Michael Welch, JD
Senior Instructor, Quinlan School of Business
Michael Welch’s journey to becoming a senior instructor in the Quinlan School of Business is one he calls “interesting.” After being an attorney for nearly thirty years for large companies such as Quaker Oats Company and Pepsi, he knew he wanted to transition into a teaching role. He found himself as an adjunct for three semesters before becoming a full-time professor, a position he has held for ten years.
He confessed he did not know much about the Ignatian Pedagogy before starting at Loyola, but has since embraced the particular teaching plan.
“I try to use it in all of the classes I have, but the one where Ignatian Pedagogy is the most useful is the Microenterprise Consulting class I teach,” said Welch. “So the students go in and they consult with the clients on an ongoing basis throughout the semester and at the end of that semester they write a full blown business plan for these people who want to start their own businesses.”
Through the process of understanding the contexts and experiences of these particular people, as well as reflection through journaling, Welch and his classes have helped many people around the city. One example is a gentleman named Solomon Abebe, an Ethiopian refugee who had come to the U.S. and drove a cab before Welch’s Microenterprise Consulting class helped him open up a butcher shop along N. Sheridan and Argyle in Chicago.
“For the students, when you write a business plan and then you go up to somebody’s place of business and see your plan in operation…there’s a great sense of satisfaction,” said Welch. “In terms of seeing what they can do and then seeing him be successful enough to expand his business has been outstanding.”
Welch credits Ignatian Pedagogy and its influence for the success of his students.
“One of the things that has really struck me about Ignatian pedagogy is the whole idea of accompaniment,” said Welch. “To be able to literally be a part of their lives and to understand where they’re coming from and to translate those things to the consulting process and to a real life business is probably one of the biggest and most joyful surprises that the students get out of the class.”
Interview and article by Amanda McDonald, Undergraduate Work-Study Student
Video by Amaechi Ugwu, Graduate Intern
Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy