The Big Dig II: Unearthing Dirt of a Different Kind

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Mark Osteen, Director of the Center for the Humanities and Professor of English.

How do Loyola students occupy themselves during the summer? Do they head to the beach and catch rays? Take a road trip through the 50 states? Sign up for diving lessons? Some may partake of one or all of these activities, but not Hunter Flynn, Matthew Rossi and Kelly Mueller. These three students, each of whom won a Summer Research Fellowship from Loyola’s Center for the Humanities, spent their summers digging—not through dirt, but through historical archives, books and maps—and interviewing wise men and women. Their digging unearthed some dirt of a different kind. Attend the Big Dig II on October 7, at 1 pm in the 4th Floor Program Room, and learn what they found out. We promise it will surprise and stimulate you!

After the student panel, Dr. Jean Lee Cole, Professor of English, will give a diving lesson. We’re not talking about swimming, however. This year’s Nachbahr Award Winner for Outstanding Research in the Humanities, Dr. Cole will deliver a fifteen-minute talk entitled “Diving into the Wreck,” a thought-provoking essay on living the life of the mind.

After all that delving and plunging you will likely be hungry and thirsty. No worries: food for thought will give way to food for stomachs, as a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres and beverages will follow Dr. Cole’s talk. Faculty members from every department in the humanities will be on hand to chat and mingle with students and parents. Plus, during the reception, the Center for the Humanities will award the annual Affiliate Faculty Teaching Award to Dr. Inas Hassan of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

What a delightful way to celebrate student and faculty excellence! Come dig and dive with us on October 7th.


We all know the power of mentorship. Each of us has had one or more teachers who inspired us to try a new course of study, finish a project that seemed to be going nowhere, or who simply introduced us to an academic discipline that became a passion.

The chance to be a mentor is what brought many of us to the professoriate at Loyola and recent data from the Gallup-Purdue Index show that mentorship is a key factor in the success of college students.

Dr. Anne Young, professor emerita of mathematics and statistics, served as an outstanding mentor to one of our famous alumni, Dr. Lisa Mazzuca, ’91. Dr. Mazzuca is an actual rocket scientist; she works at NASA and currently is the manager of the Search and Rescue Mission. She has served in a number of capacities at NASA and credits her liberal arts education at Loyola and Dr. Young’s mentorship as critical to her success.

Dr. Mazzuca recommends that each of our students find a mentor and take advantage of internships and other services offered by the Career Center. Read more about Dr. Mazzuca in Loyola magazine and vote for her to receive the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal in the Promising Innovations category, a category the Partnership for Public Service introduced in 2017 to recognize federal employees who are developing cutting-edge technologies or driving innovative approaches that have demonstrated measurable success and great potential but are still in progress.

The Service to America Medals are considered to be the “Oscars” of government service. You can vote up to once a day for her to receive the People’s Choice Award here. Voting will continue until Sept. 15. Encourage all members of the community to participate!

~ Amanda M. Thomas, interim vice president for academic affairs

~ Rita Buettner, director of marketing and communications