Monthly Archives: October 2015

Alpha Sigma Nu Recognizes Oustanding IPS Students

alpha sigma nu

This past Sunday, Alpha Sigma Nu held its annual Induction Ceremony to welcome its new members.

“Alpha Sigma Nu is the international honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education. The society was founded in 1915 to honor a select number of students each year on the basis of scholarship, loyalty, and service.”

We would like to say a big congratulations to this year’s inductees from IPS:

  • Devona Alleyne
  • Carleen Czajka
  • Elaine Lindia
  • Alicja Lukaszewicz-Southall
  • Brian Melton

Loyola IPS is proud to have students who continue to pursue scholarly goals and strive to better their community on a daily basis! Keep up the extraordinary work and it will take you even farther than you imagine.


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

IPS Alumnus Authors “The Self Aware Lover”


Stephen Dynako graduated from Loyola IPS with a M.A. in Pastoral Counseling. Dynako has diverse experiences that range from being a hospital and lay chaplain to holding various management positions in media, technology and finance industries. In addition, Dynako most recently authored a book, The Self Aware Lover.

The book is about moving beyond the distractions of daily life and discovering the true nature of love. It explores how your relationship with yourself, others and the community can benefit from putting love first.

“The Self Aware Lover grew out of journaling about my meditations on love. I had desired for quite some time to write a book on the topic of love, though I wasn’t sure what direction it would take,” said Dynako.

Dynako began writing without a strict plan of action and through this liberal and unguarded process, he was able to think freely and even found the title for the book.

“All I really planned for certain was to follow my inspiration. I didn’t commit to an outline of the content. Rather, I practiced a free association method of writing down what came to me whenever it came to me. In the Shalom Heartland community in which I participate, we would say simply to ‘trust the process.'”

Dynako continued, “During the course of my journaling, I noticed that I began referring frequently to the idea of a ‘self aware lover’ as someone who works to become in touch with one’s own and others’ loving nature. That’s how the title came to be.”

51KTGBl26DLThere have been many books written about the various aspects of love: what it means, how it affects us, et cetera. For readers of The Self Aware Lover, Dynako hopes that a particular message about loving perfectly resonates with them:

“One of the key ideas in the book is the paradox that loving perfectly is not about being a perfectionist. Self awareness in our loving frees us from the anxiety of thinking that we or others must be perfect. My experience of trying to be impossibly perfect for so many years finally brought me to a place where I realized my self love had been sabotaged. This happens to so many of us in today’s culture, so I hope to impart the message that love for all truly begins with a healthy and humble love for self.”

Continuing, Dynako reflects on his time at IPS and how his education through the pastoral counseling program contributed to his career journey and success as an author.

“I write in the book that I was grateful for my cohort and professors in IPS, because they co-created such a deeply nourishing and nurturing environment. Of course, this experience strengthened me as a pastoral counselor, but it was also foundational to my self awareness, which was a major inspiration for the book.”

Dynako said the entire IPS program was “excellent” and some of his favorite and most useful courses included: Human Relations Skills, Human Development, Multicultural Counseling, and Ethics for Pastoral Counselors.

He also added that his most memorable and moving moments at IPS were “times spent in conversation, reflection, or just relaxation with my classmates and teachers. Ours was a powerfully supportive and loving community. I learned just as much outside of class as I did in class.”

For current and future IPS students, Dynako shares some advice:

“Boldly be open to the process of your own unfolding during the course of your studies, but more importantly in your community making. Your experience in IPS will be all the richer for going beyond the academic – important as that is – to connect with your loving nature and the loving nature of your peers and teachers.”


Buy The Self Aware Lover in print and/or e-book format on Amazon. (If you purchase the print version from Amazon, you can acquire the Kindle version for free through Amazon’s MatchBook option.)


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