St Joes Plaza
St Joseph Hall

Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences

The Raymond A. Roesch, S.M. Chair in the Social Sciences was established in 2002 to recognize the importance of the social sciences to a liberal education and to scientific research on the human condition. The Roesch Chair provides leadership in establishing the social sciences within the curriculum and the broader intellectual life of the University, stimulating innovative and interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship, conducting research, organizing symposia and other programs, and providing a visible presence for the social sciences on campus.

The Roesch Chair was held previously by Donald J. Polzella, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Mark Ensalaco, Ph.D., Department of Political Science, and Jack Bauer, Ph.D., Department of Psychology. The current chair is Roger Reeb, Ph.D., Department of Psychology.

"A day without social science is like a day without sunshine." – David Brooks, The New York Times

Fr. Roesch

History of the Roesch Chair

The Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences is named in honor of Fr. Raymond A. Roesch, S.M. A native of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Fr. Roesch entered the Society of Mary in 1933 and graduated from the University of Dayton in 1936. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1944. Fr. Roesch returned to UD in 1951 as a professor of psychology. After serving seven years as chair of the department, he became the sixteenth president of the University in 1959.

Fr. Roesch was instrumental in giving the university campus a new look. Hoping to make his vision of excellence for the University of Dayton a reality, Fr. Roesch not only oversaw the renovation of existing campus buildings, but was instrumental in several new construction projects, including Kennedy Union, Miriam Hall, Roesch Library, and the University of Dayton Arena. He developed the housing capacity for making UD a residential campus with the construction of Marycrest Hall, Stuart Hall and Campus South. He also provided the leadership in shaping the academic curriculum for a modern, comprehensive university. During his twenty-year presidency, he added nine academic departments, six associate degree programs, eighteen bachelor degree programs and forty-four masters programs. The School of Law also reopened under his leadership.

Fr. Roesch retired from the UD presidency in 1979. Shortly thereafter, he became acting president of Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii. Following his retirement from Chaminade in 1989, Fr. Roesch returned to the University of Dayton to act as a special assistant to the president. He held this position until his death in 1991.

When Fr. Roesch officiated at the dedication of Sherman Hall on May 9, 1960, he set the Sherman Hall pendulum into motion. This pendulum captures the essence of Fr. Roesch's leadership. He set into motion the commitment to excellence that continues to shape the University of Dayton. We have established the Raymond A. Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences to recognize his contributions to the University of Dayton. For a period of forty years, he exemplified the Marianist commitment to servant leadership, and this endowed position will serve as a constant reminder of our duty to build upon his legacy.

Jack Bauer

About the Current Chair

Roger Reeb, Ph.D. was appointed chair in 2014. Roger is a professor in the Department of Psychology and is the Director of Graduate Programs in Psychology and Clinical Psychology. Learn more >>

Roesch Chair Lecture in the Social Sciences

Jonathan Haidt

Human Rights: A Global Challenge
University of Dayton Speaker Series 2013-14
Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 pm
Learn more (pdf) >>

Learn more about the UD Speaker Series >>

student at symposium

The Raymond A. Roesch, S.M. Social Sciences Symposium

Each fall term, the social sciences departments and the Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences present the Annual Raymond A. Roesch, SM Social Sciences Undergraduate Symposium, featuring the scholarly work of undergraduate students. It is a day of stimulating ideas and research across the fields of anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, social work, and sociology. The 2013 symposium was held on November 13 in St. Joseph Hall.

The symposium is an exceptional opportunity for both students and faculty:

  • Students gain experience presenting their work to the public and exchanging ideas
  • Students and faculty engage in interdisciplinary discussions on contemporary issues
  • Students and faculty learn outside the classroom about UD students’ interests and work

Presentations may be based on research projects that are:

  • required of a capstone course or any other class
  • done in independent study or faculty research programs
  • done as part of a thesis (e.g., Honors Thesis)

Students who wish to present their research are invited to submit a proposal for either:

  • a poster (given by one or more students)
  • a talk (given by one or more students; multiple talks may be submitted as groups)

Lowell and Mary Catherine (Cay) Shea Hellervik Undergraduate Research Award

The Lowell and Mary Catherine (Cay) Shea Hellervik Undergraduate Research Award was established in 2010 and is made possible by a gift from University of Dayton alumna Cay Hellervik. This award is given to those students whose research addresses problems and their solutions for juvenile offenders within the justice system. The purpose of this award makes it especially beneficial to students majoring in Criminal Justice, Political Science and Sociology.

Description and Scope

Up to four $2,500 awards will be granted each year. First preference for recipients of this award will be to support student research that addresses the education and/or treatment of adjudicated juvenile offenders in the justice system. Winning projects will study: the etiology of criminal behavior; cognitive behavioral therapy models and approaches that help create change; the value of restitution projects for juvenile offenders; the offender family as victims; or adjudication of juveniles to adult court. Research into other areas of juvenile law system are also given consideration.

Application Process
  • Application for this award is open to seniors, juniors and sophomores who have declared in the disciplines of Criminal Justice, Political Science and/or Sociology.
  • Award competition will be announced in the fall of each academic year at which time the awards committee will release guidelines for the award.
  • Prior to October 15 of each year, student applicants will provide the awards committee a copy of their curriculum vitae plus a description of their research project.
  • Winning students will be selected and notified by November 15 of each year. They will have an opportunity to discuss their research with Cay Hellervik.

Contact Us

Roger Reeb, Ph.D.
Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences
Department of Psychology
St. Joseph Hall Room 306