Jeffrey Thibert, Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director

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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, Marshall, Mitchell, Knight Hennessy, Schwarzman, and McCall MacBain 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 dogs.

View Dr. Thibert's Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Kathleen Schuler, Assistant Director for Student Engagement

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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, and then became Assistant Director for Student Engagement in August 2019. 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.


Elise Rudt, National Fellowships Senior Program Manager

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Elise joined the CUSE team in June 2017. She advises students applying for global and political awards including the Truman Scholarship, Boren Scholarship, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, and Gilman Scholarship.

She obtained a B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Psychology at University of Maryland Baltimore County. While at UMBC, she had her first experience with competitive  awards by applying for and winning a full tuition France-Merrick Fellowship. She also earned, at International House, Barcelona, a University of Cambridge CELTA Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Technical Communication with a focus on linguistics and competitive applications through Texas Tech University. Prior to joining CUSE, Elise worked for CASA de Maryland as an Immigrant Integration Specialist AmeriCorps, where she mentored legal permanent residents preparing for their naturalization interviews. She also served as an Adjunct Citizenship Instructor/Program Assistant at Baltimore City Community College where the furthered her skills in helping others through applications and helped maintain the program through grant applications.

Emily Hunt, Student Engagement Program Coordinator


Emily joined CUSE in March 2020. She specializes in scholarly engagement activities related to research and graduate study beyond Notre Dame. These include Fulbright Study/Research grants, the Goldwater Scholarship, NSF REUs and other summer research programs, STEM graduate fellowships like the NSF GRFP and Churchill Scholarship, the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program, the Yenching Academy, and the Michel David-Weill Scholarship at Sciences Po.

Prior to joining the CUSE team, Emily worked for the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, supporting student and visiting fellows programs. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Outside of work, Emily enjoys hiking, running, and spending time with her husband and sons.

Mathilda Nassar, Scholarly Engagement Advising Associate

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Mathilda joined CUSE in September 2021. She assists with a range of scholarly engagement advising activities, including working with applicants for the Gilman Scholarship, Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, Boren Scholarship, Gaither Junior Fellowship, and talking with students who are interested in learning more about how to get started with research at Notre Dame. She also works with prospective Peace Corps applicants.

Mathilda holds a Master of Global Affairs with a concentration in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. Mathilda held a Kroc Institute Fellowship during her master's work, and she received both the Gilman Scholarship and the Freeman-ASIA award as an undergraduate. In between her undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked at a grassroots peace project in Palestine and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Dubno, Ukraine. In her free time, Mathilda enjoys traveling, baking, dancing, reading Harry Potter, doing yoga, cuddling with her dog, and watching The Walking Dead with her husband.

Jenny Claire Smith, Undergraduate Research Advisor

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At CUSE, Jenny holds one-on-one grant consultations with students on writing and revising grant proposals. She has worked with students applying for Fulbright Research and Study awards as well as the Goldwater Scholarship. She has also served as an instructor in the Moreau First Year Experience program. Before joining CUSE, Jenny worked in the Notre Dame Graduate School as a professional development assistant.

Jenny earned an M.A. from Notre Dame where she studied early modern European history and liturgy and served as editorial assistant for the scholarly journal Archiv für Reformationgeschichte. She won fellowships that enabled her to undertake training in English and Dutch paleography and manuscripts at the Universiteit Antwerpen, the Huntington Library, and Columbia University, and her archival research in London, Oxford, and Antwerp was generously supported by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. She has presented her research at the American Historical Association, the American Society for Church History, the Sixteenth Century Society Conference, and Societas Liturgica. She is a current graduate student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she is pursuing a degree in Liturgical Studies. Jenny has studied classical ballet since age four, and has served as a ballet instructor at various local studios where she has taught ballet to children and youth.