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Social Sciences 2020 Annual Report

The 2019-20 Social Sciences division PDF report can be downloaded by using the link below. In addition, to the PDF report, expanded and supplemental content has been added below which includes additional highlights and activities that occurred in the social sciences division.

Download PDF Report

Expanded and Supplemental Report News

Equity and Inclusion Initiative Spotlight

Classroom Climate

During 2019-2020, the Psychology department’s commitment to equity and inclusion in the classroom was strengthened by using their professional expertise to create and pilot test items on their teaching evaluation form. The five developed items sought to assess students’ perceptions of their instructors’ ability to create an inclusive classroom environment. They pilot tested these items and used their statistical acumen to test the items psychometric properties. These items are now included in the department’s teaching evaluations given each semester. In fact, a manuscript summarizing their work was accepted and will soon appear in a special issue:

Grover, R. L., Golom, F. D., Iwasaki, M., & Sherman, M. F. (in press).
Assessing climate for diversity in the psychology classroom: Development
of the Classroom Diversity Climate (CDC) Scale. Scholarship of Teaching
and Learning in Psychology.

Racial Justice Statements

In response to ongoing cases of racial injustice nationally, the Sociology faculty this Spring created a departmental commitment to racial justice, which involves a list of action items, that for instance include ensuring curriculum that addresses, power, privilege, difference, inequality; creating classrooms that reaffirm the dignity of Black and other marginalized peoples; and advising that more fully supports the whole student. Other social sciences also have made such departmental statements.

Innovative Courses

Amy Wolfson, Ph.D. headshotDrs. Melissa Girard (English) and Amy Wolfson (Psychology) created a new course that was offered this spring 2020 called, Gender, Culture, and Madness. The course was part of a pilot that in a single course, students would earn credit for two core requirements, in this case for the second-level English and Social Science core requirements. The course explored the relationship between creativity and mental illness. Throughout history and across cultures, the label of "madness" has often been applied to women and men whose gender identities, emotions, and behaviors fall outside social norms. Through case studies of American authors, many of whom were hospitalized for mental illness, the course examines how gender constructs and values continue to shape definitions of mental health and illness.

Headshot photo of Doug Harris, Ph.D. During the inaugural Maymester 2020 semester, Dr. Doug Harris (Political Science) created and taught Beltway Politics. The course included “Virtual Tours” that gave students a sense of place by writing essays to accompany video clips of Washington, DC locations; five Zoom sessions in which students interacted with guest speakers; and a dozen video interviews of people relating their experiences to course themes. The course received rave reviews. One Biology major ’20 called it “one of the most informative and eye-opening courses” ever taken at Loyola, citing, among other features, how the “guest interviews (with student involvement) accomplish the goal of genuine interaction in the field with professionals that is simply not seen in any other course.”


Dr. Diana Schaub (Political Science) participated in an 80-minute podcast for the show "Conversations with Bill Kristol.” Her podcast was entitled "Diana Schaub on Lincoln’s Political Thought,” which was released on July 27, 2019.

Marianna Carlucci, Ph.D. headshotDr. Jóan Ricart-Huguet (Political Science) published "The Historical Turn in the Comparative Study of Political Elites." Newsletter of the APSA Comparative Politics. This is a widely-read newsletter of a subfield for the national American Political Science Association.

Dr. Marianna Carlucci (Psychology) was awarded as the Harry W. Rodgers III Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award for 2020.

Samantha Rukert, Ph.D. headshotDr. Samantha Rukert (Psychology) was appointed to the Board of Examiners of Psychologists for the State of Maryland, a highly selective group of seven licensed psychologists and two consumer members appointed by the Governor to administer and regulate the laws regarding the practice of psychology in the state of Maryland.

Drs. Lisa Schoenbrodt (Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences) and Leah Saal (Literacy Education) created Loyola’s LEAD program, which provides officer training designed to improve interactions with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They’ve received tremendous grant support to carry out this project noted below, and have gotten some well-earned social media attention for their work on the Today Show.

Photo of LEAD officer training

Grants Awarded for Drs. Schoenbrodt and Saal

  • Maryland Department of Disabilities ($99,912) for Learning to lead: Training Self-Advocate Educators for First Responders
  • Horizon Foundation Changemaker Challenge ($25,000) for Project STEER: Strategic Training for Empathic Emergency Response.
  • Eric Davis Myers Fund ($25,000) for LEADing Forward: Training Self-Advocate Educators for First Responders.

Not Just Ready, Loyola Ready

To make sure our Loyola students are ready for whatever lies beyond, a range of events and opportunities were created this past year. Here’s some highlights:

Career-Focused Opportunities

  • In an effort to increase the focus on careers and professional development within the, Dr. Mary Kate Schneider (Program Director of the Global Studies Program) coordinated two events during Spring 2020: (a) a career development workshop for all seniors led by Jim Dickinson, and (b) a panel discussion on government and public sector jobs featuring guest speakers from the U.S. Dept. of State, the FBI, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Guest speakers spoke candidly on how to navigate the path from undergraduate education to work in the U.S. government. Q&A ensued.
  • Dr. Michael Franz has grown our alumni network on Loyola Connect Group of Government, Law, Public & International Affairs, which now includes 109 members. It remains by far the most extensive at Loyola, with 30% more members than the next largest Group, despite being only 1/3 as old as its closest counterpart in inclusiveness.
  • James Peabody-Harrington (LUM, PS, ’17) and Amelia Marsden (LUM, PS, ’17) shared their experience as current at the University of Maryland Law School to Loyola pre-law students.
  • The Sociology Department held a Career Night and Resumé Night for their students.
  • Partnering with the Career Center to customize their “Big Interview” platform, to include on-line mock interviews specifically designed for Psy.D. students applying for internship
  • In October 2019, Psychology faculty, Dr. Harriette Wimms presented a continuing education workshop entitled, “At the Crossroads: Real World Intersectionality in Clinical Psychology Settings” to sixty-eight current graduate students, faculty and alumni from both Psychology and Pastoral Counseling.

Headshot photo of Harriette Wimms, Ph.D.

  • The inaugural cohort of Clinical Professional Counseling students experienced their practicum through the Loyola Clinical Centers during Spring 2020, which involved opportunities to conduct psychological screenings for the Hearing Health Initiative Study and to provide wellness workshops for the clients at the LCC Tax Clinic. Some students were also involved in an extensive two-day training along with doctoral students on CBT-based, manualized, child grief groups (as part of the Child HELP National Collaborative).
  • In October 2019, graduate students in the Speech-Language Pathology and Psychology graduate programs worked collaboratively with Nursing students at Notre Dame University of Maryland for a 3-hour Communication Simtivity. Key features of this Simtivity included exposure and education to medical setting and equipment, post-graduation role, teamwork, relationship building, and student driven education. The tools provided in this activity encouraged and promoted effective communication, not only to other health care professions, but also to the patient.

Sharing Research through Lectures and Beyond

In December 2019, the Global Studies Program co-sponsored with the Sellinger School Globalization: Here to Stay? A European Perspective, part of an official state visit to Maryland on behalf of the full delegation of European Union (EU) Ambassadors to the United States. Loyola University hosted Ambassadors from Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Poland for a robust discussion attended by many students and faculty members, filling the 4th Floor Programming Room. After the conclusion of the event, the EU delegation wrote to the hosts at Loyola, commenting that the event hosted by Loyola was one of the best-organized and most well-attended events of their entire visit to Maryland.

Photo of Globalization Event Audience People talking around a cocktail table at the Global Studies co-sponsored even 'Globalization: Here to Stay? A European Perspective'

Constitutional law scholar, Michael Greve, Esq. delivered the Constitution Day lecture to a packed house in September 2019 on The Kavanaugh Hearings and the Judicial Resistance: Troubled Times for the Supreme Court's Legitimacy.

30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall EventTo commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dr. Kevin Hula organized a movie viewing of The Lives of Others complete with a faculty panel, including Drs. Kevin Hula, Janine Holc, Moira Lynch, and Carsten Vala (Political Science).

Psychology faculty created a research-informed Coronavirus Conversations video series to support students. See their departmental Facebook page or Instagram page.