Class of 2015

Mary (Olivia) Balmert

Mary (Olivia) Balmert

  • Areas of Study: Biology, Theology
  • Hometown: San Diego, CA

After completing her Wilderness Leadership Summer Experience, Olivia focused her summer experiences around healthcare. For her Social Justice summer, she worked with the Center for Social Concerns and completed a Summer Service Learning Program in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at Avera-McGreevy Medical Group’s Downtown Clinic. In this role, she served people without insurance.

During summer 2013, she continued pursuing her love of healthcare by doing cell biology research at Notre Dame with the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases. In summer 2014, she conducted biology research at Scripps Translational Research Institute in San Diego, CA.

Olivia now works as a research assistant for Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California.

Michael Blume

Michael Blume

  • Areas of Study: Finance; Economics
  • Hometown: Allison Park, PA

After his freshman year at Notre Dame, Michael served as a teacher and mentor at the Crotona Achievement Program in the Bronx, New York, for his Social Justice summer. The following summer he returned to education, but this time to get a closer look at urban education and management by participating in the Urban Education Leaders Internship Program in Washington, D.C.  For his Professional Venture summer, Michael completed an institutional banking internship at PNC Capital Markets.

During his time at Notre Dame, Michael tutored and volunteered at several schools in the South Bend area. 

Michael, who graduated cum laude with a degree in Finance, began his career as an investment banking analyst with PNC Capital Markets. He is currently working as an associate with Incline Equity Partners, a Pittsburgh-based private equity firm focused on making investments in lower middle-market growth companies in Pittsburgh, PA.

Trevor Bonventre

Trevor Bonventre

  • Areas of Study: Accounting; Theology; Catholic Social Tradition
  • Hometown: Novi, MI

As a double major in Accounting and Theology at Notre Dame, Trevor spent time applying business practices into ethical settings. He performed research through the International Scholars Program at Kellogg by examining how business can be successful through an ethical lens. He led two service trip to the Appalachia region with the Center for Social Concerns, where his group helped rehabilitate an after-school program and mentor middle school students. He also served as the service commission of Sorin College and participated in the Tax Assistance Program in South Bend as part of his Accounting major, while also using this experience to faciliate his CST minor Capstone Project.

For his Social Justice summer, Trevor worked at the Transition House for the Homeless in Santa Barbara, California, where he led the summer camp for the kids, while also assisting in the office with grant writing and résumé writing for the clients. For my Global Inquiry summer, he worked at TI Automotive, an automotive supplier, in Oxford, United Kingdom, as an accounting intern assisting in their transition from IFRS to US GAAP standards.

For his Professional Venture summer, he interned for PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Detroit in their Core Assurance division as an intern assisting in financial audits. He returned to PwC after graduation to work full-time as a core assurance associate.

 

Colleen Boyle

Colleen Boyle

  • Areas of Study: Biology; Anthropology
  • Hometown: Encinitas, CA

Colleen used her time at Notre Dame to clarify and combine her passions. For her Social Justice summer, Colleen leveraged her background as a member of the Notre Dame improvisational comedy club, The Humor Artists, and passion for education to develop a curriculum of improv comedy and sketch writing  in Nepal. The program fostered English speaking and critical thinking in schools around Pokhara in partnership with the organization Hope for Nepal, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty through educational opportunities.

Back on campus, she began working in the Ferdig Lab, which focuses on researching the mechanisms of drug resistance in malaria, which guided her to her next summer, an independent research project in the British Library exploring the connection between the British Raj and malarial mortality in India. For her her Professional Venture summer, she facilitated part of a ten-year study on the effect of strawberry guava and the brown rat on the native species of Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar in conjunction with CalU, Shippensberg University, and the Centre ValBio.

After graduation she looks forward once more to combining all her passions in a freelance fiction writing project that explores the connection between industry and the environment and the moral and social implications of a world on the verge of collapse.

In her free time at Notre Dame, Colleen was an active member of Cavanaugh Hall, where she participated in the Cross Country team, served Hall Council as Spirit Commissioner, and was the fourth floor RA her senior year. She was also a member of the Humor Artists and the Rock Climbing Club, frequently taking trips to Red River Gorge Kentucky to climb and Fall Break trips to Colorado. She also volunteered with Reins of Life, a therapeutic riding center.

Kathleen Brennan

Kathleen Brennan

  • Areas of Study: Sociology; Irish Studies; Irish Language and Literature
  • Hometown: Strongsville, OH

Katie’s Hesburgh-Yusko experiences have helped illuminate her path after graduation. Her Social Justice summer was spent as an intern and counselor at the Arrupe Summer Program in Cleveland, Ohio. Although nonprofit work seemed like an ideal fit, she also wanted to try her hand at research. In the summer of 2013, she traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to conduct interviews with youth from both sides of the conflict for the Northern Ireland Project. With additional funding from the Nanovic and Keough-Naughton Institutes, she created an additional research project—the Northern Ireland Diary Project—while on the ground in Northern Ireland. She wrote her Irish Studies’ capstone essay, “Perception vs. Reality: Sectarian Antisocial Behavior and Belfast Youth,” about this research and worked with her advisor at Notre Dame to publish an article about her findings.

While studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, during the fall 2013 semester, Katie conducted archive-based research on the women of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. This experience helped lead her to her Professional Venture Summer Experience, in which she served as a Keough-Naughton intern in Dublin, Ireland, on Notre Dame’s 1916 Easter Rising documentary, which will premiere on PBS in 2016. During summer 2014, Katie also served as a teaching assistant on a high school Irish Studies course in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The summer after graduation, Katie served as a teacher for a high school Irish Studies program in Belfast and worked with the Irish American Archives Society in Cleveland. These experiences influenced Katie’s decision to pursue a MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast during the 2015-2016 academic year.

On campus, Katie was the president of Notre Dame’s Irish Club, a member of the College of Arts and Letters Dean’s Fellows, and a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honor Society, and the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude. 

Upon the completion of her master's in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice in September 2016, Katie started a year-long position as a fellow at the Cleveland Foundation, where she works with Cleveland's police reform commission - the topic of her master's thesis.

Alexander Caton

Alexander Caton

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Philosophy, Politics, and Education (PPE)
  • Hometown: Geneva, IL

Alex tied his summer experiences to his interest in politics. After his freshman year he interned with the Employee Ownership Association, a membership/lobbying organization in London. There, among other things, he shook Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s hand. He spent the following summer as a research assistant to Sebastian Rosato, an international relations professor at Notre Dame. He lived in Washington, D.C., the following semester as part of the Notre Dame Washington Program, taking classes and interning in the Office of Senator Mark Kirk. For his Professional Venture summer, he worked at the Chicago Headquarters of Bruce Rauner’s successful bid for Governor of Illinois.

At Notre Dame, Alex was a columnist for the Viewpoint section in The Observer, Notre Dame’s daily student newspaper, where he wrote about campus issues. He was also a vice president with JIFFI, an entirely student-run 501c3 micro-lending initiative started by a Hesburgh-Yusko 2014 graduate, Peter Woo. More recently, he was involved in founding BridgeND, a cross-partisan politics and policy group of students at Notre Dame.

After graduation, Alex, who graduated magna cum laude, served as fellow to the chief of staff to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. He now works as an editorial intern for Washington Montly in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Courtney

Daniel Courtney

  • Areas of Study: Civil Engineering; Hesburgh Program in Public Service
  • Hometown: Williamsville, NY

As a Civil Engineering major and Public Policy minor at Notre Dame, Dan focused on how civil engineering and infrastructure policy can affect people’s quality of life. The summer after his freshmen year, he traveled to 12 villages in the parish of Nnindye, Uganda, to study rural water pumps. He soon realized that in order to keep the water clean and the pumps functioning, the villagers needed to take ownership and feel responsible for the pumps that had been donated to them.

After presenting his findings from the Ugandan water pumps project, Dan continued to explore the interactions between public infrastructure, policy, and quality of life. In the summer of 2013, he researched seismic housing construction and renewable energy through Engineering2Empower and the GREEN Program in Costa Rica.  While studying abroad in Perth, Australia, he worked with the Centre for Water Research on the design of an ocean pool to allow handicapped access to the beach and protect swimmers from violent waves. In the fall of 2014, Dan and his brother, Nick, traveled to Central America to investigate the planning of the Nicaragua Canal as a competitor to the expanding Panama Canal.  Dan then completed his final summer as a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar as a geotechnical engineering intern in Buffalo, NY, with McMahon and Mann Consulting Engineers. There he analyzed foundations, retaining walls, landfills, and dams throughout Western New York. 

Dan was a founding member of The Bridge Project to connect Notre Dame and South Bend through the arts, and successfully organized the 2015 Sounds by South Bend Music Festival. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, and the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society.  He was a recipient of the Hesburgh Award for Leadership from the Hesburgh Program in Public Service and the Kenneth R. Lauer Award for student leadership, integrity, and service from the Department of Civil Engineering. 

After graduation, Dan joined the Graduate Training Program at Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I), the world’s most complete energy infrastructure company. Thus far, he has worked at the CB&I pipe fabrication shop in Beaumont, Texas, and the Calpine York II power plant construction project in Delta, Pennsylvania.

Caitlin  Crommett

Caitlin Crommett

  • Areas of Study: Management Entrepreneurship; Film, Television, and Theatre
  • Hometown: Fountain Hills, AZ

During much of her time at Notre Dame, Caitlin focused on the growth and expansion of DreamCatchers, the nonprofit foundation she created that is dedicated to fulfilling the final dreams of hospice patients. For her Social Justice summer, she and fellow scholar Katie McElligott traveled around the country, growing DreamCatchers to the national foundation it is today with chapters in more than 14 states.

After DreamCatchers was featured on a Notre Dame/NBC "What Would You Fight For?" ad that same year, Caitlin began to notice the importance of media in highlighting inspiring causes.

During summer of 2013, Caitlin interned in NYC with Katie Couric on the "Katie" show, working in ABC's programming and development department. She then switched coasts to Los Angeles during the summer of 2014 to intern with Wayfarer Entertainment, a production company focused on creating socially conscious media to elevate the human condition.

On campus, Caitlin was heavily involved with Notre Dame Television (NDtv), jumping from news anchor to news producer, then creating the hit show "The Irish Bachelorette", and finally leading the station as Executive Producer during her senior year, a position for which she received the Student Activities Student Leadership Award. Also passionate about acting, Caitlin starred in various student films over her four years at Notre Dame, and ended her senior year starring in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre's main stage production of "Dead Man's Cell Phone."

Caitlin now resides in Los Angeles, CA, where she is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, focusing on acting, producing, and hopefully soon, directing. She continues growing DreamCatchers nationally, as well as a more recent startup she co-founded along with two other Notre Dame graduates, BlueBucket (a platform for restaurants to better manage their charitable efforts). She is also now pursuing a career in professional speaking, drawing from her experience founding and expanding DreamCatchers nationally. She received a scholarship to attend the National Speakers Association Speaker's Academy in Los Angeles to aid in her development as a speaker.

Matthew Devine

Matthew Devine

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Pre-Professional Studies; Peace Studies; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Loveland, OH

Originally planning to attend medical school, Matt's experiences while at Notre Dame encouraged him to learn more about the importance of communication and the power of the media industry

For his Hesburgh-Yusko summers, Matt participated in an Outward Bound Wilderness Leadership course in Southwest Utah prior to his first year of study. In subsequent summers, he traveled to eastern Peru where he helped to develop sustainable health and education partnerships in rural villages and Barcelona, Spain, to understand pediatric oncology care programs. Matt spent his final summer working with Seeds of Peace International, a conflict resolution youth leadership development program that works directly with teenagers from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, during the 2014 war in Gaza.

Matt spent the fall of 2013 interning at NBC News in London where he experienced the importance of quality journalism firsthand, not only on world discourse but also on conflict and group identity. His senior capstone titled, “The Future of Journalism: Narrative Complexity and Peace Building,” focused on understanding the role that news organizations play in potentially aggravating or mitigating conflict. 

On campus, Matt worked as a tutor at the University Writing Center and served as student body vice president during his senior year.

After graduation, Matt worked at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. as media relations strategist specializing in economics and financial services. He now works for Weekend TODAY at NBCUniversal in New York City.  In his spare time, he tries to find ways to practice his Spanish and play volleyball.

Kristina Flathers

Kristina Flathers

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Chinese; Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE); Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Salinas, CA

When she came to Notre Dame, Kristina was eager to become a doctor; however, after she worked with HYSP—in combination with the Center for Social Concerns—to serve her Social Justice summer at Camp Albrecht Acres, a summer camp for people with special needs, she recognized an intersection of her passions in life – human dignity issues, economics, and finance.

Kristina spent her Global Inquiry summer at Shandong University in Jinan, China, studying the effectiveness of the Housing Provident Fund in promoting home purchases, through a scholarship from Multicultural Student Programs and Services.

Kristina interned at a real estate consultancy firm while studying abroad in London during the fall of her junior year, which was critical to helping her explore business and the financial world. Her Professional Venture summer took her to Chicago for an internship in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs.

On campus, Kristina worked as a student manager for the Notre Dame Development Phone Center, an associate for the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion, and a peer advisor for the First Year of Studies.  She was very involved in Notre Dame Right to Life and her senior thesis focused on measuring the effects of the South Bend Women's Care Center on abortion and birth rates.

After graduation, Kristina worked as an analyst at the investment bank Jefferies in New York City. She also helped to start a pro-life group in New York called Pro-Life Future NYC.

Kristina now lives in Chicago, IL, where she works for analyst for Golub Capital.

Matthew Garcia

Matthew Garcia

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: Levittown, NY

While pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Matt also took on ventures outside his field.  Matt successfully navigated a rainy journey through his kayaking and mountaineering Outward Bound course and spent a summer volunteering at PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) to a Better Life, in Los Angeles, California, where he worked with thousands of homeless men and women.

Matt stayed in South Bend for his Global Inquiry summer to do research on quantification of physical therapy with Professor Schmiedeler. For his Professional Venture summer, he conducted medical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. 

He now works as a project engineer for Welkin Mechanical, LLC, in New York City.

Therese Germain

Therese Germain

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Chinese; Gender Studies
  • Hometown: Weston, FL

In her time at Notre Dame, Therese focused on issues of women’s empowerment in disadvantaged communities. In the summer of 2012, Therese conducted workshops for girls in South Bend’s Center for the Homeless as well as in various communities across the Philippines.  The self-designed program, Girl’s Ed, sought to educate girls on topics such as sexual education, nutrition, and goal setting. This project sprouted from her belief that young women need to be empowered with information on sexual relationships, reproduction and birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual abuse, because such information gives them preventative power.  

The following summer, Therese was awarded a grant from the Kellogg Institute for an internship in Beijing, China, with the Chinese NGO Hua Dan. At Hua Dan, Therese worked to empower migrant women and migrant children through the arts, namely through theatre and storytelling. Her role as a business development intern left her with a new understanding of internal migrant issues in China, especially those pertaining to women.  

On campus, Therese dedicated her time to promoting the arts in Notre Dame’s multicultural community. As President of the Black Cultural Arts Council (BCAC), she produced three annual expositions: the Black Images Talent Showcase, Black Coffee House, and the BCAC Fashion show.  Proceeds from the events funded the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship.

Therese works for the Boston Consulting Group in Chicago as an associate.  

Christina Gutierrez

Christina Gutierrez

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Romance Languages (French and Italian)
  • Hometown: Nashville, TN

Christina’s love for food began in childhood, when she would check out cookbooks from the library while her friends read novels. At the age of ten, she asked her parents if she could prepare dinner each night for her family, a deal they happily accepted. As they moved around from Peru to Chile to Italy and back to Minnesota, she realized the United States was the only place where processed goods and fast food were norms. Organic food became even more important to her when her 11-year-old brother was diagnosed with cancer.

Since then, she’s devoted herself to food policy and food security, because she believes healthy, delicious food should be accessible and inexpensive. She spent her Social Justice summer planting coffee crops, harvesting honey, picking vegetables and studying sustainable and natural farming in Costa Rica at the Asociación de Productores La Amistad.

During summer 2013, she spent time conducting research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. For the 2013-2014 academic year, she studied at the renowned political science school in Paris, France, Sciences Politiques. For her Professional Venture summer, she worked as the sole food policy research intern at Catholic Charities USA in Washington, D.C. During her senior year, Christina received the John W. Gardner Leadership Award and George Brinkley Prize for Service to the Political Science Department. She was a member of the Latino Honor Society, Italian Honor Society, and French Honor Society.

Christina is the recipient of a Fulbright/Casten Family Foundation Award to study Food Culture and Communications with a focus on Human Ecology and Sustainability at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. She is also a freelance writer and content contributor for a food start-up in the Bay Area, writing about issues of food, sustainability, and nutrition. 

Yue Huang

Yue Huang

  • Areas of Study: Philosophy; Medieval Studies; Theology; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Shanghai, China

Yue came to Notre Dame with extensive service experience, particularly with a local Buddhist charitable foundation in Shanghai and blind and orphaned students in Tibet. After a year at Notre Dame, he returned to Tibet to work on a book-cataloging project for his Social Justice summer. His interest in working with books encouraged him to complete independent research on the book market and copyright law in China the following summer. For his Professional Venture summer, Yue spent eight weeks at Notre Dame taking an intensive Latin course while working in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in the Hesburgh Library.

Yue’s interest in books led him to write his senior thesis on Dante. As part of the research process, he traveled to Florence, Italy, during Fall Break 2014 with a Nanovic Institute for European Studies grant to study original fourteenth and fifteenth century manuscripts. 

Yue is pursuing a graduate degree in Religion and the Arts at the Yale Divinity School and works as a cataloguer at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. He recently completed HBX CORe, a set of three business courses offered online by Harvard Business School. 

Daniel Kerekes

Daniel Kerekes

  • Areas of Study: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: Barrington, IL

Danny spent his four years at Notre Dame exploring many facets of the healthcare landscape. He served as an ambassador for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) to gain exposure to the fight for global health. Working out of their headquarters in Philadelphia for the first half of summer 2012 and their clinic in Costa Rica for the second half, he was able to advance several projects from domestic administration to international clinics.

With support from the Da Vinci Grant Program, Danny spent his next summer carrying out cell biology bench research in the United Kingdom at the University of Oxford. In the summer of 2014, he joined a breast cancer clinical research project at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. With a grant from CUSE, he presented his research from his time at the Mayo Clinic at the Society of Surgical Oncology Conference in Houston in March 2015. 

On campus, Danny was the president of the Notre Dame FIMRC Chapter, the vice president of the Notre Dame Red Cross Club, a member of GlobeMed, and a member of the Men’s Club Ultimate Team. He also worked with author Julie Hersh to create and distribute a mental health survey on campus. Danny graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Chemical Engineering and was the recipient of the Chemical Engineering Alumni Award.

Danny is attending medical school at Johns Hopkins University.

Erich Kerekes

Erich Kerekes

  • Areas of Study: Computer Science
  • Hometown: Barrington, IL

For his social justice summer, Erich worked at a nonprofit called the Hovde Foundation. His first five weeks were spent in Washington, D.C., helping write proposals and develop new partnerships for the Foundation. The following five weeks were spent in Ghana, working with a partner of the Foundation called Challenging Heights – a nonprofit focused on anti-trafficking.

During the summer of 2013, Erich helped translate the protocol language of a functional curation project from C++ into Python (another programming language). The goal of the project was to improve the performance of in silico versions of wet lab experiments by continually validating mathematical models against experimental data.

In 2014, Erich interned at McKinsey & Company in the Chicago Business Technology Office, where he completed a ten-week internship in healthcare consulting.

At Notre Dame, Erich served on the executive board of Notre Dame’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter for three years, including serving as the president during his senior year. Erich also played on the club Ultimate Frisbee team all four years, and served as webmaster for the club during his junior and senior years.

Erich graduated from Notre Dame in May of 2015 with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Corporate Engineering Practice. Erich was elected to Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the Computer Science Honors Society at Notre Dame. During the Computer Science graduation ceremony, Erich was presented with the “Outstanding Computer Science Senior Award,” an award for outstanding academic achievement in the computer science program.

Erich is now working full-time as a business analyst for McKinsey in their Chicago Business Technology office, working on projects primarily in the high-tech industry. 

Yun Jung (Eunice) Kim

Yun Jung (Eunice) Kim

  • Areas of Study: Psychology; Peace Studies; Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE); Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Eunice took her first year at Notre Dame to sample several different academic disciplines and joined the Glynn Family Honors Program. Peace Studies and psychology stimulated her curiosity and eventually became her majors. At the same time, seminars at the Center for Social Concerns helped introduce her to issues on migration policy in the United States and Mexico. Eventually she wrote her senior thesis on how the citizenship status creates structural violence in the GCC region, especially in Qatar.

During her time at Notre Dame, Eunice completed an Outward Bound course in Alaska, interned at a non-profit organization for migrant children, the Dongba Center, in Beijing, and collected oral histories of North Korean defectors and migrants throughout South Korea. Also, she joined IDRC and took the position of South and Southeast Asia working group chair to understand more about the field of international development. During her gap year, she interned at the Korean National Assembly and the KOTRA headquarter in Seoul, and was fortunate enough to get a position that focused mostly on international development and aid projects. As a psychology major, she worked in labs for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and for second generation Asian and Latin American immigrant families. Eunice also studied abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and took courses in international relations and psychology.

Eunice is currently working as a staff member in a non-profit organization for the Korean diaspora population and as a part-time history teacher for high school students. She is organizing a speak-out conference for Korean diasporic women from North Korea, China, Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Japan, who have resettled back in South Korea. She hopes to understand more about the complex citizenship and residency law in Korea and how it affects Korean society.

After taking her gap-year trip to Europe and the Middle East, she has been devoting significant amounts of her free time to visiting the places she reads about. This year she went on her first Trans-Scandinavian & Trans-Siberian Railway trip.

Paul Luczak

Paul Luczak

  • Areas of Study: Accounting; Economics; Education, Schooling, and Society
  • Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL

Paul spent his Social Justice summer surrounded by education experts in New Orleans, conducting research on the rapid school transformation occurring post-Hurricane Katrina. The program encouraged him to apply for a grant to explore Finland’s renowned education policy. During the summer of 2013, he went to London to explore how the city was incorporating academy schools into their education system. He was able to present this research at Harvard University, the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, and the British Conference for Undergraduate Research. 

For his Professional Venture summer, Paul served as an auditing intern with Deloitte in Chicago, IL. After graduation, Paul returned to Chicago for a position with Ernst & Young’s Risk Advisory team.

Hien Luu

Hien Luu

  • Areas of Study: Studio Art
  • Hometown: West Hartford, CT

Curious, multi-talented, or just restless, Hien explored many majors at Notre Dame before finishing with a Studio Art degree, with a focus on pottery and woodblock printmaking.

Hien’s first summer experience was spent mountaineering in the North Cascades through Outward Bound. Her second summer was spent living and volunteering in the Ville neighborhood of St. Louis, MO, where she worked with the community through tutoring, teaching, and creative projects such as videos and articles that explored the needs of those living in the community. The third summer, Hien continued to follow interests in journalism and storytelling with a research project on engineered ignorance in Saigon, looking specifically at how the Vietnam War is taught and remembered in Vietnamese vs. American curricula and memory.

Journalism lead Hien to intern with Kyoto Journal her fourth summer where she re-discovered her space in art, having stumbled upon Japanese woodblock printmaking and pottery. She returned a fifth summer to spend many happy hours in creaky but sunny studios learning Japanese woodblock printmaking with teacher Richard Steiner and pottery with teacher Nobuo Nojima. 

Hien continues her relationship with the oven as a baker by day and potter by occasional night. 

Kathryn McElligott

Kathryn McElligott

  • Areas of Study: Finance; Economics; International Business
  • Hometown: New Berlin, WI

At Notre Dame, Katie was interested in all things business. She used her love for business to help fellow scholar Caitlin Crommett promote her nonprofit organization, DreamCatchers during their Social Justice summer. They spent six weeks on the road visiting schools and hospices with the hope of expanding the project and establishing a national structure.

For her Global Inquiry experience, she chose to study abroad at the London School of Economics.

Katie spent the summer of 2014 working at J.P. Morgan in Equity Cash Sales-trading in New York City, NY. She now works for Goldman Sachs in Chicago as an investment management financial analyst.

Rebecca Noble

Rebecca Noble

  • Areas of Study: Biological Sciences; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Needham, MA

At Notre Dame, Rebecca not only established a strong foundation in health sciences, but also explored other topics critically important to patient-centered care. For her Social Justice Summer Experience, Rebecca volunteered as a cabin counselor at Camp Korey, an overnight camp for children with life-altering illnesses. The following two summers she delved deeper by conducting research on pediatric diseases in a lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

For her senior honors thesis, she worked with Dr. Darcia Narvaez in the Department of Psychology to investigate the impact of basic needs satisfaction on wellbeing. She received a Glynn Family Honors Program Research Distinction Award for her senior thesis and had the opportunity to present her findings both on campus and at a national conference in Chicago. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society and was a nominee for Biological Sciences Valedictorian.

Rebecca is currently working as an analyst at S2N Health, a med tech consulting firm in Boston, where she provides market strategy support for medical device companies developing innovative new technologies.

Kwame Nuako

Kwame Nuako

  • Areas of Study: Anthropology; Pre-Professional Studies
  • Hometown: Martin, TN

During his freshman and sophomore years, Kwame focused on public health and healthcare policy. He spent the summer before his sophomore year with the Health 360 Program at the Community Charter School in Buffalo, New York, a program that promotes increased physical activity and nutrition education. For his Global Inquiry summer, he and fellow scholar Farrell Sheehan designed and completed a comparative study of obesity rates and factors in New York, NY, and London, United Kingdom. Both experiences helped mold and strengthen his interest in healthcare issues.

His service work in South Bend, including volunteering as an Emergency Department volunteer at the Saint Joseph Regional Medical, helped shift his passion to the more personal aspects of healthcare, a passion that was further explored in his Professional Venture summer at the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program.

On campus, he was involved in both dorm and campus-wide government and served as Sorin Hall President. He was also part of a small committee that was headed by 2013-2014 Notre Dame Student Body President Alex Coccia, which constructed a report to assess areas of improvement on campus for the Board of Trustees. Kwame volunteered with the Robinson Community Learning Center as an AmeriCorps volunteer during his four years at Notre Dame.

Kwame attends medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medice. 

Sarah Owens

Sarah Owens

  • Areas of Study: Psychology; Theology
  • Hometown: Pearl River, NY

Sarah spent her Professional Venture summer conducting Neurobiology research at Columbia University. For her Global Inquiry summer Sarah found a research project that would combine her normally disparate majors of Psychology and Theology. Working in the Emotion, Stress, and Physiology Lab at Notre Dame, she did research on religiosity and youth. She believes that by combining these fields, children of faith can be better treated for mental illness.

For her Social Justice summer, Sarah focused on her medical interests by interning at the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children in Huancayo, Peru. Through this experience, she realized that traits like patience, love, and companionship are essential for quality medical care.

Sarah is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she researches stress hormones, adolescent depression, and suicidality.

Patrick Roemer

Patrick Roemer

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Business Economics
  • Hometown: Great Falls, VA

During his time at Notre Dame and as a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, Pat focused on developing his political knowledge and skills. During the summer of 2012, he was an international relations policy intern for Nancy Pelosi, which afforded him the opportunity to assess how the United States allocates foreign aid. He also worked on the campaign of congressional hopeful Brendan Mullen. For his Global Inquiry summer, Pat conducted independent research based out of the Institute for Policy Studies, an economic think tank in Colombo, Sri Lanka. His research focused on how government policy towards small businesses differed throughout the country depending on how a specific region was affected by the civil war.

For his final summer experience, Pat worked as a fundraising intern for Mark Warner’s Senatorial campaign. This experience allowed him to utilize the leadership, political, and fundraising skills that he developed during his time at Notre Dame.

On campus, Pat worked in Notre Dame’s Development Office as one of the senior managers of the Student Phone Center, which raised more than $700,000 during fall semester 2014. In this role, he oversaw the team that called alumni to raise money for the Notre Dame Fund.

Pat now works for LOGAN, an organization based in South Bend that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve their desired quality of life. As the director of development for LOGAN's Michigan efforts, Pat leads all fundraising initiatives, community relations, and lobbying in the Michigan state government for the organization. Pat is currently leading a $1,500,000 capital campaign to increase services. He is elated to be given the chance to help those in need of all abilities in the same community that cared for him during his four years in college. He also serves on the Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce for Southwest Michigan.

Nicole Sganga

Nicole Sganga

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT); Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy
  • Hometown: Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Nicole promised that if The Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program bought a video camera that she could bring to Thailand for her Social Justice summer, she’d bring  back a video of her trip, and during the academic year she’d tape all of the Program’s guest speakers. The director agreed, but didn’t realize the camera would become the crux of Nicole’s service to the marginalized Shan people, who lived in makeshift refugee camps. While working with Help International, Nicole realized that the people lacked access to beneficial information, and she decided educational videos were a good way to teach people about AIDS transmission.

In 2013, she had the opportunity to intern at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and then at the CBS London Bureau, where she was stationed outside St. Mary’s Hospital covering the birth of Prince George. During her Fall 2013 semester, Nicole interned at 60 Minutes in Washington, D.C. Nicole was the first CBS intern to travel overnight with a production crew while interviewing coal miners in Appalachia. She is also credited as a broadcast associate on a story detailing the history and reconstruction of the United States Capitol dome.

Nicole won a national competition hosted by The New York Times, where she was sent to Burma in summer 2014 to work alongside Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof to report on ethnic conflict and development. The same summer, Nicole also worked at NBC News Washington, conducting research for Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell and Nightly News. Key areas of focus included U.S. Foreign Policy toward Iraq, the ongoing war in Gaza, and the US-Africa Summit. Nicole also produced a segment on marijuana decriminalization, which aired on MSNBC.

On campus, Nicole was the associate producer of “Vantage Point,” a NPR radio show based at the University of Notre Dame. During her senior year, she was the recipient of the James E. and Barbara Murphy Award for Exception Journalism, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre Award in Television Studies, and the winner of the 2015 Notre Dame Film Festival. She graduated with Latin Honors and was on the Dean’s List.

Nicole is currently the executive assistant to the vice president and Washington bureau chief of CBS News. Nicole also works as a broadcast associate for CBS News broadcasts, Face the Nation, and 60 Minutes, and serves as internship coordinator at CBS News Washington.

Farrell Sheehan

Farrell Sheehan

  • Areas of Study: Science Pre-Professional
  • Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Farrell spent his time at Notre Dame trying to better understand how to prevent health disparities. In his first two years, he conducted a comparative burn study in the Dominican Republic and public health study on obesity in New York and London.

Farrell spent the second half of his time at the University of Notre Dame exploring how smartphone applications and big data systems may hold the answer to solving many of the complex problems that face our healthcare system. He worked as a research analyst at a health technology start-up called Babyscripts, which focuses on eliminating disparities that occur during prenatal care. For his Professional Venture summer, he created a mobile healthcare report through interviews with various CEOs at healthcare start-up companies around the USA. 

Currently, Farrell is working as a consultant at Deloitte where he has had the opportunity to guide hospital systems as they adopt the latest in mobile technology and big data solutions to improve how medicine is practiced. Outside of work, he recruited a group of fellow technology consultants to start an organization to teach underserved high school students in Washington, D.C., about how mobile technology can be utilized to improve business, health care, and government.

Andrew Weiler

Andrew Weiler

  • Areas of Study: Economics; Politicas, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE)
  • Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

As an Economics major, Andrew devoted much of his time and energy at Notre Dame to two groups: the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion (JIFFI) and Knott Hall. Andrew served as chief operating officer and board member of JIFFI, a student-run micro-lending group, founded by former HY scholar Peter Woo’14. He helped lead JIFFI’s entry in the 2013 McCloskey Business Plan Competition and was passionate about the organization’s work to uphold the financial dignity of South Bend community members. Connecting JIFFI to his academic work, Andrew wrote his senior thesis on the impact of state payday loan regulations. For this work, he received a second prize in the Notre Dame Bernoulli Awards for papers using statistical analysis.

Andrew was a proud Knott Hall Juggerknott and served as co-president of the dorm in his junior year. During his senior year, he served as resident assistant in the hall.

After the passing of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., Andrew and fellow scholar Alex Caton organized a memorial event for students that was attended by more than 600 individuals.

Andrew spent his Social Justice summer in Ghana, working for the Adaklu Youth Education Committee. During summer 2013, he conducted independent research on the US-Chile Free Trade Agreement in Santiago, Chile. For his Professional Venture Summer, he served as a Global Energy Group Intern with Citibank in Houston, Texas.

Andrew is now working as a business analyst for McKinsey & Company in Minneapolis, MN. He has enjoyed serving clients across different industries and learning about a variety of business situations. He is also involved in McKinsey's recruiting efforts at Notre Dame.  Outside of work, Andrew volunteers as a tutor at a local Spanish immersion elementary school.