Faith and Reason Symposium explores issues of child welfare across globe

March 4, 2015

Lisle, Illinois ~ Benedictine University's Eighth Annual Faith and Reason Symposium will present "Faith, Reason and Children: Issues in Global Child Welfare" from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, in Birck Hall, Room 112.

The symposium will feature two panel discussions: "Child Health" from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and "Child and Society" from 1:30-4:00 p.m.;and a luncheon from 12:00-1:15 p.m. featuring a lecture by keynote speaker James Garbarino, Ph.D., titled "Human Rights of the Child."

Garbarino is the Maude C. Clarke chair in Humanistic Psychology and founding director of Loyola University Chicago's Center for the Human Rights of Children. As advisor and consultant on a wide range of national child development, mental health and abuse prevention issues, Garbarino has received numerous awards for his efforts advocating for some of the world's most vulnerable children.

Panelists in the morning include Benedictine faculty members Jean Marie Kauth, Ph.D., associate professor of Humanities;Christine Fletcher, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology;Georgeen Polyak, Ph.D., program director and chair of the Master of Public Health program;and Robin Rylaarsdam, Ph.D., professor of Biological Sciences. 

In the afternoon, panelists are Tammy Sarver, Ph.D., professor of Political Science;Robert Rebman, adjunct faculty member in the Department of Undergraduate Business;Joyce Jeewek, Ed.D., associate professor of Elementary Education;and Garbarino.

The symposium is sponsored by the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies and supported by a grant from the Center for Mission and Identity (CMI). It is free and open to the public. RSVP at, or contact Lynn Dransoff at or (630) 829-6250.

For more information, contact Jean-Marie Kauth at or (630) 829-6272, or John Kloos at or (630) 829-6265.

Benedictine students receive a values-based, Catholic education that prepares them to reach their full potential. The University seeks to give its students –who come to Benedictine from diverse backgrounds, religions and beliefs –opportunities to grow academically, personally and spiritually, preparing them for life and career.

Since its inception, the CMI has supported and reinforced the Catholic and Benedictine mission, vision and character of the institution. CMI seeks to communicate a common mission, provide programming that supports the University's Catholic identity and Benedictine heritage, and nurture a culture of lifelong learning, responsible leadership, social engagement, and religious and cultural dialogue within the entire University community.

Prospective students can learn more about Benedictine University at a Spring Open House from 12:00-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. Students can meet with faculty, talk to current students, discuss tuition and scholarships with financial aid representatives, tour campus and learn for themselves why Forbes magazine named Benedictine one of "America's Top Colleges" four years in a row.

To RSVP, go to For more information, please contact Admissions at 630) 829-6300 or, or visit


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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