About WAL

From the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters

As Dean of the College, I extend a special welcome to our new women faculty members. The College of Arts and Letters is a vibrant intellectual community, offering the very finest liberal arts education in the heart of a leading research university. At Notre Dame, we know that to be a great Catholic university is also to be a truly diverse university. We are proud of our efforts to recruit and retain women faculty.

But we know that we need to do more. I look forward to working with the Advisory Committee on Women in the College of Arts and Letters to enhance opportunities for women’s leadership across the College and to promote an environment where all our faculty flourish as teachers and scholars.

John T. McGreevy

I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean


History of the WAL website project

This website grew out of a series of focus groups of women teaching and research faculty conducted in the College of Arts and Letters in the spring of 2005. The focus groups met on three occasions to discuss best practices and propose action items to promote a supportive environment for current women faculty in the College and the hiring of additional women.

The report that resulted recognized a number of areas in which the college could make improvements, including: quality of life, spousal hiring, commuting needs, family support, sense of community, prioritization of women’s issues, junior women faculty issues, and tenured women faculty issues. The report also included 20 specific recommendations to the Dean’s Office to address these areas of concern, several of which involved making information about topics of particular concern to women faculty more readily available (for example, information about family and maternity leave policies, the local community, and integration into the fabric of university life).

This website, among other recent and current initiatives related to the College’s continuing commitment to the well-being of women faculty, evolved from those initial recommendations. As then-Dean Mark Roche noted in his response to the Women’s Focus Groups report: “Ensuring the ambitious recruitment and meaningful support of women faculty members is of the highest priority for the flourishing of the College of Arts and Letters and the University of Notre Dame.”

Although university statistics show that the College already leads the way in best practices in regard to the recruitment and retention of women faculty, the hope is that we can continue to improve over time, and that this website will help us to do exactly that.

Website concept by Alyssa Gillespie, Associate Professor of Russian and Co-Director of the Program in Russian and East European Studies

Faculty Feature


Julia M. Braungart-Rieker


My journey at Notre Dame began when I interviewed here in November of 1991. Although the weather was formidable that day (snow already covered the ground and the Midwest winds gave a whole new meaning of the word “ blustering...

Faculty Feature


Kasey Buckles


Research, teaching, and service—most research universities evaluate their faculty based on these three criteria. Faculty members looking toward their next promotion fret over them, trying to make sure that they meet the stand...

Faculty Feature


Meredith S. Chesson


At a fundamental level, anthropology is most exciting to me when it helps us to explore the seemingly infinite ways of being human in our world. At the level of the individual and the collective, peoples’ lives are guided by ...

Faculty Feature


Denise Della Rossa

German and Russian Languages and Literatures

The Department of German and Russian is one of the smallest departments in the College of Arts and Letters in terms of both faculty and students. This allows us to function more like a department in a small liberal arts college whe...

Faculty Feature


Julia Douthwaite

Romance Languages and Literatures

As Assistant Provost for International Studies from 2003-09, I traveled frequently to Notre Dame study abroad locations around the world, but it was always with a sigh of pleasure that I returned to home and campus.


Faculty Feature


Elizabeth F. Mazurek


I came to Notre Dame in 1990 as a junior professor in the Department of Classical and Oriental Languages as it was known then. Since that time, the department has evolved to become the Department of Classics, which includes Arabic ...

Faculty Feature


Susannah Monta


I have greatly enjoyed the fact that Notre Dame emphasizes and values undergraduate education so highly even as it strives to become a top-tier research university. I feel that my undergraduate teaching is truly valued here.


Faculty Feature


Marisel Moreno

Romance Languages and Literatures

Given that I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I could have never imagined that I would end up working and raising my family in South Bend, Indiana. But ten years living and teaching at the University of Notre Dame have...

Faculty Feature


Darcia Narvaez


I am very appreciative of Notre Dame on many fronts. Here are a few.

I appreciate how Notre Dame fosters intellectuals, more so than do many other places. For example, Notre Dame generally offers faculty a great deal of ...

Faculty Feature


Alison Rice

Romance Languages and Literatures

I was drawn to a career in academia because of a strong desire to teach, and Notre Dame provides such a wonderful atmosphere for optimizing the pedagogical experience that I have felt very fulfilled here.

I find that the...