Fr. Tony Dosen’s success as an educator can be credited to his extensive and evolving educational background. He first received his undergraduate degree in philosophy coupled with a minor in music from St. Mary’s Seminary College. He recalls this being his “first interaction with DePaul” as he spent his summers studying at DePaul’s School of Music. After completing his undergraduate studies, Fr. Dosen attended the De Andreis Institute of Theology where he received his Master of Divinity and a master’s degree in Systematic Theology. As he began teaching history in schools, Fr. Dosen pursued a master’s degree in history at DePaul, which he notes as his second interaction with the university. He enjoyed this experience greatly because of the comradery he built with his classmates; some of whom he is still in contact with today. Still invested in his education, Fr. Dosen pursued another master’s degree in Educational Administration from Lewis University, which he utilized in his role as an assistant principal in Madison, Wisconsin. Finally, Fr. Dosen received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Marquette University. However, between his master’s from Lewis University and completion of his Ph.D., Fr. Dosen earned his Sacred Theology License from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, “just for fun.”
Fr. Dosen’s research interests include Catholic identity in education, educational leadership, and bridging the digital divide in education. In terms of Catholic identity in education, Fr. Dosen is interested in both K-12 and higher education, and aims to understand how organizational identity works in a church setting. He is also interested in how transitions in society make a difference for Catholic education. Through this inquiry, Fr. Dosen published his book in 2009 titled, “Catholic Higher Education in the 1960s.”
Recently, Fr. Dosen has honed his research on leadership in education and has published chapters in several books on the topic. In addition, Fr. Dosen and Dr. Barbara Rieckhoff just completed a book together titled, “Catholic School Leadership.”
Fr. Dosen believes that his research informs his role as a professor “every day in every way” because as he teaches he is always reflecting on the issues of leadership, and his involvement in the community. In this way, Fr. Dosen likes to think of himself as a “reflective practitioner.” As an educator, Fr. Dosen is still very active in the K-12 school systems. He routinely visits elementary schools to implement new lessons to students and gauge their effectiveness. As a priest, he is very active in the network of clergy in Chicago, and makes it a priority to talk with clerics on a regular basis “not just to give advice, but to listen.”
Although he is formally a Vincentian priest by training, Fr. Dosen practices the Vincentian mission informally in his day-to-day life. He is an advocate for Catholic schools and quality schools in general, with a special focus on the poorer areas of Chicago. He has joined many projects dedicated to improving schools and school systems. Fr. Dosen also is an ally for homeless people and spends his time listening to and talking with those he meets. He states that in his work of “just wandering around and being with people in need,” he is “feeling more connected to Vincent each day,” and he is inspired in the ways that St. Vincent DePaul’s legacy is “hitting him” in new ways.
When asked what he likes to do in his free time, Fr. Dosen jokingly asks, “What’s free time?” But when he does get moments for himself, Fr. Dosen loves playing the piano and organ, is an avid reader of murder mysteries and spy fiction, and enjoys long walks outside.