Loyola University Chicago

Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

Teaching and Assessment Spotlight

Mark Kuczewski, Ph.D.‌

Mark Kuczewski


Director, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics & Professor of Medical Ethics, Stritch School of Medicine

It is fairly rare to find someone with an intense interest in their own work as well as helping those in need, but Dr. Mark G Kuczewski, PhD carries both passions equally. Having been a part of the Stritch School of Medicine since 2000, Dr. Kuczewski shares that he has “found a home” in Loyola, which is perhaps what motivates him to be so heavily involved in carrying out the Jesuit mission.

When asked what keeps him at Loyola, Kuczewski responds, “without a doubt it’s the ideal of Jesuit education as ‘the service of faith and the promotion of justice.’” He believes that Loyola University Chicago brings the Jesuit ideals to life, particularly in the aspect of helping people who are marginalized and stigmatized, whom Kuczewski points out are “exactly the people Jesus spent his time with.” Even with such a rigorous schedule and complicated classes, Kuczewski manages to integrate these ideals into his day to day schedule by spending much of his time working with undocumented students at Loyola. “I have been moved by their commitment and determination despite being unfairly marginalized by our legal system,” Kuczewski shares. “I have been impressed by the way the student bodies of the Stritch School of Medicine and the undergraduate students have joined the undocumented students to work for justice. [. . .] Loyola students are the kind of people who understand that injustices to their peers are injustices to them. I couldn’t admire them more.”

Kuczewski’s students are lucky to have a professor that is so passionate about both his teaching and social justice—but he prefers to refer to his pupils in a different manner: “I tend to use the term ‘participant’ more often than student. Participant seems more active and indicates that learners uncover things together through their efforts; they are not sponges absorbing knowledge from the teacher. As an educator, I try to provide the conditions to facilitate their discovery.”

One class he is most well-known for teaching is Bioethics, which “is grounded in the exploration of real-life cases that health-care professionals face.” In fact, Kuczewski founded the first two online graduate Bioethics programs in the United States including the one here at Loyola with the help of Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD. So, naturally, Kuczewski finds online teaching methods an efficient way for students to connect and participate more thoroughly in lessons and assignments. “However,” he states, “technology is a means to an end, and that end is analysis of real-life experience.” One of the lessons he incorporates into his Organizational Ethics and Leadership course is an example of how Kuczewski assists his students in real-life experience. “I conduct a session in which the participants prepare to write their personal mission statement. I go around the room asking each to tell me what they do best and what they enjoy doing most. They then incorporate these assets into their four or five sentence mission statement,” he explains. The most rewarding part of the lesson for Kuczewski is that students realize their value and “how staying true to who they are” can vastly improve their performance in the long run.

Seeing how selfless of a person Dr. Kuczewski is, it only makes sense that he will not even take full credit for his magnificent teaching skills. Rather, he sees himself as more of a middle man in the learning process: “In the end, learning happens through the participant’s encounter with creation. St. Ignatius suggests that they are in fact encountering the Creator in the activity of learning. We should never to forget how privileged we are to be engaging in education.” The fact that Kuczewski views his career as a privilege speaks volumes about his character; he is a true example of what a professor at a Jesuit university should be, making him an amazing addition to Loyola’s staff and an admirable role model for all of Loyola’s students.

Interview and write up by Mia Sciarrone

Student Worker, Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy

  • Sara Gramata

    For Sara Gramata, teaching has always come naturally—in fact, she found her first pupil when she was just four or five years old. “I adopted a pet lamb and named her Bright Eyes. I not only fed her a bottle of milk before and after school, but read to her daily. I tried to get Bright Eyes to do tricks, but I don't think any of them stuck!” Professor Gramata shares.
  • David Doherty

    For the ninth FCIP Teaching and Assessment Spotlight, we recognize Dr. David Doherty, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. Dr. Doherty reflects on his six years at Loyola.
  • Suzanne Bost

    For the eighth FCIP Teaching and Assessment Spotlight, we recognize Dr. Suzanne Bost, Professor in the Department of English and an affiliate faculty in the Department of Women’s Studies and Gender Studies. As she approaches her ninth year at Loyola, Dr. Bost reflects on her experiences in the classroom and her appreciation of Loyola University Chicago students.
  • Patrick Duffie

    Dr. Patrick Duffie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biology. As he approaches his twenty-sixth anniversary of teaching at Loyola, Dr. Duffie shares with us how his experiences traveling the world have shaped his teaching philosophies and the positive impact these methods have had on the educational experience of his students.
  • Catherine Nichols

    Catherine Nichols earned her Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Arizona State University in 2014. While she misses the weekend hiking excursions that the geography of Arizona provided, she credits Loyola University Chicago with expanding her thoughts on effective teaching practices.
  • Michael Welch, JD

    Michael Welch, senior instructor at the Quinlan School of Business, describes his journey as “interesting.”
  • Rebecca Silton

    Rebecca Silton is an assistant professor of Clinical Psychology at Loyola University Chicago's Department of Psychology.
  • Stacy Neier

    Stacy Neier is the second recipient of the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy’s Teaching Assessment Spotlight Award and a marketing professor in the Quinlan School of Business. She is an avid Vogue reader dating back fifteen years, has a twin sister who is a professor at The University of Missouri, and was married in Madonna Della Strada last month.
  • Alyson Paige Warren

    Alyson Paige Warren obtained her MFAW from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and applies her expertise in creative writing both in her capacity as an Adjunct Instructor in Loyola’s Department of English and as a writer and illustrator of children’s books.
  • Monique Ridosh

    Dr. Monique Ridosh calls herself a “transplant.” After growing up in Miami, Florida, she moved to Chicago with her husband and son ten years ago. Here, as in Miami, she finds herself surrounded by very diverse people in a city that she loves.