Molly Kinder ‘01, who majored in political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Kinder, a native of Buffalo, New York, is director of special programs for Development Innovation Ventures in Washington, D.C., a new initiative at the United States Agency for International Development that funds groundbreaking approaches to global development challenges.
Latest News » Archives » January 2012
Professor Michael Desch, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, has been awarded a second grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to expand his research on how American scholars can contribute to the formation of U.S. national security policy.
The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Music will celebrate Franz Schubert’s 215th birthday on Friday, February 3, with an afternoon of music by the famed Austrian composer. The event, called Schubertiade, will take place from 12:30 to 5 p.m. in the O’Shaughnessy Great Hall and features performances from faculty and students, as well as readings chosen by J.W. Van Gorkom Professor of Music Susan Youens, an expert on Schubert’s work.
According to University of Notre Dame theologian and historian Timothy Matovina, “bold proclamations about Latino voters determining presidential elections have become a regular feature of political commentary.” Matovina, professor of theology and director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, is the author of a recent history titled Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church. “In fact,” he says, “the electoral significance of Latinos is growing steadily, but not as exponentially as such commentaries suggest.”
Post-doctoral fellow Errol Philip made history this fall when he became the first two-time winner of a prestigious American Psychological Association graduate student award—just the latest in a long list of accolades. Philip won the APA’s Division 17 Health Psychology Graduate Student Award for his paper, “Depression and Cancer Survivorship: Prevalence Rates and the Importance of Coping Self-Efficacy in a Sample of Long-Term Survivors." He won the award in 2008 for a paper on quality of life in cancer patients.
Senior Nicole Shea’s love for psychology began in a pool. “In high school, I worked with children with disabilities by teaching them swim lessons,” Shea says, adding that her desire to find ways to help such children only intensified during her first psychology courses at the University of Notre Dame. “I was just drawn to it.” Shea started working in the Department of Psychology’s labs even before she declared her major, and she has already contributed to a published paper and conference poster.
When she first arrived at the University of Notre Dame, Karen Stockley ’08 had no plan to major in economics and says graduate school wasn’t on her radar either. Today, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University and already has three years of professional research experience, an award-winning paper to her credit, and a bright future in healthcare economics. It was a Principles of Economics class during her very first semester, Stockley says, that sparked her interest in the field.
Even with the endorsements of three Latinos with strong name recognition in the Latino community, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney could alienate a good portion of Latino voters in Florida with his hardline position on immigration, according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Ricardo Ramírez.
Former Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters Dean Mark Roche has been named winner of the 2012 Frederic W. Ness Book Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Ness award is given annually to the book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education. Roche’s winning book, Why Choose the Liberal Arts? (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), “outlines the benefits of a liberal education for all students striving for success in today’s tough economy,” says Pomona College President David W. Oxtoby, the Ness Book Award committee chair.
Three University of Notre Dame psychologists have been recognized for their work to more precisely measure a wide range of research topics, from happiness and depression to educational achievement. Specialists in the demanding subfield of quantitative psychology, Scott Maxwell, Zahng Guangjian, and Ying “Alison” Cheng design the statistical scaffolding needed to support measurable research into what are some of the most ephemeral of human conditions and concepts.
By now, most people are aware of the environmental effects of air or water pollution; University of Notre Dame philosopher and scientist Kristin Shrader-Frechette has devoted herself to bringing to light a less known concern, the inequitable distribution of pollution’s human toll. “Polluters ‘target’ poor and minority communities to locate noxious facilities because they know that residents often are unable to defend themselves,” she says. For her efforts, Shrader-Frechette was recently awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership.
Economics majors in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters develop the analytical skills and social perspective needed to better understand complex economic forces at work in the world. They also hone the ability to express their ideas and insights both clearly and concisely. That’s exactly what Class of 2011 students Elizabeth Koerbel and Matthew Conti demonstrated in their senior theses, which won first and second place, respectively, in the University’s annual Bernoulli Awards competition.
The study of constitutions dates back to Aristotle, yet remains as relevant today as it was then. “It’s a perennial subject that I think is getting renewed attention, first with the fall of the Soviet Union and the constitution writing that went on with that, then the democratization movement in Latin America, and now the revolutions in the Arab world,” says Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame.
Margaret Doody, the John and Barbara Glynn Family Professor of Literature at Notre Dame, spent the better part of October 2011 in Singapore and China delivering lectures about the novel, women novelists, and the Enlightenment.
By many different measures, people who take religion seriously are different from the rest of society, says University of Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman. And different in a good way. “In fact, religiosity is the best predictor of any number of positive social outcomes,” he says. “Religious people are generally healthier, they give more to charities, they are much more likely to be involved in civic life, and they are much less likely to suffer from depression or mental illness.”
Understanding the way the world works is important. But understanding the way you work is just as important, says Joshua Kaplan, director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science. And by majoring in political science, students come to know both.
A growing collaboration between Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology and Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) has given rise to a number of research projects that explore the interaction of humans with technology.
Dan O’Brien ’99 has always considered himself an actor and now he is a successful professional. As a lead on the NBC sitcom Whitney, he can share his passion for performance with all of America. O’Brien says he did not major in theater at Notre Dame because he knew already that his passion was for acting and he was not particularly interested in the technical and behind-the-scenes work which the major entailed. Instead, he participated in the College of Arts and Letters’ Program of Liberal Studies and took as many acting classes as he could.
Statisticians quibble, but it is widely agreed that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, and it is inarguable that the Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation. More than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos, and, due to birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. A new book by Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina closely considers the five-century-long history of Latino Catholics in America and how that history has affected them and their Church.
The Medieval Institute, located on the seventh floor of the Hesburgh Library, is a scholarly and academic unit of the University that promotes research and teaching on the cultures, languages, and religions of the medieval period (from roughly the fifth through 15th centuries). Its faculty come from more than a dozen different departments in the College of Arts and Letters
The anonymous loan of a rare 17th-century Northern Italian chamber organ—installed in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Reyes Organ and Choral Hall in 2011—is transforming students’ understanding of early Italian music, says Craig Cramer, professor of music.
As a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Anne Peterson focuses her research on ancient philosophy and metaphysics, especially on metaphysical issues in Aristotle. Her interest in these topics, she says, began as an undergraduate in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, where she majored in English and philosophy.
There are as many Mormons in America as there are Jews, yet there has been far less research into the Mormon community. A new survey released January 12 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life called “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society” is a “huge leap forward for what we know about Mormons,” according to David Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political scientist who researches religion and politics, and who himself is a Mormon.
On the morning of September 1, 2004, University of Notre Dame political scientist Debra Javeline found herself, like many people around the world, glued to the television, watching in horror as the Beslan school hostage crisis—widely known as “Russia’s 9/11”—unfolded. Dozens of militants from a Chechen separatist group had converged on a school in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia. For three days, the terrorists held hostage more than 1,200 children, teachers, and parents.
The University of Notre Dame’s annual ScreenPeace Film Festival will kick off with a powerful film about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. On the Bridge, directed by College of Arts and Letters faculty member Olivier Morel, explores the impact of PTSD on former soldiers as they adapt to life outside of combat.
Indiana lawmakers and residents can expect heated debate as the Indiana House voted 8-5 this morning to send the “Right to Work” bill to the full House. Indiana Republicans back the bill because of its potential to attract business to the Hoosier state with lower labor costs, which some believe ultimately will increase workers’ wages. University of Notre Dame labor economist Marty Wolfson disputes that argument.
What do children know about mathematics before they start learning it in school? How do external factors like language, education, and culture affect children’s understanding? What is the best way to structure an environment so they have the building blocks needed for success in math? These are just some of the questions Notre Dame psychologist Nicole McNeil seeks to answer in her research, for which she recently received a three-year, $565,000 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).
Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, was recently honored for two of his latest books: What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good From the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.
From Cairo to Kabul to New York City, the events shaping our world are informed by the deeply held religious beliefs of contemporary history’s major protagonists. So why is the dynamic role of religion in world affairs still such a hard academic sell in political science and international relations programs around the country? “I think if the field were to be proportioned according to what you see in headlines, religion would deserve a much larger place in the study of international relations,” says Daniel Philpott, who is associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame and on the faculty of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies.