Associate Professor Daniel Hobbins’s arrival at the University of Notre Dame this fall is a homecoming of sorts. A cultural and intellectual historian of the late middle ages, Hobbins received his Ph.D. in medieval history from Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute in 2002 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University in 2004.
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Novelist Mo Yan today became the first Chinese writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. If you have ever read any of his work in English, you probably have Howard Goldblatt to thank. Big Breasts and Wide Hips, Red Sorghum, The Republic of Wine, The Garlic Ballads, Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh, and Selected Stories by Mo Yan are among the author’s works translated by Goldblatt, a professor of Chinese in Notre Dame’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures from 2002-2011.
As a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff in Washington, D.C., Matthew Walsh ’06 conducts policy research, makes policy recommendations on Africa and development strategy, and contributes to speeches for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “One of our jobs is to provide the Secretary of State with second opinions on policy issues,” says Walsh, who majored in political science and peace studies at Notre Dame. “It’s an exciting job that goes to the heart of almost every foreign policy debate and can have a real influence on policy.”
As Fighting Irish fans descend upon Chicago for the Shamrock Series off-site home football game between the Notre Dame and Miami on Oct. 6 (Saturday), the University will present four academic events highlighting various topics of interest, including the national media, the economy, U.S. foreign policy, and the role of religion in politics today. All events are free and open to the public and will be held at the JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams St., Chicago.
The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values focuses on three broad areas in support of its mission: education, research and outreach, says Don A. Howard, center director and professor of philosophy. “We want to be a partner with technical faculty, to help them talk about social, ethical, legal and policy implications of science and technology. We also want to take our voice off-campus, and be more than a campus leader—we want to be a national and international leader.”
Together+, a campaign to combat xenophobia in South Africa by providing educational resources to empower people to embrace diversity, has been awarded a $50,000 Sappi Ideas that Matter grant. After a year of research, development, refinement, and two trips to Johannesburg, the grant will enable the together+ team to produce and distribute the first round of materials designed by students from the University of Notre Dame’s graphic design program in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
Two scholars from the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study recently were awarded a $1.58 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a three-year program to promote dialogue across academic disciplines. Vittorio Hösle, Paul Kimball Chair of Arts and Letters and director of NDIAS, and Donald Stelluto, associate director of NDIAS, won the award for their proposal, “Pursuing the Unity of Knowledge: Integrating Religion, Science, and the Academic Disciplines.” The program will foster inquiry into the “great questions” in an environment that considers secular and spiritual knowledge as mutually beneficial ways of learning, rather than rivals in a winner-take-all competition.
Lindsay Brown, a University of Notre Dame senior majoring in political science, has won Seventeen magazine’s“Pretty Amazing”contest, which celebrates young women who have done something exceptional. Brown was recognized for her service work with girls in Nepal and other countries, her involvement in the nonprofit organization“She’s the First,”and the creation of her own nonprofit project. As the contest winner, Brown received a $20,000 scholarship and will be featured on the cover of the October issue of Seventeen ."
University of Notre Dame political scientist Jaimie Bleck has won the 2011 Lynne Rienner Award for Best Dissertation in African Politics from the American Political Science Association’s Africa Politics Conference Group (APCG). Bleck’s award-winning work, “Schooling Citizens: Education, Citizenship, and Democracy in Mali,” explores the political effect of education in the West African country.
The University of Notre Dame’s Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA), is a connector and a hub whose interdisciplinary work and faculty affiliates span computing, science, engineering, mathematics, social science, and humanities. Nitesh Chawla of computer science and engineering is director of the center, with co-directors Michael Ferdig of biological sciences, David Hachen of sociology and Zoltán Toroczkai of physics. The multidisciplinary approach, reaching into education and service as well as research and science, puts iCeNSA on the leading edge of an accelerating trend in universities and other enterprises.
Notre Dame brought together some of the world’s top intellectuals on the 1916 Irish Rising to speak to a packed house at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.
A new book by political scientist and peace studies scholar Daniel Philpott makes the case for forgiveness and reconciliation as a way to achieve justice and lasting peace after violent conflict. Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation, recently released by Oxford University Press, explores the concept of reconciliation, which is deeply rooted in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as in the secular restorative justice movement.
While working as a national sales planner at Univision Television Group in 2009, Melissa Fisher ’07 began to feel restless. She wasn’t sure what direction to take next but knew she had to think more about what she wanted to do with her life, even if that meant taking a leap into the unknown. And so that’s exactly what she did: She quit her job and bought a one-way ticket to Cambodia. “I wanted to challenge myself and live in a developing country where I didn’t know the language,” says the former political science and Spanish double major. “I felt like I needed to do something challenging, to grow up and be on my own.”
Orlando Ricardo Menes, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Creative Writing Program, recently was named winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for his manuscript, Fetish, which will be published by the University of Nebraska Press.
University of Notre Dame Professor Christian Smith has won the 2012 Distinguished Career Award from the Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity section of the American Sociology Association (ASA). The accolade, presented at the ASA’s annual meeting in August, recognizes a senior scholar who has made significant contributions to the section’s areas of focus over an extended period of time. Smith, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, is a concurrent professor in the Department of Theology and director of both the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Center for Social Research, as well as College’s Science of Generosity initiative.
D’Arcy Jonathan Dacre Boulton, professor of the practice of medieval studies in the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute and concurrent professor in the College of Arts and Letters’ Department of History, has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada. The medal honors Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have made significant contributions to Canada or brought “great credit” to Canada for outstanding achievement abroad.
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 two awards for recent publications from the Catholic Press Association (CPA). The awards, one for Father Groody’s book Gustavo Gutierrez: Spiritual Writings, and another for an article titled “A Theology of Migration,” which Father Groody wrote for America magazine, were announced last month at the CPA’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.
Every six years, Mexicans go to the polls to elect a new president, and students erupt in protest, says University of Notre Dame historian Jaime Pensado, a fellow at the University’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. An expert on Mexican youth culture and student movements, Pensado says this year has been no different, as tens of thousands of students organized through social media took to the streets in the “Yo Soy 132” movement.
The International Criminal Court yesterday sentenced former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga to 14 years in prison for using children as soldiers in his rebel army—the first sentence handed down by the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal. “The criminal prosecution of Lubanga does not go far enough for international justice,” according to Daniel Philpott, associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame.
University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski has been awarded the 2012 Frisch Medal for a paper evaluating the impact of microfinance, widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries. First awarded in 1978, the Econometric Society presents the Frisch Medal biennially for the best empirical or theoretical applied paper published in Econometrica within the previous five years. The Frisch medal is not only one of the top three prizes in the field of economics but also the most prestigious “best article” award in the profession, says Rich Jensen, Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics at Notre Dame and chair of the Department of Economics.
The University of Notre Dame has entered into a historic partnership with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) that aims to improve learning for Indiana children. Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., of the University of Notre Dame, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced the partnership at a press conference in South Bend. This new research partnership will allow scholars at Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and others from around the country to conduct independent research to inform policymakers as they seek strategies to improve educational quality in Indiana.
Letras Latinas, the literary program of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, has announced the winners of its two national literary competitions—the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, which supports the publication of a first full-length book by a Hispanic poet residing in the United States; and the new Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize, which will usher into print a second or third book of poetry by a Hispanic writer.
The board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) has responded to a Vatican assessment reprimanding the organization for “serious doctrinal problems” and announcing plans to place it into a sort of “receivership” overseen by three American bishops. According to Kathleen Sprows Cummings, associate director of the University of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, the response of the LCWR, which represents most of the nation’s Catholic nuns, “will surprise no one who is familiar with how sisters operate.”
As a linguist, artist, semiotician, and interdisciplinary scholar committed to social action, graduating senior Mary Atwood is a Notre Dame original. Drawing on seven weeks of research in Peru, the theology major recently completed a senior thesis that included original oil paintings and English translations of three Inca legends gleaned from interviews with Quechua speakers in Cusco’s central market.
Notre Dame historian Olivia Remie Constable has been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for her book project Christian Perceptions of Muslim Identity in Medieval Spain. Among other things, her work will examine Christian attitudes toward Muslim dress and appearance and whether Muslims could engage in public religious expressions, teach Arabic to their children, and maintain bathhouses, schools, cemeteries, and other separate spaces important to the continuity of their culture and religion.
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.
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.