“I’ve definitely learned a lot about the publishing industry and what it’s like to put together a book,” says Meghan Thomassen, a senior English major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. During the summer of 2013, Thomassen interned at Sheffield Marketing Partners, a boutique agency based in Downers Grove, Illinois, specializing in narrative message development and visual storytelling.
Latest News » Undergraduate News
Last summer, Notre Dame senior Marianinna Villavicencio brought the perspective and research skills she gained as an anthropology major to her home country of Guatemala, exploring issues facing the country’s ethnic minority for her senior thesis project. With the help of a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Villavicencio focused on the governmental policies geared toward indigenous populations in Guatemala and the cultural factors that prevent their upward mobility.
Rwanda is one of the few countries to have met the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals—which include reducing childhood mortality, improving maternal health, and combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. In her research, Notre Dame senior Catherine Cichon explores how Rwanda’s success may be repeated in other developing countries.
What would make a patient withhold information from his or her doctor? How do class, race, and ethnicity affect the quality of health care a patient receives? What social factors help determine the illnesses we contract and the best treatment plan for them? A growing number of Notre Dame students who pursue a career in medicine are finding the answers to these questions through a combination of sociology and Arts and Letters Pre-Health coursework.
Notre Dame’s Department of History is a place where undergraduates aren’t just invited to attend lectures by world-renowned visiting scholars—they also get opportunities to converse one-on-one and even share meals with them.
“Not only is medieval studies the history behind the things that we do every day and the way that we do things, but it’s also a way of thinking. It presents a new perspective,” says senior medieval studies major Mairead Mumford.
“I’ve really learned a lot this summer: finding ways to make Shakespeare … really relevant, and understanding the work that goes into putting a production on stage,” says senior Samuel Evola, an English and Spanish major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
The University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs recognized seven students with awards at the annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 1. Five of the student leaders are completing majors in the College of Arts and Letters.
Samantha Lessen, a junior in the College of Arts and Letters, has been awarded the second annual Monteverdi Prize through Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies (PLS). The Monteverdi Prize, a scholarship created by the Cioffi family for PLS juniors, will provide Lessen with funding to conduct research this summer for her senior thesis. As part of the prize, she will live at Monteverdi Tuscany, a hotel and center for the liberal arts in Italy, founded by PLS alumnus Michael Cioffi ’75.
“It’s really been a chance to learn and grow in my faith and to also be challenged by it,” says senior Jenna Ahn of her theology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “It’s been the best fit for me.”
Senior Peter Woo, a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and a philosophy and finance major with a minor in Chinese at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the recipient of the Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) 2014 Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award. The annual award recognizes the efforts of students from an Indiana college or university for the impact they have in their communities and on the citizens of Indiana.
When senior Michelle Werner wrote an essay analyzing playwright Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, she did not imagine that the class assignment would later win her a prestigious departmental award. “It felt a bit like winning the lottery without having bought a ticket,” she says. “I am incredibly grateful to the Department of English for selecting my essay.”
Notre Dame senior Margaret Pickard understands the challenges of integrating into a culture different from her own. The sociology and Japanese double major studied abroad last year in Nagoya, Japan, where she gained a fresh perspective on the difficulties of being a college student in a foreign setting.
Notre Dame seniors Ilse Zenteno and Alex Coccia have been selected to receive the Kroc Institute’s 2014 Yarrow Award. The Yarrow Award is given annually to peace studies students who demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to service in peace and justice.
“Walking into these professional environments as an intern, you see that being in the College of Arts and Letters, you’ve been given the foundation to succeed,” says Anna VanEgmond, a senior sociology and computer applications major at Notre Dame. During the summer of 2013, VanEgmond interned as an advisory technology consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
University of Notre Dame junior Nicole Sganga will be going on assignment with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Nick Kristof this summer, The New York Times announced Sunday, March 16. Sganga is the winner of Kristof’s annual “Win A Trip with Nick” contest. Her prize is traveling with the _Times_’ columnist to a developing country to raise awareness about global poverty. During the trip, she will report for a blog and videos that will be published on The New York Times website.
In fall 2014, Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters will launch a new concentration in financial economics and econometrics. The concentration offers undergraduates fast-paced, rigorous training to prepare them for careers in investment management, banking, research, and policymaking.
“Working to protect some of the most striking, beautiful landscapes in the world is a dream come true,” says Notre Dame senior Malcolm Mossman, who spent the summer of 2013 interning with Sierra Club in Washington D.C.
“Coming to the Huntington this summer has really reoriented my path after graduation,” says Notre Dame senior Aubrey Butts from Lima, Ohio. During the summer of 2013, Butts interned in the manuscripts department of the Huntington Library, a collections-based research institution in San Marino, Calif.
“Internships are so valuable. Don’t be afraid to branch out; go somewhere new,” says senior Katie Ferrello from Sugarloaf, Pa.
Adam Cowden, a 2012 graduate of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. With the award, he will pursue a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge this fall. Cowden is one of only 40 students in the U.S. to receive the prestigious scholarship, from an initial field of approximately 800 applicants.
“My long-term goal has been to go to med school, but I’ve also found a passion for music and piano performance here at Notre Dame, and the College of Arts and Letters pre-health supplementary major has really allowed me to explore both of those things,” says senior Will Sievern from Evansville, Indiana. Sievern is pursuing a major in piano performance while also majoring in Arts and Letters Pre-Health.
Brock Switzer ’13, a film, television, and theatre (FTT) major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, began taking dance classes at neighboring Saint Mary’s College during his sophomore year. It was there that he learned of the influence of dancer and choreographer Martha Graham. Using Graham’s techniques, Switzer planned to choreograph a dance for his senior thesis project. With the help of an American Dream grant from Notre Dame’s Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, he attended the Summer Intensive program at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in 2013.
The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday, January 29, the largest building project in its 172-year history, integrating the academy, student life, and athletics with the construction of more than 750,000 square feet in three new buildings attached to the west, east and south sides of the University’s iconic football stadium, at a projected cost of $400 million. The Campus Crossroads Project will add significant academic space at the same time the University is hiring 80 new faculty to build on Notre Dame’s existing strengths.
Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology made a strong showing at the 2013 conference of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Chicago. Thirteen faculty members, along with seven undergraduate students, were invited to present at the annual event. This year’s theme was “Future Publics, Current Engagements.”
The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) announces the 25th Annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, in the Browning Cinema, January 23 through 25, 2014. As in 2013, audience members will be invited to vote for their favorite film via text message. The Audience Choice Award will be presented to the student director(s) of the winning film before the final screening.
The University of Notre Dame will present TEDxUND 2014, featuring a diverse lineup of speakers exploring the topic “Creating Knowledge Together,” on Tuesday, January 21 in the Patricia George Decio Theatre of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Notre Dame junior Farrell Sheehan is a pre-medicine major with minors in theology and in Brazilian and Portuguese studies who doesn’t believe in the term “limits.” A Hesburgh-Yusko scholar from Rockville, Md., Sheehan is passionate about researching global health issues and exploring Latin American languages and cultures. In less than three years at the University, he has already gained experience learning, serving, and working in Chile, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Spain.
Fourteen Notre Dame students, along with two of their professors from the College of Arts and Letters, traveled to northern Spain over fall break to experience the Camino de Santiago—one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. History Professor Olivia Remie Constable, the director of the University’s Medieval Institute, and Danielle Joyner, an assistant professor of medieval art history, say it was an academic adventure they won’t soon forget. And their students agree.
University of Notre Dame juniors Breanna Thomas and Brianna Leon have been named winners of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, a nationally competitive award that will provide funding for them to study abroad during the spring 2014 semester.