Latest News

REM Sleep Enhances Emotional Memories, Study Shows

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Research and General News

In a new study published recently in _Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience_, University of Notre Dame psychology researchers Jessica Payne and Alexis Chambers found that people who experienced rapid eye movement (REM) sleep soon after being presented with an emotionally-charged negative scene--a wrecked car on a street, for example--had superior memory for the emotional object compared to subjects whose sleep was delayed for at least 16 hours.

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Students Find Summer Language Abroad Program Transformative

Author: Kate Garry

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

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.

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Public Relations Expert Draws on Liberal Arts Background

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Alumni and General News

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.

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Moreau Fellow Studies Impact of Student Loan Policies

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Research and General News

Today, most students in the United States must rely on some combination of loans and scholarships to attend college. Over the course of her own journey through the higher education system, Deondra Rose, who recently joined the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science this fall as a fellow in the Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Program, says she became fascinated with the complicated history and politics surrounding the development of student aid.

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Political Science Major Makes Mark at Summer Institute

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

Hours of class each day and frenzied paper writing into the early dawn hours is practically a Notre Dame tradition during finals weeks in December and May. Less so in the middle of July, but this is exactly what senior political science major Angel Mira found himself doing this past summer. Mira was one of just 20 students nationwide accepted into the American Political Science Association’s Ralph Bunche Summer Institute.

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Power of 'Corrosive Rhetoric' Shaping American Politics, Professor Says

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News and General News

With words such as “aggressive” and “attack,” President Barack Obama’s aides prepped him for his “comeback” Tuesday night, asserting that his first debate was “too polite.” But if the president of the United States was deemed “too polite,” where does that leave the notion of civil discourse in political debates?

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From Arts and Letters to International Finance

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Internationalism, Alumni, and General News

As an undergraduate economics major in the College of Arts and Letters, Bill Kennedy ’90 took an Asian history class to fulfill one of his academic requirements. That class, he says, is part of the reason he is now a top portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments in London. “I fell in love with international business because I’d taken government requirements and then a fascinating Asian history class,” he says. “My professor got me really excited about the opportunities in Asia. My career grew right out of my Arts and Letters degree; I became fascinated with things that are now relevant to my career and what I do every day.”

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Netanyahu Needs to Back Off, Says Notre Dame Political Scientist

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, and General News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed outrage at the refusal of the Obama administration to set “red lines” for Iran's progress on its nuclear program. But according to University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Desch, it is Americans who ought to be incensed with Netanyahu.

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Templeton Foundation Awards Notre Dame $1.58 million for Interdisciplinary Study

Author: Kate Garry

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

Two scholars from the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study recently were awarded a $1.58 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a three-year program to promote dialogue across academic disciplines. Vittorio Hösle, Paul Kimball Chair of Arts and Letters and director of NDIAS, and Donald Stelluto, associate director of NDIAS, won the award for their proposal, “Pursuing the Unity of Knowledge: Integrating Religion, Science, and the Academic Disciplines.” The program will foster inquiry into the “great questions” in an environment that considers secular and spiritual knowledge as mutually beneficial ways of learning, rather than rivals in a winner-take-all competition.

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New Study Contradicts Official Poverty Numbers

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Despite official government statistics showing a rise in the number of poor in this country, poverty actually has fallen by 12.5 percentage points in the past 40 years, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist James X. Sullivan, whose research examines the consumption, saving and borrowing behavior of poor households in the U.S., and how welfare and tax policy affect the well-being of the poor. The paper was presented September 13 at the Brookings Institution’s fall 2012 conference on the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.

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Senior Film Student Wins Princess Grace Award

Author: Kate Garry

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

When Kathleen Bracke got the call, she dropped the phone out of shock, then picked it up and asked the caller to repeat the news. On the other end was a representative of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA announcing that Bracke had won a 2012 Princess Grace Award. Bracke, a senior in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) is one of only two winners of this year’s Princess Grace Undergraduate Film Scholarship.

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Fathers Biologically Attuned to Their Children When Sleeping Nearby, Research Reveals

Author: Kate Garry

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

Mothers aren’t the only ones who are biologically adapted to respond to children. New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that dads who sleep near their children experience a drop in testosterone. Previous research from humans and other species suggests this decrease might make men more responsive to their children’s needs and help them focus on the demands of parenthood. In a recent study, Notre Dame Anthropologist Lee Gettler shows that close sleep proximity between fathers and their children (on the same sleeping surface) results in lower testosterone compared to fathers who sleep alone.

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Study Shows Official Measures of American Poverty Off-Base

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

The U.S. Census Bureau's method of calculating who is poor and who is not has been under fire by researchers for years because it doesn’t calculate the benefits of anti-poverty programs--such as food stamps and housing subsidies--into its formula. In response to the criticism, the Census Bureau released in the fall of 2011 the Supplemental Poverty Measure to more accurately assess poverty in America. Though the new supplemental measure uses a definition of income that is conceptually closer to resources available for consumption than pretax money income, a new study by University of Notre Dame economist James X. Sullivan finds that even the Supplementary Poverty Measure provides an inaccurate reflection of deprivation in this country.

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Study: Telling Fewer Lies Linked to Better Health and Relationships

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

"Pants on fire" isn’t the only problem liars face. New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that when people managed to reduce their lies in given weeks across a 10-week study, they reported significantly improved physical and mental health in those same weeks. The "Science of Honesty" study was presented recently at the American Psychological Association’s 120th annual convention.

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Did Obama Break Mold of Dems as 'War Wimps'?

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News and General News

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is banking on the traditional Republican advantage in defense to help him defeat Democratic President Barack Obama this November. This Republican strategy of painting Democrats as soft on defense has a long pedigree in American politics. It certainly seems to have worked in the past. But will it still? “In my view, Romney shouldn’t bet on it this time,” says University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Desch, who specializes in foreign and national defense policies.

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Political Scientist Michael Desch Evaluates Impact of Syrian Defections

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, and General News

Despite the defections of two high-ranking Syrian officials in the past week and the apparent unraveling of Syria’s government, the fall of President Bashar al-Assad still is not imminent, according to University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor Michael Desch. “There’s no doubt that the Assad regime is under siege, as Wednesday’s defection of the Syrian Ambassador to Iraq once again ighlights,” says Desch, an expert on international relations and homeland security.“But we need to be cautious in overestimating how much trouble Assad is in.”

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After Child Dies, Mom’s Risk of Early Death Skyrockets

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

In the first two years following the death of a child, there is a 133 percent increase in the risk of the mother dying, a new study from the University of Notre Dame shows. Researchers William Evans, a health and labor economist at Notre Dame, and Javier Espinosa of the Rochester Institute of Technology studied 69,224 mothers aged 20 to 50 for nine years, tracking the mortality of children even after they had left the household. It is the first study of its kind using a large, nationally representative U.S. data source.

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Study Finds Confusion Can be Beneficial for Learning

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Most of us assume that confidence and certainty are preferred over uncertainty and bewilderment when it comes to learning complex information. But a new study led by Sidney D’Mello of the University of Notre Dame shows that confusion when learning can be beneficial if it is properly induced, effectively regulated, and ultimately resolved. The study will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal _Learning and Instruction_.

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Fight in Front of Kindergartner, Expect Problems During Teenage Years, Study Shows

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Parents who fight in front of their kindergarten-aged children could be setting them up for depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems as adolescents, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame. A new longitudinal study finds that the impact of destructive marital conflict on children in their kindergarten years is long-lasting and can lead to emotional problems and difficulties in adolescence.

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Notre Dame Magazine Wins Five Awards

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Alumni and General News

_Notre Dame Magazine_, the University’s quarterly alumni publication, received five medals in the annual Circle of Excellence awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), including the silver medal in general excellence and three awards in CASE’s Best Articles of the Year: Higher Education category. All three were written by alumni of the College of Arts and Letters.

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Study: When Highly Skilled Immigrants Move in, Highly Skilled Natives Move Out

Author: Kate Garry

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

In the first study to measure the temporary impact of highly skilled immigrants on native populations, University of Notre Dame economist Abigail Wozniak and Fairfield University’s Thomas J. Murray--a former Notre Dame graduate student--found that when highly skilled immigrants move to a city or town, the U.S. natives in that area who are also highly skilled tend to move away. However, the study found that the same immigrant group’s presence decreases the chances that low-skilled natives would leave.

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Voters’ Views of Mormonism Still Stumbling Block for Romney, New Study Shows

Author: Kate Garry

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

Though the social barriers of race and gender were largely overcome during the last U.S. presidential campaign, religious affiliation (in this case, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism) is still a significant hurdle, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame Political Science Professor David Campbell and colleagues from Brigham Young University and the University of Akron.

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Microfinance Yields Mixed Results in Thailand, Economist Joseph Kaboski Finds

Author: Kate Garry

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

Large-scale microfinance programs are widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries, but a recent study by University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski and MIT colleague Robert Townsend suggests that microfinancing can have varying results for participants and may not be the most cost-effective use of funds for many situations. The study was published in a recent issue of _Econometrica_. Kaboski and Townsend used the Thai Million Baht Village Fund, one of the largest government microfinance initiatives of its kind, to evaluate and understand the benefits and disadvantages of microfinance interventions.

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Anthropologist's New Book Busts Myths About Sex, Race, and Violence

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

A new book by University of Notre Dame Anthropology Professor Agustín Fuentes titled _Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature_ counters these pernicious myths and tackles misconceptions about what race, aggression, and sex really mean for humans. Presenting scientific evidence from diverse fields, including anthropology, biology, and psychology, Fuentes incorporates an accessible understanding of culture, genetics, and evolution, requiring us to dispose of notions of “nature or nurture.”

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Political Science Major Michael O’Brien Named 2012 Valedictorian

Author: Kate Garry

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

Michael J. O’Brien, a political science major in the College of Arts and Letters, has been named valedictorian of the 2012 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement ceremonies May 20 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium. O’Brien is editor-in-chief of _Beyond Politics: Undergraduate Journal of Politics_, and serves as president of the Notre Dame College Democrats, leading one of the most active College Democrats chapters in the nation.

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