Seeking a better future: from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago
What inspired MENTEE?
Why immigration and refugees, especially with immigration being such a hot button topic now in the U.S.?
When I was developing my proposal to apply for the Fulbright-Schuman Scholar award, I knew immediately I wanted to focus on people who are not treated fairly and equitably by society. So MENTEE focuses on immigrants and refugees, and those who are low-income. We need to support these communities from the ground up. MENTEE can provide students with services and knowledge that help address their challenges and give them a pathway to success.
What do you hope students gain from being involved in MENTEE?
MENTEE is meant to help our students want to stay in high school by giving them the ability to try different jobs on for size through our cross-sector job shadows and other work experiences, while learning more about themselves. We hope the students will look beyond graduation to their post-secondary future with a strong network of supporters surrounding them. My goal is to look at all of the students' needs and see how I can make sure they are looked after either directly or indirectly by my organization and my partnerships. The hope of MENTEE is that, as a result of going through the program, students will be more confident, successful adults with new access and means to contribute to society.
What’s the significance of the MENTEE logo and what does it mean to you?
I am a big believer in supporting the richness of diverse cultures within our community. The adinkra symbol of MENTEE reflects the respect for diversity and the pursuit of knowledge and learning throughout life. MENTEE is made to reinforce that pursuit of knowledge, and to celebrate the richness of the languages and cultures the students come here with. We need to let all new students know they welcome. They can learn English, fit in at their school, and also retain their own cultural identity. The adinkra reflects all this; it's a celebration of culture.
What was your proudest or happiness moment with MENTEE?
As a pilot year program, there have been many ups and downs as I've worked to develop and grow MENTEE. Currently, I work with three Chicago public schools and have teacher liaisons at each school who represent MENTEE and work with students. One of my happiest moments was when one of the liaisons from Mather High School called me and said, “Please Letitia, I have so many students who want to be a part of MENTEE, can we just add a few more to the list?” It made me feel so good about all I was doing.
How has your experience at Loyola influenced you?
Years ago, when I was doing my MA in political science, Claudio Katz, the department chair at the time, was very much a mentor to me. In providing guidance, he often shared his personal stories and thoughts. One of our conversations was about my future choices, and he recommended that I should teach in secondary education. I didn't fully see that for myself, but that conversation stayed with me and I revisited it often. When I finally realized I was searching for ways to make a difference, I knew Professor Katz was right. Not only did I take his advice, I convinced my husband to do the same. He left finance, I left Harvard, and we began our journey into education. So yes, Loyola and Professor Katz left an incredible mark on my life.
CAS celebrates Carla Simonini, the New Italian American Studies Endowed Professor
In front of a crowd of a nearly 100 people, Carla Simonini, PhD, spoke poignantly about being a fifth generation Italian American and how identifying as with her Italian culture, didn’t come easy. She discussed the difficult navigation between being Italian and American, struggling with labels, and conflicts within definitions. She alluded to the multiple Italian American authors and scholars such as Richard Alba, Werner Sollors, Laura Ruberto and Joseph Sciorra, who underwent similar situations.
“Being Italian American in the 21st century encompasses not just where we’ve come from, but what we are capable of becoming,” she said.
Simonini was celebrated at a mass at The Ignatian House Chapel, Information Commons 4th floor and then a reception on Nov. 4. She gave a presentation prior to the reception where Arthur Lurigio, associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of criminal justice and psychology, Candeloro Dominic, adjunct Instructor of history, and Thomas J Regan, S.J., dean of the College were among the guests to celebrate her appointment as the first Paul and Ann Rubino Endowed Professor in Italian American Studies (IAS).
The endowed professorship is meant to build an IAS program among only a select group of programs in the country. Simonini will join the faculty of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and hopes the program will ensure that students receive a ‘well-rounded’ Italian American educational experience, including Italian language instruction, courses on history and culture, and exposure to the John Felice Rome Center. She also wants to expand the visibility of the Italian American Studies Association (IASA).
“To be an Italian, is not to shirk from internalized negative associations with Italian American culture, nor is it to cling to vapid nostalgia or hollow ethnic pride. To be Italian, Italian American, is to ‘know thyself’ as a descendent of a humble and generally disparaged people. Those who made very difficult choices and endured untold sacrifices in an effort to secure a better life for themselves and their progeny.”
CAS in the media
College of Arts and Sciences faculty, staff, students, and alumni are often quoted and featured in local and national publications on a myriad of topics and issues.
Mexican border: 170 years of chimeras
Benjamin Johnson, History associate professor, shares the recent political and social history of the southern U.S. border in this Libération article.
- Illinois News Network
INN investigation: A year of gun violence in Chicago
David Olson, PhD, professor and graduate program director of criminal Justice and criminology, shares how balancing the scales of swift and righteous justice can be a delicate process when looking at the number of gun-related homicide cases that haven’t been resolved.
- Washington Post
What the narrative about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets wrong.
History alumnus Pedro Regalado published an op-ed on how the midterm elections saw more women of color who have built on the long history of Latinx political activism, and their victories provide a distinct formula for how the Democratic Party can re-energize itself.
- Sign of the Times
Study reconstructs Neanderthal ribcage, offering new clues to ancient human anatomy and functioning
Associate professor of Anthropology Kristin L. Krueger, PhD, was quoted in this article about the work of paleoanthropologists.
- WGN Radio 720
The Relevance of Religion in 2018
Miguel H. Diaz, PhD, the John Courtney Murray University chair in Public Service and professor of Theology, and Omer Mozaffar, Muslim Chaplain and Theology/Modern Languages and Literatures lecturer were featured in this panel discussion about the relevance of religion in 2018.
Movement, gestures can help kids learn speech, research finds
Elizabeth Wakefield, PhD, assistant professor of Psychology, was interviewed for this piece, which focused on a study she conducted. The study researched the benefits of teaching children words through the use of gestures.
- Our Sunday Visitor
Brazil’s new president cut from Trumpian cloth Jair Bolsonaro promised to be the strongman who fixes the heavily Catholic country’s endemic issues
Anthropology professor Benjamin Penglase is quoted in this article about the recent presidential elections in Brazil.
Jim Crow Kills a Kid
History Professor, Elliott Gorn's novel "Let the People See The Emmett Till Story" was mentioned in this article about the Emmett Till's case and white supremacy.
- Literary Hub
How America Remembers Emmett Till
History Professor, Elliott Gorn recently wrote an editorial piece about the Emmett Till case and its effect upon America society.
- SSM - Population Health
"Which activities count? Using experimental data to understand conceptualizations of physical activity"
History Professor Dana Garbarski’s co-published an article on the understanding of physical activity within adults and social forces that shape the understanding of their access to physical activity.
- Above the Law
Funny How The Second Amendment Is Absolute And All-Encompassing, But The Fourteenth Amendment Can Be Basically Line-Item Vetoed
History Professor, Elliott Gorn's novel "Let the People See The Emmett Till Story" was mentioned in this article about the second and fourteenth amendment.
- Time Magazine
Emmett Till’s Death Could Easily Have Been Forgotten. Here’s How It Became a Civil Rights Turning Point Instead
Elliott Gorn, professor of History wrote this remembrance about Emmett Till and how his murder changed the civil rights movement. Gorn recently published, “Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till.
- Law 360
Pro Se Case Draws Legal Firepower To Narrow Target
Program director and Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology Jona Goldschmidt, PhD, was quoted in this article regarding self representation in legal cases.
- Chicago Tribune
Amid sex abuse crisis, Pope Francis calls on U.S. bishops to gather for retreat at Mundelein Seminary in January
Miguel H. Diaz, PhD, the John Courtney Murray University Chair in Public Service and Professor of theology was quoted in this article in regards to a retreat that will address the clergy sex abuse scandal this January at Mundelein Seminary.
- WGN Radio 720
Math prof on winning Mega Millions: Statistically your odds are ‘Zero’
Martin Buntinas, PhD, professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics was interviewed in this segment about the statistics of winning the lottery.
- Science Trends
Diverse Populations Are Needed To Understand The Genetics Of Complex Traits
Professor of biology Heather Wheeler, PhD, wrote an article about her research that focuses on genetic expression in various populations.
'Let The People See': It Took Courage To Keep Emmett Till's Memory Alive
A book review of History professor Elliott J. Gorn’s newly released book "'Let the People see' It Took Courage to Keep Emmett Till’s Memory Alive." In his new book, Gorn tells us how the mainstream press responded to images of Till and the Till case.
The program that provides academic assistance to immigrant and refugee students
Political Science alumna, Letitia Zwickert, is interviewed about her non-profit, Mentee, a program that provides academic assistance to immigrant and refugee students. The initiative also benefits high school students with low economic resources, providing support and advice.
- Smithsonian Magazine
Ancient Teeth With Neanderthal Features Reveal New Chapters of Human Evolution
Associate Anthropology professor Kristin Krueger, PhD, speaks about evolutionary changes in the development of human teeth in this article.
Russia Made The King Of Chess. The US Dethroned Him
History professor Michael Khodarkovsky, PhD, was quoted in this article about the fall of Soviet Russia.
- The Brooklyn Link
Extreme Makeover: Precinct Edition
Can designing friendlier precinct houses help the NYPD fix decades-old tensions between communities and police?
Criminal Justice and Criminology professor and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty, Arthur Lurigio, shares the impact architecture on community policing efforts in this story on impending police precinct redesigns in New York.
- Wall Street Journal
Russia Wages a Religious War Against Ukraine
The Kremlin tries without success to dominate the Eastern Orthodox Church
History Professor Michael Khodarkovsky, PhD, recently wrote an editorial piece about attacks on Eastern Orthodox Christianity orchestrated by Vladimir Putin.
- Washington Post
‘Blue wave’ or ‘left-wing mob’? Anti-Trump fervor fuels a new movement aimed squarely at winning elections
Associate Theology professor Sandra Sullivan-Dunbar, was quoted on her organizing multiple groups in the Chicago area through Sister District, a group working on legislative races in other states.
- NBC News
Jason Van Dyke Trial: Chicago braces for verdict in very different ways
Criminal Justice and Criminology professor Art Lurigio is quoted on how the trial strikes people throughout the city in different ways.
- Publishers Weekly
Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till
Read this review of History professor Elliot Gorn's book Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till. The book will be available November 1, 2018.
- BOLD - Blog on Learning and Development
Making museum memories
Loyola Psychology professor Catherine Haden shares how when children develop long-lasting memories and learn more when they reflect on their experiences, particularly at museums. Haden also runs a Children’s Learning and Memory lab at Loyola.
- Livres Hebdo (Books Weekly) magazine
Marion Brunet and Jake Hinkson, 2018 Police Literature Awards
Jacob Hinkson, English faculty member and author of No Tomorrow, has won France’s top prize for mystery writing, the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, for best foreign mystery novel.
- The Columbia Chronicle
Lyft drives voting initiative forward
Associate professor of History Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, PhD, talks about the new "Ride to Vote" initiative led by Lyft.
- The San Diego Union Tribune
Hunter indictment sheds light on 'personal relationships' for congressman
Associate professor of political Science David Doherty, PhD, speaks about how public perceptions affect the election of government officials.
- Chicago Magazine
Lawmakers Expand Rehabilitation Services to People Who’ve Committed Violent Crimes
Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology and co-director, Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and PracticeDavid Olsen, PhD talks about a new probation program in the state of Illinois that could drastically reduce the state's prison population.
- Zimbabwe Herald
Rethinking sanctions as instrument of coercive diplomacy
Professor of Philosophy Joy Gordon, JD, PhD, discusses United States-backed sanctions in Iraq.
- The Atlantic
Reopening the Emmett Till Case Is a Cynical Play
History professor Elliott Gorn book's, "Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till" is cited in this piece on the Justice Department’sreopening of the case and how this new investigation won't implicate a society full of accomplices.
- WUOM (NPR)
Response to Trevor Noah's World Cup Remarks
Sociology assistant professor Helena Dagadu, PhD, asks us to be more inclusive in how we identify in response to in response to Trevor Noah's statement regarding France's victory in the World Cup. The story aired on radio stations across the country.
- Chicago Sun Times
A socially conscious young generation seeks outlets for its activism
Omer M. Mozaffer, PhD, Muslim Chaplain and College of Arts and Sciences theology instructor wrote about the determination of millennials as they take on modern social justice issues and their relentless pursuit for answers.
- The Chicago Tribune
'Prison is not where women need to be': All-female task force wants to cut Illinois’ female prison population in half
Criminal Justice & Criminology professor and co-director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy and Practice David Olson talks about a troubling trend of woman in rural areas of Illinois increasinly going to prison, his research, and how to reduce the female prison population in the state.
- The Root
Chicago Activist Rides Progressive Wave in Mayor's Race
Assistant political science professor Twyla Blackmond Larnell talks about the significance of Chicago mayoral candidate Ja'Mal D Green, an activist, running for office.
When the Government Won't Listen, We Must Refuse to Comply
Tisha M. Rajendra, associate professor of Christian Ethics, writes an op-ed piece about the need for religious leaders to appeal directly to all those involved to stop participating in the Trump administration policy of family separation.
- The Courier News
Cmdr. Ana Lalley named new Elgin police chief; Cmdr. Al Young tapped for deputy chief job
Cmdr. Ana Lalley Criminal Justice and Criminology alumna will become Chief of Police in the City of Elgin effective this August. Congratulations to the 22-year department veteran.
- The Washington Post
The movement to honor Ida B. Wells gains momentum
In this article, Theodore Karamanski, PhD, professor of history, was quoted about the lack of monuments to women in Chicago.
- Auburn Theological Seminary
History is happening: What part do you want to play? It’s Not a Rhetorical Question
Aana Marie Vigen, Ph.D, associate professor of Christian Social Ethics begs us to look across political, social and religious affiliation and ask: What role do I want to play in history?
- Chicago Sun-Times
This Ramadan, mental illness and suicide are on Loyola Muslim chaplain’s mind
Omer M. Mozaffer, PhD, Muslim Chaplain and College of Arts and Sciences theology instructor, wrote about addressing the topics of mental health, faith, and suicide in the Muslim community.
What’s a delightful way to get more time out of the day? Savoring
Fred Bryant, PhD,professor, psychology discussed the psychological benefits of learning to mentally savor everyday moments in life.
- Chicago Sun-Times
James Short helped shape sociology with early study of Chicago street gangs
Arthur Lurigio, PhD, professor of psychology and criminal justice, and senior associate dean for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences was quoted about the work of James Short, a sociology professor who recently passed away.
- The Book Haven
A “warm and magnanimous” biography: “Anybody interested in René Girard will want to read this work”
Andrew McKenna, PhD, professor emeritus of french language and literature, was quoted speaking about his former colleague, Rene Girard, the subject of a new biography.
Expert: Juvenile killer has good prison record
James Garbarino, PhD, Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology and professor, psychology, testified for the defense in the resentencing of killer James Morgan. Garbarino offered insight into the development of adolescent brains, as Morgan was convicted and tried when he was a teenager.
Opinion: I want US officials to stop misusing the Bible
Miguel H. Díaz, PhD, John Cortney Murray University Chair in Public Service in theology, wrote about the misuse of Bible passages by American officials attempting to justify border policies.
Payday lender or loan shark: Is there really a difference?
Political Science professor Robert Mayer, PhD, offered insight on loan sharks and payday lenders for this piece, which also mentioned Mayer's book "Quick Cash: The Story of the Loan Shark."
- Fra Noi
Loyola launches groundbreaking Italian American studies program
Chicagoland's Italian American magazine announces Loyola's launch of the Italian American Studies program that will be chaired by Carla Simonini, PhD. Criminal Justice and Criminology and Psyhcology professor Arthur Lurigio, PhD, talks about the new program and its importance.
Chicago officials laud 15th consecutive month of declining gun violence
Criminal Justice and Criminology and Psyhcology professor Arthur Lurigio, PhD, talks about the lasting effects of gun violence and the data behind Chicago's 15th consecutive month of declining gun violence in this article.
- Chicago Sun Times
Muslims, Jews need to be able to talk with each other about Palestine, Israel
Muslim chaplain Omer M. Mozaffar, who is also a lecturer in Theology and Modern Languages and Literatures, wrote in his regular opinion column about the need for dialogue between Jews and Muslims to resolve the crisis between Palestine and Israel.
6 Things Doctors Tell Their Friends About Happiness
Psychology Professor Fred Bryant is discusses how sharing your feelings is part of a practice known as 'savoring,' and leads to higher levels of overall happiness in this story on happiness. Bryant is the co-author of Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience.
- Psychology Today
A Simple Way to Overcome Negativity
Professor of Psychology Fred Bryant, PhD, researches the importance of savoring-- focusing on the good to combat negativity. His research was recently cited in this Psychology Today article.
- The Daily Herald
How the quest for pain relief led to today's opioid crisis
How did we get to the opioid crisis? Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Art Lurigio and Sidney Weissman, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine authored an opinion piece on the origins of the opioid crisis and how the crisis has impacted Chicago’s collar counties of DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and Will counties.
- Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant – Purdue University
Microplastic pollution researchers recruit a team of student scientists
Biologists Tim Hoellein, PhD, and John Kelly, PhD, run a lab where students get first-hand experience in laboratory research work.
Chicago killings and shootings drop for 14thconsecutive month
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Art Lurigio, PhD, is quoted in this CNN article about the drop in the number of killings and shootings in Chicago. Lurigio discusses the need for sustainable partnerships between police and residents moving forward.
- The Naperville Sun
‘Historic’ turnover in Naperville police commanders tied to population boom in the ‘80s, ‘90s
Associate professor of criminal justice and criminology Christopher Donner is quoted in this article about the vacancies of the Naperville Police Department’s commander posts and how turnover could impact morale and policing.
- America Magazine
What can Loyola’s Final Four run can teach us about Catholic schools and sports?
Michael Murphy, The Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage associate director and Catholic Studies director shares his opinion about what the Loyola's Mens Basketball Team's run to the Final Four can teach us about Catholic schools and sports.
- The Chicago Sun Times
A Muslim chaplain at Loyola puts himself firmly in Sister Jean’s court
Muslim chaplain at Loyola Omer M. Mozaffar wrote an opinion piece praising Sister Jean and the attitude of loving and compassionate religion and faith that she embodies.
- The Hill
Gun control is all about gun violence – we can’t forget who we’re trying to protect
Assistant professor of english Frederick Staidum Jr., PhD, wrote an opinion piece that discusses the need to have an intersectional approach to gun violence that takes into account the experience of women and girls of color when talking about gun control.
- The Washington Post
The right to work really means the right to work for less
Assistant professor of history Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, PhD, wrote an opinion piece on why business interests have spent 70+ years crusading for right-to-work laws, and how it’s a threat to American democracy.
- Crain’s Chicago Business
A 5-part plan to reverse the opioid epidemic
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Art Lurigio, PhD, wrote this opinion piece with clinical professor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Northwestern University. The piece gives a five-part plan to alleviate the opioid epidemic in the United States.