Notre Dame International features stories of women who empower

Author: Colleen Wilcox

International Womens Day Graphics

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Notre Dame International is launching a 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.

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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