A new Notre Dame student club focused on macro-scale economics and fiscal policy won the first national contest it entered, knocking off Harvard University, the defending champion. Notre Dame’s six-person Fiscal Challenge team — which features five Arts and Letters students — developed a plan to stabilize the United States’ debt-to-GDP ratio at current levels through 2046. Notre Dame’s team was chosen as one of three finalists, along with Harvard and Northeastern University, to present its plan live and take questions from a panel of judges.
An examination of one of the 20th century’s most important Catholic theologians has garnered a significant honor for Jennifer Newsome Martin, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies. She is one of 10 people worldwide to receive the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, presented by the University of Heidelberg’s Forschungszentrum für Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie for outstanding doctoral or first post-doctoral works in the area of God and spirituality.
Kristin Valentino’s research on evaluating the effectiveness of a brief relational intervention for maltreated preschool-aged children and their mothers is featured in a special section of Child Development. In order to help children facing maltreatment, researchers and clinicians first needed to address the heart of the problem. The relationship between the parent and child is key, she argues.
Asher Kaufman, professor of history and peace studies, has been appointed the John M. Regan, Jr. Director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, effective July 1, 2017.
Brian Edlefson, a Notre Dame assistant professor of visual communication design, has won a prestigious international award for his design work showing how people can adjust their office furniture to shape their work environments. Edlefson won an iF Design Award for user adjustment information he created for furniture maker Herman Miller. Edelfson’s design was selected by a 58-member jury of the iF International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany, from more than 5,500 entries submitted from 59 countries.
Caleb “C.J.” Pine has been named valedictorian of the 2017 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the 172nd University Commencement Ceremony on May 21 at Notre Dame Stadium. Named a Truman Scholar and a Gilman Scholar while at Notre Dame, Pine is a member of the University’s Glynn Family Honors program and is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar. A member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, he carries a 3.92 cumulative grade point average, and will graduate with degrees in Arabic and peace studies and a minor in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).
Felipe Fernández-Armesto has received Spain's highest honor for contributors to science, scholarship, education, and the arts.
Agustín Fuentes finds the four predominant arguments that seek to explain human evolution and human nature to be compelling but extremely simplified. Years of research and an emphasis on cross-disciplinary conversations has instead led him to a more complete story of human evolution. Creativity and collaboration, he argues in The Creative Spark, are the most important explanations for why we are the way we are.
David Campbell, the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for his creative thinking and innovative research on the rise of secularism in the United States and its political implications. Campbell, chair of the Department of Political Science, will use the prestigious grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, announced Wednesday, to study the growing number of people in America who identify as nonreligious and the political force they could become.
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.
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.
Irla Atanda and Abigail Awodele have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study abroad during the summer 2017 term. Awodele will participate in the China Language Program and Atanda will study in South Africa.
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.
Kiera Duffy, associate professor of the practice in Notre Dame’s Department of Music, recently received the 2017 Hunt Family Award for Emerging Artists from New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The award honors the soprano’s outstanding artistry and promising future. “Lincoln Center has such meaning in my life — as it does for every classical musician. It is the cultural hub of North America,” she said. “So for Lincoln Center to honor what I’m doing is very humbling and a lovely validation.”
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.
Carlos Lozada ’93, an associate editor and nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post, majored in economics and political science in the College of Arts and Letters. “What the liberal arts education at Notre Dame really did for me was it helped me to learn how to think, how to marshal my arguments, and how to learn from people around me,” he said. “To be a journalist you have to have this inherent curiosity and inherent skepticism, and I think those two qualities were really stoked and inspired at Notre Dame.”
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.