Dr. Kurt Schackmuth, vice president for student life and chief mission officer at Lewis University, has been appointed to the new International Council for Association and the Lasallian Educational Mission (CIAMEL). Brother Superior General Armin Luistro, FSC, appointed Schackmuth to a three-year term as the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) designee for CIAMEL, effective October 1, 2023, through September 30, 2026.
“In appointing Dr. Kurt Schackmuth, Brother Armin and the General Council considered the strong recommendation by leadership in the Region, Brother Visitors and those responsible for the educational mission,” said Brother General Councilor Chris Patiño, FSC. “Kurt’s knowledge and experience of the mission, as carried out in RELAN and in the Institute, along with his own formation, leadership roles and vocational commitment, made him an ideal candidate for the responsibilities that will be entrusted to CIAMEL as we continue our own synodal journey of shared decision-making in the Lasallian family.”
A Lewis University alumnus, Schackmuth has served at the university for 25 years in a variety of mission and student success-related roles. Among his notable accomplishments, Kurt leads the university’s summer Exploring Lasallian Mission (ELM) formation program, which has contributed to the education and Lasallian formation of more than 600 Lasallians since its inception 17 years ago. He also spearheaded the development of The Encounter monument on campus, which is inspired by the pivotal moment in the life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle when he met Adrien Nyel and began the journey that would lead to the founding of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
“Dr. Kurt Schackmuth is a highly respected educator and leader in the Lasallian community at Lewis University and beyond,” said Dr. David Livingston, Lewis University president. “We’re delighted he will be serving on CIAMEL as the council sets strategic direction for the global educational mission of the Institute. His appointment exemplifies the importance of empowering lay Partners as they work together with the Brothers to outline a vision of a successful future for the entire Lasallian family.”
In addition to his service at Lewis, Schackmuth has been active in advancing the Lasallian mission in the Midwest District, RELAN and beyond. He served on the Midwest District’s Mission and Ministry Council for two terms and on the Regional Lasallian Education Council for nine years, concluding his service this year after six years as chair. He is a presenter for the Brother John Johnston Institute of Contemporary Lasallian Practice and a graduate of the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies, both Regional formation programs. He currently serves on the board of Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Illinois.
“Kurt’s leadership on the Lasallian Education Council and his many other commitments to advancing the Lasallian mission put him in a unique position to greatly contribute to the important work of CIAMEL,” said Tom Southard, executive director of Christian Brothers Conference.
Established in 2015, CIAMEL represents the worldwide Institute and focuses on the Lasallian mission and identity. The Superior General and General Council re-envisioned CIAMEL as part of its new Institute leadership structure. Brother Armin, Brother Ricky Laguda, FSC, General Councilor, and Brother Sergio Leal, FSC, executive secretary, will support CIAMEL as the council begins its work, and Brother Armin will appoint three General Councilors to accompany CIAMEL at a later date. In the new structure, CIAMEL is one of three councils that advise the Superior General, along with the General Council and the International Economic Council.
The representatives from the other four Regions are Coreen Paul (PARC), Doris Beutchou (RELAF), Jean-Marie Ballenghien (RELEM) and Adriana Bolaños (RELAL). CIAMEL will meet in a mix of virtual and in-person gatherings. Its first virtual meeting will take place on October 30, followed by a meeting in Rome in February 2024.
Alisa Macksey, vice president of mission, diversity and inclusion at La Salle University, served on CIAMEL from 2015 through 2023, becoming chair in 2016.