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, Marshall, and Mitchell 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)

Former Director Dr. Deb Rotman is currently on leave.


Yvonne Mikuljan, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research

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Dr. Mikuljan joined the CUSE team in October 2015.  As Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research, she works with students on multiple aspects of undergraduate research, including: getting started in research; identifying research opportunities; applying for research grants; and sharing research with others through conference presentations and journal publications.  After earning a B.A. in Literature & Writing from California State University, San Marcos, Dr. Mikuljan went on to earn a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Notre Dame.

View Dr. Mikuljan's Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Elise Rudt, National Fellowships Program Coordinator

 

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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.


Kathleen Schuler, Student Programming Coordinator

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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. 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). Before coming to Notre Dame, Kathleen worked at both Illinois State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Jenny Claire Smith, National Fellowships and Undergraduate Research Advisor

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Jenny joined the CUSE team in August 2018 after spending three years as a graduate student at Notre Dame.  Jenny primarily works with seniors and alumni applying to graduate school through the Knight-Hennessy, Schwarzman, Churchill, Gates-Cambridge, NSF GFRP, Yenching, and Lilly fellowships as well as post-graduate internships through the Luce and Gaither fellowships. She also advises sophomores and juniors applying to the Goldwater Scholarship. Jenny works with students of any year on crafting and revising grant proposals, beginning and undertaking undergraduate research, and discussing students' interests, goals, and academic trajectories. She also assists with fellowship recruitment, leads alumni engagement efforts, and hosts several workshops and information sessions each semester related to research and fellowships. 

Jenny earned the M.A. in History from Notre Dame where she conducted archival research in England and Belgium and was the recipient of over a dozen 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 enjoys helping undergraduate students reach their full potential at Notre Dame, in whatever form that may take. 


Evan Gage, Undergraduate Research Coordinator

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Evan is studying for a degree in Christian History in the Master of Theological Studies program at Notre Dame. His interests—the history of Christianity in Asia Minor, Eastern Christian thought in the twentieth century, and dinner parties—were formed by the learning experiences he enjoyed through scholarships from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Critical Language Scholarship. Evan looks forward to helping Notre Dame undergraduates develop and pursue their own research interests. Evan graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in English and History and taught in Tokat, Turkey and St. Paul, Minnesota before coming to Notre Dame.


Mae Kilker, Undergraduate Research Coordinator

Mae is a Doctoral Candidate in the Medieval Institute and member of the GLOBES program at Notre Dame. Her interests in medieval studies and environmental humanities were shaped by her experiences as a Fulbright Scholar (Sweden), National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar, and Lancy Summer Research Fellow, as well as her undergraduate study abroad at the University College Cork (Ireland). Mae earned her B.A. in Law & Social Thought and B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toledo (Ohio). She has a M.A. in English from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Medieval Studies from Notre Dame. Because of her diverse interdisciplinary background, Mae enjoys helping undergraduates develop potential opportunities in cross-disciplinary collaboration. In her free time she enjoys quilting, hiking, and exploring Michiana with her family.


Tyler Herndon, Undergraduate Research Coordinator

Tyler joined the CUSE team in the fall of 2018 when he moved to South Bend to pursue a Masters in Theological Studies with a focus on the history of Christianity. Having received a BA in Literature from Hillsdale College, Tyler spent three years teaching at a secondary school in St. Paul, Minnesota, before beginning at Notre Dame. His interests include narrative in the Hebrew Bible, Patristic literature, Shakespearean drama, and personalist theologies of the twentieth century. Having happily benefited from generous financial aid at his two universities and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study existentialist literature, he looks forward to helping students develop their own research and find funding to further their academic pursuits.