2012 Xavier Mission Academy

Have you ever wondered how your excellent teaching can be further enhanced? Or, how you can have a more far-reaching effect on your students as they leave Xavier and become productive contributors to society? The Center for Mission and Identity and the Conway Institute for Jesuit Education is offering an opportunity help to do just that!

What: Xavier Mission Academy

The Xavier Mission Academy is funded in part by a grant received from the Lilly Fellows Program by the Center for Mission and Identity/Conway Institute for Jesuit Education to support the integration of Xavier’s Jesuit Catholic Mission through a Xavier Mission Academy.

When:

6 Meetings during the 2011-2012 school year (1:30-4:00 pm on Wednesdays).

Who:

Elaine Crable, Management Information Systems
Craig Davis, Chemistry
Tina Davlin-Pater, Sports Studies
Gennadi Gevorgyan, Communication Arts
Mike Goldweber, Math/Computer Science
Lynda Kilbourne, Management & Entrepreneurship
Leslie Prosak-Beres, Education
Debbie Tesch, Management Information Systems

Why:

Although the Ignatian Mentoring program, Manresa, etc. provide opportunities for new faculty members to explore the integration of the Xavier’s Ignatian mission into their classrooms in a personally and professionally appropriate way, mid-career and later-career faculty members have had few such opportunities.

The focus of the Academy is to provide faculty members with a working knowledge of Xavier’s mission and the tools needed to further integrate that mission into their classes in personally and professionally appropriated ways. Given that participating faculty members will possess significant teaching experience and are very knowledgeable about their disciplines, the academy will focus on building upon this knowledge and providing faculty members with the tools to integrate mission into their classes in positive ways.

Content:

The topics of the meetings are as follows.

  • Meeting 1 (September 21): What is the need for mission integration?
  • Meeting 2 (October 19): Recognizing and overcoming the barriers to mission integration.
  • Meeting 3 (November 16): What do we want to achieve: How does mission relate to our disciplines?
  • Meeting 4 (January 25): Fundamental elements of mission integration.
  • Meeting 5 (February 22): Available approaches to mission integration.
  • Meeting 6 (March 21): Presentations of proposed personal mission integration.


Activity:

Each participating faculty member is required to develop and implement a personally and professionally appropriate mission-centric focus in at least one of their courses and to aid and encourage other participating faculty members to do likewise. The results will also be included in Teaching to the Mission which will enable dissemination across the Xavier campus and to other private institutions of higher learning for use by the entire Xavier community and beyond.

Stipend:

Participating faculty members  receive $1,000 for participating in the Academy and $500 for submitting their results for inclusion in Teaching to the Mission. The deadline for submitting a contribution to Teaching to the Mission will be the end of final week, Spring 2012.

Facilitator:

The Academy facilitated by David Burns, Professor of Marketing, Director of Faculty Programs, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Christian Business Faculty Association. He has been an advocate for the integration of mission into all activities of the university (including teaching, research, and service). He has received an award for the best integration paper at a recent conference and has offered a workshop on mission integration into scholarship activities.

 

Participants have expressed the value seen thus far in the program:

 The reality is that between class preparation, grading, research projects, and committee obligations, time for such deliberations rarely exists.  One great aspect of the Mission Academy is that it carves out of one's busy schedule the opportunity to sit down with colleagues from across the institution for serious discussion of some the Big Issues facing Xavier.  It is great time that is well spent!
 
Throughout my participation in the Mission Academy, I was able to identify and address not only a range of conceptual aspects relevant to mission integration, but also a great spectrum of practical ways in which mission integration can be made possible.
 
The Mission Academy debunked a range of myths and misconceptions with regard to mission integration.
 
The Mission Academy unveiled ways of integrating the university mission into the classrooms without having to compromise on the format and scope of curricula. 
 
Having an opportunity to understand the Ignatian mission at a deeper level has motivated me to reevaluate the courses I teach.  In business quite often we consider meeting the mission is including the teaching of ethical behavior but the academy has helped me focus on other areas of the mission such as critical thinking and men and women for others. 
 
As a professor in the physical sciences I could not on my own find a way to integrate Ignatian principles into my classroom in an explicit way.  Fortunately, the Mission Academy has provided me a forum to engage in deep, rich conversations with colleagues from all three colleges at Xavier.  Through these conversation I have been challenged, encouraged, and, most importantly, equipped to accomplish the goal of mission integration.