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Classes for the Curious: Cinema of Portugal and Lusophone Africa

Author: Liam Price

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, General News, and Faculty News

For senior film, television, and theatre major Kiera Russo, taking Cinema of Portugal and Lusophone Africa was a highlight of her sophomore spring semester. Despite not knowing Portuguese, she relished being able to engage in deep discussions with classmates about cinematic productions from Portugal, Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde. In this Q&A, she discusses what the class' most thought-provoking moments, the strong relationship she developed with the professor, and how it changed her understanding of film.

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Notre Dame economist Jing Cynthia Wu wins Richard Stone Prize in Applied Econometrics 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame economist Jing Cynthia Wu’s paper that details a new model to examine economic effects of unconventional monetary policy in the Euro area has won the Richard Stone Prize in Applied Econometrics from the Journal of Applied Econometrics. The journal awards the prize every two years for the best paper with substantive econometric applications. Econometrics uses economic theory, mathematics, and statistical inference to quantify economic phenomena.

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Anthropologist wins prestigious NEH fellowship to explore toll of climate change in Sierra Leone

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Internationalism, General News, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

Notre Dame anthropologist Catherine “Cat” Bolten has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to support the writing of her book that examines links between food insecurity, human population growth and wildlife depletion, land politics and degradation, and climate change in Sierra Leone. The associate professor of anthropology and peace studies is one of 70 scholars — from among more than 1,030 applicants nationwide — to be awarded the competitive fellowships. 

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Modern American History journal to be based at Notre Dame and co-edited by Dochuk, expanding opportunities for graduate students

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk has started his five-year term as co-executive editor of Modern American History, the go-to journal for researchers exploring any facet of 20th-century United States history. He is prioritizing the journal’s commitment to graduate students and new Ph.Ds, he said, as their scholarship is often the most innovative and path-breaking and their need to be published is critical. Ph.D. students at Notre Dame will have opportunities to work as editorial assistants, as the University is serving as MAH’s host institution during Dochuk’s five-year term.

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Morrell, Berends again achieve Edu-Scholar ranking for doing most to shape educational practice, policy

Author: Theo Helm

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

“Our selection shows the national impact that Notre Dame has on the K-12 education landscape in the United States,” Mark Berends said. “As we look to the new year, we and the talented faculty we represent at Notre Dame seek to continue to improve educational opportunities for all children.”

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Rethinking Scrooge: Could Dickens’ most famous character be neurodivergent?

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

“He eats the same melancholy meal each day at the same melancholy tavern — and we have to join the dots on that one and say ‘because he’s mean.’ But it may well be that we shouldn’t infer that at all, and we should just say ‘because he has to, because that’s his routine and that’s what he needs,'" said Essaka Joshua. The associate professor of English argues that many of Scrooge’s behaviors can be seen as cognitive and behavioral coping strategies commonly used by neurodivergent individuals to reduce anxiety, by avoiding social interactions, sticking to routines and using verification rituals to calm himself.

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Opera Notre Dame’s pandemic-prompted film production wins national award, showcasing vision for the future of the art form

Author: Pat Milhizer

Categories: Undergraduate News, Graduate Students, General News, Faculty News, and Arts

When Opera Notre Dame’s first film production made its debut last year, it was immediately recognized as a novel way to safely create and share a musical performance during the height of the pandemic. Now, Please Look: A Cinematic Opera Experience has won the inaugural Award for Digital Excellence in the university/conservatory category from Opera America, the hub of the national opera community. The award highlights how supporting the creative vision of faculty and students has made the University a pioneer in the future of an art form as it wades into the new entertainment reality of streaming video. 

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Papal Bull earns Notre Dame historian Margaret Meserve her second Marraro Prize 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, Faculty News, and Catholicism

Notre Dame historian Margaret Meserve’s book Papal Bull: Print, Politics, and Propaganda in Renaissance Rome has won the American Catholic Historical Association’s Helen & Howard Marraro Prize in Italian History for being the most distinguished work in the field published in 2021. Papal Bull explores how Renaissance popes used the printing press in its early years to promote traditions, pursue alliances, excommunicate enemies, and lure pilgrims to Rome. 

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English professor John Duffy, 2022 Sheedy Award winner, inspires students to see the transformative power of words — and change the world with them

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Students sometimes laugh nervously on the first day of class when professor John Duffy tells them that his goal is to change their lives. It’s not an ego-driven statement; Duffy thinks every class at Notre Dame should expand their vision, at least somewhat. The English professor and former director of the University Writing Program and College Seminar Program has been achieving that goal for more than 20 years now, making a genuine and lasting impression on students and colleagues.

“Almost two decades on, I am still uncovering the many ways John Duffy changed my life and, by extension, the lives of the hundreds of thousands of teachers and students with whom I have had the honor of working,” a 2006 alumna wrote in recommending Duffy for the 2022 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts & Letters. “John taught us how to engage others — especially those whose voices have been suppressed or excluded — in the ongoing human conversation of words and ideas.”

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German major uses language skills to help Notre Dame engineering professor unlock 93-year-old brain research

Author: Pat Milhizer

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, and Faculty News

In the fields of neuroscience and neuroanatomy, scholars often cite a 93-year-old paper that examines the thickness of cortical folds. The problem, at least for an English-reading audience, is that this knowledge has always been hiding in plain sight. The article was written in German but never fully translated — until now, thanks to a Notre Dame College of Engineering professor and a Class of 2022 graduate with a deep understanding of the language.

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Center for Social Concerns launches new prison education initiative with lunch, panel discussion

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

In collaboration with Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross Colleges, Marian University, the Bard Prison Initiative and the Indiana Department of Correction, Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prison reorganizes a number of new and existing education programs under a single umbrella within the Center for Social Concerns.

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Anthropologist receives NSF funding for an open science hub aimed at advancing  climate change research

Author: Arts & Letters

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame anthropologist Luis Felipe R. Murillo is helping launch a collaborative project focused on climate change issues with funding from the National Science Foundation that aims to promote the principles of open science. The NSF is investing $12.5 million in 10 projects to “foster catalytic improvements in scientific communities,” including two that will be led by University faculty.

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Theology, psychology professors to expand research on how sacred art impacts spiritual understanding with Templeton Religion Trust grant

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame theology and psychology professors are using science and technology to understand how people respond to sacred art. Robin Jensen, James Brockmole, and G.A. Radvansky received a nearly $1 million grant award from the Templeton Religion Trust for five related research studies that assess sacred art’s impact on viewers’ individual experiences, memories, and spiritual understanding. The grant will help the research team expand upon research done thanks to a previous award from Templeton. In 2020, the interdisciplinary trio began exploring ways in which looking at sacred art informed and enhanced spiritual growth and whether that changed based on time and place.

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E-service-learning: Through new class and U.N. partnership, Notre Dame students teach Italian virtually to African refugees

Author: Pat Milhizer

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, Graduate Students, General News, and Faculty News

A new Italian language course led is empowering Notre Dame students to educate students of their own — African refugees who must learn basic Italian before they can relocate to Italy. Through leading online class sessions, five undergraduates from a range of majors and one graduate student sharpened their Italian skills, learned how to teach others, and developed global awareness and empathy for the refugee experience.

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Economics conference brings experts from around the globe to Notre Dame

Author: Brandi Wampler

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Letters hosted the semi-annual conference, “Midwest Economic Theory and International Economics Meetings.” About 100 attendees participated in the three-day event last month, which featured parallel sessions in economic theory and international economics.

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Fair or fraudulent?: Notre Dame political scientist examines public confidence in the 2022 midterm elections

Author: Brett Beasley

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

“We hope to do more than just to contribute to scholarship on understanding the election fraud information environment," said Brian Fogarty, director of the Center for Social Science Research. "We also want to provide insight and solutions that can reverse the deterioration of democratic norms in contemporary American society.”

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Data-driven new Notre Dame faculty use advanced methodologies to reassess long-held theories and identify new trends in American politics

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

As political scientists, Rachel Porter and Erin Rossiter know the importance of being fluent in several languages. Porter understands R, Stata, and Python, while Rossiter is adept in R, C++, SQL, and Java. Their tech skills make the assistant professors of political science two of the top young quantitative data scientists in political science today, greatly improving and expanding the research opportunities and course offerings for graduate and undergraduate students. 

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In memoriam: Mary Katherine Tillman, professor emerita, Program of Liberal Studies

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News and Faculty News

Mary Katherine Tillman, a professor emerita in the Program of Liberal Studies, died at Wellbrooke Senior Care Residence on Oct. 21, of complications associated with esophageal cancer. She was 81. Tillman was a scholar of St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, writing a book and several extended commentaries on the works of the19th-century English priest, as well as the history and philosophy of liberal education. 

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In memoriam: L. John Roos, professor emeritus of political science

Author: Dennis Brown

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, and Alumni

Roos received the Sheedy Award, the Joyce and Dockweiler Awards for undergraduate teaching and mentorship, and a Notre Dame Presidential Award for service to the campus community. The Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy annually presents the John Roos Award to students with the best senior honors thesis in American politics.

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In memoriam: John P. Meier, professor emeritus of theology

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Catholicism

John P. Meier, University of Notre Dame professor, Catholic priest, and renowned biblical scholar, died Oct. 18, at age 80.

Meier, the William K. Warren Professor of Theology emeritus, published nearly 80 articles and 18 books during his distinguished career, including the acclaimed A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus series.

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In new book, professor of theology and global affairs examines migrants' plight from Christian perspective

Author: Patrick Gibbons

Categories: Internationalism and Faculty News

At the end of 2019, there were about 79.5 million forcibly displaced people on the planet, including 26 million refugees, 45.7 million internally displaced people, and 4.2 million asylum seekers. “As we look beyond the staggering numbers, my hope is that readers of the book will come to see the human face of the migrant and the face of God in each migrant,” said Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., Notre Dame's vice president and associate provost for undergraduate education.

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Fighting to End Corruption: Undergraduates in Notre Dame’s Washington Program investigate crimes and build a case for international sanctions

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, and Faculty News

At Notre Dame, students in a course called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Clinic have drafted dossiers to the U.S. government to request sanctions against the perpetrators of those crimes. Led by faculty member Thomas Kellenberg, the practicum course is framed around a federal law that allows nongovernmental organizations to request U.S. sanctions against foreign persons who have committed serious human rights abuses or corruption.

The latest video in the "What Would You Fight For?" series show how students who have taken the course gain valuable experience that prepares them for careers in human rights or anti-corruption. Their investigations have caught the eye of the U.S. State and Treasury Departments and have made a real impact in the effort to fight international corruption.

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Psychology professor and NIH-funded research team to study how racial discrimination affects adolescent Asian Americans’ mental health

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment against Asian Americans in the United States have risen rapidly in recent years, and Notre Dame psychologist Lijuan (Peggy) Wang wants to know how that has impacted adolescents’ mental health and what factors can be leveraged to protect and promote their mental health. To lay the groundwork for building evidence-based and urgently needed interventions, Wang is part of a research team developing the first longitudinal study to fill research gaps and learn about how racial discrimination affects adolescent Asian Americans’ mental health. 

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In memoriam: Kenneth M. Sayre, professor emeritus of philosophy

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News and Faculty News

Kenneth M. Sayre, a University of Notre Dame professor emeritus of philosophy and an early leader in the study of artificial intelligence, has died at age 94. A member of the faculty for 56 years, he was known for his teaching and research across a broad range of areas, including cybernetics, information theory, philosophy of mind, environmental philosophy, Plato, and epistemology. He authored 14 books, edited or co-edited five more, and published more than 50 articles in scholarly journals.

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Found in translation: In 50 years of overlooked letters, French class discovers new insights into Father Sorin and the early days of Notre Dame

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, General News, Faculty News, and Catholicism

Stories of founder Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., are legend at the University of Notre Dame. But now, thanks to a trove of never-before-translated letters and a class taught by French professor Rev. Gregory Haake, C.S.C., students are getting the chance to learn more about the young priest defined by his unshakeable faith and determination — through his own words — and to share what they are uncovering with the world. The correspondence spans nearly 50 years and paints a vivid picture of life in the mid-19th century amid the challenges of building a university.

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Lilly Endowment makes $7.9 million grant to help Notre Dame and Boston College grow U.S. Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders

Author: Sue Ryan

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Catholicism

Lilly Endowment Inc. has made a $7.9 million grant to the University of Notre Dame, which will partner with Boston College in leading Haciendo Caminos. The collaborative initiative will bring together 16 other Catholic institutions to form at least 100 of the next generation of Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders in the United States. Haciendo Caminos’ goals are to reduce barriers and increase support for graduate theological education for U.S.-born Hispanic Catholics; increase knowledge of, and interest in, ministerial professions among this population; and create a consortium of Catholic higher education institutions forming pastoral leaders at the graduate level in collaboration with local ecclesial organizations.

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NIH awards $4 million grant to psychologists researching suicide prevention

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, General News, Faculty News, and Catholicism

Notre Dame psychologists Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino have received the Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health to research two promising new interventions to reduce the risk of suicide among vulnerable youth. Part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports individuals or teams proposing transformative projects that are inherently untested but have the potential to create major scientific breakthroughs by challenging existing paradigms.

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Psychology professor Alison Cheng runner-up for 1st Source Bank’s Commercialization Award for her AI-powered platform that provides personalized STEM education

Author: Olivia Poole

Categories: Research and Faculty News

Adapta’s main product is an adaptive diagnostic assessment platform covering high school and introductory college math curricula. It allows teachers to create customized assessments, such as quizzes, homework, and exams, in a straightforward manner, which enables competency-based grading with a diagnostic report for each student. Reports help teachers and students quickly identify their strengths and weaknesses and determine where additional clarification or practice is needed. 

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Restoring God’s Creation: How a theology professor integrates environment and economics in Uganda

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Categories: Research, Internationalism, General News, Faculty News, and Catholicism

As a child, Emmanuel Katongole went into the forest near his home in Uganda to draw water from the spring and collect firewood for cooking. Now a diocesan priest who has taught theology and peace studies for a decade at Notre Dame, he has worried upon every return home about the intense deforestation destroying his native land. In a country where more than half the population is under age 20, he knew that young people moving to the cities lacked opportunities and needed firewood, leading to rampant tree cutting.

But it wasn’t until reading Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ that Katongole envisioned a solution that uses education to address both problems — protecting the environment and providing economic opportunities. He joined with several colleagues and the local Catholic Church to found Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in a rural area 25 miles north of the capital city of Kampala.

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