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ISN’s University Leaders Summit brings together students from Jesuit & other Catholic universities who are passionate about driving change for more socially just local and global communities. The program provides formation in the areas of leadership, social justice, and Ignatian spirituality.

Throughout the Summit, students will:


Working on a practice action plan with the cohort

  • Build upon planning and leadership skills including (but not limited to): goal setting, fundraising, meeting facilitation, advanced social media
  • Deepen their commitment to working for justice through experiences rooted in Ignatian spirituality and engaging with Summit alums and college grads who have demonstrated significant leadership for social justice during their undergrad years
  • Network and brainstorm with other campus leaders who are passionate about working for social justice
  • Develop a personal action plan to translate your ideas and skills into programs on campus that tackle injustice on the local and global level

2015 Summit

Coming summer 2015! More information will be available by June 2014. Please contact Kim Miller at with any questions.

2013 Summit Speakers

KDean photo 2Kathleen Lis Dean, Ph.D.
is the Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness at John Carroll University. In this role, she is working across the campus to establish a culture of assessment and is co-leading the University’s accreditation team. She previously served as Assistant Vice President for Assessment and Planning in Student Affairs where she provided leadership for outcomes assessment. She came to John Carroll as Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs in August 2005, having previously served in the Office of Institutional Research and Planning at the University of Maryland. She began her career in higher education as a career counselor at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. From there, she became the internship coordinator and assistant director at the Center for Work and Service at Wellesley College. She earned her Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland, College Park, writing her dissertation on boundary spanning in presidential leadership teams, as well as an M.Ed. in Student Personnel Administration/College Counseling and a B.A. in International Relations, both at the University of Delaware.

Edward J. Peck, Ph.D. is the founding executive director of the Ignatian Colleagues Program. Prior to assuming this role in June 2008, Ed served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School at John Carroll University and taught ethics in the Religious Studies, MBA, and Nonprofit Administration programs. Previously, Ed was an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Neumann College in Aston, PA, where he directed the college’s academic resource center and served as a residential and athletic chaplain.  In addition to his interests and involvement in local, regional, and national mission and identity work, Ed is a spiritual director and advisor to the Center for Sports, Spirituality, and Character Development at Neumann University.  He holds masters degree in Divinity and Systematic Theology from St. Johns Seminary, a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago, and a certificate in Ignatian Spiritual Direction from the Ignatian Spirituality Institute at John Carroll University.  He is on the Board of Ruffing Montessori School and is past board member of the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma, OH.  He is married to Sarah and is the father of three children.

IMG_5341James Menkhaus, Ph.D. graduated from John Carroll University in 2003 majoring in History and Religious Studies and received his M.A. from John Carroll in 2005, also in Religious Studies. After spending two years teaching at JCU, he entered Duquesne University’s Ph.D. program in Systematic Theology. He recently completed that program in May 2013, having written his dissertation on Pedro Arrupe’s understanding of solidarity and its application to Jesuit education. In the Fall 2013 he will begin teaching at Gannon University in Erie, PA as an assistant professor in the Theology Department.  Aside from teaching courses, he has also given Ignatian retreats, including a retreat in Ecuador and a retreat on Ignatian leadership at JCU. He has also published articles on Ignatian spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises.

Young Alumni Working For Justice Panel

Natalie Terry

Natalie Terry a is graduate student at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA and a graduate assistant for Immersion Programs in the Ignatian Center at Santa Clara University. Her passion for social justice and the Jesuit Mission for education were born during her undergraduate studies at John Carroll University, where she was active in campus ministry and graduated in 2010 with a B.A. in Religious Studies. Natalie is particularly passionate about fair trade, local food and farming and has served as a full time volunteer at Villa Maria Farm, Education & Spirituality Center in Northwestern PA. Aside from studying theology, Natalie has worked with United Students for Fair Trade, Catholic Relief Services/John Carroll Fair Trade Internship Program and with St. Ignatius High School’s Arrupe House Neighborhood Partnership Program in Cleveland, OH . She has participated and led immersion experiences to Cleveland, New Orleans, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

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Nick Wertsch is the Program Coordinator at the Kalmanovitz Initiative (KI) for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University. At KI, Nick oversees programs connecting students to worker justice issues in the Washington, DC community and beyond, including the Jesuit Just Employment Project. A 2009 graduate of Georgetown University, Nick took a leave of absence during his senior year to work as a field organizer on the Obama campaign in Missouri. After graduating, he moved to India to work with an Indian NGO providing media and legal advocacy on land rights issues. Later Nick returned on a Fulbright-Nehru Research grant to study energy politics and democracy in India. He has also interned at the White House and worked to promote clean energy at a nonprofit marketing group.


Marcela-pictureMarcela Hernandez is the Outreach Organizer for the Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition (project of CRLN), a coalition that works to engage faith communities and leaders in immigration justice through education, advocacy, prayer and action. She is also an organizer with the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL), a Chicago-based organization led by undocumented organizers working towards full recognition of the rights and contributions of all immigrants. Marcela moved to Chicago in 2011 to complete a year of post-graduate service as a Jesuit Volunteer at Family Matters, an organization focused on after-school programing. Before coming to Chicago, Marcela was actively involved in the immigrant rights movement in Los Angeles. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish and a minor in Business Administration. At Loyola Marymount she was actively involved with service and social justice organizations that advocate for women’s rights, workers’ rights and immigrant rights such as MEChA, Gryphon Circle and others. During her academic breaks she participated and led immersion service trips in Los Angeles, Central Valley and across California. She served as Social Justice Director at LMU for one year, coordinating campus-wide advocacy and education events on different social justice topics including immigration, human trafficking, hunger, homelessness, Latin American issues and women’s rights. At LMU she was awarded the annual Fr. Donald Merrifield Intercultural Leadership Award, Arete Service Award and the Fr. Alfred Kilp Leadership and Service Award. During her free time she enjoys learning about different cultures, reading, dancing and taking walks along the lake.


Attending the Summit

Due to the nature of the ISN University Leadership Summit, and the expectation of participants to translate their experiences into programs on-campus, ISN seeks students who will be on their college/university campus for at least one semester during the 2013-2014 academic year. The ideal Summit participants have a passion for social justice grounded in their faith, and enter into the summit already thinking about social justice issues or programs that they would like to address or get started on their campus and beyond. Schools may send up to 5 students.