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New prison education initiative unites Notre Dame efforts to offer opportunities for liberal arts education to incarcerated individuals

Author: JP Shortall

Categories: General News and Centers and Institutes

A new prison education initiative will bring five local, state and national prison education programs together in one effort to be housed at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns. Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prisons (NDPEP) will offer opportunities for liberal arts education to people incarcerated in Indiana, create the infrastructure to support NDPEP participants as they re-enter their home communities, and provide faculty and student opportunities for education and research on issues related to incarceration.

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Restoring God’s Creation: How a theology professor integrates environment and economics in Uganda

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

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

As a child, Emmanuel Katongole went into the forest near his home in Uganda to draw water from the spring and collect firewood for cooking. Now a diocesan priest who has taught theology and peace studies for a decade at Notre Dame, he has worried upon every return home about the intense deforestation destroying his native land. In a country where more than half the population is under age 20, he knew that young people moving to the cities lacked opportunities and needed firewood, leading to rampant tree cutting.

But it wasn’t until reading Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ that Katongole envisioned a solution that uses education to address both problems — protecting the environment and providing economic opportunities. He joined with several colleagues and the local Catholic Church to found Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in a rural area 25 miles north of the capital city of Kampala.

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Notre Dame philosopher and psychologist team up to study whether intellectual humility is a virtue — and if it’s helpful or harmful to the marginalized and oppressed

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Intellectual humility — being free to think and listen without being concerned with the need to “be right” — could be an antidote for some pressing personal and societal problems. An interdisciplinary group of philosophers and psychologists, led by Laura Callahan and supported by a John Templeton Foundation grant, are hoping to identify how the characteristic can be used by individuals to improve their lives and how it can be more inclusive.

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In new book on global Catholicism, Provost John McGreevy explores modern history, current challenges of the Church

Author: Carrie Gates

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

In his newest book, historian and Notre Dame Provost John McGreevy examines the Church’s complex role in modern history as it both shaped and followed the politics of nation-states. Through a series of compelling vignettes and detailed analyses, McGreevy traces the events and trends that gave rise to the modern-day Catholic Church, one marked by an unwavering concern for social justice, unprecedented vibrancy in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and increasing global connections — and one that has significantly expanded the organizational and symbolic reach of the papacy.

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Notre Dame launches BIG Lab to address global poverty and economic inequality

Author: Katie Jamieson

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

Even the most effective poverty alleviation programs in low-income countries can leave some people behind. Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies have a big idea on how to bridge that gap. The new Building Inclusive Growth (BIG) Lab, led by Notre Dame economists Taryn Dinkelman, Lakshmi Iyer, and Joseph Kaboski, will bring some of the world’s best researchers together to develop innovative, long-lasting solutions to help vulnerable populations in developing countries.

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Historian’s book on influential 20th-century French priests wins four awards

Author: Beth Staples

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

Notre Dame historian Sarah Shortall’s debut book, Soldiers of God in a Secular World: Catholic Theology and Twentieth-Century French Politics, which chronicles an influential French theological movement that reimagined the Church’s role in the public sphere, has now earned four awards in the 10 months since it was published. The assistant professor of history has received the Giuseppe Alberigo Junior Scholar Award from the European Academy of Religion, the Best Book Award from the College Theology Society, the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies from New York University, and the first place Book Award for History from the Catholic Media Association.

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Two-day gathering to celebrate Afro-Latinx poetry with acclaimed poets and scholars through talks, conversations, and performances

Author: Institute for Latino Studies

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, and Arts

A renowned group of 12 poets and scholars from across the country will convene at the University of Notre Dame from Sept. 27–28 for a dynamic cultural event featuring talks, conversations, and performances that will showcase the vitality and diversity of contemporary poetry.

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‘The best decision I ever made’: How being among the first classes of women at Notre Dame prepared Ann L. Combs ’78 to thrive in corporate boardrooms and the nation’s capital 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: General News and Alumni

As an undergraduate at Notre Dame in the 1970s, Ann Combs was often the only woman in her classes. But that didn't faze her — in fact, it prepared her for a successful 40-year career in public policy affecting retirement and health care benefits. Combs served in the Department of Labor under three presidents, culminating in being appointed assistant secretary for employee benefits security by President George W Bush. She also worked in the private sector, helping trade associations and private companies navigate Washington, D.C. Throughout it all, the skills she developed and knowledge she gleaned from her Notre Dame liberal arts education served her well in her career. 

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Political science professor’s book on Islamic law wins two International Studies Association awards 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Internationalism, and General News

Emilia Justyna Powell, a Notre Dame professor of political science and concurrent professor at The Law School, has won two International Studies Association (ISA) awards for her 2020 book, Islamic Law and International Law: Peaceful Resolution of Disputes. Lauded for its originality, significance, and rigor in international law and religion and international relations, the book covers differences and similarities between the Islamic legal tradition and international law.

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Theology professor Ulrich Lehner elected to prestigious Academy of Europe 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Catholicism

Ulrich L. Lehner, a leading expert on early modern Catholicism and the William K. Warren Foundation Professor in the Department of Theology, has been elected a member of Academia Europaea, also called the Academy of Europe. He’s in excellent company — 75 Nobel Prize recipients are among its members, including the three 2021 laureates in physics. The academy promotes research, advises governments and international organizations, and furthers interdisciplinary and international research.

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Video: The classics major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

What is the classics major like at Notre Dame? “If you like history or poetry or art history or literature, you can find your own path in classics. I wouldn't want to have been anywhere else,” said student Nicholas Mungan. Classics majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as critical thinking, analysis, writing, and problem solving, then go on to top graduate and professional schools and work in a variety of professions and industries.

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With Getty Scholar Grant, art history professor will bring image of Central America into sharper focus

Author: Beth Staples

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

For generations, North Americans have seen media images of poverty, disease, civil war, and crime in Central America, including photographs and videos of Central Americans fleeing violence and of children, some just 2 or 3 years old, kept in cages at immigration detention camps. Even when well-intentioned, the images can feed into negative stereotypes, said Tatiana Reinoza, an assistant professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. Reinoza has won a competitive Getty Scholar Grant that will support her effort to more fully represent the seven-country region, its people, and their stories with her book project, tentatively titled “Retorno: Art and Kinship in the making of a Central American Diaspora.”

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Sociologist wins European book award for research on how pockets of government in developing countries thrive 

Author: Beth Staples

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

The European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) has presented Notre Dame sociologist Erin Metz McDonnell with its 2022 Book Award for her original contribution to the knowledge about organizations, organizing, and the organized. In her award-winning book, Patchwork Leviathan: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States, McDonnell argues that while corruption and ineffectiveness may be expected of public servants in developing countries, “some spectacularly effective state organizations thrive amid institutional weakness and succeed against impressive odds.” 

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Video: Why learn a language?

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, and General News

Learning a second, or third, language is transformative for Notre Dame students. Developing the ability to read, speak, and comprehend Arabic, Chinese, or any of the other 15+ languages that Notre Dame offers, improves memory and problem-solving skills. It also deepens appreciation of cultures, enhances travel experiences, boosts confidence, and expands understanding of the world. 

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Eileen Hunt’s book Artificial Life After Frankenstein wins award for broadening horizons of contemporary political science

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Eileen Hunt, a professor in the Department of Political Science, has won the David Easton Award for her 2021 book, Artificial Life After Frankenstein. The annual award from the American Political Science Association’s Foundations of Political Theory section recognizes a book that “broadens the horizons of contemporary political science by engaging issues of philosophical significance in political life through … approaches in the social sciences and humanities.” In the book, Hunt develops a theoretical framework for how to bring technology-based ethical issues — like making artificial intelligence, robots, genetically engineered children and other artificially-shaped life forms — into debates on human rights, international law, theories of justice, and philosophies of education and parent-child ethics.

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Video: The international economics major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, and General News

What is the international economics major like at Notre Dame? "International economics brings that global perspective into economics, and it gives you the opportunity to study a language while you go through it," said student Antonio Villegas Jimenez. International economics majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as language proficiency, empathy, critical thinking, and problem solving. “I could combine this interest in economics and the way that helps you see the world with the opportunity to study Arabic in an advanced way," said major Anastasia Reisinger. "We really get a holistic vision of economics."

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Art history mayor: How the liberal arts helped Tim Keller ’00 develop leadership skills that led to success in consulting, tech, and government

Author: Sophia Lauber

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

Over the past four years, Tim Keller ’00 has found that leading his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has much more in common with studying art than he initially thought. Being able to analyze and understand the context, history, and circumstances of Albuquerque has helped Keller recognize and address his community’s needs. It’s just one of the many surprising ways art history has re-entered his life since earning his degree — and one of the many skills he developed in his liberal arts education that have remained a constant throughout his career. 

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Majoring in economics and A&L pre-health prepares senior to make a difference in the lives of patients — as a doctor, consultant, or health care policy advocate

Author: Indonesia Brown and Beth Staples

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and General News

Anoop Sunkara is ready to work in consulting. Or be a doctor. Or advocate for better health care public policy. Wherever his career path ends up taking him, the coursework, research, internships, service, and hands-on training he’s completed during his time at Notre Dame have prepared him to do it all. “The Arts & Letters education is a fantastic track for students who desire to study and expand their knowledge beyond the traditional science field,” said Sunkara, a senior majoring in economics and Arts & Letters pre-health. “For me, I’ve always wanted to be taking science classes, but Arts & Letters gives me a vocational perspective — an ability to think and speak about big-picture issues beyond knowing basic chemistry and biology.”

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Video: The economics major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

What is the economics major like at Notre Dame? "Econ is everywhere. We're taking real world problems and looking at them through an economic lens," said student MyKayla Geary. Economics majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as critical thinking, analysis, writing, and problem solving. “If you understand the why, you can actually start pulling on these strings that underlie everyone's decision making process," said major Mac Ryan. "Honestly, it's been it's been life-changing for me. I've loved every second of it."

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Notre Dame receives record-breaking $244 million in annual research awards

Author: Brett Beasley

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

A $997,387 award from Lilly Endowment Inc. is preparing graduate students in the Department of Theology to better serve in, and learn from, a diverse and changing world. The five-year project builds on the University’s commitment to serve a world in need and to learn from the wisdom, faith, and struggles of marginalized peoples through that engagement.

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Shakespeare at Notre Dame wins grant, award for social justice programs that bring the arts to vulnerable populations

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Arts

Shakespeare at Notre Dame recently won a prestigious award for its efforts to convene Shakespeare in prison practitioners from around the world as well as a new grant for its work bringing the Bard to a local residential treatment facility for juveniles. “Shakespeare at Notre Dame is the social justice mission of the University in action through the performing arts,” said Scott Jackson, Mary Irene Ryan Family Executive Director. “We can be a community driver of change.”

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With Huntington fellowship, English professor researches depictions of animals in medieval literature and philosophy

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Michelle Karnes, a Notre Dame associate professor of English, has been chosen as a Mellon Fellow by The Huntington, a collections-based research and educational institution in California. During the yearlong fellowship that begins in July, Karnes will work on journal articles and a chapter for her next book project, tentatively titled “Interanimalia: The Species of the Medieval World,” which focuses on the value of species diversity in the natural world.

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Video: Psychologist Alison Cheng on making educational assessments more informative, fair, and efficient

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Ying (Alison) Cheng is a professor of psychology, a fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, and associate director of the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society at the University of Notre Dame. In this interview, she discusses her research on psychological and educational measurement, and how she and her team use statistical models to improve academic testing, making them more efficient, informative, and fair for students and educators.

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Arts & Letters alumna Melinda Henneberger ’80 wins Pulitzer Prize

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News and Alumni

Melinda Henneberger, a 1980 University of Notre Dame alumna and columnist for the Sacramento Bee, won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, journalism’s highest honor. Henneberger was honored for “persuasive columns demanding justice for alleged victims of a retired police detective accused of being a sexual predator,” pieces she wrote while working as vice president and editorial page editor for The Kansas City Star. Graduates of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have now won Pulitzer Prizes three out of the last four years.

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A chance to change lives: How first-generation college student Natalie Hibshman ’17 built the skills to thrive in a medical career through psychology and studio art

Author: Sophia Lauber

Categories: General News and Alumni

As a plastic and reconstructive surgery resident at Duke University Medical Center, Natalie (Jackson) Hibshman ’17 applies what she learned at Notre Dame and in medical school to improve the lives of her patients. But there's always more to learn. With every physical problem someone encounters, she’s found there are complicated mental and emotional dynamics entwined with it — and her liberal arts education prepared her to take on the task of treating patients holistically.

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In memoriam: Douglas Kinsey, 88, professor emeritus of art

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Arts

Doug Kinsey

Douglas Kinsey, an artist and professor emeritus in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, died May 21 at his home. He was 88.

Kinsey joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1968 after earning his M.F.A. at the University of Minnesota and his bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College. Before coming to Notre Dame, he taught at Oberlin, the University of North Dakota, and Berea College.…

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Notre Dame faculty advance research related to the Church sexual abuse crisis

Author: Joanne Fahey

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

In March 2019, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced that the University would provide funding to support research projects that address issues emerging from the Church sexual abuse crisis. Since that announcement, 10 grants have been administered through the Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research Grant Program to researchers in the College of Arts and Letters, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Law School, and the Mendoza College of Business. 

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Psychologists research how COVID pivot affected students and faculty at more than 80 universities

Author: Colleen Sharkey

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

Even after accounting for demographic variables (gender, race/ethnicity, parental educational attainment), researchers found that undergraduate students who reported greater pandemic-induced stress tended to have greater test anxiety and were less confident in their computer skills.

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