Detroit Mercy appoints new assistant to the president for mission integration

July 10, 2019
Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, Ph.D., Photo courtesy of Yosef Chaim Kalinko of Seattle University.

Detroit Mercy has appointed Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, Ph.D., to the position of assistant to the president for mission integration. She will begin her new role Aug. 26. 

In this position, Punsalan-Manlimos will continue to reinforce the importance of Detroit Mercy’s Catholic, Mercy and Jesuit identity with students, faculty, staff and alumni. She was chosen after a national search to succeed Rev. John Staudenmaier, S.J., who has been with the University since 1981. He has held many positions at the University including professor of History of Technology, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Education and, most recently, assistant to the president for Mission & Identity.

“I am impressed by the level of commitment to the mission and to the city of Detroit that exists at the University,” Punsalan-Manlimos said.  “I hope to bring to bear my many years of experience in Jesuit higher education to collaboratively create, coordinate and lead efforts to deepen the understanding, appreciation and integration of this mission into the life of the University and look forward to contributing to and learning from the University community.

“Dr. Punsalan-Manlimos is a highly accomplished religious studies scholar and brings a significant amount of experience to her new role at Detroit Mercy,” University President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. said. “She will work to strengthen and enhance our mission in our University community, as well as impress upon students the values inherent in spirituality, regardless of religious orientation.”

Punsalan-Manlimos has played an active role in Jesuit education for more than 30 years, beginning at Ateneo de Manlia University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics. She received her Master’s in Theological Studies at the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City. She then returned to the United States and completed her doctorate in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

She began her teaching career at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines, one of five Jesuit universities in the country, where she was a member of the Theology department and taught courses at the undergraduate level and in the Formation Institute for Religious Education (FIRE), a summer graduate program for religious educators and catechists.

Punsalan-Manlimos was an associate professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at Seattle University for 15 years. She was the inaugural director of the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture and held the Malcolm and Mari Stamper Endowed Chair in Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Traditions. In addition, she directed the Catholic Studies Program in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Punsalan-Manlimos has won awards for her teaching and research, and is past president of the Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religions/Society of Biblical Literature. She has served on the board of the College Theology Society as well as on the Administrative Team of the Asian/Asian-American Theology Consultation of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Office of Mission Integration website