For Victoria Braga ’11, a semester in Egypt as an undergraduate gave her a new perspective on the United States — and shaped her future career path. Braga came to Notre Dame with an interest in international relations, but her study abroad experience inspired her to pursue a career as an attorney and a position in the U.S. government. Today, the Arabic and political science major works as a trial attorney in the appellate section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation.
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Four alumni of Notre Dame’s international economics program returned to campus in March to speak to current students about their experience with the major, valuable classes they took, and the skills they developed that are now paying dividends in the real world
As an orthopedic resident at Loyola University Medical Center, Daniel Schmitt ’11 sees a wide variety of patients. Schmitt, who majored in anthropology and biology, relies on his liberal arts education to connect with his diverse patient base and treat them comprehensively at the Level I trauma center — a hospital providing the highest level of surgery to trauma victims.
A truly unique production model, First Time Fans brings together Notre Dame alumni filmmakers and pairs them with current students to tell inspiring stories about extraordinary people on an extraordinary campus. A joint venture of the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, and the Athletics Department, First Time Fans is a filmmaking co-op where alumni are given the creative canvas to tell a Notre Dame story through the eyes of someone new to campus, using the backdrop of a Fighting Irish athletic event.
Evelyn Diaz’s career has taken her to the top of Chicago’s governmental, social service, and nonprofit sectors. And at every stop along the way, Diaz ’92 has relied on skills she cultivated as an English major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
Growing up in South Bend, Carly Murphy ’01 always admired Marc Chagall’s Le Grand Cirque when she saw it in the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame. This piece of art sparked a love of French culture in Murphy, who went on to major in French and art history in the College of Arts and Letters. Now vice president of global client development at Sotheby’s international art auction house, Murphy returned to campus last semester to speak to a gathering of students, reflecting on her Notre Dame education and offering advice on entering the art world.
NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson and his son, a College of Arts and Letters graduate and former football player Corey Robinson will be the featured keynote speakers during the University of Notre Dame's Martin Luther King Celebration luncheon on Jan. 22 (Monday).
For his entire academic career, Sean Reardon ’86 has sought to use his passions — the humanities and quantitative research — to make a difference in the field of education. One of the nation’s leading experts on educational inequality, Reardon researches how opportunities and outcomes vary in the United States for students of different racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Reardon’s path to his current position, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education at Stanford University, is long and sprawling. It includes stops on a South Dakota Indian Reservation, a New Jersey Quaker school, and further academic work at Harvard and Penn State — but it all began at Notre Dame.
The Medieval Institute's new series of alumni spotlight interviews kicks off with alumna Nicole Eddy, who received her Ph.D. in 2012. Eddy has recently been hired as the new managing editor for the Medieval Library series at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a 1998 Notre Dame graduate, has won a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — commonly known as a “Genius” Grant. Hannah-Jones, who majored in history and African American studies (now Africana studies), is an investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine, covering issues of racial inequality, especially in education. In 2015, she produced three Peabody Award-winning radio stories for This American Life illustrating how school desegregation can lessen the achievement gap between white children and students of color, and her first-person article, “Worlds Apart: Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” won a 2017 National Magazine Award.
Alexis Belis ’00 arrived at Notre Dame with a plan. Following in her father’s footsteps, she was ready to major in physics, tackle the requirements for medical school, and become a doctor. She nearly missed her true calling. Today, she curates ancient art at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Corbett Family Hall strikes a stunning silhouette rising above the east side of Notre Dame Stadium. But for the Departments of Anthropology and Psychology, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Below the club seating, terraces, and press box on the building’s top three levels, faculty and students from these two social science departments will come together in the new 289,000-square-foot structure, made possible by a leadership gift from Notre Dame alumnus Richard Corbett. With classrooms, laboratories, and offices all under one massive roof, research and teaching efforts are united in a way that will bring untold benefits.
The University of Notre Dame will premiere Sorin: A Notre Dame Story, a one-person play about the life and work of the University’s founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., on Aug. 30 (Wed.) at 6:42 p.m. in the Patricia George Decio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. This production celebrates the 175th anniversary of the University through the collaborative creative work of four notable alumni of Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters: director Patrick Vassel '07, playwright Christina Telesca Gorman '91, performer Matthew Goodrich '09, and projection designer Ryan Belock '11.
Erin Rice ’17 has been named one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Rice is the seventh student in the last 10 years from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters to win the Student Merit Award at IDSA’s Midwest District Design Conference.
“The liberal arts education is one of the best things Notre Dame offers,” said Kaitlin Sullivan ’10, now a product policy manager at Facebook. Sullivan majored in political science and minored in philosophy, politics and economics. After graduating, she completed two years of service with Jesuit Volunteer Corps working in a rape crisis center. While working on a master's degree in public policy at George Washington University, Sullivan interned at Facebook and started a small project addressing gender-based hate speech on the social media platform, ultimately leading to her current job.
Libby Hasse ’08 always knew she wanted to join the Peace Corps. She just didn’t realize what an impact it would have on her career. The experience still resonates today in her work as an attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center — a national nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services to immigrant women.
A record 30 College of Arts and Letters students and alumni have been awarded grants by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to study abroad in 2017-18. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study and teach abroad.
Carlos Lozada ’93, an associate editor and nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post, majored in economics and political science in the College of Arts and Letters. “What the liberal arts education at Notre Dame really did for me was it helped me to learn how to think, how to marshal my arguments, and how to learn from people around me,” he said. “To be a journalist you have to have this inherent curiosity and inherent skepticism, and I think those two qualities were really stoked and inspired at Notre Dame.”
Barry Lopez believes we are on the verge of global upheaval — in the way democracies function, in the way economies work, in the way countries cope with unprecedented numbers of refugees and the effects of climate change. But he also believes that Notre Dame students are “unusually qualified to do something about it.” A renowned essayist, fiction writer, and former Department of American Studies faculty member, Lopez received his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1968. He returned to his alma mater last month to give a lecture on sustainability — and to offer his encouragement to current students.
“It's very easy to lose track of how to form arguments in a way that can really change minds. At Notre Dame, this ability is really drilled into you from day one,” said Katie Beirne Fallon ’98, senior vice president and global head of corporate affairs at Hilton Worldwide. A governemnt and international studies major at Notre Dame, she previously served as director of legislative affairs at the White House for President Barack Obama, working to improve the relationship between Congress and the Office of the President.
The decisions Dr. James Gajewski ’78 makes are often ones of life and death. Over the course of his nearly 35-year medical career, the Portland, Oregon-based hematologist has specialized in stem cell and bone marrow transplants and cancer treatment, where anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of his patients may die. When he’s faced with difficult decisions, though, he relies not on his medical training, but on his College of Arts Letters education.
“Do what you feel naturally inclined to do, where your skills and abilities are taking you, what you're best at. It really has helped me to narrow down and find the right career,” said Elizabeth Simari ’08. An English and Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters, Simari studied abroad in Rome during her junior year. Her interest in the language, history, and culture of Italy developed into a passion, leading her to move to Sicily after graduation. After teaching English for a year and then earning a master's degree in literature, she wrote for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s English-language newspaper, and now teaches at the University of Loyola Chicago's campus in Rome.
When Linda Wilbert Parish enrolled at Notre Dame in fall 1973—the year after the University first admitted women—she was one of only about 400 female students on campus. Since graduating in 1977 with a degree in American studies and foreign languages, Parish has built a career in the banking industry that has taken her around the world. From an internship at Goldman Sachs, she has worked her way up to her current position, senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Barry Lopez’s work has taken him to more than 80 countries over the past 50 years, including some of the most inhospitable places on earth. But on March 9, Lopez is coming home to his alma mater to discuss a topic both timely and close to his heart: the writer’s role in engaging the public on environmental issues.
Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.
After initially planning on pursuing a career in sports medicine, Kim Lisiak '13 changed her plans after a first-year theology course at Notre Dame. She switched her majors to theology and Arts and Letters pre-health and began exploring a new question—how to help people in a way that would have as great an impact as being a doctor. She now uses her liberal arts background every day as chief of staff to the CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and finds the company’s mission to provide innovative, compassionate care a perfect fit.
In the American health care system, the elderly can often be shortchanged. Dr. Nick Schneeman ’80 is convinced that a typical office visit or a trip to the emergency room is simply not enough to address the complex medical issues they face. Schneeman developed a model to provide compassionate and effective care for the frail elderly while also running his business successfully. From humble beginnings, the practice has flourished.
The power of economics, said Greg Duffy ’15, is that the intangible becomes tangible. Duffy, who majored in economics and sang in an a capella group at Notre Dame, now uses that power to help connect artists with new audiences as a research analyst at the music-streaming service Pandora.
“The liberal education I received at Notre Dame really taught me how to learn, how to analyze, and, at the most fundamental level, how to problem-solve,” said Bill Dirksen ’82. “And that’s what most businesses are looking for—people who know how to solve problems.”
As an undergraduate at Notre Dame, David Barlow ’64 was known as a good listener with a penchant for practical jokes and above all, a fascination with the human mind. Barlow turned that curiosity into a fruitful career as a clinical psychologist. A professor emeritus at Boston University, he is the founder and director emeritus of the institution’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.