CUSE Team

Jeffrey Thibert, Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director

Thibert Headshot

Dr. Thibert joined the CUSE team in July 2013 and became Director in August 2017. His primary role is to oversee CUSE operations. He also advises students who are preparing applications for the Rhodes, Mitchell, Knight Hennessy, and Schwarzman Scholarships.

After earning the B.S. in Cognitive Science at Carnegie Mellon University, he earned the M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida and the Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When not working, his favorite activity is taking long walks with his wife, son, daughter, and two dogs.

View Dr. Thibert's Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Kathleen Schuler, Student Programming Coordinator

Kathleen Schuler Small

Kathleen joined the CUSE team in August of 2013 as the Staff Assistant, and began work as the Administrative Coordinator in August 2015. She took on the role of Student Programming Coordinator in August of 2017, when she began working specifically as the coordinator of the Sorin Scholar Program. She also provides advising and support to students participating in undergraduate research grants, coordinates the office marketing and communications, and manages office data initiatives. A native of Illinois, Kathleen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Illinois State University (2009) and her Master of Science in Communication from Purdue University (2019). Before coming to Notre Dame, Kathleen worked at both Illinois State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Kathleen is out of the office from May 20 to August 2, 2019. She will return to the office on August 5.


Elise Rudt, National Fellowships Coordinator

Elise Rudt 2

Elise joined the CUSE team in June 2017. As National Fellowships Program Coordinator, Elise advises students applying for Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grants, the Boren Scholarship, and other fellowships that support study abroad. Elise also advises first-year and sophomore students who are interested in pursuing competitive national fellowships. After completing her B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Psychology, Elise earned a University of Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) at the International House in Barcelona, Spain. She subsequently worked as a Program Assistant for the Baltimore City Community College Citizenship Program. In addition to her work with BCCC, Elise taught ESL classes at the local Catholic Charities office, and workout classes for senior citizens at the Waxter Senior Center in Baltimore.


Jenny Claire Smith, Undergraduate Research Advisor 

Jenny For Website

Jenny joined CUSE in August 2018 where she specializes in undergraduate research and research-based fellowships. Jenny holds one-on-one grant consultations with students on writing and revising grant proposals, writes material for and runs regular workshops related to undergraduate research and professional development, and works with faculty and deans to support undergraduate research among departments and colleges across campus. 

Jenny works with seniors and alumni applying to graduate school through the Marshall, Gates Cambridge, Churchill, NSF, Beinecke, Lilly, and Yenching fellowships as well as applicants for Fulbright Study/Research awards. She also advises sophomores and juniors applying to the Goldwater Scholarship.  

Jenny earned the M.A. in History from Notre Dame where she conducted archival research in Belgium and England and was the recipient of several grants, fellowships, and awards during her time as a graduate and undergraduate student. Outside of Notre Dame, Jenny has taken ballet lessons for 21 years, seven of which she taught as an instructor for various age levels. She also teaches a weekly catechism class for third, fourth, and fifth graders at her church. Jenny looks forward to serving as an instructor for the Moreau First Year Experience course in Fall 2019.