International Symposium on Lasallian Research

Minneapolis Campus of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Sept. 21-23, 2018

This yearly symposium gathers creative minds to dialogue about the key characteristics or key areas that comprise the field of Lasallian research today; look beyond a study solely of the origins, tradition, and heritage in Lasallian research; break open the possibilities for Lasallian research in the 21st-Century; and propose avenues or topics for future needed Lasallian research. The goal is also to develop a community of scholars committed to supporting, conducting, and publishing Lasallian research.

More than 120 Lasallian educators and scholars from numerous countries will gather to present and discuss current research Sept. 21-23 during the seventh annual symposium.

While IALU promotes and fosters research collaboration among Lasallian researchers in strategic areas, these themes certainly must not preclude the pursuit of other lines of research according to the individual missions and visions of IALU member institutions. For the period 2013 to 2018, the following are the IALU strategic research themes.

  1. Food, Nutrition and Health (biochemistry of food products, science and engineering of potable water, cancer risks and cures from food, economic impact studies of nutrition programs in schools)
  2. Sustainability and the Environment (dealing with climate change, eco-design of houses and urban centers, industrial ecology, air and water quality monitoring in megacities)
  3. Education and Learning Innovations (access to education among the poor, impact of use of tablets for learning math and science, coping mechanisms among children with learning disabilities, predicting the academic emotions of young learners based on physiological signals)

Keynote Speakers:

Friday, September 21

Brother Louis DeThomasis, FSC, Ph.D.
President Emeritus, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

“From Chaos to Ethical Clarity: The Quest for Lasallian Higher Education in Today’s Global Society”

Saturday, September 22

Carmelita Quebengco, AFSC, Ph.D.
Consultant to the President and Chancellor Emeritus, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines

“Conversations on Cross Institution Research”

Sunday, September 23

Brother Cristhian Diaz, FSC, Ed.D.
Principal, Gigante, Huila, Colombia   

“Making Peace Possible: Grassroots Peacebuilding Leaders”

Speaker Biographies

Brother Louis began his life as a Christian Brother as Head Master of La Salle Military Academy in Providence, RI.  In 1981, he co-founded Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS) and served as Chairman until 1984. He left CBIS to become President of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 1984 and led the university for 21 years, becoming President Emeritus in 2005.

Upon his retirement from Saint Mary’s, he founded and became Chairman of CBIS Global in Rome, Italy and served as the first President from 2008 to 2013. He is currently a professor at Saint Mary’s University teaching in the M.A. in Lasallian Leadership and the Ed.D. in Leadership programs.

Brother Louis earned a Foreign Service at the Edmond A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a Ph.D. in Financial Management for the Union Institute, and completed post-Doctoral studies as a Bush Fellow at the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University. In addition, he studied Philosophy and Geopolitics at the University of Madrid, and Theology at Providence College.

Br. Louis was knighted in 1989 to the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal.

He has authored a number of books, the latest published in 2017 titled: Do You Know What You’re Doing, God? Unveiling a Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century.

Dr. Carmelita I. Quebengco has had a challenging and colorful professional journey. She began her career as a classroom teacher at La Salle Green Hills High School. She has been a faculty member of the Graduate School of Education at De La Salle University, Director of its University Research Office, Chair of the Educational Management Department, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Founding Dean of the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, and Academic Vice-President. She was the first woman Executive Vice- President/Chancellor of the University and named its first lay and woman President in 2003.

As a leader in academe, she initiated innovations including the Educational Development Special Program, the Arts Management Program, and the program for the deaf at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde; the STAR Scholars program, The Museum, the Lasallian Transformative Learning and Quality Assurance at De La Salle University; the development program for Philippine Lasallian Education and Learning Leaders at De La Salle Philippines, etc. It was during her watch when De La Salle University was granted the highest accreditation level, which can be conferred on a Philippine private university.

She is a Trustee of some 20 schools and universities, national professional organizations, NGOs, and educational accrediting bodies.

After her retirement from the University in 2008, she served De La Salle Philippines as its EVP-COO, and was appointed by the Superior General of the Christian Brothers as Co-Secretary of the Secretariat for Lasallian Education Mission of the Institute of the Christian Brothers in Rome, Italy.

She was bestowed the highest honor that a layperson can receive from the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools as an Affiliate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
She currently serves on the International Association of Lasallian Universities Executive Committee and is the Chair of the IALU research committee.

Brother Cristhian James Díaz-Meza is from Colombia. He joined the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1990. From 1993-1999 he served at different Lasallian schools as a teacher and as an assistant principal. He was the director of the Postulancy in the District of Bogota for five years. After this, Brother Cristhian worked at De La Salle University as a professor in the School of Education where he eventually became the dean for three years. In 2008, Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría, Superior General at that time, invited Brother Christian to be part of the first regional community of Latin America (RELAL). At the regional office and community, Brother Cristhian served as secretary of management and organization from 2008 to 2011. He is the current President of a Normal School located in the Southern part of Colombia where rural people benefit from the Lasallian education offered by the Brothers in conjunction with the regional government.

Brother Cristhian holds a bachelor´s degree in education and religious sciences and a master´s degree in education from De La Salle University of Bogota. In 2018, he obtained his doctoral degree in Education from Saint Mary´s University of Minnesota.


Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish will be available for the Keynote presentations.

Registration for the three-day symposium is $260/person and includes all meals during the event.

Register online

Conference Hotel Information:

Hilton Minneapolis
1001 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Register for your room.

Guests are also able to make reservations over the phone by calling 1-888-933-5363 or when making reservations on and referencing your group’s three-letter code, LAS.

The cutoff date for all reservations 9/8/18.

What to do in Minneapolis

Hosted by Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and its Institute for Lasallian Studies.
Co-sponsored by the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN)

Friday, September 21

3:00 p.m. Registration and Check-in 
Location: University Center Lobby

4:00 p.m. Opening Prayer
Location: University Center 

4:30 p.m. Welcome
Rev. James P. Burns, Ph.D., President, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, USA
Location: University Center

5:00 p.m. Keynote Address
“From Chaos to Ethical Clarity: The Quest for Lasallian Higher Education in Today’s Global Society”, Brother Louis De Thomasis, FSC, Ph.D.
Location: University Center

6:00 p.m. Social
Location: University Center

7:00 p.m. Dinner
Location: University Center

Saturday, September 22

7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
Location: University Center

8:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
Location: University Center

9:00 a.m. Keynote Address 
“Conversations on Cross Institution Research Partnerships in IALU”, Carmelita Quebengco, AFSC, Ph.D.
Location: University Center

10:00 a.m. Coffee Break 
Location: University Center Ballroom East

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Large Breakout Sessions

Session One
“Lasallian Research in our Tercentenary Year”
Researcher: Brother Diego Muñoz, FSC, Ph.D.
Director of Lasallian Research and Resources, Rome, IT Director of Lasallian Research and Resources, Rome, IT
Location: University Center Banquet West

Session Two
“Global Women's Symposium: New Wine Into Old Wineskins?”
Researcher:  Maryann Donahue Lynch. M.A.
Update on the proposal.
Commenter: Alisa Macksey, M.A.Location: University Center Ballroom East

11:45 a.m. Lunch
Location: University Center Banquet East

12:30 p.m. Shuttles
Depart University Center for Brother Louis Hall

1:00 - 5:05 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Session I – 1:00 - 1:50
Super Session I and II – 1:00 - 2:45
Session II – 2:00 - 2:50
Session III – 3:15 - 4:05
Super Session III and IV – 3:15 - 5:00
Session IV – 4:15 - 5:05

5:30 p.m. Mass
Location: University Center

6:30 p.m. Social
Location: University Center 

7:30 p.m. Dinner
Location: University Center

Sunday, September 23

7:30 a.m. Breakfast Buffet
Location: University Center Ballroom East

8:30 a.m. Keynote Address
"Making Peace Possible: Grassroots Peacebuilding Leaders"
Brother Miguel Diaz, FSC, Ed.D. 
Location: University Center

9:20 a.m. Coffee Break

9:30 a.m. Roundtable Discussions
Location: University Center Ballroom East

11:30 a.m. Closing prayer
Location: University Center Ballroom West

12:00 p.m. Close of Symposium