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Center for Mission and Research 

"In many ways, research is the most important academic skill we teach as students prepare for college and professional life. The process of inquiry and a student's journey of academic exploration animates the Catholic Intellectual Tradition that is integral to a St. John's Prep education."
– Keith A. Crowley, Ph.D., Principal and Associate Head of School

The Center for Mission and Research connects St. John’s with the world around us. We promote interdisciplinary inquiry and action through the focus areas of environmental sustainability, global health and wellness, innovation and design, and justice and peace. Through our programs and initiatives, we encourage thinking critically, taking risks, and building resilience while engaging humanity’s biggest challenges.

Goals and Objectives
Environmental Sustainability
  • Cultivate action that brings us in greater harmony with creation and minimizes our ecological footprint.

  • Strengthen relationships to advance local and global responses to climate change.

  • Promote behavior that balances the interconnected systems of sustainability: environment, economy, and equity.

Innovation and Design
  • Embrace empathy-centered problem solving and other practices of effective design to create sustainable solutions.

  • Integrate a variety of perspectives and disciplines with the understanding that innovation requires diversity.

  • Support student agency and foster an appreciation for failure as a learning tool.

Justice and Peace
  • Put into action our school’s responsibility to form agents for social transformation.

  • Challenge our community to embrace a spirituality that does justice.

  • Practice solidarity and transform dynamics of privilege and power.

Global Health and Wellness
  • In honor of the missionary spirit of the Xaverian Brothers, the focus area of global health and wellness will raise awareness and foster inquiry that contributes to valuing the life and dignity of each person throughout the world. Opening September 2020.
How We Engage

Capstone Projects: The Advanced Research Capstone is a critical learning experience that provides an opportunity for intellectual problem solving, social change, and community engagement through the interdisciplinary focus areas of the Center for Mission and Research. The course allows students to deeply explore research methods and design by constructing a focused research-based project in an area of primary interest. By the end of the year, students will showcase their new knowledge through a written research paper, product, and public presentation. Ultimately, this course enables students to engage and reflect on local and global issues in order to contribute towards a more just society.

Global Education: Each year, rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors have the opportunity to participate in an academic program in a different part of the world. This experience allows students to engage in learning beyond our campus, and examine issues through a truly global lens. Designing Solutions for Peace, a program that explores peacebuilding through a design thinking framework, is planned to take place in collaboration with a school in Delhi, India July 2020 (the travel component has been postponed).

Collaboration & CommunityThe Center directors collaborate with faculty across disciplines to provide resources that enhance understanding of issues related to the Center’s areas of focus.

Samantha Power with SJP Trustee Katherine O'Dair, Ph.D., Dean of Students, Harvard College

Lecture Series: The Brother Robert J. Sullivan, C.F.X. Lecture Series brings innovators and leaders to St. John’s Prep to explore how an ethics-based education can shape decision-making in the real world. Our 2019-2020 speaker was Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN. Future speakers include Bill McKibbenauthor, environmentalist, and activist, Vijay Gupta, violinist and social justice advocate, and Father Greg Boyle founder and Director of Homeboy Industries and author of the 2020 SJP High School Community Read Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. 

Director of Environmental Sustainability: Mr. Matthew Spearing 
Director of Global Health and Wellness: Ms. Samira Tella
Shaw Family Director of Innovation and Design: Ms. Nora Maginn Fame 
Director of Justice and Peace: Mr. Chris Bauer

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