Olivia Heldring is a sophomore from Pennsylvania studying computer science and Catholic social tradition. She is working under the mentorship of Law School Professor Roger Alford on two separate projects.
For the first project, Heldring is assisting Professor Alford in editing a manuscript written by deceased Professor John Nagle entitled America the Beautiful: Saving the Scenery of our National Parks. The thesis of the book is that the US national park system must strategically balance contrasting goals of environmental conservation and public access. The book explores research questions like ‘What standards should constitute a National Park?’ and ‘Is wildlife a form of scenery?’ As a research assistant, Heldring has operated as a first-reader in the manuscript’s editing process and has worked on the citing/footnotes.
Heldring’s second research project is concerned with the religious freedom crisis currently happening in Nicaragua. In August 2023, the Nicaraguan government illegally seized and dismissed the Jesuit Central American University (CAU) in Managua. By denying thousands of Catholic students their international right to religious and academic freedom, the Sandinista government is engaging in illegal expropriation, indoctrination, and political proselytism. As a research assistant, Heldring is researching this crisis and exploring appropriate responses.
Outside of Kellogg, Heldring is a Glynn Honors Scholar and a member of the Pre-Law Student Board. She also runs for the ND Intramural Cross Country team and volunteers as a tour guide in the Notre Dame Basilica.