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Restoring God’s Creation: How a theology professor integrates environment and economics in Uganda

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

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

As a child, Emmanuel Katongole went into the forest near his home in Uganda to draw water from the spring and collect firewood for cooking. Now a diocesan priest who has taught theology and peace studies for a decade at Notre Dame, he has worried upon every return home about the intense deforestation destroying his native land. In a country where more than half the population is under age 20, he knew that young people moving to the cities lacked opportunities and needed firewood, leading to rampant tree cutting.

But it wasn’t until reading Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ that Katongole envisioned a solution that uses education to address both problems — protecting the environment and providing economic opportunities. He joined with several colleagues and the local Catholic Church to found Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in a rural area 25 miles north of the capital city of Kampala.

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Notre Dame philosopher and psychologist team up to study whether intellectual humility is a virtue — and if it’s helpful or harmful to the marginalized and oppressed

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Intellectual humility — being free to think and listen without being concerned with the need to “be right” — could be an antidote for some pressing personal and societal problems. An interdisciplinary group of philosophers and psychologists, led by Laura Callahan and supported by a John Templeton Foundation grant, are hoping to identify how the characteristic can be used by individuals to improve their lives and how it can be more inclusive.

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In new book on global Catholicism, Provost John McGreevy explores modern history, current challenges of the Church

Author: Carrie Gates

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

In his newest book, historian and Notre Dame Provost John McGreevy examines the Church’s complex role in modern history as it both shaped and followed the politics of nation-states. Through a series of compelling vignettes and detailed analyses, McGreevy traces the events and trends that gave rise to the modern-day Catholic Church, one marked by an unwavering concern for social justice, unprecedented vibrancy in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and increasing global connections — and one that has significantly expanded the organizational and symbolic reach of the papacy.

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Notre Dame launches BIG Lab to address global poverty and economic inequality

Author: Katie Jamieson

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

Even the most effective poverty alleviation programs in low-income countries can leave some people behind. Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies have a big idea on how to bridge that gap. The new Building Inclusive Growth (BIG) Lab, led by Notre Dame economists Taryn Dinkelman, Lakshmi Iyer, and Joseph Kaboski, will bring some of the world’s best researchers together to develop innovative, long-lasting solutions to help vulnerable populations in developing countries.

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Historian’s book on influential 20th-century French priests wins four awards

Author: Beth Staples

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

Notre Dame historian Sarah Shortall’s debut book, Soldiers of God in a Secular World: Catholic Theology and Twentieth-Century French Politics, which chronicles an influential French theological movement that reimagined the Church’s role in the public sphere, has now earned four awards in the 10 months since it was published. The assistant professor of history has received the Giuseppe Alberigo Junior Scholar Award from the European Academy of Religion, the Best Book Award from the College Theology Society, the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies from New York University, and the first place Book Award for History from the Catholic Media Association.

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Political science professor’s book on Islamic law wins two International Studies Association awards 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Internationalism, and General News

Emilia Justyna Powell, a Notre Dame professor of political science and concurrent professor at The Law School, has won two International Studies Association (ISA) awards for her 2020 book, Islamic Law and International Law: Peaceful Resolution of Disputes. Lauded for its originality, significance, and rigor in international law and religion and international relations, the book covers differences and similarities between the Islamic legal tradition and international law.

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Political scientist Jeff Harden co-authors book detailing how government transparency benefits special interest groups, not citizenry

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Categories: Research and Faculty News

“There are more groups that register to lobby in states with open meetings and they donate more to incumbent politicians," said the Andrew J. McKenna Family Associate Professor of Political Science. "This leads to an ironic conclusion: The laws don’t make citizen representation better, they make it better for interest groups, which aren’t representative of the general public. Because citizens are not fulfilling their role in that relationship, lobbyists are coming in.”

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Theology professor Ulrich Lehner elected to prestigious Academy of Europe 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Catholicism

Ulrich L. Lehner, a leading expert on early modern Catholicism and the William K. Warren Foundation Professor in the Department of Theology, has been elected a member of Academia Europaea, also called the Academy of Europe. He’s in excellent company — 75 Nobel Prize recipients are among its members, including the three 2021 laureates in physics. The academy promotes research, advises governments and international organizations, and furthers interdisciplinary and international research.

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With Getty Scholar Grant, art history professor will bring image of Central America into sharper focus

Author: Beth Staples

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

For generations, North Americans have seen media images of poverty, disease, civil war, and crime in Central America, including photographs and videos of Central Americans fleeing violence and of children, some just 2 or 3 years old, kept in cages at immigration detention camps. Even when well-intentioned, the images can feed into negative stereotypes, said Tatiana Reinoza, an assistant professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. Reinoza has won a competitive Getty Scholar Grant that will support her effort to more fully represent the seven-country region, its people, and their stories with her book project, tentatively titled “Retorno: Art and Kinship in the making of a Central American Diaspora.”

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Sociologist wins European book award for research on how pockets of government in developing countries thrive 

Author: Beth Staples

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

The European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) has presented Notre Dame sociologist Erin Metz McDonnell with its 2022 Book Award for her original contribution to the knowledge about organizations, organizing, and the organized. In her award-winning book, Patchwork Leviathan: Pockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States, McDonnell argues that while corruption and ineffectiveness may be expected of public servants in developing countries, “some spectacularly effective state organizations thrive amid institutional weakness and succeed against impressive odds.” 

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Eileen Hunt’s book Artificial Life After Frankenstein wins award for broadening horizons of contemporary political science

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Eileen Hunt, a professor in the Department of Political Science, has won the David Easton Award for her 2021 book, Artificial Life After Frankenstein. The annual award from the American Political Science Association’s Foundations of Political Theory section recognizes a book that “broadens the horizons of contemporary political science by engaging issues of philosophical significance in political life through … approaches in the social sciences and humanities.” In the book, Hunt develops a theoretical framework for how to bring technology-based ethical issues — like making artificial intelligence, robots, genetically engineered children and other artificially-shaped life forms — into debates on human rights, international law, theories of justice, and philosophies of education and parent-child ethics.

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Majoring in economics and A&L pre-health prepares senior to make a difference in the lives of patients — as a doctor, consultant, or health care policy advocate

Author: Indonesia Brown and Beth Staples

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and General News

Anoop Sunkara is ready to work in consulting. Or be a doctor. Or advocate for better health care public policy. Wherever his career path ends up taking him, the coursework, research, internships, service, and hands-on training he’s completed during his time at Notre Dame have prepared him to do it all. “The Arts & Letters education is a fantastic track for students who desire to study and expand their knowledge beyond the traditional science field,” said Sunkara, a senior majoring in economics and Arts & Letters pre-health. “For me, I’ve always wanted to be taking science classes, but Arts & Letters gives me a vocational perspective — an ability to think and speak about big-picture issues beyond knowing basic chemistry and biology.”

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Notre Dame receives record-breaking $244 million in annual research awards

Author: Brett Beasley

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

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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Assistant professor Chloe Gibbs to serve on Council of Economic Advisers

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Categories: Research and Faculty News

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve in this capacity, and hope I can use my skills and expertise to solve problems that affect people’s daily lives, particularly those of children and families." Gibbs' one-year tenure begins this month on the council charged with offering the president of the United States objective economic advice based on data, research, and evidence to support the formulation of both domestic and international policy.

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Philosophy, theology, and classics major Daniel O'Brien on why research is rewarding and how he got started working with a professor

Author: Shannon Rooney

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and Q and A

The Class of 2024 member said the project has highlighted the countless hands throughout the centuries who laboriously hand-copied manuscripts for their preservation. "The idiosyncrasies of Greek handwriting is a world I had not been exposed to before, and being able to read it is a unique experience, not to mention a very important skill to have in my field."

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Economists' first multigenerational study of Head Start shows significant gains for second generation

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Categories: Research and Faculty News

It's important to understand how programs affect the cycle of poverty, said Chloe Gibbs, assistant professor of economics. “Head Start set the first-generation kids on a different trajectory, and now their kids are better off. I think this is exactly what we hope to do through these kinds of social programs.”

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Two A&L alumnae named 2022 Yenching Scholars

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Research, Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, and Alumni

Ann Hermann, who double-majored in computer science and Chinese, will research comparative tech policy and social media algorithms in the U.S. and China. Susan Peters, who majored in international economics with a concentration in Chinese, will examine effects of recent changes in China’s “cram,” or test-prep, school policies.

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Political science professor wins Emerging Scholar Award from American Political Science Association

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

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.

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With Huntington fellowship, English professor researches depictions of animals in medieval literature and philosophy

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Michelle Karnes, a Notre Dame associate professor of English, has been chosen as a Mellon Fellow by The Huntington, a collections-based research and educational institution in California. During the yearlong fellowship that begins in July, Karnes will work on journal articles and a chapter for her next book project, tentatively titled “Interanimalia: The Species of the Medieval World,” which focuses on the value of species diversity in the natural world.

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Video: Psychologist Alison Cheng on making educational assessments more informative, fair, and efficient

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Ying (Alison) Cheng is a professor of psychology, a fellow of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, and associate director of the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society at the University of Notre Dame. In this interview, she discusses her research on psychological and educational measurement, and how she and her team use statistical models to improve academic testing, making them more efficient, informative, and fair for students and educators.

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Notre Dame faculty advance research related to the Church sexual abuse crisis

Author: Joanne Fahey

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

In March 2019, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced that the University would provide funding to support research projects that address issues emerging from the Church sexual abuse crisis. Since that announcement, 10 grants have been administered through the Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research Grant Program to researchers in the College of Arts and Letters, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Law School, and the Mendoza College of Business. 

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Lee Gettler's multi-decade research links fathers’ testosterone production to their adolescent experiences with their own dads

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Alumni

Fathers remain understudied when it comes to contributions they make to their children's health and well-being. “There’s a lot of interest in how dads and other caregivers can help shape the future health of children, and this new work provides insights about the biology that may contribute to those outcomes,”

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Psychologists research how COVID pivot affected students and faculty at more than 80 universities

Author: Colleen Sharkey

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

Even after accounting for demographic variables (gender, race/ethnicity, parental educational attainment), researchers found that undergraduate students who reported greater pandemic-induced stress tended to have greater test anxiety and were less confident in their computer skills.

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Dinah Lawan '22 awarded prize for paper exploring strategic peace-building in Nigeria

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, and Alumni

Dinah Lawan won the 2022 Gary F. Barnabo Political Science Writing Prize for the best paper about a current national or global issue that provides a plan for specific action and a nonviolent resolution. Lawan recommended a peacebuilding approach to effectively dismantle Boko Haram, which has has killed more than 350,000 people in Nigeria.

 

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Chinese and computer science major Margaret Rauch exemplifies excellence in research, service

The Illinois resident became interested in studying Chinese when her aunt moved to Beijing to report on the 2008 Olympics. Margaret Rauch thrived in her ND Chinese language classes, completing the highest level in her sophomore year. She then took Classical Chinese and designed an independent research project—three semesters of directed readings that examined Su Xuelin, a May Fourth Intellectual who converted to Catholicism and wrote horny Heart

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Four 2022 grads share how Romance languages and literatures enriched their lives

Author: Shannon Rooney

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, Q and A, Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, and Alumni

Irma Ibarra, who spoke Spanish and English when she arrived in South Bend, majored in Italian, studied in Rome, took Beginning French, and wishes she had taken a Portuguese course. Studying French helped Kyle Dorshorst gain a deeper appreciation of French music, literature, art, and culture. Maria Teel loved that her language skills could bridge gaps between people, including at the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. When Fouad El Zoghbi came to Notre Dame, he spoke French, English, and Arabic. Then he studied Spanish. Learning a new language, he said, expands your mind in unimaginable ways.

 

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4 A&L faculty members awarded Notre Dame Research grants

Author: Joanne Fahey

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, and Catholicism

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. 

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A Q&A with Karl Berg ’22 on the Early Christian Studies program, coordinating a new graduate conference, and why Notre Dame is a great place for classics and theology research

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, General News, and Centers and Institutes

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.

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Video: German professor Tobias Boes on nationalism, globalization, and the environmental humanities

Author: Todd Boruff

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

Tobias Boes is an associate professor of German and a Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on cultural relationships between Germany and the world at large, especially during the first half of the 20th century. In this interview, he discusses his book on Thomas Mann, his research on cultural dimensions of nationalism, and why he's developed an interest in the environmental humanities.

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6 A&L doctoral students chosen by NDIAS for Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Class

Author: J'Nese Williams

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, and Centers and Institutes

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.” 

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