Gretchen WehrleGretchen Wehrle, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Psychology and Sociology

Director, Faculty Development, Dorothy Stang Faculty Scholars, Sr. Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement

Gretchen Wehrle holds degrees from the University of California at Riverside and the State University of New York at Stony Brook and has been a faculty member at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) since 1999.  She currently is chair of the Psychology/Sociology Department.  Before coming to NDNU in 1999, Dr. Wehrle taught at the College of San Mateo and West Valley Community College.  Her major areas of interest are community-based learning (CBL), developing reciprocal community partnerships, and faculty development.  In 2003, Dr. Wehrle was the first faculty member at NDNU to receive the Inner Fire Award in recognition of her achievements in “sparking students’ inner fire toward fulfilling their potential through curricular and co-curricular leadership.”  She also serves as the faculty advisor for the Leadership and Public Service minor in the School of Education and Leadership.

Dr. Wehrle is the Director of Faculty Development of the Sr. Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement.  She oversees the Faculty Scholars Program which provides support and professional development activities for faculty members interested in designing community based learning/research courses.


  • Ph.D., Psychology. State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1982.
    • Minor: Community Psychology
  • BA, Psychology and Sociology. University of California, Riverside, 1973.

Courses Taught

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Building Communities Through Diversity
  • Community Psychology
  • Counseling Skills
  • Developmental Psychology/Developmental Psychology in Classroom & Community
  • The Family
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Social Change Through Social Service
  • Social Problems (2009)
  • Social Psychology


  • Awarded the Sister Catharine Julie Cunningham Memorial Teaching Award, Notre Dame de Namur University, 2008
  • Faculty Fellow for the California Campus Compact, Carnegie Foundation Faculty Fellows: Service-Learning for Political Engagement Program, 2007-2009
  • Co-Director, Building Partnerships for a Better California – Faculty Development Grant, California Campus Compact, 2007-2009
  • Team Leader, Trinity Institute on Urban Learning and Action, Hartford, Connecticut, 2005
  • Project Director, Promotion and Documentation of Student Civic Engagement Grant, Regional Centers for the Study, California Campus Compact, 2004-2006
  • Faculty Exemplar, Diversity Council, Notre Dame de Namur University, 2004
  • Project Director, Journey Towards Democracy Dialogue Grant, California Campus Compact, 2003 – 2004
  • Inner Fire Faculty Award,Center for Student Leadership, Notre Dame De Namur University, 2003
  • Nomination, Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning, Notre Dame de Namur University, 2003
  • Team Leader, Engaged Department grant for NDNU’s Sociology/Psychology Department, Campus Compact, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 2002-2004

Major Seminars

  • “Making the Political Explicit: Revisioning Service-Learning to Promote Political Engagement” Panel Discussion, Eleventh Annual Continuums of Service Conference, Western Region Campus Compact, Portland, Oregon, April 2008.
  • “Teach Them What They Need to Know for Life,” 22nd Annual Conference on Undergraduate Teaching of Psychology, White Plains, New York, March 2008.
  • “Building Community through Effective Partnerships,” Tenth Annual Continuums of Service Conference, Western Region Campus Compact, San Jose, California, April 2007.
  • “Supporting Students in their Journey to Becoming Engaged Leaders,” Texas Campus Compact National Conference on Civic Engagement, Austin, TX, February 2007.
  • “It Isn’t Just about Feeling Good: Community and Civic Engagement with a Purpose,” Kiwanis Club Breakfast, Redwood City, California, November 2006.
  • “Embedding Dialogue on a University Campus,” 2006 National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation, San Francisco, California, August 2006.
  • “Engaging in Civic Dialogue,” Building a Voice for Civic Action Conference at the College of San Mateo, San Mateo, California, January 2004.
  • “Institutional Strategies for Promoting Civic Learning at the Core,” Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference on Practicing Liberal Education: Deepening Knowledge, Pursuing Justice, Taking Action, Washington, DC, January 2004.
  • “Engaging in Community Dialogues,” 6th Annual Youth Service Conference, College of San Mateo, February 2003.
  • “Integrating Community Based Learning and Diversity into the First Year Experience,” Western Region Campus Compacts Consortium’s 6th Annual Continuums of Service Conference, Bellevue, Washington, April 2003.
  • “Integrating Community Involvement to Enhance the Curriculum,” Sixth Annual Seminar in the Humanities, Notre Dame de Namur University, July 2002.
  • “Conflict Resolution,” Student Leadership Academy Workshops, Notre Dame de Namur University, 1999-2004.