Notre Dame seniors John Haley and Julia Szromba see documentaries as a powerful tool — to change policy, to change laws, and to change minds. The two film, television, and theatre (FTT) majors’ recently completed Respectfully, Tony, a short documentary that shines a light on the U.S.’s mass incarceration problem and challenges people to rethink their opinions of the death penalty. The film has now been selected for multiple film festivals across the country.
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.
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.