By Deanna Howes, Director of Communications, AJCU

This month’s issue of Connections features graduate and professional programs as they are enhanced by mission at Jesuit universities. From social justice outreach at Loyola Law School (Loyola Marymount University), Saint Louis University and the University of Detroit Mercy, to mission-based curricula at Seattle University and The University of Scranton, these institutions demonstrate a commitment to Jesuit values through all levels of higher education.
At this time of crisis for refugees across the world, we proudly feature in this issue the new Master’s in Migration Studies offered by the University of San Francisco (USF). This program will prepare professionals for careers at policy think tanks, international agencies, non-governmental organizations and other entities assisting migrants. USF is now accepting applications for the program; click here to apply online.
This issue also features an update on the AJCU Graduate Deans Conference by Dr. Kevin Gibson, Dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University. This Conference is comprised of deans and directors of graduate programs at Jesuit institutions who meet annually to share best practices and collaborate to advance new initiatives across campuses.
Our monthly Federal Relations report features highlights from last month’s AJCU Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill. We were honored to present former Speaker John Boehner with the AJCU Appreciation Award in recognition of his 25 years of distinguished public service as a member of Congress, including two and a half terms as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Xavier University president Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J. presented the award to Boehner, who graduated from the University in 1977.
At this time of year, we are especially thankful for the gifts of freedom and education, and pray for those across the world who lack such opportunities. We wish you and yours a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!
All the best,

By Cynthia Littlefield, Vice President for Federal Relations, AJCU

Xavier University President Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J. with Former Speaker John Boehner on October 28th.

Xavier University President Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J. with Former Speaker John Boehner on October 28th.

Push for Student Aid Highlights AJCU Congressional Breakfast

Three weeks after the AJCU Federal Relations Conference, AJCU delivered another successful outreach effort through the October 28th Congressional Breakfast on Capitol Hill, attended by AJCU presidents and government relations officers, as well as 32 members of Congress from both the Senate and the House. This breakfast focused on Federal student aid issues, including saving Perkins loans. Karen Larios, a senior at Georgetown University who receives extensive student aid, was a featured speaker. AJCU awarded former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner, with an appreciation award for his years of public service as a member of Congress. Speaker Boehner spoke eloquently of his earlier years and how the Jesuits helped him to complete his degree from Xavier University.

Following the AJCU Congressional Breakfast, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, spoke to the Jesuit presidents and government relations team. He continued to reiterate his opposition to extending the Perkins Loan Program (since the cost is $550.1 million) and suggested, as he has in the past, that Perkins loans be considered part of the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization. The problem is that Perkins loans cannot operate under the normal order of business for consideration because the program expired on October 1st. Chairman Alexander also stated that he believes new HEA legislative language will be distributed at the beginning of next year. AJCU remains grateful for the opportunity to dialogue with Senator Alexander and Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Ranking Member on the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and the Workforce. Congressman Hinojosa reiterated his strong support for campus-based aid programs.

For more photos from the AJCU Congressional Breakfast, please click here.

Why Saving Perkins Loans is Critical for HEA Reauthorization

The Perkins Loan Program lost its authorization on October 1, 2015. Yet, efforts by AJCU and other higher education associations to save it continue at a frenetic pace. Currently, there is a national effort for associations and institutions to support and sign a letter that will be sent to Congress to extend the reauthorization of the Perkins Loan Program. The hope is to secure enough signatures to sway Congress to attach H.R. 3595, The Higher Education Extension Act of 2015, to an appropriations bill or another legislative vehicle.

There is a growing sense of urgency for Perkins loans because the U.S. Department of Education will, in all likelihood, soon send guidance on how to begin the process of returning the Perkins loan revolving fund from each campus. It is rumored that a few institutions across the country have already begun the process of sending funds back to the Department. AJCU does not recommend that at this time. At this point, institutions of higher education are in a difficult position of “working” the Perkins loan extension on Capitol Hill as the Department of Education moves forward to begin the process of collecting the revolving funds. 

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is in line ahead of HEA reauthorization. During the week of November 16th, conferees on ESEA will be chosen in the House and Senate; December 2nd is a target date for consideration on the Floor. It is possible that President Obama could sign the final ESEA agreement in mid-December, which would provide more time to focus on HEA reauthorization.

There are many more issues of concern to AJCU related to HEA reauthorization, such as saving the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program, but most pressing for higher education is the need to save Perkins loans. There are other riders to the appropriations bill such as one for teacher preparation regulations, which will soon be released, and other issues such as gainful employment and credit hour. AJCU will continue our advocacy efforts to protect those critical student aid programs that provide more access for our nation’s neediest students.

By Kevin Gibson, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School, Marquette University
Chair, AJCU Conference of Graduate Deans

Marquette University

Marquette University

When the AJCU graduate administrators met at Marquette University in spring 2015, many of the discussions focused on the challenges in integrating identity, mission and effectiveness into graduate programs at Jesuit universities.

While undergraduate programs are often cohesive, with a set of core requirements and a cohort of students, post-baccalaureate programming is almost as varied as the institutions themselves. Individuals may be engaged in certificate, master’s or doctoral programs, may attend classes on campus as full or part-time students, and may pursue programs that are professional or academic. It is not unusual for programs to require clinical placements and internships. The modes of delivery vary from the traditional lecture to hybrid and completely on-line. Some students live in dedicated residence halls, but more often they live in the local community. The sheer diversity of these programs requires that administration is handled both centrally by the university and delegated to individual colleges and departments. 

Nevertheless, despite their varied nature, graduate programs consistently add value to Jesuit institutions. Students are involved in research by themselves or in collaboration with faculty, and the opportunity to work with graduate students is welcomed by many faculty. As teaching assistants and role models for undergraduates, graduate students become part of the fabric of an institution. In effect, graduate students are the individuals who transform a College into a University.  

Just as with undergraduates, education in the Jesuit tradition suggests that there is something special and different about the kind of education a graduate receives. That is, students should have a graduate experience that is more than skill development or further acquisition of knowledge. There is a shared understanding across all institutions that education is both purposive and transformative. Thus the faculty and staff recognize that the student is on a life journey, and it is necessary to facilitate their growth as agents of change for a better world. Knowledge is not an isolated endeavor; it is geared to the greater good.  

Ideally, graduate work should be both a personal and academic challenge, an endeavor that stretches graduate students to be more than they were, creating a contextual link between the existence of knowledge and its pursuit. But a Jesuit graduate education should also demonstrate other hallmarks: it should provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their experience in an intentional way, and provide the tools to determine how their work benefits the world. Similar to our undergraduates, graduate students come from many different faith traditions, or none, and we need to make dedicated efforts to reach out and include them so that the invitation to find God in all things remains central in everything we do.

During the AJCU Graduate Deans’ meeting this spring, Stephanie Russell, Ed.D., Vice President of Mission and Ministry at Marquette, reminded the administrators in attendance that graduate students should encounter experiences that guide them throughout their lives, for it is in developing our human selves that we are drawn to the space where we may meet God. Jesuits believe that education is a spiritual project. Further, the source of our identity is found in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola; faculty need to know themselves and be models in the Ignatian tradition in their lives as well as in their teaching. Russell suggested that fundamentally, Jesuit education needs to be intellectually rigorous, regularly reflective, socially contextualized and committed to the service of the common good. Graduate students are at an age where they have experienced more of the joys and downsides of life – what Ignatius would refer to as consolations and desolations – and these are invaluable elements to creating a multifaceted teaching and learning environment.

The challenge for graduate administrators and faculty at our Jesuit institutions is to create a learning environment where professional and academic graduate students can articulate not only what their learning and research is, but how it contributes to bettering the community. They need to be challenged to show how knowledge is not a static body but a process of building on a legacy and projecting into the future. Jesuit graduate studies should involve both the mind and the heart: the heart animates the intellect with perceptive questioning, and in Russell’s words, “a smug intellect is unmasked by kindness.”

Finally, it is always important to leave a meeting with action steps: the unifying thread among Jesuit institutions is the centrality of mission, which provides a unique identity. It also means that AJCU members will often find common cause and similar interests. In an increasingly global society, perhaps there are greater links that could be forged between undergraduate-only institutions and Jesuit graduate programs. Other efficiencies could come from exchanges between institutions with special areas of expertise promoted by Jesuit universities. Perhaps the key insight, though, is that a 470-year old tradition of building communities allied to social justice through critical thinking remains as alive and needed today as it was at its inception.

By Sean Kennedy, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

JJC Clinical Co-Director Samantha Buckingham flanked in Inglewood Juvenile Court by CJLP alumni Camila Alvarez (JJC, '15), Erik Rodstrom (JJC, '08, now a public defender), Sherise Francis (JJC, '09, now a public defender) and Lilian Walden (YJEC, '1…

JJC Clinical Co-Director Samantha Buckingham flanked in Inglewood Juvenile Court by CJLP alumni Camila Alvarez (JJC, ’15), Erik Rodstrom (JJC, ’08, now a public defender), Sherise Francis (JJC, ’09, now a public defender) and Lilian Walden (YJEC, ’15). Photo Courtesy of Loyola Marymount University.

A mother contacted Loyola Law School’s Center for Juvenile Law and Policy for help. Her two teenage sons, who both suffer from autism, had just been expelled from their special-education program because they were frequently absent and had “behavior problems” in school. The mother explained that the family had become homeless, which made the boys especially anxious and caused difficulties getting them to school. The Center successfully litigated the brothers’ case against the school district, and they were readmitted to the program with specialized services to address their disabilities.

The Promotion of Justice For At-Risk Youth

The Jesuit educational tradition stresses “the service of faith and the promotion of justice.” The “promotion of justice” requires students to confront the structures of our world that perpetuate poverty and injustice, and to embark on well-planned strategies for making the world more just. Law students are especially well-equipped to promote social justice by using their legal education knowledge and training to help the poorest, most vulnerable members of society. These include at-risk youth, who face serious challenges brought on by poverty, trauma, addiction, mental health problems, educational deficits and myriad problems associated with growing up in violent, gang-infested neighborhoods.

In 2004, Loyola Law School (Loyola Marymount University) started the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy to help at-risk youth in the neighborhoods adjacent to its downtown Los Angeles campus. The Center is comprised of three separate clinics: the Juvenile Justice Clinic (JJC), the Youth Justice Education Clinic (YJEC) and the Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic (JIFSC). In these clinics, under the supervision of experienced clinical law professors, Loyola students represent children in a variety of legal, educational and administrative matters in hopes of making a difference in each client’s life, as well as effectuating systemic change in the juvenile justice system.

Representing Teens in Delinquency Court

JJC students represent inner-city youth charged with crimes in delinquency court. Los Angeles has one of the biggest juvenile justice systems in the world. Despite the volume of serious cases and the high cost of living, payment of counsel in juvenile matters is limited to a flat fee of $350. Such low fees discourage counsel from filing motions or proceeding to trial, and almost all matters are resolved by plea bargains.

Unconstrained by this unconscionable flat-fee system, JJC students fully investigate the facts of the case, research potential motions and defenses, and consult with their clients in juvenile hall to determine whether to proceed to trial or reach a plea bargain. Guided by JJC social workers, students move beyond traditional legal representation to ascertain the root causes of why their clients have ended up in the criminal justice system in the first place.

Consistent with the Jesuit ideal of educating “the whole person,” JJC students thoroughly investigate each client’s background and upbringing in order to identify potential mental-health defenses and mitigating factors. Students then use mitigation to oppose transferring youth to criminal court for adult prosecution, where they face draconian sentences, and to reduce the sentence in the event of a conviction.
Los Angeles has a history of generational gangs and is often identified as the “gang capital” of the United States. Many JJC clients joined street gangs at a young age as a way of dealing with absent fathers, family problems and the pressures of living in poor, violent neighborhoods. Despite the popular mythology of “blood in, blood out,” most teens join a gang between the ages of 12 and 15, and stay as members for only one or two years; consequently, thoughtful intervention and treatment can make a huge impact on a young person’s life even if he has some gang involvement. JJC social workers provide counseling and support services so that minors can gain insight into why they became involved in illegal activities and hopefully learn how to avoid further contacts with the system.

New CJLP students touring Camp David Gonzalez, Malibu in 2013 and observing the control room with probation staff. Photo by Loyola Marymount University.

New CJLP students touring Camp David Gonzalez, Malibu in 2013 and observing the control room with probation staff. Photo by Loyola Marymount University.

Representing Students at Educational Hearings

YJEC students tackle juvenile delinquency from a different but related perspective: using available administrative and civil remedies to keep at-risk youth in school, thereby ending the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.” Los Angeles public high schools currently have a graduation rate of 67%. Many incarcerated youth dropped out after being suspended or expelled from overburdened, under-performing high schools. Often these schools overuse expulsion because administrators are unable or unwilling to address a student’s unique educational needs or deficits. YJEC students seek to compel school district administrators to comply with existing laws requiring public schools to make good-faith efforts to address each student’s educational needs. YJEC clients who receive individual education plans and services often thrive in school instead of dropping out, which in turn reduces the risk of their becoming involved in criminal activities.     

Representing Prisoners Who Were Wrongfully Convicted Or Over-Sentenced

JIFS students redress the injustices of wrongful imprisonment and over-incarceration for children. California has more incarcerated youth than any other state in the nation. In fact, the number of incarcerated youth in California rivals that of Texas, New York and Florida combined. Many of these youth have been tried as adults and are serving extreme sentences in adult prisons.

Because juveniles are immature and less sophisticated than adults, they are more likely to be wrongfully convicted than adults. Some prisoners convicted as children have credible claims of innocence, but no right to counsel in post conviction. JIFS students reinvestigate such cases and, when appropriate, file habeas corpus petitions alleging actual innocence. The JIFS students litigate actual innocence claims to exonerate inmates who are wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.

California prisons are also full of people who were sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed as juveniles. Three years ago, the United States Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama held that “children are constitutionally different for the purposes of sentencing.” The Court held that because juveniles have reduced culpability and greater potential for rehabilitation, they should rarely be sentenced to life without parole (LWOP). To that end, JIFS students represent inmates who were unconstitutionally over-sentenced as juveniles. JIFS students present mitigation and evidence of rehabilitation to advocate for the resentencing of prisoners sentenced to LWOP as juveniles.      

Social Justice In Action

The Center advocates at every level to return the juvenile justice system to its rehabilitative roots. Clinic professors publish articles and host national conferences on juvenile justice and education law issues to encourage systemic reforms. Clinic students advance social justice by honoring the dignity of even the most troubled young offender through holistic representation. Students’ personal involvement with the suffering of others results in a deeper understanding of the root causes of poverty and injustice. By modeling high quality, client-centered representation, the Center hopes to inspire the next generation of lawyers to advocate for at-risk youth.

Sean Kennedy is Kaplan & Feldman Executive Director of Center for Juvenile Policy at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. The immediate past Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California, he is a graduate of Loyola Law School and Loyola Marymount University.

By Jocelyn Klocke, Communications Assistant, Saint Louis University School of Law

Professor Susan McGraugh, supervisor of the Criminal Defense Clinic, role plays during a 'Know Your Rights' event in October 2014. (Photo by Saint Louis University)

Professor Susan McGraugh, supervisor of the Criminal Defense Clinic, role plays during a ‘Know Your Rights’ event in October 2014. (Photo by Saint Louis University)

It was called a “modern-day debtors prison.” Impoverished citizens of North St. Louis County jailed because of their inability to pay fines for traffic violations and other minor offenses. St. Louis County municipalities were criticized for years not only for its unjust practices, but its extremely poor jail conditions.

That criticism intensified over a year ago when St. Louis made headlines with the events that followed the August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The series of unrests brought these practices of the St. Louis County municipal courts into the spotlight and sparked a vigorous debate about the relationship between law enforcement officers and African-Americans, the militarization of the police and the use of force.

As a Jesuit institution, Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Law faculty, staff and students felt compelled to put its mission into action. So amid the controversy, SLU LAW professors and students immediately took it upon themselves to go into the community and assist residents through the process of healing and reform in the wake of Ferguson.

Over the past year, professors and students put in countless hours of tireless work to find solutions and seek justice for those who cannot seek it themselves. In fact, many had been involved in the issues that Ferguson brought attention to long before they came under such a bright, national spotlight. The SLU LAW Legal Clinics offered legal assistance to those facing arrest and incarceration for unpaid fines of non-violent offenses. Through advocacy, they engaged in strategic action requesting amnesty for non-violent offenders. Students spoke at city council meetings on behalf of clients, interviewed residents to understand the difficulties they face, researched laws as they apply to municipal courts, drafted pleadings and worked with area lawyers. Thanks to their efforts and attention, municipalities are taking major strides to begin rebuilding public trust with a slew of new programs and laws. Data show that in Ferguson alone, traffic cases declined 81 percent, and non-traffic cases (such as occupancy code violations) are down 86 percent from January 2015 through July 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.*

SLU LAW used its legal expertise to serve beyond just the courtroom. The Jesuit tradition not only demands excellence in service to humanity but in teaching humanity as well. In that vein, SLU LAW professors and students went to the classroom to, in many ways, provide the St. Louis community the education they need concerning the complexity of the criminal justice process that was currently unfolding.

Student organizations joined with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Outreach to hold a discussion panel facilitated by SLU LAW professors. The panel, titled “Concern, Understanding and Action: Exploring the Social Legal Implications of the Recent Events in Ferguson,” brought a crowd of students, faculty, staff and media together to listen and ask questions of differing legal issues involved in the situation and to bring even more action in assisting with the aftermath of Ferguson.

Third-year law student Avvennette Gezahan addresses the crowd at a 'Know Your Rights' workshop in October 2014. (Photo by Saint Louis University)

Third-year law student Avvennette Gezahan addresses the crowd at a ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop in October 2014. (Photo by Saint Louis University)

Shortly after the first wave of protests, a coalition of SLU LAW students and professors met to discuss how they could get involved and best serve the community. They settled on the idea of educational teach-ins and set out to listen. They spent two Saturdays in North St. Louis County interviewing residents about their legal questions. The results of these talks were implemented in community legal education and engagement programs, such as Know Your Rights. With this campaign, students conducted interactive teach-ins leading the attendees through various scenarios to ensure the safety of the community in their encounters with police. Thanks to the success of these events and the positive feedback received from audience members, students from Harvard Law School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City asked to use the SLU LAW Know Your Rights program in their own communities.

“I have been heartened to see our community come together to help work toward solutions in Ferguson, but I am not surprised,” said Michael A. Wolff, Dean of SLU LAW. “We teach the basics of legal process and critical analysis essential to effective lawyering. We feel it is within our mission to educate another generation of lawyers committed to social justice, to being men and women in service to others.”

SLU LAW professors also shared their insight on Ferguson across the nation and the world, providing their expertise on the local, national and international level. Professors contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, NPR and many other highly regarded news outlets providing their knowledge on the Ferguson grand jury, the use of force, protester rights and the municipal court system. 

The outstanding work and tireless efforts of these legal professionals and students to create a better and more just society did not go unnoticed. The Legal Clinics earned recognition among peers, including a 2014 Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award and the 2015 Clinical Legal Education Association Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project. Associate Professor Brendan Roediger, supervisor of the Litigation Clinic, was awarded the 2015 Edna M. Taylor Client Service Award from Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, a Pro Bono Award from the Missouri Bar’s Young Lawyer’s section and a Spirit of Justice Award by the St. Louis Bar Foundation. In addition, Associate Professor Justin Hansford received the 2015 Junior Faculty Teaching Award from the Society of American Law Teachers for his work.

By bringing attention to vital issues and educating the general public on citizens’ rights, the SLU LAW community has continued to show that the pursuit of justice for those unable to seek it on their own is woven into its fiber. SLU LAW is guided by a higher purpose and a greater good, fulfilling a mission that will lead to a better and more just community in St. Louis and beyond.

*St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Amid reforms, municipal court traffic cases and revenue plummet in St. Louis County,” Jeremy Kohler and Jennifer S. Mann, Oct. 11, 2015.

By Dr. William J. Ehmann, Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Education, Seattle University

Dr. William J. Ehmann

Dr. William J. Ehmann

The Jesuit mission of social justice is a conspicuous flame at all AJCU institutions and drives which graduate and professional programs our schools offer and where and how we offer them.

Nearing 125 years of engagement with our communities, Seattle University is especially fortunate to be imbedded in America’s fastest growing urban ecosystem and at the hub of innovations for health and wellness, computing, aerospace and customer service. Like other institutions, we have mapped these domains, and the intersections among them, to see where we are contributing and where we need to go in terms of our academic program development.

We are also passionate about tending to the overall Jesuit ethos that our graduate and professional programs live in. That means engaging the social issues of our time, whether or not academic credits are involved. By sharing a few examples in this article that surround and support our graduate and professional programs, we hope to find new conversation partners and tend more fertile ground for developing more agents of social change across the AJCU network.

Professional Practice with Purpose

The Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP) engages Seattle U School of Law students in effective legal and policy research, analysis, and advocacy work to advance the rights of homeless adults, youth and children. We develop lawyering skills not just in the classroom, but in a challenging social context, going beyond direct service to addressing root causes of homelessness and poverty. In spring 2015, under the program leadership of Sara Rankin, HRAP students released four ground-breaking policy briefs documenting how existing laws criminalize homelessness, waste financial resources, and further marginalize individuals. After graduation, our law school alumni also practice with purpose, through programs such as our Low Bono Incubator Program, led by Diana Singleton, director of the Access to Justice Institute, which provides legal services to individuals of moderate means.

In health professions, our advanced practice nursing students contribute to primary care, midwifery care, psychiatric care and public health. By being careful about our clinical placements and valuing what each student brings to the table, we are able to report that 98% of these students tell us that they plan to dedicate their care to underserved populations.

Executive Leadership for a More Just and Humane World

In the Albers School of Business and Economics, executive MBA students taking a two-quarter course must engage an area of social injustice. They lead a project that both serves their own learning and has significance with a particular community. Moreover, the project must be sustainable for at least 18 months. Coordinated by Dr. Marilyn Gist, associate dean of executive programs with the Center for Leadership Formation, our students have accomplished legislative changes on behalf of teens who age out of the foster care system, delivered training to support victims of domestic violence, and organized half-day tours for urban teens highlighting career opportunities with leading local businesses including Boeing, Starbucks, REI and Costco.

Staff Development for Educational Leadership

Our Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (EDLR) in the College of Education is a practiced-based degree that prepares ethical and reflective professionals to guide employees and managers, even within our own organization: Seattle U regularly funds existing staff members who submit competitive applications for admission and substantially-reduced tuition. Candidates write essays on how the 3-year educational leadership degree will advance them as leaders of self, leaders at Seattle U, and leaders in a global and interdependent world. 

A Voluntary Graduate Honors Program

In support of our stated graduate learning outcomes, we offer a directed graduate student experience called Teilhard de Chardin Scholars named after the well-known Jesuit priest who wrote about the unity of knowledge, a life of action, and spiritual purpose. This is a non-credit recognition that is voluntary and open to all graduate students interested in gaining further Ignatian context for their degree work. The program was co-designed with graduate student leaders to further incentivize participation outside of class and beyond their majors.

Throughout each academic year, we flag announcements of premier campus and community events. Registrants who attend five or more designated events during the years of their degree program, and satisfactorily complete at least two reflective experiences (e.g., post-event group discussions, moderated online forums, formation exercises), earn “Chardin Scholars” honors upon completing regular graduation requirements. As a result, we are noticing a greater sense of connection among graduate students with the ongoing life of the campus, stronger discussions due to participation of graduate-level students, and hearing their appreciation for a distinguishing feature of Seattle U’s graduate education.

Photo of SU students courtesy of Seattle University.

Photo of SU students courtesy of Seattle University.

Collaboratory: “Whole-making” for “Change-making”

Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world. Over the past two years, we have come to appreciate how students, board members and entrepreneurs are speaking of “change-making” which encompasses social change, social innovation, social entrepreneurship and social justice. Through conversations with a non-profit organization named Ashoka, we are now using change-making as an additional lens for our work, such that our education can be viewed as whole-making for the very purpose of change-making in the world. By whole-making, we mean both the whole person and the whole problem, with the goal of framework change to a more just and humane world.

Borrowing insight from Fordham University’s pioneering Social Innovation Collaboratory and working with our campus-wide change team, we are planning to launch a “Changemaker Collaboratory.” We are leveraging existing interdisciplinary centers and institutes and other units focused on innovation to help students become effective agents of change, at impact levels from direct service to framework changes. We expect to see faculty adapting existing courses, new minors and concentrations at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and new student supports within our broader ecosystem.


Jesuit institutions attend to both the content and the context of graduate and professional education, and value the real-time interplay between these components. Graduate students coming to us have typically already done some work in self-assessment, have direct experience with service, and are taking action. They hold many senior employment positions, have large community networks, and have begun to give back. Let’s recommit our institutions within the AJCU network to creative and strong support for the whole graduate student experience and, borrowing a phrase from noted business executive Indra Nooyi, generate ever greater “performance with purpose.”

By Joseph G. Eisenhauer, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business Administration, University of Detroit Mercy

Dr. Joseph G. Eisenhauer

Dr. Joseph G. Eisenhauer

Exhibiting Ignatian values is both a duty and an opportunity for Jesuit business schools. Because we prepare students to become successful corporate executives and entrepreneurs, we incur a special responsibility to inculcate a sense of business ethics and social justice, as well as spirituality and discernment to help graduates balance demanding careers with fulfilling personal lives. But a mission-driven education is also an opportunity to differentiate our business schools from secular institutions. Although it’s not a comprehensive list, some ways of doing so are described below.

Promoting the Mission

Identity begins with an organization’s mission statement. Like our fellow Jesuit business schools, the University of Detroit Mercy’s (UDM) College of Business Administration (CBA) explicitly references Jesuit (and, in our case, Mercy) values in our mission statement, which is displayed inside our building as well as on our website, syllabi, and promotional materials to remind ourselves and others of our purpose. A visible mission statement promotes a self-selection of students, faculty, and staff who are attracted to the institution’s vision. And while hiring for mission is essential, professional development for mission is equally important. We therefore encourage participation at mission retreats as well as conferences and workshops conducted by organizations such as the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS), the Jesuit Education in Business Network (JEBNET), and Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE), where faculty and administrators from all Jesuit business schools collaborate and share best practices.

One consequence of this orientation is that faculty research tends to emphasize issues of ethics, social justice and sustainability. We’ve estimated that roughly 20 percent of our College’s scholarship is directly mission-oriented, including recent articles such as “Catalytic Social Entrepreneurship to Combat Desperate Poverty” and “ROE and Corporate Social Responsibility: Is There a Return on Ethics?” as well as others published in such outlets as the Journal of Business Ethics and the Journal of Jesuit Business Education.

And to ensure that Ignatian ideals are incorporated into planning at all levels, the CBA’s external Board of Advisors includes Rev. Henry Chamberlain, S.J., who serves as an auditor for the Society of Jesus of the Midwest Provinces.

Mission-Based Curricula and Social Outreach

Because Catholic Social Teaching involves principles such as the dignity of work and the preferential option for the poor, business courses provide an excellent forum for introducing students to these ideas. All CBA students—undergraduates and MBAs alike—study business ethics, both as a required course and as a theme that’s woven throughout the UDM curriculum. Indeed, we are fortunate to have an endowed professorship in business ethics, currently held by Rev. Gerald Cavanagh, S.J. Of course, high-profile corporate scandals, such as the recent Volkswagen fiasco, provide a never-ending source of case studies for such courses. But these incidents also demonstrate why firms increasingly seek to hire students from Jesuit business schools, where integrity is emphasized along with technical skills and leadership.

In addition, every CBA student engages in service-learning as part of the business curriculum. One example is the provision of financial literacy classes to public school students around Detroit each year. Another is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, in which students pass rigorous IRS training in tax preparation, and then provide free income tax assistance to community residents. In each of the past several years, a grateful Detroit City Council has issued awards to the CBA for its VITA program.

While students sharpen their skills and gain real-world experience through service-learning, they also develop compassion and appreciation for the responsibilities we all have to share our gifts with others. Our alumni have supported these efforts by endowing a special scholarship to promote service-learning among business students.

But community outreach doesn’t end with service-learning. Our Student Advisory Board undertakes service projects such as clothing drives, and each year, student leaders are inducted into honor-and-service business societies, including Beta Gamma Sigma and the St. Ignatius Chapter of the Global Jesuit Business Students Association.

In addition, the CBA sponsors an annual Mission Retreat for students, featuring a visit with a recent alumnus or alumna who consciously attempts to infuse Jesuit values into a business career—and we have many of those. Indeed, CBA Alumni Board members volunteer at soup kitchens, collect Christmas gifts for needy families, and engage in other forms of social outreach. The CBA also partners with the Archdiocese of Detroit in celebrating an annual Mass for Commerce.

To celebrate the blending of professional success, integrity and community service, the CBA presents Business Leadership Awards each fall. This year’s recipients include Rev. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., ’64, ‘66, former president of the University of Portland, and Cassandra Moran, ’08, an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers who has served as Chair of the CBA Alumni Board’s Social Outreach Committee for several years.

Social Entrepreneurship

During its centennial year in 2016-17, the CBA will launch a new Center for Social Entrepreneurship in a city eager for new ventures designed to benefit the underprivileged and society as a whole. Of course, we won’t be the first Jesuit institution to do so. Indeed, Rev. Phillip Cooke, S.J., who’s been hired to initiate and direct the Center, previously conducted similar work at Santa Clara University. Nor will those who develop their business plans and skills through our Center be the first persons affiliated with the CBA to become social entrepreneurs. Alumna Caitie Goddard, ’06, for example, is already an internationally recognized social entrepreneur, having co-founded the IC3 (I Can Create Change) Academy. Borrowing expertise from such innovative leaders, the Center will link the CBA even closer to the community, promoting social justice in new and hopefully transformative ways.


Ignatian values are not the exclusive province of a Jesuit university’s core curriculum or campus ministry office, but rather, shared principles that guide the entire institution. By preparing business majors and MBAs to be compassionate servant-leaders, Jesuit business schools are able to distinguish themselves from competitors while simultaneously promoting a more just and sustainable world.

By Lois Ann Lorentzen, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco

Migration: The Global Challenge

As we are reminded daily by the European migrant crisis, the global migration challenge knows no borders and is growing. Over 700,000 migrants have entered Europe since January 2015, fleeing violence in Syria, Afghanistan and Northern Africa. Worldwide, more than 230 million people live outside their home countries, making international migration one of the most critical issues facing the global community in the 21st century.

The Society of Jesus has been focused on this challenge for some time. Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, included service to migrants as one of five global apostolic preferences in a 2003 letter to the Society. A few years later, in 2007, attendees at the Jesuit General Congregation 35 strongly agreed as they reaffirmed, “that attending to the needs of migrants, including refugees, internally displaced, and trafficked people, continue to be an apostolic preference of the Society” (GC 35, V, 39.). 

Jesuit, Catholic Responses

Today, Jesuit institutions, parishes, and schools in the United States share this global commitment to migrants. The website for the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States proclaims, “The Jesuits of the United States have made a longstanding commitment to serve and walk with migrants from their countries of origin and in the United States.” The need for this commitment in the U.S. alone is clear considering that thirty-six million U.S. residents are foreign born; of that number, eleven million are undocumented, living in a shadow land of fear and insecurity. Jesuits in the U.S. advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on their behalf. In 2013, Jesuit Provincials sent letters to every member of Congress, as well as to President Obama, calling for immigration reform that included due process, transparency in the immigration enforcement system, a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, passage for the DREAM Act, and support for family reunification. The Jesuit Conference and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA have also partnered with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Justice for Immigrants” program, a campaign that advocates for comprehensive immigration reform.

The Jesuits in Mexico and the United States (California Province and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA) heeded the call of the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the U.S. as expressed in their pastoral letter, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, by founding (along with the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, the Diocese of Tucson, and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo) the bi-national Kino Border Initiative (KBI). Located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico, KBI provides direct humanitarian assistance to migrants, offers social and pastoral education with communities on both sides of the border, and participates in research and advocacy to change immigration policies.

USF Program to Build Understanding and Support

In keeping with these responses, the University of San Francisco (USF) has created, in collaboration with the Jesuit university in Mexico City (Universidad Iberoamericana), a unique academic program to train professionals and researchers on the many perspectives involved in understanding migration and supporting the personal, social, legal and spiritual needs of migrants and refugees. USF’s Master in Migration Studies is unique not only because of its interdisciplinary approach, but because it involves continuous field experiences with migrants.

The program pays particular, but not exclusive, attention to migration from Mexico and Central America. Mexicans make up roughly half of all unauthorized migrants to the U.S. In addition, half a million Central Americans cross Mexico annually, many of them making the dangerous journey north on top of a train known as “la Bestia.” The new USF program will benefit from Jesuit programs in support of migrants in Mexico, Central America, the U.S. and other parts of the world. For example, the Jesuit Service for Migrants in Mexico was founded in 2002 to address the urgent needs of migrants within Mexico, and several Jesuit groups staff comedores (food distribution centers) and shelters along the migrant route as well as the country’s northern and southern borders.

The aforementioned Strangers No Longer report called for understanding of the root causes of migration. The need for migration professionals knowledgeable in theory, skilled in practical application, and grounded in Jesuit values of social justice and community engagement has never been higher. In the new Master’s program designed by the two Jesuit universities, students will study global migration with top researchers, professors, project practitioners and policy makers in both San Francisco and Mexico City to prepare them to develop humane migration policies, to provide support services to migrant communities, and to lead non-governmental organizations, as well as national and international agencies.  

Fieldwork, internships and immersion experiences will take place in Mexico, Central America and other countries through the global Jesuit network of over 250 Jesuit universities and service agencies. As Fr. Kolvenbach hoped, the students in the program will “…let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively.”

The Master in Migration Studies will prepare professionals to meet the needs of migrants and refugees. As former Jesuit Superior General Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. envisioned, these professionals will change the world by being “women and men for others.”

For more information on the Master in Migration Studies at USF, please click here.

By Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D, Dean, Panuska College of Professional Studies at The University of Scranton

Dr. Debra Pellegrino

Dr. Debra Pellegrino

Being men and women for and with others is a tenet of Ignatian spirituality and is at the very core of a Catholic and Jesuit education at The University of Scranton. The Ignatian call to care for others is fully embraced across all disciplines of the Panuska College of Professional Studies – a college whose students embrace their vocation in the “helping professions.”

Students in a range of graduate professional programs – including occupational therapy (MS), physical therapy (DPT), nursing (MSN, DNP) education (MS), counseling, (MS), health administration (MS) and human resources (MS) – are united in their studies by a common desire to attend to the unique needs and circumstances of those whom they serve. Their work can be summed up by the Latin phrase cura personalis.

We must raise our Jesuit educational standard to ‘educate the whole person of solidarity for the real world.’ Solidarity is learned through ‘contact’ rather than ‘concepts.’ When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.

— Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Former Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Programs offered through Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies have been designed with the conviction that all disciplines should be taught and understood through a balance of theory and practice. An exclusively theoretical understanding of a discipline is incomplete. Practice for which there is no understood context is of limited value. It is this belief that structures the Panuska College of Professional Studies pedagogy and curriculum. 

In addition, Scranton’s mission with respect to service and social justice is particularly relevant for the Panuska College of Professional Studies. Three interrelated themes of Jesuit education – a focus on moral reflection, teaching for social justice, and the liberal treatment of subject matters – are embedded in our curriculum, as well as rigorous scholarship and service on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our emphasis is on intellectual inquiry and clinical practice devoted to the lifelong development and improvement of our students, our faculty, our programs and the global community.

The Panuska College of Professional Studies upholds the highest academic standards in preparing undergraduate and graduate students for successful professional careers in allied health and education. All of our undergraduate and graduate programs maintain the highest national accreditations for each discipline.

The enhancement and extension of the Ignatian mission through service learning is a large part of the Panuska College of Professional Studies academic programs. These programs are committed to service learning through theory and practice and reflection through action. Students perform community service through coursework and projects as a requirement for graduation. In this way, the service aspects of their prospective careers can be understood in personal and comprehensive terms.

Service, combined with learning, adds value to each and transforms both.

— (Honnet & Poulsen, 1989)

The Leahy Community Health and Family Center, housed in Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies, is dedicated to the dual purpose of identifying and meeting the health and wellness needs of underserved individuals in the greater Scranton, PA community, while providing a place where faculty guide students in a practical educational experience.

Programs offered through the Leahy Center include a free medical clinic; physical therapy and counseling services offered by graduate students and faculty; the University of Success, a multi-year program for high school students designed to develop the skills needed to successfully gain entrance to college; the Peace Makers program, an after-school program for children aged 9 to 13 that explores the meaning, history and vision of peacemaking, also supported by graduate students and faculty; and the student-run Alice V. Leahy Food and Clothing Pantry.

The University’s new state-of-the-art Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall, which is among the finest facilities of its type in the country, provides an even better forum for students in the “helping professions” to flourish in extraordinary ways. Interactive rehabilitation laboratories, flexible active-learning classrooms, and tele-health and low-vision research facilities will serve our community and beyond. The new home of the Panuska College of Professional Studies departments of physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise science will enhance the development of advanced methods and techniques in the allied health care professions, by placing the best simulation environments, applied-science laboratories, equipment and technology directly in the hands of students and faculty.

In the memory of a child, who was set in the midst of us, we are dedicating this magnificent building, not for its brick and mortar, but as a new center for the physically disabled, the accident victim, someone who suffered a stoke, someone needing occupational therapy or counseling, who are poor and underserved, who can be helped by the students and professionals in the health sciences here at The University of Scranton.

— Edward Leahy ’68, H’01, Sept. 18, 2015, at Dedication of Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall

Julie Ann Nastasi, O.T.D., occupational therapy faculty specialist, said Leahy Hall’s streetscape for rehabilitation education, with an apartment, street corner, garage, car and grocery store, is an invaluable training tool. The facility also incorporates cameras to record student practice sessions. “Watching the recording is better than strictly verbal feedback for students. It integrates learning. Students see, do and reflect,” said Dr. Nastasi.

Students studying with Paul T. Cutrufello, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise science and sport, use metabolic carts, equipped with a computer system, monitor and breathing tubes, to observe exhaled gases, heart rate and oxygen saturation in real times as a person exercises on a treadmill. “Students learn by hearing, seeing and doing – but doing is best,” said Dr. Cutrufello.

Shannon Gilman, a 2014 graduate of The University of Scranton and current student in the University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, expressed best the fruition of the Jesuit ideals we strive to instill in our students. “We are at the precipice of embracing our call to care,” she said in her remarks at the dedication ceremony of Leahy Hall. “I cannot thank Scranton enough for helping me cultivate my innermost gift of helping others.”

I too couldn’t me more grateful for talented students embracing the call to care.