The Board of Directors of the Associated Alumnae & Alumni of the Sacred Heart (AASH), partnership with the Barat Education Foundation (BEF) and the Ignatian Volunteer Corps-Chicago (IVC), have established The Joan Lueder Coffey Service Award. Named in honor of a Sacred Heart alumna of Barat College, Class of 1965, Dr. Joan Coffey, a lifelong educator and student who believed deeply in the values of education and service to the poor, the JLC Service Award will support the placement of an IVC-Sacred Heart alum in the Chicago region who volunteers at a school that promotes educational opportunities for students of limited means and/or at an IVC partner agency servicing the materially poor.
Dr. Coffey was born in Chicago, and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree. from Barat College and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Colorado. She taught for many years in public and private secondary schools including Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart, Lake Forest. IL. Dr. Coffey joined the faculty at Sam Houston State University in 1990, where she was Associate Professor of History at the time of her death in 2003.
Dr. Coffey authored Leon Harmel: Entrepreneur on Catholic Social Reform, published posthumously by Notre Dame Press.
The Ignatian Volunteer Corps is a national organization that provides retired and semi-retired individuals, aged 50 and older, opportunities to volunteer in poor and marginalized communities. IVC volunteers commit two days per week, 10 months per year – generally September-June – in direct service to those in need. Volunteers also participate in a comprehensive faith formation program in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. It is a one-year commitment with the option for renewal.
IVC Chicago is a vibrant, growing program with 50+ volunteers serving across four counties and three dioceses in the Chicagoland area. IVC members volunteer in diverse capacities from tutoring/mentoring at all levels of education; working at food pantries/soup kitchens; immigration advocacy; social service; hospital chaplaincy; prison ministry and beyond.
Volunteers meet monthly as a Christian faith community from September to June and participate in days of reflection and an annual retreat. Each member is matched with a spiritual reflector with whom he/she meets monthly to reflect on his/her service experience.