Scholarship: An Essential Component of the Lasallian Mission

Lewis University will host its 8th annual Celebration of Scholarship in just a few short weeks. The Celebration of Scholarship is a symposium open to the entire Lewis community. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, and faculty members from all disciplines are encouraged to present their scholarly work.

St. John Baptiste de La Salle is the patron saint of educators and the Celebration of Scholarship is an opportunity for our community to demonstrate our shared Lasallian value of academic excellence. Although our Founder may not have thought about research and scholarship in the same ways that we do today, we can apply some of his teachings from the 12 Virtues  to our work.

1.Gravity (Seriousness)

Lasallian professors are role models. They should conduct themselves in ways that garner respect from their students and never forget their obligation to be an example in word and in action. We cultivate a desire for lifelong learning in our students. Therefore, we ourselves must remain curious and prioritize the time and space that are necessary to engage in academic pursuits.

2. Silence

Lasallian professors understand when they should be silent and when they should speak up. Professors are prepared to speak about their content and listen to their students’ understandings. They provide further explanations to their students when needed. We strive to know our subject matter, as well as advances in our respective fields, so that we can provide opportunities for our students to construct knowledge.

3. Humility

Lasallian professors know that there is always more for them to learn. Professors, even those with extensive experience in their fields, are open and responsive to others’ ideas. We endeavor to always do better and learn more so that we can provide all of our students with a high quality education. We do not rely on outdated pedagogy or become complacent in our fields because we know there is always more knowledge to gain.

4. Prudence

Lasallian professors are measured and act with intention and good judgement. They thoroughly examine a topic and reflect on it carefully. We deliberately balance our teaching responsibilities with our obligation to engage in scholarship. We engage in scholarship because we know and value the richness it brings to our teaching.

5. Wisdom

Lasallian professors use their knowledge and experience to develop paths of study. They seek to answer questions and combine service and scholarship to address needs of the larger community. We use our knowledge and experience to identify solutions to societal problems through research and other scholarly pursuits.

6. Patience

Lasallian professors persevere. They demonstrate patience with their students and themselves when engaging in scholarly pursuits. We know that the generation of high quality scholarship is not without challenges. We aren’t hastened to find a quick answer to a question, but rather dedicate the necessary time to use a thorough and systematic approach.

7. Reserve

Lasallian professors demonstrate reserve. They exhibit self-control in the face of strife and disappointment. We know that our thoughts guide our actions. We reflect carefully before acting. We temper the disappointment associated with rejection by living out our virtues.

8. Gentleness

Lasallian professors conduct research and engage in scholarly work in accordance with good principles. We know that the ability to pursue knowledge is a privilege. The authority that comes with expertise is not guised in superiority. As Lasallian scholars, we remain kind and approachable teachers and colleagues.

9. Zeal

Lasallian professors enthusiastically work to advance their disciplines through scholarly work, while remaining dedicated to their students’ education. We know that good scholarship makes us more knowledgeable in our subject matter and ultimately better teachers.

10. Vigilance

Lasallian professors are diligent when applying research techniques and methods. They are careful to learn from their mistakes. We know that rigor is essential for high quality scholarship. We strive to develop proficiency with many techniques and we do not cut corners.

11. Piety

Lasallian professors see their pursuit of scholarship as an integral aspect to their vocation. We engage in teaching, service, and scholarship. We understand that the call to teach in higher education requires us to participate in scholarly work.

12. Generosity

Lasallian professors collaborate with and mentor one another. We develop communities of inquiry and create opportunities for shared work.

Scholarship serves a critical function in Lasallian higher education. Lasallian professors new to scholarship might reflect on the following questions: • How have we realized the importance of scholarship in our academic lives? • How do we impart the significance of scholarship to our students? • How does our scholarship help to improve conditions in society?

For more information about the Lasallian research agenda, check out: • Lasallians in the World Solving Real Problems of the World: Research Agenda of the International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU) Revised by the International Association of Lasallian Universities http://axis.smumn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/191-691-1-PB.pdf

• The IALU Research Agenda: A Resolve to Intervene, Influence, and Transform by Dr. Azcarraga http://axis.smumn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/109-486-1-PB.pdf

About Dr. Susan Cahill

Dr. Susan Cahill is an Associate Professor and Director of the MSOT Program at Lewis University. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and a member of the AOTA Commission on Practice. Visit http://www.lewisu.edu/academics/msoccuptherapy to learn more.

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