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Video: Meet Music Major Samantha Osborn

“We study not only the pieces of music that these composers wrote but where they grew up, who they learned music from, and how previous composers influenced the type of music that they wrote,” says Samantha Osborn, a music major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “You really can’t understand a piece of music until you understand the history, politics, art—all of the influences that helped create that piece of music.”

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Notre Dame Researchers Using Smart Devices to Measure Emotionality of Offline Communication

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, and Faculty News

A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Texas A&M University are developing an innovative system using smart devices to measure the emotionality of offline communications. The interdisciplinary effort is designed to examine whether the increasing prevalence of online interactions may be inhibiting the development of strong, reciprocal, and emotionally significant offline social ties.

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New Research on Catholic Generosity Finds Giving Stems From Conscious Effort

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Catholicism, and Faculty News

Massive catastrophes, the globally televised images of human suffering they generate, and the innate compassion of ordinary people invariably combine to unleash impressive feats of giving, but a new University of Notre Dame study suggests that generosity, at least among American Catholics, may be more complicated than that.

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ND Expert: Brazilian Authorities’ Blunders Fuel Protests

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, and Faculty News

By agreeing to increase public transportation fares just two weeks before hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup, coupled with the repressive reaction to protesters by military police in Sao Paulo, Brazilian authorities have transformed a struggle for free transportation into a major wave of protest against political corruption and inequality, according to Guillermo Trejo, University of Notre Dame political scientist and fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

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New Sociologist Focuses on Immigration

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, and Faculty News

Jennifer Jones, the newest faculty member in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, focuses her teaching and research on the ways in which immigration policies affect the experiences and identities of various minority groups in the United States. “I liked observing the dynamics around race in other countries and that got me interested in comparing race relations and how race works here,” she explains.

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Rising Senior Alex Coccia Named Truman Scholar

Alex Coccia, an Africana studies and peace studies major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been named a 2013 Truman Scholar. Established in 1975 as a “living memorial” to President Harry S. Truman, the prestigious scholarship 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. Nationwide, just 60 to 65 college juniors are selected as Truman scholars each year, based on leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference.”

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Video: English Professor Barry McCrea on Why Novels Matter

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, and Faculty News

“Why do we read novels and why do we write novels? We live inside of our heads, which is a place of dreams and fantasies and wishes and desires, but we live out our lives in this shared real world,” says Barry McCrea, the Donald R. Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies in Notre Dame’s Department of English. “Novels offer us not just a map of the human mind but a way to understand how the individual human mind interacts with the world outside.”

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Junior Seeks to Effect Change Through Economics

Author: Chris Milazzo

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, Centers and Institutes, and Internationalism

Notre Dame junior Stephen Zerfas has a motto that he likes to share only somewhat jokingly: “If you wanted to make a difference in the world 400 years ago, you did it through religion,” he says. “200 years ago, you did it through government; today, you do it through business. Clearly, you do not need to work in business to make a difference today,” Zerfas says, “but the statement does reflect my belief that there is great potential at the intersection of the efficiency of the private sector and the often more noble and substantial aims of the public sector.” The search for that sweet spot, he says, is what led him to pursue an economics major and the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) minor in the College of Arts and Letters.

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Aaron Willis Named the 2013-2014 Murphy Irish Exchange Fellow

Author: Margaret Lloyd

Categories: General News and Centers and Institutes

Aaron Willis, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of History, has been named the 2013-2014 Murphy Irish Exchange Fellow. In its second year, the Exchange Fellowship was established to promote research in Irish Studies through a greater understanding between graduate students at Notre Dame and the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.

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FedEx Executive Combines Liberal Arts and Engineering

Author: Ben Horvath

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, Alumni, and Centers and Institutes

An engineer with a strong liberal arts background is a valuable asset in today’s business world, says Craig Simon, president and chief executive officer of FedEx SupplyChain and a 1989 alumnus of Notre Dame’s distinctive Arts and Letters/Engineering Dual-Degree Program. “When you get into the business world, you’re going to stand out because you will have the ability to use both sides of your brain,” says Simon, who spoke at a recent event honoring the top students in the program.

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Catherine Reidy Named a Clarendon Scholar

Catherine Reidy, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in psychology with a minor in anthropology, has been awarded a Clarendon Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford. Reidy, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, will use the scholarship to study for her master’s degree in African Studies starting in October.

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Fighting for Democracy and Policy Change in Latin America

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, and Faculty News

Just as the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas on January 1, 1994, was a turning point in Mexico’s history, it was a turning point for Guillermo Trejo, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science and a faculty fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

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Philosophy Professor Awarded ACLS Fellowship for Work on Newton

Author: Aaron Smith

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, and Faculty News

The American Council of Learned Societies has awarded a 2013 fellowship to Katherine Brading, William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Collegiate Professor of Philosophy in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and director of the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) graduate program in the University’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values.

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Chinese Poetry Expert Receives Research Fellowship

Author: Chris Milazzo

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, and Faculty News

Xiaoshan Yang, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year. “Chinese poetry is a significant component of Chinese culture. It is known both for its antiquity and for its continuity,” says Yang, who specializes in classical Chinese poetry and poetics. “ So I was both excited and humbled to receive the award.”

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Brad Gregory Appointed Director of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, and Faculty News

Brad Gregory, professor of history and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected as the new director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS). He succeeds Vittorio Hösle, the institute’s founding director for the past five years and the Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters in the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures and concurrent professor of philosophy and of political science.

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Giving Voice to the Voiceless in Rural Mali

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, and Faculty News

From the beginning of their joint research on political participation in rural Mali, Notre Dame political scientist Jaimie Bleck and Kellogg Institute for International Studies Visiting Fellow Kristin Michelitch were interested in the voices of voiceless citizens. Mali had experienced two decades of democratic rule but mass illiteracy, gender inequality, and elite control of political knowledge meant that many rural citizens, especially women, had little real role in the political process.

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Video: Spanish Community-Based Learning at Notre Dame

Since the fall of 2010, Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, through a joint faculty appointment, are extending student learning into the Latino community on South Bend’s west side. “Community-based learning brings the curriculum to life,” says Notre Dame senior Michael Thomas, a Spanish and finance major. “It’s an opportunity to put a face to the knowledge and the content that you gain in the classroom.”

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Exploring Capitalism and Catholicism in India and Dubai

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, and Catholicism

What is the role of religion in rapidly developing societies? It is a hotly contested question among social scientists and theologians alike, with the prevailing view holding that global capitalism either makes religion irrelevant or produces a backlash of fundamentalism. Brandon Vaidyanathan, a graduate student in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, is discovering a different reality as he focuses on the world of skilled professionals in multinational corporations in two rapidly globalizing cities—Bangalore, India, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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History Professor Christopher Hamlin Invited to the IAS

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, and Faculty News

Notre Dame Professor of History Christopher Hamlin has been invited to study at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., for the 2013-14 academic year. While at the IAS, he plans to continue his research on the intersection of public health and economic policy in 19th century Ireland and Scotland.

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Historian John Van Engen Awarded 2013 Haskins Medal

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, and Faculty News

John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has won the 2013 Haskins Medal for his book, Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages. The Haskins Medal is the highest award granted by the Medieval Academy of America, the main professional organization for medievalists.

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Psychology Student Examines Legacy of Trauma

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and Centers and Institutes

University of Notre Dame senior Taylor Thomas says she chose to major in psychology because it can help bring order to things that seem incomprehensible. “I’m interested in the ways we can explain systematically the very chaotic aspects of life.” In pursuing this interest, Thomas spent last summer studying how mothers who have experienced trauma engage their children in conversation.

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Grant Helps Students Explore the American Dream

Author: Ben Horvath

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, Research, and Centers and Institutes

Notre Dame students looking to investigate some of the pressing issues facing our country today can get support for their research through the American Dream Summer Grant program. Offered by the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the grant is available to both undergraduate and graduate students to conduct an original research or creative project exploring some aspect of the “American Dream.”

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