Whether their research explores community-led initiatives, national trends, or international issues, Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology produce outstanding research that is leading to grants, fellowships, and job offers. “Our students benefit from the fact that our faculty is unusually large and strong and covers almost the entire range of sociology,” said Lyn Spillman, director of graduate studies. “They enjoy not only our excellent faculty/student ratios but also the wide range of expertise we offer. The result is that our students produce new knowledge across the entire disciplinary range.”
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“It's very easy to lose track of how to form arguments in a way that can really change minds. At Notre Dame, this ability is really drilled into you from day one,” said Katie Beirne Fallon ’98, senior vice president and global head of corporate affairs at Hilton Worldwide. A governemnt and international studies major at Notre Dame, she previously served as director of legislative affairs at the White House for President Barack Obama, working to improve the relationship between Congress and the Office of the President.
A trio of Notre Dame students and alumni have been named Yenching Scholars, a globally competitive award that provides a full scholarship and stipend to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree at China’s top university. Teresa Kennedy ’16, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts; senior Jenny Ng, a political science major from Sai Kung, Hong Kong; and Dominic Romeo ’14, a political science and Chinese major from Turlock, California, were named to the third cohort entering the Yenching Academy, based at Peking University in Beijing.
What draws people to become friends, leads them to form social networks, and what keeps those relationships going? Omar Lizardo, a professor of sociology, is seeking to answer those questions as he researches whether people with similar health habits and even sleep patterns are naturally drawn together — and whether those friendships influence people’s attitudes and health and fitness choices.
Professors Christina Wolbrecht and David Campbell studied female candidates for major offices — U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and governor — and their effects on female political engagement using data from the 2006-07 Faith Matters survey.
The decisions Dr. James Gajewski ’78 makes are often ones of life and death. Over the course of his nearly 35-year medical career, the Portland, Oregon-based hematologist has specialized in stem cell and bone marrow transplants and cancer treatment, where anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of his patients may die. When he’s faced with difficult decisions, though, he relies not on his medical training, but on his College of Arts Letters education.
Notre Dame senior Ash Smith wants to become a public-interest attorney in order to fight for justice for marginalized populations. And majoring in sociology has played a key role in preparing her for that future. “Sociology lets you study some of the bigger questions, like why we have a lot of the social issues we have today. ” Smith said. “If you’re interested in law school, sociology is a great way to study how these different groups are discriminated against, how the law can help, and how people work together to develop practical solutions.”
A consortium of 50 psychologists and psychiatrists — including Notre Dame professors Lee Anna Clark and David Watson — has outlined a new diagnostic model for mental illness, in what researchers hope will be a paradigm shift in how these illnesses are classified and diagnosed.
Kyle Lambelet, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s dual theology and peace studies program, has been awarded a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship to support his research on the theology and ethics of nonviolent movements in the U.S. Lambelet’s dissertation is structured around four dilemmas he found nonviolent activists face: the use of liturgy in political movements, building coalitions in the context of pluralism, the transgression and appropriation of the law to support movement aims, and the appeal to exemplary figures to motivate movement activism.
Adam Foley won a 2015-2016 Rome Prize fellowship, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize supports innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Fellows are given a stipend, room and board, and individual work space at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome.
“Do what you feel naturally inclined to do, where your skills and abilities are taking you, what you're best at. It really has helped me to narrow down and find the right career,” said Elizabeth Simari ’08. An English and Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters, Simari studied abroad in Rome during her junior year. Her interest in the language, history, and culture of Italy developed into a passion, leading her to move to Sicily after graduation. After teaching English for a year and then earning a master's degree in literature, she wrote for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s English-language newspaper, and now teaches at the University of Loyola Chicago's campus in Rome.
Robert Audi, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, has been awarded the American Philosophical Association’s 2016 Quinn Prize, its highest honor for service to the profession. The author of 20 books and numerous articles on ethics, the theory of knowledge, and the philosophy of religion, Audi’s teaching, public lectures, and research focus primarily on fields including moral and political philosophy, theory of knowledge and justification, and philosophy and religion. His work has applications for topics ranging from business ethics to the separation of church and state.
When Linda Wilbert Parish enrolled at Notre Dame in fall 1973—the year after the University first admitted women—she was one of only about 400 female students on campus. Since graduating in 1977 with a degree in American studies and foreign languages, Parish has built a career in the banking industry that has taken her around the world. From an internship at Goldman Sachs, she has worked her way up to her current position, senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Jennifer Jones is an assistant professor of sociology and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research uses qualitative methods to explore increasing migration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. In this video, she discusses her work on how race relations are changing and what race means for politics and inequality.
“The Notre Dame Berlin Seminar provides something that no graduate program in the United States can do, and indeed no professional can access very easily simply from your home institution,” said William Collins Donahue, the John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities and chair of the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures. The Notre Dame Berlin Seminar is a two-week program where faculty and advanced graduate student Germanists gather in Berlin to examine a particular topic. For the first three years of the program, participants will explore Der Literaturbetrieb, German literary institutions. What makes the program exceptional is that participants will meet with authors, archivists, publishers, and reviewers working in Germany, as well as visiting presses, libraries, archives, and theaters to get a full picture of Germany’s literary scene.
Notre Dame Associate Professors Lijuan Wang, Guangjian Zhang, and Zhiyong Zhang have recently been elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology. A small, selective society that facilitates high-level research and interaction among its affiliates, SMEP is limited to 65 active members. With the trio’s election, Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology now has six members in the society—no other department in the country has more.
Margot E. Fassler, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at Notre Dame, will become president of the Medieval Academy of America in April. As head of the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies, Fassler hopes to focus attention on a historical era that she believes can provide better understanding of the political, environmental, and class problems currently facing the globe.
Dianne Pinderhughes has been honored by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists with the creation of the Dianne M. Pinderhughes Mentorship Legacy Award. The award provides funding for undergraduate students to attend the NCOBPS annual meeting. Created by her former students, it honors Pinderhughes’ positive influence on their careers and her longstanding commitment to mentoring.
Barry Lopez’s work has taken him to more than 80 countries over the past 50 years, including some of the most inhospitable places on earth. But on March 9, Lopez is coming home to his alma mater to discuss a topic both timely and close to his heart: the writer’s role in engaging the public on environmental issues.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded researchers at the University of Notre Dame a $3 million grant to study the relationships between parents and infants, the first study of its kind that will include fathers as well as mothers as participants. The researchers, who will work with babies living with their married or co-habiting parents, will study the stability of the parents’ relationship and its effect on the wellbeing of their baby. Parents will go through a program designed to encourage healthy parenting and communication
Three University of Notre Dame faculty members have been elected to serve on section committees for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Agustín Fuentes will serve as chair-elect on the Anthropology section committee, Christine M. Maziar will serve as member-at-large on the Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering section committee, and Richard Taylor will serve as council delegate on the Pharmaceutical Sciences section committee.
Timothy S. Fuerst, William and Dorothy O’Neill Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, died Tuesday (Feb. 21) after a 10-month battle with stomach cancer. He was 54. Fuerst conducted research on monetary theory and policy, with a special focus on business cycles. “Tim was a devoted and loving husband and father, a productive and highly respected economist, a gifted teacher and, of course, a wonderful friend to us all,” said William Evans, chair of the Department of Economics. “After Tim’s diagnosis, he adopted the motto of the Congregation of Holy Cross — Ave Crux, Spes Unica – ‘Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope.’ His courageous, dignified and faith-filled battle against the disease was an inspiration to us all.”
Twenty-seven University of Notre Dame students were awarded Fulbright grants in the 2016-17 program, placing the University among the top-producing universities in the nation. The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. It awards a one-year postgraduate fellowship for research, study or teaching English abroad. During their fellowship, scholars will work, live and learn in their host country. Of the 27 students to receive Fulbrights last year, 24 were Arts and Letters students—which would place the College sixth in the nation among all doctoral institutions.
Lee Anna Clark, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, will receive two lifetime achievement awards this year, reflecting the way in which her work has bridged two major areas of psychology. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology presented her with the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality in January. The Society for Research in Psychopathology will honor her with the Zubin Award later in the year.
The first pieces in the expansion of the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) are in place, as the once-small program builds toward its long-term goal as a thought leader in American grand strategy. Led by Director Michael Desch, a professor in the Department of Political Science, NDISC recently hired three new faculty members and brought on board three postdoctoral fellows.
It didn’t take long for Nathan Rose to make an impact at Notre Dame. Just a few months after joining the faculty, he became the first member of the Department of Psychology to have a study published in the journal Science — and the second ever from the College of Arts and Letters. Rose, an assistant professor, examined a fundamental problem the brain has to solve — keeping information “in mind,” or active — so actions can be guided accordingly.
Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of 15 Catholic delegates invited by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to participate in a bilateral conversation with 15 Muslim counterparts at Al-Azhar al-Sharif Center for Dialogue (ASCD) Feb. 22-23 in Cairo, Egypt. Reynolds, whose research centers on the Quran and Muslim-Christian relations, believes the greatest opportunities for progress come from emphasizing what Christians and Muslims have in common — the shared stories, history and values.
Notre Dame junior Katie Portman spent summer 2015 doing archaeological fieldwork while living on the M.V. Pitsiulak, a 50-foot longliner, off the coast of subarctic Canada. Despite weather issues, engine malfunctions, and permit-related delays, the experience caused her to fall in love with—and major in—anthropology. Since then, her research pursuits have taken her to Washington, D.C.; Canada; Ireland; and Russia, for projects including excavation of a medieval Christian pilgrimage site and a study of skeletons of monks from Byzantine Jerusalem.
Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.