Former Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters Dean Mark Roche has been named winner of the 2012 Frederic W. Ness Book Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Ness award is given annually to the book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education. Roche’s winning book, Why Choose the Liberal Arts? (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), “outlines the benefits of a liberal education for all students striving for success in today’s tough economy,” says Pomona College President David W. Oxtoby, the Ness Book Award committee chair.
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Three University of Notre Dame psychologists have been recognized for their work to more precisely measure a wide range of research topics, from happiness and depression to educational achievement. Specialists in the demanding subfield of quantitative psychology, Scott Maxwell, Zahng Guangjian, and Ying “Alison” Cheng design the statistical scaffolding needed to support measurable research into what are some of the most ephemeral of human conditions and concepts.
The study of constitutions dates back to Aristotle, yet remains as relevant today as it was then. “It’s a perennial subject that I think is getting renewed attention, first with the fall of the Soviet Union and the constitution writing that went on with that, then the democratization movement in Latin America, and now the revolutions in the Arab world,” says Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame.
By now, most people are aware of the environmental effects of air or water pollution; University of Notre Dame philosopher and scientist Kristin Shrader-Frechette has devoted herself to bringing to light a less known concern, the inequitable distribution of pollution’s human toll. “Polluters ‘target’ poor and minority communities to locate noxious facilities because they know that residents often are unable to defend themselves,” she says. For her efforts, Shrader-Frechette was recently awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership.
Margaret Doody, the John and Barbara Glynn Family Professor of Literature at Notre Dame, spent the better part of October 2011 in Singapore and China delivering lectures about the novel, women novelists, and the Enlightenment.
By many different measures, people who take religion seriously are different from the rest of society, says University of Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman. And different in a good way. “In fact, religiosity is the best predictor of any number of positive social outcomes,” he says. “Religious people are generally healthier, they give more to charities, they are much more likely to be involved in civic life, and they are much less likely to suffer from depression or mental illness.”
A growing collaboration between Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology and Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) has given rise to a number of research projects that explore the interaction of humans with technology.
Statisticians quibble, but it is widely agreed that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, and it is inarguable that the Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation. More than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos, and, due to birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. A new book by Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina closely considers the five-century-long history of Latino Catholics in America and how that history has affected them and their Church.
There are as many Mormons in America as there are Jews, yet there has been far less research into the Mormon community. A new survey released January 12 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life called “Mormons in America: Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society” is a “huge leap forward for what we know about Mormons,” according to David Campbell, a University of Notre Dame political scientist who researches religion and politics, and who himself is a Mormon.
The University of Notre Dame’s annual ScreenPeace Film Festival will kick off with a powerful film about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. On the Bridge, directed by College of Arts and Letters faculty member Olivier Morel, explores the impact of PTSD on former soldiers as they adapt to life outside of combat.
On the morning of September 1, 2004, University of Notre Dame political scientist Debra Javeline found herself, like many people around the world, glued to the television, watching in horror as the Beslan school hostage crisis—widely known as “Russia’s 9/11”—unfolded. Dozens of militants from a Chechen separatist group had converged on a school in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia. For three days, the terrorists held hostage more than 1,200 children, teachers, and parents.
Indiana lawmakers and residents can expect heated debate as the Indiana House voted 8-5 this morning to send the “Right to Work” bill to the full House. Indiana Republicans back the bill because of its potential to attract business to the Hoosier state with lower labor costs, which some believe ultimately will increase workers’ wages. University of Notre Dame labor economist Marty Wolfson disputes that argument.
What do children know about mathematics before they start learning it in school? How do external factors like language, education, and culture affect children’s understanding? What is the best way to structure an environment so they have the building blocks needed for success in math? These are just some of the questions Notre Dame psychologist Nicole McNeil seeks to answer in her research, for which she recently received a three-year, $565,000 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).
Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, was recently honored for two of his latest books: What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good From the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.
From Cairo to Kabul to New York City, the events shaping our world are informed by the deeply held religious beliefs of contemporary history’s major protagonists. So why is the dynamic role of religion in world affairs still such a hard academic sell in political science and international relations programs around the country? “I think if the field were to be proportioned according to what you see in headlines, religion would deserve a much larger place in the study of international relations,” says Daniel Philpott, who is associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame and on the faculty of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies.
The Obama administration’s recent announcement of military force reductions—particularly the downsizing of ground forces—not only will meet resistance from the iron triangle of the military-defense industry congressional complex, but also will offer a clear target for aspiring Republican presidential nominees, according to University of Notre Dame Political Science Chair Michael Desch.
It started with a bare-bones wire service story that ran in the newspaper in late July 2006—a body had been found along the north bank of the Kansas River in Topeka, and four homeless people had been charged with kidnapping and felony murder. Benedict Giamo, associate professor of American studies, who has written extensively on homelessness in America, found himself fascinated with the story of the life and death of David Owen, 38, an advocate for the homeless and a registered lobbyist.
The Ambrosiana Collection, housed in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, was created through an agreement between His Eminence Giovanni Battista Montini, then the cardinal–archbishop of Milan (later Pope Paul VI) and President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. The collection includes microfilms and photographic copies of nearly all of the drawings in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy’s historic library founded in 1609.
Margot Fassler, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy and co-director of the Master of Sacred Music program at the University of Notre Dame, has won the biennial ACE/Mercers’ International Book Award. The award from Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE) recognizes Fassler’s 2010 book The Virgin of Chartres: Making History Through Liturgy and the Arts as “an outstanding contribution to the dialogue between religious faith and the visual arts.”
After co-editing Form, Power, and Person in Robert Creeley’s Life and Work, Notre Dame English Professor Stephen Fredman was awarded $125,000 to support the purchase of Creeley’s library, total cost of which tops $600,000. “This will really help put us on the map as a holder of a major poet’s materials,” Fredman says. “People will come from around the world to look at it.”
Hip-hop and boxing are not just entertainment for Notre Dame’s two new Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellows, Brian Su-Jen Chung and Jesse Costantino; they’re fertile ground for academic research. Chung, in the American studies department, and Costantino, in English, joined the College of Arts and Letters in fall 2011 as part of a University effort to enhance cultural awareness and diversity within the campus community.
Molly Lipscomb, assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, and Laura Schechter and Jean-François Houde, economists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, hope to increase the accessibility of sanitation technology in poor neighborhoods in Dakar, Senegal. Their two-year research project is supported by a more than $1 million grant to Innovations for Poverty Action from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In July 2012, scholar, conductor, and interdisciplinary artist Carmen-Helena Tellez will join the University of Notre Dame as a professor in the Department of Music and in the Master of Sacred Music program in the Department of Theology. She comes to the College of Arts and Letters from Indiana University Bloomington, where she was the director of graduate choral studies in the Jacobs School of Music
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe fell on December 12, 2011 agreeably apposite to recent activities of Notre Dame’s scholars and administrators.
Can a newly minted constitution help revive a people devastated by war? Can it produce a deliberative democracy and respect for human rights? Can it provide a foundation for political loyalty and facilitate the reunification of a divided nation? These are questions University of Notre Dame political scientist and legal scholar Donald Kommers seeks to answer in his study of the creation, maintenance, and legitimacy of Germany’s postwar constitutional order, for which he has been awarded a yearlong Emeritus Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A competition developed by a team of University of Notre Dame experts, including sociologist David S. Hachen, Jr., uses concepts from open sourcing and crowdsourcing to help propose and assess new civil infrastructure systems for developing countries. The Shelters for All Competition: A Call to Deliver Safe, Affordable Housing to the World’s Poor challenges participants to design low-cost and safe housing that fits the cultural context of the communities in which the homes will be built.
From the moment they’re born, babies are highly attuned to communicate and motivated to interact. And they’re great listeners. New psychology research from the University of Notre Dame shows that during the first year of life, when babies spend so much time listening to language, they’re actually tracking word patterns that will support their process of word-learning that occurs between the ages of about 18 months and two years.
Hannelore Weber, an associate teaching professor in Notre Dame’s Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, recently received the Goethe-Institut/American Association of Teachers of German Certificate of Merit. Presented to just four people nationally each year, the award acknowledges educators who have significantly furthered the teaching of German in schools around the United States.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York will inaugurate the University of Notre Dame’s Project on Human Dignity with a lecture titled “Modern Questions, Ancient Answers: Defining and Defending Human Dignity in Our Time” on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall auditorium. Ann Astell, professor of theology, and Gerald McKenny, Walter Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, will give responses to Archbishop Dolan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Electronic music roars and pulsates throughout the theatre. On stage, a blind man paces, struggling to escape the ring of steel bars that confine him. Meanwhile, a stern figure in a sleek suit and sunglasses stands guard. When the lights dim and dialogue begins to flash above the stage from an overhead projector, one thing is clear: This production of John Milton’s Samson Agonistes is far from ordinary.