Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, has won the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s 2018 Distinguished Book Award. The honor, conferred upon the most outstanding book published by an SSSR member in the past two years, lauded the “impressive accomplishment” of Smith’s Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters. Smith’s book aims to help the social sciences better understand and explain religion by building an innovative theory of religion that builds on developments in science, theory, and philosophy.
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By the time children are 5 years old, there is already a distinct gap between those ready for kindergarten and those who aren’t. And for the children who lag behind — most often those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds — that gap may never close. Chloe Gibbs wants to determine how preschool can best prepare those children for kindergarten and for success later in life. An assistant professor in the Department of Economics, she has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for her project, Parenting, Preschool, and the Production of School Readiness and Later Academic Outcomes.
Kayla Pierce discusses why she's fascinated by small-group interactions, how emotions can travel from person to person, and why a person's status may matter in that process.
Plenty of scholars study governmental problems and failures in developing nations. Erin McDonnell is interested in what’s going right — examining certain pockets of government in Ghana and other countries to determine how they are succeeding. She has spent a total of almost two years in Ghana conducting fieldwork for her upcoming book, tentatively titled Patchwork Leviathan: Subcultures of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States.
Arnaud Zimmern, a Ph.D. candidate in English who is also pursuing a graduate minor in the history and philosophy of science, discusses why he chose to apply only to Notre Dame, the value of the digital humanities, and conducting research that matters.
After receiving her Ph.D. in medieval studies from Notre Dame in 2017, Megan Welton spent a year as an Arts and Letters postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway in England. She is now a researcher on the NWO-VICI project, “Citizenship Discourses in the Early Medieval World” at Utrecht University.
A more accurate measure of the poverty rate, based on how much people consume, highlights the dramatic decline in poverty over the past four decades, a fact that is missed by the official government poverty numbers. This can be visualized in a new poverty dashboard developed by professors James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame and Bruce Meyer of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.
Anre Venter, director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Psychology, designed a project to provide three Vietnamese-American undergraduate research assistants an opportunity to explore their identity in Vietnam. While research has been conducted in the area of ethnic identity development in minority groups, Venter believes little has been done in comparing the process of ethnic identity development within particular ethnic groups.
Ukraine is on the brink of war-related environmental disaster according to new research published by Kristina Hook and Richard Marcantonio, both doctoral candidates in anthropology and peace studies.
Music has the power to inspire, to sustain, and to build community. And students and alumni of Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Calvin M. Bower Doctor of Musical Arts program are playing a vital role in re-energizing the church and the academy through sacred music. With tracks in choral conducting and organ, the program offers an academically rigorous curriculum with a wide range of opportunities for performance, academic, and community engagement. The latest step forward for the DMA program is a generous gift from James and Molly Perry to endow and rename it in honor of Calvin M. Bower, professor emeritus of musicology.
Ying Alison Cheng, associate professor of psychology and fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame, will lead a $1.4 million project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences to develop the intelligent diagnostic assessment program (i-DAP) for high school statistics education.
Brad Gregory, director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and Dorothy G. Griffin Professor of Early Modern European History, received a 2018 Expanded Reason Awards honorable mention for his book, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society.
“African-American cultural experience is one that can't be bound by national boundaries,” said Mark A. Sanders, a professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Notre Dame. Sanders researches early 20th-century American and African American literature and culture. He has worked extensively on the Harlem Renaissance, writing one book and co-editing another on the poet Sterling Brown. He is now working to bring together scholars to translate work by African-descended writers from across the Americas.
Laura Dassow Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, has won the 2018 Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa for her biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life. The prize, which recognizes outstanding books of literary scholarship, will be presented at a reception in Washington, D.C., in December.
In a first-of-its-kind study, Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler and psychologist Patty Kuo focused on how dads’ biology around the birth of their children relates to their parenting down the road. Dads whose cortisol levels were elevated while they held their newborns on the day of their birth – either skin to skin or clothed – were more likely to be involved with indirect care and play with their infants in the first months of their lives.
It was a New Year’s Eve celebration that Mary McGraw '17 will never forget. McGraw was ringing in the new year with eight Benedictine nuns at Kylemore Abbey in Galway, Ireland. This intimate moment isn’t something that most study abroad students get to experience while in Ireland. In fact, most people will never know what it’s like to see these nuns behind closed doors. It took several months in Kylemore for McGraw to develop trust with the nuns and, ultimately, a relationship that allowed her to gain a unique perspective into their everyday lives. A studio art major with a photography concentration, McGraw was able to pull back the curtains and capture even more intimate moments through her camera lens — a project that led to her senior thesis.
Kate Marshall is associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include media theory, narrative, and the philosophy of science. "I spend a lot of time working on problems in contemporary fiction and how they relate not only to the long history of the novel and other forms of literary representation but also the way that they relate to other ways of thinking in the contemporary world," she says."
Kristin Valentino is dedicated to understanding how adversity in early childhood — such as chronic poverty or maltreatment — can affect children’s mental and physical health later in life. And she wants to know how psychologists can best intervene and improve outcomes for those children. The William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue exploring these issues in her latest project, “Pathways Linking Early Adversity and Support to Behavior and Physical Health.”
Joseph Parent, an associate professor of political science and associate director of the Notre Dame International Security Center, recently studied how states respond to shifts in power, questioning the conventional wisdom that great powers become more aggressive when they are falling. “In fact, decline is one of the biggest causes of peace,” he said. “It turns out that states were very aware of their declining power and they knew that if they started something, it would end badly for them.”
Christiane Baumeister is Robert and Irene Bozzone Associate Professor of Economics at Notre Dame. Her research interests include empirical macroeconomics, energy economics, applied time series econometrics, and monetary economics.
Nathan Rose is assistant professor of psychology and the William P. and Hazel B. White Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of memory and how these mechanisms break down with age.
Notre Dame psychologist Darcia Narvaez is helping lead a $3.9 million Templeton Religion Trust grant that will support new research on civic virtues. The “Self, Virtue and Public Life Project,” which began this week and runs through 2021, will fund research projects, conferences, edited volumes, and community outreach activities. Narvaez will be working with Nancy Snow — director of the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for the Study Human Flourishing, where the project will be based — to steer the grant and guide its educational interventions.
Ernest Morrell's research examines how children can move beyond basic reading and writing abilities by analyzing and producing media in ways that allow them to engage meaningfully with the world. “The practices around literacy in your own neighborhood and community are just as powerful as the literacy practices in school, and hopefully we begin to bridge that gap,” he said.
Calvin Zimmermann wants to better understand the fundamental roles that race, gender, and class play in society, and particularly how they affect young children. He focuses his research on African American youth, he said, because they are one of the most vulnerable and oppressed populations in the world. Zimmermann joins the faculty of Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology and the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity this fall, where he will continue to research inequality in school settings.
The American Sociological Association (ASA) has announced that sociologists from the University of Notre Dame will continue to serve as editors of its flagship journal, the American Sociological Review, through 2020. Founded in 1936 and published six times per year, ASR’s mission is to publish peer-reviewed works of exceptional quality and general interest to the discipline.
“The need for skilled, ethical, talented, compassionate journalists is greater now than ever before,” said Richard Jones, the Annenberg Director of the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy at Notre Dame. "It really is a natural fit to teach journalism in the context of a liberal arts education, and in the context of a Notre Dame education," he said. "There's so much overlay between the principles journalists try to adhere to and the principles that our students are taught here."
Four scholars at Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life have been named winners of a 2018 Expanded Reason Award in Teaching. The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation and the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria jointly honored John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director and professor of theology, along with three leaders of the McGrath Institute’s Science and Religion Initiative, for innovation expanding horizons of reason in the spirit of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Babies whose mothers experience interpersonal violence during pregnancy are more likely to exhibit aggression and defiance toward their mothers in toddlerhood, according to new research by Laura Miller-Graff, assistant professor of psychology and peace studies, and Jennifer Burke Lefever, managing director of the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families.
Robichaud was one of 29 Rome Prize winners this year, chosen from among nearly 1,000 artists and scholars across the United States. The prize allows him to serve as a resident fellow at the American Academy in Rome for the 2018–19 academic year, where he will continue work on his book, the Marsilio Ficino Editions Project.