Sarah A. Mustillo, department chair and professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. She succeeds John T. McGreevy, who is stepping down July 1 after serving 10 years as dean. An expert in the social causes of childhood mental illness and statistical methods used in social science research, Mustillo joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2014, after serving seven years as a professor of sociology at Purdue University and six years on the faculty at Duke University School of Medicine. She has served as chair of the Department of Sociology since 2016.
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For a team of Notre Dame psychologists, virtual reality is more than a game — it is the next frontier in mental health treatment. Nathan Rose, Jennifer Hames, and Michael Villano are conducting research on the use of virtual reality environments in exposure therapy for participants with a fear of heights. The technology also holds promise for treating phobias like the fear of flying and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mary Ellen Konieczny, the Henkels Family Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, died Feb. 24 as a result of complications from cancer. She was 58. A faculty fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, she studied religion and conflict, the family and public politics.
New research from the University of Notre Dame discovers people appear to stop conceiving babies several months before recessions begin. The study, “Is Fertility a Leading Economic Indicator?” was published in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s working paper series. It is coauthored by Notre Dame economists Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman, and Steven Lugauer from the University of Kentucky.
Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C. is associate professor of theology and global affairs and the director of the Kellogg Global Leadership Program. His research interests include migration and the US-Mexican border, international migration, and refugees.
Twenty-nine University of Notre Dame students and alumni were awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants during the 2017-18 academic year, placing Notre Dame second among all research institutions in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Of the 29 students to receive Fulbrights last year, 22 were Arts and Letters students — which would place the College eighth in the nation among all doctoral institutions. Arts and Letters alone produced more Fulbright winners than the University of California at Berkeley, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Cornell University, and Johns Hopkins.
Six new faculty have joined the Department of Economics this year, bringing expertise in a wide variety of subfields and significant experience conducting research at the federal level. The new additions — professor of the practice Timothy Dunne; assistant professors Kirsten Cornelson, Illenin Kondo, Benjamin Pugsley, and Jasmine Xiao; and research assistant professor Sarah Kroeger — join a department undergoing remarkable growth. It has added 22 faculty members in the last five years, thanks in part to its selection as one of 10 essential research areas through the University’s Advancing Our Vision program.
Kristin Valentino is the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology. Her research interests include child development and child psychopathology.
Agustín Fuentes, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Endowed Chair in Anthropology, has been selected to deliver the 2018 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Founded by the jurist Adam Lord Gifford, the renowned lecture series invites pre-eminent scholars to address topics related to theology, philosophy, and science. Fuentes is the second consecutive College of Arts and Letters faculty member to be chosen.
When Francesco Tassi arrived at Notre Dame, he was sure he would major in finance. But a lecture on refugees set him on a different path — one that led him to travel through Italy for three months to study refugee integration firsthand. Tassi, who was born in Italy and moved to the United States in third grade, traveled widely in high school and spent time living with host families in several countries. Those experiences sparked a passion for learning about and understanding cultures.
A new book by a Notre Dame political science professor has sparked a fire in the public sphere, garnering significant discussion in major media outlets over his arguments about liberalism and modern society. In Why Liberalism Failed, Patrick Deneen — the David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies — argues that liberalism is built on a foundation of contradictions.
This is the third installment in an ongoing Q&A series with Arts and Letters graduate students. Brandy Sky Martinez, a Ph.D. stduent in the Department of Psychology, discusses her research on stress and coping strategies.
Matthew Wilkens is associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include contemporary American fiction, digital humanities, and computational literary studies.
Roy Scranton, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of English, has won a fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in recognition of his fiction writing. Since 1989, the foundation has given literary awards and fellowships to both established and emerging writers “of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.”
One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that includes internships at the Global Fund for Women and United Nations Development Program and independent research opportunities centered around women’s issues and rights. Reifenberg attributes her accomplishments to her education in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters — particularly her philosophy major.
For Ross Jacobucci, quantitative psychology is a chance to invent, to improvise — and to create new tools to answer complex questions. As a new assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, he wants his students to see that side of it, too. Jacobucci, who joined Arts and Letters in the fall after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, specializes in structural equation modeling and data mining.
The U.S. government has a good idea of where oil prices are headed and why, but the demand side is less clear. So the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a part of the Department of Energy that collects and distributes data on energy and the economy, recruited Notre Dame economist Christiane Baumeister to develop an indicator for future energy demand. With a two-year, $120,000 grant, she’ll collect data on possible determinants of oil demand and create models to figure out which of those factors actually determine future demand. Having that information, she said, tells us about more than just oil.
Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science has added four new faculty members, bolstering its expertise in international relations issues. The new faculty — Eugene Gholz, Joseph Parent, Rosemary Kelanic, and Jazmin Sierra — join an elite group of academics advancing research and teaching in a vibrant department. “International relations remains one of the most important areas of political science with direct relevance to the challenges of peace, prosperity, and trust among nations,” said Luis Ricardo Fraga, acting chair of the department. “Understanding these challenges in today’s ever-changing and complex world of politics requires analyses that are nuanced, evidence-driven, and grounded in the development of new theory.”
Michael Desch is professor of political science and director of the Notre Dame International Security Center. His research interests include international relations, American foreign policy, and American national security.
John Liberatore is captivated by the glass harmonica, an archaic 18th-century instrument invented by Benjamin Franklin. And he is fascinated by how the latest technological innovations are changing music composition and performance. The juxtaposition of the two is at the heart of his next composition — titled “In White Spaces” — which has been commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University. He is one of just 12 composers to receive the prestigious commission this year.
Jessica Payne, the Nancy O'Neill Collegiate Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, has been named a 2017 Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. She was one of 12 scholars invited to present their research at the Kavli’s Japanese-American-German Symposium in Germany in September. Kavli Fellows are chosen from among young scholars who have received prestigious national fellowships and awards and who have been identified as future leaders in science.
This is the second installment in an ongoing Q&A series with Arts and Letters graduate students. Maryann Kwakwa, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, discusses her research on how undergraduate college experiences impact levels of civic engagement.
Students in the five-course minor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design gain foundational knowledge in design research methods, visualization, visual communication, and product development. In the final class, Collaborative Design Development, the students work on industry-sponsored projects addressing real problems.
With skills forged in the classroom, Arts and Letters students are well prepared to tackle new opportunities and gain valuable real-world experience through summer internships. The Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program makes these experiences possible by offering students funding to offset travel and cost-of-living expenses for internships in any industry or location. The program, administered by Notre Dame’s Center for Career Development, has awarded nearly $700,000 in funding since 2010 to support more than 300 students interning around the world.
Why Russian literature has a lot to say about the medical humanities, narrative medicine, and the value of proper medical treatment.
University of Notre Dame graduate student Tony Cunningham is among seven recipients of the 2018 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, presented annually to the most promising future leaders in higher education in the U.S.
Researchers from Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) and the University of Maryland evaluated a program that pairs undergraduates with trained social workers who can help them navigate important non-academic hurdles — including child care and transportation — that often lead students to drop out. Students who participated in the comprehensive case management program were significantly more likely to stay enrolled and to graduate within six years.
The legacy of Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga will continue on for years thanks to support from the John Templeton Foundation. He was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate this spring — joining the ranks of previous winners Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Taylor, Jean Vanier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama — and his work will now be chronicled in a series of 10 short, animated videos, which will present many of his central arguments in a visually captivating style designed to appeal to a wide audience. With funding from the Templeton Foundation, the project will be led by two Notre Dame philosophy professors.
Break can act as a time for restoration after a week of midterm exams. Or it can be a time to pursue learning opportunities outside the classroom. For some Arts and Letters students, the week free of classes is the perfect chance to dive into their senior thesis research. For others, it’s a chance to travel to attend a film festival in Chicago or a museum in Washington, D.C. “That’s why I’m in the College of Arts and Letters — I’m very interested in the humanities,” said Jahlecia Gregory, a sophomore Africana studies major who visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture during break. “This trip has inspired me to find other ways that I can learn about different subjects that aren’t exactly in my major, but that I’m still really curious about.”
Notre Dame political scientist Susan Collins has been awarded a 2018 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, extending the University’s record success with the NEH. Since 1999, faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have won a total of 62 NEH fellowships — more than any other university in the country.