Philosophy Faculty and Staff

Roman T. Ciapalo, Ph.D.
Dr. Ciapalo teaches courses in business ethics, environmental ethics, media/communication ethics, ethics in sports , and two January-Term courses: The Sustainable Community and Art, Beauty, and Meaning.

His academic expertise includes, in addition to the above-mentioned areas, Ancient philosophy (especially the thought of the Presocratics, Plato, and Plotinus), Contemporary philosophy (especially the thought of Jean-Paul Sartre and William James).
His research interests include the philosophy of Gregory Skovoroda (18thcentury Ukrainian philosopher) and the intersection of Catholic Social Teaching with issues in sports and athletics.  He has published one book and several articles, and has served  as translator/editor of Ukrainian-language translations of two business ethics textbooks.

He is the recipient of two Fulbright Scholar awards, one of which blossomed into the opportunity to teach business ethics in two MBA programs in Ukraine (Lviv Institute of Management and Kiev-Mohyla University) during most summers since 1994.  He is currently developing a similar course for Ukrainian Catholic University in Ukraine.

He urges his Philosophy advisees to see philosophy as a way of life, rather than merely an academic discipline to be mastered, and to employ it in their search for meaning and purpose in their lives.

He is faculty advisor to the Loras Philosophy Club and the Loras Hockey Club.

He serves as coordinator of the Loras College “Classical Philosophy Lecture Series,” which, each semester, brings a noted philosopher to campus over a two-day period  to give a public lecture and several in-class lecture/discussions, and meet with philosophy majors and faculty.   


Janine Idziak, Ph.D.
Dr. Idziak teaches courses in ethics, the philosophy of God, and Medieval philosophy.  She also brings her expertise in ethical analysis to other areas of the college.  She teaches Ethics and the New Genetics with Dr. Fred Schnee from the Biology program, and she has taught Ethics in Philosophy, Literature, and Film with Dr. Ray Wilson from the English program.

She is the advisor for the Catholic Studies program.

Dr. Idziak is the founding director of the Loras Bioethics Resource Center and serves on various committees and boards in the Dubuque community and State of Iowa.  She also serves as Consultant for Health Care Ethics and Life Issues for the Archdiocese of Dubuque where she provides information opportunities in Catholic moral teaching and education on specific health care and life issues.

Her research interests include historical and contemporary approaches to the philosophy of God, bioethics, and divine command ethics.  She has published two books on divine command ethics and three books in the field of bioethics.  She has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Pontifical Institute of medieval Studies in Toronto.


Rev. William Joensen, Ph.D.
Fr. Joensen teaches courses in the history of philosophy (Ancient philosophy and Modern philosophy), philosophy of being (metaphysics) and philosophy of knowledge (epistemology), philosophy of the human person, and courses in our Catholic Identity mission course category.

As academic advisor to Philosophy majors, he tries to help students see how their awakening intellectual passions and life and work experience might be indications of worthy future professional pursuits.  He also strives to help them appreciate how habits of mind such as analytical thinking and critical reflection and the ability to communicate ideas lucidly in written and spoken form will serve them all their lives.

He is Director of Spiritual Formation for the St. Pius X Seminary Program, and many of his advisees are seminarians.  As Dean of Campus Spiritual Life, he collaborates with students in areas of liturgy and worship, retreats and service opportunities, and in other student development programming.  He is also chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella group of Catholic Loras Duhawk women.

His academic competencies include philosophical anthropology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of medicine, and what might be called “metaethics”—the intersection of human being and action.

He is interested in bioethical issues and serves on ethics committees.  Each summer, he participates as a faculty member of the Tertio Milllennio Seminar in Krakow, Poland, which brings together European and American young adults to study Catholic social and moral teaching in the spirit of Blessed Pope John Paul II.  He is also a regular contributor of scriptural and seasonal reflections to Magnificat, a Catholic spiritual resource.


Christoffer Lammer-Heindel, Ph.D.
Within the Philosophy Program, Dr. Lammer-Heindel teaches Critical ReasoningIntroduction to Philosophy, and Contemporary Philosophy. He also teaches Democracy and Global Diversity and Catholicism and Taoism, both of which are general education courses. He has also taught The Sustainable Community during J-Term. 

His academic expertise includes analytic ethics and contemporary social and political philosophy. His research interests pertain to issues surrounding the nature of moral duties and obligations, especially institutionally or collectively held moral duties and obligations; sustainability ethics; and the theory of reasoning and argumentation. 

He is the author of the critical reasoning handbook, which (beginning in 2013) will be used in the Modes of Inquiry course.





Carol Oberfoell
Academic Secretary, Division of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology
Secretary, Kucera Center for Catholic Studies

Carol's duties with the Kucera Center consist of assisting in the planning and site manager duties for fall and spring Pastoral Leadership Study Days in Cedar Falls or Waterloo, and managing the mailing and databases for all books in the Loras Press series. She has been employed with Loras for 30 years.

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