April 2011 Letters to the Editor

March 15, 2011

SHARING WISDOM AND FAITH

My four children were privileged to be taught by Carol “Sue” Abromaitis, Ph.D., professor of English (featured in the August issue). She educated students in the art of writing, love of language, use of logic, and thirst for perfection. In class she shared her wisdom and  faith. Upon graduation, they no  longer “lacked some normal parts, characteristic, or quality,” which the dictionary defines as dumb.

Connie Handscomb

Ellicott City, Md.

TECHNOLOGY ENGAGES

“A Matter of Course” in the December issue quoted an education instructor who said “Technology is a tool; it’s not the whole thing…kids aren’t the same as they  were in their learning styles and needs 20 years ago. We need to keep kids engaged and excited.” I strongly believe that this pedagogical approach applies not only to teaching K-12 kids, but also to teaching the young adults who are today’s university students. They, too, must be engaged and excited about the learning process!

I retired from 27 years of teaching accounting at Loyola in 2002. For many years, I “preached” that faculty members must force students to think and must actively engage them in the learning process. Just memorizing and regurgitating doesn’t cut it. However, what better way to engage and excite today’s university students than through the innovative use of technology?

One of my first uses of technology in the classroom to excite and engage students was to take their pictures at the beginning of the semester and project them on the screen in random order during each class. It was my method of calling on students to answer questions about their homework and the day’s lecture. I later used “clickers” to poll my students on questions related to homework and lectures. Their responses counted as a significant  part of their course grade. Therefore, they had to come to class prepared and stay engaged in the learning process throughout the entire class period! Other techniques I used to engage and excite them were the use of in-class videos and  animated, on-screen lecture outlines which frequently used popular music and various loud sounds.

As the Web matured and became a part of students’ culture, one of the assignments I developed was  an online scavenger hunt. Since  that was prior to Google, Yahoo, and other popular search engines, it forced them to be resourceful. If I were teaching today, I would figure out effective ways to use Facebook, Twitter, and other popular technologies to engage and excite students. Successful teachers must be innovative, creative, and open-minded!

E. Barry Rice, Assistant Professor Emeritus of Accounting

PRAISE FOR DESIGN

My wife receives Loyola magazine as she is the household alumna. I read it all the way through and revel in the design and production as I am the household graphic designer. My kids read it because  of its beauty and interest and therefore have a keen interest in attending Loyola when they are of the age.

The Haiti content is of extreme interest and your presentation is gripping. Please keep up the great work.

Dave Ryner

Echo Communications

GIFT GIVING TRANSCENDS MATERIAL ITEMS

I read the December 2010 issue with  great interest and pride. As a retired Air Force journalist, I naturally critique articles, photos, and even page layout and design. I was struck with  such a sense of pride and was so grateful for the blessing of belonging.

The gift giving guide was just as  amazing! However, it left me wondering how many of these businesses were run by pastoral counselors. I looked for an LGPC,  an LCPC, or even someone with letters in front of their names—letters  like Min., Rev., or Fr. I was struck by their absence.

Pastoral counselors are social entrepreneurs. Our business is service  and our product is the hope of healing. We may be difficult to find  because we are in Haiti; in counseling centers and parishes throughout the country; in pulpits and pews all  over the world. We are in the streets, caring for the needy; in shelters serving lunches; and in schools caring for the hearts, minds, spirits, and souls of your children.

Becoming a pastoral counselor and  being a part of the Loyola family continues to be the hallmark of transformation in my life. Every professor I have encountered has  challenged me to be my best self.

Since I began my doctoral studies, the pastoral counseling department has taken my mind, heart, spirit, and soul to greater heights and deeper depths than I could have ever imagined. This girl from a small Georgia town can see herself teaching summer workshops in India; taking her book to Kenyan orphanages; and conducting play therapy in the Bahamas. Belonging to Loyola has made a difference in my faith in God, in self, and in the human spirit. I look forward to my classmates flooding your magazine with photos and articles of their social exercises. I look forward to the giving of gifts moving beyond something we can put in a box or on a shelf but being captured by photos of service—one hand touching another, a bowl of soup, a blanket, a hug.

Rev. Beverly R. Sargent, Ph.D. ’11

CEO/founder of A Servant’s Heart Ministries Inc.

Loyola magazine welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Write to magazine@loyola.edu.

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1 Comment

  • Posted by Paul Barnaby | April 7, 2011

    The Greyhound used to have a column written by the Serf? Enjoyed reading the column and would love to know what they’ve been doing and if possible crank out a long overdue piece.

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