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The Intersection: A Podcast Series on Being a Whole Person in Higher Education Today

11/02/2022 10:22 AM | Anonymous

Hosted by Jennifer Abe, Loyola Marymount University

Sponsored by Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education 

Colleges and universities today aspire to help students to become “whole persons.” But what would it look like if these institutions also committed to helping faculty, staff, and administrators to be whole? 

Drawing on Jesuit traditions of contemplation, self-examination, discernment, and spiritual care, The Intersection dares to imagine wholeness as a shared good in higher education. It invites listeners to reflect on how the alignment between intellect and affect, between thinking and emotion can be a catalyst for more meaningful work and more meaningful lives.

Episode 1: On the Challenge and Promise of Being a Whole Person in Higher Education | Listen 

Director of digital humanities and English professor at Michigan State University, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, and Ryan Duns, a Jesuit priest and theologian at Marquette University, reflect together about obstacles and possibilities related to being whole persons in higher education. How do academic culture and institutional structures hinder people from becoming whole? What practices can promote greater alignment between intellectual work and the affective experiences that bring meaning to our lives? And what conditions can help everyone who works in higher education–faculty, staff, and administrators–to be more fulfilled in their work together?

Episode 2: The Work of Wondering Listen 
Chemist Nicole Bouvier-Brown of Loyola Marymount University and poet Philip Metres of John Carroll University explore the power of wonder to help people in higher education become more integrated and fulfilled. What would happen if we consciously placed wonder at the center of all of our work in higher education? How might wonder be shared across the institutional structures that divide staff from faculty, students from administrators? And how can greater attention to the power of wonder help to make everyone in higher education more whole, together? 

Episode 3: Creativity & Communion Listen 

Rachel Mindrup, a visual artist at Creighton University Medical School, and Aldo Billingslea, an actor and theater professor at Santa Clara University, explore the relationship between creativity and community. How can creativity help people in higher education to connect to their deepest desires and aspirations? And how can it become the source for nourishing growth into meaningful communities in the context of higher education?

Episode 4: Accepting the Gifts of Solitude & Mortality Listen 

Memoirist Howard Axelrod of Loyola University Chicago and religious studies scholar Gary Laderman of Emory University explore how the practice of solitude and the contemplation of mortality can help people to identify horizons of meaning in their lives and in their work. How might the experience of solitude and the contemplation of mortality help people in their search for wholeness? Can a deeper sense of their physical embodiment enable people to become better thinkers? How can examining the boundaries and limits of consciousness help people to live with greater freedom and authenticity?

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