Research That Matters: Scholarship Advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Location: Bond Hall 104 and 106

Join Graduate Student Life and the Graduate School in celebrating current Notre Dame graduate students whose research advances the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a more just and equitable world. Featuring interdisciplinary topics from art to chemistry and more, nine doctoral students will present brief lighting talks on their research and its impact.

Light refreshments will follow the lightning talks. All are welcome!


  • Zay Dale, Ph.D. Candidate in English, Topic: The dichotomy between violence and aesthetic animation in twentieth-century Black texts 
  • Sofia Duenas, Ph.D. Student in Sociology and at the Institute for Educational Initiatives, Topic: Exploring how education policies promote or hinder equitable societies
  • Noemi Fernández Labarga, Ph.D. Student in English, Topic: The ways racial discourse and American literature mutually inform one another  
  • Isabel Guiza-Gomez, Ph.D. Student in Peace Studies and Political Science, Topic: Disempowered groups' attempts to address socioeconomic inequalities and promote political inclusion in highly unequal and violent societies 
  • Taylor Hartson, Ph.D. Student in Sociology, Topic: The unique experiences and practices of queer sustainable agriculture and farmers in the Midwest 
  • Geneva Hutchinson, Master's Student in Art, Art History and Design and Gender Studies, Topic: Using frameworks provided by trauma theorists and feminist artists, addressing the abuse of power toward women within the church 
  • Ornella Joseph, Ph.D. Student in Chemistry, Topic: The development of the Notre Dame Lead Screening Kit for use in St. Joseph County
  • Emmanuel Ojeifo,  Ph.D. Student in Theology, Topic: A study of Nghar village in Nigeria and interreligious violence and peacemaking efforts in the region
  • Carli Steelman, Ph.D. Student in Peace Studies and Sociology