Video: Meet American Studies Major Olivia Lee

Author: Arts and Letters

“As a freshman I was interested in psychology and history and English and anthropology and political science. I chose American studies because I’ve been able to take all of those while also studying issues of race and gender, religion, politics,” says Olivia Lee, an American studies and peace studies major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.

“American studies looks deeper and says: What are the power structures that work to display culture? What are the forces at work? What’s being hidden? What’s being shown? Why is American culture how it is? What does it mean to be an American?”

A varsity cheerleader from Fort Wayne, Ind., Lee conducted research abroad in India through a grant from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club in South Bend, Ind., and completed a senior thesis titled “Creating and Contesting the Cult of Girlhood.” She was awarded the 2013 Yarrow Award from the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

“One of the most challenging things is questioning what we have always assumed, and being able to look and think deeper about what you see all around you,” says Lee, who joined McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, as a business analyst after graduating in May 2013.

“I’m really excited about applying my critical thinking skills and creative thinking skills to a new field.”

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