I would like you to meet someone this week. Meet Dr. Looney, the Dean of the School of Education at Nyack College. Two words I could use to describe her would be “gracious” and “humble”. We live in a world where sometimes graciousness and humility don’t translate into positions of leadership, but I cannot tell you the countless times where I have walked into Dr. Looney’s office and encountered a gracious humility. She has been a great encouragement to me throughout my years at Nyack College, whether it was listening to my eighteen year-old ideals at freshmen orientation, encouraging me to do field-experience in New York City, or answering the most random questions. I remember trudging into her office during my sophomore year to get a question answered on a day when I was masking a lot of personal discouragement, and I distinctly remember leaving her office feeling believed in–that was worth a great deal to me. Friends, meet Dr. JoAnn Looney:
- How Did You First Come to Nyack?
I first came to Nyack after a time of transition. I had finished another job, my father had just been diagnosed with kidney failure, my mother with cancer, and it was a time of taking care of them. Towards the end of this period, I found out about a position in the Childhood Education Department at Nyack College, so I applied, spoke with Professor Luba, and ended up getting the job.
- What Is Your Favorite Part About Teaching at Nyack?
I love, love, love the students and the faithful environment. You can feel God’s presence here, and as the students’ grow in their faith, so do I. Also, I love preparing teacher candidates (she’s been at it for 35 years), and teaching is such an energizing experience for me. I also love how amazing the faculty is because it’s so cohesive. Divisiveness is not an issue here, because we are all walking together. Working here is a such a blessing.
- If You Could Design and Teach Any Course What Would It Be and Why?
I would love to redesign and teach a course on specific learning disabilities.
- What’s One Piece of Advice You’d Like to Give Students?
Pray hard, work hard, and trust God.
- What’s One of Your Favorite Bible Verses?
Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’”. I love using this verse when counseling students.
- Is There a Book That Has Influenced Your Life?
Yes, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. The Screwtape Letters provides this vivid description of Satan’s methodology, and The Chronicles of Narnia portrays, as much as you can describe in words, God in all his wonder and glory
- Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Add?
Gratitude. I am so grateful to be here, for the students, faculty, and the leadership of the institution. It takes a community to accomplish anything.