Introducing Our New Faculty
Director of Literacy Sandra Smycz (left) with literacy coach Teri Weaver, who also serves as a Social Studies teacher (see Teri's introduction below under Social Studies).
Sandra Smycz joins the Academic Resource Center as Loyola’s director of literacy, a newly created position. Sandra is developing a literacy curriculum for the O’Shaughnessy Program, establishing a coaching partnership with teachers to embed literacy across Loyola’s curricula, creating professional development opportunities for teachers and facilitating Loyola’s new Writing Lab, where faculty will be assigned to work with students on writing across the curriculum. Sandra is also involved with our theater program, moderating the Improv Troupe and Playwriting Club and directing the spring studio show. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English education and theater from Northwestern University, a master’s in reading from St. Xavier University and a master’s in theater directing from Roosevelt University. Prior to joining Loyola, Sandra taught English, communication and theater at Downers Grove North High School, where she also served as a reading specialist and literacy coach. In 2004, she received the Teacher of Excellence award from Eastern Illinois University.
Sandra’s Favorite Quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Campus Ministers (l-r) Mark McGuire ’06 and Allison N. Loecke
Allison N. Loecke is the coordinator of Loyola’s Summer Service and Immersion Program and a campus minister. She holds a BA with a major in human services and a minor in business from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and an MA in pastoral ministry from the University of Dayton. She served as the director of Nazareth Farm, a Catholic service and retreat house in West Virginia, and as a campus minister at Xavier University.
Allison’s Favorite Books: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.
Mark McGuire '06 is serving as a campus minister. Mark holds a BA in Arabic and political science from the University of Notre Dame and an MEd from Notre Dame's Alliance in Catholic Education (ACE) program. Through ACE, Mark taught world history and theology and coached soccer at the Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School in Alabama.
Mark’s Favorite Films: The French thriller Taken and the entire Harry Potter series
Traci Flowers, College Counselor
Traci Flowers Davis joins Loyola as a college counselor. She holds a BS in biology and an MEd in higher education from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in school counseling from Northeastern Illinois University. For the past 11 years, Traci worked in college admissions, serving as associate director of admissions at the Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, a regional admissions representative for Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI and an admissions counselor at Loyola University Chicago.
Traci’s Favorite Foods: Mexican—salsa, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas
Stacey Zupec, English teacher
Stacey Zupec is teaching freshman English, British Literature and tutoring in the Writing Lab. Stacey holds a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Previously, she taught English at St. Joseph Academy in Kenosha, Warren High School in Gurnee and Viking Middle School also in Gurnee.
Stacey’s Favorite Quote: “Choose faith over worry.” From Matthew, Chapter 6
Fine Arts teachers (l-r) James Yost; Colleen Aufderheide; Christopher Kuzmanoff; Br. Lee S. Colombino, SJ; and Sandra Smycz (see Sandra’s introduction in the Academic Resource Center)
Colleen Aufderheide is teaching visual art and co-moderating the Art Club. Colleen holds a BFA in studio art from Miami University Oxford and an MA in education from North Park University. Colleen taught art at several local schools including Glenview School District 34 and Marillac High School and was also the curator of education at The Children’s Museum in Seattle, WA.
Colleen’s Favorite Film: It’s a Wonderful Life
Br. Lee S. Colombino, SJ has returned to Loyola to teach visual art and art history and is co-moderating the Art Club and Dumbach Scholars. He holds a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan, an MA in philosophical studies from Fordham University, a BA in fine arts from the University of San Francisco, a master's in theological studies from the Jesuit School of Theology and an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Br. Colombino is a mixed-media artist who has had several Japanese-inspired creations on exhibit in galleries in San Francisco and Philadelphia. He served as a curatorial assistant at the Flora Lamson Hewlitt Library in Berkeley, a product sales representative at Morningstar in Chicago, a paralegal and a docent at the Japanese Cultural Center & Tea House in Saginaw, MI. He also has spent many hours volunteering, including serving as editor of New Wineskins in Berkeley, a tutor for New York Public School students at St. Rita Center in the Bronx and at the Hospice of Southeastern Michigan in Detroit.
Br. Colombino’s Favorite Books: John Kennedy Toole’s cult classic A Confederacy of Dunces, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig and Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited
Christopher Kuzmanoff is the director of orchestra and is teaching guitar. Chris holds a bachelor of music education from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. He plays the viola, bass and trumpet and has a variety of performing experience for all three instruments. He comes to Loyola with nine years of teaching experience, including serving as the orchestra director for the Chillicothe City Schools in Ohio and director of bands at George W. Collins High School in Chicago. In 2006, Chris received the Rozell R. Nesbitt Community Education Award.
Christopher’s Favorite Films: Star Wars and Lord of the Rings
James Yost is teaching theater. He holds a BA in English and drama from Queens University of Charlotte, NC. Most recently, Jim served as the department chair for the Theatre and Film Program at Providence High School in Charlotte, where he was named Outstanding Teacher in 2010 and 2012. He comes to Loyola with a wealth of professional theatrical experience as well, including his role as founder and executive director of the BareBones Theatre Group and serving as an independent theater producer and director. Jim was named Creative Loafing’s Theatre Person of the Year in 2002.
Jim’s Favorite Food: Gnocchi
Jessica Harrington, Latin teacher
Jessica Harrington is teaching Latin. She holds a BA in art history and the classics from John Carroll University and an MA in the humanities from The University of Chicago. Previously, Jessica served as an adjunct professor at The City Colleges of Chicago and as a tutor and instructor at The University of Chicago Laboratory School.
Jessica’s Favorite Quote: “Make haste slowly.”
The Medici family motto
Mathematics teachers (l-r) Bradley Sultan, Ashley M. Flynn, Joseph Haney and Alexander M. Zalar
Ashley M. Flynn is teaching algebra. Ashley holds a BS with a double major in mathematics and psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS in mathematics education from Illinois State University. She taught math at Wauconda High School and was a math instructor at the Sylvan Learning Center in Grayslake.
Ashley’s Favorite Film: The Wizard of Oz
Joseph Haney is teaching algebra and pre-calculus and is coaching wrestling. Joe holds a BA in mathematics and in educational studies from Knox College in Galesburg. Previously, he taught math and coached wrestling at Clifton Central High School in Clifton, IL. He is multilingual in American Sign Language and Spanish.
Joe’s Favorite Food: Bacon
Bradley Sultan is teaching geometry and pre-calculus and is coaching the Math Team. He holds a BA in secondary education and mathematics from Northeastern Illinois University. Previously, Brad worked in the food service industry, serving as the general manager of the Darden Restaurants and for Wok ‘N Fire and as the beverage and service manager for T.G.I.Friday’s.
Brad’s Favorite Television Show: The Simpsons
Alexander M. Zalar is teaching algebra and is coaching the sailing team. Alex holds a BS in math education from Miami University Oxford. He served as a math and technology teacher at Toledo Christian High School in Ohio, a program director at The Maritime Academy of Toledo, an assistant technology coordinator at Lake Local Schools and an at-risk math teacher for the Mason Consolidated Schools.
Alex’s Favorite Hobbies: Sailing, playing guitar, cycling and playing baseball, tennis and golf
Science teachers (l-r) Ashley Raymond and Daniel J. Finlayson
Daniel J. Finlayson is teaching biology, anatomy and physiology. He holds a BS in kinesiology curriculum in movement science and an MEd in instructional leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dan is a certified and licensed EMT-paramedic and has booked over 100 volunteer hours for the Habitat for Humanity.
Daniel’s Favorite Foods: Rare steak and potatoes
Ashley Raymond is teaching chemistry. She holds a BS in biology and an MEd in secondary education from Loyola University Chicago. She taught science at Josephinum Academy and was a Saturday Enrichment Program instructor at Northwestern University.
Ashley’s Favorite Film: Right now—Crazy, Stupid, Love
Social Studies teachers (l-r) Priya Sharma Amin, Teri Weaver and Michael Field
Priya Sharma Amin is teaching world history. She holds a BS in anthropology with a minor in Asian and American studies from Loyola University Chicago and an MEd in secondary education teaching and learning from DePaul University. Priya served as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and history teacher at Evanston Township High School, was history department chair and teacher at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL and a history teacher at Carl Schurz High School in Chicago. Priya is fluent in Hindi and Sindhi.
Priya’s Favorite Philosophy: It’s not about the destination, but the journey.
Michael Field is teaching U.S. and world history. He holds a BA with a major in American history and a minor in education from DePauw University in Indiana and an MEd in educational leadership from Northeastern Illinois University. Mike has been teaching social studies for seven years. He was the social studies department chair at Immaculate Conception High School, where he also served as a special assistant to the administration and coached football and baseball.
Mike’s Favorite Book: The World War II memoir by Eugene Sledge, With the Old Bread
Teri M. Weaver is teaching U.S. history, coaching tennis and serving as a literacy coach. She holds a BA with a major in communication and a minor in history from the University of Michigan, an MAT in secondary education and an MEd in reading from National-Louis University. She served as a reading specialist and English and reading teacher at Community High School District 128 in Vernon Hills and was a substitute social science teacher at Barrington Community Unit School District 220.
Teri’s Favorite Film: The Awful Truth
Joshua B. Warner, Theology teacher
Stephen Cavill joins the Theology department. He holds a BA in religious studies and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master's in divinity from the University of Notre Dame. Previously, he served as the director of liturgy and music at the JP2 Newman Center at the University of Illinois Chicago, assistant rector at University of Notre Dame’s Stanford Hall, a sailing instructor at Hoofers Sailing Club at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a swing dance instructor at the University of Notre Dame.
Stephen’s Favorite Quote: “O Lord make me beautiful within.” John Wooden
Joshua B. Warner joins the Theology department. He holds a BA in theology with an interdisciplinary minor in Catholic social teaching from the University of Notre Dame. Joshua is a published poet. Previously, he served as the mushroom farm and microgreen farm production manager at Our Lady of Mepkin Abbey, a Trappist monastery, and as the director of middle school faith formation and high school youth and young adult ministry at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro, NC.
Joshua’s Favorite Book: Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh