Abby Davis, a political science major from Avon Lake, Ohio, has been named valedictorian of the 2016 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the 171st University Commencement Ceremony on May 15 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium.
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.
During her Notre Dame career, Davis spent one semester and two summers studying abroad, first at Daugavpils University in Latvia during the summer of 2014, immediately followed by a semester at the Pontifical Catholic University in Chile. She spent the summer of 2015 at the Derzhavin Institute in Russia taking intensive Russian language courses. Her undergraduate research focused on global migration, specifically how governments can effectively respond to the flow of people across their borders, and the politics of language laws. Davis also completed a senior thesis examining the strategic decision calculus behind Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Davis served as a student member of the College of Arts and Letters Academic Honesty Committee for more than two years and was co-chair of the University’s Code of Honor Committee, where she organized and led focus groups, providing input on the revision of theAcademic Code of Honor standards and procedures. She also co-directed the University’s Russian Choral Ensemble and was a member of the Women’s Liturgical Choir.
Off campus, she founded and participated in the Community Arts Initiative at the Center for the Homeless. The program provides free arts education, including weekly piano, guitar, violin, voice and dance lessons to the center’s guests.
After graduation, Davis plans to work as an analyst for Avascent, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that specializes in working with companies in government-driven industries.