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From the Director’s Desk: Welcome to the 2016-2017 Academic Year

The beginning of a new academic year always brings great enthusiasm and a sense of gratitude.  Enthusiasm for what is ahead of us; gratitude for the past accomplishments upon which the new stands.

As for the latter, I want to express my gratitude to the faculty who guided our students through the course work of the spring semester and the two summer sessions.  Dr. Tiffany Cvrkl (UCLA) and Dr. Joe Raho (UCLA Center for Health Care Ethics) taught, respectively, Foundations of Philosophical Ethics and Bioethics at the End of Life, both with great success.  LMU Psychology professor Dr. Sabine Huemer accompanied both graduate bioethics students and undergraduate psychology majors through difficult issues in her class on Ethics and the Brain.

A deep work of thank you also to Dr. Marie Josie Potvin (UCLA Center for Health Care Ethics), who led the summer class on Clinical Ethics, and to the instructors at the various clinical sites: Dr. Stuart Finder and Dr. Virginia Bartlett at Cedar Sinai; Dr. Alain Durocher at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center; and Dr. Theresa Drought at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills.  As for me, I enjoyed teaching both Clinical Ethics and Ethics of Medical Research in the first summer session. Once more, I came to realize the incredible potential, dedication, and intellectual capacity of our students.

I come to the new, then, and introduce our faculty for fall 2016.  Nicholas Brown, Ph.D., was hired as full time Visiting Assistant Professor in the Bioethics Institute, and will be teaching Bioethics at the Beginning of Life, together with undergraduate courses in ethics.  Mary McDonough, J.D., Ph.D., will teach Law and Bioethics.

A few words about both: Dr. Brown received a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern College (IA) and a joint M.A. in International Peace Conflict Resolution and Theological Studies from American University and Wesley Theological Seminary respectively. In 2015 he received his doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Center of Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has also taught as both a full-time visiting and a part-time faculty in LMU’s Theological Studies department for the past six years. His work and research in bioethics focuses on how philosophical and theological conceptions of justice inform political discourse on public health and the distribution of health care resources and the ethical implications of biometric technology.

Dr. McDonough comes to the Bioethics Institute from Boston, where she was a 2015-2016 Fellow at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Bioethics focusing on the ethical implication of genetics and genomics. A former legal services attorney and state legislator, she has a law degree, a MA in theology, and a PhD in ethics and social theory with a specialization in bioethics. She has taught ethics, been a Visiting Scholar at The Hastings Center, and is the author of Can a Healthcare Market Be Moral? A Catholic Vision (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2007). Currently, she is a writer for The Hastings Center and resides in Los Angeles.

We welcome both and wish them great success in their teaching!

Roberto Dell’Oro, Director

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