Candidate statement for 2018 ACHA Election
I am honored to be considered as a candidate for Vice President of the American Catholic Historical Association. I have taught at Iona College, New Rochelle, New York, for the last 22 years. I proceeded through the rank and promotion process, receiving academic tenure in 2004 and advancement to full professor in 2012. During my tenure at Iona I have served as Director of the Honors Degree Program, department chair, and supervisor of Social Studies teacher candidates. Prior to my time in higher education, I served as a Social Studies teacher and administrator in secondary schools in Staten Island, New York, and Warwick, Rhode Island. I am a licensed teacher and administrator in both states.
I earned my doctorate at the University of Notre Dame where I worked with Walter Nugent and completed a dissertation on Catholic Indian boarding schools on the Northern Great Plains. Since completing my graduate studies, my research has focused on Native American education, the impact of parochial schools in major urban centers, and the pivotal influence that women religious play in the history of American Catholicism. My publications include a monograph (Seeds of Faith: Catholic Indian Boarding School, 2000), numerous journal articles and book chapters, and an array of book reviews. I regularly present papers at the annual and spring meetings of the American Catholic Historical Association and the triennial meetings of the History of Women Religious. I recently completed a book chapter on the Order of Preachers in New York and am currently completing a chapter on the history of Catholic education in the United States.
I have been a member of the American Catholic Historical Association for nearly 25 years and I have been impressed with the organizational and intellectual advances made by the association over this period. The efforts to attract younger and more diverse scholars, to align with other professional associations and societies, and to organize annual programs with an international group of scholars has enlivened the association. In light of the public and perplexing issues currently facing Catholicism, particularly in the United States, I would be committed to reaching out to external media to provide a social and intellectual context of the place of Catholicism in national politics and world history. The ACHA should be an important voice in communicating and reporting historical issues related to Catholicism.
I have served on the program committee of the ACHA for the last three years and currently serve as program chair for the 2019 annual meeting in Chicago. This has allowed me to observe the inner workings of the association which provided important insights on the “behind the scenes” workings of the ACHA. I am impressed with the hard work and dedication of the leadership of the ACHA and would welcome the opportunity to serve the association as Vice President.