Class of 2016

Elizabeth Anthony

Elizabeth Anthony

  • Areas of Study: Philosophy; Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE); Education, Schooling, and Society (ESS); Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: South Bend, IN

Liz became fascinated with blended learning, the hybrid of traditional education and interactive technology-based learning, during her freshman year at Notre Dame. That spring, she decided to put the theories she had read about into practice in South Bend by establishing an after-school program at St. Adalbert’s School that used a blended-learning model. Building upon that experience, Elizabeth spent six weeks as an on-site intern for Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Consulting, helping St. Paul School in Seattle, WA, transition from a traditional model to a blended-learning model. That same summer, she spent three weeks learning more about innovative education practices at Acton Academy in Austin, TX.

The following summer, Liz worked as an educational consultant for Edify in Accra, Ghana. In this position, Liz designed and implemented blended learning programs at four private, Christian schools in the Greater Accra region. After studying abroad in Rome during the fall semester of her junior year, Liz returned to campus to continue her studies of philosophy and education. During the spring semester, she conducted research remotely for the leading blended-learning think tank, The Christensen Institute, where she also interned for her Professional Venture Summer Experience.

Liz works as a blending-learning project coordinator for the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education.

Aidan Baldwin

Aidan Baldwin

  • Areas of Study: Finance; Entrepreneurship
  • Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

Aidan spent his Wilderness Leadership summer in the deserts of southwestern Utah. For his Social Justice summer, he helped lead groups of volunteers in Piura, Peru, at the Santisimo Sacramento Mission and managed a fundraiser to build homes for local families in that area.

During his Global Inquiry summer, Aidan immersed himself in the culture of a small town in rural Honduras. Working directly with coffee farmers as an intern for Aldea Development, he did everything from stamping microloan documents to doing non-profit accounting work to riding motorbikes and surveying mountaintop coffee fields.

During the fall semester of his junior year, Aidan continued to develop a diverse cultural perspective by living with a host family and studying abroad in Toledo, Spain. He spent his Professional Venture summer interning at Rock Ventures, LLC. As part of the private investment team for billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert, his work focused on real estate development and efforts to revitalize the city of Detroit, Michigan.

Aidan is the recipient of an Orr Fellowship, a two year post-graduate professional development program, and works for Lumavate in Indianapolis, Indiana.

David Boothe

David Boothe

  • Areas of Study: Biochemistry; Anthropology
  • Hometown: Mentor, OH

Throughout his undergraduate career, David was focused on pursing a medical degree after graduation. For his Wilderness Leadership summer, he completed a NOLS Wind River Wilderness Course in Wyoming. Prior to his sophomore year, he traveled to Cambodia, where he worked with the Riverkids Project in Phnom Penh and the Wat Opot Community in the Takeo Province. For his Global Inquiry Summer, he participated in an ethnographic field school in Salango, Ecuador, where he studied patient models of diabetes in the area. He returned to Salango with the help of an Institute for the Scholarship of Liberal Arts UROP grant during summer 2015 to continue his research.

On campus, David was the co-president of Social Justice in American Medicine, a club that seeks to educate students about and engage with social injustice within the context of the American medical system. He also volunteered as a tutor at the Robinson Community Learning Center and as an ambassador at Memorial Hospital. In his free time, he enjoyed playing the piano and guitar, reading, running, playing basketball and seeking adventure.

David is attending medical school at the Pennsylvania State Hershey College of Medicine.

Marissa Bowman

Marissa Bowman

  • Areas of Study: Psychology; International Economics; German
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Marissa spent the first part of her Social Justice summer in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, where she worked with Operation Smile, an organization that has provided more than 200,000 free cleft surgeries for children in need. After her time in San Cristobal, she returned to South Bend to work at the Robinson Community Learning Center and help run their Shakespeare camp and fundraise for the organization.

In the summer of 2014, Marissa worked in Dr. Jan Born’s research lab at the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology in Tübingen, Germany, the world’s most productive sleep and memory lab. While there, she translated a psychological questionnaire into German, learned some of the newest techniques in neuroscience, and led experiments in German. During winter 2015, she interned with a clinical psychology research lab in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In this lab, she investigated the relationship between sleep and memory in adolescents with anxiety or depression.

Marissa was the recipient of the Innsbruck Memorial Grant, which provides funding for cultural experiences while abroad. Marissa spent spring and summer 2015 studying abroad in Berlin, Germany.

Marissa is a member of the Psi Chi (Psychology), Delta Phi Alpha (German), and Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics) Honor Societies. After graduation, Marissa began a joint PhD program in clinical and biological and health psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Abby Davis

Abby Davis

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE); Russian; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Avon Lake, OH

Abby is passionate about the study of international migration. During her Social Justice summer, this passion took Abby to Catholic Charities USA in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an immigration policy intern, writing policy briefs and visiting Capitol Hill to support CCUSA’s advocacy efforts in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.

During her sophomore year, inspired by an elective course on post-Soviet film, Abby broadened her interests to include Russian language and the politics of post-Soviet states. With the support of The Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program and the Glynn Family Honors Program, she spent the following summer in Latvia, participating in an intensive Russian language program and investigating the politics of language laws in Latvia. During this experience, she spent a great deal of time thinking about how governments can effectively respond to the flow of people across their borders, as well as what happens to minority populations when borders shift.  

After spending a summer studying Russian in Latvia and a semester studying Spanish in Santiago, Chile, Abby continued investing in her study of foreign languages. She spent her Professional Venture summer in St. Petersburg, Russia, taking intensive Russian language courses.

When she wasn’t studying, Abby could be found at the South Bend Center for the Homeless working with the Community Arts Initiative – a program that she and a group of friends started during their freshman year to provide free music, dance, and visual art classes to residents of the Center. Abby also enjoyed playing the piano and singing with the Women’s Liturgical Choir and the Russian Ensemble. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Abby was the Class of 2016 Valedictorian. She was also the recipient of the Glynn Award from the Glynn Family Honors Program and the ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Laureate Award. She received an honorable mention in the ACTR National Russian Essay Contest. She is now working as an analyst for Avascent, based in Washington, D.C.

Sarah Enciso

Sarah Enciso

  • Areas of Study: Biological Sciences; Psychology
  • Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Inspired by a summer volunteering at Camp Sunshine, a camp that facilitates holistic healing for terminally ill children and their families, Sarah pursued a research position in the Radiation Oncology Lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Working alongside researchers, clinicians and patients with Fanconi Anemia, a cancer-susceptibility syndrome, she had the unique opportunity to observe the application of scientific innovation in a clinical setting as well as continue to focus on the impact of illness on community.

During spring semester 2015, she worked as a genetic counseling intern at a local Mishawaka medical center. Sarah received a Kellogg Institute for International Studies grant to travel to India during summer 2015 to work for Child Family Health International, where she expanded her understanding of holistic medicine and the integration of traditional and Western health practices.

Sarah received the Braco Award for Excellence in Cell Biology Research during her sophomore year at Notre Dame. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi Honor Societies. She was a finalist for Class of 2016 Valedictorian.

Sarah is now pursuing a Master of Science in Management from the University of Notre Dame.

Kaykay Essien

Kaykay Essien

  • Areas of Study: Applied Physics
  • Hometown: Eket, Nigeria

Even prior to his time at Notre Dame, Kaykay was interested in education. He helped teach and manage an academic summer program where he realized computer access in Africa could help improve education. He applied that idea to his Social Justice summer and worked with Women's Net, an organization that advances gender equality by teaching girls in inner city Johannesburg how the use of simple technology can tell their stories.  He also worked with AMI to build a free online business course for African managers.

For his Global Inquiry summer, Kaykay conducted aerodynamics research at Notre Dame and also completed an internship at Focus Product Design in Palo Alto, California. The following summer, Kaykay explored graph theory, network science and nuclear compressibility with faculty and graduate students in the Department of Physics. He also wrote a draft of a manuscript for his novel, a realist fiction piece based on his experiences around the world.

On campus, Kaykay helped start Notre Dame’s Hybrid Racing Team and worked as a freelance programmer for several start-ups. He also helped coach the Women’s Club Soccer Team.

After graduation, Kaykay spent the summer editing his novel. He plans to move to San Francisco, CA, to do software development and data science for a start-up company.

Michelle Feeney

Michelle Feeney

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

Using her summers to explore her interest in global health, Michelle redefined her view of medicine by being exposed to the various public health challenges faced throughout the world. Her first summer spent conducting surveys for the World Health Organization with HELP International in Fiji exposed her to various aspects of the healthcare field and helped her gain practical skills in public health.The following summer, she worked with the same organization in Mbale, Uganda, to consult for a rural primary care clinic and shadow medical professionals in a pediatric neurosurgery hospital. While studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico, Michelle rotated in two public hospitals and was able to gain firsthand experience with another health system.

She developed her professional skills in public health even further when she interned with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Global Affairs for her Professional Venture summer and researched the millennium and sustainable development goals for the office.

Michelle is attending medical school at The Ohio State University.

Meghan  Gallagher

Meghan Gallagher

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; International Development Studies
  • Hometown: Napa, CA

Since her freshmen year, Meg was involved in the Notre Dame chapter of Building Tomorrow, raising money to build schools and increase awareness of the importance of educational access in Uganda. Meg spent summer 2014 researching the Building Tomorrow primary school model and teaching pre-primary school in rural Uganda though a grant from the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development. The grant also covered the construction cost of two new Building Tomorrow Academies in Uganda.

As a political science major, Meg was particularly interested in the government’s role in international development and providing foreign aid. She was inspired by spending her Social Justice summer in Washington, D.C., with Kyle House Group, a lobbying and consulting firm that represents international development NGOs on the Hill, helping them to receive federal funding and raise awareness of their issues.

Meg was the first undergraduate student to be awarded a USAID Research and Innovations Fellowship through the Notre Dame Initiative through Global Development. As part of the program, Meg spent summer 2015 conducting impact assessments for Mxit Reach Trust, a charitable branch of a mobile technology company. Taking advantage of the recent explosion of cell phone usage in South Africa, Mxit provides mobile applications for feature phones for health and education resources and promotes democracy and governance through open access to political information. Meg monitored the effectiveness of these applications and evaluated the potential for this model in other countries.

After returning to campus, Meg participated in a year-long USAID internship for the Young African Leaders Initiative, where she helped develop outreach materials for publicity and social media platforms that focused on YALI fellows who have returned to their home countries in Africa to gauge the impact of YALI on their personal formation and professional careers. She also served as a student intern for the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development.

Meg returned to Washington, D.C., after graduation to serve as an intern for the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she helped with the Africa Affairs portfolio. She is currently working as a legislative correspondent in foreign policy and defense for Senator Jeff Flake.

Agustín García

Agustín García

  • Areas of Study: Finance
  • Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

As a finance major, Agustín recognized the potential of using financial tools to alleviate poverty. For his Social Justice summer, he volunteered as a fellow in Washington, D.C., for Operation HOPE, an international nonprofit dedicated to empowering communities by providing them with financial literacy skills and capability. Agustín brought his knowledge back to Notre Dame, where he worked with several scholars to help start the Jubilee Initiative for Financial Inclusion (JIFFI), a microfinance initiative in South Bend. There, Agustín led the development of the financial education curriculum offered to the South Bend community and advocated for “thought bubbles,” periodic discussions meant to ensure that the organization stayed true to its mission.

To further learn about financial literacy, Agustín traveled to Latin America for his Global Inquiry summer to research how different socioeconomic statuses and political environments can affect perceptions of personal finance. After conducting research in twelve different countries and interviewing more than 200 individuals, Agustín concluded his summer by participating in the South American Business Forum.

Agustín received a grant from the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement to pursue research during fall break 2014 at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh alongside fellow scholar Vince Vangaever. At the Grameen Bank, Agustín learned about the success of the Nobel-prize winning organization, but also the struggles and challenges that development organizations face. Using his findings from his time at the Grameen Bank, he led a project with the Student International Business Council focused on social entrepreneurship.

For his Professional Venture summer, Agustín worked as a summer analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase in New York City. He now works at J.P. Morgan Chase’s Houston office.

John Grefenstette

John Grefenstette

  • Areas of Study: Theology; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Jake spent his HYSP summers backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas, teaching English in a Catholic mission in Chimbote, Perú, and studying Rinzai Zen Buddhism at the Kyoto School of Philosophy in Kyoto, Japan.

Jake served as the president of the class of 2016 during his sophomore year at Notre Dame and spent the 2014-2015 academic year at the University of Oxford, taking courses in theology and literature. He returned from Oxford as an Arts & Letters Dean’s Fellow and was also on the Dean’s List every semester. 

Jake spent his Professional Venture summer researching contemporary theological thought at the Harvard University and University of Notre Dame libraries. He is continuing his study of philosophy and religion at the prestigious Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, where he will pursue a Master of China Studies.

Connor Hayes

Connor Hayes

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Peace Studies; Gender Studies; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Connor ventured to Urubamba, Peru, after his freshman year, where he observed the methods an NGO can utilize to improve the lives of rural women. Yet while he was there, he realized that many of the methods being used by the NGO were American ideas that resonated little with the daily needs of the rural women.

After his initial summer, Connor began to focus more heavily on another issue of tolerance – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) concerns.  He spent his Global Inquiry summer in Dublin, Ireland, where he spoke to more than thirty activists and politicians about the history and strategies of the Irish LGBTQ rights movement. This work formed the core of his thesis on the Irish gay marriage referendum. Connor spent spring semester 2015 studying abroad at University College Dublin, Ireland.

At Notre Dame, Connor worked toward creating a more tolerant campus community as a founding co-president of PrismND, Notre Dame’s first official LGBTQ/ally student organization. He was selected as a national finalist for the Truman Scholarship, which awards exceptional college students who are interested in careers in public service funding for graduate study, due to his impressive academic and leadership background.

Connor spent his Professional Venture summer working for the Center for American Progress as a Faith and Progressive Policy Intern in Washington, D.C.

During his senior year, Connor was the recipient of the Kroc Institute’s Yarrow Award in Peace Studies and the Guillermo O'Donnell Thesis Prize in Comparative Politics through the Political Science Department. He also won the Sr. Jean Lenz Award in Undergraduate Student Leadership through the Gender Relations Center. Connor received various research grants during his time at Notre Dame, including the Senior Project and Research and Materials Grants through the Glynn Family Honors Program, the Nanovic Institute Break Travel and Research Grant, and the Boehnen Fund for Excellence in Gender Studies Summer Internship Grant.

Continuing his ventures in working for justice for marginalized communities, Connor is volunteering for a year in Portland, OR, with Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW.

Mariel Kennedy

Mariel Kennedy

  • Areas of Study: Finance; Anthropology
  • Hometown: Watchung, NJ

Mariel spent much of her time at Notre Dame studying connections between human behavior and financial systems. With the hope of gaining perspective on America’s past, Mariel spent her Social Justice summer working at the Cheyenne River Youth Project, where she facilitated programming for Native American youth, worked on a farm, and immersed herself in the culture of the reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.

Using this experience as inspiration, Mariel went on to explore casino development in Native American communities through independent research. With the support of the Nanovic Institute, she also had the opportunity to travel to Berlin to study how popular interest in Native American culture led to hobbyists emulating Native American lifestyles in Germany.

For her Global Inquiry summer, Mariel interned for the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., as a visiting researcher and expedition member in the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center. She joined a four-person boat expedition to the Arctic to archaeologically excavate the remains of Inuit sites. The sites showed how relations between Intuits and Basques led to bad trades and economic collapse.

After studying abroad at St. Andrews in Scotland, Mariel spent her Professional Venture summer in India working with banks to research how derivatives trading is socially motivated and vulnerable to speculative bubbles.

At Notre Dame, Mariel was passionate about community engagement. She tutored children and teens at the Robinson Community Learning Center and taught drum and dance lessons at the South Bend Center for the Homeless. She also managed the classical radio station on campus (WNSD-FM). Mariel was part of the Applied Investment Management (AIM) course at Notre Dame. Through this course, a select number of finance seniors managed a portfolio of $11 million of Notre Dame’s endowment.

After graduation, Mariel began working as an analyst for Goldman Sachs.

Teresa Kennedy

Teresa Kennedy

  • Areas of Study: Anthropology; Peace Studies; Philosophy, Religion, and Literature
  • Hometown: Wilbraham, MA

The summer after her freshman year, Teresa was awarded a summer language fellowship by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies to study Quechua, the language of the Incas and the indigenous people of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. In Cusco, Peru, she improved her written and verbal Quechua skills and had the unique opportunity to practice the language with the homeless elderly male population in El Hogar de los Ancianitos Desamparados.

The friendships Teresa formed with the aging Andean people inspired her to continue exploring indigenous issues. The following summer, she organized and conducted independent anthropological research among the Mapuche population of Chile regarding land and identity, topics central to the question of indigeneity. She stayed in Chile during fall semester 2014 to study abroad in Santiago.

Teresa was awarded a UROP Research and Materials Grant to study refugee housing in Germany and a UROP Senior Thesis Grant to research a UNESCO World Heritage bid in the Lake District of England during the 2015 academic year.

For her Professional Venture summer, Teresa focused on health and human rights as an intern with Human Rights Watch in New York City. During her senior year, she was the recipient of the Kroc Institute’s Yarrow Award in Peace Studies. She is a member of the Lambda Alpa Anthropology Honors Society.

Anne Kuster

Anne Kuster

  • Areas of Study: Anthropology; International Economics; Gender Studies
  • Hometown: Clinton, NJ

For her Social Justice summer, combining ideas from two disparate Notre Dame classes, Gender Studies and Andean Culture, Annie found a service project with ProWorld Volunteers that allowed her to work in Cusco, Peru, with teenage mothers. The Casa de Acogida Mantay, a home for young women who are often sexually abused, provides residents a safe place to live while helping to foster a bond between mothers and their children.

To continue her passion of working with Latin American women, she traveled to Puebla, Mexico, in summer 2014 to research how single women achieve economic independence in the face of a traditionally male-dominated society. She studied abroad during spring semester 2015 in Toledo, Spain, and spent her Professional Venture Summer as an intern with the Latin America Division of PCI Media Impact in New York, NY.

After graduation Annie began working as an associate for LEK Consulting, based in Chicago, IL.

DeJorie Monroe

DeJorie Monroe

  • Areas of Study: Theology; Latin American Studies; Middle Eastern Studies
  • Hometown: Columbia, SC

During the summer of 2012, DeJorie went on a week-long mission trip to Farallon, Panama, with her church youth group. There, she first experienced the joy of teaching English to Spanish-speaking youth and became fascinated with teaching English as a foreign language as well as the social and economic benefits learning English can provide.

Using that experience as inspiration, DeJorie designed her Social Justice summer to allow her another opportunity to teach English to a Spanish-speaking population, this time in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, at an orphanage. For her Global Inquiry summer, DeJorie worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), an organization that specializes in education and litigation, based in Los Angeles, California.

DeJorie is passionate about the study of languages and cultures and studied Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and Biblical Hebrew while at Notre Dame. In January 2015, DeJorie traveled to Rabat, Morocco, to further her study of Arabic. She spent spring and summer 2015 studying abroad and speaking Spanish in Santiago, Chile.

On campus, DeJorie was an active member of the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir and served as a resident assistant in Howard Hall. In addition, she was a Franklyn E. Doan Scholar as well as a College of Arts and Letters Dean’s Fellow.

DeJorie is the recipient of an Orr Fellowship, and will spend the next two years working as a human resources consultant at Interactive Intelligence in Indianapolis Indiana.

Geraldine Mukumbi

Geraldine Mukumbi

  • Areas of Study: English; Africana Studies
  • Hometown: Ngezi, Zimbabwe

During her time at Notre Dame, Gerie was actively involved with a vareity of organizations. She spent a large portion of her undergraduate career serving as an International Ambassador for International Student and Scholar Affiars, where she helped new international students adjust to campus life. Through the Kellogg International Scholars Program, she served as a research assistant to Professor Paul Ocobock in the History Department. One of her most formative experiences was serving as the 2016 executive producer for the monologue production Show Some Skin. She won the 2016 Notre Dame Student Leadership Award for her work with various campus organizations.

For her Social Justice summer, Gerie interned with the African Management Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, and tutored at Tumbuku, in Limpopo, South Africa. She spent her Global Inquiry summer in Nairobi, Kenya, and Grahamstown, South Africa, conducting research on creative spaces and cultural silence. For her Professional Venture summer, she conducted independent research at writing festivals in New York and Edinburgh, Scotland. Her experiences in these spaces inspired her senior creative project “Phantasm.”

After graduation, Gerie moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, to teach at her former high school, The African Leadership Academy. One day she hopes to fulfill her dream of facilitating the mass production of children’s literature in her home country Zimbabwe.

Daniel Nilsson Sjölander

Daniel Nilsson Sjölander

  • Areas of Study: Finance; Peace Studies; Politics, Philosophy, Economics
  • Hometown: Gothenburg, Vastra Gotaland, Sweden

As the only male volunteer at an orphanage named Moyo Kwa Moyo in Tanzania during his Social Justice summer, Daniel expected physical labor; he cut down trees, tore down houses, and rebuilt new homes for the village. He didn’t expect to learn about micro-finance for the first time.

His experience with Moyo Kwa Moyo led him to intern with Hand In Hand India, a micro-finance organization that focuses on the empowerment of female micro-entrepreneurs in rural areas for his Global Inquiry summer. Daniel devised research methods, constructed a questionnaire, interpreted the results, and wrote a report investigating the impact of micro-finance on entrepreneurial women in both rural and urban India, and its effect on alleviating poverty.

During summer 2015, Daniel explored the corporate side of finance by working as an investment banking, sales, and trading intern at J.P. Morgan Chase in Chicago. He returned to J.P. Morgan Chase after graduation as a sales and trading analyst. 

Adam Rene Rosenbaum

Adam Rene Rosenbaum

  • Areas of Study: Pre-Professional Studies; Spanish; Theology; Glynn Family Honors Program
  • Hometown: St. Johns, MI

Adam Rene came to Notre Dame with the goal of perfecting his Spanish speaking skills in a way that would supplement his interests in science and help him prepare for medical school. For his Social Justice summer, Adam Rene went to Cusco, Peru, to volunteer at Clinica San Juan de Dios, a clinic for disabled children. During his sophomore year, he traveled to Immokalee, FL, with the Center for Social Concerns to study migrant farm work. During his Global Inquiry summer, Adam Rene continued to blend his love for Spanish and healthcare when he went to Madrid, Spain, to work in a bio-analytical research lab for the National Spanish Research Council. He studied abroad Puebla, Mexico, during the fall semester of his junior year.

Through these experiences, Adam Rene has been able to cultivate his Spanish-speaking skills while also developing his other interests. For his final HYSP summer, Adam Rene served as an intern for the Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing, MI, and worked in their free health clinic to develop the Holistic Living Program.

Adam Rene is now attending medical school at the University of Michigan.

Zoe Rae Rote

Zoe Rae Rote

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Education, Schooling and Society (ESS)
  • Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Zoe spent her freshman and sophomore fall breaks teaching in a small Catholic school in Appalachia. During her Social Justice summer, she taught primary school and held a literacy internship at The Foundation for Tomorrow in Arusha, Tanzania.  During summer 2014, Zoe conducted original research on place-based education. Her original research evolved into her senior thesis project where she wrote a peer-reviewed evaluative guide of place-based education programs in Northeast Michigan. The guide has been distributed to hundreds of educators throughout the state of Michigan to help them with programming.

Zoe spent her Professional Venture summer as an education intern with the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Cochabamba, Bolivia, as part of a Kellogg Institute internship.

On campus, Zoe was the vice president of the World Hunger Coalition, which raises more than $30,000 each year for local and global anti-hunger organizations. She was a member of the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir and tutored at the Robinson Community Learning Center. In addition, she worked as a Spanish gallery educator at the Snite Museum.

Zoe was on the Dean’s List for eight semesters and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.

Zoe is pursuing a Master of Education in Secondary Education with certification to teach grades 6-12 social studies through Vanderbilt University. In the future, she hopes to teach middle school social studies in an urban and diverse public middle school.

Jason  Saroni

Jason Saroni

  • Areas of Study: Physics
  • Hometown: Maseru, Lesotho

Every field of study needs experts who steer it towards helping those most in need. As physics major at Notre Dame, Jason hoped to achieve just that. Returning to his home country of Lesotho for his Social Justice summer, Jason decided to volunteer with Touching Tiny Lives, a nonprofit founded by Ken Storen ’92, which provides a safe home and medical care for children who have contracted or are orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Jason spent his Global Inquiry summer participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates Program at Notre Dame, where he delved into nuclear theory research. He spent summer 2015 conducting research with the Notre Dame Physics Department in Dr. Morten Eskildsen's lab.

On campus, Jason was an officer for the Society of Physics Students, advocating for social justice in physics at Notre Dame. He also spent time tutoring students in calculus and physics. He was invited to present a poster of his Notre Dame research “Analysis of Schematic One-Level and Two-Level Nuclear Shell Models,” at the 2015 SIAM Student Conference in Chicago. He is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society.

Jason plans to move to Johannesburg, South Africa, to work as an analyst/navigator for the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute.

Ricardo Suarez

Ricardo Suarez

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo León, México

Returning to Mexico for his Social Justice summer, Ricky worked as an instructor at Ciudad de los Niños, a school for disadvantaged children in Monterrey. In this role, he went beyond teaching and studied how the setup of this school could be improved and replicated at other institutions.

Ricky spent his Global Inquiry summer working for Nemek, a high-tech aluminum component manufacturer, based in Monterrey, Mexico. Ricky focused on developing a framework to improve Nemak’s efficiency in its research endeavors, while leaving room for flexibility and change.

Ricky spent the 2014-2015 academic year studying abroad at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. He served as an associate consultant intern at Bain & Company in Chicago for his Professional Venture summer. He will return to Bain & Company as an associate consultant after graduation. Ricky was admitted to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, which he plans to attend in fall 2019.

Colton Williamson

Colton Williamson

  • Areas of Study: Film, Television, and Theatre; Business Economics
  • Hometown: North Attleboro, MA

After only one year at Notre Dame, Colton had already taken great steps in bolstering his filmmaking resume. With an offer for an internship at the Cannes Film Festival in France, he couldn’t pass it up. He did, however, also make time for a true Social Justice summer and volunteered as a reading tutor at Summer Reads VISTA in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He continued his pursuit of a creative career in the film industry during the summer of 2014, spending two months immersing himself in cinema studies at film archives in London, England, and Paris, France, while simultaneously working on a senior thesis.

Colton spent spring semester 2015 studying abroad in Ireland at University College Dublin. For his Professional Venture summer, he worked as an intern for Buckeye Pictures, the production company of one of his role models, Academy Award-winning director Terrence Malick. After graduation, Colton returned to Austin, TX, where he works in film production.

Kyle Witzigman

Kyle Witzigman

  • Areas of Study: Political Science; Middle Eastern Studies
  • Hometown: Springdale, AR

Kyle’s summer experiences focused on strengthening and understanding community coalitions. For his Social Justice summer, Kyle interned at Holt International Children's Services, the agency through which he was adopted. During his Global Inquiry summer, Kyle devised an ethnography for which he traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam, researching youth perspectives on America. He also taught at New Horizons NGO. Kyle worked at Gapama Coffee, a social enterprise in Hanoi, Vietnam, during his Professional Venture summer. He worked to establish a teaching partnership between this business and The Friendship Village, a residential facility that works with victims of Agent Orange.

On campus, Kyle was in the Band of the Fighting Irish, the Arabic Club, Vietnamese Student Association, and Club Gymnastics Team. He also interned virtually for the US Embassy in Hanoi during the 20th anniversary of normalized relations between the US and Vietnam. His senior thesis won the Stephen Kertesz Prize for the best international relations thesis and he won the Division of Student Affairs Morrissey Manor Spirit Award for embodying faith, scholarship, and service to his dorm.

Kyle graduated and moved to Vietnam as a Fulbright Scholar, working as an English teaching assistant for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Jake Yurek

Jake Yurek

  • Areas of Study: Mechanical Engineering
  • Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

As a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, Jake successfully completed an Outward Bound trip in Oregon where he conquered both land and water on the Deschutes River and Three Sisters Mountains. He volunteered with the San Diego Chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs as he explored the educational needs of the underprivileged for his Social Justice summer. In his Global Inquiry summer, Jake blended his academic and service background while working for Jordan Energy, an American solar company with a non-profit arm that strives to bring education to the developing world through solar technology. He studied abroad in London during the fall of 2014.

For his Professional Venture summer, Jake further developed his business skills through an internship as a technical analyst at Credit Suisse in New York City. He spent his senior year conducting research into the design and manufacturing of medical equipment with a large orthopedics company and working with enFocus, a South Bend based non-profit that strives to bring energy and innovative solutions to local organizations.

Jake works as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company’s Chicago office.