Three University of Notre Dame faculty members have been elected to serve on section committees for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Agustín Fuentes will serve as chair-elect on the Anthropology section committee, Christine M. Maziar will serve as member-at-large on the Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering section committee, and Richard Taylor will serve as council delegate on the Pharmaceutical Sciences section committee.
Timothy S. Fuerst, William and Dorothy O’Neill Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, died Tuesday (Feb. 21) after a 10-month battle with stomach cancer. He was 54. Fuerst conducted research on monetary theory and policy, with a special focus on business cycles. “Tim was a devoted and loving husband and father, a productive and highly respected economist, a gifted teacher and, of course, a wonderful friend to us all,” said William Evans, chair of the Department of Economics. “After Tim’s diagnosis, he adopted the motto of the Congregation of Holy Cross — Ave Crux, Spes Unica – ‘Hail the Cross, Our Only Hope.’ His courageous, dignified and faith-filled battle against the disease was an inspiration to us all.”
Twenty-seven University of Notre Dame students were awarded Fulbright grants in the 2016-17 program, placing the University among the top-producing universities in the nation. The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. It awards a one-year postgraduate fellowship for research, study or teaching English abroad. During their fellowship, scholars will work, live and learn in their host country. Of the 27 students to receive Fulbrights last year, 24 were Arts and Letters students—which would place the College sixth in the nation among all doctoral institutions.
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.
It didn’t take long for Nathan Rose to make an impact at Notre Dame. Just a few months after joining the faculty, he became the first member of the Department of Psychology to have a study published in the journal Science — and the second ever from the College of Arts and Letters. Rose, an assistant professor, examined a fundamental problem the brain has to solve — keeping information “in mind,” or active — so actions can be guided accordingly.
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.
The study found that voucher expansion caused significant declines in church donations and church spending on non-educational religious activities.
After initially planning on pursuing a career in sports medicine, Kim Lisiak '13 changed her plans after a first-year theology course at Notre Dame. She switched her majors to theology and Arts and Letters pre-health and began exploring a new question—how to help people in a way that would have as great an impact as being a doctor. She now uses her liberal arts background every day as chief of staff to the CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and finds the company’s mission to provide innovative, compassionate care a perfect fit.
Senior Dan Lopes’ project “Scoop Pet Food Dispenser” received a third-place award, and senior Erin Rice’s project “Lead Animal Control Cage” received honorable mention.
Valerie Sayers is a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of six novels as well as numerous short stories, essays, and reviews. In this video, she discusses her approach to writing, the way modern fiction has evolved based on contemporary concerns, and the strength of Notre Dame's Creative Writing Program.
While some observers are hailing this find as the 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave, James VanderKam, a leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Theology, cautions that the findings need to be placed “in context.”
For Katie Paige and Laura Heiman, research hasn’t just shaped their undergraduate experiences—it’s shaped their futures, as well. The two senior psychology majors have both gained significant research experience throughout their time at Notre Dame, writing senior theses and working closely with faculty members as they study topics ranging from depression to childhood development.
“An internship abroad is a great starting point for a career abroad,” said Margaret Swinehart, a senior history major in the College of Arts and Letters. Swinehart spent the summer of 2016 interning at the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy. She worked in the non-immigrant visa unit of the consular section, collecting documents and helping applicants prepare for their interviews. Swinehart learned about the internship through the Notre Dame Career and Internship Fair hosted by the Career Center. “The internship started as just something I was intrigued about,” she said. “It has shown me that I would like to pursue a career in government.”
The gift was made to the University by Helen Schwab and her husband, Charles, in honor of her brother Joe O’Neill. O’Neill Hall joins Corbett Family Hall and the Duncan Student Center as the three structures surrounding Notre Dame Stadium, and will be a six-story, 100,000-square-foot building for the Department of Music, the Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, and hospitality space, with completion scheduled for August.
Robert Vargas, a Notre Dame assistant professor of sociology and faculty fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies, has won a book award for his ethnographic study of Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood and its confrontational relationships between police, politicians, and gangs. The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences will present its Outstanding Book Award to Vargas at its annual meeting in March in Kansas City, Missouri.
Timothy Matovina is Professor of Theology and Co-Director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion.
In her academic research, Debra Javeline leads two lives. She is passionate about sustainability—and how post-Communist Russia is perceived. She is focused on coastal adaptation to climate change—and on the response to political violence in a small Russian town. An associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, Javeline is pursuing multiple projects in two distinct research areas—one focused on politics, conflict, and protest in Russia and the other involving the environment and sustainability.