James Puglisi


I am currently the Associate Director of Campus Ministry at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, finishing up my 10th year in Austin.  I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA where most of my family still resides. I come from a large Sicilian family (my dad was one of 13 kids). Obviously, I am an avid Steelers fan and love all things Pennsylvanian.  I received my Bachelor of Arts (1984) from Allegheny College, Meadville, PA in Anthropology of Religions.  I also hold a Master of Arts in Higher Education (1996) from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, and a Master of Arts in Applied Theology (2002) from Wheeling Jesuit University.  In 2008 I was awarded a Doctor of Ministry from Catholic Theological Union in the area of Practical Theology. In addition to my academic work, In my free time I enjoy the salsa and swing dancing scene in Austin.  Love to catch jazz at the Continental Gallery and bluegrass wherever possible.  I have had a passion for rugby for over thirty years and remain part of the community here in Austin with the Huns Rugby Club.  I have recently taken up fitness and have lost over 70lbs. in the last year. My work at St. Edward’s University keeps me actively involved in interfaith and ecumenical work at the University and in the larger Austin Community.  I also seek to pursue avenues of promoting racial reconciliation.  In addition to my work in campus ministry, I teach courses in the cultural foundations curriculum in the area of migration, culture, and diversity and have presented at conferences on racial reconciliation and inter-religious dialogue. It has been due to my theological and anthropological studies that I have grown an interest in the movement of people’s and had the benefit of being introduced to the important work of the MRC.  What I appreciate about the work of the MRC is it’s commitment to empowering others to empower themselves.  Whether by developing workforce skills, participating in citizenship classes, or bringing their own unique skills in agritculture, the MRC walks with individuals to find a place in their new home and to become participating and contributing members of Austin’s growth.