Notre Dame Pre-College Program

Kristen Cs

As many of us were busy preparing to welcome new students for the academic year, the College was involved in engaging future Mendoza hopefuls in Notre Dame’s Pre-College Program. 

The Pre-College Summer Scholars Program affords the opportunity for exceptional high school students to earn college credit through academic seminars and experiences with Notre Dame faculty, staff and students during the summer. Historically, the College has offered pre-college Summer Scholars programs in accounting (“The Language of Business”), marketing “For the Common Good”) and analytics (“Moneyball: The Analytics of Sports”). This year, we launched a Pre-College Leadership Seminar called, “The Power of Investing: The Wealth Gap, Financial Literacy, and the Miracle of Compound Interest.”

Mark Dumich

“The Power of Investing” was a competitive, seven-day program for academically talented students who have shown impressive leadership within their communities. Students earned one credit for the program, which was paid by Notre Dame. The program was sponsored by the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing (NDIGI) with lectures taught by finance faculty and guest speakers. The goal of the course was to demystify the field of investing, show how finance principles can address the growing wealth gap and declining financial literacy, and encourage students to get started on their own journey of wealth creation in order to grow the good in business. 

At the end of the seminar, students were tasked with designing a creative way of attacking the issue of wealth inequality. The winning team’s presentation, “Closing the Wealth Gap: Starting with Criminal Justice,” examined the impact of incarceration on employment, income and wealth. Their creative solution focused on preventing incarcerations, financial education within the prison system and delivering support resources upon an inmate’s release.

Another goal for the course was to broaden the pipeline of women and underrepresented minorities coming into Mendoza. The Office of Pre-College Programs delivered an exceptional group of truly diverse students for us to engage. Each and every one of them brought a unique perspective to our class discussions and, if they enroll next year, would enrich the community here at Mendoza.

NDIGI was excited to sponsor this seminar because it allowed us to showcase Mendoza’s outstanding faculty, passionate alumni and welcoming community. Not only did the program engage students from a variety of backgrounds, it also focused on a topic intentionally chosen to attract students who would align with our mission to grow the good in business.

Students left “The Power of Investing” with a positive impression of Mendoza and the discipline of finance. One participant noted, “I greatly enjoyed the collaborative and intellectually stimulating environment. I loved the fact that we focussed on issues greater than ourselves, issues that we can make a difference in through business. Investments and finance can be powerful forces for good in the world, and this Leadership Seminar gave me new and renewed insights and views onto how to tackle some of those issues.”

The success of this new Leadership seminar would have not been possible without the support of the faculty, staff, alumni and students in Mendoza, many of whom are listed below: 

Guest Speakers

  • Wendy Angst, Management & Organization assistant department chair and teaching professor, “Designing a Better Future”
  • Dennis Boyle (ND ’75), IDEO partner, “Creative Solutions to Big Problems” (also guest speaker in other Mendoza/NDIGI classes)
  • William Towns (MBA ’09), National Market President for Gorman & Company, “Investing in Change” (also guest speaker in other Mendoza/NDIGI classes)
  • Carl Ackermann, Nolan Professorship for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction, “Personal Finance“
  • Erin Bellissimo, NDIGI managing director, “Careers in Finance & The Power of Compounding”
  • Tara Kenney (BBA ’82), advisor for Impact Capital Funds, and Brendan Maher (BBA ’94), VP of Integrated Capitals and Investments for the Heron Foundation, “Business as a Force for Good” 
  • Kayla Seepersad (BBA ’24), Logan Balfantz (BBA ’24) and Ally Splitstone (BBA ’24), teaching assistants and course facilitators 

We look forward to leading another successful summer of “The Power of Investing” in 2022!


Kristen Collett-Schmitt 

Associate Dean for Specialized Master's Programs and Associate Teaching Professor



Mark Dumich

Associate Director, Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing


Via The Mendoza Exchange, From the Dean's Desk, Guest Column: Kristen Collett-Schmitt and
Mark Dumich, September 7, 2021