James H. Walton, professor emeritus of English at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 74 years old. Walton was graduated from Notre Dame in 1959 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Northwestern University in 1960 and 1963, respectively. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1963, teaching popular courses on the English novel and 18th-century literature until his retirement in 2003.
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Jim Corgel ’73 is currently general manager of independent software vendor and developer relations at IBM Corporation, where he has worked for 36 years. During a recent visit to campus, the American Studies major, who later also received an MBA from the University, shared his thoughts on the value of a liberal arts education from Notre Dame
Haley Scott DeMaria, the University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters alumna who made an inspiring recovery from critical injuries suffered in a tragic 1992 bus accident involving the Fighting Irish swimming team, will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree at Notre Dame’s 167th Commencement Ceremony on May 20.
Biological anthropologist Lee Gettler ’05 made national news last year with his research on the linkage between fatherhood and testosterone, reporting that the hormone decreases in men once they have children and drops even more in dads who are very active in caring for their children. Currently completing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University, Gettler will bring his attention-getting work to Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall as an assistant research professor in the Department of Anthropology.
Ann Johnson, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s clinical psychology program, recently won a Graduate Research Scholarship from the American Psychological Foundation and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology.
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.
Erin Jelm ’10 can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in Latin American studies. “I’ve always had an interest in cultures,” says the anthropology and marketing alumna, currently working as a marketing specialist at Santiago Adventures, a tour operator in Santiago, Chile.
One weekend last month, members of the Notre Dame community sat down to watch 16 films, ranging from comedies to dramas and documentaries, in one evening. But these movies weren’t made in Hollywood. That’s because the 23rd annual Student Film Festival showcased the work of many students in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.
A movie produced and co-written by University of Notre Dame alumnus John Hibey ’05 was awarded the jury prize for short filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The winning film, Fishing Without Nets, tells a tale of a poor, young Somali fisherman who ends up joining a group of pirates.
Molly Kinder ‘01, who majored in political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Kinder, a native of Buffalo, New York, is director of special programs for Development Innovation Ventures in Washington, D.C., a new initiative at the United States Agency for International Development that funds groundbreaking approaches to global development challenges.
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.
When she first arrived at the University of Notre Dame, Karen Stockley ’08 had no plan to major in economics and says graduate school wasn’t on her radar either. Today, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University and already has three years of professional research experience, an award-winning paper to her credit, and a bright future in healthcare economics. It was a Principles of Economics class during her very first semester, Stockley says, that sparked her interest in the field.
By now, most people are aware of the environmental effects of air or water pollution; University of Notre Dame philosopher and scientist Kristin Shrader-Frechette has devoted herself to bringing to light a less known concern, the inequitable distribution of pollution’s human toll. “Polluters ‘target’ poor and minority communities to locate noxious facilities because they know that residents often are unable to defend themselves,” she says. For her efforts, Shrader-Frechette was recently awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership.
Economics majors in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters develop the analytical skills and social perspective needed to better understand complex economic forces at work in the world. They also hone the ability to express their ideas and insights both clearly and concisely. That’s exactly what Class of 2011 students Elizabeth Koerbel and Matthew Conti demonstrated in their senior theses, which won first and second place, respectively, in the University’s annual Bernoulli Awards competition.
Understanding the way the world works is important. But understanding the way you work is just as important, says Joshua Kaplan, director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science. And by majoring in political science, students come to know both.
Dan O’Brien ’99 has always considered himself an actor and now he is a successful professional. As a lead on the NBC sitcom Whitney, he can share his passion for performance with all of America. O’Brien says he did not major in theater at Notre Dame because he knew already that his passion was for acting and he was not particularly interested in the technical and behind-the-scenes work which the major entailed. Instead, he participated in the College of Arts and Letters’ Program of Liberal Studies and took as many acting classes as he could.
As a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Anne Peterson focuses her research on ancient philosophy and metaphysics, especially on metaphysical issues in Aristotle. Her interest in these topics, she says, began as an undergraduate in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, where she majored in English and philosophy.
Elizabeth Simari ’08, crosses Saint Peter’s Square on the way to and from work, shops at the Vatican’s grocery store, and has even had the Pope drop by her office. “It’s an amazing experience,” says Simari, who majored in Italian and English at Notre Dame and now works for the weekly English edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. “I feel blessed to have these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”
David Murphy, former president and chief executive officer of Better World Books, a for-profit social venture initially created and spun out of the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed associate dean for entrepreneurship for the Colleges of Science and Engineering and director of Notre Dame’s Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters program. Murphy graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1980
University of Notre Dame students were awarded 13 Fulbright grants for the 2011-12 academic year, placing the University among the top universities in the nation. Eleven of the 13 are from the College of Arts and Letters. The U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, Fulbright recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students.
Robert Sedlack, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History and Design, recently won two American Graphic Design Awards for University-related projects. Graphic Design USA magazine honored Sedlack ’89 for his work on the Parallel Currents exhibition catalogue for the University’s Snite Museum of Art and for Words for Painting, an artist’s monograph showcasing the work of Notre Dame Assistant Professor Jason Lahr.
Notre Dame Department of History alumna Nicole Farmer Hurd ’92 was recently featured on NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams for her efforts to help disadvantaged high school students enter the world of higher education. Hurd is the founder and executive director of the National College Advising Corps (NCAC), a program that strives to increase the number and graduation rate of low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation college students. NCAC is housed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Hurd also serves as a clinical assistant professor in the School of Education.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has been elected to the board of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the non-partisan, non-profit organization that has sponsored and produced all U.S. presidential and vice presidential debates since 1988.
They won’t hear a drill sergeant shouting orders. They won’t crawl in the mud. And they won’t be scaling tall walls. At this boot camp, a select group of Notre Dame students in the College of Arts and Letters will instead learn to navigate the business world, analyze corporate data, and propose solutions to key management problems. Held in Chicago during spring break each year, the four-day Arts and Letters Business Boot Camp allows liberal arts students to meet and network with employers and successful Chicago-area alumni.
At 6 p.m. on the eve of the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI picked up his iPad and, with Thaddeus “TJ” Jones ’89 by his side, revolutionized Vatican media with the launch of News.va and the first Papal tweet. Jones, who majored in American Studies and Italian, is the project coordinator for News.va and worked with all of the various media sources, as well as the company that developed the portal, in order to create the site as it exists today.
A pair of documentaries by 2011 graduates of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are “cleaning up” on the film festival circuit.
As a student in Notre Dame’s Department of History, Colin Rich ’11 didn’t memorize the names and dates of significant World War I battles, and he can’t recite a list of every U.S. president and vice president. What he did learn as a history and economics major in the College of Arts and Letters was far more valuable: the ability to uncover how and why things happen, to speak persuasively, to write concisely, and to synthesize an array of sources in into a cogent argument.
Ted Robinson began honing his craft as a kid, sitting alone in front of a television with the sound off. There, with the door closed, he would announce ball games, imitating Marv Albert, a New York Knicks and Rangers broadcaster, and Lindsey Nelson, who did Mets games and a national replay show for Notre Dame football. Today, Robinson reaches much larger audiences as a two-time Emmy award-winning broadcaster of seven Summer and Winter Olympics, Wimbledon and French Open tennis, San Francisco 49ers football, and Major League Baseball.
Xavier Murphy, a 2011 University of Notre Dame graduate who was on campus this semester completing one course and working as an intern with the football program, died October 11 of complications from leukemia. Murphy resided in Zahm Hall at Notre Dame and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science.
Notre Dame students in a College of Arts and Letters course called Foundations of Business Thinking are the only class in the nation invited to participate in the inaugural gathering of ConvergeUS, a new nonprofit initiative dedicated to social innovation through technology. Chaired by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and TechNet CEO Rey Ramsey, the organization connects leading entrepreneurs, scholars, nonprofits, corporations, and technology experts in an attempt to find innovative solutions to pressing social problems.