Saint Louis University and DePaul University Awarded National Honor for Diversity

Saint Louis University (SLU) and DePaul University are the proud recipients of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The award, given to colleges that promote diversity and inclusion on their campus, is the only national recognition of initiatives to create a diverse and inclusive campus.  Award recipients for 2016 include community colleges, public and private schools, baccalaureate-granting institutions, graduate schools, and one school system.

Congratulations to DePaul University, Saint Louis University, and the other winners!

Laudato Si’ Makes an Impact in Jesuit Higher Education

The upcoming one-year anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’ has inspired reflection on the impacts it has had on Catholics around the world, especially institutions of Catholic higher education. In the April 2016 issue of Connections, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ (AJCU) monthly  newsletter, several institutions were featured as having responded to the encyclical with fervor:

  • Laudato Si’ was a “Game-Changer” for Creighton University, where professors of theology, biology, environmental science, cultural and social studies, and communication studies, and sustainability studies have experienced renewed interest and and energy in their studies and coursework.
  • Gonzaga University has taken a “Multidisciplinary Approach” to responding to the encyclical with “deep academic engagement around Catholic social teaching,” encyclical reading groups, inter-departmental panel discussions, lectures, documentary film screenings, and a renewed commitment to sustainability on campus.
  • Food justice and social justice have been major themes for Loyola University Chicago‘s response to Laudato Si’, as well as “eco-education” through conferences focused on poverty and climate justice, lectures, and assisting in the development of a new free online environmental textbook.
  • Marquette University has made a renewed commitment to “Going Green” through participating in research at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, the hiring of the University’s first sustainability coordinator, assisting in the development of the above-mentioned textbook, the LEED certification of two campus buildings, and the focusing of Mission Week on care for creation and sustainability.
  • A reflection on the call to promote and fight for environmental justice, as inspired by Laudato Si’, written by Clint J. Springer,  associate professor of biology at St. Joseph’s University.
  • Santa Clara University has taken the encyclical as a “Charter Document” for its “commitment to climate justice,” as evidenced by the visit of Peter Cardinal Turkson for a conference on climate change, reading groups, the visit of Carolyn Woo of Catholic Relief Services, academic integration of the encyclical, Ignatian reflection, and more.

These institutions of Jesuit higher education are just a few examples of the Catholic response to Laudato Si’.   How has your college or university responded to Laudato Si’? Let us know! 

Food for Thought Friday: The Beauty of Catholic Higher Education Explained by Experience

Food for Thought Friday: A recent story in U.S. Catholic, an online and print magazine about ‘Faith in Real Life’, focused on one student’s experience in Catholic higher education. Shanna Johnson, a current student at Loyola University Chicago, wrote a beautiful tribute to her experience with the “Catholic presence” at the institution.  Read the full article here!

Jesuit College and University Student Body Presidents Sign Joint Statement on Racial Injustice

This spring, the student government leaders of all twenty-eight Jesuit colleges and universities issued a joint statement regarding racial injustice and higher education.

The statement is a page-long declaration of the student body presidents’ support for students of color in higher education, initiatives to address racial inequalities in Jesuit higher education, and for increased dialogue on the subject. The statement notes that it comes at a crucial time in history for higher education, as students of color and their allies have been demonstrating across the nation, “united in calling for an end to racial injustice within institutions of higher education.”

In the statement, the student body presidents showed that advocating for racial justice flows from the Catholic and Jesuit values that are at the foundation of their institutions. They write, “As students of Jesuit institutions, we often hear phrases such as cura personalis (care for the whole person) and ‘men and women for and with others.’ These phrases challenge us to orient our lives and education toward the greater good -a world free from oppression and marginalization.”

How does your college or university address institutional racial injustice? Let us know! 

University of San Francisco Creates Master Program in Migration Studies

The University of San Francisco (USF) has created the Master in Migration Studies program in response to the challenges of migration, a critical issue affecting many people across the globe.  The academic program exists in collaboration with Universidad Iberoamericana, the Jesuit university of Mexico City. Together they have created a program that seeks 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.”

With a focus on migration from Mexico and Central America, the program will offer students the opportunity to work with “top researchers, professors, project practitioners and policy  makers in both San Francisco and Mexico City” to build their skills in policy development, service to migrant communities, non-governmental organization work, and more.

Read more about the program in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities November 2015 Connections newsletter.

How does your college or university address migration? Let us know!