Notre Dame junior Rebecca Blais, a political science major from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar. Blais is one of just 62 college juniors to be selected for the prestigious scholarship this year, from a pool of 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities nationwide. Established in 1975 as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman, the award includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.
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.
Barry Lopez believes we are on the verge of global upheaval — in the way democracies function, in the way economies work, in the way countries cope with unprecedented numbers of refugees and the effects of climate change. But he also believes that Notre Dame students are “unusually qualified to do something about it.” A renowned essayist, fiction writer, and former Department of American Studies faculty member, Lopez received his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1968. He returned to his alma mater last month to give a lecture on sustainability — and to offer his encouragement to current students.
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.”
“It's very easy to lose track of how to form arguments in a way that can really change minds. At Notre Dame, this ability is really drilled into you from day one,” said Katie Beirne Fallon ’98, senior vice president and global head of corporate affairs at Hilton Worldwide. A governemnt and international studies major at Notre Dame, she previously served as director of legislative affairs at the White House for President Barack Obama, working to improve the relationship between Congress and the Office of the President.
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.
The decisions Dr. James Gajewski ’78 makes are often ones of life and death. Over the course of his nearly 35-year medical career, the Portland, Oregon-based hematologist has specialized in stem cell and bone marrow transplants and cancer treatment, where anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of his patients may die. When he’s faced with difficult decisions, though, he relies not on his medical training, but on his College of Arts Letters education.
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.
“Do what you feel naturally inclined to do, where your skills and abilities are taking you, what you're best at. It really has helped me to narrow down and find the right career,” said Elizabeth Simari ’08. An English and Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters, Simari studied abroad in Rome during her junior year. Her interest in the language, history, and culture of Italy developed into a passion, leading her to move to Sicily after graduation. After teaching English for a year and then earning a master's degree in literature, she wrote for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s English-language newspaper, and now teaches at the University of Loyola Chicago's campus in Rome.