Katie Bugyis, who received a bachelor's degree in history and a Ph.D. in medieval studies from Notre Dame, recently joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, concurrent assistant professor in the Department of Theology, and faculty fellow of the Medieval Institute. In this Q&A, she discusses her return to Notre Dame, how she became interested in medieval studies, and why the Program of Liberal Studies is the best home for her teaching and research.
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Sipping espresso and snacking on pastry, senior Terese Schomogyi counted the number of disposable cups carried out of a café into the sloping streets of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. With funding from the Glynn Family Honors Program, Schomogyi traveled last year to Amsterdam and Stockholm, Sweden, to study sustainable and ethical practices in café culture and marketing, a versatile project that would combine all her passions — political science, peace studies, and sustainability — into a senior thesis. Or, so she thought. In research, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.
Philip Byers discusses why the role of external money in organized religion deserves some focused attention, and why Notre Dame is the right place for anyone interested in American religious history.
Jason Ruiz, an associate professor in the Department of American Studies, has won the 2019 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. Created in 1970, the Sheedy Award honors Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969. Ruiz will accept the award at a reception in his honor on December 3. “It means the world to me to be recognized in this way, he said, “especially because the College is full of great teachers I admire.”
What is the history major like at Notre Dame? “History is more alive than I thought it was, in that history is still an ongoing argument.,” said history major Jarod Luedecker. History majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as analysis, interpretation, empathy, and critical thinking.
In less than three years, Ellen Pil has conducted research in Germany, traveled to the Galápagos Islands, worked for a nongovernmental organization in South Africa, and interned with a nonprofit health center in Chicago. A Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Pil said she is amazed by the support she’s received in identifying opportunities and funding to cultivate her interests and discover intersections between her fields of study.
Much medieval Italian art from the 13th century is focused on Christianity — paintings and sculptures depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints, or other Biblical scenes. But murals that were hidden for hundreds of years under layers of whitewash at the Santi Quattro Coronati monastery in Rome are different — in addition to religious iconography, they also depict secular knowledge. Notre Dame art historian Marius Hauknes is fascinated by the significant shift implied by the newly discovered paintings, and he’s spending this year writing a book on the subject after winning a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Notre Dame economist Taryn Dinkelman studies labor markets and human capital in developing countries, primarily in her native South Africa as well as Malawi and Chile. One current project uses South African household survey data to track the effects of newly-gained access to electricity. Dinkelman thinks that a key constraint for households is the capital to acquire large appliances that use the electricity.
Before leaving for a Summer Language Abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia, after her junior year, Kristen Stone ’11 had never been outside North America. After graduation, she spent seven years living and working abroad in Russia and South Africa. Her Arts and Letters education prepared her for a career in education, journalism, and now consulting.
When theology and Arts and Letters pre-health alumnus Andy Miles took a job teaching math and science, he returned to not just to the middle school — on its own, a place of considerable influence with regard to his intersecting views on education and the faith — but to the very classroom he helped renovate as an undergraduate.
A major sociology conference at the University of Notre Dame recently brought together scholars and practitioners for a rare chance to talk about their work and research on a range of development-related topics. “We don’t get this opportunity very often. This is one of the only academic conferences where we can have that dialogue with practitioners,” said sociologist Tamara Kay, one of three faculty members in the Department of Sociology who organized the American Sociological Association’s 8th Annual Sociology of Development Conference, held Oct. 17-19.
As an aspiring journalist, I think that anthropology is the perfect field to study. In many ways, the disciplines are similar. Anthropological ethnographies require interviews and observation, just like writing a news article. Similar ethics when building trust and remaining objective apply to each field. Both help me remain informed about the community and allow me to talk to people different from myself. But in key ways, anthropology is different enough that it’s helped me become a far better journalist.
Laura Miller-Graff is a Notre Dame assistant professor of psychology and peace studies and core faculty at the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families. Her research interests include the developmental effects of exposure to violence in childhood, resiliency in children, and interventions for violence-exposed persons. In this video, she discusses how her research helps children and families thrive, even in the wake of considerable hardship.
Economics students at the University of Notre Dame are contributing to the evidence-based anti-poverty research conducted by Notre Dame economics professors and research faculty at the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO). Through LEO’s internship program, students gain real-life experience in areas such as project management, data collection, statistical and econometric analysis, and research report writing.
Michael “Mic” Detlefsen, the McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, died Monday (Oct. 21). He was 70.
Agustín Fuentes is the Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include the roles of creativity and imagination in human evolution, multispecies anthropology, evolutionary theory, and the structures of race and racism. In this video, he discusses why he studies the human brain in order to understand our past and imagine our future.
On the way to graduating with majors in Spanish and music, senior Peter Sabini has rekindled old intellectual flames, discovered new passions, and found a future that combines them all. Sabini has studied abroad in Toledo, Spain, scored music in a studio in New York City, and is now translating 40 Spanish poems into English for his senior thesis. “Four years is too short,” he said, “but I got to do a bit of everything.”
Student engagement has long been recognized as key to academic success. Most research, however, has focused on engagement generally, across the school setting. Quantitative psychologist Ying “Alison” Cheng is working to better understand the link between student engagement and learning outcomes in a specific course — and how adaptive testing can help.
After Kaleem Minor graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of Arts and Letters this spring, he’ll head to California for a job he’d never dreamed of. In fact, less than a year ago, the soon-to-be analyst for a $35 billion alternative investment firm knew next to nothing about the world of finance. A trip over spring break last year changed his perspective — and his career path. Minor was one of 16 black Notre Dame students who participated in an “alternative investment trek” to the West Coast to learn more about careers in the financial services industry.
Being in the right place at the right time can change everything. For Nina Glibetić, witnessing a chance discovery changed her research focus — and the trajectory of her career. While at St. Catherine's Monastery on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a librarian discovered a folio of parchment that didn't look like others in the collection. She immediately recognized the rare language that was on it, and has since been working to translate and interpret the 11th-century folio — which is one of, if not the, oldest Glagolitic texts in existence.
Braden Kimmel, an industrial design BFA student, interned this summer at Purposeful Design, an Indianapolis-based furniture company that trains and employs formerly homeless men. “There’s so much more experience you can gain from working with professionals in the field,” he said. Kimmel received funding through the Center for Career Development, which grants undergraduates up to $3,500 to cover living expenses during a qualified summer internship.
A special event was hosted on Friday, September 20, at Innovation Park to recognize the growing relationship between the University of Notre Dame and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. The day started with the first Notre Dame/Leuven international collaborative workshop in ancient, medieval, and renaissance philosophy. Following the workshop, a reception celebrated the successful efforts of Gretchen Reydams-Schils, a professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, who helped develop Notre Dame International’s first formal faculty exchange agreement.
Notre Dame political scientist Jeff Harden is part of a multidisciplinary research team awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator grant to create a hub that will make it easier to access and analyze data from states on public policy and economic and social outcomes. Harden said making comparisons across states is often difficult because data is decentralized and each state uses different methods to collect and record such data. His team will develop a comprehensive data hub that will allow users to easily explore, visualize and analyze the data.
In labs, at conferences, and in public policy forums domestic and abroad, Notre Dame neuroscience and behavior majors are exploring and deepening their passion for the study of the human nervous system. Last year, three members of the Class of 2019 used grants they received through the Glynn Family Honors Program to conduct research on meditation and neglected children, measuring stress response, and rethinking justice. Through one discipline, they were able to see a variety of ways in which a firmer grasp of human thinking, affect, and behavior can serve as a force of good in the world.
Mike Schur — creator of The Good Place and Parks and Recreation and a writer and producer on The Office — came to Notre Dame last week to talk to students in the 1-credit The Good Class, which focuses on the philosophy and production of his current NBC show, as well as multiple sections of the God and the Good Life introductory philosophy course.
The University of Notre Dame plans to add 15 new faculty positions in its recently established Technology Ethics Center, which aims to address the increasingly complex and continuously evolving ethical and policy questions related to the impact of technology on society and individuals. “Through the work of this new center, Notre Dame has an opportunity to play an important role in ensuring ethical questions are carefully considered throughout the entire innovation and technology development process,” said Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, who has spearheaded the initiative.
“If we want democracy to survive into the next century, then we really need to understand the conditions for that process,” said Aníbal Pérez Liñán, professor of political science and global affairs at the University of Notre Dame. Liñán studies the role of political institutions in the process of democratization, particularly in Latin America. His research finds that political leaders or parties are central to the success of a democracy, as opposed to the economic or structural conditions of a country.
You’ve heard of in vitro (the study of things in test tubes) and in vivo (the study of things in a living system). Now meet in fimo, a new scientific term coined by a Notre Dame classicist and researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine to mean “excrement examined experimentally.” Their proposal — largely written by Luca Grillo, chair and associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Classics — was published this year in the journal Gastroenterology.
In the College of Arts and Letters, students can ask meaningful questions and pursue their passions in a range of fields from anthropology to theology. Because the requirements are flexible, students can take classes across disciplines to find a major they love or synthesize ideas to create knowledge. In this video, students from a range of majors discuss why the possibilities in Arts and Letters are endless.
Thousands of years ago, Mesopotamians craned their necks to watch as the moon passed between them and the sun, casting darkness on the Earth. They sacrificed animals and opened them up, carefully analyzing the characteristics of their organs. These ancient people were looking for messages from the gods; they sought information about potential enemy attacks, the weather, and predictions for their crops. “In any society, there is a desire to know the future. That’s still true today, if you think about political polling or weather forecasting,” said Abraham Winitzer, the Jordan H. Kapson Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Notre Dame. Winitzer, who works primarily in Assyriology, is one of two Notre Dame theology faculty that have a focus on Jewish studies, an area in which the department is giving new emphasis.