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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For Shinjini Chattopadhyay, Ulysses provides a blueprint for understanding modern life in post-colonial times. The winner of Notre Dame's Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award will begin as a tenure-track assistant professor at Berry College in Georgia this fall.
The annual honor recognizes Jeff Harden as the top scholar in the field of state politics and policy who has earned a Ph.D. within the previous 10 years. He said it’s a meaningful time to be studying state legislatures because they have enormous power in what people's lives look like as citizens of this country.
The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with Catholic universities in Italy and Lebanon, has established a consortium for the study of Muslim-Christian relations.
Michel Hockx, Timothy Matovina, Jason Ruiz, and James Rudolph won grants from Notre Dame Research for their respective projects involving Foreign Office files for India, the Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P. Papers, materials documenting Native American and Catholic encounters, and advancing the cross-disciplinary user experience lab: equipment restoration and renewal for faculty and graduate level research in the Design Department.
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.
The dissertation projects of the graduate fellows — Jennifer Dudley, Jacob Kildoo, Arpit Kumar, Eileen Morgan, Bethany Wentz, and Greg Wurm — illuminate some aspect of The Public. “These six doctoral students impressed our committee this year with their exceptional research promise and their clear commitment to building an inclusive research community,” said Meghan Sullivan, director of the NDIAS and the Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy. “We are thrilled to welcome them alongside our faculty fellows next year and to sponsor work that will give us crucial insight on the nature of public life.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly halted international travel, Mary Shiraef’s fieldwork plan to investigate the outcomes of communist-era border policies in Albania was postponed indefinitely. So she pivoted.The Notre Dame political science doctoral candidate decided to map pandemic-induced border closures around the world. Two years later, the project has been reported on in more than 40 news outlets, the data was peer-reviewed and published in the Nature Portfolio’s Scientific Data, Scientific Reports published the open-source results, and the National Library of Medicine posted the study. The international research collaboration is still active and continues to provide valuable skills-development opportunities for Notre Dame undergraduates.
Three College of Arts & Letters Ph.D. students have won major honors from The Graduate School at Notre Dame, including the Eli J. and Helen Shaheen Graduate School Awards in the Humanities and the Social Sciences and the Social Justice Award. The award winners will be formally recognized for their achievements at the Graduate Commencement Ceremony to be held at Notre Dame Stadium on May 14.
Catherine Brown Tkacz recovers positive traditions about women that have been largely forgotten since what Brad Gregory aptly calls the Unintended Reformation. She said at least 11 biblical women have been recognized as prefiguring Christ in his passion, a dynamic way of emphasizing that everyone, male and female, is called to be holy.
In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, a prayer service for the people of Ukraine was held Monday evening at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Basilica was filled to capacity for the vigil, led by Father Andrij Hlabse, S.J., a theology doctoral candidate and Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic priest. Father Hlabse welcomed the congregation in English, Ukrainian, and Russian, expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine. He then reflected on his time as an undergraduate at Notre Dame when he would look to the Golden Dome and pray. He noted the numerous golden domes that likewise adorn many churches in Ukraine.
Two faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts & Letters have won a three-year grant from Humanities Without Walls in support of a project that will encourage Latinx women who have suffered violence during pregnancy and childbirth to share their experiences through art and literature. Led by Vanesa Miseres, an associate professor of Spanish, and Vania Smith-Oka, an associate professor of anthropology, the project seeks to empower Latinx mothers in the South Bend area who often experience disrespect or abuse by medical professionals throughout the birthing process to share their stories through creative expression.
Researchers know that experiencing a high number of adverse events in childhood correlates with worse health outcomes in adulthood. These studies have led to an emphasis on trauma-informed practice in schools and workplaces in an attempt to mitigate the harm of early adversity. At the other end of the spectrum, focusing on wellness, Darcia Narvaez, emerita professor of psychology, has helped identify humanity’s baseline for childhood care. In a first-of-its-kind study conducted by Narvaez and doctoral student Mary Tarsha and published in the journal Anxiety, Stress and Coping, results show that positive childhood experiences can help buffer the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on physiological health in adult women.
The University of Notre Dame has been awarded nearly $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to equip students in the Master of Divinity Program (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Theology program to better serve in and learn from a diverse, ever-changing world. The grant will support cultural immersion programs and Spanish proficiency courses for 13 to 18 lay and seminarian students, as well as opportunities to meet with and learn from peers at other colleges.
Fall Saturdays on Notre Dame’s campus are filled with familiar touchstones. Helmeted competitors preparing to face off. A glint of sunlight reflecting off a majestic wing. Cherished objects brought out for admiring fans. Spectators reveling in the pageantry of it all. But this year, some of those displays predate American football by centuries. Thanks to the Medieval Institute — which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year — home game Saturdays have featured medieval objects and traditions, from fencing demonstrations to falconry, blacksmithing, astronomy, and more.
“The Middle Ages are amazingly important to understanding the modern world,” said Thomas Burman, the Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute. “That’s part of the reason we say they are ‘the crossroads of everything.’ There are all kinds of things about modern culture that are medieval in origin, including scientific traditions, universities and representative democracy.”
Amidst all the anxiety and upheaval created by the coronavirus pandemic, Opera Notre Dame faced a difficult and unique dilemma. How do you give a voice to voice students when their foremost skill — singing opera — poses a potential health risk to others? As uncertainty reigned, they got creative — to make an opera production that was artistically meaningful, educationally rich, and as safe as possible, they made a movie. Please Look: A Cinematic Opera Experience premieres this week at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Browning Cinema.
Five Notre Dame graduate students, including two from the College of Arts & Letters, have been accepted into the inaugural cohort of the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship Pedagogy Fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year. The new fellowship program is an opportunity for Notre Dame Ph.D. students from Arts & Letters and the College of Science to build their teaching expertise, gain instructional experience, and engage in a life-long community of practice.
Morgan Widhalm Munsen knows that effective communication is key for scientific research to have real life implications. So, in addition to conducting significant research of her own as a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology, Munsen also pursues community-based projects that make science more accessible and understandable to the general public. “It’s not like you can do research and then suddenly expect it to be meaningful to people,” Munsen said. “Which is why I think it’s so important for scientists and researchers to tell stories about their research and help to make it as relevant as possible to people.”
While many scholars have examined the early connections between Europe and the Americas, most approach the issue from one perspective or the other. Americanists tend to emphasize that the Spanish influence was an imposition and that indigenous culture was destroyed, while scholars of European history focus on evangelization and acculturation. Notre Dame Medieval Institute Ph.D. student Carlos Diego Arenas Pacheco seeks a balance between the two, however, arguing that indigenous culture in Mexico did not disappear — it was remade into something different, not only by the hands of the Europeans, but also by the hands of the indigenous peoples themselves.
Nicholas Roberts completed his Ph.D. in history at Notre Dame in May, focusing on modern Islamic history. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in music performance and history from Syracuse University in 2009 and his Master of Arts in global, international, and comparative history from Georgetown University in 2014. This fall, he is joining Norwich University as assistant professor of Middle Eastern history. In this interview, he discusses why he chose Notre Dame, his research on the history of the Omani Empire in the Indian Ocean, and why places like the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian Ocean should be more of a focal point in historical narratives.
Abigail Jorgensen ’16 first began exploring women’s relationships with politics for her senior thesis in the College of Arts & Letters. That experience not only sparked a passion for research, but also laid the foundation for her career in academia. Now a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology with a graduate minor in gender studies, she is finalizing her dissertation on motherhood, fertility intentions, and political behavior, titled “Becoming the Mommy Politic.” While existing research on voting behavior often divides women into “mothers” and “non-mothers,” Jorgensen argues that scholars should take a more expansive view of when the shift into motherhood begins and how long it takes.
In less than six minutes, the new film “Breaking the Cycle” invites caregivers, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned with child development to adopt more collaborative and peace-inducing strategies for child rearing. The new film, a companion to the website EvolvedNest.org, grew out of groundbreaking research by Darcia Narvaez, Kroc Institute faculty fellow and professor emerita of psychology, with support from current peace studies and psychology Ph.D. student Mary Tarsha.
Shaun Evans, a doctoral candidate in theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2021 Lilly Graduate Fellow. He is one of 10 Lilly Graduate Fellows from a pool of more than 60 applicants nationwide. Established with a grant from the Lilly Endowment and based at Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college at Valparaiso University, the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program supports exceptionally well qualified young people who have bachelor’s degrees from Lilly Fellowship Program Network Schools and who are interested in becoming teacher-scholars at church-related colleges and universities in the U.S.
How do you plan and write a dissertation when the world is shutting down? When you’re under lockdown and you can’t travel to do your field research. When the projects critical to your work — really, to your career and your future — have been halted. Three Kellogg Institute-affiliated doctoral students, all comparative political scientists and all working far from home when the pandemic hit, spoke about how COVID has affected their lives and their work in the past year.
As a budding public intellectual, a voice for social justice movements, and a force for good as a researcher, teacher, mentor, activist, and speaker, Emmanuel Cannady is an exemplar among graduate students at Notre Dame. His research as a sociologist explores the internal processes in Black activist organizations. Using an ethnographic approach, Cannady investigates how activists' use of their experiences and knowledge affect the “perseverance process” of their organizations.
Jay David Miller, who received his Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame in spring 2020, has been awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for his project, Quaker Jeremiad. Miller, currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, focuses his research on early American literature. His dissertation traces the development of Quaker rhetoric on agrarian labor and justice, examining the ways that rhetoric shifts from the beginnings of the Quaker movement in 17th-century England as it moves across the Atlantic and confronts agrarian issues like enslavement and indigenous dispossession.
Notre Dame researchers in the Center for Research Computing and Department of Psychology, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) Business Enterprise Systems Directorate’s product innovation initiative, and Trek10, a cloud engineering innovation company based in the University’s Innovation Park, have developed an adaptive online learning platform to educate members of the Air Force on cloud computing.
Twenty-six University of Notre Dame students and alumni — including 21 from the College of Arts & Letters — have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to teach or study abroad during the 2021-22 academic year. Notre Dame has been a top producer of Fulbright students for seven consecutive years.
Luiz Vilaça is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology and a Ph.D. fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. His research focuses on the sociology of law, organizations, and politics. In this interview, he discusses how state organizations build the autonomy and capacity to investigate corruption, how Brazil startled the world by dismantling multiple schemes of bribery and kickbacks, and why it's important to examine these anti-corruption investigations from a sociological perspective.
The University of Notre Dame has launched the Center for Citizenship & Constitutional Government, a new hub of scholarship and education that strives to be a national focal point on Catholicism, constitutional government, and liberal democracy. The new center seeks to cultivate thoughtful and educated citizens by supporting scholarship and education concerning the ideas and institutions of constitutional government.