Shaun Evans, a doctoral candidate in theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2021 Lilly Graduate Fellow. He is one of 10 Lilly Graduate Fellows from a pool of more than 60 applicants nationwide. Established with a grant from the Lilly Endowment and based at Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college at Valparaiso University, the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program supports exceptionally well qualified young people who have bachelor’s degrees from Lilly Fellowship Program Network Schools and who are interested in becoming teacher-scholars at church-related colleges and universities in the U.S.
How do you plan and write a dissertation when the world is shutting down? When you’re under lockdown and you can’t travel to do your field research. When the projects critical to your work — really, to your career and your future — have been halted. Three Kellogg Institute-affiliated doctoral students, all comparative political scientists and all working far from home when the pandemic hit, spoke about how COVID has affected their lives and their work in the past year.
As a budding public intellectual, a voice for social justice movements, and a force for good as a researcher, teacher, mentor, activist, and speaker, Emmanuel Cannady is an exemplar among graduate students at Notre Dame. His research as a sociologist explores the internal processes in Black activist organizations. Using an ethnographic approach, Cannady investigates how activists' use of their experiences and knowledge affect the “perseverance process” of their organizations.
Aldo Tagliabue is fascinated by the power of a great narrative to draw the reader in. An assistant professor in the Department of Classics, Tagliabue wants to ensure that the study of ancient narratives encompasses not just the intellectual aspects of literature, but that experiential side, as well. “For many years, there has been a more intellectual approach to ancient narrative, which has had great results. But I think it has missed another vital aspect,” he said. “My research tries to recapture the importance of the full experience of what it means to be a reader — now and in the ancient world."
Five Notre Dame professors who specialize in different areas of democracy studies recently signed a strong statement of concern issued by the think tank New America warning of the serious threats to democracy in the U.S. Notre Dame is a longtime leader in research on democratization in comparative perspective through a number of campus institutes, and the American politics subfield that is part of the Department of Political Science emphasizes research on inclusion.
Notre Dame junior John “Jack” Boland has been awarded a 2021 Phi Beta Kappa Key into Public Service Scholarship for his academic excellence, leadership and commitment to public service. Boland — a political science major and philosophy, politics, and economics minor from Herndon, Virginia — is one of 20 sophomores and juniors from Phi Beta Kappa institutions selected for the award from more than 800 applicants.
Jay David Miller, who received his Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame in spring 2020, has been awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for his project, Quaker Jeremiad. Miller, currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, focuses his research on early American literature. His dissertation traces the development of Quaker rhetoric on agrarian labor and justice, examining the ways that rhetoric shifts from the beginnings of the Quaker movement in 17th-century England as it moves across the Atlantic and confronts agrarian issues like enslavement and indigenous dispossession.
The degree, conferred at CTU’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 20, was given in recognition of Hilkert’s teaching and research that deepens in others an awareness and understanding of the mystery of our loving God. “Professor Hilkert’s work resonates deeply with the mission of Catholic Theological Union, which is to prepare effective leaders for the church, ready to witness to Christ’s good news of justice, love, and peace,” said Rev. Robin Ryan, an associate professor of systematic theology at CTU. “This is particularly evident in three areas of her research and writing — preaching, feminist theology, and the mystery of suffering.”
Matthew Canonico ’20 has won the Dante Society of America’s Dante Prize for best undergraduate essay — the third time since 2014 that a Notre Dame student has received the award.
A mathematics and Italian major, Canonico combined his two academic interests to explore deeper truths in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
“There are a lot of hidden treasures in Dante,” he said. “Sometimes when reading Dante, something would click, and I’d get tingles down my spine. It’s an inexhaustible piece of art that, 700 years later, is still inspiring scholarship.”
Notre Dame researchers in the Center for Research Computing and Department of Psychology, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) Business Enterprise Systems Directorate’s product innovation initiative, and Trek10, a cloud engineering innovation company based in the University’s Innovation Park, have developed an adaptive online learning platform to educate members of the Air Force on cloud computing.
Seven seniors in the Department of Economics have secured highly competitive pre-doctoral positions for after graduation — three with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, two at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and one each at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Northwestern University's Global Poverty Research Lab. “These positions are both prestigious and highly competitive,” said Eric Sims, professor and chair of the department. “In these roles, individuals work as research assistants — and often as coauthors — with leading professional economists on cutting-edge research aimed at solving some of the most pressing issues facing society.”
Five Notre Dame students, representing the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Engineering, and Science, have been selected for a Naughton Fellowship Award for 2021-22. Offered annually, the Naughton Fellowships provide opportunities for students from some of Ireland's leading research universities and the University of Notre Dame to experience international education in the STEM disciplines.
Twenty-six University of Notre Dame students and alumni — including 21 from the College of Arts & Letters — have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to teach or study abroad during the 2021-22 academic year. Notre Dame has been a top producer of Fulbright students for seven consecutive years.
After growing up in a neighborhood where many of his friends didn’t make it to college, senior Diego Reynoso knows firsthand the challenges facing students in low-income communities. Now, as the second person in his family to graduate from college, Reynoso hopes to use his Notre Dame education to empower Latino communities and marginalized individuals. His time in the College of Arts & Letters and the Institute for Latino Studies, he said, have given him the skills, resources, and support to do so. “I do this for my family because they never had the opportunities that I have right now,” he said. “Just doing the most I can to help those who come from similar situations means the world to my family.”
In California, the land is sinking because the groundwater reservoirs have become so depleted; in Florida, groundwater overuse has led to the development of sinkholes, and in Louisiana, groundwater declined 200 feet between the 1930s and the 1970s. Groundwater overuse is nothing new. But in her senior thesis, Notre Dame senior Mika Inoue is taking a new approach. Drawn to major in economics and applied and computational mathematics and statistics based on her interest in the intersection of qualitative and quantitative analysis, Inoue is working with a committee of interdisciplinary professors and researchers to develop a model for integrating real-life scenarios into groundwater pumping models.
Nine faculty members in the College of Arts & Letters have received Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and another was honored with a Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. The awards are presented by the Office of the Provost, and the recipients are selected through a process that includes peer and student nominations.
Madeline Owen of Columbus, Ohio, has been named valedictorian and Alexis Waldschmidt from Naperville, Illinois, was selected salutatorian of the 2021 University of Notre Dame graduating class. A neuroscience and behavior major, Owen minored in poverty studies and was a Glynn Family Honors scholar. Waldschmidt, a biological sciences and Chinese major, is a member of the University’s Phi Beta Kappa honor society and Dean’s List.
Senior Dain Kim had never been to Notre Dame before she arrived on campus for orientation. As a student at an international high school in Seoul, Korea, she knew she wanted to go to college in the U.S. — in a city, preferably, like one in New York or California. Instead, she ended up in South Bend. Now a psychology and statistics major with a minor in computing and digital technologies, Kim plans to pursue a career working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion programs — helping others like herself who need to adapt quickly to entirely new cultures or circumstances.
Luiz Vilaça is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology and a Ph.D. fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. His research focuses on the sociology of law, organizations, and politics. In this interview, he discusses how state organizations build the autonomy and capacity to investigate corruption, how Brazil startled the world by dismantling multiple schemes of bribery and kickbacks, and why it's important to examine these anti-corruption investigations from a sociological perspective.
The University of Notre Dame has launched the Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government, a new hub of scholarship and education that strives to be a national focal point on Catholicism, constitutional government, and liberal democracy. The new center seeks to cultivate thoughtful and educated citizens by supporting scholarship and education concerning the ideas and institutions of constitutional government.