Michelle Gawerc, Ph.D.
Michelle Gawerc, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and interim director of the Office of Peace and Justice, earned her Ph.D. in Sociology at Boston College. Dr. Gawerc aims for her students to feel heard in the classroom: “I strive to create an open and respectful environment, which allows and encourages students to actively and critically engage ideas and concepts; to express themselves clearly; to develop confidence regarding their ability to analyze social issues; and to actively contribute to a community of learners.” She also incorporates service-learning into her coursework through partnerships with the Refugee Youth Project, Soccer Without Borders, and the Esperanza Center. “In my teaching, I seek to inspire in students a commitment to their own intellectual and moral growth and to discernment—most notably, recognizing the impact their personal and our national choices have on the world, and, at the same time, their ability to promote the greater good.” Dr. Gawerc is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the United States-Israel Educational Foundation Fulbright Fellowship and the Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowship from Harvard Law School. She has conducted extensive research in Israel/Palestine and facilitated dialogues between Israeli and Palestinian high school teachers, as well as Israeli and Palestinian high school students.
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In sociology, Global Studies, and Peace and Justice Studies at Loyola, the values of academic excellence, discernment, justice, and a constant challenge to improve are central.