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.

ACE launches $1M project to improve reading outcomes in Haitian Catholic schools

William Schmitt

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Haiti initiative recently launched its “Haiti Reads” project, an innovative literacy program in 52 Haitian Catholic schools. Working in partnership with the Haitian Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education (CEEC) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the project began in the summer and is supported by a $1 million grant from an...

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Notre Dame biologist Nora Besansky leads international consortium in sequencing the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes

William G. Gilroy

Nora Besansky, O’Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world. Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting human malaria parasites that cause an estimated 200 million cases...

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'Gay in Christ' conference to be held at Notre Dame

Michael O. Garvey

A two-day conference, “Gay in Christ: Dimensions of Fidelity,” co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and the Gender Relations Center, will convene Oct. 31 (Friday) to explore appropriate pastoral strategies for Catholic parishioners who regard themselves as non-heterosexual, but who accept Catholic Church teaching on marriage and sexuality.

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Washington Post writer Wil Haygood, author of 'The Butler,' to speak at Notre Dame

College of Arts and Letters

Washington Post national writer Wil Haygood, whose feature story provided the basis for the movie “The Butler,” will discuss his career as a journalist and author Oct. 28 (Tuesday) at the University of Notre Dame. The conversation, which is open to the public and free of charge, will begin at 7 p.m. and take place in the auditorium of the...

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ND Expert: Hong Kong movement unlike any other

Shannon Chapla

Hong Kong marked China’s National Day (Oct. 1) in unprecedented fashion, as pro-democracy protesters crowded the streets of the Asian financial hub for what is being called a critical day in the territory’s “Umbrella Revolution.” University of Notre Dame political scientist and Hong Kong native Victoria Hui has worked in the democracy movement there. She says it is unlike any...

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Fulbright foreign language teachers introduced to American culture at Notre Dame

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The University of Notre Dame is hosting its ninth Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) orientation for the upcoming academic year. Sixty teachers from 28 countries, representing 15 languages, are staying on campus Aug. 9-13 (Saturday-Wednesday) and will attend a series of workshops designed to enhance their teaching in the United States.

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Two Arts and Letters students receive Gilman Scholarship to study abroad

Daniel Sehlhorst

Two students from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters—Bright Gyamfi and Ray’Von Jones—have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad. The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The nationally competitive award aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the...

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Notre Dame Haiti Program dedicates new salt facility

Marissa Gebhard

In partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and the Population (MSPP), the Congregation of Holy Cross and other partners, the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program dedicated a new fortified salt production plant Monday (Dec. 8) in Delmas, Haiti. Several dignitaries were in attendance, including Sophia Martelly, first lady of Haiti.

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Michelle Whaley is 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year

William G. Gilroy

Michelle A. Whaley, a teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She will be announced as the award winner at a luncheon Thursday...

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Film, Television and Theatre students shine at national auditions

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“Imagine a kind of live, national GRE exam where students audition in open competition against one another, evaluated by representatives from the best graduate theatre programs,” said Professor Jim Collins, chair of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT). Notre Dame had record success in 2014 at the national auditions organized by the University/Resident Theatre organization (URTA), with six...

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College of Science hosts 4th annual Diversity, Culture and Religion in Science course

Casey O'Donnell

This past Saturday (September 20), the College of Science held its fourth annual Diversity, Culture, and Religion in Science course. This one-day, one-credit course encourages students to consider the role of these three important facets of personal identity in their future endeavors. The course attendees listened to variety of speakers, ranging from successful businesspeople to professional athletes. Students also interact...

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Grant propels largest growth of Notre Dame Haiti Program’s salt operations

Marissa Gebhard

The Notre Dame Haiti Program at the University of Notre Dame has received a large, anonymous grant that will support the growth of its salt program, which produces clean, co-fortified salt, intended to eliminate lymphatic filariasis and combat iodine deficiency disorder. The $375,000 grant will be matched by other donations and, in conjunction with several other resources, will fund the...

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The ministry of storytelling

Michael O. Garvey

The Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation, and more than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos. Barring massive changes in birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. If the rise of Latino Catholics confronts the...

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Kerry Ann Rockquemore to speak at Notre Dame Graduate School Commencement

William G. Gilroy

Kerry Ann Rockquemore, who received her doctorate in sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1999, will deliver the address at the University’s Graduate School Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. May 17 (Saturday) in the Compton Family Ice Arena. While a graduate student, Rockquemore won both the John J. Kane Memorial Award for the most outstanding graduate student in...

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Notre Dame’s crèche pilgrimage: Celebrating life’s most intimate moment

Michael O. Garvey

When the University of Notre Dame’s Crèche Pilgrimage begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 7) in the Eck Visitors Center, those on hand to visit, view and pray at some 30 Nativity scenes on exhibit throughout the campus will be participating in a Christmas tradition as ancient as it is universal. “Mary is the most ‘inculturated’ person in the Church,”...

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Notre Dame unites to fight Ebola

Carol C. Bradley, NDWorks

When news broke of the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, “We knew we had to do something,” says Katherine Taylor, director of operations for the Eck Institute for Global Health and interim director of global health training. “Ebola in West Africa is a crisis in our own family,” she says. “We felt we couldn’t stand around and do nothing. This...

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Video: Arts and Letters major researches perceptions of race at national library of France

Todd Boruff

During the summer of 2014, Notre Dame French and history major Curran Cross traveled to Paris to conduct research at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. His project examined the differing views of Arab and African immigrants in modern France. “My hypothesis is that the French have had centuries of experience racially mixing with people of African ancestry and this is...

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Video: Meet Africana Studies major Olivia Furman

Todd Boruff

“I am more than glad that I chose Africana studies. It’s a major that helps you form a way of going about life,” said Olivia Furman, a senior in the College of Arts and Letters. Africana studies at the University of Notre Dame centers on Africans and the African Diaspora—the global dispersion of peoples of African descent—and examines their historical,...

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Venezuelan maestro receives final Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America

Elizabeth Rankin

Visionary music educator José Antonio Abreu was awarded the final Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America at a private campus ceremony on Sept. 22 in recognition of his extraordinary work fighting poverty and violence and developing whole, successful young people through classical music.

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A poignant journey

Alison Damast

Takashi Yanagi lost his mother, his house and his security while still in high school. From this unimaginable tragedy, he forged a determination to continue his dream to attend Notre Dame.

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Video: Meet gender studies major Natalie Perez

Todd Boruff

“Being in gender studies helps you really understand how to be an advocate for yourself and an advocate for other people as well,” said Natalie Perez ’14, a gender studies major in the College of Arts and Letters. Gender studies at Notre Dame is an interdisciplinary academic program which analyzes the significance of gender in all aspects of human life,...

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An Orthodox Jew at a Catholic university

Carol C. Bradley, NDWorks

Journey deepens his religion When looking for graduate schools in aerospace engineering, Jonathan Silver hadn’t even considered Notre Dame as an option until a friend suggested it. “It didn’t matter that I wasn’t religious,” Silver says. “Why would a Jewish person go to a school with such a strong Catholic religious identity?”…

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Rev. Ray Hammond to replace Patten as Notre Dame’s commencement speaker

Dennis Brown

Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond, founder of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston, will deliver the principal address at the University of Notre Dame’s 169th University Commencement Ceremony on May 18 (Sunday), replacing the previously announced speaker, Christopher Patten, chancellor of Oxford and chair of the BBC Trust. Patten informed the University this week that he is withdrawing from several...

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