When King Fok was 6 years old, he suffered from an orthopedic condition that caused him to spend two years on crutches. Uncovered by his health insurance, the condition was Fok’s first glimpse into how socioeconomic status impacts health care. That childhood experience informed his decision to major in Arts and Letters pre-health at the University of Notre Dame. As a future physician, he hopes to make medical care more efficient, inclusive, and accessible to all. A sociology class his freshman year helped him discover a perfect major to pair with pre-health.
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Notre Dame research by Dominic Chaloner, Bharat Ranganathan, and Fr. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C. sought to explore the principles of integral ecology set forth in Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ - "On Care For Our Common Home."
An international economics major with a concentration in French and a supplementary major in peace studies, Brittany Ebeling has been named the 2018 Michel David-Weill Laureate, allowing her to pursue a fully funded two-year master’s degree program at the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies, or “Sciences Po.” The scholarship is awarded each year to one American who exemplifies the core values of Sciences Po alumnus Michel David-Weill, namely, academic excellence, leadership, multiculturalism, tolerance, and high achievement.
Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C. is associate professor of theology and global affairs and the director of the Kellogg Global Leadership Program. His research interests include migration and the US-Mexican border, international migration, and refugees.
Twenty-nine University of Notre Dame students and alumni were awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants during the 2017-18 academic year, placing Notre Dame second among all research institutions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Of the 29 students to receive Fulbrights last year, 22 were Arts and Letters students — which would place the College eighth in the nation among all doctoral institutions. Arts and Letters alone produced more Fulbright winners than the University of California at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Cornell University, and Johns Hopkins.
Six new faculty have joined the Department of Economics this year, bringing expertise in a wide variety of subfields and significant experience conducting research at the federal level. The new additions — professor of the practice Timothy Dunne; assistant professors Kirsten Cornelson, Illenin Kondo, Benjamin Pugsley, and Jasmine Xiao; and research assistant professor Sarah Kroeger — join a department undergoing remarkable growth. It has added 22 faculty members in the last five years, thanks in part to its selection as one of 10 essential research areas through the University’s Advancing Our Vision program.
Kristin Valentino is the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology. Her research interests include child development and child psychopathology.
When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.
“At the heart of the mission of a Catholic university is service to the Church,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame. “John Cavadini, whether through his leadership of the McGrath Institute for Church Life or his work as a theologian, has been tireless in seeking ways in which Notre Dame can better serve the Church.”
Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers with César Chavez will be the special guest of the Institute for Latino Studies’ Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture Series at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 13 (Tuesday) in McKenna Hall.
Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science has added four new faculty members, bolstering its expertise in international relations issues. The new faculty — Eugene Gholz, Joseph Parent, Rosemary Kelanic, and Jazmin Sierra — join an elite group of academics advancing research and teaching in a vibrant department. “International relations remains one of the most important areas of political science with direct relevance to the challenges of peace, prosperity, and trust among nations,” said Luis Ricardo Fraga, acting chair of the department. “Understanding these challenges in today’s ever-changing and complex world of politics requires analyses that are nuanced, evidence-driven, and grounded in the development of new theory.”
Researchers from Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) and the University of Maryland evaluated a program that pairs undergraduates with trained social workers who can help them navigate important non-academic hurdles — including child care and transportation — that often lead students to drop out. Students who participated in the comprehensive case management program were significantly more likely to stay enrolled and to graduate within six years.
Philosophy faculty members Michael Rea and Samuel Newlands have been awarded a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue questions related to the nature of the self. The grant supports the planning phase of a large, interdisciplinary project Rea and Newlands are developing — “Narrative Conceptions of the Self in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology.” In January, the philosophers will bring together scholars in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and theology to present cutting edge research from their fields toward answering the question, “how can we understand and make sense of the narrative conceptions of the self?”
From the capital of Uganda, to American Indian reservations, to museums across the country, Notre Dame students travel around the world to carry out academic projects with help from the College of Arts and Letters’ Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. With UROP’s financial support, students are able to engage in on-site research that can be used as the basis for a variety of independent projects, including a senior thesis. The experiences made possible through UROP not only lead to meaningful results, but also provide students with valuable life experiences they might not otherwise have.
“The medieval Mediterranean world is the one really impressive laboratory we have for studying how Jews and Christians and Muslims interacted with each other over a long period of time,” said Thomas Burman, professor of history and Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Burman’s research focuses on the scholars of the Middle Ages in Spain and the Middle East. His current project is on Ramon Marti, a Dominican priest who was proficient in Arabic and read extensively on Islam, yet almost exclusively engaged with Judaism in his writings.
Notre Dame anthropologist Alex E. Chávez published a new book, Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño through Duke University Press this week. Chávez came to his research not only as a trained scholar, but also as a performer, trained in classical and jazz. At an early age, he was also exposed to huapango arribeño. This understudied folk music originates in Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro, in the heart of Mexico.
The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame has released its sixth annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology. The annual list is designed to get people thinking about the ethics of potentially controversial technology, but the 2018 list shows that many of these issues are already here.
The first social psychology course that Jessica Collett took as an undergraduate left her wanting more. While the topic was fascinating, the examples in the textbook were dated and didn’t resonate with her or her fellow students. Now an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, Collett has won the 2017 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. And she’s now the co-author of that same textbook from her first sociology class.
Debra Javeline, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and affiliated faculty member of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, applies her knowledge to the “responses of ordinary people to hardship.” She spoke about her perspective in this Q&A session with ND-ECI.
In Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party (Princeton University Press, 2017), author A. James McAdams seeks to understand how such a significant institution could be so different from country to country and still flourish. To find the answer, McAdams traveled to every location with a history of communism to research this book, including China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union.
More than 750 scholars and guests are gathering at the University of Notre Dame for the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 18th annual interdisciplinary fall conference, “Through Every Human Heart,” November 9–11. The conference features 112 presentations that consider the perennial problem of good and evil in our world.
Stefanie Israel de Souza, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology and a dissertation year fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, has been awarded a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. She is one of just 10 students from across the country to win the prestigious award, which supports Ph.D. candidates in their final year of dissertation completion.
Working to advance the mission of the Church in service of development, peace, and disarmament, attendees will address such topics as the July 2017 United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons and the environment, and the role of Church and civil society in promoting disarmament. The speakers and panelists include Nobel Prize winners, senior diplomats, and leaders from the United Nations and NATO, as well as academic experts and religious leaders.
University of Notre Dame alumnus John A. “Jack” Kelly and his wife, Gail E. Weiss, have made a $1 million gift to his alma mater to support initiatives within the University’s Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) and the Office of the President. Founded in 2008 and recently expanded with the addition of three new faculty members, the International Security Center is under the direction of Michael Desch, professor of political science. NDISC examines pressing international security issues facing the nation and world and conducts research that contributes to dialogue on global policy. The center supports faculty and student research projects, an endowed speaker series, an undergraduate fellows program and a seminar series featuring scholars and experts on national security.
The Medieval Institute's new series of alumni spotlight interviews kicks off with alumna Nicole Eddy, who received her Ph.D. in 2012. Eddy has recently been hired as the new managing editor for the Medieval Library series at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
Patrick Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Griffin, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2008, explores the intersection of colonial American and early modern Irish and British history, focusing on Atlantic-wide themes and dynamics.
Barry McCrea — the Donald R. Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies and a professor of English, Irish language and literature, and Romance languages and literatures — has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Princeton University Humanities Council. McCrea will spend the spring 2018 semester at Princeton as a visiting professor in the Humanities Council and the Faber Fellow in Comparative Literature. While there, he will continue work on his upcoming novel, tentatively titled Thorn Island, and will teach an advanced literature course to a mix of undergraduate and graduate students.
Lessons from Breaking Bad: Why being an avid fan of the groundbreaking series inspired him to study negative representations of Latinos in popular culture.
Paloma Garcia-Lopez — an educator, nonprofit leader, and manager with more than 15 years of experience — has been appointed associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) at the University of Notre Dame. In her new role, Garcia-Lopez will manage and oversee all of the activities and staff of the institute. Garcia-Lopez will focus on enhancing annual programming, special events, communications, fundraising and budgeting. She will be a central figure in the development of a strategic plan to support scholarly initiatives in Latino studies as a key component of Notre Dame’s academic mission.
Michelle Karnes believes imagination is the key to understanding medieval meditations about the life of Christ. When readers picture themselves holding Jesus as a baby or feeding him, it evokes powerful emotions, she said. “There are good cognitive reasons why imagining yourself participating in Christ’s life helps you engage with the narrative,” she said. “It causes you to invest yourself in a more profound way.” Karnes joins the faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall as an associate professor of English, after eight years at Stanford University.