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Psychology Graduate Student Examines Link Between Mental Health and Marriage Satisfaction

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Centers and Institutes, General News, Graduate Students, and Research

Judith Biesen

For married couples, the odds aren’t good when one partner has anxiety or depression. The presence of such a mental issue significantly increases the risk that the couple will get divorced. Notre Dame psychology Ph.D. student Judith Biesen wants to find a way to improve the outcomes for those couples. With an American Dream grant from the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Biesen is completing a longitudinal study of mental health—specifically, anxiety disorders and depression—and how it relates to marital functioning and satisfaction with the relationship.

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Political Scientist's New Book Shows Impact of Education on Voter Participation in Mali

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, and Research

Jaimie Bleck

In a new book, Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), Jaimie Bleck, an assistant professor of political science, explores the relationship between schooling, political knowledge, and political participation in Mali, where access to education nearly tripled in the two decades following the country’s 1991 transition to multiparty democracy.

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Graduate Students Organize Medieval Seminar, Offer Insights on Women in Religious Texts

Author: Dean Benson

Categories: General News, Graduate Students, Internationalism, and Research

London Centre

Three medievalist scholars presented a range of papers on medieval women and religious writings during the Holy Water and Saintly Ink seminar at the London Global Gateway on Nov. 24. Leanne MacDonald and Marjorie Harrington, doctoral students from the College of Arts and Letters and graduate fellows at the London Global Gateway, organized the seminar, while Hetta Howes of the Queen Mary University of London School of English and Drama was also invited to talk.

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Arts and Letters Graduate Emmie Mediate Named Rhodes Scholar

Emily Mediate

Emmie Mediate, a 2015 graduate of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2016. A native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mediate was one of 32 Rhodes Scholars selected from a pool of 869 candidates who had been nominated by their colleges and universities. She is Notre Dame’s 17th Rhodes Scholar and the University’s second in two years.

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Anthropologists’ Research Finds Emotionally Supportive Relationships Linked to Lower Testosterone

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

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Science and folklore alike have long suggested that high levels of testosterone can facilitate the sorts of attitudes and behavior that make for, well, a less than ideal male parent. It has long been known that among humans (and some other species as well), males who cooperate amicably with their female mates in raising and nurturing offspring often have lower testosterone levels than their more aggressive and occasionally grumpy counterparts. But two University of Notre Dame anthropologists are looking beyond the nuclear family for such effects.

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Sociologist’s Research Compares Police Presence at Christian and Secular Protests

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Kraig Beyerlein

Police are less likely to show up at protests involving religious actors or organizations — unless the protesters are fundamentalist Christians, according to a new study. Notre Dame sociologist Kraig Beyerlein, the lead author of the study, analyzed protest-event data from daily editions of The New York Times published between 1960 and 1995 and found that, in general, police were more likely to leave alone protests from religious groups. However, fundamentalist Christian groups were more likely to be policed than secular groups were.

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Economist Studies School Choice Programs and Private School Revenue

Author: Mandy Kinnucan

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Dan Hungerman

Private school voucher programs are becoming more common, with more than a million U.S. families participating in these programs across the country. A new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, “Where Does Voucher Funding Go? How Large-Scale Subsidy Programs Affect Private-School Revenue, Enrollment, and Prices,” authored by Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman and graduate student Kevin Rinz, provides the first study of how school choice programs affect the finances of private schools and the affordability of a private education.

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Rahul Oka: Advocating for Refugees in Kenya

Author: Carol Bradley

Categories: Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Rahul Oka

Anthropologist Rahul Oka has been working with UNHCR and the World Bank on a new refugee camp being built, helping create a template for refugee resettlement. “All the data we’ve collected, both qualitative and quantitative, will inform the new camp. My job is not to tell them that they need a paradigm shift," he said. "My job is to make sure that any development project in which I am involved is informed by on-the-ground analysis and is based on observed reality of local events and behaviors.”

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Shamrock Series Academic Events to Tackle Irish History, Research on Poverty

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Catholicism, Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Shamrock Series 2015

A football game isn’t the only thing Notre Dame is bringing to Boston in late November. As part of a weekend of events surrounding the Shamrock Series, Notre Dame’s annual home-away-from-home football game, the College of Arts and Letters will host a pair of academic conversations the day before the Fighting Irish face Boston College at Fenway Park. Notre Dame historians will offer an interdisciplinary look at the impact of Irish immigration on American religious and political structures, as well as the role of the U.S. in the 1916 Easter Rising, while economists will discuss research initiatives that aim to change the way humanitarian services help the poor both domestically and abroad.

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Psychology Faculty Win Indiana CTSI Grants

Author: Joanne Fahey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Notre Dame Academic Seal

Notre Dame faculty from the Department of Psychology have been awarded grants from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). Julie Braungart-Rieker, the Mary Hesburgh Flaherty and James F. Flaherty III Professor of Psychology and director of the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families, was awarded a Community Health Engagement Program (CHEP) Community Based Research Pilot Award for a study, “Reducing Obesogenic Home Environments in Low-Income Households with Mothers of Pre-school-Aged Children.” Jennifer Burke LeFever, assistant research professor in the Department of Psychology, is a co-primary investigator on the grant.

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Psychologist Explores What Happens When We Sleep

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, and Research

Jessica Payne

What’s going on in your head while you sleep? The research of Jessica Payne, associate professor and Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair in Psychology, shows that the non-waking hours are incredibly valuable for your day-to-day life, especially for helping to commit information to memory and for problem solving. If you ever thought sleep was just downtime between one task and the next, think again.

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Three Questions with Political Scientist Rev. Robert Dowd

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Rev

Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., assistant professor of political science, is a fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and director of its Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity. A popular teacher and scholar of religion’s impact on development and political institutions, he has conducted extensive research on communities and societies throughout Africa. His recently published book, Christianity, Islam and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa, provocatively argues that religious diversity in Nigeria and other African countries actually encourages, rather than inhibits, religious tolerance.

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Six New History Faculty Bring Transnational Research and Teaching Interests to Department

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Hurley Globe

They bring expertise in subjects that span physical borders and chronological boundaries. They bring passion to their research and energy to their classrooms. And the six new faculty members joining the Department of History this fall bring additional prestige to an already elite group of academics. “For a long period of time, we’ve been working to assemble a group of scholars that could work across national boundaries, redefining the department and what it does," said Patrick Griffin, chair of the department.

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Scholars Gather in Rome to Bridge Migrant Issues

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Rome skyline

An interdisciplinary symposium hosted this week by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies aims to facilitate conversation and collaboration between scholars from the United States and Italy who are researching issues related to immigration. “Transnational Migration in Comparative Perspective: Italy and the United States” offers the chance for academics to learn from one another about immigration experiences and discuss ways that research can better inform policymakers.

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Video: Fighting for Displaced People

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Fighting for Displaced People

There are 60 million displaced people in the world, and every day, an estimated 40,000 people flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere. For many, a temporary stop in a refugee camp becomes a lifetime of dependency and desolation. Notre Dame anthropology professor Rahul Oka believes there is a better way to provide aid to these residents. For several years, with colleagues in the Department of Anthropology, the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications and the Ford Family Program, he has studied the evolution of trade and commerce, focusing on the formal and informal economies that develop within these camps.

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Historian Receives NEH Public Scholar Grant to Examine ‘Bible Wars’

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Linda Przybyszewski

Notre Dame historian Linda Przybyszewski has been selected as one of the first winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ new Public Scholar Grant Program, which aims to bring the humanities to larger audiences and make scholarship relevant to contemporary life. Her forthcoming book will tell the story of the Cincinnati Board of Education’s decision to stop Bible reading in public schools and the ensuing court battles that riveted the nation in the late 1860s and early 1870s.

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Anthropology Major Interns at Johns Hopkins Medical School Lab

Author: Tessa Bangs

Categories: General News, Research, and Undergraduate News

Andrew Flatley

The way Andrew Flatley sees it, his liberal arts education and the work he’s done in the hard sciences are surprisingly similar. “They both, from different starting points, move toward the same goal of trying to come up with a solution that can help humanity,” he said. That sentiment was echoed in the work Flatley did this summer. A senior anthropology major, he spent 10 weeks interning at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, studying mice with Down syndrome.

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Hope and Optimism Project Awards Nearly $2 Million to 18 Research Projects

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, and Research

hope_optimism

An interdisciplinary research collaborative between the University of Notre Dame and Cornell University has awarded nearly $2 million to 18 projects in five countries. The researchers will examine the theoretical, empirical, and practical dimensions of hope and optimism. The project, Hope and Optimism: Conceptual and Empirical Investigations, is funded through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation and additional money from Notre Dame and Cornell.

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History Ph.D. Students Win Major Fellowships and Grants

Notre Dame Academic Seal

The projects took them them to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and England. The research offers new insights into the Renaissance, Protestantism, immigrant religiousness, monks, and begging practices. Eight graduate students from Notre Dame’s Department of History received competitive fellowships or grants in support of their research—awards including a Rome Prize, a Fulbright, and Louisville Institute, Newcombe, and Schallek fellowships.

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$1 Million Grant to Help Sociologist Research School Choice in Indiana

Author: Bill Schmitt

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, and Research

Mark Berends

Indiana’s school choice program is one of the largest in the United States. Until now, little has been known about how this initiative to increase parents’ educational options for their children is affecting either the schools or the students. A Notre Dame sociologist will now get to examine a range of those effects, thanks to a $1 million grant from The Spencer Foundation. The award will fund a three-year study in a ground-breaking initiative with data allowing for comparisons among traditional public, charter, and private schools.

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Anthropologists Propose 'Breastsleeping' as New Word and Concept

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, and Research

mother baby hp icon crop

As far as titles in academic journals go, it’s quite the attention-getter. “There is no such thing as infant sleep, there is no such thing as breastfeeding, there is only breastsleeping,” reads the title of a new peer-reviewed commentary piece by University of Notre Dame anthropologists James McKenna and Lee Gettler that appears in the prestigious European journal Acta Paediatrica.

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Scholar of Latin American Studies Joins Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Author: John Slott

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Joshua Lund

Joshua Lund finds studying a combination of literature, visual culture, and art to be the richest way to think about social problems in Latin America. He joins the Department of Romance and Romance Languages as an associate professor of Spanish with expertise in literature, film, political history, and cultural politics.

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Video: Luxury as Power in Restoration-Era England

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

Laura Knopppers

“Scholars who have worked on Charles II have tended to back away from the sensational side of the Restoration," said Laura Knoppers, professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. “When I come to Charles II, I see that mode of luxury as central to his political power and is essential to the way that that monarchy is representing itself in England.” Knoppers’ research centers on the 17th century and intersections between literature, visual culture, politics, and religion.

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NSF Grant Helps Institute’s Fellows Study Wandering Minds in STEM Classes

Author: Bill Schmitt

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, and Research

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A research collaboration involving two scholars in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology that seeks to combat student inattentiveness in STEM learning has captured the attention of the National Science Foundation (NSF), receiving a three-year grant totaling $550,000. The work of James Brockmole, an associate professor of psychology and visual attention expert; Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of psychology and computer science who studies cognitive sciences; and others is part of a research effort to fight the problem called mind wandering.

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The Experience Project Awards $1.7 Million to 22 Research Projects

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: Faculty News, General News, and Research

sunset icon

A research collaboration that aims to build new understanding about how religious and transformative experiences occur and shape people’s lives is awarding its first round of funding with more than $1.7 million going to 22 projects. The Experience Project, supported by a John Templeton Foundation grant, looks to answer questions about how religious experiences affect a person’s concept of God; how transformative experiences can affect a person’s identity, values, and behaviors; and how types of transformative experiences differ.

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Video: Meet Art History Major Seán Cotter

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Centers and Institutes, General News, Research, and Undergraduate News

Seán Cotter

Majors in art history gain a broad understanding of Western art along with opportunities for in-depth examination of particular periods, such as ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and modern art. “There’s something I really love about the challenge that comes with the unexplored,” said Cotter. “I love the tradition that can emerge from that, and I love that I’m part of that tradition.”

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Army Officer Earns Economics Ph.D. in Record Time

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: General News, Graduate Students, and Research

Carl Wojtaszek

Two years and nine months. That’s how long it took Army Maj. Carl Wojtaszek to complete his Ph.D. in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics—a little more than half the typical time. An assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point since 2008, Wojtaszek received a prestigious, yet finite, award from the Army—full funding to pursue his advanced degree, but a three-year time limit to complete it.

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Unique Collaboration Brings Scholar of Ancient Philosophy to Campus

Author: Arts and Letters

Categories: Centers and Institutes, Faculty News, General News, Internationalism, and Research

Diego De Brasi

An Italian-born, German-speaking scholar of ancient philosophy will spend the 2015-16 academic year at the University of Notre Dame, supported by the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study and Workshop on Ancient Philosophy teamed up to help secure the post-doctoral fellowship for Diego De Brasi, an assistant professor of classical philology at the University of Marburg, Germany.

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