The largest construction project in the 175-year history of the University of Notre Dame – an 800,000-square-foot integration of world-class space for teaching, research, performances, faith, multimedia, student life and athletics – is nearing completion, with several components now open or opening over the next two weeks and most of the other facilities ready for occupancy in January. The buildings include the new homes of the Deparment of Anthropology, Department of Psychology, Department of Music, and Sacred Music at Notre Dame.
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Meghan Sullivan, a University of Notre Dame professor of philosophy, has won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to support a two-week NEH Summer Institute on teaching philosophy as a way of life. The program will gather 25 faculty from across the country who are interested in developing courses that explore the concrete recommendations that various philosophical movements propose for achieving the good life. Sullivan teaches the introductory philosophy course God and the Good Life at Notre Dame.
Heather Hyde Minor, professor of art history, has been appointed academic director of the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway by Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. During her two-year term, Hyde Minor will hold full academic oversight of the Gateway, including the Rome undergraduate program and efforts to enhance the University’s research profile in Rome and beyond. Hyde Minor succeeds Theodore J. Cachey Jr., Ravarino Family Professor of Italian and director of the William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies.
Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology in the Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and a fellow in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, has been named one of two winners of the first Expanded Reason Award for research. The award was given by University Francisco de Vitoria and the Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation to recognize innovation in scientific research and academic programs based on Benedict XVI’s proposal to broaden the horizons of reason. Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom, was chosen from among more than 360 total entries from 170 universities and 30 countries.
DellaNeva, a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will hold full academic oversight of the Gateway during her two-year term, including the London undergraduate program and efforts to enhance the University’s research profile in London and beyond. A faculty member since 1982, DellaNeva also served as chair of her department from 1989-96 and as associate dean for undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters from 2010-17.
The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame has received multiple funding awards totaling nearly $700,000 this summer to continue its work reducing poverty and improving lives through evidence-based programs and policies. “We are excited about and thankful for the support from these funders,” said James Sullivan, co-founder of LEO and the Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Economics. “This will allow us to continue to create evidence that supports programs doing innovative work to serve the poor.”
The University of Notre Dame has received a $1.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program and its transformative work with graduate students and the community. This is the program’s second grant from the Lilly Endowment — a private, philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development — following a $1.9 million grant in 2012 that helped launch SMND.
Ernest Morrell’s passion to better serve at-risk youth and their families and help break the cycle of poverty led him to embark on a prolific academic career, where he has formed a generation of future teachers, scholars, and leaders dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized urban youth. Morrell joins Notre Dame’s faculty this summer, as he assumes the Coyle Professorship in Literacy Education, with appointments in the Department of English, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Institute for Educational Initiatives.
As the 200th birthday of American icon Henry David Thoreau is celebrated around the world on July 12, Laura Dassow Walls, author of the comprehensive biography Henry David Thoreau: A Life, will be commemorating the date in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau’s birthplace. Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, is a leading scholar of Thoreau. Thoreau: A Life, the first comprehensive biography of the life of Thoreau since Walter Harding’s The Days of Henry Thoreau was published in 1965, was officially released by the University of Chicago Press Wednesday.
Can humans truly attain an accurate, objective view of reality? Or is our perspective inescapably colored by who we are and what we’ve experienced? Philosopher Sean Kelsey asserts that this problem is central to Aristotle’s text De Anima — and that Aristotle argued we can, a point his predecessors had tried and failed to make.
A spring lecture given by Darren Dochuk, associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, will be televised on C-SPAN 3 at 8 p.m. and midnight EDT Saturday, June 24. The lecture was part of a course titled The History of Oil in American Life, which offered a chronological, thematic, and contemporary examination of oil in modern America.
Although working-age adult refugees who enter the United States often initially rely on public assistance programs, a study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame indicates that the long-term economic benefit of admitting refugees outweighs the initial costs. The study, published as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper this week, was conducted by William Evans, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, and Daniel Fitzgerald, undergraduate research assistant at Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities.
Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., associate professor of theology, will address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the theology of migration during the bishops’ annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15, in Indianapolis. Groody’s talk, “Passing Over: Migration, Theology and the Eucharist,” draws on his research around the world mapping the many sides of the current conversation on migration.
John Cavadini, University of Notre Dame professor of theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, will deliver a theological reflection to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during its annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15 in Indianapolis.
The Association for Israel Studies has recognized Alan Dowty, a professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, with an AIS-Israel Institute Lifetime Achievement Award for his “lasting and path-breaking contributions” that have significantly shaped the field of Israel studies. Dowty has published seven books and more than 130 articles on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and international relations. A revised and expanded fourth edition of his acclaimed book Israel/Palestine will be published in October.
One of the most innovative and new pieces of popular culture emerged in 1914 when Winsor McCay, a famous cartoonist and vaudeville performer, incorporated an animated cartoon called Gertie into his act. Despite its popularity at the time, the original film and the paper drawings for it have all but been forgotten over the past 100 years. But now, faculty members in Notre Dame's Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are working to change that by collaborating internationally to restore the film and to research the history surrounding its cultural impact.
Richard G. Jones, an associate editor at The New York Times and a veteran journalism educator, is joining the University of Notre Dame this fall as the Annenberg Director of the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy in the Department of American Studies. Jones leads the Times’ newsroom summer internship program and The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, a two-week professional development program for collegiate members of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
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.
At the 172nd Commencement Ceremony, May 21, 2017, a number of outstanding faculty from the College of Arts and Letters were recognized for their contributions to the academy and their achievements in stimulating the learning environment and mentoring students in various disciplines.
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.
In a restructured position, Eileen Hunt Botting will oversee the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, Stamps Scholars Program, and other merit-based scholarship programs at the University. She succeeds Joseph Buttigieg, who is retiring at the end of the academic year.
An examination of one of the 20th century’s most important Catholic theologians has garnered a significant honor for Jennifer Newsome Martin, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies. She is one of 10 people worldwide to receive the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, presented by the University of Heidelberg’s Forschungszentrum für Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie for outstanding doctoral or first post-doctoral works in the area of God and spirituality.
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.
Brian Edlefson, a Notre Dame assistant professor of visual communication design, has won a prestigious international award for his design work showing how people can adjust their office furniture to shape their work environments. Edlefson won an iF Design Award for user adjustment information he created for furniture maker Herman Miller. Edelfson’s design was selected by a 58-member jury of the iF International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany, from more than 5,500 entries submitted from 59 countries.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto has received Spain's highest honor for contributors to science, scholarship, education, and the arts.
Agustín Fuentes finds the four predominant arguments that seek to explain human evolution and human nature to be compelling but extremely simplified. Years of research and an emphasis on cross-disciplinary conversations has instead led him to a more complete story of human evolution. Creativity and collaboration, he argues in The Creative Spark, are the most important explanations for why we are the way we are.
David Campbell, the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for his creative thinking and innovative research on the rise of secularism in the United States and its political implications. Campbell, chair of the Department of Political Science, will use the prestigious grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, announced Wednesday, to study the growing number of people in America who identify as nonreligious and the political force they could become.
Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate on Tuesday (April 25) by the John Templeton Foundation. Over his 50 years of research in philosophy of religion, epistemology and metaphysics, Plantinga has advanced landmark arguments for the existence of God, returning the questions of religious belief to the common discourse of academic philosophy.
The collaborative global research project, Under Caesar's Sword, is co-directed by political scientist Daniel Philpott. “In Response to Persecution,” a report on the UCS project’s findings, was launched April 20 in a day-long symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.