In 2022–23, we welcomed our inaugural cohort of fellows that represented three colleges, two schools, and 11 departments around the University. The fellowship is designed to create an interdisciplinary community of graduate students committed to scholarship that engages questions of justice. The aim is to introduce young scholars from various disciplines to questions of justice in the hope that they make those a regular part of their scholarship and teaching going forward.
Mariana Alifa is a fifth year Ph.D. student in environmental engineering studying topics related to air pollution and health. She is currently conducting research on socioeconomic disparities in the monitoring and regulation of air pollution’s health effects.
Sara Chan is a Ph.D. student in philosophy whose research focuses on the metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues surrounding marginalization, particularly marginalization due to cognitive disability. She is particularly interested in how love can play a central role in value theory.
Isaih Dale is a Ph.D. candidate in English literature. He studies black masculinity and black violence in 20th Century African American Literature. His dissertation elucidates how black writers use both black physical and metaphysical violence as an aesthetic tool for imagining black creation.
Henry Downes is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in economics, with research interests in labor economics and economic history. He has also worked as a research assistant with the Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, where his work focused on the impacts of homelessness prevention programs. His current research focuses on the (often unexpected) ways in which labor power impacts the broader economy.
Spencer French is a Ph.D. student in English, where he studies late 20th century literature, especially literature that explores religion and social justice. His current research focuses on how poets of the late 20th and early 21st century use and co-opt religious language in the fight for social justice.
Geneva Hutchinson is an MFA candidate in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. She works in a variety of mediums, such as photography and installation, and most recently has begun working in embroidery in order to honor the work of women, especially in the southern United States, where she is from.
Helal Khan is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology and peace studies in the Department of Anthropology and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Notre Dame. His doctoral research looks at the well-being of Rohingya refugees in the three Midwestern towns of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Fort Wayne, with a focus on the notions of trust and hope.
Alexandra Lesnik is a second-year law student interested in prison abolition, alternatives to incarceration, and healing from harm within community. She recently completed a summer internship at the Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans and recently began a fall internship at the Illinois Prison Project.
Laura López-Pérez is a Ph.D. student in political science. She is part of the Violence and Transitional Justice Lab at Notre Dame. Her research examines the intersection of political and criminal violence, impunity, and contentious politics in Latin America, especially Mexico.
Aidé Cuenca Narvaez
Aidé Cuenca Narvaez is committed to leveraging the grassroots work of communities that are already working for social transformation through collaborative partnership, empowerment, and mutuality. Her research seeks to understand the effects of education and environmental policies on vulnerable communities.
Carlos Alejandro Noyola Contreras
Carlos Alejandro Noyola Contreras is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Notre Dame. His research explores the relationships between poetry, religion, and political independence in Latin America.
Joachim Ozonze is Ph.D. student in peace studies and theology at the Kroc Institute. His research looks at how conceptions of justice are shaped by unique histories and structures of violence, and explores the possibilities, gifts, and challenges of healing-justice–a concept of justice defined and driven by a journey of individual and social healing.
Erica Patterson is a third-year law student with an interest in health law and energy law in both national and international settings. Her current research focuses on global health law.
Tracy Porter is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Biology under the guidance of Rebecca Wingert. She is currently working on a gene called Apol1 and its relation to kidney function with the Zebrafish as a model organism.