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Molly Kinder to Receive Kroc Institute 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

Author: Renée LaReau

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

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.

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Department of Music to Celebrate Works of Franz Schubert

Author: Alex Kilpatrick

Categories: Arts and General News

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.

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Theologian and Historian Timothy Matovina Discusses Electoral Effect of Latino Vote

Author: Michael O. Garvey

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

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.”

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Graduate Student Earns Accolades for Research on Cancer Survivors

Author: Sara Burnett

Categories: Alumni, General News, and Research

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.

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Senior Nicole Shea Researches Autism Therapy

Author: Chris Milazzo

Categories: General News, Research, and Undergraduate News

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.

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Economics Alumna Focuses on Health Policy

Author: Aaron Smith

Categories: Alumni, General News, and Research

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.

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Mark Roche Honored for Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

Author: Kate Cohorst

Categories: Faculty News and General News

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.

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Quantitative Psychology Professors Honored

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

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.

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Notre Dame Professor Honored for Environmental-Justice Work

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

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.

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Bernoulli Award Winners Employ Skills Beyond Graduation

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

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.

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Notre Dame Intensifies Focus on Constitutional Studies

Author: Sara Burnett

Categories: Faculty News and General News

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.

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Economist Daniel Hungerman Tests Assumptions About Faith

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

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.”

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Political Science Majors Discover the World at Work

Categories: Alumni and General News

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.

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PLS Alumnus Acting His Own Part

Author: Rachel Hamilton

Categories: Alumni, Arts, and General News

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.

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Theologian Timothy Matovina's Book Explores the Challenge and Blessing of Latino Catholicism

Author: Michael O. Garvey

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

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.

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The Medieval Institute: A Community of Medievalists

Author: Carol Bradley

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

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

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Philosophy Ph.D. Student Explores Metaphysical Issues in Aristotle

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: Alumni and General News

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.

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Political Scientist David Campbell Analyzes New Pew Survey on Mormons

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

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.

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Political Scientist Debra Javeline Researches Responses to “Russia’s 9/11”

Author: Joan Fallon

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

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.

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ScreenPeace Film Festival Begins February 2

Author: Renée LaReau

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

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.

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Economist Marty Wolfson Says “Right to Work” Lowers Wages

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

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.

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Psychologist Nicole McNeil Developing New Math Learning Strategies

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

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).

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Sociologist Christian Smith Wins Multiple Book Awards

Author: Joanna Basile

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

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.

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Scholars Explore Religion’s Role in International Relations

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

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.

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