Loyola University Maryland


Visionary Course Pairing

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Introductory Psychology: Understanding Self, Understanding Other (PY101V)

People are puzzles.  Fascinating puzzles.  In psychology, we apply a scientific perspective to the study of the brain, mind, and behavior in an attempt to better understand the human experience.  Research in psychology provides a window into our own everyday experiences (e.g., how does memory work?  How does stress or sleep deprivation affect both our mental health and our physical well-being?) and enables us to better understand our diversities and our social interactions (e.g., What promotes aggression or helping behaviors? What is the role of personality?).  We are forever trying to piece together the puzzle of the human experience, drawing from numerous theoretical perspectives (e.g., How do our biologically-based pre-dispositions and our social environment predict human thought, behavior, and emotion?)  This course introduces you to the broad scope of psychology, linking the many subfields with primary commonalities, respecting the diversity and complexity of the human experience.

Faculty Biography

Theresa DiDonato is an assistant professor and social psychologist in the Psychology Department at Loyola.  She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Brown University and her research focuses on the intersection of self and other, with a primary focus on the study of romantic relationships.  She is the author of Meet, Catch, and Keep, a blog for Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meet-catch-and-keep  

Spirituality, Theology, and the Vision of God: An Introduction to Theology (TH201V)

This course offers students an introduction to Christian Theology as something that is lived as well as something that is studied. In addition to exploring basic Christian themes and questions, this class functions as a kind of “lab” in at least two respects. First, we will integrate regular meditative and contemplative practices into the course, in order to ponder the connection between “spirituality” and theology. We will also explore firsthand how various local faith communities “incarnate” Christian theological views in their practice of faith. This class does not presuppose any prior training in Christian thought or practice, only an openness to exploring these questions at both the intellectual and personal levels.

Faculty Biography

Timothy O’Brien, S.J., received his bachelor's degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross (2006), where he also met the Society of Jesus. He entered the Jesuits in 2008 after several years working for the federal government. Since then, he has earned master's degrees in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago (2012) and theology from the University of Chicago (2014). At Loyola, Tim teaches in the Theology Department and assists in the Office of Mission Integration. His scholarly interests range from medieval theology to contemporary poetry, his personal interests involve being the best possible uncle, and his dietary interests include crab cakes and club sandwiches.

Mentor Biography

Adriana Mason, Associate Director in the Office of Academic Affairs for Varsity Athletics, is currently in her 10th year at Loyola. She has worked with 10 athletics teams throughout her years as well as taught FE 100. She is originally from Baltimore and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and her master’s degree at Temple University.