An interdisciplinary team of Notre Dame faculty is leading an effort with institutions in Ohio and Kentucky to replicate an experiential learning model for attracting and retaining diverse STEM workforces in Rust Belt cities through university-community partnerships that strengthen quality of life. The three-year project, Replication of a Community-Engaged Educational Ecosystem Model in Rust Belt Cities, is supported by more than $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program, $1.1 million of which is directed to Notre Dame. Led by the Center for Civic Innovation — which uses technology and methods to address pressing issues in the South Bend/Elkhart area — the project also involves College of Engineering and Department of Psychology faculty in the effort to understand how CCI’s model for community improvement projects functions in other cities under varying circumstances.
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Ask Charles Leavitt IV to name movies influenced by Italian cinema, and there’s not enough time in the day for the conversation. “The short answer is, it’s everything,” said Leavitt, a Notre Dame associate professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Leavitt’s book on the Italian neorealism movement has received significant acclaim — it won the 2020 Book Prize in Visual Studies, Film and Media from the American Association of Italian Studies and is one of five finalists in American nonfiction for The Bridge / Il Ponet literary prize.
Two faculty members in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have been awarded memberships at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., one of the world’s foremost centers for intellectual inquiry into the sciences and the humanities. Karen Graubart, an associate professor of history, and Gabriel Radle, the Rev. John A. O'Brien, C.S.C., Assistant Professor of Theology, are two of the 271 new and returning scholars of history, cosmology, mathematics, and countless other disciplines, with whom they’ll share seminars, meals, and conversations this year.
Nicole Woods, a Notre Dame assistant professor of art history, has received the Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, a world-renowned institution that brings scholars to Washington, D.C. She will spend much of the spring semester in the nation’s capital, working in the archives of the National Gallery of Art as well as the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. Woods is studying the paintings of Bob Thompson, an African American painter from Kentucky who ran in the Beats' social circles in Greenwich Village after World War II.
Reginald Dwayne Betts, the current artist-in-residence at Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study and the Initiative on Race and Resilience, has been named to the 2021 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Class. Betts is one of 25 fellows to be selected for the honor, commonly known as a “Genius Grant,” which aims to recognize “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”
“Ripe for Rivalry? U.S.-China Relations Under the Biden Administration” will feature a discussion of U.S.-China relations featuring a former senior diplomat and think tank president Ivo Daalder, business leaders Girish Rishi and Leo Melamed and a noted strategic analyst, Notre Dame professor Eugene Gholz. The panel will be moderated by Michael Desch, Notre Dame’s Packey J. Dee Professor of International Relations and the Brian and Jeannelle Brady Director of the Notre Dame International Security Center.
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.
Sept. 13 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death. The great Italian poet is being celebrated around the globe and especially in Italy where gala concerts, exhibits, and dramatic readings are underway. In this interview with the University of Notre Dame Press, Theodore J. Cachey — a Notre Dame professor of Italian, the Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies, and the founder and co-editor of the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante and Medieval Italian Literature — discusses the Devers series' contribution to the study of medieval Italian literature and Dante studies, its new publications, and what's ahead in the future.
Entrepreneurial tycoons, inventors, and shop-floor workers are often celebrated throughout history, but the story of the engineer isn’t something that’s taught in school. Notre Dame historian Ted Beatty aims to change that, thanks to a $250,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation that will fund a book, several articles, and an interactive database that will showcase the critical-but-often-overlooked role engineers played in shaping society as we know it. He seeks to tell the story of the rise of engineers — not just at outdoor worksites and inside factories but also in corporate boardrooms and government agencies across the globe.
As an Arts & Letters undergraduate, Sara Ferraro is contemplating big ideas like the pursuit of social justice and human dignity — and developing concrete, sustainable solutions for communities in need. And the Program of Liberal Studies and data science minor have enabled them to implement tangible strategies for organizations and communities from Appalachia to Guatemala. “I believe in the common good, and I want to figure out my place in contributing to it,” Ferraro said. “Health is the overarching term that I can apply to all my experiences so far, whether that is environmental health, physical health, emotional health, or resilience.”
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.
Dianne Pinderhughes, a Notre Dame professor of political science and Africana studies, has been elected president of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the leading scholarly association dedicated to developing political science across the globe. Pinderhughes will serve a two-year term through 2023. She’ll lead a sprawling network of more than 4,000 scholars from 61 countries.
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.
Nina Glibetić, an assistant professor in the Department of Theology, and Gabriel Radle, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Assistant Professor of Theology, have been appointed by Pope Francis as consultors for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The congregation assists in the development and protects the rights of the Eastern Catholic Churches, while maintaining the heritage of the various Eastern Christian traditions alongside the liturgical, disciplinary and spiritual patrimony of the Latin rite.
The spread of COVID-19 was rapid and relentless, and so were its effects on economies worldwide. Knowing how state economies withstand economic shocks in near-real time can be beneficial for policymakers who have the power to enact strategies to counteract the negative impact. Notre Dame researchers developed the first near-real-time dashboard that tracks weekly state-level economic conditions.
The University of Notre Dame received $222.7 million in research award funding for fiscal year 2021. This is more than $42 million over the previous record and the first time the University has surpassed the $200 million mark.
Luis Fraga, the Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership at the University of Notre Dame, was invited to testify at the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing on “The Need to Enhance the Voting Rights Act: Practice-Based Coverage.” Fraga, who is an expert in Latino politics, politics of race and ethnicity, urban politics and voting rights policy, also provided a report to the subcommittee on “Vote Dilution and Voter Disenfranchisement in United States History.” In the report, Fraga chronicles myriad attempts to keep different minority groups from voting beginning with the founding of the country, through the 1975 expansion and renewal of the Voting Rights Act.
In new research that is the first to elucidate exactly what occurred at secret facilities in the USSR, Ian Johnson, the P. J. Moran Family Assistant Professor of Military History at the University of Notre Dame, details the inner workings of the German-Soviet alliance that laid the foundation for Germany’s rise and ultimate downfall in World War II. His book, Faustian Bargain, traces the on-again, off-again relationship from the first tentative connections between the sworn enemies in 1919, made “almost before the ink had dried on the treaties ending the First World War,” to Hitler’s betrayal of Joseph Stalin and invasion of the USSR in 1941.
Patrick Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History and Director of the Keough-Naughton Institute, is one of 25 distinguished scholars, librarians, curators, writers, and artists elected this spring to the American Antiquarian Society.
The research fellowship, which promotes international academic cooperation among distinguished scholars from Germany and abroad, will enable Miseres to spend the 2022 calendar year writing and researching at the Freie Universität in Berlin. “This fellowship is both an honor and a great opportunity to advance in my second book and to strengthen the dialogue between Notre Dame faculty and other distinguished international institutions,” she said. “It is also a meaningful recognition for women with a diverse background in academia — and in particular, for those of us who work with foreign languages and are underrepresented among awardees.”
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.
Aldo Tagliabue is fascinated by the power of a great narrative to draw the reader in. An assistant professor in the Department of Classics, Tagliabue wants to ensure that the study of ancient narratives encompasses not just the intellectual aspects of literature, but that experiential side, as well. “For many years, there has been a more intellectual approach to ancient narrative, which has had great results. But I think it has missed another vital aspect,” he said. “My research tries to recapture the importance of the full experience of what it means to be a reader — now and in the ancient world."
Five Notre Dame professors who specialize in different areas of democracy studies recently signed a strong statement of concern issued by the think tank New America warning of the serious threats to democracy in the U.S. Notre Dame is a longtime leader in research on democratization in comparative perspective through a number of campus institutes, and the American politics subfield that is part of the Department of Political Science emphasizes research on inclusion.
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.
Matthew Canonico ’20 has won the Dante Society of America’s Dante Prize for best undergraduate essay — the third time since 2014 that a Notre Dame student has received the award.
A mathematics and Italian major, Canonico combined his two academic interests to explore deeper truths in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
“There are a lot of hidden treasures in Dante,” he said. “Sometimes when reading Dante, something would click, and I’d get tingles down my spine. It’s an inexhaustible piece of art that, 700 years later, is still inspiring scholarship.”
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.
Seven seniors in the Department of Economics have secured highly competitive pre-doctoral positions for after graduation — three with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, two at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and one each at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Northwestern University's Global Poverty Research Lab. “These positions are both prestigious and highly competitive,” said Eric Sims, professor and chair of the department. “In these roles, individuals work as research assistants — and often as coauthors — with leading professional economists on cutting-edge research aimed at solving some of the most pressing issues facing society.”
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.