Class of 2022
Gavin Aitken | Gavin is a business analytics major from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. He is currently a sportswriter for Fighting Irish Media. Previously, he worked as the sports editor for his high school’s newspaper, The Express.
"I have been obsessed with all types of sports since I was a child, and I have always enjoyed analyzing the minutiae of sports through writing. My goal is to work as a staff writer for ESPN."
Lily Brouder | Lily is a psychology major and former pre-health student from Point Pleasant, N.J. In high school, she served as the executive producer for the televised broadcast show, MATES TV. At Notre Dame, she works as a research assistant in the department of psychology’s Cognition and Emotion lab. Her journalistic interests include national politics and global affairs.
"I view journalism as a bridge between people and the truth. I am excited to be a part of the Gallivan program because it is an opportunity to learn how to communicate the truth with empathy, impartiality, and accessibility for all."
Indonesia Brown | Indy is a political science and psychology double major from South Bend. She writes for The Dome yearbook publication and HerCampus Notre Dame. Indy is a manager for the Fighting Irish football team, and works in the Office of University Relations.
"The Gallivan Program gives me so many opportunities that I would not have in my other classes. I learn how to see the world and present it to those around me. I hope to use my journalism knowledge throughout my future career in politics and psychology."
Colin Capece | Colin is political science major from Smithtown, N.Y. He also is pursuing minors in business economics and constitutional studies. He is currently an associate sports editor and news reporter for The Observer. He previously served as an editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, which was chosen as the best newspaper in the state by the New York Press Association in his senior year.
"I am passionate about telling stories and pursuing the truth in both sports and politics. The JED program and The Observer have given me the opportunity to do both at Notre Dame. I hope to one day become an investigative reporter with a prime time program like Outside the Lines or 60 Minutes."
Emilia Castelao | Emilia, who hails from New Orleans, is a double major in film, television, and theatre, and global affairs. She spent summer 2019 in Chicago working as a communications intern for the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. She also spent time in Barcelona working on a documentary about the cultural connections between Cuba and Spain. On campus, she is Under-Secretary General of the ND Model UN high school conference and a writer for HerCampus magazine.
"I want to use the art of filmmaking to better understand the world around me and make a positive impact in the lives of others."
Julianna Conley | Julianna, a native of Southern California, is an undeclared major on the pre-health track. She currently serves as a Viewpoint columnist for The Observer and is a member of the paper's political podcast team.
"I want to make a positive difference in the world, and inspire others. I would like to pursue a career that highlights the unrecognized members of society."
Grant DelVecchio | Grant, who’s from Eastchester, N.Y., is a double major in film, television, and theatre, and Spanish. In summer 2019, he was a social media intern at a London company that creates artificial intelligence-based personal fitness programs. In summer 2018, he was a sports production intern with WNBC in New York City and assisted the sportscaster Bruce Beck. On campus, he is a student broadcaster for Fighting Irish Media, and writes for both The Observer and Scholastic, the university’s student-run magazine. He is also the Alumni Association's Hannah Storm Intern for the 2019-20 academic year.
"Ever since I realized I wouldn’t be able to play sports professionally myself, I knew I still wanted them to be a part of my life. I hope to one day become a sports broadcaster for a major television network."
Erin Fennessy | Erin, who hails from Madison, Wis., is a double major in biochemistry and French. On campus, she is a member of the photo staff at The Observer; she also helps edit the paper’s "From the Archives" project.
"I'm hoping to explore a career in science journalism by combining my passions of scientific inquiry and telling stories that matter."
Jacqueline Fletcher | Jackie is a finance major with a penchant for debate and current events. Hailing from the Jersey Shore, she previously served as the opinion and features editor for her high school newspaper. On campus, Jackie serves as a producer and anchor for Notre Dame's broadcast news show Dome Discourse, which discusses current events and interviews students from across the university. Jackie is also proficient in Spanish.
"I've always admired journalists because of their unique ability to inform, analyze, and inspire. I hope I, too, can be of service to society in that way in the future. "
Matthew Kellenberg | Matthew, who’s from Chevy Chase, Md., is a double major in economics and English. In summer 2019, he was a social media & marketing intern at Smithsonian Folkways, an independent record label within the Smithsonian Institution. On campus, he writes for the Scene section of The Observer. He is also a Writing Center tutor. As a scholastic journalist, he edited the multimedia and technology section of his high school newspaper; he also edited the multimedia section for independent online high school news outlet.
"I am an avid music listener, and journalism is my favorite outlet to share that passion with my friends and greater community."
Emma Koster | Emma is a psychology major from Long Island, N.Y. She is currently a writer for Her Campus of Notre Dame, an online publication focused on female empowerment. In high school, Emma was a writer and feature editor for the school newspaper, The Knight Times. She hopes to use journalistic truth to share impactful human narratives and challenge people’s perceptions of the world.
"I am looking forward to using a background in psychology to report truthful, empathetic stories. As intense polarity of opinion divides society, I hope to remind people of our shared human experiences and inspire change."
Kimani Krienke | Kimani is an English major from Portage, Ind. On campus, she writes media reviews, sports player profiles, and other articles for Scholastic. She wrote for her high school newspaper, Acropolis, and became interested in travel journalism after traveling throughout Europe in her sophomore and senior year of high school.
"I would love to share my travel experiences with people and inspire them to go on adventures of their own, whether the excursions are big or small."
Alexis Martin | Lexi is a political science major from Bedford, Ohio. She hopes to become an investigative journalist, and has an interest in writing about politics.
"Journalism excites me because it aims at conveying the truth in every story, and it ensures that people can be informed about what is going on around them."
Christopher A. Parker | Chris, who’s from Harrison, N.Y., is a double major in history and Classics. In summer 2020, he was a reporting intern at The Berkshire Eagle. In high school, he was a contributing writer for Fordham Prep’s literary magazine, Labyrinth. He writes news for The Observer and works on the Social Media team, where he created and runs the paper’s Snapchat account.
"I love what I study, so I’d like to report on history for a paper or magazine. Our past has critical and urgent lessons for the modern world."
Adriana Pérez | Adriana is a psychology major from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She is also pursuing a minor in sustainability. In 2018, she interned at the Ecuadorian newspaper, El Universo, which was founded by her family in 1921. Adriana is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate proficiency in German.
"In the future, I want to return home and pursue a career in magazine writing or investigative reporting, because I love listening to and telling stories, especially those which reveal larger social issues."
Alina Peterson | Alina, who’s from Bethesda, Md., is a double major in political science and anthropology. She is the assistant news editor for Scholastic and the academic section editor for The Dome Yearbook.
"One of my philosophies in life is that knowledge isn’t worth much if you can’t communicate it with kindness. I aim to apply that to my journalism career, hopefully one rooted in consideration and empathy. "
Caroline Pineda | Caroline is a film, television, and theatre major from Albuquerque, N.M. In summer 2020, she was a sports intern with KOB4, the NBC-affiliated station in Albuquerque. In summer 2019, she was a digital intern with Love Sport Radio in London, where she also worked on an undergraduate research project about the National Football League’s international marketing efforts. On campus, Caroline is a student broadcaster for Fighting Irish Media and an assistant sports editor for Scholastic. She is a football analyst for NDTV, the student television station, as well as a host for WVFI, the student radio station.
"Sports contain countless stories of resilience, unity and inspiration. I hope to share these stories and showcase the strength of the human spirit through the victories and trials of athletes."
Meg Pryor | Meg is a psychology major and digital marketing minor from Minneapolis. She is a writer and social media director for HerCampus at Notre Dame. In high school, she served as an editor of both the school newspaper and yearbook.
"I believe that effective communication has the power to create unity by giving people a voice, promoting a deeper understanding of issues, and encouraging discussion."
Jillian Randle | Jillie, who hails from Sacramento, Calif., is a political science major. She is also working towards a video production concentration. Jillie works for NDTV on campus, getting her start as a sophomore as a co-creator of Notre Dame’s first ever political news show, “Dome Discourse.” Jillie writes, hosts, and edits each episode as well as hosts “Election 2020” in which she discusses, predicts, and analyzes the current presidential race with her cohosts. Jillie’s dream is to be a political correspondent, host, or video production manager for a major political news media outlet one day.
"The primary goal of journalism is to provide our public with the information they need to be free and self governing. Whether it be on the screen or behind the editing board, I truly cannot wait to be a part of the most essential aspect of a free democracy."
Genevieve Redsten | Genevieve is an English and anthropology major from Madison, Wis. In summer 2020, she was a reporting intern with The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. On campus, she is the associate editor of Scholastic Magazine and a news writer for The Observer. She also leads a team of undergraduate students researching eviction and housing affordability in South Bend.
"Journalists tell stories that shine light on the truth and call us to action. I’m excited to grow as a journalist — learning to write better, listen closer, and tell those meaningful stories."
Antonia Sylva | Nia, a Summit, N.J. native, is a majoring in the university's Program of Liberal Studies with a minor in history. She writes for The Observer’s Scene section. As a scholastic journalist, she served as a staff writer, editor, and editor-in-chief of her high school’s newspaper, Untucked.
"A good journalist has the observational skill to notice things others don’t, and the writing ability to show the rest of us. Someday, I hope to master both disciplines."
Luciana Thomas | Luciana, who’s from Fayetteville, Ark., is studying political science and Middle Eastern Studies. A member of the Fighting Irish swimming and diving team, she specializes in the butterfly and individual medley; during the 2018-19 season, she took part in the ACC and NCAA championship tournaments.
"I want to make a difference in the world and help speak for those who don't have a voice, and I know journalism will help me achieve that."
Isabella Volmert | Issy, who hails from the St. Louis area, is an English major with a minor in theology. In summer 2019, she interned as a reporter for her local newspaper The Missourian; she is a regular freelancer for the paper. She is currently an associate news editor for The Observer.
"Journalism highlights the achievements of communities while also challenging their members to improve. My dream is to tell both of these stories through investigative reporting and feature writing."
Abby Wager | Abby is an English major from Granger, Ind. She is also pursuing a second minor in digital marketing. She is a Viewpoint writer for The Observer. She was selected to attend a young writer’s workshop at Denison University in high school.
"I want to pursue a career in journalism because I believe in the power of words - to inform, to inspire, and to change hearts and minds."
Ashton Weber | Ashton, who’s from Cincinnati, is a double major in economics and film, television, and theatre. She is a Viewpoint columnist and podcast team member at The Observer. She is also a writer for Her Campus Notre Dame and a campus editor-at-large for the Thrive on Campus section of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global. She works as a broadcast anchor for NDignite Connection, a precollege engagement program of Notre Dame’s Enrollment Division, and she is an office writer for the College of Science. In summer 2019, Ashton was a communications intern for Kids4Peace Seattle.
"I am passionate about honest engagement with others, so I hope to pursue a career in e-magazine or broadcast journalism, which wield the powers of technology to connect with audiences rapidly and personably."