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Notre Dame Chorale Prepares for Papal Audience

Author: Kevin Clarke

Categories: Arts, Catholicism, General News, and Internationalism

“Toi, toi, toi” is a superstitious invocation of opera singers, meant to encourage a winning performance before taking the stage. “We don’t say, ‘Break a leg,’” fifth-year senior and University of Notre Dame Chorale member Joshua Diaz explains. Diaz might be hearing that old stage charm at an extraordinary venue later this month—the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome—where he and about 50 other members of the Notre Dame Chorale are scheduled to perform for Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops and pilgrims in attendance at a general audience on May 25, 2011.

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Edward Larkin Named 2011 Valedictorian

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: General News and Undergraduate News

Edward Larkin, a biological sciences major from East Lansing, Mich., has been named valedictorian of the 2011 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement ceremonies May 22 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium. Larkin, who also carries a supplementary major in classical civilization, earned a 4.0 grade point average. He is an active member of the Haiti Working Group at Notre Dame and writes a bi-weekly column for the Observer student newspaper in which he expounds on the intersection of science, technology, and society with a special focus on the cultural and social implications of modern scientific advances.

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Students Honored in National Poster Design Contest

Author: Chris Milazzo

Categories: Faculty News, General News, Arts, and Undergraduate News

In the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, graphic design students learn to combine visual arts and technology in a way that transcends words and pictures. Recently, several of those students flexed their technical and creative muscles in the Poster Clash contest hosted by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The results were impressive.

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Christian Davenport Examines Untold Stories of Northern Ireland’s “Troubles”

“Most people who are interested in the Troubles focus on the 4,000 deaths,” says Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science and sociology at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “I thought much of the story was being missed.” An expert on political conflict, human rights violations, genocide, and government repression, Davenport for the past five years has been using quantitative research methods to study the ethno-political conflict that took place in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1998.

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Design Students Develop Luggage for Kenneth Cole

Categories: Arts and General News

A group of advanced industrial and graphic design students at Notre Dame dove into commercial design this semester, working with Kenneth Cole and Heritage Travelware to develop new luggage concepts, many of which will be put into production for retail sale.

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Abandoned Irish Island Offers a Window to the Past

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

The last 24 human inhabitants of the Irish island of Inishark departed together on October 20, 1960—a solemn end to a slow, steady decline. This small community’s collapse more than 50 years ago now offers Anthropology Professor Ian Kuijt and his students “a window” to Irish life in the 19th century. “These people were living little differently than they were in the 1860s,” he explains.

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Students Harness the Power of Rhetoric

Author: Chris Milazzo

Categories: General News

Whether stirring troops to battle or appealing for peace, the power of persuasive speech has played a pivotal role in armed conflicts throughout history. Analyzing speeches by figures ranging from Pericles to Winston Churchill to Osama Bin Laden helps students in Associate English Professor John Duffy’s Rhetoric of War and Peace seminar learn how to become better orators themselves.

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Ph.D. Student Analyzes Religion’s Influence on War and Peace

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: Catholicism, General News, Internationalism, and Research

No one would dispute that religious convictions can lead to conflict—even violence and war. Yet how is it that so often adversaries use their faith to justify opposing stances in the same dispute? That’s the question that intrigues Christopher Morrissey, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology.

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China Expert Lionel Jensen Addresses Disappearance of Activists

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Internationalism

The recent detention of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, along with several other government critics—including Ai’s accountant and driver—are signs that the Chinese government is becoming increasingly insecure, according to Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame.

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English Majors Thrive in Diverse Careers

Author: Mark Shuman

Categories: Alumni and General News

You can find Notre Dame graduates with degrees in English almost everywhere—and not just working in the classroom as teachers or professors. Indeed, according to a survey of alumni, they are thriving in a broad range of professions including medicine, publishing, and business.

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Doctoral Student Researches Violence in Guatemala

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: General News, Internationalism, and Research

For the first time since their discovery in 2005, archival records chronicling police violence during the Guatemalan Civil War have been made available to academic researchers. And Ph.D. candidate Christopher Sullivan has become one of the first scholars to investigate the collection of more than 80 million documents at the National Police Archives in Guatemala City.

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ND Senior Leads Campaign to Fight the “R-Word”

Categories: General News

Pursuing three majors in the College of Arts and Letters while also participating in the Glynn Family Honors Program doesn’t leave Notre Dame senior Soeren Palumbo with much free time. But it’s been just enough to launch a global campaign to eliminate the use of the “R-word,” get published in the Huffington Post, rub shoulders with President Barack Obama, and travel the world for speaking engagements.

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Sociologist Christian Smith’s Book Wins International Prize

Author: Kate Cohorst

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

Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith’s latest book is one of two winners of the 2010 Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize from the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR). What is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up (University of Chicago Press) presents a new model for social theory that embraces the best of our humanistic visions of people, life, and society.

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Growth in Field Spurs Investment in Cultural Sociology

Author: Sara Burnett

Categories: Faculty News and General News

As interest in cultural sociology has risen in recent decades, so too has Notre Dame’s investment in its faculty. “We’ve been growing over the past 20 years, but in the last five years it has all come together,” says cultural sociologist Lyn Spillman, an associate professor who has studied American political and economic culture. "We’re just about at a point where we are in the top handful of departments in cultural sociology.

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Alumnus Works to Effect Change in Sudan

Author: Chris Milazzo

Categories: Alumni, Centers and Institutes, General News, and Internationalism

Sudan has been torn by religious, social, and economic strife for decades. Seeking to ease these tensions, the Sudanese people voted to divide the country in two—north and south. But the referendum has left a host of unresolved issues in its wake. Through the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Peter Quaranto ’06 is working with the African country’s residents to help reach a successful and sustainable resolution to the division.

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Graduate Student Examines History of Native American Policies

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: General News and Research

Although talk of extinction is often focused on plant and animal life, graduate student Myles Beaupre is researching what it means when extinction applies to an entire race of people. Beaupre, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, is studying government policies on Native Americans throughout the development of the United States—from the British Empire-controlled colonies to the mid- to late-1800s of the newly formed country.

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Political Scientist David Campbell Receives Book Award

Author: Joanna Basile

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

American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us has been named the Best Nonfiction Book by the Religion Communicators Council (RCC). David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame, and his co-author, Robert Putnam of Harvard University share this 2011 Wilbur Award for “excellence in the communication of religious issues, values, and themes in the secular media.”

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Anthropologist Rahul Oka Tracks Trade in Conflict Zones

Author: Aaron Smith

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Even the most carefully planned humanitarian and development efforts are often stymied by the chaotic realities on the ground in war-torn zones such as Sudan and Northern Kenya. Notre Dame Economic anthropologist Rahul Oka aims to improve the success rate of these critical relief missions by studying how local trade networks are able to operate in the same areas with remarkable resilience and efficiency.

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Winning Year for Faculty Hires in Sociology

Author: Kate Cohorst

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

At a time when the battered economy caused many sociology programs to freeze hiring for a second consecutive year, the University of Notre Dame doubled down. “I am pleased to say that we hired four of the very best young scholars in the nation and each one will be joining us in the fall of 2011,” says Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology. “These scholars, as a group, not only build on our preexisting strengths but also help us to establish strength in some new areas of research.”

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Psychologist Nicole McNeil Studies Math and Cognition

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Trouble with algebra? Notre Dame Psychologist Nicole McNeil’s research shows that basic math may be to blame. The new study suggests that even though adults tend to think in more advanced ways than children do, those advanced ways of thinking don’t always override old, incorrect ways of thinking—especially in the domain of mathematics. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Cognition and Development.

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