A major from Notre Dame reflects on her improbable trip // The Observer

Although Madeline Owen has now become the Class of 2021, Notre Dame was not the school of her childhood dreams. But, said Owen, she changed her mind after touring campus on a whim with her mother on her return from an event in Chicago.

Valédictorienne from the class of 2021, Madeline Owen.

“[My mom and I] went to Notre Dame, and got out of the car and walked around. And I was just taking it all for the first time, and there wasn’t a lot of conversation between her and me, ”Owen said. “But I was just seeing things that I really liked that felt so unique to me compared to other college campuses. I loved it and I knew from that moment that Notre Dame was the school of my dreams.

According to Owen, Notre-Dame stands out for its family atmosphere.

“It really seemed like everyone here was a big family and had such national and international representation,” Owen said. “It’s a place where students are encouraged to achieve the best and achieve more than they realize.”

Owen, a stamp specialist, undertook many activities during her four years at Notre Dame. She majored in Neuroscience and Behavior, Minor in Poverty Studies, and was part of the Glynn Family Specialist Program.

She said she was drawn to neuroscience and behavior because it was the cross section of two things that interested her a lot: science and humanity.

“What drew me to neuroscience was the intersection between science and the investigative part and, really, the human element,” Owen explained. “I know medicine is the direction I wanted to go since I was very young, but a lot of medicine is the human element… Medicine really needs people who have real compassion and empathy. And I think learning how humans think and how we behave is a big part of that. “

Poverty studies, said Owen, was a topic she was looking for because of her unique childhood.

“Growing up with my family was always about travel, not destination. We rode wherever we could and stopped at anything that looked interesting along the way, ”said Owen. “I really learned to talk to anyone; I learned that everyone has a story. Everyone comes from very different and unique backgrounds. And that has been a big part of my values ​​and my search for a minor in poverty studies.

Among other activities, Owen was a member of the American Red Cross club and Aquatic Relief for Kids, and she was treasurer of Breen-Phillips Hall and the Pre-Professional Society. She also played the violin at dormitory masses and was involved in running and sailing clubs. Likewise, Owen has been involved in research since the spring of his freshman year, with some of his own research being published.

Owen said becoming a valedictorian was never part of his plan.

“I try not to make my trip a way to end,” Owen said. “I really tried to focus on the journey and not just the destination and enjoy every step of the way. So I think this whole journey has really been about learning and growing as a student, as a researcher, as a citizen. When you adopt this component, other things will fall into place. Your GPA is – or should be – a representation of the learning you have taken and the commitment you have made. “

Going forward, Owen said she plans to attend Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine as she wants to pursue a career in orthopedic and spinal surgery.

His advice for other students to follow in his footsteps is not to be afraid to do something outside of their comfort zone.

“Some of my most valuable learning opportunities have come when I was most nervous, uncertain or uncomfortable before I took this opportunity…” said Owen. “Notre Dame has incredible opportunities for growth and learning, and a lot of that comes when you push your limits a little bit.”

Tags: Valédictorien 2021, Valédictoriens 2021, neurosciences and behavior, Valédictorien Notre-Dame, Stamp finder

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