Notre Dame’s annual Graduate Research Symposium on Feb. 27 showcased the accomplishments of Notre Dame graduate students in the Graduate School’s four divisions: humanities, social science, engineering, and science.
Latest News » Research
Samantha Lessen, a junior in the College of Arts and Letters, has been awarded the second annual Monteverdi Prize through Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies (PLS). The Monteverdi Prize, a scholarship created by the Cioffi family for PLS juniors, will provide Lessen with funding to conduct research this summer for her senior thesis. As part of the prize, she will live at Monteverdi Tuscany, a hotel and center for the liberal arts in Italy, founded by PLS alumnus Michael Cioffi ’75.
Timothy Miller, a Ph.D. student in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, was awarded a Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year.
“It’s really been a chance to learn and grow in my faith and to also be challenged by it,” says senior Jenna Ahn of her theology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “It’s been the best fit for me.”
The University of Notre Dame is participating in Humanities Without Walls—a consortium of 15 universities, dedicated to collaborative research, teaching, and the production of scholarship in the humanities. Funded by a $3 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project is led by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Ken Sayre’s Adventures in Philosophy at Notre Dame, a narrative history of nearly 80 years, divides the decades into three distinct periods: textbook Thomism, pluralism, and professionalism. Sayre, who came to Notre Dame in 1958 with a Ph.D. from Harvard, has witnessed them all. “I’ve been at Notre Dame continuously for 55 years,” he says, “except for visiting appointments at Princeton, Oxford and Cambridge. This is one thing that qualifies me to take on the project.
When senior Michelle Werner wrote an essay analyzing playwright Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, she did not imagine that the class assignment would later win her a prestigious departmental award. “It felt a bit like winning the lottery without having bought a ticket,” she says. “I am incredibly grateful to the Department of English for selecting my essay.”
Notre Dame senior Margaret Pickard understands the challenges of integrating into a culture different from her own. The sociology and Japanese double major studied abroad last year in Nagoya, Japan, where she gained a fresh perspective on the difficulties of being a college student in a foreign setting.
A new report published by the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI) indicates that American Catholics hold “distinctively optimistic views regarding human nature.” The report, “Distinctive Catholicism: U.S. Catholics’ Views on Human Nature,” summarized the findings of a study done by CSPRI director Brian Starks. The CSPRI initiative is a program of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life.
Meredith Whitnah took the first step along her journey to becoming a University of Notre Dame doctoral candidate in sociology when she was just 10 years old. “I borrowed a copy of Cry, the Beloved Country my sister was reading for a class,” Whitnah recalls.
Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science welcomed four new hires last fall and recognized the accomplishments of a faculty fellow as she entered her second year at the University. “In hiring Susan Collins, Sarah Daly, Tanisha Fazal, and Matt Hall, and by appointing Deondra Rose as a Moreau post-doctoral fellow, the Department of Political Science continues its tradition of bringing the very best scholar-teachers to Notre Dame’s intellectual community,” says Professor and Department Chair Michael Desch.
A presentation by University of Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler at the recent “Building Babies” session at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) highlighted new research that contributes a number of novel insights into our understanding of the way men’s biology can respond to the demands of parenthood and drew significant media attention.
In recognition of their research, three graduate students from Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science have been awarded prestigious fellowships. Ph.D. student Sandra Botero has won both an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and a Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Michael Hartney has received a dissertation fellowship from the National Academy of Education (NAEd) / Spencer Foundation, and Ryan Anderson has received a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Heritage Foundation.
Two recent faculty hires in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters are generating excitement, even outside the University. David Gibson, associate professor of sociology, and Ann Mische, associate professor of sociology and peace studies, joined the faculty in the fall of 2013. Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology, says, “I can’t tell you how many people—outside of Notre Dame—have said something along the lines of, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize David Gibson was on your faculty,’ or ‘Wow! When did Ann Mische come to Notre Dame?’
“The Ancients need to be made relevant to the concerns that we have today,” says Susan Collins, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. Collins specializes in ancient political philosophy. Her most recent book is a translation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, with Robert Bartlett (University of Chicago, 2011), which was nominated for the John D. Criticos prize. She is also the author of Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship (Cambridge 2006).
Adam Cowden, a 2012 graduate of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. With the award, he will pursue a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge this fall. Cowden is one of only 40 students in the U.S. to receive the prestigious scholarship, from an initial field of approximately 800 applicants.
The New York Times, February 7, 2014
Robert H. Latiff, adjunct professor, Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values
Latiff retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Major General in 2006. He teaches a course in the Department of Philosophy, titled The Ethics of Emerging Weapons Technologies.…
Laura Miller is part of an international team of psychologists seeking to design effective treatments for children and adults who suffered trauma in the wake of the Arab Spring, the wave of demonstrations, protests, and civil wars that swept the Middle East beginning in December 2010. Miller is an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology and Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Along with four other psychologists from the United States and Egypt, she is working to identify the clinical needs of the region by studying the psychological underpinnings of the Arab Spring and its impact on the mental health of people and communities.
New research led by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) points a way forward to improve certain teacher performance evaluation systems. These systems look closely at the question: To what degree did the teachers add value — that is, did students of these teachers grow and achieve more than expected, as measured by their test score gains?
The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday, January 29, the largest building project in its 172-year history, integrating the academy, student life, and athletics with the construction of more than 750,000 square feet in three new buildings attached to the west, east and south sides of the University’s iconic football stadium, at a projected cost of $400 million. The Campus Crossroads Project will add significant academic space at the same time the University is hiring 80 new faculty to build on Notre Dame’s existing strengths.
University of Notre Dame Associate Professor "Asher Kaufman’s latest book was born out of a coincidence. A research trip in 2001 for his previous book, Reviving Phoenicia, led the historian to diplomatic archives in Nantes, France, where he stumbled upon what he described as “an archival bonanza” of documents, sketches, and maps that told the convoluted story of a decades-long border dispute between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. The discovery eventually led to a new book, Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region: Cartography, Sovereignty and Conflict.
Four faculty fellows from Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies have recently published their first books. The Institute will host a book launch and reception on Monday, February 3, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in McKenna Hall, honoring affiliated faculty members Jaime Pensado, Yael Prizant, Ricardo Ramírez, and Jason Ruiz. There will be a brief presentation at 5 p.m.
“I started questioning the idea of ‘What do art and literature give to philosophy?’ at the same time as ‘What does philosophy give to the arts?’” says James Martell de la Torre, a sixth-year student in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. in Literature program. He chose to explore those ideas within the Ph.D. in Literature program because of its broad scope. “I was really thrilled by the interdisciplinary approach,” Martell de la Torre says, “and also by all the opportunities with different institutes to travel and to learn languages and to just keep enriching my whole experience.”
Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology made a strong showing at the 2013 conference of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Chicago. Thirteen faculty members, along with seven undergraduate students, were invited to present at the annual event. This year’s theme was “Future Publics, Current Engagements.”
Building on the momentum of its recent Strategic Research Investment—which committed $80 million in internal resources to 14 research projects—the University of Notre Dame has announced the winning proposals in a new strategic hiring initiative. The initiative, which is a key component in the University’s Advancing Our Vision (AOV) program, will create approximately 80 faculty positions in 10 key areas of research across campus, drawing on $10 million in annual funds that have been reallocated from lower-priority expenditures to this academic priority.
Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies, has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), effective Jan. 1. “Professor Philpott brings an ambitious vision for building the CCHR into a leading center for impactful research to his new role,” said J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. “He is a highly accomplished scholar who will support and enhance the center’s position as a beacon for civil and human rights, guided by the tenets of Catholic social teaching.”
Thomas Tweed, the W. Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to lead the American Academy of Religion. Currently president-elect of the academy, he will serve as president in 2015.
Notre Dame’s Department of Economics is at the forefront of several initiatives that exemplify the University’s commitment to innovative research that can make a difference in the developing world.
In recognition of her research, Ning Jia, a Ph.D. student in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Economics, recently received a dissertation grant from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Two other graduate students in the department have also distinguished themselves by landing competitive research positions in the federal government. Kimberly Berg recently completed a dissertation internship at the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors, while Kevin Rinz is currently working as a staff economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
The Italian Research Seminar, a series directed by Notre Dame Professor of Dante and Italian Studies Zygmunt Barański, continues to grow in its third academic year, bringing scholars from around the world to the University. Jointly sponsored by the Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame, with support from the Office of Research, the series aims to provide a regular forum for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and colleagues from other universities to present and discuss their current research.