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.
Latest News » Research
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.
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.
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.
An interdisciplinary team of four Notre Dame students won second place Friday (January 27) in the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition. Mark Davidson, Jessica Klouda, Erin Rice, and Madeline Zupan were honored for their project, “The Spirit of the Isle,” a manmade island where guests enter from behind a waterfall to experience an engaging amphitheatre, explore sweeping terraces, or venture into a cave beneath the falls, which can double as an ice-skating rink in winter.
Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory John Liberatore—who was recently awarded a prestigious fellowship from the MacDowell Colony— has been awarded a second fellowship from the Millay Colony for the Arts.
Seventeen faculty members in the College of Arts and Letters were recently awarded grants through the Notre Dame Research Faculty Research Support Program. The program provides seed funding for new or ongoing research in all seven colleges and schools at Notre Dame.
Imagine bringing the magic of a Disney theme park to the Notre Dame campus. Students in Scott Shim’s Collaborative Product Development course recently took on that challenge—with great success. A team of four students from that class has made the finals of the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition, earning an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney Imagineering—the creative force behind the Disney parks, resorts, and attractions—in Glendale, California, this week.
Patrick Griffin is the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include colonial and revolutionary America, early modern Irish and British history, and Atlantic history. In this video, he discusses how his research integrates American history with British history and Irish history to examine trends and dynamics that connected the old world to the new world.
Learn more about the global reach and impact of the Department of History’s research in this new video, which features Alexander Beihammer, Heiden College Chair and Associate Professor of History; Mariana Candido, Associate Professor of History; Darren Dochuk, Associate Professor of History; and Elisabeth Köll, William Payden Associate Professor of History.
Kate Marshall, associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, has received a fellowship from the National Humanities Center (NHC) to spend this academic year researching and writing at the center in Durham, North Carolina. The NHC grants up to 40 fellowships annually—from among hundreds of applications—to leading scholars from around the world in all fields of the humanities.
Darren Dochuk, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of History, will spend a year exploring the connection between religion and the oil industry with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH has offered Dochuk both a fellowship and a Public Scholar Award for the project, which will allow him to complete his book, Anointed With Oil: God and Black Gold in America’s Century.
Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science added two new faculty members this year, growing its roster of experts in American and comparative politics. Assistant Professor Jeff Harden, previously an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, studies American politics, including political representation, public policy diffusion, and state politics. Assistant Professor Michael Hoffman studies Middle East politics and democratization.
Therese Cory, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy, is analyzing theories crafted hundreds of years ago about how people interact with their surroundings. She wants to understand more about the original theories and whether they’ve been interpreted correctly over time. Recently, Cory wrote an essay based on her research that won the American Catholic Philosophical Association’s Rising Scholar Award.
Laura Knoppers, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of English, has been named the Honored Scholar of the Year for 2016 by the Milton Society of America. Recognizing lifetime achievement in the field of Milton studies, the award places Knoppers among an elite group of the world’s top Miltonists.
Notre Dame’s rapidly growing Department of Economics has added six new faculty members who bring diverse expertise in political economy, econometrics, labor mobility, market design, urban geography and poverty, and international finance. Lakshmi Iyer, Marinho Bertanha, Nilesh Fernando, Michèle Müller-Itten, David Phillips, and César Sosa-Padilla join the ranks of a vibrant department that has added more than a dozen faculty members in the last four years and offers one of the University’s largest undergraduate majors.
Three Notre Dame faculty members—Associate Professors Darren Dochuk, Karen Graubart, and Sean Kelsey—were offered fellowships last week from the National Endowment for the Humanities, continuing the University’s record success winning support for humanities research. Arts and Letters faculty have won 61 NEH fellowships since 1999—more than any other private university in the country.
Timothy Matovina, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected to receive the 2016 Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research. The Cushing Medal is intended to recognize the work of Church leaders, who, like Cardinal Cushing, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of the Catholic Church’s needs through research.
Notre Dame senior Joseph Strasz made the most of his study abroad experience by participating in the Rome International Scholars Program—a unique opportunity for students interested in conducting research, completing an internship, and participating in extensive service learning in Rome. “I am exceptionally glad that I chose to do this. It has been 100% worth it,” said Strasz, an Italian studies and Greek and Roman civilizations major.
César Sosa-Padilla, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the 2016 John Charles Polanyi Prize by the government of the Province of Ontario. The annual prize recognizes up to five outstanding, early career researchers in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, or economic science.
Notre Dame’s annual Rome Seminar brings together graduate students and junior faculty members from around the world to learn from top scholars and interact with peers at the University’s Rome Global Gateway. Sponsored by the Italian Studies at Notre Dame program and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the seminar’s interdisciplinary topic changes each year.
A Notre Dame undergraduate and a master’s degree student have been awarded the Dante Society of America’s two top student essay awards. Dale Lobo ’16, a science pre-professional major and theology minor, won the Dante Prize for best undergraduate essay related to the life or works of the renowned Italian poet. Thomas Graff, who received his master’s in Italian studies at Notre Dame this spring, won the Charles Hall Grandgent Award for best essay on Dante by a graduate student.
Even during fall break, College of Arts and Letters students were hard at work. They toured Latin America to perform sacred music. They gathered to collaborate on senior thesis projects and dissertations. And they traveled to major cities across the U.S. to explore career options and network with Notre Dame alumni.
“When you look at which men and women U.S. Catholics have wanted to become saints, you actually learn a lot about how they understood themselves, not only as Catholics but also as members of American society. ”
— Kathleen Sprows Cummings