Congratulations to LIM Professor Kathleen O'Gorman for receiving the Faculty Community Service Award at the College of Social Sciences Convocation on May 13, 2011. Here is the citation that was read for her:
One of the strengths as well as weaknesses of contemporary academic life is its narrowing of expertise. Specialization helps scholars to focus intently, yet it can prevent them from linking their work to that of others.
Dr. Kathleen O’Gorman, Associate Professor of Religion and Education, resists the silos of contemporary academia. She teaches in the Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) yet has contributed over the years to the life of the university by serving on a wide range of committees. In the past, these have included development with Fr. George Lundy of the university’s affirmative action committee (she asks, what happened to it?) and coordination of the LUForum, an organization for City College students who were often overlooked by the rest of the university.
In addition to her work in LIM, she serves on the University Senate, the Professional and Continuing Education Taskforce, and is secretary for the environmental studies committee that is developing an interdisciplinary major. She is also faculty moderator for PAWS (People for Animal Welfare Services), a student organization that promotes awareness of issues related to animals on campus. It volunteers at Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO), has pet food and toy drives and is planning a pet blessing for October.
This last group is emblematic of how Kathleen expands categories. Most of us have a relatively narrow view of community as including only humans. Kathleen’s vision is more expansive. It includes all flora and fauna, indeed all of creation. She embodies commitment to this vision in her tireless work with the Gulf Coast Doberman Rescue network. She raises funds for it, transports rescued dogs, helps run adoption days, and works with its social media. Perhaps most importantly is the selfless way that she has given of her time and treasure to foster dogs over the years in her own home.
Kathleen is worthy of recognition by the College of Social Sciences because of the service she renders to the wider community of creatures, to Loyola students and faculty, and to a vision of community that encompasses all of creation in a web of interdependence.