Category Archives: Center for Educational Outreach

Center for Educational Outreach

About the Center for Educational Outreach

Utilizing education as its focal point, the center aims to promote the Catholic values of social justice and dignity by conducting outreach through a variety of programs. Our initiatives function with the core belief that our Catholic mission challenges us to serve those on the margins. It is in responding to this challenge that we live our Catholic mission and instigate positive change in our society.



San Juan Diego Scholars Program

san juan diego scholarship programAs an apostolate of the Brothers of Holy Cross, Holy Cross College strives to welcome and support qualified DACA youth to pursue a Catholic college education. Our Holy Cross and Catholic values promote social justice and the dignity of each person. DACA qualified youth are firmly established into the fabric of our community and deserve opportunities to develop their abilities the fullest extent. These youth typically bring bi-cultural and bi-lingual understandings that are an important asset to serving various needs in our society. Importantly, our approach in welcoming DACA-qualified youth is in full alignment with that of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) with regards to advocacy for immigrants in the United States. Holy Cross College invites DACA-eligible students to apply for the San Juan Diego Scholars program. Recipients attain a scholarship that covers the majority of their college tuition for up to four years. Scholars are expected to maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher each academic year and provide 13 hours of service each week throughout the academic year. To learn more about the scholarship and eligibility requirements visit our Financial Aid webpage.

Westville Education Initiative

westville education initiativeWestville Educational Initiative (WEI) is a collaboration between Holy Cross College, the University of Notre Dame, Bard Prison Initiative, and the Indiana Department of Corrections. WEI is a college program located at the Westville Correctional Facility that enrolls incarcerated men, creating an opportunity for these students to earn a college degree while serving their sentences. WEI students join a burgeoning program at Westville Correctional Facility and innumerable students around the world who are engaged in challenging studies of the liberal arts. The initiative seeks to provide both a rigorous academic program and a supportive environment for the exchange of ideas. Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame are committed to the liberal arts and to increasing their practical impact on the world. Click here to learn more.


Alesha Seroczynski, Ph.D. – Director of College Operations, WEI

alesha seroczynski phd

In addition to her position at Holy Cross College, Alesha Seroczynski is a Faculty Affiliate with the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families at the University of Notre Dame. She moved into this position after five years in administration, most recently as Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences at Bethel College, Indiana. Alesha has published and presented at several international venues, including the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Psychiatry Research, Journal of Research in Character Education, the Association for Moral Education, the Association for General and Liberal Studies, and the Jubilee Center for Character and Virtues. Her graduate training in developmental and counseling psychology included clinical work with ADHD and aggressive adolescents; and long-standing literary, philosophical and theological interests led Alesha to pursue some post-graduate study of several great thinkers. Alesha integrated the ideas of ancient and contemporary scholars into Reading for Life, an innovative program for juvenile offenders that utilizes small group mentoring, Aristotelian virtue theory, and great stories to inspire at-risk youth to make better life choices. In 2010, she won a two-year fellowship as a University of Chicago-sponsored virtue scholar in their Arête Initiative (see, where she participated in several think-tanks with twenty other international scholars on the development and application of virtue theory to promote human flourishing. This award laid the foundation for a critical evaluation of Reading for Life (, which has since grown to be St. Joseph County’s largest and most successful diversion program for juvenile offenders. Alesha earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas, her M.A. in Counseling Psychology (1994) and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology (1999) from the University of Notre Dame.

Office: Vincent 107
Telephone: 574-239-8415

Academic Conferences and Presentations

Holy Cross College hosts annual conferences, presentations, and seminars for high school students, college students and academic professionals.

Upcoming Conferences and Presentations

Practical Lessons in Success Speaker Series, Fall 2016

Practical Lessons in Success is a Holy Cross College business seminar series where successful business entrepreneurs share their secrets to students, faculty, and the local community. The program provides a real world business prospective that amplifies the academic experience, yet contain valuable insights for any business executive in today’s highly competitive business environment.

The fall 2017 speakers are David Parrish, September 21; Maritza Robles, October 26; and Tom McGovern, November 16. All programs are Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in Driscoll Auditorium on the Holy Cross College campus. Seminars are free, open to the public, and are followed by a reception on campus.

For more information on speakers, please visit Practical Lessons in Success.

36th Annual Holy Cross History Conference, June 1-4, 2017

The conference will be held at Holy Cross College. All interested presenters are requested to submit a 1-2 page outline or summary of their paper to Brother Larry Stewart,, for evaluation by the conference planning committee.

The submission deadline for presentations is December 1, 2016.

For more information on registering for the conference and directions on submitting a paper, please visit Labor & Leisure Conference.

Labor & Leisure Conference, July 10-11, 2017

Holy Cross College and the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Stalowa Wola Campus, Poland will convene an academic conference on July 10-11, 2017 with the theme “Labor & Leisure.”

The submission deadline for papers is March 10, 2017.

For more information on registering for the conference and directions on submitting a paper, please visit Labor & Leisure Conference.

Saints & Scholars Theology Institute, July 2017

The Saints & Scholars Summer Theology Institute is an week-long theology institute for high school students. It is an intellectual and spiritual journey that balances study, reflection, recreation, and prayer. Attendees will experience a course of study led by distinguished Holy Cross professors. Through small groups, lively discussions, and direct community engagement, students will have the opportunity to think deeply about how their faith relates to big questions facing our world, as well as a chance to share community-building experiences with 80 other students from around the country.

The 2017 Saints & Scholars dates are July 16-21 and July 23-28.

For more information on the institute and registration options, please visit Saints & Scholars.

Past Conferences and Presentations

Symposium on The Politics of Penance, September 23, 2016

To celebrate the publication of The Politics of Penance, a book by Dr. Michael Griffin, chair of the theology department, three professors from Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame will discuss their reactions to the book and how it fits into their academic specialties. Dr. David Lutz will tackle the philosophy of the book, Dr. Alesha Seroczynski will respond from a criminal justice perspective, and Shawn Storer, M.Div., will discuss the concepts of war and penance.

To learn more about Dr. Griffin’s book, please visit the publisher, Wipf and Stock.

MGI Conference, October 20, 2016

The purpose of the Michiana Gerontology Institute of Holy Cross College is to provide intergenerational outreach and education to improve the lives of elderly through service and awareness. Through expansion and growth, the institute will continue to facilitate the involvement, integration and coordination of organizations and individuals to service older adults in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan. The MGI conference is an opportunity for organizations and individuals who provide services for older adults in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan to meet for greater coordination and integration.

The 2016 MGI conference is October 20 at the The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in South Bend, IN.

For more information the institute or conference, please visit the Michiana Gerontology Institute.

IB Student Conference, October 21, 2016

Sponsored by Holy Cross College and the Hoosier Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools (HIBS), the IB Student Conference is the major event for all IB World Schools in Indiana. The conference aims to provide a forum for all students involved in the Diploma Years Program, Career-related Program, Middle Years Program, and Primary Years Program. The conference especially attracts IB juniors and seniors from Indiana high schools who present talks and share their insight about various IB related topics that are shared with others, and to learn about issues relevant to all students.

The keynote speaker this year is Brianna Smrke, IB Diploma graduate from Michael Powers-St. Joseph High School in Toronto, Ontario, who will give a talk entitled “The Elephant and the Rider: Using Insights from Psychology to Pave Your Path to Success”

The 2016 IB Student Conference is October 21 at Holy Cross College.

To learn more about this year’s IB Student Conference, visit IB Conference Comes to Campus.

For more information the HIBS or IB programs, please visit Hoosier Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools.

MGI Conference

The 9th Annual MGI Conference was held October 20, 2016 at the The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in South Bend, IN. The conference theme was “The 2016 Age of Disruption Tour,” and the keynote speaker was Dr. Bill Thomas.

Click here for more information on the 2016 conference.

Click here for more information on MGI.

Westville Education Initiative

Westville Education InitiativeAs an academic collaboration between Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame, WEI is jointly guided and overseen by faculty and administration from both institutions. Enrolled students earn college credits towards a Holy Cross College Associate of Arts (AA) degree and transition into a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program. Classes are taught by Holy Cross and University of Notre Dame faculty, and carry Holy Cross College credit.

The AA is the basis for many future academic and professional endeavors and is essential for anyone with the ambition to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at Holy Cross College or any other academic institution in the future. Students who complete the AA degree requirements have the option to seek admission to a Holy Cross BA program either at Westville Correctional Facility or, upon release, at the Holy Cross College main campus.

Holy Cross College was recently selected as one of 67 educational institutions in the country to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Program. The Second Chance Pell Program permits incarcerated students at Westville to be eligible for federal student aid while enrolled in a college degree program. Learn more at

WEI photographs courtesy of Pete Mauney, Peter Ringenberg


alesha seroczynski phd
Alesha Seroczynski, Ph.D.
Director of College Operations

I moved into the position of WEI Director of College Operations after almost ten years of research and practice in juvenile justice. My background in both academic administration and community corrections make me uniquely suited to lead this young program. I am a voracious and expansive reader, and I enjoy promoting the liberal arts advantage among new and potential students at Westville Correctional Facility.

Westville Education Initiative
Holy Cross College Faculty

Louis Albarran
Jane Allen
Br. Jesus Alonso
Ed Gareau
Mike Griffin
Julie Kipp
John Raymer
Norman Runyon
Chris Stackowicz
Linda Thorpe Gordon
Bill Tourtillotte
Br. John Tryon
Br. Lawrence Unfried

Notre Dame Faculty

Peri Arnold
Nick Bonneau
Bill Carbonaro
Kirk Doran
Joel Duncan
Steve Fallon
Patrick Gamez
Dan Graff
Scott Jackson
Ricky Klee
Chris Kolda
Jeremy Mann
Kate Marshall
Bry Martin
Sheila McCarthy
Maria McKenna
Brian O’Conchubhair
Katherine Oswald
Arielle Phillips
Paolo Polzonetti
Pat Regan
Gabriel Said Reynolds
Jordan Rodgers
Valerie Sayers
Phil Sloan
Sarah Townsend
Eric Wawerczyk
Anna Woodard
Damian Zurro

We have also been privileged to welcome Visiting Professor Maud Ellmann, from the University of Chicago, during the Spring 2015 semester.

WEI in the News


WEI Partners

university of notre dameindiana department of correction