Nanovic Institute Sponsors Overseas Research for Undergraduate Students
Since its founding in 1992, the mission of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies has been to enrich the intellectual culture of Notre Dame by creating an integrated, interdisciplinary home for students and faculty to explore the evolving ideas, cultures, beliefs, and institutions that shape Europe today.
Now an integral component of the Keough School of Global Affairs, the institute continues to play a key role in the internationalization of Notre Dame, and consequently a vital role in nourishing and stimulating the University’s Catholic mission.
In addition to its more conspicuous operations—the international conferences and symposia, the groundbreaking geopolitical research projects and initiatives, the prominent lecturers it brings to campus—the institute sponsors the travel and scholarly and professional work of more than a hundred undergraduate and graduate students every year, which is one reason alumni, friends, and colleagues of the institute can be found in every corner of Europe.
The institute assists undergraduates in planning and conducting concentrated, original research through summer internships and service projects. It also provides them with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the languages and cultures of Europe. Last year 205 applications for Nanovic grants were considered and 123 undergraduate student grants were awarded. Already this year 57 undergraduate grants have been awarded for the fall, winter, and spring breaks.
Cecelia Allison, who will graduate in 2018 from the College of Science, for example, will be in Sevilla, Spain, this fall, at work on “A Study of Non-profit and Catholic Responses to Homelessness in Sevilla”; Luke Donahue of the Class of 2017 will be in Germany studying “Marian Devotion in the Life of the Church”; in Krakow, Poland, Justin Pizzimenti of the Class of 2017 will be at work on a project entitled “Politics and the Pope: Exploring the Diplomatic Role of the Vatican in International Relations.”
“For over a decade, the Nanovic Institute has been supporting students who love a challenge,” said A. James McAdams, William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs and director of the institute. “Whether it’s to learn a new skill, broaden a perspective, or develop an area of study, our students find that their experience in Europe changes them. Particularly for those interested in issues of faith, the experience of delving into the history of Catholicism in Europe can be deep and complicated. Every year the institute funds projects that explore where the Catholic faith confronts challenges in philosophy, politics, history, and the arts. Our students also explore where the faith is active in fields like public policy, nanotechnology, health care, and law. When these students return from Europe, we notice a big difference in their maturity and confidence. If we want our students to tackle the biggest challenges facing not just Europe, but the world, this kind of challenge is essential to their growth.”