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 Logo

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.


  • 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


"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


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


“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

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.


sara agostinelli

Assistant Director for LGBTQ Student Concerns — EMAIL

Sara joined the GRC as the Assistant Director for LGBTQ Student Initiatives in June 2017. She provides trainings in a variety of areas including LGBTQ 101, Active Ally, advises PRISM ND, and assist with other programming hosted by the GRC. Prior to joining the GRC, Sara served as an Assistant Director for Residence Life at the University of Montana, a Resident Director for Loyola Marymount University, and a Residential Education Director at Washington State University.

Sara received her BA in Electronic Media from St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, MN, her MA in Higher Education Administration from Washington State University in Pullman, WA, and is currently working on her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT.

In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her family, spoiling her dogs Trigger and Auri, and doing projects around her house.

Sara Agostinelli Headshot.jpg


  • B.A. in Electronic Media from St. Catherine's University, St. Paul, MN
  • M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Washington State University, Pullman, WA


"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." -James Baldwin
"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pale in comparison to what lies inside of you."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Today each of you is the object of the other's reading, one reads in the other the unwritten story."- Italo Calvino
"This is water, this is water."- David Foster Wallace



  • B.A. Sociology, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
  • M.A. Higher Education and Student Affairs, New York University, New York, NY


“We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.”- Oscar Romero
“Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.” – St. Catherine of Siena

Mia james

Assistant Director for Educational Initiatives — EMAIL

Mia joined the Division of Student Affairs in summer 2015, and is excited for her next step at the Gender Relations Center. She began her time at Notre Dame in the Student Activities Office, working with clubs and student leadership programs. In the GRC, Mia assists students in developing and maintaining healthy, authentic relationships in all areas of their lives with a focus on our Catholic mission, while also implementing campus events and trainings on violence prevention.

Mia’s interest in the coupling of Catholic Social Teaching and human interactions began in college, where she majored in Sociology and studied under the University’s Catholic social thought scholars program. Her senior thesis focused on the significance of human connection and social bonds in relation to acts of violence in communities, stemming from questions that arose during her time on mission trips in El Salvador and Guatemala.

While completing her graduate work in Higher Education and Student Affairs at New York University, Mia interned in the Student Resource Center and Veteran Resource Center, at Fordham University in the Office of Student Leadership and Development, and at Loyola Marymount University in the Student Housing Office. Her research and learning centered on college student development within a mission-driven approach.

Mia is originally from New York, and is one of four sisters. She calls her mom every day, and always forgets to refill the Brita. In her free time, Mia loves to be outdoors and can be found out on a run, coaching youth soccer or relaxing at the beach.


"Keep well to the grace of the 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.