Margaret Fosmoe | November 22, 2017
Rhea Silvosa came here from her native Philippines to gain knowledge that will help her improve life for residents back home.
Sofía del Valle, a student from Chile, has similar goals.
The two women are among 38 graduate students from 22 nations enrolled this semester in the new Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. The inaugural class in the new master's degree in global affairs program draws from nations as far afield as Morocco, Iran, Columbia, Zimbabwe and Ukraine, among others.
Creation of the new school is part of one of Notre Dame's major goals, to "internationalize" the student experience and have the university play a larger role in global discussions and scholarship.
"The Keough School is the academic expression of that internationalization effort," said R. Scott Appleby, the school's dean. "All the schools are going global. It's the way of the future."
As a Catholic university, Notre Dame will develop a specialized focus on religion within the Keough School, Appleby said. He's been on the Notre Dame faculty since 1994, previously serving as director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
The Keough School will have a special interest in poverty, conflict resolution and human rights. "We want to particularly focus on those who are more vulnerable," the dean said.
The school is based in Jenkins Nanovic Hall, a new building recently completed just north of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
The Keough School has about 40 faculty members and is expected to grow. About 30 of the professors hold joint appointments with arts and letters, engineering or the Kroc Institute, which is now part of the Keough School. Another seven to 10 faculty are expected to be added to the school during the next five years.
The school focuses on interdisciplinary problem solving, bringing together scholars from various disciplines to work on issues in different areas of the globe. The master's students choose a concentration in international development, international peace studies or global affairs.