Monthly Archives: August 2015

Student Feature: Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Schultz is earning her Masters in Pastoral Studies with a Health Care Chaplaincy concentration through IPS online courses. She has Masters in Engineering, flew a helicopter at 18 years old, loves long walks with her husband and has recently accepted a position as a hospital Staff Chaplain.

Check out our Q&A with Elizabeth below to read a little bit about her journey and her future goals.

Elizabeth with her husband Joe
Elizabeth with her husband Joe

Nickname: Betty Jean (my middle name is Jean, and Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth!)

Hometown: I was born and raised in NJ, went to college in Delaware and Syracuse, NY, and I’ve lived in Lititz, Pennsylvania for the last 23 years.

What do you enjoy doing outside of school? One of my favorite pastimes is going for a walk/run with my husband on a beautiful evening.

What is a fun fact or story about you?
I flew a helicopter when I was 18! Actually, I was in the co-pilot seat, but the pilot let me fly, hover, and land the Army helicopter. I was working at a military base in NJ during the summer between high school and college. One of the Army pilots gave me a flight suit to put on and took me (unofficially) on a flight along the ocean and up to NYC. We flew around my house, then up to the Statue of Liberty, and back to the base. Waving to the kids on the beach was almost as cool as actually getting to fly the helicopter by myself.

A quote, prayer, etc. that has significance to you?
What is a blessing but a rain of grace
falling generously into the lives
of those in need; and who among us
is without need?
May the divine Spirit
touch your spirit in the course of this day.
May your work this day be your love made visible.
May you breathe upon the wounds
of those with whom you work.
May you open yourself to God’s breathing.
May you honor the flame of love
that burns inside you.
May your voice this day
be a voice of encouragement.
May your life be an answer to someone’s prayer.
May you own a grateful heart.
May you have enough joy to give you hope,
enough pain to make you wise.
May there be no room in your heart for hatred.
May you be free from violent thoughts.
When you look into the window of your soul
may you see the face of God.
May the lamp of your life
shine upon all you meet this day.

Sr Macrina Wiederkehr

What is your previous education? I graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering in 1985 and from Syracuse University with a Masters in Engineering in 1988.

What were you doing before beginning your IPS journey? In August of 2011, I decided to take a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). That was a period of discernment which had begun over 6 years prior when I did a one year stint as a volunteer Eucharistic Minister in the hospital. After finishing my unit of CPE, I was hired part-time as a per diem chaplain. In August of 2012, I began a one-year CPE residency. THEN, I began at IPS. I did things a bit backwards!

What made you decide to come to Loyola IPS?
The maturity of the online curriculum. I looked at many online programs at Catholic universities and none seemed as rich and well-developed as Loyola’s.

What degree are you seeking?
I am in the final year of a Masters in Pastoral Studies with a Health Care Chaplaincy concentration. This curriculum will prepare me well for seeking board certification with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Do you have a favorite class or one you look forward to taking?
Boy, that’s a hard question. What I’ve discovered as an adult learner is that I want to soak in as much as I can and all of my courses thus far met that desire. I loved IPS 417: Literature of Ancient Israel and IPS 404: Theology of Suffering. I’m looking forward to taking IPS599: Theology and Ethics at the End of Life this fall.

Do you see any challenges you will have to overcome during your time here? 
Probably my biggest challenge has been learning in the online environment. I tend to process information best by talking face to face with fellow students, colleagues, and instructors. So, conversing via posts in our message boards continues to be my biggest challenge. That being said, the synchronous classes are a blessing. The other MAPS programs I researched prior to applying to IPS did not offer nearly as many (if any) synchronous classes. Of course, professors and fellow students are only a phone call away for verbal discussion and learning.

Do you have any recommendations for future students?
Don’t hesitate to utilize all of the resources IPS offers. I’ve found the professors to be available and more than willing to help me reach my goals both academically and professionally.

Tell us about your new job. 
I have accepted a permanent position at Lancaster General Hospital as a Staff Chaplain. The position is contingent upon finishing my degree and being Board Certified within 2 years. The IPS curriculum has me right on track (thanks to the Integration Project specifically for Health Care Chaplaincy)! I am the lead chaplain for our critical care units which include medical ICU, surgical ICU, Intermediate ICU and trauma/neuro ICU. That’s about 60 beds. I am to provide a consistent presence and read-access for staff, families and patients on those units. I will also provide mentorship to our CPE students assigned to those units and coordinate the provision of spiritual care. Other parts of the position include: attending and facilitating debriefings, participating in follow-up meetings for organ donation cases, attending ethics committee meetings, providing staff education, and working on advanced care planning.

What goals do you have for this job?
My primary goal is to be available to provide for the spiritual and emotional needs of our staff, patients and families. One of the ways in which to achieve part of this goal is to help patients and their families work together with the interdisciplinary team to develop a plan of care which is consistent with their goals and values.

Feel free to reach out to Elizabeth at:


**Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn.

New Career Liaison for IPS

Sarah Syversen has joined the Career Development Center (CDC) as the new Career Liaison for IPS, SoE and School of Social Work.

Sarah, an experienced advisor, studied education as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona and completed a Master’s degree in counseling at DePaul University.

“My journey in career services began right after I graduated college when I served as an Americorps VISTA volunteer. As a VISTA, I worked at the Youth Job Center of Evanston assisting young adults in securing entry-level employment and setting short and long term career and education goals. It was there I discovered my passion for counseling and, in particular, career counseling,” said Sarah.

Now as a Liaison at Loyola, she will:

  • Provide career counseling to the students and alumni of IPS and the other schools and programs
  • Deliver CDC career courses and workshops
  • Partner with IPS and the other schools and programs to deliver in class presentations
  • Work with faculty and school-based practicum/internship coordinators
  • Facilitate career exploration, preparation, and readiness for a successful transition outside of the Institution
  • Conduct outreach to appropriate employers
  • Coordinate large events with other universities with similar academic programs

Sarah not only has the skills to assist people in landing a job, but she also has a passion for it.

“I LOVE hearing people’s stories: what do they enjoy doing, what their career and life journey has been like so far, how they define success, how their life experiences have shaped who they are and who they want to be, etc. When I can help others ‘connect the dots’ and clarify their goals, values, and career path, I feel fulfilled and excited about my work,” commented Sarah.

Sarah Syversen
The mission of the CDC is “to educate, counsel, and empower Loyola students and alumni through their self-identity and career exploration process.” In addition, the CDC recognizes the power of  “personal reflection and intensive exploration” while job searching. “Career satisfaction is born of an authentic understanding of the self and the needs of the world,” as stated on the CDC website.

Sarah went into further detail as to what services the CDC provides for undergraduates, graduates and alumni.

“We provide one:one career advising and small group workshops for those students and alumni who could use some help determining career goals, clarifying direction, and overcoming obstacles. We also host several career fairs throughout the year, critique resumes and cover letters, discuss interview and networking strategies, and maintain RamblerLink: Loyola’s online volunteer, internship, and employment database.”

Sarah continued, “Our website also has a TON of useful information and links on all of the above topics. Check it out when you get a chance!”

Moreover, Sarah offered some insight to what tends to be the most challenging part for students about finding a job and shared some advice to overcome this challenge.

“Students often have on ‘blinders’ and are so focused on one particular career path or one narrow definition of success that they become easily disappointed or frustrated. On the other hand, when students are patient, keep their minds open to different or unexpected opportunities, and take the time to truly explore and reflect on their career values and interests, they tend to view themselves as much more successful and happy in their careers.”

In addition, she shared a couple of the best tips for success when searching for a job:

  • Have a career advisor critique your resume! Not only can we critique it for spelling and grammatical errors, but we can help you reformat your resume to emphasize relevant experiences or re-word a job description to highlight your transferable skills!
  • Learn how to use your network effectively. Nowadays, your network is key to finding a job. I can coach you on how to build your network and use it to your advantage.

Sarah was also kind enough to share some helpful resources:

To conclude Sarah said, “I’m looking forward to working with you all!”

For more help, you can find Sarah at the Water Tower Campus in Corboy 800. Stop by for some advice or to say thank you and welcome to Loyola’s WTC!


**Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn.

Rome Recap

We hope you have been enjoying your summer! We talked with a couple people to hear what they had to say about their experience in the IPS Rome program this summer.

The course, Peacebuilding in a Global, Interfaith Context, was taught by Dr. Marian Diaz. The course explored the theory and practice of peacebuilding from a variety of religious perspectives. Peacebuilding involves the period of time after a conflict has come to some resolution. The course focused on how a lasting peace can be forged in a given context in light of cultural and religious differences.

Both Christine Collins and Susan Schemper heard about this special course through IPS staff and faculty. Susan said her advisor, Bill Schmidt, suggested it, and Christine actually found out about this program on a fluke.

“I went to a seminar Loyola was having at the Cuneo property in Vernon Hills one night about graduate school. I really didn’t have a direction, and thought by attending I might find an avenue to pursue. I spoke with Chrissy Sofranko that night and she asked me some questions that led to her telling me about the Rome program,” mentioned Christine. “When I left that night I knew I wanted to go to Rome with Loyola!”

Christine and Susan each had unique moments that were the most memorable for them on the trip.

“I loved the Sant’ Egidio visit and talk given by Marco,” said Christine.

For Susan it was “sitting with the group from Rondine and getting a sense of what that peace-making group is about.”

The IPS Rome program offers learning and cultural experiences that you can’t find in a classroom in Chicago.

“I learned how much more there is to the world. In all aspects. Historically, politically and just globally in general,” said Christine.

“The overwhelming thing I learned was just how complex peacemaking is in a world of different belief systems and religions. Yet, it is also always between people or people and their environment,” noted Susan.

When asked if they would recommend this program to other students, they both said, “absolutely!”

“You can not get this experience/education in a classroom or out of a book,” added Christine. “I loved every minute of our time in Italy. I learned so much from the people and places we visited. I also learned a lot from our Professor and my classmates. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I will never forget it!”

Susan did have a bit of good advice for future participants of the program:

“Take good shoes for walking and an open-mind. It will take awhile to metabolize the content of the trip over time. Relax and let that happen.”

Christine concluded, “It is an amazing experience – enjoy!”


Thank you to all who attended this year. We hope to see more of you in the Rome program next summer! Check back on the IPS website during the 2016 Spring semester for updated information.


**Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn.