Kellogg Doctoral Affiliates Cat Gargano and Wesley Hedden

Kellogg Doctoral Affiliates Maria Catarina (Cat) Gargano and Wesley Hedden, who are both advised by Kellogg Institute faculty fellows, are among the  inaugural cohort of 10 Notre Dame PhD students to the Lucy Scholars program sponsored by the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society.

Gargano is a PhD student in peace studies and clinical psychology advised by Kellogg Faculty Fellow Laura Miller-Graff and part of the Building Resilience After Violence Exposure (BRAVE) Lab. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Laurea Magistrale in Protection of Human Rights and International Cooperation from Università di Bologna in Italy. Her research focuses on migration, interpersonal violence (including IPV & GBV), and mental health. Her experiences in several transit countries have made her particularly interested in developing interventions that are trauma-informed, culturally meaningful, and feasible to apply in displacement and other low-resource contexts.

Hedden is a PhD student in peace Studies and sociology advised by Kellogg Faculty Fellow Ann Mische. He earned a BA in philosophy and Latin American studies from Tulane University and an MA in applied conflict transformation studies from the Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia. His research explores the implications of emerging information technologies on global peacebuilding practices. He is currently working on a project that uses natural language processing to track discursive changes in the field of peace studies over time. Hedden is the founder of Sarus, an international peacebuilding NGO with operations in five countries, and lived in Southeast Asia from 2006 to 2020. He speaks Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer, Tagalog, and Burmese.

Members of the Lucy Graduate Scholars cohort will receive mentorship from Institute faculty and staff over the next two years to co-create a collaborative, interdisciplinary graduate student research community. They will play a key role in shaping the programming and opportunities offered by the Lucy Family Institute. Throughout the program, they will attend monthly luncheons to give updates on research progress and challenges. They also will give a research presentation at the Annual Lucy Symposium, present a research seminar at a Lucy Graduate Scholars workshop, and design community-building events for Lucy Graduate Scholars and other affiliated graduate students.

Additionally, Lucy Graduate Scholars receive a $3,000 stipend for each year that they participate in the program, and they are eligible to apply for additional grants for research project supplies and conference travel. 

Other 2022-2024 Lucy Graduate Scholars are:

  • Awosiji Awotunde, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Advisor: Marya Lieberman
  • Meghan Forstchen, Biological Sciences, Advisor: Jason Rohr
  • Spencer Giddens, Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, Advisor: Fang Liu
  • Maura Kraemer, Sociology, Advisor: Anna Haskins
  • Yuwen Lu, Computer Science and Engineering, Advisor: Toby Li
  • Etinosa Osaro, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Advisor: Yamil Colon
  • Annalisa Szymanski, Computer Science and Engineering, Advisor: Ron Metoyer
  • Lizao Wang, History and Philosophy of Science, Advisor: Thomas Stapleford

To learn more about the application process to become a Lucy Scholar, please visit the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society website.  

This article is based on one written by Alissa Doroh at