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University Core Directory

Saint Louis University's Core is overseen by a team of associate directors. These individuals, each overseeing a distinct Core component area, together lead SLU's shared efforts to implement our new undergraduate Core curriculum. Additionally, our eight undergraduate Core curricular fellows are dedicated to ensuring that SLU's Core is shaped by the voices and perspectives of undergraduate students.

Associate Directors of the CORE

Headshot of Ellen Crowell

Ellen Crowell, Ph.D.

Director of the University Core

Ellen Crowell has served as Saint Louis University’s Director of the University Core since June, 2018. A SLU faculty member since 2004, Crowell has won multiple institutional awards for her teaching and has also been recognized for her extensive service in support of undergraduate education. She directed both the undergraduate English program and the English department’s research-intensive honors program, and has served on the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Honesty, Undergraduate Curriculum, and Core Assessment committees.

University-wide, she has served on the University Honors Program Faculty Advisory Board, the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Committee, and on Academic Affairs initiatives related to supporting and advancing integrative learning and undergraduate research.

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Laura Rettig

Administrative Assistant, University Core and Academic Advising

Laura Rettig provides administrative support for both the University Core and University Academic Advising. She coordinates and manages scheduling, meeting logistics, provision of committee support, travel arrangements and expense reports.

Headshot of John James

John James, Ed.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Ignite Seminar

Institute for Catholic Education
School of Education

John James is an associate professor and director of the Institute for Catholic Education housed in the School of Education. James is excited about bringing his experience in Jesuit education and Ignatian pedagogy to support faculty in the development of courses for the Ignite Seminar. He believes that the Ignite seminars will unleash our greatest asset: the passion and scholarly commitment of faculty.  He says, “Faculty who utilize Ignatian pedagogy to share their own disciplinary journey with students will no doubt ignite the passion and scholarly commitment of their students.”

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Bobby Wassel, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Cura Personalis and Reflection-in-Action

Center for Social Action

Bobby Wassel serves as an assistant director in SLU's Center for Social Action. His passion for seeing the tremendous impact that community engagement experiences can have on a student's personal development, values clarification, and vocational discernment motivated him to be a part of the UUCC team. Believing that a college education should be focused not just on career preparation but also on good citizenship,  Wassel's favorite quote is from James Truslow Adams: "There should be two educations. One should teach us how to make a living, the to live."

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Atria Larson, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Theological and Philosophical Foundations

Department of Theological Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

A person committed to the integration of faith and academic rigor, Atria Larson is honored by the opportunity to influence how every SLU undergraduate comes into dialogue with the Catholic, Jesuit intellectual and religious tradition underlying the university. She says, “My goal is that the Ultimate Questions courses foster an environment where students can articulate their own burning questions, the objects of their faith, the assumptions they bring to the world, and the ways in which their understanding of what is shapes who they can and should be.”

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Nathaniel Rivers, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Eloquentia Perfecta (Written and Visual Communication)

Department of English
College of Arts and Sciences

Nathaniel Rivers’ work as AD of Eloquentia Perfecta (Written and Visual Communication) is motivated by how he sees writing working in the world. As a scholar trained in rhetorical theory, Nathaniel sees eloquentia perfecta as an ideal motive force for the teaching of writing: as a course of study, it prepares students to enter the public arena. Paired with rhetoric (as perfect eloquence), writing is a form of participation in world. Importantly, however, this taking part is mutually informing. Our participation in the world through writing necessarily shapes us as the writers we become.

To borrow, as Dr. Rivers often does, from Father Walter Ong, S.J., “We can now view in better perspective the world of writing in which we live, see better what this world really is, and what functionally literate human beings really are—that is, beings whose thought processes do not grow out of simply natural powers but out of these powers as structured, directly or indirectly, by the technology of writing.” To teach writing, even humbly, is to open students up to the worlds they inhabit. 

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Headshot Tim Huffman

Tim Huffman, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Eloquentia Perfecta (Oral Communication and Creative Expression)

Department of Communication
College of Arts and Sciences

Tim Huffman is an associate professor in the department of communication. He is a scholar-activist in the area of homelessness and uses collaborative inquiry to help build structures that are more equitable and liberating. Huffman has been involved in the community-based design of the core and is excited to see it put into action. He believes that oral and visual communication and creative expression are ways to express the depth of our humanity and to help create a world worth sharing.

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Allen Brizee, Ph.D.

Director of Writing Across the Curriculum

Associate Director of the Core: Writing Across the Curriculum
Department of English
College of Arts and Sciences

In his role as director of writing across the curriculum, Brizee collaborates with SLU faculty members in Saint Louis and Madrid to develop writing-intensive courses offered in both the Core and for credit within major and minor programs of study. To help develop these courses, Brizee uses his research on the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm as well as his experience as a technical writer for the private sector and for the federal government.

Brizee comes to SLU from Loyola University Maryland, where in his role as faculty director for community-engaged learning and scholarship he worked with community partners, faculty members, students, and administrators to develop cross-curricular writing projects focused on racial justice. His award-winning research explores the intersections of rhetoric, technology, writing pedagogy, and civic engagement.

Headshot of Lynne Moskop

Wynne Moskop, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Equity and Global Identities

Department of Political Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Wynne Moskop is a professor in political science, with experience in women’s and gender studies and American studies. Her teaching and research interests range from ancient and medieval thinkers to contemporary thinkers who have inspired social justice activism. She is eager to grow curriculum that illuminates how social systems—including institutions, laws, and cultural practices and values—shape identities, power relations, and possibilities for social justice, globally and locally. To Moskop, “an understanding of social systems is key to judging the impact of our actions, even on those we cannot see.”

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David Kaplan, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Collaborative Inquiry

Department of Management
Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business

David Kaplan’s educational background in industrial relations relied heavily on collaborative inquiry.  He continues to harness the lessons and values of collaborative inquiry to address research questions as well as exciting and expanding the curiosity and knowledge of his students.  The goal of collaborative inquiry, to rephrase an old adage, is for students to recognize that they have more tools than a hammer and that not all problems are nails. 

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Anne McCabe, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Core: Madrid Campus

Department of English
Madrid Campus
(34) 91 554 5858 Ext. 209

At the Madrid Campus, Anne McCabe has taught courses across the communication, education, English, ESL and Spanish departments, and has held appointments involving curricular oversight, assessment, and teacher development. She is eager to apply her interdisciplinary background and experience in contextualizing education to guide the implementation of the University Core at the Madrid Campus, and thus “to build an integrated, flexible and creative array of courses at the heart of students’ academic careers, designed to guide them into fully experiencing SLU’s Jesuit mission.”

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2021-2022 Undergraduate Curricular Fellows 

Headshot of Margaret Runde

Margaret Runde

Ignite Seminar

Margaret (Maggie) Runde is a third-year student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders, Spanish, and Special Education. Her empowering experiences in coursework across these disciplines ignites her desire to serve on the UUCC. She hopes to invite all SLU students into spaces where they have the opportunity to discern, grounded in the Ignatian tradition, how they are uniquely called to take this education beyond the four walls of the classroom. 

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Antron Reid

Cura Personalis and Reflection-in-Action

Antron Reid is a senior studying International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Foreign Service. He is committed to being involved in decisions that will make a direct impact on the learning of all students at Saint Louis University, as well as on the Saint Louis community. As the Undergraduate Core Fellow for Cura Personalis and Reflection-in-Action, Antron is dedicated to help educate the whole student, and develop their sense of community. 

Headshot of Paul Gillam

Paul Gillam

Theological and Philosophical Foundations

Paul Gillam is a sophomore studying Theology, Philosophy, and Catholic Studies. Influenced by his Catholic faith, six years of Jesuit education, and a love for dialogue, he sees theology and philosophy as essential to a Jesuit education. On the UUCC he hopes to challenge students to dialogue with the Catholic, Jesuit intellectual tradition, reflect on their own theological and philosophical worldviews, and seek beauty in worldviews they are unfamiliar with. 

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Emma Schaefer

Eloquentia Perfecta One: Written and Visual Communication

Emma Schaefer is a student in the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) Program in Spanish, with a second major in French and a minor in International Studies. She has both worked and volunteered as a tutor during her time at SLU. Her interest in working with the Core’s Eloquentia Perfecta: Written and Visual Communication subcommittee stems from her commitment to learning about course design in higher education, as well as a commitment to helping create courses in which students find their voice through writing. 

Headshot of Lydia Estrada

Lydia Estrada

Eloquentia Perfecta Two and Three: Oral and Visual Communication and Creative Expression

Lydia Estrada is a junior double-majoring in American Studies and English along the Research-Intensive track. The combination of her course load and her interest in diverse modalities have made her familiar with the limitations on self-guided, creative exploration placed on students by the current Arts and Sciences core. She hopes that the introduction of the Eloquentia Perfecta: Oral and Visual Communication and Creative Expression requirements will encourage future Billikens to explore SLU’s diverse offerings to their fullest, no matter which college they choose to attend.

Headshot of Aric Hamilton

Aric Hamilton

Equity and Global Identities

Aric W. Hamilton is a Secondary Social Science Education student committed to advancing equity and liberation in the American education system through transformative institutional change. He serves the University community in various roles, from Resident Advisor to Student Government Association Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. Aric pursued the Core Fellowship to assist in advancing the Core’s “commitment to helping students understand the world in which they are living so that they can better advocate for justice and act in solidarity with people who are disadvantaged and oppressed.” He will work with the Equity and Global Identities Subcommittee to discuss questions of human dignity, equity, and identity; how these questions are embedded in and shaped by social systems; and how students can advance social justice in our interconnected world. 

Headshot of Jessie Headley

Jessie Headley

Ways of Thinking

Jessie Headley is a sophomore pursuing a double major in History and American Studies. As a Core Fellow, Jessie is excited to put her curiosity and creativity to work for SLU as she helps to recommend Core courses that will interest students and encourage critical thinking. In her role as the Core Curricular Fellow for Ways of Thinking, she looks forward to having multiple opportunities to develop a curriculum that will enrich the SLU experience. 

Headshot of Bashar Aziz

Bashar Aziz

Collaborative Inquiry

Bashar Aziz is a sophomore Medical Scholar double majoring in Biochemistry and Physics. He is excited to begin sharing his perspective on the Collaborative Inquiry subcommittee in order to better develop classes that will help students approach problems from angles that they did not consider before. He has always believed that collaboration is the key to innovation as unique ideas can proliferate among the team which can lead to advancements in almost every field.