What draws people to become friends, leads them to form social networks, and what keeps those relationships going? Omar Lizardo, a professor of sociology, is seeking to answer those questions as he researches whether people with similar health habits and even sleep patterns are naturally drawn together — and whether those friendships influence people’s attitudes and health and fitness choices.
Latest News » Research
Professors Christina Wolbrecht and David Campbell studied female candidates for major offices — U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and governor — and their effects on female political engagement using data from the 2006-07 Faith Matters survey.
Notre Dame senior Ash Smith wants to become a public-interest attorney in order to fight for justice for marginalized populations. And majoring in sociology has played a key role in preparing her for that future. “Sociology lets you study some of the bigger questions, like why we have a lot of the social issues we have today. ” Smith said. “If you’re interested in law school, sociology is a great way to study how these different groups are discriminated against, how the law can help, and how people work together to develop practical solutions.”
A consortium of 50 psychologists and psychiatrists — including Notre Dame professors Lee Anna Clark and David Watson — has outlined a new diagnostic model for mental illness, in what researchers hope will be a paradigm shift in how these illnesses are classified and diagnosed.
Kyle Lambelet, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s dual theology and peace studies program, has been awarded a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship to support his research on the theology and ethics of nonviolent movements in the U.S. Lambelet’s dissertation is structured around four dilemmas he found nonviolent activists face: the use of liturgy in political movements, building coalitions in the context of pluralism, the transgression and appropriation of the law to support movement aims, and the appeal to exemplary figures to motivate movement activism.
Adam Foley won a 2015-2016 Rome Prize fellowship, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize supports innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Fellows are given a stipend, room and board, and individual work space at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome.
Robert Audi, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, has been awarded the American Philosophical Association’s 2016 Quinn Prize, its highest honor for service to the profession. The author of 20 books and numerous articles on ethics, the theory of knowledge, and the philosophy of religion, Audi’s teaching, public lectures, and research focus primarily on fields including moral and political philosophy, theory of knowledge and justification, and philosophy and religion. His work has applications for topics ranging from business ethics to the separation of church and state.
Jennifer Jones is an assistant professor of sociology and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research uses qualitative methods to explore increasing migration, the growing multiracial population, and shifting social relations between and within racial groups. In this video, she discusses her work on how race relations are changing and what race means for politics and inequality.
Notre Dame Associate Professors Lijuan Wang, Guangjian Zhang, and Zhiyong Zhang have recently been elected to the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology. A small, selective society that facilitates high-level research and interaction among its affiliates, SMEP is limited to 65 active members. With the trio’s election, Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology now has six members in the society—no other department in the country has more.
Margot E. Fassler, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at Notre Dame, will become president of the Medieval Academy of America in April. As head of the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies, Fassler hopes to focus attention on a historical era that she believes can provide better understanding of the political, environmental, and class problems currently facing the globe.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded researchers at the University of Notre Dame a $3 million grant to study the relationships between parents and infants, the first study of its kind that will include fathers as well as mothers as participants. The researchers, who will work with babies living with their married or co-habiting parents, will study the stability of the parents’ relationship and its effect on the wellbeing of their baby. Parents will go through a program designed to encourage healthy parenting and communication
Lee Anna Clark, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, will receive two lifetime achievement awards this year, reflecting the way in which her work has bridged two major areas of psychology. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology presented her with the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality in January. The Society for Research in Psychopathology will honor her with the Zubin Award later in the year.
The first pieces in the expansion of the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) are in place, as the once-small program builds toward its long-term goal as a thought leader in American grand strategy. Led by Director Michael Desch, a professor in the Department of Political Science, NDISC recently hired three new faculty members and brought on board three postdoctoral fellows.
Gabriel Said Reynolds, professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, is one of 15 Catholic delegates invited by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) to participate in a bilateral conversation with 15 Muslim counterparts at Al-Azhar al-Sharif Center for Dialogue (ASCD) Feb. 22-23 in Cairo, Egypt. Reynolds, whose research centers on the Quran and Muslim-Christian relations, believes the greatest opportunities for progress come from emphasizing what Christians and Muslims have in common — the shared stories, history and values.
Notre Dame junior Katie Portman spent summer 2015 doing archaeological fieldwork while living on the M.V. Pitsiulak, a 50-foot longliner, off the coast of subarctic Canada. Despite weather issues, engine malfunctions, and permit-related delays, the experience caused her to fall in love with—and major in—anthropology. Since then, her research pursuits have taken her to Washington, D.C.; Canada; Ireland; and Russia, for projects including excavation of a medieval Christian pilgrimage site and a study of skeletons of monks from Byzantine Jerusalem.
Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative has announced its 2017 award recipients. The initiative, directed by sociologist Christian Smith, aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia by granting funds to promising researchers in the social sciences.
The study found that voucher expansion caused significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious activities.
Senior Dan Lopes’ project “Scoop Pet Food Dispenser” received a third-place award, and senior Erin Rice’s project “Lead Animal Control Cage” received honorable mention.
Valerie Sayers is a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of six novels as well as numerous short stories, essays, and reviews. In this video, she discusses her approach to writing, the way modern fiction has evolved based on contemporary concerns, and the strength of Notre Dame's Creative Writing Program.
While some observers are hailing this find as the 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave, James VanderKam, a leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Theology, cautions that the findings need to be placed “in context.”
For Katie Paige and Laura Heiman, research hasn’t just shaped their undergraduate experiences—it’s shaped their futures, as well. The two senior psychology majors have both gained significant research experience throughout their time at Notre Dame, writing senior theses and working closely with faculty members as they study topics ranging from depression to childhood development.
Robert Vargas, a Notre Dame assistant professor of sociology and faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies, has won a book award for his ethnographic study of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and its confrontational relationships between police, politicians, and gangs. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences will present its Outstanding Book Award to Vargas at its annual meeting in March in Kansas City, Missouri.
Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion.
In her academic research, Debra Javeline leads two lives. She is passionate about sustainability—and how post-Communist Russia is perceived. She is focused on coastal adaptation to climate change—and on the response to political violence in a small Russian town. An associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, Javeline is pursuing multiple projects in two distinct research areas—one focused on politics, conflict, and protest in Russia and the other involving the environment and sustainability.
An interdisciplinary team of four Notre Dame students won second place Friday (January 27) in the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition. Mark Davidson, Jessica Klouda, Erin Rice, and Madeline Zupan were honored for their project, “The Spirit of the Isle,” a manmade island where guests enter from behind a waterfall to experience an engaging amphitheatre, explore sweeping terraces, or venture into a cave beneath the falls, which can double as an ice-skating rink in winter.
Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory John Liberatore—who was recently awarded a prestigious fellowship from the MacDowell Colony— has been awarded a second fellowship from the Millay Colony for the Arts.
Seventeen faculty members in the College of Arts and Letters were recently awarded grants through the Notre Dame Research Faculty Research Support Program. The program provides seed funding for new or ongoing research in all seven colleges and schools at Notre Dame.
Imagine bringing the magic of a Disney theme park to the Notre Dame campus. Students in Scott Shim’s Collaborative Product Development course recently took on that challenge—with great success. A team of four students from that class has made the finals of the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition, earning an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney Imagineering—the creative force behind the Disney parks, resorts, and attractions—in Glendale, California, this week.
Patrick Griffin is the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include colonial and revolutionary America, early modern Irish and British history, and Atlantic history. In this video, he discusses how his research integrates American history with British history and Irish history to examine trends and dynamics that connected the old world to the new world.