How should a concerned mother discuss issues of diet and weight with her daughter? Very carefully, according to Erin Hillard, a developmental psychology doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame. In an article recently published in the journal Body Image, Hillard and her colleagues reported on results from their study of a representative group of sixth- through eighth-grade girls and their mothers.
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Did you receive affection, play freely, and feel supported in childhood? Childhood experiences like these appear to have a lot to do with well-being and moral capacities in adulthood. In a forthcoming article in the journal Applied Developmental Science, University of Notre Dame professor of psychology Darcia Narvaez and colleagues Lijuan Wang and Ying Cheng, associate professors of psychology, show that childhood experiences that match with evolved needs lead to better outcomes in adulthood.
Three faculty from the University of Notre Dame received fellowships this week from the National Endowment for the Humanities, continuing the University’s record success winning support for humanities research. Receiving the grants are Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French; Amy Mulligan, an assistant professor of Irish language and literature; and Gabriel Said Reynolds, a professor of Islamic studies and theology. Since 1999, College of Arts and Letters faculty have won 57 NEH fellowships—more than any other private university in the country.
The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters is launching a new minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The program offers students the opportunity to study linguistics education, learn how to teach English, and develop classroom management and lesson planning skills.
Though Betsy Bohlen ’90 once enjoyed success as a partner at Chicago’s McKinsey and Co., the business leader always knew she eventually wanted to direct her efforts toward nonprofit work, especially within the Catholic Church. “There was a part of me that always felt that, one of these days, I would serve in a more nonprofit capacity,” Bohlen said. “I think there was a calling for me to do that, to apply my leadership skills there.” Today, she is the chief operating officer of the Archdiocese of Chicago, making her the highest ranking woman in Chicago’s Catholic Church.
After nearly 40 years of pop culture relevancy, the Star Wars saga is continuing this month with the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fans are lining up to see beloved characters return to the screen, including Han Solo and General Leia, and to welcome several new ones, including a variety of droids. The enduring popularity of and interest in C-3PO and R2-D2 speaks to the fascination many people have with robotics and artificial intelligence. Although no one will have their own C-3PO soon, a number of University of Notre Dame researchers are working to make droids more science fact than science fiction.
Ballot initiatives, those petition-driven public votes on contested issues, are often disparaged by liberals and conservatives alike for their avoidance of conventional representative democratic processes and their vulnerability to manipulation by well-financed and organized special interest groups. Nevertheless, according to Benjamin Radcliff, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, people in states that rely more heavily on such initiatives are, on average, happier than people in other states.
During the summer of 2015, Notre Dame history and political science major Matt Souza interviewed laborers in multiple Chinese cities. The goal of his research was to determine whether the official ideology of the Communist Party is still influential amongst Chinese citizens. “All of my findings, they’re actually quite different from all the previous research, and I really want to get my ideas and all my findings out to the public,” he said. Souza’s research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program in the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.
Notre Dame economics major Melanie Wallskog walked into her professor’s office hours with a question. She walked out with a job. That simple act of reaching out to a professor led to research opportunities in Nicaragua, Ireland, and Chicago. The senior from Bloomington, Indiana, and Glynn Family Honors Scholar has now co-authored a paper with two of her professors and is working on her senior thesis.
Jessica Payne never dreamed of becoming a rising star in the science of sleep. In fact, until midway through graduate school, she didn’t think much about the subject beyond her own off-and-on problems getting some shut-eye. Now, she can’t keep it off her mind. Payne’s tireless work recently earned her the "Psychonomic Society’s Early Career Award, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to scientific psychology early in their careers.
The Notre Dame International Security Center has received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to further develop and expand its role as a forum for broader scholarship on U.S. foreign policy. The grant builds on the significant and wide-ranging support the center has received since it was founded seven years ago—including two grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to research how American scholars can contribute to the formation of U.S. national security policy.
Notre Dame Research, together with Notre Dame International, have awarded three new grants for faculty to complete research at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway. Alexander Beihammer, associate professor in the Department of History, will explore the relationship between the Vatican and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Heather Hyde Minor, associate professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, will conduct archival research for a book on Johann Joachim Winckelmann.
Graduates of the College of Arts and Letters are in demand in the business world. Through a broad liberal arts education, Arts and Letters students develop problem-solving, analysis, and communication skills—attributes that recruiters from major companies are seeking in college graduates. When companies like Vanguard, Epic Systems, Abercrombie & Fitch, and General Mills come to campus looking to recruit new employees, Arts and Letters students find great jobs.
For married couples, the odds aren’t good when one partner has anxiety or depression. The presence of such a mental issue significantly increases the risk that the couple will get divorced. Notre Dame psychology Ph.D. student Judith Biesen wants to find a way to improve the outcomes for those couples. With an American Dream grant from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Biesen is completing a longitudinal study of mental health—specifically, anxiety disorders and depression—and how it relates to marital functioning and satisfaction with the relationship.
A new interdisciplinary fellowship program launched by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives will train graduate students in state-of-the-art quantitative methods, allowing them to examine the impact of educational policies, programs, and practices. Beginning in fall 2016, the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship is open to prospective students applying to Ph.D. programs in economics, political science, psychology, and sociology who plan to pursue educational research.
In a new book, Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), Jaimie Bleck, an assistant professor of political science, explores the relationship between schooling, political knowledge, and political participation in Mali, where access to education nearly tripled in the two decades following the country’s 1991 transition to multiparty democracy.
Three medievalist scholars presented a range of papers on medieval women and religious writings during the Holy Water and Saintly Ink seminar at the London Global Gateway on Nov. 24. Leanne MacDonald and Marjorie Harrington, doctoral students from the College of Arts and Letters and graduate fellows at the London Global Gateway, organized the seminar, while Hetta Howes of the Queen Mary University of London School of English and Drama was also invited to talk.
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, assistant professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of English, has been named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. The honor is bestowed to top young fiction writers selected by past National Book Award winners and finalists. Van der Vliet Oloomi, the author of Fra Keeler, was chosen for the list by novelist Dinaw Mengestu, who was a 5 Under 35 honoree after publishing The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears in 2007.
Sarah Tomas Morgan, Scott Copeland, and JesusisLord Nwadiuko were three of 60 College of Arts and Letters students who engaged in an immersive cultural and linguistic experience through the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures’ Summer Language Abroad program. Through intensive language coursework and daily interaction with native speakers, students rapidly enhanced their command of a foreign language—be it Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, or Swahili.