IPS Student Engagement Committee
The Student Engagement Committee (SEC) is an IPS organization that meets every other week to plan upcoming events and discuss ways to continue to make IPS even better than what it is currently. The group is made up of students from various degree programs, faculty and staff. This includes:
- Dr. Peter Jones (Chair)
- Dr. Michael Canaris
- Dr. Timone Davis
- Koonal Patel
- Rebekah Turnbaugh (Student Chair)
- Suhair Jasevicius
- Patrice Nerone
- Laura Forbes
- Alicja Lukaszewicz-Southall
- Elizabeth Palmer
- Catherine Conley
The SEC was initially formed because it was something IPS students wanted.
“It was a student initiative in order to find ways to connect with students in other programs and as a way to improve communication across all levels,” said Dr. Jones.
Dr. Jones went on to say that the initial impulse of the SEC was to improve communication between IPS administrators and students, but that it has grown into so much more.
“Enhancing communication is a component, but it’s really about building relationships where those communications occur by providing people opportunities to develop relationships with people they might not otherwise meet. One of its goals is to foster that sense of community,” added Dr. Jones.
The SEC is only a couple years old, but has already contributed a lot to the IPS community. The SEC plans all the student parties and is currently planning this year’s graduation celebration. The SEC also reviews applications for the Alpha Sigma Nu honor society and applications for IPS student travel grants. Furthermore, the new “Lunch ‘N Learn” event was a recent development from the SEC and a previous initiative includes the IPS newsletter that is sent out regularly.
There are several students that make up the SEC and each joined to help enhance IPS during their time here.
“I primarily joined because I wanted to be part of the planning for the commissioning because I’m graduating in May,” said Rebekah Turnbaugh (SJ). “I really do want students to be involved in everything. I want there to be more of a student voice in the Institute of Pastoral Studies. That was my motivation, but I don’t know if that’s the case for everybody.”
Patrice Nerone (PC & MDiv) said her motivation for joining the SEC was “the idea that [she] would have an opportunity to have [her] voice be part of IPS and have an active role in helping improve IPS.”
However, the way IPS is set up has led to some difficulties when it comes to fostering this kind of environment, but the SEC is up to the challenge.
“We have to be very intentional about creating community for a few reasons: we are a professional school with a diverse student body, we’ve got people online and on site, and we don’t really have a common gathering space,” commented Dr. Jones. “We need everybody’s mind in the game. [SEC is] a pretty diverse group with people in different degree plans, so if we can come up with something that would interest us, maybe that would translate into more people in the community being interested. We want people to have a real sense of belonging and to do more that just their required degree work.”
The SEC has a few goals including: building community, enhancing communication and increasing student involvement.
Rebekah said she believes the goal is “getting people to be more connected between programs and have them be more integrated into the lifeblood of IPS.”
Dr. Jones added that it is also “to make it easy for faculty administrators to include the student voice in what’s going on and decisions that are being made.”
SEC Vision Statement
The Student Engagement Committee (SEC) seeks to cooperate in and contribute to a vibrant and constructive environment where students are integrated into the very form and function of the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS), where theory and praxis meet, and where students, staff, and faculty work alongside one another for the care and formation of those in relationship with IPS and in the pursuit of peace and justice in the world around us.
SEC Mission Statement
The missions of the SEC is to create a space where students, faculty, and staff can collaborate with one another in furthering the mission of the IPS, nurture the development of pastoral, discernment, and leadership skills, and foster relationships among students, alumni, and the community.
If you would like more information or are interested in joining the Student Engagement Committee, please contact Dr. Peter Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of your fellow students who are already members!
Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn.