From the Editor’s Desk: Thank you, Loyola Professors

Editor-in-Chief Nicky Andrews thanks the professors who have made the most profound impact on her time at Loyola.

Over the past couple of weeks as my friends and I have reflected on our four years of college, we’ve expressed gratitude toward friends, family and extracurriculars. It makes sense to be most sentimental about the people who have been there from the start and know you the best. However, I’ve begun to realize the impact Loyola professors have had on me over the years. 

My growth, education and general understanding of the world is primarily due to their work. Yet, because I am usually only taught by them for a semester, their lasting impact on me and my peers can often go unrecognized while reflecting on our college years. While I don’t have the space to thank all my professors, I’d like to express my gratitude towards a couple that have stood out. 

The first professor I have to thank is Professor Michael Cullinane. As an adjunct professor who was full time at Senn High School, he was able to keep myself and my classmates engaged despite teaching COMM 205 on Zoom during the 2020 Fall semester. 

He was the professor that first guided me into the wondrous world of journalism and helped me really understand the process of writing, editing and perfecting a story. At the end of his class, I wrote a final paper he encouraged me to submit to The Loyola Phoenix. And, well…the rest is history. 

When I returned back to in-person classes, I began to specifically pick electives for my criminal justice major that would be discussion-based. Being able to actively talk about the issues within and involving the criminal justice system allowed me to learn way more about the system than I had learned from Zoom lectures. 

Professor Kayla Martensen really fostered a discussion-based space in her classrooms. Taking two classes with her simultaneously I never got tired of the classroom structure. I truly felt like I left each class with a greater acknowledgement of how the criminal justice system impacts women, LGBTQ+ folk, people of color, people in poverty and other marginalized populations. 

After taking Martensen’s classes, I wanted to continue to take criminal justice electives that focused on how the system impacts Americans. In Professor Zhandarka Kurti’s class on Race, Ethnicity and Criminal Justice, which I’m currently taking, I’ve been able to learn from a multitude of styles. 

By using readings, podcasts, lectures and documentaries to teach, students can expect an accommodating array of learning styles in Kurti’s classroom. Her curriculum has helped me recognize the severity of mass incarceration and the history of the criminal justice system and its relation to racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

Last but certainly not least is another one of my current professors, Katie Drews. While I have grown immensely under her guidance as The Loyola Phoenix’s advisor, I still have really enjoyed her class on media law this semester. 

She has the ability to make learning law fun — something very hard to do, in my opinion — and always finds a way to draw it back to an individual level, causing us to think about how we would respond to ethical dilemmas in the newsroom. She seems to perfectly understand how to get students talking by facilitating interactive classroom discussions and lessons which draw students in and leave them walking out not only understanding the content better but themselves, too. 

Featured image by Austin Hojdar | The Phoenix

Nicky Andrews

Nicky Andrews