Class of 2021
Joseph Andrews | Joe is a business analytics major from Wood Dale, Ill. He works as a broadcast anchor at NDIgnite Connection, a biweekly adolescent-orientated talk show produced by the Notre Dame admissions department. He is also a news writer at The Observer, the university's independent, student-run newspaper.
"Finding a career at the intersection of my two passions—business and journalism—is my ultimate professional goal. I look forward to exploring how I can blend this combination of academic studies in the job field."
Lauren Bakke | Lauren is a computer science major from Minneapolis. She is a news writer for The Observer. She also plays piccolo for The Band of the Fighting Irish. She spent summer 2018 interning at a domestic abuse shelter through the university's Center for Social Concerns.
"As I pursue an unusual academic pairing of computer science and the JED program, I hope to explore how journalism is entering more and more into the digital world through web-based news and social media."
Aaron Benavides | Aaron is a political science and theology major from Corpus Christi, Texas. In summer 2018, Aaron interned for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he worked on communications. On campus, Aaron serves as the director of faith and service for student government.
“I love journalism because of the great power it has to bring change, to hold people accountable, and to share with the world news that matters. I am excited for the journalism program to prepare me for work in communications and media.”
Gabrielle Biltz | Gabrielle is a finance major from Garrettsville, Ohio. She is a publicist for the university's Student Union Board and holds chair positions in both her dorm and sophomore class council. During her senior year of high school, Gabby completed an internship with a medical university's communications department, where she was a contributing editor.
"I'd like to apply my passion for writing and the skills I learn in the JED program to a future career in a business-related field."
Marie Donnelly | Marie is a double major in economics and film, theater and television from St. Louis. During high school, she wrote for both Villa Duchesne’s Tower Talk and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s annual Old Newsboys paper, which features local children’s charities. Currently, she designs and curates her dorm’s weekly student profile to encourage more interaction between dorm members. She is also a Dean’s Fellow in the College of Arts and Letters.
"I am most interested in pursuing long-form journalism with a particular focus on populations that receive little coverage in mainstream media."
Katharine Flanagan | Katharine is a psychology major from San Francisco. She also has a minor in computing and digital technologies. She was the copy editor and writer for her high school magazine, The Mark, and a contributing writer for a local news website, InMenlo. At Notre Dame, she writes for Scholastic and helps with the magazine's layout and design.
"Through journalism, I hope to combine my knowledge of psychology with my interest in media and communication. I enjoy writing news and feature articles because I am able to learn about different perspectives and share these stories and points of view with a wider audience."
Ellen Geyer | Ellen, who hails from from Columbus, Ohio, is majoring in international economics with a concentration in Spanish. She is a reporter on Shamrock Sports, the Fighting Irish sports preview show on NDTV. She also does play-by-play and color commentary for Fighting Irish hockey and men's basketball on WVFI, the campus radio station. In addition, she is a sportswriter for The Observer and a contributing author to Her Campus Notre Dame. She is a Spanish speaker.
"My passion for journalism stems from the ability that journalists have to humanize subjects that seem otherwise inaccessible —a single feature piece takes LeBron James from superstar to the guy next door. I look forward to telling these stories in my own career as a writer."
Dessi Gomez | Dessi is an American Studies major from Rancho Mission Viejo, Calif. She writes for the Scene section of The Observer. As a scholastic journalist, she was the arts and entertainment editor at her high school newspaper.
"I love to write. I am still discovering the different paths down which writing can lead. My biggest dream is to write a book, but I also love reporting and journalistic writing."
Maria Hieber | Maria is a political science and Russian major from Dallas, Texas. She serves as a co-editor for the culture section of Scholastic, the university's student-run magazine.
"I have always had a sense of responsibility for each aspect of my cultural identity of being a Russian American, and with my studies at Notre Dame I would like to attempt to aid in the bettering of Russian-American relations."
Claire King | Claire is an environmental science major with a minor in computing and digital technologies. She hopes to become a science journalist, and has a particular interest in writing about climate change and the environment.
"I chose journalism because it's one of the few ways you can reach out to the public and shed light on issues in our society."
Maxwell Lander | Max is an anthropology major from South Bend. In summer 2018, he interned at the Smithsonian Institution. He is a news writer at The Observer.
"I love the opportunity journalism presents to share to share important stories and information with people around the world"
Sophia Lauber | Sophia is an English major from St. Paul, Minn., where she was the executive editor of her high school newspaper. She is a Spanish speaker.
"I want to pursue journalism because I believe in the power of story and am interested in learning the unique story each individual has to tell. I hope to incorporate my scientific interests into my writing in the future."
Maria Leontaras | Maria, a student at Saint Mary's College, is an interactive journalism major with a double minor in Italian and math. She is from Crown Point, Ind. and was the editor in chief of her high school's newspaper, Inklings. Maria is currently the associate Saint Mary's editor and a news designer at The Observer.
"I strive to be someone who is equipped for the evolving field of journalism. Through my student-designed major, I am learning to be a reporter, photographer, videographer, web designer and graphics creator. I hope to be able to work at a modern media outlet."
Jack Lyons | Jack is a philosophy and theology major from South Burlington, Vt. Jack is interested in writing about interactions between religion and culture, as well as Vermont politics. He is a writer for Scholastic.
Jack is most interested in studying the fundamental nature of knowledge and existence and “faith seeking understanding.”
Grace McDermott | Grace is an American Studies and French major from Chicago. In summer 2018, she interned at Media Monitoring Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a staff writer for The Observer.
"I hope to pursue investigative, feature, and news journalism that will prompt conversations about social and political change."
Theresa Olohan | Theresa is a political science major from Warrenton, Va. She is a news writer for The Observer.
"I want to be a journalist because of the influence journalists can make through their promotion of the truth. I am especially interested in politics and news writing."
María Luisa Paúl | María Luisa is a double major in political science and economics from Caracas, Venezuela. She is a news writer for The Observer. As a scholastic journalist, she co-founded Jefferson Today, her high school's newspaper, and served as the editor-in-chief of the politics section. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese; she also speaks French.
"Because of my Venezuelan background, I have always admired the journalists who fearlessly stand up for the truth. Like them, I hope to someday give a voice to the voiceless and shed light to the issues that afflict our world as a foreign correspondent."
Claire Rafford | Claire is an English major from Tempe, Ariz. She is an associate news editor at The Observer.
"I am interested in pursuing a career in news journalism, either through a traditional newspaper setting or in audio journalism, such as podcasts."
Mariah Rush | Mariah is an American Studies major from South Bend. In summer 2017, Mariah held an internship at the South Bend Tribune. She is a staff member for The Observer’s news department, and founded a television reviewing blog called RushBrushUp.
"Although I have a vast range of interests from reviewing television to political print journalism, my core life goal has been to be an investigative journalist who gives a voice to the overlooked."
Daphne Saloomey | Daphne is a political science major and science, technology, and values minor from Connecticut. In summer 2018, she interned with Meryl Moss Media Public Relations where she managed and produced social media content for clients. She serves as the news section editor for Scholastic.
"I believe that the ultimate responsibility of a journalist is to care. I hope to be able to uncover the truth with dignity and compassion for the story I'm telling."
Mary Steurer | Mary is a computer science engineering major from St. Louis, Mo. She is a news writer for The Observer.
"I love all types of news reporting, but my dream is to pursue a career in investigative journalism that focuses on the crossroads between technology and politics."
Serena Zacharias | Serena is a neuroscience and behavior major from Mequon, Wis. She is a news writer at The Observer.
"I have a passion for writing and the sciences, so I am interested in science journalism. I also strongly believe in the importance of spreading awareness to affect change which is why I enjoy news writing."