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Sociologist's study sheds light on relationship between COVID-19 vaccine messaging and faith communities

In the drive to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19, many question where faith communities stand. A new study by Notre Dame sociologist Kraig Beyerlein found that 30 percent of congregants in the United States heard solely encouraging messages about vaccination from faith leaders or fellow members. Another third heard both encouraging and discouraging messaging, and 32 percent heard no messaging at all. Notably, only 5 percent of American congregants received only discouraging messages concerning vaccination from their faith communities.

Philanthropy and the Common Good class awards $78,600 to local nonprofits

Offered through the Department of Political Science, the Hesburgh Program in Public Service, the Constitutional Studies minor, and the Center for Citizenship and Constitutional Government, Philanthropy and the Common Good is an experiential course that offers students the opportunity to engage with local nonprofits while learning about the history and role of philanthropy in the U.S. Students in the class this semester awarded grants totaling $78,600 to five organizations during a ceremony on the National Day of Giving.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings, 2021 Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient, lauded for making history ‘come alive with connections from today’

On her first day teaching at Notre Dame in the late 1990s, then-doctoral student Kathleen Sprows Cummings asked her undergraduates in Ethnicity and American Identity to share why they were taking the course. “Nothing else was open,” was the first reply. It wasn’t the only one.

Times change. Cummings, now the Rev. John A. O'Brien Collegiate Professor of American Studies and History and director of the Cushwa Center for American Catholicism, is the winner of the 2021 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts & Letters. “She has shaped me into a better student, Catholic, woman, and member of society,” one senior wrote in her letter recommending Cummings for the award. “I strive to become the type of woman and professional that she is.”

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