What They Say

Estefi Guthrie

Saint Pius X High School
Houston, Texas

Leadership Seminar: Science, Ethics, and Responsibility

“I will definitely look at things from a new ethical standpoint. I have learned a lot about philosophy and different ways that people think about ethical issues and I think that I am going to take that home with me and look at things that you would think were just objective and kind of think about them from different ways and try to get a more well-rounded viewpoint on everything.”

Learn more about Leadership Seminars.

Derek Massey

Lowell High School
Lowell, Michigan

Leadership Seminar: Science, Ethics, and Responsibility 

“I think the most interesting thing that I have gotten out of the program is the way that we approach topics. For the most part when you are in school you approach things from a strictly scientific standpoint, a strictly mathematical standpoint. And, you do not really approach the ethical issues that come along with the science and the math.”

Learn more about Leadership Seminars.

Samuel Jackson

Bob Jones High School
Madison, Alabama

Unlocking Shakespeare Through Performance

“What I am most looking forward as being a part of this program is to become a more critical thinker and develop keen analytical skills. Those things will really help a person as an actor and also in life. Onstage you never know what’s going to happen – that’s the beauty of theater. No show is ever the same as any other. So, you have to be quick on your feet, very alert at all times and that’s actually not just applicable in theater but also in life.” 

To learn more about Unlocking Shakespeare Through Performance and other course offerings, visit the Summer Scholars page.

Arthur Sredni

Chicagoland Jewish High School
Chicago, Illinois

Research Computing

“I have more feelings on the type of field I want to go into. I think my track and the course are going to sort of be a track to get me prepared for the sort of studies I want to pursue in college – since now I know what goes into college work and the type of workload and the type of classes that are offered.”

To learn more about Research Computing and other course offerings, visit the Summer Scholars page.

Alice Felker

Stoneridge School of the Sacred Heart
Bethesda, Maryland

Contemporary Church and Its Evolving Mission

“We’re studying about the future of the Church, what it’s going to look like in 2050. We talk a lot about multi-polarism, which is the different emerging countries that are really going to be taking a lead in the future. And, we also talk about biotech and how – basically, how we, as Catholics, are going to adopt – adapt to the changing world.”

To learn more about Contemporary Church and Its Evolving Mission and other course offerings, visit the Summer Scholars page.

To hear more about Summer Scholars and Leadership Seminars, read our additional testimonials.

Analhi Lizarraga-Burciaga

For Analhi, Notre Dame Summer Scholars is about combining passion with purpose. The passion showed when she chose to enroll in the Blood, Guts and Glory: The Anthropology of Sport course. The track explores the relationship between sports and society, showing sport as a cultural underpinning throughout history.

“I chose the track because I’m interested in sports. It’s who I am,” she says. “(Sports) brings people together. You may not know someone, but maybe they’re cheering for your team, so they become you’re friend.”

Analhi’s class took learning into the field – literally – when it took in a White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. Their assignment: interview fans about their reasons for attending, and draw parallels with the classroom instruction. Having labwork at a baseball game was unique, and die-hard soccer fan Analhi noticed a striking difference between baseball fans and those found at a typical soccer game.

I was surprised everyone was calm. But going to the game and talking to people – not focusing on the game – was interesting.”

It’s a standout moment from her first college experience, as is the opportunity to get to know her three roommates who come from different parts of the country, and the bond she’s formed with the Notre Dame community as a whole.

“I really like the atmosphere here. Everyone’s friendly,” she says. “And they help you achieve. I feel like just being here is a great success, in my case. I would love to come back.”

To learn more about Blood, Guts and Glory, and other course offerings, visit the Summer Scholars page.

Chris Burrus

You might assume someone as passionate about music as Chris Burrus would never think to leave his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee to study what he loves. But Chris is finding there is plenty to love about the Summer Scholars Performance: Voice track.

“We’re working on music four, five hours a day,” Burrus says. “It’s definitely a new experience academically. In the voice program, we have 45-minute individual lessons, then the teachers trust us that we’re going to go to the practice room and work out each one of our songs. Then we come back and have a master class where we all sing for each other. It’s a big difference from high school.”

But the work is truly a labor of love, and for Chris, a welcome change of pace from the normal high school routine.

If you’re studying the stuff you love, and only that, you don’t have much room to complain. There just aren’t those opportunities in high school. Summer Scholars allows you to focus on your own topic and really focus on it, not just have it as a secondary course.”

Chris says he’s been energized by his first taste of college life, both by the hard work of learning songs in Latin, French, German and Italian, and by getting to know other students who are equally passionate about learning.

“Being around great singers, and being able to have a conversation with kids in any of the tracks in Summer Scholars, it makes things a lot more interesting. You’re not forced to have the typical high school conversation – it elevates your intellectual side.”

To learn more about the Voice track, and other course offerings, visit the Summer Scholars page.

Rafael Roman

Academic life is as much about exploring yourself as it is exploring a field of study. At least, it is for Rafael. His own life circumstances led him to enroll in the Gender and Culture in American Society track.

“I didn’t have a father growing up,” Rafael intimates. “I was raised by my aunt, grandmother, and mother. So, I noticed I have some of my own quirks that aren’t necessarily masculine…like, I can knit.”

He’s learning about the ways mass media influence American views of what it is to be a man or a woman. The subject matter is particularly fertile ground for discussion, and Rafael has appreciated that element of the course.

“Dr. Abby (Palko) has made it so we have a lot of time to talk about what we’ve learned. (She) lets us go ‘off track,’ talk about things in-depth.”

Rafael reasons a person with a solid self-awareness is better-equipped to help and serve others. He saw it first-hand when a Notre Dame alumnus started programs to help revitalize his hometown of Lawrence, Mass. It’s a worldview that’s been reinforced with his trip to campus.

Most colleges want you to earn a degree and make money. When I came to Notre Dame, I learned they want you to take your knowledge and go out and help the community.”

To learn more about the Gender and Culture in American Society track, and other course offerings, visit the Summer Scholars page.

Bobby Okereke

Bobby knows there is a big world outside his home in Orange County, California. A different world. A world that’s long on problems, short on solutions. That’s part of what attracted him to the Global Issues: Toward a Just Peace course in the Notre Dame Leadership Seminars program.

“We’re talking about Uganda, Rwanda, Pakistan, countries with conflicts,” Bobby says. “We’re discussing how we can use Catholic teaching to find a just peace.”

It’s a serious topic that sparks serious discussion, like all Leadership Seminars. But for Bobby, that exchange of ideas is the interesting part. He’s gaining an expanded view of different sides of the conflicts that dominate the news headlines, from the people closest to the events. Class sessions have featured people who work in the governments of the countries being discussed.

It provides that broader perspective. Looking on the outside, you can judge and say, ‘They’re doing this wrong.’ But to hear their side, and the cultural and political reasons for why they do what they do, it’s interesting.”

And it’s not just the guest speakers that provide a new context for viewing the topics at hand. Bobby says his classmates are inspiring and challenging him to examine his own beliefs and opinions about the subject matter.

“It sparks ideas,” he says, enthusiastically. “When someone says something, you say to yourself, ‘Hmm. I didn’t think about that.’”

Which is exactly the experience Bobby was looking for.

To learn more about Leadership Seminars, visit the course page.