Jerome Gan


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

I wanted to work with a diverse group of people to promote internationalization on campus because I believe that it would enrich my peers and leave an effect that outlives my time at ND. In essence, I wanted to serve the Notre Dame community in a unique capacity that being a Senior Fellow for Internationalization offers. On a personal note, who would pass up the opportunity to work with Judy Hutchinson?

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

As an international student, having the opportunity to explore different parts of the world before and during my time at ND, I’ve come to see the world around me in a different light. From talking to people of different cultures and backgrounds to exploring and experiencing different traditions and rituals, I have found that everyone is surprisingly connected in some way. This has allowed me to actively listen to contrasting opinions in the class, work in diverse groups/settings, and look beyond the Western paradigm of discovery and understanding. I have found conversations with people more enriching and my approach to concepts and discoveries increasingly complex, and at times, culturally nuanced. I have eaten foods, read books, and gone on adventures that I would have otherwise shied away from for fear that it might not be my pace or genre. I now excitedly sit with an extensive bucket list with subcategories that span diverse experiences and geographic territories.

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

Notre Dame is a football loving, deeply catholic, private institution in the Midwest, and its rise to prominence was built on the open-mindedness of evolving its traditions while adopting new ones. I doubt that the French Brothers that started the institution envisioned a top D1 Football Program with an aggressive looking Leprechaun as its mascot, much less its team being named The Fighting Irish. If our historic approach to growth shall guide us, we should look to promote this cultural open-mindedness. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, we must be open to cultures and traditions that come from beyond the domestic boundaries of the US. This journey beyond our physical borders in a personal, academic, professional, and spiritual sense begins by opening our hearts and minds on the grounds of Notre Dame that we call home. I trust that such an approach not only enriches the minds of our peers and faculty but also prepares each cohort of Domers for a fulfilling lifetime after college.