Katrina grew up in north-eastern Australia where she attended James Cook University for her Bachelors degree, the ANU (Australian National University) for her Master's and the University of Tasmania (yes, that's a real place) for her PhD.
Katrina met Jc while they were both graduate students at the ANU in the early 1990s. They have spent the intervening years working at various universities in Australia and the U.S. Katrina came to Notre Dame in August 2019 to assume the position of Director of First Year Advising in the Center for University Advising.
Katrina loves living in Johnson Family Hall. She especially loves the pioneering spirit of the young women who have built a strong community in JFam. As a descendent of Polish potato farmers and Irish farm hands, Katrina grew up in a country settled by immigrants whose own pioneering spirit helped a nation to develop despite the harsh, desert climate and the presence of the world's deadliest animals!
Jc grew up in Western PA, attended a small liberal-arts college there, went to Princeton for theological training, and then went on — via a one-year fellowship at the Australian National University (ANU) — to Amherst MA to do a PhD in philosophy. Jc’s academic work aims to push the space of possibility beyond its standard boundaries.
Jc, like his spouse Katrina (Higgins), recently joined the Notre Dame community (viz., 2019), where he holds the O’Neill Family Chair in Philosophy. Jc’s academic office is in the Philosophy Department (Malloy Hall), where residents of Johnson Family Hall are always most welcome at any time, regardless of their interest (or lack thereof!) in philosophy.
Jc, like Fr Tom, Amanda and Katrina, is a founding member (so to speak) of the JFam community, joining in JFam’s inaugural year. Jc is proud of the work that Valkyries do; impressed by the extraordinary talents of Valkyries; touched by the day-to-day kindness of Valkyries; and always quick to convey to the rest of Notre Dame that, despite its young age, JFam is obviously the best residence hall on campus.
Onwards and upwards, Valkyries!
Fr. Tom Eckert, CSC
Fr. Tom Eckert, CSC, returns to campus this fall to begin his work as the Director of the Holy Cross Mission Center overseeing the international missions for the Congregation of Holy Cross. Previously, he served for nine years as the pastor of St. John Vianney Catholic Church and School in Goodyear, AZ. Fr. Tom will join the Johnson Family Hall community as the In-Residence priest. He is a native of Huntington, Indiana, and is the youngest of fourteen children—yes, FOURTEEN—with ten older sisters and three older brothers. His parents, still live on their farmstead in Huntington, and will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in October 2020. Fr. Tom graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1995 with a double major in Economics and Spanish. He entered the seminary for the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1995, received his Master of Divinity from Notre Dame in 2002, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2003. As a priest on campus, he completed his Masters in Spanish Literature in 2008. Before beginning his time as pastor, Fr. Tom worked at Notre Dame from 2003-2011 in various capacities, including Rector, Director of Latino Ministries, Assistant Vocation Director, and Spanish professor. Fr. Tom is very excited to join the Johnson Family Hall community. Growing up surrounded by ten sisters, he is sure to feel right at home!