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Notre Dame's Fearless Faculty

We asked our faculty: "Why do you answer the call for Notre Dame?"

James Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor, pharmaceutical sciences, School of Pharmacy:

“I teach because I care. Every student has the potential to be better and to make a difference in this world. I strive to make that happen.”


Peter Hoffman, Ph.D., professor of biology, who is retiring at the end of this academic year:

"The best part of this job is being with the students. I always learn so much from them. If you asked me what I like the most about my job, that’s it. That’s what I’m going miss at the end of the year.”

Bill Davis, Ph.D., professor of English: 

"I answered the call because I believe it is a privilege to work with our young women and to see them grow into confident, accomplished pre-professionals—and to play even a small part in that growth.

"At Notre Dame we, the faculty, get to know our students well through our small classes, and often through teaching students in more than one course. Programs like Nancy Kreiter Student Research Day encourage students and faculty to take that extra step beyond the classroom into the public presentation of their research. In the English department, some students may choose to work with a professor as a teaching assistant, while others pursue writing or research under the guidance of the faculty."

Valerie W. Hogue, Pharm.D., CDE, associate dean and professor, School of Pharmacy:

"I am grateful to be a part of an institution that truly lives its mission. As a member of the Notre Dame faculty, I am honored to participate in preparing students for the field of pharmacy, where countless opportunities exist to impact public health. Given the right opportunity, one can change the trajectory of lives, communities, and future generations. I believe Notre Dame of Maryland University provides this opportunity through education in the health sciences, and I am pleased to contribute to this goal."

Charles Yoe, Ph.D., professor of business and economics and director of the risk management graduate certificate program:

"I am an NDMU Lifer because what we do here is important. We meet students, faculty, and staff where they are and empower them to get towhere they want to be. We do this with genuine caring for one another, for those who have gone before us, and for those who will follow. Once you fit, you can’t quit."

Joseph Di Rienzi, Ph.D., professor of mathematics/physics:

"My calling to teach at Notre Dame is rooted in the University’s respect for the individual. I abhor categories, demographics, and stereotypes. At Notre Dame, each student, faculty, administrator, and staff is treated as a person of value with gifts and talents that are respected and nurtured totheir full potential. Because we are small, everyone counts, and everyone contributes to the community."

Linda Stilling, SSND ’64, modern foreign languages associate professor and Spanish Language and Culture program coordinator:

"I love being here because NDMU continues the SSND mission of transforming the world through education. I want to give my life to enabling others to reach the fullness of their potential, assisting them to use their gifts to make a difference in this world, to make it a better place. Teaching Spanish language and culture moves us closer to a world of unity through the appreciation of and richness of diversity."

Charles Ritter, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history:

"I started teaching at Notre Dame in 1967 because I needed a job and Notre Dame needed to replace the great Dr. Dorothy Brown. After a few years I began to see my students graduate and move on to graduate and professional school and to employment, taking their places in society. I saw that they were accomplished, and I became committed to the Notre Dame mission of educating women to change the world. Time went by and commitment turned to passion as I became more and more dedicated to the Notre Dame mission and its unique brand of education. Directing the Morrissy Honors program for nine years gave me a platform to promote that passion. It has been an immensely rewarding career."

Sharon Kanis, SSND ’72, Ph.D., chair/professor of religious studies:

"I returned to Notre Dame, my alma mater, to fill in for Sister Frances Regis for one semester in the religious studies department. That was 26 years ago. I have stayed because I believe in the SSND mission: educating women to transform the world. I have seen the mission fulfilled as our amazing alums move into the local and global scene. Education is the most powerful and effective tool in the world (next to love!)."<