Evaluating basic reading and math skills among American students is a common and expected way to expose deficiencies and highlight exemplary programs. But what about training students in democratic citizenship? Can the effectiveness of civic education be measured among schools? Are some schools better than others at teaching civics?
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The first Sunday of Advent is the first day of the Catholic liturgical calendar, which this year falls on Nov. 27. Throughout the English-speaking world, that Sunday Mass will begin, as usual, with the sign of the cross, and the priest’s customary greeting to his fellow worshipers, “the Lord be with you.” And then, not as usual, the congregation will be expected to reply, “and with your spirit.” That change of liturgical wording is only one of several in the third edition of the Roman Missal, whose new translations from the ancient Latin texts will, from this Advent on, be in standard use for all Masses in English.
Did the Catholic sex-abuse scandal benefit other faiths? New research by economist Dan Hungerman shows it did. The study by Hungerman, Stepan Family Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, shows a 2 million member drop in the Catholic population following the sex-abuse scandal and more than $3 billion in donations to non-Catholic faiths, with Baptist churches showing the most significant gains.
Historian and philosopher Philip Sloan, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies and biologist David Hyde, the Rev. Howard J. Kenna, C.S.C., Memorial Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Zebrafish Research, are among the scientists, religious leaders, policymakers, academics and medical patients attending a Vatican conference titled Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture.
The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) has named Margaret Pfeil, assistant professor of ethics and moral theology at the University of Notre Dame, as a finalist for the 2011 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.
O. Carter Snead, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed the W.P. and H.B. White Director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture (CEC) by John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. A member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 2005, Snead will succeed W. David Solomon, associate professor of philosophy, effective July 1.
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.
Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., the John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology at Notre Dame and a Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, is known around the world as the founder of liberation theology. Among the many people he inspired is Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist, physician, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a founding director of Partners in Health. Their dialogue, “Re-imagining Accompaniment: Global Health and Liberation Theology,” will take place on Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of DeBartolo Hall. Part of the Discussions on Development series, the event is free and open to the public.
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.
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.
University of Notre Dame theologian Celia Deane-Drummond has been chosen to lead a research team of theologians and scientists in residence at Princeton University for the 2012-13 academic year, to address questions of nature and nurture raised by the biological evolution of human beings.
Strong Bodies Fight, a film which chronicles the University of Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts charity boxing tournament, was recently named Best Sports Documentary at the 2011 Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, Calif., and won the Audience Choice Award from the Chicago United Film Festival. Produced by writer Mark Weber ’09 and director William Donaruma ’89, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the film has been building a winning record at film festivals.
Theologian John C. Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL), was recently in Washington speaking to a symposium of young Catholic theologians about how to teach the faith. The meeting, Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization, was sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and intended to deepen and strengthen their relationship with a new generation of America’s Catholic teachers, and most of the 54 as-yet untenured theologians in attendance had received their doctoral degrees within the last five years.
The phrase “All Roads Lead to Rome” connotes the cosmopolitan culture that has long been present in the Eternal City. It’s also the title of a Notre Dame exhibit running through the fall 2011 semester to highlight spectacular acquisitions by the University’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in conjunction with the new interdisciplinary Italian Studies at Notre Dame program.
In 2011, University of Notre Dame Professor Thomas F.X. Noble received the prestigious Otto Gründler Book Prize in medieval studies, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and the Sheedy Award—the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters.
The Notre Dame Alumni Association recognized three Notre Dame graduates last week, including College of Arts and Letters alumni Haley Scott DeMaria ’95, and Rev. David Garcia ’74 M.T.S., ’84 M.S.A., and Mendoza College of Business Alumnus Lt. Cmdr. Robert L. Miller, Sr. ’42, ’47 J.D. USNR (Ret.).
The University of Notre Dame has established an endowed chair in Byzantine Theology. The position, which will focus on the theology of the medieval Greek-speaking church, will be named in honor of Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.
On Nov. 14, 1986, at a news conference in the Morris Inn not much more than an hour after the University of Notre Dame’s board of trustees had elected him its 16th president, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., said that he hoped to be a “peripatetic president.” It was an arresting and evocative phrase.
Jean Porter, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a Catholic Press Association Book Award winner for 2011. Porter’s Ministers of the Law: A Natural Law Theology of Legal Authority, won third place in the association’s contest for best theology book of the year.
Heath Carter, a graduate student in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of History, has been awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for his work on the intersection of American religious and working-class history in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Notre Dame’s Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP) makes use of the Internet, interactive videoconferences, and numerous distance learning technologies to offer courses in theology and spiritual life to interested Catholic lay people, pastoral ministers, and other believers nationwide and beyond.
Some of the world’s leading scholars across a variety of relevant disciplines are visiting the University of Notre Dame for a week-long “Workshop on Adult and Non-embryonic Stem Cell Research,” being held on campus through July 2.
The University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs recently recognized six students with leadership awards. Five were students in the College of Arts and Letters.
Two Notre Dame political science and peace studies undergraduates recently spent a week in New York City interacting with United Nations ambassadors and Vatican officials during an intensive seminar for college students sponsored by the Path to Peace Foundation.
A new book by Pope Benedict XVI highlights Notre Dame biblical scholar John P. Meier’s extensive research on the history of Jesus.
Notre Dame senior Rachel Roseberry and sophomore Rebecca Kibler were among just 20 Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop fellows selected from a nationwide pool of applicants this year by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the University of Portland’s highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal, at the university’s 2011 commencement exercises on May 8.
“Toi, toi, toi” is a superstitious invocation of opera singers, meant to encourage a winning performance before taking the stage. “We don’t say, ‘Break a leg,’” fifth-year senior and University of Notre Dame Chorale member Joshua Diaz explains. Diaz might be hearing that old stage charm at an extraordinary venue later this month—the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome—where he and about 50 other members of the Notre Dame Chorale are scheduled to perform for Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops and pilgrims in attendance at a general audience on May 25, 2011.
“Most people who are interested in the Troubles focus on the 4,000 deaths,” says Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science and sociology at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “I thought much of the story was being missed.” An expert on political conflict, human rights violations, genocide, and government repression, Davenport for the past five years has been using quantitative research methods to study the ethno-political conflict that took place in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1998.
No one would dispute that religious convictions can lead to conflict—even violence and war. Yet how is it that so often adversaries use their faith to justify opposing stances in the same dispute? That’s the question that intrigues Christopher Morrissey, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology.