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.
Latest News » General 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.
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.
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.
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.…
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.
The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with Catholic universities in Italy and Lebanon, has established a consortium for the study of Muslim-Christian relations.
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.
The College of Arts & Letters had 22 students selected as finalists for the 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Established in 1946, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program, assisting graduate and undergraduate students with pursuing graduate study, teaching English or researching abroad.
David Ladouceur, an associate professor emeritus in the Department of Classics, died May 8 at his home. He was 73. Ladouceur joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1976 after earning his Ph.D. in classics at Brown University and his bachelor’s degree at Cornell University. He served as department chair for nine years, leading the Department of Modern Classical Languages and then the Department of Classical and Oriental Languages at a time before regional language groups were separated into their own departments.
Karl Berg ’22, who earned an M.A. in Early Christian Studies from Notre Dame’s Department of Classics, is co-organizing the Inaugural Graduate Conference on Early Christian Studies, to be held May 23–25 in Jenkins Nanovic Halls and on Zoom. The conference, which will be the first of its kind in the United States, is free and open to the public. Berg will present a paper, “Augustine of Hippo and Late Roman Slavery.” Next up for the Littleton, Colorado, native: pursuing a D.Phil. in ancient history at the University of Oxford.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters. “Your peers, your professors, everybody wants you to be the best version of yourself that you can be,” said political science and Latino studies major Matheo Vidal. “There is no place like Notre Dame, and I'm just so thankful that I was blessed to be able to experience it.”
It didn’t take long for Graham “Mac” Ryan to figure out what he wanted to study at Notre Dame. After just one conversation during a campus visit and hearing about the economics major and the philosophy, politics, and economics minor, he knew those were the programs for him. Determining how he wanted to use those professionally, though, was going to take some time. So Ryan decided to make the most of his summers figuring that out.
Tobias Boes is an associate professor of German and a Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on cultural relationships between Germany and the world at large, especially during the first half of the 20th century. In this interview, he discusses his book on Thomas Mann, his research on cultural dimensions of nationalism, and why he's developed an interest in the environmental humanities.
There’s a lot at stake for the narrator of an audiobook — their ability to reflect the traits of the characters can make or break the listening experience. That’s where Siiri Scott has shined, as she’s proficient in more than 40 dialects. Her methodology for researching and designing dialects for theater, film, and voiceover work is a skill she teaches to Notre Dame students as head of acting and directing in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and one she uses as a rising star in the world of audiobook narration.
When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly halted international travel, Mary Shiraef’s fieldwork plan to investigate the outcomes of communist-era border policies in Albania was postponed indefinitely. So she pivoted.The Notre Dame political science doctoral candidate decided to map pandemic-induced border closures around the world. Two years later, the project has been reported on in more than 40 news outlets, the data was peer-reviewed and published in the Nature Portfolio’s Scientific Data, Scientific Reports published the open-source results, and the National Library of Medicine posted the study. The international research collaboration is still active and continues to provide valuable skills-development opportunities for Notre Dame undergraduates.
Three College of Arts & Letters Ph.D. students have won major honors from The Graduate School at Notre Dame, including the Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Awards in the Humanities and the Social Sciences and the Social Justice Award. The award winners will be formally recognized for their achievements at the Graduate Commencement Ceremony to be held at Notre Dame Stadium on May 14.
Notre Dame alumna Geraldine Mukumbi has been named a 2022 Knight-Hennessy Scholar. She is Notre Dame’s second consecutive Knight-Hennessy Scholar and third in the past four years. An English and Africana studies major, she will now pursue a doctorate in curriculum studies and teacher education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is interested in interventions in the English classroom that can inspire students to be lifelong readers — particularly, the role that young adult fiction can play in improving the quality of literacy for multilingual students.
What do studio art, German, history, fairy tales, and subverting gender tropes have in common? Notre Dame undergraduate Naya Tadavarthy has used all of them in creating her senior thesis project. Tadavarthy’s wide range of academic interests have now culminated in a perfect ending — she’s writing and illustrating a children’s book about German author Gisela von Arnim, who was creating protofeminist fairytales as a teenager in the 1840s, at a time when the world lacked female-focused literary figures.
Anna Haskins, the Andrew V. Tackes Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, was one of eight experts asked to testify at a public information-gathering session on policies and programs to reduce intergenerational poverty. The webinar, sponsored by the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, was centered on outcomes resulting from current child welfare and justice systems. Haskins is a former elementary school teacher, and much of her academic work focuses on the intersection of family and the educational and criminal justice systems and how these institutions preserve and mitigate social inequality.
Notre Dame theologian James VanderKam, a renowned scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. VanderKam, the John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the Department of Theology, was among the 261 members in the newest AAAS class, which includes actor Glenn Close, novelist Salman Rushdie, painter Sam Gilliam, New York Times critic Wesley Morris, and mRNA technology pioneers Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman.
Mikaela Ramsey has wanted to be an educator since she first set foot in a classroom at age 5. Since enrolling at Notre Dame, she’s been preparing for that career in the classroom. And far beyond. For Ramsey, now a senior, that preparation has included majoring in sociology and concentrating in Spanish. To gain additional knowledge, skills, and experience, she’s taken courses in the education, schooling, and society program and she was an Alliance for Catholic Education intern.
The juniors, chosen from among nearly 900 applicants nationwide, are Notre Dame's second and third Phi Beta Kappa Key into Public Service Scholars. They'll each receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship. Miguel Coste is a neuroscience and behavior major in the College of Arts and Letters from Tampa, Florida. Noelle Dana is a classics and philosophy major, with a concentration in philosophy, science and mathematics, and a business economics and Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor from Hampden, Maine.
University of Notre Dame alumnus Charles Sheedy and his wife, Ellen, have made a leadership gift to his alma mater to endow an innovative new program that will offer specialized coursework, programming and resources for undergraduate students interested in finding deeper meaning in the practice of business through the liberal arts. The Sheedy Family Program in Economy, Enterprise and Society will be open to College of Arts and Letters students with a minor in business economics or a Mendoza College of Business minor, or Mendoza majors who have a major, supplemental major, or minor in the College of Arts and Letters.
French majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as language proficiency, intercultural competence, critical thinking, and analysis. “Learning a language really expands your understanding of the world and the way that the world works together, but also gives you a skill that you'll be able to use in the future in almost any context," said Maria Teel. "French is such a beautiful language and so I really love learning it."
Josiah Broughton started off as a computer science major at Notre Dame, but the courses didn’t align with his interests or strengths. So he stepped back, re-evaluated, and chose to take a more creative route — majoring in film, television, and theatre. The classes, he said, are fascinating and fun and offer a more comprehensive perspective on the concepts involved in video game design, from story and structure to character and graphics. Now, his dream of being a game designer is a lot closer to reality now thanks to coursework on 3D digital production for animation and video games, creating film as social action, elements of computing, and scriptwriting.
Cara Ocobock, assistant professor of anthropology, received the Human Biology Association’s 2022 Michael A. Little Early Career Award for her significant contribution to the field of human biology and the promise of more. She is the second Notre Dame anthropologist to earn the award in the last two years, after associate professor Lee Gettler won it in 2020.
Notre Dame Creative Writing Program director and poet Joyelle McSweeney has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in recognition of her creative ability in the arts and potential in future endeavors. McSweeney, who is also a playwright, novelist, translator, critic, and English professor, is in extremely good company — Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Ken Burns, Rachel Carson, and Zora Neale Hurston are previous fellows — and 19 Arts & Letters faculty have won Guggenheims in the last 22 years. “I’m still taking it in, to be honest,” she said. “It’s a spectacular show of confidence from the universe.”
Perin Gürel, a Notre Dame associate professor of American studies, has won a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Research in Turkey, in support of the completion of a book on the international history of comparisons made between Turkey and Iran. Her research will detail the history of comparisons made between Turkey and Iran, but Gürel also intends to critique the intellectual valorization of comparison itself. Sharp distinctions about areas of the world are often made, she said, despite the relatively arbitrary nature of borders between countries — not to mention the ways in which subjectively comparing one thing to another permeates other aspects of life.
Located in Albania between Greece and Italy, the Roman forum at Butrint has attracted Notre Dame archaeologist David Hernandez and others for nearly 20 years. They grab pickaxes, shovels and a water pump to reveal a town plaza and emerging technologies of the time that are well-preserved because they stayed submerged underwater for centuries. An associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Classics, Hernandez is now pouring his insight into a book about the Roman forum at Butrint. Supported by a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University, which he was awarded this spring, the book will explore why Butrint is far more significant than scholars have previously recognized.