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.
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When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.
One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that includes internships at the Global Fund for Women and United Nations Development Program and independent research opportunities centered around women’s issues and rights. Reifenberg attributes her accomplishments to her education in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters — particularly her philosophy major.
Students in the five-course minor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design gain foundational knowledge in design research methods, visualization, visual communication, and product development. In the final class, Collaborative Design Development, the students work on industry sponsored projects addressing real problems.
With skills forged in the classroom, Arts and Letters students are well prepared to tackle new opportunities and gain valuable real-world experience through summer internships. The Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program makes these experiences possible by offering students funding to offset travel and cost-of-living expenses for internships in any industry or location. The program, administered by Notre Dame’s Center for Career Development, has awarded nearly $700,000 in funding since 2010 to support more than 300 students interning around the world.
Break can act as a time for restoration after a week of midterm exams. Or it can be a time to pursue learning opportunities outside the classroom. For some Arts and Letters students, the week free of classes is the perfect chance to dive into their senior thesis research. For others, it’s a chance to travel to attend a film festival in Chicago or a museum in Washington, D.C. “That’s why I’m in the College of Arts and Letters — I’m very interested in the humanities,” said Jahlecia Gregory, a sophomore Africana studies major who visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture during break. “This trip has inspired me to find other ways that I can learn about different subjects that aren’t exactly in my major, but that I’m still really curious about.”
From the capital of Uganda, to American Indian reservations, to museums across the country, Notre Dame students travel around the world to carry out academic projects with help from the College of Arts and Letters’ Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. With UROP’s financial support, students are able to engage in on-site research that can be used as the basis for a variety of independent projects, including a senior thesis. The experiences made possible through UROP not only lead to meaningful results, but also provide students with valuable life experiences they might not otherwise have.
Junior Katherine Smith has been selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study or intern abroad during the spring 2018 academic term. Smith, an English and theology double major from Saint Charles, Minnesota, will study in Italy through the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway.
Notre Dame senior Sarah Tomas Morgan has always had an interest in global issues. And the College of Arts and Letters has enabled her to explore that passion through her coursework and a variety of international and internship experiences. Coming into her first year, Tomas Morgan intended on majoring in political science. But after completing a University Seminar in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS), her plans changed.
Notre Dame junior Alex Mansour admits he's not much of a sports fan. Yet, when confronted with a crunch-time challenge, he came through with a prime-time performance befitting any Irish athlete making a game-winning play. Mansour's assignment? Create the musical score for the 80-second video that would be shown on the Notre Dame Stadium video board just before the Irish team took the field. Three days before the 2017 Irish season opener against Temple, the video remained incomplete — and Mansour was on the spot.
The Institute for International Education ranked the University of Notre Dame third among doctorate-granting universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad during the academic year 2015-16. This represents an increase from the University’s ranking of #4 last year in the annual Open Doors report.
Informally, the 175-seat LaBar Family Recital Hall inside Notre Dame’s O’Neill Hall is known as the “jewel box” because of its elegant, classic design and intimate size. But in fact, all of O’Neill Hall is a jewel box — expertly and beautifully designed as a home to the students and faculty, the artists and instruments in the University’s Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program. The 100,000-square-foot, seven-story building on the south side of Notre Dame Stadium was made possible by a gift to the University from Helen Schwab and her husband Charles, in honor of her brother, Notre Dame alumnus and trustee Joseph I. O’Neill III.
The summer after his sophomore year, Notre Dame senior J.P. Bruno was packaging maple syrup, taking care of honeybees, and tending to an orchard on a biodynamic farm in Vermont. Three weeks later, he was sitting in the White House, interning for the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) as part of a semester in the Notre Dame Washington Program. These contrasting experiences provided Bruno, an economics and applied and computational mathematics and statistics (ACMS) major, with an assortment of skills that eventually led him to developing his senior thesis and receiving a job offer in economic consulting at the beginning of his senior year.
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.
In the past two years, 35 history majors in Paul Ocobock’s honors seminar have received more than $125,000 in funding to do original research around the world. And every student in his course who applied for funding received it — using the grants to explore archives in France, Ireland, Uganda, China, and South Korea, among other places. But to Ocobock, there is something even more important than his students’ 100 percent success rate in securing funding — the sense of community they develop as they plan their projects together, travel the globe to conduct research, then return to his classroom to begin work on their senior theses.
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.
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.
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.
Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces four productions for its 2017-18 theatre season, with two comedies, including the beloved The Importance of Being Earnest; an absurdist classic relevant to the current political climate; and the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening.
They wrote poetry in Dublin coffee shops over plates of scones and artfully embellished cappuccinos — the curl of steam and lilt of Irish conversation rising and fading in the background. They wrote prose on the grassy shores of Lough Pollaacapull, where the towers and crenellations of Kylemore Abbey reflect in the waters below. They wrote in the Abbey’s common room into the wee hours of the morning. And everywhere, the 16 students in Notre Dame’s first Creative Writing Workshop in Ireland found inspiration — in the landscape, in the country’s literary history, and in each other.
Enlightening. Enriching. Challenging. Sacred. Through the arts, you can find inspiration. Broaden understanding. Build community. And make a difference in the world. Notre Dame is home to a vibrant arts community with world-class facilities, internationally renowned faculty and visiting artists, and remarkable student engagement.
Nanovic Hall, the state-of-the-art new home to the Departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology, their affiliated centers and programs, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, includes laboratory and research spaces, classrooms, and offices, all designed to encourage interaction between faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. It features a soaring, three-story forum to be used for events, the latest video conferencing technology in each of the departmental suites, and a formal mediation room modeled after the United Nations that has translation capabilities for up to three languages.
Sophomores and juniors from any major or college at the University of Notre Dame may participate in the semester-long Washington Program. Students live in apartments in downtown Washington, D.C., and take classes focused on politics and policy while also interning part-time with government offices, members of Congress, media companies, or cultural institutions. Students gain professional experience, learn to network, and experience the unique opportunities of big city living.
The largest construction project in the 175-year history of the University of Notre Dame – an 800,000-square-foot integration of world-class space for teaching, research, performances, faith, multimedia, student life and athletics – is nearing completion, with several components now open or opening over the next two weeks and most of the other facilities ready for occupancy in January. The buildings include the new homes of the Deparment of Anthropology, Department of Psychology, Department of Music, and Sacred Music at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame seniors John Haley and Julia Szromba see documentaries as a powerful tool — to change policy, to change laws, and to change minds. The two film, television, and theatre (FTT) majors recently completed Respectfully, Tony, a short documentary that shines a light on the U.S.’s mass incarceration problem and challenges people to rethink their opinions of the death penalty. The film has now been selected for multiple film festivals across the country.
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.
Although working-age adult refugees who enter the United States often initially rely on public assistance programs, a study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame indicates that the long-term economic benefit of admitting refugees outweighs the initial costs. The study, published as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper this week, was conducted by William Evans, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, and Daniel Fitzgerald, undergraduate research assistant at Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities.
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."
A record 30 College of Arts and Letters students and alumni have been awarded grants by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to study abroad in 2017-18. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study and teach abroad.
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.