Student Spotlight


Meet Chizo Ekechukwu

Class of 2016
Major: Neuroscience and Behavior

I was recently asked to think of one moment at Notre Dame that I would classify as my “Notre Dame Golden Moment.” After thinking for a few minutes, I could not come up with on specific answer. But, I did think of many moments that have come together to be my “Golden Moments.”

During my time at the University, I have loved being involved with “Shades of Ebony” - an all-inclusive service group at the University that participates in outreach in the South Bend community to mentor students and encourage them to set, and achieve, great goals. Through this program, I have gotten close with girls in local schools by encouraging them to be the best version of themselves. The fact that I will always have relationships with them, even after I graduate, is something I will always cherish.

Working with these girls in the community has been amazing. It has given me something about which I am passionate and will be something that I continue to do after I move away from South Bend to start my next adventure as a Healthcare Analyst for Huron Consulting Group.


Meet Elizabeth Anthony

Class of 2016
Major:
Philosophy and Education

Elizabeth grew up in South Bend but was not always sure that she wanted to come to Notre Dame. Now in the spring of her Senior Year, Elizabeth knows that coming to Notre Dame was one of the best decisions of her life.

As a Hesburgh-Yusko scholar, she has had the opportunity to work each year through the program’s Summer Enrichment Experiences in developing a true passion. Combined with her coursework at the University, these experiences have propelled Elizabeth to find a passion in the field of education. Following graduation, she will work with the Alliance for Catholic Education to bring blended learning to Notre Dame’s ACE Academies.

“My summer experiences have consisted of living in the wilderness, assisting a Catholic school in implementing blended learning, and working in Ghana with an organization that focuses on expanding Christ- centered education. Through these experiences I have developed a true passion for the implementation of blended learning, which infuses the best aspects of online learning into classrooms. For my thesis, I have been studying digital badges in Notre Dame Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) and what affect they have on an individual’s education.

I am so thankful that I have had the opportunity to pursue my passion and form a path to a career that I truly desire. When I walk across the stage in May, I am going to deeply miss the community at Notre Dame. I have formed relationships with my professors that have been extremely beneficial to my education in and out of the classroom. I also loved my time spent living and growing with the girls in Ryan Hall. Everyone at Notre Dame is truly a family.”


Meet McKenzie Hightower

Class of 2016
Major: English and Film

McKenzie Hightower came to Notre Dame from Texas knowing that she wanted to major in English. However, as McKenzie told us, her experience has definitely been different than expected. Acting as the Creative Outreach Coordinator, she has helped start two programs that work with youth in the South Bend community to build their creative writing skills and use a different form of artistic expression as a coping mechanism.

Going into her junior year, McKenzie decided that she would like to study abroad and set her sights on studying in London. After receiving admission to this program, she headed across the Atlantic Ocean for a semester of education at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway.

“I studied abroad in London during the 100 anniversary of WWI. While I was there, I had the opportunity to study WWI narratives. Being able to have the opportunity to study WWI, with ceremonies commemorating the 100 year anniversary happening each week was a phenomenal experience. As part of my WWI course, I had the opportunity to study a book that gave me the inspiration for my first novel that I am starting after graduation.

While the course-work was fantastic, I also truly enjoyed all of my experiences outside of the classroom. I went abroad with two best friends and came back with many more. Being able to spend time on Notre Dame’s campus in London with some of my best friends is something that I will never forget. It is just another reason why I think the Notre Dame student experience is truly distinct.”


Meet Michael Foley

Class of 2018
Major: Physics and Honors Math

Michael is a sophomore from Chicago and living in Knott Hall. During his time at Notre Dame, he has been involved with the Parliamentary Debate Team, “The Bald & The Beautiful” fundraiser for pediatric cancer, and the Racquetball Club. After obtaining a grant from CUSE (Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement), Michael spent the summer of 2015 working with Professor Justin Crepp to develop a control suite for iLocater, an instrument that could revolutionize the search for planets outside our solar system. Michael is interested in a career in astrophysics. Learn more about Professor Crepp and his research.

“When I visited Notre Dame in high school, I immediately felt a sense of community on campus. The University has a strong commitment to academics, but also to being a family. Since I’ve been on campus, this feeling has only grown stronger. No matter my interest: chess club, racquetball, or astrophysics, there is always someone who shares that interest and is there to help me.

Growing up, I dreamt of contributing to the scientific community through research. Because of you, Notre Dame is helping make that dream more of a reality. Staying true to the sense of community on campus, my professors create environments where is it possible to contribute to meaningful research. Working with Professor Crepp has been an amazing opportunity - one that would not have been possible without generous benefactors like you.”

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