Notre Dame's sustainability program, open to all majors, seeks to inspire students to cultivate practices and ways of living that preserve natural resources for future generations. The minor is housed in the College of Science, but it has proven to be an ideal way for Arts and Letters students to connect their interest in science with their passion for the humanities.
Notre Dame alumna Ray’Von Jones ’16 wants to make a difference in the world of education. And her sociology and Spanish majors are going to help her get there. “Education doesn’t only happen inside schools,” Jones said. “It happens in communities and in neighborhoods. So it’s important for me to have a larger understanding of what’s going on in our country in terms of racial climate, what different communities look like, and how they interact.
Claire O’Donnell has long been interested in researching education in developing countries, and her international economics major gave her the tools to do it. A 2016 Notre Dame graduate from Arlington Heights, Illinois, O’Donnell presented her senior thesis research this spring at the Undergraduate Research Paper Competition at the Midwest Economics Association’s annual conference. O’Donnell, who also completed a supplemental major in applied mathematics and a concentration in financial economics and econometrics, has accepted a position as a management consultant with PwC in Chicago.
Lindsey Horvath ’04 had one goal for her future—to be of service to others. At Notre Dame, she developed a broad range of skills that would help her pursue that goal, both in her career and in her community. The political science and gender studies major now serves as mayor of West Hollywood, Calif., in addition to owning an entertainment advertising agency.
Inspired by her extensive research on a 10th-century German empress, Ph.D. candidate Megan Welton set her sights early on a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), which provides funding for American students to study in Germany. Her patience and planning paid off recently, when she was awarded the scholarship to study for a year in Essen. “My success in winning a DAAD fellowship is directly linked with the immense support that I have received as a part of the Medieval Institute and as part of the wider Notre Dame community,” she said.
Two recent undergraduate courses in the Department of Political Science have done away with the traditional classroom experience, instead opting for immersive participatory experiences. Whether designing, administering, and analyzing their own opinion poll or creating a mock Congress, students in these courses gain real-world experience that enlivens learning and can even give them an edge in the job market.
Notre Dame economics major Melanie Wallskog walked into her professor’s office hours with a question. She walked out with a job. That simple act of reaching out to a professor led to research opportunities in Nicaragua, Ireland, and Chicago. The senior from Bloomington, Indiana, and Glynn Family Honors Scholar has now co-authored a paper with two of her professors and is working on her senior thesis.
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.
Notre Dame sophomore Olivia May has been interested in classical cultures for a long time. This past summer she was able to experience one in a new way—by physically sifting through its remains. The Wisconsin native received an award from the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission to study in Northern Britain, including two weeks digging at the site of an ancient Roman fort, helping to uncover evidence of the Roman Empire’s influence in England.
The way Andrew Flatley sees it, his liberal arts education and the work he’s done in the hard sciences are surprisingly similar. “They both, from different starting points, move toward the same goal of trying to come up with a solution that can help humanity,” he said. That sentiment was echoed in the work Flatley did this summer. A senior anthropology major, he spent 10 weeks interning at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, studying mice with Down syndrome.