“How do you define the English language in a very complex world in which native English speakers account for less than a third of the number of people who speak English today?” says Tim Machan, professor of English in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
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Last summer, Notre Dame senior Marianinna Villavicencio brought the perspective and research skills she gained as an anthropology major to her home country of Guatemala, exploring issues facing the country’s ethnic minority for her senior thesis project. With the help of a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Villavicencio focused on the governmental policies geared toward indigenous populations in Guatemala and the cultural factors that prevent their upward mobility.
As a college student, Erin Metz McDonnell wanted “to experience a world view as completely different from my own as possible, a way of life that would take me out of my Midwestern comfort zone.” She chose Ghana and fell in love with the country. Now a Kellogg Assistant Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, McDonnell continues to explore the region in her research and teaching.
Anthropologist Arlene Dávila will visit the University of Notre Dame next week as the inaugural recipient of the Institute for Latino Studies’ Virgilio Elizondo Distinguished Visiting Professorship. A professor of anthropology and American studies at New York University, Dávila, “is one of the country’s leading Latino studies cultural anthropologists,” says ILS Director José Limón, the Notre Dame Professor of American Literature and Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies.
Rwanda is one of the few countries to have met the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals—which include reducing childhood mortality, improving maternal health, and combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. In her research, Notre Dame senior Catherine Cichon explores how Rwanda’s success may be repeated in other developing countries.
What would make a patient withhold information from his or her doctor? How do class, race, and ethnicity affect the quality of health care a patient receives? What social factors help determine the illnesses we contract and the best treatment plan for them? A growing number of Notre Dame students who pursue a career in medicine are finding the answers to these questions through a combination of sociology and Arts and Letters Pre-Health coursework.
“Everything changed on October 3, but nothing really changed,” says Maurizio Albahari, assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology. In October 2013, several major media outlets covered two tragic shipwrecks off the coast of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, which killed more than 400 Eritrean and Syrian migrants trying to reach Europe. Following the first incident, CNN reached out to Albahari for a quote.
Three Notre Dame researchers—combining expertise in psychology, religion, and peace—have been awarded a grant from Notre Dame International’s Global Collaboration Initiative to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The researchers will join with a team of scholars from universities in Israel and Palestine.…
Danielle Fulmer, a Notre Dame Ph.D. student in sociology and peace studies, has received a three-year graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the impact of women on community-level peacebuilding efforts in Rwanda.
Darcia Narvaez, a professor of psychology in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, and Nancy Snow, a professor of philosophy at Marquette University, are co-directing a new, interdisciplinary research initiative on virtue, character, and the development of the moral self. The three-year project is supported by a $2.6 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, which funds “discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.”
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.
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.