Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine Honors Retiring Dean

News Archive January 24, 2013

Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine Honors Retiring Dean

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Hundreds of staff, faculty, alumni and friends gathered Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Stritch School of Medicine atrium to bid farewell to Teresa Wronski and celebrate her remarkable career.

The Chicago native enrolled at Loyola University Chicago nearly 50 years ago, looking for a job with full tuition benefits. She did not know then that she would spend her entire professional life at Loyola. Ms. Wronski will retire Feb. 1 as associate dean, Student Affairs, at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine.

Initially, Ms. Wronski worked in the Office of Admissions at the school’s former Wolcott Avenue building on Chicago’s West Side. Under the direction of Frederick Selfridge, MD, Ms. Wronski came to understand the characteristics of good students … good Stritch students, in particular.

She played an important part in the school’s move to the Maywood campus in 1968, including the design of the new building. After 11 years of night and weekend classes, she graduated from Loyola in 1975 with a psychology major and minors in philosophy, theology and education. She became registrar at Stritch and four years later, assumed the role of assistant dean, Student Affairs, which she held until she was appointed associate dean in 1997.

Her leadership skills have been called upon repeatedly over the years as class sizes increased from 88 in 1964 to 157 in 2012. She has guided students through major curriculum shifts, helped move paper-and-pencil registration processes to computer-based technology, served on more than a dozen standing committees, ran the St. Lucia mission elective program for 25 years, represented the school in minority enrichment programs, and much more.

Ms. Wronski considers herself a workaholic, an apt description for someone who does not think twice about going around a room full of empty chairs after a school event to pick up discarded programs. And she always finds time for counseling and listening, drawing on an intuitive nature honed by her Loyola education in psychology.

She loves to provide personalized attention. “I’ve never stopped being humbled by our students and their stories,” she said. “Walking with them truly is amazing."

Every day, she makes it her mission to help students stay focused on their studies and professional goals by keeping close watch over their personal needs, too. Ms. Wronski – “Dean Wronski” to her students – appreciates their adult life issues and cares for them as people.

In September 2009, during the celebration of 100 Years of Medicine at Loyola, Ms. Wronski was named first recipient of the Stritch Outstanding Service Award. To honor her unfailing support of students, the Teresa J. Wronski Endowed Scholarship Fund was established.

Ms. Wronski received the Dux Mirabilis Award Nov. 17, 2012, at the Stritch Annual Award Dinner for her extraordinary leadership in service to the University and its mission.

James Mendez, PhD, who since 2007 has served as assistant dean for Student Affairs at Stitch, succeeds Ms. Wronski as associate dean.

The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.
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