Led by students from the University of Notre Dame, a group of 45 fifth-graders from Clay International Academy in South Bend gathered in adjacent classrooms recently to learn Latin as part of a pilot Aequora program sponsored by the Department of Classics. The program introduces K-8 students to the basics of Latin vocabulary and grammar, Roman culture and mythology and the connections between Latin, English, and Spanish with specially designed lessons and activities.
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One of the greatest assets of a Notre Dame degree is the University’s incredible global network. But those connections aren’t only with alumni — senior Nick Gabriele believes that, sometimes, the most important mentors can be fellow students. Gabriele, an economics and Spanish major who will begin working as a consultant with McKinsey & Company after graduation, launched Consulting Connect — an organization designed to educate students about the diverse field of consulting, prepare them for the recruiting process, and connect them with potential employers.
Arts and Letters graduates Jeremy Cappello Lee and Lily Falzon, both members of the class of 2018, have been invited to study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, as two of approximately 125 Yenching Scholars from across the globe. Established in 2014, the Yenching Academy offers a one-year master’s degree program for students with outstanding academic backgrounds and broad curiosity. The program pushes the study of China beyond the traditional boundaries of the humanities and social sciences.
Joan Becker, a senior majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies, has traveled to Germany, Belgium, France, and Wales to explore real-world places important to the Arthurian legends. Now, Becker is funneling her experiences abroad and in her PLS classes into a unique senior thesis — a handmade and hand-bound book about King Arthur, in the style of the first books printed in the late medieval era.
Senior Prathm Juneja, of South Bend, Indiana, has been named a 2019 Truman Scholar. Juneja is among 62 students — mostly juniors but also seniors in five-year degree programs — selected for the honor from a pool of 840 candidates from 346 colleges and universities nationwide. He is the eighth Notre Dame student — all from the College of Arts and Letters — to win the award since 2010.
Junior Anja Renkes will bring her three academic disciplines together in an international research experience this summer at the Dublin Global Gateway in the Irish Internship Program. She plans to create paintings of Ireland’s holy wells — small springs with devotional significance — that capture the area’s landscape as pure gift from God.
Melinda Davis, a psychology and peace studies major from New Orleans, has secured a competitive postgraduate placement with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. She is one of four 2019 summer interns selected through a highly competitive global search process.
Two members of the University of Notre Dame Debate Team — freshman Patrick Aimone and sophomore Conrad Palor — took first place Saturday (April 6) in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Debate Championship in Washington, D.C.
Colin Rahill’s time at Notre Dame has been defined by learning from some of the world’s great thinkers — whether it be on paper or in a temple on the other side of the globe. An English and philosophy major whose senior thesis focuses on the works of Percy Shelley and Soren Kierkegaard, Rahill spent six weeks last summer in Japan, including a month living at the Shoganji Temple with a Zen monk, Jiho Kongo.
Grace Garvey’s academic curiosity isn’t confined to one subject area. Her interest in human migration manifests in all sorts of different disciplines. She’s an anthropology major who is working closely with an American studies professor on her senior thesis. For her capstone project in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service, she partnered with an economics major. And her coursework while studying abroad in Ireland focused on global perspectives on migration and archaeology. “The world isn't just one discipline — it's a nexus of all these different studies,” she said. “So a liberal arts education is more realistic to the type of knowledge that you need to have moving forward when you graduate.”
From the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., to FX Networks in Los Angeles, Notre Dame students gain valuable experience every year through summer internships. While internships are an important opportunity to discern career paths or gain insights into fields of study, costs can deter many students from accepting them. To eliminate this barrier, the Center for Career Development offers grants that enable students to afford living expenses when accepting unpaid or low-paying internships all over the world. Applications for 2019 summer internship funding are due April 2 or April 29.
What is the Japanese major like at Notre Dame? “It's a different way of thinking. Once you have a foothold, you really start developing a sense of mastery,” said student Joshua Kuiper. Japanese majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as cross-cultural engagement, communication, translation/interpretation, and textual analysis.
An innovative Notre Dame course, God and the Good Life, is not only transforming the way students are introduced to philosophy — it is changing their perspectives, trajectories, and lives. Nearly 1,200 students have enrolled in the course since philosophy professor Meghan Sullivan launched it two years ago, and for many, it has become a defining experience in their undergraduate education. It's also drawn an array of prominent guest speakers — including an upcoming appearance by Michael Schur, creator of the philosophy-focused NBC comedy The Good Place.
What is the sociology major like at Notre Dame? “Sociology has really allowed me to not only ask good focused questions about social problems but then when I get an answer, to be able to dissect that answer in a way that allows some kind of positive response,” said sociology major Pete Freeman. Sociology majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as data collection/analysis, scientific method, critical thinking, and collaboration.
MacKenzie Isaac knew she wanted to improve her Spanish skills at Notre Dame. But to be truly fluent, she needed to learn more than the language. That mindset drew the junior sociology major to the Institute for Latino Studies, where she’s found academic inspiration, research support, and a welcoming community. She's also spent two summers doing research at Harvard, added a minor in data science, and hopes to pursue a career in public health.
What is the political science major like at Notre Dame? “A lot of people think that political science is just Democrat versus Republican but that couldn't be further from the truth,” said political science major Sean McFeely. “It's lot about understanding why things are the way they are.” Political science majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as evidence-based arguments, critical thinking, data analysis, and information synthesis.
For junior Alice Felker, it only took eight weeks for a service experience to turn into years of research and volunteer efforts for people with disabilities. The summer after her freshman year, Felker participated in the Summer Service Learning Program, an eight-week service opportunity within marginalized populations run by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns. The following summer, the psychology and applied and computational mathematics and statistics major conducted a study to examine the daytime programs offered for people with disabilities.
Like the character he created, Jorge “Jay” Rivera-Herrans is exuberant and tenacious, but no one could mistake him for a cop out. A junior film, television, and theatre major, he has written the book, lyrics, and music for a new musical — Stupid Humans, which opens Thursday and runs through March 3 — and is also playing the leading role.
Three decades after its founding, the Gender Studies Program is thriving, with more than 70 students currently pursuing gender studies majors, supplementary majors, and minors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as more than 50 associated faculty across campus. Hundreds of students have found a home in the program over the years — including Sarah A. Mustillo ’96, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
Notre Dame senior Gregory Serapio-García has been selected for the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge in England. A psychology major and Idzik Computing and Digital Technologies Program minor in the College of Arts and Letters, Serapio-García is one of 34 Gates Cambridge Scholars representing 37 colleges or universities across the U.S.
The University of Notre Dame is among just 11 institutions to be named a top producer for both the Fulbright U.S. Student and Scholar programs for the 2018-19 academic year, a first for the University, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Of the 24 students to receive Fulbrights, 20 were College of Arts and Letters students and alumni. Arts and Letters alone produced more Fulbright student winners than Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, Emory, and Duke.
What is the philosophy major like at Notre Dame? “I really feel like we're engaging seriously with philosophy. It actually can become very personal, reflecting on human nature and what is an ethical life, and what is justice,” said philosophy major Natasha Reifenberg. Philosophy majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as critical thinking, data analysis, evidence-based arguments, and information synthesis.
What is the American studies major like at Notre Dame? “American studies is analyzing the structures of power within American society through critical lenses like race, class, gender, and religion,” said American studies major Jacob McKenna. American studies majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as oral and written communication, teamwork, analytical reasoning, and ethical judgment.
Matthew Wisneski learned more than the Russian language this summer in Moscow. The senior political science and Russian major also discovered that failure can be one of the most important tools for growth. He was one of 53 students traveling to 19 different countries last summer with support from the Summer Language Abroad program in Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures. Through intensive language coursework and daily interaction with native speakers, the SLA experience allows students to rapidly enhance their command of a foreign language.
While many students stress about homework and exams, junior Nicholas Lampson juggles a college workload and running a startup. Lampson, a design major with a concentration in industrial design, is co-founder of Streetlight Creations, a company that allows customers to order personalized songs from a team of talented musicians that can be given as gifts to others.
Every Thursday, Notre Dame junior Julia Cogan drives the six minutes from campus to Holy Cross School, a Catholic school on South Bend’s near northwest side. There the sociology major leads a heritage book club for middle-school students in Clare Roach’s introductory Spanish class. The students speak Spanish at home — easily conversing with Spanish-speaking family members — but struggle to read and write in Spanish because it is not the traditional language of education in South Bend.
An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television, and entertainment industries, the Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens films that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.
Through the Idzik Computing and Digital Technologies (CDT) program, six students are interning in the St. Joseph County Cyber Crimes Unit, where they participate in every step of a cybercrime case: researching suspicious online activity, building suspect profiles from social media and public records, writing warrants to get information and search homes, collecting tech evidence on site, and performing digital forensics on anything that stores bits and bytes.
In the past three years alone, Notre Dame student Mary Elsa Henrichs’ passions for theatre, English literature, and German have converged in many memorable ways. She’s attended performances of Hamlet in Berlin. She’s worked as a research assistant to two German professors, helping to bring book projects to publication. And she’s spending next semester studying in Heidelberg, Germany, where she hopes to secure a theatre internship. The arts, she said, are a through line between her majors in German and English.
University of Notre Dame seniors Sofia Carozza and Katie Gallagher have been named 2019 Marshall Scholars. Carozza, of South Bend, Indiana, will study neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Gallagher, of Naperville, Illinois, will study math at the University of Oxford. They are the University’s eighth and ninth Marshall Scholars overall.