Loyola at a Glance
New dean rolls up sleeves in New Orleans after semester in Qatar
January 9, 2009
The new dean for the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans, Jo Ann Moran Cruz, began her tenure here this week after wrapping up a semester-long teaching assignment in Doha, Qatar, for Georgetown University.
While in Qatar, Cruz taught courses in European civilization and a course on E.M. Forster at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Education City. She also continued work on her book, “Religion and the Legitimacy of the Political Authority in the Christian and Muslim Worlds.”
Cruz was part of a team that travelled to Doha in 2004 to explore the possibility of putting Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service into Education City, a conglomeration of programs from a variety of American educational institutions established by the Qatar Foundation.
“The response of the initial team was very enthusiastic. The following June, a group of us began to recruit and interview students and to set up the infrastructure of the program, which then opened in the fall of 2005,” said Cruz. “Since then, I have remained in touch, going there for the inauguration of the program and for conferences, with a standing offer to teach. That teaching experience was one of the best I’ve had.”
A medieval and early modern European History scholar at Georgetown University since 1978, Cruz brings a wealth of expertise in the areas of European civilization, history of women in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation. She has also studied perceptions of Islam in medieval Europe and written on comparative Christian and Islamic topics.
She is the author of a prize-winning book in addition to a textbook in her field and has published articles on medieval education, literacy, social mobility, medieval French literature, Dante and E.M. Forster.
Dean Cruz’ experience and expertise teaching in Turkey, Italy, Egypt, Chile and Qatar will help her contribute to actualizing Loyola’s mission of internationalization; her interdisciplinary approach to teaching and scholarship will inform her time at Loyola, she said. In addition, she brings both a practical and scholarly approach to literacy issues.
Cruz received her doctorate in medieval and early modern European history, with a focus on England from Brandeis University. Cruz also has a master’s degree in history from Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in political theory from Harvard University.
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