When senior economics major and peace studies major Melissa Maggart began looking for a summer internship last year, she sought to combine her academic interests with her personal desire to help alleviate poverty. Her search brought her to a new program at the University of Notre Dame—the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO).
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University of Notre Dame senior Taylor Thomas says she chose to major in psychology because it can help bring order to things that seem incomprehensible. “I’m interested in the ways we can explain systematically the very chaotic aspects of life.” In pursuing this interest, Thomas spent last summer studying how mothers who have experienced trauma engage their children in conversation.
Notre Dame students looking to investigate some of the pressing issues facing our country today can get support for their research through the American Dream Summer Grant program. Offered by the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the grant is available to both undergraduate and graduate students to conduct an original research or creative project exploring some aspect of the “American Dream.”
The 2013-14 season of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre will feature four plays, beginning in October with On the Verge. The three remaining plays are Cabaret, November 13-17; Clybourne Park, February 20-March 2; and Blood Wedding, April 9-13, 2014.
A college campus is intended to be a place where exploration, dialogue, and debate are fostered. A prime example of this ethos is the Dean’s Fellows program in the College of Arts and Letters. The program’s mission is simple: provide opportunities and support so that students can become academic leaders on campus.
Each year, approximately 30 percent of seniors in the College of Arts and Letters complete a yearlong thesis project, working one-on-one with a faculty member or graduate student to make an intellectual contribution to their chosen field of study.
When tragedies strike, how do we recover? Last summer, senior psychology major Benjamin Pfeifer moved closer to an answer, thanks to a research grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
“People have this idea that Japanese is really hard, that it is difficult to speak” says Matthew Donley, a senior Japanese and psychology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “But it’s not as hard as you think.” Japanese is a rewarding challenge, says the Houston native.
Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce, both juniors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, have been elected undergraduate student body president and vice president for the 2013-14 academic year. Coccia, an Africana studies and peace studies major, and Joyce, an Arabic and economics major earning a minor in peace studies, will take office on April 1.
The University’s world-renowned fencing program brought student-athlete Alex Coccia to Notre Dame. By the end of his freshman year, the junior Africana studies major helped bring fencing around the world—specifically, to a group of schoolchildren in Uganda.
Jaehyun Jung spent the summer of her sophomore year interviewing Koreans who had lived through colonization, civil war, dictatorships, and democratization. It was not just a great academic experience, she says, it was also a personal journey. “I’m definitely even more proud of my heritage now.”
“I took a University Seminar in sociology and I really liked it—it fit my personality,” says Sam Lee, a Notre Dame senior from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. “Sociology shapes your lens and perspective and how you see people in a larger context and the social forces that shape people. It’s applicable to a lot of things.”
Researching, exploring, and seeking to understand other cultures are essential to anthropology—and a key part of a Notre Dame liberal arts education. Junior Greg Yungtum had the opportunity to do all of these things during a trip to Africa this past summer.
Over Fall Break 2012, 10 undergraduate students from the University of Notre Dame traveled to Israel as part of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land sponsored by the Department of Theology. Several of the travelers, led by Professor Todd Walatka, are Theology majors and minors. Two students from the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, accompanied the group in order to film the experiences of these Notre Dame pilgrims.
“What I love about the English major is that it challenges you in a completely unique way,” says Michael Fronk, a senior English and math major at the University of Notre Dame. “Just the critical dialogue that you’re able to have about these esteemed works of literature that have survived throughout the ages, discussing the human condition, and the way you’re required to just think critically about these and to form your own novel intelligent thoughts and formulate them into writing, has just been an experience that I’ve found tremendous and invaluable.”
Finding and publishing long-forgotten musical compositions by classical composers is usually a project reserved for Ph.D. and master’s students. But don’t tell Samantha Osborn that. Last summer the Notre Dame music and pre-med major spent two weeks in Rome at the Conservatory of Saint Cecilia, where she was able to locate and duplicate eight of Baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti’s handwritten cantatas. She will perform one of them this spring as part of her senior thesis recital.
Beginning in fall 2013, Notre Dame undergraduate students interested in pursuing international economics as a major can choose from among five new language options: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German, and Russian. These are in addition to the three Romance languages—French, Italian, and Spanish—already available.
“I wanted to learn how to think and to challenge my beliefs and to learn about the world, and then learn how to engage that world when I got out of college—that’s what anthropology does,”" says Sarah McGough, a junior anthropology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and a student in the Glynn Family Honors Program.
The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States has selected MurphyKate Montee as a Churchill Scholar for the academic year 2013-2014. Montee, a senior mathematics and music (voice) double major in the Glynn Family Honors Program, is one of just 14 students in the United States to receive this honor.
There’s nothing quite like dipping one’s foot into the Dead Sea or speaking with participants of the 1965 Freedom Marches to bring perspective to classroom learning. Over fall break 2012, students in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters took advantage of the week off to expand their educational experiences through travels abroad, around the nation, and across campus.
Thirteen design majors in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History & Design used their fall break to engage the local community with a “social design blitz.” In a single week, the students brainstormed, conceptualized, created, and exhibited three public, interactive art projects designed to help bridge the gap between downtown South Bend and the Notre Dame campus.
MurphyKate Montee, a senior honors mathematics and music double major at the University of Notre Dame, has received the 2013 Alice T. Schafer Mathematics Prize, an honor awarded to only one undergraduate woman in the U.S. each year.
Whether they camped with Bedouins in the Jordanian desert, visited ancient temples in Japan, hiked around the Black Forest of Germany, or took a road trip to the beaches of Ecuador, the alumni of the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Language Abroad (SLA) grant program agree on one thing: their experience was completely transformative.
Writing a senior thesis can be an uphill climb—in Michael McHale’s case, quite literally. For his senior thesis, “A Journey Through the World of Petrarch’s Letters,” McHale, a Program of Liberal Studies major and 2012 graduate of the University of Notre Dame traveled across France and Italy to visit locations significant to Petrarch, the 14th century poet, philosopher, and “father of humanism.”
The 24th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival, presented by the University’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, will take place January 24 to 26 (Thursday through Saturday) in the Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Notre Dame senior Olivia Lee has been selected to receive the Kroc Institute’s 2013 Yarrow Award. The Yarrow Award is given annually to a peace studies student who demonstrates academic excellence and commitment to service in peace and justice. Lee, an American studies and peace studies major, will accept the award at the undergraduate recognition ceremony on May 17.
Well before graduation, University of Notre Dame senior Patricia Harte has already put her Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) and political science majors to work at multiple broadcast journalism internships—and begun networking with alumni in her chosen field. Currently a production assistant at WNDU, Harte interned at Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer during her spring 2012 semester in Notre Dame’s Washington, D.C. program and worked through the summer as an intern for Cox Media Group, where she covered events at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and even at the U.S. Supreme Court.
What do Sierra Leone, Croatia, and Ireland have in common? All are the subject of University of Notre Dame senior Catherine Reidy’s undergraduate research. Reidy, a psychology major and anthropology minor in the College of Arts and Letters, spent the past two summers collecting ethnographic research data in Makeni, Sierra Leone.
Researching and completing a senior thesis can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your college career. It is challenging—but ultimately satisfying because it starts and ends with you and your ideas. Each year, 30% of seniors in the College of Arts and Letters complete a yearlong thesis project, working one-on-one with a faculty member or graduate student to make an intellectual contribution to their chosen field of study.
A unique event in November 2012 brought together ND students, faculty, and other members of the campus community who love the Italian language, the poet Dante, and his immortal poem, the Divine Comedy.