Latest News

Latest News » Alumni

Video: Tech entrepreneur Dan Peate ’00 on majoring in philosophy and how the liberal arts prepare students for robot-proof jobs

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: General News and Alumni

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Philosophy — do you even use that in business?’ And I actually do all the time, especially in the world of Silicon Valley,” said Dan Peate ’00. Peate is the founder of the technology companies DRIAV and Hixme, and is the managing director of Peate Ventures LLC, a venture capital fund. He credits his success in business to the skills he gained in asking foundational questions as a philosophy major. He seeks new employees who can demonstrate flexible thinking and thinks all students should broaden their abilities to work creatively.

Read More

Sounds like home: Department of English alumna embraces music and songwriting in Dublin

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Categories: Internationalism, General News, Arts, and Alumni

Julia Steiner ’14 writes songs and plays them in a Chicago-based rock band called Ratboys. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, before attending Notre Dame, where she graduated  with a degree in English. During her third year at the University, Steiner studied abroad in Dublin and attended Trinity College. She returned in summer 2014 to intern in the sports department at RTÉ, Ireland’s National Broadcaster. Here, Steiner reflects on her time in Dublin and the influence it had on her music.

Read More

Medieval studies Ph.D. alumna reflects on postdoctoral fellowship at London Global Gateway

Author: Joanna Byrne

Categories: Research, Internationalism, General News, Centers and Institutes, and Alumni

After receiving her Ph.D. in medieval studies from Notre Dame in 2017, Megan Welton spent a year as an Arts and Letters postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway in England. She is now a researcher on the NWO-VICI project, “Citizenship Discourses in the Early Medieval World” at Utrecht University.

Read More

Ph.D. and MFA alumna shortlisted for T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: Internationalism, Graduate Students, General News, Centers and Institutes, Arts, and Alumni

Ailbhe Darcy’s new volume of poetry, Insistence, has been shortlisted for the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry. Darcy, who now lives in Wales, received an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame in 2011 and a Ph.D. in English with an Irish studies graduate minor from the University in 2015. A poet, critic, and professor, she teaches contemporary Irish poetry and literature at Cardiff University.

Read More

Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program empowers students to re-energize sacred music in church and academy

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, General News, Faculty News, Catholicism, and Alumni

Music has the power to inspire, to sustain, and to build community. And students and alumni of Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Calvin M. Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program are playing a vital role in re-energizing the church and the academy through sacred music. With tracks in choral conducting and organ, the program offers an academically rigorous curriculum with a wide range of opportunities for performance, academic, and community engagement. The latest step forward for the DMA program is a generous gift from James and Molly Perry to endow and rename it in honor of Calvin M. Bower, professor emeritus of musicology.

Read More

Through her lens: Art alumna captures untold story in Kylemore

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, General News, Catholicism, and Alumni

It was a New Year’s Eve celebration that Mary McGraw '17 will never forget. McGraw was ringing in the new year with eight Benedictine nuns at Kylemore Abbey in Galway, Ireland. This intimate moment isn’t something that most study abroad students get to experience while in Ireland. In fact, most people will never know what it’s like to see these nuns behind closed doors. It took several months in Kylemore for McGraw to develop trust with the nuns and, ultimately, a relationship that allowed her to gain a unique perspective into their everyday lives. A studio art major with a photography concentration, McGraw was able to pull back the curtains and capture even more intimate moments through her camera lens — a project that led to her senior thesis.

Read More

For history major Micah Johnston, a year of service was a ‘master class’ in relationship building 

Author: Emily McConville

Categories: General News, Catholicism, and Alumni

Now a senior program office for IREX in Washington, D.C., Micah Johnston '06 spent his first year after graduation volunteering for the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly in Chicago. He spent his days visiting the homes of elderly individuals who did not regularly see friends or family. “Spending a year in service helps other people, but it can also be a master class in learning about the world, learning about other people, incorporating that into the education you get at Notre Dame,” he said.

Read More

Q&A with Leslie Lockett, alumna of the Ph.D. program at the Medieval Institute

Author: Brandon Cook and Karrie Fuller

Categories: Q and A, Graduate Students, General News, Centers and Institutes, and Alumni

In this Q&A, Leslie Lockett, an associate professor of English and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at The Ohio State University, discusses early medieval concepts of the mind, what initially hooked her on the Middle Ages, and her advice for graduate students who would like to follow her career track.

Read More

How seeing the Hesburgh Library's medieval manuscripts convinced a Notre Dame student to major in theology and German

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, Catholicism, and Alumni

One visit to the Hesburgh Library’s medieval manuscripts collection, and Luke Donahue ’17 was hooked. “I saw them and thought, ‘This is it.’ This is what I want to study,” Donahue said. “I was intrigued that there are all these manuscripts from the Middle Ages that no one has researched, and I was determined — I wanted to help fill that intellectual gap.” While he initially planned to study physics, Donahue decided to major in theology and German and add a minor in medieval studies.

Read More

PLS major Corey Robinson ’17 on how the liberal arts prepare students for lives of excellence and integrity

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, and Alumni

When he got to Notre Dame, Corey Robinson ’17 didn’t know what to major in — because he wanted to major in everything. He met with advisers in more than 20 departments, considering everything from Arts and Letters pre-health to Irish language and literature to aquatic biology. And he still wasn’t sure. That’s when his advising dean suggested the Program of Liberal Studies.

Read More

In online course on the Quran, theology professor connects Notre Dame students with perspectives from around the world

Author: Katie Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, General News, Faculty News, and Alumni

Gabriel Said Reynolds greets his students on the final day of his Introduction to the Quran course. He is in a small classroom on Notre Dame’s campus. His students are in Orlando, Colorado, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and beyond. Such arrangements are not uncommon in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs), but this one is different. It breaks new ground in the online learning space by bringing students participating in the MOOC around the world together with undergraduate and graduate students that Reynolds teaches in a traditional course at Notre Dame.

Read More

Video: Class of 2018 reflects on how an Arts and Letters education prepared them to succeed

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, Catholicism, Arts, and Alumni

Congratulations to the Class of 2018! 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. In it, the new graduates discuss how a liberal arts education helped them develop skills, shaped their minds, and opened up a world of possibilities for their futures.

Read More

Idzik Computing and Digital Technologies Program prepares students to launch successful careers

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, Faculty News, and Alumni

Now in its third year, the College of Arts and Letters' Idzik Computing and Digital Technologies Program is helping students supplement their education with technological and programming skills. The program was endowed and renamed this year in honor of its generous benefactors, Paul and Ruth Idzik. Designed to help students obtain skills needed for success in the modern digital world, the CDT minor can be extremely appealing for prospective employers who are already attracted to the communication, organization, and analytical skills honed through the liberal arts.

Read More

How Arts and Letters and FTT formed the foundation for husband-and-wife filmmaking duo’s Hollywood success

Author: Jack Rooney

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

Christine Swanson ’94 has written and directed multiple award-winning films. Her husband, Michael Swanson ’93, is an Emmy-winning producer and studio executive who has worked on hit Universal Television shows. The married Department of Film, Television, and Theatre alumni also make movies together through their Los Angeles-based production company, Faith Filmworks. Grounded in their Notre Dame liberal arts education and inspired by their deep Christian faith, the Swansons use their skills to tell the type of uplifting stories they feel are missing from big Hollywood studios.  

Read More

A global education prepares Arabic major for career in U.S. Department of Justice

Author: Eileen Lynch

Categories: Internationalism, General News, and Alumni

For Victoria Braga ’11, a semester in Egypt as an undergraduate gave her a new perspective on the United States — and shaped her future career path. Braga came to Notre Dame with an interest in international relations, but her study abroad experience inspired her to pursue a career as an attorney and a position in the U.S. government. Today, the Arabic and political science major works as a trial attorney in the appellate section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation.

Read More

Alumni discuss how the international economics major prepared them for jobs in consulting, finance, and research

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, and Alumni

Four alumni of Notre Dame’s international economics program returned to campus in March to speak to current students about their experience with the major, valuable classes they took, and the skills they developed that are now paying dividends in the real world

Read More

Physician relies on anthropology background when treating patients in trauma center

Author: Jack Rooney

Categories: General News and Alumni

As an orthopedic resident at Loyola University Medical Center, Daniel Schmitt ’11 sees a wide variety of patients. Schmitt, who majored in anthropology and biology, relies on his liberal arts education to connect with his diverse patient base and treat them comprehensively at the Level I trauma center — a hospital providing the highest level of surgery to trauma victims.

Read More

First Time Fans film series returns for Season 4, featuring work from students and alumni

Author: Ted Mandell

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Alumni

A truly unique production model, First Time Fans brings together Notre Dame alumni filmmakers and pairs them with current students to tell inspiring stories about extraordinary people on an extraordinary campus. A joint venture of the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, and the Athletics Department, First Time Fans is a filmmaking co-op where alumni are given the creative canvas to tell a Notre Dame story through the eyes of someone new to campus, using the backdrop of a Fighting Irish athletic event.

Read More

How a passion for a French painter and a knowledge of violins prepared an art history major to work at Sotheby’s

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

Growing up in South Bend, Carly Murphy ’01 always admired Marc Chagall’s Le Grand Cirque when she saw it in the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame. This piece of art sparked a love of French culture in Murphy, who went on to major in French and art history in the College of Arts and Letters. Now vice president of global client development at Sotheby’s international art auction house, Murphy returned to campus last semester to speak to a gathering of students, reflecting on her Notre Dame education and offering advice on entering the art world. 

Read More

Program of Liberal studies alumnus uses big data to fight inequality in education

Author: Jack Rooney

Categories: Research, General News, Catholicism, and Alumni

For his entire academic career, Sean Reardon ’86 has sought to use his passions — the humanities and quantitative research — to make a difference in the field of education. One of the nation’s leading experts on educational inequality, Reardon researches how opportunities and outcomes vary in the United States for students of different racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Reardon’s path to his current position, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education at Stanford University, is long and sprawling. It includes stops on a South Dakota Indian Reservation, a New Jersey Quaker school, and further academic work at Harvard and Penn State — but it all began at Notre Dame.

Read More

Notre Dame history and Africana studies alumna wins MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, and Alumni

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a 1998 Notre Dame graduate, has won a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — commonly known as a “Genius” Grant. Hannah-Jones, who majored in history and African American studies (now Africana studies), is an investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine, covering issues of racial inequality, especially in education. In 2015, she produced three Peabody Award-winning radio stories for This American Life illustrating how school desegregation can lessen the achievement gap between white children and students of color, and her first-person article, “Worlds Apart: Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” won a 2017 National Magazine Award.

Read More

Corbett Family Hall: A dynamic mix of academics, community, and technology

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Graduate Students, General News, Undergraduate News, Research, Alumni, and Faculty News

Corbett Family Hall strikes a stunning silhouette rising above the east side of Notre Dame Stadium. But for the Departments of Anthropology and Psychology, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Below the club seating, terraces, and press box on the building’s top three levels, faculty and students from these two social science departments will come together in the new 289,000-square-foot structure, made possible by a leadership gift from Notre Dame alumnus Richard Corbett. With classrooms, laboratories, and offices all under one massive roof, research and teaching efforts are united in a way that will bring untold benefits.

Read More

One-person play on Notre Dame founder to premiere Aug. 30

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: General News, Alumni, Catholicism, and Arts

The University of Notre Dame will premiere Sorin: A Notre Dame Story, a one-person play about the life and work of the University’s founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., on Aug. 30 (Wed.) at 6:42 p.m. in the Patricia George Decio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. This production celebrates the 175th anniversary of the University through the collaborative creative work of four notable alumni of Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters: director Patrick Vassel '07, playwright Christina Telesca Gorman '91, performer Matthew Goodrich '09, and projection designer Ryan Belock '11.

Read More

2017 graduate named one of top five industrial design students in U.S.

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, Alumni, and Arts

Erin Rice ’17 has been named one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Rice is the seventh student in the last 10 years from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters to win the Student Merit Award at IDSA’s Midwest District Design Conference.

Read More

Video: After full-time service work, political science alumna excels in job at Facebook

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: General News and Alumni

“The liberal arts education is one of the best things Notre Dame offers,” said Kaitlin Sullivan ’10, now a product policy manager at Facebook. Sullivan majored in political science and minored in philosophy, politics and economics. After graduating, she completed two years of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps working in a rape crisis center. While working on a master's degree in public policy at George Washington University, Sullivan interned at Facebook and started a small project addressing gender-based hate speech on the social media platform, ultimately leading to her current job.

Read More