Class of 2020
During the summer before my freshman year, I chose to utilize the Greater China Scholars’ Summer Enrichment Award to attend the Summer International Seminar in Poland: Law and Justice Among Nations. The main goal of our seminar was to examine how international law is formed and developed. In answering the question, the chief focus of our trip was learning the history of Poland and WWII, and pondering on how they contributed to the formation of international law. During the two-week trip to Warsaw, Auschwitz and Sopot, we toured the cities, visited museums and sites, held daily class discussions, and met with policy makers in Poland.
The trip evoked my interest in conducting research on comparative law. It also inspired me to compare China and Poland during the WWII, and scrutinize the two counties’ legal approaches toward WWII. The trip shaped my personal academic goal: After an examination of the enforcement of international law, I realized that the field of Human Rights is still largely neglected by a large number of countries. In the future, I want to further study international law to think about the solution to this problem. My goal is to work in international non-profit organizations. This program had helped me better understand how those organizations function and how to contribute to this field from a law perspective. At last, my change as a person during this trip was profound. My most memorable experience was dancing and trying to sing Polish songs on the Warsaw Uprising Memorial Day. Poland took me in without any aloof barriers, and shared her essence with me. While trying to immerse myself in the local culture, I learned also how to become empathetic, resonating with Poland’s historical victory, and shedding tears on the misery of Jews.
Class of 2019
Co-sponsored by the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE)
In the summer of 2016, I utilized my GCS Summer Enrichment Award to conduct research about how the Chinese philosophy Taoism is applied to Eastern and Western architecture. During my first year at Notre Dame, I read books written by Frank Lloyd Wright and Chinese books on gardens and Taoism, and was amazed by how his work adopted concepts from Taoism. During the spring and summer, I took field trips to different cities in the US and China to compare building structures and see how the Chinese ancient philosophy is applied to the architecture in the western world.
During my field trips, what impressed me the most were the structural details of buildings and the spatial arrangements in the Chinese gardens. Thanks to my extensive reading ahead of time, I was able to identify the utilization of Taoism ideas in Chinese gardens by myself and I gained a much more profound understanding of this architecture form than normal travelers. During the trip, I also refreshed my memory of buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright. I began to understand that it is possible to employ a philosophy in a different culture when the architect absorbed the essence and made adaptations instead of copying the form.
This was my first research project which allowed me to learn about the research process and develop my information collecting and analyzing skills. This research enabled me to gain many new perspectives. In my architecture history classes, I found myself more familiar with building types from my own country, China. In addition, I am able to contribute unique insights to class discussions. I am grateful this research opportunity allowed me to learn more about the work of my favorite architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. I am excited to find evidence to support the connections between Wright and Taoism. This research reveals the bridge between the east and west culture in the field of architecture. The understanding I obtained from this research allows me to have a unique insight on my future career as an architect.
Class of 2019
In the summer after my freshman year, the Greater China Scholars Program sponsored me to participate in the five-week NDI study abroad program in Rome, Italy and to take two courses.
The history course All Roads Lead to Rome focused on the change of the city of Rome from Ancient Rome to 20th Century Rome. We had most of our history classes outside the classroom. We spent entire days in the ruins of the Roman Forum, amazed by the enormous temples and pillars left from the Roman Republic; we went to various art museums, appreciating paintings of artists such as Caravaggio and Rafael; We even visited some ancient ports near Rome during the weekends, examining differences between the city and the port in terms of their architectural styles. This experience totally changed my mind on history study. It was my first time being directly exposed to the historic evidences. This history course helped me to learn a more effective and fulfilling way of history study. As a result, I am more determined to major in history.
The theology course Catholic Social Tradition and Migration focused on the migration issue and the refugees, especially the Syrian Refugee Crisis. In addition to telling us how poor the status of the refugees was, our theology professor Father Diego took us to Centro Astalli, a refugee center in Rome, where we met some refugees and talked with them. We went to a nearby church which also served as a refugee center. In the church, we worked with the sisters and helped the refugees. The biggest impact of the experience on me is my determination to help others more. As the first step, I am going to participate in the Appalachia Program during the fall break, where I am going to meet people who need our help. During the Appalachia Program, I will try to experience what the sisters in Rome have taught me, which is about the love and being loved.
In the future, I am going to apply what I have learned in Rome both in my study of history and during my service to the society, and truly become a man that has passion in academics and society.
Class of 2018
This summer, I volunteered at the China-Dolls Center for Rare Disorders (CCRD). The Beijing Office provided support to the children with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a type of rare malignancy which requires long-term treatments and usually leads to a high rate of death, mostly reported in infants and young children.
As a registered volunteer at CCRD, my long-term services include translation of English and Chinese documents, creating and editing the organization’s publicity materials, etc. During my four-week stay in Beijing as a summer volunteer at the CCRD Beijing, I conducted telephone call-backs to hospitals, rehabilitation evaluation and psychological counseling for patients with rare diseases. I also provided daycare services when their accompanying parents are busy working. Thanks to the fund provided by Greater China Scholarship, I was able to rent an apartment near the hospital and use the kitchen to cook meals for the kids I was taking care of. Besides, as most of the children with LCH are not able to attend school due to long-term treatments, I also taught them the basic kindergarten and elementary school knowledge.
As an individual volunteer, of course I expected to bring comfort, care, and happiness to those who are struggling with various rare disorders, but in a larger sense, I was grateful to get a closer look at the lives of these special groups, learn more about the medical, social, and educational situations they are facing. I was also grateful to receive comfort from my fellow volunteers, most of whom are Christians. In fact, I started the service after I finished my first theology course at Notre Dame, and what I learned in class in reference to suffering, human vocation, and the concepts of love and death, helped me get through some experiences which are spiritually tough; this program, on the other hand, brought a vivid demonstration of these concepts and greatly helped my spiritual growth. I will continue this service program this winter break and next summer. I also hope to call for more attention to populations with rare disorders from the Notre Dame community in order to encourage more voluntary service and donations in the future.
Class of 2018
Co-sponsored by College of Science
In the Summer of 2016, I conducted research with Professor Umesh Garg at the Nuclear Science Laboratory and his group at the Notre Dame Department of Physics at the beginning of June until mid-August. Prof. Garg and his research group focus on the determination of nuclear incompressibility which governs the behavior of the nuclear equation of state (EOS) at high nuclear densities, as seen in astrophysical scenarios like neutron stars and supernova explosions. My research objective is to extract the energy distribution by performing multipole decomposition analysis (MDA), a technique which serves to break down the nature of the complex nuclear excitations in deep inelastic scattering processes.
During the summer, I studied different theoretical models to approach the many-body problem in the quantum system involved in the experiment and developed a program that carries out the ground works for giant resonance analysis. In order to extract the energy distribution of the targeted giant resonance which is directly associated with nuclear incompressibility, I applied the program to obtain the MDA for the experimental data of 40Ca. This fall, I will continue my research with Prof. Garg and move on to the next stage of nuclear incompressibility study: to extract the centroid energy based on the MDA I obtained in the summer, and from there, measure the nuclear incompressibility of nuclear matter.
The summer research experience not only enhanced my knowledge of my research subject, but also provided me a deeper perspective towards how physics was done. The experience of closely collaborating with researchers around the world will be of great value in my future career path. The transition from a student to an independent researcher showed me the spirit of science - it is truly vigorous; it directly represents our visions of the nature; it connects every small discovery to the grand picture from which the universe uncovers itself.