Two New Staff Members Join the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

Graham And Tolly Red Size

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) has hired two new Assistant Directors. Scott Graham joins the institute as the Assistant Director of Events and Fellowships, and Jeff Tolly has become the Assistant Director of Educational Initiatives.

As Assistant Director of Events and Fellowships, Scott Graham will execute all NDIAS events and assist Fellows with their housing, orientation, and ongoing campus needs. He fills a post long held by Carolyn Sherman, who recently retired from Notre Dame after more than 13 years of service at the NDIAS.

In his capacity as the Assistant Director of Educational Initiatives, Jeff Tolly will manage the NDIAS’s student-facing programs, including the Distinguished Graduate Fellowship program and the Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, and oversee the NDIAS Teaching Lab. He takes over the position from J’Nese Williams, who recently accepted an Assistant Professor position in the Department of History at Wake Forest University.

“It is a real joy to welcome Scott and Jeff to our NDIAS team,” said Meghan Sullivan, Director of the NDIAS and the Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy. “Their creativity, commitment and expertise will make a big difference as we grow our programs on campus and serve our fellows.”

Scott Graham brings a multitude of event planning experience to the NDIAS, having worked for nearly four years at Notre Dame on the Special Events team, planning and executing event experiences for the President’s office, Notre Dame leadership, board members, Development, and other significant Notre Dame constituents. Prior to that, he worked for over 20 years in the convention and trade show industry, organizing large-scale events for the Recreation Vehicle Association and the Christian Booksellers Association.

“I’m so excited and honored to be joining the NDIAS team,” Graham said. “I look forward to showing Notre Dame hospitality to the fellows who come each year to join the Notre Dame family. I hope to build experiences that delight and that will build community among all NDIAS participants.”

Jeff Tolly is a skilled researcher, educator, and grants administrator. Prior to joining the NDIAS, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Rutgers Center for the Philosophy of Religion, where he authored and administered several multi-year grant proposals, taught classes in the philosophy department, and advanced his own research program. Tolly earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Indianapolis. His philosophical research focuses on epistemology, where he has a particular interest in understanding the nature of knowledge and its link with reliability.

"I am thrilled to join the NDIAS," Tolly said. "I am passionate about cutting-edge scholarship and working with others to sharpen their own research projects. Given the cross-disciplinary and collaborative nature of the NDIAS, it is the ideal community for incubating creative lines of inquiry and leveraging new insights for the common good. I look forward to partnering with the undergraduates, Ph.D. students, and faculty fellows in their scholarly endeavors."

The NDIAS convenes an interdisciplinary group of faculty fellows, top doctoral candidates, and undergraduate scholars to study questions that require a joint focus, benefit from sustained research and discussion, and advance our understanding of core issues that affect our ability to lead valuable, meaningful lives. To learn more, please visit


Maria Di Pasquale / Associate Director

Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study / University of Notre Dame / 574.631.3770 / @NotreDameIAS

About Notre Dame Research:

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Located in South Bend, Indiana, its researchers are advancing human understanding through research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to be a repository for knowledge and a powerful means for doing good in the world. For more information, please see or @UNDResearch.

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