Mary Ellen Konieczny, the Henkels Family Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, died Feb. 24 as a result of complications from cancer. She was 58. A faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, she studied religion and conflict, the family and public politics.
Luis Ricardo Fraga, a pioneer in the field of Latino politics, and Timothy Matovina, a leading expert on Latino Catholicism, have been appointed co-directors of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, effective July 1, 2015. “The combination of skills that they bring to the institute is spectacular,” said John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, where ILS is housed.
College of Arts and Letters students made a strong showing at Notre Dame’s 7th annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference, which showcased more than 250 research, scholarship, and creative projects from across the University. At the May 2, 2014, event, history major Mia Counts ’14 won the Undergraduate Library Research Award for best senior thesis.
Anthropologist Arlene Dávila will visit the University of Notre Dame next week as the inaugural recipient of the Institute for Latino Studies’ Virgilio Elizondo Distinguished Visiting Professorship. A professor of anthropology and American studies at New York University, Dávila, “is one of the country’s leading Latino studies cultural anthropologists,” says ILS Director José Limón, the Notre Dame Professor of American Literature and Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies.
Darcia Narvaez, a professor of psychology in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, and Nancy Snow, a professor of philosophy at Marquette University, are co-directing a new, interdisciplinary research initiative on virtue, character, and the development of the moral self. The three-year project is supported by a $2.6 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, which funds “discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.”
On Wednesday, November 13, Carlos Eire, the T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University, will give the inaugural lecture in the Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture Series, sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS). Eire, author of the National Book Award-winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy (2003), will speak at 7 p.m. at the Hesburgh Center Auditorium, followed by a reception and book signing.
Adam Asher Duker, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of History, has been awarded two major external fellowships that will allow him to continue his dissertation research this year in Paris, France. Duker received the Bourse Jeanne Marandon, a humanities fellowship awarded by the Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique, and the Huguenot Scholarship from School of Advanced Study at the University of London’s Institute for Historical Research.
Alex Coccia, an Africana studies and peace studies major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been named a 2013 Truman Scholar. Established in 1975 as a “living memorial” to President Harry S. Truman, the prestigious scholarship includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government. Nationwide, just 60 to 65 college juniors are selected as Truman scholars each year, based on leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference.”
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.
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.
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.
Catherine Reidy, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in psychology with a minor in anthropology, has been awarded a Clarendon Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford. Reidy, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, will use the scholarship to study for her master’s degree in African Studies starting in October.
Thirteen design majors in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History & Design used their fall break to engage the local community with a “social design blitz.” In a single week, the students brainstormed, conceptualized, created, and exhibited three public, interactive art projects designed to help bridge the gap between downtown South Bend and the Notre Dame campus.
Whether they camped with Bedouins in the Jordanian desert, visited ancient temples in Japan, hiked around the Black Forest of Germany, or took a road trip to the beaches of Ecuador, the alumni of the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Language Abroad (SLA) grant program agree on one thing: their experience was completely transformative.
Nancy Ruscheinski, chief innovation officer and global vice chair at Edelman—the world’s largest public relations firm—returned to the University of Notre Dame recently to deliver an unlikely message to undergraduates: it’s okay to not have a plan for your future right away. As an Arts and Letters student, Ruscheinski ’84 explored a broad range of interests while developing a versatile—and valuable—skill set.
From the moment they’re born, babies are highly attuned to communicate and motivated to interact. And they’re great listeners. New psychology research from the University of Notre Dame shows that during the first year of life, when babies spend so much time listening to language, they’re actually tracking word patterns that will support their process of word-learning that occurs between the ages of about 18 months and two years.
In 2009 the University of Notre Dame launched the Science of Generosity, an initiative funded by a $5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, to support and conduct research into the origins, manifestations, and consequences of generosity. Directed by Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology, the initiative has awarded nearly $3 million to 13 research projects conducted by scholars around the world, and it is in the second year of conducting its own research on the causal mechanisms that encourage and inhibit generosity.
People are more likely to die on or shortly after they’re paid, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist William Evans. Traffic fatalities, heart attacks, and increased substance abuse are among the most common causes of the short-term—but significant—increase in mortality following payday.
When Notre Dame senior Dan Jacobs signed up for an elective while studying in London last year, he wasn’t expecting that his course selection—seemingly unrelated to his industrial design major—would spark the idea for his B.F.A. thesis project, or potentially help thousands of children.
Filming in and around 8,000 sheep, directing first-time actors who also happen to be immediate family, and scrambling across badger-ravaged fields on dark December nights—it’s all part of the movie-making process for senior Film, Television, and Theatre student Javi Zubizarreta.
Once viewed as a language of the poor and uneducated, and moribund for the last half of the 19th century, the Irish language has experienced a return to prominence – both internationally and at the University of Notre Dame.
Anthropology, education, and science are a winning combination for Notre Dame alumna Jessica Fries-Gaither ’99. Her website, Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, is one of just 12 projects worldwide to win the 2011 Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE).
All of William Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets will be read aloud by University of Notre Dame administrators, faculty and students during Sonnet Fest 2011, a free public event that will take place Monday, February 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Great Hall of O’Shaughnessy Hall on the Notre Dame campus.
Even in the decade before the term “women’s lib” was a common phrase, the number of married women entering the workforce increased dramatically – thanks largely to washers, dryers and freezers, according to research from University of Notre Dame Economist Steven Lugauer.
Though many know the Christmas lore surrounding jolly old St. Nicholas—the snowy-bearded saint whose legendary generosity morphed into America’s secular Santa Claus figure—few are familiar with the origins and details of his acts of kindness. Rev. Nicholas Ayo, C.S.C., professor emeritus in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame, is author of Saint Nicholas in America: Christmas Holy Day and Holiday, in which he takes a closer look at the saint whose feast the Catholic Church celebrates on December 6.
Most everyone has experienced getting lost in a building – hospitals, museums, libraries and shopping malls top the list of structures that leave us turned around and wondering where to go next. University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Laura Carlson researches why that occurs.
The University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative has awarded $1.4 million to nine research projects that will study the origins, manifestations and consequences of generosity. The winning projects were chosen from among 327 proposals by scholars in numerous disciplines in this second phase of research funding. Four projects were funded earlier this year.
Ever meet a kindergartener who seemed naturally compassionate and cared about others’ feelings? Who was cooperative and didn’t demand his own way? Chances are, his parents held, carried, and cuddled him a lot; he most likely was breastfed; he probably routinely slept with his parents; and he likely was encouraged to play outdoors with other children, according to new research findings Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia F. Narvaez.
Research from University of Notre Dame Assistant Psychology Professor Jessica Payne shows that too little sleep causes more than crankiness and tantrums in children: it also results in the inability to process new ideas and be creative. “If children are deprived of adequate sleep, their brains are not as able to make the kinds of connections necessary for learning new ideas,” says Payne, whose research focuses on sleep, memory, and creativity.