Why did you opt to serve as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization?
During the last two years, I served as an academic and developmental resource for international Notre Dame students as both an ISSA International Ambassador (IA) and a GEP Peer mentor; as such, I have been able to interact with a number of international students. For me, serving as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization seemed like the natural extension of my previous roles as both an IA and a Peer Mentor. I plan to continue engaging with the international community here at Notre Dame, while also encouraging students here to pursue international experiences that open the vastness of the world around them.
Talk about your international experiences and why they are important. How have they served you (academically, personally, professionally, etc).
My broad, two-volume study abroad experience in Paris, Summer 2022, and Dublin, Fall 2022, allowed me to intensely engage myself in two vibrantly different cultures. I had the transformative experience of studying both in a country where I encountered a language barrier (as I knew no French when I went to Paris) and one where the language was more familiar. As a result, I can speak to a wide range of experiences that one can encounter abroad and can serve as an instrumental resource for students.
In addition, as someone born and raised in the United States, it has been quite humbling to welcome new international four-year students and foreign exchange students to the Notre Dame community and learn about the particular struggles that they faced studying in a new country. I also gained much insight on the diversity of cultures throughout the world. My own study abroad experience complemented this quite nicely, as I experienced an undergraduate education through the lens of an international student and lived through a similar experience. I now feel like I understand better the unique challenges that may burden an international student, and as such, can relate to these students on a more personal level and pursue initiatives that will profoundly shape their experience at Notre Dame.
Why do you think it's important to focus on internationalization at the University of Notre Dame?
The original meaning in Greek for the word “Catholic” means “universal”—Notre Dame lives out its Catholic mission most fully through internationalization and creating a family of cultures rooted in solidarity and collaboration. After all, to engage in internationalization is to recognize and embody the immense diversity that prevails in the worldwide landscape. Pursuit of global initiatives compels the Notre Dame community to play a role in proliferating diversity to all areas of life.