Loyola University Chicago President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., has announced the appointment of Dr. Eric Apfelstadt and Dr. Rebecca Edwards as director and associate director of Loyola's Rome Center campus, effective in August. A husband and wife team, Apfelstadt and Edwards come from Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, CA, where Apfelstadt has been the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the University Honors Program. Edwards has served as the director of the Freshman Residential Community at Santa Clara.
Apfelstadt will be responsible for managing the Rome Center's faculty and staff, student body of between 150-200 students, 200-bed residence hall and an English language school for local students. Edwards will be responsible for curricular development and initiatives to expand usage of the campus.
"I am confident that Eric and Rebecca will bring dynamic leadership and energy to Loyola's Rome Center," said Father Garanzini. "The Rome Center offers Loyola students a unique learning experience, and a critical part of making that experience a success is the program's leadership. Both Eric and Becky bring to Loyola impressive backgrounds as administrators and as active scholars who have taught in a number of university study abroad programs. I know that, together, they will strengthen this program so that even more students will seek to participate in the future."
The couple became acquainted with Loyola's Rome campus as scholarly guests of the campus during the mid-1990s. "We have lived, traveled, taught, and done research in Italy for extended periods over the past thirty years," said Apfelstadt. "It is already a second home for us, personally, and the locus of our scholarly specializations in, respectively, the music and art of the Italian Renaissance. Some of our best students and most respected faculty colleagues at Santa Clara University have been enthusiastic about their experiences at Loyola's Rome campus, and we were favorably impressed during our earlier visits to the campus."
At Santa Clara University, Apfelstadt has served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for six years and as director of the University Honors Program for four years. He previously taught art history at California State University, Stanislaus, and taught for four years in study abroad programs in Italy through the University of Maryland, California State University, and Brooklyn College and Buffalo College in New York. An active scholar who has published numerous articles on Italian Renaissance art and culture, Apfelstadt has received many prestigious awards and fellowships, including a Princeton University Graduate Fellowship, the Renaissance Society of American Paleography Fellowship and the Roberto Longhi Foundation for the Study of the History of Art Fellowship in Florence, and two grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for study in Venice. He earned a Master of Fine Arts and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana State University, and took graduate courses from Ruhr-Universitat, in Bochum, Germany, and Syracuse University in Florence, Italy.
Edwards served for four years as director of Santa Clara University's Freshman Residential Community, which offers an interdisciplinary approach to freshman studies in the university's core curriculum. A published scholar on Italian Renaissance music, she has also taught music history at Santa Clara University and California State University, Stanislaus in the U.S. and for the University of Maryland abroad. Edwards received the Dean's Special Recognition Award from the Santa Clara College of Arts and Science for pioneering leadership in the development of the residential learning communities program and the American Association of University Women Graduate Fellowship for research in Venice on Renaissance organ practice and patronage. Edwards earned a Master of Fine Arts and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts from Occidental College.
Patricia Hernes, chair of the Department of Fine Arts/Music, out of which Apfelstadt and Edwards will work, said her department is energized by the fact that the new director and associate director of the Rome Center are, respectively, from the disciplines of fine arts and music.
Dr. Patrick Boyle, director of international programs at Loyola and a member of the Rome Center Advisory Committee, said the university's goals for the Rome Center program are to increase enrollment for semester programs to fill its 200-person capacity, to offer high quality programs on par with the top study abroad programs in the nation, to position the Rome Campus as the centerpiece of a dynamic set of study abroad programs at Loyola and to explore innovative uses for the campus.
"Of fundamental importance is the recruitment of excellent students to the Rome Center," said Edwards. "That means maintaining strong numbers from our home campuses, staying in close contact with our traditional Jesuit and Catholic affiliate institutions, and selectively expanding the list of affiliate colleges and universities across America," she said.
Edwards and Apfelstadt look forward to maintaining the traditional involvement of as many of Loyola's faculty as possible at the Rome Center and will work closely with Loyola's schools, departments and central administration with regard to curriculum, staff and recruiting. "We shall explore the definition of areas of emphasis at the Rome Campus that are especially relevant to its location, and we expect to respond creatively to the opportunities afforded by Loyola's new academic calendar and revised Core curriculum," said Apfelstadt. "We also hope to increase opportunities for study and travel aimed at Rome Center alumni, to enhance their ongoing connection with the Rome campus as it develops in the 21st Century."