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To tackle climate change, Environmental Humanities Initiative embraces ecology, ethics, and the arts

Author: Jon Hendricks

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

Notre Dame’s Catholic character and commitment to the humanities endow the University with unique perspective, and role, in leading an international conversation about addressing the global crisis of climate change, said Roy Scranton, an associate professor of English who directs the Initiative.

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How senior thesis research led an American studies and FTT major to a career working alongside her professional inspiration, Katie Couric

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Research, General News, and Alumni

Adriana Fazio ’19 went from watching her idol on TV every day to working alongside her. A fan of The Today Show since childhood, it was no surprise that the American studies and film, television, and theatre major chose to explore the career of Katie Couric for her senior thesis. By studying Couric’s career, Fazio set her own in motion — the opportunity to interview the famed journalist ended up leading to a job with Katie Couric Media, where she’s worked across a variety of media projects.

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Notre Dame economist Jing Cynthia Wu wins Richard Stone Prize in Applied Econometrics 

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame economist Jing Cynthia Wu’s paper that details a new model to examine economic effects of unconventional monetary policy in the Euro area has won the Richard Stone Prize in Applied Econometrics from the Journal of Applied Econometrics. The journal awards the prize every two years for the best paper with substantive econometric applications. Econometrics uses economic theory, mathematics, and statistical inference to quantify economic phenomena.

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Q&A: History Ph.D. student Grace Song Swihart examines visual culture to better understand U.S.-Korea relations

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, Graduate Students, and General News

For Grace Song Swihart, learning helps her understand life’s complexities. She’s used photographs, flags, and other visual sources in her research, teaching, and an internship at Notre Dame’s Snite Museum of Art to show how cultural representations have impacted foreign relations between the U.S. and Korea, as well as Americans’ understanding of Koreans. Comprehending the cultural history of the U.S-Korea relationship is necessary to contextualize Korean culture and people, said Swihart, who grew up in Koreatown in Los Angeles then earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in historical studies at The New School. In this interview, she discusses her research and how it has helped her better understand her own family and begin the process of healing after recent anti-Asian violence in America.

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Anthropologist wins prestigious NEH fellowship to explore toll of climate change in Sierra Leone

Author: Beth Staples

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

Notre Dame anthropologist Catherine “Cat” Bolten has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to support the writing of her book that examines links between food insecurity, human population growth and wildlife depletion, land politics and degradation, and climate change in Sierra Leone. The associate professor of anthropology and peace studies is one of 70 scholars — from among more than 1,030 applicants nationwide — to be awarded the competitive fellowships. 

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Modern American History journal to be based at Notre Dame and co-edited by Dochuk, expanding opportunities for graduate students

Author: Beth Staples

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

Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk has started his five-year term as co-executive editor of Modern American History, the go-to journal for researchers exploring any facet of 20th-century United States history. He is prioritizing the journal’s commitment to graduate students and new Ph.Ds, he said, as their scholarship is often the most innovative and path-breaking and their need to be published is critical. Ph.D. students at Notre Dame will have opportunities to work as editorial assistants, as the University is serving as MAH’s host institution during Dochuk’s five-year term.

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Morrell, Berends again achieve Edu-Scholar ranking for doing most to shape educational practice, policy

Author: Theo Helm

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

“Our selection shows the national impact that Notre Dame has on the K-12 education landscape in the United States,” Mark Berends said. “As we look to the new year, we and the talented faculty we represent at Notre Dame seek to continue to improve educational opportunities for all children.”

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Q&A: Three Notre Dame students share why they're majoring in psychology

Author: Shannon Rooney

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

Sophia Alvarez's favorite class is CogSci Goes to School, which examines how cognitive science informs educational practices; it includes tutoring in area schools. Ryan Van Kirk enjoyed Childhood Maltreatment Practicum, which involves mentoring a child in the foster care system. For Chris Walsh, Drunk on Film fostered meaningful discussions about the normalization of binge drinking in our culture.

 

 

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Rethinking Scrooge: Could Dickens’ most famous character be neurodivergent?

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

“He eats the same melancholy meal each day at the same melancholy tavern — and we have to join the dots on that one and say ‘because he’s mean.’ But it may well be that we shouldn’t infer that at all, and we should just say ‘because he has to, because that’s his routine and that’s what he needs,'" said Essaka Joshua. The associate professor of English argues that many of Scrooge’s behaviors can be seen as cognitive and behavioral coping strategies commonly used by neurodivergent individuals to reduce anxiety, by avoiding social interactions, sticking to routines and using verification rituals to calm himself.

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Papal Bull earns Notre Dame historian Margaret Meserve her second Marraro Prize 

Author: Beth Staples

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

Notre Dame historian Margaret Meserve’s book Papal Bull: Print, Politics, and Propaganda in Renaissance Rome has won the American Catholic Historical Association’s Helen & Howard Marraro Prize in Italian History for being the most distinguished work in the field published in 2021. Papal Bull explores how Renaissance popes used the printing press in its early years to promote traditions, pursue alliances, excommunicate enemies, and lure pilgrims to Rome. 

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English professor John Duffy, 2022 Sheedy Award winner, inspires students to see the transformative power of words — and change the world with them

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Students sometimes laugh nervously on the first day of class when professor John Duffy tells them that his goal is to change their lives. It’s not an ego-driven statement; Duffy thinks every class at Notre Dame should expand their vision, at least somewhat. The English professor and former director of the University Writing Program and College Seminar Program has been achieving that goal for more than 20 years now, making a genuine and lasting impression on students and colleagues.

“Almost two decades on, I am still uncovering the many ways John Duffy changed my life and, by extension, the lives of the hundreds of thousands of teachers and students with whom I have had the honor of working,” a 2006 alumna wrote in recommending Duffy for the 2022 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts & Letters. “John taught us how to engage others — especially those whose voices have been suppressed or excluded — in the ongoing human conversation of words and ideas.”

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German major uses language skills to help Notre Dame engineering professor unlock 93-year-old brain research

Author: Pat Milhizer

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

In the fields of neuroscience and neuroanatomy, scholars often cite a 93-year-old paper that examines the thickness of cortical folds. The problem, at least for an English-reading audience, is that this knowledge has always been hiding in plain sight. The article was written in German but never fully translated — until now, thanks to a Notre Dame College of Engineering professor and a Class of 2022 graduate with a deep understanding of the language.

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Anthropologist receives NSF funding for an open science hub aimed at advancing  climate change research

Author: Arts & Letters

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame anthropologist Luis Felipe R. Murillo is helping launch a collaborative project focused on climate change issues with funding from the National Science Foundation that aims to promote the principles of open science. The NSF is investing $12.5 million in 10 projects to “foster catalytic improvements in scientific communities,” including two that will be led by University faculty.

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A brand new major and four internships on three continents helped senior Grace Connors prepare for a career blending computer science and peace studies

Author: Liam Price

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

When the College of Arts & Letters launched a new major that allows students to pair computer science with another liberal arts discipline, Grace Conners was one of the first to apply. Now a senior, she has taken extensive computer science coursework in engineering while also having room in her schedule to pursue a supplementary major in peace studies. Along the way, she’s had four internships that have helped her consider what her future career will look like — one that, ideally, involves using computer science as a tool for peacebuilding.

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Theology, psychology professors to expand research on how sacred art impacts spiritual understanding with Templeton Religion Trust grant

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Notre Dame theology and psychology professors are using science and technology to understand how people respond to sacred art. Robin Jensen, James Brockmole, and G.A. Radvansky received a nearly $1 million grant award from the Templeton Religion Trust for five related research studies that assess sacred art’s impact on viewers’ individual experiences, memories, and spiritual understanding. The grant will help the research team expand upon research done thanks to a previous award from Templeton. In 2020, the interdisciplinary trio began exploring ways in which looking at sacred art informed and enhanced spiritual growth and whether that changed based on time and place.

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Economics conference brings experts from around the globe to Notre Dame

Author: Brandi Wampler

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Letters hosted the semi-annual conference, “Midwest Economic Theory and International Economics Meetings.” About 100 attendees participated in the three-day event last month, which featured parallel sessions in economic theory and international economics.

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Fair or fraudulent?: Notre Dame political scientist examines public confidence in the 2022 midterm elections

Author: Brett Beasley

Categories: Research, Faculty News, and Centers and Institutes

“We hope to do more than just to contribute to scholarship on understanding the election fraud information environment," said Brian Fogarty, director of the Center for Social Science Research. "We also want to provide insight and solutions that can reverse the deterioration of democratic norms in contemporary American society.”

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Data-driven new Notre Dame faculty use advanced methodologies to reassess long-held theories and identify new trends in American politics

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

As political scientists, Rachel Porter and Erin Rossiter know the importance of being fluent in several languages. Porter understands R, Stata, and Python, while Rossiter is adept in R, C++, SQL, and Java. Their tech skills make the assistant professors of political science two of the top young quantitative data scientists in political science today, greatly improving and expanding the research opportunities and course offerings for graduate and undergraduate students. 

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Fighting to End Corruption: Undergraduates in Notre Dame’s Washington Program investigate crimes and build a case for international sanctions

Author: Arts and Letters

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

At Notre Dame, students in a course called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Clinic have drafted dossiers to the U.S. government to request sanctions against the perpetrators of those crimes. Led by faculty member Thomas Kellenberg, the practicum course is framed around a federal law that allows nongovernmental organizations to request U.S. sanctions against foreign persons who have committed serious human rights abuses or corruption.

The latest video in the "What Would You Fight For?" series show how students who have taken the course gain valuable experience that prepares them for careers in human rights or anti-corruption. Their investigations have caught the eye of the U.S. State and Treasury Departments and have made a real impact in the effort to fight international corruption.

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Psychology professor and NIH-funded research team to study how racial discrimination affects adolescent Asian Americans’ mental health

Author: Beth Staples

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment against Asian Americans in the United States have risen rapidly in recent years, and Notre Dame psychologist Lijuan (Peggy) Wang wants to know how that has impacted adolescents’ mental health and what factors can be leveraged to protect and promote their mental health. To lay the groundwork for building evidence-based and urgently needed interventions, Wang is part of a research team developing the first longitudinal study to fill research gaps and learn about how racial discrimination affects adolescent Asian Americans’ mental health. 

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Found in translation: In 50 years of overlooked letters, French class discovers new insights into Father Sorin and the early days of Notre Dame

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Stories of founder Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., are legend at the University of Notre Dame. But now, thanks to a trove of never-before-translated letters and a class taught by French professor Rev. Gregory Haake, C.S.C., students are getting the chance to learn more about the young priest defined by his unshakeable faith and determination — through his own words — and to share what they are uncovering with the world. The correspondence spans nearly 50 years and paints a vivid picture of life in the mid-19th century amid the challenges of building a university.

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NIH awards $4 million grant to psychologists researching suicide prevention

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Notre Dame psychologists Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino have received the Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health to research two promising new interventions to reduce the risk of suicide among vulnerable youth. Part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports individuals or teams proposing transformative projects that are inherently untested but have the potential to create major scientific breakthroughs by challenging existing paradigms.

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Psychology professor Alison Cheng runner-up for 1st Source Bank’s Commercialization Award for her AI-powered platform that provides personalized STEM education

Author: Olivia Poole

Categories: Research and Faculty News

Adapta’s main product is an adaptive diagnostic assessment platform covering high school and introductory college math curricula. It allows teachers to create customized assessments, such as quizzes, homework, and exams, in a straightforward manner, which enables competency-based grading with a diagnostic report for each student. Reports help teachers and students quickly identify their strengths and weaknesses and determine where additional clarification or practice is needed. 

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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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