Paloma Garcia-Lopez — an educator, nonprofit leader, and manager with more than 15 years of experience — has been appointed associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) at the University of Notre Dame. In her new role, Garcia-Lopez will manage and oversee all of the activities and staff of the institute. Garcia-Lopez will focus on enhancing annual programming, special events, communications, fundraising and budgeting. She will be a central figure in the development of a strategic plan to support scholarly initiatives in Latino studies as a key component of Notre Dame’s academic mission.
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Michelle Karnes believes imagination is the key to understanding medieval meditations about the life of Christ. When readers picture themselves holding Jesus as a baby or feeding him, it evokes powerful emotions, she said. “There are good cognitive reasons why imagining yourself participating in Christ’s life helps you engage with the narrative,” she said. “It causes you to invest yourself in a more profound way.” Karnes joins the faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall as an associate professor of English, after eight years at Stanford University.
In the past two years, 35 history majors in Paul Ocobock’s honors seminar have received more than $125,000 in funding to do original research around the world. And every student in his course who applied for funding received it — using the grants to explore archives in France, Ireland, Uganda, China, and South Korea, among other places. But to Ocobock, there is something even more important than his students’ 100 percent success rate in securing funding — the sense of community they develop as they plan their projects together, travel the globe to conduct research, then return to his classroom to begin work on their senior theses.
This year’s report estimates poverty in the U.S. to be 12.7 percent for 2016, which is very close to the rate in 1980, suggesting little progress or change in the fight against poverty. However, the official poverty measure is flawed, according to James Sullivan, Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, and Bruce Meyer, McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
In his opening remarks for “Land O’Lakes and Its Legacy,” on September 5, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., suggested that among the essential activities of a university is to engage in discussion and debate about what its proper activities are. The examination included a lecture and panel discussion with four other Catholic university presidents in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the drafting and signing of the Land O’Lakes Statement. Arts and Letters Dean John T. McGreevy opened the event with a talk on the historical contexts of Land O’Lakes. He pointed to the impact of Vatican II, shifts in university and faculty governance, and a more global Church as essential backdrops for understanding the intentions of Land O’Lakes.
“I'm interested in literature as product of a community and the way in which they decide what to include, what not to include, what is good, what is bad, how they choose to engage with censorship or not engage with censorship,” said Michel Hockx, professor of Chinese literature and culture in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Letters and director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. Hockx has published works both in English and in Chinese on early 20th-century Chinese print culture as well as contemporary Internet culture in China.
In summer 2016, Notre Dame senior Andrew Grose studied abroad in Spain — taking a headfirst dive into a language and culture he loved and had studied for years. The experience confirmed for him that whatever path he takes after graduation, Spanish will be a part of it. Grose, a Spanish and preprofessional studies major, is planning a career in medicine and knows his language skills will be a valuable asset — a fact that was underscored in a course on Latin America he took last fall.
Cummings, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, recently won the 2017 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s developmental psychology section. Over the past 35 years, he has done extensive research to show that inter-parental relationships, father-child relationships, and other family relationships and processes are related to children’s short-term and long-term adjustment and well-being. With research projects in Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel, Croatia, and Iran, he is also examining how political violence affects children's emotional security and development.
A concurrent assistant professional specialist in the College of Arts and Letters, Thibert had served as acting director of the center since January. He previously served as assistant director of national fellowships, interim director, and associate director.
The University of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, in collaboration with the Office of the President, will host five Catholic university presidents on Sept. 5 for a lecture and panel to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the drafting and signing of the Land O’Lakes Statement.
The National Institutes of Health awarded a new $3.5 million grant to Notre Dame’s William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families in support of a project for families that include a child with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The new Supporting Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Communication (ND-SPARC) project is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention program to support families that include an individual with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
To preserve and share the history of political upheaval that ultimately changed the Latin American Catholic Church, Notre Dame researchers are collecting a variety of audio recordings, handwritten documents, and texts to develop a digital library of critical events that took place throughout Latin America over more than 60 years and ultimately changed the Catholic Church.
Nanovic Hall, the state-of-the-art new home to the Departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology, their affiliated centers and programs, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, includes laboratory and research spaces, classrooms, and offices, all designed to encourage interaction between faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. It features a soaring, three-story forum to be used for events, the latest video conferencing technology in each of the departmental suites, and a formal mediation room modeled after the United Nations that has translation capabilities for up to three languages.
Sophomores and juniors from any major or college at the University of Notre Dame may participate in the semester-long Washington Program. Students live in apartments in downtown Washington, D.C., and take classes focused on politics and policy while also interning part-time with government offices, members of Congress, media companies, or cultural institutions. Students gain professional experience, learn to network, and experience the unique opportunities of big city living.
Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology in the Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and a fellow in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, has been named one of two winners of the first Expanded Reason Award for research. The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries.
The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame has received multiple funding awards totaling nearly $700,000 this summer to continue its work reducing poverty and improving lives through evidence-based programs and policies. “We are excited about and thankful for the support from these funders,” said James Sullivan, co-founder of LEO and the Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Economics. “This will allow us to continue to create evidence that supports programs doing innovative work to serve the poor.”
Although working-age adult refugees who enter the United States often initially rely on public assistance programs, a study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame indicates that the long-term economic benefit of admitting refugees outweighs the initial costs. The study, published as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper this week, was conducted by William Evans, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, and Daniel Fitzgerald, undergraduate research assistant at Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities.
John Cavadini, University of Notre Dame professor of theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, will deliver a theological reflection to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during its annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15 in Indianapolis.
John Van Engen, the Andrew V. Tackes Professor of Medieval History, received two significant honors from the Medieval Academy of America at its annual meeting in Toronto last month. A member of Notre Dame’s Department of History since 1977, Van Engen received the association’s Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies and was elected president of the Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America, a group formed more than 90 years ago to promote the study of the Middle Ages and recognize scholars around the world who make important contributions to the field.
J.J. Wright, University of Notre Dame doctoral candidate in sacred music and Grammy award-winning composer, will premiere his five-part composition “Drama and Devotion” on June 1 (Thursday) at Chiesa Nuova in Rome.
Craig Iffland, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Theology, has been named a 2017 recipient of the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. He is one of only 21 scholars from across the country to receive the award, the nation’s largest and most prestigious for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences who are addressing questions of ethical and religious values
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized Robert Vargas, assistant professor of sociology, with an Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Vargas is one of 10 Notre Dame faculty members to receive the award in 2017.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the National Science Foundation, the Rhodes Trust, and other organizations have awarded scholarships and fellowships to 23 members of the College of Arts and Letters’ Class of 2017.
Seniors Alexis Doyle and Leah Landry have won the Kroc Institute's Yarrow Award in Peace Studies. Doyle is a biological sciences major with a supplementary major in peace studies and a Glynn Family Honors Scholar. Landry is a political science major with supplementary majors in Spanish and peace studies and a minor in business economics. The Yarrow Award is given annually to peace studies undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and a commitment to service in peace and justice.
Kristin Valentino’s research on evaluating the effectiveness of a brief relational intervention for maltreated preschool-aged children and their mothers is featured in a special section of Child Development. In order to help children facing maltreatment, researchers and clinicians first needed to address the heart of the problem. The relationship between the parent and child is key, she argues.
Asher Kaufman, professor of history and peace studies, has been appointed the John M. Regan, Jr. Director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, effective July 1, 2017.
Notre Dame junior Rebecca Blais, a political science major from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar. Blais is one of just 62 college juniors to be selected for the prestigious scholarship this year, from a pool of 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities nationwide. Established in 1975 as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman, the award 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.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies, will spend a year studying three predominant forms of violence in sub-Saharan Africa after being named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017–2018, one of six scholars selected from members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Katongole will begin a yearlong study in January aimed at looking at ethnic, religious, and ecological violence in African countries south of the Sahara.
The College of Arts and Letters and the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) will launch a new certificate program in international security studies in fall 2017. Open to political science majors, the program will offer rigorous training for students interested in exploring career opportunities in international security and foreign policy. To earn the certificate, students must take the U.S. National Security Policy gateway course and two relevant electives, finish a two-semester senior thesis research project, complete an approved internship in the world of international security policy, and participate in NDISC’s seminar series and other events.
Whether their research explores community-led initiatives, national trends, or international issues, Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology produce outstanding research that is leading to grants, fellowships, and job offers. “Our students benefit from the fact that our faculty is unusually large and strong and covers almost the entire range of sociology,” said Lyn Spillman, director of graduate studies. “They enjoy not only our excellent faculty/student ratios but also the wide range of expertise we offer. The result is that our students produce new knowledge across the entire disciplinary range.”