Skip to main content

Maria McKenna, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Director, Education, Schooling and Society; Faculty, ACE Teaching fellows

Maria McKenna

100-O Carole Sandner Hall

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 an Associate 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.


B.A., University of Notre Dame

M.S. Ed., Northwestern University

Ph.D., Saint Louis University


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)