As we celebrate 50 years of coeducation at Notre Dame, the series Then & Now: Stories of Notre Dame Women looks at some of the women in the Notre Dame Family who’ve demonstrated bravery, perseverance, and commitment throughout Notre Dame’s existence—and who continue to inspire Notre Dame women today.
SallyAnn (Yodice) Rose ’01 has always felt compelled to serve others. During her time at Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, she worked hard to make an impact through community service. Here, she learned how the problem-solving skills she studied in the classroom could benefit the communities in which she would live.
In March 2008, SallyAnn started an interior design company to combine her love of architecture and design with her desire to solve problems for others.
During her time as an undergrad, SallyAnn had a professor who told her that with an architecture degree from Notre Dame, she could do anything. After experiencing four high-risk child deliveries and witnessing the life-changing care that her nurses provided, she took that advice and reimagined herself solving problems for people in a new way.
Today, SallyAnn is on track to become a neonatal ICU or labor and delivery nurse. Just like the ones who were there for her during her hardest times, she wants to care for women with a heart of service, compassion built on understanding, and expertise based on decades of solving problems for others.
“Architecture is all about solving problems. It’s the same thing with nursing. It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Nursing is solving problems,” she said.
“To me, it makes sense that I’m switching to nursing because it promotes that spark in me. At the end of the day, when I go to bed, I want to feel like I’ve made a difference in the world, and Notre Dame is a place that teaches and encourages that desire to serve others,” she said.
SallyAnn hopes her transition from interior design to nursing will serve as an inspiration for Notre Dame students and a reminder that a Notre Dame education can open doors and provide students with the tools they need to pursue their calling.
“You will find your path,” she said. “My path was roundabout. The important thing is that you’re there at Notre Dame, and you’re building a foundation that can take you to so many places.”
Since its founding, community and servant leadership have always been at the heart of Notre Dame's guiding spirit.
Notre Dame students are taught how to be a part of a community through their experiences in residence halls, the brilliant highs and lows of football seasons, praying together at the Grotto before final exams, and the late nights studying together in Hesburgh Library.
But Notre Dame’s School of Architecture doesn’t stop at the edge of campus. While the shared experiences create friendships between students, the curriculum teaches architecture students how to build the good from the ground up by creating economic opportunity through architecture within the South Bend community and beyond.
Sharon Yehnert ’23, a fifth-year architecture student at Notre Dame, combines a love for art with engineering to help bring equity to her community.
This past fall break, she participated in the Dean’s Charrette, a project born of a partnership between the Notre Dame School of Architecture and Habitat for Humanity.
The Charrette brought together a team of sixteen people—composed of architecture and engineering students, faculty, and professionals—to create affordable housing solutions for the city of South Bend.
In South Bend, the poverty rate sits at over 20%, nearly double the national average of 11.9%, but architecture is, as she calls it, “an unavoidable part of everyday life,” so Sharon hopes to be a force for good through her work.
“Affordable housing is needed now more than ever, and thoughtful, long-lasting solutions are needed as quickly as they can be found.”
“Well-designed architecture doesn’t have to be expensive, and community-oriented urbanism should exist for all income brackets,” Sharon said. “I hope I can eventually make an impact in this area with the tools I have been given.”
We know there are hundreds of amazing stories of Notre Dame women out there! If you have one you’d like to share, please send us an email and we’ll consider it for a future edition of Then & Now: Stories of Notre Dame Women.
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