Senior Dain Kim had never been to Notre Dame before she arrived on campus for orientation. As a student at an international high school in Seoul, Korea, she knew she wanted to go to college in the U.S. — in a city, preferably, like one in New York or California. Instead, she ended up in South Bend. Now a psychology and statistics major with a minor in computing and digital technologies, Kim plans to pursue a career working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion programs — helping others like herself who need to adapt quickly to entirely new cultures or circumstances.
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Julian Bonds loves helping young people, so it’s only natural that the English and history major would seek a career in education. Through his interdisciplinary Arts & Letters courses, research, and interests outside of the classroom, Bonds has developed his knowledge of the education system, its benefits and flaws, and his potential role in it. “Three things have been embedded in almost all of my Arts and Letters classes — creativity, passion, and a relentless drive to learn more about a subject,” he said. “Regardless of the career path I ultimately choose, I hope to always remain willing to be creative, eager to engage with things I am passionate about, and relentless in learning more about everything in order to better help the young people I work with.”
When Stacy Manrique joined a group of Notre Dame students visiting Mexico’s prestigious Monterrey Institute of Technology two summers ago, it felt like a homecoming. It wasn’t just the fact that Manrique is a native of Monterrey. She was also delighted to connect with students from “El Tec” — young women and men just as passionate about technology and social responsibility as she is. Manrique, who is majoring in computer science and film, television, and theatre through the Reilly Center Dual Degree Program, looks back at this and many other experiences she’s had through the Institute for Latino Studies as touchstones in her educational journey.
“Music just really speaks to me. I feel like I'm at my happiest when I'm making music or thinking about music,” said Kola Owolabi, professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame. Owolabi is interested in a broad range of musical repertoire and enjoys finding works by less well-known composers. Recent recording projects include pieces by 20th-century African-English composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor, as well as a composition by 17th-century French composer Georg Muffat.
The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study announced its faculty fellowship class for 2021-2022. The 11 residential fellows come from top research universities, including Notre Dame, and have diverse research interests that span the disciplines, including ecology, political science, anthropology, history, food studies and creative nonfiction. They will come together for a year of intensive collaborative research on resilience, the NDIAS’s organizing research theme for 2021-2022. The fellows will be joined by award-winning poet and cultural critic Reginald Dwayne Betts, who will serve as the NDIAS’s artist-in-residence during the year.
The University of Notre Dame has launched the Initiative on Race and Resilience, a new interdisciplinary program focused on the redress of systemic racism and the support of communities of color both within and beyond the Notre Dame campus. Led by the College of Arts & Letters with additional support from the Office of the Provost, the initiative will bring together scholars and students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and other disciplines to challenge systemic racism and promote racial equality through research, education, and community empowerment.
Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, a 1967 University of Notre Dame graduate and the first African American justice to serve on Minnesota’s highest court, will join G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean of Notre Dame Law School, for a virtual “fireside chat” at noon Jan. 18 (Monday) as part of the University’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
La Donna L. Forsgren is an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre; concurrent faculty in the Gender Studies Program; and affiliated faculty in the Department of Africana Studies. Her latest book, Sistuhs in the Struggle: An Oral History of Black Arts Movement Theater and Performance, is the first oral history to fully explore the contributions of Black women intellectuals to the Black Arts Movement.
Christina Wolbrecht, a professor of political science and affiliated faculty member in the Gender Studies Program, has been awarded a Centennial Center Special Projects Fund grant from the American Political Science Association. With the grant, she and a team of colleagues are planning to broaden the impact of the organization Women Also Know Stuff by hosting a virtual conference in early 2021 that will bring together journalists and scholars.
Teaching English at Oakland High in the late 1990s, Ernest Morrell faced the age-old problem of how to get modern students interested in a canon of long-dead writers and poets. So he and a colleague decided to introduce elements of pop culture such as rap songs into their classrooms as a way to engage the students with topics that kids know and care about. Over the years, Morrell, who now directs the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education and is a professor of English and Africana studies, has focused his research and teaching around the idea that young students can be trusted to do complex academic work — if the topic is compelling to them and they got the right training.
Whether he’s studying in Uganda or France, South Africa or South Bend — or speaking English, Luganda, French, or Swahili — Trevor Lwere has one topic at the forefront of his mind. No matter where he is, the economics and global affairs major is driven to investigate what different cultures and perspectives can teach each other about forming the best society. “Every time I move to a different place, I get curious about how different societies imagine how they should be organized and how they approach life,” he said.
Ernest Morrell, a professor of Africana studies and English, the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education, and director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame, has collaborated with fellow subject experts to create the first capstone course on the African diaspora for AP Seminar high school teachers and students.
A small but growing number of tenure-track faculty have roots in Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), a program of the Division of Student Affairs at Notre Dame that provides access to opportunities and resources for historically underrepresented students to thrive at Notre Dame and beyond. “Because of MSPS, I was lucky enough to have professors that took an interest in me and pointed me in the right direction to come to the idea that graduate school was something that I could do,” said Camille Suarez, a 2013 Arts & Letters graduate.
Women in the academic field of psychology are overrepresented at the undergraduate level but, ultimately, underrepresented at senior levels. No gender parity reviews of the discipline had been conducted until a group of scholars, including Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, decided to take on the task. Clark and the other researchers found that women are less likely to apply for tenure-track positions; however, those who do apply are equally if not more likely to be hired than men.
The economic effects of the coronavius in the U.S. have brought Americans’ preexisting financial precarity into stark focus. Karen Richman, director of undergraduate studies at Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, found in a recent study that many people in the U.S. are relying on informal networks of family and friends to stay afloat.
Assistant Professor of Economics Michèle Müller-Itten and her co-author, Aniko Öry from Yale University, created a model to investigate what workforce compositions would naturally emerge in a labor market and which would maximize total productivity. Their results show it is often best for optimal efficiency if the minority group is overrepresented in the workforce relative to the majority — a conclusion that flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that affirmative action will eventually be obsolete.
Research by David Cortez, assistant professor of political science, found that Latinxs — regardless of their preferred national/ethnic identity, their identification with the immigrant experience or their attitude toward immigrants — choose to work in immigration for their own economic interest.
Dominique Vargas discusses how the body works as a metaphor in contemporary American literature and why it is important to question the global politics and economic institutions that dominate, regulate, and sometimes criminalize the body as commodity, labor, and threat.
Inspired by Pope Francis's observation that Christians "cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life," the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture will host a webinar discussion on racism and the culture of life on July 28 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT).
Notre Dame anthropologist Alex Chávez has been named one of 10 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The award supports junior faculty whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society, and who are committed to the creation of an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars.
Marie Lynn Miranda, announced as the successor to Thomas Burish in mid-March, is no stranger to leading a university through a crisis. Now the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at Notre Dame, the former provost of Rice University and a distinguished scholar in the field of children’s environmental health organized the school's disaster response in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. “Throughout our lives, we are confronted with situations where we don’t quite know what to do,” she said. “We don’t know what the best thing is and we don’t necessarily have all the expertise we might ideally have. We must bring data and analysis and the best technical advice there is. But when in doubt, responding with love is always a good choice.”
What Karen Graubart didn’t find in archives in Spain and Peru was, in some ways, as valuable as what she did. An associate professor in the Department of History, Graubart has spent more than 15 years conducting archival research on women and non-dominant communities in the Iberian Empire for her first two books. But she is also considering how the archives themselves have shaped her research — by questioning who is represented in them and why.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a 1998 University of Notre Dame alumna and an investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine, has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for criticism, journalism’s highest honor. Hannah-Jones was recognized for her introductory essay to the newspaper’s landmark The 1619 Project, an ongoing and interactive series she created that focuses on the 400th anniversary of when enslaved Africans were first brought to what would become the United States.
Sophie White, a professor in the Department of American Studies, offered an exceptional glimpse into the lives of the enslaved — through their own words — in her latest book, Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana. She recently won two awards for the work — the Kemper and Leila Williams Book Prize and the 2020 Summerlee Book Prize. White also received an honorable mention for the Merle Curti Award for best book in American social history from the Organization of American Historians.
La Donna Forsgren writes because she has something to say — and because the people she writes about had something to say, too. An assistant professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, Forsgren’s research shines a light on the essential role African American women have played in theatre history. She has written two books on female dramatists in the Black Arts Movement and is now working on a third focusing on women in contemporary black musical theatre.
Acclaimed organist Kola Owolabi will join the faculty of the Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame this fall as professor of music and head of the Graduate Organ Studio. Owolabi — whose expertise includes a broad range of organ repertoire, composition, choral conducting, church music, and improvisation — will replace Craig Cramer, who is retiring at the end of the academic year.
Notre Dame anthropologist Alex Chávez has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities long-term residential fellowship at the Newberry Library in Chicago. During the nine-month fellowship, Chávez will work on a second book project, tentatively titled Audible City: Urban Cultural History, Latinx Chicago, and the Sonic Commons, which explores the relationship between sound and the city of Chicago.
Christina Wolbrecht is professor of political science, director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, and the C. Robert and Margaret Hanley Family Director of the Notre Dame Washington Program. She studies American politics, gender/women, political parties, and American political development. In this video, she discusses her definitive research on how women voted across the first 100 years since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.
Students, parents of students, alumni, faculty and staff, have donated nearly $40,000 toward the coronavirus response in St. Joseph County — specifically for personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers and others who may come into close contact with the virus.
By the time Conor Hanney ’14 sat down to start his senior thesis for his film, television, and theatre major, he knew exactly what he wanted to do for a living — write for live-action TV targeting the kids and family demographic. And within 16 months of graduation, that’s exactly what he started doing. Hanney, a writer, lyricist, and composer for Netflix, works on various family programming, including the live-action comedy series The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia, The Healing Powers of Dude, and Prince of Peoria. He is currently working on the upcoming Kenny Ortega musical series Julie and The Phantoms.