Professor of Sociology
At North Park since: 2002
When Lida Nedilsky first moved to Chicago from San Diego, she spent a lot of time getting to know her new city, in particular, learning about public housing and school reform on the city’s South Side, before she felt knowledgeable enough to bring her students along.
A decade later, she often takes students on field experiences around the city, but sometimes finds herself following them into new and unfamiliar places instead of the other way around. Most recently, students in her Justice in Education class requested visits to three different local high schools while Urban Sociology students planned trips to the Cambodian American Heritage Museum and North Branch Projects.
With a sociology program that fosters independent thinkers, researchers, and decision makers, Professor Nedilsky incorporates this notion of learning from her students in different ways. She likes to collaborate on student-initiated research, student presentations, student-organized field trips, and alumni-based networking events, and often stays in contact with students after they graduate.
“As a scholar I personally love to learn, and my students fuel my curiosity, strengthen my commitment, and inform my knowledge,” she said. “In other words, they’re as much my teachers as I am theirs.”
Professor Nedilsky’s own research interests focus on China, particularly how religious people in Hong Kong get engaged in political issues. This research has influenced the way she incorporates faith in the classroom and how it affects her interactions with students. “The self-reflection from which these committed Christians have benefited nurtures my own faith and directs me so that I listen to student aspirations, encourage the questions, and prompt the responses that will achieve self-reflection in others,” she said.
Professor Nedilsky is a member of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Sociological Association. She serves as a reviewer for Sociological Quarterly and Asian Ethnicity.
PhD, Sociology, University of California at San Diego
MA, Chinese Studies, University of California at Berkeley
BA, International Studies, Miami University of Ohio
Lida V. Nedislky. Converts to Civil Society: Christianity and Political Culture in Contemporary Hong Kong. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2013.