Follow your passion for Sociology

If you’re interested in why people do what they do, and why the world works the way it does, Sociology might be the major for you. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge to understand how institutions and organizations shape individual life experiences. This includes systematically analyzing the behavior patterns of social, political, religious, educational and business organizations to identify the causes of problems such as violence, crime, divorce, poverty, racism and sexism.

Our flexible curriculum encourages double majors and the exploration of topics relevant to our daily lives. We focus on inequality in the issues of race, gender and class through active, community-based learning, reflection and examination of current events. Graduates demonstrate the Loras mission of reflective thinking, active learning, responsible contributing and ethical decision-making.


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Why does the world work the way it does? Sociologists systematically analyze the behavior patterns of social, political, religious, educational, and business organizations. They conduct research and analyze theory to help identify the causes of social problems such as violence, crime, divorce, poverty, racism, and sexism.

Sociology provides skills and knowledge for understanding how institutions and organizations shape individual life experiences.

Our goal is to provide our students with opportunities to connect theory and research. We present a flexible curriculum meant to encourage double majors and exploration of topics relevant to our real lives. Our program has a focus on inequality, examining issues of race, gender, and class. Our courses offer opportunities for active learning (including community based learning in some cases), reflection on your own values and beliefs, and a chance to examine current social issues through readings, films, and other media. With a major in sociology, you will be prepared to demonstrate the Loras College mission of reflective thinking, active learning, responsible contributing, and ethical decision-making.

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Your option are unlimited. Graduates of Loras with a Sociology degree are employed in wide range of fields.

What can you do with a Sociology major? How about…what can’t you do with a Sociology major!

Though the word “sociology” might not be a part of many job descriptions, the skills and insights you gain from this field are useful in many different areas. Being able to understand and conduct research will give you an edge in the job market. Knowledge about key social factors and various group dynamics is helpful in most jobs where you’ll interact with others.

Graduates in sociology may enter a wide range of fields including:

  • social services
  • business positions
  • environmental planning
  • data analysis
  • urban and rural planning
  • non-profit work
  • government positions
  • ministry
  • law enforcement
  • legal services
  • education

Visit our Sociology career options page for more information.

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The Loras College Center for Experiential Learning can provide students with assistance in career counseling, gaining work experience via internships, and conducting a job search.

Many resources are available including employer literature, job listings, job shadowing, resume writing and interviewing materials.

Recent Sociology graduates have taken positions at:

Abused Women’s Shelter
Advanced Data Comm- Supervisor
Arthur Andersen- Researcher
Barnes and Noble- Asst Manager
Bremwood- Activities Director
Catholic Charities
Claims Adjustor
Clinton Community Care- Social Worker
Custom Concrete- HR Asst Director
Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department
Foster Care Review
Four Oaks
Harlem Ambassadors
Hillcrest Family Services
Hills and Dales
International Academy of Design- Recruiter
Office of Rep Stephen Freese
Peace Corps
Police Officer
Sunnycrest Manor

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

Requirements for the major in Sociology (B.A.):

Students completing a major in sociology must complete a minimum of 18 credits in Sociology numbered 300 or above. Students in sociology may transfer up to 12 credits toward the Sociology major from another institution. Students may take L.CRJ-323 to meet the L.SOC-332 requirement, or take L.PSY-211 and L.PSY-212 to meet the L.SOC-332 and L.SOC-333 requirement.Please note: No more than six (6) hours of previously cross-listed L.CRJ or L.SOC courses can count toward major or minor (L.CRJ-252, L.CRJ-253, L.CRJ-320).

Req Course Cr’s
Select one from Req 1
1   L.SOC-101: Sociology in Action 3
1   L.SOC-115: Introduction to Sociology 3
2   L.SOC-332: Research Methods and Methodology 3
3   L.SOC-333: Statistical Analyses 3
4   L.SOC-336: Classical Sociological Theory 3
5   L.SOC-490: Senior Seminar 3
6   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
7   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
8   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
9   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
10   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
30 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Sociology:

Req Course Cr’s
Select one from Req 1
1   L.SOC-101: Sociology in Action 3
1   L.SOC-115: Introduction to Sociology 3
One of the following must be at the 300+ level
2   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
3   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
4   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
5   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
6   Elective: Additional Sociology course 3
18 total required credits
Course Descriptions

L.SOC-101: Sociology in Action
Through hands-on activities inside the classroom and community-based learning in the “real world,” students will be introduced to the ways in which sociologists approach the world. The relationship between individuals and society, ideas about how the world operates, and the dynamic process of social change will be emphasized as students learn to think sociologically. Restriction: Not open to students who have taken L.SOC-115. 3 credits. January term.

L.SOC-115: Introduction to Sociology
An overview of the discipline of sociology. The course examines the theories and research methods of sociology as well as substantive areas including culture, social stratification, small group dynamics, social institutions, and the dynamics of social and cultural change. Restriction: Not open to students who have taken L.SOC-101. 3 credits.

L.SOC-216: Social Problems
Consideration is given to a number of contemporary social problems. Sociological principles are employed in the analysis of such topics as poverty, crime, racial and ethnic relations, health care issues, sexism, environmental degradation and other types of inequality. 3 credits.

L.SOC-227: Sociology of the Family
The primary goal in this course is to introduce and explore important issued related to the influential institution of the family. Social processes, myths, and problems facing contemporary families will be examined. While students will reflect on their own family experiences the course focuses on social structures that shape family life. 3 credits.

L.SOC-240: Gender & Society
An exploration of the influence of gender stratification on both the social development of women and men and their personal experiences of social institutions such as the family, the economy, the political order, religion, and the educational system. Special emphasis is placed on the intersecting character of class, race, and gender stratification systems. 3 credits.

L.SOC-250: Aryan Societies-AC
An examination of the complex relationship between personal identity and community. The course focuses on the formation of racial, class, gender, and sexualized identities in hate group communities, the ways in which white supremacists react to changes in their local environments, and how they affect change in their communities. 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.SOC-252: Self & Society-AI
An examination of the impact of the social environment on individual identity and behavior. The course emphasizes development of self, attitudes and attitude change, interpersonal relations, small groups and collective behavior. Students will develop a stronger sense of human interaction and relationships, and an appreciation for multiple views of social reality that should be useful to their relations at home, with friends, at work, and within their larger community. 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.SOC-254: Race & Ethnicity-AC
The primary emphasis in this course is on introducing and exploring important issues related to race and ethnicity in the United States. The course analyzes information comprehensively and includes historical evidence in order to better understand culture. Students will explore probable causes and consequences of inequality rooted in race/ethnicity. Students will incorporate an analysis of values, including understanding how personal and cultural values result from social forces and structures, into their examination of race and ethnicity. 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.SOC-272: Global Inequality-AC
This course examines issues of inequality related to class, race, gender, and sexuality across the globe. Throughout the semester, consideration will be given to how distinct historical and cultural contexts create unique experience with inequality. The study of global inequality will be grounded in a discussion of local values which emerge from and affect larger social forces both within and between regions. 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.SOC-295: Topics
Sociology topics course. Used to develop courses which have not been approved under another catalog number. See Division Chair for more information.

L.SOC-310: Cultural Analysis
This is a study travel course which examines cultures in depth by focusing on inequality. The course could be offered in a number of different locations. Particular social, political, and economic issues significant to the region of study will be considered. The course immerses students in cultural settings away from campus and includes excursions to a wide range of culturally rich sites including historic sites and museums. Required readings provide a base for students to build upon as they hear from local experts and see many cultural artifacts. Students will hear several guest lectures and interact with guest lecturers and tour guides, and will participate in daily class discussions to critically analyze experiences and information. Students will engage with people from various cultural perspectives to hear first-hand accounts regarding inequality. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits. January term.

L.SOC-330: Sociology of Education
Education is analyzed as a key social institution that influences and is influenced by the larger society. The course will focus on important, enduring issues within the sociology of education such as social class, race/ethnicity, gender, school organization, academic achievement, politics, and educational reform. Additional issues currently under debate, especially in regard to policy and practice will also be examined. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-332: Research Methods & Methodology
An examination of the principles of social research including the research process, choosing the research problem, constructing social explanations, measurement, survey and field research techniques, and the analysis, interpretation, and application of survey research data. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in the mathematical modeling requirement, L.SOC-101 or L-SOC-115, and 3 additional credits in Sociology. 3 credits.

L.SOC-333: Statistical Analyses
Rationale and use of various statistical procedures including measures of central tendency, dispersion, inference and association. Students gain experience in coding and entering data, recoding variables, and creating composite measures with the use of computer software. Students develop their own hypotheses and conduct independent statistical analyses of survey data. Encouraged for all social science majors. Grade of C- or better in L-SOC-332, L.CRJ-323, or L.PSY-211. 3 credits.

L.SOC-336: Classical Sociological Theory
This course focuses on the major theoretical perspectives and important early scholars within sociology. Students will learn to apply sociological theory to issues of sociological concern as well as to their daily lives. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-337: Contemporary Sociological Theory
This course examines the ideas of sociologists whose work extend and challenges classical theory while also contributing to the current sociological literature. During the semester, students will learn about important ideas in contemporary sociological theory, consider relationships between various theorists’ work, learn to apply contemporary theory to the modern world, and consider the relationship between theory and research. Prerequisite: Completion of L.SOC-336 with C- or better. 3 credits.

L.SOC-340: Social Demography
Demography is the scientific study of human populations (their size, composition, and distribution) and the changes in these factors as they occur through the three processes of fertility, mortality and migration. Issues like immigration, population decline in some areas and increases in others, and the aging of a population and their effects will be examined. Students will examine demographic process and consider how these issues are relevant their lives now and in the future. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-355: Sociology of Popular Culture
Popular culture includes a wide variety of topics such as art, comic books, sports, hip hop, clothes, movies, food, TV, or advertisements, this course will draw on various sociological perspectives to critically evaluate the media as an influential social institution. This course will examine how popular culture is becoming increasingly central to social life in the United States and around the world and will consider issues related to race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and social class. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-375: Social Movements
The primary focus of this course is the examination and application of social movement theory. Students will examine factors that influence movement emergence, culture, tactics, organizational strength, and outcomes. In doing so, they will assess the relative strength and weaknesses of social movement theory as they apply to a range of both progressive and conservative movements. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-390: Social Inequality
This course will familiarize students with how systems of class, gender, racial, and sexual stratification operate in the United States. We will explore the construction, maintenance, and impact of inequality. While a great deal of the course will focus on social class, the intersection of all forms of inequality will be the primary focus of attention. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 3 credits.

L.SOC-393: Practicum
The practicum is designed for sociology majors and minors who desire an agency/organization placement. The primary objective of the practicum is to enable students to link classroom learning to work situations. Prerequisite: L.SOC-101 or L.SOC-115. 1-3 credits.

L.SOC-395: Topics
Sociology topics course. Used to develop courses which have not been approved under another catalog number. See Division Chair for more information.

L.SOC-490: Senior Seminar
A seminar for senior sociology majors which endeavors to crystallize the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the discipline. The course will concentrate upon methodological, theoretical, and substantive issues of interest in the field. Prerequisites: Grade of C- or better in L.SOC-332, L.BIO-279, L.CRJ-323, or L.PSY-211; and grade of C- or better in L.SOC-333, L.MAT-115, L.PSY-212 or. Open to seniors only. 3 credits.

RELATED COURSES: Economics, History, International Studies, Politics

Loras College Department Staff

Kristin Anderson-Bricker, Ph.D.
Professor of History
563.588.7403 |
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 |

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

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 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 |
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.
Associate Professor of Politics
563.588.7507 |

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 |

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

Janine Idziak, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Philosophy
Director of Bioethics Center
563.588.7749 |

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 |

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 |

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

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.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
563.588.7733 |

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.

Amanda Osheim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Director of Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program
563.588.7506 |

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 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); “Theology: serving the conversation.” C21 Resources, Fall 2013, p. 37.; “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 |

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

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.

John Waldmeir
Professor of Religious Studies
563.588.7966 |

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 |

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 |

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.