The AnBryce Scholars Initiative at the University of Notre Dame has tapped two new leaders. The program, which supports first-generation college students facing hardship, will be run by Co-Directors Maria McKenna and Richard Pierce.

The program is supported by the AnBryce Foundation and started in 2013. The AnBryce Scholars Initiative focuses on first-generation Notre Dame students and aims to create a community of role models, mentors and scholars to guide participants and shape them as leaders. 

McKenna is an associate professor of the practice for the Education, Schooling and Society Program and the Department of Africana Studies. Pierce is an associate professor of history in the departments of history and Africana studies who specializes in the urban experience of African Americans.

“Professors McKenna and Pierce are award-winning and highly respected scholar-teachers whose engagement of students within and beyond the classroom at Notre Dame is legendary. I am confident that under their joint leadership AnBryce will continue to grow and flourish,” said Rev. Hugh Page Jr., vice president, associate provost and professor of theology and Africana studies at Notre Dame in a news release.