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NSF Grant Helps Institute’s Fellows Study Wandering Minds in STEM Classes

Author: Bill Schmitt

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

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A research collaboration involving two scholars in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology that seeks to combat student inattentiveness in STEM learning has captured the attention of the National Science Foundation (NSF), receiving a three-year grant totaling $550,000. The work of James Brockmole, an associate professor of psychology and visual attention expert; Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of psychology and computer science who studies cognitive sciences; and others is part of a research effort to fight the problem called mind wandering.

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Video: Meet Italian Major Sara Spittler

Author: Todd Boruff

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

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“I love the language itself,” said Sara Spittler ’15, an Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters. “It’s so beautiful, and I’ve never really studied another language that I could speak and feel comfortable in, so that just gives me a whole new sense of confidence and that I feel is really important in a college education.” The Italian major incorporates language acquisition with immersion into the culture and literature of Italy. Students become proficient in the cultural vocabulary of Western civilization while developing critical thinking and analysis skills.

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Three Questions with Theologian Timothy Matovina

Author: Michael O. Garvey

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

Timothy Matovina

Pope Francis is due to arrive in America Sept. 22, his first trip to North America. He’s expected to address the growing influx of Latinos in the U.S. Catholic church while he’s here, including delivering several talks in Spanish. Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and co-director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, says Latinos have much to offer in the Church. Matovina teaches and studies Latino theology and Catholic history in America.

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The Experience Project Awards $1.7 Million to 22 Research Projects

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

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A research collaboration that aims to build new understanding about how religious and transformative experiences occur and shape people’s lives is awarding its first round of funding with more than $1.7 million going to 22 projects. The Experience Project, supported by a John Templeton Foundation grant, looks to answer questions about how religious experiences affect a person’s concept of God; how transformative experiences can affect a person’s identity, values, and behaviors; and how types of transformative experiences differ.

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Video: Meet Chinese Major Jack McKenna

Author: Todd Boruff

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

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“If you want to set yourself apart in anything you do—whether it’s a job, whether it’s applying to graduate school, whether it’s meeting a new person—I say learn a language,” said Jack McKenna ’15, a Chinese major in the College of Arts and Letters. As a major in Chinese at Notre Dame, students learn the language of the world’s most populous country. In addition to language study, students engage with the culture and literature of China, with topics ranging from religious traditions to international relations.

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Video: Meet Art History Major Seán Cotter

Author: Todd Boruff

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

Seán Cotter

Majors in art history gain a broad understanding of Western art along with opportunities for in-depth examination of particular periods, such as ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and modern art. “There’s something I really love about the challenge that comes with the unexplored,” said Cotter. “I love the tradition that can emerge from that, and I love that I’m part of that tradition.”

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Army Officer Earns Economics Ph.D. in Record Time

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Graduate Students, General News, and Research

Carl Wojtaszek

Two years and nine months. That’s how long it took Army Maj. Carl Wojtaszek to complete his Ph.D. in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics—a little more than half the typical time. An assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point since 2008, Wojtaszek received a prestigious, yet finite, award from the Army—full funding to pursue his advanced degree, but a three-year time limit to complete it.

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Unique Collaboration Brings Scholar of Ancient Philosophy to Campus

Author: Arts and Letters

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

Diego De Brasi

An Italian-born, German-speaking scholar of ancient philosophy will spend the 2015-16 academic year at the University of Notre Dame, supported by the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study and Workshop on Ancient Philosophy teamed up to help secure the post-doctoral fellowship for Diego De Brasi, an assistant professor of classical philology at the University of Marburg, Germany.

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Two Arts and Letters Faculty Members Awarded ACLS Fellowships

Author: Arts and Letters

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

Eileen Hunt Botting and John Welle

Two faculty members from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have won fellowships this year from the American Council of Learned Societies. John P. Welle, a professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and concurrent professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, was awarded the fellowship to complete his book, The Poet and the Diva: Print Media from the Golden Age of Italian Silent Film. Eileen Hunt Botting an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, received the award to support her book project, Frankenstein and the Question of Human Development.

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Institute for Latino Studies to Co-host Event Featuring Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: General News and Centers and Institutes

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A public conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Sept. 2, an event co-sponsored by the Institute for Latino Studies. The event, also sponsored by the Office of the President and Notre Dame Law School, is free and open to the public. Doors open one hour before the event.

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Romance Languages Professor Awarded ACLS Fellowship to Research Golden Age of Italian Silent Film

Author: Aaron Smith

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

John Welle

John P. Welle, a professor of Italian in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has won a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to finish his book, The Poet and the Diva: Print Media from the Golden Age of Italian Silent Film. Welle’s research examines discourses on stardom and celebrity from 1890 to 1920, when the Italian film industry flourished by promoting poets and divas.

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Video: Meet Studio Art Major Lauren Miller

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: General News, Undergraduate News, and Arts

Lauren Miller

The studio art major prepares students to create and analyze works of art by developing visual literacy, research skills, and technical ability. Students concentrate their studies in ceramics, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. “I knew that I wanted to do art and that I loved it, but at the same time I didn’t want to sacrifice having a really broad and rich education," said Lauren Miller ’15. “So I chose Notre Dame, and it was a really good decision for me.”

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Professor Wins ACLS Fellowship to Explore Political Philosophy in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

Author: Brian Wallheimer

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

Eileen Hunt Botting

Eileen Hunt Botting’s students have suggested, only half jokingly, that had someone only given Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s creature a hug, a lot of violence and tragedy could have been avoided. Botting, an associate professor of political science, has come to believe those students aren’t far from Shelley’s main point—that so much can go wrong when society shirks its responsibilities for its most vulnerable citizens. She will get to elaborate on that theory over the course of a year thanks to an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship supporting her book project, Frankenstein and the Question of Human Development.

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Sociologist Calls for Research on Charter Schools to Go Beyond Test Scores

Author: William G. Schmitt

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

Mark Berends

A comprehensive review of the research assessing charter schools as the fastest growing area of school choice reforms has uncovered a need for studies that take a different tack, according to Notre Dame sociologist Mark Berends. The director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity notes that the explosive growth of charter schools in the past decade, with total enrollment now exceeding 2.5 million children, has benefited from claims in the public arena that are not thoroughly examined.

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Psychologist Darcia Narvaez Receives William James Book Award

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Darcia Narvaez

Notre Dame psychologist Darcia Narvaez has received the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association for her latest book, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom. The award recognizes a recent book that attempts to bring together diverse subfields of psychology and related disciplines and demonstrates an essential underlying set of themes that serve to unify or integrate the field.

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Video: Meet Latino Studies Major Juan Rangel

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: General News and Undergraduate News

Juan Rangel

Latino studies is an interdisciplinary field engaged in understanding the fastest-growing population in the United States. Students explore the latest Latino-focused research in fields such as anthropology, history, literature, and theology. “Latino studies is for anyone and for everything,” said Juan Rangel ’15.

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Political Scientist Looks at Disconnect Between Self-image and Reality of Field

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Michael Desch

Trends in political science are marginalizing the subfield of security studies, argues Michael Desch, a professor in the Department of Political Science, in a new piece in the journal Perspectives on Politics. Desch believes there is a disconnect between political science’s self-image of balancing rigor and relevance with the reality of how political scientists actually conduct their scholarship most of the time.

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2015 Saturday Scholar Series to Kick Off Football Weekends

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: General News and Faculty News

The 15th annual Saturday Scholar Series promises an intriguing lineup of lectures by leading faculty members on each home football game weekend this fall.

Sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, the lectures address a variety of fascinating issues and offer an opportunity to meet and interact with some of the University’s most engaging faculty.…

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Record Fulbright Award Year Led by 15 Arts and Letters Students

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Fifteen Notre Dame students who studied in the College of Arts and Letters have received grants from the Fulbright program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. A total of 18 students were named Fulbright finalists—the most grantees the University has ever had in the program.

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New Course Makes Special Effects Real for FTT Students

Author: Tom Lange

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

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In a new course, Special Effects for Studio and Stage, associate professional faculty member Ken Cole taught Department of Film, Television, and Theatre students how to brainstorm and design a wide range of practical illusions for use in creative productions. The group of about 10 students simulated explosions, used makeup to create realistic-looking wounds, built props out of scraps and spare parts, and conjured up a realistic rainstorm.

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ACE to Send Forth 272 Catholic School Teachers and Leaders in Missioning Ceremonies

Author: William G. Schmitt

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

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The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education will send forth 272 Catholic school teachers and leaders to nearly 200 Catholic schools across the country in the annual Missioning Mass, capping two months of professional formation and spiritual renewal. The ceremony, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 24 in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, will celebrate and bless the next steps on the educators’ journeys back to their respective schools and classrooms.

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White House Report on Juvenile Offender Diversion Programs Highlights Project with LEO Ties

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: General News, Research, and Centers and Institutes

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A White House Council of Economic Advisers report released July 14 includes an account of Reading for Life, a local juvenile diversion program that is being evaluated by the University of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities. The report, “Economic Costs of Youth Disadvantage and High-Return Opportunities for Change,” features the RFL program, which has been used at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center since 2007.

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FTT Alumnus to Launch Kids Web Series After Winning Mister Rogers Award

Author: Aaron Smith

Categories: General News, Alumni, and Arts

Eugene Staples

Eugene Staples has a vision: Entertainment can be more than a distraction—it can be an inspiration. It can teach kids how to be better people. It can make the world a better place. That sense of responsibility—the desire to make things that make an impact—was sparked at Notre Dame, and was recognized this spring by the Television Academy Foundation, which honored him with a Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship.

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Theologian Describes Pope Francis’ South American Journey as Renewal of Acquaintances

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: General News and Faculty News

Peter Casarella

Pope Francis’ July 5-13 journey to South America will take him through countries and among people who already knew him well before he became the leader of all the world’s Catholics, according to Peter J. Casarella, an associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame who just returned from a year sabbatical in Chile at the Pontifical Catholic University of Santiago.

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Two Romance Languages and Literatures Graduates Receive Fulbright Awards to Study Global Nutrition

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Two recent Notre Dame graduates are tackling global health issues with support from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. French and Francophone studies major Claire Donovan will work with UNICEF in Togo to examine women’s adherence to micronutrient supplement programs. Christina Gutierrez, who majored in Romance languages and literatures and political science, will pursue a master’s degree at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and conduct research on and pilot a food co-op concept there.

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Theatre Alumnus Jack Blakey Appointed to Federal Judgeship

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News and Alumni

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When Jack Blakey was studying theatre at Notre Dame in the 1980s, he never dreamed he would one day be hearing legal disputes on the federal bench. But his liberal arts courses were preparing him for it nonetheless. Blakey was formally installed this spring as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, following his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the U.S. Senate last year.

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LEO Receives $435,000 NIH Grant to Study Impact of Community College Intervention Program

Author: Josh Weinhold

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

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Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities has received a $435,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a two-year study of Stay the Course, a program designed to keep low-income community college students on the path to academic success. Participants are paired with a case manager who offers guidance and support on how to stay on track to graduate or transfer to a four-year college. They are also directed to affordable child care or other social services that will aid them in their pursuit of an education.

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Researchers in New Notre Dame Center Awarded $3.1 Million Grant to Study Virtues in Science

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Celia Deane-Drummond

A team of researchers in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters has been awarded a $3.1 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust to examine how the concrete practices of science relate to something more abstract—what theologians and philosophers consider “virtues”—and how that connects with other areas of scientists’ lives, including their religious beliefs. The endeavor is a key component of Notre Dame’s new Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing, which will serve as a hub for transdisciplinary research at the University.

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Father Jenkins to Appear on Public Affairs Program ‘The Open Mind’

Author: Dennis Brown

Categories: General News, Catholicism, and Faculty News

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Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, will be the guest on the 2015-16 season premiere of The Open Mind, the longest-running public affairs program in public television history. A member of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Father Jenkins will speak with host Alexander Heffner about moral education and the cure for incivility in an age of entrenched partisanship.

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