AnBryce Forum Explores Question of Class in America

Author: Tessa Bangs

AnBryce Forum Explores Question of Class in AmericaADDRESSING A DIFFICULT TOPIC Peter Sacks speaks on socioeconomic class, college education and social mobility.

"I really could have used this panel when I was an undergraduate.”

Professor Tom Tweed, the chair of the American Studies department, delivered this statement while explaining why he overcame his initial hesitation to accept a position on the panel of “Considering Class: ND Faculty Reflect on Their Journey through College and the Professoriate.” This year’s Nov. 4-6 AnBryce Forum focused on class, college and the American dream.

Tweed was a featured speaker alongside Professor Jason Ruiz of the American Studies department, Professor Tracy Kijewski-Correa of Engineering, Professor Patrick Griffin, the History department chair and moderator and History Professor Daniel Graff.

The professors, who all came from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, spoke with candor about their upbringings, how they made their way through college to academia and, specifically, to Notre Dame.

The AnBryce Scholars Initiative, whose participants have overcome significant socioeconomic struggles while achieving high academic standards, produced this inaugural forum in McKenna Hall. The forum’s programs ranged from panels with students and faculty members to the keynote address with author, essayist and social critic Peter Sacks.

Overall, the professors had similar advice for current students: they are here to help and to serve as mentors and listeners. In fact, mentorship is a major resource the professors cited as integral parts of their own individual journeys. And, as Tweed concluded, if anyone here feels out of place, know that you are not alone.