Latest News

Political science courses, internships, NDISC prepared Madeline O’Mara '18 for data science career involving national security

"I was a science business major up until junior year. Everything changed when I studied abroad in London and interned for a member of Parliament. I loved both the internship and the accompanying British politics class, and I realized that if I wanted to study political science and pursue a career in that field, I needed to change my major immediately to graduate on time. I'm so glad I did." 

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Twenty Notre Dame students —16 in A&L — named 2023-24 Fulbright US Student Program finalists

“To win a Fulbright award is a badge of honor that is recognized and respected everywhere in the world," said Thomas Fuja, interim vice president, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School. We should all be proud that Notre Dame students can successfully compete in such a prestigious program — and even more proud that they are motivated to take their talents and training and go be a force for good throughout the world.”

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Notre Dame selected to join Association of American Universities

Author: Dennis Brown

Categories: Research, National Fellowships, and Catholicism

“This is a major milestone in the history of Notre Dame,” said John J. Brennan, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. “Much credit goes to Father Jenkins, his administration and, especially, to the University’s superb and dedicated faculty who engage in teaching and research that make a difference in our world.”

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A leap of faith: How two Christian and two Muslim young women went from Nigeria to Notre Dame, overcoming tragedy and trauma to show the world-changing power of knowledge

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, General News, Catholicism, and Alumni

Five years ago, on a frigid January morning, a nearly indescribable journey began for four young women from Nigeria. They came to Notre Dame after being carefully selected by their government, shepherded by senior leaders from the United Nations and the Catholic Church, and anxiously but quietly awaited by a tight circle of supporters on campus.

For a country torn apart by religious violence and where the value of educating girls was constantly questioned, sending this group to a Catholic university on an unfamiliar continent was a gamble, but a risk many felt was worth taking. There were two Christians who had been kidnapped by Muslim terrorists as schoolgirls and endured a harrowing path back to freedom. And there were two Muslims who had encountered devastating violence at the hands of Christians.

They arrived with the chance to pursue an education that could transform their lives, but also, their country hoped, be an example that could help heal their homeland. Maybe, just maybe, if this quartet could go to America and thrive, they could demonstrate all that is possible when strength is built through knowledge and community is founded on forgiveness.

“The symbolism of this was breathtaking,” said Sara Sievers, a former Notre Dame faculty member who served as a host mother to all four. “They had lost all you really can, short of their own lives. But if they could learn to love one another as sisters, then anyone can.”

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Eight A&L students earn 2023 Library Research Awards

Author: Tara O'Leary

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and Centers and Institutes

“The annual Library Research Award advances Notre Dame’s mission by recognizing two of the University’s primary goals: to offer a nurturing, unsurpassed undergraduate education and to advance human understanding through scholarship and research that heals, unifies and enlightens,” said K. Matthew Dames, the Edward H. Arnold Dean of Hesburgh Libraries and University of Notre Dame Press "Building these skills is critical to academic success on campus and in the world beyond graduation.”

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‘I knew at that moment my life was about to change’: 2023 graduates reflect on how a liberal arts education shaped their minds — and their futures

Author: Jon Hendricks

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Catholicism

In this video, which debuted at the Arts & Letters Diploma Ceremony, seven members of the Class of 2023 look back on how their time studying the liberal arts helped them develop as scholars and as people.

Connor Tsikitas, for example, knew growing up that he wanted to attend Notre Dame. And when he realized his dream, the political science major made the most of it, also exploring anthropology, gender studies, and languages.

“I think I've become a more understanding person and more open in terms of understanding people's perspectives and different backgrounds,” he said.

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Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi earns Pforzheimr Fellowship; 'It Is What It Is' to be featured in Best American Short Stories 2023

At Harvard, Van der Vliet Oloomi plans to work on her next novel, a "work of speculative fiction about America's continuously evolving definitions of freedom as well as the corresponding shifts in constructions of American Identity in relation to nature and notions of the wild." 

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Through studying five languages, researching in Italy, and interning at a Ukrainian-American museum, anthropology major discovers the value of taking surprising paths

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, and General News

Someone once remarked to Emma Ackerley that her college transcript was all over the map. The anthropology major, who has a supplementary major in global affairs (with a concentration in transnational European studies), and a minor in journalism, ethics, and democracy — takes that as a compliment. And wherever she ends up on the map in the future, there’s a good chance she’ll be able to communicate with locals when she arrives. She’s fluent in Italian, reads and speaks Portuguese and French, can read Spanish, and took a semester of Russian just for the chance to explore yet another language.


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Inspired by childhood experiences, theology and FTT major’s stage adaptation of A Little Princess portrays ‘beautiful, integral’ differences of neurodivergence

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, Catholicism, and Arts

Growing up, Grace Gasper sometimes felt like everybody else was playing a game for which she didn’t have the rules. When she discovered the 1905 novel A Little Princess in third grade, it became a continuous source of comfort and encouragement. At Notre Dame, when the time came to do a senior thesis project, Gasper was eager to do a stage adaptation of her favorite book that re-examined its protagonist through a neurodivergent lens, drawing inspiration from her own childhood experiences. 

“My hope in creating this piece,” Gasper said, “was to show Sara’s differences not as obstacles to overcome, but as beautiful, integral parts of who she is.”

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Celebrating the A&L Class of 2023: Three stories of student preparation and purpose

Author: Carrie Gates and Tracy DeStazio

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and Graduate Students

Abigail Jorgensen will be an assistant professor of sociology and health care ethics at Saint Louis University, Austin Wyman will continue at Notre Dame as a doctoral student in quantitative psychology, and Blake Ziegler will teach social studies at the Delores Taylor Arthur School for Young Men

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Sociologist Anna Haskins studies impact of criminal legal system on racial disparities in educational outcomes

Author: Jon Hendricks

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Graduate Students, and Faculty News

Through her research, Anna Haskins learned that fathers who were formerly incarcerated engaged less with their children’s school than parents who haven’t been detained. She and a team of undergraduate and graduate students are now examining why that’s the case, with a goal of creating interventions that address needs of both families and schools.

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A&L faculty member and three students earn 2023 Graduate School awards

The Graduate School is honoring the following people from the College of Arts and Letters Arts: Robert Goulding with the Dick and Peggy Notebaert Award; Susanna De Stradis with the Shaheen Award in the Humanities; Luiz Vilaça with the Shaheen Award in the Social Sciences; and Ester E. Aguirre Alfaro with the Social Justice Award.

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In memoriam: Jay Patrick Dolan, 87, Cushwa Center founder

Author: Cushwa Center

Categories: General News, Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, and Catholicism

“Jay Dolan’s pathbreaking mix of social and religious history marked a turn of direction for both fields,” said John T. McGreevy, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost and Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History. “The same commitment to the lives of ordinary people marked many of his initiatives as the founding director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, long the country’s premier center for such scholarship. He inspired young scholars, mentored colleagues (very much including myself), and educated generations of lucky Notre Dame undergraduates and graduate students. All of us at Notre Dame were lucky to have him in our midst, and we will all mourn his death.”

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Economist Eva Dziadula and team develop tool for visualizing, predicting global migration

Author: Brett Beasley

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

In 2020, 281 million people migrated from their home country — a 62% increase from 20 years ago. “Global migration is one of the defining issues of our time," said Dziadula, whose open source tool for visualizing and predicting global migration could help researchers and policymakers prepare more proactively for migration.

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Design professor helps coordinate project celebrating underrepresented baseball teams from South Bend’s past

Author: Erin Blasko and Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and Faculty News

“In collaboration with our community partners, we want to make this more than just a baseball field. We want this to be a living museum and a place of advocacy,” said Clinton Carlson. “It’s not just about the history of these teams. Ultimately, our goal is that these histories become powerful stories that impact our community to be more inclusive, more equitable and more accessible for everyone.”

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A&L neuroscience and behavior major Miguel Coste selected salutatorian

Author: Sue Ryan

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, and General News

Coste, who compiled a 3.972 grade point average, has been a member of the Dean’s List every semester. As an undergraduate research assistant, the AnBryce Scholar and QuestBridge Scholar studied Indiana schools’ responses to COVID-19. He also studied for a semester in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin. Coste plans to work as a technical solutions engineer for Epic Systems in Madison, Wisconsin.


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Schreffler wins Society of Architectural Historians book award for research on colonialization’s impact on Peruvian city

Author: Pat Milhizer

Categories: Research, Internationalism, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

The first time Michael Schreffler visited the Peruvian city of Cuzco, he noticed the architectural legacy of the Inca civilization still standing next to buildings that represent the European Baroque style. The visual contrast tells part of the story of Spanish colonization — and Schreffler’s exploration of that story in his 2020 book, Cuzco: Incas, Spaniards, and the Making of a Colonial City, has now won the Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.

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Design professor wins Fulbright Scholar Award to create an interactive, digital Norwegian folktale

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, National Fellowships, Internationalism, General News, and Arts

Sarah Edmands Martin, an assistant professor of visual communication design, has been named a 2024 Fulbright Scholar and will use the award to design an interactive digital folktale at the University of Bergen in Norway. Her project seeks to “digitally entangle” ancient buried folklore, computer learning, and Bergen storytelling techniques. Martin will design the tale — with illustrations, photography, and typography — after analyzing recurring motifs and ideas within archival folklore and collected contemporary stories.

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Sociologists Haskins and Mittleman find paternal incarceration complicates college plans for Black youth

Author: Tracy DeStazio

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

The researchers said their findings point to the complexity of contemporary teens’ college-related attitudes in the wake of the “prison boom,” the era of mass incarceration in the United States between 1970 and 2010. This 40-year period has resulted in nearly half of Americans reporting that they have had an immediate family member in prison or jail, including more than 2 million children who currently have an incarcerated parent and 10 million children who have had a parent imprisoned at some point in their lives. 

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Film and television history expert Christine Becker: Hollywood Writers guild strike ‘highly likely’; writers deserve to have hardships addressed 

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News

Increasing minimum payments for writers alone “won’t resolve the underlying issues” that motivated WGA members to approve the strike authorization, Becker said. If negotiations do break down after May 1, she said “deep-seated infrastructural issues” will be the cause. “A strike is therefore highly likely due to the significance of this situation for the industry’s future. The only real uncertainty is over how long the strike will last and what the long-term fallout could be."

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