Maria McKenna, Ph.D.


Maria McKenna is the Senior Associate Director of the Education, Schooling, and Society undergraduate minor; an Institute for Educational Initiatives fellow; and a faculty member for ACE Teaching Fellows. She is also a Professor of the Practice for the Department of Africana Studies and Education, Schooling, and Society. Her research and teaching focus on the social contexts of American education, educational care, and the minority experience in American public education.

McKenna's work has been published by the School Community Journal, the Association of Teacher Educators, and the Journal of Philosophy and History of Education. Her current writing focuses on photovoice methodology, a student generated model of educational care, and parent voices within the educational process.

Dr. McKenna has been honored with the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Ganey Collaborative Community-Based Research Grant Winner. In her spare time, McKenna supports Good Shepherd Montessori School as the president of their Board of Directors. She and her husband, Mark, have four children.

McKenna received her B.A. from Notre Dame, a MS Ed. degree from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D from Saint Louis University.

You can find Maria McKenna's TEDx talk on "Caring Education, Joyful Learning, and Human Integrity" here.

Listen to Maria's Episode of Think. Pair. Share.

217 Main Building & 100 "O" Carole Sandner Hall
  • Reinhold Niebuhr Award (2017)
  • Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2015)
  • Ganey Collaborative Community-Based Research Grant Winner (2014)
  • University of Notre Dame, NAACP, "NAACP Peters Image Award" Faculty Winner (2011)
ESS Faculty
IEI Fellows
  • Ph.D., Saint Louis University
  • M.S.Ed., Northwestern University
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame

Maria McKenna