Faculty Discernment Talks-in-Residence

Faculty Discernment: Talks-in-Residence

Stories from Faculty on Their Journeys from Undergraduates to Now

How did Notre Dame professors find their passion?

What undergraduate experiences most formed them?

Who helped them make decisions along the way?

Faculty Discernment Talks-in-Residence invite Notre Dame faculty into residence halls to share stories of how they discovered, cultivated, and pursued their intellectual passions. With a particular focus on the discernment of academic paths and making important decisions, the conversations are designed primarily as a mechanism for students to informally engage with faculty and witness a modeled process of discernment.

These talks are ways to initiate formative relationships and communication between undergraduate students and faculty and equip students with the dispositions, knowledge, and skills to confidently explore all of the various opportunities for academic engagement and enrichment at Notre Dame.

By sharing their stories, faculty model and normalize discernment, inspiring students to imagine their own story and engage intentionally with the practices of discernment as they determine their major or goals for their time as undergraduates.

Host a Faculty Discernment Talk in your Residence Hall

In partnership with the Center for University Advising, residence hall leaders (including rectors, academic commissioners, or other student leaders) are encouraged to follow the steps below to host a Faculty Discernment Talk-in-Residence. 

Step One: Invite a Faculty Member

The faculty listed below are eager to visit your residence hall community and speak candidly about their journeys from undergraduates to now. Identify one or several faculty members you'd like to invite to speak and email them with an introduction and a few potential dates and times for this Faculty Discernment Talk-in-Residence. Typically, large gathering spaces within the residence hall work best as a venue for this kind of talk.

View Faculty List

Step Two: Share your scheduled Faculty Talk with Advising

Once you and a faculty member have agreed upon a specific date and time, complete the Faculty Discernment Talk-in-Residence confirmation form. The CUA is more than happy to help advertise your event broadly across the university, highlighting your residence hall community's engagement with faculty and students. Additionally, a student member of the CUA Media Team will attend your Faculty Talk to capture quotes, images, and video. These assets will be shared across the university community, normalizing the process of discernment and showcasing your hall community's efforts to equip and serve your residents.

Complete the Faculty Discernment Talk-in-Residence Confirmation Form

Step Three: Share your scheduled Faculty Talk with your residents (and more!)

Use your residence hall community's communication outlets to invite residents to join. All residents are encouraged to attend, regardless of class year or academic discipline. You may also wish to utilize this event to strengthen your relationships with other hall communities and "co-host" the Faculty Discernment Talk-in-Residence alongside a brother or sister residence hall.

 


Faculty List

College of Arts & Lettters

College of Engineering

  • Andrew Bartolini 01 300x300

    Andrew Bartolini

    Director, First-Year Engineering Program & Assistant Teaching Professor

    224D Cushing Hall of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Andrew Bartolini 01 300x300

    Andrew Bartolini

    Director, First-Year Engineering Program & Assistant Teaching Professor

    abartolini@nd.edu
    224D Cushing Hall of Engineering
    Website

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    My passion for working with undergraduate students stems from helping connect students with opportunities in fields in which they are interested in learning more about or are already excited about. I changed my major during my first year of studies at Notre Dame from the School of Architecture to the College of Engineering, so I can empathize with students who are searching for more information to make a decision about future career pathways. Within the First-Year Engineering Program at Notre Dame, which I direct, we place a strong emphasis on the discernment process in order to help students collect and gather experiences from multiple sources in a concerted way to make an informed major selection. I would love partnering with more undergraduate students in a casual setting to help share ideas on navigating the discernment process.

  • Brewick Hs 1 300x300

    Patrick Brewick

    Assistant Professor, Civil & Envr Engr & Earth Sciences

    159 Fitzpatrick Hall Of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Brewick Hs 1 300x300

    Patrick Brewick

    Assistant Professor, Civil & Envr Engr & Earth Sciences

    pbrewick@nd.edu
    159 Fitzpatrick Hall Of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: BS in Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    The journey to my current profession was far from linear; there were many stops and starts and sharp turns along the way. I have changed my mind several times about what I wanted to study, what degrees I wanted to pursue, and what type of career I wanted. However, through it all, I continued to discern my true vocation and worked to get to where I am now. I am interested in sharing my journey with students to encourage and remind them that discernment and vocation are life-long pursuits. Everything does not need to be figured out before graduation.

  • Meenal Hs 300x300

    Meenal Datta

    Assistant Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engr

    145 Multidisciplinary Engineering Research Building
    Email Bio

    Meenal Hs 300x300

    Meenal Datta

    Assistant Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engr

    mdatta@nd.edu
    145 Multidisciplinary Engineering Research Building

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE), University of Massachusetts Amherst

    I am deeply committed to fostering intellectual interest and passion in STEM, particularly among underrepresented groups. It is a privilege and responsibility as faculty to train the next generation in STEM in responsible and robust research practices. I am particularly interested in meeting undergraduates on a more personal level and helping to guide them in making discernment decisions.

  • Ehren Hs

    Jennifer Ehren

    Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    242 Nieuwland Science Hall
    Email Bio

    Ehren Hs

    Jennifer Ehren

    Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    jehren1@nd.edu
    242 Nieuwland Science Hall

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    One of my favorite things to do is to help students figure out their vocation and field of study. Talking to a variety of people is one of the best ways to figure out what you are passionate about to make a career vs hobby. I wish I had opportunities to hear more people’s stories when I was in undergrad so I hope to help this cohort.

  • Go David Hs 1 300x300

    David Go

    Professor and Vice President & Associate Provost for Academic Strategy

    115B Main Building
    Email Bio

    Go David Hs 1 300x300

    David Go

    Professor and Vice President & Associate Provost for Academic Strategy

    dgo@nd.edu
    115B Main Building

    Undergraduate Degree: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    Discernment is crucial to students identifying and understanding their vocation, that is, their calling that will enable them to live virtuously and with joy, both personally and professionally. I have been helped throughout my own life by perpetual discernment to better understanding my "why". I look forward to helping our students think about this process, to help guide them where I can, and to hopefully inspire them to discern their own lives.

  • Bj 8

    Craig Goehler

    Associate Teaching Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engr

    311H Cushing Hall Of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Bj 8

    Craig Goehler

    Associate Teaching Professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engr

    cgoehler@nd.edu
    311H Cushing Hall Of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    There is nothing more important at Notre Dame than community, and that starts in the dorms. I lived all four years of my undergraduate education in Carroll Hall and still have great relationships from that community. But the community extends beyond the hallowed halls of the dorms to the staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, family and friends of Our Lady's university. If I can help just one student discern their calling in this world, then it will be a successful talk.

  • Victoria Goodrich

    Victoria Goodrich

    Teaching Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engr

    244 Nieuwland Science Hall
    Email Bio

    Victoria Goodrich

    Victoria Goodrich

    Teaching Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engr

    v.goodrich@nd.edu
    244 Nieuwland Science Hall

    Undergraduate Degree: Chemical Engineering, University of Oklahoma

    I love talking with students about their interests and the paths that we all take to find our passions! I never expected or particularly wanted to be a professor, but found my way here by following my interests - I want students to know they don't have to have it all figured out yet! 12 years into college teaching and I'm still adapting and finding new interests within my job and field. I teach all years of undergraduates, and these conversations are some of my favorite parts of my job!

  • Shreya Kumar 11100

    Shreya Kumar

    Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

    378 Fitzpatrick Hall Of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Shreya Kumar 11100

    Shreya Kumar

    Assistant Teaching Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

    skumar5@nd.edu
    378 Fitzpatrick Hall Of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: Computer Engineering, University of Pune, India.

    It helps to know that there are many different pathways and choices to pursue your intellectual and personal passions. I find a lot of joy in helping students understand their options and the downstream consequences thereof, especially before students have to start choosing pathways. I want our students to be enabled by their knowledge and choices, and for them to never be constrained by a lack of awareness.

  • Kerry Meyers1

    Kerry Meyers

    Associate Dean for Student Development, College of Engineering

    257D Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Kerry Meyers1

    Kerry Meyers

    Associate Dean for Student Development, College of Engineering

    kmeyers1@nd.edu
    257D Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelors in Engineering, Purdue University

    Discernment is my research focus, and a driving force in the structure of First-Year Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. The most important thing any first-year student can do at ND is to figure out what interests them, but to do so purposefully. Happy accidents are great, but I am a proponent of informed decision making. Students often think they should have one passion, and that's rarely true-- more typically there are multiple things that each of us enjoy and could contribute meaningfully to.

  • Seelinger Mike 9099 1 300x300

    Michael Seelinger

    Dunn Family Teaching Professor of Engineering

    375 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Seelinger Mike 9099 1 300x300

    Michael Seelinger

    Dunn Family Teaching Professor of Engineering

    mseelin1@nd.edu
    375 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    As someone who has dedicated his life to higher education, I am passionate about all aspects of students' undergraduate educational experience. The college years are so pivotal and special in the lives of our students. I enjoy trying to play a positive role in their lives through developing meaningful mentorship relationships through which I can help students in their studies and study habits, navigating the university, preparing for a professional career or graduate school, and most importantly developing meaningful friendships with their peers and their professors.

  • Brian Smith Hs

    Brian Smith

    Teaching Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

    173 Fitzpatrick Hall Of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Brian Smith Hs

    Brian Smith

    Teaching Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

    bsmith24@nd.edu
    173 Fitzpatrick Hall Of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: BS in Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    As one of the instructors in the first-year engineering program, I enjoy working with first-year students and discussing their major discernment as well as their career paths. As a ND alumni, the faculty discernment talks would provide me with an opportunity to give back to the University and their students. I think that I can provide some advice by sharing my story on how I arrived upon civil engineering as a major, as well as sharing some of my observations of watching students navigate their major decisions over the last 10+ years.

  • Robert Stevenson

    Professor, Electrical Engineering

    275B Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Robert Stevenson

    Professor, Electrical Engineering

    rls@nd.edu
    275B Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree:  Bachelors of Science, Electrical Engineering, University of Delaware

    As a first-generation student entering university life, I initially misunderstood the numerous opportunities and available resources within this new environment. Along with this came important responsibilities to direct and pursue an educational path that was truly aligned with my aspirations. While it can be comfortable to be directed down a path, I firmly believe that genuine success and happiness are attainable only when individuals seize control of their journey and actively chase goals that hold personal significance. My aim is to help students to recognize their agency and make the most of the opportunities available to them at Notre Dame.

  • Taflanidis Alexandro Hs 300x300

    Alexandros Taflanidis

    Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

    158 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Taflanidis Alexandro Hs 300x300

    Alexandros Taflanidis

    Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

    a.taflanidis@nd.edu
    158 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor in Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

    When making decisions for my own career I was very fortunate to have mentors willing to give me diverse perspectives about potential career paths, and help me identify and explore opportunities I had never considered. I feel that my diverse background in Civil and Mechanical engineering (Mechanics principles) and Computational Mathematics could be, similarly, a valuable resource for our current students exploring such questions. Over the years I have formally or informally advised many of our undergrads on making better informed decisions about their future (and perhaps explore venues that they had not viewed as possible), and I think this program is an excellent initiative to expand this engagement.

  • Todd Taylor

    Todd Taylor

    Associate Teaching Professor, Integrated Engineering and Business Practices Program

    208C Cushing Hall Of Engineering
    Email Bio

    Todd Taylor

    Todd Taylor

    Associate Teaching Professor, Integrated Engineering and Business Practices Program

    ttaylo24@nd.edu
    208C Cushing Hall Of Engineering

    Undergraduate Degree: B.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    I love getting in front of our youngest student population to help shape their Notre Dame experience, accelerate the chances for success inside and outside Notre Dame, and prepare them for their future careers. I like reminding them that Notre Dame is the place you go from, not simply the place you come to. Getting them to better understand early in their ND experience that every experience they have on campus is helping them build a foundation for life is key.

  • Weaver Abigail Hs 300x300

    Abigail Weaver

    Assistant Research Professor, Civil & Envr Engr & Earth Sciences

    B023 McCourtney Hall
    Email Bio

    Weaver Abigail Hs 300x300

    Abigail Weaver

    Assistant Research Professor, Civil & Envr Engr & Earth Sciences

    aweaver5@nd.edu
    B023 McCourtney Hall

    Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in Biology, Anderson University

    As an undergraduate I was influenced by a female professor with whom I could ask very practical questions about career choices and balancing family with a career. Following undergrad, I had a negative experience in graduate school (not at Notre Dame) and left the PhD program early with an MS. Years later an important experience came through a Notre Dame Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program (similar to Research Experience for Undergraduates, REU), that allowed me to work in a research lab over the summer. This experience led me back to graduate school, finishing my PhD, and eventually becoming research faculty. This long route to my current position has taught me to worry less about “being too late” to follow a career path and has allowed me to pursue my interests.

College of Science

  • Burks 1

    Gabriel Burks

    Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engr

    205B Mccourtney Hall
    Email Bio

    Burks 1

    Gabriel Burks

    Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engr

    gburks2@nd.edu
    205B Mccourtney Hall

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science in Physics (minor in Chemistry), Grambling State University

    I would like to provide my perspective and experiences in navigating the academic and self-discovery process solely as a different perspective that someone may benefit from hearing. The human experience is such a diverse one that my perspectives may be helpful to some and useless to others. However, I represent lived experience of hard work, academic triumphs and failures, self-belief, and constant curiosity. It is my hope that my lived experiences may be of help and enlightening to someone.

  • Kelly Harrington 1

    Kelly Harrington

    Academic Advisor

    319G Jordan Hall Of Science
    Email Bio

    Kelly Harrington 1

    Kelly Harrington

    Academic Advisor

    kharrin7@nd.edu
    319G Jordan Hall Of Science

    Undergraduate Degree:  BFA with Concentrations in Drawing and Painting, Saint Mary's College

    As an academic advisor working specifically with first-year students, I welcome and encourage discernment conversations especially with paths that aren't on a student's radar. My family and friends are fascinated that I now work in the College of Science and teaching a science drawing class without a degree in science. Often students aren't aware how different disciplines can work well together in a career.
     
  • Lindsay Wulf

    Lindsay Wulf

    Academic Advisor, Center for University Advising

    319F Jordan Hall Of Science
    Email Bio

    Lindsay Wulf

    Lindsay Wulf

    Academic Advisor, Center for University Advising

    lwulf4@nd.edu
    319F Jordan Hall Of Science

    Undergraduate Degree: Elementary Education, the University of Oklahoma

    I would love an opportunity to share my education and career journey with students. I have a master's degree in curriculum and instruction and several hours of college classes beyond for the purpose of learning enjoyment. I have recently made a pivot in my career from middle school classroom teaching to academic advising in higher education. I have aspirations to continue learning formally and informally.

Keough School of Global Affairs

Mendoza College of Business

  • Patty Brady 1

    Patty Brady

    Managing Director, the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing

    102E Mendoza College Of Business
    Email Bio

    Patty Brady 1

    Patty Brady

    Managing Director, the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing

    patricia.brady@nd.edu
    102E Mendoza College Of Business

    Undergraduate Degree: BBA Finance, University of Notre Dame

    Much of my career was spent as an investor, not an academic. The Institute for Global Investing was designed to bridge the practice of investing with academic theory. Like many fields, the most successful investors are multi-disciplinary thinkers, persistently curious, and think in long duration. Helping to uncover these qualities in our students across disciplines and backgrounds is a fruitful exercise that leads to better long-term success both here at ND and in their future careers. I am especially passionate about helping women succeed in fields in which they are traditionally underrepresented.

  • Kristen Collett Schmitt

    Kristen Collett-Schmitt

    Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion and Teaching Professor, Finance

    234D Mendoza College Of Business
    Email Bio

    Kristen Collett Schmitt

    Kristen Collett-Schmitt

    Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion and Teaching Professor, Finance

    kcollett@nd.edu
    234D Mendoza College Of Business

    Undergraduate Degree: BA in Economics and Sociology, with minors in Math and Psychology, Bellarmine University

    As an undergraduate student, I struggled with my own major choice and switched career paths very late in the process. I also lacked visible female support. I therefore hope to fill those gaps for other individuals experiencing the same thing, through thoughtful and supportive mentorship.

  • John Donovan

    John Donovan

    Associate Professor, Accountancy

    392 Mendoza College Of Business
    Email Bio

    John Donovan

    John Donovan

    Associate Professor, Accountancy

    jdonova4@nd.edu
    392 Mendoza College Of Business

    Undergraduate Degree: BBA - Accountancy, University of Notre Dame

    The undergraduate community at Notre Dame holds a special place in my heart. To this day, my closest friends are those I met in my undergrad dorm - the residence hall community is integral to the Notre Dame experience. As an undergrad, I never really considered the job I have now - so I'd like to discuss with students the incredible opportunities they have at ND to find what they are truly interested in.

  • Bj 9

    Susan Kleiser

    Teaching Professor, Marketing

    383 Mendoza College Of Business
    Email Bio

    Bj 9

    Susan Kleiser

    Teaching Professor, Marketing

    skleiser@nd.edu
    383 Mendoza College Of Business

    Undergraduate Degree: B.B.A. in Finance and French, University of Notre Dame

    I look forward to the opportunity to talk with students about the discernment process and the career paths open to them. My own path has not been straightforward but switching course allowed me to identify and ultimately pursue my intellectual passions. I have found, along the way, that it is the patience, passion, belief in oneself, and a few (maybe more!) leaps of faith that make the journey so exciting and ultimately rewarding.

  • 1516306350025

    Andrew Wendelborn

    Assistant Advising Professor & Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies

    101H Mendoza College Of Business
    Email Bio

    1516306350025

    Andrew Wendelborn

    Assistant Advising Professor & Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies

    awendelb@nd.edu
    101H Mendoza College Of Business

    Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts, University of Notre Dame

    Three driving forces behind my work are 1) wanting to ensure that everyone feels welcome at Notre Dame, 2) helping students become their best-possible selves, and 3) revealing that life will present numerous opportunities and challenges - and, because of that, one's life can become very different from what one has planned or expects.

School of Architecture