Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate on Tuesday (April 25) by the John Templeton Foundation. Over his 50 years of research in philosophy of religion, epistemology and metaphysics, Plantinga has advanced landmark arguments for the existence of God, returning the questions of religious belief to the common discourse of academic philosophy.
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The collaborative global research project, Under Caesar's Sword, is co-directed by political scientist Daniel Philpott. “In Response to Persecution,” a report on the UCS project’s findings, was launched April 20 in a day-long symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The first Notre Dame App Challenge concluded with presentations by each of the four final teams to the judging committee and the public in Mendoza’s Jordan Auditorium on campus. South Bend City Connect, an app aimed at reducing the additional cost of poverty for South Bend residents, took the top prize of $7,500. The idea for the app was created by graduate students Miriam Moore and Robbin Forsyth, who are both pursuing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in design.
Jessica Collett, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has been chosen to receive the 2017 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award. The highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters, the Sheedy Award was created in 1970 to honor Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969. Collett will accept the award at a reception in her honor in December.
Four faculty members in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have been awarded 2017 fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies. The pre-eminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, the ACLS offers up to a year of funding for in-depth exploration of a topic that expands the understanding of the human experience. Three historians — Mariana Candido, Deborah Tor, and Evan Ragland — were among the 71 ACLS fellows selected from a pool of nearly 1,200 applicants. Katherine Brading, a professor of philosophy, is a member of one of nine teams to win a collaborative research fellowship.
The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate and graduating undergraduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and social science disciplines who are pursuing research-based degrees.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies, will spend a year studying three predominant forms of violence in sub-Saharan Africa after being named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017–2018, one of six scholars selected from members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Katongole will begin a yearlong study in January aimed at looking at ethnic, religious, and ecological violence in African countries south of the Sahara.
Notre Dame associate professor Heather Hyde Minor specializes in the history of European art and architecture from 1600 to 1800. Her current research project examines the life of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, an 18th-century German art historian and archaeologist whom many consider to be the founder of the modern discipline of art history.
The College of Arts and Letters and the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) will launch a new certificate program in international security studies in fall 2017. Open to political science majors, the program will offer rigorous training for students interested in exploring career opportunities in international security and foreign policy. To earn the certificate, students must take the U.S. National Security Policy gateway course and two relevant electives, finish a two-semester senior thesis research project, complete an approved internship in the world of international security policy, and participate in NDISC’s seminar series and other events.
Peter Holland, the College of Arts and Letters’ associate dean for the arts and the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, has been named chair of the International Shakespeare Association. Holland, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, was selected by the association’s executive committee from candidates nominated worldwide for the prestigious position. The association, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of Shakespeare, seeks to further the study of the playwright’s life and to connect Shakespeareans and Shakespeare societies around the world.
Roy Scranton, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in fall 2016, doesn't write about war the way most Americans do. In his acclaimed debut novel War Porn and in his nonfiction writing in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and the LA Review of Books, the Iraq War veteran pushes back against what he calls "the trauma hero" — the trope of making the American soldier the victim of American military aggresion.
Whether their research explores community-led initiatives, national trends, or international issues, Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology produce outstanding research that is leading to grants, fellowships, and job offers. “Our students benefit from the fact that our faculty is unusually large and strong and covers almost the entire range of sociology,” said Lyn Spillman, director of graduate studies. “They enjoy not only our excellent faculty/student ratios but also the wide range of expertise we offer. The result is that our students produce new knowledge across the entire disciplinary range.”
A trio of Notre Dame students and alumni have been named Yenching Scholars, a globally competitive award that provides a full scholarship and stipend to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree at China’s top university. Teresa Kennedy ’16, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts; senior Jenny Ng, a political science major from Sai Kung, Hong Kong; and Dominic Romeo ’14, a political science and Chinese major from Turlock, California, were named to the third cohort entering the Yenching Academy, based at Peking University in Beijing.
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.
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.