Notre Dame Research has embarked on an initiative this academic year to identify the infrastructure support needs for social scientists across campus and to find approaches to fill those needs. Information gathering has begun and Vice President for Research Robert Bernhard welcomes the thoughts of faculty and students about how the University can advance its social sciences programs of research and scholarship.
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After spending part of an undergraduate study abroad trip working with struggling teen mothers in Chile, Lauren Antosz ’16 left with the nagging feeling there was more she could do. She’ll get the chance with a grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, helping to develop a program that supports at-risk youth achieve higher outcomes. Antosz, who majored in Spanish, is one of a record 29 Notre Dame Fulbright Scholars for the 2016-17 year.
More than $650,000 has been awarded to 15 projects in the second year of a research collaboration aimed at building new understanding about how religious and transformative experiences occur and shape lives. The Experience Project, a $5.1 million project supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, aims to answer questions about how religious experiences affect a person’s concept of God; how transformative experiences can affect a person’s identity, values, belief system and behaviors; and how religious and other types of transformative experiences differ.
University of Notre Dame alumnus Robert P. McGrath and his wife, Joan, have made a $15 million gift to his alma mater to endow the University’s Institute for Church Life.
In his second term as poet laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera will visit the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 5 and 6 (Wednesday and Thursday). Herrera’s stay on campus includes a poetry reading with opening remarks from University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., as well as a reception and visits and lunch with students.
The seventh annual “Saturdays with the Saints” lecture series sponsored by the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame will feature seven saints whose lives give witness to the mercy of God.
A study of the Homelessness Prevention Call Center in Chicago by the Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities found that such hotlines have a considerable effect on people facing homelessness, and that emergency financial assistance successfully prevents homelessness — if funding is available. The study, published in the Aug. 12 edition of Science, examines the impact of financial assistance for 4,500 individuals and families who called the HPCC between 2010 and 2012.
Thomas E. Burman, an esteemed scholar of medieval Christianity and Islam, has been named the Robert Conway Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Burman, currently a professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will begin his new role in January 2017.
Peter Casarella, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and interim director of Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC), is a scholar of Latino theology. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2013, he served as professor of Catholic studies at DePaul University where he was director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. In an interview, he discusses his research, Pope Francis, and the future of Latin American/North American Church Concerns, of which he is interim director.
Tamara Kay, a scholar with extensive experience in Latin America and Africa, will join the new Keough School of Global Affairs as associate professor of global affairs, according to Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School. Kay will hold a joint appointment in the Notre Dame Department of Sociology.
The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame has named Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C., its assistant director of life sciences research and outreach. Ehrman will expand the center’s portfolio of life sciences research projects and oversee the center’s outreach efforts across campus and more broadly.
Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture director and professor of law Carter Snead will deliver the inaugural University of Florence “Law and Justice Lecture” on May 30 in Florence, Italy. His lecture, “Three Regulatory Models for Stem Cell Research,” will analyze and contrast the U.S. government’s federal funding policies under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama as a means of exploring the complexities of American governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods.
Twenty-four members of the Class of 2016 who study in the College of Arts and Letters have won major national and international fellowships and scholarships, from prestigious institutions such as the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program and the National Science Foundation.
Notre Dame and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, or Vatican Library, formalized a unique agreement of collaboration and exchange in a ceremony May 9 in the Hesburgh Room of the Morris Inn, where Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, together signed a memorandum of understanding.
Notre Dame Research has provided awards to more than a dozen College of Arts and Letters faculty members from its Internal Grants Program for 2016. The grant awardees spanned the University in four program categories: Faculty Research Support (Initiation), Faculty Research Support (Regular), Equipment Restoration and Renewal, and Library Acquisitions.
Eleven faculty members from the College of Arts and Letters have won 2016 Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and two have been honored with Dockweiler Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. The awards are presented by the Office of the Provost, and the recipients are selected through a process that includes peer and student nominations.
Notre Dame seniors Teresa Kennedy and Connor Hayes have been selected to receive the 2016 Yarrow Award from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Kennedy, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and Hayes, a political science and peace studies major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will accept their awards at the Kroc Institute’s undergraduate recognition ceremony on May 13.
Twenty-four Notre Dame students who study in the College of Arts and Letters have received 2016-17 grants from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study, and teach abroad. The total number of finalists from Arts and Letters alone surpasses the previous University-wide Fulbright record of 17, set last year. In all, 30 Notre Dame students were named Fulbright finalists for 2016-17.
Tanisha Fazal, associate professor of political science and peace studies, has been awarded a research grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to investigate the human and financial costs of war. Those costs are escalating, she says, despite a reduced fatality count.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded two of its prestigious 2016 fellowships to faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. The fellowships, which fund a diverse group scholars, artists, and scientists, will go to Anjan Chakravartty, a professor in the Department of Philosophy, and Stephen Fallon, the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities in the Program of Liberal Studies and the Department of English.
With a $1.2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame, has launched a three-year project to enrich scientific and theological literacy among recent graduates of Islamic seminaries in India.
Two juniors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, Caleb “C.J.” Pine and Christa Grace Watkins, have been named 2016 Truman Scholars. 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. Just 54 college juniors have been selected as Truman Scholars this year from a pool of 775 nominees. Six Arts and Letters students have received the Truman Scholarship since 2010.
Michael Rea, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy, has been named the 2017 speaker for the prestigious Gifford Lectures at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. The 128-year-old lecture series, described as “the highest honor in a philosopher’s career,” invites pre-eminent thinkers to address topics related to religion, science, and philosophy. In a series of six lectures, Rea will take a theologically informed approach to the topic of “divine hiddenness,” the idea that God’s existence is far less evident—and vivid, unambiguous experience of God’s presence is much less frequent—than one might expect from a perfectly loving deity.
Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”) in Rome on April 8. The document addresses such areas of Catholic Church doctrine as the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacrament of the Eucharist, same-sex relationships and cohabitation, all issues that arose, often controversially, during the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October. Here is what some people on the Notre Dame faculty are saying and thinking about “Amoris Laetitia.”
Notre Dame junior Allison Emeott didn’t just study Korean this summer. She was immersed in it. “You get to use what you learn and talk to people,” she said. “It’s really inspiring because when you’re surrounded by people speaking a language, you want to learn more and you just want to become a part of the community." Emeott, an applied mathematics and Asian studies major, spent the summer of 2015 intensively studying in Seoul, South Korea. Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Letters, she received a grant from the Summer Language Abroad program, which provides funding up to $5,500 for individual summer foreign language study abroad.
The young people of war-torn northern Colombia want their homes and their lifestyle back. Displaced from their villages by guerilla and paramilitary groups, they have spent the last 10 years in urban centers—making them prime targets for recruitment by those same criminal enterprises. But rather than falling prey to a violent cause, they’ve founded a successful peace-building movement. Notre Dame Ph.D. student Angela Lederach ’07 wants to know why. She’s spent the last two summers living in Cartagena, Colombia, researching the Peaceful Movement of the Alta Montaña, and plans to return in August for at least a year to continue researching the organization for her dissertation.
Jennifer Jones, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has received the Presidential Authority Award grant from the Russell Sage Foundation for her study of interracial coalitions and their effect on immigration policy in Mississippi and Alabama. Combining archival and media sources with interviews, “Enforcement or Embrace? The Determinants of State-Level Immigration Policy in New Immigrant Destinations” emerged from unexpected patterns Jones identified while researching race relations and immigration in North Carolina.
“Studying Chinese opens the doors to different ways of thinking,” said junior John Fox. “It helped a lot to be able to come here and study abroad this summer and to experience such a great city.” Fox was one of several Notre Dame students to participate in the 2015 China Summer Language Program through the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Letters. Students honed their Chinese language skills at Peking University in Beijing, both in the classroom and one-on-one with an instructor. Students in the program typically advance the equivalent of one full year of study in just eight weeks.
Robert Vargas, an urban sociologist whose research focuses on violence and health care, is joining Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology this fall as an assistant professor. Vargas, who will also be a faculty affiliate in the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, was previously on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Harvard University. Vargas’ first book, Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio (Oxford University Press), will be released May 1. In it, Vargas argues that competition among political groups contributes to the persistence of violence just as much as the competition among street gangs.
Carter Snead, William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the University of Notre Dame’s "Center for Ethics and Culture and professor of law, has been appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life, the pope’s principal advisory group on the promotion of the consistent ethic of life in the Catholic Church.Founded in 1994 by Saint Pope John Paul II, the academy meets annually, holds conferences, publishes reports and collaborates with partners in the Vatican Curia and worldwide.