Katie Bugyis, who received a bachelor's degree in history and a Ph.D. in medieval studies from Notre Dame, recently joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, concurrent assistant professor in the Department of Theology, and faculty fellow of the Medieval Institute. In this Q&A, she discusses her return to Notre Dame, how she became interested in medieval studies, and why the Program of Liberal Studies is the best home for her teaching and research.
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Before leaving for a Summer Language Abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia, after her junior year, Kristen Stone ’11 had never been outside North America. After graduation, she spent seven years living and working abroad in Russia and South Africa. Her Arts and Letters education prepared her for a career in education, journalism, and now consulting.
When theology and Arts and Letters pre-health alumnus Andy Miles took a job teaching math and science, he returned to not just to the middle school — on its own, a place of considerable influence with regard to his intersecting views on education and the faith — but to the very classroom he helped renovate as an undergraduate.
After Kaleem Minor graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Letters this spring, he’ll head to California for a job he’d never dreamed of. In fact, less than a year ago, the soon-to-be analyst for a $35 billion alternative investment firm knew next to nothing about the world of finance. A trip over spring break last year changed his perspective — and his career path. Minor was one of 16 black Notre Dame students who participated in an “alternative investment trek” to the West Coast to learn more about careers in the financial services industry.
As president of Allegis Group, a staffing and services company that works with upwards of half a million people a year, he lays out the firm’s investments, growth, and direction in the digital age — and sees a big part of his job as helping employees and clients in ways that go beyond day-to-day tasks.
Sganga, a film, television, and theatre and political science major and journalism minor, recently finished her masters in international human rights law from Oxford University while working as a political reporter for CBS News. She then began a new role as one of the 2020 presidential campaign reporters. Sganga counts her time in London, during a semester abroad and a summer internship, as influential in making her a better reporter and a more empathetic person.
Samantha Caesar ’14 is an immigration attorney in Washington, D.C. Here, she writes about how a Notre Dame education and experience abroad in Ireland led her to a fascinating and fulfilling career.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering grants to research, study and teach abroad.
Congratulations to the Class of 2019! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters.
Hesburgh, a critically acclaimed documentary to be released nationwide on May 3, tells the story of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. — reaching far beyond the borders of the Notre Dame campus to tell an epic American saga. But the making of Hesburgh is very much a Notre Dame story. Documentary filmmaker Patrick Creadon ’89 has a history of hiring Notre Dame students and alumni — and sought out no less than 19 of them to help create Hesburgh.
As a senior associate at KPMG, Madeline Boyer’s background in anthropology often sparks curiosity. “Everybody’s always fascinated,” said Boyer ’09. “It’s an immediate conversation starter for people.” But more than that, Boyer’s anthropology major — and her entire Arts and Letters experience — gives her an edge in her career.
Notre Dame faculty member and alumnus Carlos Lozada, the nonfiction book critic for the Washington Post, is the recipient of a 2019 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, journalism’s highest honor. In announcing the award April 15, the Pulitzer jurors cited Lozada “for trenchant and searching reviews and essays that joined warm emotion and careful analysis in examining a broad range of books addressing government and the American experience.”
Arts and Letters graduates Jeremy Cappello Lee and Lily Falzon, both members of the class of 2018, have been invited to study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, as two of approximately 125 Yenching Scholars from across the globe. Established in 2014, the Yenching Academy offers a one-year master’s degree program for students with outstanding academic backgrounds and broad curiosity. The program pushes the study of China beyond the traditional boundaries of the humanities and social sciences.
“If you can be a strong organist and lead hymns from the keyboard, you can do it all as a church musician,” said Michael Emmerich, ’12 M.S.M. Emmerich is the associate music director for the Archdiocese of Omaha with a particular focus and mission for rural music ministry. He travels the archdiocese to bolster musical and liturgical literacy among the parishes in rural communities.
For American studies major Robert Costa ’08, the Notre Dame London Program offered him a valuable new perspective on the United States and the world. "You get an appreciation of how American values are not necessarily shared throughout the world,” he said. “My encounters with people from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Russia while in London taught me so much about the world.” Since graduating from the University, Costa has become a national political reporter for the Washington Post, a political analyst for NBC News, and host of television show Washington Week on PBS.
Growing up in southern California, Jennifer Sharron Richardson ’01 knew she wanted to go into the entertainment industry. But she had no idea she would one day be co-executive producing an award-winning late night talk show like Jimmy Kimmel Live!. It took a Notre Dame liberal arts education, a passion for softball, and a little luck to get her there.
Three decades after its founding, the Gender Studies Program is thriving, with more than 70 students currently pursuing gender studies majors, supplementary majors, and minors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as more than 50 associated faculty across campus. Hundreds of students have found a home in the program over the years — including Sarah A. Mustillo ’96, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.
Music theory and performance are often thought of as separate — you study the structures and history of music, or you master an instrument or your own voice. For Andrew White ’12, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago who studies how pianists practiced their instrument in the 19th century, putting the two together is “very intuitive.” White was able to make the two work in tandem as a Notre Dame undergraduate, where the Department of Music offers a unique blend of music performance and theory.
Taking a traditional path never much interested Mark Winkler ’11. He knew he wanted to go to medical school, but he sought something beyond a strictly science-based course of study. He says his majors in economics and Arts and Letters pre-health led to him to where he is now — a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine and a resident physician in radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco.
Sophia Bevacqua ’17, an art history major now serving a five-year fellowship at the Vatican Museums, works with seven laboratories dedicated to preserving and restoring the site’s vast collections. She works with the laboratories to determine which works of art will be restored, which methods will be used to do the work, and how much each project will cost. She then works to match upcoming restoration projects with benefaction from the museums’ pool of approximately 2,400 donors.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘Philosophy — do you even use that in business?’ And I actually do all the time, especially in the world of Silicon Valley,” said Dan Peate ’00. Peate is the founder of the technology companies DRIAV and Hixme, and is the managing director of Peate Ventures LLC, a venture capital fund. He credits his success in business to the skills he gained in asking foundational questions as a philosophy major. He seeks new employees who can demonstrate flexible thinking and thinks all students should broaden their abilities to work creatively.
Julia Steiner ’14 writes songs and plays them in a Chicago-based rock band called Ratboys. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, before attending Notre Dame, where she graduated with a degree in English. During her third year at the University, Steiner studied abroad in Dublin and attended Trinity College. She returned in summer 2014 to intern in the sports department at RTÉ, Ireland’s National Broadcaster. Here, Steiner reflects on her time in Dublin and the influence it had on her music.
After receiving her Ph.D. in medieval studies from Notre Dame in 2017, Megan Welton spent a year as an Arts and Letters postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway in England. She is now a researcher on the NWO-VICI project, “Citizenship Discourses in the Early Medieval World” at Utrecht University.
Ailbhe Darcy’s new volume of poetry, Insistence, has been shortlisted for the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry. Darcy, who now lives in Wales, received an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame in 2011 and a Ph.D. in English with an Irish studies graduate minor from the University in 2015. A poet, critic, and professor, she teaches contemporary Irish poetry and literature at Cardiff University.
Music has the power to inspire, to sustain, and to build community. And students and alumni of Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Calvin M. Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program are playing a vital role in re-energizing the church and the academy through sacred music. With tracks in choral conducting and organ, the program offers an academically rigorous curriculum with a wide range of opportunities for performance, academic, and community engagement. The latest step forward for the DMA program is a generous gift from James and Molly Perry to endow and rename it in honor of Calvin M. Bower, professor emeritus of musicology.
It was a New Year’s Eve celebration that Mary McGraw '17 will never forget. McGraw was ringing in the new year with eight Benedictine nuns at Kylemore Abbey in Galway, Ireland. This intimate moment isn’t something that most study abroad students get to experience while in Ireland. In fact, most people will never know what it’s like to see these nuns behind closed doors. It took several months in Kylemore for McGraw to develop trust with the nuns and, ultimately, a relationship that allowed her to gain a unique perspective into their everyday lives. A studio art major with a photography concentration, McGraw was able to pull back the curtains and capture even more intimate moments through her camera lens — a project that led to her senior thesis.
Now a senior program office for IREX in Washington, D.C., Micah Johnston '06 spent his first year after graduation volunteering for the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly in Chicago. He spent his days visiting the homes of elderly individuals who did not regularly see friends or family. “Spending a year in service helps other people, but it can also be a master class in learning about the world, learning about other people, incorporating that into the education you get at Notre Dame,” he said.
In this Q&A, Leslie Lockett, an associate professor of English and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at The Ohio State University, discusses early medieval concepts of the mind, what initially hooked her on the Middle Ages, and her advice for graduate students who would like to follow her career track.
Sara Abdel-Rahim ’17 found her voice in the liberal arts — and she amplified it through research, internships, and leadership roles on campus. As a first-generation American citizen, the political science and Arabic major wants to battle against cultural and religious discrimination.
One visit to the Hesburgh Library’s medieval manuscripts collection, and Luke Donahue ’17 was hooked. “I saw them and thought, ‘This is it.’ This is what I want to study,” Donahue said. “I was intrigued that there are all these manuscripts from the Middle Ages that no one has researched, and I was determined — I wanted to help fill that intellectual gap.” While he initially planned to study physics, Donahue decided to major in theology and German and add a minor in medieval studies.