University of Notre Dame senior Quinton Hayre has been awarded a 2023-24 Luce Scholarship. He is one of 18 Luce Scholars selected from a pool of 34 finalists as part of a highly competitive interview process. He is Notre Dame’s 11th Luce Scholar overall and fourth since 2014.
Fellow Notre Dame seniors Zoe Case and Angelica Ketcham also interviewed for the award but were not selected.
Established in 1974, the Luce Scholarship is a nationally competitive scholarship offering early career leaders immersive, professional experiences in Asia.
In applying for the award, Hayre worked closely with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, which promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame undergraduates through scholarly engagement, research, creative endeavors and the pursuit of fellowships.
“Quinton’s continuous engagement with public health on the global stage will certainly make him an asset to any placement institution abroad,” said Elise Rudt-Moorthy, national fellowships senior program manager with CUSE. “It was an absolute pleasure to work with him and our 12 other applicants this year. As the Luce Scholarship offers awards to students from all academic backgrounds, our applicant pool was incredibly diverse and intriguing. I would like to extend special thanks to Notre Dame alumnae Meg Burns (2021 Luce recipient) and Cassidy McDonald (2017 Luce recipient), who provided advice and support for our finalists.”
A native of Seattle, Hayre is a science pre-professional and global affairs major with a concentration in international development studies and a minor in real estate. He is a research assistant to Neil Lobo, research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, in the Lobo Lab and a campus tour guide. He leads the Partners in Health Network’s Engage club, which connects undergraduate students to individuals in both the Partners in Health network and the Notre Dame Eck Institute for Global health.
Growing up surrounded by public health institutions in the Seattle area, Hayre developed an interest in global health early on. In high school, he traveled to a remote village in Fiji with a former Peace Corps volunteer for a summer. He also worked on water issues in Honduras with the international nonprofit Water1st.
He returned to Fiji, to the same village, last summer, where he interviewed locals about community water governance as part of his capstone project in international development studies.
“This village is so remote that the government has no way of piping water there, so they’re pretty much on their own — with some government funding but not much — in terms of finding ways to get clean reliable water to residents,” he said of the locals.
This spring, he presented findings from the project at the Human Development Conference on campus, where he was awarded the Rev. Ernest J. Bartell, C.S.C., Prize for outstanding undergraduate student research on poverty and development.
He plans to use the money from the prize to pursue a nonprofit water filtration project in Fiji.
“I would love, ultimately, for this to bring some attention to the water authority in Fiji in terms of how these remote communities can be better assisted,” he said of his work in the South Pacific archipelago. “At the same time, there are a growing number of communities globally that are having to provide water for themselves, so hopefully some of the practices in Fiji can help to inform those in other communities as well.”
As a Luce Scholar, he hopes to do fieldwork or data analysis in the areas of disease transmission and prevention in Japan, India or Indonesia as a stepping stone to graduate work in public health — all in service of a career in social epidemiology, or the study of how social structures and conditions impact public health.
He credited Notre Dame, and the Keough School in particular, for fostering his curiosity in global affairs and other relevant topics and for introducing him to valuable opportunities for impactful research in the sciences.
“It’s not something I knew about when applying for Notre Dame,” he said of the wealth of resources available to students on and off campus, “but it’s definitely something that’s given me a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
For more on this and other scholarship opportunities, visit cuse.nd.edu.