Theatre. She would stay with her older sisters, one a professional dancer and choreographer, the other an actress.

When her senior year ended, Martinez had one more class requirement to fulfill—her language requirement. She traveled to Spain and studied Catalan and guitar. The lessons were intense, especially since Spanish is her second language.

Soon after her trip to Spain, she befriended a Latino composer and learned some traditional Mexican songs, and she began to play a few public gigs, eventually landing a regular gig at the Mainstage Theatre. It was then that she discovered an empty building space in Pilsen and applied for funds from a nonprofit organization called MAGI (Modesto A. Gomez, Inc.), a social enterprise based in El Paso. Her proposal was accepted, and thus was born the MAGI Cultural Art Center.

“I thought a new cultural arts center in Pilsen would be the perfect outlet to help artists of all different forms and allow me to express myself and work in a studio,” Martinez says. “I thought it would be a perfect way to bring people together in the community.”

She began hosting concerts and traditional performances called fandangos—community celebrations that showcase Son Jarocho and Son Huapango music and dance and feature traditional folk instruments and Spanish lyrics. Performers dance zapateadostyle (percussive foot tapping) upon a tarima, or raised platform, around which people circle and sing, everyone moving in step with the music.

“It’s beautiful music, and it can go on forever. It’s based on improvisation,” Martinez says. “The fusion of music from Spain, rhythms from Africa, and poetry from indigenous people comes together in a fandango.”

Martinez understands the therapeutic effect that art and music can have on people who have seen hard times, especially children.

“People don’t realize how powerful expressing themselves through the arts is,” she says. “If they can strum a guitar and sing, they’re going to feel empowered. Or if they make a drawing, they realize they can create something. So I tried to build a forum where that was possible, where you could try new things and allow yourself to create.”

Whether she’s singing, teaching, or painting artwork for a play, there’s a clear passion that motivates her life’s work.

“The reality is that what you’re passionate about—if you’re serious about it and you follow it—you can do something with it,” Martinez says.

This story originally appeared in the spring issue of Loyola magazine.

Recipe for success


“At the Retreat and Ecology Campus, we’re trying to fully grasp the farm-to-table relationship,” executive chef Scott Commings says.

University chef. Cooking instructor. Reality TV star. Scott Commings can now officially add that last title to his list of accomplishments.

• Learn more about Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus.
• See a FOX-32 interview with Commings.
• Visit the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ website.

Commings, the executive chef at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus in suburban Woodstock, plowed down the competition for the past several months on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” the high-pressure cooking show hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. On Thursday night, Commings capped off his impressive run by beating Chicago chef Jason Zepaltas to take home the top prize—a $250,000-a-year job offer as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas.

“Oh my God—I just won,” Commings said on the show. “I can’t believe it. I’m still in shock.

“I pushed really hard. I gave everything I ever had. It’s been a tough road. ... There’s no question this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

For Commings and his family, however, the hard work was definitely worth it.

“My whole life is my wife and kids,” an emotional Commings said, “and now my kids are growing up on a beach.”

Commings, who beat out 19 other contestants to win the show, had a simple goal when he started at Loyola in 2010: create a dining experience that people would love—and do it with seasonal, locally grown food.

It was a goal that meshed perfectly with Loyola’s commitment to sustainability.

“At the Retreat and Ecology Campus, we’re trying to fully grasp the farm-to-table relationship,” Commings wrote in a piece for Loyola magazine last year. “We’re lucky to be located in an area with an abundance of growers and livestock farms.”

Commings took that farm-to-table ethos and ran with it. He oversaw the five-acre farm at the campus, where students learn how to grow food and prepare it. That on-site farm, in fact, yields enough produce to supplement a large portion of the food used in the campus’s kitchen and dining hall.

Before he cooked on TV before millions of viewers, Commings created a series of hands-on culinary classes and programs at Loyola. The classes—which teach everything from knife skills to pasta making to wine and food pairings—are extremely popular and sell out months in advance.

Even though Commings is expected to head out west for his latest cooking adventure, Loyola is committed to sustainable farming and building upon the programs that he started.

“Scott was the second person we hired at the Retreat and Ecology Campus, and he helped create such an amazing place for people to come and enjoy fine food,” said Tim McGuriman, associate vice president of capital planning at Loyola. 

“Of course we’ll be sad to see him leave, but we realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him and his family. We really wish him nothing but the best.

“And we absolutely plan to continue the programs that he created.”

Recipe for success: Loyola chef wins ‘Hell’s Kitchen’


“At the Retreat and Ecology Campus, we’re trying to fully grasp the farm-to-table relationship,” executive chef Scott Commings says.

University chef. Cooking instructor. Reality TV star. Scott Commings can now officially add that last title to his list of accomplishments.

• Learn more about Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus.
• See a FOX-32 interview with Commings.
• Visit the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ website.

Commings, the executive chef at Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus in suburban Woodstock, plowed down the competition for the past several months on Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” the high-pressure cooking show hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. On Thursday night, Commings capped off his impressive run by beating Chicago chef Jason Zepaltas to take home the top prize—a $250,000-a-year job offer as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas.

“Oh my God—I just won,” Commings said on the show. “I can’t believe it. I’m still in shock.

“I pushed really hard. I gave everything I ever had. It’s been a tough road. ... There’s no question this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

For Commings and his family, however, the hard work was definitely worth it.

“My whole life is my wife and kids,” an emotional Commings said, “and now my kids are growing up on a beach.”

Commings, who beat out 19 other contestants to win the show, had a simple goal when he started at Loyola in 2010: create a dining experience that people would love—and do it with seasonal, locally grown food.

It was a goal that meshed perfectly with Loyola’s commitment to sustainability.

“At the Retreat and Ecology Campus, we’re trying to fully grasp the farm-to-table relationship,” Commings wrote in a piece for Loyola magazine last year. “We’re lucky to be located in an area with an abundance of growers and livestock farms.”

Commings took that farm-to-table ethos and ran with it. He oversaw the five-acre farm at the campus, where students learn how to grow food and prepare it. That on-site farm, in fact, yields enough produce to supplement a large portion of the food used in the campus’s kitchen and dining hall.

Before he cooked on TV before millions of viewers, Commings created a series of hands-on culinary classes and programs at Loyola. The classes—which teach everything from knife skills to pasta making to wine and food pairings—are extremely popular and sell out months in advance.

Even though Commings is expected to head out west for his latest cooking adventure, Loyola is committed to sustainable farming and building upon the programs that he started.

“Scott was the second person we hired at the Retreat and Ecology Campus, and he helped create such an amazing place for people to come and enjoy fine food,” said Tim McGuriman, associate vice president of capital planning at Loyola. 

“Of course we’ll be sad to see him leave, but we realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him and his family. We really wish him nothing but the best.

“And we absolutely plan to continue the programs that he created.”



More than 100 turn out for Service Day


LU Wolf spends some quality time with students at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels, where Loyola faculty and staff volunteered for Ignatian Service Day.

In honor of the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, more than 100 Loyola faculty and staff from across several departments volunteered at the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels on Friday, July 25.

• See photographs from this year’s volunteer efforts on our Flickr site.
• Learn more about Loyola’s Ignatian Service Day.

They painted fences, swept streets, weeded gardens, and hosted a carnival and picnic that brought smiles to the faces of more than 200 children in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood. In addition to the service day, faculty and staff also collected school supplies for the children enrolled in the mission’s after-school program.

The University also donated 12 computers to the Kelly Hall YMCA, which works with the mission, said Chris Murphy, director of staff mission formation and the faculty/staff chaplain at Loyola.

On Tuesday, July 22, nearly two dozen Loyola employees volunteered at Misericordia, a 31-acre campus and community on the North Side of Chicago that helps people with developmental disabilities reach their full potential. Volunteers worked in the bakery, the greenhouse, the art room, and several other places around the campus. 

Loyola faculty and staff have volunteered at Misericordia for three years, but this was the first visit for new University employee Lauren Krause.

“It was really rewarding to spend time with the residents and see the effect that Misericordia has on them,” said Krause, who graduated from Loyola in 2010 and started working earlier this year as a communications specialist in University Marketing and Communication. “They obviously benefit from their time there.”



Go Global at the Study Abroad Fair


Are you ready to explore the world and expand your horizons?

Then come to Loyola’s annual Study Abroad Fair to learn how you can turn your global dreams into a reality.

Loyola offers more than 100 study abroad programs in 55 countries. So whether you want to study Italian history, learn how to speak Spanish, or explore Southeast Asia, you’re sure to find a program that’s right for you.

The Study Abroad Fair is Thursday, September 18, on the fourth floor of the Information Commons. The fair is free and is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Visit our Study Abroad website for more information. And go here to read blogs and see photos from Loyola students who have studied abroad.

School of Social Work marks 100 years


The School of Social Work has come a long way.

Founded in 1914 by Father Frederic Siedenburg, S.J., the school is the oldest of its kind in Chicago and the first to turn 100 years old. To mark the milestone, the school is kicking off its centennial celebration Friday, September 19, on the East Quad of Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

Festivities start at 4:30 p.m. and will include live music, craft beer, tours of the school’s new Social Work Clinic, and more. Other events will be held throughout the year, including a special series of lectures and presentations in October and a Thanksgiving reception in November for School of Social Work alumni. More events are planned for 2015, finishing with a 100th anniversary gala and a Loyola University Museum of Art exhibit in May. (You can register for the September 19 event here.)

Although the centennial looks to the past, the school is focused on the future and how it can apply Jesuit values to help the underserved and marginalized, said Darrell Wheeler, the dean of the School of Social Work.

“We work on the spiritual, as well as the mental and physical aspects of social work,” Wheeler said.

To that end, the school plans to open a new Family Mental Health Clinic in early 2015 in collaboration with Loyola’s School of Education—just one of many ways that the University works to care for the whole person.

Visit the School of Social Work website to learn more about its programs and mission.

Jan Karski Days coming to Loyola


Jan Karski in 1944. Photo from the Jan Karski Educational Foundation.

Loyola University Chicago’s interdisciplinary Polish studies program—in conjunction with the Jan Karski Educational Foundation and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago—will sponsor Jan Karski Days on September 18–21.

The celebration includes an international conference at Loyola, which will be held September 19 and 20. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a former Karski student, will present the September 19 keynote address.

Born in 1914, Karski is best known as “one man who tried to stop the Holocaust,” having worked as a courier for the Polish Underground witnessing German Nazi war crimes. He alerted the Allies, including President Franklin Roosevelt, about the atrocities in occupied Poland.

Author of Story of a Secret State, Karski later earned a PhD at Georgetown University and taught for 40 years at the school. Celebrating the centennial of his birth, the U.S. Senate this year passed a unanimous resolution honoring his legacy, and the Polish government declared it The Year of Jan Karski.

The September conference at Loyola centers on Karski’s legacy and focuses on two themes: memory and responsibility. The second day of the conference will be complemented by two film screenings and a concert. The events at Loyola are free and open to the public.

You can see the complete Jan Karski Days schedule here.



Meet the ‘Indiana Jones of mathematics’


Kenneth Golden, PhD, will speak September 29 about his polar expeditions and research into climate change. (Photo courtesy of Kenneth Golden.)

He’s been called the “Indiana Jones of mathematics.”

He’s traveled to Antarctica seven times and is an expert on the Earth’s disappearing polar ice caps. He’s given more than 300 lectures on six continents and has made presentations to the U.S. Congress.

And now he’s coming to Loyola.

Kenneth Golden, PhD, a professor of mathematics at the University of Utah, will speak Monday, September 29, about his polar expeditions and research into climate change. His lecture—“Modeling the Melt: What Math Tells Us About the Disappearing Polar Ice Caps”—will focus on using mathematical modeling to understand why Artic sea ice is melting far quicker than originally predicted.

Golden, who is also an adjunct professor of bioengineering at the University of Utah, will speak in room 109 in Cuneo Hall on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus from 4:30–6 p.m. Doors will open and refreshments will be served at 4 p.m.

You can learn more about the lecture here.

His journey for Family Weekend


Steve Tanaka shares a laugh with his daughter Katie, a freshman at Loyola, during Family Weekend. Tanaka, who works about one-third of the year in Japan, flew more than 8,000 miles to make it to campus. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

See more photos from the weekend in our Flickr gallery.
• Save the date: Next year’s Family Weekend will be September 25–27.

Loyola parent Steve Tanaka racked up some serious frequent-flier miles to attend Family Weekend.

Tanaka, whose daughter Katie is a freshman here, works about one-third of the year in Japan. So to make it to Family Weekend, he took a flight from Tokyo to his home in Honolulu, where he picked up his wife, Patricia. The two of them then flew to Los Angeles to get their oldest daughter, Holly. Then all three got on a plane for Chicago.

Finally—after flying more than 8,000 miles and logging nearly two dozen hours on airplanes—Tanaka made it to campus.

And the trip was worth every minute, he said.

“We had a great time,” said Tanaka, who had been to Loyola twice before: once for an orientation session in June and again for Move-In Day in August. “It was really nice to see more of the campus and get inside some of the classrooms. The weekend reassured us that Katie made the right choice to come here.”

Family Weekend started last year as a way to give families a taste of life at Loyola. More than 1,700 people registered for this year’s event, which ran from September 26–28. Highlights included campus tours, a family BBQ on the East Quad, and a performance by Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe.

The goal of Family Weekend is simple: to showcase the University and to help parents and siblings become part of the larger Loyola family.

“It’s is a chance for families to come and see their child’s home away from home,” said Kimberly Moore, assistant dean of students and co-chair of this year’s Family Weekend. “There really is no better time for them to see our campus and reconnect with their child.”

As for the Tanaka family, they’re already looking forward to a return trip to Loyola.

“We definitely plan on coming back,” Steve said.

Get out—and get involved


The Student Organization Fair is a great way to find out about groups on campus—such as the LUC Hoola Hoop Club, or Loop.

By Chase DiFeliciantonio  |  Student reporter

A new school year is under way, and for students it’s a chance to explore all that Loyola has to offer—in and out of the classroom.

Whether it’s joining a club, lacing up for an intramural team, or going Greek, Loyola’s student organizations offer something for everyone. The trouble is, with nearly 200 options on campus, it can be hard to know where to begin.

As a freshman, Julie Murphy didn’t give much thought to getting involved on campus. But after following a friend to a Department of Programming (dop) meeting, she ended up becoming a member—and she’s been there ever since.   

“My freshman year, I didn’t want to join anything I didn’t know anyone in,” said Murphy, who is now a senior psychology major. “That was such a mistake.”

For students unsure where to start, places such as the Office of First-Year Experience and the department of Student Activities and Greek Affairs (SAGA) are valuable resources. Even academic advisors can help students discover what Loyola has to offer outside of the classroom.

SAGA Director Angela King Taylor’s suggestion is simple: start at the start.

“I would advise students to come to the Student Organization Fair,” she said. The fair is held at the start of every semester as a showcase for student clubs and organizations. The next fair will be held in January 2015.

The good news is it’s never too late to join a club or organization you just stumbled upon.

“Clubs are always looking for new members,” Murphy said. “Joining clubs is a great way to meet new people.”

How to get involved

Looking to learn more about clubs and organizations on campus? Follow the links below, where you can get information on everything from Quidditch to kayaking and more.

Student Activities and Greek Affairs

Campus Recreation


This is the first in a series of stories to help students get the most out of college. Check out our College 365 Tumblr page for more tips. 

See how Loyola helped them stand out, succeed


In today’s economy, recent college graduates face fierce competition for jobs. These three members of the Class of 2014, however, were able to stand out from the crowd and find full-time jobs.

What helped them do that? A degree from Loyola.

Bridget Sanders

Majors: Finance, marketing
Job: Investment analyst at GE Capital in Chicago

Talk a little bit about your new job and what you’ll be doing.

I’ll travel as part of a team to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada, analyzing the collateral pledged on GE Capital loans. It’s a two- to three-year program, and when I’m done I’ll be able to apply for other positions within GE Capital.

How does it feel to know you’ve already lined up a job?

It feels great. I interviewed a lot in the fall and found out then that I had a job starting this summer. I really wanted a position in Chicago, and I feel so fortunate that I’ll be able to live and work in the city.

What were some of your favorite classes at Loyola?

I loved all of the marketing classes I took with Stacy Neier because she is such an engaging professor. I also enjoyed the classes I took with Nicholas Lash and William Bergman; they both taught me so much and challenged me to think critically.

Any favorite memories outside the classroom?

Studying abroad in Rome and being able to travel throughout Europe was absolutely incredible. I also went on Quinlan’s Ramble to Seattle business trip over Spring Break, which I really enjoyed.

How did Loyola help prepare you for your job?

Quinlan has a fantastic Business Career Services center, and I attended as many of their events as I could. I went to resume workshops, did mock interviews, all sorts of things. They definitely prepared me for my job search.

Any advice for seniors who will be graduating next year?

Start looking for jobs early. I started applying at the beginning of my senior year, and I think a lot of the best positions are filled before December. Get internships, too, because companies look for experience as well as academics.

And finally, what do you plan to buy with your first paycheck?

I know I’ll be very busy in my new job, but I plan to put some money away so I can travel abroad with some of my fellow Loyola alumni.

Phoebe Mueller

Majors: French, international studies
Job: Project manager for Epic Systems in Madison, Wis.

Talk a little bit about your new job and what you’ll be doing.

I’ll be working for Epic Systems, which is a healthcare tech company, and traveling to hospitals to train their staff on our software. Basically I’ll be on-site tech support until everyone at the hospital is comfortable with the system.

How does it feel to know you’ve already lined up a new job?

It’s a huge relief for me—and I think an even bigger one for my parents. I’m also excited to move to a new city.

What were some of your favorite courses at Loyola?

I was a big fan of pretty much all of my international studies courses, especially the refugee resettlement class taught by Dan Amick. I’d recommend it to anyone who needs to fulfill a service-learning requirement or who is interested in learning more about refugees. It was an eye-opening and rewarding course.

Any favorite memories outside the classroom?

I don't know why, but I have really fond memories of Snowpocalypse in 2011. It was freshman year, and it was basically a city-wide snow day. Chicago shut down, and everyone just hung out and drank hot chocolate and played in the snow. 

How did Loyola prepare you for your job?

I think the caliber of work that most professors demand has taught me to produce quality work. I know they expect it, so now I expect that of myself.

Any advice for seniors who will be graduating next year?

Get work experience through internships or leadership positions in clubs. A good GPA is important, but I’d say that the skills and experience I got through internships were what made me a competitive candidate in interviews.

And finally, what do you plan to buy with your first paycheck?

Furniture and a fabulous pair of shoes.

Bridgid Danahy

Majors: Theatre, advertising/public relations
Job: Costume shop apprentice at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Talk a little bit about your new job and what you’ll be doing.

I will be doing a little bit of everything in the costume shop, especially in the wigs and crafts departments. I’ll also get a chance to design a show in the spring, which is super exciting. I’m a costume designer, so this apprenticeship is a great opportunity to keep learning.

How does it feel to know you’ve already lined up a new job?

For the first time in a long time, I’m actually excited to know that I will be busy. Knowing that I get to do the thing I love with some of the best in the business is surreal. I am extremely lucky.

What were some of your favorite courses at Loyola?

I’m also an advertising/PR major, and one of my favorite classes in that course load was Public Service Communication. We got to put together a public relations campaign for a non-profit organization that brings art therapy to Chicago’s public schools. It was awesome.

Any favorite memories outside the classroom?

One night during my sophomore year, my friends and I tried to climb a tree in between the east quad and Coffey Hall, but ended up just watching the sunrise from the grass. Cliche? Yes. Worth it? Oh, yes.

How did Loyola prepare you for your job?

Loyola pushes you to learn about a lot of different things. Most people that start a job like mine have come out of conservatory or non-liberal arts programs, but I feel like I have an edge because of my Jesuit education.

Any advice for seniors who will be graduating next year?

If you don’t have a job right away, don’t be alarmed. Keep working hard and never stop learning—and you’ll get that dream job.

And finally, what do you plan to buy with your first paycheck?

Like most recent graduates, I’ll be putting some of it toward my student loans. 



Check out Art in the Atrium


Jon Sobrino, S.J., to speak at Loyola


Sobrino: We must speak the truth, defend the poor


Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J., spoke Thursday night at Loyola’s Mundelein Auditorium. “Our responsibility is to continue (the Salvadoran martyrs’) struggle by speaking the truth and defending the poor,” Sobrino said. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Anna Gaynor

Rethink what your responsibility is to the truth.

That was the message Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J., wanted to pass on Thursday night to an auditorium packed with Loyola students, faculty, staff, and others in the Chicago community.

Called A Community of Blood: Jesuits, University Professors, and Worker Martyrs, Sobrino’s address at Loyola’s Mundelein Auditorium comes on the heels of the 25th anniversary of the deaths of the Salvadoran martyrs. In 1989, six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter were brutally murdered when members of the military broke into their rectory at the University of Central America (UCA).

“Our responsibility is to continue their struggle by speaking the truth and defending the poor,” Sobrino said.

His history with those killed is more personal than most. Sobrino, who founded and taught at UCA, was out of the country when the assassinations took place. Otherwise he very likely would have been killed as well.

His life beyond UCA 

For Sobrino, the martyrs’ deaths are a direct response to the work they were trying to accomplish during the country’s bloody civil war. The men were actively speaking out against the military’s brutality, political misdeeds, and the living conditions of the poor.

“This is the scandal and the senselessness and the absurdity that we also live with in the 21st century,” Sobrino said. “For doing the good, they were killed. The martyrs of the UCA lived and died so that the opposite would occur.”

After the martyrs’ deaths, Sobrino continued his work in Central America and has become a well-known liberation theologian.  Besides being the author of many books on theology, including Christology at the Crossroads: A Latin American Approach, he currently directs the Oscar Romero Pastoral Center and acts as a board member for the international journal of theology, Concilium.

Sobrino believes universities are in a unique position to fight for the truth and help the poor because governments and international groups often fail to address those issues.

“Where we are tonight, it is important to remember that in our world today there continue to exist many victims who die from poverty, malnutrition, the absence or poor quality of health care, and from a lack of access to education,” Sobrino said. “There are innocent victims who die just because they live in dangerous places.”

‘The way the church should be’

It was a message not lost on those who heard Sobrino speak. The crowd was filled with many students who weren’t even born when the murders occurred as well as those who remember hearing the news.

“Father Sobrino has a vision of the world, and the way things should be and the way the church should be in our world, that is refreshing and inspiring,” said Meghan Toomey, who is working toward a PhD in integrated studies in ethics and theology. “The way that he articulates it is really helpful. It challenges and encourages me to take on that vision and make it my own also.”

While Eric Immel, S.J., also recognized Sobrino’s call to action, he understands how challenging it can be.

“There’s a certain beauty in his simplicity and the directness of his message,” Immel said. “The task is to find the truth to understand what reality is in the world and to address it courageously because the truth unfortunately is not what most of us are experiencing day in and day out.”

Before his address, Sobrino was presented with an honorary degree from Loyola for the work he has done as an educator, a scholar, and as an advocate of the poor.

Watch a video of Father Sobrino’s address at Loyola and see more images of his visit in our official Flickr gallery.

Her mission: Help fellow veterans


“There is no limit to the number of issues that we have to address every day,” says Anita Lumpkin of Loyola’s office of Military Veteran Student Services. “I work to connect these students to the right resources, regardless of what their needs might be.” (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Chase DiFeliciantonio  |  Student reporter

Anita Lumpkin’s college experience was a little different than most students’. But then again, most students don’t have to deal with three separate military deployments during their undergraduate and graduate careers.

Lumpkin, who served for 10 years in the Army Reserves before getting her master’s degree in higher education administration, brings a unique background to her post as coordinator of Loyola’s office of Military Veteran Student Services. Created in August 2014 and housed in the Sullivan Center, the office helps veterans make the successful transition from military service to college life—and beyond.

But that process, Lumpkin said, is easier said than done.

“There is no limit to the number of issues that we have to address every day,” Lumpkin said. “In one day I could get a request for admission and program information about Loyola from a service member transitioning from overseas. I could also meet students here that are having academic concerns or problems accessing their education or health benefits. I work to connect these students to the right resources, regardless of what their needs might be.”

Lumpkin works alongside student employees—who also have military backgrounds—to help fellow veterans deal with the challenges they face as college students.

“Military life is very structured regardless of what branch of service you are in,” Lumpkin said. “You spend 5-10 years in a highly structured organization and then enter higher education where you have a lot more freedom. It can be a very challenging situation.”

Veterans must deal with other issues as well. The average age of a veteran enrolled at Loyola is 28, Lumpkin said, which can make them feel like outsiders on a campus filled with younger students.

Veterans also deal with prevailing stereotypes of the shell-shocked warrior and are often asked prodding questions about their experiences in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to Lumpkin, one of the most difficult issues for veterans is the feeling of doing it all backward.

“In many cases, student veterans have done the work that they’re studying for already,” Lumpkin said.  “For someone who served in the Army or Navy as an MP (military police), getting credentials to become a police officer can seem redundant and frustrating. It can feel backward from a civilian standpoint.”

Creating a new University office from the ground up was daunting, Lumpkin said. But the hard work was well worth it.

“To give back to students who have given so much of themselves to the world is the most rewarding thing,” she said.

Learn more at the Military Veteran Student Services website.

Finals Week: Simple steps to relieve stress


By Anna Gaynor

Get well. Be well. Stay well.

They may be simple statements, but those three short sentences speak volumes about Loyola’s Wellness Center and its philosophy toward students.

From treating flu symptoms to helping students deal with the stresses of college life, the staff at the Wellness Center does a little bit of everything. And it’s that emphasis on all areas of wellness that makes the center such a valuable resource.

“We try to respond to those key issues that we know show up on college campuses,” said Diane Asaro, director of the Wellness Center.

With Finals Week here, we spoke with the experts at the center to get their tips on healthy living.

Strike a balance

While academics are students’ main priority, sometimes even clubs and other activities can pile on the pressure. Dr. Chrisantha Anandappa, a psychiatrist who joined the Wellness Center in August, said students need to find time to take care of themselves.

“I think the easiest answer is really trying to find a balance,” he said.

Making sure to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise may seem like common sense, Anandappa said, but it’s sound advice for combating anxiety.

Unplug everything

For just an hour each day, turn off your phone, tablet, TV, laptop, and everything else with a battery and give meditation a try.

Researchers have found that meditating can lower stress and create a better sense of well-being, said Dianna Stencel, a social worker at the Wellness Center who leads free meditation classes for students on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

“I think it’s a real opportunity to tune out all that technology,” said David deBoer, associate director of the Wellness Center. “And it lets students settle, center, and quiet themselves so that they can be more focused and calm without all the chatter that’s constantly coming at them.”

While 8-week meditation programs are available, Stencel also leads a weekly class for newbies and more practiced meditators on Mondays in the Information Commons. She’s found that students report being less critical of themselves, and they’re better able to handle problems as they come up in their lives.

Talk it out

New students need to realize they can’t anticipate every challenge or surprise they’ll encounter in college, Stencel said. Whether they’re having a hard time picking a major or they’re dealing with a difficult roommate, new students looking for help can find plenty of resources at the Wellness Center.

“We have a Transitions group that is specially geared toward first-year students who are making the adjustment to college for the first time,” deBoer said.

Meeting once a week, it gives freshmen the chance to connect with others who are new to campus and talk about the problems they’re facing. Tivo, Loyola’s very own therapy dog, also makes an appearance at some meetings. (Learn more about the Transitions group.)

Sit, stay, smile

Since arriving on campus in 2012, Tivo has become a minor celebrity across Loyola. The Labrador retriever spends his days at the Wellness Center but makes daily rounds for Talk with Tivo.

“Every single person doesn’t respond to the same approach on everything, so one person’s going to come and see Tivo and that will be where we’re able to engage them in that first initial contact with the Wellness Center,” said Asaro, the Wellness Center’s director.

Tivo’s often accompanied by a human counselor—who’s happy to talk with students—and offers a big help to those who are feeling homesick or overwhelmed. All students are welcome to hang out with Tivo as much as they want, and maybe even give him a hug. (See Tivo in action.)

Meet with your RA

They have more to offer than just directions to the closest dining hall.

Resident assistants are trained to not only help freshmen build connections but to also be there in case they need help, said Stencel, who coordinates education sessions for RAs.

Resident assistants regularly work with Wellness Area Teams, which are made up of counselors from the Wellness Center, Residence Life, and Campus Ministry. Even if your RA isn’t able to address your specific problem, he or she will know someone who does.

Come to the Wellness Center

Sometimes talking to someone can’t address every problem, especially when it relates to mental illness. The two most common issues facing college students are depression and anxiety, said Anandappa, the Wellness Center psychiatrist.

“Finding the balance between someone’s disease symptomatology and their overall wellness and productivity on campus is really the goal of what we’re doing here,” he said.

As the first full-time psychiatrist at the center, Anandappa is in a unique position to help students who are facing more serious struggles. In the case of depression, issues can include a lack of appetite, trouble sleeping, withdrawing from friends, or feeling more angry and irritable.

Students who are dealing with anxiety can start feeling more nervous and worried, Anandappa said. They also avoid certain situations, classes, and people—or just feel like everything is spinning out of control.

Students who are struggling with depression or anxiety should come to the Wellness Center to meet with a health-care professional. (Visit the Wellness Center website for more information.)

Senior named 2014 Student Laureate


Loyola senior David Lewis poses with his Student Laureate award at the Old State Capitol Historic Site in Springfield. With Lewis are (far left) Phil Hale, Loyola’s vice president for government affairs, and Lewis’s parents, Angella and Slater.

By Chase DiFeliciantonio  |  Student reporter

Loyola senior David Lewis is a busy man.

He’s a member of numerous student groups and is the executive director of the Wolf and Kettle Council. He’s in the Maroon and Gold Society and works in the Undergraduate Admissions Office as a student ambassador. And if that weren’t enough, Lewis is also pursuing a double major in political science and international studies, along with two minors.

On November 1, Lewis added one more item to his growing resume: Loyola’s 2014 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate.

This is the 40th year the Lincoln Academy of Illinois has honored outstanding students across the state. The award—given this year to 53 students from each of the state’s participating four-year universities, plus one student from a community college—recognizes students for leadership, service, and academic excellence. At the awards ceremony at the Old State Capitol Historic Site in Springfield, Lewis received a medallion, a certificate of achievement, and a $1,000 educational grant. 

“I am truly honored to be recognized by the governor of Illinois,” Lewis said. “I owe it to my parents for teaching me the importance of hard work and dedication.”

A native of Hoffman Estates, Lewis has done significant service work outside of Loyola, including volunteering at Care for Real, a nonprofit organization that provides food and clothing for the homeless and low-income residents of Chicago’s Edgewater community.

“It takes more than good grades to win a Student Laureate award,” said Phil Hale, Loyola’s vice president for government affairs. “You also have to be a campus leader and help serve your community. David does that, and he’s a wonderful ambassador for all of Loyola’s students.”

Winning the Student Laureate award places Lewis among the state’s standout citizens.

“I am honored by the fact that this award now puts me in the company of Hillary Clinton, as she also received an award from the academy a few months ago,” Lewis said, referring to the Order of Lincoln Award that the academy gave to the former U.S. Secretary of State in May. That award— the state’s highest honor—is given to distinguished Illinoisans for their professional achievement and public service.

As for Lewis, he plans to head off to graduate school once he completes his undergraduate degrees—and hopefully, continue to serve others.

Stritch dinner celebrates service, scholarship


The Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich (center), Archbishop of Chicago, poses at the Annual Awards Dinner with (from left) Dick and Judi Duchossois, Dr. Linda Brubaker, Dr. Mike My Lehoang, and Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.

Nearly 800 people attended this year’s Stritch Annual Awards Dinner, held November 22 at Chicago’s Field Museum. 

The Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, made his first public appearance since his installation at the 64th annual dinner, which celebrates service and is a fundraiser for medical scholarships at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. He remarked that the event is a “joyous tradition of generosity for medical education, and medicine is not just the work of science, but that of love.” (See pictures from the event in our official Flickr gallery.)

Spanish guardsmen presented the University’s highest honor, the Sword of Loyola, to Dick and Judi Duchossois for their philanthropic efforts. 

“Judi and I are thrilled to receive this prestigious honor,” Duchossois said. “Thank you to Loyola for all you have done and for giving us the opportunity to participate in the great work that you do.”

Duchossois, who was called into military service before he finished college, was presented with an honorary bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola by President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.

Stritch alumnus Mike My Lehoang, MD, received the Stritch Medal, the school’s highest honor, for his dedication to advancing health care for the poor. Lehoang, who in his youth fled Vietnam with his family, is responsible for initiating and establishing regular service trips with Stritch students to Vietnam. In 2008, he and his family founded an orphanage in Vietnam, which is now home to 96 young children and 10 expectant mothers.

“I am deeply honored and thankful to receive this Stritch Medal,” Lehoang said. “Medical school taught me the art of medicine: how to diagnose, to treat, and to prevent diseases. But Loyola taught me to be a more human doctor.”

Named after Samuel Cardinal Stritch, the gala is Chicago’s longest-running black-tie event. Cardinal Stritch started the tradition in 1950 to support the only Catholic medical school in Chicago. The Annual Awards Dinner has since raised millions of dollars for medical education scholarships.

The Stritch Junior Service League, made up of 25 Chicago-area teens, served as the honor guard throughout the evening and its members were recognized for their community service.

Learn more at the Stritch School of Medicine website.

What do all those different colors and gowns mean?


The custom of wearing academic gowns, hoods, and caps dates back to about the 12th century, when most scholars belonged to a religious order.

Long gowns and hoods were standard dress for medieval clergy, who often studied and taught in cold buildings. The style and coloring of the robe, hood, and, sometimes, skull cap denoted an edu­cated individual. From the end of the 16th century to the present, members of the clergy, law profes­sionals, and academics have worn robes.

Sometime in the 14th century, English univer­sities began to use the dress to distinguish levels of education. Modeled on the English system, the American Academic Costume Code was estab­lished in 1895 by a commission of delegates from the Ivy League and New York universities.

The Costume Code calls for three types of gowns: doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s. The doc­toral gown is the most elaborate, with front-facing velvet and three velvet bars on each of the full, bil­lowing sleeves. The velvet can be black, PhD blue, or the academic color to which the degree corre­sponds. The master’s gown is distinctive for its ex­tremely long, closed sleeves, the arms protruding through a slit at the elbow. The bachelor’s gown is the simplest of the three, a plain gown with long, pointed sleeves.

Doctoral and master’s degrees are also indicat­ed by a hood, distinctive in shape, size, and color. The doctor’s hood is easily recognizable, with wide velvet edging that indicates the degree earned and full exposure of the lining. The master’s hood is the same length as the doctor’s hood but does not fully expose the lining, and the velvet edging is not as wide. For both hoods, the lining indicates the col­ors of the institution conferring the degree.

Mortarboards, the distinctive four-pointed caps, are worn by academics at all levels. In recent years, doctors have taken to wearing a soft velvet tam instead.

The significance of insignia

The following is a brief list of common colors used by the Academic Costume Code to denote field of study:

Arts White
Business administration Drab
Communication Maroon
Education Light blue
Law Purple
Medicine Green
Nursing Apricot
Pastoral Studies Red
Philosophy PhD Dark Blue
Science Yellow gold
Social work Citron
Theology Scarlet

Biology Professor Sushma Reddy discovers new bird species

6-6-17 Sushma Reddy profile

Loyola Associate Professor of Biology Sushma Reddy, PhD, gathers birds from Madagascar to showcase during Members' Nights at the Field Museum in May. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Daniel P. Smith

Armed with a curious spirit and inquisitive nature, Sushma Reddy, PhD, ventured to India five years ago, planting the seeds for work that would lead to a rare scientific discovery. 

Encouraged by an academic sabbatical from her role as an associate professor in Loyola University’s Department of Biology, Reddy spent five months in the Asian nation in 2012, establishing collaborative partnerships with scientists and investigating potential research projects related to the evolutionary history of birds, a diverse group of organisms that has long captivated scientists and nonscientists alike.

Over the subsequent years, Reddy, one of the globe’s most prominent evolutionary scientists studying birds, endured late-night Skype sessions with her Indian partners, analyzed data in a lab alongside a team of Loyola students, and slowly detailed the diversification of endemic birds in the Western Ghats, an isolated mountain range in southwest India. 

The effort, retraced earlier this year in a seminal paper published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, produced groundbreaking results—a new species and two new genera. Reddy’s evidence-based research showed that two songbird lineages endemic to the Western Ghats had diversified into multiple distinct kinds of birds.

“I love the excitement of solving a puzzle, asking questions about how a bird that looks the way it does came to be and how and why it changed,” says Reddy, who recently received the College of Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Sujack Family Faculty Research Excellence Award, an annual honor recognizing ambitious faculty scholarship.

Breaking ground, uncovering new species 

Reddy’s leading role in the groundbreaking discovery of two new bird genera and one new bird species represents a truly unique accomplishment in the field of evolutionary biology. Discoveries of new bird species, in fact, have only trickled in over recent decades, adding prominence to Reddy’s work.

“You have to know enough about what does exist to know you have something that hasn’t been described before,” says Loyola Department of Biology chair and fellow evolutionary biologist James Cheverud. “That comes from a lot of careful work and knowledge, and is what truly impresses about Dr. Reddy’s research.” 

Reddy’s findings underscore the still-existing dearth of knowledge about the biogeography of the Asian tropics, while also spotlighting the need for a more rigorous and systematic analysis to inform biodiversity studies and the conservation efforts critical to driving a deeper understanding of the Earth.

“Biology plays a key role in helping us all understand the Earth’s evolution,” Reddy says, reminding that the earliest evidence for continental drift came from biology, not geology.

It is Reddy’s ambitious questioning and devout curiosity that guides the work inside her Loyola-based lab, where a team of undergraduate and post-graduate researchers has helped propel Reddy’s scientific efforts while gaining valuable, hands-on experience in the process.

First as an undergraduate studying biology and now as a grad student, Matt Bonfitto has worked in Reddy’s lab for three years. Most recently, he began 3D scanning of bird bills, a practice on the cutting edge of biometrics and encouraged by Reddy.

“She stresses progressive lab techniques and is interested in finding new ways to test old questions,” Bonfitto says. “That’s what makes good research and it’s a model I’d like to follow as I head into the field.” 

Cheverud calls Reddy’s work with undergraduates particularly admirable, as she involves them in treks to different U.S. museums and in taking lab measurements that then play into her research. 

“That’s not something that happens everywhere,” Cheverud says. “These experiences are important to a student’s future and she mentors them so they can fulfill their dreams and desires.”

Now, Reddy and her cadre of lab students have turned their attention from India to the diversification of birds in Madagascar, an island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. 

Supported by a $690,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, Reddy’s team continues collecting samples and data from thousands of individual birds representing hundreds of bird species. They are currently in the early stages of using that data to determine the morphological variation, plumage patterns, and geographic ranges of these species and their evolutionary relationships, specifically addressing why and how birds diversified in this isolated region.

“It’s work I love and it’s the real scientific questions that drive me,” Reddy says.

After all, she knows where that curiosity can lead.

Arrupe students hit ground running


Arrupe College student Brandon Galindo takes part in a team-building exercise at the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus. More than 150 students attended Arrupe’s first Summer Enrichment Program in early July. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Elise Haas  |  Student reporter

Recent high school graduate Juan Trinidad wants be a strong role model for his two younger brothers and little sister at their home in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.

“I want to be the first one to graduate from college and show my siblings you can go on and do whatever you want in life,” said Trinidad, an incoming freshman at Arrupe College, Loyola’s new two-year associate’s degree program for students with limited financial resources.


• To learn more about Arrupe College and its enrollment process, please visit LUC.edu/arrupe.

Trinidad, who wants to eventually study criminal justice and become a Chicago police officer, was joined by more than 150 of his classmates in early July as they attended Arrupe’s first Summer Enrichment Program. The students spent the weekend at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC) in Woodstock, Ill., where they received advice about financial planning, began working on a digital portfolio, and learned about support systems on campus to help them during their time at Arrupe. (Classes for the fall semester begin August 17.)

The retreat also gave students a chance to meet with faculty and staff—and just as importantly, to make new friends. Trinidad said he loved his experience at LUREC and is now even more motivated to get his college degree.

“I was surprised with the new friends I made in one day at the retreat,” he said. “We’re going to stick together and work with each other to succeed.”

Housed in Maguire Hall on the Water Tower Campus, the college addresses a serious problem in higher education across the country—the need to increase access to, and improve completion rates of, college degrees for students from low-income families. Arrupe plans to do this by featuring small class sizes, plenty of one-on-one time with faculty members, and generous financial aid packages that will leave students with little or no debt.

Driven to succeed

As part of the application process, each Arrupe student was invited in for a face-to-face interview. For Yesenia Crespo of Logan Square, this proved to her that Arrupe was the right choice.

“They try to get to know every student individually,” Crespo said. “To know that I got accepted from someone talking to me directly— and not from reading a piece of paper—means a lot.”

To ensure student success, Arrupe staff members will work with students and their families to address home-life issues that can derail a college education.

“Knowing that faculty is going to keep me on track—I’m excited for that,” Crespo said. “Because anything that ensures me that I’m going to do well is obviously a motivator.”

The financial aid, faculty support, and unique educational opportunity Arrupe offers also means a better life for Laura Mata, an incoming student from the South Side. She said her father is her main inspiration for going to college and that he’s always encouraged her to get a degree.

“I want to pursue something better,” said Mata, who would be the first in her family to graduate from college. “I want to get myself up on my feet so I can eventually help support my parents.”

Not only does the faculty and staff work hard to encourage the students, the students also inspire one another. Mata was impressed after learning that one of her classmates is commuting from Waukegan, Ill., to attend school.

“Waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to take the Metra and coming all the way over here… it’s a lot to do,” Mata said. “But it’s for her education, so I know that the people here want to be successful.”

Optimistic outlook

Arrupe students can earn an associate’s degrees in one of three concentrations: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and business. After completing their two-year degree at Arrupe, students can transfer all of their credits to more than 100 Illinois institutions to get their bachelor’s degree.

Though the transition to college can be challenging, the new students are optimistic about their futures.

Trinidad, for example, can’t wait start at Arrupe so he can work toward his dream of joining the Chicago Police Department.

“I know that it is really difficult with all the issues that we have in Chicago,” Trinidad said. “But I feel that one person at a time can make a difference.”

As a fellow member of the inaugural class of Arrupe College, incoming student Ronnisha Williams of Humbolt Park was even more direct.

“We get to make history,” she said.

Arrupe College has received more than $2 million in funding in the past few months to help incoming students. In June, the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation announced a $1 million grant to support student scholarships and a variety of operating expenses at the college, including education technology and capital needs. And in August, the Walmart Foundation announced a $100,000 grant to provide funding for student breakfasts and lunches.

Organizations or individuals interested in supporting Arrupe College can contact Maggie Murphy Stockson at 312.915.8919.

Loyola hosting annual climate change conference


This year’s conference, “Global Climate Change: Economic Challenges and Solutions,” will include conversations that examine the economic, ethical, and political challenges surrounding climate change.

Loyola University Chicago will host its third annual conference on climate change from Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19, at the University’s Lake Shore Campus. This year’s conference, “Global Climate Change: Economic Challenges and Solutions,” will include conversations that examine the economic, ethical, and political challenges surrounding climate change. The three-day event is co-sponsored by Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability and the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, along with the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund.

Author and activist Naomi Klein will present a keynote address on Thursday, March 17, which will also be celebrated as the Gannon Center’s annual Ann F. Baum Women in Leadership lecture. In the address, Klein will highlight how free trade, capitalism, and the North American Free Trade Agreement have accelerated greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our goal is to gather a group of scholars who can address the crucial concerns surrounding the care for our planet,” said Nancy Tuchman, PhD, founding director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability. “Conference attendees—academics alongside community members and students—will be immersed in these issues to better understand the type of world we must move towards in order to combat climate change.”

The second day of the conference is devoted to a number of in-depth panel discussions that will examine a variety of important topics, including: Can We Switch to a Green Economy?, Beyond Paris and COP21: What’s Next?, Climate Justice—Path to a Just Future, Climate Action: What Can Individuals Do?, and more. Attendees will also be treated to a performance by University Chorale and dance students, as well as a research-centered poster session showcasing student research.

Day three of the conference features a collegiate biodiesel workshop, bringing together students, faculty, and staff from across the country to discuss best practices, lessons learned from established programs, and ways to leverage shared resources. The workshop will be hosted in Loyola’s award-winning Searle Biodiesel Lab and led by the University’s Biodiesel Lab Manager Zach Waickman.

Loyola, which was named the fourth greenest college campus in the country by the Sierra Club, is well positioned to host an important industry discussion like this on sustainability and the environment. In addition to its biodiesel lab, the Institute of Environmental Sustainability boasts a facility containing clean energy labs, a green house, aquaponics systems, an ecodome, and many sustainable features, including a geothermal heating and cooling installation, rainwater harvesting, and high-efficiency heat-recovery technology.

Conference attendees will leave the conference with tools and actionable next steps to take to their own communities. The keynote event on Thursday, March 17, and the panel discussions on Friday, March 18, are open to the general public. For more information, including costs and schedules, visit LUC.edu/climate.

Students buy 1,300 care packages for soldiers


Loyola students used the leftover money on their meal plans to buy more than 1,300 care packages for soldiers stationed in Iraq. “I was planning on 125-150 [packages] max,” said Aramark’s director of operations William Langlois, who came up with the idea. “It really blew my mind.”

By Alexandra Jonker  |  Student reporter

The end of the academic year means several things to Loyola students: packing up the dorm, selling back books—and spending any extra meal plan money on unsettling amounts of candy and ice cream.

This past semester, Aramark’s director of operations, William Langlois, offered students a more impactful (and far less sugary) option for their unused meal money: providing care packages for the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq.

“I knew that they had extra money on their cards,” he says. “I wanted them to use it and maybe it could do something good.”

Langlois got in touch with Lt. Col. Matthew J. Yandura and Master Sgt. Chad King from Loyola’s ROTC department to collaborate on the project and figure out what needed to go into the care packages. In the end, the $20 packages were filled with supplies such as Band-Aids, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

With only fliers and a few posts on social media, the initiative relied on word-of-mouth marketing—and it still was able to surpass all goals that its leaders had projected. By the end of the semester, Loyola students purchased more than 1,300 packages, which will be shipped to soldiers over the July 4 weekend. 

“I was planning on 125-150 [packages] max,” Langlois says. “It really blew my mind—one student even bought 60 [packages] because he had so much money.”

In an interview with WBBM radio, Lt. Col. David Bowlus, chaplain of the 101st Airborne Division, expressed his gratitude for Loyola students and their support of soldiers, especially those from their own generation. “Some Americans, I guess, [have] compassion fatigue, or care package fatigue,” he says. “Americans continuing to do this for us means a whole lot.”

Yandura, when he spoke to WBBM, called the initiative, “an incredible statement about the men and women that (Loyola) attracts.”

State of the University Address - Spring 2015

President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., addressed students, faculty, and staff at his final State of the University addresses on April 7 and 9. To view the Lake Shore Campus address in its entirety, see the video above. Below, please find highlights from Father Garanzini's addresses.

Academic Additions — Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago and the new engineering program are both on track to launch in the fall. A new partnership with Universidad Loyola Andalucia, a Jesuit university in Spain, will soon offer a joint baccalaureate program to students.

Facilities Updates — The Quinlan School of Business will move to the Schreiber Center in September 2015, the Center for Translational Research and Education will open in February 2016, a new residence hall, chapel, and reception area are in the works at the John Felice Rome Center—and, after the past several years, all construction at the Lake Shore Campus is complete!

Financial Stability — As in past years, the budget is in the black and enrollment numbers are strong. Endowment funds also continue to support faculty chairs and student scholarships.

2015-2020 Key Priorities — The University is finishing up a new strategic plan that will leverage the University’s talents to help address local and global social justice issues. To advance this plan, the University will focus on student success, faculty development, multi-disciplinary collaborations, and partnerships.

New Leaders — New leadership appointments have been made including Steve Watson, director of athletics, Winifred Williams, PhD, vice president for Human Resources and chief diversity and inclusion officer, and Thomas Regan, S.J., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Searches are underway for provost of the Health Sciences Division, dean of the Quinlan School of Business—and a new University president. As announced in March, Father Garanzini will continue his service to Loyola as chancellor, beginning July 1, to help with external relations and special projects.

Following his address, Father Garanzini also answered questions on topics such as: his work as the Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, the search for the next University president, commitment to environmental sustainability including the University Senate’s fossil fuel divestment recommendation, the next strategic plan, adjunct faculty, and the student government’s recent divestment resolution.

Questions regarding the addresses can be directed to Lorraine Fitzgerald at lsnyde2@luc.edu or 312.915.6400.

Preparing for the next outbreak


Niehoff School of Nursing graduate Amelia Bumsted (DNP ’15) is working to keep health care workers safe when treating infectious diseases such as Ebola. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Dirk Johnson

When the Ebola outbreak in West Africa led to the first confirmed cases of the disease in the United States in 2014, one of the questions it raised was how to best protect health care workers who were treating Ebola patients. The nursing profession has been debating the best ways to guide health care workers in such perilous situations, and Amelia Bumsted (DNP ’15) remembers thinking: “There should be an app for that.”


This story originally appeared in the fall issue of Niehoff, the magazine of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. You can read more research stories on the school’s website.

Bumsted, who earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree—a relatively new terminal clinical degree in the nursing profession—at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, has been working to develop such an app. The goal is to help clinical personnel follow CDC guidelines for donning and doffing protective equipment properly when caring for a suspected or confirmed Ebola patient. This addresses precisely the calls being made by nursing advocates, such as the American Nurses Association, which are vocal in expressing concerns about whether health care workers are safe. “They were saying, ‘We need to have proper equipment and training,’ ” Bumsted says.

Loyola’s Population-Based Infection Prevention & Environmental Safety (PIPES) DNP program, one of the first in the nation to specialize in infection prevention, focuses on populations at risk for disease. It produces graduates to become leaders and collaborators in addressing problems in health care systems, such as the ones raised when Ebola was first identified in the United States. Bumsted reviewed storyboards for videos developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to demonstrate protocols for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for Ebola patients. A significant problem for clinicians, despite attempts to demonstrate with videos, was how to translate the CDC guidelines into practice.

Alexander Tomich (MSN ’07, DNP ’12), one of Bumsted’s mentors, was a leader in the state’s preparedness efforts to safeguard against the infection of health care workers. He is the director of Infection and Control at Rush University Medical Center, one of only 48 designated Ebola Treatment Centers in the nation. Bumsted and Tomich partnered to present a national Q&A session webinar titled “Developing an Ebola Center—What Does it Take? And What if You are Not Equipped to be an Ebola Center?”

Tomich served as a preceptor (clinical instructor) to Bumsted as she worked on her capstone project to help clinicians follow CDC guidelines for proper PPE use. The DNP program’s objective is translational research; in other words, Bumsted and other such professionals are tasked with figuring out effective ways to translate policy guidelines into actual practice at the bedside.

Honored to have the chance to work on such an important issue, Bumsted credits the culture and camaraderie of Niehoff with building professional networks and local experts in the area of infection prevention, which is what first connected her with Tomich. Expressing gratitude for the time Loyola graduates invest in mentoring students in the program, she says, “It’s the Loyola spirit for leaders to never stop learning.”

More than child’s play


Psychology professor Catherine Haden, PhD, watches 7-year-old Alex Amstead play at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Haden and fellow Loyola professor Perla Gámez, PhD, are studying how children learn and develop an interest in the STEM fields. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Anna Gaynor

Two Loyola researchers are trying to uncover the next big advancement in child development—and it might just be the wheel.

Or rather, the introduction of wheels.

Loyola psychology professors Catherine Haden, PhD, and Perla Gámez, PhD, recently received a nearly $740,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to better understand how children learn and develop an interest in the STEM fields. Their study will observe how children interact with the tools and supplies in the Tinkering Lab at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

“One of the challenges in these kinds of spaces is people think that tinkering is going to lead to science learning, but it can’t just be by magic,” said Haden, the director of the Children’s Memory and Learning Lab at Loyola and principal investigator of the Tinkering and Reflection Project. “The goal should be to create an environment where children will engage in more scientific practices with their parents—like trying out ideas, testing and retesting, and modifying a design when it doesn’t do exactly what you planned. And for the young children we study, parents can play a big role in learning those concepts.”

A new take on tinkering

The Tinkering Lab at Navy Pier is a workshop filled with cloth, paper, and wood as well as hammers, screwdrivers, and other tools. It encourages children from diverse family backgrounds to get their hands dirty with the scientific process, from imagining their own experiment to manipulating their creations.

Sometimes children will try to recreate what they’ve seen at different exhibits in the Children’s Museum, and many of them will make something that resembles more of an art project than a scientific one.

That’s where the wheels come in.

When the study begins this summer with hundreds of 6- to 8-year-olds and their parents, Gámez and Haden are hoping the introduction of wheels might inspire young visitors to build their own racer or a different open-ended project that gives them practice in science and engineering.

Wheels are just one idea, though.

“The grant is to observe the practices that are already happening, things that children and parents would already be trying to do, and ask, ‘How do we improve upon them?’ ” Haden said. “Then once we see things that are working, we feed it back to our partners at the museum and say, ‘I wonder if we do this and this, would it increase the amount of science talk we’re seeing in the space?’ ”

Learning by observing

A large part of Haden and Gámez’s research is observational: Watching what kinds of questions parents ask, how children interact with the objects around them, and how visiting the museum affects children long after the visit.

The study will be done in partnership with David Uttal, a professor from Northwestern University, and Tsivia Cohen from the Chicago Children’s Museum, who both received additional funds from the National Science Foundation. Working so closely with the museum gives Haden and Gámez the opportunity to share their findings with the people who could most benefit from it—educators and parents.

“Parents play a very important role in their children’s early introductions to science and engineering—all through school when they bring those homework or science projects home,” Haden said. “We’re trying to find ways to support parents as their children’s early teachers and advocates.”

Father Garanzini: Loyola athletics is on the move


Dear Loyola Community,

I am writing to share the exciting news that Loyola University Chicago will join the Missouri Valley Conference on July 1. This opportunity to compete on a higher level as a member of one of the most reputable Division I conferences is a testament to the passion, talent, and commitment of our student-athletes and coaches.

We join the Missouri Valley Conference at a dynamic time in athletics and student life at Loyola. Just this month we completed phase three of the reimagine campaign with the opening of the silver LEED-certified Arnold J. Damen, S.J., Student Center. Loyolans from across our campuses joined our students on April 3 in dedicating the new student union, which has already become a center of student activity from dawn to dusk. This new student center, along with the Norville Center, a renewed Gentile Arena, and now this move to the Missouri Valley Conference, are all part of a multi-year strategic effort to enhance the co-curricular program and experience for our students in partnership with our tradition of academic excellence.  

Loyola athletics is on the move. For the first time in history, Rambler athletics finished both the fall and winter sports seasons on top of our current conference’s all-sports rankings. What’s more, just this week we welcomed Sheryl Swoopes as the new head coach of our women’s basketball team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest female athletes of all time, Sheryl is a four-time WNBA champion, NCAA champion, and three-time Olympic gold medalist who brings tremendous talent to developing our women’s basketball program. Loyola is looking ahead at all we endeavor to achieve while celebrating our tradition of excellence, including the honor of having our 1963 NCAA championship-winning men’s basketball team be the first team ever inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame next November. I think it’s fair to say that this is a very exciting time to be a Rambler.

As we move forward with the development of an increasingly robust and competitive athletic program at Loyola, we enthusiastically join Missouri Valley Conference members Bradley University, Drake University, the University of Evansville, Illinois State University, Indiana State University, Missouri State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois University, and Wichita State (who, by the way, made it to the NCAA Final Four this year). Our student-athletes are ready to compete on the national stage, and together we will build on Loyola’s legacy of excellence, both on the court and off.


Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.
President and CEO

Loyola athletics through the years


1963: Coach George Ireland leads the Ramblers to the NCAA championship.


Lenny Sachs is hired as the men’s basketball coach. During his 19 seasons as head coach, Sachs, who was later inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, helped the Ramblers become one of the finest teams in the Midwest and was instrumental in nurturing the game of basketball from its infancy.


Loyola finishes as the runner-up at the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden in New York, falling to Long Island 44-32 in the championship game.


Loyola finishes as the runner-up at the NIT, earning wins over CCNY, Kentucky, and Bradley before falling to San Francisco, 49-48, in the title game. Jack Kerris becomes the Ramblers’ first-ever NBA draft pick, and Loyola closes out the year ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll.


On March 11, Loyola opens play in the NCAA Tournament by beating Tennessee Tech, 111-42. That 69-point win still stands as a record for margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game.

On March 15, Loyola plays in one of the greatest games in the history of the social rights movement when it faces Mississippi State in the NCAA Tournament in East Lansing, Mich. Mississippi State was forced to sneak out of Mississippi under the cover of darkness because it was prohibited from playing integrated teams. (Loyola’s team featured four African-American starters.) The Ramblers prevailed in the game, 61-51, as racial barriers are forgotten. A documentary titled “Game of Change” was later produced about the events surrounding the historic game.

On March 23, Loyola captures the NCAA men’s basketball championship by defeating two-time defending champion Cincinnati, 60-58, in overtime at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. The Ramblers rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to force overtime, and Vic Rouse’s tip-in of a missed shot at the end of the first overtime provided the winning margin for the Ramblers. Loyola is the only school in the state of Illinois to have won the NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship.

Tom O’Hara wins the NCAA cross country individual championship.


Tom O’Hara breaks the indoor world record for the mile with a time of 3:56.4 at the Chicago Stadium. O’Hara, who would also be named to the U.S. Olympic Team that competed at the 1964 Tokyo Games, will have his world record stand for 10 years.

The men’s basketball team reaches the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year and posts a 2-1 record in the tournament to finish the season with a 22-6 record and a No. 8 national ranking in the AP poll.


Loyola loses only three times all season, posting a 22-3 record, and earns a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Ramblers finish the season ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.


George Crosby sets the world record in the 300-yard dash and in the process becomes the first man to break the 30-second barrier, posting a time of 29.9.


LaRue Martin is the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, going to the Portland Trailblazers. Martin is one of only two players in Loyola history (Les Hunter is the other) to finish his career with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.


On June 16, the Midwestern City Conference is officially formed, with Loyola, Butler, Evansville, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts, and Xavier as charter members.


The men’s basketball team reaches the NCAA Sweet Sixteen before falling to a Georgetown team that was led by future NBA star Patrick Ewing. Senior Alfredrick Hughes averages 26.3 points per game and eventually winds up as an NBA first-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs. Loyola, which finished the year ranked No. 14 in the AP poll, won 19 straight games before the season-ending loss to Georgetown and notched wins that season over Northwestern, Illinois, Louisville, and DePaul among others.


Senior Jim Westphal becomes Loyola’s only four-time All-American when he places fourth in the 10,000-meter race at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships.

Leigh Anne Renk earns All-America accolades in the 10,000-meter race to become Loyola’s first female All-American in track and field. She was the MCC champion in the indoor mile and 3,000 meters.


The women’s volleyball team earns its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth by defeating Northern Illinois in the title match of the MCC Tournament. The Ramblers, who were led by the one-two punch of MCC Player of the Year Arian Adams and Missy Sartorelli, finished the season with a 27-7 record.


The women’s volleyball team finishes the season with a 27-5 overall record, wins the Horizon League regular-season title, and posts a best-ever No. 28 ranking in the final Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) poll.


Loyola wins a school-record 16 Horizon League contests to earn at least a share of the Horizon League softball regular-season championship for the third consecutive season under the guidance of first-year coach Jamie Gillies. The Ramblers go 33-23 overall to establish a school record for victories.


Under the direction of head coach Nate Miklos, the women’s golf team captures first place at the Horizon League championship for its first-ever league title.


The men’s volleyball team posts a school-record 26 victories (26-3 record) and wins the MIVA regular-season crown.

The Loyola’s men’s cross country program competes at the NCAA championships as a team for the first time ever on Nov. 21.


On Nov. 5, the men’s soccer team defeats Green Bay to win the Horizon League Tournament title and earn its first-ever berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Ramblers, who finish with an 11-8-2 overall record, will win 33 matches over a three-year span from 2006-08 under head coach Brendan Eitz. Loyola was one of only three NCAA Division I schools to send both its men’s and women’s soccer teams to the NCAA Tournament via automatic bids in 2006.

Also on Nov. 5, the women’s soccer program starts a string of three consecutive 14-win seasons and earns an NCAA Tournament berth by defeating Detroit, 2-1, in the championship match of the Horizon League Tournament. Freshman Cynthia Morote-Ariza is named Soccer Buzz Second Team Freshman All-America and becomes the program’s first-ever NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region player, earning Second Team accolades.


James Grunst becomes Loyola’s first-ever two-time All-American in men’s volleyball as he earns Second Team accolades after snagging First Team honors in 2006.

Men’s soccer wins its first-ever outright regular-season Horizon League championship, going 5-1-2 in league play. Sophomore Michael Ferguson earns National Soccer Coaches Association of America and College Soccer News Third Team All-America recognition, while also picking up hardware as the Horizon League player of the year. Senior Markian Zyga earns ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America honors.


Junior Cynthia Morote-Ariza becomes the first-ever player to earn Horizon League women’s soccer player of the year honors in consecutive campaigns. The high-scoring forward leads the NCAA with 19 assists and ranks tied for second with 55 total points. She also earns ESPN The Magazine and NSCAA Third Team Academic All-America honors as Loyola wins the Horizon League regular-season crown.


Junior Maggie McCloskey sets an NCAA record by hitting at least one three-point field goal in 69 consecutive contests, a streak that dates back to Dec 20, 2006. The previous NCAA record was 60, set by Kim MacMillan of Long Island University.


On April 29, Loyola captures its first-ever Horizon League championship in men’s golf and earns its first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

Gina Valgoi becomes the first Loyola female ever to compete as an individual at the NCAA cross country championships.


On April 2, it is announced that the 1963 Loyola men’s basketball team will become the first team ever to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The official induction is scheduled for Nov. 24.

On April 19, Loyola ushers in a new era in its history when it announces that it will join the Missouri Valley Conference effective July 1, 2013.

Loyola grad shines on ‘The Voice’


Loyola alum Jeffery Austin wowed the crowd weekly on “The Voice” with his unique tone and heartfelt ballads. (NBC photo)

Loyola alum Jeffery Austin (BASC ’13) admitted at his audition on “The Voice” this summer that he hadn’t performed in front of an audience in over six years.

The former public relations worker will be performing a lot more frequently now after finishing in fourth place on the hit NBC singing show, which wrapped up Tuesday night.

Austin, born Jeffery McClelland, attended St. Charles North High School before enrolling at Loyola, where he majored in advertising and public relations.

“It's very weird. I kind of put music on hold and completely focused on a professional career other than, you know, going into music,” Austin said in a conference call to reporters earlier this month.

Encouraged by the response from fans, the 24-year-old singer wowed the crowd weekly with his sophisticated notes, unique tone of voice, and heartfelt ballads. Austin credits Sam Smith and John Legend as inspirations. 

For what’s next, Austin said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune that he plans to pursue a career in music.

“Before this show, I was working at a desk in public relations, and now I can’t see myself doing anything other than performing,” he said. “The confidence it’s given me to go for my dreams is my favorite part of this whole experience.”

See Austin perform with Madi Davis on the finale of “The Voice.”
Watch him sing with his show mentor, pop star Gwen Stefani.

Program lets teens experience college


Dozens of local high schoolers who are in the state’s foster care system took part in Loyola’s new STAR program this summer to get a taste of college life.

Ana Plefka | Student reporter

For years, local high schoolers have been attending the Summer Enrichment at Loyola program to get a taste of college life. But this summer’s group included a unique set of students: About 30 of them were in the state’s foster care system and were taking part in Loyola’s new STAR program.


Visit the Summer Scholars website to learn more about the program.

Designed for students who have open cases with the Department of Child and Family Services, the STAR program lets area teens take classes and live on the University’s Lake Shore Campus. To be accepted into the free four-week program, students can be nominated by a guardian, caseworker, or anyone who knows them personally. Students then submit an essay and take part in an on-campus interview.

The ideal students for the program “have an interest in attending college, whether it’s Loyola or another university,” said Omega Styles, the program’s coordinator. “We look for students who are resilient and who understand the value of our program.”

Immersive and intensive

While there is an emphasis on fun and community building, the STAR program also stresses academics. Participants live in a Loyola residence hall for four weeks and take classes from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. They also meet with current Loyola undergraduate students who serve as college coaches to guide the teens through the ins and outs of university life.

“We are very much like part-time RA’s, part-time mentors, and part-time advisors,” said junior Luis Vargas, a political science major who worked with the students.

For the college coaches, the program is about more than just helping high school students; it’s also a way for them to expand their minds and find new insights.

“The program has opened my eyes to the diverse background of students at and around Loyola, in terms of where these students are coming from and all the struggles they are going through,” said junior Jesse Meza, a computer science major who also worked with the Summer Enrichment at Loyola program last year.

The high school students take courses for college credit, which allows them to advance academically. The college coaches also provide them with a look into life outside the classroom by leading workshops such as how to speak and act professionally with employers and superiors.

A time is also set aside each day for the students to reflect on what they have learned. This reflection period allows the students to think about their future, and it also connects them with Loyola’s mission as they spend time on campus.

“We provide them with the Jesuit experience,” Styles said. “Pretty much everything we stand for as a university, we try to instill those values within the students.”

A lasting impression

The journey for the high school students who attend the STAR program does not end when they leave campus after four weeks. They are invited to come back to further their pre-college experience each summer until they graduate high school.

The students also will return to Loyola monthly throughout the academic year to meet with staff members to track their progress. The students’ advancement is important not only to the professional staff, but also to the college coaches who watched them grow during their time at Loyola.

“I really enjoy seeing how the students have matured throughout this process,” Vargas said. “Statistics show that many students in the foster care system will be homeless by the age of 20. I want them to leave knowing that does not have to be their route. They should know they have mentors and people who believe in them.”

Whether the foster youth who leave campus are future Ramblers or not, they walk away with a support system that is available until they walk across the stage at their high school graduations.

Performance shines light on immigration


“Many people have this misconception that, because you’re undocumented or an immigrant, you’re bad,” says Martha Razo, who will perform Friday at Loyola. “It’s really cool that people get to see that being undocumented doesn’t make you different from anybody else.”

By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

On Friday, September 18, Loyola will present the one-woman show My Dream Act: An Immigration History, a collection of monologues about one woman’s life as an undocumented American.

Martha Razo, a senior at the Illinois Institute of Technology, came to the US with her parents as an infant. The oldest and only undocumented sibling of five, Razo’s status was a source of fear and confusion for her. After struggling to learn English as a child, she faced hostility toward her status—even in elementary school.

“I had a teacher tell me that that I needed to go back to my country,” she said. “I was only a third-grader. How do you respond to that?”

Growing up undocumented kept Razo from having access to many resources. When the time came to apply for colleges, she couldn’t file for financial aid. Though she was awarded a scholarship to a prestigious theater program, she was turned away when an admissions counselor learned she was undocumented. After ending up at IIT to study mathematics, Razo felt inspired to use her passion for theater to tell her story and give a voice to undocumented Americans.

In an outreach program called Latinos Progresando, Razo worked with notable Chicago director and producer Cecilie Keenan to get her thoughts on paper. Together, they drew from Razo’s experiences as well as those of others in the community. Razo hopes the play will challenge people’s perceptions.

“Many people have this misconception that, because you’re undocumented or an immigrant, you’re bad. They have all these ideas that [undocumented immigrants] come and take people’s money and jobs,” Razo said. “It’s really cool that people get to see that being undocumented doesn’t make you different from anybody else.”

“I think it’s really great to put a face to the issue,” Keenan said. “We’re not asking anyone to say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but we want people to see how hard it can be for immigrants.”

Katherine Kaufka Walts, JD, director of the Center for Human Rights of Children and co-chair of the DREAMer Committee, said Loyola’s Jesuit teachings call on everyone to steward the talents of all students—and not reject them outright because of their immigration status.

“Undocumented students and their families often face tremendous social, financial, and legal barriers,” she said. “This performance is a wonderful opportunity for students and the community to learn more about the lives and experiences of undocumented students seeking higher education.”

The free performance is September 18 at 7 p.m. in the Damen Den on Loyola’s Lake Shore campus. A discussion with Razo and Keenan will follow the show.

The event is co-sponsored by the Ann Ida Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, the Center for the Human Rights of Children, and the Emeriti Faculty Caucus.

Loyola hosting three Pope watch parties


On Thursday, September 24, at 9 a.m. CST, His Holiness Pope Francis will become the first Pope to address a joint meeting of the US Congress.

Welcome the Pope
to the United States

Madonna della Strada Chapel will join in a “ringing” welcome to Pope Francis at 3 p.m. CST Tuesday, September 22, when the Holy Father’s plane is due to touch down at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, outside Washington, DC. People across the nation are invited to ring church bells, electronic carillons, handbells—indeed, any available bells—for one to two minutes at that time. The hope is that this shared ringing will be a national demonstration of faith and welcome.

To provide access to this historical address, Campus Ministry (LSC), the Institute of Pastoral Studies, and Health Sciences University Ministry (in collaboration with The Ignatian Solidarity Network) will sponsor watch parties on each of Loyola’s Chicagoland campuses.

The entire Loyola community is welcome to take part in these #Pope2Congress watch parties, as well as the discussions that will follow.

Below are the details for each of the three events.

Health Sciences Campus

8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Ministry Office, Room 270, Cuneo Center
Coffee and muffins will be provided, as well as an opportunity for discussion following the address. Contact John DiMucci at jdimucci@luc.edu with questions.

Lake Shore Campus

8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
The Den, Damen Student Center
Coffee and doughnuts will be provided. Following the Pope’s address, Campus Ministry staff will facilitate reflection and discussion. Contact Oliver Goodrich at ogoodrich@luc.edu with questions.

Water Tower Campus

8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Kasbeer Hall, 15th Floor, Corboy Law Center
Refreshments will be served. Following the address, a panel discussion will be held featuring: Marian Diaz, assistant professor in the Institute of Pastoral Studies; Timone Davis, clinical assistant professor, Institute of Pastoral Studies; and Father Peter Wojcik, director of the Office of Catechesis and Youth Ministry, Archdiocese of Chicago. Contact Gosia Czelusniak at gczelusniak@luc.edu with questions.

Live streaming also available

If you can’t make it to one of the three watch parties, you can follow the Pope’s visit at the Ignatian Solidarity Network website, which will provide live streaming coverage. In addition, local television and radio stations may be providing live coverage. Check your local listings for more information.

State of the University Address - Spring 2014

President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., addressed students, faculty, and staff on January 31, 2014, at the Crown Auditorium the Lake Shore Campus.

Click on the link below to view Fr. Garanzini's University Update:

Exhibit shines light on child exploitation


“Child Soldiers: Forced to Be Cruel” features images of armed children and adolescents from around the globe. The exhibit runs through November 2 in the Damen Student Center.

By Anna Gaynor

Before she came to Loyola, Jeanne Murray thought child trafficking was something that only happened in other countries. But that was before she applied for a research fellowship at the Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC) and found her perspective changed on everything.


Child Soldiers: Forced to Be Cruel will be on display in the Damen Student Center through November 2.
Learn more at the CHRC website.

“I thought I knew what was going on in the world, but it all surprised me,” Murray said about her time at the CHRC. “Everything I learned was just shocking and just to know that there are people who lack basic human rights. You don’t think human trafficking is as a big of a problem because we don’t really see much of it in our daily lives, but a lot of people don’t realize that it is problem worldwide and within our own country.”

Through November 2, the CHRC will host the photography exhibit Child Soldiers: Forced to Be Cruel, which features images of armed children and adolescents from around the globe. The center’s director, Katherine Kaufka Walts, hopes the exhibit will spark a larger conversation about the ways children are used and exploited—both abroad and at home.

The CHRC is the only academic center in the country more broadly dedicated to the rights of children. It not only works with faculty, staff, and students from across Loyola, but also public agencies, service providers, non-governmental organizations, community organizations, and policy makers.

“How major systemic issues and problems are solved is not through the lens of one discipline or profession,” Walts said. “It’s about getting the perspective and the input from experts and stakeholders from a variety of fields.”

Child trafficking and exploitation

Under the CHRC’s new strategic plan, addressing child exploitation is one of the CHRC’s three main focus issues.  The center works on research, outreach, and education with other organizations to help child victims and to create change in policies and systems.

It’s a topic Murray, who graduated last May with a JD and Masters in Public Policy, is all too familiar with. As a fellow at the center, she compiled research on a number of issues, including child trafficking.

“I just moved back to Buffalo, New York, which is my hometown, and I hope to do immigration and human trafficking work here,” Murray said. “Buffalo is surprisingly a huge hub of trafficking. I had no idea. I’ve lived here my whole life except for college and law school.”

Murray said her time at the CHRC and with Walts had a big influence on her career plans and goals. Walts teaches a course called Human Trafficking in the United States, which gives law students and graduate-level social work students theoretical and practical training in working with each other, as well as with victims.

“It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Murray said. “I worked at the center while I was taking Katherine’s class, and I learned even more. It just is such a rewarding experience to feel like you’re really working toward something that can make a difference in children’s lives and just in lives in general.”

At the end of the semester, students have the chance to identify a gap in public policy or an overlooked issue—and propose a remedy for it. They can write a media plan, a policy brief, a training plan, or even a new law.

Cristina Rizen, a Loyola School of Law graduate who now helps with international child-abduction cases, wrote a paper for Walt’s class comparing the legal definitions of adolescent gang members in the US to child soldiers. The paper, which was published in a law journal, looked at the different ways children are coerced into violence.

“A lot of the children do not see themselves as victims,” Rizen said. “They see themselves actively participating in these conflicts. They see themselves as soldiers. Domestic juvenile gang members don’t see themselves usually as labor trafficking victims. They see themselves as members of a gang.”

Rizen will be joining experts from the U.S. Department of State and other policy leaders at the Thursday opening of the child soldier exhibit. They will explore how and why children are exploited as labor and gang members across the world.

“Just because a child is coerced into joining an army doesn’t mean that they’re coerced by violence or trauma,” Rizen said. “I think gang recruitment in this country is a lot more laid back and social. People are joining gangs within their communities because their friends or their relatives are.”

Helping them navigate the system

The CHRC’s second focus issue is helping vulnerable youth, including migrants, refugees, and orphan and vulnerable children. These unaccompanied children migrating alone to the US are often fleeing violence, abuse, conflict, neglect, and poverty.

Walts worked as a human rights attorney before coming to Loyola in 2009. As a lawyer, she found herself dealing with the aftermath of the rights violations the center attempts to address today.

A large part of this is its work with migrant children crossing the border. The center has advocated to make sure they receive the same rights as other adolescents. For example, under current US law, unaccompanied, undocumented children do not have right to council. They often land in court by themselves, a situation Walts said would be difficult for an adult with a PhD—let alone a child who doesn’t speak the language.

“This is just another example of where we’re not treating children as children,” Walts said.

Tapping experts from different research fields and specializations empowers the CHRC to take a more holistic approach to these policy issues. The center, which has written and spoken to members of the White House, Congress, and US Immigration Customs Enforcement about these issues, can make a stronger argument beyond just discussing a child’s legal rights.

The center receives input not only from lawyers but also from experts in child trafficking, childhood development, social work, psychology, and child welfare. Topics covered in the past include finding the best ways to screen children as they enter the US; identifying them as potential victims of a crime or abuse; referring them to family sponsors or guardians; or housing them.

“We are treating unaccompanied child migrants and refugees outside the policy and practice norms that have been established in social science research and our own laws that address any other vulnerable child within our system,” Walts said. “I think that is a much more powerful argument than just a lawyer saying this violates legal principles.”

Taking on environmental toxins

The CHRC’s third priority issue is a bit different from the other two: It’s a child’s right to a healthy environment, free from toxins.

Children are disproportionately affected by the consequences of environmental toxins such as lead, radon, mold, and pesticides due to their developing bodies. While many other advocacy groups hone in on a specific chemical or region, the center’s focus is on developing a human rights framework to address a child’s right to a healthy space.

“Advocating for the rights of children can often be perceived as broad and abstract,” Walts said.  “It’s less tangible than direct services or discreet research projects.”

In addition to providing basic services for children, Walts said it is important for the center to advocate for the fundamental premise of children as rights holders.

“They are not passive objects. They deserve additional protections and advocacy on their behalf because of their age, their development, and to ensure we give them every opportunity to be healthy, empowered, incredible adults.”

Get ready for basketball season


This year’s Rambler Madness is October 16 in Gentile Arena. The free event, which marks the beginning of basketball season, starts at 7 p.m.

Celebrate the beginning of Loyola’s basketball season at Rambler Madness and the annual Tip-Off Luncheon. Rambler Madness, formerly known as Midnight Madness, is Friday, October 16, in Gentile Arena at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The Tip-Off Luncheon, featuring head coaches Porter Moser and Sheryl Swoopes, has a different location this year: the Montgomery Club, the newest private event venue from the Gibsons Restaurant Group. The event is set for Wednesday, October 21. Tickets are $45 for an individual and $400 for a table of 10. Click here to register online or call 773.508.WOLF. 

Family Weekend brings everyone together


This was the second Family Weekend for Javier (far left) and Tracie Barcenas, who came from Oregon to see their daughter Bianca and her boyfriend, Quinn Christianson, who is also a student at Loyola. (Photo: Nan Li). 

By Drew Sottardi

Tracie and Javier Barcenas live nearly 2,000 miles away outside of Portland, Oregon. But that hasn’t stopped them from coming to Loyola’s Family Weekend—twice.

The two of them, who came to their first Family Weekend last year, were back in town September 25-27 to see their daughter Bianca, a sophomore history major, and to take part in Loyola’s annual get-together.

See more photos from the weekend in our Flickr gallery.
• Save the date for 2016: Next year’s Family Weekend will be September 23–25.

“We had a great time,” Tracie Barcenas said. “We don’t get to see our daughter that often, so it’s nice to be able to come visit.”

Among the highlights of their trip were the Java with the Jesuits event, the family BBQ, and the Sunday brunch—plus checking out the food trucks on campus.

“Everything was delicious,” Tracie Barcenas said.

Family Weekend started two years ago as a way to give families a glimpse of life at Loyola, said Angela King Taylor, director of Student Activities & Greek Affairs and co-chair of this year’s festivities.

“The University planted the seed for Family Weekend in 2013, and it’s grown exponentially since then,” Taylor said. “It’s been very exciting to see it become such a big event.”

More than 1,600 people pre-registered for this year’s Family Weekend, Taylor said, and hundreds more signed up to attend on opening day. The goal of the three-day event is simple: to showcase the University and to help parents and siblings become part of the larger Loyola family.

“It’s a great chance for families to come to campus and spend some time with their children and to see their home away from home,” Taylor said. “And it’s also a great chance for them to discover Chicago a little bit too.”

As for the Barcenas family, they’re already looking forward to their third Family Weekend.

“Our daughter will be studying in Rome next year, so we’ll probably miss the next one,” Tracie Barcenas said. “But we’ll definitely be coming back her senior year.” 

Loyola breaks into the Top 100 list


Loyola University Chicago is No. 99 on the latest U.S. News & World Report college rankings—the first time ever that the University has cracked the Top 100 list.

With 1,376 schools included in the latest rankings, the new list puts Loyola in elite company among national universities. Loyola is also one of only four universities in Illinois to break into the Top 100 this year.

Just a few years ago, the University was ranked No. 119 on the list.  

“Over the past few years, Loyola has placed a strong emphasis on the quality of the undergraduate educational experience,” Interim President John P. Pelissero, PhD, said. “I believe that our efforts were noticed by our peers, high school counselors, and prospective students.”

Among the recent efforts, Pelissero said, are improved strategies to increase student retention and graduation rates; a new Loyola Experience program to help students get the most out of their education; and a revised Core Curriculum. The University also has added faculty and is using more full-time professors to teach its Core and introductory courses.  

Students and faculty were quick to rally behind the new ranking.

“I feel that we’re finally getting the recognition we deserve for our academics,” said Veronica Krysa, a senior majoring in marketing and management. “It definitely feels nice to be in the Top 100.”

Quinlan School of Business Professor Nenad Jukić, who has been teaching at Loyola since 1999, agreed.

“This is a validation of all the great work we do with students here,” said Jukić, the 2014 Faculty Member of the Year. “I am not at all surprised that we are one of the best universities in the country. We absolutely belong in the Top 100. I can honestly look at any parent and tell them, ‘This is a great place to send your child.’ ”

About the rankings

The U.S. News & World Report rankings take into account several factors, from student retention and graduation rates to peer assessments by fellow university administrators. The rankings are divided into four categories: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges.

Loyola is grouped with other national universities, which offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs. These universities also emphasize faculty research.

And while U.S. News & World Report stresses that its rankings shouldn’t be the only thing students use when deciding on a university, the organization does say “our rankings can be a powerful tool in (the) quest for the right college.” 

Click here for an explanation of the methodology used to create the rankings.

Learning Communities make students feel right at home


Members of the Service and Faith Learning Community meet on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus during the spring semester. The University has more than a half-dozen such groups, each organized around a separate theme. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Anna Gaynor

It’s like a study group, a student club, and a support system—but for freshman Addison Mauck, it’s like home, too.

Since 2010, Loyola’s Learning Communities have been enhancing students’ First Year Experience by giving them the opportunity to live, connect, and study with others who share their same passions.


• Learn more about Loyola’s Learning Communities on the Residence Life website.
• Secure your spot by submitting a deposit and housing contract by May 1.

“It made the transition to Loyola so much easier because I immediately felt comfortable with the people I was living with,” Mauck said. “I was struggling with being away from home, but I really felt like I started to build a home here very quickly.”

Mauck lives in the Service and Faith Learning Community in Mertz Hall with about 30 other students, and they take many of the same classes together. Along with their Learning Community assistant—an upperclassman who helps organize activities and lives in the hall as well—they volunteer in the community while also exploring their faith.

Service and Faith is one of several Learning Communities at Loyola. The other options for first-year students are GreenHouse, International, Leadership, Multicultural, and Wellness.

Although Mauck was initially hesitant to join her community, she said it was a perfect opportunity to meet new friends and bond with fellow students.

“It allowed us right away to go into those deeper questions,” she said. “We knew we had a common ground. Not only could we ask, ‘What’s your major? What’s your name? Where are you from?’—but we also could ask, ‘Why are you in the Learning Community? What’s your interest in service and faith?’ ”

Something for everyone

Together, students take two classes in the fall and one in the spring, which all fit into Loyola’s Core Curriculum. One of the classes often dovetails into the Learning Community’s theme, so for Mauck and her Service and Faith peers, it has meant some late-night sessions ruminating over theology class.

“Our assignments in that class are all reflection papers,” Mauck said. “So there will be times you can tell on the floor when the next day there’s a paper due. People come out in the hall, and they’ll say, ‘I don’t know what I think.’ So we’ll sit and talk about what we’ve been reading, how we’re feeling, and where we’re coming from. The discussion is definitely something that’s really beneficial.”

Mauck, though, is not majoring in theology; she’s studying communications. But that didn’t keep her—or others like her—from joining Service and Faith. That’s because Loyola builds its Learning Communities around themes rather than majors, said Marci Walton, assistant director for academic support and Learning Communities.

“Maybe you come in as pre-med, and you take that first chemistry course and you realize, ‘There’s no way,’ ” Walton said. “If you were stuck in a Learning Community that was major-specific, then there could be confusion of do I still belong? Or am I allowed to stay here? So we felt like by opening it up to do more broad themes, anyone could be a part of it.”

Exploring their surroundings

Which isn’t to say the entire semester is one big study session. Activities and off-campus outings take place throughout the year. A Loyola professor took the Multicultural Learning Community on a ghost tour of Chicago to give historical context to local lore. The International Learning Community has attended an international film festival, and the GreenHouse Learning Community has taken a kayaking trip in a nature preserve.

“I was sure I would meet a lot of people who could guide me in whatever path I ended up taking related to sustainability or the environment,” said Christie Kochis, a business management and environmental studies double major who went on the kayaking trip her freshman year. “That was my mindset at the time.”

Kochis, now a sophomore, has discovered the kinds of bonds students can forge in their Learning Communities. She met both of her roommates through GreenHouse.

“I think that definitely helped me develop some of my relationships,” she said. “We just clicked immediately. For all three of us, a lot of values we hold are very similar, whether it’s relating to our overall environmental contribution but also just being really easy to get along with.”

Besides giving her social life a boost, GreenHouse got Kochis more engaged with the campus while introducing her to Loyola’s faculty and staff. Through the experience, she gained a four-year internship at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability.

Finding success

According to Walton, Kochis’s experience with the Learning Community isn’t unusual.

A recent survey compared student GPAs, class attendance, engagement with professors, and other indicators of college success. Across the board, the study found that students in Learning Communities showed greater gains and a stronger connection to Loyola than those who were not in the groups.

The program is continuing to branch out, too. Starting in Fall 2015, Loyola will have a new Learning Community on its roster with the help of a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Called the First-Year Research Experience (FYRE), the new Learning Community aims to promote underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Walton believes this new community, along with the old ones, is a great way for students to expand their Loyola horizons.

“There are lots of opportunities to make and form relationships,” Walton said.  “Being in a Learning Community doesn’t guarantee success, but it creates a network and a level of support that is really unique. And I think that’s something Loyola should be really proud of.”

‘Acts of Faith’ is the 2015-16 First-Year Text


Written by Eboo Patel (above), ‘Acts of Faith’ is an autobiographical account of growing up Muslim in America. In the book, Patel writes about his belief that all people, regardless of their religion, can work together to serve others.

Although the new school year is just starting, incoming Loyola students received their first official assignment months ago: Read the book Acts of Faith.

Written by Eboo Patel, who grew up in suburban Chicago and later founded the Interfaith Youth Core, Acts of Faith is an autobiographical account of growing up Muslim in America. In the book, Patel writes about his childhood and college years—and his eventual realization that all people, regardless of their religion, can work together to serve others.

It’s those themes of service, diversity, and religious inclusion that make Acts of Faith the perfect book for incoming students to read, said Bridget Wesley, director of Loyola’s Office of First-Year Experience.

“Even though the book focuses on faith, its themes extend far beyond religion,” Wesley said. “And that’s a message we hope to share with our new students. It’s not just different religions that need to find common ground; it’s also different races, different backgrounds, different countries, and different points of view.”

For the past several years, first-year students—plus those transferring to Loyola from other schools—have been asked to read a book over the summer. Previous titles in the First-Year Text program include No Impact Man, Mountains Beyond Mountains, and Tattoos on the Heart.

And why does Loyola send books to students before they even set foot on campus?

“They help students learn more about Loyola’s values and mission,” Wesley said, “while also giving them something that they’ll have in common with other incoming students.”

Junior Kelsey Cheng, who read Mountains Beyond Mountains before coming to Loyola in 2013, said the book served as a great conversation starter for her and her classmates.

“The best part about reading the First-Year Text was having a common talking point with other students when we first moved in,” said Cheng, an advertising/public relations major. “It also was a good source of inspiration because the main character goes through so many trials and tribulations.”

But Wesley is quick to point out that the books serve as more than a mere icebreaker between students.

At the New Student Convocation, incoming students will hear an address about Acts of Faith—and then break off into smaller faculty-led groups to discuss the book even further.

Throughout the year, Wesley said, professors and staff at Loyola will incorporate themes from the First-Year Text into their classrooms and departments. That could mean a theology professor, for instance, would work Acts of Faith into a lecture or writing assignment.

For others, however, weaving a book about community service and religion into the curriculum or department mission could be challenging.

That’s why Loyola created a series of events called Communities in Conversation. These events—which include lectures, films, and volunteer activities—are based on the themes of the book and give all Ramblers a chance to come together and talk about what Acts of Faith means to them.

“Over the last few years, we’ve made an intentional effort to work with academic departments and other offices to offer events related to the books,” Wesley said. “It’s an easy way to bring people together and start a discussion that they might not have otherwise.

“This year we’re particularly excited about the series, because we’re working directly with Eboo Patel and his colleagues from the Interfaith Youth Corps to bring a comprehensive set of programs to campus.”

• Copies of Acts of Faith were mailed in mid-May to incoming students. Faculty and staff are encouraged to pick up a copy of the book from the Office of First-Year Experience in Sullivan Center, Suite 255. They also are welcomed to take part in Communities in Conversation events throughout the year. Learn more here.

Loyola awarded Eboo Patel an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2010 at the Graduate School Commencement, where he was also the keynote speaker.

Grad student hits rails to inspire others


As part of the Millennial Trains Project, Loyola graduate student Pichleap Sok interviewed women across the country who work in technology. She then created a blog to inspire young women to enter the industry themselves.

By Elise Haas  |  Student reporter

This summer, Loyola graduate student Pichleap Sok took a low-tech approach to get young women interested in high-tech careers: She traveled across the United States on a train.

Pichleap, who grew up in Cambodia and recently received her master’s degree in computer science, came to Loyola in 2014 as part of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. After a year in Chicago, she was chosen to take part in the Millennial Trains Project, an “engine of progress” founded by Fulbright alum Patrick Dowd.

The program, which made its first cross-country journey in 2013, aims to empower civic-minded Millennials and foster innovation in the participants and the communities they visit. This year’s 10-day train trip started in Los Angeles on May 21 and headed east to Washington, D.C., with stops along the way in Austin, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Baltimore.

Highlighting women in technology

For her project, Pichleap interviewed women working in technology and created a blog—Faces of Women in Tech—to tell their stories. The hope, Pichleap said, is to build a site where young women can follow female technology leaders and become inspired to enter the industry themselves.

“Through their stories, girls can see other women and similar problems they faced, but more importantly, how they got through it,” Pichleap said. “Then they’ll think, ‘Why not me too?’ ”

Pichleap plans to continue her advocacy work throughout her stay in the U.S. and one day wants to bring her work back home to help the women of Cambodia.

“Growing up in a country where computer science is seen as an option for men only upsets me,” Pichleap said. “I feel like I have to do something about it.”

Life-changing experience

Before her cross-country trek, Pichleap only knew the U.S. as a place with flashy skyscrapers and neon lights. But as the train rattled on its tracks across the southern states—bringing Pichleap’s New Year’s resolution of visiting 10 U.S. cities to life—she was blown away by the scenery outside her window.

“From the water, to the mountains, to the forest: It’s so green, it’s so blue,” she said. “Watching the landscape change is like a moving picture. It’s really a moment.” 

Pichleap said she is grateful for all the motivating peers and mentors she met along the way. Her journey, she said, has taught her that every person possesses an inspiring story; all you have to do is ask.

“You never know,” she said. “Their experience could change your life.”

Students receive prestigious Schweitzer Fellowships


One of the key tenets of a Jesuit education is to help students become men and women for others. It’s a theme that surrounds Loyola students every day on campus, from the courses they take to the organizations they join.

Three current Loyola students have taken that mission to a whole new level.

The three—medical students Kamaal Jones and Pablo da Silva, and law student Heidi Cerneka—were recently selected for the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program and will spend the next year working on health care related projects to help underserved communities in Chicago.

Named in honor of famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the fellowship program encourages students to design and implement a project that addresses an unmet community health need. Fellowship recipients must partner with an existing organization and commit at least 200 service hours to their project—on top of their already heavy school workloads.

Schweitzer once said: “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Jones, da Silva, and Cerneka are doing exactly that. With only 250 Schweitzer Fellows chosen nationally each year, these three Loyola students are truly among elite company.

Kamaal Jones

Stritch School of Medicine
Hometown: White Plains, New York
Working with: Project Brotherhood

What brought you to Loyola?

I was drawn to the School of Medicine because of its focus on holistic care. It’s really ingrained into the culture here at Loyola that medicine is not simply about writing a prescription—it’s about being present with our patients and working to understand the complex and dynamic factors that influence their health outcomes. And it also certainly doesn’t hurt that the cafeteria makes a mean chipotle chicken sandwich.

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

I will be working with Project Brotherhood, a health clinic in the Woodlawn community on the South Side of Chicago. We’ll be teaming up with a couple of high schools to establish a public health oriented program that works with students to identify the most important health related concerns in the community and pushes the students to be the drivers of change for these issues. I entered medical school knowing that I wanted to do my work in this specific community, and as I listened to and reflected on the thoughts being shared by some of my mentors at Loyola and within Project Brotherhood, this idea began to take shape.

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellow?

It feels pretty amazing! I applied to be a Schweitzer Fellow because I knew that it would enable me to be a part of the positive change happening all throughout Chicago. What I didn’t fully grasp, though, was just how much support I would be receiving. I’m already learning so much and we’ve just gotten started.

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

A decade from now I just hope to be doing the kind of work that pushes things forward. Ultimately I went into medicine because I knew it would be a cool way to serve my community. Ten years from now, I think the focus will still be the same.

Pablo da Silva

Stritch School of Medicine
Hometown: Kearny, New Jersey
Working with: Stritch School of Medicine

What brought you to Loyola?

Loyola was the first medical school in the nation to openly welcome applicants with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration status. As one of the DACA students currently attending Stritch, I’m living testimony to the University’s strong commitment to equality and social justice. Also, I have a strong interest in public service and global health, both of which Loyola is well known for. 

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

My project aims to help community college students become health care professionals. Often times these students don’t pursue careers in medicine due to the lack of proper guidance and poor counseling. Students will receive mentorship at the Stritch School of Medicine, where they will experience not only what medical school is like through workshops, Q&A sessions, and hands on activities, but also learn the necessary steps to get there. 

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellowship recipient?

Along with Giuseppe Moscati, Florence Nightingale, and Bezerra de Menezes, Albert Schweitzer has always been a figure I’ve respected and admired. I’m excited, humbled, and truly thankful to be a Schweitzer Fellow. This fellowship shows how his life’s work and legacy is still impacting us all.

What do you hope to be doing ten years from now?

I hope to be practicing medicine as a cardiothoracic surgeon here in the U.S., while participating in medical mission trips abroad. Additionally, joining an NGO, such as Doctors of the World and Doctors Without Borders, has been a dream of mine for quite some time and was one of the main reasons I entered the field of medicine. 

Heidi Cerneka

School of Law
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Working with: Uptown People’s Law Center

What brought you to Loyola?

I actually worked at Loyola from 1989–1996 in Campus Ministry at the Lake Shore Campus and at the Medical Center. But at the time I was applying to schools, I was living outside of the U.S. I knew I wanted to come back to Chicago because this city has a great community of activists trying to work for change. I only applied to schools in the Chicagoland area, and when I came to visit Loyola I recognized that there was a good group of students engaged in social justice and a University that has the Jesuit tradition of seeking to make the world better.

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

I wanted to go to law school so I could address mental illness issues in prison. There are a lot of people in prison today that would not be in jail if they had access to the proper resources. My work is actually a two-part project. For the first part, I go to the Cook County jail every week and visit with women who have mental health issues. We talk with one another, and I try to support them. For the second part, I work with a small legal clinic called the Uptown People’s Law Center, which works to improve mental health conditions in prisons. I take all that I learn and integrate it into my understanding, which helps me to be a better advocate for mental health.

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellow?

Schweitzer is a lot about service and public health, and trying to encourage new professionals into service areas. So they aren’t looking for, per say, someone who is doing research on mental health—instead they want people who are engaging with the community. My project fits well because it balances advocacy and service. Also, it’s cool to be a Schweitzer Fellow because it commits me to a year of service. 

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

Ideally, I hope that I won’t be working in this area anymore because everything would be fixed—but that probably won’t be the case. So I hope that I’ll be working in a field related to the issue of mental illness and helping people in the community who aren’t in prison anymore. 

Recent theatre grad wins Jeff Award


Sarah Espinoza, who graduated in May, recently won a coveted Jeff Award in sound design. “Loyola’s theatre department is all about learning through experience,” she says. “I was given a lot of opportunities to just try things.”

By Tanner Walters  |  Student reporter

Although theatre major Sarah Espinoza just graduated in May, she’s already a seasoned pro.

As a student, Espinoza won a Michael Merritt Academic Prize for her theatrical design work. And on June 8, she took home a Jeff Award in sound design for her work on The Arsonists at Chicago’s Strawdog Theatre Company. The Jeff Awards—Chicago’s version of the Tony Awards—recognize the best productions across the city and are coveted by those in the industry.

Here, Espinoza discusses her time at Loyola, her plans for the future, and why designing sound for a play is like creating another character on stage.

How did Loyola prepare you for your career in theatrical design?

Loyola’s theatre department is all about learning through experience. I was given a lot of opportunities to just try things in design. I took classes first and then worked in the Underground Theatre at Mundelein. After I gained more experience, I designed for the main stage (the Newhart Family Theatre). The professors also love bringing students into the city and having people see their work, which is how I started working on Chicago shows.

What excites you about sound design?

For me, designing sound is like creating another character—the missing character that only gets to rehearse with everyone else during tech week. It’s about making choices that help support the action of the play. If you think about film and media today, sound design is 70 percent of what gets people interested in the movie. It really engages people, and I love bringing that into theatre.  

Talk a little bit about your design process.

I first make a list of all the written cues that are in the script. After I do that, I think about what the world of the play is, and how sound design can support that world. I usually go to Spotify and play the first song I can think of, and start a playlist of songs that fit the show from there. After that I share it with the director, and we’ll have a conversation and see if we’re on the same page. After that, I build the cues and get ready for tech.

What was the most memorable experience you had as a Loyola student?

Probably working on fml: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life last semester as a sound designer. It was a really collaborative process. I’ve never worked with such a great team. Since it was such a difficult show emotionally, it was great to have a good family there to support each other through it.

What is the best advice you got from a faculty member?

I’ve been told by most of the faculty here that “at the end of the day, it’s just a play.”  It puts perspective on things. We’re doing a great, noble thing for the community by putting on theatre. But it’s always easy to stress out and panic about little things. It’s nice to remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a show and we’re doing it because we love it.

And finally, what are your plans now?

I’m now a company member at WildClaw Theatre, and I’m also designing two shows at Lifeline Theatre in the upcoming season. Long term, I think I’ll stay in Chicago. I love the community, I love these people, and I’d be so honored and blessed to work with them for the rest of my life. But if there’s an opportunity that’s right for me in another city, I would be more than happy to take it. 

Loyola Farmers Market


The sky is no limit


David James (PhB ’49) works on his computer in his Andersonville home on the North Side of Chicago. His wife, Mary, is pictured in the frame behind him to the left. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Anastasia Busiek

”Man is by nature a terrestrial animal. He doesn’t belong in the air,” says David James (PhB ’49).

He is speaking from experience. James served as a military pilot and a member of the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. He went on to become, among other things, the first African American salesman at the Burroughs Corporation, the first African American attorney hired by the American Bar Association, the first African American homeowner in Winnetka, Illinois, and a lifelong civil rights advocate.

James had always been captivated by aviation. As a child (one of 10 siblings), he would take the streetcar from his home in the Woodlawn neighborhood to the airfield at Midway to watch planes take off. He remembers Italo Balbo’s landmark flight from Rome to the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.

“I have a souvenir from the flight, bringing greetings from the king at that time,” James says. “Mussolini was of course the premier. It was a big feat—a daring expedition and a demonstration of the potential of aviation. It was amazing. It was wonderful.” 

In 1942, shortly after enrolling at Loyola, James joined the Army and went to Tuskegee, Alabama, to train as a pilot and a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in a racially segregated military. James learned to fly at Moton Field in a Boeing Stearman, a biplane with an open cockpit and virtually no instruments, save an altimeter, a tachometer, and a magnetic compass.

“Flying was very primitive in those days,” James says. “I often say that the first automobile I drove didn’t have a self-starter, and neither did the first airplane I flew.”

‘Lessons in humility’

 Primary training lasted six weeks, after which James graduated to a more advanced plane with an enclosed cockpit, a radio, stabilizers, an artificial horizon, and a gyroscopic compass.

“It was a big leap,” James says. “You have to learn lessons in humility—your senses aren’t reliable, so you learn to depend on your instruments.” 

In the final stages of training, James and his class learned firsthand about the importance of oxygen.

“The airfield had an oxygen chamber—huge, maybe five stories— that simulated altitudes from sea level to 30,000 feet,” James says. “To impress upon us that you need oxygen, they put us in this enclosed chamber and the guy conducting the experiment said, ‘Half of you go up with oxygen masks, and half without.’ I volunteered to go without.

“I thought, ‘I can handle anything.’ We watched those guys putting on their masks, and we started making fun of them, laughing, saying they looked funny. Then we started going up. At 5,000 feet, we felt good. At 10,000 feet, we felt great. I kept thinking, ‘Higher, higher!’ The next thing I knew, I woke up and the guys with the masks were laughing at us. We had all passed out.”

The experience stuck with James for the rest of his life. “The only thing that I guess I have a fear of is not having enough oxygen,” he says. “I can be in a situation, and I know it’s totally psychological, but I think, ‘I wish I had a mask.’ I know what oxygen can do.” 

James and the 332nd Fighter Group flew combat missions over North Africa, Sicily, and mainland Europe until the war ended in 1945. They risked and sometimes gave their lives for the Allied cause, despite the discrimination they faced both inside and outside the military.

After the war, James was eager to return to Loyola, where he studied the classics: Latin, Greek, and philosophy. He was one of just six African American students at the university, and he recalls being treated well.

“There weren’t enough of us to cause a fuss,” James says.

Working for racial equality

In 1946, while in school, James began to volunteer at Chicago’s Friendship House, a Catholic apostolate devoted to interracial justice and race relations. It was there that he met a young lawyer named Mary Genevieve Galloway, who asked him to join a sit-in at a Walgreens lunch counter. “I thought, I must have some homework or something to do,” James says. But he went anyway. The two married in 1949 and went on to have six children.

Mary, who came from a well-off family in Wisconsin, was inspired to work for racial and economic equality by a walk through a poor Chicago neighborhood on her way to catch a train at the LaSalle Street Station.

“She just couldn’t believe people lived like that,” James says. “She had never seen poverty before. She started asking questions, and the answers she got were very stupid, like, ‘They want to live that way.’ Nobody wants to live like that if they have a choice. She wanted answers, and she spent a lifetime trying to figure them out.”

Upon his graduation from Loyola, James went to work for the Burroughs Corporation, a business equipment manufacturer, as the company’s first African American salesman. He chose the company because of its work in developing electronics, which James believed to be revolutionary. “I decided that computers were the wave of the future,” James says.

He later worked for the University of Chicago and the State of Illinois, eventually pursuing a law degree, which he obtained from DePaul University in 1963.

“I married a lawyer, and I went to law school to figure out what she was talking about,” James says.

Meeting Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1967, James became the first African American lawyer to be hired by the American Bar Association, where he worked until 1984.

He and Mary continued their work for Friendship House, and through his connection with the organization, James met Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to speak at the Village Green in predominantly-white Winnetka in 1965.

King had been invited to speak by a group of citizens concerned about housing discrimination and a lack of diversity in North Shore communities.

“I drove him up to the speech. There were eight to ten thousand people on the Village Green. I said, ‘Good luck,’ ” James says. “But it didn’t precipitate a riot. Martin said, ‘These folks are incredibly receptive. Someone’s got to break the ice and move in here.’ At the time, I hadn’t the foggiest notion of moving to Winnetka.” 

But, in 1967, move into the area he did, becoming the first African American homeowner in Winnetka. That same year, he and Mary founded the Together We Influence Growth day camp, which brings children from the South Side of Chicago together with children from the North Shore each summer. In the early ‘70s, James helped found the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs, which works for housing equality. His legal career took him from the US Department of Labor to private practice until his retirement in 2000. Mary passed away in 1996.

Harry Truman signed an executive order ending racial segregation in the military in 1948. In 2007, George W. Bush honored the Tuskegee Airmen with a Congressional Gold Medal for their service six decades earlier. In 2009, James, along with more than 100 other Tuskegee Airmen, attended the inauguration of Barack Obama by special invitation.

David James has lived a life touched by war and discrimination, but also by love and an unceasing commitment to justice. And through his bravery and determination—both in the air and on land—he has changed for the better the country he loves. 

Note: This story originally appeared in Loyola magazine.

Alumni Weekend


Arrupe Night to welcome students, their families to new Loyola college

Learn more about Arrupe College—Loyola’s new two-year school for students with limited financial resources—at the first-ever Arrupe Night on May 19.


• Tuesday, May 19, from 5–8 p.m.
• Lewis Towers (13th floor), 111 E. Pearson St., on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus in downtown Chicago

Open to admitted students and their parents, Arrupe Night will let prospective students and their families learn more about the school, meet with advisors and current Loyola undergraduates, plus discuss the next steps for enrollment. (Please note: The event is full, so only people who have already submitted an RSVP can attend.) 

Check out the above video to see what some soon-to-be Arrupe students have to say about the college. You also can learn more at the Arrupe website and watch a WTTW “Chicago Tonight” feature about the school.

All admitted students can secure their spot at Arrupe by submitting a deposit by June 1 at LUC.edu/arrupe/status.

Engineering program starts this fall


Gail Baura, PhD, director of Loyola’s engineering science program, gives a tour of the new engineering lab in Cuneo Hall. “I want to make sure that the program we develop is as practical as possible,” Baura says. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

By Drew Sottardi

Twelve students.

That’s the modest enrollment goal Loyola set last year for its new engineering science program. But after receiving more than 600 applications—and counting—the program was expanded and hopes to start with close to 50 students this fall. 


• Loyola will be just the 10th Jesuit university in the country with an engineering program.
• It’s also one of only four Chicago-area universities to offer an undergraduate degree in engineering.

So much for modest goals.

“We made a conscious decision to start small because we weren’t sure how many students we would get,” said Gail Baura, PhD, director of Loyola’s engineering science program. “But honestly, having hundreds of applications for a brand-new program is a good problem to have.”

To meet the increased demand, Baura is hiring three full-time professors—and she’ll teach classes as well. That’s nothing new for Baura, who has written four engineering textbooks and taught at the Claremont Colleges in California for nearly a decade before coming to Chicago. She has also evaluated engineering programs for accreditation since 2003 and is currently an ABET Engineering Accreditation Commissioner. What is new, however, is the opportunity to build a program from the ground up.

“I moved all the way from California because I believe in this program,” she said. “My undergraduate degree is from Loyola Marymount, and that’s why I came here: I wanted to start an engineering program at another Jesuit university.”

A hands-on approach 

Loyola’s new program will be modeled after two highly regarded engineering schools: Harvey Mudd College in California and the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. Those schools are successful, Baura said, because they focus on system theory and engineering design, and they have their students work on open-ended group projects.

At Loyola, students will do plenty of hands-on learning to prepare themselves for careers after college.

“I worked in the industry, so I want to make sure that the program we develop is as practical as possible,” said Baura, who was a medical device industry executive and researcher and holds 20 issued U.S. patents. “The more you practice, the better you’ll be at conducting engineering design.”

Students who complete Loyola’s program will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences, with a focus in one of three areas: biomedical, computer, or environmental engineering. In the biomedical specialization, for instance, students will work with pacemakers and patient-monitoring devices during their lab experiments. That valuable hands-on time will prepare them for careers as developers who design and test medical device software, Baura said.

“If you’re going to learn about all these different devices, I think you should use them,” she said. “But very few programs use actual medical devices. I believe you should be learning with the same devices you’ll be working on when you graduate.”

Impressive job numbers

Over the last 10 years, undergraduate enrollment in engineering programs across the nation has grown more than 20 percent, Baura said. So what’s driving that demand?

“Students want jobs when they graduate,” she said, “and they know they can get them in engineering.”

The facts back her up.

According to a 2013 Georgetown University report, the unemployment rate for a recent graduate with a general engineering degree was 7 percent, one of the lowest rates among the 16 groups of majors included in the study. Equally impressive was the pay. According to the same report, the median salary for recent engineering graduates was between $55,000 and $57,000—the highest in the study.

Baura is quick to point out, however, that getting an engineering degree isn’t easy. It requires a lot of hard work and discipline. And plenty of math.

“I always ask students if they like math,” she said. “If you don’t really like math, this probably won’t be for you. But if you do like math and science and solving problems, engineering is the perfect major.”

• Visit the Engineering Sciences website for more details, including curriculum and student outcomes.
• Contact Gail Baura at gbaura@luc.edu to tour new exhibits related to the curriculum in Cuneo Hall.

Meet Thomas Regan, S.J., the new CAS dean


“A liberal arts education prepares you for jobs that do not yet exist, which will enable you to use technology that has not been invented to solve problems we don’t know we have,” says Thomas Regan, S.J.

When Thomas Regan, S.J., was growing up in Massachusetts, his father’s cousin was a Jesuit math professor at Boston College—and to young Thomas, it looked like the best job in the world.

“I thought he had a fabulous life,” said Father Regan, who was recently named the dean of Loyola’s College of Arts and Sciences. “He was into computers in the 1960s before anyone really knew what computers were. It was such a fascinating life, and I knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps.”

That young boy would go on to graduate from Boston College in 1976 with a degree in history and philosophy. Within months of getting his undergraduate diploma, he entered the Society of Jesus. Over the next several years, he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Fordham University—and he’s been involved with Jesuit institutions ever since.

Here, Father Regan talks about his new appointment as dean, the value of a liberal arts education, and why Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a must-see-movie for anyone who wants to learn more about philosophy.

You were interim dean for almost a year. How did that prepare you for your new full-time appointment?

Every place that you go has its own way of doing things. And in many ways, I’ve done a lot of these duties before, but in other places. So to have that interim experience under my belt has been very valuable to help me learn the protocols and procedures at Loyola.

You’re now in charge of the largest college at Loyola—and one of only two Jesuit deans on campus. Does that come with any added pressure or significance?

I don’t think there’s any added pressure. I know Father (Stephen) Katsouros is incredibly qualified to be the dean of Arrupe College, and I think my background allows me to hit the ground running as well. I originally came here to direct the Jesuit First Studies MA program and also to be the academic dean at St. Joseph’s—which allowed me to sit in on meetings of the council of deans and get to know the issues. But more importantly, it let me know the other deans, and that helps reduce the pressure somewhat.

Critics sometimes say that liberal arts degrees are a waste of time and money. What do you say to them and how do you convince them otherwise?

I gave a presentation for undeclared majors at Loyola Weekend with David Slavsky, a Loyola professor who used to work in the dean’s office. And David’s slides are a powerful message on the value of a liberal arts degree. Today’s learners, for instance, will have 10 to 14 jobs before they turn 40; one in two workers has been with their employer for less than 5 years; and the Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2013 didn’t even exist in 2004. I like to tell people: A liberal arts education prepares you for jobs that do not yet exist, which will enable you to use technology that has not been invented to solve problems we don’t know we have.

One of your published articles is about using the Woody Allen move “Crimes and Misdemeanors” as a teaching tool. How did that all come about?

I’d been teaching a class on existential philosophy and authenticity for years, and when the movie came out in the 1980s and I saw it, it was like Woody Allen had been in my class. It had all the nuances of the course—it basically went right down the syllabus and covered everything we cover in class. And so I’ll typically have the students come over to the Jesuit house and we’ll watch it as a class and then discuss the themes afterwards. Anytime you can get students out of the classroom and have them learn, it’s just electric.

You’ve been teaching for a while and have had thousands of students come through your classes. Talk a little about that and the relationships you’ve made over the years.

That’s why you get into education in the first place: to have a positive effect on people. Over the years, I’ve married more than 200 former students and baptized many of their children. I just had lunch with two members of the Class of 1992 who I taught at Fairfield University. They came to Loyola—independently of one another—because their children are now looking at colleges. That’s a great feeling to know that they still think about you more than 20 years later.

And finally, do you have any interests or hobbies outside the classroom that keep you busy?

I still play competitive racquetball. I try to play a few times a week at Halas, but I’ve had to cut back with my new duties. I recently played a student who was on the national championship racquetball team in high school, and he tried to psych me out by wearing his championship T-shirt. I told him: “Listen, I’ve been doing this since before you were born. I’m not easily intimidated.” He still won, but I held my own.


Name: Thomas Regan, S.J.

Hometown: Waltham, Massachusetts

At Loyola since: 2011

Courses previously taught at Loyola: Philosophy and Persons (PHIL 130); Philosophy of the Human Person (PHIL 181); Ethics in Society (PHIL 321); Philosophy of Law (PHIL 350); Topics in Ethics (PHIL 468); Integrative Seminar (for Jesuit First Studies students), taught with Professor Michael Schuck (PHIL 550).

‘An Evening with Jackie Taylor’: Come see Loyola alum on campus

Jackie Taylor graduated from Loyola in 1973—and within three years started the Black Ensemble Theater in Chicago. The theater, which moved into a permanent home in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood in 2011, is a vibrant institution with a bold mission: to eradicate racism and its damaging effects through theater arts.

Come meet Taylor and members of the Black Ensemble Theater on Thursday, March 26, at the Lake Shore Campus for a discussion and musical dialogue. The event—“An Evening with Jackie Taylor: With Liberty and Justice for All”—starts at 7 p.m. in the Den at the Damen Student Center. It is free and open to the public.

Watch the video above to see Taylor discuss her time at Loyola and how a liberal arts education helped her focus on social issues. 

Remembering Selma


Fifty years ago this month, thousands of people marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand equal voting rights for African Americans. (Photo by Peter Pettus, courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante, who graduated from Loyola in 1959, covered the historic civil rights marches in Alabama half a century ago.


• Watch Bill Plante recall the Selma marches and see archival CBS News footage from 1965.
• You can also hear him discuss Selma on this WGN Radio interview.

In honor of Plante, the School of Communication created the Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity. Click here to learn about the first person to hold the position, consultant and author Jill Geisler.

On Saturday, Plante returned to Alabama to interview President Obama on the 50th anniversary of the infamous Bloody Sunday march depicted in the film “Selma.” On that march in 1965, Alabama state troopers blocked the road and brutally beat scores of African Americans who were walking to demand equal voting rights.

Many of those beatings were caught on film and broadcast around the country. Moved by those graphic images, thousands of people came to Selma to show their support. On March 21—with a court order from a federal judge, plus protection from U.S. Army troops and the Alabama National Guard—the marchers began their 50-mile journey to Montgomery, the state capital.

They arrived safely five days later, with the 27-year-old Plante following them every step of the way.

You can watch Plante’s full interview with the president on the CBS News website.

Wednesday, March 25: Remembering Selma—The Unfinished Journey.” The 2015 Baum Lecture features Mundelein graduate Adrienne Bailey, PhD, who will discuss how participating in the Freedom March transformed her life.
Nick Patricca, PhD, professor emeritus in Loyola’s Theatre Department, writes about the Selma marches—and how they moved him to help others.

A day in the life of a Loyola athlete

By Anna Gaynor

Not many students are as busy as Loyola senior Joe Crisman.

He’s a member of the Maroon and Gold Society, he’s the financial chairman for the Green Initiative Fund at the Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and he’s a standout student at the Quinlan School of Business, where he’s maintained a 3.65 GPA as a finance major. He even spent last summer as a neuro-oncology research intern at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.


March 5–8: Watch Joe Crisman and the rest of the men’s basketball team at this year’s Arch Madness tournament in St. Louis. Buy your tickets.

And he’s managed all of this while being a key member of the Loyola basketball team for the past four years. But it hasn’t come easy.

“Thursday nights in college, everyone’s heading out or trying to figure out what they’re going to do, and you’re just waving at them as you walk into the library,” Crisman said. “It takes discipline, that time management skill—just knowing that you are in a different boat.”

Crisman, who is debating between medical school and a career in finance after graduation, is proving that the old stereotype of athletes breezing through easy classes doesn’t hold up at Loyola. And he’s not alone on campus.

A Top 20 program

The University has the highest Graduation Success Rate of any school in the Missouri Valley Conference, according to a 2014 report by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The GSR was developed by the NCAA to better assess the academic success and graduation performance of student-athletes. At 96 percent, this year’s score places Loyola tied at No. 16 in the national rankings and 14 percentage points higher than the national average. (Read more about Loyola’s latest GSR score here.)

“We’re making sure that we’re doing all that we can to set the foundation for success in life for our students,” said Betsi Burns, associate athletics director and assistant dean for academic services. “We are looking at the holistic development of our students and making sure that mind, body, and spirit are being nurtured during their time with us.”

For Crisman, though, it all comes down to discipline. He usually gets up around 8 a.m., then it’s off to classes, the library, the cafeteria, the weight room, the training room, a film session, and then practice—or a game, which can take him as far away as Las Vegas or San Antonio, Texas. But even after that grueling schedule, Crisman’s day is far from over: He’ll often grab a quick bite to eat and then head back to the library to finish studying.

Built for success

Having the Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics on campus is a huge help for Crisman and other Loyola athletes. The complex, which houses the sports medicine and training facilities, is also home to the student-athlete academic center.

“It’s connected to our gym where we practice,” said Crisman, who is a four-time winner of the Missouri Valley Conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Week award. “You take 10 steps, and you’re in your academic center with advisors and with computers in the study area. It’s definitely a very big help. It forces us to stay on top of things. Our advisors are always right there: ‘How’s your class? Did you talk to your professor?’ And everything like that.”

Burns, the associate athletics director, finds that the biggest obstacle facing student-athletes is time. With traveling for games and exhausting practices, students such as Crisman face a lot of emotional and physical demands. So the center makes sure students have access to the right resources by working with professors, advisors, and other Loyola staff.

“Just as we want all of our students to be successful, our student-athletes are representing Loyola, and we want to make sure that we are really valuing and putting into practice those commitments we make as an institution,” Burns said.

Looking back

Crisman, who grew up in Munster, Ind., and competed on the prestigious Indiana High School All-Star Team, has been a steady contributor during his career at Loyola. He’s appeared in more than 100 games and has averaged 5.4 points per contest. He’s seen Loyola improve from just seven wins during his freshman year to 18 regular-season victories as a senior.

But for Crisman, juggling practice, classes, games, and homework is about to come to an end in a few short weeks as Arch Madness approaches. In spite of all the hard work, Crisman has no regrets.

“After going through it for four years, that whole lifestyle—studying, playing basketball—I’d say I’m pretty accustomed to it right now so it’s going to be weird when it’s all over in a few weeks,” he said. “But it’s definitely something that I love and definitely something I wouldn’t change.”

Study, train, play… repeat

You think your week is busy? Here’s a glimpse at what Rambler basketball player Joe Crisman’s weekly schedule looks like. During the season, Crisman and his teammates also play about two games a week against other Division 1 schools.

Loyola’s accreditation process


Loyola’s last comprehensive evaluation took place during the 2004-05 academic year. Accreditation reviews are conducted periodically to validate the quality of an institution’s educational programs and outcomes.

On February 23 and 24, a team of evaluators from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Loyola’s regional accreditor, will come to campus as part of the University’s accreditation process. That on-site peer review will make up just one portion of the overall accreditation, which is conducted periodically to validate the quality of an institution’s educational programs and outcomes.

Loyola’s last comprehensive evaluation took place during the 2004-05 academic year, with a site visit in March 2005. The accreditation process has changed since then, and Loyola has played a key part in helping the HLC develop its new “Open Pathways” model. Loyola, in fact, is one of 58 pioneer schools providing feedback to the commission on its revised accreditation process.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about accreditation, along with information about how students, faculty, and staff can take part in the process.

Why must Loyola go through accreditation?

In the United States, accreditation of colleges and universities serves a number of important purposes: quality assurance, regulatory compliance, and an institution’s eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs. By looking at several areas—including academic programs, student services, administration, and finances—accreditation affirms the quality of an institution as a whole.

Who conducts the review?

The accreditation process is based on a system of peer review. Within the HLC’s 19-state region, about 1,300 educators from universities and colleges conduct accreditation evaluations for other institutions. Peer reviewers also serve on committees that make up the elements of the accreditation process.

How does the new process differ from the previous one?

The old model featured an intensive self-study and reporting process that occurred once every 10 years, culminating in a three-day site visit by a 10-person team. The new 10-year accreditation cycle now includes an assurance review in Years 4 and 10, a shorter site visit by a smaller team, and a more structured format with a new set of standards.

Is anything else changing?

Beginning this year, institutions must demonstrate a commitment to quality via an improvement project conducted between Years 5 and 9. Loyola’s improvement project for its upcoming evaluation focused on the assessment of student learning in senior capstone courses for undergraduates.

How can Loyola students, faculty, and staff participate?

All students, faculty, and staff can attend open meetings with the site visit team on either February 23 or 24. Details about the meetings—including times and locations—can be found on Loyola’s accreditation website: http://www.luc.edu/accreditation/opportunities/.

Get more information

For other questions about the accreditation process, please contact:
• Marian Claffey, PhD, associate provost for academic administration, at mclaffe@luc.edu.
• Terri Pigott, PhD, faculty director of accreditation and interim dean of the School of Education, at tpigott@luc.edu.

Stand out in a sea of job applicants


Loyola’s Career Development Center has plenty to offer—from workshops to tip sheets to one-on-one meetings with advisors—to help students navigate their way through the University Career Fair.

By Anna Gaynor

With nearly 100 employers all looking for a few good candidates, the Damen Student Center is about to be filled with Loyola students getting ready for the daunting task of navigating a sea of potential opportunities.

• The University Career Fair
• Wednesday, Feb. 18
• 1:30–5 p.m., Damen Student Center
• See the complete workshop and seminar schedule for Feb. 16-19.
Visit the Career Development Center’s website for more job search tips.

Luckily, they don’t have to go it alone. The Career Development Center has plenty of help to offer—from workshops to tip sheets to one-on-one meetings with advisors. But before you walk into the University Career Fair, the center has these tips to ensure that next Wednesday is a success.

Start at the beginning

Whether you’re aiming for a full-time position or an internship, make sure to stand out from the crowd. The easiest way to do that is with a spectacular resume; yet one of the biggest mistakes students make is underestimating the skills they’ve picked up from their less-than-glamorous jobs. Even working as a restaurant host or hostess can develop experience in management, communication, and client relations.

Pulling that together for a resume is challenging enough, but then students often forget the next step—bringing it to LinkedIn.

“It’s such an effective networking tool,” said Martin Gahbauer, associate director of employer relations and outreach at the Career Development Center. “It’s a great way to do research about a company. Then on the other hand, the recruiters can actively go on to LinkedIn looking for potential candidates.”

The Career Development Center is offering workshops before the fair to help students update their resumes and craft their online profiles. Effective Resumes and LinkedIn 101 will be offered Monday and Resume 911 will be offered Monday and Tuesday.

Practice, practice, practice

Rehearsing an introduction might sound silly, but in under a minute, students should be able to cover who they are, what they’re looking for, and most importantly, what they have to offer. Even though perfecting an “elevator speech” ahead of time can help cure a case of nerves, students should still be prepared for some last-minute jitters.

“The first recruiter you talk to should probably be someone you’re not very interested in because that’s a good practice opportunity,” said Kathryn Jackson, director of the Career Development Center. “If you’ve never heard of ABC Consulting, what do you have to lose? Introduce yourself, have the conversation, and practice your elevator speech. You might walk away going, ‘Oh, what they do is actually cool.’ ”

Know what not to say

Asking a question that a quick Internet search could answer is a perfect way to make a bad impression on a recruiter. Opening your interview with “What is it that your company does?” or “What positions are you looking for?” is a misstep Gahbauer and Jackson see all the time.

“That’s always what we hear back from the employers in terms of what they are looking for,” Gahbauer said. “Students who know about their companies and can speak about those positions in a knowledgeable manner, as well as talk about themselves and how their skillset is applicable for that particular position.”

This year there’s no excuse for being unprepared. The center has partnered with Career Fair Plus to launch a free app with a directory of employers as well as links to their websites, the positions they’re looking for, and a map of the fair’s layout.

LUC Career Fair Plus can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. Also check out Tuesday’s workshop, What Do I Say? Networking and Connecting at the Fair,for more help on making a great first impression.

Risks can pay off

Take a little advice from the career fair’s keynote address. Called Risk. Reinvention. Rewards, the address by Janet Deatherage, PhD, executive director of Loyola’s Office of Corporate Engagement, will speak Wednesday on the choices and chances she’s taken in her career.

Her message is something Gahbauer hopes students take to heart because he’s seen it work.

Last year, a statistics major found the fair frustrating because she could only find a few recruiters looking for a statistician. Instead of just heading home, though, she and Gahbauer brainstormed other employers who might potentially need to fill that role but just weren’t looking for one at the fair. Taking the initiative, she passed along her resume and collected the names of recruiters. After graduation, that student was able land a job with one of those companies.

“She was willing to put herself out on the line, and as a result she did reap the reward of it,” Bahgauer said. “That willingness to take that risk on occasion can be very fruitful for your career, even if it doesn’t pan out because what you learn out of the situation sometimes is even more than if you were successful.”

What about after the fair?

Just because the fair is over doesn’t mean the work is done. The Career Development Centers final workshop of the week, What’s Next? The Top 5 Post Fair Strategies, covers just that—from following up with recruiters to making your way through the interview process.

But what to do if the fair just leaves students more confused than certain? Maybe talking to employers has left them questioning their lifelong plan of becoming a doctor or going into marketing. Fortunately, the center has help for that too.

There’s C-Saw, an intense two-afternoon workshop that asks students to start from the beginning and rethink their career options. There’s also the Job Shadow Program that gives students a peek at what a normal workday is like in the real world. And for the even more undecided, there’s the semester-long Career & Life Planning Seminar that lets students explore potential career paths and assess their life goals.

See how Career Week can help you find your dream job


Julia Watts, who graduated from Loyola in 2013, found her job after attending Career Week as a senior. “I wanted to give myself the best chance possible (to get hired),” she says, “and I thought Career Week would be the best way to do it.” 

By Drew Sottardi

Loyola alum Julia Watts attended the School of Communication’s Career Week two years ago with a mission in mind: Get a job.

“I was graduating in a few months, so I was getting serious about finding a full-time internship or other position,” Watts said. “I wanted to give myself the best chance possible, and I thought Career Week would be the best way to do it.”

Career Week 2015: Jan. 27–29 
Job & Internship Fair: Feb. 3

• Check out the complete schedule.
• See the employers who will be there.

Her plan worked perfectly.

Watts, who graduated in May 2013 with a degree in public relations and advertising, attended several Career Week events, including a resume workshop and a discussion session featuring industry professionals. She exchanged business cards with one of the speakers—a Loyola graduate working at MSLGROUP, a global public relations firm—and then followed up with a phone call. 

That call led to a casual talk over coffee, which led to a formal interview—which led to an internship, and eventually, a full-time position. Now, two years later, Watts is an account executive at MSLGROUP in Chicago, where she help clients with their corporate branding and media relations.

“For me, Career Week was a huge success,” Watts said.

Getting students prepared

Those types of outcomes bring a smile to Cheryl McPhilimy’s face. As the director of internships and career services for the School of Communication, McPhilimy helps Loyola students find work outside the classroom and after college. And the annual Career Week—plus the Job & Internship Fair that follows—play a big part in that.

“We schedule Career Week right before the job fair to give students three opportunities to build their skills, fine-tune their materials, and develop a game plan,” said McPhilimy, who is also an adjunct instructor at the School of Communication. “We want them to be prepared so that they’re successful at the fair.”

This year’s Career Week runs from Jan. 27–29, with each day covering a different theme. The first day, for instance, features a panel of working professionals who will share advice on breaking into the communication industry. Other highlights include a resume and interview workshop, as well as a session devoted to building a successful LinkedIn profile.

The Job & Internship Fair is Feb. 3 and features more than 50 companies, including Ogilvy & Mather, Walker Sands Communications, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Daily Herald.

“The fair has grown every single year,” McPhilimy said. “Every year we get more students, more employers, more industry professionals—even more alumni. And we’re predicting this year’s event will be the biggest one yet.”

As for Watts, she’ll be attending Career Week later this month. This time, however, she’ll be the one giving out advice.

“I’d love to be able to help a fellow student,” Watts said, “just like I was helped when I went through the job fair.”

Weinberg receives University’s top teaching honor


“I’m proud to be at a university that uses social justice as a unifying direction,” says Clinical Professor of Law Anita Weinberg (JD ’86). “Loyola has a very committed, passionate group of people working across the University, and it’s great to be recognized as a part of that.”

Clinical Professor of Law Anita Weinberg (JD ’86), director of Loyola’s ChildLaw Policy Institute, was awarded the first Ignatius Loyola Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University’s Faculty Convocation during the fall semester.

The award, which will be presented annually, is the University’s most prestigious teaching honor, and recognizes a faculty member whose teaching shows a commitment to excellence, raises global awareness, promotes social justice, and educates the whole student.

“I’m proud to be at a university that uses social justice as a unifying direction,” says Weinberg of the award. “To have been honored for my work this way is exciting and also gratifying. Loyola has a very committed, passionate group of people working across the University, and it’s great to be recognized as a part of that.”

The ChildLaw Policy Institute, part of the multipronged Civitas ChildLaw Center, improves the lives of Illinois children and families through systems reform and legislative advocacy. The institute develops and promotes child-centered laws, policies, and practices, and builds coalitions and partnerships to improve the functioning of the legal, social welfare, juvenile justice, health care, and other systems that disproportionately affect underserved families.

“Most of our work focuses on efforts to reform or improve systems that especially affect the lives of low-income and minority families: lead poisoning prevention, child protection, and juvenile justice,” Weinberg says. “We want our students to think critically about whether a law is effective, fair, and sufficient—and also whether there are better ways than the legal system to address some issues.”

The institute’s ChildLaw Policy and Legislative Clinic, established in 2010, grew out of the ChildLaw Legislation Seminar. Working in project teams under the supervision of clinic faculty, students “research and assess problems, propose solutions, draft legislative materials, and develop skills presenting this information orally and in writing,” Weinberg says. Students develop a sophisticated understanding of the realities, opportunities, and limitations of the legislative process through the seminar, coalition meetings, and trips to Springfield to meet with legislators.

In one of the clinic’s ongoing projects, a team of students works with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) statewide Youth Advisory Board, teaching youth ages 15–21 about the legislative process and advocacy skills. As a result of the board’s efforts and Loyola students’ help, two bills passed the General Assembly this summer with youth testimony. One law mandates the existence of the Youth Advisory Board; the other strengthens the college scholarship program for youth in foster care.

Over the years, clinic students have also worked with the institute’s ongoing legislative efforts on lead poisoning prevention. Recently Weinberg spearheaded an effort with other parts of the University to convene a public-private-community summit on healthy homes—an expansion of her longstanding commitment to eliminating lead hazards in housing.

That kind of interdisciplinary solution is a hallmark of the institute’s approach.

“We’re focused on drafting legislation,” Weinberg says, “but sometimes legislation isn’t the right way to go: Policy reform, improved practice, or education could be a better choice.” 

• Learn more at the ChildLaw Policy Institute’s website.

• Read a profile of Weinberg in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Come hear Touré—acclaimed author, cultural critic, and TV host—discuss “How Racism Functions Today” at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.


Shining a light on service


Loyola undergraduate Jacob Guise helps elementary school student Fatima Goudy as part of the Inspired Youth Tutoring Program. Last year, thousands of Loyola students did some form of volunteer work—and completed nearly 600,000 hours of community service in the process. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

 By Anna Gaynor

Loyola recently received two national honors for its commitment to social justice—and it only took about 5,700 students and 593,000 hours of community service in a single year to get there.

“The mission and vision of Loyola University Chicago have a common statement,” said Patrick Green, director for the Center for Experiential Learning. “It’s to ‘expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith.’ We don’t just say that or provide lip service to that, but here at Loyola, we actually bring that to life.”

The first award Loyola received, announced in December, is the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The annual list recognizes colleges and universities that reach out to the surrounding community and direct their students toward a life of civic engagement.

The program divides schools into four categories. While Loyola received an honorable mention in General Service, Interfaith Community Service, and Economic Opportunity, it was named one of four Honor Roll Finalists in the Education category.

Green points to Loyola’s work with Nicholas Senn High School on Chicago’s North Side as an example of the University’s working to improve community schools. More than 40 faculty members and nearly 200 students—from the Schools of Education and Communication, plus other departments on campus—volunteered at Senn during the 2012-13 school year. The volunteers helped with a variety of efforts, from improving affordable housing to encouraging organic family farming.

“Students understand that the community is not a laboratory for learning but rather that they’ll be able to work there in solidarity—and through that work enhance their learning and understand real-life issues,” Green said.

This type of engagement has placed the university within the top 20 of the 766 schools that applied, and Green notes it’s a commitment Loyola strives to keep woven through programs inside and outside the classroom.

“Students by the very nature of attending here and graduating from here understand community engagement, not as a box to check, but as a lifestyle, as something that they will continue to do whether they become a financial leader in the banking world or whether they are a social worker or a teacher,” Green said.

On top of the President’s Honor Roll designation, Loyola also received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in early January. This title is given to universities and colleges working to exchange knowledge and resources with their communities. Today, only 361 campuses in the country have earned the distinction.

The Carnegie Classification began in 2006 and has only named honorees in 2008 and 2010 since then. Loyola last received the Carnegie Classification in 2008, and after receiving this latest honor, it will not have to reapply until 2025.

For 2015, however, Green and the others who worked on the application had to show how the University has continued its work in the community, and how it has improved that commitment over the past several years.

Green said it took more than 100 people at Loyola to build both applications—and to highlight the diverse programs on campus committed to making a difference in the world.

“I would frame this as an invitation,” Green said. “I think the strength of an education at Loyola University Chicago is an invitation to lifelong community engagement. Our graduates have the potential to be scholars, critical thinkers, as well as activists and agents for change in society.”

See how you can get involved at the Center for Experiential Learning.

Leader of the pack


The 2014 volleyball team hoists the NCAA trophy after winning the championship at Gentile Arena. “Being there in the Final Four—it was one of the best moments of my life,” Head Coach Shane Davis says.

Note: This story first appeared in the Fall 2014 edition of Loyola magazine. It is being re-run here as volleyball season approaches.

By Anastasia Busiek  

Shane Davis (BBA ’03) was 23 years old when he took over as head coach of Loyola’s men’s volleyball team. He had just graduated with a degree in marketing.

“I said I wasn’t that interested in it,” Davis says. “I didn’t know if I wanted to coach. And I had no idea what I’d be doing if I did. I said I’d take it for a year until they could find someone qualified to do it.”

• The Ramblers kick off their regular season Jan. 9 in Palo Alto, Calif.
See the complete 2015 season schedule here.

In 2014, after 11 consecutive seasons as coach, Davis led the Ramblers to their first-ever NCAA volleyball championship—in their home stadium, no less. It wasn’t the first time a change of plans had worked out well for him.

“My first love was football,” Davis says. “I come from a small town in Iowa. The whole town shuts down to watch a game. I played every sport, just so we’d have enough players to make a team, but I really wanted to play football. And I was pretty good.”

Colleges started recruiting Davis, but he became interested in volleyball and thought he might have a brighter future in that sport. He redshirted at Loyola his first year and then played for the Ramblers for four years. When he took over as head coach, he had three years of experience as team captain under his belt.

“The AD said, ‘Here are the keys. You know where the office is,’” Davis recalls. “I unlocked the office and sat on the other side of the desk. In front of me was the chair I sat in for many years as a player. The old coach had given me a running list of what I should be doing and getting together and planning, and I jumped in.”

Many of Davis’s players were also his former teammates, but the transition wasn’t as difficult as one might think.

“These guys were my best friends, and now I was coaching them,” Davis says. “I did have to create some separation. I moved out of the area. I didn’t spend time with them off the court. But I was a three-year captain, so I was used to leading. That didn’t change much. Giving them instruction, telling them how to do something, finding the right wording—that came naturally.”

What didn’t come naturally was recruitment. Davis, who had been immersed at the college level for years, was unused to evaluating high school players.

“It wasn’t what I was used to,” Davis says. “I thought no one was talented. I couldn’t believe where people were going. That was the biggest challenge. And when I did get kids on campus, and their parents are sitting across the desk from a 23-year-old, that was another challenge.”

But he got the hang of it. He talked to other coaches. He watched more kids play, and got a better sense of what to look for. He watched old recruiting tapes from previous coaches, remembering where those players eventually went and comparing them to what they looked like then.

Davis, and the volleyball program, grew stronger. The 2013 team advanced to the national semifinals. The 2014 team went all the way.

“I knew we were good,” Davis says. “I knew we had a shot. My moment of grasping it was the first weekend when we played UC-Irvine, BYU, and USC. We lost to USC, but I knew if we kept improving, we’d be tough to beat. It was all part of the plan, from 2011 when [senior associate athletics director] Carolyn O’Connell put the bid in to host the tournament. All I had to do was get the right guys.”

The Ramblers played a great season, and on May 1, the NCAA tournament kicked off in Gentile Arena.

“Being there in the Final Four—it was one of the best moments of my life,” Davis says. “It was a wild week.”

Assistant Coach Mark Hulse was named Assistant Coach of the Year. Davis was named Coach of the Year. The Ramblers beat Penn State in the semifinals, and went on to drop Stanford for the championship.

Two days later, Davis’s wife Andrea gave birth to their second daughter. “I tried to name her Natty Champ,” Davis jokes. It didn’t fly.

The couple, who met playing volleyball at North Avenue Beach, named their daughter Jordyn, joining her older sister, Sydney.

For Davis, there’s no complicated formula for success.

“Win,” he says. “And not just on the court. Be the best in the classroom or at whatever you’re doing that moment. Do volunteer work and community service.”

Naturally, success is a team effort. Davis is quick to praise his players, assistant coaches, and staff, in whom he places the same confidence that allowed him to thrive in his role as head coach.

“From day one, I’ve been afforded a tremendous amount of responsibility and freedom in doing my job despite not having the longest coaching résumé,” says Assistant Coach Mark Hulse. “That’s putting a lot of stock and trust in potential, but I imagine someone felt the same way about Shane when he was offered the head coaching position 12 years ago. Sometimes the best way to learn is just to dive in headfirst.”

And, of course, there are the fans. “We couldn’t get it all done without the support of our fans and administration,” Davis says. “We appreciate it.”

On the heels of victory, Davis is gratified and excited for the next season. “Every once in a while a great team comes along. You win a national championship,” Davis says. “It takes a while to get back to that, but we’ve reloaded. I don’t see us taking steps back. We’re trying to build a sustainable powerhouse.”

Book tells the story of Madonna della Strada


Graduate student Charles Heinrich signs copies of “Song in Stone” after Mass on Sunday, November 16. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia.) 

By Chase DiFeliciantonio  |  Student reporter

In just his second year of graduate school, Charles Heinrich has already done what some people take their whole lives to accomplish: write a book.

“Song in Stone: The History of the Madonna della Strada Chapel” is a full-color booklet produced in honor of the 75th anniversary of Loyola’s iconic chapel. The release of the book coincided with the installation of four new bells in the chapel tower this fall—a move that completed the vision of James Mertz, S.J., who led the effort to build Madonna della Strada in the 1930s. (Listen to the bells ring in this YouTube video.)

Heinrich’s work started as a smaller project for the Loyola University Museum of Art about the design and interior of the chapel. But it eventually blossomed into an offer from Loyola President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., to write a book celebrating the history of the building.

Heinrich, who graduated from Loyola in 2013 and is now getting his master’s degree in history, said his research was about more than just bricks and mortar.

“As a historian, my goal is to get people to reflect on their own past and memories and how those fit in their larger experiences,” said Heinrich, who is also writing a booklet celebrating the centennial of Loyola’s School of Social Work, among other projects.

The significance of writing his first book is not lost on Heinrich. He had the opportunity to sign copies of the newly released book and was surprised at the outpouring of support for the project. Heinrich said many former Loyolans approached him with fond memories of the chapel and their time at Loyola.

“Moments like that really make you feel validated in your own work,” Heinrich said.

Full of intriguing stories as well as old photographs and architectural drawings pulled from the Cudahy Library archives, “Song in Stone” is a celebration of Madonna della Strada as a chapel—but also as a living symbol of Loyola.

“The main thing I wanted to communicate with the book is that the chapel was really there for the Loyola community,” Heinrich said.

Click here to see an online copy of “Song in Stone.”

And go here to read a Q&A with Heinrich on the History Department’s website.

Students receive prestigious Schweitzer Fellowships


One of the key tenets of a Jesuit education is to help students become men and women for others. It’s a theme that surrounds Loyola students every day on campus, from the courses they take to the organizations they join.

Four current Loyola graduate students have taken that mission to a whole new level.

The four—Eddie Burks, Audrey Hertenstein, Kathryn Huber, and Padraic Stanley—were recently selected for the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program and will spend the next year working on healthcare-related projects to help underserved communities in Chicago.

Named in honor of famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the fellowship program encourages students to design and implement a project that addresses an unmet community health need. Fellowship recipients must partner with an existing organization and commit at least 200 service hours to their project—on top of their already heavy school workloads.

Only 250 Schweitzer Fellows are chosen nationally each year, which puts these four Loyola graduate students in truly elite company.

Eddie Burks

School of Education
Hometown: Olympia Fields, Illinois
Working with: Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network (UCAN)

What brought you to Loyola? 

I came to graduate school at Loyola because of its social justice platform. I’m a big advocate for social causes, and it seemed only natural to continue that mission at Loyola. Also, the quality of education and the opportunity to do service work at a graduate level were important to me.

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

I’ll be providing positive relationship support through clinical, psycho-education, and social interventions to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who are wards of the state. Having been in foster care and self-identifying as gay, I understand the many challenges these youth face. I also understand the positive support that is needed to help these young people with the development of their sexual identity and orientation. My project aims to provide that support.

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellowship recipient?

To be honest, I’m still getting use to it. This was the first time I applied for something of this magnitude and being considered a finalist was rewarding in itself—but to actually be a winner feels great. It’s humbling to see the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship has identified my work as a need, and for this I am honored.

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I plan to have obtained my doctorate in counseling psychology and run a private practice focused on implementing my service project nationally. I also plan to have adopted children out of foster care so that I can provide another level of positive relationship support—this time as a dad.

Audrey Hertenstein

Stritch School of Medicine
Hometown: Morton, Illinois
Working with: CommunityHealth

What brought you to Loyola?

I knew I wanted to attend Loyola after meeting and talking with so many like-minded students, faculty, and staff during the Second Look Program. I’m passionate about improving the health and healthcare access of underserved communities, and finding a place like Loyola—whose mission is so in line with my own—is one of the many reasons I feel fortunate to call this university my home.

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

After working with CommunityHealth programs in Honduras and the United States, I saw first-hand the importance of peer-to-peer education. The project I’m working on is a group-based weight loss class for Spanish- and English-speaking women through the CommunityHealth clinic on Chicago Avenue. The class will focus on topics ranging from goal setting and exercise to nutrition and stress reduction. The ultimate hope for this class is to draw on the peer support and peer-led knowledge of fellow group members to help patients achieve their weight loss goals and lifestyle changes.

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellowship recipient?

Since becoming a part of the Schweitzer Fellow community, I’ve been overwhelmed with support from Loyola, the Schweitzer Foundation staff, and my fellow Schweitzer Fellows. I’m looking forward to a year of learning from my peers, learning from the community I’ll be working with, and developing skills to help people reach their health goals. 

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I’d like to work in family medicine and support the community I’m working with. I hope to help others achieve their goals and plan to continue to work toward that over the next decade.

Kathryn Huber

School of Law and School of Social Work (dual-degree program)
Hometown: Mount Prospect, Illinois
Working with: Cabrini Green Legal Aid

What brought you to Loyola?

The dual-degree program and the School of Law’s commitment to public interest, public service, and the ethical practice of law. I never wanted to be a traditional corporate attorney, and Loyola has an amazing reputation for educating lawyers who go on to make a difference for underrepresented people. I wanted to be part of that.

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

We know that people with criminal records are far more likely to be homeless, to be unemployed, to be without health insurance, and to be without access to mental health treatment. That’s where my project comes in: I’ll be working with eligible young people to expunge their criminal records—and afterward, to explore the opportunities available to them, such as employment, college, or vocational programs. This project seeks to ensure that the mistakes people make as an adolescent don’t hurt them later in life.

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellowship recipient?
I was so honored to have been chosen, especially when I got to meet some of the amazing people in the program with me.  The Schweitzer Fellowship is such a unique opportunity to collaborate with people who all share a passion for making a difference. To be a part of that is incredible.

What do you hope to be doing ten years from now?
I hope to be practicing as an attorney on behalf of children in some capacity. They are often subject to a variety of legal proceedings that affect their interests and impact their entire lives—but they don’t always have a voice in what goes on. So I’d like to be able to help them during those crucial proceedings. 

Padraic Stanley

School of Social Work
Hometown: Bucyrus, Ohio
Working with: Rincon Family Services

What brought you to Loyola?

Getting to Chicago has been my goal for a long time, so when I decided to apply to graduate schools for social work, I knew I wanted to come to the city. Loyola is one of the only schools in the nation where you can learn, in-depth, about social work with immigrants and refugees though the migration studies sub-specialization.

Talk a little about your project: what it is, how you became interested in it, and what you’re looking to accomplish.

After working with immigrants and refugees in multiple settings, as well as personally interacting with loved ones who are undocumented, I noticed huge mental health needs and disparities within the community. For my project, I’ll be working with community leaders and organizations to develop a map of accessible and affordable mental health services for undocumented immigrants. I’ll then help train people to identify mental health concerns in their loved ones and their communities, as well as show them where to get the services they need.

How does it feel to be a Schweitzer Fellowship recipient?

When I got my acceptance to the fellowship, I was in complete disbelief. Virtually any graduate student in Chicago is eligible to apply, and so the application pool is huge. I wanted this fellowship because it combined so many of my goals and passions, so I’m glad the selection committee saw something special in my application and my interviews.

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I hope to be developing, implementing, and coordinating mental health and other social service programming that caters to the needs of immigrant communities. I either want to be working as a director at an agency that specifically runs these programs, or working within existing agencies to develop comprehensive mental health programs.