Associate Professor Daniel Hobbins’s arrival at the University of Notre Dame this fall is a homecoming of sorts. A cultural and intellectual historian of the late middle ages, Hobbins received his Ph.D. in medieval history from Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute in 2002 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University in 2004.
Professor John T. Fitzgerald, an award-winning teacher, will join the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology this fall, says J. Matthew Ashley, associate professor and department chair. “He is not only a preeminent scholar of the New Testament in itself but also has a broad and penetrating knowledge of the Greco-Roman context in which it was written and received,” Ashley says.
Olivier Morel’s film On the Bridge, about veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been selected for more than a dozen festivals, won multiple awards, and has been the subject of countless media interviews since its fall 2011 release. But all of that recognition pales in comparison with a chain of events that occurred earlier this year, the director and Notre Dame faculty member says.
A new blog produced by the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CSSM) at the University of Notre Dame is bringing scholars, activists, and policymakers together like never before to discuss social movements and change.
Jack Blakey B.A. ’88 J.D. ’92 has worked as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is currently chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago—the second largest prosecution office in the country. He says his theatre major at the University of Notre Dame was perfect preparation for his future legal career. “Some people think it’s such a difference, going from the theatre world to the legal world, but it really seems like a seamless transition,” Blakey says.
In an early job as a social worker for senior citizens, Cindy Bergeman began to wonder: Why did some of the people she worked with have such a positive attitude while others seemed so dreary? When faced with adversity or stress, why did some weather the storm better than others? Bergeman, now a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, has spent more than two decades pursuing the answers to those questions.
Post-doctoral fellow Errol Philip made history this fall when he became the first two-time winner of a prestigious American Psychological Association graduate student award—just the latest in a long list of accolades. Philip won the APA’s Division 17 Health Psychology Graduate Student Award for his paper, “Depression and Cancer Survivorship: Prevalence Rates and the Importance of Coping Self-Efficacy in a Sample of Long-Term Survivors." He won the award in 2008 for a paper on quality of life in cancer patients.
The study of constitutions dates back to Aristotle, yet remains as relevant today as it was then. “It’s a perennial subject that I think is getting renewed attention, first with the fall of the Soviet Union and the constitution writing that went on with that, then the democratization movement in Latin America, and now the revolutions in the Arab world,” says Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame.
Olivier Morel was in his car one day when a story came on the radio about suicide among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the report, eight to 10 veterans were taking their own lives each day. The news was like a punch in the stomach for Morel, a Notre Dame faculty member whose research focuses on fiction and trauma. “I was trembling,” he recalls. “I was angry, and I felt helpless … I was thinking, ‘This is unacceptable.’”
A graduate of Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, Kelly Gleason ’98 was leading a team of maritime archeologists on a research expedition some 600 miles northwest of Honolulu when they discovered a gem of maritime—and literary—history: the resting place of a ship called the Two Brothers, which wrecked on a reef in 1823. The ill-fated Nantucket ship was captained by George Pollard Jr., whose earlier whaling vessel, the Essex, was rammed by a whale and sunk in 1820, inspiring author Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick.
An army officer betrayed by the government and put on trial for a treasonous crime he didn’t commit. A market trader who forges an alliance with a rebel leader in order to feed her starving children. And a man who almost gets himself killed several times in order to get food for his pregnant wife. These are among the scores of survivors Notre Dame anthropologist Catherine Bolten came to know during more than seven years researching post–war Sierra Leone.
It has been “a blessing and a journey”—and one that happened almost by chance, says Notre Dame senior Ryan Belock, whose passion for the arts led him to pursue majors in music and graphic design and theatre.
As interest in cultural sociology has risen in recent decades, so too has Notre Dame’s investment in its faculty. “We’ve been growing over the past 20 years, but in the last five years it has all come together,” says cultural sociologist Lyn Spillman, an associate professor who has studied American political and economic culture. "We’re just about at a point where we are in the top handful of departments in cultural sociology.
Professor Lee Anna Clark recently began work on a five-year study that will contribute to revolutionizing the way personality disorders are diagnosed and further cement Clark’s standing as one of the world’s preeminent research psychologists.
Joseph P. Kaboski brings a rare combination of skills and interests to the economics department: the ability to move between macroeconomics and microeconomics—and experience using both areas of study to answer some of today’s most pressing questions about growth and development.