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Historian Paul Ocobock awarded American Historical Association prize for book on the role of age in Kenyan violence

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Kenya has been troubled by ethnic violence for many years, especially surrounding elections, and most histories of the country focus on the issue of ethnicity. But there is another factor that is just as important, Paul Ocobock argues — age. He was awarded the 2018 Morris D. Forkosch Prize for his exploration of the centrality of age and masculinity in the lives of young men in his book, An Uncertain Age: The Politics of Manhood in Kenya.

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Going farther: How immersive international experiences in the Summer Language Abroad program are helping Notre Dame students build valuable skills

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

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

Matthew Wisneski learned more than the Russian language this summer in Moscow. The senior political science and Russian major also discovered that failure can be one of the most important tools for growth. He was one of 53 students traveling to 19 different countries last summer with support from the Summer Language Abroad program in Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures. Through intensive language coursework and daily interaction with native speakers, the SLA experience allows students to rapidly enhance their command of a foreign language.

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In memoriam: Donald Kommers, 86, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Chair in Government and International Studies

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News and Faculty News

Donald P. Kommers, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Chair in Government and International Studies and a concurrent professor emeritus of law, died Dec. 21 at his home in Holy Cross Village. He was 86. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1963, he was a renowned scholar of German and American constitutional law. 

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Undergraduate design student co-founds startup offering original, personalized songs

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

While many students stress about homework and exams, junior Nicholas Lampson juggles a college workload and running a startup. Lampson, a design major with a concentration in industrial design, is co-founder of Streetlight Creations, a company that allows customers to order personalized songs from a team of talented musicians that can be given as gifts to others.

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Book club, led by A&L majors, ‘elevates’ language for Spanish-speaking Catholic middle-school students

Author: Erin Blasko

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

Every Thursday, Notre Dame junior Julia Cogan drives the six minutes from campus to Holy Cross School, a Catholic school on South Bend’s near northwest side. There the sociology major leads a heritage book club for middle-school students in Clare Roach’s introductory Spanish class. The students speak Spanish at home — easily conversing with Spanish-speaking family members — but struggle to read and write in Spanish because it is not the traditional language of education in South Bend.

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Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theatre presents the 30th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

Author: Stacey Stewart

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television, and entertainment industries, the Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens films that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.  

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In memoriam: Gary Knoppers, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News and Faculty News

Gerald “Gary” N. Knoppers, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, died Dec. 22 from pancreatic cancer. He was 62. Knoppers’ research specializations included Hebrew scriptures, ancient historiography, ancient Near Eastern and biblical law, inner-scriptural exegesis, textual criticism, and the history of early Jewish and Samaritan relations.

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Cyber sleuths: Arts and Letters students get real-world police experience as tech crime interns

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

Through the Idzik Computing and Digital Technologies (CDT) program, six students are interning in the St. Joseph County Cyber Crimes Unit, where they participate in every step of a cybercrime case: researching suspicious online activity, building suspect profiles from social media and public records, writing warrants to get information and search homes, collecting tech evidence on site, and performing digital forensics on anything that stores bits and bytes.

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Three faculty awarded NEH fellowships, continuing record funding for humanities research

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Three University of Notre Dame faculty members — Rebecca Tinio McKenna, Sarah McKibben, and Vincent Phillip Muñoz — have been offered fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the 2018 award cycle. With 65 total awards, scholars in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have received more NEH fellowships any other private university in the United States since 1999. 

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How an English and German major combines her academic interests with a love for theatre

Author: Carrie Gates

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

In the past three years alone, Notre Dame student Mary Elsa Henrichs’ passions for theatre, English literature, and German have converged in many memorable ways. She’s attended performances of Hamlet in Berlin. She’s worked as a research assistant to two German professors, helping to bring book projects to publication. And she’s spending next semester studying in Heidelberg, Germany, where she hopes to secure a theatre internship. The arts, she said, are a through line between her majors in German and English.

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Army ROTC cadet blends history and political science research to study causes of human trafficking in home state

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Research, Internationalism, and General News

Senior Mary Ninneman has been to Thailand, Greece, and Washington, D.C., studying the causes and effects of human trafficking — and those experiences inspired her to further study the issue in the place she knows best. A history and political science major, Army ROTC cadet, and member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Ninneman’s four years of academic, internship, and international experiences have culminated in a senior thesis analyzing how the issue she’s most passionate about impacts her home state of Nebraska.

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Emergency financial assistance reduces homeless shelter entry and violent crime, Notre Dame economists find

Author: Colleen Sharkey

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

Homelessness in the U.S. is a persistent and complex problem. Each year more than 2.3 million people experience homelessness, 7.4 million people live “doubled up” with friends or family for economic reasons, and many more are on the brink of homelessness. A new study conducted by researchers at the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities shows that emergency financial assistance for people facing homelessness not only reduces shelter entry, but also reduces criminal behavior.

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Two College of Arts and Letters students named 2019 Marshall Scholars

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Undergraduate News, National Fellowships, Internationalism, and General News

University of Notre Dame seniors Sofia Carozza and Katie Gallagher have been named 2019 Marshall Scholars. Carozza, of South Bend, Indiana, will study neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Gallagher, of Naperville, Illinois, will study math at the University of Oxford. They are the University’s eighth and ninth Marshall Scholars overall.

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Why Mark Winkler ’11 took a nontraditional path from an economics major to a career in medicine

Author: Jack Rooney

Categories: Internationalism, General News, and Alumni

Taking a traditional path never much interested Mark Winkler ’11. He knew he wanted to go to medical school, but he sought something beyond a strictly science-based course of study. He says his majors in economics and Arts and Letters pre-health led to him to where he is now — a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine and a resident physician in radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. 

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For musicologist studying the ‘middlebrow,’ interdisciplinary opportunities make PLS the perfect home

Author: Emily McConville

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

For Christopher Chowrimootoo, there’s nothing unusual about a musicologist teaching in the Great Books program. That’s because, like his research, the Program of Liberal Studies is fundamentally interdisciplinary. He primarily tries to bring music into wider conversations about the “middlebrow” in literature, film studies, and cultural history. This originally pejorative term implied cultural aspiration, using “highbrow” art to achieve a higher social and aesthetic status. 

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Small changes to cafeteria design can get kids to eat healthier, professor of psychology and architecture finds

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Assistant professor Kim Rollings’ research examines how built and natural environments impact mental and physical health. In collaboration with Nancy Wells, professor of design and environmental analysis at Cornell University, she recently developed an assessment tool that scores elementary school cafeteria environments, suggesting improvements that promote healthier eating.

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‘Cultural maintenance’: 2017 art history alumna restores classic works at Vatican Museums

Author: Andy Fuller

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

Sophia Bevacqua ’17, an art history major now serving a five-year fellowship at the Vatican Museums, works with seven laboratories dedicated to preserving and restoring the site’s vast collections. She works with the laboratories to determine which works of art will be restored, which methods will be used to do the work, and how much each project will cost. She then works to match upcoming restoration projects with benefaction from the museums’ pool of approximately 2,400 donors.

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Video: Why top employers hire Notre Dame liberal arts majors

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

College of Arts and Letters graduates find success in the business world in a variety of roles and industries. Major companies are seeking college graduates proficient in communication, analysis, empathy, and creative thinking — skills that all Arts and Letters develop through a broad liberal arts education. “There’s lots of different opportunities for liberal arts majors,” said Lindsey Jacob, university recruiting lead for Booz Allen Hamilton, a professional services firm. “Management consulting, process improvement, strategic communications, public policy work. You really are able to chart your own career.”

 

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Notre Dame Children’s Choir to perform with Arturo Sandoval in Los Angeles, celebrating release of new Christmas album

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: General News, Catholicism, and Arts

The University of Notre Dame Children’s Choir will perform with award-winning jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., in support of his new album, “Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame.” The Notre Dame Children’s Choir is joined by Notre Dame students Emily Swope, a soprano and masters student in voice, and senior music major Alexander Mansour, a pianist and arranger of seven songs on Sandoval’s album. The ensemble is led by Mark Doerries, associate director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame.

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Scholars of Spanish and Italian culture and literature join Arts and Letters faculty

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures has added expertise in modern Spanish and Italian culture and literature this year with two new faculty hires — Pedro Aguilera-Mellado and Charles Leavitt IV. Aguilera-Mellado, who comes to Notre Dame from the University of Michigan, focuses on modern and contemporary Spain. Leavitt, who received a Ph.D. from Notre Dame in 2010, returns to the University after teaching Italian studies at the University of Reading.

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Sociologist Christian Smith wins book award for research building innovative theory of religion

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, has won the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s 2018 Distinguished Book Award. The honor, conferred upon the most outstanding book published by an SSSR member in the past two years, lauded the “impressive accomplishment” of Smith’s Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters. Smith’s book aims to help the social sciences better understand and explain religion by building an innovative theory of religion that builds on developments in science, theory, and philosophy.

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Economist awarded NSF grant to explore effectiveness of preschool programming and parent education

Author: Carrie Gates

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

By the time children are 5 years old, there is already a distinct gap between those ready for kindergarten and those who aren’t. And for the children who lag behind — most often those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds — that gap may never close. Chloe Gibbs ’00 wants to determine how preschool can best prepare those children for kindergarten and for success later in life. An assistant professor in the Department of Economics, she has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for her project, Parenting, Preschool, and the Production of School Readiness and Later Academic Outcomes.

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Service experience abroad helps psychology and Spanish major discover her post-graduation path

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, and General News

Juliana Ison has always had a passion for service. Even before coming to Notre Dame, she had already spent 1,000 hours volunteering. It wasn’t until a service trip to Chile this summer, however, that the senior saw how her majors — psychology and Spanish — could blend with a career path that involves helping others.

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Video: Tech entrepreneur Dan Peate ’00 on majoring in philosophy and how the liberal arts prepare students for robot-proof jobs

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: General News and Alumni

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Philosophy — do you even use that in business?’ And I actually do all the time, especially in the world of Silicon Valley,” said Dan Peate ’00. Peate is the founder of the technology companies DRIAV and Hixme, and is the managing director of Peate Ventures LLC, a venture capital fund. He credits his success in business to the skills he gained in asking foundational questions as a philosophy major. He seeks new employees who can demonstrate flexible thinking and thinks all students should broaden their abilities to work creatively.

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On the ground in Ghana, Notre Dame sociologist studies how developing nations build effective areas of government

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Plenty of scholars study governmental problems and failures in developing nations. Erin McDonnell is interested in what’s going right — examining certain pockets of government in Ghana and other countries to determine how they are succeeding. She has spent a total of almost two years in Ghana conducting fieldwork for her upcoming book, tentatively titled Patchwork Leviathan: Subcultures of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States.

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