Philosophical, Religious, Theological,
Social & Cultural Studies
Division Faculty

Christopher Budzisz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Politics
Division Chair of Philosophical, Theological, Social, & Cultural Studies
563-588-7279 | Christopher.Budzisz@loras.edu
 
Professor Budzisz joined the Loras College Politics program in 2000, with a teaching emphasis on constitutional law, American government and institutions and political philosophy, as well as elections and political behavior. As a 2007 Fulbright Scholar, Budzisz taught in the International Relations Faculty at Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. His research interests center around constitutional law, political thought and public policy. He has been published in PS: Political Science and Politics, and in the edited volume Engaging the Public: How Government and the Media Can Reinvigorate American Democracy.

Beyond his teaching and research interests, Budzisz is director and coach of the Loras College Moot Court program. He is also a past winner of the Mike and Linda Budde Excellence in Teaching Award.  Professor Budzisz serves as the Director of the Loras College Poll, a bi-partisan public opinion survey focused on politics and society that was launched spring 2014
Loras College Faculty Richard Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
563-588-7177 | Richard.Anderson@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Kristin Anderson-Bricker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
563-588-7403 | Kristin.Anderson-Bricker@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Kristin Anderson-Bricker completed a doctorate at Syracuse University in United States social and cultural history with specialties in race, gender and social movements. Upon graduation in 1997, she accepted a position at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Anderson-Bricker teaches topical courses covering American history from the late nineteenth century through to the present. She also teaches on the American West, Native Americans in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, Women's History, sexuality, African Americans and historical methods (research and teaching).

She is currently at work on a book manuscript, Going Beyond the Rules: Catholic Young Adults Making Sexual Decisions, designed to initiate between students a conversation about sex to assist them in determining the values they want to apply to their choices about sex.

Her service work has focused on diversity initiatives including committee chair responsibilities, gender equity and a civil discourse initiative (DuTalk). Anderson-Bricker has directed the Honors Program and served on many committees including Rank and Tenure, Faculty Senate and First Year Experience. In addition to serving on the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association's travel grant committee and assessing manuscripts for the State Historical Society of Iowa, she has served the profession as a program reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Iowa, Dubuque County Historical Society and Effigy Mounds National Monument.
 
Loras College Faculty Roman Ciapalo, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
563-588-7434 | Roman.Ciapalo@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Roman T. Ciapalo, Ph.D. (Loyola University Chicago) has taught at Loras College since 1982. He has offered a variety of courses, including Ancient Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, and Philosophy of the Human Person, but in recent years has concentrated on teaching a variety of applied ethics courses, among them, Business Ethics, Environmental Ethics, Media Communication Ethics, and Ethics in Sports.

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 also serves as Faculty Advisor to the Loras Hockey Club, Loras Philosophy Club, and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He has lectured nationally and internationally in New Delhi, India, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and Lviv and Kiev, Ukraine. He has been the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and was a Fulbright Scholar at Lviv State University in Ukraine during the 1993-94 academic year.

He travels to Ukraine each summer to teach business ethics courses for various MBA Programs, including the Lviv Institute of Management and Kiev-Mohyla University, and has conducted workshops on "Ethics in the Public Sector" for the city management teams of Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Lviv, Ukraine. During the past two summers, he has lectured at the annual two-week long “Philosophy Summer School” conducted by Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, 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. Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, he will hold the Andrew P. Studdert Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership.
Loras College Faculty David Cochran, Ph.D.
Professor of Politics
Director of the Archbishop Kucera Center
563-588-7262 | David.Cochran@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Originally from Lubbock, Texas, Dr. Cochran received his B.A. from Drew University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He has taught in the Politics Program since 1996, offering a range of courses primarily in the areas of political thought and American politics. He also teaches General Education courses such as War and Pacifism and The Irish in America. Cochran is a winner of the college’s Budde Teaching Excellence Award. His primary research interests are in religion and politics, multiculturalism and democracy and the morality of war, frequently publishing, lecturing and leading workshops on these and other topics. In addition to a wide array of articles and book chapters, Cochran is the author of a book on race and political theory and the co-author of two books on Catholicism and American politics, and recently published his latest book on war and morality. In addition to his work in the Politics Program, Cochran also directs the college’s Archbishop Kucera Center for Catholic Studies.
Loras College Faculty

Benjamin Darr, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Politics
563-588-7507 | Benjamin.Darr@loras.edu
Dr. Darr began teaching at Loras College in the fall of 2012, and offers courses in both comparative politics and world politics. He is particularly interested in environmental politics, the politics of the global economy, nationalism and China studies. Dr. Darr received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 2011, and his dissertation examined the state-led sources of Chinese nationalism and national identity. He has co-authored articles in the Journal of Contemporary China and in Communist and Post-Communist Studies.

Loras College Faculty John Eby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
563-588-4929 | John.Eby@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Lisa Garoutte, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
563-588-7022 | Lisa.Garoutte@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Janine Idziak, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy
Director of Bioethics Center
563-588-7749 | Janine.Idziak@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae
 
Dr. Idziak’s areas of interest include ethics, medieval philosophy, and the philosophy of God and religion.  She received A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from the University of Michigan and subsequently earned a M.A. in theology from the University of Notre Dame.  Her  courses of instruction include Foundational Ethics, The Theory and Practice of Bioethics, Ethics and the New Genetics, Neuroethics, Ethics in Philosophy, Literature and Film, the Philosophy of God and Religion, Medieval Philosophy, and The Catholic Heritage. 

Dr. Idziak’s research work in ethical theory has focused on the history of divine command ethics. She has held postdoctoral research appointments at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) in Toronto and at the Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame.  Her research has been funded by grants from PIMS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.  She is the editor of Divine Command Morality: Historical and Contemporary Readings, and has published a Latin edition and English translation of the most significant medieval text on this ethical theory,  Andrew of Neufchateau, O.F.M., Questions on an Ethics of Divine Commands.

In the area of applied ethics, Dr. Idziak’s work focuses on bioethics. She is founding director of Loras’ Bioethics Center, which provides services to the community locally and within the State of Iowa.  She currently serves as Health Care Ethics Consultant and chair of the Medical-Moral Commission for the Archdiocese of Dubuque; as chair of the ethics committee at Stonehill Franciscan Services in Dubuque; and as a member of the Institutional Ethics Committee, the Clinical Ethics Committee, and the IRB at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque.  Within the State of Iowa, she serves on the Board and IRB of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City and on the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee for NewLink Genetics in Ames.  She previously served on the Pandemic Ethics Committee of the Iowa Department of Public Health and, at the national level, on the Ethics Commission and in the House of Delegates of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA). Dr. Idziak’s community work in bioethics has led to the publication of three books: Ethical Dilemmas in Allied Health, Ethical Dilemmas in Long Term Care, and Organizational Ethics in Senior Health Care Services.  Her community service has been recognized by a national level Trustee of the Year award from AAHSA.
  Rev. William Joenson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Dean of Campus Spiritual Life
563-588-7463 | William.Joenson@loras.edu
 
Fr. Joensen teaches courses in the history of philosophy (Ancient and Modern), philosophy of being (metaphysics), philosophy of knowledge (epistemology), philosophy of the human person and courses in our Catholic Identity mission course category.
 
As academic advisor to Philosophy majors, Fr. Joensen tries to help students see how their awakening intellectual passions and life and work experiences might be indications of worthy 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.
 
Fr. Joensen 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 other student-development programming. He is also chaplain to the Daughters of Isabella group of Catholic Loras Duhawk women.
 
Each summer, Fr. Joensen participates as a faculty member at 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.
Loras College Faculty Mark Kehren, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
563-588-7633 | Mark.Kehren@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Jacob Kohlhaas, Ph.D.
Instructor of Moral Theology
563-588-7308 | Jacob.Kohlhaas@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Christoffer Lammer-Heindel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
563-588-7733 | Christoffer.Lammer-Heindel@loras.edu
 
Within the Philosophy Program, Dr. Lammer-Heindel teaches Critical Reasoning, Introduction to Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, and the Philosophy of Science. He also teaches Democracy and Global Diversity and Catholicism and Taoism, both of which are general education courses. 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, as well as sustainability ethics. He is the author of the critical reasoning handbook, which is used in the Modes of Inquiry course.
Loras College Faculty Amy Lorenz, Ph.D.
Professor of Multicultural Languages
563-588-7806 | Amy.Lorenz@loras.edu
 
For many years, Amy Lorenz was Loras' French Professor.  When that program ended, the History and Religious Studies programs kindly “adopted” her.  She now teaches courses on French literature in translation, the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, the Enlightenment, Paris in the 20s and 30s, Introduction to the Bible, and a seminar on the letters of Paul.  She also enjoys teaching regularly in the general education program, especially in the clusters and the LIB 130 cohort.
 
Her current research stems from her more recent formal training in theology and focuses on Second Temple Judaism; Jesus, Paul and Judaism; the Roman Empire and early followers of Jesus; and scripture.
 
She has had the privilege of working with 2 January term groups of students in France and Italy and has enjoyed those travels immensely. She lived in France between her B.A. and M.A. degrees, working in the school system there, and returned there to spend several more months during her Ph.D. studies.  She returns as often as she is able to stay with friends.
Loras College Faculty Amanda Osheim, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology
563-588-7506 | Amanda.Osheim@loras.edu
 
Dr. Osheim received her doctorate in systematic theology from Boston College. Her courses include Introduction to Religious Studies and Theology; Foundations for Ministry; God’s Literature; Empowered Catholic Women, The Four Marks, and Communication for Communion. Dr. Osheim’s particular interest is ecclesiology, which is the study of the church’s identity and mission. She also collaborates with the Archdiocese of Dubuque to develop programs that meet the growing need for lay leadership in parishes.

Her research focuses on discernment of the Holy Spirit within the church; development of church doctrine and practice; and the evolving role of lay ministers in the church’s life. Dr. Osheim is an editor and contributor at DailyTheology.org. Other recent publications include: “On Our Pilgrim Way [Responses to ‘Evangelii Gaudium’].” America: The National Catholic Review vol.210 no. 1 (January 6-13, 2014) http://americamagazine.org/issue/joy-world; “Theology: serving the conversation.” C21 Resources, Fall 2013, p. 37. http://issuu.com/church21c/docs/2013_fall_resource_guide_final_web_; “The Local Church in Dialogue: Toward an Orthopraxis of Reception.” In Visions of Hope: Emerging Theologians and the Future of the Church. Kevin J. Ahern, ed. Orbis Books, 2012.
Loras College Faculty Kathrin Parks, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
563-588-7819 | Kathrin.Parks@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty David Pitt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theology
563-588-7324 | David.Pitt@loras.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Pitt is trained as a liturgical historian and as a liturgical musician. His Ph.D. in Theology (Liturgical Studies) is from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where he researched the reform of the rite for adult initiation in the Roman Catholic Church following the Second Vatican Council. His M.A. in Liturgical Music (Organ Performance and Composition) is from St. John’s University, Minnesota. These academic interests guide his teaching and his research, motivating him to investigate areas in which the Tradition of the Church might inform and direct contemporary pastoral practice. He co-edited A Living Tradition: Essays on the Intersection of Liturgical History and Pastoral Practice (Liturgical Press, 2012). Author of over 45 essays, article, and book reviews, he has especially focused on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the liturgical year, issues in the performance of liturgical music, and the music of Olivier Messiaen. Pitt held the 2013-2014 John Cardinal O’Connor Chair for Catholic Thought, during which time he was researching the history of Eucharistic praying. Pitt is actively involved in liturgical music ministry, currently serving as Organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church. He has led pastoral workshops and given organ concerts and recitals across the United States and in Canada.
Loras College Faculty David Salvaterra, Ph.D.
Professor of History
563-588-7307 | David.Salvaterra@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty Cynthia Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Classical Study
563-588-7953 | Cynthia.Smith@loras.edu
Loras College Faculty John Waldmeir
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
563-588-7966 | John.Waldmeir@loras.edu
 
Dr. Waldmeir teaches courses on religion and culture, sacred scripture, and world religions. A member of the Loras faculty for sixteen years, he has published four books, most recently Cathedrals of Bone, The Role of the Body in Contemporary Catholic Literature. A fifth book on the contemporary Catholic Church in Ireland, is forthcoming. He has held the annual John Cardinal O'Connor Chair for Catholic Studies twice at Loras, and recently won the Cardinal Newman Award for outstanding campus teaching and leadership.
Loras College Faculty Rev. Douglas Wathier, S.T.D.
Professor of Theology
Director of Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program
563-588-7013 | Douglas.Wathier@loras.edu
 
Fr. Wathier received S.T.D. (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, with an emphasis on the transmission of revelation and the act of faith. He teaches courses in the Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program, including Character and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition; The Once and Future Church; The Displaced Person: Human Dignity and Human Rights; Councils, Creeds and Culture; Belief and Unbelief and the Good Life; and Leadership Seminar for Social Justice. He also teaches christology and ecclesiology in the graduate program, offers J-term courses with travel in Germany and Italy. Fr. Wathier is the Director of the Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program, and serves as an instructor in the Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Deacon Formation Program.
 
Fr. Wathier's academic interests include Catholic Identity in Higher Education. He has been invited to give presentations about this topic at Arizona State University and Fordham University. He also has given a presentation about the reception of revelation and the clerical abuse scandal at Georgetown University.
Loras College Faculty Lee Zhu, Ph.D.
Professor of History
563-588-7199 | Lee.Zhu@loras.edu
 
Dr. Lee S. Zhu was born in China. He received his doctorate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He teaches East Asian History, Russian history and the history of the Second World War and the Cold War. His research interests center on the history of the Soviet Union during the Stalin period and the history of the People’s Republic of China during the Mao years. Dr. Lee conducted research in archives in Moscow, Shanghai and Beijing, and he published several scholarly articles examining the impact of the Communist ideology on Soviet and Chinese education. He took students on summer research trips and January-term trips to China.
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