Faculty Stories

Faculty at Notre Dame come from communities and cultures all over the world. They conduct research and scholarship on topics and issues that span numerous academic disciplines. They share with students not just their areas of expertise but also their questions and concerns about the enduring issues and latest developments that shape our times.

But their role in broadening and sharpening the lenses through which we understand ourselves and the world around us extend well beyond individual research projects, classroom lectures, course syllabi, or a list of academic programs.

The selection of stories below helps illustrate the many other ways Notre Dame faculty foster diversity, support inclusion, and enliven the entire Notre Dame community.

Assistant dean's family has welcomed dozens for Thanksgiving each year

New York Times

Dr. Jan Sanders was the first Black pediatrician to have her own practice here. Her husband, Leo McWilliams, is an assistant dean in the University of Notre Dame engineering department and a “quadruple Domer.” For decades, the couple have been the unofficial parents for many Black students at Notre Dame. This year, that family is scattered, reflecting on the year’s crises.

Read More

FTT professor wins theatre society prize for essay on adaptations of The Wiz and is appointed associate editor of prestigious journal

Arts and Letters

La Donna Forsgren, an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, has won the American Society for Theatre Research's Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize. The award, given annually to the best essay of theatre research in a scholarly English-language publication, honored Forsgren’s “The Wiz Redux; or Why Queer Black Feminist Spectatorship and Politically Engaged Popular Entertainment Continue...

Read More

Dean Galvin’s impact and legacy

Tammi Freehling

Mary E. Galvin, the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame since 2015, recently announced she will step down from the position effective December 31, 2020. Notably, Galvin is the first woman to serve as dean in the college’s 155-year history.

Read More

Notre Dame files formal comment with Department of Homeland Security

Notre Dame News

Three University of Notre Dame leaders have filed a formal comment on behalf of the University urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw a proposed rule that would make it harder for international students to enroll in U.S. universities. The comment amplifies concerns expressed this week in a letter from Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.…...

Read More

The Snite Museum of Art Announces Important Acquisitions to its Mesoamerican Collection

Gina Costa

The Snite Museum of Art announces  five gifts to the Museum’s distinguished Mesoamerican collection.   Mr. William. J. Gallagher Jr. ND’1950, was one of the original lenders of Pre-Columbian objects to the Snite Museum of Art when it opened its doors in the fall of 1980. These early loans from the Gallagher Family were foundational objects to the development of...

Read More

Video: Sociologist Dana Moss on studying authoritarian regimes, transnational repression, and protest movements

Todd Boruff

Dana Moss is an assistant professor of sociology at Notre Dame whose research interests include collective behavior and social movements, global and transnational sociology, international migration, and political sociology. She's currently working on a book project on the "Arab Spring abroad" — how Libyan, Yemeni, and Syrian communities, spread from as far away as Los Angeles to London, mobilized to support...

Read More

Having Coffee with Dianne Pinderhughes

Notre Dame Magazine

Dianne Pinderhughes has been observing protests and marches for racial and social justice since her childhood in segregated Washington, D.C. In 2020, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement, things seem different.

Read More

2020 United Way Campaign is underway


According to the United Way of St. Joseph County, four in 10 families struggle to meet basic needs. This year is even more challenging as many in the South Bend community face financial devastation and health challenges due to COVID-19. Each year, Notre Dame faculty and staff donate to the United Way…

Read More

How the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities is fighting to prevent homelessness

Notre Dame News

The Homeless Prevention Call Center for the City of Chicago, currently run by Catholic Charities of Chicago, has helped thousands of families stay off the streets. Knowing funding for public programs is never guaranteed, it wanted to prove its method was cost effective and impactful. In 2012, it approached Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) for assistance. Could LEO...

Read More

Asian cultural events drew enthusiastic audiences in 2019-20

Liu Institute

The three biggest cultural events sponsored and co-sponsored by the Liu Institute in 2019-2020 saw enthusiastic capacity audiences. Bijayini Satpathy, a globally acclaimed Odissi dancer known for her intense facial expressions, performed her solo show Kalpana on September 5, 2019, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Patricia George Decio Theater. Coordinated by the Asian Indian Classical Music Society, Satpathy’s performance...

Read More

A Topologist, an Educator and an UndocyAlly Join the ILS Faculty Fellows

Institute for Latino Studies

This fall, three leaders from the Notre Dame community have been appointed Faculty Fellows of  the Institute for Latino Studies.  Assistant Professor of Mathematics Juanita Pinzón Caicedo, First Year Academic Advisor Leonor Wangensteen, and Katy Walter Lichon of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education join a distinguished group of scholars.…

Read More

Notre Dame Police Department issues equity in policing report

Dennis Brown

In collaboration with a group of Black University of Notre Dame students, and after receiving suggestions from them as well as from faculty, staff and alumni, the Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) has developed a report that includes acknowledgement of past problems, a commitment to equitable policing and a comprehensive series of initiatives designed to create a more fair, impartial,...

Read More

Video: Theatre historian La Donna Forsgren on women’s contributions to the Black Arts Movement

Todd Boruff

La Donna L. Forsgren is an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre; concurrent faculty in the Gender Studies Program; and affiliated faculty in the Department of Africana Studies. Her latest book, Sistuhs in the Struggle: An Oral History of Black Arts Movement Theater and Performance, is the first oral history to fully explore the contributions of...

Read More

Building Language Bridges: Ernest Morrell expands literacy education research at Notre Dame

Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Teaching English at Oakland High in the late 1990s, Ernest Morrell faced the age-old problem of how to get modern students interested in a canon of long-dead writers and poets. “I just got tired of teaching the regular way that I was supposed to — it did not seem all that enticing or effective,” said Morrell, now the director of the Notre Dame...

Read More

“Everyday Religion” class delves into religious diversity

Josh Stowe

When one encounters the rich diversity of the world’s religions, working to understand different faith traditions can promote tolerance, interreligious dialogue, and peace. This was the idea students explored during the second session of “Everyday Religion in a World of Many Faiths.” The class, offered by the Ansari Institute, meets online Thursday evenings and is free and open to the public....

Read More