Rosary Academy is very proud of the Sports Medicine program that is part of our curriculum. It is a rare offering at the high school level, and the women of Rosary are excited by, and committed to, the process. Recently we became aware (she was on the sidelines on TV at a Notre Dame football game!) that Emily Montalvo, class of 2013, has continued her Sports Medicine career at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Emily was kind enough to take time out of her incredibly busy schedule to answer some questions for the Rosary Community.
Tell us about the application process to a school like Notre Dame, and what things about your preparation at Rosary helped you with the journey to South Bend?
The application process was pretty easy actually: it included the common app and a supplement. I still remember one of the common app essays: "Why do you want to go to the University of Notre Dame?" At the time, I had a somewhat difficult time deciding on what to write about -- the Grotto, football, the sports medicine program -- so many choices. But now, as I look back, I realize that I just fell in love with ND as soon as I stepped on campus. There was an indescribable connection between me and the Fighting Irish community.
My final three choices were USC, Notre Dame, and Northwestern -- which are all amazing schools; but in the end, I chose Notre Dame because there is really no place like it!
I know that there are quite a few Rosary alumnae at Notre Dame now. Do you see any of them, and have you continued friendships with them, or with Royals and Friars on other campuses nearby?
I see some of the Rosary and Servite alumni around campus. We run into each other at the dining hall or in the middle of the quad. I see them quite a lot considering how big campus is!
What is your favorite place on the Notre Dame campus?
One of my favorite spots on campus is the 12th floor of Hesburgh library. I spend many hours on the 12th floor during finals week, and it is one of my favorite study spots! There are beautiful views of the football stadium and the Golden Dome. Last winter, I was studying for a Physiology midterm, while watching the Notre Dame vs. Northwestern game from a window on the 12th floor. It was an incredible view!
My other favorite spot -- the football stadium -- holds some of my most cherished memories: meeting Jonathon Toews (captain of the Chicago Blackhawks) and singing the alma mater with the football players while facing the student section.
Of the many athletes that you have treated and interacted with, is there one that stands out as being particularly kind or charismatic?
Every Notre Dame athlete that I have met has been extremely kind to me! I spend the majority of my time working with the football players, particularly the Defensive/Offensive Linemen and the Defensive Backs. I have many friends on the football team, including Isaac Rochelle (defensive linemen) and Avery Sebastian (defensive back). Avery (who is also from CA) and I bonded (*commiserated*) over the lack of sun and fresh avocados in South Bend.
Which subject has proven to be the most challenging, and which one do you enjoy the most?
Being a Pre-Med and Theology double major, I have definitely taken some very difficult and some very interesting classes. My freshman and sophomore years, I had to take Organic and Inorganic Chemistry: some of the most challenging classes I have ever taken! And now I am currently enrolled in Physics I, and will be taking Physics II in the Spring. These classes have proven to be difficult for most science majors. One of my most challenging non-science classes is Hindu and Christian Interaction, in which we study and compare Hindu philosophy with its Christian parallels.
Two of the classes that I have enjoyed the most are Medical/Veterinary Parasitology and the History of Chinese Medicine. I even combined my love of these two classes into my final essay for History entitled "The God of Plague:" The Epidemiology of Schistosomiasis in China.
What differences and similarities do you see between your experience at Rosary and the one you are having at Notre Dame? Obviously, the student body is co-ed and that is a change, but also, there may be a similar sense of spiritual focus and a faithful atmosphere. Have you felt that in your daily life and did this impact your decision to choose Notre Dame?
Living in an all-girls dorm has really made the transition from Rosary to ND very easy. I currently live in Walsh Hall (Go Wild Women!) and some of my best friends live with me in the same dorm! I plan to live in Walsh all four years!
Notre Dame is a very spiritual place: we have frequent trips to the Grotto, dorm mass every week, and Basilica mass every Sunday. One of my favorite dorm masses is Milkshake Mass at Dillion Hall, but there is also Nacho Mass, Spanish Mass, as well as many others.
The spiritual atmosphere at ND has definitely impacted my experience here. My freshman year, I took a Theology Seminar (a basic, freshman level theology class) and became really interested in the Theology department here at ND, so I added on a Theology major sophomore year. So far, I have taken Islam and Christian Theology and Hindu and Christian Interaction. I hope to take some more classes about world religions as well as some classes in Ancient Hebrew.
Do you intend to continue in the field of Sports Medicine after graduation?
Yes. After graduating from Notre Dame, I hope to go to medical school (hopefully USC, UCLA, Northwestern, or CU Denver) to pursue a career as a Sports Medicine doctor or an Orthopedic Trauma surgeon. Whatever path I choose, I know that I want to work with athletes -- at either the professional or collegiate level. My dream job would be to work as the team doctor for the Chicago Blackhawks!
What do you miss most about California?
Honestly... I miss the fresh fruit and the wonderful year-round weather! My freshman year at ND, I would go to Whole Foods every week to buy fresh strawberries; and, I even had my mom send me fresh avocados! Now, the weather was the most difficult part to adjust to. I was SHOCKED when the polar vortex rolled around! But, in my third year here, I have come to love the frigid South Bend weather! Some of my favorite memories are building snowmen on the quad or watching the Notre Dame vs. Navy game in 6-degree weather.