The Faculty Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning

Dr. Anne Figus

The Mission of the Faculty Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning is to develop and support pedagogical initiatives that will provide a distinctive and transformative educational experience for our students.

Welcome to the Faculty Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Lewis University. Our goal is to help faculty members create a rich and transformative learning environment that provides an engaging and challenging experience for students.

The Center staff members are dedicated to providing faculty with the ability to engage in development activities, to fully integrate innovative technology solutions in the classroom environment and to evaluate student learning, regardless of the modality.

Through personalized support and training, as well as workshops created to introduce new technology and teaching strategies, the Center is dedicated to providing the necessary resources for faculty members to provide a dynamic learning environment for our students.

If you have any questions or have a willingness to lead a workshop in your area of interest or expertise, please do not hesitate to contact us at

We look forward to working with you.

Anne Figus, Ed.D.
Assistant Provost
Faculty Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning



The mission of the Assessment Office is to support the communication and implementation of a cohesive university-wide assessment system for continuous improvement of student learning and institutional effectiveness at Lewis University.

Assessment >>

Faculty Development


The Faculty Development Committee serves as liaisons by providing advisory support and advocating for faculty initiatives that promote professional growth including mentoring, scholarship, and pedagogy that support student success in the spirit of the Lasallian Mission.

Faculty Development >>

Academic Technology


The Academic Technology Solutions Team focuses on advancing teaching and learning through the development, support and research of technologies related to instructional strategies for faculty and students.

Academic Technology & Instructional Design >>


Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Kathleen C. Blanchfield

Kathleen C. Blanchfield, PhD, MPS, RN
College of Nursing and Health Professions

Putting the “care” in Healthcare. Dr. Kathleen Blanchfield, PhD, MPS, RN first became aware of Lewis University during her time as a system-wide nursing director in healthcare. “I was responsible for all the contract negotiations for student clinical assignments and I ended up thinking that our organization has tuition reimbursement - what could I do to get the universities on board to defer tuition until after the end of the course when the student received a grade? Believe it or not, the only place that came through was Lewis! Everyone else said they don’t have the mechanisms, maybe in a few years, etc. I wanted it for nurses and business majors. Well, needless to say, this put Lewis on the map for me! And by the way, Lewis has never broken that promise – we still have students who take advantage of this! The entire experience made me think that perhaps when I was done working in corporate, maybe there’s something I can do in an influential way. What better way to influence than to teach? I began to teach as an adjunct and was hired on soon after that.”

Kathie, who has earned her B.S.N., M.S. and PhD in Nursing and an M.S. in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University, explains that when she completed her PhD in Nursing, she felt something was missing when it came to fully supporting patients beyond the healthcare they were receiving. “I felt like what was lacking was a whole sense of spirituality, so I went back and got my Masters in Pastoral Studies, taking an internship in Chaplaincy Education, so that I would be able to be comfortable with all the different emotions that come with being hospitalized. Interactions with patients can happen at some of the most sacred times of people’s lives. I wanted to be present in such a way that I would be able to support them in terms of ‘what does this illness or care mean in my life?’ How am I going to face it? How am I going to handle my anger, my fear? How do I handle my joy with the birth of this baby and no manual coming along?!’ The added education made it more comfortable for me to assist the ‘whole individual’ – and I know that this is what we do here at Lewis – we teach the whole person, body, mind and spirit.  As an instructor and facilitator, I try to teach students to recognize their spiritual strength and when it’s being shared with a patient.”

Kathie is very proud of the Lewis nursing students. “We have such an interesting mix of students! We are blessed to have people in their 20s all the way through their 60s and they bring an absolute wealth of diversity.” If you ask Kathie what types of teaching strategies she employs to engage them in the classroom, she states that she makes great efforts to get to know them better because “I really believe that every student brings their own gifts and the better they can articulate those gifts, strengths and what they have to offer, the better they will learn in my class. They also recognize strengths in their classmates and start to learn from or rely on each other. At the end of each face-to-face class, I go around the room and I affirm every student for what I saw they did in the class, for what they offered and how they recognized when their fellow classmates were struggling and reached out to them. Then I ask the students to affirm each other and that is a very powerful moment – when the value of association is brought to light. They see that it’s far better not to be a lone person out there crying in the darkness, but to be somebody who knows that there are others out there who will help you figure this out.”
In addition to her role as facilitator (she insists that students bring more to the learning process than they think, and her role is that of a “facilitator”), Kathie is currently on Cardinal Cupich’s Committee on Women’s Issuesfor the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Previously, we took on domestic violence issues and now we are discussing human trafficking – a problem that most people think happens only in large cities. As we continue to educate ourselves about this, we are finding that it happens everywhere and is the greatest source of money in the world – not drugs, but human trafficking. In the suburb where I live, there are three FBI agents assigned to, among other places, a large mall to monitor and investigate human trafficking. Once our research is complete, we will report our findings directly to the Cardinal and hope to be able to provide resources in the form of education and communication so that communities and parishes can work together to combat this issue.”

With five children, ten grandchildren, teaching, and her work with the Archdiocese on women’s issues, Kathie still takes time to have the one-on-one chats with her students before and after class. “Their concerns are very important to me – their feedback even more so. I have found that when students aren’t performing well, all I have to do is ask ‘what can we do to help you?’ I always say “we” because we are a community in the classroom.” This idea was reinforced when she attended the Lewis University Exploring Lasallian Mission (ELM) workshop and learned that “in 17th  century France, our founder, John Baptiste de La Salle, used to send other students out to find out why their fellow classmates were missing classes. Were they sick? Was something else wrong? I think that if that method is good enough for our founder, then it’s good enough for us! All these years later, we are doing the equivalent!” Ending with a smile, she says “of course, he was doing it in French!”

Lisa Caldwell


Lisa Caldwell
Faculty Development and Support Technologist
(815) 836-5748

Joe Jirka
Learning Management System (LMS) Administrator
(815) 836-5668

Br. Gustavo Sinco, FSC
Academic Technologist
(815) 836-5140

Nancy O'Sullivan
Instructional Design Specialist
(815) 836-5708

Dr. Joyce Hayward
Division Chair, Professor, Foundations, Leadership & Literacy
(815) 836-5487

Dr. Anne Figus
Assistant Provost, Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
(815) 834-6101