Global Immersion Program
One core aspect of the AnBryce Scholars Initiative is that the students take part in an immersive travel experience. Currently, this means a trip to Ireland with partners from Writing and Rhetoric, as well as the Center for Social Concerns (CSC); though, it has also meant a trip to Washington, D.C., when students are unable to travel abroad. The Immersion experience is currently in its fifth year. In the words of our director, Dr. Paulette Curtis, its purpose is "to offer our students an experience that would introduce them to the knowledge, communication skills, and perspectives they will need to succeed in a global, interconnected world."
After taking four cohorts to London, we decided to try something new–an approach we often encourage with our students—and headed overseas to Ireland.
We spent our first day getting to know the Notre Dame Kylemore Global Gateway, toured the Gothic Church and Walled Gardens, and visited Sister Genevieve and her chocolate production facility. We ended our day with one of many outstanding meals prepared by Chef Derek, Bangers and Mash and Salmon Cakes. The following day we attended mass with the Benedictine nuns in Letterfrack, the nearest town to Kylemore. Later in the afternoon we met Archeologist Michael Gibbons for a hiking history and archeology lecture where we were literally walking through history. Along the trek, students saw burial sites that are 5,700 years old and remnants of famine houses. On our last full day in Kylemore, we ate a full breakfast and departed for Killary Adventure Centre. Here, the students (and staff) participated in several challenges that involved brains, brawn and teamwork. We then visited the Connemara Smokehouse which is situated on the Atlantic Ocean. For many of us, this was our first visit to the Atlantic and even though the weather was cold (no more than 40 degrees) the students took off their shoes and ran into the water. We ended the evening in Clifden where we were able to explore the town and have a lovely dinner at the Clifden Boat Club.
Eimear Clowry, Assistant Director of the Notre Dame Dublin Gateway, welcomed us to the Notre Dame Global Gateway in Dublin with a fast pace tour of Dublin. The students quickly learned that while Dublin is not a huge city, there is a tremendous amount of things to do and see. We then joined the Notre Dame students who are currently abroad in Dublin for a lecture in Irish Music at the O’Connell House (Notre Dame’s Gateway Building). After our lecture we had an evening out at O’Neil’s Pub where we were able enjoy some live music that we had just learned about. The following day we met with Kevin Whelan, Director of the Notre Dame Global Gateway, and learned about Irish colonial history and the connection between Frederick Douglass and Daniel O’Connell. We ended our day at St. Enda’s Primary School where we shared a little bit about ourselves, where we come from, and some photos from home. The following days we spent touring Dublin; Trinity College, Howth (just outside Dublin), the National Gallery, and the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology Museum (inspired by our hike with Michael Gibbon). To end our week as well as our time in Ireland we attended the Centre’s Celtic Twilight Event with the entire Notre Dame Dublin community for dinner and performances.Our scholars were even invited to perform themselves at Celtic Twilight to which they prepared a skit based off the knowledge learned on our trip about the relationship between Daniel O’Connell and Frederick Douglass. Finally, we spent our last day in Dublin over St. Patrick’s Day where we saw a new (and more busy side) to Dublin.
Traveling to Ireland over spring break was a life changing experience for me and the other members of my cohort. Not only did the trip transform the our relationships from that of simply peers to being close friends, but it allowed for me to develop culturally and grow as a person. My mountaintop moment came while literally hiking up a mountain in Kylemore. I'm from Philadelphia, PA, where the grass is scarce and the buildings are plentiful; in fact, there is exactly one tree on my home's street. That trip up the mountain taught me to appreciate the little things in life that I often times took for granted - from a shamrock in a field of grass to a displaced rock on the side of the hill, beauty can be found in all things. Shamar Cousin '22
I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Whelan, the director of the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Center in Dublin, as he gave a lecture on Daniel O’Connell and his connection to Frederick Douglass. Mr. Whelan informed us about the history of Ireland and its struggles regarding its relationship with Great Britain and prejudices against Catholics during the 1800’s. I never knew that Great Britain ever had Ireland under colonial rule because in my previous history classes, we only learned about their colonization of places like the Americas, Africa, and India. Never had it occurred to me that a nation of predominantly white people would be overtaken in colonization and discriminated against by another white nation. I learned that Daniel O’Connell was a man who not only fought for the rights of his fellow Catholics, but for the rights of all humans, whatever variances they may have. He inspired Frederick Douglass and had such an impact on him that Douglass began to refer to himself as the “Black O’Connell”. Douglass inspires me, and to learn about one man who inspired him was a fascinating experience. Through this interaction with Kevin Whelan, I felt that I was able to understand Ireland and its people which then allowed me to better understand the place of the United States and myself within a global context. Teayanna Leytham '22
The global immersion program truly fostered my understanding of diversity and human relations, both within my cohort and through observing the people around me in Ireland. I came to realize the sheer number of people I have yet to meet and was reminded of the reason I strive to make the world a better place through obtaining an education. I also had the pleasure of getting to know each member of my cohort very well, finding similarities between us and differing perspectives that built upon my own. Overall, the global immersion program reminded me that I am only one small piece of a big picture generation that will improve the world, beginning with my cohort an extending internationally. Christina Dulal '22
Coming from a big city, I am not well versed in the ways of nature. Hiking, swimming in creeks, and fishing are not activities I normally engaged in growing up. Apprehension consumed me as our group walked towards the base of the mountain. Archaeologist Michael Gibbons expertly led us up the mountain and instructed us on the proper ways to climb. A second did not go by without him yelling, “Hands out of pockets!” or “Zig-Zag!” By the time we were climbing down, the entire AnBryce cohort found ourselves yelling, “Don’t forget to zig-zag,” and “Hey, keep those hands out of those pockets!” Instead of just pointing out various artifacts and landmarks, Gibbons would pick random people out of the group to illustrate the history. When the hike first started, Gibbons pulled me aside and told me to go stand in this random pile of rocks a few meters away. After I did, he proceeded to yell at me that I was standing in a 5,700 year old tomb! I never thought I would ever be able to physically touch an artifact that old let alone stand in it! Ireland’s history felt more real because Gibbons beautifully put me in the history and I know I will never forget that moment. Who knew a rising Black woman could feel so connected to a place like rural Ireland? Tia Wilson '22
Upon returning to campus from Dublin, I leaned to Shamar and told him, “not much has changed at ND in the past week, but we return changed men.” Being in the new and previously unfamiliar country made me think more about who I am, where I come from, and what I can learn from new environments. Nearly every part of the trip was a lesson, from learning Irish history over thousands of years to learning how Ireland views immigration and refugees positively. From hiking picturesque mountains with history lessons from archaeologist Michael Gibbons to having political conversations with the locals at restaurants and pubs, interacting with the Irish and Notre Dame family in Ireland opened me up to various new perspectives. Thus, it is not a surprise that the part of the trip that struck me the most was volunteering at a very diverse inner-city school in Dublin. I learned a lot from the 7th grade class we taught where nearly every student was of a different nationality. We were also able to give them a taste of the America we know with our About US presentation, and I am glad that our AnByrce cohort left a positive example of America on the kids. I didn’t know Dublin before the trip, and in meeting Ireland I have met a new inspired side of myself. Raphael Banuelos '22
The London Program owes a great debt to Patrick Clauss (Writing and Rhetoric), Rosie McDowell (CSC) and the London Global Gateway and London Undergraduate Program. First Year students travel to London during Spring Break. Before they go, they must enroll in the university Writing and Rhetoric, taught by Prof. Patrick Clauss. Below is the curriculum description:
In The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton observes that “a danger of travel is that we may see things at the wrong time, before we have had an opportunity to build up the necessary receptivity, so that new information is as useless and fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain.” de Botton’s point applies not only to travel in the literal sense, physically going from one location to another, but also travel in a metaphoric sense, the kind of travel a scholar undertakes while moving through a complex research and writing process.
How might one build up such a necessary receptivity, ensuring that new information and new experiences are not “useless and fugitive . . . without a connecting chain”? The study of rhetoric offers answers: Rhetoric—understood here as the science of argumentation (privileging logos) and the art of persuasion (privileging ethos and pathos)—trains one to be a skilled researcher, speaker, and writer. Additionally, within the liberal arts tradition, the study of rhetoric also trains one in ways of knowing, of being receptive to how seemingly disparate information, old and new, fits together. Thus, in this section of Multimedia Writing and Rhetoric, specifically designed for AnBryce Scholars, we will travel together, literally and metaphorically. As we do, we will cultivate our receptivity to the rhetorical worlds around us. Ultimately, our goal is to become accomplished and cosmopolitan arguers. Consistent with the missions of the University Writing Program and the AnBryce Scholars Program, we will research, speak, and write with integrity, compassion, and wisdom (also known as arete, eunoia, and phronesis).
A few words about argument: In everyday speech, we typically use “argument” to mean a disagreement or quarrel with others. In Writing and Rhetoric we will use “argument” in relation to the ways we use symbols, like language, to affect thinking and/or actions. When advertisers try to persuade me to buy their products, they are arguing with me. When a student tries to convince her friend to share class notes, she is arguing. When you compose essays for this class and others, you are arguing. In academic arguments, especially important at the University, we reason with others by advancing claims and supporting those claims with evidence. Academic arguments involve more than simply taking a position and supporting it; academic arguments also involve a sensitivity to the different ways issues are viewed by diverse audiences or communities. Further, academic arguments adhere to important levels of ethical standards: truthfulness, courage, judgment, accountability, and respectfulness. As members of the Notre Dame community, we have a special responsibility to understand and practice ethical argument, no matter where or how those arguments take place.
One thing that may be worth noting in the above text: Because my training is in argumentation, rhetorical theory, and classical rhetoric, I do a fair amount with Aristotle in my WR course, including teaching students the Aristotelian concepts and practices of arete, eunoia, and phronesis. These are fancy terms for, in order, integrity, compassion, and wisdom--the same values that I saw mentioned on the AnBryce Scholars website at some point.
- Patrick Clauss
Dr. Paulette Curtis developed the Washington, DC program to provide an immersive experience to those who are unable to travel abroad. Extensive planning and help from the AnBryce Foundation, as well as Anthony and Beatrice Welters, results in a wonderful trip that gives the students a much better understanding of the workings of our capital.
As a global city, we hoped that DC would provide interesting points of contrast to London, as well as serve as a fascinating experience in its own right. Given DC's deep history, wonderful monuments and architecture, and socioeconomic disparities, DC provided a really important experience in the ways that global cities function"
- Dr. Paulette Curtis
Students take a personalized tour of the Capitol and Supreme Court, attend lectures at Georgetown University or the University of Virginia, and learn about the gentrification of predominantly African American U Street. They also visit the AnBryce Foundation headquarters in McLean, VA and Camp Dogwood, a summer camp run by the AnBryce Foundation. In 2018, the students visited Monticello, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as the Smithsonian Art Museum.
What made the Global Immersion Program a useful experience to me was that it allowed me to better understand the culture of our Capitol. I am from New York City, and so I am used to living in a large city. However, Washington DC has several differences from New York City. As a whole, the city is much cleaner; the Metro runs smoothly and does not smell, and there is less litter than in New York City. In addition, I was able to get an inside look at how our government is run: I visited the personal office of Justice Thomas, and was able to see the House of Representatives in session. Although I know how the branches of our government work, being able to see them in action in front of my eyes helped me more accurately see how the government operates on a day to day basis. Eamon Lopez '22
I never would have imagined I would be spending a spring break in Washington D.C. Growing up, there were a few opportunities that were offered to me to go to D.C. but I could never take them for one reason or another. So when I first saw the Capitol from the plane, it felt surreal. I was very nervous but also very excited. In my mind, I was excited to see the city as a global city. I was hoping to see people of various ethnicities and races, and hear a variety of language. And in some part I did. Since almost everyone that went on the D.C. trip spoke or understood Spanish, I found myself speaking my native tongue more often than I probably did in my whole time at Notre Dame. Because I was in a more diverse city, I felt more free to dance with the language which my heart had been craving for a long time. It was as if I didn’t feel a pressure to only speak English, anymore—a pressure I didn’t even know was there until then. Even though I was nowhere close to home, and there were not a lot of Mexicans in the Washington D.C., I felt safe to be myself. That’s when I realized how closed off a person can be sometimes, and unless they step out, they will always remain that way. Odalis Gonzalez '22
Everybody hears and knows about slavery and how even our founding fathers, Jefferson in particular, owned slaves but what we are taught in schools only scratches the surface. I, and my other fellow D.C. companions, had the opportunity to go on a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and I left there knowing and understanding more about slavery in the nation that I otherwise would not have learned. Our tour guide, Ms. Fayne, did an excellent job of lecturing us and taking us through the museum (which is set in chronological order) in order for us to attempt to grasp what it could have been like. The stories she told us: slavery in Africa, the riots, the harsh treatment, Ashley’s Bag, etc. all made me squirm and I admit, there were tears. Tears because it’s astonishing to believe people had to go through that and society just stood by and believed it was okay. Moreover, however, I think it really resonated with me because you’re put in a place where you’re forced to see artifacts and displays that only further prove the atrocities that occurred. These aren’t just stories it’s real life and people had to go through it. It was really an eye-opening experience and it only further allowed me to reflect on my life now and the lives of African Americans in the United States, then and now. Isel Otero Torres '22