Loyola University Maryland

The Office of Academic Affairs

Promotions

Loyola celebrates the attainments of its faculty members who were recently tenured and/or promoted, one of the most important career milestones in a faculty member's career.

During the 2020-21 academic year, 11 Loyola faculty members were tenured and/or promoted. Their accomplishments will continue to strengthen student learning experiences, and their scholarly contributions will continue to enrich human and universal understanding and experience.

The profiles of these distinguished faculty members, which follow, describe the faculty members' areas of expertise and give insight into their most significant and rewarding career dimensions.

Lena Caesar, Ed.D., Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

Research Interests

My research interests focus on language and literacy assessment in bilingual and bi-dialectical populations.  Specifically, my over-arching objective has been to advance clinical practice by addressing the challenges faced by SLPs as they attempt to provide appropriate services to individuals who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD). I am particularly interested in researching issues regarding non-biased assessment in these populations.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • SP 207 Speech and Language Development
  • SP 417 Clinical Research in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • SP 646 Tests and Measurements

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Caesar, L.G. & Kerins, M. (2020). Language and literacy predictors of dialect density
    among school-age African American children from two geographic regions.  Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools (LSHSS), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_LSHSS-19-00063 
  • Caesar, L.G. & Ottley, S.W. (2020). Assessing communication, language and speech in 
    preschool children. In V. C. Alphonso, B.A. Bracken & R. J. Nagle (Eds.), Psychoeducational Assessment of Preschool Children (5th edition). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. 
  • Caesar, L.G. (2020). Speech-language pathologists’ pre-service  knowledge and skill 
    training in early intervention.  Communication Disorders Quarterly, 1-9. 
    DOI: 10.1177/1525740120924801

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Chair, Ad Hoc committee, ASHA-PAHO/WHO Collaboration. Provided technical support to the Ministry of Health, the Inspiration Centers and its Partners in Belize.
  • Faculty Co-chair/Member, Council for Academic Assessment of Student Learning (CASL).
  • Volunteer Consultant, US Dream Academy for children at-risk for incarceration. (Baltimore Center). 

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • ASHFoundation Clinical Research Grant. The ecological validity of narrative sample analysis for diagnosing language disorders in Guyanese children. ($75,000.00).
  • ASHA Multicultural Projects Grant. Supporting the acquisition of language and literacy through home-school activities (SALSA). ($10,000.00).

What is Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

I feel fortunate to be part of an academic community where service and outreach are valued. I have especially appreciated the opportunities for student mentorship that working at Loyola affords me. Having the opportunity to involve undergraduate students in service-oriented research has been particularly rewarding. 
 

Theresa DiDonato, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Psychology

Research Interests

I am a social psychologist with research interests focused on romantic relationships, especially humor in courtship and interpersonally-facilitated changes in self-authenticity.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • Social Psychology
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Research Methods

Recent Noteworthy Publications/Presentations

  • Betz, D. E. & DiDonato, T. E. (in press). Is it sexy to be sexist? How stereotyped humor affects romantic attraction. Personal Relationships.
  • DiDonato, T. E. (2020). Self-authenticity and the Michelangelo phenomenon. In B. A. Mattingly, K. P. McIntyre, & G. W. Lewandowski (Eds.) Interpersonal Relationships
    and the Self-Concept
    . New York, NY: Springer.
  • DiDonato, T. E., & Jakubiak, B. K. (2016). Strategically funny: Romantic motives affect humor style in relationship initiation. Europe's Journal of Psychology, 12, 390-405. https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v12i3.1105

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

I served as the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Psychology from 2016-2020; I am a long-standing member of the Messina Advisory Board, and I am a devoted faculty in the Messina program, serving as a core advisor for first year students.

What is Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

Being a professor at Loyola University Maryland is a dream come true. I cherish our spirit of community, intellectual freedom, and shared purpose. I am inspired by our students and am grateful to be a part of their academic and professional development. I love the synergy between each component of my job. I become a better teacher because of my scholarship; I become a better researcher because of my teaching; I do a better job serving the Loyola community because of my teaching and scholarship, and likewise, these service opportunities improve my work as a teacher and researcher.

Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Education Specialties

Research Interests

My research agenda has contributed to the related fields of equity and social justice in education from the standpoint of three areas: critical media literacy education, critical urban education, and Latinx adopted identity.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • RE601 Media Literacy Education  
  • ED659 Intersectionality, Power, & Privilege 
  • ED612 History, Philosophy, & Reforms in Education

Recent Noteworthy Publications/Presentations

  • Flores-Koulish, S. & Shiller, J. (2019). Critical classrooms matter: Baltimore teachers’ pedagogical response after the death of Freddie Gray. Education and Urban Society, 52, 6. 984-1007.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0013124519889042
    This piece was featured in The Washington Post section, “The Answer Sheet”
  • 2019 Presenter, Baltimore County Public Schools Secondary Social Studies Department Professional Development, “Media Literacy & Social Justice Education” (Delivered to teachers and subsequently to department chairs).

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Program director & led the curriculum revisions for the updated “Curriculum & Instruction for Social Justice M.A. degree
  • Selected to join the board of the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) starting in January 2021 & chosen to be the chair of their 2021 conference
  • Engaged in anti-racist and equity-related professional development with faculty from The Odyssey School as well as the Social Studies department at Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS)

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • 2019 Women in Film & Video (WIFV) Washington DC start-up grant for (working title) Remnants in our blood, a documentary on Latinx adoptees.

What is Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

Loyola University Maryland provides me with the opportunity to intentionally serve in the capacity of an engaged scholar. Engaged scholarship, or praxis, corresponds with our mission as a Jesuit institution and my own aims as a scholar. In other words, my approach to scholarship provides me the opportunity to deliver top quality graduate instruction to practicing teachers that encourages them to live “lives of meaningful professional service and leadership.” My scholarship and my students’ professions, by their very nature are “mission in action,” allowing me to eagerly share my disciplinary knowledge in education and social justice to create robust and deep partnerships which enact Loyola’s Jesuit mission.

Afra Hersi, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Teacher Education

Research Interests

My research interests are immigrant education, culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices, and critical literacies. I focus on the dynamic interactions among race, culture, language, and literacy, with particular interest in educators’ practices in diverse  contexts.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • RE 602 Second Language Development: Theory and Practice
  • RE 603 Language, Literacy, and Culture
  • RE 670 Teacher Research and Inquiry 

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Hersi, A.A. (2019). Culturally and linguistically responsive practice: Transformative pedagogical model for equity and access. In J. Keengwe (Ed), Handbook of research on assessment practices and pedagogical models for immigrant students (pp. 269–283). IGI Global.
  • Hersi, A. A., Horan, D. A., & Lewis, M. A. (2016). Redefining “community” through collaboration and co-teaching: A case study of an ESOL specialist, a literacy specialist, and a fifth-grade teacher. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 22(8), 927–929 doi:10.1080/13540602.2016.1200543
     

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Chair, Teacher Education, 2017-present
  • Ad hoc Committee on Full-Time Non-Tenure Faculty 2019-present
  • University Career Outcomes Strategic Workgroup, 2015-2017

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • Loyola University Maryland STEM Network, NSF Robert Noyce Capacity Grant
    $75,000, PI, Dr. Afra Hersi, Co-PI, Dr. Timothy Clark (Awarded 2020)

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

Loyola is a community were scholarship, teaching, and service are valued, and interwoven into the community fabric. I appreciate this kind of integration and Jesuit values such as cura personalis and social justice.  I’m deeply grateful for our shared commitment to these Jesuit values and the ways they help us to make a difference in the world. 

Beth Kotchick, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Psychology

Research Interests

My scholarship has broadly examined risk and protective factors that predict psychosocial functioning among children and adolescents, with an emphasis on parenting.  In addition to this content focus, a significant portion of my scholarship and my identity as a scholar reflect a commitment to social justice and community-based research, as well as mentoring students.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • PY 202 Psychopathology (taught as Service-Learning Optional)
  • PY 291/PY 292 Research Methods in Psychology I and II 
  • PY 845 Models of Psychotherapy:  Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Kotchick, B.A., Papadakis, A. A., Nettles, C†., & Jobe, S. ‡, (2019). Peer victimization and depressive symptoms in early adolescents: The protective role of perceived supportive parenting. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29, 1350-1362. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01610-6
  • Whitsett, D. †, Sherman, M.F., & Kotchick, B. A. (2019).  Household food insecurity in early adolescence and risk of subsequent behavior problems: Does a connection persist over time? Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 44, 478–489. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsy088
  • Forehand, R., & Kotchick, B. A. (2016).  Cultural diversity:  A wake-up call for parent training – Republished paper. Behavior Therapy, 47, 981-992. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2016.11.010. (This is a republication of a previously published manuscript (1996) that was selected for inclusion in a special series to celebrate the 50th anniversary issue of the journal, entitled “Honoring the Past and Looking to the Future: Updates on Seminal Behavior Therapy Publications on Current Therapies and Future Directions”.   

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Chair, Psychology Department (2009-2015)
  • Co-Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Reimagining the Undergraduate Curriculum (2016-2018)
  • Faculty Mentor, Active Minds (2012-present)
     

What is Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

As a proud alumna of Loyola College in Maryland, I know the positive impact that a Jesuit education can have on students: how good teachers can foster a lifelong love of learning; how examination of social injustice can open one’s eyes to privilege and inequity, inform professional aspirations, and shape personal values; how a critical lens can inspire new questions and knowledge that makes the world better; and how being a part of a community with shared values and vision can create a foundation upon which a lifetime of relationships are built. To have the opportunity to impact students in such a meaningful way, whether through teaching, scholarship, or service, is the most significant reward of being a member of the Loyola faculty.  

Gina Magyar-Russell, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Psychology

Research Interests

My research interests are in the psychology of religion and spirituality. My scholarship focuses on religious and spiritual appraisals and religious and spiritual forms of coping, spiritual struggles, and spiritually integrated psychotherapy.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • Treatment of Psychopathology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Clinical Supervision

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Magyar-Russell, G. Pargament, K.I., Grubbs, J.B., Wilt, J.A., and Exline, J.A. (in press). The experience of sacred moment and mental health benefits over time.  Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. DOI: 10.1037/rel0000394
  • Magyar-Russell, G. (2020). Delivering psychological services to religious and spiritual clients. In J. Zimmerman, J. E. Barnett, & L. Campbell (Eds.) Bringing psychotherapy to underserved communities (pp. 145-162). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Deal, P.J. & Magyar-Russell, G. (2018). Sanctification theory: Is nontheistic sanctification nontheistic enough? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 10(3), 244-253. https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000204

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Chair of Pastoral Counseling Department
  • Chair of Graduate Curriculum Committee & Research and Sabbatical Committee
    Editorial Board, Religions

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • Loyola Mid-Career Summer Research Grant (2019).  Spiritual Bypass:  Developing greater understanding of clients’ use of religion and spirituality in the psychotherapy process

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

What is most rewarding about Loyola is the inspiring academic environment combined with the call to serve others. At Loyola, it’s about gaining knowledge, learning from one another and using that information to better our world. I love witnessing knowledge transform into service in the training of graduate student clinicians who will go on to be licensed mental health providers in their communities. 

David Marcovitz, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Education Specialties

Research Interests

My current research interests include digital democracy in classrooms and the intersection of social justice and educational technology.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • ET690 Educational Technology Seminar

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Marcovitz, D. M. (2012). Digital connections in the classroom, Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
  • Marcovitz, D. M. (2012). Powerful PowerPoint for Educators: Using Visual Basic for Application to Make PowerPoint Interactive, 2nd Edition, Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. 
  • Heath, M., & Marcovitz, D. (2019). Reconceptualizing Digital Citizenship Curricula: Designing a Critical and Justice-Oriented Digital Citizenship Course. In D. Gibson & M. Ochoa (Eds.), Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2019. Chesapeake, VA.: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track Faculty
  • Chair, Faculty Affairs Committee
  • Founding Program Director, Educational Technology Program

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

Over the years, I have watched Loyola transform from a small, parochial institution to a mid-size and modern university, but Loyola has never lost its roots in cura personalis, care for the person. Loyola has always cared about its faculty, staff, administrators, and students, but it has had some growing pains, finding the ways that that care did not extend to all. I am happy to see Loyola working hard to embody social justice and equity and find ways to reflect and fight for cura personalis for those who have been neglected in the past.

Jason Prenoveau, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Psychology

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in the etiology, phenomenology, and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. I am also interested in research and publication practices that contribute to increasing the reproducibility of psychological science.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • PY 920, Clinical Placement I
  • PY 622, Advanced Techniques of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
  • PY 832, Research Methods in Clinical Psychology I

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Prenoveau, J. M., Papadakis, A. A., Schmitz, J. C. S., Hirsch, E. L., Dariotis, J. K., & Mendelson, T. (2018). Psychometric properties of the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (CAMM) in racial minority adolescents from low-income environments. Psychological Assessment, 30, 1395-1400. doi: 10.1037/pas0000630
  • Prenoveau, J. M. (2016). Specifying and interpreting latent state-trait models with autoregression: An illustration. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 23, 731-749. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10705511.2016.1186550
  • Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349. doi: 10.1126/science.aac4716

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Psychology Representative, Academic Senate
  • Consulting Editor of Journal of Abnormal Psychology
  • Member Statistical Review Board, Behavior Research and Therapy
     

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • Loyola University Maryland Summer Research Grant (2016, 2019)

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

The most rewarding thing about Loyola University Maryland is the opportunity to work with, teach, and mentor people who aspire to understand and practice core Jesuit values in their lives. I feel truly blessed to work in the company of people who are so caring, honest, hopeful, curious, creative, and dedicated to promoting diversity, justice, service to others, academic excellence, and care for the whole person. I feel particularly blessed to have the opportunity to supervise psychologists in training as they begin seeing their first psychotherapy clients at the Loyola Clinical Centers.

Tania Cantrell Rosas-Moreno, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Communication

Research Interests

International Communication, Diversity, and Social Justice issues

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • CM404 Capstone in Public Relations
  • CM346 International Communication

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • Subervi, Federico, & Rosas-Moreno, Tania C. (2020). “The Imperative of Latino Oriented Media & News Literacy.” Media Literacy in a Disruptive Media Environment, edited by William G. Christ and Belinha S. De Abreu. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Rosas-Moreno, Tania C., & Higgins Joyce, Vanessa de Macedo. (2019). “Latin and South  American Journalism.” The International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies
    edited by Tim P. Vos and Folker Hanusch with Annika Sehl, Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou and Margaretha Geertsema-Sligh. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. (invited Encyclopedic entry)

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

Baltimore Stake Director of Public Affairs (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); numerous consecutive/consistent professional national accolades for Loyola’s PRSSA Chapter 

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

As I reflect on my journey since attaining tenure and promotion Spring 2015, my heart is overwhelmed. I feel so proud of the incredible work undergraduate and graduate students have done as they each have applied all they’ve gained from their Loyola education to better society, to ennoble the human spirit within and around. As they master Ignatian principles, especially cura personalis, or care for the whole person, they prove they are ready to learn, lead and serve in our diverse and changing world. In sum: They truly are more than ready; they are Loyola ready for anything and everything. And I am privileged to have played even a small part in that preparation.

Andrew Samuel, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Economics

Research Interests

 My research lies at the intersection of Law, economics, and regulation.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • Game Theory
  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
  • PMBA statistics

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • “Licensing and the informal sector in rental markets: theory and evidence” (with Jeremy Schwartz and Kerry Tan), accepted to Contemporary Economic Policy (July 2020).
  • “Law enforcement among endogenously (in)competent officers” (with Ajit Mishra) forthcoming in Economic Inquiry (accepted September 2017)

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Working with the Department of Housing in Baltimore City to help evaluate the effectiveness of their inspections.

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • France-Merrick faculty fellow in economics

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

I find that the ability to teach students from a liberal arts background to be particularly rewarding. At Loyola I can weave history, science and philosophy into my lectures in economics and be reasonably confident that my students will have some understanding of these different areas of knowledge.

Carsten Vala, Ph.D.

Promoted

Professor of Political Science

Research Interests

I am generally fascinated by how weak societal groups organize against strong state powers. Specifically, I have studied the politics of Chinese Protestant churches in China today and how Chilean miners organize in the face of Chinese global investment.

Favorite Courses Taught at Loyola

  • PS310 Protest and Mobilization in Authoritarian Regimes
  • PS302 Chinese Politics
  • PS304 Middle East Politics

Recent/Noteworthy Publications or Presentations

  • The Politics of Protestant Churches and the Party-State in China, God Above Party? (2018 book)
  • Editor of Special Journal Issue and Article, “Looking Back, Looking Forward: A Sketch of the Field of Christianity in China Studies and Possible Future Directions,” Review of Religion and Chinese Society 6:1 (2019): 99-125
  • “Online and Offline Religion in China: A Protestant WeChat ‘Alter-Public’ through the Bible Handcopying Movement,” (co-authored with Jianbo Huang) Religions 10.10 (2019): 561-578.

Most Significant Service to Loyola, Your Professional, and/or Baltimore Community

  • Department chair for Political Science
  • Program organizer for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion national meeting (2015)
     

Grants/Fellowships Awarded

  • Fulbright Teaching & Research Fellowship, 2015-2016, Chile

What is Most Significant or Rewarding about Loyola

The most rewarding thing about working at Loyola is that neither teaching nor scholarship alone is valued, unlike at other institutions that are larger or smaller in size. Loyola values each as an important dimension of my work, which allows me to support one with the other, by bringing findings from scholarship into teaching. Further, I also find it rewarding that Loyola, through cura personalis, encourages me to treat students as whole persons, not merely as intellectual beings, and to prepare them to flourish in a world that will demand that they be more than just sharp minds.

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