Jim Cavnar ’67 originally came to Notre Dame intending to get a degree in physics but his life has been less about studying forces than becoming one for good. The theology alumnus is a founder and president of Florida-based Cross International Inc. and Cross Catholic Outreach Inc., two Christian relief and development charities founded in 2001 to help the poorest of the poor worldwide. He has worked in Catholic and ecumenical ministries for 45 years and won this year’s Rev. Louis J. Putz, C.S.C. Award from the Notre Dame Alumni Association and Notre Dame Senior Alumni.
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Carly Anderson, a recent graduate of University of Notre Dame, has been named one of 15 winners of the 2012 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award. The new award recognizes outstanding graduating college seniors from across the country who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history or American studies.
In the first study to measure the temporary impact of highly skilled immigrants on native populations, University of Notre Dame economist Abigail Wozniak and Fairfield University’s Thomas J. Murray—a former Notre Dame graduate student—found that when highly skilled immigrants move to a city or town, the U.S. natives in that area who are also highly skilled tend to move away. However, the study found that the same immigrant group’s presence decreases the chances that low-skilled natives would leave.
While working for the U.S. Department of Justice in Baghdad, Luke McLaurin B.A. ’03 M.A. ’04 found himself returning to the same ancient texts he read while studying philosophy and Italian at Notre Dame. “It was just a nice way to escape for me,” McLaurin says. “Reading Plato’s The Republic was interesting, thinking about issues of justice and how societies should be set up when you are living in a time when there’s a lot of upheaval around you.” He worked in the midst of Iraq’s upheaval for 14 months, acting as a legal advisor for judges, police, attorneys, and law students as they worked to improve their criminal justice system.
Jessica Scanlan Bailey ’01 is the sustainable development program officer for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York, where she focuses on climate change. Her position involves allocating funds for research, advocacy, communications, and other efforts to organizations focused on advancing clean energy policies at the state and federal level. Bailey graduated from Notre Dame with degrees in government and anthropology and a minor in peace studies.
During his time at Notre Dame, Tom Hampson ’71, ’73 M.A., thought he would become a photographer, a mathematician, or a marine biologist. He never expected to be able to turn his passion for social justice—or his two College of Arts and Letters degrees in theology—into a career. But that is exactly what he has done during nearly 30 years at Church World Service, a career that has taken the Elkhart, Ind., resident to more than two dozen countries around the world.
College of Arts and Letters alumnus and current Notre Dame law student Colin Littlefield’s late-night job at the Notre Dame Observatory has led to a one-in-a-billion discovery of a rare type of star—a Wolf-Rayet. Littlefield ’11 discovered the exceptional star, named WR 142b, this past summer, and he and his colleagues announced the discovery in a paper accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.
Literature courses are practices in close reading, but one class at Occidental College is equally an exercise in active listening. Taught by James Ford III, who will join the Occidental faculty this fall as an assistant professor of English and comparative literature studies, the course explores the aesthetic and philosophical evolution of the music genre known as hip hop.
On one of his six journeys to Antarctica as part of a team seeking to unravel mysteries of the universe, Michael Zernick ’83 brought along a University of Notre Dame flag. “I am proud to have graduated from Notre Dame,” he says, adding that “the University even has influence all the way to the South Pole.”
As a sociology major at the University of Notre Dame, Joshua Cook ’10 learned about everything from criminal behavior to popular culture to family dynamics. And the deeper he got into his studies, he says, the more he realized that “understanding human behavior could serve as a great foundation for a career in a variety of fields, including the business world.”
A new blog produced by the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CSSM) at the University of Notre Dame is bringing scholars, activists, and policymakers together like never before to discuss social movements and change.
Rob Cain ’91 is the chief information officer, enabling functions, for The Coca-Cola Company. During a recent visit to campus, the English major shared his thoughts on the value of a liberal arts education from Notre Dame—both as an alumnus and a hiring manager.
James H. Walton, professor emeritus of English at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday after a brief illness. He was 74 years old. Walton was graduated from Notre Dame in 1959 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Northwestern University in 1960 and 1963, respectively. He joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1963, teaching popular courses on the English novel and 18th-century literature until his retirement in 2003.
Jim Corgel ’73 is currently general manager of independent software vendor and developer relations at IBM Corporation, where he has worked for 36 years. During a recent visit to campus, the American Studies major, who later also received an MBA from the University, shared his thoughts on the value of a liberal arts education from Notre Dame
Haley Scott DeMaria, the University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters alumna who made an inspiring recovery from critical injuries suffered in a tragic 1992 bus accident involving the Fighting Irish swimming team, will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree at Notre Dame’s 167th Commencement Ceremony on May 20.
Biological anthropologist Lee Gettler ’05 made national news last year with his research on the linkage between fatherhood and testosterone, reporting that the hormone decreases in men once they have children and drops even more in dads who are very active in caring for their children. Currently completing his Ph.D. at Northwestern University, Gettler will bring his attention-getting work to Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall as an assistant research professor in the Department of Anthropology.
Ann Johnson, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s clinical psychology program, recently won a Graduate Research Scholarship from the American Psychological Foundation and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology.
Jack Blakey B.A. ’88 J.D. ’92 has worked as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and is currently chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago—the second largest prosecution office in the country. He says his theatre major at the University of Notre Dame was perfect preparation for his future legal career. “Some people think it’s such a difference, going from the theatre world to the legal world, but it really seems like a seamless transition,” Blakey says.
Erin Jelm ’10 can’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in Latin American studies. “I’ve always had an interest in cultures,” says the anthropology and marketing alumna, currently working as a marketing specialist at Santiago Adventures, a tour operator in Santiago, Chile.
One weekend last month, members of the Notre Dame community sat down to watch 16 films, ranging from comedies to dramas and documentaries, in one evening. But these movies weren’t made in Hollywood. That’s because the 23rd annual Student Film Festival showcased the work of many students in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre.
A movie produced and co-written by University of Notre Dame alumnus John Hibey ’05 was awarded the jury prize for short filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The winning film, Fishing Without Nets, tells a tale of a poor, young Somali fisherman who ends up joining a group of pirates.
Molly Kinder ‘01, who majored in political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Kinder, a native of Buffalo, New York, is director of special programs for Development Innovation Ventures in Washington, D.C., a new initiative at the United States Agency for International Development that funds groundbreaking approaches to global development challenges.
Post-doctoral fellow Errol Philip made history this fall when he became the first two-time winner of a prestigious American Psychological Association graduate student award—just the latest in a long list of accolades. Philip won the APA’s Division 17 Health Psychology Graduate Student Award for his paper, “Depression and Cancer Survivorship: Prevalence Rates and the Importance of Coping Self-Efficacy in a Sample of Long-Term Survivors." He won the award in 2008 for a paper on quality of life in cancer patients.
When she first arrived at the University of Notre Dame, Karen Stockley ’08 had no plan to major in economics and says graduate school wasn’t on her radar either. Today, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University and already has three years of professional research experience, an award-winning paper to her credit, and a bright future in healthcare economics. It was a Principles of Economics class during her very first semester, Stockley says, that sparked her interest in the field.
Economics majors in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters develop the analytical skills and social perspective needed to better understand complex economic forces at work in the world. They also hone the ability to express their ideas and insights both clearly and concisely. That’s exactly what Class of 2011 students Elizabeth Koerbel and Matthew Conti demonstrated in their senior theses, which won first and second place, respectively, in the University’s annual Bernoulli Awards competition.
By now, most people are aware of the environmental effects of air or water pollution; University of Notre Dame philosopher and scientist Kristin Shrader-Frechette has devoted herself to bringing to light a less known concern, the inequitable distribution of pollution’s human toll. “Polluters ‘target’ poor and minority communities to locate noxious facilities because they know that residents often are unable to defend themselves,” she says. For her efforts, Shrader-Frechette was recently awarded the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership.
Understanding the way the world works is important. But understanding the way you work is just as important, says Joshua Kaplan, director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science. And by majoring in political science, students come to know both.
Dan O’Brien ’99 has always considered himself an actor and now he is a successful professional. As a lead on the NBC sitcom Whitney, he can share his passion for performance with all of America. O’Brien says he did not major in theater at Notre Dame because he knew already that his passion was for acting and he was not particularly interested in the technical and behind-the-scenes work which the major entailed. Instead, he participated in the College of Arts and Letters’ Program of Liberal Studies and took as many acting classes as he could.
As a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Anne Peterson focuses her research on ancient philosophy and metaphysics, especially on metaphysical issues in Aristotle. Her interest in these topics, she says, began as an undergraduate in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, where she majored in English and philosophy.
Elizabeth Simari ’08, crosses Saint Peter’s Square on the way to and from work, shops at the Vatican’s grocery store, and has even had the Pope drop by her office. “It’s an amazing experience,” says Simari, who majored in Italian and English at Notre Dame and now works for the weekly English edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. “I feel blessed to have these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”