Robert O’Connor, Ph.D., is interested in how people appropriate their faith and move from initial commitment to a religious stance towards either a deeper or more distant position. He studies the “lessons” that can be learned from similar experiences in previous circumstances. He regularly teaches adult bible studies for local parishes, as well as does marriage preparation for couples. Interested in instructional technology, Dr. O’Connor has served on numerous university committees and initiatives related to it. He has consulted church organizations, parishes, and schools to improve their structures and functions. He was also a founder of Communities in Schools, San Antonio, a dropout prevention program.
In his role as the Ombuds, Professor O'Connor has been available to listen to faculty, staff, and students and to help clarify communications, complaints, and concerns with the hope of resolving them informally. O'Connor has worked to develop his skills by joining the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and attending workshops and programs provided by the organization. He adheres to the IOA Code of Ethics and implements its Standards of Best Practices at St. Mary's, which focus on confidentiality, impartiality, independence, and informality.