Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

Earth and Sky: Ancient Wisdom Speaks to a Generation in Crisis (PL 201D)

Philosophy is both a call to intellectual adventure and a response to our very human yearning for answers to fundamental existential questions. Is any topic of intellectual inquiry more compelling to young minds than the question of how to live the best life possible? In this class, we will listen to voices from the ancient worlds of Greece, China, and Indigenous North America to gather clues. Through rigorous textual analysis, we will set the ancients in conversation with the real contemporary concerns of climate change and social injustice that urgently face today's youth.

Faculty biography

Dr. Catriona Hanley spent four years travelling the world before deciding on academic study, and took a year or two off in between each of her three degrees. She never intended to be a professor, but years of study of philosophy accidentally resulted in the PhD. After that, it seemed that joining a university would provide a good opportunity to read books for a living. Dr. Hanley loves teaching young people, loves reading books-- and still travels as much as possible.

The Good Life: Writing Toward Happiness (WR 100)

This course will use the genre of the essay to explore how individuals and groups create definitions of happiness based upon values, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, societal influences, and more. We will consider how authors frame ideas of happiness, success, and fulfillment—as well as how they may have influenced our pursuit of these ideas. Students will analyze historic and contemporary definitions of happiness as well as develop their own working definition over the course of the semester. All coursework will be geared toward learning how to articulate and refine our ideas though the processes of writing and research. By examining happiness at a global, local, and personal level, we can begin to better understand ourselves and the world around us.

Faculty biography

Professor Laurence Ross is a Lecturer in the Writing Department at Loyola University Maryland and teaches Creative Nonfiction for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth during the summer months. His essays have been published in literary journals and magazines such as The Georgia Review, Brevity, Pelican Bomb, HuffPost, Hyperallergic. He frequently contributes to BmoreArt, a Baltimore-based magazine that reflects the art and culture of the city and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region.

Mentor biography

Melissa Lees holds her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Students from Marywood University in Scranton, PA and her Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from The University of Dayton. Melissa moved to Baltimore in 2007 to work as a site director for an AmeriCorps program, of which she is an alum. Melissa began at Loyola in September 2015 as the Sexual Violence Prevention, Education and Response Coordinator and in July 2017 became the Director of the Women's Center.


Virtual Advisor

Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements for all students. PL 201 is offered with a service learning option and counts toward the diversity requirement.

Two students talking with eachother next to a laptop
Advising and Support

7 ways Loyola helps ease the transition to college

A student shares seven ways her first-year experience was enhanced by the people and programs at Loyola.

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