Killen Scholars

Killen Scholars are supported through a generous gift by the Gallant Family, which is shepherded by the Office of Mission and Ministry and administered by the Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (CURCI).   

Student walking on campus near Rudolf Fitness Center

About the Killen Scholars 

Dynamic intellectual and personal engagement with the Catholic tradition is vital to women finding in Catholicism the resources that support them to grow into women of integrity and faith, whatever life path they choose. To move toward a more dynamic and pervasive engagement with the Catholic theological and intellectual traditions on the part of faculty and students at Gonzaga University, we need to take actions that will incorporate women into the conversation. An initiative on Women, Faith and Leadership provides the venue for animating such conversation and paving an important path toward a broader initiative on Catholic Intellectual Tradition at Gonzaga. The immediate goal is to encourage and support women faculty and students at Gonzaga to explore Catholicism as a resource for sustaining their vision and commitment to leading, serving, and creating in society and the Church in ways that move toward human flourishing. Awards are to support student-faculty research on women in the Catholic Church that addresses some problem or opportunity related to faith, theology, service, creativity, and/or leadership, including research on faith-based organizations. 

For eligibility information and application, visit myGU.

  • Reilly Bettis, Class of 2022, Criminology Major (faculty mentor: Dr. Naghme Morlock): "Queer Joy: The Intersection of LGBTQ+ and Catholic Identities in Female College Students"
  • Anasofia Gutierrez, Class of 2022, Psychology Major (faculty mentor: Dr. Megan McCabe): "Manifestations of Women’s Presence in The Catholic Church and Their Implications for a Multidimensional Global Church"
  • Isabel Thurston, Class of 2021, English & Secondary Education Majors (faculty mentor: Dr. Megan McCabe): "The Holy Spirit: An Access Point for Catholic Feminism"
  • Elizabeth Ekman, Class of 2020, Religious Studies & Sociology Majors (faculty mentor: Dr. Megan McCabe): "'Not Words But Deeds': Young Women's Experiences of Sexuality and Shame in Catholic Education"
  • Grace Harrington, Class of 2022, English & Elementary Education Majors (faculty mentor: Dr. Megan McCabe): "Unofficial Leaders: Exploring the Creative Leadership of Women Religious"
  • Teresa McCarthy, Class of 2021, English & Secondary Education Majors (faculty mentor: Dr. Joseph Mudd): "Called Home: A Study of Catholic Women Returning to the Church"

Dr. Patricia O'Connell Killen earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies from Gonzaga in 1974, a doctorate from Stanford University, and was first in her family to earn a degree as well as Gonzaga's first female Academic Vice President. Her advocacy for women has been the catalyst for the transformative work of the Killen Scholars program.