Graciela Aguillon De La Maza (ND ’21), a Psychology and Italian major, was born in Mexico and moved to western Michigan at the age of 9. She is fascinated by cognitive development, child psychology, and how early childhood experiences affect children later on in life.
Elizabeth Allgaier (ND ’21) is an English and Peace Studies major from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Her SSLP experience at a Boys and Girls Club sparked her interest in children, learning gaps, and systemic issues related to inequalities in education. She aspires to become an elementary school teacher, working within underserved communities to address the opportunity gap. As for research, Elizabeth says, "Given my gratitude for having a positive educational experience and my desire to teach primarily within communities of color, I hope to gain a greater understanding of the systemic issues within our education system through research on the education gap.”
Rocio Monreal Avina (ND ’21), a History major and Latino Studies minor, was born in Mexico and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the age of 5. She would like to become a teacher because “I like the idea of becoming part of my students’ stories and having them become part of mine.”
Julian Bonds (ND ’21) is an English and History major. He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With tutoring and mentoring experience and a special interest in educational inequalities, Julian plans to teach. “Teachers foster a love of learning.”
Emily Brigham (ND ’21) is a Psychology major from Tiverton, Rhode Island. Emily chose ESS because of a long-time awareness—thanks to her mom, a public school teacher—of the importance of education. She is especially curious about the science behind brain disorders.
Rob Brutvan (ND ’21), a Political Science major, hails from Chicago. He became interested in political science and ethics after reading Freakonomics as a youngster. Rob signed up for ESS because of his interest in public policy regarding the underserved, from social mobility to reducing urban poverty.
Heather Christman (ND ’21) is a Music and Theology major from outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. Heather enjoys working with children and is drawn to teaching, but she is also curious about pursuing other education-related careers. This led her to the ESS program.
Bridey Dages (ND ’21), a History major, grew up in Delray Beach, Florida. With her awareness that “where you attend school K-12 may or may not put you on track for higher education,” Bridey is considering teaching as a career. “I have always been interested in helping people find their passion.”
Maria D’Ambrose (ND ’21), majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Poverty Studies, is from Downer’s Grove, Illinois. While volunteering for Take Ten in her freshman year, she says, “My eyes were opened to the challenges some kids face through no fault of their own, and I want to do something about that.” She aims to teach.
Lydia Damoose (ND ’21), a Doan Scholar majoring in Design and Sociology and minoring in Business Econ, is from Harbor Springs, Michigan. With an especial interest in art and design, Lydia also has a heart for children and is considering teaching as a career.
Lan Anh Dinh (ND ’21) is a Music Theory, History and Composition major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She is a roommate of fellow ESS student Emma Mangels. Lan Anh plans to earn a graduate degree in music education and teach high school music. "My music teachers were my best mentors, and I would not be the student I am today without them." For research, she is curious about policies that make education more accessible to all, specifically through Fine Arts education.
Emma Downing (ND ’21), an Anthropology major and International Development Studies minor, is from Crystal Lake, Illinois. She is a roommate of ESS student Mikaela Ramsey. Emma is especially concerned about poverty alleviation. “I have learned that education means so much more than just academic learning,” she says. “I would love to pursue a career that relates to education in the future.”
Erin Doyle (ND ’21) is a History major with a minor in Business Econ from Chicago. Her experience moving from a Montessori school to a Catholic high school—“polar opposites,” she points out—broadened her perspective on education and how people learn. This drew her to ESS, as did her interest in how education can promote change.
Ashley Finster (ND ’21) is an Environmental Studies major from St. Petersburg, Florida. Given her love of the environment, Ashley thinks about developing an environmental education curriculum for young children in hopes of engendering a more earth-caring generation.
Caroline Freeman (ND ’21), an American Studies major and Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor, is from Arlington, Virginia. She is interested in politics, policy, the Children’s Defense Fund, and school choice in Washington, D.C. Post-graduation she has her eye on alternative teacher training programs and/or volunteering for AmeriCorps.
Odalis Gonzalez (ND ’21) is an AnBryce Scholar majoring in Psychology with a minor in Latino Studies. She is from American Falls, Idaho. “Every person has a story that makes them or breaks them,” she says. Education can be the problem, she believes, but it can also be the solution to making the world a better place.
Francisco Hernandez-Guzman (ND ’21), a PLS major and Theology minor, is from Castleford, Idaho. From his experience as a young student, he knows that if not for motivated teachers, “I wouldn’t have taken school so seriously.” He is interested in, among other things, dual immersion programs and how to motivate high-performing students to consider careers in education. For research, he is thinking about ESL for adults and improving rural education through the liberal arts.
Maggie Horan (ND ’21) majors in International Econ and Political Science in the Glynn Family Honors program. She is from San Francisco’s Bay Area. A panel on women in economics led her to ESS. With an eye on education policy, Maggie is considering teaching as a career, but “ultimately something bigger-picture.”
Evie Kenney (ND ’21) is a PLS major with a minor in Theology. She is from Wayzata, Minnesota. As a Compass leader and tutor at St. Adalberts, Evie is quite sure she wants to teach, which led her to sign up for the ESS minor.
Katie Kubik (ND ’21), a Neuroscience and Behavior major, is from West Chicago, Illinois. Teaching is her goal and the reason she signed up for the minor. Katie hopes to enroll in an alternative teacher training program after graduation.
Brady Lefkowitz (ND ’21) is a Sociology major in the Glynn Family Honors Program. She is from Westchester, New York. Brady is sensitive to inequalities among students even at an excellent, well-resourced school. She also has a heart for students with special needs. Brady appreciates the inter-disciplinary aspect of ESS, and its attention to inequality concerns and the education system as a whole.
Haley Levinsky (ND ’21), a History major, is from Wilmington, Delaware. Haley is drawn to Africa, with an interest, historically speaking, in colonialism. “It seems like it is at the root of a lot of problems today so I figured I should learn more about it.” She is also interested in international politics.
Emma Mangels (ND ’21) is a Psychology major from Long Island, New York. She is a roommate of fellow ESSer Lan Anh Dinh. Emma is fascinated by human behavior and the development of children and adolescents. That, and her varied experience with children over the years, led her to sign up for ESS.
Aiden McFadden (ND ’21), a Business Analytics major, is from Westchester, Pennsylvania. As a Notre Dame soccer player, he hopes to play professionally after graduation, followed by a career in teaching and coaching.
Pat McGee (ND ’21) is an IT Management major from northern New Jersey. While his Mendoza interests may lead him into a business career after graduation, his experience tutoring during high school and volunteering at St. Adalbert’s makes him think about teaching someday.
Abu Mian (ND ’21) is a Philosophy and Pre-Health major. He grew up in New Jersey but returned to Pakistan with his family when he started high school. Abu is interested in philosophical questions related to education: the role of education in a just society, early childhood development, resourced vs. under-resourced schools. He aims to become a doctor.
Annie Morejon (ND ’21), a Psychology major, is from Ormond Beach, Florida. During an SSLP at a women’s shelter in California, she roomed with ESS student Julianna Ortiz, who pointed her to the ESS program. Annie is interested in how children who are homeless, or have no “home” to go home to, are affected by that experience.
Ana Clara Parga Nina (ND ’21) is an English major from San Paolo, Brazil, who spent her first 11 years in Miami. Ana wants to work in education. She attended public schools in Miami and then a private school in Brazil. There she saw her own privilege and others' lack of privilege, and recognized education as a vehicle for change.
Colleen O’Leary (ND ’21), a Mathematics major, is from Brighton, Michigan. With tutoring experience, Colleen has also been a tennis coach for many years, which led her to realize how much she enjoys working with young children. She hopes to become a teacher.
Liz Puntillo (ND ’21) is a Psychology major from Chesterton, Indiana. Liz works at ECDC in the 2-year-old room and did an SSLP at St. Margaret’s house, running the kids’ day program. She is especially drawn to helping children with special needs, understanding how children learn from the time of birth, and the effect of that learning over time. Liz plans to get her master's after graduation, aiming to become a teacher or child psychologist.
Carly Quast (ND ’21) is a Management Consulting major from Wayzata, Minnesota. The Notre Dame swimmer chose her major because, through a career like human services, she is interested in guiding people. She chose ESS as a program to guide her own electives. “I am currently thinking about a career in student affairs at a college or university. The ESS minor classes have helped me become more aware of certain inequalities in society, some of which are emphasized through education. With this awareness, I hope to be better equipped to help students of all backgrounds during their higher education experience."
Mikaela Ramsey (ND ’21) is a Sociology major from south of Toledo, Ohio. She is a roommate of ESS student Emma Downing. With a range of interests—from literature to inequality and race to policy—Mikaela signed up for ESS because she wanted “to figure out if education was truly my passion. I have discovered that it most definitely is!” She hopes to become a teacher.
Ragan Sernel (ND ’21), an American Studies and Sociology major with a Sustainability minor, is from Memphis, Tennessee. Ragan has volunteered as a coach, taught math to students at a Memphis ministry for athletes, and tutors for Big Brothers and Sisters. He is interested in both law and education as future careers.
Karli Siefker (ND ’21) is a Glynn Family Honors Theology major with minors in Sustainability and Catholic Social Tradition. She is from Columbus, Ohio. Karli hopes to teach; she has a particular love for little children, which she has discovered through babysitting, nannying, and volunteering at ECDC. “It’s so rewarding to watch them grow.”
Chloe Spang (ND ’21), a Computer Science major and Stinson Scholar, is from Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Chloe intended to major in engineering, but her interest in coding, psychology, and blended learning—as well as tutoring—led her to computer science and education.
Jenna Winebrenner (ND ’21) is a Business Analytics major and a minor in Studio Art. The Notre Dame soccer player is from Kansas City, Missouri. Jenna enjoys coaching and thinks about teaching someday. “My coaches and teachers helped me meet my goals and I want to do the same for someone else.”
Dana Alexander (ND ’22) is from Houston, Texas. The former ND cheerleader (concussions, anyone?) is majoring in Philosophy because it provides the ability to explain things logically. An early plan to become a pediatrician changed after teaching a group of youngsters in New Mexico a couple of summers ago. Now Dana hopes to teach. One area of education that she’s curious about is whether teachers should be specialized to teach or specialized in their subject area.
Shannon Celeste (ND ’22), from Syracuse, New York, is a Psychology major and plays baritone in the ND Marching Band. After peer tutoring in high school and working summers at a day camp for 5- to 14-year-olds, Shannon became interested in cognitive development. She is particularly curious about how learning is affected by resources and the environment. Shannon hopes to earn her master's through the ACE program and become an elementary or middle school educator.
Christine Chun (ND ’22) is a History major from Los Angeles, California who is considering a second major in Asian Studies and/or a second minor in Medieval Studies. Christine is interested in education as an avenue for change. She does not intend to teach but is considering educational administration as a future career.
Alena Coleman (ND ’22) is an English and Spanish major from Evansville, Indiana. She is drawn to ESS because she is interested in how we teach language and literature. Research-wise, Alena is curious about the evolution of literacy education and the effects of diverse children’s literature. She hopes to go to graduate school.
Katie Coury (ND ’22), from Phoenix, Arizona, is a Political Science major. Active in PEMCO, she chose her major because it covers modern history and public policy. She chose ESS because she is interested in teaching. Teachers have had a tremendously positive impact on her. “I want to do the same thing for students one day [that my teachers did for me]: to be a light for someone else.”
Megan Dillon (ND ’22) is from Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Neuroscience and Behavior major volunteers for College Mentors for Kids. Megan worked as a summer camp counselor with children ages 6-9 for some years. She hopes to be a classroom teacher and then move into education policy or administration.
Cameron Dowd (ND ’22), an Anthropology major, hails from Boston, Massachusetts. She chose her major because she is intrigued by history and human development. With extensive experience in tutoring, she is spending the summer of 2019 shadowing a teacher at the Island School in Eleuthera, Bahamas. She has long pictured herself working in a school setting.
Haley Fakouri (ND ’22) is a Burr Ridge, Illinois native with an undeclared business major. She enjoys business analytics and IT management, working with numbers, explaining data to others. Haley had a physics teacher in high school who worked for no pay; she would like to do that one day after spending some years in the business world.
Dora Leonardo (ND '22) was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. The Psychology major noticed early on the jarring resource and quality discrepancies between schools in her area. Her concern about this, combined for her love for children, led her to the ESS minor. Dora hopes to pursue teaching and looks forward to the foundation that the ESS program can provide for that.
Ashley Lizana (ND ’22) grew up in Long Beach, California. A Political Science major, she is interested in education policy, improving school quality in urban areas, public education, and international education. Ashley is considering an alternative teacher training program or law school after graduation. The child of military parents, she says, “I want to help to help make the world a better place like the military does, but by bringing American education up.”
Claire Murphy (ND ’22) is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and is majoring in Psychology. She believes in the importance of arts in education. A tutor at St. Adalbert’s Catholic School, Claire is curious about the mind, and about children and their curiosity. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree through an alternative teaching training program and become a teacher.
Erica Robison (ND ’22), from Bethesda, Maryland, is a History major with a possible Constitutional Studies minor. She tutors with Slice of Life and is interested in efforts that are being made to rectify the ills in America’s schools. Of her own schooling experiences, she says, “They were great, but narrow. I’m curious about how other schools operate.”
Isabella Seip (ND ’22) calls Richmond, Virginia home. The Neuroscience and Behavior major is fascinated by the brain, especially how trauma affects the brain and the learning process. She has a particular interest in special education. Bella thinks about becoming a psychologist with a focus on learning.
Luke Sisung (ND ’22), a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is an English and Political Science major. With a heart for service, Luke says, “I’m a kid guy,” having done years of camp counseling, volunteering at NOLA’s Children’s Hospital and The Miracle League. “Education is a moral issue,” he believes, so he is interested in research that examines morality. He’s thinking about alternative teacher training programs, graduate school, and law school after graduation.
Robby Sveda (ND ’22) grew up outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Business Administration major is interested in education because, through the freshman USEM course in Sociology, he learned that education is the foundation of many systemic problems and structural inequalities. As one who had received an excellent private school education, he says, “I had never considered that before.”