Cindy Emenalo

Residence Halls I represent:
Cavanaugh, Dunne, Johnson, McGlinn, Morrissey, O'Neill, Pasquerilla West, Walsh


Why did you opt to serve as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization?

I wanted to serve as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization because of my interest in global health, language (mainly Spanish), and travel. Some of the most amazing experiences I have had at Notre Dame have been when I was interacting with students from different countries, who spoke different languages, or who grew up in diverse environments. I myself grew up in a diverse environment, so I think it is important for more people to experience what that feels like and understand why diversity is necessary. Especially with the current state of our world, it is more important than ever to create a diverse and accepting environment because we need each other now more than ever. As a senior fellow, I am able to serve as a bridge facilitating the beauty of diversity by advocating for study abroad and connecting with international students.

As a Senior Fellow I want to leave a meaningful and positive impact on Notre Dame before I graduate. I hope to do this by raising awareness about the benefits of study abroad, learning more about other cultures and global issues by connecting with international students, serving as a guide for international students and fostering new friendships. It is a privilege to be able to serve Notre Dame and others in this way.

Talk about your international experiences and why they are important. How have they served you (academically, personally, professionally, etc).

The international experience that lies closest to my heart was my Fall abroad in Puebla, Mexico. I have very vivid memories of what I experienced. This experience is important to me because I was able to fulfill a dream I have had since middle school to travel to a Latin American country and communicate with the locals in Spanish. Studying in Mexico while exploring the country was the most amazing experience I have ever had. It was perfect because the program was catered toward pre-med/pre-health students so I took stimulating classes, I got to improve my Spanish-speaking skills, and still got to have fun. I learned about some of the traditional medicinal practices used and how the health system works in Mexico. I shadowed doctors and interacted with medical students. I toured archeological sites and explored different cities. One of the most special things about my experience was that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I got to share with other amazing students who are now my friends.

Why do you think it's important to focus on internationalization at the University of Notre Dame?

I think it is important to focus on internationalization at Notre Dame because Notre Dame is an international university. I believe the Notre Dame community has a responsibility to foster internationalization and celebrate what everyone has to offer. We live in an evermore connected world and we are going through a time where we not only need to maintain those connections, but strengthen them. This would help create a more welcoming environment for international students, international faculty and under-represented groups.