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Notre Dame Symposium to Address Early Human Experience

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

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Children and Families is hosting a symposium, Human Nature and Early Experience: Addressing the ‘Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness,’ October 10 to 12 (Sunday to Tuesday) at McKenna Hall on Notre Dame’s campus. An international collection of renowned scholars from several disciplines will present research on the psychological, anthropological, and biological conditions related to the optimal brain and body system development in human beings.

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Katherine Zieman Awarded National Humanities Center Fellowship

Author: Kate Cohorst

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Assistant Professor of English Katherine Zieman has been awarded a National Humanities Center Fellowship for work on her next book, Richard Rolle and His Readers: Defining the Literary in the Fifteenth Century. She is one of just 36 fellows selected to spend the 2010-2011 academic year working at the North Carolina-based center.

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Science of Generosity Awards $1.4 Million in Research Grants

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

The University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative has awarded $1.4 million to nine research projects that will study the origins, manifestations and consequences of generosity. The winning projects were chosen from among 327 proposals by scholars in numerous disciplines in this second phase of research funding. Four projects were funded earlier this year.

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Sociologist Larissa Fast Researches Humanitarian Security

Author: Joan Fallon

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

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Larissa Fast, assistant professor of sociology and conflict resolution at the University of Notre Dame, and her co-investigators from Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children, a grant for research that seeks to increase security for international relief and development agencies worldwide.

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Psychologist Darcia Narvaez Studies Parenting Practices

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Ever meet a kindergartener who seemed naturally compassionate and cared about others’ feelings? Who was cooperative and didn’t demand his own way? Chances are, his parents held, carried, and cuddled him a lot; he most likely was breastfed; he probably routinely slept with his parents; and he likely was encouraged to play outdoors with other children, according to new research findings Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia F. Narvaez.

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Economist James Sullivan Says Official Poverty Numbers Misleading

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

The official poverty report the U.S. Census Bureau releases this week is expected to show that the number of Americans defined as poor in 2009 increased by 2 to 3 percentage points—the largest year-to-year increase of the past 50 years. But those figures don’t tell the whole story, says University of Notre Dame economist James Sullivan.

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Historian Scott Appleby Addresses Islamic Backlash

Author: Shannon Chapla

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

R. Scott Appleby, Notre Dame history professor and John M. Regan, Jr., Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, dispels misconceptions spread by people caught up in a wave of suspicion fueled by the mosque controversy in New York City, a Florida church’s plan to burn copies of the Qu’ran, and Muslims’ worries over the 9/11 anniversary coinciding with Ramadan celebrations.

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Psychologist Joshua Diehl Explores Autism Treatment Options

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Notre Dame Assistant Psychology Professor Joshua Diehl is working to improve communication skills in children with autism, a diagnosis that impacts one out of every 100 children born in this country. “The signature characteristic for all children with autism is difficulty communicating,” Diehl says. “Many of the children desire to be social, but comprehension is a barrier for them. They don’t always understand social conventions or norms.”

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Psychologist Jessica Payne Studies Sleep and Creativity

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Research from University of Notre Dame Assistant Psychology Professor Jessica Payne shows that too little sleep causes more than crankiness and tantrums in children: it also results in the inability to process new ideas and be creative. “If children are deprived of adequate sleep, their brains are not as able to make the kinds of connections necessary for learning new ideas,” says Payne, whose research focuses on sleep, memory, and creativity.

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Economist William Evans Finds ADHD Misdiagnosed

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, the rate of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis soared 500 percent. Today, five to 10 percent of all U.S. children between the ages of six and 18 have been diagnosed with ADHD. But according to a recent study led by University of Notre Dame Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics William Evans, 1.1 million children may have been misdiagnosed.

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Notre Dame Awarded Mellon Grant for Study on Influence of Religion

Author: Joanna Basile

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

Given the secular nature of many aspects of society, scholars often neglect the role that religion has played—and still plays—in the development of virtually every aspect of civilization. It is impossible to look at world history, politics, or culture without taking into consideration the impact religion has had over the centuries. Now, with a $657,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project called “Religion Across the Disciplines,” faculty and graduate students at Notre Dame, along with other leading scholars from around the world, will “examine and report on how religious knowledge can be integrated into the study and teaching of their academic disciplines.”

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Economist Eric Sims Researches “Wait-and-See” Effect

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

New research from the University of Notre Dame casts doubt on a long-held belief in economics that business uncertainty leads to quick drops in economic activity. Published recently by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a study by Notre Dame economist Eric Sims and colleagues from the University of Michigan and the University of Munich found no evidence that increases in uncertainty cause a wait-and-see effect, or slowing of economic activity.

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Mark Cummings Researches Children’s School Performance and Family “Type”

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

The way a family interacts can have more of an impact on a child’s predicted school success than reading, writing, or arithmetic, according to a University of Notre Dame study published recently in the Journal of Child Development. University of Notre Dame Professor of Psychology Mark Cummings and colleagues at the University of Rochester studied the relationship patterns of some 300 families with six year-olds over the course of three years and found distinct family-school connections. Specific family “types” emerged as predictors of school success.

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Researchers Receive Medical Technologies Grants for Indiana-based Initiatives

Author: Nina Welding

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Three University of Notre Dame faculty members—Basar Bilgicer, Bradley S. Gibson, and Paul Helquist—have been awarded grants from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI) as part of the Collaboration in Translational Research Pilot Program. Another faculty member, Joshua Shrout, received a Young Investigator Basic Science award, and two graduate students—Apryle O’Farrell and James Clancy—have been awarded predoctoral fellowships by the organization.

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A Study in Activist Sustainability

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

Turning the pages of Assistant Professor Erika Summers-Effler’s new book, Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes: Emotional Rhythms in Social Movement Groups, it won’t be long before readers notice they are not working their way through a typical sociology text. Summers-Effler’s lively storytelling veers off into three different directions at once, and it’s loaded with stories, comments, and vibrant details from real life that would be quite at home in a piece of narrative journalism.

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John O’Callaghan Appointed to Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas

Author: Michael O. Garvey

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

John P. O’Callaghan, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Jacques Maritain Center, has been appointed a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Established in 1879 by Pope Leo XIII to promote the study of the thought of St. Thomas and to bring it into engagement with contemporary culture, the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas has 50 members. O’Callaghan, an associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame whose scholarship concerns medieval philosophy and Thomistic metaphysics, is one of four academy members from the United States.

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ND Grad Kyle Bocinsky Researches Mystery of Ancient Puebloans

Author: Lisa Walenceus

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

From A.D. 550 to 1300, the ancient Puebloans inhabited the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, the place where four states—Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah—now meet. For more than 600 years of this time period, the Puebloans lived primarily on top of places such as Colorado’s Mesa Verde. They then began to build their now famous cliff dwellings, but barely 150 years later, they not only stopped building but also disappeared from the Four Corners region altogether.

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Benn Torres Leads New Molecular Anthropology Lab

Author: Shannon Chapla

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

Assistant Professor Jada Benn Torres uses genetics to research the distribution of diseases across populations, with a primary focus on women’s reproductive health. Notre Dame’s first molecular anthropologist, she recently celebrated the opening of her laboratory, where tools and techniques developed in molecular genetics are brought to bear on anthropological questions.

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Notre Dame Historian J. Robert Wegs Dies

Author: Marie Blakey

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

James Robert “Bob” Wegs, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, died on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. He was 73. Specializing in modern European social and economic history, especially in Germany and Austria, he taught at New York University from 1969 to 1976 and at Vanderbilt University for a year before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1977.

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