Notre Dame junior Katie Portman spent summer 2015 doing archaeological fieldwork while living on the M.V. Pitsiulak, a 50-foot longliner, off the coast of subarctic Canada. Despite weather issues, engine malfunctions, and permit-related delays, the experience caused her to fall in love with—and major in—anthropology. Since then, her research pursuits have taken her to Washington, D.C.; Canada; Ireland; and Russia, for projects including excavation of a medieval Christian pilgrimage site and a study of skeletons of monks from Byzantine Jerusalem.
Watkins, a native of Blacksburg, Virginia, and Doyle, of Los Altos, California, are two of 32 Rhodes Scholars selected from a pool of 882 candidates who had been endorsed by their colleges and universities. They are Notre Dame’s 18th and 19th Rhodes Scholars and will commence their studies at Oxford University in October.
Many Americans have expressed their displeasure at the ugly tone of this year’s unusual presidential election. Prathm Juneja, a University of Notre Dame sophomore studying political science and computer science, and his peers have been working to counteract this tone by encouraging civic discourse at their universities.…
Theology major Jake Grefenstette ’16 spending year in Beijing through prestigious Yenching Scholar program
Notre Dame theology major John “Jake” Grefenstette ’16 has been named a Yenching Scholar at Peking University in Beijing. The globally competitive award provides Grefenstette with a full scholarship and stipend to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree in China studies. He is one of just 125 students—from 40 countries and more than 80 universities worldwide—to join the second cohort of Yenching Scholars.
Abby Davis, a political science major from Avon Lake, Ohio, has been named valedictorian of the 2016 University of Notre Dame graduating class. A member of the Glynn Family Honors Program and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Davis is also a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and has a 3.99 cumulative grade point average. She will graduate with minors in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) and Russian.
Two juniors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, Caleb “C.J.” Pine and Christa Grace Watkins, have been named 2016 Truman Scholars. Established in 1975 as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman, the prestigious scholarship includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.
Notre Dame economics major Melanie Wallskog walked into her professor’s office hours with a question. She walked out with a job. That simple act of reaching out to a professor led to research opportunities in Nicaragua, Ireland, and Chicago. The senior from Bloomington, Indiana, and Glynn Family Honors Scholar has now co-authored a paper with two of her professors and is working on her senior thesis.
Prathm Juneja is a first-year Glynn Honors student studying political science and computer science. His passion for politics is centered on the principle of increasing civic engagement and, as a result, he is doing research on voter turnout rates and political apathy in the United States and abroad. Over his first winter break, Prathm wrote an opinion piece to point out the flaws in the system and also to encourage people to vote. The Huffington Post published Prathm's piece and also gave him blogging privileges for the website.
Notre Dame sophomore Olivia May has been interested in classical cultures for a long time. This past summer she was able to experience one in a new way—by physically sifting through its remains. The Wisconsin native received an award from the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission to study in Northern Britain, including two weeks digging at the site of an ancient Roman fort, helping to uncover evidence of the Roman Empire’s influence in England.