University of Notre Dame senior Brian Boll has changed his major several times: First it was anthropology, then English, then philosophy, followed by medieval studies. “I always was, and still am, interested in too many things, but there’s one interest that’s always seemed to get the upper hand: language, languages and their study.” Specifically, study of the Irish language.
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One weekend last month, members of the Notre Dame community sat down to watch 16 films, ranging from comedies to dramas and documentaries, in one evening. But these movies weren’t made in Hollywood. That’s because the 23rd annual Student Film Festival showcased the work of many students in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.
Vania Smith-Oka, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the Center for Public Anthropology’s Ruth Benedict Global Citizenship Award—an honor granted to just one percent of faculty teaching introductory anthropology courses across the United States.
Senior Nicole Shea’s love for psychology began in a pool. “In high school, I worked with children with disabilities by teaching them swim lessons,” Shea says, adding that her desire to find ways to help such children only intensified during her first psychology courses at the University of Notre Dame. “I was just drawn to it.” Shea started working in the Department of Psychology’s labs even before she declared her major, and she has already contributed to a published paper and conference poster.
Economics majors in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters develop the analytical skills and social perspective needed to better understand complex economic forces at work in the world. They also hone the ability to express their ideas and insights both clearly and concisely. That’s exactly what Class of 2011 students Elizabeth Koerbel and Matthew Conti demonstrated in their senior theses, which won first and second place, respectively, in the University’s annual Bernoulli Awards competition.
University of Notre Dame students were awarded 13 Fulbright grants for the 2011-12 academic year, placing the University among the top universities in the nation. Eleven of the 13 are from the College of Arts and Letters. The U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, Fulbright recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students.
They won’t hear a drill sergeant shouting orders. They won’t crawl in the mud. And they won’t be scaling tall walls. At this boot camp, a select group of Notre Dame students in the College of Arts and Letters will instead learn to navigate the business world, analyze corporate data, and propose solutions to key management problems. Held in Chicago during spring break each year, the four-day Arts and Letters Business Boot Camp allows liberal arts students to meet and network with employers and successful Chicago-area alumni.
A pair of documentaries by 2011 graduates of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are “cleaning up” on the film festival circuit.
Notre Dame students in a College of Arts and Letters course called Foundations of Business Thinking are the only class in the nation invited to participate in the inaugural gathering of ConvergeUS, a new nonprofit initiative dedicated to social innovation through technology. Chaired by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and TechNet CEO Rey Ramsey, the organization connects leading entrepreneurs, scholars, nonprofits, corporations, and technology experts in an attempt to find innovative solutions to pressing social problems.
Morgan Iddings expected some culture shock when she traveled from Notre Dame to Moscow for an intensive Russian language immersion. The first-year Russian student faced an added challenge when she realized her host mother didn’t speak a word of English. “Nevertheless, I ended up having a great experience,” Iddings says.
The University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs recently recognized six students with leadership awards. Five were students in the College of Arts and Letters.
When Notre Dame senior Dan Jacobs signed up for an elective while studying in London last year, he wasn’t expecting that his course selection—seemingly unrelated to his industrial design major—would spark the idea for his B.F.A. thesis project, or potentially help thousands of children.
The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 16 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2011, 14 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters.
College of Arts and Letters students made a strong showing at Notre Dame’s 4th annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference, which showcased nearly 270 research, scholarship, and creative projects from across the University.
Elizabeth Davis, a Program of Liberal Studies major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been named a 2011 Truman Scholar.
Notre Dame senior Rachel Roseberry and sophomore Rebecca Kibler were among just 20 Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop fellows selected from a nationwide pool of applicants this year by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
The Elect, a documentary by University of Notre Dame undergraduates Erin Zacek and Dan Moore, has been selected to screen at the prestigious Los Angeles Film Festival.
Notre Dame senior Molly Boyle has won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to implement the education program she designed to empower disadvantaged women in Peru.
Edward Larkin, a biological sciences major from East Lansing, Mich., has been named valedictorian of the 2011 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement ceremonies May 22 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium. Larkin, who also carries a supplementary major in classical civilization, earned a 4.0 grade point average. He is an active member of the Haiti Working Group at Notre Dame and writes a bi-weekly column for the Observer student newspaper in which he expounds on the intersection of science, technology, and society with a special focus on the cultural and social implications of modern scientific advances.
In the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, graphic design students learn to combine visual arts and technology in a way that transcends words and pictures. Recently, several of those students flexed their technical and creative muscles in the Poster Clash contest hosted by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The results were impressive.
The Notre Dame Alumni Association honored the academic, service and character achievements of three current College of Arts and Letters students during its Alumni Senate activities last week.
Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Letters can now get up to $1,500 per month this summer to fund original research into life-related issues. Suggested topics range from the history of contraception to art about the dignity of life and the economics of the death penalty. The grants are part of a new Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) track offered by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.
Claire Conley, a junior psychology major in the Glynn Family Honors Program at Notre Dame, spent last summer conducting research on how cancer patients cope with their diagnoses and treatments. Now, she is working to publish those findings
Matthew Gallivan, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in political science and Arabic, spent last summer in China, thanks to the new Rogers Summer Internship Awards for students in the College of Arts and Letters.
Pride in his cultural heritage and a love of literature prompted Matthew Coyne—a Notre Dame senior majoring in English—to delve into the origins of the Appalachian literary journal Cold Mountain Review. “My professors encouraged me to study what I love,” says Coyne, who was raised in Parkersburg, W.Va., a small town located in the heart of Appalachia. “So I did—and I haven’t looked back since.”
Two recent graduates from the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre won a student award at the 2010 U.S. International Film and Video Festival. Mark Lyons and Alex Wheeler, both from the Class of 2010, were honored for Trunk, their documentary short about Jeb Barsh, a Portland, Ore., zookeeper, and an Asian elephant named Rama.
Whether they work with hospice patients in Uganda or study stone artifacts in Illinois, anthropology students like Elise Alonzi and Hanna O’Brien who pursue fieldwork can gain valuable experience and discover their personal passions within the discipline.
Having skills in statistical analysis is critical to many kinds of academic research and problem solving. It’s also the focus of the annual Bernoulli Awards, a competition for Notre Dame undergraduates that is sponsored by the Department of Economics.
Javi Zubizarreta, a Notre Dame student in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, has won a 2010 Princess Grace Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA). He will also receive the PGF-USA Cary Grant Film Award, which is bestowed on only one filmmaker each year.