A record 29 College of Arts and Letters students and alumni have been awarded grants by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to study abroad in 2017-18. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study and teach abroad.
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The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the National Science Foundation, the Rhodes Trust, and other organizations have awarded scholarships and fellowships to 22 members of the College of Arts and Letters’ Class of 2017.
Asher Kaufman, professor of history and peace studies, has been appointed the John M. Regan, Jr. Director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, effective July 1, 2017.
Caleb “C.J.” Pine has been named valedictorian of the 2017 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the 172nd University Commencement Ceremony on May 21 at Notre Dame Stadium. Named a Truman Scholar and a Gilman Scholar while at Notre Dame, Pine is a member of the University’s Glynn Family Honors program and is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar. A member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, he carries a 3.92 cumulative grade point average, and will graduate with degrees in Arabic and peace studies and a minor in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).
Felipe Fernández-Armesto has received Spain's highest honor for contributors to science, scholarship, education, and the arts.
The collaborative global research project, Under Caesar's Sword, is co-directed by political scientist Daniel Philpott. “In Response to Persecution,” a report on the UCS project’s findings, was launched April 20 in a day-long symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Irla Atanda and Abigail Awodele have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study abroad during the summer 2017 term. Awodele will participate in the China Language Program and Atanda will study in South Africa.
Notre Dame junior Rebecca Blais, a political science major from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar. Blais is one of just 62 college juniors to be selected for the prestigious scholarship this year, from a pool of 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities nationwide. Established in 1975 as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman, the award includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies, will spend a year studying three predominant forms of violence in sub-Saharan Africa after being named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017–2018, one of six scholars selected from members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Katongole will begin a yearlong study in January aimed at looking at ethnic, religious, and ecological violence in African countries south of the Sahara.
Peter Holland, the College of Arts and Letters’ associate dean for the arts and the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, has been named chair of the International Shakespeare Association. Holland, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, was selected by the association’s executive committee from candidates nominated worldwide for the prestigious position. The association, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of Shakespeare, seeks to further the study of the playwright’s life and to connect Shakespeareans and Shakespeare societies around the world.
Whether their research explores community-led initiatives, national trends, or international issues, Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology produce outstanding research that is leading to grants, fellowships, and job offers. “Our students benefit from the fact that our faculty is unusually large and strong and covers almost the entire range of sociology,” said Lyn Spillman, director of graduate studies. “They enjoy not only our excellent faculty/student ratios but also the wide range of expertise we offer. The result is that our students produce new knowledge across the entire disciplinary range.”
A trio of Notre Dame students and alumni have been named Yenching Scholars, a globally competitive award that provides a full scholarship and stipend to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree at China’s top university. Teresa Kennedy ’16, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts; senior Jenny Ng, a political science major from Sai Kung, Hong Kong; and Dominic Romeo ’14, a political science and Chinese major from Turlock, California, were named to the third cohort entering the Yenching Academy, based at Peking University in Beijing.
Adam Foley won a 2015-2016 Rome Prize fellowship, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize supports innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Fellows are given a stipend, room and board, and individual work space at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome.
“Do what you feel naturally inclined to do, where your skills and abilities are taking you, what you're best at. It really has helped me to narrow down and find the right career,” said Elizabeth Simari ’08. An English and Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters, Simari studied abroad in Rome during her junior year. Her interest in the language, history, and culture of Italy developed into a passion, leading her to move to Sicily after graduation. After teaching English for a year and then earning a master's degree in literature, she wrote for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s English-language newspaper, and now teaches at the University of Loyola Chicago's campus in Rome.
When Linda Wilbert Parish enrolled at Notre Dame in fall 1973—the year after the University first admitted women—she was one of only about 400 female students on campus. Since graduating in 1977 with a degree in American studies and foreign languages, Parish has built a career in the banking industry that has taken her around the world. From an internship at Goldman Sachs, she has worked her way up to her current position, senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
“The Notre Dame Berlin Seminar provides something that no graduate program in the United States can do, and indeed no professional can access very easily simply from your home institution,” said William Collins Donahue, the John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities and chair of the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures. The Notre Dame Berlin Seminar is a two-week program where faculty and advanced graduate student Germanists gather in Berlin to examine a particular topic. For the first three years of the program, participants will explore Der Literaturbetrieb, German literary institutions. What makes the program exceptional is that participants will meet with authors, archivists, publishers, and reviewers working in Germany, as well as visiting presses, libraries, archives, and theaters to get a full picture of Germany’s literary scene.
Twenty-seven University of Notre Dame students were awarded Fulbright grants in the 2016-17 program, placing the University among the top-producing universities in the nation. The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. It awards a one-year postgraduate fellowship for research, study or teaching English abroad. During their fellowship, scholars will work, live and learn in their host country. Of the 27 students to receive Fulbrights last year, 24 were Arts and Letters students—which would place the College sixth in the nation among all doctoral institutions.
Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of 15 Catholic delegates invited by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to participate in a bilateral conversation with 15 Muslim counterparts at Al-Azhar al-Sharif Center for Dialogue (ASCD) Feb. 22-23 in Cairo, Egypt. Reynolds, whose research centers on the Quran and Muslim-Christian relations, believes the greatest opportunities for progress come from emphasizing what Christians and Muslims have in common — the shared stories, history and values.
Notre Dame junior Katie Portman spent summer 2015 doing archaeological fieldwork while living on the M.V. Pitsiulak, a 50-foot longliner, off the coast of subarctic Canada. Despite weather issues, engine malfunctions, and permit-related delays, the experience caused her to fall in love with—and major in—anthropology. Since then, her research pursuits have taken her to Washington, D.C.; Canada; Ireland; and Russia, for projects including excavation of a medieval Christian pilgrimage site and a study of skeletons of monks from Byzantine Jerusalem.
Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.
While some observers are hailing this find as the 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave, James VanderKam, a leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Theology, cautions that the findings need to be placed “in context.”
“An internship abroad is a great starting point for a career abroad,” said Margaret Swinehart, a senior history major in the College of Arts and Letters. Swinehart spent the summer of 2016 interning at the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy. She worked in the non-immigrant visa unit of the consular section, collecting documents and helping applicants prepare for their interviews. Swinehart learned about the internship through the Notre Dame Career and Internship Fair hosted by the Career Center. “The internship started as just something I was intrigued about,” she said. “It has shown me that I would like to pursue a career in government.”
In her academic research, Debra Javeline leads two lives. She is passionate about sustainability—and how post-Communist Russia is perceived. She is focused on coastal adaptation to climate change—and on the response to political violence in a small Russian town. An associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, Javeline is pursuing multiple projects in two distinct research areas—one focused on politics, conflict, and protest in Russia and the other involving the environment and sustainability.
Why Berlin? “Berlin has so much to offer. It wildly exceeded my expectations,” said Taylor Seeman, a senior Program of Liberal Studies and sociology senior who participated in Notre Dame’s Berlin Summer Program. The Berlin Summer Program is a six-week, six-credit program where students can experience Germany’s capital city while learning about its history and culture. Led by faculty in the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, the program is open to students from all majors, and no prior knowledge of German is necessary.
Beginning Monday (Jan. 16), the University of Notre Dame will host a series of events to mark both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Walk the Walk Week. The observances celebrate the diversity that currently exists on the University’s campus and offer an opportunity to reflect on how each member of the campus community can take an active role in making the University more welcoming and inclusive.
Notre Dame’s rapidly growing Department of Economics has added six new faculty members who bring diverse expertise in political economy, econometrics, labor mobility, market design, urban geography and poverty, and international finance. Lakshmi Iyer, Marinho Bertanha, Nilesh Fernando, Michèle Müller-Itten, David Phillips, and César Sosa-Padilla join the ranks of a vibrant department that has added more than a dozen faculty members in the last four years and offers one of the University’s largest undergraduate majors.
Since it began in 2010, the Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program (ALSIP) has awarded over $600,000 in funding to more than 250 students who gain experience and explore career options in a real-world environment—anywhere from C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., to a product design firm in New York City, to a nonprofit organization in Cape Town, South Africa.
Notre Dame senior Joseph Strasz made the most of his study abroad experience by participating in the Rome International Scholars Program—a unique opportunity for students interested in conducting research, completing an internship, and participating in extensive service learning in Rome. “I am exceptionally glad that I chose to do this. It has been 100% worth it,” said Strasz, an Italian studies and Greek and Roman civilizations major.
César Sosa-Padilla, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the 2016 John Charles Polanyi Prize by the government of the Province of Ontario. The annual prize recognizes up to five outstanding, early career researchers in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, or economic science.
Notre Dame’s annual Rome Seminar brings together graduate students and junior faculty members from around the world to learn from top scholars and interact with peers at the University’s Rome Global Gateway. Sponsored by the Italian Studies at Notre Dame program and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the seminar’s interdisciplinary topic changes each year.