Latest News

‘We are all in this together’: How A&L faculty rapidly adapted their courses for distance learning

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Graduate Students, General News, and Faculty News

From philosophy to musical theatre to economics, Arts and Letters faculty are using technological innovations — as well as creativity, patience, and empathy — to continue the educational experience for their students as the University shifts to online classes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The sudden shift has prompted adaptation in the face of adversity — from defending a dissertation via Zoom meeting to posting and analyzing behind-the-scenes clips of rehearsal for a musical that won't be performed — but it has also already helped faculty and students forge new bonds with each other.

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In memoriam: Paul A. Rathburn, professor emeritus of English, founder of Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Arts

Paul A. Rathburn, a professor emeritus in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame and founder of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF), died Wednesday (Feb. 12). He was 85. Rathburn, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1965, retired from teaching in 2000. He founded NDSF the same year  and served as producing artistic director for its first five years.

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Bringing 30 years of industry experience, new director seeks to grow collaborative innovation minor

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Tim Morton joined the College of Arts and Letters faculty last spring as director of the collaborative innovation minor and associate professor of the practice in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. The minor, which centers on the principles of design thinking as an approach to solving real-world problems, draws students with a wide variety of majors from across the University — with more than 65 students taking the introductory Design Matters course last semester alone.

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Through video and book projects, French professor explores why global women writers are gravitating toward Paris

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Alison Rice, an associate professor of French and Francophone studies, conducted 18 filmed interviews in Paris over eight years with authors originally from Iran, Korea, Senegal, and Bulgaria, among other countries. She compiled, edited, and translated the interviews to create an online archive, accessible to scholars and students worldwide, and is now completing a book project based on the interviews.

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How a visit to the career fair launched a psychology alumna’s career at the FBI

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News and Alumni

Erin walked into the fall career fair her senior year — and walked away with a job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She visited the FBI’s booth, secured an interview for the next day, and was promptly offered an entry-level position. “My job hunt was very easy because of that one choice,” she said. “I just went to the career fair, and that was it — that was how it all started.”  Now an analyst, Erin has connected to a network of Notre Dame alumni at the FBI — and said graduates from every major are valuable to the bureau.

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Jason Ruiz, associate professor of American studies, receives 2019 Sheedy Award

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Jason Ruiz, an associate professor in the Department of American Studies, has won the 2019 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. Created in 1970, the Sheedy Award honors Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969. Ruiz will accept the award at a reception in his honor on December 3. “It means the world to me to be recognized in this way, he said, “especially because the College is full of great teachers I admire.”

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Through international research and internships, political science and pre-health major explores everything from global health to Gothic literature

Author: Carrie Gates

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

In less than three years, Ellen Pil has conducted research in Germany, traveled to the Galápagos Islands, worked for a nongovernmental organization in South Africa, and interned with a nonprofit health center in Chicago. A Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Pil said she is amazed by the support she’s received in identifying opportunities and funding to cultivate her interests and discover intersections between her fields of study.

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With NSF grant, Notre Dame psychologist develops adaptive testing tool to help high school students increase learning

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Student engagement has long been recognized as key to academic success. Most research, however, has focused on engagement generally, across the school setting. Quantitative psychologist Ying “Alison” Cheng is working to better understand the link between student engagement and learning outcomes in a specific course — and how adaptive testing can help.

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Notre Dame theology professor interprets historical treasure discovered at ancient monastery in the Sinai Desert

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Being in the right place at the right time can change everything. For Nina Glibetić, witnessing a chance discovery changed her research focus — and the trajectory of her career. While at St. Catherine's Monastery on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a librarian discovered a folio of parchment that didn't look like others in the collection. She immediately recognized the rare language that was on it, and has since been working to translate and interpret the 11th-century folio — which is one of, if not the, oldest Glagolitic texts in existence.

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Pop culture and philosophy converge as The Good Place creator Mike Schur visits Arts and Letters classes

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Mike Schur — creator of The Good Place and Parks and Recreation and a writer and producer on The Office — came to Notre Dame last week to talk to students in the 1-credit The Good Class, which focuses on the philosophy and production of his current NBC show, as well as multiple sections of the God and the Good Life introductory philosophy course.

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Psychologist receives $2.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to launch intervention program for pregnant women exposed to violence

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Laura Miller-Graff, an assistant professor of psychology and peace studies, along with co-principal investigator Kathryn Howell of the University of Memphis and a team of Notre Dame faculty members, will evaluate the intervention program through a randomized, controlled trial involving more than 200 women and their infants.

 

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Race and ragtime, gender and genre: With NEH fellowship, McKenna explores unexamined history of the American piano

Author: Carrie Gates

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

For Rebecca McKenna, the piano’s history is about much more than just manufacturing or marketing — it’s about issues of race, class, and gender at the turn of the 20th century. It’s about transnational trade and the debut of a new genre of music. McKenna, an assistant professor in the Department of History, is exploring all of these issues for her new book project, with support from a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship.

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Sheedy Award winner Ernesto Verdeja praised for commitment to peace and justice

Author: Carrie Gates

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

For his work in the classroom, Verdeja has been selected to receive the 2018 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award — the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters — which will be presented at a reception in his honor on May 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the McKenna Hall auditorium.

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A classic Notre Dame story: How the extraordinary saga of Father Hesburgh was brought to life by 19 A&L students and alumni

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Hesburgh, a critically acclaimed documentary to be released nationwide on May 3, tells the story of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. — reaching far beyond the borders of the Notre Dame campus to tell an epic American saga. But the making of Hesburgh is very much a Notre Dame story. Documentary filmmaker Patrick Creadon ’89 has a history of hiring Notre Dame students and alumni — and sought out no less than 19 of them to help create Hesburgh.

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PLS professor Jennifer Newsome Martin receives 2019 Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News and Faculty News

The award is named for Notre Dame professor Frank O’Malley, who taught classes on the philosophy of literature for more than 40 years. Recipients are nominated by undergraduates and approved by the Student Government. Jennifer Newsome Martin, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies with a concurrent appointment in the Department of Theology, received the award at the annual Student Leadership Banquet and will also be recognized at commencement.

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American studies professor awarded Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to support work on Latinx murals of Pilsen

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Chicago is home to hundreds of works of Latinx public art that are both captivating and politically provocative. But there’s no good place to go for comprehensive information on where they are, who made them, or how they reflect the Latino experience in Chicago. Jason Ruiz is changing that. Ruiz has been awarded a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to create a set of walking tours and digital tools to explore Pilsen — the changing neighborhood at the heart of Chicago’s Latinx community — through its vibrant, historic murals.

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The Good Class: How an innovative Notre Dame philosophy course gets undergrads excited about contemplating — and constructively debating — life’s big questions

Author: Carrie Gates

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

An innovative Notre Dame course, God and the Good Life, is not only transforming the way students are introduced to philosophy — it is changing their perspectives, trajectories, and lives. Nearly 1,200 students have enrolled in the course since philosophy professor Meghan Sullivan launched it two years ago, and for many, it has become a defining experience in their undergraduate education. It's also drawn an array of prominent guest speakers — including an upcoming appearance by Michael Schur, creator of the philosophy-focused NBC comedy The Good Place.

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Women Lead 2019: Historian Elisabeth Köll paints intricate picture of China's economic systems

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Growing up in Germany, it wasn’t just unusual that Elisabeth Köll wanted to study Chinese. It was so rare for students at Bonn University to focus on it, there was even a term for it — an “orchid subject.” Nevertheless, Köll was fascinated by China, and her decision to spend two years as an undergraduate in a government exchange program at Fudan University in Shanghai deepened her interest in Chinese history — and launched her global career.

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For Puerto Rico native Jay Rivera-Herrans, choosing a major he loved wasn’t easy. He turned that struggle into an original musical.

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

Like the character he created, Jorge “Jay” Rivera-Herrans is exuberant and tenacious, but no one could mistake him for a cop out. A junior film, television, and theatre major, he has written the book, lyrics, and music for a new musical — Stupid Humans, which opens Thursday and runs through March 3 — and is also playing the leading role.

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‘Ways of seeing and changing the world’: Gender Studies Program marks 30 years of rigorous, interdisciplinary study and a commitment to social justice

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Three decades after its founding, the Gender Studies Program is thriving, with more than 70 students currently pursuing gender studies majors, supplementary majors, and minors at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as more than 50 associated faculty across campus. Hundreds of students have found a home in the program over the years — including Sarah A. Mustillo ’96, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

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Historian Paul Ocobock awarded American Historical Association prize for book on the role of age in Kenyan violence

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Kenya has been troubled by ethnic violence for many years, especially surrounding elections, and most histories of the country focus on the issue of ethnicity. But there is another factor that is just as important, Paul Ocobock argues — age. He was awarded the 2018 Morris D. Forkosch Prize for his exploration of the centrality of age and masculinity in the lives of young men in his book, An Uncertain Age: The Politics of Manhood in Kenya.

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How an English and German major combines her academic interests with a love for theatre

Author: Carrie Gates

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

In the past three years alone, Notre Dame student Mary Elsa Henrichs’ passions for theatre, English literature, and German have converged in many memorable ways. She’s attended performances of Hamlet in Berlin. She’s worked as a research assistant to two German professors, helping to bring book projects to publication. And she’s spending next semester studying in Heidelberg, Germany, where she hopes to secure a theatre internship. The arts, she said, are a through line between her majors in German and English.

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Scholars of Spanish and Italian culture and literature join Arts and Letters faculty

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures has added expertise in modern Spanish and Italian culture and literature this year with two new faculty hires — Pedro Aguilera-Mellado and Charles Leavitt IV. Aguilera-Mellado, who comes to Notre Dame from the University of Michigan, focuses on modern and contemporary Spain. Leavitt, who received a Ph.D. from Notre Dame in 2010, returns to the University after teaching Italian studies at the University of Reading.

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Economist awarded NSF grant to explore effectiveness of preschool programming and parent education

Author: Carrie Gates

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

By the time children are 5 years old, there is already a distinct gap between those ready for kindergarten and those who aren’t. And for the children who lag behind — most often those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds — that gap may never close. Chloe Gibbs ’00 wants to determine how preschool can best prepare those children for kindergarten and for success later in life. An assistant professor in the Department of Economics, she has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for her project, Parenting, Preschool, and the Production of School Readiness and Later Academic Outcomes.

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