Catholic Experts

The University is home to several Catholic scholars in our Department of Religious Students who conduct research and teach courses on theology, the U.S. Catholic experience, Catholic history, Christian traditions, the Vatican, religion and culture, religion and politics, and many more. The world's media turned to many of them for insight on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and transition to Pope Francis. Visit "The Catholic Church's Next Chapter" and "Habemus Papam" for their commentary on the papal transition, and click here to see where they shared it.

The University also is home to the Center for Catholic Education that promotes, enhances and supports Catholic schools through development programs for teachers, leaders and students. 

For satellite TV interviews, University of Dayton media relations usually works through ThinkTV, which is 10 minutes from campus, and will try to accommodate other arrangements in Cincinnati or Columbus, which are 60-75 minutes away.

Click one of the topics above or scroll to view our experts.

Latino Theology/Latina Theology, Migrations, Racial Justice, History of Latin American Catholic Women

Neomi DeAndaNeomi DeAnda, assistant professor, religious studies
(o) 937-229-4321, ndeanda1@udayton.edu
PR contact: Meagan Pant, (o) 937-229-3256, (c) 937-212-2979, mpant1@udayton.edu

DeAnda teaches at all levels from undergraduates through doctoral students, including Latino/Latina Religious Experience and liberation theology at the undergraduate level; History from Trent to Vatican II and Beyond and God and the Human Experience at the master’s level; and a Ph.D. seminar in Latin@ Theology. She is author of the forthcoming book, A Theology of Breast Milk: A Latina Perspective for which she received the Louisville Institute First Book Grant for Minority Scholars. DeAnda is also a mentor for American Academy of Religion. She has served as co-chair of the Latina/o religion, culture and society group of the American Academy of Religion, treasurer for the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, and book review editor for the New Theology Review. National Catholic Reporter named her one of 12 women under 40 creating change in the Church in 2012. She is fluent in Spanish.

Interviewed by: BBC, National Catholic Reporter, Univision, among others.

Theology, Church History, Pope and Papacy, Vatican and Vatican II

Dennis_Doyle

Dennis Doyle, professor, religious studies
(o) 937-229-4219, ddoyle1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889, pshindell1@udayton.edu

Doyle is a Catholic theologian and author of The Church Emerging from Vatican II

Interviewed by: The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail (UK), Catholic News Service, Al Jazeera America, Los Angeles Times, National Catholic Reporter among others.

Catholic Social Teaching, Politics and Culture

Vince_Miller

Vincent J. Miller, Gudorf Chair in Catholic Theology and Culture
(o) 937-229-4564vmiller1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu

Miller is an expert on religion and politics, religion and consumer culture, the U.S. Catholic Church's involvement in politics and public policy, social justice and public policy and the moral consequences of budgetary policies. He is author of Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consumer Culture and is currently working on a book on the effect of globalization on religious belief. Miller has been widely sought for his comments on the global financial crisis, Catholic social teaching and the federal budget's impact on the poor.

Interviewed by: Fox News (The O'Reilly Factor), The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Washington PostNational Catholic Reporter, Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, among others.

Catholic History, Theology, Catholic Higher Education

Bill_PortierWilliam Portier, Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology
(o) 937-229-4435, wportier1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu

Portier, president of the College Theology Society, is the author of books on U.S. Catholicism and theology and has contributed nearly 100 articles and reviews in the areas of theology, U.S. Catholic history, and Catholic higher education. His article "Here Come the Evangelical Catholics" was chosen by the College Theology Society for the 2005 Award for Best Journal Article.

Interviewed by: The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Catholic Telegraph, The Associated Press, among others.

Catholic Identity, Intellectual Life; Authority, Dissent and Community

Dan_ThompsonDaniel Thompson, associate professor and chair, religious studies
(o) 937-229-4539, dthompson3@udayton.edu

PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu 

Thompson has written about Catholic identity and the Catholic intellectual tradition. His research and writings have focused on the challenge of dissent with church authority and how faith communities stay together in the face of change.

Interviewed by: The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, among others.

The Global Church, Education, Communication

angela_ann_zukowskiSister Angela Ann Zukowski, M.H.S.H., director, Institute for Pastoral Initiatives
(o) 937-229-3126, azukowski1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu

For more than 40 years, Zukowski has served the church at the Vatican and around the world as an advocate for global communication. She was a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (Vatican) 1994-2002 and received the "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" Medal from Pope John Paul II in Rome in 2001.

Interviewed by: National Catholic Register, The Catholic Telegraph, Catholic News Service, among others.

 

Historical Perspective, Women in the Church

Sandra_YocumSandra Yocum, associate professor, religious studies
(o) 937-229-4322, syocum1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell,  (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu

Yocum, past-president of the College Theology Society, is a well-known writer and lecturer nationally on U.S. Catholic life and thought. Her research interests include U.S. Catholic history and women in the Church, and the Catholic sex abuse crisis. She has published articles in encyclopedias and several journals including Theological Studies, Horizons, Church History, U.S. Catholic Historian. She co-edited American Catholic Traditions: Resources for Renewal with William Portier. 

Interviewed by: National Catholic Reporter, The Associated Press, Arise.tv, Los Angeles Times, Voice of Russia, among others.

Religion and Pop Culture, American Media Framing

Joe_ValenzanoJoe Valenzano III, assistant professor, communications
937-229-2376; jvalenzanoiii1@udayton.edu
Media Contact: Meagan Pant,  (o) 937-229-3256, (c) 937-212-2979mpant1@udayton.edu

Valenzano's research interests include rhetoric and public communication, political communication, religious communication and culture, and communication education. He has written about Pope John Paul II's death as a final homily and Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Turkey. He teaches a course called "Priests, Preachers and Politics: Religious Communication."

Interviewed by: CNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, Catholic News Service, among others.

Theology and Social Media

Jana_Bennett

Jana Bennett, associate professor, religious studies
(o) 937-229-4196, jbennett2@udayton.edu 
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu

Bennett is associate editor of the blog Catholic Moral Theology and writes on moral theology in relation to marriage, feminism, disability, the Internet and social media.

Interviewed by: The New York Times, National Catholic Reporter, Religion News Service, among others.

Human Rights and Social Justice

Mark_Ensalaco

Mark Ensalaco, Director of Human Rights Research
(o) 937-229-2750, mensalaco1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Shawn Robinson, (o) 937-229-3391, (c) 937-232-2907srobinson@udayton.edu

Ensalaco is also an associate political science professor who specializes in political violence and terrorism. He is a member of Peace and Social Justice Advisory Committee of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and the Catholic Relief Services' Scholars in Global Solidarity. He is a former member of the Ohio attorney general's trafficking in persons study commission and a co-founder of the local anti-trafficking group Abolition Ohio. He is fluent in Spanish.

Interviewed by: Reuters, CNN en Español, Christian Science Monitor, The Associated Press, among others.

African-American Catholic History

Cecelia Moore

Cecilia Moore, associate professor, religious studies
(o) 937-229-4559cmoore1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889pshindell1@udayton.edu

Moore also is the associate director of the degree program for the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is working on the history of black conversion to Roman Catholicism in the 20th century.

Interviewed by: National Public Radio, Dayton Daily News. 

Environmental Justice

Sr. Leanne Jablonski, S.M.

Sr. Leanne Jablonski, adjunct professor, religious studies; coordinator of the Sustainability, Energy & the Environment learning-living community; director, Marianist Environmental Educational Center
(o) 937-429-3582, ljablonski1@udayton.edu
PR Contact: Shawn Robinson, (o) 937-229-3391, (c) 937-232-2907srobinson1@udayton.edu

Jablonski directs the 100-acre Marianist Environmental Education Center that specializes in restoring communities of land and people and focuses on ecological restoration through research and service-learning, bridging the faith and science communities, and environmental justice. She also coordinates the Ohio Interfaith Climate & Energy Campaign of the Ohio Council of Churches and the environmental justice working group of the Ecological Society of America. National Catholic Reporter highlighted her work in teaching key Catholic principles about the environment.

Interviewed by: National Catholic Reporter, The Columbus Dispatch and The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

Catholic Education

Susan FergusonSusan Ferguson, director, Center for Catholic Education
(o) 937-229-3709sferguson1@udayton.edu

Media Contact: Meagan Pant,(o) 937-229-3256, (c) 937-212-2979mpant1@udayton.edu

Ferguson is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association, Catholic Higher Education Collaborative and Catholic Higher Education Supporting Catholic Schools. She has taught classes on the teaching profession, teaching religion, student teaching and young catechetical leaders. 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, in apparitions, and Nativities

The Rev. Johann RotenThe Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., Marian Library director of research, art and special projects
(o) 937-229-4214jroten1@udayton.edu

Media Contact: Cilla Shindell, (o) 937-229-3257, (c) 937-367-2889, pshindell1@udayton.edu

Father Roten's expertise includes how faith and the Catholic Church intersect in different cultures, especially how cultures see the birth of Christ and express their perspectives in Nativities. He frequently also serves as a resource on canonization and apparitions. A former student of Pope Benedict XVI, Roten served on a Vatican-appointed commission about Mary in the 1990s. Swiss by birth, Roten speaks English, French, German, Swiss-German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Latin and Greek. He ministers in Polish, Hungarian and Lithuanian in the ethnic churches of Dayton. 

Interviewed by: PBS, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press, The Cincinnati Enquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, Denver Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Baltimore Sun, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others.