Economics and English major turns her interest in comedy into a research project — including a trip to Stephen Colbert’s show and NBC Studios

What do Stephen Colbert and an ancient Greek political satirist have in common? After taking the advice of a professor to pursue any topic that interested her, Ella Wisniewski decided to answer that question in a research project on political comedy. That simple suggestion from Collin Meissner, an assistant dean for undergraduate studies, during a Glynn Family Honors Program seminar set her on a path that included a trip to New York, adding a second major, and embracing learning for the sake of learning.
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‘A dialogue without boundaries’: Classics professor to research the power of ancient narratives in Germany with support of Humboldt Fellowship

Aldo Tagliabue is fascinated by the power of a great narrative to draw the reader in. An assistant professor in the Department of Classics, Tagliabue wants to ensure that the study of ancient narratives encompasses both the intellectual aspects of literature and the experiential side. “For many years, there has been a more intellectual approach to ancient narrative, which has had great results. But I think it has missed another vital aspect,” he said. “My research tries to recapture the importance of the full experience of what it means to be a reader — now and in the ancient world.”
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Pre-health and Spanish alumnus challenges mental health stigma through his Harvard Medical School residency, work on ABC News, and podcasting

Nick Nissen ’16 saw his decision to major in Spanish while preparing for a career in medicine as a leap of faith — and one that has paid off. After Notre Dame, he went on to medical school at Brown University and is now completing his residency at Harvard Medical School. He is a medical contributor to ABC News — recently appearing on Good Morning America to discuss the relationship between insomnia and COVID-19 — a children's book author and podcaster on mental health. 
“In Arts & Letters, I felt encouraged by my advisors to go ahead and do something that was really interesting to me. And it worked out perfectly,” he said. “It is so empowering to say, ‘stop thinking about what everyone else is doing, stop thinking about what you feel obligated to do, and start thinking about what your true interests are.’ Because if you pursue your true interest and pursue it well, you'll be able to achieve your career goals through it.”
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A Q&A with Claire Scott-Bacon, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology

Claire Scott-Bacon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology’s clinical program and was recently awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Her research focuses on issues related to the structure and assessment of criminal personality in clinical, forensic, and legal settings. In this interview, she discusses her work and its impact on the high rate of wrongful convictions and criminalization of mental health-related crimes in the United States.
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Jesus Christ Superstar production at Notre Dame Stadium showcases resilience, creativity, and community of musical theatre students and faculty

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Matt Hawkins wanted to teach his students the value of resilience — and the power of performance art. At a time when nearly all live theatre has been suspended for more than a year, Hawkins found a way to safely bring back the musical his students had spent months planning for and rehearsing during spring 2020. A year later, he directed a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring most of the original cast.
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Language and learning: Celebrating 10 years of a unique educational collaboration

A dynamic partnership between the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Center for Social Concerns, and local Latino organizations has flourished since it began with a single class in 2010. Over the past decade, community based learning (CBL) classes have grown across different departments, including 60 Spanish CBL classes that have empowered more than 800 students to spend more than 16,000 hours building connections with members of the South Bend community.
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