Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Ph.D.
- Academic Focus Pre-Health Programs, Theology
Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Ph.D., grew up in Finland. She has lived, learned, and taught around the globe, in Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Boston, Philadelphia, Flagstaff, and Baltimore, among other places, and she began teaching theology at Loyola, which she calls “my home away from home,” in 2000. A registered nurse in both Maryland and her native Finland, Dr. Gardner serves as the director of Loyola’s Pre-Health Programs, a learning community for students interested in health fields and careers such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, and others. “Loyola’s Pre-Health Programs is special because of its active and capable students who engage fully in their learning, create clubs, and head out to the community to volunteer, intern, and do research as well as respond positively to very busy schedules,” Dr. Gardner says. “In my teaching and advising, I emphasize life-long learning—learning that is broad enough to evolve and open up to new directions throughout one’s life—and commitment to the common good through professional excellence, respect of each individual’s unique story, as well as drive to build lasting social institutions that benefit us all and beyond life-span of an individual.” Dr. Gardner speaks seven languages and has run 18 marathons since turning 40. She has two sons, one a current student at Loyola. “While my earlier career focused on medieval and church history, and now I work with our Pre-Health Programs, I still practice many of my life-long passions: interest in society and cultures, commitment to high-quality education, blending of practical objectives with solid theoretical foundation, writing and communication, as well as drive to create programs and systems that help individuals to experience lasting success,” says Dr. Gardner, who describes her days at Loyola as varied and often full, but always meaningful. She cherishes the relationships she develops with students during their time here that last into professional school and through their careers in health care.
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My core values align with relentless pursuit of academic excellence and constant challenge to improve. I pursue those goals with the programs that I direct, with the students whom I teach and mentor, and with myself through clear understanding of metrics, assessment, and goals.