Three University of Notre Dame faculty members have been elected to serve on section committees for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Agustín Fuentes will serve as chair-elect on the Anthropology section committee, Christine M. Maziar will serve as member-at-large on the Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering section committee, and Richard Taylor will serve as council delegate on the Pharmaceutical Sciences section committee.
Twenty-seven University of Notre Dame students were awarded Fulbright grants in the 2016-17 program.
Lee Anna Clark, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, will receive two lifetime achievement awards this year, reflecting the way in which her work has bridged two major areas of psychology. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology presented her with the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality in January. The Society for Research in Psychopathology will honor her with the Zubin Award later in the year.
The first pieces in the expansion of the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) are in place, as the once-small program builds toward its long-term goal as a thought leader in American grand strategy. Led by Director Michael Desch, a professor in the Department of Political Science, NDISC recently hired three new faculty members and brought on board three postdoctoral fellows.
Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of 15 Catholic delegates invited by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to participate in a bilateral conversation with 15 Muslim counterparts at Al-Azhar al-Sharif Center for Dialogue (ASCD) Feb. 22-23 in Cairo, Egypt. Reynolds, whose research centers on the Quran and Muslim-Christian relations, believes the greatest opportunities for progress come from emphasizing what Christians and Muslims have in common — the shared stories, history and values.
Notre Dame junior Katie Portman spent summer 2015 doing archaeological fieldwork while living on the M.V. Pitsiulak, a 50-foot longliner, off the coast of subarctic Canada. Despite weather issues, engine malfunctions, and permit-related delays, the experience caused her to fall in love with—and major in—anthropology. Since then, her research pursuits have taken her to Washington, D.C.; Canada; Ireland; and Russia, for projects including excavation of a medieval Christian pilgrimage site and a study of skeletons of monks from Byzantine Jerusalem.
Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.
The study found that voucher expansion caused significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious activities.
After initially planning on pursuing a career in sports medicine, Kim Lisiak '13 changed her plans after a first-year theology course at Notre Dame. She switched her majors to theology and Arts and Letters pre-health and began exploring a new question—how to help people in a way that would have as great an impact as being a doctor. She now uses her liberal arts background every day as chief of staff to the CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and finds the company’s mission to provide innovative, compassionate care a perfect fit.
Senior Dan Lopes’ project “Scoop Pet Food Dispenser” received a third-place award, and senior Erin Rice’s project “Lead Animal Control Cage” received honorable mention.
Valerie Sayers is a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of six novels as well as numerous short stories, essays, and reviews. In this video, she discusses her approach to writing, the way modern fiction has evolved based on contemporary concerns, and the strength of Notre Dame's Creative Writing Program.
While some observers are hailing this find as the 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave, James VanderKam, a leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Theology, cautions that the findings need to be placed “in context.”
For Katie Paige and Laura Heiman, research hasn’t just shaped their undergraduate experiences—it’s shaped their futures, as well. The two senior psychology majors have both gained significant research experience throughout their time at Notre Dame, writing senior theses and working closely with faculty members as they study topics ranging from depression to childhood development.
“An internship abroad is a great starting point for a career abroad,” said Margaret Swinehart, a senior history major in the College of Arts and Letters. Swinehart spent the summer of 2016 interning at the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy. She worked in the non-immigrant visa unit of the consular section, collecting documents and helping applicants prepare for their interviews. Swinehart learned about the internship through the Notre Dame Career and Internship Fair hosted by the Career Center. “The internship started as just something I was intrigued about,” she said. “It has shown me that I would like to pursue a career in government.”
The gift was made to the University by Helen Schwab and her husband, Charles, in honor of her brother Joe O’Neill. O’Neill Hall joins Corbett Family Hall and the Duncan Student Center as the three structures surrounding Notre Dame Stadium, and will be a six-story, 100,000-square-foot building for the Department of Music, the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, and hospitality space, with completion scheduled for August.
Robert Vargas, a Notre Dame assistant professor of sociology and faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies, has won a book award for his ethnographic study of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and its confrontational relationships between police, politicians, and gangs. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences will present its Outstanding Book Award to Vargas at its annual meeting in March in Kansas City, Missouri.
Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion.
In her academic research, Debra Javeline leads two lives. She is passionate about sustainability—and how post-Communist Russia is perceived. She is focused on coastal adaptation to climate change—and on the response to political violence in a small Russian town. An associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, Javeline is pursuing multiple projects in two distinct research areas—one focused on politics, conflict, and protest in Russia and the other involving the environment and sustainability.
Why Berlin? “Berlin has so much to offer. It wildly exceeded my expectations,” said Taylor Seeman, a senior Program of Liberal Studies and sociology senior who participated in Notre Dame’s Berlin Summer Program. The Berlin Summer Program is a six-week, six-credit program where students can experience Germany’s capital city while learning about its history and culture. Led by faculty in the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, the program is open to students from all majors, and no prior knowledge of German is necessary.