Service-Learning Faculty

Meet our amazing faculty...
Lynn Sondag, Assistant Professor/Chair, Department of Art, Dominican University

Through service-learning, higher education and communities see one another as creative resources that inspire vision and action for positive change. Each semester, the picture becomes clearer: art sustains us and we sustain the arts.

Lynn Sondag 
Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Art

Cheramie Leo, Adjunct Faculty, English

Students who have engaged in SL develop the ability to articulate complex theories supported by meaningful hands-on experiences. Meanwhile, framing my work through SL shapes my participation in the education process. What new opportunities for creativity it offers! What meaning it lends to time spent in the classroom! Thus, for faculty and students alike, SL can be life-changing; it catalyzes our inspiration and offers meaningful, communal experiences in which we may explore and develop our passions.

Cheramie Leo
Adjunct Professor, English

Image of Jordan Lieser

History is generally considered to be the study of the past as it relates to people. My passion for Public History is two-fold. First, what is the point in studying peoples of the past if we do not share this information with the peoples of the present in creative, inspirational, and accessible ways? It is my opinion that historians should be active in the preservation, presentation, and historical discussion of their communities. Secondly, the engaged learning that takes place in Public History is to connect students with practical applications of Public History in their surrounding communities, get real world experience to help them in the exciting and growing Public History job market, and help enrich our community by adding to the historical understanding of our region.

Jordan Lieser
Instructor, History

Caroline Hanssen, Instructor, English, Dominican University

Taking college freshmen back to high school to address the achievement gap and education inequity not only informs their essays but also enriches their educational experience. Service-learning in Expository Writing engages students from the start and can shape their future goals.

Caroline Hanssen
Adjunct Assistant Professor, English

Sr Carla Kovack, Assoc Director, Campus Ministry, Dominican University

How do ideas, theories and historical documents become real? When our own experiences connect us with these ideas, theories and history and they become incarnated in our lives of service.

Sr Carla Kovack
Instructor, Religion

Julia van der Ryn, Assist Professor Term, Humanities, Service-Learning Director, Dominican University

For me philosophy is about connecting thinking to action.  As noted by Paulo Freire, "There is no knowledge without practice". I cannot imagine teaching Philosophy or Ethics without having the students actively living these ideas in the community.

Julia van der Ryn
Assist Professor, Humanities/Philosophy, Service-Learning Director

Emily Wu, Instructor, Religious Studies, Dominican University

Spiritual and religious dimensions of ethnic cultures are difficult to talk about without actual experiential contexts. Service-learning provides great opportunities for students to participate in the activities and lives of fellow citizens with a wide range of social, economic, cultural, and ideological locations. It not only allows the students to better understand the globalized world they live in, but also for them to reflect on who they are as individuals and as members of the greater collective..

Emily Wu
Instructor, Religion/Philosophy

Lindsey Dean

Service-learning provides an opportunity to reflect on the deeper root causes of unsolved public issues related to course content, while participating in meaningful action toward their solution.

Lindsey Dean
Instructor, Humanities/Philosophy

cynthia taylor

Service-learning makes my religion classes more meaningful to me and my students because it helps us apply the religious values we are learning/reading about to the community where we live.

Cynthia Taylor
Assistant Professor, Religion/History, Religion

Thomas Burke, Assistant Professor Term, English, Dominican University

Service is truly a text in my Literature of Gender Subcultures Class. Students say, write and continuously demonstrate that in the service the literature comes alive in unexpected ways. Service teaches things that I cannot. Service is not abstract. It's messy and complicated and fun and tiring and enlivening, just like life. Service is real.

Thomas Burke
Assistant Professor, English/Humanities, Graduate Humanities

laura stivers, Associate Professor, Philosophy, Dominican University

Working with community groups organizing for economic and social justice helps students to understand what it means to do an ethics from the margins. Listening to voices that are not often heard assists them to critically analyze what strategies will actually empower people, and getting to know people within dis-empowered communities encourages them to work in solidarity with these communities to promote just political and economic structures..

Laura Stivers
Dean, School of Liberal Arts & Education, Professor of Ethics