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Making a Difference

Read the latest stories featuring students, faculty, and alumni, from Loyola's School of Education, who are making their mark in the field of education.

Loyola School of Education elementary teacher preparation student artwork

Early Pride Matters

Early Pride Matters is designed to bolster positive and supportive educators and classrooms. The website, which launched June 2024, includes inclusive class activities and lessons, children’s books, tips to foster inclusive communities, and tips for educators on how to be an ally.

Ceremony attendees listen to the event.

The 2024 Excellence Awards

Each year, the School of Education recognizes outstanding students for their commitments to excellence in exemplifying Loyola’s mission and values. These students embody the principles of the School of Education. They are dedicated to transforming today’s educational landscape into a socially just, equitable environment for future generations.


Advocating for Equitable School Settings

In today's educational landscape, unjust practices that perpetuate inequities persist. School-based law enforcement programs have proved to be more harmful than helpful, and some have begun to call for their removal from Chicago Public Schools to create safer school environments.

A graphic depicting Loyola's 2023 SOE ranking.

Loyola Earns Top Rankings for Graduate Education

Loyola University Chicago proudly announces that its School of Education (SOE) has achieved a significant milestone, climbing an impressive 26 positions to secure a coveted place among the top 100 institutions in the nation for graduate programs, according to the latest rankings by US News & World Report.

Students sit smiling and eager to learn.

Showcasing Opportunities to Teacher Candidates

Through the School of Education’s Cultural Institutions in Teacher Education (CITE) partnership, students in the Teaching, Learning, and Leading with Schools & Communities teacher preparation program can have hands-on learning experiences with six local partnerships, aiding teacher candidates in their development of the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions they will need to make a positive impact on their future students, schools, and communities.


The 2024 Alpha Upsilon Alpha Inductees

The School of Education congratulates the 2024 inductees of Alpha Upsilon Alpha, the honor society of the International Literacy Association. It was formed in 1985 to recognize and encourage scholarship, the development of personal and professional leadership, and service to the field of reading at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These candidates are all future teachers who have worked extraordinarily hard to be recognized in the field of literacy.

School of Education students share their work with one another at the Sequence 5 Poster session.

Using Data to Lead in the Classroom

Learning through direct, hands-on experience boasts a wide variety of benefits for students. At the School of Education, faculty and staff recognize and promote these experiential learning opportunities and, in turn, encourage students to reflect on their education, collaborate with others, and hone their skills for their future careers. Professor Aimee Ellis, PhD, and Professor Adam Kennedy, PhD, have carefully crafted an especially impactful immersive learning experience for teacher candidates at the School of Education through the Sequence 5 Poster Session.

A student observes an exhibit at Shedd Aquarium.

Preparing Future Teachers for Success

Loyola prioritizes education that centers around students and puts their needs first. By weaving transformative, real-life experiences into learning curriculums, the School of Education provides unparalleled hands-on learning opportunities that promote a better understanding of course materials, creativity in the classroom, collaboration, and self-confidence in leadership as future educators.

A statue of Mamie Till-Mobley stands tall.

The Legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley

After Emmett Till was murdered in 1955, his death was the spark that ignited the Civil Rights Movement. It also ignited his mother, Loyola alumna Mamie Till-Mobley’s, MEd '71, career in education.

The Madonna della Strada from the south-east.


Loyola University Chicago Opportunities in Catholic Education Program–coined LU CHOICE–is a two-year, field-based teacher formation program dedicated to Catholic education. It provides participants with full scholarships as they complete their master’s degrees in elementary education and gain Illinois certification.

School of Education faculty value collaboration with others.

Bridging Cura

In an ever-changing world where society is forced to constantly adapt to its new realities, academia, too, faces this same obstacle. Recently, Norma López, PhD, and Demetri Morgan, PhD–School of Education faculty–were awarded funding from the Joan and Bill Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage for their research project, Bridging Cura: Faculty of color socialization at a Jesuit institution.

Rome's skyline captured from afar.

From Chicago to Rome

The School of Education recognizes that it is invaluable for students to become globally minded advocates, leaders, analysts, researchers, activists, scholars, and educators - this is why Loyola is home to dozens of study abroad programs that promote life-changing experiences for students. Loyola graduate, Laurel Brooks, earned her Masters in Education in Higher Education in 2023. During her time at Loyola, Brooks studied abroad at the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) during the summer of 2022.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

Combating Racism

In the classroom and beyond, Loyola School of Education faculty and students have been forging an important path toward a world without racism. Whether it be in lecture halls, on YouTube, or in nationally recognized news outlets, members of the School of Education community stand on the front lines of developing a more just and equal society for all.

A student smiles while working in the classroom.

Resisting Opression in Education

Johnnie Campbell is a PhD student in Loyola University Chicago's Higher Education Program with an emphasis in Education Policy Studies. He is a Chicago Native from the South Side, and his predominant research interest is the ways Black men resist the forms of oppression that manifest in college environments. In addition to his studies, he founded his own movement, The Resistance Roundtables, LLC, where he centers marginalized and historically minoritized groups to offer new perspectives and provides a platform and voice to these identities.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

Learning While Teaching

Kevin Ho is pursuing Loyola’s Master of Education degree through the Language, Culture, and Curriculum program while creating safe and equal spaces for the students he teaches at Nicholas Senn High School.

A student rehearses their dance in Loyola's Palm Court.

Timing is Everything

For Amy Wilkinson, M. Ed., timing isn’t limited to choreographing performances and rhythm, but rather taking advantage of an opportunity that would eventually lead to positively impacting the arts and the educational communities of Chicago. Cue the MEd Dance Residency program, a one-of-a-kind opportunity in the state of Illinois.

Loyola School of Education graduate and commencement speaker, Michele Helmer in her classroom

For the Love of Teaching

The School of Education's 2023 student commencement speaker, Michele Helmer, is an Elementary Education major and Reading Instruction minor from Minneapolis, MN. She has been a student teacher in a 3rd grade classroom at Wildwood IB World Magnet School. Teaching young children reading and literacy skills has become a passion for her throughout her time at Loyola and is one of the many reasons she pursued an education degree. Upon graduation, she would love to teach first grade.

Loyola senior Maeve Donlin is the recipient of the 2023 Presidental Medallion.

2023 President's Medallion Winner

Chicago native Maeve Donlin began her education online during the COVID-19 pandemic. She found her community within the School of Education, discovering that Loyola's Jesuit mission, with an emphasis on social justice and global community, transformed her perspective. She found her calling to work in urban teaching settings, such as Chicago Public Schools. All of this and more led to her being named as one of the 2023 Presidential Medallion winners.

Alpha Sigma Nu induction 2023, Dr. Reed congratulating Dr. Newell.

Alpha Sigma Nu Induction

Loyola University Chicago offers a wide variety of organizations that allow students to flourish throughout their academic careers. One of the most prestigious and honorable organizations that select Loyola students have the opportunity to join is Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education.

Loyola School of Education graduate, Aidan Doyle's headshot

Aidan Doyle

School of Education Senior, Aidan Doyle, reflects on his journey at Loyola. From the first time he stood on the Lakeshore Campus, the summer before his freshman year, Doyle knew Loyola was the place he'd call home. The last four years prepared Doyle to be a more responsive, intentional teacher for every student within his future classroom.

Loyola School of Education students integrate art into learning at the Art Institute of Chicago

The ARtS Initiative

Dr. Seungho Moon created the ARtS Initiative to promote multiple perspectives and critical thinking through art-based inquiry and to fight against social numbness in education. He uses art in the Chicagoland area and the ARtS principles to help people think about how the artwork’s narrative can be dramatically different if it is looked at through a contrasting social, gendered, or racial lens.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

From Passion to Progress

Loyola School of Education joined forces with the Illinois Prison Project’s director of education, Renaldo Hudson. The two partners convened to use academic voices in collaboration with lived experiences to tackle issues concerning the American prison system and how society’s systems at large have failed to support its people.

freshman celebrates during welcome weekend on Loyola campus

Loyola Future Teacher Club

The Loyola Future Teachers Club, an affiliate of Illinois Education Association (IEA), engages teacher candidates in professional development, social networking, and service projects with local schools. See what club members have to say about their positive experience with with the organization.


Counseling Psychology student Tiffany Fang’s OP-ED published in Chicago Tribune

Tiffany Fang was profoundly affected when six Asian women were killed by a white gunman in the March 2021 Atlanta spa shootings. As she reflects on the event and tells her story, she writes, "I was working late that night and saw the news when I glanced at my phone. A tingling sensation ran up and down my limbs, with all the blood rushing to my organs. This happens when we sense a threat, and our body kicks into fight or flight mode." Writing was her tool to reclaim the narrative and tell the story from her vantage point.

Creating a meaningful education.

Sayani is pursuing her master's degree through Loyola School of Education’s Language, Culture, and Curriculum program while working as a teacher at Chicagoland’s Old Orchard Junior High School.


Fostering a spirit of collaboration

Amidst a national shortage of culturally and linguistically diverse school psychologists, Loyola School of Education faculty aim to alleviate the stressors of this shortage, felt by students and schools, in three Illinois districts.

students and teachers sitting around a table talking

Field-based, Intentional Preparation

At Loyola, students gain real world experiences embedded in real world needs which fosters real world growth. Teacher candidates spend four years working with students in real classroom environments. This field-based approach offers students insight that can only be gained from experience.

Inclusive Texts in Elementary Classrooms

Schools are more diverse than ever before, but the texts and materials that typify classroom curricula continue to prioritize so-called mainstream stories and perspectives. Inclusive Texts in Elementary Classrooms demonstrates how to put children’s diverse and storied experiences at the center of classroom curriculum. Kids thrive when they see themselves in texts and learn about the world around them by connecting with the experiences of others. Based on the authors' work with elementary school teachers over the last decade, this resource offers strategies for moving away from canonical texts.

Nicholas Senn High School Summer Science Internship

The School of Education, in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, hosts Nicholas Senn High School science students each summer for a 7-week Summer Science Internship on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. Following the first week together, students are assigned research labs in Chemistry, Engineering, and Biology. A faculty member hosts one or two Senn students who work alongside Loyola graduate and undergraduate students who are conducting research under the guidance of the lead faculty member. Thanks to this opportunity, thirteen public high school students had the experience of a lifetime.

SOE Summer Updates

SOE students and alumni are drawing on their science skills this summer. A multitude of students are working within various teams to complete important academic projects and participate in educational community events across the nation.

SOE Students Lead and Support Engaging Summer Programs

This summer, four of our students are working with the McCutcheon Community School Initiative and its Summer Explorers Camp for Pre-K - 8th grade students.

Building Tomorrow's Science Teachers

School of Education's Dr. Lara Smetana will present at the National Science Teaching Association's web seminar in the series, Preparing the Next Generation of Science Educators.

Loyola Professors recognized with Outstanding Book Award

The Curriculum Foundations Reader, co-authors by Drs. Tocci & Moon, were awarded the 2022 Outstanding Book Award from the Society of Professors of Education.

School of Education alumni Sydney Delghingaro and Alyssa Hoffman in the LUC Biology greenhouse

School of Education and Biology collaboration secures National Science Foundation funding

Congratulations to Drs. Mike Grillo (Biology) and Lara Smetana (Education) on securing funding from the National Science Foundation for the 5-year project entitled Pre-service Teacher Research Experience in Biodiversity Studies.

EL-Focused Graduate Program Centers Teachers’ Practice Above All

The Language, Culture, and Curriculum MEd program is an online degree program seeking applicants from the United States and around the globe for its next cohort, slated to begin in August 2022. This program prepares educators for multilingual learners, commonly referred to as English learners, in a variety of contexts from prekindergarten through higher education.

Congratulations to Dr. Seungho Moon on newest book release.

The School of Education at Loyola University of Chicago is excited to celebrate the work of Dr. Seungho Moon for his book publication entitled, The Flows of Transnationalism: Questioning Identities and Reimagining Curriculum (Routledge, 2022).

*see attribution below

Grant awarded to Big City Social Studies Group (BCSS) which was co-founded by Loyola professor Dr. Charles Tocci.

Big City Social Studies Group (BCSS), co-founded by Loyola’s own Dr. Charles Tocci, receives grant from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Photo: Sharnequa

School of Education students receive DFI Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that Sharnequa Hunter and Janese Nolan received the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship (DFI Fellowship)!

Celebrating the work of Loyola University School Partners initiative

The School of Education is honored to celebrate the work of Mitch Hendrickson, Dr. Jon Schmidt and, and Dr. Dave Ensminger supporting community schools.

Loyola Faculty receive BLOOME Award

The School of Education at Loyola University of Chicago congratulates Drs. Mike Grillo (Assistant Professor in Biology) & Lara Smetana (Associate Professor in the School of Education) on their Plant Biology Learning Objectives, Outreach Materials & Education (BLOOME) Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists

Dr. Hui Xu awarded grant from American Psychological Foundation

The School of Education is excited to celebrate the continued work of Dr. Hui Xu, assistant professor of counseling psychology at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Eunju Yoon and students publish work in The Counseling Psychologist

The School of Education is honored to celebrate the work of Dr. Eunju Yoon and her students. They recently published - A meta-analysis of acculturation and enculturation: Bilinear, multidimensional, and context-dependent processes in The Counseling Psychologist.

The Bloomsbury Handbook of Theory in Comparative and International Education

Join us in celebrating the work of Dr. Tavis Jules and colleagues on their publication of The Bloomsbury Handbook of Theory in Comparative and International Education

Loyola Researchers Receive Spencer Grant: Supporting English Learners and Immigrant-Origin Youth and Families

The School of Education is excited to announce that Dr. Amy Heineke and Dr. Liz Vera were award a grant from the Spencer Foundation. The grant is titled: English Learner and Immigrant-Origin Youth and Families: A Comparative Case Study of Learning Experiences During and Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Lara Smetana with Scholars Audrey Brinkers and Scarlett Chan at the Midwest Noyce Regional meeting in St. Louis.

LUC-Noyce Scholars launches a new Mentoring Program for Science & Math Teachers

Loyola is one of the recipients of the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program’s competitive grants, thanks to the hard work Dr. Lara Smetana, Associate Professor in the School of Education, put into securing it.

Critical Scholarship for Social Justice in Higher Ed Through Student-Run Journal

Graduate students across the country, under the leadership of current editor and Loyola PhD student Sydney Curtis, are running a successful peer-reviewed journal that takes aim at power, privilege, and oppression in higher education and student affairs, providing actionable scholarship that can affect meaningful change in higher education. They are also running the journal in a way that embodies the Jesuit value of cura personalis.

Greeley Center Thought Leader on Excellence and Equity

Dr. Michelle Lia and Dr. Debra Sullivan, newly appointed co-directors of the Greeley Center, are delighted to be taking the reins as COVID and a renewed focus on equality in the US has put Catholic schools in a unique position to deliver on their mission as never before.

School of Education and School of Law Join Forces to Reform School Discipline

Dr. Pamela Fenning and Miranda Johnson move in two different worlds, but their passions intersect around reforming school discipline—moving from a punitive to a restorative model and addressing practices that disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities. So a few years back, they decided to join forces and bring the best of both the School of Education and the School of Law together to offer a certificate in School Discipline Reform—the first interdisciplinary certificate to be offered at Loyola.


Administration and Supervision Programs Moving Online

“Schools are open, leaders are leading, and the business of school is still going on,” said Dr. Debra Sullivan, the Administration and Supervision Program Chair for the School of Education. “The whole crux of this program, regardless of how it’s delivered, is that it’s grounded in job-imbedded learning. The core assignments are all real-world leadership activities that real principals do, and so online coursework is a really valid delivery method.”

School of Education named as one of the nation's top teacher prep programs for strong training in classroom management

Loyola’s undergraduate elementary teacher preparation program has been named among the top in the country for strong training in classroom management strategies by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization.

MEd. and Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction now The 3Cs—Curriculum, Culture, and Communities

For years, Loyola has maintained strong partnerships with neighborhood schools and community organizations in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhood. Through insight gained from that work and the fundamental question they were considering, Seungho Moon and David Ensminger have transformed the traditional Curriculum & Instruction programs into what they’re informally calling The 3 Cs—an MEd and EdD in Curriculum, Culture, and Communities.

Krolikowski Chair Using Video to Combat Trauma from Racism

Matt Miller, the newly named recipient of the Father Walter P. Krolikowski, S.J., Endowed Chair, has a deep passion for making mental health services relevant and accessible, and an equal passion for addressing the impact of racism on People of Color.

Pathways Initiative To Bring More Diversity to Evaluation Field

Loyola is one of five Chicago-area universities bringing to life the Pathways Initiative (PI), a new program designed to strengthen the diversity of the Chicago-area evaluation field.

Loyola Alumna and Golden Apple Award Recipient Reflects on Her Experience with the School of Education

“Rome changed me,” Perry recalled. “It hit me the hardest in the best way possible and made me a more reflective person. Loyola taught us to stay balanced."

Leading with Hope

"As a team, we were having conversations around maintaining Catholic identity and the things that are central to our mission—community, support, and faith development."