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PLS major turns fascination with King Arthur into unique senior thesis — an original, illustrated book

Joan Becker, a senior majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies, has traveled to Germany, Belgium, France, and Wales to explore real-world places important to the Arthurian legends. Now, Becker is funneling her experiences abroad and in her PLS classes into a unique senior thesis — a handmade and hand-bound book about King Arthur, in the style of the first books printed in the late medieval era. 

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Film professor emeritus receives lifetime achievement award from Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Donald Crafton — a Notre Dame film, television, and theatre professor widely considered the pre-eminent scholar on early animation — received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies last month. “Don Crafton’s work has set a high standard for historical scholarship and also has contributed vitally to the study of animation within our field,” said Heather Hendershot, an MIT professor of film and media, in her introduction of Crafton at the awards ceremony.

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Political science and computer science major named 2019 Truman Scholar

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and National Fellowships

Senior Prathm Juneja, of South Bend, Indiana, has been named a 2019 Truman Scholar. Juneja is among 62 students — mostly juniors but also seniors in five-year degree programs — selected for the honor from a pool of 840 candidates from 346 colleges and universities nationwide. He is the eighth Notre Dame student — all from the College of Arts and Letters — to win the award since 2010.

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Theology, studio art, and Irish studies come together in undergraduate’s creative research project on Ireland’s holy wells

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

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

Junior Anja Renkes will bring her three academic disciplines together in an international research experience this summer at the Dublin Global Gateway in the Irish Internship Program. She plans to create paintings of Ireland’s holy wells — small springs with devotional significance — that capture the area’s landscape as pure gift from God.

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Arts and Letters senior secures postgraduate fellowship with Holy See Mission to the U.N.

Melinda Davis, a psychology and peace studies major from New Orleans, has secured a competitive postgraduate placement with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the U.N. She is one of four 2019 summer interns selected through a highly competitive global search process.

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Carter Snead, director of de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, to deliver Harvey Lecture at Georgetown

Author: Kenneth Hallenius

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

O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, will present the 16th Annual John Collins Harvey Lecture, hosted by the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University on April 25. His talk is titled, “Remembering the Body: Towards a More Human Public Bioethics,” based on the themes of his book manuscript by the same name.

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American studies professor awarded Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to support work on Latinx murals of Pilsen

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Chicago is home to hundreds of works of Latinx public art that are both captivating and politically provocative. But there’s no good place to go for comprehensive information on where they are, who made them, or how they reflect the Latino experience in Chicago. Jason Ruiz is changing that. Ruiz has been awarded a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to create a set of walking tours and digital tools to explore Pilsen — the changing neighborhood at the heart of Chicago’s Latinx community — through its vibrant, historic murals.

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Month spent living at Japanese temple with Zen monk inspires English and philosophy major’s senior thesis

Colin Rahill’s time at Notre Dame has been defined by learning from some of the world’s great thinkers — whether it be on paper or in a temple on the other side of the globe. An English and philosophy major whose senior thesis focuses on the works of Percy Shelley and Soren Kierkegaard, Rahill spent six weeks last summer in Japan, including a month living at the Shoganji Temple with a Zen monk, Jiho Kongo.

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Video: Sacred music alumnus on the ‘king of instruments’ and reviving church music in rural communities

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Arts, Catholicism, Alumni, and General News

“If you can be a strong organist and lead hymns from the keyboard, you can do it all as a church musician,” said Michael Emmerich, ’12 M.S.M. Emmerich is the associate music director for the Archdiocese of Omaha with a particular focus and mission for rural music ministry. He travels the archdiocese to bolster musical and liturgical literacy among the parishes in rural communities. 

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Notre Dame to host conversation on journalism during violent conflict

Author: Sue Ryan

Categories: General News

Diane M. Foley, the mother of slain journalist James Foley, and Itai Anghel, Israeli correspondent and documentary filmmaker, will discuss reporting in places of dangerous conflict April 8 (Monday) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the University of Notre Dame Eck Visitors Center auditorium. “An Evening Remembering James Foley: Journalism and Social Justice” is free and open to the public. A question and answer session with attendees will follow presentations from Foley and Anghel.

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On Capitol Hill, in Hollywood, and in the medical field, Arts and Letters students gain valuable skills and experience through summer internships

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

From the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., to FX Networks in Los Angeles, Notre Dame students gain valuable experience every year through summer internships. While internships are an important opportunity to discern career paths or gain insights into fields of study, costs can deter many students from accepting them. To eliminate this barrier, the Center for Career Development offers grants that enable students to afford living expenses when accepting unpaid or low-paying internships all over the world. Applications for 2019 summer internship funding are due April 2 or April 29.

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How an experience abroad ignited American studies major Robert Costa’s passion for politics

Author: Joanna Byrne

Categories: Internationalism, Alumni, and General News

For American studies major Robert Costa ’08, the Notre Dame London Program offered him a valuable new perspective on the United States and the world. "You get an appreciation of how American values are not necessarily shared throughout the world,” he said. “My encounters with people from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Russia while in London taught me so much about the world.” Since graduating from the University, Costa has become a national political reporter for the Washington Post, a political analyst for NBC News, and host of television show Washington Week on PBS.

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Video: The Japanese major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Internationalism, Undergraduate News, and General News

What is the Japanese major like at Notre Dame? “It's a different way of thinking. Once you have a foothold, you really start developing a sense of mastery,” said student Joshua Kuiper. Japanese majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as cross-cultural engagement, communication, translation/interpretation, and textual analysis. 

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Internships and athletics led FTT major to top producer job on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Author: Jack Rooney

Categories: Arts, Alumni, and General News

Growing up in southern California, Jennifer Sharron Richardson ’01 knew she wanted to go into the entertainment industry. But she had no idea she would one day be co-executive producing an award-winning late night talk show like Jimmy Kimmel Live!. It took a Notre Dame liberal arts education, a passion for softball, and a little luck to get her there.

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English professor’s novel named finalist for PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, an assistant professor of English at Notre Dame, has been named a finalist for the 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the country’s largest peer-juried prize for novels and short stories. The honor is for Van der Vliet Oloomi’s second novel, Call Me Zebra, which follows a young heroine as she leaves New York and retraces the path she took with her father from Iran to the United States. Literature is at the heart of the novel — the protagonist, Zebra, considers books central to her identity, has personal literary theories, and at times literally devours certain pages of books.

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The Good Class: How an innovative Notre Dame philosophy course gets undergrads excited about contemplating — and constructively debating — life’s big questions

Author: Carrie Gates

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

An innovative Notre Dame course, God and the Good Life, is not only transforming the way students are introduced to philosophy — it is changing their perspectives, trajectories, and lives. Nearly 1,200 students have enrolled in the course since philosophy professor Meghan Sullivan launched it two years ago, and for many, it has become a defining experience in their undergraduate education. It's also drawn an array of prominent guest speakers — including an upcoming appearance by Michael Schur, creator of the philosophy-focused NBC comedy The Good Place.

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Study finds breastfeeding may play a protective role for newborns whose mothers experienced prenatal violence

Author: Colleen Sharkey

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

How infants adjust in their first months of life depends on many factors, including what their mothers experienced while they are in utero — 1 in 4 women in the U.S. will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and that risk increases during pregnancy, but surprisingly few longitudinal studies have been conducted on the effects of IPV during pregnancy. William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor of Psychology Laura Miller-Graff led a novel study examining the role of breastfeeding as a potential protective factor against detrimental outcomes for infants associated with IPV during pregnancy. 

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English professor receives Irish Ambassador Award from Massachusetts community

Author: Mary Hendriksen

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

On St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2019, English professor received the Ambassador Award from the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke, Massachusetts. The Ambassador Award is presented each year to a person or organization that has worked to promote the relationship between the people of the Republic of Ireland and the people of the United States. In announcing the award, the Holyoke organizers noted Fox’s leadership of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, which he co-founded with Seamus Deane in 1993 and led as director from 2001 through 2017.

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Video: Theologian Gerald McKenny on the ethics of biomedical technology

Author: Todd Boruff

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

Gerald McKenny is Walter Professor of Theology. His research interests include moral theology, Christian ethics, and biomedical technologies. In this video, he discusses his interests in how human beings respond to vulnerabilities and limitations, issues he studies as an ethicist and theologian, and why it's important for humanities scholars to be involved in questions of biotechnology.

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Women Lead 2019: Historian Elisabeth Köll paints intricate picture of China's economic systems

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Growing up in Germany, it wasn’t just unusual that Elisabeth Köll wanted to study Chinese. It was so rare for students at Bonn University to focus on it, there was even a term for it — an “orchid subject.” Nevertheless, Köll was fascinated by China, and her decision to spend two years as an undergraduate in a government exchange program at Fudan University in Shanghai deepened her interest in Chinese history — and launched her global career.

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Notre Dame psychologist elected chair of American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

David A. Smith, a Notre Dame professor of psychology, has been elected chair of the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation. His term, which began in January, involves leading the 32-person commission, which is charged with the accrediting of nearly 1,200 doctoral, internship, and postdoctoral programs in clinical, counseling, and school psychology.

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Video: The sociology major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

What is the sociology major like at Notre Dame? “Sociology has really allowed me to not only ask good focused questions about social problems but then when I get an answer, to be able to dissect that answer in a way that allows some kind of positive response,” said sociology major Pete Freeman. Sociology majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as data collection/analysis, scientific method, critical thinking, and collaboration.

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Through sociology, data science, and Latino studies, junior MacKenzie Isaac pursues her interest in public health

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

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

MacKenzie Isaac knew she wanted to improve her Spanish skills at Notre Dame. But to be truly fluent, she needed to learn more than the language. That mindset drew the junior sociology major to the Institute for Latino Studies, where she’s found academic inspiration, research support, and a welcoming community. She's also spent two summers doing research at Harvard, added a minor in data science, and hopes to pursue a career in public health. 

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Theology Ph.D. students to spend six weeks in Holy Land learning geography, history, and archaeology

Author: Brian Wallheimer

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

The Notre Dame Department of Theology is hosting an academic experience in the Holy Land this summer for graduate students in Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity and History of Christianity, adding a sense of place for those studying ancient scriptures. Abraham Winitzer, the Jordan H. Kapson Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, and Robin Jensen, the Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology, will lead the trip for up to 10 students. They will spend four weeks at Notre Dame’s Jerusalem Global Gateway and Tantur Ecumenical Institute learning the geography and history of the Holy Land, then spend two weeks at a nearby archaeological site.

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Video: The political science major at Notre Dame

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Undergraduate News and General News

What is the political science major like at Notre Dame? “A lot of people think that political science is just Democrat versus Republican but that couldn't be further from the truth,” said political science major Sean McFeely. “It's lot about understanding why things are the way they are.” Political science majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as evidence-based arguments, critical thinking, data analysis, and information synthesis.

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Inspired by service experience, psychology major’s research aims to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

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

For junior Alice Felker, it only took eight weeks for a service experience to turn into years of research and volunteer efforts for people with disabilities. The summer after her freshman year, Felker participated in the Summer Service Learning Program, an eight-week service opportunity within marginalized populations run by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns. The following summer, the psychology and applied and computational mathematics and statistics major conducted a study to examine the daytime programs offered for people with disabilities.

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