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Desch Named Director of International Security Center

Author: Arts and Letters

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

Michael Desch

Political Science Professor Michael Desch has been appointed director of the Notre Dame International Security Center. “This is both a tremendous honor and a daunting challenge,” Desch said. “My colleagues and I have made much progress since 2008 in building NDISC into a leading center for international security studies. But our challenge now is to take it to the next level in terms of both the scope of our programming as well as its impact on campus and in the academic and policy communities more broadly.”

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Liberal Studies and Sacred Music Professor Honored for Musicological Research on Italian Basilica

Author: Josh Weinhold

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

Pierpaolo Polzonetti

Pierpaolo Polzonetti, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, has won the H. Colin Slim Award for his essay, “Tartini and the Tongue of Saint Anthony.” The award, presented by the American Musicological Society since 2005, honors a “musicological article of exceptional merit.”

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Professor, Cushwa Center Director Begins Leadership of American Catholic Historical Association

Author: Brian Wallheimer

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

Kathleen Sprows-Cummings

Pope Francis has ignited increased public interest in the future of the Catholic Church, and Kathleen Sprows Cummings hopes she can use that to remind people of the Church’s past. Cummings, an associate professor of American studies and history and the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, begins her term this month as vice president/president-elect of the American Catholic Historical Association.

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New Political Science Faculty Expand Department’s International Profile

Author: Tom Lange

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

Karrie Koesel and Susanne Wengle

As students read news about China’s turbulent economy or about Russia flexing political muscle, two new professors in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science can provide them with context about what’s happening. Associate Professor Karrie Koesel and Assistant Professor Susanne Wengle have both lived in Russia and studied its culture and politics for years. Koesel has also worked and researched in China. The two new faculty members expand the breadth of Notre Dame’s international research and scholarship in political science.

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Blending Psychology and Computer Science, Professor Seeks to Build Technologies That Help Humans Learn

Author: Fred Bauters

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Sidney D'Mello

Computers are astounding devices, but they aren’t great listeners. They can’t lend a hand when users struggle to find a file, don’t understand what they are reading, or fall asleep studying for a test. But that may all change someday soon. Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of psychology and computer science at the University of Notre Dame, is tackling research at the intersection of cognition and emotion during complex learning and problem-solving. Through several projects he’s leading or collaborating on, D’Mello is creating real-time computational models built from extensive lab- and school-based research, with the long-term, big-picture goal of making computers more humanlike so they can guide us in learning—at work, at school, and in daily life.

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Through a Sociologist’s Lens—Democracy and Development in Brazil

Author: Hendriksen, Mary

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

Ann Mische

Notre Dame sociologist Ann Mische, a scholar of social movements in Brazil and around the world, has an intense interest in how citizens in a democracy debate their futures and engage in collective efforts to bring about social and political change. In her work, she investigates processes and styles of communication and decision making across civil society networks and their implications for democracy, development, and social justice.

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Using New Technology, Sociologists Gain Insight Into Students' Social Development

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

social media

Cellphones, any parent can attest, play a central role in the lives of college students. Studies show that nearly all college students own a cellphone, and most of those students use text messaging as their main form of communication. Researchers from the University of Notre Dame used the centrality of cellphones in college students’ lives to delve deep into students’ usage habits and how their social networks affect their everyday lives.

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Economics Department Adds Faculty Experts in Education, Energy, Sovereign Debt, Consumer Markets

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Notre Dame seal

Notre Dame’s Department of Economics added expertise in education, energy, sovereign debt, and consumer market behavior with the appointments this fall of four new faculty members. The fast-growing department is continually looking to add faculty who best fit with its mission and the University’s mission, said William Evans, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics and chair of the department, which often leads to new hires with varying research and teaching interests. That’s exactly the case with new assistant professors Christiane Baumeister, Chloe Gibbs, and Zachary Stangebye and assistant teaching professor Forrest Spence.

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Psychologist Honored for a Lifetime of Influential Personality Research

Author: Tom Lange

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

David Watson

When you help create two dozen psychological assessment instruments—including one cited more than 19,000 times—the world takes notice. David Watson, the Andrew J. McKenna Family Professor of Psychology, was honored for those accomplishments and many others when the Society for Personality and Social Psychology presented him with the 2015 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality. The award recognizes the lifetime achievements of senior-level researchers and is the organization’s top honor for research accomplishments in personality psychology.

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New Democracy Dataset to ‘Revolutionize’ Democracy Research

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

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

Michael Coppedge

A five-year collaboration between institutions in the United States and Sweden has resulted in a new, public dataset for researchers of democracy. According to Notre Dame political scientist and Kellogg Faculty Fellow Michael Coppedge, one of four principal investigators who have led the five-year effort, the data release promises to “revolutionize” quantitative research on democracy.

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Psychologists Caution Mothers on Discussing Weight with Daughters

Author: Michael O. Garvey

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

How should a concerned mother discuss issues of diet and weight with her daughter? Very carefully, according to Erin Hillard, a developmental psychology doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame. In an article recently published in the journal Body Image, Hillard and her colleagues reported on results from their study of a representative group of sixth- through eighth-grade girls and their mothers.

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Psychologists Find Parent Interaction Vital to Child's Well-being as Adult

Author: Notre Dame News

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Darcia Narvaez

Did you receive affection, play freely, and feel supported in childhood? Childhood experiences like these appear to have a lot to do with well-being and moral capacities in adulthood. In a forthcoming article in the journal Applied Developmental Science, University of Notre Dame professor of psychology Darcia Narvaez and colleagues Lijuan Wang and Ying Cheng, associate professors of psychology, show that childhood experiences that match with evolved needs lead to better outcomes in adulthood.

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Three Notre Dame Faculty Receive Fellowships from National Endowment for the Humanities

Author: Josh Weinhold

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

NEH

Three faculty from the University of Notre Dame received fellowships this week from the National Endowment for the Humanities, continuing the University’s record success winning support for humanities research. Receiving the grants are Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French; Amy Mulligan, an assistant professor of Irish language and literature; and Gabriel Said Reynolds, a professor of Islamic studies and theology. Since 1999, College of Arts and Letters faculty have won 57 NEH fellowships—more than any other private university in the country.

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How Researchers Are Turning ‘Star Wars’ Droids into Reality

Author: Notre Dame News

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

R2-D2, left, and C-3PO droids from "Star Wars"

After nearly 40 years of pop culture relevancy, the Star Wars saga is continuing this month with the December 18 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fans are lining up to see beloved characters return to the screen, including Han Solo and General Leia, and to welcome several new ones, including a variety of droids. The enduring popularity of and interest in C-3PO and R2-D2 speaks to the fascination many people have with robotics and artificial intelligence. Although no one will have their own C-3PO soon, a number of University of Notre Dame researchers are working to make droids more science fact than science fiction.

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People in States That Rely Heavily on Ballot Initiatives Are Happier

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Benjamin Radcliff icon

Ballot initiatives, those petition-driven public votes on contested issues, are often disparaged by liberals and conservatives alike for their avoidance of conventional representative democratic processes and their vulnerability to manipulation by well-financed and organized special interest groups. Nevertheless, according to Benjamin Radcliff, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, people in states that rely more heavily on such initiatives are, on average, happier than people in other states.

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Psychologist Wins Early Career Award for Research on Sleep and Stress

Author: Aaron Smith

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

Jessica Payne

Jessica Payne never dreamed of becoming a rising star in the science of sleep. In fact, until midway through graduate school, she didn’t think much about the subject beyond her own off-and-on problems getting some shut-eye. Now, she can’t keep it off her mind. Payne’s tireless work recently earned her the "Psychonomic Society’s Early Career Award, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to scientific psychology early in their careers.

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International Security Center Receives $3.5 Million Grant

Author: Arts and Letters

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

Michael Desch

The Notre Dame International Security Center has received a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation to further develop and expand its role as a forum for broader scholarship on U.S. foreign policy. The grant builds on the significant and wide-ranging support the center has received since it was founded seven years ago—including two grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to research how American scholars can contribute to the formation of U.S. national security policy.

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Arts and Letters Faculty Win Inaugural Rome Global Gateway Research Awards

Author: Joanne Fahey

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

Rome skyline

Notre Dame Research, together with Notre Dame International, have awarded three new grants for faculty to complete research at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway. Alexander Beihammer, associate professor in the Department of History, will explore the relationship between the Vatican and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Heather Hyde Minor, associate professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, will conduct archival research for a book on Johann Joachim Winckelmann.

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Political Scientist's New Book Shows Impact of Education on Voter Participation in Mali

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

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

Jaimie Bleck

In a new book, Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), Jaimie Bleck, an assistant professor of political science, explores the relationship between schooling, political knowledge, and political participation in Mali, where access to education nearly tripled in the two decades following the country’s 1991 transition to multiparty democracy.

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English Professor Named to National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' List

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: Faculty News and General News

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, assistant professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of English, has been named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35. The honor is bestowed to top young fiction writers selected by past National Book Award winners and finalists. Van der Vliet Oloomi, the author of Fra Keeler, was chosen for the list by novelist Dinaw Mengestu, who was a 5 Under 35 honoree after publishing The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears in 2007.

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Anthropologists’ Research Finds Emotionally Supportive Relationships Linked to Lower Testosterone

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

campus_dome

Science and folklore alike have long suggested that high levels of testosterone can facilitate the sorts of attitudes and behavior that make for, well, a less than ideal male parent. It has long been known that among humans (and some other species as well), males who cooperate amicably with their female mates in raising and nurturing offspring often have lower testosterone levels than their more aggressive and occasionally grumpy counterparts. But two University of Notre Dame anthropologists are looking beyond the nuclear family for such effects.

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Sociologist’s Research Compares Police Presence at Christian and Secular Protests

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Kraig Beyerlein

Police are less likely to show up at protests involving religious actors or organizations — unless the protesters are fundamentalist Christians, according to a new study. Notre Dame sociologist Kraig Beyerlein, the lead author of the study, analyzed protest-event data from daily editions of The New York Times published between 1960 and 1995 and found that, in general, police were more likely to leave alone protests from religious groups. However, fundamentalist Christian groups were more likely to be policed than secular groups were.

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Economist Studies School Choice Programs and Private School Revenue

Author: Mandy Kinnucan

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Dan Hungerman

Private school voucher programs are becoming more common, with more than a million U.S. families participating in these programs across the country. A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Where Does Voucher Funding Go? How Large-Scale Subsidy Programs Affect Private-School Revenue, Enrollment, and Prices,” authored by Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman and graduate student Kevin Rinz, provides the first study of how school choice programs affect the finances of private schools and the affordability of a private education.

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Rahul Oka: Advocating for Refugees in Kenya

Author: Carol Bradley

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

Rahul Oka

Anthropologist Rahul Oka has been working with UNHCR and the World Bank on a new refugee camp being built, helping create a template for refugee resettlement. “All the data we’ve collected, both qualitative and quantitative, will inform the new camp. My job is not to tell them that they need a paradigm shift," he said. "My job is to make sure that any development project in which I am involved is informed by on-the-ground analysis and is based on observed reality of local events and behaviors.”

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Shamrock Series Academic Events to Tackle Irish History, Research on Poverty

Author: Josh Weinhold

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

Shamrock Series 2015

A football game isn’t the only thing Notre Dame is bringing to Boston in late November. As part of a weekend of events surrounding the Shamrock Series, Notre Dame’s annual home-away-from-home football game, the College of Arts and Letters will host a pair of academic conversations the day before the Fighting Irish face Boston College at Fenway Park. Notre Dame historians will offer an interdisciplinary look at the impact of Irish immigration on American religious and political structures, as well as the role of the U.S. in the 1916 Easter Rising, while economists will discuss research initiatives that aim to change the way humanitarian services help the poor both domestically and abroad.

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Psychology Faculty Win Indiana CTSI Grants

Author: Joanne Fahey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Notre Dame Academic Seal

Notre Dame faculty from the Department of Psychology have been awarded grants from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). Julie Braungart-Rieker, the Mary Hesburgh Flaherty and James F. Flaherty III Professor of Psychology and director of the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families, was awarded a Community Health Engagement Program (CHEP) Community Based Research Pilot Award for a study, “Reducing Obesogenic Home Environments in Low-Income Households with Mothers of Pre-school-Aged Children.” Jennifer Burke LeFever, assistant research professor in the Department of Psychology, is a co-primary investigator on the grant.

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Psychologist Explores What Happens When We Sleep

Author: Arts and Letters

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

Jessica Payne

What’s going on in your head while you sleep? The research of Jessica Payne, associate professor and Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair in Psychology, shows that the non-waking hours are incredibly valuable for your day-to-day life, especially for helping to commit information to memory and for problem solving. If you ever thought sleep was just downtime between one task and the next, think again.

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Three Questions with Political Scientist Rev. Robert Dowd

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Rev

Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., assistant professor of political science, is a fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and director of its Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity. A popular teacher and scholar of religion’s impact on development and political institutions, he has conducted extensive research on communities and societies throughout Africa. His recently published book, Christianity, Islam and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa, provocatively argues that religious diversity in Nigeria and other African countries actually encourages, rather than inhibits, religious tolerance.

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Six New History Faculty Bring Transnational Research and Teaching Interests to Department

Author: Josh Weinhold

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

Hurley Globe

They bring expertise in subjects that span physical borders and chronological boundaries. They bring passion to their research and energy to their classrooms. And the six new faculty members joining the Department of History this fall bring additional prestige to an already elite group of academics. “For a long period of time, we’ve been working to assemble a group of scholars that could work across national boundaries, redefining the department and what it does," said Patrick Griffin, chair of the department.

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