Professor Kathleen Currul-Dykeman has been appointed to lead the Martin Institute for Law and Society, the hub of Stonehill's effort to develop student leaders committed to becoming active citizens in service to an improved human community. Professor Currul-Dykeman, an attorney who holds a Ph.D. in criminology and justice policy, takes the helm from Professor Peter Ubertaccio, who has been named founding dean of the College’s School of Arts & Sciences.
Professor Currul-Dykeman plans to build upon the Martin Institute’s strong history of bringing political leaders to campus while developing new programming focused on social justice.
“The constant flow of politicians and politically active people coming to campus has provided invaluable role models and mentors for our students,” said Professor Currul-Dykeman, a former Suffolk County prosecutor. “We will continue to make these important connections as we expand to include more community involvement and social justice programming.”
The Martin Institute currently sponsors a Civic Ambassadors Program, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Study in Washington, and the St. Thomas More Society, which serves as a guide for students interested in studying law after graduation. The Institute also sponsors an online peer reviewed journal, Prints, which showcases articles written by students.
Professor Currul-Dykeman was recently named Citizen of the Year in her hometown of Sharon, Massachusetts, for founding and coordinating a program that provides sports teams for youth with special needs, including her son, Colin, 14, who is a young man with Autism. Professor Currul-Dykeman coaches basketball, soccer, and tennis for the program, with the help of many volunteers from the Sharon and Stonehill communities.
“Partnering over the past several years with the Stonehill College basketball team, which sends athletes to help coach our teams in Sharon on Sundays, has had a huge positive impact on our kids. We are so thankful for basketball coach Chris Kraus’ continuous support.”
“Community engagement is a large part of my private life so the Martin Institute’s mission really speaks to me,” said Professor Currul-Dykeman, who has also served on the Sharon school committee. One of the first items on her agenda will be expanding the scope of the Sylvia Donaldson Society, a nonpartisan organization for politically minded women at the College that seeks to empower women on campus to pursue careers in politics and the law. She also plans more interdepartmental collaboration with faculty and students in the fields of intercultural affairs, anthropology, sociology, and international studies, among others, and to diversify the pool of speakers which the Institute brings to campus, inviting authors and community activists in addition to politicians to speak to the students.
“I am excited about this new opportunity and open to many different things. I look forward to continuing the work of the Institute and contributing to the education of our amazing students. I plan to prepare them to be active and engaged citizens through interdisciplinary programming. I hope to foster a commitment to civic engagement and to inspire students to serve the communities in which they live,” said Professor Currul-Dykeman.