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Students have elected the Rev. Dan Sweeney, S.J., Ph.D., teacher of the year. The professor of political science has dedicated his career to serving students.
Sweeney is involved in several student-focused organizations. He is the moderator of the Knights of Columbus group on campus, the faculty advisor for the baseball team, chaplain to the men’s lacrosse team and chaplain in residence in Redington Hall. He said he enjoys these positions because they afford him the opportunity to “get to know (students) as people.”
He spent the summer serving as chaplain to the Air Force Reserve at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He said it was a fun place to work because the new cadets arrived at the same time he did, which made the experience “busy, but very rewarding.”
Sweeney said Colorado is beautiful, and that he noticed a positive energy in the state as a whole, which made the experience better.
“I tell people I go for my patriotic duty and the scenery,” Sweeney said.
During his doctoral study at University of Cambridge, Sweeney traveled to Dublin, Ireland several times, since his area of specialty was Irish politics. He has not lost his connection with Irish students since then, as he serves as director of the Redington Scholarship Program on campus. Started by the same family that dedicated Redington Hall, the program awards scholarships to The University to graduates of Jesuit high schools in Ireland.
In his spare time, Sweeney enjoys studying flags and traveling, both internationally and domestically.
This year, Sweeney developed a course in another one of his fields of interest: Canadian politics. He said while the course is going well, it has presented new challenges.
“A new course always requires more time and work because you haven’t done it before,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney said he was flattered by the nomination.
“I’m very honored the seniors voted me this distinction,” he said. “(I) wish them all well in future endeavors.”