Nora Kenney | November 7, 2018
This year, the Graduate School launched a new experiential training program focused on leadership skills and social responsibility. Leaders Advancing Socially Engaged Research, or LASER, is aimed at Notre Dame doctoral students in their 3rd or 4th years of study, and is intended to complement students’ individual research pursuits in their various fields. This year’s cohort consists of seventeen students completing individual LASER projects and hailing from each of the Graduate School’s four academic disciplines (engineering, humanities, social sciences, and science).
The cohort kicked off the year with a cookout in August hosted by John Lubker, the Graduate School’s associate dean for academic affairs, who is spearheading LASER and designing its programming along with postdoctoral scholar Mark Bourgeois. “I was thrilled to host the inaugural cohort,” Lubker said. “I was very impressed with the passion and energy students are bringing to LASER, even in its earliest stages.” At Lubker’s, the group bonded over team-building activities and catering from J.W. Chen’s. Ensuing gatherings, which take place every three weeks in the Hesburgh Library, have featured topics such as self-awareness, values clarification, crucial conversations, and design thinking. In a few weeks, the group will meet to discuss emotional intelligence.
“These students really embody the Graduate School’s core conviction, Your Research Matters,” Lubker said. “They are challenging themselves to conceive of ways in which their research passions can improve conditions for their communities. As they develop as leaders and socially responsible researchers, I’m looking forward to watching their accomplishments unfold in the next year.”
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