When King Fok was 6 years old, he suffered from an orthopedic condition that caused him to spend two years on crutches. Uncovered by his health insurance, the condition was Fok’s first glimpse into how socioeconomic status impacts health care. That childhood experience informed his decision to major in Arts and Letters pre-health at the University of Notre Dame. As a future physician, he hopes to make medical care more efficient, inclusive, and accessible to all. A sociology class his freshman year helped him discover a perfect major to pair with pre-health.
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Michael Feijoo loves finding ways his everyday life relates to big-picture questions. That’s one of the many reasons the junior finds value in majoring in theology and Arts and Letters pre-health. His combination of academic passions also brought him twice to Ecuador, where served with Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit organization that provides sustainable medical care to South American countries.
In Notre Dame International's study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, students can enroll in a unique pre-medicine track, taking classes on health-related topics at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla. Participants in this track also shadow doctors twice per week in two Mexican public hospitals, learning about different specialties and gaining valuable clinical experience. They return with valuable language and cultural experience and a new perspective on health care, which they can apply to their future health professions at home or abroad.
In summer 2016, Notre Dame senior Andrew Grose studied abroad in Spain — taking a headfirst dive into a language and culture he loved and had studied for years. The experience confirmed for him that whatever path he takes after graduation, Spanish will be a part of it. Grose, a Spanish and preprofessional studies major, is planning a career in medicine and knows his language skills will be a valuable asset — a fact that was underscored in a course on Latin America he took last fall.
Congratulations to the Class of 2017! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters. "Coming to Notre Dame has instilled in me a sense of possibility to do great things with those gifts that I've acquired here — knowledge, skills, friends, community — and bringing that to the world," said political science major Olivia Till, who will join Atlantic Media's National Journal as a research fellow. "And I'm excited for that journey."
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the National Science Foundation, the Rhodes Trust, and other organizations have awarded scholarships and fellowships to 23 members of the College of Arts and Letters’ Class of 2017.
The decisions Dr. James Gajewski ’78 makes are often ones of life and death. Over the course of his nearly 35-year medical career, the Portland, Oregon-based hematologist has specialized in stem cell and bone marrow transplants and cancer treatment, where anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of his patients may die. When he’s faced with difficult decisions, though, he relies not on his medical training, but on his College of Arts Letters education.
After initially planning on pursuing a career in sports medicine, Kim Lisiak '13 changed her plans after a first-year theology course at Notre Dame. She switched her majors to theology and Arts and Letters pre-health and began exploring a new question—how to help people in a way that would have as great an impact as being a doctor. She now uses her liberal arts background every day as chief of staff to the CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and finds the company’s mission to provide innovative, compassionate care a perfect fit.
In the American health care system, the elderly can often be shortchanged. Dr. Nick Schneeman ’80 is convinced that a typical office visit or a trip to the emergency room is simply not enough to address the complex medical issues they face. Schneeman developed a model to provide compassionate and effective care for the frail elderly while also running his business successfully. From humble beginnings, the practice has flourished.
King Fok, a a junior majoring in sociology and Arts and Letters pre-health with a minor in international development studies, has been awarded the 2016 Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship for his semester of study at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway. Launched by the Association of American Study Abroad Programmes (AASAP/UK), the Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship rewards a “deserving student” who “demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience.”
“The focus of your education should be on trying to open your doors to a more international understanding of the world, and I think the Spanish major does an amazing job in preparing us for that,” said Nick Nissen ’16, a Spanish major in the College of Arts and Letters. Studying Spanish at Notre Dame provides students with the skills needed to fully experience the Spanish-speaking world. Students learn the language while also studying literature and culture to better understand the historical and social contexts of the 400 million native Spanish speakers around the world.
Maggie Skoch, a 2016 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, was recognized as this year’s Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health Award recipient at The Jed Foundation’s annual gala in New York City on June 7. The prestigious annual award honors a student who has reduced prejudice around mental illness, raised awareness of mental health issues on campus, and encouraged help-seeking among their peers. Skoch, an Arts and Letters pre-health and theology graduate from Mentor, Ohio, will attend the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University in Chicago to pursue a career in psychiatry.
Dr. Patrick Lyons ’08 doesn’t ask his patients if they have questions when he’s finished talking with them about a diagnosis. There’s a good chance they’ll say no. Instead, he asks what questions they have. Looking at how he practices medicine now, especially in his interactions with patients, Lyons realizes his time as an English major had a profound effect on how he communicates. “English prepared me well because I have the ability to think critically and organize and analyze the information in front of me,” he said. “Word choice and the way you’re addressing patients can be really powerful.”
The University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs honored five students—Maggie Skoch, Colleen McLinden, Preston Igwe, Meredith Fraser, and Maggie Bowers—from the College of Arts and Letters at its 30th-annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 7. These annual awards recognize current students who have made exceptional contributions to the Notre Dame community.
Take the skills liberal arts majors already have — analysis, communication, creative collaboration, critical thinking. Now add intensive training in business and entrepreneurship. That’s a recipe for success, according to College of Arts and Letters alumni who have gone on to Notre Dame’s Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s program (ESTEEM). The 11-month professional master’s degree program has primarily trained students with STEM backgrounds in business and entrepreneurship to spur the launch of startup companies. It is now also actively recruiting Arts and Letters majors.
Through the liberal arts, you learn to read deeply. Think about issues critically. Discuss topics thoughtfully. Write arguments persuasively. Contribute to projects creatively. And these abilities aren’t just vital in the classroom—they’re exactly what employers, graduate schools, and service organizations are looking for. With 20 departments across the humanities, arts, and social sciences, the College of Arts and Letters is home to exceptional faculty and talented students who are studying what they love.
Sarah Tomas Morgan, Scott Copeland, and JesusisLord Nwadiuko were three of 60 College of Arts and Letters students who engaged in an immersive cultural and linguistic experience through the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures’ Summer Language Abroad program. Through intensive language coursework and daily interaction with native speakers, students rapidly enhanced their command of a foreign language—be it Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, or Swahili.
Emmie Mediate, a 2015 graduate of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2016. A native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mediate was one of 32 Rhodes Scholars selected from a pool of 869 candidates who had been nominated by their colleges and universities. She is Notre Dame’s 17th Rhodes Scholar and the University’s second in two years.
Patrick Salemme ’14 went to Mexico to make an impact on global health. Once he got there, his experience in the College of Arts and Letters helped him determine how he could do the most good. The anthropology and Arts and Letters pre-health major deferred his entry into medical school in order to spend a year in Chiapas, Mexico—a mountainous, coffee-farming region where more than half the residents live below the poverty line.
The Kellogg Institute for International Studies has named five graduating seniors—all of whom have majors or minors in the College of Arts and Letters—as recipients of its International Development Fellowships (IDF) for the coming year. Members of the Notre Dame Class of 2015 Megan Fuerst, Matthew Hing, Emily Mediate, Chris Newton, and Laura Zillmer will work with four partner organizations across the developing world in the second year of the recently expanded program.
Four University of Notre Dame students—including three from the College of Arts and Letters—received an Undergraduate Library Research Award (ULRA) for their exemplary research skills during a special event at the eighth annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference on May 1. More than 80 undergraduate research and scholarship projects were showcased at the conference.
From a 17th-century castle in Birr, Ireland to the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Spain, Notre Dame students pursue projects around the world with the support of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Sponsored by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, UROP provides financial support to students who are carrying out research or creative projects, writing a senior thesis, or presenting research at a conference.
During the summer of 2014, Notre Dame Spanish and pre-health major Nick Nissen traveled to Spain with finance and philosophy major Paul Grima to study the varied rates of cesarean sections across autonomous communities there.
Beginning in fall 2014, Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and College of Science will offer a collaborative major in neuroscience and behavior, which will include both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science tracks.
Class of 2014 College of Arts and Letters graduates Patrick Salemme and Olivia Schneider and 2014 College of Engineering graduate Maria Krug are the first recipients of the new International Development Fellowships established by the the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. The competitive one-year awards place the recipients in field partnerships with three international development organizations.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program and other national and international organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 14 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2014, including 11 who majored in the College of Arts and Letters. In addition, three Arts and Letters graduates from earlier classes received prestigious awards this year, including a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and a George Mitchell Scholarship.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several of our seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters.