Viva Bartkus

Viva Bartkus

Viva Bartkus is an Associate Professor of Management at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Bartkus graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with masters and bachelors degrees in economics, and then completed her doctorate and masters in international relations at Oxford University, while on a Rhodes Scholarship. She started Business on the Frontlines with former Dean Carolyn Woo based on her conviction that business needs to be part of the development equation, particularly in formerly war-torn countries and based on her deeply held belief of the inherent human dignity in a good day's work.   Through her guidance, Business on the Frontlines has become a core feature of the Notre Dame MBA, having been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the ten most innovative MBA courses. Her stories from the frontlines, from South Sudan to Tibet to the fall of the Berlin Wall, inspire BOTFL students to use their skills to serve those most in need.

Her first book investigating nationalism, self-determination, and why groups attempt secession, The Dynamic of Secessionwas published by Cambridge University Press (1999). Her current research and teaching interests concentrate on two distinct areas: the leadership approaches most effective in solving complex business problems and the social capital of communities that enables collaboration. She also authored two books that were published in 2008: Getting It Right: Notre Dame on Leadership and Judgment in Business, with Ed Conlon and Social Capital: Reaching Out, Reaching In, with Jim Davis. Prior to joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Dr. Bartkus spent ten years serving healthcare, industrial, retail, and high tech clients to overcome their strategic, operational, and organizational challenges while at McKinsey & Company, the last four years as a partner of the firm. She can be reached at

Bill Nichols

Bill Nichols

Bill Nichols wass a Professor of Accountancy at the Mendoza College of Business. He served the College as its Associate Dean for Graduate Programs from 1995 to 2000 and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research from 2002 to 2008 and 2012 to 2015. Bill earned his doctorate degree at Florida State University.

Bill’s teaching and research interests are in both financial reporting and sustainability reporting. He has published numerous articles in accounting and finance journals and four times was voted the College’s outstanding teacher of the year by students in either the undergraduate or graduate programs. Bill served as a visiting professor at Washington University for an academic year, the University of Notre Dame – Australia for a semester, Northeastern University for three summers, and a term as resident director of Notre Dame’s London MBA program.

Bill can be reached at

The photo was taken in country when Bill was faculty advisor to the BOTFL VII Rwanda team.

John F. Dunbar, Jr.

John Dunbar Jr

John Dunbar began his work in the Mendoza College of Business as a Faculty Advisor for Business on the Frontlines (BOTFL) projects in Uganda and Sri Lanka. In 2015, he began teaching Mergers & Acquisitions as an Adjunct Associate Professional Specialist in the Master of Science in Finance program.

John graduated magna cum laude earning a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo. John also played football for the UB Bulls and is a licensed Professional Engineer. He started his career spending five years in project management and operations with Exxon Chemical working on various worldwide petrochemical assignments. The next twenty-five years were in private equity with Strategic Investments & Holdings, Inc., completing over 80 acquisitions in diverse manufacturing, distribution and service businesses and aggregating revenue of over $6 billion. John, who retired from Strategic Investments as President in 2012, originated, structured and closed equity investments in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations and new ventures. He received an award for his Achievements in Entrepreneurship from the University at Buffalo.

As an Adjunct Professor at his alma mater, John has developed and taught M&A for the past 13 years in the School of Management MBA and EMBA programs. John is also Chair Emeritus of the Food Bank of Western New York and past Chair of the Shea’s Buffalo Theatre.

John was inspired to join the BOTFL program to use his business skills for the greater good and grow his relationship with Notre Dame from proud parent of two ND graduates. As a BOTFL Faculty Advisor he can apply his business and analytical skills working with talented and dedicated ND students to help those less fortunate struggling in post-conflict or developing countries. During his career, John has volunteered many hours and resources to projects ranging from the building of a new church, restoration of a Buffalo landmark and providing over 1 million pounds of food per month to the hungry in Western New York. During the BOTFL in-country experience he enjoys capturing the journey behind his camera lens.

John can be reached at

Joe Sweeney

Joe Sweeney

Joe is the Associate Director of Experiential Learning for Mendoza's Graduate Business Programs. A 2006 Notre Dame undergrad with majors in Political Science and Arabic and a 2012 Notre Dame MBA, Joe first joined the BOTFL family as a student. His BOTFL IV team travelled to Egypt in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring to partner with international and local NGOs. After graduation from the MBA program, he spent four years in brand management roles for Winebow in Seattle and Terlato Wines in Chicago. He continued to be involved in BOTFL training programs with the US Military during this time. Joe joined the Mendoza Graduate Business Program staff in September 2016 and returned as a Faculty Advisor for BOTFL IX, X, and XI for teams serving in Ghana, Colombia and Tunisia.

Joe can be reached at

Kelly Chase

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After serving as an advisor for Team Uganda, Kelly is thrilled to return for another year as an advisor to Team Colombia in BOTFL’s continued partnership with Fundacion Ideas para la Paz. Kelly holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and Finance from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. Kelly was drawn to pursue her MBA from the University of Notre Dame through her passion for using business as a force for good. During her first year as an MBA student, Kelly was BOTFL’s first Teaching Assistant. As a student, Kelly served World Vision- Timor Leste on a project aiming to boost farmer livelihoods through market links in the agribusiness sector. Now as an IBM Client Executive in Chicago, Kelly is responsible for IBM’s relationship, revenue, and strategy for six global clients and collaborates directly with corporate leaders to create winning business strategies. Kelly aspires to make an impact at the intersection of business, technology and society by connecting people and ideas to transform our world.

Kelly can be reached at

Ann Elise Debelina


Ann Elise is a Notre Dame MBA and Business on the Frontlines Alum, where she served in Indonesia team to support environmental and social resiliency in the wake of natural disasters along with Mercy Corps in 2016.  She is thrilled to be serving Team Puerto Rico as a team advisor this year.

Currently, she is in her 3rd year of GE’s Accelerated Leadership Program, where she has led global teams focusing on customer engagement, new product introductions, commercialization and sales operations for product lines across the power and water sectors.Ann Elise is a Notre Dame MBA and Business on the Frontlines Alum, where she served in Indonesia team to support environmental and social resiliency in the wake of natural disasters along with Mercy Corps in 2016.  She is thrilled to be serving Team Puerto Rico as a team advisor this year.

Before business school, she worked as an environmental consultant for 4 years for clients in the manufacturing, retail, power generation and oil & gas industries and earned her B.A. in Environmental Engineering from Dartmouth College.

Andrea Caldwell

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Andrea Caldwell is a Doctoral Candidate in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses primarily on early stage startups and accelerators, with a particular emphasis on social ventures and underrepresented founders. The decision to pursue a PhD in Management stemmed from Andrea’s ongoing passion for using business as a force for good in the world, which she also cultivated through her experiences at Notre Dame. In particular, Andrea was President of the MBA program’s Net Impact chapter and a member of BOTFL V before graduating in 2013. She and her BOTFL team traveled to Nicaragua to serve Catholic Relief Services in its work to better understand and address the challenges faced by agricultural cooperatives within the country. Andrea is now excited to continue her work with BOTFL as an advisor on Team Colombia.


Prior to attending Notre Dame, Andrea received undergraduate degrees in Marketing, Spanish, and International Studies from Penn State University and held positions in knowledge management and business development at Deloitte. She also worked in marketing strategy at DuPont between her MBA and PhD programs. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, staying active, and spending time with friends, family, and her yellow lab.


Andrea can be reached at

Katie Rossi

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Katie is a Senior Manager of Strategy with Blue Cross Blue Shield. In her current role, she is responsible for the development and execution of customer strategy for BCBS’s operations division, focused on enhancing the customer experience and reducing cost of care for members.

A proud Double Domer, Katie first graduated from Notre Dame in 2006 with a BA in History and Gender Studies. She returned to ND and earned an MBA in Consulting, graduating in 2014. She is passionate about using her business and strategic decision-making skills to foster stability and economic development in low income communities. Katie traveled with BOTFL VI to Ghana to work with Catholic Relief Services on developing alternate funding sources for programing through corporate sector engagement. She also partnered with the Sepluah Nopember Institute of Technology in Surabaya, Indonesia to develop an ecotourism business plan through a consulting project with SAP, her previous employer.

Katie is excited to serve as a faculty advisor to Team Rwanda in BOTFL XI, helping students build a strategic business plan for Mission of the Glorious Cross.


Kelly Strait

Kelly Strait Bio

Kelly Strait is an Auto Insurance Experience Owner at USAA. Kelly graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Texas with a bachelor's degree in music, focusing on percussion and secondary education. After several years in the music industry as a marketing professional and freelance teacher, Kelly attended the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business for her graduate studies in business. There, she developed a passion for problem-solving through qualitative research, design thinking, and frontline experience. Her passion was put to work in Business on the Frontlines VI where she worked on issues of healthcare and medical access in Sierra Leone.

Since graduating from Notre Dame, Kelly spent several years at USAA rotating through strategy roles across the enterprise in a development rotation program. She also spent a year leading strategic marketing and communications at a top performing regional movie theater and social enterprise before returning to USAA in her current role.

Kelly and her dog, Tucker, are currently based in their hometown San Antonio, Texas. There, Kelly serves her city as Vice President of the board for TEDxSanAntonio and contributes to Texas Public Radio’s live storytelling event, Worth Repeating, as a Storyboard Member. She has also published a weekly, not-for-profit local events blog called The Social Llama since 2013. In her free time, Kelly enjoys running, biking, traveling, and talking about traveling.

Kelly Strait on LinkedIn:

Laura Boova


Laura Boova is a consultant in the Organization practice at McKinsey & Company. In her current role, she works with organizations going through transformations to improve the execution of daily work and how the organization is structured. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University in Finance and Accounting, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame. She also completed all but the dissertation portion of a PhD in Organization Studies at Boston College. Prior to attending Notre Dame, Laura worked in finance for a large investment bank in New York City.

Following her first year at Notre Dame, Laura worked as a summer intern at a small non-profit in Cape Town, South Africa developing recommendations to more clearly define the organization’s mission and strategy. As a second-year student at Notre Dame, Laura traveled to Cambodia working in partnership with Catholic Relief Services to address maternal and childhood malnutrition.

Laura can be reached at

Karl Jensen

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Karl is a Vice President of Corporate Finance at Zions Bancorporation in Salt Lake City, UT and has more than 10 years of experience in the Financial Services industry.  He has a bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Utah and an MBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Notre Dame.  While at Notre Dame Karl served as a member of BOTFL II in Uganda, working with Catholic Relief Services in their efforts to help local soybean farmers bring their crops to market and to implement microfinance lending cooperatives in local villages.  Karl is looking forward to returning to BOTFL as an advisor for Team Brazil, having previously lived in Salvador, Brazil for two years as a missionary. When not at work Karl enjoys playing golf, watching college football, and spending time with his lovely wife, Kristen (also a Notre Dame alumni), their son Kaden, and their beagle, Brownie.



Teaching Assistants:

Audrey Walker

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Audrey Walker is originally from Wilmington, Delaware and is currently studying business leadership and analytics at Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business with plans to pursue a career in project management.  She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  After graduating, Audrey returned home to Wilmington and worked in client services at ModernThink, a management consulting company specializing in employee engagement within higher education.  When not working, she volunteered at New Bolton Center large animal hospital and Reins of Life, a therapeutic horseback riding center.  In addition to serving as a teaching assistant for BOTFL, Audrey is currently an alumni ambassador for William & Mary and a student ambassador for Mendoza.

Audrey can be reached at

TJ Rosetti

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Originally from Cortland, New York, TJ completed his undergrad at St. Bonaventure University in 2011. During this time, he was active in various volunteer organizations to include All Hands Disaster Response, a Non-Governmental Organization. TJ joined this group in various disaster relief missions to include the Cedar Rapids flooding in 2008, and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Following graduation, he commissioned as an Army officer through ROTC into the Field Artillery. TJ served one tour in Afghanistan before transitioning to the intelligence branch as a Special Agent of counterintelligence. While in the Army, he earned a Master’s Degree in Business Security Program Management. After seven years, TJ left the Army and started the MBA program at Notre Dame. He is currently a first-year student and BOTFL TA.

TJ can be reached at ​​​​​

John Chao

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John Chao graduated from high school amidst the tumult of 9/11 which propelled him to enlist into the Marine Corps. He served 13 years and split his time in the infantry, Counterintelligence/Human intelligence, and Special Operations serving in various environments around the world. Concurrent to his military service he earned his undergraduate degree in International Relations from American Military University. After leaving the military and prior to starting his Notre Dame MBA journey, John worked in digital marketing as an account executive in Fairfax, VA. He is seeking to leverage lessons learned as a teaching assistant for BOTFL, and the Notre Dame MBA experience to pivot into a new career in Product Management within the technology industry.

John can be reached at

Mark Schroeder


Originally from Orange County California, Mark Schroeder Jr graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Marketing and Advertisement in 2013. With a career focused in Sales and Business Development, Mark has more than 5 years of experience working both domestically and abroad most recently with Consumer Portfolio Inc in Irvine, CA. Mark has returned to school looking to transition into Corporate Strategy and Marketing upon receiving his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. In addition to serving as a BOTFL TA, Mark also serves as the Director of Outreach for the Marketing Club at Notre Dame and plans to use his experience abroad to help people in need in post-conflict countries through the BOTFL program.

Mark can be reached at

Lauren Jessup


Originally form South Bend, IN, Lauren Jessup is a first year MBA candidate studying strategy and finance. Prior to beginning her MBA, Lauren worked in International Development and International Affairs for 6 years. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon, she worked for Save the Children on the USAID funded Technical and Operational Performance Support Program. She also worked for the Senior Development Advisor at the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany and most recently worked in H.R at the U.S. Embassy in Conakry, Guinea. After completing her MBA, she hopes to work in International Strategy for American companies who are looking to invest and pursue business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Lauren is a first-year BOTFL TA and is also a member of the consulting club and a student ambassador for Mendoza. 

Lauren can be reached at

Brian Scanlon


Brian Scanlon grew up outside of Orlando, FL and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in construction management.  After working in the construction industry for two years, he changed careers and enlisted in the United States Army, where he spent the past seven years in special operations.  Brian is now pursuing his MBA at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business with a concentration in business leadership and entrepreneurship.

Brian can be reached at