Professor of Communication Arts
At North Park since: 2002
Mary Adams Trujillo’s goal is to share with her students what North Park has to offer—preparation for leading a life of significance and service. “At North Park University, I have the great gift to be able to explicitly connect the institution’s mission, vision, and core values with pedagogy and faith. To that end, I have both the freedom and the mandate to design courses that matter in the ‘real world,’” she says.
Her courses build on her belief that a combination of service, experiential learning, and cultural immersion helps students engage with the world, starting with the city of Chicago. Intercultural Communication creates opportunities for students to visit, interact with, and gain knowledge from various communities by drawing on the city’s diverse populations, cultural institutions, events, and neighborhoods. For example, students have visited the Museum of Mexican Art, eaten at a local Middle Eastern restaurant, and attended a Korean worship service as part of group assignments.
Through a partnership with three Chicago communities, her Conflict Transformation class invites 24 high school students to a retreat at which they can network and learn ways to transform violent environments. The course prepares students to examine community in the context of urban, religious, and international conflict, and to identify their own approaches to conflict and apply strategies to bring peace to Chicago.
Dr. Trujillo’s courses include group work, reflective and analytical class discussion, a variety of assignments that allow students to experience different learning styles, the use of social observation to bring communication theory to life, and writing and presenting research findings. She also facilitates discussions with diverse viewpoints. “I encourage students to ask questions and to create a respectful classroom environment where anyone is free to express their religious or non-religious viewpoint,” she says.
Dr. Trujillo supports all of North Park’s cultural clubs and is working with students who want to organize a mediation center on campus. She is a member of the National Communication Association and Textbook and Academic Authors.
PhD, Northwestern University
MA, University of New Mexico
BA, University of Illinois