Loyola University Chicago

The President’s Medallion

Anthony M. Dwyer

Anthony M. Dwyer

When his mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, Anthony Dwyer witnessed firsthand how public health officials can make a huge difference in someone’s life. That experience awoke in him a desire to become a public health professional. 

Dwyer, who has been a long-time volunteer at the Ronald McDonald house and dedicates much of his free time to families in need, is already looking to continue his education and get a Master of Public Health degree.

Here, he talks about his plans for the future, his commitment to helping others, and what it’s like working at a natural disaster site.

What’s your favorite Loyola memory?

I took part in an undergraduate assignment in disaster preparedness where I evaluated an exercise with faculty from Loyola University Health Systems on how Loyola would respond to a biological attack. I was thoroughly impressed with how the hospital minimized the effects on its patients, staff, and the surrounding community. It was clear that Loyola goes the extra mile to care for people. I’m proud to be part of such a place.

Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.

Dr. James Hagen has been instrumental in my education. He is an expert in disaster management and biological threat management. He nurtured my interests in these areas and challenged me academically in a caring and inspirational way. With his example, I traveled to various disaster areas to administer aid and assist local governments. 

Tell us about your volunteer/service work and what it means to you.

Being trained in emergency management gives individuals a unique experience. At a moment’s notice you use your training to assist in the recovery and mitigation of disaster sites. I have been called to serve in Haiti during its devastating cholera outbreak and in Joplin, Mo., after a terrible tornado. Each disaster has its challenges, and to work through those problems to help others is a humbling experience and a privilege.

Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their education?

Have a positive attitude. Receiving an education from a place as great as Loyola is a luxury that many can’t afford—so give back every chance you get.

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I hope to be practicing medicine related to my interests in disaster preparedness and management. I enjoy teaching and would like to be a faculty member at an academic institution as well.

What’s your favorite spot in Chicago?

My favorite holiday is Christmas, and I really enjoy all the holiday festivities along State Street. 

Any tips on how to de-stress during finals?

I think exercising is the best way to de-stress, especially during finals. Your health is so important and exercising is the best way to relieve any negative energy.