DNA Learning Center's Amy Stark among Michiana Forty under 40 class of 2020

Author: NDWorks

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The South Bend Regional Chamber, in collaboration with the Young Professionals Network (YPN) South Bend, has announced the names of the 40 honorees selected as members of the 2020 class of Michiana Forty under 40. The program, in its 14th year, recognizes professionals, executives and leaders, under the age of 40, who have achieved outstanding professional success while also engaging in the community. 

Two full-time Notre Dame faculty members are represented in the 2020 class: Meghan E. Sullivan, professor of philosophy, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Collegiate Chair and director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) and Amy L. Stark, director of the Notre Dame Notre Dame DNA Learning Center and associate professor of the practice in the Department of Biological Science. (Scroll down for more about them.)

Amber Selking (BBA ‘10), an instructor with the Executive Integral Leadership program, a signature program in the Mendoza College of Business’ Executive Education, is also among the 2020 class of Michiana Forty under 40. Selking is director of people performance with Lippert Components and founder of Selking Performance,.


Meghan E. Sullivan

Meghan Sullivan’s research tends to focus on philosophical problems concerning time, logic, rational planning, value theory and religious belief. She is deeply interested in the ways philosophy contributes to the good life and the best methods for promoting philosophical thought.

As director of the NDIAS, Sullivan leads an interdisciplinary group of faculty fellows, doctoral students and undergraduates each year as they tackle questions that require a joint-focus, benefit from sustained research and advance understanding of core issues that affect our ability to lead valuable, meaningful lives. Next academic year the NDIAS is convening a major project on The Nature of Trust.

Sullivan teaches courses at all levels and directs Notre Dame’s God and the Good Life Program (GGL). GGL introduces undergraduates to big philosophical questions concerning happiness, morality and meaning and key methods for wrestling with them. Last fall she team-taught a Film, Television and Theatre and Philosophy exploratory seminar about NBC’s fantasy comedy, The Good Place, called The Good Class. The Chronicle of Higher Education covered Sullivan’s major teaching initiatives in 2019.

Sullivan has degrees from the University of Virginia, Oxford and Rutgers. She studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar .

“I was very honored (and surprised) by the Chamber’s call about the award. I’m very grateful to the neighbors and colleagues who nominated me,” said Sullivan. “I am so proud of the community we are building in South Bend, especially how we’ve supported each other during these challenging times.”

Amy Stark

Amy L. Stark

Amy Stark has passion and expertise for both genetics outreach and biomedical research. As director of the DNA Learning Center since 2014, she works to educate K-12 students and non-scientists in all areas of genetics. As a researcher, she leads students in research focusing on pharmacogenomics, particularly of chemotherapeutic agents. Her research interests have focused on understanding gene expression signatures in response to drug exposure. A greater understanding of therapy-induced gene expression changes could be clinically beneficial and impactful by increasing treatment effectiveness through gene expression modification. She was also the executive director of the 2020 Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

Before coming to Notre Dame, Stark was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago. She investigated genetic predictors of chemotherapeutic drug response including predictors through protein levels and gene expression. In addition to her expertise in human genetics, Stark has significant experience with outreach and science education. She was an instructor for a genetics course for at-risk high school students and judged several regional and city-wide science fairs throughout Chicago and Northwest Indiana. Stark earned her Ph.D. in human genetics from the University of Chicago and her Bachelor of Science in biology and political science from Valparaiso University.

Stark said of receiving the recognition, “One of my goals when starting this position at Notre Dame was to engage the community with genetics and this award is especially meaningful because it suggests that I have been successful with that goal. It is definitely one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”


Originally published by NDWorks at ndworks.nd.edu on June 02, 2020.