This summer, Professors Christopher Baron and John Fitzgerald (Theology) served as co-advisors to Haley Wilson-Lemmon, an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University. Haley visited Notre Dame after winning admission to the Summer Research Opportunity Program (http://graduateschool.nd.edu/departments-and-programs/summer-research/). This ten-week program allows undergraduates at other institutions to conduct research and take classes with faculty in any discipline in which a graduate degree is available at Notre Dame.
Most students who participate in SROP are in the sciences or engineering. This year, in fact, Haley was the only brave soul to represent the Humanities in the program.
“This past summer,” Haley recalls, “I was looking for an opportunity to take a language class at another university and hoped that I could find one somewhere I was interested in for possible graduate work. Notre Dame and the SROP turned out to the perfect choice.” As part of the program, she took a Greek course taught by Professor Baron and conducted intensive research in preparation for her senior thesis project, on friendship and hospitality in the Mediterranean world.
In addition to her summer session course, Haley met with Professor Baron to read portions of the work of the ancient historian Josephus concerning the Judean War (66-70 C.E.). Josephus will have a chapter devoted to him in Baron’s next book, on Greek historians under the Roman Empire. Josephus’ work is also one important source for Haley’s project, since he provides evidence for practices and attitudes in the Jewish tradition and in the Near East in the first-century C.E.
“Dr. Fitzgerald’s expertise in early Christianity and Dr. Baron’s extensive knowledge of the Greco-Roman world provided the perfect dynamic for working on my senior thesis,” Haley said. She capped off her summer in South Bend by presenting “Syngeneia and xenoi: the role of kinship in the practice of hospitality” at a poster session held in Jordan Hall of Science on July 26.
Overall, Haley said, “I was able to research with fantastic professors and participate in helpful workshops. I recommend the program to anyone looking for further preparation for graduate school, be it at Notre Dame or elsewhere.”
If you are interested in working with a faculty member during the summer and have a suitable project in mind, the Department of Classics encourages you to take a further look at SROP and then contact that professor via email.