“Dr. Joe” Moravec walks the talk of Mercy College of Health Sciences’ mission

June 15, 2015
Since 2004, Dr. Joseph Moravec has served as Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Mercy College of Health Science (MCHS) in Des Moines. “Dr. Joe” as he’s known by many, has gone above and beyond his job description to ensure that the college is meeting its mission through the integration of civic engagement, service-learning, and servant leadership into the experiences of his students and colleagues.

“Dr. Moravec has contributed to a collegial and caring environment in fostering positive and unique mission and community-focused student learning at Mercy College,” said Mercy College President and Iowa Campus Compact Board Chair Barbara Decker. “From all of his valuable academic contributions, community, and leadership experiences, Dr. Moravec exemplifies the Mercy College mission and core values to provide knowledge, reverence, integrity, excellence, and compassion to all constituents.”


Dr. Joe Moravec accepts his award from IACC Board Chair President Barbara Decker
Dr. Moravec has provided countless opportunities for his students to actively engage in and learn from the Des Moines community. Through his Caring in a Diverse Healthcare Environment course alone, over 1,000 students have participated in projects to benefit the local community.

Moravec’s colleague Dr. Jeannine Matz, the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at MCHS, has seen firsthand the impact of his work on the lives of students.

“He helps students to see through the eyes of another to a world and reality that they may not have otherwise had a chance to experience,” said Matz. “They have had the opportunity to listen first-hand to the personal stories of success, struggle, perseverance, pain, discrimination, barriers to care, and societal misperceptions from those who have lived them.” 

Similar to his impact on the lives of students, Moravec’s passion of meaningful service has also been equally felt by community organizations he works with.

“In his efforts to connect learning outside the classroom, he connects students and faculty to purposeful work in the community; he connects community partners to volunteers and resources to do critical work in the community; he connects ideas to action to reflection; and he connects conversation to exploration to purposeful collaboration,” said Linda Danielson, the Operations Director at Children and Family Urban Movement.

Dr. Moravec’s passion for making a difference extends well beyond Mercy College. He has been a guest lecturer at several colleges and universities, and an adviser to individuals in the education, ministry, and business sectors. He has worked to equip leaders, educators, and healthcare providers with training necessary to engage diverse and vulnerable populations.

“He is truly a man of service,” said Dr. Jeannine Matz. “He is devoted to the mission of the college and has opened doors and helped Mercy College connect to some of the neediest community members in Des Moines.”

Moravec was awarded with the Iowa Campus Compact Engaged Campus Award for Mission at the 2015 annual awards event on May 29.