Maria McKenna awarded Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising
Maria McKenna, the director of the Transformational Leaders and AnBryce Scholars programs and a professor of the practice in the Education, Schooling, and Society program in the Institute for Educational Initiatives and the Department of Africana Studies, has been awarded the Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising by the University of Notre Dame.
The Dockweiler Award recognizes three full-time faculty or exempt staff who demonstrate a sustained commitment to undergraduates through outstanding mentoring, academic advising, or career counseling. The award aims to demonstrate the valued role such assistance plays in helping students reach their academic and professional goals.
Dockweiler awards are presented by the Office of the Provost, and the recipients are selected through a process that includes peer and student nominations.
The other winners are Lisa Heming, the assistant director for advising and administration for the Mendoza College of Business, and Troy Vogel, an associate teaching professor and director of undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering.
McKenna received her Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in educational foundations after completing undergraduate and graduate work at Notre Dame and Northwestern University. Her teaching and research span the disciplines of education and ethnic studies and focus 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 empowerment, civic engagement, and Montessori and peace education. She is particularly interested in understanding urban and public school environments and the constituent groups that use those schools.
McKenna 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. Her most recent work is The Bloomsbury Handbook of Montessori Education, which she co-edited with three colleagues.