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Francie Shaft thought her theology and Japanese majors would never intersect — until she went abroad. Now the connections keep appearing. 

Francie Shaft has discovered intersections between her theology and Japanese majors through her classes and research — both on campus and in Japan. Those opportunities would not have been possible, she said, without the support she found at Notre Dame. “Notre Dame wants you to start pursuing what you’re passionate about, even as a freshman. If I didn’t have these people who have believed in me from the start, I don’t think I would be as creative and as bold in the sorts of experiences I want to have.”

 

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Q&A with Patrícia Rodrigues, Ph.D. student in anthropology

Author: Sophia Lauber

Categories: Internationalism, Research, General News, Graduate Students, and Q and A

Patrícia Rodrigues is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology and a fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies focusing her research on the historical and anthropological bases for indigenous claims to territory and legal protection of archaeological sites and ecological resources in Brazil. In this interview, she discusses her research on the Wauja people in Brazil, why she chose Notre Dame, and how the anthropology program's emphasis on transdisciplinarity makes it distinctive.

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How the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities is fighting to prevent homelessness

Author: Notre Dame News

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

The Homeless Prevention Call Center for the City of Chicago, currently run by Catholic Charities of Chicago, has helped thousands of families stay off the streets. Knowing funding for public programs is never guaranteed, it wanted to prove its method was cost effective and impactful. In 2012, it approached Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) for assistance. Could LEO researchers measure the call center’s effectiveness rather than volume?

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Video: Theatre historian La Donna Forsgren on women’s contributions to the Black Arts Movement

Author: Todd Boruff

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

La Donna L. Forsgren is an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre; concurrent faculty in the Gender Studies Program; and affiliated faculty in the Department of Africana Studies. Her latest book, Sistuhs in the Struggle: An Oral History of Black Arts Movement Theater and Performance, is the first oral history to fully explore the contributions of Black women intellectuals to the Black Arts Movement. 

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Interdisciplinary study by Notre Dame theology and psychology faculty explores link between art and spiritual understanding

Author: Brian Wallheimer

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

A digital image of a famous piece of art doesn’t tend to stir the soul in the same way as looking at it while standing in the same room. The context matters. Notre Dame theology and psychology faculty will extrapolate on that idea thanks to a $230,000 grant from the Templeton Religion Trust for an 18-month research project exploring the ways in which viewing art informs and enhances spiritual growth and how that changes based on time and place. The researchers will focus on two sets of religious art on the Notre Dame campus — The Stations of the Cross by Luigi Gregori in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and The Life of Christ/Cycle of Life by Philip Rickey in the Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park.

 

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Video: Philosopher Kris McDaniel on the fragmentation of being

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

“There's no escaping metaphysics, but why would we want to? It's so interesting and so fun to pursue,” said Kris McDaniel, a Notre Dame professor of philosophy. His research focuses on existence and value — in particular, exploring the idea that there are different kinds of existence, a position that is contrary to most contemporary philosophical scholarship.

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Wolbrecht receives American Political Science Association grant to broaden impact of organization promoting expertise of female scholars

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Christina Wolbrecht, a professor of political science and affiliated faculty member in the Gender Studies Program, has been awarded a Centennial Center Special Projects Fund grant from the American Political Science Association. With the grant, she and a team of colleagues are planning to broaden the impact of the organization Women Also Know Stuff by hosting a virtual conference in early 2021 that will bring together journalists and scholars.

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There will be singing: New echoes awaken in Notre Dame Stadium

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: Faculty News, Arts, Catholicism, Undergraduate News, General News, and Graduate Students

As with so much of life during the coronavirus pandemic, Notre Dame Stadium is operating under "business as unusual" — with choir rehearsals taking place in the Leahy Gate, near the south endzone. “Before now, the gate had been just a passageway and the only way to get from the first floor of O’Neill to other buildings,” said Mark Doerries, director of graduate studies and head of the graduate choral conducting program for Sacred Music at Notre Dame. “But now it holds rehearsals, classes and study space — a living incubator of music and teaching.”

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‘We can’t stop doing research just because there are obstacles’: International development studies minors adapt their capstone projects in wake of pandemic

Author: Ashley Rowland

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

Political science major Oneile Baitlotli spent most of her junior year planning the summer research project abroad she needed to earn a minor in International Development Studies: a study of how to help low-income families in her native Botswana gain access to affordable early childhood education. But in March, the coronavirus largely suspended overseas travel and closed international borders. And Baitlotli and nearly a dozen other juniors in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies’ IDS program were forced to abandon their original capstone projects. With help from their faculty advisors and the Kellogg Institute, they developed new research projects they could do virtually within a matter of weeks. 

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Reilly Center names new directors of Medicine and the Liberal Arts, GLOBES programs

Author: Carrie Gates

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

The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values has announced new leadership for two key programs — Vania Smith-Oka, an associate professor of anthropology, and Amy Hixon, an associate professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. Smith-Oka will serve as the inaugural director of the center’s Medicine and the Liberal Arts program, and Hixon has been named director of the GLOBES graduate certificate program.

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Two Arts and Letters faculty members receive NSF Early Career Development Awards

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Sociologist Erin McDonnell and psychologist Nathan Rose have received National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards for 2020. They are among nine University of Notre Dame faculty members to receive the awards this year. “This is the most prestigious award granted by the NSF to early-career faculty and reflects the quality of Erin McDonnell’s and Nathan Rose’s research,” said Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “I am thrilled that they are continuing the College’s strong record of success with these awards.”

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FTT professor and chair Pamela Wojcik to receive 2020 Sheedy Award

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News and General News

The highest teaching honor in the College of Arts & Letters, the Sheedy Award was created in 1970 and honors Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as A&L dean from 1951 to 1969. Pamela Wojcik, also a concurrent professor in the Department of American Studies and the Gender Studies Program, will accept the award during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, November 17.

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Building language bridges: A&L professor expands literacy education research at Notre Dame

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

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

Teaching English at Oakland High in the late 1990s, Ernest Morrell faced the age-old problem of how to get modern students interested in a canon of long-dead writers and poets. So he and a colleague decided to introduce elements of pop culture such as rap songs into their classrooms as a way to engage the students with topics that kids know and care about. Over the years, Morrell, who now directs the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education and is a professor of English and Africana studies, has focused his research and teaching around the idea that young students can be trusted to do complex academic work — if the topic is compelling to them and they got the right training.

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Across three continents, research and languages are the keys to Ugandan undergrad’s success in economics and global affairs

Author: Sophia Lauber

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

Whether he’s studying in Uganda or France, South Africa or South Bend — or speaking English, Luganda, French, or Swahili — Trevor Lwere has one topic at the forefront of his mind. No matter where he is, the economics and global affairs major is driven to investigate what different cultures and perspectives can teach each other about forming the best society. “Every time I move to a different place, I get curious about how different societies imagine how they should be organized and how they approach life,” he said.

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Video: Sociologist Dana Moss on studying authoritarian regimes, transnational repression, and protest movements

Author: Todd Boruff

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

Dana Moss is an assistant professor of sociology at Notre Dame whose research interests include collective behavior and social movements, global and transnational sociology, international migration, and political sociology. She's currently working on a book project on the "Arab Spring abroad" — how Libyan, Yemeni, and Syrian communities, spread from as far away as Los Angeles to London, mobilized to support the Arab Spring revolutions that were happening in their home countries. She also developed a theory of transnational repression on how regimes constrain and pressure their diasporas.

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Notre Dame partners in Dublin launch virtual series on Newman’s ‘The Idea of a University’

Author: Margaret Arriola

Categories: Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, and General News

The Notre Dame Dublin Global Gateway and the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason have launched a new, four-part international series to celebrate the first anniversary of the canonization of St. John Henry Newman — theologian, poet, convert and founder of the Catholic University of Ireland. “Thinking with Newman: Educating with Intention Today” will explore Newman’s seminal work, “The Idea of a University,” and its contemporary relevance to educational challenges faced today during the coronavirus crisis. The series launches on Oct. 7, and registration is required.

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Anthropologist's study becomes first to define link between testosterone and fathers’ social roles outside the family

Author: Colleen Sharkey

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

Most of the research on the biology of fatherhood has focused on fathers in the U.S., Europe and some Asian countries. In these settings, levels of some hormones, such as lower testosterone and higher oxytocin, have been linked to more nurturing fathering. A Notre Dame research team wants to take a wider view. The role of fathers can vary greatly across cultures, and the researchers aimed to test whether the biology of fatherhood did, too. To get a more complete picture of hormones and fatherhood that includes different cultures, social support systems, and social hierarchies, Lee Gettler, associate professor of anthropology, led a team that worked with the BaYaka and Bondongo societies in the Republic of the Congo. The team’s paper was published this week in Nature magazine’s Scientific Reports.

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With NEH grant, Notre Dame philosopher Paul Weithman planning conference on enduring impact of John Rawls

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Rawls' work A Theory of Justice has had a lasting and far-reaching influence on the fields of economics, political science, philosophy, and law — and nearly 50 years after its publication, it remains one of the greatest works of political philosophy ever produced, said Paul Weithman, the Glynn Family Honors Professor of Philosophy. With funding from a Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Weithman is planning a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication in September 2021.

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Video: Theologian Ulrich L. Lehner on questions of faith in the early modern Church

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Ulrich Lehner is the William K. Warren Professor of Theology at Notre Dame. Lehner’s work focuses on Christianity during the early modern period, around 1500 to 1800 A.D. He is currently exploring the daily life and culture of Catholics during this period, including how they worshipped and what they believed. He is particularly interested in questions that also apply to the Church today.

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Notre Dame International Security Center embarks on a new wave of expansion 

Author: Brian Wallheimer

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

Over the last three years, the Notre Dame International Security Center has added faculty and postdoctoral fellows, expanded its undergraduate and graduate programs, and become a thought leader on issues surrounding national security and innovative approaches to U.S. grand strategy. The center is now continuing to build on that success with $7.66 million in new grants, which will support naming Jim Webb, a former U.S. senator from Virginia and secretary of the Navy, as NDISC's inaugural distinguished fellow; creating a pre-doctoral fellowship program and expanding the current post-doctoral fellows program.

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Notre Dame professor co-designs first AP Seminar on African diaspora

Author: Amanda Skofstad

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

Ernest Morrell, a professor of Africana studies and English, the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education, and director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame, has collaborated with fellow subject experts to create the first capstone course on the African diaspora for AP Seminar high school teachers and students.

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How an Arts & Letters education inspired art history major Meg Burns to follow her passion — and be open to change

Author: Sophia Lauber

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

Senior Meg Burns says that the tagline to her experience at Notre Dame could be, “It’s OK to change your mind.” After three semesters majoring in biochemistry, Burns decided to follow her passion and major in art history. Then, during her junior year, she dramatically shifted the focus of her senior thesis after having completed research in Dublin. Looking back, Burns said these moments became valuable learning experiences themselves.

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From Here to There: Program helps underrepresented students advance their academic career

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, Alumni, Undergraduate News, and General News

A small but growing number of tenure-track faculty have roots in Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), a program of the Division of Student Affairs at Notre Dame that provides access to opportunities and resources for historically underrepresented students to thrive at Notre Dame and beyond. “Because of MSPS, I was lucky enough to have professors that took an interest in me and pointed me in the right direction to come to the idea that graduate school was something that I could do,” said Camille Suarez, a 2013 Arts & Letters graduate.

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First gender parity review of psychological science shows some successes amid persistent problems

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Women in the academic field of psychology are overrepresented at the undergraduate level but, ultimately, underrepresented at senior levels. No gender parity reviews of the discipline had been conducted until a group of scholars, including Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, decided to take on the task. Clark and the other researchers found that women are less likely to apply for tenure-track positions; however, those who do apply are equally if not more likely to be hired than men.

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An affinity for problem solving leads Program of Liberal Studies student to South Africa, Denmark — and to the Great Books major

Author: Sophia Lauber

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

Senior Sam Cannova’s affinity for problem solving has driven him to pursue a diverse range of experiences at Notre Dame. It has inspired him to dive deep into classic texts, volunteer for a nonprofit in the South Bend community, and travel to South Africa to conduct research on hip-hop culture. He entered Notre Dame intending to major in business but was inspired to try out some Program of Liberal Studies classes after hearing about the experiences of other students in the program.

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Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study announces 2020-2021 undergraduate research fellows

Author: Brandi Wampler

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

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) has selected 17 University of Notre Dame students — including 14 from the College of Arts and Letters — for its NDIAS Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. The 2020-2021 fellowship class will serve as research assistants for NDIAS faculty and Ph.D. fellows, who are focusing on the theme The Nature of Trust.

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College of Arts & Letters launches Beyond the Dome toolkit to help students with career discernment and preparedness

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Alumni, Undergraduate News, and General News

The College of Arts and Letters is introducing Beyond the Dome — a new set of tools and resources to help guide Arts and Letters students through the career discernment process. The program features a number of opportunities that are exclusive to A&L students — including a peer-mentoring program, an online discernment tool linked to a job-matching board, an alumni speaker series, and a year-by-year guide to career readiness — that are designed to enhance and increase awareness of the resources at the Meruelo Family Center for Career Development.

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Notre Dame London Global Gateway launches new program on Alfred Hitchcock, led by FTT professor

Author: Joanna Byrne

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, and General News

The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with five partners from across the Notre Dame campus, has launched the London Book Club, an interactive, educational enrichment program featuring Notre Dame’s expert faculty. Throughout the year, relevant themes will be selected, and participants will be invited to join four weekly meetings to discuss books, excerpts, films, and other materials. London’s first program, “Hitchcock in London,” is led by Susan Ohmer, the William T. and Helen Kuhn Carey Associate Professor of Modern Communications in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.

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