Fairfield University dean nabs Jesuit program’s top spot


Dr. Joseph A. DeFeo

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) has named Dr. Joseph A. DeFeo of Bethel, Fairfield University’s associate dean of students and director of Student Mission & Identity, as the next executive director of the Ignatian Colleagues Program (ICP).

With this appointment, Fairfield University will serve as the host institution for ICP, providing office space and support to the program. DeFeo’s new appointment with the AJCU is effective Aug. 1.

The Ignatian Colleagues Program is sponsored by the AJCU and is a national program designed to educate and form administrators and leaders more deeply in the Jesuit tradition of higher education so they may better articulate, adapt and advance Ignatian mission on their campuses.

Participants are nominated by their institutions to complete the approximately 18-month program that includes an orientation experience, six educational workshops, a series of monthly meetings with campus coordinators, a week-long international group immersion experience to a developing country, an experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, a summer workshop, an individual mission-project that involves the application of program material and learning to a project related to one’s work and institution and a capstone experience.

Since the program’s inception six years ago, John Carroll University served as the host institution for the program’s first executive director, Dr. Ed Peck.

DeFeo has been with Fairfield University for 12 years. He is an adjunct faculty member teaching a course on Ignatian spirituality. He is also a member of Fairfield University’s Service Learning Advisory Committee in the Office of Service Learning.

DeFeo is a certified Ignatian spiritual director and received a certificate for directing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises from Fairfield University and The Jesuit Collaborative.

He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in theology from Boston College, and his Ph.D., from Fordham University, where his doctoral dissertation focused on Ignatian pedagogy for Jesuit higher education.

DeFeo has been involved with ICP as coordinator of online workshops, a Magis retreat director and an Ignatian reflector on a trip to Nicaragua.

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