Maria McKenna


Professor McKenna is an Associate Professor of the Practice holding a joint appointment in the Department of Africana Studies and the Education, Schooling, & Society program. She received her Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in Educational Foundations after completing undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University. Her teaching and research span the disciplines of education and ethnic studies focusing on the social, cultural, and philosophical contexts of American education. As a qualitative researcher with expertise in community-based and youth centered research methods, she focuses on youth voice, the value of the arts in civic engagement, and Montessori/peace education. She is particularly interested in understanding urban, public school environments and the constituent groups that use those schools. She teaches exclusively at the undergraduate level offering courses in youth empowerment, urban education, educational philosophy, and narratives surrounding diversity many with community-based learning components. Professor McKenna is a recipient of a 2015 Reverend Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2017 Reinhold Niebuhr Award for Social Justice. In her spare time, she supports Good Shepherd Montessori School and the Robinson Community Learning Center serving on their respective Board of Directors. She and her husband, Mark, have four children and reside in South Bend, Indiana.

107 Carole Sandner Hall
IEI Fellows

McKenna, Maria