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.

Social design course challenges students from Notre Dame and India to use creativity to tackle a global problem

Carrie Gates

When Kacey Hengesbach began her undergraduate career at Notre Dame, she didn’t imagine that it would include traveling 8,000 miles to Ahmedabad, India. But thanks to a new course created by Neeta Verma, she had the chance to spend three weeks there last summer, working collaboratively with students from India’s National Institute of Design. 

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Sister Norma Pimentel, M.J.: 2018 Laetare Address

Notre Dame News

Sister Norma Pimentel, M.J., executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and longtime advocate for immigrants and refugees, received the University of Notre Dame’s 2018 Laetare Medal — the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics — at Notre Dame’s 173rd University Commencement Ceremony on May 20. 

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Mai Ni Ni Aung to receive Kroc Institute 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award

Hannah Heinzekehr

Mai Ni Ni Aung, M.A. 2003, has been selected to receive the Kroc Institute’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. She is the founder of the Sone-Tu Cultural Preservation Project and the director of its sister organization, Sone-Tu Backstrap Weavings. Both organizations work to preserve and elevate the culture and traditions of the Sumtu Chin community in Rakhine State, Myanmar. 

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Theology and pre-health is the perfect combination for aspiring doctor Michael Feijoo

Teagan Dillon

Michael Feijoo loves finding ways his everyday life relates to big-picture questions. That’s one of the many reasons the junior finds value in majoring in theology and Arts and Letters pre-health. His combination of academic passions also brought him twice to Ecuador, where served with Timmy Global Health, a nonprofit organization that provides sustainable medical care to South American countries. 

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Online course connects students with perspectives from around the world

Katie Boruff

Gabriel Said Reynolds greets his students on the final day of his Introduction to the Quran course. He is in a small classroom on Notre Dame’s campus. His students are in Orlando, Colorado, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and beyond. Such arrangements are not uncommon in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs), but this one is different....

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‘Show Some Skin’ provides anonymous platform for personal stories

Selena Ponio, The Observer

This weekend, monologues that present a wide range of lived experiences, issues and raw emotions will be brought to stage with one promise to their authors: anonymity. This year’s “Show Some Skin” production is called “Try Us,” titled so as to invite writers to “share the parts of themselves that they feared nobody would understand.”

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3D campus map assists students with visual challenges

Ellen Crowe Finan

Maddie Link As rising junior Madeline Link prepared to attend Notre Dame as a freshman, her father helped her learn the lay of the land. He built a cardboard model of campus for Madeline, who has visual challenges.  Not stopping there, her dad contacted the University architect’s office about the availability of a tactile campus map to help Madeline navigate...

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How a philosophy major developed a passion for researching women’s rights in Latin America 

Teagan Dillon

One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that includes internships at the Global Fund...

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