Alumna Alexis Doyle, 2017 Rhodes Scholar, named Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Author: Erin Blasko

Doyle Lexi 043460435 Feature

Doyle Lexi 043460435 Feature

University of Notre Dame alumna Alexis Doyle, a 2017 Rhodes Scholar, has been invited to study at Stanford University next year as one of 75 Knight-Hennessy Scholars — and as the very first Knight-Hennessy Scholar from Notre Dame.

Established in 2016, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program offers full funding, including tuition and academic, living and travel expenses, for students enrolled in one of Stanford’s more than 200 graduate and professional programs.

Doyle is a 2017 Notre Dame graduate. She earned her degree in biological sciences and international peace studies.

“I am very grateful for all those who encouraged me to apply for the scholarship at Stanford and for my close friends and mentors who have supported my growth at Notre Dame and beyond,” Doyle said. “In particular, I am profoundly grateful for the support of Notre Dame professor Dr. Joseph Buttigieg, whose recent passing has left many reflecting about his remarkable impact on our lives. I wish that I could continue to converse with him in the years to come regarding what I will learn in medical school, but I hope that my life’s work will honor his extraordinary legacy and his own work for justice.”

As an undergraduate, Doyle participated in the Hesburgh Program in Public Service, the Glynn Family Honors Program and the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program. She served as a resident assistant in Ryan Hall and as a teaching assistant for honors math. She was co-president of the Compassionate Care in Medicine Club. She volunteered at the Sister Maura Brannick Health Center in South Bend. And she tutored South Bend-area elementary students.

Away from campus, Doyle interned for one semester at a local public hospital in Puebla, Mexico. She also traveled to Guatemala each summer and one spring break. She worked as a lab assistant there in a clinic in the Palajunoj Valley. She also partnered with local women in the valley on an entrepreneurial project centered on soap making.

After graduation, Doyle worked as a philanthropic fellow for three months at Stamos Capital Partners in Menlo Park, California.

Doyle plans to study medicine. She has a particular interest in women’s health, on both the practice and policy sides.

“I hope to use the significant privilege of having a medical degree to accompany other people along their health-related journeys,” Doyle said. “In addition, I aspire to use my degree and what I will learn from my peers and future patients to critically question the larger systems in which health care is distributed and through which health care is determined in our society.”

Doyle is currently pursuing a master of public policy at Oxford University as part of the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2017. She previously earned a master of science in medical anthropology there, graduating with distinction. She expects to complete her public policy coursework later this year.

Doyle will be part of the second cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. The program — named for Nike co-founder Phil Knight and former Stanford President John Hennessy — seeks to develop a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation.

In applying for the scholarship, Doyle worked with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) at Notre Dame. CUSE promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame undergraduates through scholarly engagement, research, creative endeavors and the pursuit of fellowships.

“On behalf of CUSE, I’d like to congratulate Alexis on being selected for the second cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars. She is a true exemplar of scholarly engagement and an authentically good person, and we hope that her achievements will serve as an inspiration to all Notre Dame students and alumni,” said Jeffrey Thiebert, the Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director of CUSE.

“Thanks to the fantastic undergraduate education at Notre Dame, our students and alumni continue to be competitive for prestigious fellowship opportunities like Knight-Hennessy, Rhodes and Fulbright,” Thiebert said, “and my colleagues and I in CUSE are eager to help them discern how a national fellowship might enable them to expand the scope of their impact on the world.”

Doyle credited Notre Dame for her success.

“In addition to the lifelong group of friends I met at Notre Dame from which I continue to learn, my education at Notre Dame exposed me to the power of intentional and vulnerable conversation with those whose beliefs on issues of social and political importance are different than my own,” Doyle said. “Discerning and challenging my own convictions on issues of moral significance while at Notre Dame has permitted me to continue doing so with my peers at Oxford. I aspire to continue learning through challenging conversations of mutual care at Stanford, as well.”

For more information about this and other scholarship opportunities, visit

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on March 05, 2019.