The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Larissa Fast, assistant professor of sociology and conflict resolution at the University of Notre Dame, and her co-investigators from Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children, a grant for research that seeks to increase security for international relief and development agencies worldwide.
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Ever meet a kindergartener who seemed naturally compassionate and cared about others’ feelings? Who was cooperative and didn’t demand his own way? Chances are, his parents held, carried, and cuddled him a lot; he most likely was breastfed; he probably routinely slept with his parents; and he likely was encouraged to play outdoors with other children, according to new research findings Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia F. Narvaez.
Cancer is an ominous disease in the modern world. When it strikes, we seek treatment, mourn its all-too frequent victims, and celebrate survivors. It is the survivors who are the research interest of Errol Philip, a fifth-year doctoral student in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology, now completing a yearlong internship program at the Yale University School of Medicine.
The official poverty report the U.S. Census Bureau releases this week is expected to show that the number of Americans defined as poor in 2009 increased by 2 to 3 percentage points—the largest year-to-year increase of the past 50 years. But those figures don’t tell the whole story, says University of Notre Dame economist James Sullivan.
College of Arts and Letters students taking on senior thesis projects this year can accelerate the research and writing process during fall break at Hesburgh Libraries’ first-ever Senior Thesis Camp. “We are excited about this initiative and the support it can offer to seniors writing theses,” says Susan Ohmer, assistant provost and interim director of the Hesburgh Libraries, and a member of the faculty of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.
Notre Dame Assistant Psychology Professor Joshua Diehl is working to improve communication skills in children with autism, a diagnosis that impacts one out of every 100 children born in this country. “The signature characteristic for all children with autism is difficulty communicating,” Diehl says. “Many of the children desire to be social, but comprehension is a barrier for them. They don’t always understand social conventions or norms.”
Research from University of Notre Dame Assistant Psychology Professor Jessica Payne shows that too little sleep causes more than crankiness and tantrums in children: it also results in the inability to process new ideas and be creative. “If children are deprived of adequate sleep, their brains are not as able to make the kinds of connections necessary for learning new ideas,” says Payne, whose research focuses on sleep, memory, and creativity.
From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, the rate of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis soared 500 percent. Today, five to 10 percent of all U.S. children between the ages of six and 18 have been diagnosed with ADHD. But according to a recent study led by University of Notre Dame Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics William Evans, 1.1 million children may have been misdiagnosed.
Given the secular nature of many aspects of society, scholars often neglect the role that religion has played—and still plays—in the development of virtually every aspect of civilization. It is impossible to look at world history, politics, or culture without taking into consideration the impact religion has had over the centuries. Now, with a $657,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a project called “Religion Across the Disciplines,” faculty and graduate students at Notre Dame, along with other leading scholars from around the world, will “examine and report on how religious knowledge can be integrated into the study and teaching of their academic disciplines.”
New research from the University of Notre Dame casts doubt on a long-held belief in economics that business uncertainty leads to quick drops in economic activity. Published recently by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a study by Notre Dame economist Eric Sims and colleagues from the University of Michigan and the University of Munich found no evidence that increases in uncertainty cause a wait-and-see effect, or slowing of economic activity.
The way a family interacts can have more of an impact on a child’s predicted school success than reading, writing, or arithmetic, according to a University of Notre Dame study published recently in the Journal of Child Development. University of Notre Dame Professor of Psychology Mark Cummings and colleagues at the University of Rochester studied the relationship patterns of some 300 families with six year-olds over the course of three years and found distinct family-school connections. Specific family “types” emerged as predictors of school success.
Three University of Notre Dame faculty members—Basar Bilgicer, Bradley S. Gibson, and Paul Helquist—have been awarded grants from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI) as part of the Collaboration in Translational Research Pilot Program. Another faculty member, Joshua Shrout, received a Young Investigator Basic Science award, and two graduate students—Apryle O’Farrell and James Clancy—have been awarded predoctoral fellowships by the organization.
Like many good ideas, this one required some financial assistance to get off the ground… Maeve Raphelson ’10 and eight other Notre Dame students had been asked by friend and fellow senior Javier Soegaard to accompany him to Puerto Rico to work with some kids in a local school. Problem was, they couldn’t afford to make the trip. With financial support from the Margaret Eisch Endowment for Excellence in Sociology, Notre Dame’s Campus Ministry, and the Institute for Educational Initiatives, Raphelson, Soegaard, and the other students organized and led a two-day retreat with teens at the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan.
Turning the pages of Assistant Professor Erika Summers-Effler’s new book, Laughing Saints and Righteous Heroes: Emotional Rhythms in Social Movement Groups, it won’t be long before readers notice they are not working their way through a typical sociology text. Summers-Effler’s lively storytelling veers off into three different directions at once, and it’s loaded with stories, comments, and vibrant details from real life that would be quite at home in a piece of narrative journalism.
Two University of Notre Dame faculty members and two graduate students recently were awarded fellowships by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), a private, nonprofit federation of 70 national scholarly organizations and the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.
Declan Kiberd, one of Ireland’s most prominent intellectuals, has been appointed Donald and Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies and professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.
From one culture to another—and from each generation to the next—the definitions of lying and deception are understood differently. This can cause people to doubt or mistrust each other’s integrity, including in academia where the originality of ideas is especially prized and plagiarism especially abhorred.
Research led by Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology, has identified two community characteristics that, when present, appear to increase opposition to same-sex marriage.
From A.D. 550 to 1300, the ancient Puebloans inhabited the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, the place where four states—Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah—now meet. For more than 600 years of this time period, the Puebloans lived primarily on top of places such as Colorado’s Mesa Verde. They then began to build their now famous cliff dwellings, but barely 150 years later, they not only stopped building but also disappeared from the Four Corners region altogether.
Assistant Professor Jada Benn Torres uses genetics to research the distribution of diseases across populations, with a primary focus on women’s reproductive health. Notre Dame’s first molecular anthropologist, she recently celebrated the opening of her laboratory, where tools and techniques developed in molecular genetics are brought to bear on anthropological questions.
Scholars from around the globe will gather at the University of Notre Dame June 30–July 4 for the meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R). The theme of the conference is “Transforming Violence: Cult, Culture, and Acculturation.” More than 150 scholars from 14 countries are expected to attend.
Day-to-day life for graduate students is defined by the need to make a scholarly contribution to their chosen field of study. This intense focus drives these students to spend their days—and nights—doing research and analysis, writing and presenting papers, and, ultimately, submitting their work for publication in peer-reviewed journals. But at Notre Dame, these young scholars have another aspiration as well. As part of a University that values both research and undergraduate education, the graduate students in the Department of Sociology also strive to make a real contribution in the classroom.
John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the 2010 Otto Gründler Book Prize for Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). The honor is given each year to an author whose work in any area of medieval studies is judged to be an outstanding contribution to the field.
Brian Ó Conchubhair, associate professor in the Department of Irish Language and Literature, has won an award for his book, Fin de Siècle na Gaeilge: Darwin, an Athbheochan, agus smaointeoireacht na hEorpa (The Irish Fin de Siècle: Darwin, the Language Revival, and European Intellectual Thought), from the American Conference for Irish Studies. The award, Duais Leabhar Taighde na Bliana Fhoras na Gaeilge, is bestowed for the best book of the year written in the Irish language.
The University of Notre Dame has longstanding historical and intellectual ties with Italy. While the University is already home to an impressive number of scholars whose research and teaching focus on Italy, previously no institutional structure captured their collective expertise. Now, thanks to support from the College of Arts and Letters and two grants awarded by the Office of Research, the University will further extend its engagement with that country in the form of an interdisciplinary program in Italian studies.
John Paul and Angela Jill Lederach have written When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys Through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation. Published by the University of Queensland Press, the book challenges the traditional idea that healing and reconciliation are linear and sequential “post-conflict” processes. Instead, the authors write, healing after war, near-death experiences, or sexual violence is circular and dynamic—and can continue even when the violence hasn’t stopped.
Next spring, graduate students in Notre Dame’s Sociology Department will host the 13th Annual Chicago Ethnography Conference, a yearly event organized by a team of students from major Midwestern universities, including the University of Notre Dame, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and DePaul University. Notre Dame became an affiliate member of the group last year and is playing host to the conference for the first time.…
The University of Notre Dame and the Madison Center, the leading provider of behavioral health care services in northern Indiana, have announced a series of agreements which will enhance research opportunities for University and Madison researchers while helping to improve the already high level of services Madison provides to the local community. Although Notre Dame psychologists have conducted research at the center for a number of years, the new agreements represent a significant scaling up of the relationship between the two entities.
The Center for Public Anthropology (CPA) has recognized 13 first-year students for op-ed articles they submitted to its 2009–10 Community Action Project competition. More than 7,500 students from 28 U.S. colleges and universities submitted work to the CPA op-ed challenge this year. Only the top five percent of entrants are given awards.
Two Notre Dame students with a passion for history are taking to the streets this summer: Rising seniors Justine Murnane and Sam Fisher have been accepted into an educational program hosted by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and will be heading to New York City in June to get first-hand experience investigating the history of the United States.