Domer Diaries

My Domer Diary: Dr. Darren Dochuk

Educating Future Scholars


Editor’s Note: Domer Diaries is the newest storytelling series from the Alumni Association where members of the Notre Dame family tell their stories in their own words. This week’s Domer Diary entry comes from Darren Dochuk, ’05 Ph.D. the Andrew V. Tackes College Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. 

Name: Darren Dochuk
Class Year: Ph.D. 2005 
Majors: History
Occupation: Andrew V. Tackes College Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Location: South Bend, Ind.

What do you like most about your current role?

It’s a dream to be able to teach modern U.S. political and religious history to such talented undergrad and graduate students at the institution where I received my Ph.D. I had a rewarding experience as a doctoral candidate at Notre Dame, and now in my current position I advise several Ph.D. students. It is a real pleasure to be able to replicate the experience for them, and to see them enjoy campus life and embrace all that ND has to offer in the way I did twenty-some years ago.

How do you spend your time away from the classroom/office?

Debra (my wife) and I live just off campus, so we love strolling to and around the lakes, a regular occurrence on Sunday afternoons. On busier days, we’re just as happy to walk our lazy pitbull down to the river path, which is nearby as well. Making our way to Warren Dunes or Chicago for a day is always a treat. On fall and winter weekends, you can find us at ND football and hockey games. In the summers, we return to our “second” home in Vancouver, British Columbia. Weeks spent there (as you can imagine) come with a healthy dose of hiking and kayaking.

What was a formative moment in your time as a Notre Dame student that continues to influence you today?

I could list numerous examples of how the rich academic life at Notre Dame left a profound impact on me as a scholar. But from the get-go, ND meant more than rigorous study. I can remember going to our first football game (against Michigan!); the moment Debra and I walked into the stadium, we were “converted.” Grad students usually come to ND with other allegiances; because we had attended Canadian universities without strong athletics, we didn’t. After the game, we went to the Grotto and were mesmerized. At that instant, it became clear to us that the ND experience encompassed heart and mind — and we felt fortunate to be part of such a vibrant community.