Adriana Fazio ’19 went from watching her idol on TV every day to working alongside her. A fan of The Today Show since childhood, it was no surprise that the American studies and film, television, and theatre major chose to explore the career of Katie Couric for her senior thesis. By studying Couric’s career, Fazio set her own in motion — the opportunity to interview the famed journalist ended up leading to a job with Katie Couric Media, where she’s worked across a variety of media projects.
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“Living abroad for the past five years, I was often the first Black and/or American my foreign students met, so I believe it is important for U.S. diplomats abroad to reflect the diverse American population,” said Fauvé Liggans-Hubbard. “These experiences, along with many others, solidified my passion for cultural exchange, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of a program that aims to increase diversity in the U.S. Foreign Service.”
"I feel like Notre Dame helped me with seizing opportunities to go abroad," said Hayes, who now is attending Officer Candidate School and plans to join the U.S. Navy. "I had never left the country, other than to go to Canada. And then [at Notre Dame], I saw there were study abroad experiences and grants to go abroad. That really gave me the travel bug."
Wetzel was attracted to Notre Dame's Reilly Dual Degree program because he could pursue his interests in industrial design and mechanical engineering. As a student, he started a pop-up business and built lofts for peers in residence halls. And in 2012, he created the winning design for The Shirt that students and fans wear to football games. Today, he's a senior product manager at ChartHop.
The government and international studies major who grew up idolizing Jacques Cousteau and Marlin Perkins said nature shows are nurturing. "They feed your soul. For me, producing these films is rewarding but not in a monetary sense. I continue to do it because there are remarkable, compelling stories in nature."
Notre Dame alumna Tess Gunty ’15 has won the National Book Award for fiction for her debut novel, The Rabbit Hutch. Born and raised in South Bend, Gunty majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. “My writing professors from Notre Dame uprooted my literary preconceptions and planted far better ideas in their place,” Gunty writes in the book’s acknowledgments. “I cherished their generosity as an undergraduate, and I continue to cherish it now.”
Roos received the Sheedy Award, the Joyce and Dockweiler Awards for undergraduate teaching and mentorship, and a Notre Dame Presidential Award for service to the campus community. The Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy annually presents the John Roos Award to students with the best senior honors thesis in American politics.
"We must decide the type of world that we want to live in and make sacrifices and changes to achieve that outcome," said Miller. "Leaders that can grasp just how much has changed between the Middle Ages and the present day will find it easier to find that 'true north' moral conviction to be passionate stewards for change."
Maps don’t just show us where things are located — for urban planner Asha Barnes ’18, they also reveal stories about who we are and how we live our lives. Majoring in anthropology and Africana studies at Notre Dame allowed Barnes to explore humanity and identity using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She’s now employed these research techniques in her career, continuing to give back by telling the stories of those who have been silenced. “It was through my education that I was able to put to words my own experience as an Afro-American woman living in this country,” said Barnes, now an associate planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “It was through my education at Notre Dame that I was able to learn the skills that I have now to collect and tell the stories of other people and advocate for communities that I’ve worked with.”
As an undergraduate at Notre Dame in the 1970s, Ann Combs was often the only woman in her classes. But that didn't faze her — in fact, it prepared her for a successful 40-year career in public policy affecting retirement and health care benefits. Combs served in the Department of Labor under three presidents, culminating in being appointed assistant secretary for employee benefits security by President George W Bush. She also worked in the private sector, helping trade associations and private companies navigate Washington, D.C. Throughout it all, the skills she developed and knowledge she gleaned from her Notre Dame liberal arts education served her well in her career.
Over the past four years, Tim Keller ’00 has found that leading his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has much more in common with studying art than he initially thought. Being able to analyze and understand the context, history, and circumstances of Albuquerque has helped Keller recognize and address his community’s needs. It’s just one of the many surprising ways art history has re-entered his life since earning his degree — and one of the many skills he developed in his liberal arts education that have remained a constant throughout his career.
When the company he worked for let its entire business development team go, David Wallace, 61, founded Bay Ridge Consulting Group, became an independent consultant with Corporate Visions and Culture Partners, co-authored the business book, Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner and occasionally guest lectures at the Mendoza College of Business.“Sometimes I have to pinch myself,” he said. “Sometimes it seems like luck, but it was a lot of work to get here.”
Tambr, which is available on Google Play and the App Store, seeks to give all musicians a way to be heard while allowing them to monetize their music in a new and fair way. “Some musicians are livestreaming performances every week. They are really excited to have a new tool," said Go. "That’s the most gratifying thing for me."
In addition to teaching, Hedlin will assist with curriculum design and outreach, and work with faculty and staff to build a robust and intellectually serious community around the study of business and the practice of the liberal arts. “My courses are all about experiential learning," she said. "I want students to be active, to try something new together.”
For Shinjini Chattopadhyay, Ulysses provides a blueprint for understanding modern life in post-colonial times. The winner of Notre Dame's Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award will begin as a tenure-track assistant professor at Berry College in Georgia this fall.
Ann Hermann, who double-majored in computer science and Chinese, will research comparative tech policy and social media algorithms in the U.S. and China. Susan Peters, who majored in international economics with a concentration in Chinese, will examine effects of recent changes in China’s “cram,” or test-prep, school policies.
Melinda Henneberger, a 1980 University of Notre Dame alumna and columnist for the Sacramento Bee, won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, journalism’s highest honor. Henneberger was honored for “persuasive columns demanding justice for alleged victims of a retired police detective accused of being a sexual predator,” pieces she wrote while working as vice president and editorial page editor for The Kansas City Star. Graduates of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have now won Pulitzer Prizes three out of the last four years.
As a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at Duke University Medical Center, Natalie (Jackson) Hibshman ’17 applies what she learned at Notre Dame and in medical school to improve the lives of her patients. But there's always more to learn. With every physical problem someone encounters, she’s found there are complicated mental and emotional dynamics entwined with it — and her liberal arts education prepared her to take on the task of treating patients holistically.
Fathers remain understudied when it comes to contributions they make to their children's health and well-being. “There’s a lot of interest in how dads and other caregivers can help shape the future health of children, and this new work provides insights about the biology that may contribute to those outcomes,”
Dinah Lawan won the 2022 Gary F. Barnabo Political Science Writing Prize for the best paper about a current national or global issue that provides a plan for specific action and a nonviolent resolution. Lawan recommended a peacebuilding approach to effectively dismantle Boko Haram, which has has killed more than 350,000 people in Nigeria.
The Illinois resident became interested in studying Chinese when her aunt moved to Beijing to report on the 2008 Olympics. Margaret Rauch thrived in her ND Chinese language classes, completing the highest level in her sophomore year. She then took Classical Chinese and designed an independent research project—three semesters of directed readings that examined Su Xuelin, a May Fourth Intellectual who converted to Catholicism and wrote horny Heart.
Irma Ibarra, who spoke Spanish and English when she arrived in South Bend, majored in Italian, studied in Rome, took Beginning French, and wishes she had taken a Portuguese course. Studying French helped Kyle Dorshorst gain a deeper appreciation of French music, literature, art, and culture. Maria Teel loved that her language skills could bridge gaps between people, including at the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. When Fouad El Zoghbi came to Notre Dame, he spoke French, English, and Arabic. Then he studied Spanish. Learning a new language, he said, expands your mind in unimaginable ways.
The Office of the Provost presented Kimberly Belcher, Ann-Marie Conrado, Blake Leyerle, Forrest Spence, and Michael Macaluso with Joyce Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and presented Maureen Dawson with a Dockweiler Award for outstanding advising.
Notre Dame alumna Geraldine Mukumbi has been named a 2022 Knight-Hennessy Scholar. She is Notre Dame’s second consecutive Knight-Hennessy Scholar and third in the past four years. An English and Africana studies major, she will now pursue a doctorate in curriculum studies and teacher education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is interested in interventions in the English classroom that can inspire students to be lifelong readers — particularly, the role that young adult fiction can play in improving the quality of literacy for multilingual students.
University of Notre Dame alumnus Charles Sheedy and his wife, Ellen, have made a leadership gift to his alma mater to endow an innovative new program that will offer specialized coursework, programming and resources for undergraduate students interested in finding deeper meaning in the practice of business through the liberal arts. The Sheedy Family Program in Economy, Enterprise and Society will be open to College of Arts and Letters students with a minor in business economics or a Mendoza College of Business minor, or Mendoza majors who have a major, supplemental major, or minor in the College of Arts and Letters.
Now a cultural anthropologist and professor of comparative American studies at Oberlin College, Gina Pérez ’90 strives to foster that same love of ideas among her students that she discovered in the Program of Liberal Studies at Notre Dame, encouraging them to take fresh looks at topics people have contemplated for centuries. Driven by her faith, Pérez's has spent her post-Notre Dame career engaging with communities both in the U.S. and Latin America through service, activism, and research. “I believe that ideas and conversations can change the world for the better — because they lead to informed and thoughtful action and engagement with the world,” she said.
Catherine Brown Tkacz recovers positive traditions about women that have been largely forgotten since what Brad Gregory aptly calls the Unintended Reformation. She said at least 11 biblical women have been recognized as prefiguring Christ in his passion, a dynamic way of emphasizing that everyone, male and female, is called to be holy.
A love of language led Mary Agnes “M.A.” Laguatan ’85 to Notre Dame. Four years later, that interest had blossomed into a curiosity about the rest of the world — and a calling to live out her values in the service of others. Now an executive with the global office of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Laguatan’s time at Notre Dame allowed her to discover her place and purpose in the world, one defined by helping others and offering dignity to those in need at home and abroad.
The University of Notre Dame is among the top producers of Fulbright Program students for the eighth consecutive year, according to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which administers the Fulbright Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Among research institutions, the University finished second with 26 Fulbright recipients for the 2021-22 academic year, tied with Georgetown and Harvard and ahead of Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, and Yale.
Among Notre Dame's 26 recipients were 20 Arts & Letters undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni — meaning the College of Arts & Letters produced more Fulbright winners than Penn, the University of Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, New York University, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Duke.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed the nomination of University of Notre Dame alumnus and former senator Joe Donnelly as ambassador to the Holy See. A 1977 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Donnelly went on to earn his law degree from the University four years later. He represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Notre Dame, for three terms and served one term in the U.S. Senate.