Notre Dame International features stories of women who empower

Author: Cory Hankins

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In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Notre Dame International is continuing its series of stories of women who empower and inspire. Meet leaders from Notre Dame’s global network who are advancing the University’s mission to be a force for good in the world.

Rubina Philip

Rubina Philip

Associate Director, GC-DWC Telangana, India
Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child

A development professional with substantial experience working on children’s and women’s issues in India, Philip is part of a nine-member team implementing Project Sampoorna within government-run, residential schools.

"The ecosystem in which we work is one of residential schools responsible for children from families historically and financially so marginalized and impoverished that their physical health is likely to be precarious—anemia and faltered linear growth are, sadly, so common that they are frequently the norm." Read her story

Pooja Mandha

Pooja Manda

Field Training Coordinator, India
Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child

With a passion for working with people from underprivileged backgrounds, Manda works with teachers, through Project Sampoorna, to implement the Safe and Inclusive Schools initiative.

"We are seeing evidence that We Succeed Together is proving to be an excellent tool for creating safe and inclusive learning environments, which we know to be critical to the success of all students." Read her story

Sharon Stack

Sharon Stack

Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director,
Harper Cancer Research Institute
Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Biochemistry,
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

As a lifelong cancer research advocate and cofounder of Biseach, a cancer research initiative between the University of Galway and Notre Dame, Stack recognizes the importance of true collaboration.

"You really have to...get multiple disciplines to collaborate to match the complexity of the disease." Read her story

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Thaïs Burmeister Pires

São Paulo Global Center
Assistant Director

A clinical psychologist by trade, Thaïs Burmeister Pires is on a mission to enrich the lives of people around her. It started with her three daughters.

“Ever since they were little, I always empowered them to be whatever they wanted to be,” says Pires. “That empowerment started with a strong education and an experience outside of their comfort zone.” Read her story 

Lisa Caulfield

Lisa Caulfield

Kylemore Abbey Global Centre

Lisa Caulfield was eighteen when she first visited Connemara in western Ireland. Located in the majestic landscape, she vividly remembers the view of Kylemore Abbey appearing seemingly out of nowhere on the drive out west

Years later, she returned to Ireland to start her M.A. in modern Irish literature at the National University in Maynooth. When Notre Dame opened the Kylemore Abbey Global Centre in 2014, she was asked to lead the Centre as director. Part of Caulfield’s job was to instill a trusting relationship with the Benedictine nuns and their Abbess.

“There is a sort of transparent female bond and ease to talk among women in leadership about communal goals and expectations,” she says, referring to her work with Abbess Máire Hickey and the Abbey. Read her story

Jingyu Wang

Jingyu Wang

Beijing Global Gateway
Executive Director

Jingyu Wang is hoping to redefine the meaning of a leader.

As the executive director of the Beijing Global Gateway, Wang is working to change the focus from “leading” to “serving.”

“The best leaders aren’t just motivating people to do the work; they’re helping and supporting them in a compassionate way,” says Wang. Read her story

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Beth Kellenberg Klein

Notre Dame Graduate 2010
PhD Scholar, Boston College

Beth Kellenberg Klein has worked with migrants, refugees, and resettled populations around the world. To her, service is not just tutoring or teaching but an opportunity for to listen and to learn.

“What I have seen, time and again, since that very first tutoring job in Dublin, is that if you simply listen, support, and most importantly, provide a welcoming space, people will grow and learn to empower themselves.” Read her story

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Clare Cooney

Notre Dame Graduate 2012
Actor, Filmmaker

“My time in Dublin was not just a cultural awakening but a theatrical awakening."

Clare Cooney - an award-winning actor, writer, director, and filmmaker, representing film, television, and theatre scenes in Chicago and Los Angeles -  still remembers her time at Notre Dame and her experience abroad in Dublin. She believes it still influences her today, and empowers those around her to foster a more kind and authentic industry. Read her story

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Estela Rojo

Santiago Global Center
Program Coordinator

Don’t expect Estela Rojo to sit still, even through retirement.

“Never stop living and learning,” says Rojo. “I used to tell my students to live your convictions – and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

Rojo has dedicated her life to education, focusing on the underserved and underrepresented. It started at Saint George’s College, a locally renowned school led by the Congregation of Holy Cross in Santiago. There, she was introduced to the University of Notre Dame and was asked to support a small group of study abroad students in Santiago. Read her story

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Regina Castro Traulsen

LL.M. in International Human Rights Law, 2016
Human rights attorney

Born and raised in Mexico, Regina Castro Traulsen is the current General Director of the Mexican Supreme Court’s Human Rights Office.

Castro Traulsen started her career working on civil litigation. She always had a strong desire to help people through her education. Civil litigation was, in her opinion, the best way to address and solve people's problems. Read her story


Jackline Oluoch-Aridi


Jackline Oluoch-Aridi is a firm believer in the power of collaboration.

As the director of Nairobi initiatives for Notre Dame International (NDI), she’s tasked with deepening the University’s engagement in Africa through collaborative research, student engagement, and academic partnerships. It’s no easy task, but Oluoch-Aridi is up for the challenge and is passionate about strengthening partnerships in the region.

As a research scientist with a public health background, she is passionate about conducting cutting-edge field research that responds to current challenges and has an impact on the community she serves. Read her story

Manuela Moreno

Manuela Moreno

Youth Education Service (Y.E.S.) for Refugees and Migrants, Ireland

Manuela Moreno leads with love. It is central to her practice over the last 15 years with Youth Education Service (Y.E.S.) for Refugees and Migrants, an education, youth, and integration program in Dublin where she has acted in loco parentis to hundreds of unaccompanied minors and separated children seeking asylum in Ireland.

Since the 2015 refugee crisis in which 1.3 million migrants arrived seeking asylum in Europe, Irish social services have worked with the European Union Relocation Program for Refugee Children who arrive into hotspots like Greece, Italy, Malta, and Calais. Read her story