Maria McKenna is an Associate Professor of the Practice holding a joint appointment in the Department of Africana Studies and the Education, Schooling, & Society program. Professor McKenna received her Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in Educational Foundations after completing undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University. Her teaching and research span the disciplines of education and ethnic studies focusing on the social, cultural, and philosophical contexts of American education. As a qualitative researcher with expertise in community-based and youth centered research methods, she focuses on youth voice, the value of the arts, and Montessori/peace education. She is particularly interested in understanding urban, public school environments and the constituent groups that use those schools. McKenna teaches exclusively at the undergraduate level offering courses in youth empowerment, urban education, educational philosophy, and narratives surrounding diversity many with community-based learning components. McKenna was a recipient of the Reverend Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2015 and the Reinhold Niebuhr Award for Social Justice in 2017.
Department of Africana Studies
327 O'Shaughnessy Hall