Is this a dream we can make come true? When she was just 15 years old, Caitlin Crommett founded DreamCatchers, a volunteer organization that works with hospice care professionals to fulfill the dreams of terminally ill patients. Today, thanks to support from Notre Dame’s Hesburgh–Yusko Scholars Program, the sophomore business entrepreneurship and film, television and theatre major’s vision of fulfilling the dreams of others is now active in 10 states and counting.
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Bringing her latest research into the classroom, Debra Javeline, associate professor in the Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, is helping undergraduate students make a connection between politics and biology.
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.
The University of Notre Dame ranks ninth in percentage of students participating in study abroad programs among American doctoral/research institutions, according to a report released by the Institute for International Education.
Hours of class each day and frenzied paper writing into the early dawn hours is practically a Notre Dame tradition during finals weeks in December and May. Less so in the middle of July, but this is exactly what senior political science major Angel Mira found himself doing this past summer. Mira was one of just 20 students nationwide accepted into the American Political Science Association’s Ralph Bunche Summer Institute.
Paris, the legendary City of Lights, is the newest destination for University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters students who want to study abroad. “We are delighted to offer this new opportunity beginning in 2013-14,” says Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. “The new exchange program at the Université Paris Diderot will expand existing offerings by allowing advanced students in the humanities to enroll directly in courses with French students at one of the youngest and most dynamic universities in Paris.”
Networking with industry insiders, watching highly anticipated films, walking the red carpet, and seeing stars was all part of the job for a group of University of Notre Dame students who jetted off to the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival this summer. Working with Assistant Professor Aaron Magnan-Park, the students from the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) were granted the exclusive right to make a documentary about the internship program at the festival’s American Pavilion—an opportunity that provided a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the premier event in international film.
The Varieties of Democracy project (V-Dem), an ambitious international research collaboration based at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, has been awarded €475,000 (about $616,500) in research support from the European Commission. Led by Notre Dame political scientist Michael Coppedge, Staffan Lindberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and John Gerring of Boston University, the multiyear project aims to produce better indicators of democracy, helping to illuminate why democracies around the world succeed or fail.
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.
When Caitlin Crommett was 15 years old, she founded DreamCatchers, a club she created to grant the last wishes of terminally ill hospice patients. Now a University of Notre Dame sophomore majoring in business entrepreneurship and film, television and theatre, Crommett recently expanded DreamCatchers, which began as a high school club and is now a national organization with chapters in California and Indiana.
Collaboration among University of Notre Dame faculty and students, Sedlack Design Associates, and Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns has resulted in a $50,000 Sappi Ideas that Matter grant to together+, a campaign to combat xenophobia in South Africa.
Some may look at Dante’s Divine Comedy and see just a dusty trilogy of poetry written by a long-gone Florentine. But for others, Dante and his opus are immortal. For them, Dante is now. In that spirit, Italian Studies at Notre Dame and the College of Arts and Letters’ William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies will host “Dante Now!”—a series of public readings from The Divine Comedy. Readings will occur simultaneously at various locations around campus on November 2, beginning at 2 p.m.
Together+, a campaign to combat xenophobia in South Africa by providing educational resources to empower people to embrace diversity, has been awarded a $50,000 Sappi Ideas that Matter grant. After a year of research, development, refinement, and two trips to Johannesburg, the grant will enable the together+ team to produce and distribute the first round of materials designed by students from the University of Notre Dame’s graphic design program in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
When Kathleen Bracke got the call, she dropped the phone out of shock, then picked it up and asked the caller to repeat the news. On the other end was a representative of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA announcing that Bracke had won a 2012 Princess Grace Award. Bracke, a senior in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) is one of only two winners of this year’s Princess Grace Undergraduate Film Scholarship.
Lindsay Brown, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in political science, has won Seventeen magazine’s“Pretty Amazing”contest, which celebrates young women who have done something exceptional. Brown was recognized for her service work with girls in Nepal and other countries, her involvement in the nonprofit organization“She’s the First,”and the creation of her own nonprofit project. As the contest winner, Brown received a $20,000 scholarship and will be featured on the cover of the October issue of Seventeen ."
Think about the study of history, and you might conjure images of dusty books and timelines. But Notre Dame history majors John Karol and Christine Affleck, both Class of 2012, and senior Jordyn Smith demonstrate how the versatile skills they developed in the College of Arts and Letters can be applied to a wide array of challenging internships and career paths.
Notre Dame’s Ryan Geraghty ’12 has been named one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation, and his work will be featured at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) International conference in Boston August 15-18. Geraghty earned this opportunity by winning first place at the IDSA’s Midwest District competition in April. “For students, this is the highest honor they can receive within our profession and within our professional society,” says Assistant Professor Ann-Marie Conrado, “so that’s something that goes down in the record books.” Another record for the books: Geraghty was the fifth Notre Dame student in six years to take the title.
A ridership survey designed and implemented by University of Notre Dame sociology students will yield valuable information for TRANSPO, South Bend’s public transportation system, says Jeanette Pancoas, TRANSPO marketing manager. “Not only do we have more comprehensive information about our riders, but the presence of the students surveying riders on the bus conveyed a genuine concern for customer feedback.”
Linguistic and cultural fluency is an increasingly important asset in business. And to address the growing demand for professionals who can both understand and help shape the world market, Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters has created a new major in international economics. The major combines substantial coursework in the Department of Economics with advanced training in language and culture, starting with French, Italian, or Spanish. It will also provide students with the potential for overseas internships and specialized research projects. “This program will be an attractive option for ambitious, sophisticated, and savvy Notre Dame undergraduates seeking to prepare themselves for successful international careers,” says Richard Jensen, Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Economics.
Carly Anderson, a recent graduate of University of Notre Dame, has been named one of 15 winners of the 2012 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award. The new award recognizes outstanding graduating college seniors from across the country who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history or American studies.
Ariel Clark-Semyck, a rising sophomore English major at the University of Notre Dame, will spend three weeks at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre this June as part of the Fulbright Summer Institute program. She is one of three U.S. students invited to attend the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Summer Institute at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre—a demanding academic and cultural immersion program that focuses on acting and the study of Shakespearean texts, including workshops on combat play, set design, movement, and dance.
As a linguist, artist, semiotician, and interdisciplinary scholar committed to social action, graduating senior Mary Atwood is a Notre Dame original. Drawing on seven weeks of research in Peru, the theology major recently completed a senior thesis that included original oil paintings and English translations of three Inca legends gleaned from interviews with Quechua speakers in Cusco’s central market.
The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national and international organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 13 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2012, 10 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters. Two Arts and Letters graduates of earlier classes also received prestigious fellowships and scholarships this year.
In the spirit of ubuntu, or “togetherness,” University of Notre Dame faculty, students, and alumni, Kgosi Neighbourhood Foundation, and Pellegrino Collaborative have joined forces to develop together+, a multifaceted campaign designed to unite a South African community divided by xenophobia, and to inform, inspire, and empower its most marginalized citizens.
College of Arts and Letters students made a strong showing at Notre Dame’s 5th annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference, which showcased more than 250 research, scholarship, and creative projects from across the University. At the May 4, 2012, event, senior art history honors student Caroline Maloney won first prize in the Undergraduate Library Research Awards sponsored by Hesburgh Libraries and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.
Seven University of Notre Dame students and two faculty members traveled to Northern Ireland this spring to explore the role of digital technology in peace building. As part of a new Center for Social Concerns (CSC) seminar, the Notre Dame team worked with eight students from Lismore Comprehensive School, a Catholic school in Portadown, and four students from Lurgan Junior High School to help create a website. Lurgan Junior High is a Protestant school about 20 minutes from Portadown.
It is widely known that Spanish missionaries played a significant role in introducing Catholicism to the peoples of the Andes throughout the colonial period. Notre Dame senior history major Joseph VanderZee traveled to archives in Lima and Rome to dig a little deeper and find out what these early missionaries thought of the indigenous population—and how their attitudes affected the development of the Peruvian Church.
Michel O’Brien, the valedictorian for the class of 2012 has enjoyed a full and rich Notre Dame experience. He will graduate this month with a political science major, a philosophy minor, and an International Business Certificate. Originally from St. Charles, Ill., O’Brien lived in Keenan and Siegfried halls during his years at Notre Dame. In addition to copious research and many academic pursuits, O’Brien also served as the president of the College Democrats, a vice president of Circle K, and an editor of a journal, Beyond Politics. Here he answers a few questions and reflects on his time at Notre Dame.
University of Notre Dame engineer James Schmiedeler received the 2012 Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D., Faculty Community-based Research Award for a project that uses the Nintendo Wii Fit platform to assist individuals dealing with weakness, paralysis, or impairments in balance and mobility as a result of strokes, accidents or illness. Schmiedeler, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, developed “WeHab” with colleagues from the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Letters, working in collaboration with the therapy staff at Memorial Hospital in South Bend.
Wikipedia is often in the top results when people search for information online, but it isn’t always the most credible source. Enter a group of advanced Notre Dame undergraduates in psychology who have taken on the challenge to update, correct, or, in some cases, write new entries for the online encyclopedia. It’s all part of the new Association for Psychological Science (APS) Wikipedia Initiative—and Assistant Professor Gerald Haeffel’s Science and Pseudoscience in Psychology class is one of a select few across the country selected to participate.