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‘The best decision I ever made’: How being among the first classes of women at Notre Dame prepared Ann L. Combs ’78 to thrive in corporate boardrooms and the nation’s capital 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: General News and Alumni

As an undergraduate at Notre Dame in the 1970s, Ann Combs was often the only woman in her classes. But that didn't faze her — in fact, it prepared her for a successful 40-year career in public policy affecting retirement and health care benefits. Combs served in the Department of Labor under three presidents, culminating in being appointed assistant secretary for employee benefits security by President George W Bush. She also worked in the private sector, helping trade associations and private companies navigate Washington, D.C. Throughout it all, the skills she developed and knowledge she gleaned from her Notre Dame liberal arts education served her well in her career. 

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Political science professor’s book on Islamic law wins two International Studies Association awards 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Internationalism, and General News

Emilia Justyna Powell, a Notre Dame professor of political science and concurrent professor at The Law School, has won two International Studies Association (ISA) awards for her 2020 book, Islamic Law and International Law: Peaceful Resolution of Disputes. Lauded for its originality, significance, and rigor in international law and religion and international relations, the book covers differences and similarities between the Islamic legal tradition and international law.

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Theology professor Ulrich Lehner elected to prestigious Academy of Europe 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Catholicism

Ulrich L. Lehner, a leading expert on early modern Catholicism and the William K. Warren Foundation Professor in the Department of Theology, has been elected a member of Academia Europaea, also called the Academy of Europe. He’s in excellent company — 75 Nobel Prize recipients are among its members, including the three 2021 laureates in physics. The academy promotes research, advises governments and international organizations, and furthers interdisciplinary and international research.

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Video: The classics major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

What is the classics major like at Notre Dame? “If you like history or poetry or art history or literature, you can find your own path in classics. I wouldn't want to have been anywhere else,” said student Nicholas Mungan. Classics majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as critical thinking, analysis, writing, and problem solving, then go on to top graduate and professional schools and work in a variety of professions and industries.

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With Getty Scholar Grant, art history professor will bring image of Central America into sharper focus

Author: Beth Staples

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

For generations, North Americans have seen media images of poverty, disease, civil war, and crime in Central America, including photographs and videos of Central Americans fleeing violence and of children, some just 2 or 3 years old, kept in cages at immigration detention camps. Even when well-intentioned, the images can feed into negative stereotypes, said Tatiana Reinoza, an assistant professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. Reinoza has won a competitive Getty Scholar Grant that will support her effort to more fully represent the seven-country region, its people, and their stories with her book project, tentatively titled “Retorno: Art and Kinship in the making of a Central American Diaspora.”

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Sociologist wins European book award for research on how pockets of government in developing countries thrive 

Author: Beth Staples

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

The European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) has presented Notre Dame sociologist Erin Metz McDonnell with its 2022 Book Award for her original contribution to the knowledge about organizations, organizing, and the organized. In her award-winning book, Patchwork Leviathan: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States, McDonnell argues that while corruption and ineffectiveness may be expected of public servants in developing countries, “some spectacularly effective state organizations thrive amid institutional weakness and succeed against impressive odds.” 

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Video: Why learn a language?

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, and General News

Learning a second, or third, language is transformative for Notre Dame students. Developing the ability to read, speak, and comprehend Arabic, Chinese, or any of the other 15+ languages that Notre Dame offers, improves memory and problem-solving skills. It also deepens appreciation of cultures, enhances travel experiences, boosts confidence, and expands understanding of the world. 

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Video: The international economics major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, Internationalism, and General News

What is the international economics major like at Notre Dame? "International economics brings that global perspective into economics, and it gives you the opportunity to study a language while you go through it," said student Antonio Villegas Jimenez. International economics majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as language proficiency, empathy, critical thinking, and problem solving. “I could combine this interest in economics and the way that helps you see the world with the opportunity to study Arabic in an advanced way," said major Anastasia Reisinger. "We really get a holistic vision of economics."

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Eileen Hunt’s book Artificial Life After Frankenstein wins award for broadening horizons of contemporary political science

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Eileen Hunt, a professor in the Department of Political Science, has won the David Easton Award for her 2021 book, Artificial Life After Frankenstein. The annual award from the American Political Science Association’s Foundations of Political Theory section recognizes a book that “broadens the horizons of contemporary political science by engaging issues of philosophical significance in political life through … approaches in the social sciences and humanities.” In the book, Hunt develops a theoretical framework for how to bring technology-based ethical issues — like making artificial intelligence, robots, genetically engineered children and other artificially-shaped life forms — into debates on human rights, international law, theories of justice, and philosophies of education and parent-child ethics.

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Art history mayor: How the liberal arts helped Tim Keller ’00 develop leadership skills that led to success in consulting, tech, and government

Author: Sophia Lauber

Categories: General News, Arts, and Alumni

Over the past four years, Tim Keller ’00 has found that leading his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has much more in common with studying art than he initially thought. Being able to analyze and understand the context, history, and circumstances of Albuquerque has helped Keller recognize and address his community’s needs. It’s just one of the many surprising ways art history has re-entered his life since earning his degree — and one of the many skills he developed in his liberal arts education that have remained a constant throughout his career. 

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Majoring in economics and A&L pre-health prepares senior to make a difference in the lives of patients — as a doctor, consultant, or health care policy advocate

Author: Indonesia Brown and Beth Staples

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and General News

Anoop Sunkara is ready to work in consulting. Or be a doctor. Or advocate for better health care public policy. Wherever his career path ends up taking him, the coursework, research, internships, service, and hands-on training he’s completed during his time at Notre Dame have prepared him to do it all. “The Arts & Letters education is a fantastic track for students who desire to study and expand their knowledge beyond the traditional science field,” said Sunkara, a senior majoring in economics and Arts & Letters pre-health. “For me, I’ve always wanted to be taking science classes, but Arts & Letters gives me a vocational perspective — an ability to think and speak about big-picture issues beyond knowing basic chemistry and biology.”

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Video: The economics major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

What is the economics major like at Notre Dame? "Econ is everywhere. We're taking real world problems and looking at them through an economic lens," said student MyKayla Geary. Economics majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as critical thinking, analysis, writing, and problem solving. “If you understand the why, you can actually start pulling on these strings that underlie everyone's decision making process," said major Mac Ryan. "Honestly, it's been it's been life-changing for me. I've loved every second of it."

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Notre Dame receives record-breaking $244 million in annual research awards

Author: Brett Beasley

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

A $997,387 award from Lilly Endowment Inc. is preparing graduate students in the Department of Theology to better serve in, and learn from, a diverse and changing world. The five-year project builds on the University’s commitment to serve a world in need and to learn from the wisdom, faith, and struggles of marginalized peoples through that engagement.

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Shakespeare at Notre Dame wins grant, award for social justice programs that bring the arts to vulnerable populations

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Arts

Shakespeare at Notre Dame recently won a prestigious award for its efforts to convene Shakespeare in prison practitioners from around the world as well as a new grant for its work bringing the Bard to a local residential treatment facility for juveniles. “Shakespeare at Notre Dame is the social justice mission of the University in action through the performing arts,” said Scott Jackson, Mary Irene Ryan Family Executive Director. “We can be a community driver of change.”

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With Huntington fellowship, English professor researches depictions of animals in medieval literature and philosophy

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

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.

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Video: Psychologist Alison Cheng on making educational assessments more informative, fair, and efficient

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty 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.

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Arts & Letters alumna Melinda Henneberger ’80 wins Pulitzer Prize

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News and Alumni

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.

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A chance to change lives: How first-generation college student Natalie Hibshman ’17 built the skills to thrive in a medical career through psychology and studio art

Author: Sophia Lauber

Categories: General News and Alumni

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.

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In memoriam: Douglas Kinsey, 88, professor emeritus of art

Author: Kate Garry

Categories: General News, Faculty News, and Arts

Doug Kinsey

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.…

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Notre Dame faculty advance research related to the Church sexual abuse crisis

Author: Joanne Fahey

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

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. 

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Psychologists research how COVID pivot affected students and faculty at more than 80 universities

Author: Colleen Sharkey

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

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.

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22 Arts & Letters undergraduate and graduate students named 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program finalists

Author: Erin Blasko

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

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.

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In memoriam: David Ladouceur, 73, associate professor emeritus of classics

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: General News and Faculty News

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.

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A Q&A with Karl Berg ’22 on the Early Christian Studies program, coordinating a new graduate conference, and why Notre Dame is a great place for classics and theology research

Author: Beth Staples

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

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.

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Video: 2022 Arts and Letters seniors reflect on their liberal arts education

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Catholicism

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.”

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Three summer experiences — in government, research, and consulting — help senior economics major find the perfect career path

Author: Indonesia Brown and Josh Weinhold

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

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.

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Video: German professor Tobias Boes on nationalism, globalization, and the environmental humanities

Author: Todd Boruff

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

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.

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As an award-winning narrator of audiobooks, FTT's head of acting and directing tells compelling stories — and passes skills and methodologies on to students

Author: Brian Wallheimer

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

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.

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