Seven University of Notre Dame students and two faculty members traveled to Northern Ireland this spring to explore the role of digital technology in peace building. As part of a new Center for Social Concerns (CSC) seminar, the Notre Dame team worked with eight students from Lismore Comprehensive School, a Catholic school in Portadown, and four students from Lurgan Junior High School to help create a website. Lurgan Junior High is a Protestant school about 20 minutes from Portadown.
Latest News » Centers and Institutes
It is widely known that Spanish missionaries played a significant role in introducing Catholicism to the peoples of the Andes throughout the colonial period. Notre Dame senior history major Joseph VanderZee traveled to archives in Lima and Rome to dig a little deeper and find out what these early missionaries thought of the indigenous population—and how their attitudes affected the development of the Peruvian Church.
Large-scale microfinance programs are widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries, but a recent study by University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski and MIT colleague Robert Townsend suggests that microfinancing can have varying results for participants and may not be the most cost-effective use of funds for many situations. The study was published in a recent issue of Econometrica. Kaboski and Townsend used the Thai Million Baht Village Fund, one of the largest government microfinance initiatives of its kind, to evaluate and understand the benefits and disadvantages of microfinance interventions.
Jessica Scanlan Bailey ’01 is the sustainable development program officer for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York, where she focuses on climate change. Her position involves allocating funds for research, advocacy, communications, and other efforts to organizations focused on advancing clean energy policies at the state and federal level. Bailey graduated from Notre Dame with degrees in government and anthropology and a minor in peace studies.
University of Notre Dame engineer James Schmiedeler received the 2012 Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D., Faculty Community-based Research Award for a project that uses the Nintendo Wii Fit platform to assist individuals dealing with weakness, paralysis, or impairments in balance and mobility as a result of strokes, accidents or illness. Schmiedeler, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, developed “WeHab” with colleagues from the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Letters, working in collaboration with the therapy staff at Memorial Hospital in South Bend.
Art. Sacred music. Medieval history. And the digital humanities. Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at Notre Dame, brings them all together in her current research on Hildegard of Bingen—research for which she has been recently awarded fellowships from both the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Adding to these accolades, Fassler, who co-directs the Master of Sacred Music program in the College of Arts and Letters, today received the 2012 Otto Gründler Book Prize for The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts (Yale University Press, 2010).
A two-day working conference titled Learning In and Out of School: Education Across the Globe will bring a dozen researchers to the Notre Dame campus May 22–23 to share and discuss a broad range of perspectives on the nature of learning. “We’re taking a critical look at conventional schooling and bringing insights from other domains to understand human learning and to improve schooling—which is one of my goals as a teacher and researcher,” says organizer Susan Blum, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology.
During his time at Notre Dame, Tom Hampson ’71, ’73 M.A., thought he would become a photographer, a mathematician, or a marine biologist. He never expected to be able to turn his passion for social justice—or his two College of Arts and Letters degrees in theology—into a career. But that is exactly what he has done during nearly 30 years at Church World Service, a career that has taken the Elkhart, Ind., resident to more than two dozen countries around the world.
Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., associate professor of theology and director of the Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, has received the 2012 Touchstone Award from the National Federation of Priests’ Councils (NFPC). In announcing the award, the NFPC, which represents 26,000 priests nationwide, praised Father Groody’s work in the Latino community and his scholarship in migration issues and theology.
José E. Limón, one of the country’s foremost scholars of Latino literature, has been tapped to lead the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS). As the new director of ILS, he will hold the Julian Samora Chair in Latino Studies. Timothy Matovina, a leading expert on Latino Catholicism, will serve as executive director of the institute, which is housed in the College of Arts and Letters. Both appointments take effect July 1, 2012. Established in 1999, the Institute for Latino Studies supports a variety of interdisciplinary initiatives to foster understanding of the U.S. Latino experience.
Robert C. Johansen, who retired this year as professor of political science and peace studies and a founding faculty member of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, was recently honored with a conference titled “Global Governance and the Future of Strategic Peacebuilding.” It focused on a central theme of Johansen’s scholarship and teaching: the importance of strengthening ethical and legal norms and international institutions that contribute to peace and justice.
Karen Richman, a Notre Dame anthropologist who studies Haitian culture and popular religion, has been honored with the 2012 Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence. Her free, online Creole Language and Culture class was one of five winners in the text and still image category—selected from among the 17,000 courses shared by universities worldwide through the OpenCourseWare Consortium.
As our nation’s youngest, longest-lived and fastest-growing labor force, understanding the savings and retirement security of Latinos is of national importance. “Confianza, Savings, and Retirement,” a new report from Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, examines the social, cultural, and economic factors influencing Chicago-area Mexican immigrants’ savings and preparedness for retirement.
A signature work of the Bard just became more accessible thanks to a new iPad app developed by University of Notre Dame Associate Professor of English Elliott Visconsi and Bryn Mawr College colleague Professor Katherine Rowe.
Collin Erker and Erin Moffitt, both juniors in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, spent four weeks wading through the Great Lakes’ coastal wetlands to create a documentary called Waterlogged.
“Ideas matter, and they can be a powerful force for global political change,” says Eileen Hunt Botting, a University of Notre Dame political theorist who charts early thinking on women’s rights in countries around the world. Botting and political science major Sean Kronewitter ‘13 cowrote an article on the subject which was recently accepted for publication in the academic journal Political Theory.
Olivier Morel’s film On the Bridge, about veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been selected for more than a dozen festivals, won multiple awards, and has been the subject of countless media interviews since its fall 2011 release. But all of that recognition pales in comparison with a chain of events that occurred earlier this year, the director and Notre Dame faculty member says.
A new blog produced by the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CSSM) at the University of Notre Dame is bringing scholars, activists, and policymakers together like never before to discuss social movements and change.
English and anthropology major Caitlin Wilson traveled down the rabbit hole for her senior thesis, which examines the connection between Victorian children’s literature and ethnography, or the anthropological study of customs and cultures.
Melissa Wrapp and Patrick McCormick, seniors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, have been named recipients of the Kroc Institute’s 2012 Yarrow Award, given annually to undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to service in peace studies. Wrapp, an anthropology and peace studies major, and McCormick, a political science and peace studies major, will accept their awards at the Kroc Institute’s undergraduate recognition ceremony on May 18.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world work for humanitarian organizations devoted to the sick and injured, refugees, and victims of wars and disasters. In recent years, this work has become even more dangerous, as growing numbers of humanitarian workers have been attacked, kidnapped, or killed, according to Larissa Fast, assistant professor of conflict resolution at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Department of Sociology.
ND Thinks Big, a student-organized event modeled after TED talks and Harvard Thinks Big, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in the Jordan Auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Sponsored by student forum The Hub and the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, the event features 10 speakers from the Notre Dame faculty and administration, who will each deliver a 10-minute talk about their research and current work within their respective fields.
Notre Dame political scientist Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., and economist Molly Lipscomb have teamed up to conduct a randomized controlled trial in 250 villages of rural Uganda, where contaminated water is a major cause of health problems and premature death. Funded by a $279,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the study will assess whether religious or political leaders are more effective at promoting health-enhancing behaviors.
Okuyamba, a locally produced award-winning short documentary about palliative care in Uganda, will be shown in the auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21. The film is directed by Ted Mandell, a faculty member in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT), and Mike Wargo of the Hospice Foundation.
Before he was Pope Benedict XVI, before he was a cardinal and a Vatican bureaucrat, and before he was archbishop of Munich, the German priest and professor Joseph Ratzinger taught theology at the Universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen, and Regensburg, served as a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council and wrote several widely acclaimed and influential books of theology. Touching on nearly every imaginable theological topic, that career, uninterrupted and even magnified by the theologian’s election to the papacy, will be the subject of a conference, God is Love: Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI, to be held at the University of Notre Dame March 25–27 (Sunday–Tuesday).
Kathleen Sprows Cummings, associate professor of American Studies, has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Charles and Margaret Hall Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. Announcing the appointment, John McGreevy, dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, praised Cummings as “one of the country’s most accomplished scholars of American Catholicism.”
In preserving and developing the intellectual and literary traditions of the Greco-Roman world, in fashioning eastern orthodox Christianity, and in defining the notion of a Christian empire that was a center of intellectual and commercial trade, the Byzantine Empire was one of the great formative cultures in European history. Although its rule ended in 1453 C.E., Byzantium’s influence was far from over, and the University’s Byzantine Studies at Notre Dame initiative continues to explore this influential period in medieval history.
A unique departmental approach to graduate students’ professional development is paying dividends for Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology. Over the past two years, more than 18 students have published a book, article, or book review in a peer-reviewed journal—for a combined total of 26 articles, three books and two book reviews. Nearly half of the publications have appeared in top-ranked journals.
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.
Phillip Sloan, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, is one of a series of philosophers, political scientists, and theologians invited to speak to the undergraduate students enrolled in a new course called On Human Dignity. A philosopher and historian of science, Sloan emphasizes that the concept of human dignity, the insistence that a human being is literally invaluable, is not only central to the social teaching of Roman Catholicism, but emerges from a philosophical tradition with ancient and pre-Christian Greek and Roman roots.