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Finding deeper meaning in education

Finding deeper meaning in education

Loyola graduate Corey Winchester shares a laugh with his students at Evanston Township High School, where he teaches history and social studies. “My work reflects everything I learned at Loyola,” he says. (Photo: Mark Patton, student photographer)

By Kristen Torres  |  Student reporter

Corey Winchester was drawn to Loyola because of the University’s unwavering commitment toward social justice.

As a recent graduate of Loyola’s master’s of education program in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies (CEPS), Winchester credits most of his growth as a high school teacher to the University’s diverse curriculum.

“The classes I took helped me not only learn about leadership and the philosophical underpinnings of leadership, but they also helped me explore myself and my identity on a deeper level,” Winchester, 27, said.

Winchester teaches history and social studies at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in education and social policies from Northwestern University and in 2014 received a Those Who Excel teaching award from the Illinois State Board of Education.

Winchester decided to go into teaching after seeing how often people of diverse races are marginalized in the school system during his own education. A Philadelphia native, Winchester wanted to use his childhood experiences to better the lives of children who may not have the support system he did during grade school.

“Once I started realizing what was going on in the school systems, I knew I wanted to do something to change it,” Winchester said. “I want students that are typically marginalized to have the same experiences I had—with a strong emotional support backing them up.”

Winchester participated in Loyola’s master’s of education program in Rome, where students are able to dive into the theory of leadership while engaged in another culture. It was after his participation in this program that Winchester was recruited to teach in the University’s Leadership Studies minor by the minor’s program director, associate professor John Dugan, PhD.

“Professor Dugan is phenomenal,” Winchester said. “When he asked if I was interested in a position I couldn’t believe it. It was such a jump to suddenly teach at the collegiate level. But I’m so ecstatic that I said yes.”

Winchester now teaches the Foundation of Ethics and Justice in Leadership course at Loyola.

“My favorite part of teaching is facilitating,” Winchester said. “I don’t teach history; I teach students with history as a vehicle to help them arrive at a place where the students can learn who they are.”

Winchester’s goal is to empower traditionally marginalized students to become activists and agents of change in their neighborhoods. He uses history as a medium to show students how to reflect on past societal mistakes.

“My work reflects everything I learned at Loyola,” Winchester said. “The process of learning and discovery, of questioning and becoming a facilitator of discussion in my role as an educator are all based on what I learned during my time there.”

Kate Phillippo, PhD, an associated professor in the School of Education, calls Winchester an exemplary model of Loyola’s Jesuit values.

“Corey is really living out what a CEPS degree is for: approaching issues of educational practice and policy with an eye that is both social justice-oriented and intellectually critical,” Phillippo said.

ONLNE: Click here to learn more about Loyola’s master’s of education program in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies.