Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University
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    “Personal, Relational, and Extraordinary”: Learning from the Spiritual Language of Gen Z

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    This paper explores the crucial role of language in understanding the spiritual lives of young people today, commonly known as “Gen Z.” Though significant disaffiliation rates among young people often cause alarm within faith communities, this paper argues that listening carefully to the language of young people provides a more nuanced, in-depth picture that statistics on religious affiliation do not capture, which is critical in developing effective pastoral care for young adults. This paper opens with a sociocultural approach to Gen Z, drawing upon generational analysis and sociological data to demonstrate how different types of research yield varied results in their findings on young people’s spiritual lives. The exploration section is followed by a Christian perspective on finding faith in unexpected voices through exegesis of Matthew 15:21-28. This portion of the paper argues that, when we encounter people whose worldview differs from our own, language is integral to challenging and transforming our viewpoint. As a response to this matter of taking young people’s spiritual language seriously, the final part of this paper proposes a listening session for teens and their families in the context of a high school Confirmation program. Ultimately, the goal of this paper is to emphasize the rich interior lives that are already active in young people, even if on paper they may describe themselves as unaffiliated, and that the best way to become part of those ongoing spiritual journeys is through a pastoral ministry that is grounded in accompaniment and listening

    Recommendations to Internal Auditors Regarding the Auditing and Attestation of Mathematical Programming Models

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    Mathematical programming planning models increase operational efficiency and minimize operating costs, but the underlying mathematics generally is complex. Combinatorial optimization is technically sophisticated which requires a strong quantitative background to successfully implement. Most internal auditors will not have the technical training to critically assess the underlying mathematics of mathematical programming planning models, but the internal auditor can still provide insight and attestation which can increase the efficiency of mathematical programming planning models

    Jesuit B-Schools: Powering Regional Socio-Economic Development and Problem Solving Through Analysis & Application of Best Global Practices

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    Our exploratory research and development (R&D) project is a joint undertaking by two Jesuit institutions, Loyola Marymount University (LMU), U.S.A., and Universidad Loyola Andalucía (ULA), Spain. We aim to leverage collaborative potential of Jesuit B-schools to facilitate regional socio-economic development (RSED) and growth through the analysis and application of best global practices. Many universities have rich intellectual potential and information resources that are often underutilized. Our undertaking strives to engage these resources to foster positive impacts on RSED and problem-solving. The project aligns with Jesuit educational values and aims to redirect the creative power of the young generation from dependency toward positive values and meaningful socio-economic engagement. While progress and growth happen through innovation and imitation, much of the effort and resources are often dedicated to innovation without sufficient analysis of existing best global practices and their regional/local applications. Our joint project leverages Jesuit values and educational principles, such as academic excellence, experiential learning, and community service, to position Jesuit B-schools/universities as the catalysts of regional transformation nationally and internationally. We also aim to bridge the gap between the real world and academia by engaging intellectual power and information resources across Jesuit universities to facilitate regional socio-economic development and growth. Our joint project will identify several regional/municipal socio-economic problems or development priorities of common nature in Southern California (SoCal), U.S.A. and Córdoba, Spain, respectively. Tentatively, we identified the following common socio-economic problems/ priorities: for SoCal: access to healthcare; crime; housing affordability/ homelessness; poverty/income inequality; racial/ethnic inequality; for Córdoba: access to healthcare; aging population; lack of economic opportunities; poverty/income inequality; unemployment. We plan to conduct a teamwork project in which students at both universities will conduct a comparative study of best practices worldwide associated with socio-economic problems/ development priorities of common nature selected. Based on their analyses and identification of best global practices, we will organize an online seminar in which LMU and ULA students would interact and exchange their ideas. From their analysis and exchange of information with students from the other university, they will be able to develop and offer policy recommendations or strategic recommendations to respective governing bodies/government agencies in the selected regions. Our pilot project initially involving problem-solving and development on limited scale and two countries can be further expanded to larger-scale projects and multiple countries, prioritizing the Europe/U.S./Latin America (North-South) connection supported and guided by the Jesuit network. Successful implementation of our framework will facilitate efficiencies in the use of public resources in addressing socio-economic problem solving and development priorities of mutual interest. It can be aligned with the UN sustainable development goals and contribute to socio-economic progress and growth through the application of best global practices. LMU, ULA, and other institutions that are part of the International Association of Jesuit Universities (IAJU) can make an impact in bringing together academia and local community by leveraging intellectual resources to foster socio-economic development, innovation and supporting the needs of local communities

    No. 13, January 2024: Bilingual Teacher Residencies in California: Findings and Recommendations for Policy and Practice

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    This research brief presents a study that explores one type of teacher residency program, bilingual teacher residencies (BTRs). The Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University (LMU CEEL) partnered with the Californians Dedication to Education Foundation (CDEF) to investigate BTRs participating in CDEF’s California Teacher Residency Lab (The Lab). To expand the knowledge base around bilingual teacher residencies and provide policy and practice recommendations, researchers conducted interviews with a sample of BTR grantee program leaders to capture and analyze their perspectives regarding BTRs based on their implementation phase and context. Four key findings emerged: (1) Bilingual Teacher Residencies are building on community cultural and linguistic wealth; (2) Bilingual Teacher Residencies focus on critical consciousness and culturally responsive and sustaining teaching; (3) Strong district-university partnerships facilitated collaborative program design and problem solving; and (4) Candidates in BTRs face greater financial barriers to becoming teachers than other teacher residency candidates. Based upon the findings, the authors propose three recommendations for policy and practice to ensure California’s BTRs can serve as a vehicle for addressing bilingual teacher shortages at the state and local levels: (1) Ensure systemic coherence and information sharing across agencies and efforts; (2) Build on the efforts of the California Teacher Residency Lab (The Lab) as well as the newly formed State Regional Technical Assistance Center (SRTAC) to provide differentiated, high-quality technical assistance/supports; and (3) Ensure sustainability of BTRs into the future through funding and knowledge building.https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/ceel_education_policybriefs/1014/thumbnail.jp

    Introduction: Varieties of Recognition

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    Solar Water Desalination System

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    With water being one of the most abundant resources on earth, and safe drinking water being an increasingly scarce one, much research has been conducted on creating efficient, sustainable, and economical water desalination systems. Our project tackled this goal, with the added objectives of designing something portable and solar-powered. The method chosen was solar thermal desalination – the process of using heat from solar energy to evaporate the salt water, before condensing the vapor and collecting the distillate water. To maximize the productivity, we focused on reusing the latent heat through multiple stages. Based on current desalination systems’ performances, we hoped to produce an average of 3 L / m2h to provide clean drinking water for a small family when 100 of these devices are placed in a 10 by 10 grid (1 m x 1 m in area). After several tests, however, we were only able to produce three large droplets. Estimating the volume of these, we had a final result of about 0.01 L / m2h

    Democracy, Populism, and Concentrated Interests

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    Concentrated interest groups have a significant advantage over diffuse interest groups: they can effectively stop free riding among their members. Because of this advantage, concentrated interest groups work in unison and manage to capture the government in many democracies. Democratic mechanisms of separation of powers, an independent judiciary, and the rule of law are designed to prevent the capture of government by concentrated interests. Under certain conditions, these mechanisms make it possible for diffuse interests to have a fair share of the influence over the government. Populist ideologists doubt that claim, however. They are convinced that democracies are captured by a small elite that controls most of the political power. The declared aim of populists is to give political power back to the majority of society. Despite that declared aim, this Article argues that the actions taken by populists have exactly the opposite outcome. By downgrading democratic mechanisms that constrain the government, populists end up making it easier for concentrated interests to capture the government and take advantage of diffuse groups

    Becoming a STEM-Focused Catholic School: Insights into Adopting a Curricular Specialization

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    School choice policies seek to increase access to educational opportunities and stimulate innovations in schooling. This study examines the early stages of one such innovation—school-wide curricular specialization—in three Catholic elementary schools adopting a STEM focus and uses interviews to consider how and why different levels of support exist for the shift and under what conditions private and religious schools are prepared to make significant changes in instructional practice. Findings suggest that school resources—material, human, and social along with professional development—play an important role in shaping engagement in the adoption of a school-wide curricular focus

    Underrepresented Students’ Perspectives on Higher Education Equity in the University of California’s Elimination of the Standardized Testing Requirement: A Critical Policy Analysis

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    In July 2022, the University of California (UC) permanently eliminated the standardized tests requirement for its freshman admissions in order to alleviate the severed socioeconomic gap and college access barriers that were heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic. This critical policy analysis research explored the immediate effects of UC’s policy reform on higher education equity. All 14 participants were underrepresented minority (URM) students who applied to at least one UC campus for fall 2022’s freshman admissions and were enrolled in four-year universities at the time of this study. From demographic surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews, I applied critical race theory (CRT) tenets and internalized oppression theory to explore, interpret, and provide counter-narratives of URM students’ college planning and application experiences after the policy reform. From analyzing these students’ perceptions of the elimination of the standardized tests requirement and UC’s admissions equity, I identified the following four findings: 1. Insidiousness of Higher Education Racism: The Role of Standardized Testing in Admissions 2. Enduring Internalized Oppression: The Lingering Effects of the Legitimization of Standardized test requirement 3. Intersectionality of Race, Income, First-Generation College Students’ Status, and Pandemic Impacts 4. Increased Trust in the Higher Education Admissions System After application and identification, I critically discussed the research findings and provided implications for future policies, practices, and research directions for higher education admissions equity based on the four findings. In conclusion and alignment with the CRT tenet of interest convergence, UC’s policy has increased opportunities for all students and has benefited both White and underrepresented minority URM students in terms of their acceptance into highly selective, four-year universities

    A More Capacious Conception of Church

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    United States tax law provides churches with extra benefits and robust protection from IRS enforcement actions. Churches and religious organizations are automatically exempt from the income tax without needing to apply to be so recognized and without needing to file a tax return. Beyond that, churches are protected from audit by stringent procedures. There are good reasons to consider providing a distance between church and state, including the state tax authority. In many instances, Congress granted churches preferential tax treatment to try to avoid excess entanglement between church and state, though that preferential treatment often just shifts the locus of entanglement. But those benefits and protections come with cost both to individual churches (by making these organizations susceptible to tax shelters and political activity shelters) and to our democratic order (by granting churches to a higher status than other organizations). Does Congress get the balance right? We think the balance struck is problematic but justifiable. In this Essay we only note the problems and suggest some actions churches and religious organizations might take to protect against some of the dangers

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