Follow your passion for Politics

Do you find questions of power, conflict, rights, law or justice interesting? Do you like examining and debating issues such as immigration, war and peace, the environment, campaign finance, foreign relations, human rights or nationalism? Do you want to learn how other countries struggle to face political challenges in ways that often differ dramatically from those of the United States? If so, a Politics major may be right for you. The Loras Politics major offers courses in American and global politics and political thought. Professors emphasize multiple perspectives, critical thinking and lively student interaction.

Unlike the study of politics at many other colleges, the Loras program examines the moral principles and ethical dilemmas underlying political matters across its courses. The college’s Iowa location gives students a front-row seat to the influential first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, including campus visits by presidential candidates and the chance to work on the nationally-recognized Loras College Poll. Loras also fields nationally ranked teams in moot court and mock trial. And each spring the program hosts around a dozen students from France studying American politics.

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Loras College is home to the Alpha Alpha Upsilon chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha.

As the national political science honor society, the organization’s purpose is “to promote worthwhile curricular and extracurricular activities related to political science,” and “to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science.” Induction into the organization is a sign of a student’s superior academic achievement in the study of politics. The Loras chapter, founded in 2003, is the 589th chapter nationwide.

Learn more about Pi Sigma Alpha at http://www.loras.edu/Academics/Majors/Politics/Pi-Sigma-Alpha.aspx.

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Politics alumni have gone on to distinguished careers as lawyers, business executives, nonprofit directors, urban planners, congressional staff members, members of the U.S. military, teachers at the elementary and secondary levels, lobbyists, college professors, government administrators, policy analysts, and diplomats.

They include several state legislators, two former members of Congress, a state attorney general, and the owner of a private detective agency.

Here are just a few examples of recent graduates and their positions:

Candace Eudaley (’07), Assistant Director, Iowa East Central Intergovernmental Association
Meghan Healy (’03), Attorney, Di Renzo and Bomier
Susan Hess (’02), Attorney, Hammer, Simon, and Jensen
Jeff Loftsgaarden (’07), Healthcare Strategy Manager, DaVita HealthCare Partners
Michael Loebach (’06), Treasury Investment Specialist, Heartland Financial USA
Steve Lukan (’01), Director, State of Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy
Kelsey McElroy (’09), Management Analyst at City of Thornton, Colorado
Jake Oeth (’09), Staff Member, United States Congressman Bruce Braley
Neil Ruhland (’07), TARP Fund Investigator, United States Department of Justice

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Unlike the study of politics at many other colleges, the Loras program examines the moral principles and ethical dilemmas underlying political matters across its courses.

  • You will learn how to look at problems in different ways, how to untangle cause and effect relationships and how to develop creative solutions.
  • You will learn about the underlying dynamics of human conflict and cooperation.
  • You will learn how to gauge the influence of current events in the local, national and global arenas.
  • You will learn how to effectively communicate with others in both written and oral forms, a critically important ability in today’s information-based society.

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An area for particularly active and competitive state and congressional races, Dubuque itself offers Politics majors unparalleled access to political campaigns and candidates. Large numbers of majors work often times through academic internships, in political campaigns at both the state and federal level or in local government lobbying efforts and organizations.

In addition to the myriad of professional experiences available locally, Loras is affiliated with the Washington Center, and regularly sends students to study and intern in Washington, D.C. This experience is invaluable and creates a program that combines a theoretically rigorous curriculum rooted in the liberal arts with professional experience. For those with interests beyond U.S. politics, the Washington Center has numerous internship opportunities with organizations and institutions that have a global focus.

Locally, Politics majors are frequently placed in internships with the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, the East Central Intergovernmental Association or Dubuque City Government.

The Politics program houses the Loras College Moot Court program—an intercollegiate competition in which Loras is traditionally very successful. Loras is also the home to the annual Upper Midwest Regional Moot Court Tournament—one of six tournaments serving as qualifiers to the national championships.

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Major Requirements

Division of Philosophical, Religious, Theological, Social & Cultural Studies
Richard Anderson, Ph.D., Chair

Requirements for the major in Politics (B.A.):
Students must complete a minimum of 18 Politics credits at Loras College. Majors must have a minimum GPA of 2.3 (C+) in the major.

Req Course Cr’s
1   L.POL-101: Issues in American Politics 3
2   L.POL-121: Issues in Global Politics 3
3   L.POL-131: Foundations of Western Political Thought 3
4   L.POL-489: Senior Seminar 3
Three of the following must be at the 300+ level
5   Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one American Politics) 3
6   Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Global Politics) 3
7   Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Political Thought) 3
8   Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
9   Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
10   Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
30 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Politics:
Students must complete a minimum of 12 Politics credits at Loras College.

Req Course Cr’s
Select one from Req 1
1   L.POL-101: Issues in American Politics 3
1   L.POL-121: Issues in Global Politics 3
Two of the following must be at the 300+ level
2   Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one American Politics) 3
3   Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Global Politics) 3
4   Elective: Additional Politics course (at least one Political Thought) 3
5   Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
6   Elective: Additional Politics course (any group) 3
18 total required credits

L.POL-241: Political & Social Themes in Film
L.POL-394: Internship
L.POL-395: Topics
L.POL-489: Senior Seminar

L.POL-201: Campaigns & Elections
L.POL-202: Congress & the Presidency
L-POL-203: The Road to the White House
L.POL-204: State & Local Politics
L.POL-301: Constitutional Law: Federal Powers
L.POL-302: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights & Liberties
L.POL-303: Supreme Court Watch
L.POL-304: Identity Politics in America
L.POL-308: American Public Policy

L.POL-211: Comparative Politics
L.POL-221: International Politics
L.POL-312: Latin American Politics & Society
L.POL-313: Middle Eastern Politics & Society
L.POL-314: Politics in the Developing World
L.POL-315: European Politics
L.POL-322: American Foreign Policy
L.POL-351: Comparative Environmental Politics-AC

L.POL-101: Issues in American Politics
L.POL-121: Issues in Global Politics
L.POL-131: Foundations of Western Political Thought

L.POL-232: American Political Thought
L.POL-233: Jurisprudence
L.POL-321: War and Pacifism-AV
L.POL-331: Political Thought & Contemporary Social Issues

Course Descriptions

L.POL-101: Issues in American Politics
This course is a basic introduction to the primary features of the American political system, examining such things as the Constitution, elections, public opinion, parties and interest groups, the media, Congress, the presidency, the courts, and civil rights and liberties. Woven throughout the course is an exploration of some of the most pressing issues in contemporary American politics. 3 credits.

L.POL-121: Issues in Global Politics.  This course introduces the major problems confronting the international community and that community’s efforts to address them. The focus is on common global issues such as globalization, nationalism, human rights, war, economic development, poverty, the status of women, and the environment. 3 credits.

L.POL-131: Foundations of Western Political Thought
This course examines the history of political thought in the West by drawing on an analysis of original texts from Plato through the 20th century with particular attention to how different thinkers have addressed the same kinds of perennial questions about political life in radically different ways. 3 credits.

L.POL-201: Campaigns & Elections
This course examines the nature of political campaigns and elections in the United States, with particular attention to presidential and Congressional elections. 3 credits.

L.POL-202: Congress & the Presidency
This course examines the structure and power of the two branches of government and the relationship between them. It pays particular attention to the constitutional, institutional, partisan, and personal bases for cooperation and conflict between the two, as well as their interactions in a number of policy fields. 3 credits.

L.POL-203: The Road to the White House
This January term course provides students the opportunity to both study and participate in the Iowa caucuses. Students will examine the issues, voters, interest groups, campaigns, and candidates. Through direct observation of the campaigns and candidates and the collection of campaign artifacts students will analyze political tactics and decisions, as well as the electorate. As part of the course students will choose what party to caucus with and ultimately which presidential candidate they support by caucusing for that candidate on election night. 3 credits. January term.

L.POL-204: State & Local Politics
This course explores politics and policy at the state and local level in the United States. Unlike many others, the United States is a country in which states and localities retain much independent power and authority to make and implement policy. The policies created at these sub-national levels often vary greatly and reflect their own complex political and economic histories and cultures. This course provides students a corrective to the common tendencies to ignore the state and local in favor of the national/federal and to see the United States as simply a uniform, top-down, political system. 3 credits.

L.POL-211: Comparative Politics
This course introduces issues and concepts in comparative politics, such as power, authority, legitimacy, the state and sovereignty. It offers an in-depth comparison of the features and performances of democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian political regimes including countries as case studies for each type of regime. 3 credits.

L.POL-221: International Politics
The course examines the origins and evolution of the modern international system with a focus on nationalism, violent conflict, diplomacy, international organizations and law, global political economy, and emerging issues and patterns in the post-Cold War period. It integrates theoretical perspectives with current issues. 3 credits.

L.POL-232: American Political Thought
This course examines the historical development of political thought in the United States by drawing on an analysis of original texts from the nation’s founding through the present. 3 credits.

L.POL-233: Jurisprudence
This course examines the theoretical concepts – both normative and empirical – related to the study of law. It draws on original texts from major legal theorists and the primary schools of legal thought. Prerequisite: L.POL-101. 3 credits.

L.POL-241: Political & Social Themes in Film
This course examines the ways in which films convey political and social meanings. It draws on both historical and contemporary, as well as international and American, films. 3 credits.

L.POL-301: Constitutional Law: Federal Powers
This course examines the structure and powers of the Supreme Court and its role in determining the constitutionally appropriate roles, relations, and powers of institutions within the American political system. Most of the course relies on an analysis of Supreme Court decisions in the areas of judicial review, federalism, congressional and presidential powers, property rights and economic regulation. 3 credits

L.POL-302: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights & Liberties
This course examines the Supreme Court’s role in defining the scope and content of civil rights and liberties in the United States through an analysis of cases in the areas of due process and criminal procedure, privacy, freedom of speech and of the press, religious liberty and the equal protection of the laws. L.POL-301 is not a prerequisite for this course. 3 credits.

L.POL-303: Supreme Court Watch
This course is taught annually during the summer to coincide with the end of each Supreme Court term. It examines the major cases and their precedents that the Court decided that year. 3 credits.

L.POL-304: Identity Politics in America
This course examines the role of factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, and gender in American political life. 3 credits.

L.POL-308: American Public Policy
This course examines public policy in the United States. We will learn about the process of policy formation, implementation, and assessment. We will explore the primary areas of domestic policy, such as taxation, social welfare, healthcare, civil rights, energy, crime, education, and immigration. Finally, we will consider the moral and ethical dimensions of policy-making in these areas. 3 credits.

L.POL-312: Latin American Politics & Society
This course examines Latin American politics with an emphasis on the historical, economic and cultural features that shape its contemporary politics. It includes attention to the state, political parties, the military, and social groups and classes, as well as dynamics of social and political change, including military coups, revolutions and social movements. 3 credits.

L.POL-313: Middle Eastern Politics & Society
This course examines the politics and society of the Middle East and North Africa, particularly how its history, economy, geography, culture, religion and regional conflicts shape its contemporary politics. The relationship between Islam and the state is of particular concern. 3 credits.

L.POL-314: Politics in the Developing World
This course examines the nature and fundamental features of politics in the developing world. It includes investigation of historical, socioeconomic, and cultural influences on politics, as well as the effects of forces such as social change, international political economy and issues such as poverty and debt. 3 credits.

L.POL-315: European Politics
This course examines the politics of Europe, including struggles over economics, immigration and culture. It also explores the challenges of building the European Union and defining its role in the world. 3 credits.

L.POL-321: War and Pacifism-AV
This course uses a wide variety of original writings to examine the nature and causes of war, theories of the just war, the pacifist critique of war, and the practice of nonviolence as an alternative to war. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.POL-322: American Foreign Policy
This course examines the historical patterns and contemporary factors shaping American foreign policy. It pays particular attention to issues in the post-Cold War period. The course considers the social and cultural foundations of American foreign policy, as well as the role of institutions such as the White House, the National Security Council, other executive branch departments, and Congress in the policy-making process. 3 credits.

L.POL-331: Political Thought & Contemporary Social Issues
This course examines the relationship between philosophical principles like justice, rights, duty, equality, liberty, and democracy and current social and political issues in which they find concrete expression. The selection of principles and issues under examination will vary from semester to semester. 3 credits.

L.POL-351: Comparative Environmental Politics-AC
This course will examine how culture, broadly defined, affects the formation and execution of policies on global warming. Students will study historical legacies and philosophical traditions underpinning the modern environmental movement, the interaction of competing economic, social and political interests, and the effects of political institutions in channeling policy responses. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-220, L.LIB-130, or L.LIB-135. 3 credits.

L.POL-394: Internship
Recognizing the value of learning about politics through personal experience, students can earn up to nine credits for satisfactory completion of supervised internships. These can include government offices, congressional staffs, political parties, election campaigns, law offices, non-profit organizations, and other relevant groups. Proposals and credits are arranged in consultation with faculty members in the program. Internship credits cannot substitute for specified major requirements. Each semester and summer session. 1-9 credits.

L.POL-395: Topics
Includes occasional courses on specific topics or contemporary issues. 3 credits.

L.POL-489: Senior Seminar
This course is the required seminar for senior majors which attempts to clarify the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the discipline in a culminating or capstone fashion, concentrating on theoretical and substantive issues in the field. It may be individually or team taught in the program. 3 credits.

RELATED COURSES: Economics, History, International Studies, Sociology


After receiving your degree from Loras, your career could take off into one of these fields:

• Lawyer
• Business Executive
• Nonprofit Director
• Urban Planner
• Congressional Staff Member
• U.S. Military
• Elementary/High School Teacher
• Lobbyist
• Government Administrator
• Policy Analyst
• Diplomat
• Journalist

Loras College Department Staff

Kristin Anderson-Bricker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
563.588.7403 | Kristin.Anderson-Bricker@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Kristin Anderson-Bricker completed a doctorate at Syracuse University in United States social and cultural history with specialties in race, gender and social movements. Upon graduation in 1997, she accepted a position at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Anderson-Bricker teaches topical courses covering American history from the late nineteenth century through to the present. She also teaches on the American West, Native Americans in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, Women’s History, sexuality, African Americans and historical methods (research and teaching).

She is currently at work on a book manuscript, Going Beyond the Rules: Catholic Young Adults Making Sexual Decisions, designed to initiate between students a conversation about sex to assist them in determining the values they want to apply to their choices about sex.

Her service work has focused on diversity initiatives including committee chair responsibilities, gender equity and a civil discourse initiative (DuTalk). Anderson-Bricker has directed the Honors Program and served on many committees including Rank and Tenure, Faculty Senate and First Year Experience. In addition to serving on the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association’s travel grant committee and assessing manuscripts for the State Historical Society of Iowa, she has served the profession as a program reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Iowa, Dubuque County Historical Society and Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Richard Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
563.588.7177 | Richard.Anderson@loras.edu

Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Politics
Division Chair of Philosophical, Theological, Social, & Cultural Studies
563.588.7279 | Christopher.Budzisz@loras.edu

Professor Budzisz joined the Loras College Politics program in 2000, with a teaching emphasis on constitutional law, American government and institutions and political philosophy, as well as elections and political behavior. As a 2007 Fulbright Scholar, Budzisz taught in the International Relations Faculty at Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. His research interests center around constitutional law, political thought and public policy. He has been published in PS: Political Science and Politics, and in the edited volume Engaging the Public: How Government and the Media Can Reinvigorate American Democracy.

Beyond his teaching and research interests, Budzisz is director and coach of the Loras College Moot Court program. He is also a past winner of the Mike and Linda Budde Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Budzisz serves as the Director of the Loras College Poll, a bi-partisan public opinion survey focused on politics and society that was launched spring 2014

Roman Ciapalo, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
563.588.7434 | Roman.Ciapalo@loras.edu

Roman T. Ciapalo, Ph.D. (Loyola University Chicago) has taught at Loras College since 1982. He has offered a variety of courses, including Ancient Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, and Philosophy of the Human Person, but in recent years has concentrated on teaching a variety of applied ethics courses, among them, Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Media Communication Ethics, and Ethics in Sports.

His research interests include the philosophy of Gregory Skovoroda (18thcentury Ukrainian philosopher) and the intersection of Catholic Social Teaching with issues in sports and athletics. He has published one book and several articles, and has served as translator/editor of Ukrainian-language translations of two business ethics textbooks. He also serves as Faculty Advisor to the Loras Hockey Club, Loras Philosophy Club, and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He has lectured nationally and internationally in New Delhi, India, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and Lviv and Kiev, Ukraine. He has been the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and was a Fulbright Scholar at Lviv State University in Ukraine during the 1993-94 academic year.

He travels to Ukraine each summer to teach business ethics courses for various MBA Programs, including the Lviv Institute of Management and Kiev-Mohyla University, and has conducted workshops on “Ethics in the Public Sector” for the city management teams of Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Lviv, Ukraine. During the past two summers, he has lectured at the annual two-week long “Philosophy Summer School” conducted by Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine.

He urges his Philosophy advisees to see philosophy as a way of life, rather than merely an academic discipline to be mastered, and to employ it in their search for meaning and purpose in their lives. Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, he will hold the Andrew P. Studdert Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership.

David Cochran, Ph.D.
Professor of Politics
Director of the Archbishop Kucera Center
563.588.7262 | David.Cochran@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Dr. Cochran received his B.A. from Drew University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. His primary teaching and research areas are religion, race, and ethnicity in American politics; political thought; war and peace; and Irish studies. Cochran is a winner of the college’s two campus-wide teaching and leadership awards. In addition to a wide array of articles and book chapters, he is the author or co-author of four books and the co-editor of a fifth. In addition to his work in the Politics Program, Cochran directs the college’s Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Intellectual and Spiritual Life.

Benjamin Darr, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Politics
563.588.7507 | Benjamin.Darr@loras.edu

Dr. Darr began teaching at Loras College in the fall of 2012, and offers courses in both comparative politics and world politics. He is particularly interested in environmental politics, the politics of the global economy, nationalism and China studies. Dr. Darr received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2011, and his dissertation examined the state-led sources of Chinese nationalism and national identity. He has co-authored articles in the Journal of Contemporary China and in Communist and Post-Communist Studies.

John Eby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Chairperson for Faculty Senate
563.588.4929 | John.Eby@loras.edu

Lisa Garoutte, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
563.588.7022 | Lisa.Garoutte@loras.edu

Janine Idziak, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Director of Bioethics Center
563.588.7749 | Janine.Idziak@loras.edu

Dr. Idziak’s areas of interest include ethics, medieval philosophy, and the philosophy of God and religion. She received A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from the University of Michigan and subsequently earned a M.A. in theology from the University of Notre Dame. Her courses of instruction include Foundational Ethics, The Theory and Practice of Bioethics, Ethics and the New Genetics, Neuroethics, Ethics in Philosophy, Literature and Film, the Philosophy of God and Religion, Medieval Philosophy, and The Catholic Heritage.

Dr. Idziak’s research work in ethical theory has focused on the history of divine command ethics. She has held postdoctoral research appointments at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) in Toronto and at the Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame. Her research has been funded by grants from PIMS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She is the editor of Divine Command Morality: Historical and Contemporary Readings, and has published a Latin edition and English translation of the most significant medieval text on this ethical theory, Andrew of Neufchateau, O.F.M., Questions on an Ethics of Divine Commands.

In the area of applied ethics, Dr. Idziak’s work focuses on bioethics. She is founding director of Loras’ Bioethics Center, which provides services to the community locally and within the State of Iowa. She currently serves as Health Care Ethics Consultant and chair of the Medical-Moral Commission for the Archdiocese of Dubuque; as chair of the ethics committee at Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque; and as a member of the Institutional Ethics Committee, the Clinical Ethics Committee, and the IRB at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque. Within the State of Iowa, she serves on the Board and IRB of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City and on the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee for NewLink Genetics in Ames. She previously served on the Pandemic Ethics Committee of the Iowa Department of Public Health and, at the national level, on the Ethics Commission and in the House of Delegates of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA). Dr. Idziak’s community work in bioethics has led to the publication of three books: Ethical Dilemmas in Allied Health, Ethical Dilemmas in Long Term Care, and Organizational Ethics in Senior Health Care Services. Her community service has been recognized by a national level Trustee of the Year award from AAHSA.

Rev. William Joensen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Dean of Campus Spiritual Life
563.588.7463 | William.Joensen@loras.edu

Fr. Joensen teaches courses in the history of philosophy (Ancient and Modern), philosophy of being (metaphysics), philosophy of knowledge (epistemology), philosophy of the human person and courses in our Catholic Identity mission course category.

As academic advisor to Philosophy majors, Fr. Joensen tries to help students see how their awakening intellectual passions and life and work experiences might be indications of worthy professional pursuits. He also strives to help them appreciate how habits of mind, such as analytical thinking and critical reflection, and the ability to communicate ideas lucidly in written and spoken form will serve them all their lives.

As Dean of Campus Spiritual Life, he promotes the Catholic mission and identity of the College through the Faith and Values Education Committee and other avenues, including student-development programming. He is also chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella group of Catholic Loras Duhawk women, and offers individual spiritual direction to students and others.

Each summer, Fr. Joensen participates as a faculty member at the Tertio Milllennio Seminar in Krakow, Poland, which brings together European and American young adults to study Catholic social and moral teaching in the spirit of Blessed Pope John Paul II. He is also a regular contributor of scriptural and seasonal reflections to Magnificat®, a Catholic spiritual resource.

Mark Kehren, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
563.588.7633 | Mark.Kehren@loras.edu

Jacob Kohlhaas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Moral Theology
563.588.7308 | Jacob.Kohlhaas@loras.edu

Dr. Kohlhaas received his Ph.D. in Theology from Duquesne University where his dissertation considered contemporary Catholic theological accounts of parenthood and the nature of kinship within the Christian tradition. He received his M.A. in Doctrine, with a minor in History, at Catholic Theological Union where his thesis compared and contrasted developments in Catholic and Lutheran perspectives on human sexuality since the mid-twentieth century. Dr. Kohlhaas teaches courses on Christian morality and the Catholic moral tradition including Introduction to Christian Values, Issues in Christian Ethics, Christian Sexual Morality and Catholic Social Teaching as well as Introduction to Theology and Religious Studies and Social Justice Today. Dr. Kohlhaas’ research centers on questions of Theological Anthropology, particularly the moral aspects of the human need and capacity for relationships. This has led to specific research in the areas of sexual ethics, family ethics, environmental ethics, and theologies of children and parenthood.

Christoffer Lammer-Heindel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
563.588.7733 | Christoffer.Lammer-Heindel@loras.edu

Within the Philosophy Program, Dr. Lammer-Heindel teaches Critical Reasoning, Introduction to Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Science. He also teaches Democracy and Global Diversity and Catholicism and Taoism, both of which are general education courses. His academic expertise includes analytic ethics and contemporary social and political philosophy. His research interests pertain to issues surrounding the nature of moral duties and obligations, especially institutionally or collectively held moral duties and obligations, as well as sustainability ethics. He is the author of the critical reasoning handbook, which is used in the Modes of Inquiry course.

Amy Lorenz, Ph.D.
Professor of Multicultural Languages
563.588.7806 | Amy.Lorenz@loras.edu

For many years, Amy Lorenz was Loras’ French Professor. When that program ended, the History and Religious Studies programs kindly “adopted” her. She now teaches courses on French literature in translation, the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, the Enlightenment, Paris in the 20s and 30s, Introduction to the Bible, and a seminar on the letters of Paul. She also enjoys teaching regularly in the general education program, especially in the clusters and the LIB 130 cohort.

Her current research stems from her more recent formal training in theology and focuses on Second Temple Judaism; Jesus, Paul and Judaism; the Roman Empire and early followers of Jesus; and scripture.

She has had the privilege of working with 2 January term groups of students in France and Italy and has enjoyed those travels immensely. She lived in France between her B.A. and M.A. degrees, working in the school system there, and returned there to spend several more months during her Ph.D. studies. She returns as often as she is able to stay with friends.

Amanda Osheim, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
Director of Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program
563.588.7506 | Amanda.Osheim@loras.edu

Dr. Osheim received her doctorate in systematic theology from Boston College. Her courses include Introduction to Religious Studies and Theology; Foundations for Ministry; God’s Literature; Empowered Catholic Women, The Four Marks, and Communication for Communion. Dr. Osheim’s particular interest is ecclesiology, which is the study of the church’s identity and mission. She also collaborates with the Archdiocese of Dubuque to develop programs that meet the growing need for lay leadership in parishes.

Her research focuses on discernment of the Holy Spirit within the church; development of church doctrine and practice; and the evolving role of lay ministers in the church’s life. Dr. Osheim is an editor and contributor at DailyTheology.org. Other recent publications include: “On Our Pilgrim Way [Responses to ‘Evangelii Gaudium’].” America: The National Catholic Review vol.210 no. 1 (January 6-13, 2014) http://americamagazine.org/issue/joy-world; “Theology: serving the conversation.” C21 Resources, Fall 2013, p. 37. http://issuu.com/church21c/docs/2013_fall_resource_guide_final_web_; “The Local Church in Dialogue: Toward an Orthopraxis of Reception.” In Visions of Hope: Emerging Theologians and the Future of the Church. Kevin J. Ahern, ed. Orbis Books, 2012.

Kathrin Parks, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
563.588.7819 | Kathrin.Parks@loras.edu

David Pitt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theology
563.588.7324 | David.Pitt@loras.edu

Dr. Pitt is trained as a liturgical historian and as a liturgical musician. His Ph.D. in Theology (Liturgical Studies) is from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where he researched the reform of the rite for adult initiation in the Roman Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council. His M.A. in Liturgical Music (Organ Performance and Composition) is from St. John’s University, Minnesota. These academic interests guide his teaching and his research, motivating him to investigate areas in which the Tradition of the Church might inform and direct contemporary pastoral practice. He co-edited A Living Tradition: Essays on the Intersection of Liturgical History and Pastoral Practice (Liturgical Press, 2012). Author of over 45 essays, article, and book reviews, he has especially focused on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the liturgical year, issues in the performance of liturgical music, and the music of Olivier Messiaen. Pitt held the 2013-2014 John Cardinal O’Connor Chair for Catholic Thought, during which time he was researching the history of Eucharistic praying. Pitt is actively involved in liturgical music ministry, currently serving as Organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church. He has led pastoral workshops and given organ concerts and recitals across the United States and in Canada.

Cynthia Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Classical Study
563.588.7953 | Cynthia.Smith@loras.edu

John Waldmeir
Professor of Religious Studies
563.588.7966 | John.Waldmeir@loras.edu

Dr. Waldmeir teaches courses on religion and culture, sacred scripture, and world religions. A member of the Loras faculty for sixteen years, he has published four books, most recently Cathedrals of Bone, The Role of the Body in Contemporary Catholic Literature. A fifth book on the contemporary Catholic Church in Ireland, is forthcoming. He has held the annual John Cardinal O’Connor Chair for Catholic Studies twice at Loras, and recently won the Cardinal Newman Award for outstanding campus teaching and leadership.

Rev. Douglas Wathier, S.T.D.
Interim Vice-President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Theology
Director of Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program
563.588.7013 | Douglas.Wathier@loras.edu

Fr. Wathier received S.T.D. (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, with an emphasis on the transmission of revelation and the act of faith. He teaches courses in the Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program, including Character and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; The Once and Future Church; The Displaced Person: Human Dignity and Human Rights; Councils, Creeds and Culture; Belief and Unbelief and the Good Life; and Leadership Seminar for Social Justice. He also teaches christology and ecclesiology in the graduate program, offers J-term courses with travel in Germany and Italy. Fr. Wathier is the Director of the Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program, and serves as an instructor in the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Deacon Formation Program.

Fr. Wathier’s academic interests include Catholic Identity in Higher Education. He has been invited to give presentations about this topic at Arizona State University and Fordham University. He also has given a presentation about the reception of revelation and the clerical abuse scandal at Georgetown University.

Lee Zhu, Ph.D.
Professor of History
563.588.7199 | Lee.Zhu@loras.edu

Dr. Lee S. Zhu was born in China. He received his doctorate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He teaches East Asian History, Russian history and the history of the Second World War and the Cold War. His research interests center on the history of the Soviet Union during the Stalin period and the history of the People’s Republic of China during the Mao years. Dr. Lee conducted research in archives in Moscow, Shanghai and Beijing, and he published several scholarly articles examining the impact of the Communist ideology on Soviet and Chinese education. He took students on summer research trips and January-term trips to China.