I love teaching and working with students at the university but also in K-12 schools when the opporutnity arises. I think that I have one of the best jobs in the world as I get to travel and see schools, I get to experience great teaching, and I get to help young people think about who they would like to be in life and sometimes to re-think that a few times along the way as well. In short, I’m thankful everyday for the work I have and the place I get to do it. This website is designed to help others find out a bit more about me and the work I’ve been doing.
Brian S Collier, Ph.D.
I have the good fortune of teaching at the University of Notre Dame in the Institute for Educational Initiaives (IEI). For years, I worked with Social Studies teachers and flew around the country to see teachers working in our partner schools all over the United States with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program at Notre Dame as well as taught undergraduate courses. These days my work is centered more around just the undergraduate courses. I get to teach in the Education, Schooling, & Society Program (ESS) which is part of the IEI, the American Studies program, the History Department, the Center for Social Concerns, and am also concurrent faculty in Environmental Studies, Peace Studies, Africana Studies, and from time to time get to help out in other programs and departments as well. I work with some of the smartest and best meaning people in the world. I always think that Notre Dame, while not perfect, is one of the best examples of hope and excellence anywhere in the world. I will be first to criticize her and also first to defend her any time.
I started my teaching career by accident. I was supposed to be a dorm parent at St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but thanks to an influx of juniors (who were known to be a handful that year - 1995-1996) they asked me to take a section of US History (Sr. Patrick Marie Dempsey gave me this opportunity and she along with those students changed my life forever). It turns out being a white guy from Indiana and all of a sudden having Columbus as your first lesson in your history book at a Native American school sets you up for a life time of learning from the people you're supposed to teach.
I am thankful to the Natvie people who were then willing to be my teachers, who entrusted me with their students, and to those students and their families who continue to educate me and allow me to work with others along the way to try to pass on the lessons they shared to those I am entrusted to teach in the present iteration of my life.