UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

DIVISION of STUDENT AFFAIRS


Mission

The Gender Relations Center (GRC) promotes moral formation consistent with Catholic identity, mission and values in an effort to create a healthy culture at the University of Notre Dame.  Committed to the spiritual, emotional and intellectual development of all students, the GRC seeks to engage the campus in respectful dialogue and seeks to build a community that fully honors the human dignity of each person as a child of God.

GRC programming covers a wide-range of topics including:

Competition & Perfectionism • Courtship & Marriage • Dating • Embodiment • Friendship • Femininity    • Gender Roles • Heterosexism & Homophobia • Hooking Up • Masculinity • Pornography • Pregnancy • Sexism & Stereotyping • Sexual Assault • Sexual Harassment • Sexuality • Violence in Relationships


The Logo

GRC-Logos-Sketches.jpg

The Gender Relations Center logo incorporates the triquetra, or Celtic Trinity knot as symbol of our mission. Traditionally, the knot represents the Blessed Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We also see the three parts of the knot representing the Holy Cross vision to educate students in mind, body and spirit.  The GRC adds another layer of meaning to this tripartite symbol by seeking to guide students as they develop healthy relationships with God, self, and others. By integrating all three types of relationships in our lives, we are better able to become people of faith, hope and love.


Dr. Christine Caron Gebhardt

Director — EMAIL

Christine comes from a background of education and church ministry. While pursuing her studies at Vanderbilt, she served as the Director of Education and Formation at Christ the King Church for seven years. In addition she taught courses in the area of philosophy and theology with an interest in feminist and biomedical ethics at local universities as an adjunct. Christine served as an Ethics Fellow for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and St. Thomas Hospital where she provided education and ethical consultation regarding patient rights, death and dying, reproductive issues such as genetics and health care access.

While completing her dissertation on Catholic social teaching and the Human Genome Project, Christine served as a professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University in Washington State. She offered courses on Social Ethics, Catholic Social Teaching, Biomedical Ethics, Death and Dying, and Marriage & the Family. She returned to Nashville, TN to become the principal for Christ the King Catholic School for nine years. “If your vocation is to help form the hearts, minds and hands of God’s servants, then being a principal with little ones enables you to begin that formation when people are most open to God’s presence.” Christine is excited to be part of Notre Dame as the Director of the Gender Relations Center. “At the heart of moral formation is the notion of imago dei. Being part of the GRC offers me a chance to participate in the dialogue about living faith-filled relationships with God, self and others.”

When not working, Christine enjoys spending time with her husband Carl and their two children, Jacob who is nine and Rachael who is five. Their favorite activities are going to the zoo, gardening, exploring, especially new restaurants and places with water.

EDUCATION

  • B.A. in Multi-Disciplinary Studies and Pre Medical Program, College of the Holy Cross - Worcester, MA
  • M.T.S. in Ethics and Pastoral Care & Counseling, Vanderbilt Divinity School - Nashville, TN
  • PhD in Theological Ethics with focus on Biomedical Ethics, Vanderbilt University Graduate Department of Religion - Nashville, TN

Quotes

"What does the Lord require of you; only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God." — Micah 6:8
"The best way to find your self is to lose yourself in the service of others." Mahatma Ghandi
 

John Johnstin

Assistant Director for Outreach Services — Email

John is a two-time graduate of Central Michigan University (CMU), with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration. While pursuing his studies at CMU, John served as a residence hall director for seven years. During that time, he was involved with campus organizations that support survivors of sexual aggression and mentoring college age men. 

Next, John moved to Dallas, Tx and began working at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). During his time at UTD, he served as an Assistant Director of Student Organizations. In addition, John also served as co-chair of Welcome Week(s) and Homecoming. After three years in Dallas, the opportunity at Notre Dame has brought John back to the Midwest. 

In his spare time, John enjoys watching football, cooking, travel, and playing with his dog.

EDUCATION 

  • B.S. Anthropology – Central Michigan University
  • M.A. Higher Education Administration – Central Michigan University

QUOTES 

“What is to give light must endure burning.” 
― Viktor E. Frankl
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.
“You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude” 
― Eleanor Roosevelt

“Realistic expectations for life are that we are going to be better today that we were yesterday, be better tomorrow that we were today. That’s a plan for success. So [the key is} simple: just work. ― Jim Harbaugh


Maureen McKenney

Assistant Director for LGBTQ Student Concerns — EMAIL

Maureen “Mo” McKenney has been a member of the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame for the past four years, first as a Program Coordinator in the Student Activities Office, and then as the General Manager for Facility and Programming at Legends of Notre Dame.  Prior to joining the Notre Dame community, Maureen worked as the Area Hall Director for Selection and Training at North Central College, managing an apartment complex for upper-class students as part of the college’s housing system, while coordinating the paraprofessional staff selection and training processes.

Although the majority of Maureen’s professional positions have focused specifically on programming, she has continuously sought opportunities to get involved in trainings and outreach for traditionally underserved student populations.  While at North Central College, Maureen was heavily involved with the work of the Office of Multicultural affairs, acting as co-coordinator for the annual Tunnel of Oppression (part of the Anti-Hate Week series of events), and overseeing the development of various multicultural training sessions for student leaders.  During her time at Notre Dame, Maureen has played a role on the Diversity Education Steering Committee, working with Peer Educators to help raise awareness around issues of racism, sexism, and classism amongst first-year students.   Over her professional career, Maureen has truly cultivated a passion for working with traditionally underrepresented student populations, and hopes to one day pursue a multicultural counseling specialization, allowing her to continue outreach and support for marginalized students through work within a college or university counseling center. 

Having gone to Catholic school from Kindergarten through college, becoming part of the Notre Dame community years ago truly felt like a homecoming for Maureen, and she is excited to serve our students in a new and incredibly important way.  When she’s not working, Maureen enjoys taking in a good movie, spending time with friends, experimenting in the kitchen, and savoring a hot cup of coffee.

EDUCATION

  • B.A. Psychology, Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

  • M.Ed. Counseling – Student Affairs, Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, AZ

QUOTES 

           “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the                   answers are simple.”  — Dr. Seuss

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out!”  
Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  
Ferris Bueller

EDUCATION

  • B.A. English; Studio Art, University of Notre Dame, 2008
  • M.A. English, University of Notre Dame, 2011

QUOTES 

"No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it wakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

Regina Gesicki

Assistant Director for Educational Initiatives — EMAIL

Regina's primary role in the GRC entails planning events and campaigns that encourage students to foster healthy and safe relationships, and also challenge them to begin answering three important questions: Who am I? Who am I with others? Who am I with God? Regina collaborates with other departments in the Division of Student Affairs, campus partners from across the University, and various student groups to create innovative and effective programming for undergraduate, graduate and professional students at Notre Dame. Regina is responsible for marketing and communications for the GRC. Regina also sits on the Committee for Sexual Assault Prevention (CSAP), and the greeNDot Steering Committee as a certified Bystander Trainer. She serves the Division of Student Affairs as a Resource Coordinator and a Conduct Officer, and enjoys her role as an instructor for the Moreau First Year Experience Course. After graduate school, she served South Bend and Notre Dame as an AmeriCorps member at the Robinson Community Learning Center, developing writing and literacy programs for high school students, while teaching English Composition at Ivy Tech Community College.

 In her spare time, Regina can be found reading anything and everything, painting, cooking or planning her next travel adventure with her husband.


 

Megan O'Brien

Graduate Assitant— EMAIL

Megan grew up in a small town in northern New Jersey.  She then went out to the West Coast for four years to study at Stanford University, and is now getting a taste of the midwest as she finishes up her third and final year of the Master of Divinity program at Notre Dame.  During her time at Notre Dame, she has served as a restorative justice circle facilitator at Rise Up Academy, and taught a section of Holy Cross College's Service Learning Program.

After graduating, Megan plans to move to Portland, Oregon with her husband, Michael, and dog, Artemis, and hopes to work with students on a university campus. 

In her free time, Megan enjoys CrossFit, archery, reading, baking, and hosting people in her home. 

EDUCATION

  • B.A. Classics, Stanford University, 2014

  • Master of Divinity, University of Notre Dame, 2017

QUOTES

"I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security...More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us, 'Give them something to eat.'" - Pope Francis
"I believe that mercy defines Catholicism. And I define mercy as the willingness to enter into the chaos of another." - James Keenan

Quotes

"Keep well to the grace of the moment...do your best and leave the rest to God."     
-- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
 
"If the pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm"             
-- An Arab Proverb

Marci Adams

Administrative Assistant - Email

Marci Ullery joined the GRC in January, 2015 as the Administrative Assistant, providing support for the Director and Assistant Directors.  Immediately prior, Marci served in the Office of Student Affairs for eight years.  During this time, she supported three Assistant Vice Presidents in their roles of Co-Chair for the Core Council for Gay, Lesbian and Questioning Students, the Director for the Diversity Programs, and the Director of the Rectors.  During the last three years, she supported the Associate Vice President for Student Services.

Marci comes from Southern California where she worked as an Administrative Assistant at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, supporting the Senior Associate Dean of the Medical School in both his academic role as well as his clinical role in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. She went on to become the Residency Coordinator for the University’s Anesthesiology Residency Program.

Prior to her work in the Medical Center, Marci worked in a domestic violence shelter for women and children in Santa Barbara, California in the dual role of Women’s Advocate and County-Wide Education Coordinator, speaking to a wide variety of groups about Domestic Violence, and coordinating fund-raising efforts.

Marci has always sought positions in the helping professions because of her belief that the greatest successes in life are often found in helping others, which led her to seek a position at the Gender Relations Center.  

In her personal life, Marci has been involved in both prison and jail ministry.  She, her husband, and their cat enjoy hosting visitors, and giving dinner parties.  In the summer, Marci can most frequently be found in her gardens; planting, weeding or hosting a garden party.