Immaculata University’s English/Communication Department Welcomes L.T. Col. John Church

Lieutenant Colonel John C. Church, Jr., USMCR, has joined Immaculata University´s English/Communication Department as a new assistant professor. He is teaching classes on English composition and rhetoric, technical writing, business and professional communication, and crisis communication.

Lieutenant Colonel Church, a second-year doctoral student in mass media and communication at Temple University, holds a master´s degree in communication, journalism, and public affairs from American University. He holds a second master´s in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. A lieutenant colonel in the Marine Reserves, he has been selected for promotion to full colonel.

Lieutenant Colonel Church´s most recent position was president of Valley Forge Military College (VFMC), serving as the academic and administrative head of the college, a key recruiter and fundraiser, and the manager of the operating budget. He taught a class on media ethics in Immaculata´s College of LifeLong Learning, and he has taught classes on public speaking, the military and the media, world citizenship, advertising, crisis communication, and writing at various other colleges. As the dean and an assistant professor at VFMC for three years, he directed a successful transfer program, led a campaign to admit female students, developed a mentor program for new students, and led community outreach programs.

In his military career, Lieutenant Colonel Church coordinated civil-military operations in Afghanistan for the commanding general and his staff. Prior to that assignment, he commanded a joint civil affairs unit, leading Marines, soldiers, sailors, and civilians in reconstruction efforts in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. His work with the "Al Anbar Awakening" has taken on historic significance. He served as an active duty U.S. Navy deck seaman and hospital corpsman assigned to the Marines, and he was appointed Secretary of the Navy at the U.S. Naval Academy. Lieutenant Colonel Church´s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. He was the public affairs director for the U.S. Marine Recruit Depot, advising the commanding general about public relations, conducting community relations campaigns, and acting as the spokesperson on numerous issues.

Lieutenant Colonel Church´s personal reflections on his military service throughout the world have been featured in the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Last year, his graduate paper, "The Best Seven Months of Our Lives: The War in Iraq and the Battle in Hollywood" won first prize in the Pennsylvania Communication Association Writing Competition. His "This I Believe" essay was featured last year on WHYY and National Public Radio. At Philadelphia´s Day of Service and Remembrance on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, he gave a speech honoring members of the American military for their tremendous sacrifices in service to their country.

"I am thrilled to be here at Immaculata," says Lieutenant Colonel Church. "Having served here previously as an adjunct, I had some insight into the University´s commitment to mission and sense of purpose. However, now I am seeing that sincere dedication and steadfast support to students from faculty and staff every day. I am looking forward to assisting our students in excelling in the classroom, but more importantly, in aiding them in finding their way to becoming good citizens and good stewards of our communities, Commonwealth and country. My wife, Mary Kay, and our four children are just glad to be part of a learning community that is so clear in its mission and so sincere in its outreach and embrace of others as a part of an amazingly wonderful journey."

Immaculata University, a Catholic, comprehensive, coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.

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