Latest News

Latest News » Alumni

FedEx Executive Combines Liberal Arts and Engineering

Author: Ben Horvath

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, Alumni, and Centers and Institutes

An engineer with a strong liberal arts background is a valuable asset in today’s business world, says Craig Simon, president and chief executive officer of FedEx SupplyChain and a 1989 alumnus of Notre Dame’s distinctive Arts and Letters/Engineering Dual-Degree Program. “When you get into the business world, you’re going to stand out because you will have the ability to use both sides of your brain,” says Simon, who spoke at a recent event honoring the top students in the program.

Read More

Alumna Goes Live from Vatican City

Author: Scott Frano

Categories: General News, Alumni, Internationalism, and Catholicism

Millions of Americans watched live nightly news coverage of the papal conclave in Vatican City, and if you happened to be watching NBC, you were likely being told the news by a Notre Dame alumna. Anne Thompson ’79 is NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent and has covered stories from the Gulf oil spill to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Given her Catholic background and previous reporting on the Church, Thompson was assigned to cover the conclave, much to her excitement.

Read More

Alumnus Tests Limits of Body and Mind

Author: Scott Frano

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Internationalism

Imagine you have just completed 26.2 miles of running, with legs like Jell-O, a headache, and worn-out lungs. Now imagine running that same marathon in the searing heat of the Sahara Desert or the blistering cold of the North Pole. That’s what Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters alumnus Michael Collins ’87, ’91 M.A. does. In addition to being an “ultra-marathoner,” Collins, who has a Ph.D. in English, is also a successful novelist and playwright.

Read More

Theology Alumna Melanie Howard Wins Essay Prize

Categories: General News and Alumni

Melanie A. Howard, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s Master in Theological Studies (MTS) program, has won the 2011-12 Word & World Essay Prize for Doctoral Candidates. The prize is sponsored by Word & World: Theology for Christian Ministry, a quarterly journal published by Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minn. Joseph S. Khalil, a current Ph.D. student in the department, won the prize last year.

Read More

Arts and Letters Alumnus Leads New NCAA Medical Office

Author: Scott Frano

Categories: General News and Alumni

With sports injuries a growing concern, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) decided last year to create a centralized medical office to improve safety in college sports nationwide. And they hired a Domer to do it. In October, the NCAA named Dr. Brian Hainline ’78 as the NCAA’s first ever chief medical officer. At Notre Dame, Hainline took the Arts and Letters pre-med track, which allowed him to study philosophy, too.

Read More

English Alumnus Part of Marvel’s Success

Author: Scott Frano

Categories: General News and Alumni

The Spider-Man series, The Avengers, the X-Men series—these films, produced by Marvel Comics’ production company, Marvel Studios, are some of the highest-grossing films of the 21st century. All are based on characters and stories from Marvel comic books, and it’s the job of Bill Rosemann ’93 to keep those characters and stories coming. Rosemann, an editor at Marvel Comics’ New York office, read comics in his youth and majored in English at Notre Dame.

Read More

Notre Dame Ranks on Peace Corps’ Annual List of Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

Author: John Guimond

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Internationalism

For the 13th year in a row, the University of Notre Dame has earned a spot on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. With 23 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, the University ranks No. 18 and remains a solid source of individuals committed to making a difference at home and abroad. Since the agency was created in 1961, 865 Notre Dame alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

Read More

Economics Alumnus Wins TIAA-CREF’s Samuelson Award

Categories: General News and Alumni

Sylvester Schieber, who received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1974, was recently recognized by TIAA-CREF for his work on the history of the U.S. retirement system and the ways in which it could be improved. Schieber won the 17th annual TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security for his book The Predictable Surprise: The Unraveling of the U.S. Retirement System.

Read More

Video: Notre Dame Alumnus and Astronaut Kevin Ford on the Value of a Well-Rounded Education

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Internationalism

University of Notre Dame alumnus and NASA shuttle veteran Kevin A. Ford spoke with his alma mater from his command post on the International Space Station. “I took a Russian class at Notre Dame. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fly someday in a Russian spacecraft with two cosmonauts, speaking only Russian,” he says.

Read More

‘Life of Kings’ for Pulitzer Winner Mike Leary Began at Notre Dame

Author: Mark Shuman

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Internationalism

In the lobby of the Baltimore Sun offices, beneath a photo of the newspaper’s late, legendary journalist and essayist H.L. Mencken, there is a quote: “As I look back over a misspent life, I find myself more and more convinced that I had more fun doing news reporting than in any other enterprise. It is really the life of kings.” To University of Notre Dame history alumnus Mike Leary ’71, those sentiments feel about right. “I’ve never done anything else, nor would I want to,” says the Pulitzer Prize winner.

Read More

Arts and Letters Alumnus Combines Storytelling and Sports

Author: Mary Kate Malone

Categories: General News and Alumni

As a history and economics major at Notre Dame, David Finocchio ’05 wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, but he felt certain it would not involve sitting at a desk and crunching numbers. Instead, he took a shot and created bleacherreport.com, now the third most-visited sports website in the country. Last summer, Finocchio and the site’s two other founders sold the company to Turner Sports for $200 million.

Read More

Public Relations Expert Draws on Liberal Arts Background

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News and Alumni

Nancy Ruscheinski, chief innovation officer and global vice chair at Edelman—the world’s largest public relations firm—returned to the University of Notre Dame recently to deliver an unlikely message to undergraduates: it’s okay to not have a plan for your future right away. As an Arts and Letters student, Ruscheinski ’84 explored a broad range of interests while developing a versatile—and valuable—skill set.

Read More

Political Science Ph.D. Alumnus Wins Warren E. Burger Prize

Author: Kate Cohorst

Categories: General News and Alumni

Derek A. Webb, who received his Ph.D. from Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science in 2008, was recently honored at the U.S. Supreme Court for his paper titled “The Original Meaning of Civility: Democratic Deliberation at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.” Webb’s essay won the American Inn of Court’s prestigious 2012 Warren E. Burger Prize, named for the late Chief Justice and the founder and first president of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Read More

Arts and Letters Alumnus Named Ambassador to Mozambique

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

Douglas Griffiths ’86 has been a professional globetrotter for more than two decades—not collecting postcards but rather serving his country in U.S. diplomatic outposts all over the world. Griffiths, who received his B.A. in government from the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, was appointed U.S. ambassador to Mozambique in July.

Read More

Arts and Letters Alumnus Wins Prestigious Award for Work With Homeless

Author: Megan Zagger

Categories: General News and Alumni

James O’Connell, M.D., a 1970 University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters graduate and founder and president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, was recently awarded the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism. Presented by The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, this prestigious award recognizes O’Connell for his advocacy and direct service to people experiencing homelessness. The Schweitzer Prize is given to an individual whose life example has significantly improved the health of people in the United States or abroad, and whose commitment to service influences and inspires others.

Read More

First-Year English Course Leads to Writing Career

Author: Mary Kate Malone

Categories: General News and Alumni

In the fall of her first year at Notre Dame, Stephanie Fitzhugh ‘91 sat nervously at her desk in an O’Shaughnessy Hall classroom, awaiting the start of her Composition and Literature class. Fitzhugh, who always excelled in math and science, felt uneasy taking a course focused on subjects that usually gave her trouble: literature and writing.

Read More

Political Scientist Continues Research in Post-Doc at Brown

Author: Mike Danahey

Categories: General News and Alumni

The European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize—despite current economic woes and social unrest—for transforming most of Europe from “a continent of war to a continent of peace.” But political scientist Joshua Bandoch, who received his Ph.D. at Notre Dame this year and is now a post-doctoral fellow at Brown University, argues that the 27-member-nation European Union is trying to form too close of a union. “This is problematic because the diverse peoples of this union are more different than their leaders seem to want to acknowledge.”

Read More

Notre Dame Film Students’ Documentary Explores a New Kind of Modern Family

Author: Claire Stephens

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

Project Hopeful, a documentary 2012 University of Notre Dame graduates Grace Johnson and Kelsie Kiley made for a course in the Department of Film, Television and Theater (FTT), is about a new kind of modern family: one where an Illinois couple with seven biological children doubles the size of its family by adopting orphans with HIV/AIDS and special needs.

Read More

Liberal Arts Education Inspires Life of Learning for Dr. Bob Arnot

Author: Mark Shuman

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Internationalism

Dr. Bob Arnot ’70 has worked as an Olympic physician, served on the boards of Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, worked as the chief medical correspondent for NBC and CBS News, covered most major humanitarian disasters, served as MSNBC’s chief foreign correspondent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and written a dozen best-selling books on health and nutrition. As host of the television show Dr. Danger, he navigates treacherous assignments in Somalia, Sudan, and other global hotspots. Arnot also spends four months a year on humanitarian projects in Africa and the Middle East, and just completed a PBS documentary on starving children. His passions, he says, took root in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.

Read More

The Breadth and Depth of Life: Former Chief Justice Lauds Liberal Arts Perspective

Author: Mary Kate Malone

Categories: General News and Alumni

Of the many lessons Kathleen Blatz ’76 took from Notre Dame, the one she says mattered most was not learned in a specific class or from a certain professor. Rather, it was the entirety of her educational experience—from studying abroad in Rome to diving into art history to exploring anthropology—that broadened her perspective on life and helped shape her own path.

Read More

Notre Dame Magazine Essays Honored

Author: Claire Stephens

Categories: General News and Alumni

Two essays published in Notre Dame Magazine last year have been named to the “Notable Essays of 2011” in this year’s collection of The Best American Essays, edited by David Brooks and Robert Atwan. Both essays were written by graduates of the University’s College of Arts and Letters.

Read More

Alumnus Helps Shape U.S. Policy on Africa, Development

Author: Renée LaReau

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

As a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff in Washington, D.C., Matthew Walsh ’06 conducts policy research, makes policy recommendations on Africa and development strategy, and contributes to speeches for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “One of our jobs is to provide the Secretary of State with second opinions on policy issues,” says Walsh, who majored in political science and peace studies at Notre Dame. “It’s an exciting job that goes to the heart of almost every foreign policy debate and can have a real influence on policy.”

Read More

From Arts and Letters to International Finance

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Internationalism

As an undergraduate economics major in the College of Arts and Letters, Bill Kennedy ’90 took an Asian history class to fulfill one of his academic requirements. That class, he says, is part of the reason he is now a top portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments in London. “I fell in love with international business because I’d taken government requirements and then a fascinating Asian history class,” he says. “My professor got me really excited about the opportunities in Asia. My career grew right out of my Arts and Letters degree; I became fascinated with things that are now relevant to my career and what I do every day.”

Read More

Poem by English Ph.D. Student and Creative Writing MFA Ailbhe Darcy Featured by The Guardian

Author: Mary Hendriksen

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

A poem by University of Notre Dame English doctoral candidate Ailbhe Darcy is this week’s Poem of the Week in The Guardian. Given that last week’s featured poem was William Shakespeare’s “The Phoenix and the Turtle,” Darcy’s “Silt Whisper” is in good company.

Read More

Economics Alumnus Helps Brew a Coffee Change

Author: Scott Frano

Categories: General News and Alumni

Plenty of American office workers have used a Keurig coffee maker for a boost by now, and they can thank a Domer for the ubiquitous caffeine machine. Chris Stevens ’74 is one of the original four co-founders of Keurig Premium Coffee Systems. Launched in 1998, the company is now the largest seller of coffee brewers in America. Stevens, who majored in economics, is the vice president of corporate relations for Keurig.

Read More