University of Notre Dame alumnus and NASA shuttle veteran Kevin A. Ford spoke with his alma mater from his command post on the International Space Station. He recorded this interview with University spokesperson Dennis Brown on Dec. 26, 2012.
“The big thing that stands out, Dennis, is that the education you get at Notre Dame is a general education to take you out into the world,” Ford says, noting that even though his major was aerospace engineering, he took a broad range of liberal arts classes and now regularly uses the analytical, communications, and language skills those courses help to develop.
“This is a liberal arts thing I’m doing right now,” Ford says of the interview from space.
“I took a Russian class at Notre Dame,” he adds. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fly someday in a Russian spacecraft with two cosmonauts, speaking only Russian …
“Many other courses that I took there just prepared me to think outside the box I think just a little bit and that’s what you guys do at Notre Dame, is provide a great general education along with a fantastic technical education.”