Center for Social Concerns launches new graduate fellowship

September 6, 2022

The Center for Social Concerns has launched a new graduate fellowship program designed to engage graduate students from around the University and from any disciplinary perspective on questions of justice. Like students nationally, graduate and professional students at Notre Dame are increasingly interested in finding mechanisms to bring their scholarship into practice in the service of the common good. The fellowship is one way to address that interest.

“The Graduate Justice Fellowship is designed to create an interdisciplinary community of graduate students committed to scholarship that deeply engages questions of justice. It offers graduate students from a wide range of backgrounds and research interests a space to connect their work directly to questions of justice that animate them,” explained Suzanne Shanahan, Leo and Arlene Hawk Executive Director of the Center for Social Concerns. “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.”

In August the center selected 14 Graduate Justice Fellows from three colleges, two schools, and 11 departments around the University. “We’re thrilled by both the diversity of disciplinary perspectives and sophistication of scholarship this inaugural group of fellows bring to questions of justice,” says Shanahan. “When you get this many perspectives in a room–there are poets, photographers, law students, engineering students–great things happen.” 

Fellows will work with invited scholars and leaders from the University and beyond to sharpen research plans through interdisciplinary dialogue and workshops. Each fellowship includes a $3000 stipend.

“I’m looking forward to the fellowship year as an opportunity to explore a richly inclusive and interdisciplinary space necessary to unpack the complexities of justice questions,” said Joachim Ozonze, a doctoral student in Peace Studies and Theology at the Kroc Institute. His research interests live at the intersection of memory, identity, healing, and reconciliation especially within contexts of mass violence.

“I’m interested in learning more about how my research might affect communities, so I hope to gain new knowledge and perspectives on how to best serve these communities through my work,” explained Mariana Alifa, a fifth year Ph.D. student in environmental engineering conducting research designed to reduce the uncertainty in pollution health impact assessments, air pollution climatology, and wind energy forecasting models. 

The center will launch another graduate student initiative later this semester. The first Graduate Institute for Engaged Research and Teaching will take place October 17-19, 2022, and will include a combination of dialogue, presentations from a variety of community and academic leaders, and opportunities for reflection on community engaged research and teaching.

For more information on the center’s graduate education programs, please visit

View All Events

Upcoming Events

December 2022

Arts of Dignity | La Casa de Amistad Mural Unveiling
Monday, December 12, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

February 2023

Signs of the Times
Friday, February 3, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

March 2023

Signs of the Times | Hope for Health Equity
Friday, March 3, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
2023 CST Conference: Justice Sown in Peace
Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 12:00am to Saturday, March 25, 2023 - 11:45pm