Mary Cecilia Mitsch ’10, director at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, works with visual artists represented by the gallery to prepare their works for sale. Understanding and cultivating the emotional connection with the artworks is central to her role at the gallery. “To get to work with these objects that mean something bigger than us or are reflective of humanity is really important to me,” she said.
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More than 20 million people were killed and another 20 million or more were injured in World War I, but it’s difficult for Americans today to wrap their minds around just how catastrophic the conflict was. The last survivors have died, the war wasn’t fought on American soil, and it ended more than a century ago. But a group of Notre Dame students now has more than numbers, texts, or photos to help them understand the devastation. As part of their Great War and Modern Memory class — an interdisciplinary course designed and team-taught by Robert Norton, a professor of German, and John Deak, an associate professor of history — they traveled to Europe to visit battlefields and World War I memorials along the western front.
When summer comes, Notre Dame students travel around the world — to build their language and cultural skills, undertake independent research, and explore career options — growing intellectually and emotionally along the way. With funding from a wide range of sources, three Arts and Letters students spent last summer researching racism in Paris, interning at the U.S. Embassy in Benin, and speaking Swahili on the streets of Tanzania. Deadlines for applications for summer research, internship, and language immersion funding are fast approaching, with some due at the end of January.
Junior Aaron Benavides is pursuing faith through service, building community through writing and design, and understanding where in the world he stands through the study of politics and theology. Through all of those activities, on campus and abroad, he is further exploring his heritage — and contemplating its significance.
Tim Morton joined the College of Arts and Letters faculty last spring as director of the collaborative innovation minor and associate professor of the practice in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. The minor, which centers on the principles of design thinking as an approach to solving real-world problems, draws students with a wide variety of majors from across the University — with more than 65 students taking the introductory Design Matters course last semester alone.
Kraig Beyerlein, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded a $290,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study change over time in characteristics of protests in the United States, such as size, demographic composition, presence of counterdemonstrators, and the use of disruptive tactics.
Brooke Guenther's research trip — six days at the London Metropolitan Archives, transcribing files from 60 facial reconstruction surgeries performed during and after World War I — was the first to be funded by a grant through the new Medicine and the Liberal Arts program at Notre Dame’s Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. Guenther is studying Sir Harold Gillies, the father of modern-day plastic surgery, exploring the relationship between patients and the surgeon and studying societal reaction to survivors of wounded veterans who underwent plastic surgery.
Ulrich L. Lehner joined the Notre Dame faculty this fall as the William K. Warren Professor of Theology, following 13 years at Marquette University. The author of 10 books and editor of 17 volumes, Lehner “is widely regarded as the leading scholar of early modern Catholicism,” according to the chair of the Department of Theology.
Four students in Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters will study abroad next semester as Gilman Scholars, all through Notre Dame International.
Alison Rice, an associate professor of French and Francophone studies, conducted 18 filmed interviews in Paris over eight years with authors originally from Iran, Korea, Senegal, and Bulgaria, among other countries. She compiled, edited, and translated the interviews to create an online archive, accessible to scholars and students worldwide, and is now completing a book project based on the interviews.
Richard “Drew” Marcantonio, a current doctoral student in anthropology and peace studies, has received a prestigious three-year Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship, enabling his ongoing research on human-produced pollution and environmental violence in the United States and, more broadly, in the global ecosystem.
Before Beth Gee ’10 studied abroad in Tokyo during her junior year, the Japanese and political science major had never left the United States. Now, as a U.S. foreign service officer, Gee travels for a living. She is currently working at the American Embassy in the Republic of the Congo — where she employs the language, communication, and critical thinking skills she cultivated as a student in Arts and Letters.
With a Side of Knowledge is a podcast produced by the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame. The 10th episode of the show’s third season, “On Democracy and Difficult Questions,” was released Thursday, Dec. 5, and features Chris Beem, managing director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State University.
Nicole Woods, assistant professor of art history at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2019 recipient of an Arts Writers Grant. This award is among the highest honors an art historian or critic can receive, and Woods is one of 19 recipients from a candidate pool of more than 800. Woods is an expert in Euro-American neo-avant-gardes, performance and conceptual art, intersectional feminism and taste cultures. Her current research includes a consideration of the widespread use of food as an object of consumption and a form of political critique in the work of several late-20th-century artists.
Erin walked into the fall career fair her senior year — and walked away with a job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She visited the FBI’s booth, secured an interview for the next day, and was promptly offered an entry-level position. “My job hunt was very easy because of that one choice,” she said. “I just went to the career fair, and that was it — that was how it all started.” Now an analyst, Erin has connected to a network of Notre Dame alumni at the FBI — and said graduates from every major are valuable to the bureau.
What is the theology major like at Notre Dame? “It's really a way to approach everything in life — yourself, your community, the world — through the lens of the Christian faith,” said theology major Sofia Carozza. Theology majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as abstract thinking, problem solving, empathy, and ethical judgment.
University of Notre Dame senior Prathm Juneja has been named to the United States Rhodes Scholar Class of 2020. Juneja, of Edison, New Jersey, is Notre Dame’s 20th Rhodes Scholar and the 14th from the College of Arts and Letters — including four in the past six years — and will commence his studies in Oxford in October.
In Catherine Bolten’s recently published book, Serious Youth in Sierra Leone, she presents findings on generational preconceptions and their impact on young men in Makeni, Sierra Leone. Her research has implications for everything from development to post-conflict reconstruction to how millennials are perceived and engaged around the world.
Over the summer, Notre Dame theology students joined professional archaeologists to look for clues buried in the ancient soil of the Holy Land. What the students found could make valuable contributions to our understanding of life at the border of biblical Judah and Philistia, as well as the history of the land purchased in the 1960s for what became the University's campus here.
Katie Bugyis, who received a bachelor's degree in history and a Ph.D. in medieval studies from Notre Dame, recently joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, concurrent assistant professor in the Department of Theology, and faculty fellow of the Medieval Institute. In this Q&A, she discusses her return to Notre Dame, how she became interested in medieval studies, and why the Program of Liberal Studies is the best home for her teaching and research.
Sipping espresso and snacking on pastry, senior Terese Schomogyi counted the number of disposable cups carried out of a café into the sloping streets of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. With funding from the Glynn Family Honors Program, Schomogyi traveled last year to Amsterdam and Stockholm, Sweden, to study sustainable and ethical practices in café culture and marketing, a versatile project that would combine all her passions — political science, peace studies, and sustainability — into a senior thesis. Or, so she thought. In research, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.
Philip Byers discusses why the role of external money in organized religion deserves some focused attention, and why Notre Dame is the right place for anyone interested in American religious history.
Jason Ruiz, an associate professor in the Department of American Studies, has won the 2019 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. Created in 1970, the Sheedy Award honors Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969. Ruiz will accept the award at a reception in his honor on December 3. “It means the world to me to be recognized in this way, he said, “especially because the College is full of great teachers I admire.”
What is the history major like at Notre Dame? “History is more alive than I thought it was, in that history is still an ongoing argument.,” said history major Jarod Luedecker. History majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as analysis, interpretation, empathy, and critical thinking.
In less than three years, Ellen Pil has conducted research in Germany, traveled to the Galápagos Islands, worked for a nongovernmental organization in South Africa, and interned with a nonprofit health center in Chicago. A Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar and a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Pil said she is amazed by the support she’s received in identifying opportunities and funding to cultivate her interests and discover intersections between her fields of study.
Much medieval Italian art from the 13th century is focused on Christianity — paintings and sculptures depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints, or other Biblical scenes. But murals that were hidden for hundreds of years under layers of whitewash at the Santi Quattro Coronati monastery in Rome are different — in addition to religious iconography, they also depict secular knowledge. Notre Dame art historian Marius Hauknes is fascinated by the significant shift implied by the newly discovered paintings, and he’s spending this year writing a book on the subject after winning a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Notre Dame economist Taryn Dinkelman studies labor markets and human capital in developing countries, primarily in her native South Africa as well as Malawi and Chile. One current project uses South African household survey data to track the effects of newly-gained access to electricity. Dinkelman thinks that a key constraint for households is the capital to acquire large appliances that use the electricity.
Before leaving for a Summer Language Abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia, after her junior year, Kristen Stone ’11 had never been outside North America. After graduation, she spent seven years living and working abroad in Russia and South Africa. Her Arts and Letters education prepared her for a career in education, journalism, and now consulting.
When theology and Arts and Letters pre-health alumnus Andy Miles took a job teaching math and science, he returned to not just to the middle school — on its own, a place of considerable influence with regard to his intersecting views on education and the faith — but to the very classroom he helped renovate as an undergraduate.
A major sociology conference at the University of Notre Dame recently brought together scholars and practitioners for a rare chance to talk about their work and research on a range of development-related topics. “We don’t get this opportunity very often. This is one of the only academic conferences where we can have that dialogue with practitioners,” said sociologist Tamara Kay, one of three faculty members in the Department of Sociology who organized the American Sociological Association’s 8th Annual Sociology of Development Conference, held Oct. 17-19.