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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An interdisciplinary symposium hosted this week by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies aims to facilitate conversation and collaboration between scholars from the United States and Italy who are researching issues related to immigration. “Transnational Migration in Comparative Perspective: Italy and the United States” offers the chance for academics to learn from one another about immigration experiences and discuss ways that research can better inform policymakers.
There are 60 million displaced people in the world, and every day, an estimated 40,000 people flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere. For many, a temporary stop in a refugee camp becomes a lifetime of dependency and desolation. Notre Dame anthropology professor Rahul Oka believes there is a better way to provide aid to these residents. For several years, with colleagues in the Department of Anthropology, the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications and the Ford Family Program, he has studied the evolution of trade and commerce, focusing on the formal and informal economies that develop within these camps.
Notre Dame historian Linda Przybyszewski has been selected as one of the first winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ new Public Scholar Grant Program, which aims to bring the humanities to larger audiences and make scholarship relevant to contemporary life. Her forthcoming book will tell the story of the Cincinnati Board of Education’s decision to stop Bible reading in public schools and the ensuing court battles that riveted the nation in the late 1860s and early 1870s.
The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), in close collaboration with the Creative Writing Program, will present a conference, “Angels of the Americlypse,” on October 28 and 29, 2015, featuring Latino/a poetry readings, literary translation, and roundtable discussions. The event—held in conjunction with Letras Latinas, the ILS literary initiative—will include readings by acclaimed poets Rosa Alcalá, Carmen Giménez Smith, Roberto Tejada, and Rodrigo Toscano.
Notre Dame Research, together with Notre Dame International, invite faculty in all Colleges and Schools to apply for inaugural Rome Global Gateway Faculty Research Award. Grants for any amount up to $50,000 of total funding for a period of up to one year are available through the program.
“Rachel Rivers Parroquín, director of Spanish community-based learning and an assistant professional specialist in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures”, has been named 2015 Indiana Teacher of the Year, University Category, by the Indiana Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. She will now be considered along with teachers of the year in other languages for the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association Teacher of the Year 2015, Central States Teacher of the Year 2017, and American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages National Teacher of the Year 2018.
An interdisciplinary research collaborative between the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University has awarded nearly $2 million to 18 projects in five countries. The researchers will examine the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of hope and optimism. The project, Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations, is funded through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation and additional money from Notre Dame and Cornell.
After adapting his award-winning documentary On the Bridge into a graphic novel that both portrayed stories of veterans and offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Olivier Morel’s emotions and struggles as he interviewed them, the FTT assistant professor was inspired to create an undergraduate course. In Graphic Wounds, Graphic Novels, in-depth readings and discussions with some of the genre’s leading authors revealed how trauma and recovery are depicted in nonfiction graphic novels.
Indiana’s school choice program is one of the largest in the United States. Until now, little has been known about how this initiative to increase parents’ educational options for their children is affecting either the schools or the students. A Notre Dame sociologist will now get to examine a range of those effects, thanks to a $1 million grant from The Spencer Foundation. The award will fund a three-year study in a ground-breaking initiative with data allowing for comparisons among traditional public, charter, and private schools.
Two research initiatives housed in Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion have awarded nearly $4 million in grants to 40 research projects seeking to advance understanding of the concepts of hope and optimism as well as religious and transformative experiences.
Continuing to strengthen cultural ties with scholars and alumni in Asia, three faculty members from Notre Dame’s Department of Music will depart on Tuesday, October 13, for Seoul, Beijing, and Hong Kong. During the 12-day tour, they will present concerts and lectures at leading universities and cultural institutions, including the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Building on the success of their previous visits, their outreach has expanded from universities to more broadly based cultural institutions as well—such as last year’s recital at the Beijing Capital Library, in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy, and their upcoming appearance at the Asia Society.