Tara Lucian (Polital Science Major, Class of 2013)
"Not only did I have a lot of fun in my CSEM and learn a lot of interesting things, but I also gained more from the class than I could have anticipated. Because we had daily discussions about our readings, I learned how to continuously analyze each reading in the context of what we had learned so far, even before seeing the big picture. This is a valuable skill that will stay with me for life.
"The class helped me in other areas too: public speaking was never one of my strengths, but thanks to the variety and frequency of speaking activities, I have more confidence in my abilities. This confidence has transferred to my other classes, where I am much more willing to engage my classmates and professors in debate. Thanks to this, I am getting even more out of my academic experience at Notre Dame."
Marianinna Villavicencio (Anthropology Major, Class of 2014)
"My CSEM last semester was a great experience! The skills I acquired during only one semester of class are going to help me succeed later in life. I really enjoyed the class's dynamic, the debates and discussions during class have helped me develop the ability to think on my feet, especially to come up with clear, concise theses in a limited amount of time. In addition the small size of the seminar enabled everyone in the seminar to become engaged with the material and actively participate during every class period, something that can never be done in a lecture class.
"After taking my CSEM I feel confident in my public speaking abilities, I learned not only how to write a good speech but also how to deliver it. Overall it was the perfect class for any Arts and Letters student, both the knowledge and the skills I gained will help me in the future."
Patrick Vinett (Political Science and Spanish Double Major, Class of 2013)
"I can honestly say my CSEM experience has been one of the best experiences I have had during my time at Notre Dame. Not only was the subject matter interesting, but also the fact that students from various academic backgrounds were brought together in a discussion-based setting challenged us to listen to viewpoints that we otherwise may have never thought of.
"For me, the CSEM experience broadened my knowledge of the material, but also presented a challenge. This challenge was to be confident in speaking in front of others, to formulate and articulate an opinion, to understand and challenge another's opinion, and to reevaluate and reassess one’s first inclination. I think the CSEM program sets Notre Dame apart from other institutions by enabling students to explore areas of academia they otherwise may not and to become open-minded through their interactions with students who have ideas, backgrounds, and interests that differ from their own."
Emily LeStrange (American Studies and Political Science Double Major, Class of 2012)
"My CSEM experience was a truly rewarding opportunity. Free-flowing discussion encouraged independent thought and challenged my ability to express my thoughts in a concise fashion. The holistic teaching style allowed me to gain superior knowledge of the subject matter more than a simple essay-based class could provide.
"The small class size made me feel comfortable expressing my thoughts amongst my peers. Most importantly, It provided me with the chance to integrate the subject material into the community outside of the Notre Dame bubble in a way no other Arts & Letters class could. I highly encourage all Notre Dame undergrads to explore the chance to take a CSEM course."
Catherine Latell (English Major, Class of 2012)
"My CSEM experience here at Notre Dame was extremely positive in that it provided an opportunity to improve upon my oral communication skills, which are crucial in order to succeed in both college courses and in every day life as an up-and-coming member of the professional world. In addition, CSEM provided me with an opportunity to analyze numerous texts and discuss their relationships with all aspects of society from politics and religion to human nature and the arts.
"As a result of the diverse class discussions, I was able to broaden my world view, and learn about myself in the process. In conclusion, this is a course where you are sure to grow as an individual and be challenged to think independently, ultimately gaining the confidence to share your ideas with others."