Keynote Speaker - 2016

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Br. James Gaffney, FSC

Br. James Gaffney, FSC

The keynote presentation of this year’s fifth Celebration of Scholarship will be given by the President of Lewis University, Brother James Gaffney, FSC, followed by a summary of scholarly work with a panel of Lewis faculty who have received Lasallian Research Grants.

President of Lewis University since 1988, Brother James has been part of the University community since the early 1970s as a faculty member, Provincial for the Christian Brothers, chair of the Board of Trustees for ten years, and President. During his years as President, Lewis has undergone a remarkable transformation, achieved national ranking for various educational programs; added dozens of programs – both graduate and undergraduate – including two doctoral degrees; significantly expanded the main campus in Romeoville and established sites in the Chicagoland area and in Albuquerque, New Mexico; more than tripled the enrollment with the number of students rising to 6,700; infused the Catholic and Lasallian Mission into all aspects of University life; and built a spirit of Association among faculty, staff and administrators that has helped to develop a collaborative approach in all teaching, learning and service undertakings.

Many initiatives, such as the Celebration of Scholarship and Lasallian Research Grants, have promoted the research and scholarship of faculty and students in the Lewis University community.  Sponsored by Brother James, the Lasallian Research Grant Program aims to promote interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and inter-institutional collaborations in exploring global issues arising from areas of focus identified by the International Association of Lasallian Universities. Transforming student learning, research collaborations between faculty and students promote initiatives that endeavor to describe or explain phenomena or to predict effects with expected outcomes of advancing understanding, raising awareness, and seeking creative alternatives to intervene, influence, and transform society.

Former Chair of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities, Brother James has served on several dozen boards and currently chairs the Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents, the Community Foundation of Will County and Illinois Justice Project. He has received many honors for his leadership, including the Pro Ecclesiae et Pontifice Medallion from the Vatican, numerous honorary degrees, and various community accolades. A native Chicagoan, Brother James holds a B.A. and an M.Ed. from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, an M.A. from Manhattan College, and a D.Min. in Pastoral Theology from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill.

A panel discussion will follow his presentation which includes faculty at Lewis University who are current recipients of Lasallian Research Grants for projects that explore issues arising from areas of focus identified by the International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU). Projects are designed to actively engage students in the research process, are collaborative, involve interdisciplinary perspectives and external partners, particularly other Lasallian institutions. The projects and their researchers follow:

Dr. Seung H. Kim, Department of Secondary/Technological Education (Lewis Co-Investigator: Mary Jo Heiberger; External Collaborators: Dr. Jozef Raco, Universitas Katolik De La Salle Manado, Indonesia; Dr. Rezyl R. Mallorca, La Salle University-Ozamiz, Philippines; and Dr. Eduardo Gomez, Universidad La Salle, Col Condesa, Mexico) – “Diffusing Mobile Technologies in Students’ Learning and Daily Life in Lasallian Universities” (May 2015)

Dr. Ryan Phillips, Department of Aviation and Transportation (Lewis Co-Investigators: Dr. Randal DeMik and Eric Swanson) – “Serving Population Growth with the Advancement of Crop Analysis and Precision Agriculture through Economical Data Delivery Methods: Phase I” (May 2015)  

Dr. Jerry H. Kavouras, Department of Biology – “Changing Food Webs in Lake Michigan: Dreissena and the Microbial Loop” (March 2015)