Conway Institute

Conway Faculty Fellow

The Conway Fellowship is an initiative of the new Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Institute for Jesuit Education. The Institute, within the Center for Mission and Identity, assists educators in transforming students intellectually, morally and spiritually in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, while appropriating Ignatian pedagogy and spirituality in today's world.
Conway Fellowship Application and more information.


Dr. Delane Bender-Slack.jpg

Dr. Delane Bender-Slack, Professor   School of Education

Literacy and International Education: Empowering Young Women Through Writing

This international, equity-orientated pedagogical literacy project intentionally advances Jesuit catholic education at Xavier and in collaboration with other social and educational institutions supports the Xavier mission to educate the whole person, promoting the common good, and serving others. This project will establish a sustainable writing workshop program in Peru designed to meet the needs of vulnerable, indigenous female adolescents. The workshop goals are to strengthen the knowledge of the rights of young women through using literacy as a tool to empower voices, and generate active, participatory and informed citizenship for the reduction of family and community violence.



Dr. Diane Ceo-DiFrancesco, Professor    Classics and Modern Languages

Transformation and Justice through Virtual Exchange

In a world of increasing polarization, dialogic encounters across cultures through virtual exchange provide opportunities for engaging with difference. Virtual Exchange connects students and professors across borders, cultures and languages utilizing various types of technology applications. Student collaborations include both synchronous and asynchronous interactions integrated into curricula to enhance learners’ linguistic, intercultural and communication growth. These encounters can transform students as they examine social justice issues from multiple perspectives. Grounded in the Jesuit mission, this transformative learning experience exemplifies the collaborative potential of the global Jesuit university network. A strong collaboration for virtual exchange exists among Latin American Jesuit Universities. A similar collaboration has not yet developed to the same level of participation among AJCU universities. This proposal aims to create a uniquely Jesuit educational model for virtual exchange based on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm and the Apostolic Preferences. By establishing effective models of curricular design, pedagogical training, research and advocacy, implementation will be strengthened and expanded among Xavier faculty and students, as well as at Jesuit universities nationally and internationally.


Professional photo of Dr. Matthew D. Regele, Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship at Xavier UniversityDr. Matthew D. Regele, Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship was awarded the 2022 Fellowship for his project, Integrating Ignatian Values Into Entrepreneurship Teaching and Practice.

This project will develop a novel Ignatian-based entrepreneurship education model to advance traditional “entrepreneurship process”-centered pedagogy. By helping students understand how core Ignatian values such as the Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) and Gifts of Our Ignatian Heritage can be applied to entrepreneurship, the model will enable them to recognize psychological, well-being, and social problems that often accompany entrepreneurship and provide students with tools to overcome these problems as future entrepreneurs and as individuals who walk alongside other entrepreneurs. The Conway Fellowship will support the development of the model and the design of a set of pedagogical tools and activities to be applied in the classroom, including exercises based on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm (IPP) and the Spiritual Exercises. The fellowship will also support the launch of a pilot version of an online “center” for Ignatian Entrepreneurship Education to disseminate the model among educators at other Jesuit and non-Jesuit universities and other entrepreneurship support organizations (e.g., business accelerators).


Professional photo of Dr Adam Clark, associate professor of theology at Xavier University

Dr Adam Clark, associate professor of theology,  was awarded the 2021 Fellowship for his project on Black Theology and the Common Good.

The Jesuit mission of educating students in the service of faith and the promotion of justice as well as the forming of persons for others is at the heart of my project on Black Theology and the Common Good. The aim of this project is to develop an online learning platform and educational resource around prophetic and contemplative topics that upset the powers and cultivate the common good. I conceive of this project as the first phase, where we design courses, develop podcasts, curate video on black theological topics, in the eventual development of an online Institute on Theology and Social Change.  The first phase of the project is organized around the works of the late James Hal Cone, father of black theology, who introduced a radical racial critique, cultural sources as well as norms of liberation and justice into the discipline of Christian theology. While most of Cone’s work focused on liberation from racial oppression, Cone’s conception of liberation was related to broader themes of right relatedness and life-togetherness. So, questions of “does it liberate?” aren’t the only preoccupations of liberation theology, “how shall we live together?” is also a guiding norm. Black theology’s focus on questions about the meaning of dignity and freedom, right relatedness and life-togetherness ground the conceptual foundations of this project’s quest to create an online learning project (and possible Institute) operated at Xavier University.


Photo of Dr José María Mantero, professor of Spanish in the Department of Classics and Modern Languages at Xavier University

Dr José María Mantero, professor of Spanish in the Department of Classics and Modern Languages, was awarded the 2020 Fellowship for "Liberation and the (Post)Colonial Ghost: Teaching Nationalism, Racism, and Sexism through the Literature and Art in Spain and Latin America"

Historically, the remnants of the Spanish colonial enterprise in Spain and Latin America have proven to be a vital point of departure for artists and writers on both sides of the Atlantic. As theory and praxis, liberation theology is especially valuable in framing past and present struggles for agency, particularly for those marginalized populations working to overcome the colonial legacy. For the Conway Fellowship, I propose to partner with the Cincinnati Art Museum and organize two courses-- a First Year Seminar in English translation and another for Spanish majors and minors-- that will apply the Ignatian tradition and use liberation theology to examine art and literature through the decolonial lens. 


Professional photo of Dr. Anas Malik, an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Xavier University

Dr. Anas Malik, an Associate Professor in the Political Science Department was awarded the 2019 Fellowship for "Ignatian Civic Artisanship in Interreligious Contexts".

Artisanship involves combining diverse materials in creative ways to produce forms with purpose. Civic artisanship means creatively identifying and generating complementarities across different individuals and groups to produce shared understandings for governing common areas. The traditional literature on civics focuses on knowledge of formal government process. The growing literature on civic artisanship emphasizes creative skills, but assumes that underlying preferences and culture are fixed. Civic artisanship is considered to be difficult in diverse settings where there is cultural and religious distance between social actors. Ignatian exercises in contemplation, imagination, and discernment, particular in regard to the vulnerable and marginalized “other”, offer an unappreciated possibility for improving civic artisanship across religious lines. I propose to develop a course module, training workshop, and supporting materials for a pedagogy for Ignatian civic artisanship, to implement these in a specific interreligious community context, and increase civic artisanship training in the Xavier community.


Photo of Dr. Thomas Knestrict, an associate professor in the School of Education at Xavier University

Dr. Thomas Knestrict, an associate professor in the School of Education was awarded the 2018 Fellowship for "The Jesuit Gifts: The Differentiation of Jesuit Pedagogy, Purpose and Mission."
As a result of my participation in several programs at Mission and Identity I have become very interested in how I can integrate Jesuit pedagogy and application of the Jesuit Gifts of the Spirit into my teaching, research and my life. I believe these ways of thinking and viewing the world are valuable no matter what your faith history is. I see the Conway Fellowship as an opportunity to extend this mission and bring a sustainable week long retreat to students wishing to extend and develop their social justice muscles and learn to become men and woman for and with others. The retreat will provide a structured week-long outdoor experience based in learning and applying the Jesuit Gifts as the group faces outdoor challenges like a ropes course and winter kayaking and canoeing as well as the construction of several items that will be donated to families or institution's in need. 


Professional Photo of Dr. Wendy Maxian, Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Arts department at Xavier University

Dr. Wendy Maxian, Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Arts department was awarded the 2017 Fellowship for Community-Engaged Learning as an Embedded Departmental Pedagogy: Piloting a "Community- Partner-in Residence" Program.
The proposed project pilots a "Community-Partner-in-Residence" program that will serve as a model for academic departments at Xavier University and elsewhere. During the 2017-2018 academic year, a community partner will be solicited to work with the Communication Arts department in a comprehensive partnership extending from fall 2017 through summer 2018. Faculty and student expertise are leveraged to advance the partner organization's communication efforts. Measurable communication objectives will be collaboratively determined, goal achievement and community impact will be assessed, and student learning will be enhanced through extended, repeated and scaffolded engagement with a singular community partner. The proposed project also captures successes and improvement opportunities through empirical research, which will allow for reflection and refinement as a final version of the Community-Partner-in-Residence program is developed and shared.

See the bibliography of her work:

Maxian, W. (2019, June 4). Community-Engaged Learning and Pedagogy [LibGuide]. Retrievable from Nonrefereed.

Maxian, W. (2018, Spring). Piloting a theory-driven, applied measure of community partner participation and impact. Experience Magazine: Practice and Theory, pp. 76-86. Retrievable from Refereed.

Maxian, W. (2018, July). Community-engaged learning as an embedded departmental pedagogy: Tentative outcomes from a pilot program. Research presented at the annual conference of the AJCU Communication Deans, St. Louis, MO.

Maxian, W.  (2017, September). Developing an Applied Measure of Community Partner Participation and Impact. Research presentation at the annual conference of International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, Galway, Ireland. Refereed.


Photo of Dr. Christine Anderson, professor of history at Xavier University

Dr. Christine Anderson, professor of history, was awarded the 2016 Fellowship for “Neighbors” and “Others”: Engagement and Reflection through Participatory Social History Discussions on Migration and Immigration.
I propose to organize ongoing discussion about migration and immigration bringing together Xavier students in First Year Seminars and Public History courses with community partners.  Cincinnati has been the locus of migrants and immigrants since the nineteenth century, enriching the city’s culture but sometimes resulting in friction and hostility.  Examining historical examples of diversity will allow discussants to reflect on issues that affect us today without invoking contentious catch phrases.  By interrogating texts and artifacts related to experiences of migration, students will retrace Ignatius’s footsteps, moving outward “both to share and to learn.”  Students and community participants alike will gain an opportunity to blend a rigorous analytic approach based in the traditional liberal arts with commitment to the common good in a diverse, complex and interdependent society.  These dialogues offer a model of Ignatian pedagogy that can easily be adapted to local situations and replicated by other Jesuit universities.
View Dr Anderson's "Xavier University: Ignatian Discussions of Im/Migration"


Photo of Dr. Jodi Wyett professor in the department of English at Xavier University Dr. Jodi Wyett professor in the department of English was awarded the Fellowship for her project, "Digital Discernment: Bringing Ignatian Ideals to Digital Pedagogy"; the abstract follows: 
I propose to build an assignment database emphasizing the application of process-oriented and discernment-based student learning objectives to existing types of digital pedagogies in traditional non-STEM-based disciplines. The assignment models will allow faculty at Xavier and beyond to implement meaningful digital pedagogy with a manageable level of effort. As I have labored to design digital assignments, I have found both too much and not enough: too many open-source technologies, too little time to train myself to use them, and too little information on how these tools  that generally emphasize digital product can help teach to mission. For these reasons, the liberal arts tradition has historically eschewed technology. But as educators at a Catholic Jesuit institution, we have the opportunity to enter the technological pedagogical arena armed with our humanities-focused strengths -- a rigorous holistic approach that questions the intellectual, moral, and spiritual dimensions of what it means to use modern technology.
Dr Wyett's "Digital Discernment: Bringing Ignatian Ideals to Digital Pedagogy"  


Photo of Dr. Gary Lewandowski, professor in the department of Mathematics & Computer Science at Xavier University

Dr. Gary Lewandowski, professor in the department of Mathematics & Computer Science was awarded the Fellowship for his project, "Critical Making"; the abstract follows: 

This project provides time and resources to implement a new academic program, Critical Making. The program reimagines Jesuit liberal arts education as a tightly integrated combination of community, creation, and critical analysis.  Centering on disruptive technologies, in particular personal fabrication (e.g. 3D-printing, CNC tools) and computation (e.g. mobile applications, data science), the program emphasizes the process of creating physical and software artifacts for and with a community (e.g. the university, local neighborhoods, the city, state, country and world). This process is embedded in the liberal arts by intentional analysis and reflection in the science, mathematics, business, philosophy, history, art, and theology courses taken by the students. The combination of community, creation, and critical thinking encourages Ignatian values of service, discernment, and reflection.  This fellowship will provide time to develop the program. The project deliverables include a curriculum proposal for an undergraduate degree and a first course offering in Spring 2015.


Professional photo of Dr. Julia . O'Hara, Associate Professor, History Department at Xavier University

Dr. Julia . O'Hara, Associate Professor, History Department, was awarded the 2013 Fellowship for her project, "Toward an 'Educated Solidarity' with Central America: Constructing a Jesuit Resource on Central American History for Service and Community-Engage Learning." She describes it in this way:
The project that I propose is to compile, edit, and author a new Jesuit Resource for the study of Central American history that is informed by both Ignatian pedagogy and the historical literature, and is customized for use by participants in community-engaged service experiences in Central America. Using as a model the "online seminars" on the website, this project will create concrete learning materials to support experiential learning, reflection, and intercultural understanding, and to help users gain self-awareness about their roles in the complex interactions that take place during cross-cultural encounters. Co-curricular service experiences such as Alternative Breaks and "mission trips" to Central American countries have a great capacity to help students bring new perspectives to their classroom work. By providing a rich and diverse set of learning materials about Central American history, the proposed project will provide a framework in which personal engagement and critical thinking can reinforce each other. This process is essential to our efforts to inculcate in our students not simply compassion for, but an "educated solidarity" with, the people of other nations.


Photo of Elaine Crable, Ph.D., Professor of Management Information Systems at Xavier University

Elaine Crable, Ph.D., Professor of Management Information Systems was awarded the 2012 Fellowship for her project, "A Mission Driven Effort to Incorporate Web Accessibility into Xavier's Online Course Initiative."  She describers her project in this way:
As we begin our move into delivering courses and programs virtually, we need to remember our Ignatian mission of inclusion. Providing online access to Xavier courses will benefit people who find coming to campus a hardship. This hardship might stem from family and/or job obligations; time/location constraints; or, a physical disability.
This proposal focuses on developing an acute awareness of the importance of accessibility as we design and develop online curricula. The internet has opened up wonderful possibilities for communication and convenience, but for those with sight or hearing impairments it can be very frustrating when the web content is not accessible. Accessibility to our online course components is not only a legal issue it is also our mission as a Jesuit institution. During this fellowship I would work with Information Resources, Discovery Services, the Learning Assistance Center and Mission and Identity to produce documents for Policies and Guidelines for Online Web Accessibility and produce research publications about the topic of accessibility in education.
Dr. Crable's Online Learning Resources for Universal Accessibility project
Her work in the Spring 2013 edition of the AJCU's Connections e-newsletter 
A Mission-driven Effort to Incorporate Web Accessibility into On-line Courses


Photo of Dr. Michael Goldweber, Professor of Mathematics/Computer Science at Xavier University

Dr. Michael Goldweber, Professor of Mathematics/Computer Science, was awarded the 2011 Fellowship for his project, "A Service Learning Experience in Computing". He describes his project in this way:
The goal of this proposed fellowship is to develop an overseas service learning semester in computing.     The service learning semester would strive to focus students to consider the following fundamental question: "Instead of using computers to make money or do basic scientific research, how can one use computing to do good in the world"? Since computing students rarely study abroad, let alone undertake a service learning semester, developing a service learning experience in computing fills a very acute need. The goal would be to partner with other Jesuit universities to create a biennial experience that would draw computing students from any of the partner institutions who together will undertake a service project where computing can play a significant contributing role.
Immigration/Migration Events and Projects


Photo of Dr. Jennifer Beste, Associate Professor of Theology at Xavier University

Dr. Jennifer Beste, Associate Professor of Theology at Xavier University, was awarded the 2010 Conway Fellowship for her project, Seeking Sexual Justice on a Jesuit Campus. This project originated during her participation in the 2004 Ignatian Mentoring Program for Faculty. She has continued to develop this important endeavor and the Fellowship will allow her to fully actualize her vision. A description about her project and student feedback.
An 18-minute video, "Ignatian Spirituality and Sexuality". The video is a pedagogical resource for educators working to impact the "hook-up culture".
Dr. Beste's project was showcased in the February 2011 edition of the Connections e-newsletter for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.