Student Stories

Notre Dame endeavors to be a place where each student can grow individually in both mind and heart, and become a part of something larger than themselves. By celebrating the unique gifts each student brings to our shared community, student life is enriched immeasurably.

The stories below share just some of the ways Notre Dame students are celebrating and taking advantage of the wonderful diversity on our campus – through both scholarship and development and formation outside the classroom.

Young Scholars Symposium in Latino Studies to convene emergent scholars from across country and distinguished Professor Charlene Villaseñor Black

Oliver Ortega

Seven up-and-coming scholars from across the country, along with distinguished professor Charlene Villaseñor Black of UCLA, will headline the Young Scholars Symposium at the Institute for Latino Studies next week. The virtual gathering on March 18 and 19 is part of an annual ILS initiative to bring together advanced graduate students and junior faculty working to complete a dissertation, book, or other form...

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Women Who Empower: Jingyu Wang

Colleen Wilcox

Jingyu Wang is hoping to redefine the meaning of a leader. As the executive director of the Beijing Global Gateway, Wang is working to change the focus from “leading” to “serving.” “The best leaders aren’t just motivating people to do the work; they’re helping and supporting them in a compassionate way,” says Wang.

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ND Law student Samantha Contreras receives Michael Best Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship

Denise Wager

Samantha Contreras, a second-year student at Notre Dame Law School, has received a generous scholarship from Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The scholarship will provide tuition assistance for Contreras’ third year of law school. In addition, scholarship recipients are offered a summer associate position at Michael Best.

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How the liberal arts instilled curiosity, boldness, and fearlessness in a history and Japanese student — and carried her from USA Today to Hollywood red carpets

Carrie Gates

For Arienne Thompson Plourde ’04, the first step toward a successful journalism career was to study history and Japanese. Although it might seem an unlikely combination for an aspiring journalist, it gave her a strong foundation to build on — and just as importantly, four years to study what she loved. “For me, I always knew that I wanted to be...

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For senior Veronica Mansour, creating and staging an original musical is the perfect blend of her English and music majors

Sophia Lauber

When Veronica Mansour landed her first role in musical theater as Marcie in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at age 8, she never imagined she would one day write a musical of her own. She still has trouble believing it now. A senior English and music major with a minor in musical theatre, Mansour spent last semester workshopping her original...

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Carla Harris, business leader and gospel singer, to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal

Amanda Skofstad

Carla Harris, vice chairman of wealth management and senior client adviser at Morgan Stanley — as well as a celebrated gospel singer, speaker and author — will be awarded the University of Notre Dame’s 2021 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, at the 176th University Commencement Ceremony on May 23 (Sunday).

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Women Who Empower: Thaïs Burmeister Pires

Colleen Wilcox

A clinical psychologist by trade, Thaïs Burmeister Pires is on a mission to enrich the lives of people around her. It started with her three daughters. “Ever since they were little, I always empowered them to be whatever they wanted to be,” says Pires. “That empowerment started with a strong education and an experience outside of their comfort zone.”

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'They Didn't Fail Because They Had Each Other'

Rowland, Ashley

Nineteen Kellogg undergraduates took part in a program offering virtual international projects during the University of Notre Dame’s recent winter session. Through Kaya Responsible Travel, students collaborated on projects related to microfinance, health, and education with organizations in Uganda, South Africa, and Ecuador.

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