Dr. Corrine Carvalho named director of Luann Dummer Center for Women

Dr. Corrine Carvalho named director of Luann Dummer Center for Women

Dr. Corrine Carvalho has been named the next director of the University of St. Thomas’ Luann Dummer Center for Women.

Carvalho, an associate professor of theology who began teaching at St. Thomas in 1999, succeeds Dr. Debra Petersen, who will step down in June after serving as the center’s director since 2000. Petersen, who has completed her two terms as director, will continue to teach in St. Thomas’ Department of Communication Studies.

Carvalho, who has served on the center’s advisory committee and participated in many of its activities, earned her Ph.D. in 1991 from Yale University, where she specialized in Old Testament studies. She also has a master’s degree from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of San Francisco, graduating with a major in Latin and a minor in theology. She spent her junior year of undergraduate study at Oxford University in England.

Prior to joining the St. Thomas faculty, she taught for five years at Florida State University, where she won the Teaching Incentive Program Award, and was nominated for the University Teaching Award and the Superior Liberal Studies Honors Teacher Award. She also has earned several grants and fellowships for her research and is author of numerous articles on biblical literature and history, book reviews and commentaries. She is president of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Upper Midwest Region, active in the Catholic Biblical Association and a member of the National Association of Women in Catholic Higher Education.

Established in 1993, the women’s center is named for the late Dr. Luann Dummer, a St. Thomas English professor whose 1992 estate provided approximately $1 million for its creation and an endowment for its programs, including an annual lecture series. The center’s programs have grown steadily, guided by previous directors Dr. Meg Wilkes Karraker and Dr. Brenda Powell and current director Petersen. Today, the center continues its lecture series held each March (Women’s History Month); offers a variety of grants for faculty and students for research on topics related to women and for curriculum, leadership and professional development; hosts book discussions and a “Feminist Fridays” speaker series; and regularly sponsors exhibits of art by women from all over the world. Located in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center at the heart of the university’s St. Paul campus, the center also serves as a meeting place for women to share their expertise and experience; further, it houses a variety of resources that support the study of women’s issues.

Carvalho said she plans to continue the center’s established programs while promoting new connections with external organizations and St. Thomas academic programs, such as Justice and Peace Studies and American Cultural Studies. “My dream,” Carvalho said, “is that … the center is seen as a necessary and vital part of a university ‘inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition.’”

Dr. Nancy Zingale, to whom the center’s director reports, said she looks forward to Carvalho’s term. “Each new director has brought unique talents and contributions to the Luann Dummer Center for Women,” Zingale said. “We’re fortunate to have exceptional talent and creativity among our faculty. Corrine Carvalho is a gifted scholar and an energetic leader.”