Music has the power to inspire, to sustain, and to build community. And students and alumni of Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Calvin M. Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program are playing a vital role in re-energizing the church and the academy through sacred music. With tracks in choral conducting and organ, the program offers an academically rigorous curriculum with a wide range of opportunities for performance, academic, and community engagement. The latest step forward for the DMA program is a generous gift from James and Molly Perry to endow and rename it in honor of Calvin M. Bower, professor emeritus of musicology.
Laura Dassow Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, has won the 2018 Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa for her biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life. The prize, which recognizes outstanding books of literary scholarship, will be presented at a reception in Washington, D.C., in December.
Kristin Valentino is dedicated to understanding how adversity in early childhood — such as chronic poverty or maltreatment — can affect children’s mental and physical health later in life. And she wants to know how psychologists can best intervene and improve outcomes for those children. The William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue exploring these issues in her latest project, “Pathways Linking Early Adversity and Support to Behavior and Physical Health.”
Ernesto Verdeja, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will receive the 2018 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award. The highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters, the Sheedy Award was created in 1970 to honor the Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969. Verdeja will receive the award at a reception in his honor in May 2019.
Calvin Zimmermann wants to better understand the fundamental roles that race, gender, and class play in society, and particularly how they affect young children. He focuses his research on African American youth, he said, because they are one of the most vulnerable and oppressed populations in the world. Zimmermann joins the faculty of Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology and the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity this fall, where he will continue to research inequality in school settings.
Notre Dame has launched an interdisciplinary minor in musical theatre — a collaboration between the Departments of Music and Film, Television, and Theatre — which can be customized for students interested in performing, songwriting, directing, conducting, or scholarship. The program begins at a time when dramatic, music-based performances are thriving on campus, including Opera Notre Dame’s recent productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and a world-premiere operatic version of As You Like It as well as FTT musicals such as Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors.
The American Sociological Association (ASA) has announced that sociologists from the University of Notre Dame will continue to serve as editors of its flagship journal, the American Sociological Review, through 2020. Founded in 1936 and published six times per year, ASR’s mission is to publish peer-reviewed works of exceptional quality and general interest to the discipline.
Robichaud was one of 29 Rome Prize winners this year, chosen from among nearly 1,000 artists and scholars across the United States. The prize allows him to serve as a resident fellow at the American Academy in Rome for the 2018–19 academic year, where he will continue work on his book, the Marsilio Ficino Editions Project.
In this Q&A, Nikolas Churik discusses how the Western tradition was shaped over time, why he was drawn to study late antiquity and the middle ages, and how Notre Dame's Early Christian Studies interdisciplinary master's program helped him land a spot in a Ph.D. program at Princeton.
The article, “Scarlet Fever, Stanley Matthews, and the Cincinnati Bible Wars,” stems from Przybyszewski’s research for an upcoming book, for which she received an NEH Public Scholar grant. Justice Sonia Sotomayor presented the award to Przybyszewski at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Sara Abdel-Rahim ’17 found her voice in the liberal arts — and she amplified it through research, internships, and leadership roles on campus. As a first-generation American citizen, the political science and Arabic major wants to battle against cultural and religious discrimination.
Vanesa Miseres, an assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has won a prize from the International Institute of Latin American Literature for her book Mujeres en tránsito: viaje, identidad y escritura en Sudamérica. The 2018 Premio Roggiano para la Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana recognizes the best book of Latin American literary criticism published in 2016 or 2017.
Rachel Ganson’s path in the College of Arts and Letters led her to China, India, Iceland, Italy, and Spain. And to exactly where she is meant to be. “Visiting these places challenged me and helped me grow — intellectually, spiritually, emotionally,” she said. “When you experience different cultures and talk with people from different backgrounds, you start to figure out what you’re most passionate about and what you hold dear.” For Ganson ’17, who majored in political science, that passion is global food security and sustainability.
When Kacey Hengesbach began her undergraduate career at Notre Dame, she didn’t imagine that it would include traveling 8,000 miles to Ahmedabad, India. But thanks to a new course created by Neeta Verma, she had the chance to spend three weeks there last summer, working collaboratively with students from India’s National Institute of Design. Hengesbach and the other students in Verma’s Social Design course continued their partnership with the NID students throughout the fall semester, hosting them for a two-week visit to Notre Dame in September and communicating via Skype and email for the remainder of the course.
One visit to the Hesburgh Library’s medieval manuscripts collection, and Luke Donahue ’17 was hooked. “I saw them and thought, ‘This is it.’ This is what I want to study,” Donahue said. “I was intrigued that there are all these manuscripts from the Middle Ages that no one has researched, and I was determined — I wanted to help fill that intellectual gap.” While he initially planned to study physics, Donahue decided to major in theology and German and add a minor in medieval studies.
When he got to Notre Dame, Corey Robinson ’17 didn’t know what to major in — because he wanted to major in everything. He met with advisers in more than 20 departments, considering everything from Arts and Letters pre-health to Irish language and literature to aquatic biology. And he still wasn’t sure. That’s when his advising dean suggested the Program of Liberal Studies.
Deak, an associate professor in the Department of History, was awarded the 2018 Austrian State Prize in History for his book, Forging a Multinational State: State Making in Imperial Austria from the Enlightenment to the First World War. The Karl von Vogelsang State Prize, awarded by the federal minister for science and industry, recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of the history of social science.
With renowned musicians on the faculty, new opportunities to participate in student-led music groups, and a beautiful new home for the department in O’Neill Hall, it is an exciting time for piano students at Notre Dame. The program is full of extremely students who possess not only exceptional performance skills but also outstanding intellectual ability and a strong desire to pursue the balanced blend of performance and scholarship that makes the Notre Dame music major distinctive.
Now a program of the Los Angeles Times Foundation, the prizes are dedicated to honoring literary luminaries, championing new voices and celebrating the highest quality of writing from authors at all stages of their careers.
The Department of Film, Television, and Theatre is broadening the scope of its theatre program with two new faculty members — Tarryn Chun and La Donna Forsgren. Chun specializes in the modern and contemporary periods in Chinese theatre, as well as the intersection between technology and the arts. Forsgren focuses on African American theatre and performance, dramaturgy, and black feminist theories.
In anthropology, “snowball sampling” refers to growing the number of participants in a research study by asking subjects to refer friends and acquaintances. For senior Candice Park, it was her research experiences at Notre Dame that snowballed, as each opportunity led her to the next — culminating in her senior thesis for the Department of Anthropology.
Notre Dame graduate student Mallika Sarma has done fieldwork in the mountains of Nepal and the forests of Congo. She’s traveled to remote villages accessible only by helicopter, speedboat, or days of hiking. She dreams of conducting research in space. All in search of data on how humans adapt to extreme environments.
It started two years ago with a handful of Notre Dame undergraduates and a desire to share their love of music. Today, that passion has resulted in two thriving student groups — the Classical Music Club and the Composers’ Consortium — with more than 200 members.
In this Q&A, Paige Ambord discusses her research on how local artists use social media to rebrand South Bend, why she's interested in the process of urban revitalization, and why she hopes to highlight the role of average citizens in urban redevelopment.
The College of Arts and Letters is launching a new, interdisciplinary minor in data science. Housed in the Department of Sociology with support from the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, the program will be open to students in any college. “Data science impacts every industry today,” said Sarah Mustillo, professor and chair of sociology. “It is becoming increasingly important for solving problems and making decisions."
For a team of Notre Dame psychologists, virtual reality is more than a game — it is the next frontier in mental health treatment. Nathan Rose, Jennifer Hames, and Michael Villano are conducting research on the use of virtual reality environments in exposure therapy for participants with a fear of heights. The technology also holds promise for treating phobias like the fear of flying and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Agustín Fuentes, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Endowed Chair in Anthropology, has been selected to deliver the 2018 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Founded by the jurist Adam Lord Gifford, the renowned lecture series invites pre-eminent scholars to address topics related to theology, philosophy, and science. Fuentes is the second consecutive College of Arts and Letters faculty member to be chosen.
This is the third installment in an ongoing Q&A series with Arts and Letters graduate students. Brandy Sky Martinez, a Ph.D. stduent in the Department of Psychology, discusses her research on stress and coping strategies.
For Ross Jacobucci, quantitative psychology is a chance to invent, to improvise — and to create new tools to answer complex questions. As a new assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, he wants his students to see that side of it, too. Jacobucci, who joined Arts and Letters in the fall after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, specializes in structural equation modeling and data mining.
John Liberatore is captivated by the glass harmonica, an archaic 18th-century instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin. And he is fascinated by how the latest technological innovations are changing music composition and performance. The juxtaposition of the two is at the heart of his next composition — titled “In White Spaces” — which has been commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. He is one of just 12 composers to receive the prestigious commission this year.