“Why do we read novels and why do we write novels? We live inside of our heads, which is a place of dreams and fantasies and wishes and desires, but we live out our lives in this shared real world,” says Barry McCrea, the Donald R. Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies in Notre Dame’s Department of English. “Novels offer us not just a map of the human mind but a way to understand how the individual human mind interacts with the world outside.”
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Notre Dame junior Stephen Zerfas has a motto that he likes to share only somewhat jokingly: “If you wanted to make a difference in the world 400 years ago, you did it through religion,” he says. “200 years ago, you did it through government; today, you do it through business. Clearly, you do not need to work in business to make a difference today,” Zerfas says, “but the statement does reflect my belief that there is great potential at the intersection of the efficiency of the private sector and the often more noble and substantial aims of the public sector.” The search for that sweet spot, he says, is what led him to pursue an economics major and the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) minor in the College of Arts and Letters.
Same-sex marriage, abortion and other cultural conflicts centered on the family have intensified in recent years, particularly among American Catholics. These same conflicts also are widely believed to form the basis for much of the moral polarization in public politics among Americans in general. A new book by Mary Ellen Konieczny, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, examines how religion and family life are intertwined and how local parishes shape that intersection.
“Being a film major, I knew I wasn’t going to be constricted to one way of learning or one way or thinking or one way of performing,” says Zuri Eshun, a junior film, television, and theatre (FTT) major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “You really get the opportunity to be your own person and to create your own education within that program. That’s why I chose FTT.”
The Notre Dame campus is an exceptional place for learning, but some lessons can only come through real-world experience. That’s where internships play a vital role.
“Internships give Arts and Letters students an opportunity to polish the critical thinking and communication skills they develop during their studies here—and apply them in a professional setting,” says John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.…
Millions of viewers tune in nightly to the Late Show with David Letterman, but these viewers don’t see the hours of preparation behind each evening’s episode. Last summer, Notre Dame student Kelly Taylor got the opportunity to be a part of the team that produces the popular television show.
Congratulations to the Class of 2013! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several of our seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters.
Psychology major Mallory Meter delivers the valedictory address at Notre Dame’s 168th University Commencement Ceremony, held May 19, 2013 in Notre Dame Stadium.
The Fulbright Exchange Program, Churchill and Clarendon and other national organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to seven members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2013. Six of them completed majors in the College of Arts and Letters.
To ensure that postdoctoral scholars in the early stages of their careers receive necessary resources, training, mentoring and comprehensive professional development support, the University of Notre Dame is forming an Office of Postdoctoral Scholars. The newly formed office will be administered through the Graduate School and is slated to open July 1.
The University of Notre Dame’s International Studies office has announced that it will offer three new opportunities for study abroad in South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland in spring 2014.
Lyn Spillman, professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has been awarded two book prizes from the American Sociological Association for her work Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations (University of Chicago Press). The Mary Douglas Prize honors the best book in the field of cultural sociology, and the Viviana Zelizer Award recognizes the best book in economic sociology.
Melissa Mayus never planned on specializing in Old English. The current English Ph.D. student took an Old English class as an undergraduate at Notre Dame that sparked an unexpected passion that has taken her all the way to Iceland.
Notre Dame senior Alisa Rantanen has been named the Midwest District Merit Award winner, ranking her one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation. Her work will be showcased at the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) international conference in Chicago August 21-24.
Aaron Willis, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of History, has been named the 2013-2014 Murphy Irish Exchange Fellow. In its second year, the Exchange Fellowship was established to promote research in Irish Studies through a greater understanding between graduate students at Notre Dame and the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.
Over fall break, Erin Moffitt and Nicole Timmerman, both senior film, television, and theatre (FTT) majors in the College of Arts and Letters, traveled with a group of undergraduate theology students to Notre Dame’s Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. Their mission was to create a pair of short documentaries about the experience for the Department of Theology.
Women who engage in “fat talk”—the self-disparaging remarks girls and women make in relation to eating, exercise or their bodies—are less liked by their peers, a new study from the University of Notre Dame finds.
“When I watch the news I’m really concerned about social problems. And I’ve found that whatever the social ill may be, the answers are found in history,” says Camille Suarez, a senior history major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters who will attend graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania next fall.
Design students at Notre Dame now have a new place in which to learn, create, and collaborate. The recently refurbished West Lake Hall is now fitted with dynamic classroom spaces, computer labs, offices, and display areas for the graphic and industrial design programs in the College of Arts and Letters.
Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, received the Johannes Quasten Medal of Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership in Religious Studies from Catholic University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies on May 2. Father Daley is the 26th theologian to receive the Quasten Medal since the award was established in 1985.
If you’re an early riser—4 a.m. or so—chances are good that you could find the dedicated staff of The Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, still hard at work on the day’s paper. When those long nights turn into early mornings, Meghan Thomassen, an honors English major in the College of Arts and Letters and the newspaper’s managing editor, calls upon her experiences studying Japanese, cognitive psychology, and Mozart to get her through—and not just coffee, as you might expect.
“When you’re working on a dissertation, you’re stuck in your own head a lot, so I wondered if anyone cares about this other than me,” says Hilary Fox, who received her Ph.D. from Notre Dame’s Department of English in 2012. “Having a group of people tell you, ‘Yes, we actually do care and find it really interesting and important,’ that’s a psychological boost.” The Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship Fox received offered her that validation and quite a bit more.
Mothers who have experienced childhood abuse, neglect or other traumatic experiences show an unwillingness to talk with their children about the child’s emotional experiences, a new study from the University of Notre Dame shows.
For the third time in the past four years, a student enrolled in the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy at the University of Notre Dame is the recipient of the Brook Baker Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award. Andrew Owens, a graduating senior in the Gallivan Program, was named the 2013 Baker Award winner at a recent ceremony of the Indiana Collegiate Press Association on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.
For students participating in the University of Notre Dame’s Washington Program, the semester studying in our nation’s capital offers opportunities to combine coursework with internships in a range of areas, from Congress and advocacy groups to media and cultural institutions.
The National Science Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2013 Graduate Research Fellowship Program, with nine current Notre Dame students winning the prestigious award—including three psychology students from the College of Arts and Letters—and another nine earning honorable mention. This year’s nine winners equal the total number of winners from Notre Dame over the last seven years combined.
Concrete objects—such as toys, tiles, and blocks—that students can touch and move around, called manipulatives, have been used to teach basic math skills since the 1980s. Use of manipulatives is based on the long-held belief that young children’s thinking is strictly concrete in nature, so concrete objects are assumed to help them learn math concepts. However, new research from the University of Notre Dame suggests that not all manipulatives are equal.
An engineer with a strong liberal arts background is a valuable asset in today’s business world, says Craig Simon, president and chief executive officer of FedEx SupplyChain and a 1989 alumnus of Notre Dame’s distinctive Arts and Letters/Engineering Dual-Degree Program. “When you get into the business world, you’re going to stand out because you will have the ability to use both sides of your brain,” says Simon, who spoke at a recent event honoring the top students in the program.
Mallory Meter, a psychology major from Beverly Hills, Mich., has been named valedictorian of the 2013 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19 at Notre Dame Stadium.
Eighteen University of Notre Dame faculty members have received Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and three faculty have been honored with Dockweiler Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. The awards are presented by the Office of the Provost, but recipients are selected through a process that includes peer and student nominations.