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Sociology professor dies at age 58

| Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Mary Ellen Konieczny, the Henkels Family associate professor of sociology, died Saturday at the age of 58 due to complications from cancer, the University announced in a press release Monday.

Konieczny served as a faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. She was working on a book called “Service before Self: Organization, Cultural Conflict, and Religion at the U.S. Air Force Academy” and developing a research project in Rwanda on connections between post-genocide reconciliation and religion.

“Mary Ellen Konieczny was a distinguished sociologist of religion in a department known as a national leader in that area,” Dean of the College of Arts and Letters John T. McGreevy said in the release. “Her scholarship on Catholic parishes helped us better understand tensions and strength in individual congregations just as her uncompleted work on religion in the military probed the overlap between religious and civic identity.”

Konieczny graduated from Notre Dame in 1981 and earned a Master of Divinity from Weston Jesuit School of Theology before working in ministry for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and eventually pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Chicago.

“We will remember Mary Ellen for that scholarship, but perhaps even more for her high spirits and sense of joy, which undergirded her teaching and research and proved a constant source of inspiration to colleagues and students,” McGreevy said.

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