My service philosophy grows out of a long and deeply held desire to help others. Whether this help emerges through my civic-focused teaching and research, or whether it emerges through service to my university, department, discipline, and community, my drive to help others guides everything that I do. Before arriving at Loyola, I was active in my church and volunteered at a food bank in Lafayette, IN. In addition, I had long since heard the call of service through instruction, having caught the teaching bug at Virginia Tech as a teaching assistant. But after arriving at Loyola, I felt a different type of desire to serve, one that grows out of the close, nurturing environment fostered by the university. As a product of public education, I was surprised at this difference. But this remarkable change has allowed me to more effectively carry out engaged scholarship, work with the community, and mentor students.
In service to the university as a member of the Engaged Scholarship Committee, I am applying my experience in civic-based teaching and research to help Loyola foster work in social justice. Focusing on social justice issues is a pillar of our institution, and I enjoy working in an interdisciplinary way with all the members of this committee to help advise the Director and Associate Director of Service-Learning.
I also serve on Loyola's Commitment to Justice committee that sponsors a social justice panel every year. During Loyola's strategic plan initiative, I also served on Loyola’s Strategic Planning Working Group on Civic and Urban Engagement. To help serve the university in positions of increasing responsibility, I have joined the Messina Advising faculty, and I am collaborating with the Sellinger School of Business and Management on an interdisciplinary e-portfolio project.
At the department level, I serve as chair of the Criteria for Annual Merit Review Committee and serve on the Assessment Committee. I also coordinate the internship program year-round. In service to my discipline, I review for a top journal in my field, review submissions for a number of refereed conferences, and am a proud member of the Virginia Tech Department of English Distinguished Alumni Board (go Hokies!). To give back to my local community, I serve my church as a member of the Habitat for Humanity team working to rebuild homes in Baltimore City.
In 2016, I co-edited Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education 3rd edition with Paola Pascual-Ferrá, a book that enacts my service philosophy and showcases Loyola's dedication to bringing about positive change in our communities.