Cushwa Staff News


In June 2016, Heather Grennan Gary accepted an offer to serve as Editor of The Cresset, the journal of literature, the arts, and public affairs published out of Valparaiso University. This was a wonderful opportunity for Heather, but a significant loss for the Cushwa Center! Heather joined Cushwa in 2012 as Communications and Outreach Specialist, she accomplished a great deal over her four years here, beginning with the transformation of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter. We’re extremely grateful for all she has done to enrich and advance the conversations fostered at Cushwa, and she will be missed!


We are very happy, however, to welcome William G. Schmitt, who began in late October as the center’s new Communications and Outreach Specialist. Bill brings 12 years’ experience as a communicator in Catholic higher education. Most recently, he served as Communications and Media Specialist at Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, which houses the William Schmitt Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). He is a graduate of Fordham University as well as Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and author of Words of Life: Celebrating 50 Years of the Hesburgh Library (Notre Dame Press, 2013).


We are also pleased to welcome Valentina Ciciliot as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Valentina joins us from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, as the recipient of a 2015 Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission for a research appointment at the Cushwa Center. She specializes in the history of contemporary Christianity and holds her Ph.D. from the University of Reading, United Kingdom. Her project examines the origins of the Catholic charismatic movement in North America and Europe as well as the movement’s global reach and contexts. Valentina and her family have relocated from Venice, Italy, to South Bend, Indiana, as she pursues this research over the next two years (2016–2018), beginning with primary source material at the Notre Dame Archives.