Institute of Pastoral Studies
He may live two states away, but Cory Mitchell has found a home at Loyola.
Mitchell, who is taking online classes for a master’s degree in health care mission leadership, has committed his life to helping others. He’s served in the Navy and worked for various organizations that assist those in need. He also wants to become a deacon so he can serve his community even more.
Here, he talks about his visits to campus, the importance of a strong mentor, and how a simple game of bingo can change our perception of the homeless.
What’s your favorite Loyola memory?
Since I’m an online student who lives in Michigan, getting to campus is a special treat. My favorite time on campus was the second day of IPS orientation. I skipped out early and toured the Lake Shore Campus with my wife and son. We went to Mass in Madonna della Strada Chapel and then took in that awesome view of the lake. That was a day I’ll never forget.
Talk a little about a professor or mentor who inspired you.
Professor M. Therese Lysaught is absolutely tremendous. Not only is she a brilliant moral theologian, she is a compassionate teacher and friend who has been in my corner since I started at Loyola. She has set up interviews, helped me improve my writing skills, and boosted my confidence. Many of my academic peers are physicians, nurses, lawyers, and professors—and Professor Lysaught made me feel that I could make a valuable contribution to the online classroom.
Tell us about your volunteer work and/or involvement in student organizations and what it means to you.
Over the years, I’ve been involved with several groups and organizations that serve others. I’m currently teaching Catholic social thought and leading a new “apprenticeship” experience at my parish that gets people into the community to interact with the poor. Rather than going to soup kitchens, we’re going to play bingo in a local homeless shelter. This avoids the temptation to see people as mere objects of charity. Once we see homeless people as friends, homelessness and other dignity-denying conditions become unacceptable and we are driven to action.
Any advice you would give students about how to get the most out of their time at Loyola?
My advice is primarily for online students. Get to know at least one faculty member really well and go beyond class assignments; write a publishable paper or engage in a research project. It can be done, even at a distance. This advice is also important for Arrupe College and first-generation students on campus. That first piece of scholarship may shape the trajectory of the rest of your life.
And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I hope to be a CEO in a Catholic health system. I say this not because I want to make a lot of money, but because I want to be in a position to influence not just health care, but community care. So many of our inner-city neighborhoods require a collaborative effort for revitalization without gentrification, and I think health care organizations are often perfectly positioned to play a major role as community catalysts.
On Friday, November 4, 2016, Loyola University Chicago celebrated the inauguration of Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD, as the University’s 24th president. The theme for Dr. Rooney’s inauguration was “Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World.” Photo Gallery