The first pieces in the expansion of the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) are in place, as the once-small program builds toward its long-term goal as a thought leader in American grand strategy. Led by Director Michael Desch, a professor in the Department of Political Science, NDISC recently hired three new faculty members and brought on board three postdoctoral fellows.
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Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.
Robert Vargas, a Notre Dame assistant professor of sociology and faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies, has won a book award for his ethnographic study of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and its confrontational relationships between police, politicians, and gangs. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences will present its Outstanding Book Award to Vargas at its annual meeting in March in Kansas City, Missouri.
Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion.
In her academic research, Debra Javeline leads two lives. She is passionate about sustainability—and how post-Communist Russia is perceived. She is focused on coastal adaptation to climate change—and on the response to political violence in a small Russian town. An associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, Javeline is pursuing multiple projects in two distinct research areas—one focused on politics, conflict, and protest in Russia and the other involving the environment and sustainability.
Luis Fraga, an esteemed scholar and pioneer in the field of Latino politics and co-director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, has won a major award from the Midwest Political Science Association. The organization’s Latino/a Caucus will present Fraga with its Distinguished Career Award at the MPSA 2017 annual conference April 6-9 in Chicago. It will hold a special roundtable honoring his research, teaching, and service record. Fraga and other panelists will discuss his collaborative work, students he mentored, people who influenced and mentored him, and other topics.
Beginning Monday (Jan. 16), the University of Notre Dame will host a series of events to mark both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Walk the Walk Week. The observances celebrate the diversity that currently exists on the University’s campus and offer an opportunity to reflect on how each member of the campus community can take an active role in making the University more welcoming and inclusive.
Notre Dame’s rapidly growing Department of Economics has added six new faculty members who bring diverse expertise in political economy, econometrics, labor mobility, market design, urban geography and poverty, and international finance. Lakshmi Iyer, Marinho Bertanha, Nilesh Fernando, Michèle Müller-Itten, David Phillips, and César Sosa-Padilla join the ranks of a vibrant department that has added more than a dozen faculty members in the last four years and offers one of the University’s largest undergraduate majors.
Since it began in 2010, the Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program (ALSIP) has awarded over $600,000 in funding to more than 250 students who gain experience and explore career options in a real-world environment—anywhere from C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., to a product design firm in New York City, to a nonprofit organization in Cape Town, South Africa.
Timothy Matovina, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected to receive the 2016 Richard Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research. The Cushing Medal is intended to recognize the work of Church leaders, who, like Cardinal Cushing, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of the Catholic Church’s needs through research.
Notre Dame senior Joseph Strasz made the most of his study abroad experience by participating in the Rome International Scholars Program—a unique opportunity for students interested in conducting research, completing an internship, and participating in extensive service learning in Rome. “I am exceptionally glad that I chose to do this. It has been 100% worth it,” said Strasz, an Italian studies and Greek and Roman civilizations major.
Notre Dame’s annual Rome Seminar brings together graduate students and junior faculty members from around the world to learn from top scholars and interact with peers at the University’s Rome Global Gateway. Sponsored by the Italian Studies at Notre Dame program and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the seminar’s interdisciplinary topic changes each year.
Even during fall break, College of Arts and Letters students were hard at work. They toured Latin America to perform sacred music. They gathered to collaborate on senior thesis projects and dissertations. And they traveled to major cities across the U.S. to explore career options and network with Notre Dame alumni.
More than 30,000 children will benefit from the $6.3 million grant awarded to the University to improve early-grade literacy in Haiti. The grant is a part of a broader national campaign of the Haitian Catholic Church and its partners to improve literacy outcomes in 1,000 Haitian Catholic schools in the next four years.
At the close of Black Catholic History Month, celebrated every November, Notre Dame is preparing major new resources for the ongoing study of religious experiences and social contexts highlighted during the month. Leaders from the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) recently presented a unique historical collection to the University Archives of the University of Notre Dame. It promises to significantly augment the documentary record not only for African American Catholic studies, but also for broader scholarship in U.S. religious history.
Through intensive language coursework and daily interaction with native speakers, the Summer Language Abroad experience allows students to rapidly enhance their command of a foreign language—be it Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, or Swahili. About 60 participated in the 2016 SLA program through Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures.
Watkins, a native of Blacksburg, Virginia, and Doyle, of Los Altos, California, are two of 32 Rhodes Scholars selected from a pool of 882 candidates who had been endorsed by their colleges and universities. They are Notre Dame’s 18th and 19th Rhodes Scholars and will commence their studies at Oxford University in October.
The Global Religion Research Initiative at Notre Dame, directed by Christian Smith, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, is a newly launched initiative in the center that aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia. Smith was awarded $4.9 million from the Templeton Religion Trust and will fund more than 150 research proposals by distributing $3.1 million to scholars of global religion through three rounds of applications over the next three years.
Christmas nativity scenes recreated by cultures from around the world are on display in six Notre Dame campus buildings through Jan. 31, 2017. The third annual International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage features 30 crèches on loan from the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. The exhibit is sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life.
Policy research by Reyes Ruiz González, a graduate student in economics and Ph.D. fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, was recently published by Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, a leading public policy think tank that promotes economic opportunity, prosperity, and peace. The case study, coauthored by Arturo Ramírez Verdugo, analyzes successful subnational approaches to reducing violence related to drug trafficking and organized crime that spiked in two of Mexico’s northernmost states in 2009–11.
King Fok, a a junior majoring in sociology and Arts and Letters pre-health with a minor in international development studies, has been awarded the 2016 Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship for his semester of study at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway. Launched by the Association of American Study Abroad Programmes (AASAP/UK), the Lord Acton Memorial Scholarship rewards a “deserving student” who “demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of the value of an international educational experience.”
While universality—and unity amid diversity—is a fundamental characteristic of Roman Catholicism, all-too-familiar issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and authority have wrought the church with internal conflict and no clear path to finding middle ground. A new book, co-edited by Mary Ellen Konieczny, intends to start the conversation about the polarization in the Catholic Church through healthy debates and genuine engagement.
A new book by Notre Dame Sociologist Terence McDonnell examines why expensive media campaigns that try to harness the power of culture to change beliefs or behavior often fail. Using AIDS campaigns in Ghana as his central case study, he lays out an argument that carries important implications for diverse types of media campaigns around the world.
Karen Graubart loves a good puzzle. In a Peruvian archive this summer, the Notre Dame associate professor of history and Romance languages and literatures found a piece of a puzzle that reshaped how many scholars view colonial Latin American rule. Her research discovery supports arguments she recently made in her article in Hispanic American Historical Review, which won the Conference on Latin American History’s 2015 James Alexander Robertson Memorial Prize.
James Sullivan, co-founder of the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Development and Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, will testify Nov. 4 in Washington, D.C.
When honors medieval studies major Karen Neis ’16 took a class on Charlemagne, the unusual story of the emperor’s prized elephant resonated with her. She recalled that story when it came time to choose a senior thesis, ultimately leading her to produce an illustrated children’s book, Abul Abbas, The Elephant. The book recounts the journey of the elephant a caliph gave as a gift to Charlemagne around the year 800. In the story, a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim all work together to transport the elephant 3,000 miles from Baghdad to Aachen.
French literature has received a lot of attention lately from an unexpected source—economists. Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, wants to evaluate their interpretations and delve deeper into literary representations of money. Douthwaite has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities—her second—for her book project on the topic, tentatively titled Financiers We Have Known: A Capitalist History of Literature.
César Soto wants to know how the spark of political revolution can transform religious concepts of community and inclusion. To better understand the issue, he’s turning to the literature of England, Ireland, and Mexico in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Soto, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of English with a graduate minor in Irish studies, has been awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-17 to support his project.
Graduate students Filippo Gianferrari and Adriana Monica Solomon have been awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships to delve deeper into the lives and impact of two intellectual archetypes—Dante and Isaac Newton, respectively. Gianferrari, a Ph.D. candidate in the Medieval Institute, is investigating the Latin authors who may have influenced Dante. And Solomon, a philosophy Ph.D. candidate in the History and Philosophy of Science Program at the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, is shining a light on Newton’s lesser-known contributions to philosophy and science.
An interdisciplinary research collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University has awarded more than $344,000 to seven projects in the final year of the program that explores the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of hope and optimism, as well as related states such as pessimism, anxiety, and despair. The project, Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations, also announced the winners of its Hope on Stage and Hope on Screen contests, which challenged artists to create both original plays and original films that explored the concept of hope.