New Leaders of ESS Minor Invite Undergraduates

August 07, 2012William Schmitt

Posted In: Default and Featured

Notre Dame’s interdisciplinary minor in Education, Schooling, and Society (ESS) enters the 2012-2013 academic year with new leadership, inviting undergraduates to study K-12 learning and education from new perspectives.


The new director of ESS is Nicole McNeil, ACE Associate Professor of Psychology. Her pioneering research, which focuses on the development of mathematical thinking, has garnered honors and awards from both the U.S. Government, and the American Psychological Association.

Maria McKenna, Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Africana Studies, is the new senior associate director of ESS. She teaches courses in the social contexts of schooling, special education, and philosophy of education for ESS, Africana Studies, and the Remick Leadership program.

Julie Dallavis is the new associate director of ESS. She holds an M. Ed. degree from ACE’s Service through Teaching, having taught middle school language arts in Atlanta. She has served as managing editor of ACE Press and of Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice.

ESS, one of the largest undergraduate minors in the College of Arts and Letters, was established in 2002 by Stuart Greene, associate professor of English, and Julie Turner, associate professor of psychology. They had served as co-directors of the program since its inception. Nancy McAdams, an educator who taught ESS internship courses, retired as the program’s associate director earlier this year.


Students in the ESS minor study and conduct research on a wide range of topics related to learning and education from a variety of perspectives using the tools of liberal arts and social sciences.

ESS is an interdisciplinary program housed jointly in the College of Arts and Letters and the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI). McNeil and McKenna are IEI Fellows, and Dallavis is an IEI Associate.


Students who want to learn more about the ESS minor are invited to contact Julie Dallavis at