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Arts & Humanities

Alex Coccia named Rhodes Scholar

Author: Sue Lister

Student Body President Alex Coccia

Alex Coccia, a 2014 University of Notre Dame graduate, has been selected to the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2015.

A Columbus, Ohio native, Coccia was selected from a pool of 877 candidates who had been nominated by their colleges and universities. He is Notre Dame’s 15th Rhodes Scholar and first since 2002. This year’s 32 Rhodes Scholars will commence their studies at Oxford in October 2015.

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Athletics

Indianapolis Shamrock Series events will include academic programs and service activities

Author: William G. Gilroy

Indianapolis Shamrock Series 2014

University of Notre Dame fans descending on Indianapolis for the Shamrock Series off-site home football game between the Fighting Irish and Purdue Boilermakers on Sept.13 (Saturday) will have an opportunity to enjoy a series of academic and service activities in the days leading up to the game.

Notre Dame’s College of Science will sponsor an academic event titled, “Let’s Have a Moment of Science” at 9:30 a.m. Friday (Sept. 12) at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 North Meridian Street. The event will include fun, hands-on investigations in ecology, chemistry, math and physics. At 10:30, three Notre Dame College of Science faculty will make presentations in the Indiana Children’s Museum’s Lilly Theater. Matt Leevy will discuss “3-D Printing: Building a Better Tomorrow in Medicine and Manufacturing, Layer by Layer;” Justin Crepp will address “Earth-like Worlds Orbiting Other Suns;” and Jennifer Tank will examine “Preventing Coastal Dead Zones from a Distance.” The events are free and open to the public.

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Business

Rev. David Tyson named as new director of nonprofit programs

Author: Carol Elliott

Dave Tyson

The Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame has named Rev. David Tyson, C.S.C., as the new Luke McGuinness Director of Nonprofit Professional Development, starting July 1, 2015. Tyson takes over the position from Thomas Harvey, who is retiring after a decade leading the department.

Nonprofit Professional Development comprises two arms of nonprofit education – the non-degree Nonprofit Executive Programs (NEP) and the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) degree. The program is one of the few in the nation that offers nonprofit leadership development within a business school setting.

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Campus

Education

Michelle Whaley is 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year

Author: William G. Gilroy

Michelle A. Whaley

Michelle A. Whaley, a teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She will be announced as the award winner at a luncheon Thursday (Nov. 20) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Michelle is extraordinarily dedicated, innovative, impactful and successful, and clearly among the very best teachers in the College of Science and the University of Notre Dame,” Gary A. Lamberti, professor and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences who nominated Whaley for the award, said. “She is the undisputed leader of undergraduate initiatives in our department, especially those surrounding undergraduate research. Simply put, she is the heart and soul of undergraduate scholarship in biology.”

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Engineering & Technology

Notre Dame Robotics featured in new James Patterson book ‘House of Robots’

Author: William G. Gilroy

House of Robots

Prolific bestselling author James Patterson releases a new children’s book today (Nov. 24) and it has a distinct University of Notre Dame feel.

House of Robots, co-written by Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, takes place in South Bend and features illustrations from the University’s annual National Robotics Week event and robotic football tournament. It tells the story of a boy whose college professor mother invents robots, and what happens when one of those robots decides to enroll in school with his flesh-and-blood “brother.”

While robot siblings may be fictional, cutting edge research at Notre Dame is bringing us closer to the day that robots can serve as teammates and helpers in complex human environments. In combination with the University’s robotics outreach programs, this makes Notre Dame an apt setting for a book that aims to get students interested in robotics and STEM.

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Faith & Service

NDFD, nation’s oldest university fire department, turns 135

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Notre Dame Fire Department poses in front of the Administration Building in 1899 (Credit: Notre Dame Archives - not for reuse)

On March 20, 1879, Notre Dame’s founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., was feeling fretful, and he unburdened himself of a persistent worry in a memo to Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., then the University’s president.

“I am glad to find you, as I am myself, terribly afraid of fire,” Father Sorin wrote. Recalling such conflagrations as the fire which had come close to annihilating nearby Chicago a few years earlier, he added thankfully that at Notre Dame “Providence has given us all the securities that can be wished for, but there is no guarantee against carelessness as an Institution. A public habitual dread is our only safety.”

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Health & Medicine

New study identifies potential targets for personalized cancer vaccines

Author: Stephanie Healey

Notre Dame researchers and their collaborators explain how identifying distinctions between mutant (yellow) and normal (orange) immune targets can help locate neo-epitopes that elicit anti-cancer immune responses

A team of University of Notre Dame scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Connecticut, have announced the results of a new study on identifying potential targets for personalized cancer vaccines. The paper, “Genomic and bioinformatic profiling of mutational neoepitopes reveals new rules to predict anticancer immunogenicity,” was recently published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The research group at Notre Dame was led by Brian Baker, associate dean for research and graduate studies and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and included Steven Corcelli, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and graduate student Cory Ayers.

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International

Political scientist Victoria Hui to testify before Congressional Executive Commission on China

Author: William G. Gilroy

Victoria Hui

Victoria Hui, an associate professor of political science and faculty fellow of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies at the University of Notre Dame, will testify Thursday (Nov. 20) before a Congressional Executive Commission on China hearing titled “The Future of Democracy in Hong Kong.”

The hearing will examine China’s commitments to Hong Kong and the international community in light of recent pro-democracy protests. It will assess whether an increasingly polarized Hong Kong will be able to find a mutually acceptable plan for electoral reform and how the protests taking will place will continue to shape that debate. It also will focus on what the protests mean for the future of human rights and democracy in Hong Kong and China.

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Law

Jimmy Gurulé testifies before U.S. House committee on sources of Islamic State funding

Author: William G. Gilroy

Jimmy Gurulé

University of Notre Dame law professor Jimmy Gurulé, a terrorist financing expert, testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee Thursday (Nov. 13) on the principal sources of Islamic State funding. Gurulé, who also is a former assistant U.S. attorney general and former undersecretary for enforcement for the U.S. Treasury Department, also offered recommendations for enhancing the response by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Department of Justice to the Islamic State threat.

Gurulé told the committee that Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, has up to $1 billion in its reserve and is “the wealthiest terror organization that the world has ever known.”

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Research

Notre Dame biologist Nora Besansky leads international consortium in sequencing the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes

Author: William G. Gilroy

besansky_mosquitoes_timelapse_200

Nora Besansky, O’Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world.

Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting human malaria parasites that cause an estimated 200 million cases and more than 600 thousand deaths each year. However, of the almost 500 different Anopheles species, only a few dozen can carry the parasite and only a handful of species are responsible for the vast majority of transmissions. Besansky and her fellow researchers investigated the genetic differences between the deadly parasite-transmitting species and their harmless (but still annoying) cousins.

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Science

Robert Jay Malone named AAAS fellow

Author: William G. Gilroy

Jay Malone

Robert Jay Malone, executive director of the History of Science Society and a fellow of the University of Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in honor of his efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

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Social Science

In memoriam: Joan Aldous, Kenan Professor of Sociology emerita at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Joan Aldous

Joan Aldous, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology emerita at the University of Notre Dame, died Wednesday (Oct. 29) in the Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center in South Bend, Indiana. She was 88 years old.

A native of Washington, D.C., Aldous was 12 years old when her father died, and her suddenly widowed mother obtained an advanced degree from Columbia University, subsequently teaching home economics, child care and family relations at Kansas State University. Her mother’s difficult and, in those days, highly unconventional choice of a career path so affected Aldous that she ever afterward credited it as inspiration for her own somewhat groundbreaking career.

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