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.
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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.”
A trio of Notre Dame students and alumni have been named Yenching Scholars, a globally competitive award that provides a full scholarship and stipend to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree at China’s top university. Teresa Kennedy ’16, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts; senior Jenny Ng, a political science major from Sai Kung, Hong Kong; and Dominic Romeo ’14, a political science and Chinese major from Turlock, California, were named to the third cohort entering the Yenching Academy, based at Peking University in Beijing.
Jennifer Jones is an assistant professor of sociology and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research uses qualitative methods to explore increasing migration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. In this video, she discusses her work on how race relations are changing and what race means for politics and inequality.
Margot E. Fassler, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at Notre Dame, will become president of the Medieval Academy of America in April. As head of the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies, Fassler hopes to focus attention on a historical era that she believes can provide better understanding of the political, environmental, and class problems currently facing the globe.
Barry Lopez’s work has taken him to more than 80 countries over the past 50 years, including some of the most inhospitable places on earth. But on March 9, Lopez is coming home to his alma mater to discuss a topic both timely and close to his heart: the writer’s role in engaging the public on environmental issues.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded researchers at the University of Notre Dame a $3 million grant to study the relationships between parents and infants, the first study of its kind that will include fathers as well as mothers as participants. The researchers, who will work with babies living with their married or co-habiting parents, will study the stability of the parents’ relationship and its effect on the wellbeing of their baby. Parents will go through a program designed to encourage healthy parenting and communication
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.
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.