Mentors

Patricia Champion

Mentors Champion

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. I was born and raised in New Jersey. Growing up I was captivated by art, language and science. I earned a BS in Biological Sciences with a Chemistry Minor from Carnegie Mellon University. I earned my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, and then pursued postdoctoral training in bacterial pathogenesis at the University of California San Francisco. I joined the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame as an Assistant Professor. I have taught classes in Molecular Genetics and Bacterial Interactions and Pathogenesis, and am excited to teach Introductory Biology to freshman and sophomores in the Fall of 2019. I am the faculty advisor for Expanding Your Horizons, a student organization which organizes a career conference in STEM for middle school aged girls. I also participate in mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and young faculty.

My lab is focused on understanding the fundamental biology underlying the human disease, tuberculosis. The bacteria that causes tuberculosis is the leading cause of death by an infectious agent globally. We study how mycobacteria transport, modify and use proteins to cause disease in the host. Our goal is contribute to an understanding of the basic molecular biology of mycobacterial disease, which will serve as a foundation for the development of new diagnostics and therapies to treat and prevent tuberculosis. My lab is a made up of a diverse, vibrant and engaged group of students who share this goal.

My husband, Matt Champion (also a Notre Dame Faculty member) and I have three daughters, ranging from pre-school to middle school age. We enjoy spending time together as a family and taking road trips. I like to spend time outdoors running and bike riding. I enjoy reading with a particular interest in fiction, and playing and listening to music.


Margaret Dobrowolska

Mentors Dobrowolska

I am the Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C. Professor in the Department of Physics, and also Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Science. I teach Introductory Physics for life sciences majors, usually taken by sophomores and juniors.

I was born in Poland, where I graduated from Warsaw University. I completed my Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics in the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. I came to the US more than 30 years ago, to Purdue University to carry out postdoctoral research. There, I met my husband Jacek and, instead of going back to Poland, we both moved to Notre Dame. My husband is also a physicist, and currently teaches Scientific Literacy, a course that he designed for non-science majors. As you may imagine, we talk a lot about physics at home, so our son Michael never wanted to be a physicist, and is graduating from medical school this May, instead.

I am an experimental condensed matter physicist exploring a class of new materials referred to as quantum matter that may be used in information processing in the form of a single integrated chip. With this in mind, our specific goal is to design, create and explore materials at the crossroads of semiconductor physics and magnetism. The techniques which I use for this purpose are electrical and optical measurements in the presence of magnetic field. This research has recently been recognized by the Division of Materials research of the National Science Foundation in the form of a generous Creativity Award.

In my spare time I like to play tennis and I like to run. I also like reading and watching TV shows about courtroom drama or anything medical, like ER. I also love to watch TED talks.


Mary Galvin

Mentors Galvin

I am the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science and a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  My love of science and research developed during my time as a graduate student at MIT where I designed plastics that conduct electricity.  From there I went on to conduct research in this field of organic electronics at Bell Laboratories and the University of Delaware.  I have also been part of a technology leadership team in industry and been a Division Director at the National Science Foundation. I am a first generation college graduate who marvels at how much this career has enriched me intellectually and with travel and friendships around the world.  One of my goals is to enable others to have this experience.

As a mother of a 28-year-old son, who is a Captain in the Army, I am amazed at the wisdom and energy that comes with youth.  My favorite times as a Dean revolve around my opportunities to interact with students.  I gain more from their excitement and experiences than I could ever give back.

In my spare time I love to walk, read and snorkel, although I must admit South Bend isn’t ideal for the snorkeling. This means I take vacations in warm sunny spots on the ocean.


Holly Goodson

Mentors Goodson

I am a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and a concurrent professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.  My laboratory focuses on the cytoskeleton, the dynamic network of protein fibers and associated molecular motors that enable cells to move, divide, and organize themselves. In our studies, we use a range of approaches including cell biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and computational modeling.  We also have some collaborative projects that involve developing biosensors and studying evolution.

In the classroom, I enjoy teaching Chemistry10122, “Biological Chemistry for Engineers and Physical Scientists.” The goal of this course is to introduce non-biologists to key biological ideas (e.g., what biological materials are, why they behave the way they behave, how energy and information are stored and transduced) while also conveying key concepts of chemistry (e.g., kinetics and thermodynamics).  The goal is to prepare students to apply these biological ideas in fields such as nanotechnology, material science, biomedical engineering, and sustainability. Other classes I teach include “Principles of Biochemistry” and “Practical Bioinformatics: Protein Structure and Function.”  In addition, I am part of the team of three faculty who teach the upper level undergraduate elective “Chemistry of Fermentation and Distillation.”

I am originally from rural Indiana (near Greencastle). I became interested in science because I enjoyed poking around in the creek that runs through our 55 acre farm, picking up rocks to look for fossils and to see what creatures were hiding underneath. This experience gave me a strong love for the living world, as well as a drive to study it (which we do through our work on the cytoskeleton) and protect it (as we are trying to do through our environmentally-focused biosensor work).

After attending a local public high school, I went to Princeton for my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Stanford for my PhD in Biochemistry. My post-doctoral work was in Cell Biology at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.  After all this traveling, I am thrilled to be back home in Indiana!  Because I went to a high school that lacked AP classes or calculus and had very weak science, I am very sympathetic to Notre Dame students from similar backgrounds. 

My husband Mike Hildreth (also Notre Dame faculty) and I have one son who attended Notre Dame and is now is graduate school in California. We enjoy traveling, music, and spending time outside. I also like to read, and particularly enjoy science fiction. As a hobby, I serve as consulting biochemist for the local South Bend Ironhand winery and participate in various aspects of winemaking.


Jeffrey Kantor

Mentors Kantor

I am a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering where I teach and do research in the broad area of systems control and optimization. My students and I have applied these concepts to many different applications, ranging from chemical processes, energy systems, finance, and the control of complex natural watersheds. In the last few years I have taught the introductory course in our Department called “Introduction to Chemical Engineering Analysis” in addition to courses on Chemical Process Control and Process Operations.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, a Masters and PhD degree from Princeton University, and was working in the Chemistry Department at the University of Tel Aviv before joining Notre Dame in 1981. I have also had visiting appointments at Imperial College, London, and at Princeton.

My hometown is International Falls, Minnesota, located on the border of the United States and Canada. My wife (an author of books for middle-grade readers) and I continue to have a summer home on Rainy Lake adjacent to Voyageurs National Park where we enjoy fishing, sailing, and the outdoors.  We have two grown sons (one an ND graduate) plus a bunch of dogs.

I’m an ND sports fan. I’ve missed exactly two football home game in 37 years at ND, and very few basketball games.


Shaun Lee

Mentors Lee

I am the Monahan Family Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Growing up I had wide-ranging interests in both art and science, and I obtained a dual degree B.A. from the University of California Berkeley in Molecular Cell Biology and Architecture. I then received my Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from Oregon Health Sciences University. Following my Ph.D. I completed my postdoctoral training at University of California San Diego in the Department of Pharmacology, and joined the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame as an Assistant Professor. I have taught classes in both medical microbiology and advanced bacterial pathogenesis, and I am excited to begin teaching a new Introductory Biology course in the Fall of 2018.

Our lab’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms behind bacterial disease and how we can develop new therapies to combat bacterial infections. We study how bacteria use a family of diverse peptide compounds known as bacteriocins, to produce disease in their hosts, as well how they are used by many bacteria to compete against other microorganisms in their environment. Our goal is ultimately aimed how our understanding of these bacteriocins produced by pathogenic microorganisms can guide the design of better antimicrobial compounds for therapeutic use. Our lab received an Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health to study these bacteriocins in more detail.

In my spare time, I play guitar in a rock band with my fellow Notre Dame faculty! We are known as the “Standard Deviants” and have played at many places around Notre Dame and South Bend.


David Leighton

Mentors Leighton

I am a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. My primary research interests have been in the area of transport phenomena, specifically in the area of suspension mechanics, but pretty much any problem where you can connect mathematics to physical phenomena. I've been teaching transport to both undergraduates and graduate students for over three decades, as well running an experiment in junior and senior lab - so if you are planning to major in Chemical Engineering you will likely see me in class or lab!

I received a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton and my Masters and PhD from Stanford. After a post-doc at the University of Cambridge I came to ND, where I've been ever since.

I grew up in Arlington, Virginia (just across the river from Washington, DC) and got interested in science research through intensive participation in science fairs (about 20 by the time I graduated from high school). At Notre Dame I've been director of judging at the Northern Indiana Regional Science & Engineering Fair for the last decade or so - and I may be asking you to be a judge next spring! My primary activities outside of teaching and research are biking (about 3000+ miles/year) and taking our inflatable kayaks down the local rivers. I also fence a bit - although my wife is much more serious about it, as she manages the local fencing club and has made the US National Veteran's Team twice.


Leo McWilliams

Leomcwilliams 250

I am the Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Direct the Minority Engineering Program at Notre Dame. I have had the opportunity to experience Notre Dame as an undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member and in the college leadership. Prior to returning to Notre Dame as a faculty member, I enjoyed a very successful career in the aerospace industry for 16 years. These experiences have afforded me a rare perspective and credibility which I have willingly shared with students at Notre Dame.

I am the faculty advisor for a number of student organizations which include Tau Beta Pi, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers  at Notre Dame. As a faculty member, I have taught and am a member of the first year engineering course leadership since 2001 which has included teaching, content development and coordination. Much of the effort in first year engineering has focused on managing the transition of students from high school to college.


Ronald Metoyer

Ronaldmetoyer

I am an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and work in the general area of Human-Computer Interaction with an emphasis on Information Visualization where I focus on designing visual representations of abstract data sources to aid users in understanding and analyzing their data.

I am originally from southern California where I completed my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. I then obtained my Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology where I worked in the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center.  In 2001, I joined the faculty at Oregon State University where I taught and conducted research for 14 years.   I joined the University of Notre Dame as an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering in 2015.

In my free time, I love to play basketball and golf and hang out with my family.  My wife, Felicia, and I live here in South Bend with our three children: Alexis (16), Reid (14) and Savannah (11).  They keep us busy with ballet, band, and gymnastics events throughout the year.


Zach Schafer

Mentors Schafer

I am the Coleman Foundation Associate Professor of Cancer Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences. I run a laboratory focused on understanding how cancer cells survive during metastasis and also teach classes in tumor cell biology and advanced cell biology. Next year, I will begin teaching our revamped introductory biology course (entitled Biology I: Big Questions) to freshmen and sophomores.

I am originally from Springfield, Illinois and completed by undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Notre Dame. I did my Ph.D. in Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke and then did postdoctoral research at Harvard. I came back to Notre Dame to join the faculty in 2009. My wife Veronica is also a Notre Dame graduate. We live in Granger with our 5 children: Noah (11), Ethan (9), Claire (6), Ava (4), and Simon (2 months).

I am a cell biologist who works on better understanding how cancer cells regulate cell death and cell metabolism pathways to enable their survival. We primarily utilize breast cancer cells and models for our research, but our work has implications for variety of distinct cancers. Our hope is that the information we learn from our work can be utilized for the development of novel therapeutics that specifically eliminate cancer cells.

I am a huge sports fan! Particularly Notre Dame football and Notre Dame basketball where I go to virtually every game. Having such a large family, I spend the majority of my free time with my kids where I am often found coaching/watching soccer games, fighting with light sabers, watching Harry Potter, playing with princesses, or attending dance recitals.


Michael Seelinger

Mentors Seelinger

I am the Dunn Family Teaching Professor of Engineering in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. I teach a variety of classes for undergraduate aerospace and mechanical engineering students such as Mechanics. I also teach in the Introduction to Engineering Systems program for first year students.

I was born on a naval base in Connecticut, though I grew up mostly in south Florida. I entered Notre Dame as a first year student in the Fall of 1990. I earned my B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Notre Dame. During my undergraduate years I lived in Cavanaugh Hall. My doctoral research focused on vision-guided robotics. Towards the end of my tenure as a graduate student I joined my friend (and fellow Triple-Domer), John-David Yoder in his start-up company, Yoder Software, Inc. (YSI). Together we worked on a variety of automation projects including working with NASA-JPL on the development of visual control software for the Mars Rovers program. Through my work in graduate school and YSI I am an inventor on 14 patents. In addition to my work with YSI, I was also on the faculty at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from 2002-2006. I returned to South Bend in 2006 and joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 2009.

I greatly enjoy being an educator. What I treasure most are the friendships I form with my students. In the classroom I try to teach students more than simply the technical content of the courses. Many students enjoy what they refer to as “Story Time with Professor Seelinger.” With some frequency I start class with a story intended to introduce a “life lesson” such as how to be a more efficient learner, how to get the most out of a summer internship, and how to build good professional relationships.

I have helped to run many educational and service programs. From 2011-2016 I served as the Head Advisor for the Midtown Summer Program which helps low-income urban youth in Chicago develop academic excellence, virtuous habits, and life skills. I have led several week-long service trips to impoverished areas of Cuba and Ecuador.

When I find free time I enjoy cycling and golf. I serve as the advisor for Notre Dame’s Cycling Club. I am an amateur photographer. I suppose my love of engineering also manifests itself in that I enjoy learning how to fix things.