Online Learning Communities with a Dominican Flair: Arguing for applying the Dominican ethos to online higher education
CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Claire Noonan (Dominican University)
It seems that everywhere one looks in the world of contemporary higher education, someone is making an argument for the elimination of faculty in favor of technology as the driving force in the learning environment. From the creation of the massive online open course (MOOC) to the advent of Kahn Academy, and even to the wild idea of robots at the front of global classrooms, institutions of higher education increasingly feel political, cultural and financial pressure to mechanize the learning environment. The online, it is said, can provide students with all the knowledge they need, so why keep the teacher in the classroom?
In response to these pressures, this question, and other demands of the emerging 21st century, Catholic higher education—along with all institutions of higher education—is in the process of developing an online presence, and incorporating even more technology in face-to-face classes. This is necessary, of course, because the Internet now houses the repository of human knowledge; it is also necessary because the Internet has become the communication media of choice for students, particularly as they experience the world through their smart phones, and use social networks to learn about each other and themselves. Yet, this change must be undertaken mindfully, so as to not eliminate critical elements of the Catholic ethos from the student experience. Ironically, perhaps the principle of Catholic faith and culture most threatened by the move to online communication is the very principle that could be the Catholic institution’s greatest contribution to this new higher education; perhaps the Dominican ethos could provide the guidance for molding online environments into spaces most conducive for student learning and personal growth.
The Catholic tradition professes to and cultivates a deep awareness of the social nature of the human person. As Monika Helwig summarized so beautifully in her classic article on the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Catholic university, a particular characteristic of the tradition is its “attention to the community dimension of all human behavior.” Thomas Massaro frames this fundamental orientation in his articulation of the principles of Catholic social teaching, writing “We cannot realize our full potential or appreciate the full meaning of our dignity unless we share our lives with others and cooperate on projects that hold the promise of mutual benefit…human flourishing is always communal and social. The full features of our human nature and dignity come to maturity only in the context of community life, where relationships deepen and ripen.” Furthermore, the Dominican tradition names “community” as one of the four pillars of the Order (the others being prayer, study and ministry). The constitution of the Sinsinawa Dominican congregation, sponsors of Dominican University, states clearly, “At the heart of ministry is relationship.” Therefore, in a Dominican institution of higher education, relationship must remain at the center of education, as it has been for centuries. The importance placed on relationship-centered teaching could be the palliative online education and higher education need at this time and moving forward.
Increasingly, higher education is coming to understand the importance of a relationship-centered approach to educating and preparing students for the rest of their lives. For example, when asked to reflect on the quality and value of their education, college alumni seem to affirm the Dominican insight into the importance of community. Recent national polls conducted by Gallup-Purdue asked graduates about their perceptions of the value of their college degree. Those students who “strongly agreed” that they had a “professor who cared about me as a person,” or “had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams” were nearly twice as likely as others to agree that their education was worth the cost and to be actively engaged in their jobs, were three times as likely to be thriving post-graduation, and were six times as likely to be emotionally attached to their alma mater. Among the most critical relationships were mentors who helped students get interested in learning, help them understand the importance of learning and inspire them to care about learning. These were the professors who created a connection with the student and demonstrated care for the student’s time in college and after graduation. The importance of the relationship was shown in taking the student by the hand and guiding them, whether through some life crisis or even just a long-term course project. The ability to form that type of relationship, essentially to recognize and appreciate the human dignity of the student, appears to be a critical factor in the student’s college success. And yet, according to these studies, few students have this college experience, as only 14% of 30,000 students indicated being “supported by professors who cared, made them excited about learning, and encouraged their dreams.”
This type of caring is central to the Dominican tradition and basic Catholic principles, and this charism cannot be overlooked when a Catholic institution of higher education shifts more of its course work online. The need to maintain focus on the personhood of the student, to help the student build relationships to other students, to build community within the college experience, and to connect that college community to the larger global community—all of these have been central to the Dominican approach to higher education for centuries, and must remain central through the development of online learning communities. Numerous techniques and tools exist that could help with the development and maintenance of such online learning communities. The remainder of this essay examines how these techniques and tools could be used to ensure that the distinct feature of the Dominican ethos, namely the focus on nurturing community and relationships, remains intact as the Order’s institutions write the next chapter of their shared history.
How to Foster Online Learning Communities through a Dominican Ethos
Participation and the Common Good
The movement to the online learning environment often implies movement from a communal situation to an isolated, individual experience. However, closer examination of the online environment reveals a more complex reality in which students often organize themselves in an effort to offset perceived deficiencies in faculty leadership by initiating relationships among themselves. In other words, when teachers have not given attention to fostering relationships and communities in their course design, students will take the initiative.
A study from the Ohio State University demonstrates how their online students utilized social media to create and participate in a classroom community that replaces the physical experience. Faculty and graduate students working on MOOCs, with huge enrollments of students dispersed across the globe, discovered that some of the students created their own external communities in online spaces like Facebook because the students wanted an experience of community missing with the lack of a physical classroom. According to the researchers, these online spaces allow students to engage in their “natural” everyday selves. The spaces the students created helped the instructors realize the need to develop community in their online courses wherein the students would be able to establish connections with one another, and between the course content and their personal lives.
When the researchers reran the MOOC, they encouraged the use of social media; moreover, they brought the idea of participatory design into their course creation and management. They treated the students as producers of the class, working in cooperation with one another and their instructors to create an environment of greater relationality. The newly designed course encouraged more peer mentoring, peer reviewing, and peer-to-peer learning. This participatory design approach helped the students understand they were being supported and involved in the course, and that their voices mattered. This understanding translated into deeper engagement and greater participation, in addition to fostering a more positive affective assessment of the course. The students’ initiative in turn prompted the instructors to recognize and engage with the students as productive agents in the online learning ecosystem. This example underscores one of the primary insights of Catholic social thought, which is the idea that the common good is tightly linked to the act of social participation. This development of a common good is central to the idea of creating real, lasting, and just change in the world because of and building upon one’s education. Community in the classroom, online or physical, can then empower the student to be an agent of change in the world. But how to create such community?
“The Heart to Endure Exploration”
Community is created and nourished by these types of purposeful interactions between students and with teachers, and not simply the students’ interactions with course material or class requirements. Indeed, it is the relationships formed in community that will sustain the students’ critical engagement with the material. Yet, instructors must carefully build an online environment within which the difficult work of pursuing truth can be done. Dominican friar Timothy Radcliffe observed, “Most of what our society considers debate is rather a clash of opinions.” Certainly this is an apt description of much of the online environment. The case of “GamerGate,” which erupted in August 2014, represents an example of this idea. In this online clash over disputed representations in digital games and between opposing Western ideologies, the level of harassment rose to death threats, bomb threats, and people fleeing their homes. At a minimum, any online community must establish standards of safety and guidelines for engagement. For meaningful learning to take place, however, much more is required.
Dialogue is required to create respectful and listener-centered communication online, but that also means changing how to teach thinking in courses. As Friar Radcliffe writes, “Thinking is painful and demands courage…Alas, in many universities, students are not encouraged to engage in the painful business of thinking, of being liberated from preconceptions, of seeing the world differently, of learning a new vocabulary. … We only have confidence to engage in such a courageous task if we are sustained by friendship.” Authentic interaction between teachers and students and among students builds the environment for thinking, whether the classroom is physical or virtual. For a community to flourish online, the teacher needs to structure and model the communicative actions that foster engaging with the world and one another in way that promote debate but in a dialogic way.
Connections are built through listening, talking, and engaging with one another as whole persons, not just through the social identities of “teacher” or “student.” Interacting with one another solely through these social identities will merely reinforce power dynamics that propagate the problems in thinking identified by Friar Radcliffe. Creating community and relationships in online courses are not just about knowledge distribution from teacher to student. Teachers also need to think about students as holistic human beings, with all of the strengths and foibles that come with it, and with all the other social identities that come with it, such as mother, father, brother, sister, etc. Furthermore, life events and activities like work, finances, extracurricular activities, romantic entanglements, and familial upsets all represent different facets of people’s social identities, and teachers must seek to understand them and work with them. An online course needs to be affective-based as much as cognitive-based, to allow people to talk and share about themselves, their lives, and their critical and awe-filled perspectives. This can be reinforced through acts of collaboration, cooperation, and coordination and through feelings of respect, trust, and belief in reciprocity so that students might test ideas without fear of harassment, insult, bullying or ridicule. Communication that recognizes the complexity of each person builds empathy, connection, and courage. In this atmosphere, then, can new ways of thinking and debating emerge to foster new global perspectives and praxis.
All of this can be accomplished online. First, proper rules or netiquette governing how to communicate must be established. Every online course needs to develop and enforce netiquette, or rules for online engagement and interaction, to realize, foster, and release human dignity. To create community, a course must build and consistently enforce the norms of positive communication. Affirmation of others and messages of gratitude, compliment and agreement need to become integrated into communication transmitted online as well as in person. Community is cultivated and sustained through such positive communication as people build bonds of friendship, establish constructive norms of reciprocity, and develop hope for the community. Positive communication, then, serves as a philosophical framework to guide the structuring of online communication, but having the philosophy is not enough. Second, the online learning environment must offer methods of communication beyond just written words. Online education needs to have multiple modes of learning and communicating, and to provide different ways for students to consume and produce course material. If teachers want an online class to have people willing to share, learn from and inspire one another, then teachers need to give people multiple opportunities to experience and engage in course material, and express themselves in relation to it.
Culturally competent communication in the world of the digital native
Many techniques and tools exist to foster community online, and they can be applied to online education. The principles of user-generation, presumption, and participatory design that constitute the Web 2.0 paradigm shift have seen a dissolution of power dynamics, allowing more voices to be heard and respected online. Online tools such as social networks, blogging, podcasting, wikis, social bookmarking and more all permit, promote, foster and require relationships, collaboration, and community to be truly effective. But they can only be used effectively in online learning communities if educators remember that these online spaces exist for producing information as well as consuming it. Dissolving the boundaries between producers and consumers is the heart of Web 2.0, and thus should inform activities in the classroom.
At a Dominican institution of higher education, where the acts of “preaching and teaching” are fundamental to the charism, it is particularly appropriate and important that the teachers learn how to communicate most effectively within the cultural milieu of the “digital natives” populating their classrooms. Timothy Radcliffe recalls the example of St. Dominic “frustrated that he was unable to preach to [German pilgrims] because he did not understand German. And so he said to [Brother Bertrand of Paris], ‘Let us pray that we may understand them so that we may share the good news with them.’ It is interesting that Dominic does not pray that the Germans may understand him.” Furthermore, if those same institutions intend to pass the charism on to those students, then the students themselves must be invited into the production process as well. Teachers can create online courses as user-generated spaces to allow for students’ personal contributions of knowledge and creativity to the class. Teachers can design online courses that draw upon and highlight the knowledge and ideas students possess when they enter the course. They can help their students move from being merely consumers of technological tools to agents utilizing those tools for high-level problem-solving.
While much online communication has been restricted due to these communicative acts primarily based on text, this will change as technologies change. As more technologies promote visual, audial, even haptic communicative acts, and as the Internet infrastructure advances to permit the transmission of such acts, then the reach and impact of these technologies will increase and the current text-primacy aspect of online community will decrease. Teachers can help with that now by encouraging multimedia exchanges in online course work, and they can improve text-based communication through their structuring of those communicative acts to be dialogic, participatory, and user-generated. The more teachers can structure their courses to encourage students to be communication producers as well as consumers, then the more likely students will be engaged with the course, learn transferable digital literacy and communication skills, and feel empowered to act within the world.
Contemplari et contemplata aliis tradere
In addition to a being a respectful and mutually enriching space, a course in an online environment reflective of the Dominican tradition must also be a reflective space. Thomas Aquinas wrote that “the work of the active life such as teaching and preaching proceeds from the fullness of contemplation…this work is more excellent than simple contemplation. For even as it is better to enlighten than merely to shine, so too is it better to pass on to others what one is contemplating than to merely contemplate.” His insight would eventually be adopted as the second motto of the Order. And although his work is often translated, “contemplate and give to others the fruit of your contemplation,” implying a certain sequence of events—namely, contemplation first, preaching second—many Dominican scholars consider this interpretation as a misrepresentation of Thomas’ meaning. “Thomas’ sense seems to be rather that the ideal is to pass on what one is completing even as one contemplates—as a flame enlightens even as it burns and shines. So, too, Dominicans are called to live and minister out of a constantly contemplative stance,” writes Suzanne Noffke, OP. Meditation, contemplation, and reflection are not meant to exist solely for the individual, but for the individual to consider in their communication with those around them and in their actions within the world.
Patricia Walter, OP postulates the critical contribution of the contemplative stance within the university environment. She writes, “There are so many ways that we can distort what is real, or not see it at all. Our interpretations and judgments about what we’ve experienced are often flawed. Along with study, dialogue and itinerancy both physical and intellectual, contemplation is a corrective. In both study and contemplation, we are called to move out of ourselves, beyond our current boundaries into a new space. This is a deep form of itinerancy, in which we realize over and over how our own histories and social locations have shaped what we know and hold true.” The classroom, then, can encourage reflection in order to foster dialogue among the teacher and students. The principles of dialogue can then foster a communal experience by considering different perspectives and significances of the course material and how it connects to the students’ lives and the world around them.
Online courses should be constructed as spaces of reflection just as much as physical courses. Because of their online nature, these can be spaces for reflection and contemplation not just on course material but also on connections with others and life. Given the asynchronous nature of many courses and the access to the information online, students can reflect on how they differ from one another, how similar they are to one another, and how they have changed over time. Course work should encourage students to consider the connection between the course and their lives outside of class. They should be encouraged to share their lives and these connections with one another, and to find commonalities upon which relationships and community can form. Such reflection should not be solely on events in their lives but also their hopes, dreams, gratitude and learning, to foster deeper understanding and deeper connection with one another. In this way, online spaces can be structured to improve students’ beholding not only of course material, but of each other and the world as well.
Students will become comfortable with sharing these aspects of their lives as long as they have control over how to do so. It is crucial that instructors give them the choice of how much to share, and in what communication mode (i.e. text-based, picture-based, video-based). By doing such reflection on the course and with each other, students and teachers can work together to define and advance the common good for the class. Such communication fosters participation, and participatory design fosters engagement with the course and each other.
Teachers need to be mindful of how to create such participation. For example, online discussion and collaboration can be structured as a three-tier system. First, have the students warm up to one another by sharing or creating innocuous things to make them comfortable sharing their deeper thoughts later. Do not assess such communication; instead make it fun to generate curiosity among the students about the course material and each other. Such enjoyment fosters a desire to continue conversation and collaboration. Second, have the students give their impressions on course content by connecting it to things outside of the class, including both public and personal events and discourses. These discussions can be assessed for understanding, application, and synthesis of the course material. Third, encourage the students to reflect on connections they made between the class and the outside world, and among each other. Encourage them to find the commonalities and the differences, and to understand why both occur. All of this could be done in one online discussion, or across numerous ones, and all could be done with multiple modes of communicating.
Space for Wonder
But these reflections, especially on course content, should not just be constructed only as opportunities for critical thought, and certainly for more than critique. Instead, teachers need to develop ways for their students to create and experience a sense of wonder with the course material, with each other, and most importantly with their own abilities. When teachers expose their students to new ideas or facts, they should have the students reflect upon this newness and its larger implications in the world. Acquisition of knowledge is insufficient to the purpose of a course in the Catholic university. Within this context, teachers need to cultivate opportunities for students to experience the joy of acting upon those facts and skills, and to make change happen around them. Teachers need to bring wonder from outside of classroom into it, and to reflect on the nature of wonder.
All of which can be easily done in an online class through multimedia tools and social media to encourage sharing wonder. Online tools like Pinterest, SoundCloud, and YouTube can be used to share what awes students about the world, what inspires them to change the world, and the big or small changes they have been able to make. Students should be encouraged to share these wonders as much as teachers. Beyond just sharing through these social media, teachers can also require students to reflect on one another’s wonder, passions and loves through online discussions. Doing so can further build the bonds of relationships and community that will be necessary to fuel compassion, hope, and social justice.
Walking the Talk
Perhaps most importantly, along with structuring online spaces to become spaces for communicating, sharing, and reflecting, teachers also must “structure” themselves to be the models and guides students need for learning how to engage one another online. Teachers can foster community by being pro-active. Teachers are the gatekeepers and guides to better learning experiences and outcomes for students whether online or offline. To create online community in online education, teachers needs to model how to communicate, how to reflect, how to create and how to be human with all the foibles that go with it. Which may mean that institutions need to help professors develop these skills.
At Dominican University, we have spent the last three years on a program of faculty development we call the Learning Technologies Academies. These Academies have been focused on training our full-time and part-time faculty to better utilize techniques and tools for online, blended, and enhanced teaching. As an institution, we decided that if we want our students to be better equipped for the 21st century, then our faculty need to be better prepared to teach the 21st century student. Our faculty cannot hope to develop online learning communities if they do not have the training and the encouragement to experiment with doing so. Just showing students that you care enough about them to try and fail at using a new technology can help develop relationships; revealing one’s human foibles breaks down unnecessary power dynamics and builds connections in their place. If we want our faculty to create community for the benefit of their students, then we need our faculty to experience community, and all the support that comes from being in a well-functioning one. If we want our faculty to create online learning communities to encourage and model the development of personal responsibility and human agency, then our institutions have to be willing to provide the support to our faculty recognizing their own power as teachers. On the institutional level, we have encouraged flexibility, comfort, experimentation and problem-solving in our faculty’s approach to learning and using technological tools, so they can see online technologies as neither enemies nor friends, but simply as tools that can be used in a variety of ways.
Institutions need to support faculty as they experiment with technologies to create online learning communities. Teachers need to monitor how their online courses use these technologies to know what works and does not work in fostering community. Students need to be willing to put themselves out there for others to see who they really are outside of just being students. Everyone, regardless of what social identity they inhabit in their institution, needs to experiment, to be human, to make mistakes and to treat those mistakes as learning opportunities.
Institutions and teachers need to recognize that the online space where classes exist and the online technologies that enable communication between teachers and their students are just tools. Any tool is useful for how it is used. Of course, this implies that a tool could be used for nefarious purposes; a knife can prepare a sumptuous meal or be the cause of untimely death. Social media and other online technologies are just the same. They can be used for nefarious or wonderful things. An activist can use Twitter to foment a political revolt, or that activist can use it to send death threats to people. A teacher can use BitTorrent to share large files with their class, or that teacher can use it to pirate copyrighted material. An institution can use MOOCs as more interactive experiences than textbooks, or that institution could replace a relationship-centered class with an anonymous virtual environment. Institutions and teachers can create a serious inventory of all of the different social media and all of the different online tools and technologies that could be useful for their online courses, but that inventory is not going to be of use to anyone unless it facilitates the development and nourishment of relationship-centered teaching and online learning community.
That is where the institution and the faculty doing the structuring of online courses come in. They need to do better with regard to how they think about these tools and how they use the tools for community-building purposes. The use of online technology is not about being up-to-date or hip or gimmicky. This is not about bringing something into the classroom to make sure students stay awake or about minimizing the workload of the teacher or the students or the institution. Creating an online learning environment with a Catholic and Dominican ethos is about finding the best tools to help everyone communicate more effectively: to help teachers communicate with students, to help students learn, to help students acquire skills, and to help students utilize this knowledge and these skills to create a more just and humane world.
And that all starts with the institution and its faculty. It means teachers need to become technology-literate to determine the best tool for any given educational situation. Each tool has its affordances and its benefits, its constraints and its drawbacks. Moreover, institutions and teachers need to become adept at recognizing each so they know what tools to use to successfully tackle the job at hand: to build relationships, to foster online learning communities, and to strive for social justice in an online, interconnected world.
Referring to the online space as “the Net” and “the Web” underscores its true nature: online spaces are all about connections. From connecting computers to connecting information to connecting people, the online can help people better understand themselves, each other, and the world around them. However, universities need to utilize the power of the Net and the Web by encouraging people to contemplate these connections, and to actively use such connections for collaboration, cooperation and coordination. It may be that remembering the essential principles of Catholic social thought and theological anthropology, and bringing these into our online classes, will help instructors better mentor their students to engage in such contemplation. To do so it becomes necessary to maximize these tools for the positive connections, the positive communication, and the positive spaces which both our students and our colleagues crave.
If Catholic institutions can become more comfortable with experimenting in the name of building and maintaining online learning communities, then these universities will strengthen their leadership, not just in the classroom but perhaps in the larger context of the changing higher educational landscape. Catholic institutions are particularly well-suited to argue for and tactically advance an understanding of technology that does not replace teachers or erase the collegiate environment’s capacity for relationship-building, but rather uses technological tools to help teachers and students strengthen relationships and community. Catholic institutions need not concede the space of leadership in the ongoing reform of higher education to other voices, be they political, economic or cultural. Instead, Catholic universities—in partnership with secular and interfaith colleagues—need to take what they know about what is best for them and their students and find the best tools to express those needs. Seeing teachers as mentors who are fully engaged with the humanity of their students is essential for leveraging technological tools in the preparation of people for participation in promotion of the common good.
And in the long run, enflaming the passion for justice and solidarity is equally important to equipping them with specific professional skills. Because how a person might exercise their “right and duty to participate in the full range of activities and institutions of social life” will undoubtedly change many times over the course of their lifetime, but the desire to constantly engage with them is key. Empowering our students comes from their being in strong relationships and communities in which people feel safe, in which mentors, colleagues and friends reach out saying, “Can I help you? Let me know you, let me understand you.” The concern for social justice leads to a need for the development of fellowship, friendship, and a sense of pluralistic inclusivity where everyone’s perspectives and experiences are included in the conversation. Creating a safe space for communication and sharing online, through the development of relationships and community, can help to ensure such feelings of camaraderie are developed. Such feelings of camaraderie are strengthened through, and further strengthen elsewhere, a caring responsiveness for others that is so fundamental to the Dominican charism. As Donald Goergen, OP writes, “it is not so strange today to speak of a Dominican family as often as we do of a Dominican Order. The word ‘family’ gives emphasis to the spirit of kinship or relationship. It is not just about an individual…It is about a common project, a collective venture, and was so from the beginning.” A teacher’s personal responsiveness, the development of norms and netiquette, and the inclusion of joy and wonder, can all create within the online learning environment a place of care for one another that furthers relationships, community, and ultimately the work of justice and peace in the world.
 For more on how students’ Internet use, see: http://www.pewresearch.org/millennials/teen-internet-use-graphic/; http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/02/03/social-media-and-young-adults/; http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/; http://www.pewinternet.org/2010/07/09/millennials-will-make-online-sharing-in-networks-a-lifelong-habit/
 Monika K. Helwig, “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in a Catholic University,” in Examining the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, eds. Anthony J. Cernera and Oliver J. Morgan (Fairfield, CT: Sacred Heart University Press, 2000), 7.
 Thomas Massaro, S.J., Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action (Chicago: Sheed and Ward, 2000) 120-121.
 Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary, Constitution #20.
 Purdue University and Gallup and Lumina Foundation, “Great Jobs, Great Lives.” The 2015 Gallup-Purdue Index Report (West Lafayette, IN), 8.
 Purdue University and Gallup and Lumina Foundation, “Great Jobs, Great Lives.” The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report (West Lafayette, IN), 7.
 Gallup-Purdue 2014 Report, 6
 Kaitlin Clinnin, Thomas Evans, Evonne Kay Halasek and Ben McCorkle, “When Cathedrals Become Bazaars: Notions of community in an open course” (paper presented at the annual international EDUCAUSE conference, Orlando, Florida, September 29 – October 2, 2014), http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/2014/when-cathedrals-become-bazaars-notions-community-open-course.
 Timothy Radcliffe, OP, “Caritas et Veritas at a Catholic Dominican University,” (lecture delivered at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, September 30, 2010).
 Nathan Rott, “#Gamergate Controversy Fuels Debate On Women And Video Games,” last modified September 24, 2014, http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/09/24/349835297/-gamergate-controversy-fuels-debate-on-women-and-video-games
 Radcliffe, “Caritas et Veritas at a Catholic Dominican University.”
 Kevin J. Barge, “Hope, Communication, and Community Building,” Southern Communication Journal, 69(1) (2003): 63-81.
 Timothy Radcliffe, Why Go To Church?: The Drama of the Eucharist (New York: Continuum, 2008), 59.
 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II, q. 188, a. 6.
 Suzanne Noffke, OP, Dominican Mottos and Symbols (Racine: Sisters of Saint Dominic, 2008), 4.
 Patricia Walter, OP, “Higher Education in the Dominican Tradition,” (lecture delivered at Dominican Higher Education Colloquium, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, June 16, 2012), 4.
 Anita Houck, “You are Here: Engagement, Spirituality, and Slow Teaching,” in Becoming Beholders: Cultivating sacramental imagination and actions in college classrooms, eds. Karen E. Eifler and Thomas M. Landy (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014), 73.
Thomas M. Landy and Susan Crawford Sullivan, “A Graced World Still in Need of Redemption” (lecture, Collegium: A Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, June 23, 2014).
 Massaro, 122-123.
 Donald Goergen, OP “The Pillars Revisited,” Spirituality, vol. 13 (73) (July/August, 2007), 235-42.