I am a History doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame, where I study sacred places, popular religion, and interfaith dialogue in North American in the long twentieth century. My current research explores the history and theology of interreligious pilgrimage places, especially places such as el Santuario de Chimayó and Lac Ste. Anne that are held sacred by Catholics and Indigenous Peoples.

I am from Loganville, Georgia. In 2011, I received my Bachelor of Arts in honors anthropology and peace studies from the University of Notre Dame. From 2011-2014, I worked as a school librarian and teacher at Saint Michael Indian School. In 2017, I received my Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. While at Harvard, I was a Junior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions. For 2020-2021, I was a Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study PhD Fellow. Currently, I am a Kellogg Doctoral Student Affiliate and a Richard and Peggy Notebaert Premier Fellow. Cross-boundary engagement facilitates transformative understandings and dialogues at pilgrimage sites and in research. If you are interested in collaborating, please contact me at mcoles@nd.edu