Michael A. Haggar Fellow 2017 - Marti Jewell
The University of Dallas 2017 Michael A. Haggar Fellow is awarded this year to a colleague
who has distinguished herself in her dedication to her students, her contributions
to the academy, and her service to the Church as well as the university.
This year’s fellow is known as an enthusiastic and caring teacher, whose courses are
regularly described as life changing. Students comment on her ability to bring her
academic subject alive and transform the way they see and understand the world. This
achievement is all the more remarkable given the variety of students with which she
is asked to work. With undergraduate students, she leads them in their capacity to
integrate the intellectual virtues that they have established in their core courses
with the theological knowledge they have developed in their major, which is then brought
to bear on the concrete pastoral problems that face the life of our Church today.
With her online students, she is able to project her presence across the ether in
order to engage and transform future lay ecclesial ministers. She has also worked
with many students on internships and capstone projects – always reminding them that
truth, wisdom, and justice are brought to their fulfillment in concrete service to
Our Haggar Fellow came to the university in 2009, after already establishing a national
reputation for herself as a pastoral practitioner, researcher, and scholar. She served
as the national director for the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership project, which
conducted one of the largest ever studies of parish ministry in the U.S. Catholic
Church. The findings of this research were published in a series of volumes which
made a significant contribution to our understanding of successful parish leader and
continue to be widely cited in the field of Catholic practical theology. Her 2013
book, Navigating Pastoral Transitions: A Parish Leaders Guide, won the Catholic Press
Association award for best Professional Book. She is also a widely sought after presenter
at academic and professional conferences and an ecclesial consultant. She has also
won several national awards for her scholarship and service to the Church, including
lifetime achievement awards from the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry
and the National Association of Lay Ministers.
This same spirit of service that characterized her work with students and the Church
has been on display at the University of Dallas. She is described by those who know
her best as an ideal colleague who is always willing to share her time to discuss
a pedagogical problem or talk through a theological issue. She has served with dedication
and humility on a variety of university committees, including the QEP Committee, the
Fairness and Equity Committee, the Faculty Senate, and the Rank and Tenure Committee.
She also took over this year as the director for graduate and undergraduate programs
in the Neuhoff School of Ministry. She truly embodies the Neuhoff mission of theological
education for transformative service in every aspect of her work.