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Loyola Faculty Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards for Sustainability Leadership

Nancy Tuchman, founding dean of the School of Environmental Sustainability, and Michael Schuck, professor in the Department of Theology and the School of Environmental Sustainability, received lifetime achievement awards this month for their work advancing environmental sustainability in Jesuit higher education. The International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) presented the two with the St. Peter Canisius Medal for Extraordinary Service to Jesuit Higher Education for the North American region.  

Father Arturo Sosa, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus (leader of the Jesuit order), presented the awards during the IAJU assembly, which took place at Boston College from August 3 through 6. The assembly drew more 420 participants representing 180 colleges and universities in 45 countries. Stephanie Russell, vice president for mission integration at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, spoke about Tuchman and Schuck’s accomplishments during the awards ceremony. 

Tuchman was honored for her ongoing leadership in environmental sustainability at Loyola and beyond. In her 33-year career at Loyola, she has played a vital role in expanding the university’s focus on environmental issues. In 2005, Tuchman founded the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy, which she directed for five years. She established the Institute for Environmental Sustainability in 2013 and, in 2020, became the founding dean of the School of Environmental Sustainability—the first such school at any Jesuit university. 

Beyond Loyola, Tuchman works with Jesuit universities worldwide to help them expand their environmental curriculum and adopt more sustainable practices on their campuses. She currently chairs the IAJU Task Force on Environmental and Economic Justice. 

Schuck’s environmental sustainability-related achievements over the past 40 years include co-authoring and co-editing Healing Earth, an online integral ecology textbook used in high schools, colleges, and adult education settings. Schuck also teaches the Global Environmental Citizenship course for the IAJU international student exchange program. Over the past two years, he has led the Universities Working Group for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Development in supporting Pope Francis’s 7-Year Journey Towards Integral Ecology project. 

Within Loyola University, Schuck was the founding director of the Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage, has served for over 20 years as a teacher and mentor for hundreds of young Jesuits in Loyola University’s First Studies Program, and continues to teach in the Department of Theology and the School of Environmental Sustainability.  

Both Tuchman and Schuck were surprised and touched by the award. 

“There was so much goodwill and hearty congratulations among the conference participants,” said Tuchman. “We are still reeling in disbelief and feeling enormously honored and affirmed.”  

According to Schuck, “It is such a privilege to be a friend and companion to so many incredible people at Jesuit universities around the world. Receiving their affirmation was overwhelming.”

While Tuchman and Schuck were thrilled to be honored with lifetime achievement awards, their contributions to environmental sustainability and education are far from over. They aim to continue to lead the way at Loyola and beyond for years to come.