News » Archives » November 2009

New book offers blueprint to build a more clever student

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Anita Kelly

College-bound students know they have to be book-smart in order to get in to a top school. But when it comes to impressing professors and standing out in the crowd, good grades are only one part of the equation.

A new book by a University of Notre Dame psychologist emphasizes the importance of “practical intelligence” and offers advice to new college students on how to give their teachers what they really want and get the most out of their hard-earned – and often expensive – college education.

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College of Science programs find opportunities in laboratories for undergrads

Author: Gene Stowe

Undergraduate research

Undergraduate research, a longstanding natural element of a College of Science education at the University of Notre Dame, has accelerated in recent years with an increased commitment to make such opportunities available in a systematic way.

New and expanded programs, both during the academic year and during the summer, are bringing more students into research, with the goal that any science student who wants them can have access to research opportunities.

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Notre Dame theologian Gary Anderson examines sin

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Gary Anderson

G.K. Chesterton famously described original sin as “the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.” Not everyone agrees with Chesterton, but the abundance of evidence in support of his assertion is certainly compelling.

Familiarity with the effects of sin, overuse and abuse of the term and the exhaustion of religious vocabulary seem to have dulled the culture’s appreciation for this intrinsic element of human life and striving.

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Father Mark Poorman to step down as VP for student affairs; to be succeeded by Father Thomas Doyle

Author: Dennis Brown

Father Mark Poorman, C.S.C. and Father Thomas Doyle, C.S.C.

After 11 years as vice president for student affairs at the University of Notre Dame, Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., will leave the position to return to the theology faculty, effective June 30. He will be succeeded by Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, C.S.C., the executive vice president at the University of Portland.

“Father Poorman has provided outstanding service to the students, faculty and staff of Notre Dame as our vice president for student affairs,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “On behalf of the University community, I thank him for his organizational leadership, his generous contributions as a Holy Cross priest-administrator, and, most importantly, his wholehearted dedication to our students. I look forward to continued collaboration with him in our efforts to reach our academic aspirations and to deepen Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.

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Notre Dame nonprofit offerings expand, get new name

Author: Carol Elliott

Nonprofit Professional Development

For more than 50 years, the University of Notre Dame has served the nonprofit industry by developing exemplary leaders through a specialized graduate business degree, the Master of Nonprofit Administration. Now the University is adding executive education to the nonprofit service mix offered by the Mendoza College of Business.

The expanded unit will be known as Nonprofit Professional Development. It comprises two arms of nonprofit education – the non-degree Nonprofit Executive Programs (NEP) and the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) degree.

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Notre Dame to host panel presentation on conscience clauses

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Blue Seal

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A panel discussion titled “What Would a Good Conscience Clause Look Like? A Catholic University’s Perspective” will be held Dec. 3 (Thursday) at 12:30 p.m. in the Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom of the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Hall of Law.

The discussion will concern how Catholic teaching and tradition, scholarship and legal developments might inform efforts to protect the rights of conscience of health workers, pregnant women, taxpayers and other citizens.

The panelists are Rev. Michael D. Place, chair of the International Federation of Catholic Health Institutions; O. Carter Snead, associate professor of law in the Notre Dame Law School; and Margaret F. Brinig, Fritz Duda Professor of Law in the Notre Dame Law School.

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Busting myths about extremist legislators

Author: Josh Stowe

John Griffin

John Griffin, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, has helped debunk a myth about ideologically extreme legislators in an award-winning paper he co-wrote, raising the question of whether citizens hold elected officials accountable.

Conventional wisdom holds that extremist legislators fare worse than moderate ones in congressional elections because they’re more likely to vote in ways that don’t reflect their constituents’ policy preferences—a pattern that voters don’t tolerate.

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Notre Dame on iTunes U now available

Author: Julie Hail Flory


The University of Notre Dame has joined some 300 top institutions of higher education on iTunes U, a dedicated area within Apple’s iTunes Store that features lectures, lessons and other materials produced by colleges and universities.

Notre Dame on iTunes U contains more than 600 free, downloadable audio and video files representing academics, research, campus life, faith and service, as well as a variety of offerings from Notre Dame OpenCourseWare, a free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners throughout the world. There also is a section dedicated to alumni, parents and friends.

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Notre Dame theologian John Cavadini receives high papal honor

Author: Michael O. Garvey

John Cavadini

John C. Cavadini, associate professor and chair of the theology department and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI a member of the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great.

Cavadini received the papal honor at the request of Bishop John M. D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who praised Cavadini “for his study of Catholic theology, his recruiting of outstanding theologians for the theology faculty at Notre Dame, and his assistance to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.”

Established in 1831, the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great honors its recipients for service to the church, support of the Holy See, and for witnessing to the Catholic faith in their country and communities.

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ND sociologist Richard Williams discusses threats to minority home ownership

Author: Michael O. Garvey

William Richard

On Nov. 20, 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order prohibiting federally-funded housing agencies from denying mortgages on the basis of race, color, creed or national origin.

According to University of Notre Dame sociologist Richard Williams, the dramatic improvement of American family housing security thus begun is now jeopardized both by the current economic crisis and misconceptions of what caused it.

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New book focuses on reconciling societies shattered by violence

Author: Joan Fallon

Ernesto Verdeja

How do you reconcile former enemies in a society shattered by war, genocide or violence?

In a new book, “Unchopping a Tree: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Political Violence,” published by Temple University Press, Ernesto Verdeja answers this question by examining reconciliation efforts in post-conflict regions from Chile to South Africa to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He proposes a new theory of reconciliation — one focused on a process of public truth-telling, accountability for perpetrators, recognition of victims, commitment to the rule of law and, most importantly, cultivation of moral respect and dignity.

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Notre Dame to unveil multi-wavelength NASA images

Author: Marissa Runkle

NASA mural medium

In commemoration of the International Year of Astronomy, the University of Notre Dame will unveil new mural-sized images from NASA’s great observatories Thursday (Nov. 19) during two shows in the Digital Visualization Theater in the Jordan Hall of Science.

The shows, which are free and open to the public, will begin at 7 and 8 p.m. Free tickets, which are required for the show, are available at the LaFortune Student Center box office.

The Digital Visualization Theater will take viewers on a journey to the center of our galaxy and unveil unprecedented mural-sized images of the Milky Way’s core as seen by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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Renewing the Campus: Sustainability and the Catholic University

Author: Laura Midkiff

Renewing the Campus

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Renewing the Campus, a national conference hosted by the University of Notre Dame in mid-October, was the first symposium dedicated to enhancing understanding, activism and cooperation among Catholic universities in the area of sustainability.

The conference—which included faculty, administrators and students from 45 universities across the country—was structured to encompass many approaches to environmental issues, including those of theologians, scientists, sustainability practitioners, student activists and clergy.

The aim was to address the theological and ethical implications of climate change as viewed through the lens of Catholic social teaching—with a focus on the opportunities for Catholic universities to assume a leadership role on this issue within both the academic and Catholic communities.

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Notre Dame’s Neal being briefed on water findings from lunar-impact mission

Author: William G. Gilroy

Clive Neal

NASA announced Nov. 13 that its LCROSS lunar-impact probe mission found significant quantities of water in the plume of material the crash produced.

“We are ecstatic,” said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist for the LCROSS, a sentiment which is shared by Clive Neal, professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a leading planetary geologist.

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Statement from Father Jenkins on the appointment of Bishop Kevin Rhoades as bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend

Author: Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

“On behalf of the University of Notre Dame and her family, I am delighted to welcome Bishop Kevin Rhoades as our new bishop.

“Bishop Rhoades is well recognized for his intellect and discernment. For institutions of higher learning in this diocese, it is especially significant that he had many years of experience on the faculty, in the administration and on the board of Mount St. Mary’s University. In addition, the large Latino population in our diocese will be genuinely blessed by Bishop Rhoades’ commitment to serving that community.

“We are confident that the ministry of Bishop Rhoades will be a blessing for Notre Dame and the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend, as was the ministry of Bishop John D’Arcy, and we look forward both to his apostolate and to our friendship for many years to come.”

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New paper describes connections between Circadian and metabolic systems

Author: William G. Gilroy


A paper by University of Notre Dame biologist Giles Duffield and a team of researchers offers new insights into a gene that plays a key role in modulating the body’s Circadian system and may also simultaneously modulate its metabolic system.

The relationship between circadian and metabolic systems the researchers describe could have important implications for understanding the higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes among shift workers.

The master circadian clock in the human resides within the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamic brain and receives direct input from the retina (eye) through which the clock can be reset or synchronized on a daily basis to the prevailing light-dark cycle. This provides both time of day and also time of year information to the brain and body. Things can go wrong with the internal clocks when either the clock system or its light input pathway is disrupted.

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Performance will mark 150th anniversary of “Origin of Species”

Author: William G. Gilroy

Origin of Species

A pair of University of Notre Dame professors will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” with a performance of a fictionalized dialogue between Darwin and one of his harshest scientific critics at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 17) in the Jordan Hall of Science. The event is free and open to the public.

Ronald Hellenthal, professor of biological sciences, will portray Darwin and Phillip Sloan, professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, will portray Sir Richard Owen, founder of the British Museum of Natural History and a harsh scientific critic of Darwin. Edward Manier, professor emeritus of philosophy, will introduce the speakers.

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Schmuhl to deliver keynote address at Dublin conference

Author: Shannon Chapla

Robert Schmuhl

Robert Schmuhl, the University of Notre Dame’s Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Professor of American Studies and Journalism, will deliver the keynote address at the conference of the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland on Nov. 21 (Saturday) in Dublin.

The theme of the two-day conference, involving scholars and journalists, is “History and the Headlines: Contemporary Coverage and the Reassessment of Historical Events in Newspapers and Periodicals.” In his address, titled “Peering through the Fog: American Newspapers and the Easter Rising,” Schmuhl will analyze American news about Ireland in 1916.

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Notre Dame hosts Haiti’s only 2008–09 Fulbright scholar

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Gerald Telfort

The University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies is hosting the only Fulbright visiting scholar selected from Haiti this academic year in the newly re-launched Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for Central America and the Caribbean.

Gerald Telfort, the director of research for Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, will spend two months at the Kellogg Institute, where Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., director of the institute’s Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, is serving as his faculty associate. To facilitate Telfort’s research, Father Dowd has connected him with researchers at Purdue University’s International Programs in Agriculture, a Ford Program partner.

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Sociologist Hans Joas to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Michael Lucien

Hans Joas

Internationally known sociologist and social theorist Hans Joas, director of the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt in Germany, will present a lecture titled “The Axial Age Debate As Religious Discourse,” at 4 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 12) in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall at the University of Notre Dame.

The lecture, which is open to all Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College faculty, staff and students, is sponsored by the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) and co-sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns.

Since 2000, Joas has served as professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, where he also is a member of the Committee on Social Thought. Formerly a professor of sociology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Joas also previously taught at the Free University of Berlin and served as a visiting professor of sociology at several universities in Europe and the United States, including Duke University, the University of Toronto, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Vienna.

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Islam and contemporary European literature to be explored at Notre Dame symposium

Author: Michael Lucien

Islam in Contemporary European Literature

Some of Europe’s most prominent Muslim and Muslim-born writers will discuss the place of Islam in their work at a symposium titled “The Place of Islam in Contemporary European Literature,” to be held Nov. 16 and 17 (Monday and Tuesday) at the University of Notre Dame.

Jointly sponsored by the University’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Kellogg Institute for International Studies and Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the symposium will feature a keynote address by Azouz Begag, a novelist, scriptwriter, scholar and former delegate minister for equal opportunities in France who has been awarded Chevalier de L’Ordre du Mérite and Chevalier de La Légion d’Honneur.

Conference panelists also include novelists, statesmen, sociologists, poets, filmmakers, translators and editors. Moderated by Notre Dame faculty, panel discussions will focus on the place of Islam in the writing process; the literature of geography, memory and exile; literature and generational identity; and discussions of literature and power.

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Center for Ethics and Culture to focus annual conference on freedom and virtue

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ethics conference

During his visit to the United States in April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI said that “the preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good, and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate.”

Pope Benedict’s remarks have been chosen by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture as the theme for its 10th annual fall conference, “The Summons of Freedom: Virtue, Sacrifice, and the Common Good.”

The conference, to be held Nov. 12 to 14 (Thursday to Saturday) in McKenna Hall, will bring together scholars from Catholic, other Christian and secular institutions to discuss the common good from the perspectives of philosophy, theology and religious studies, law, history, the social sciences, literature and the arts.

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Siemens Regional Competition scheduled for Nov. 13 and 14 at Notre Dame

Author: William G. Gilroy


Five individuals and five teams of high school students have been selected to compete Friday and Saturday (Nov. 13 and 14) at the University of Notre Dame in the regional round of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students.

The New Jersey-based non-profit Siemens Foundation created the competition to enhance science and mathematics education in America. It is open to individuals and teams of high school students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences or mathematics. Competitions in six regions across the United States are being held throughout November. Regional scholarship winners advance to the national competition Dec. 3 to 7 in New York City for a top individual prize of $100,000. Members of the top winning team will share a $100,000 scholarship.

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Research with a vision

Author: Gene Stowe

David Hyde

To the naked eye, humans may not appear to have much in common with the zebrafish, a small tropical freshwater species belonging to the minnow family.

But a Notre Dame biologist is taking a much closer look at the two species and finding potential for treating a number of diseases and conditions.

Research by David Hyde, the Rev. Howard J. Kenna, C.S.C., Memorial Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Zebrafish Research, uses adult stem cells in zebrafish to study how neurons regenerate. The work holds promise for treatments for such human problems as glaucoma and macular degeneration in the eyes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in the brain, and even spinal cord injuries.

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Reflections on the fall of the Berlin Wall, 20 years later


Jim McAdams

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University of Notre Dame political scientist James McAdams recalls the first time he stepped over the border from West Germany to East Germany in 1973 as a 19-year-old college student studying in West Berlin.

“The first time I entered East Berlin, it felt like I was going to an anti-Disneyland. It was like going from color television in West Berlin to black and white in East Berlin,” says McAdams, the William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs and director of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

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Notre Dame theologian Father Groody to advise Vatican conference on migration

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C.

While human migration is as old as human history, there are more migrants today than ever before.

Displaced from their homelands by wars, genocide, famine, natural catastrophes, and collapsed or withering economies, there are 200 million such people worldwide, roughly the equivalent of the population of Brazil, according to Rev. Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., assistant professor of theology and director of the Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture in the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies.

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ND alumna Joan Orie Melvin elected to Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Judge Joan Orie Melvin

Superior Court Judge Joan Orie Melvin of Pittsburgh, a 1978 University of Notre Dame alumna, was elected Nov. 3 (Tuesday) to a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Melvin, a Republican, defeated her superior court colleague, Democrat Jack Panella, with 53 percent of the vote.

A native of Pittsburgh, Melvin majored in economics at Notre Dame, where she lived in Lyons Hall, and earned a law degree from Duquesne University School of Law in 1981.

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Tylenol case expert to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Carol Elliott

Mendoza logo

In 1982, seven people in the Chicago area died after taking Tylenol pain-relief capsules that had been laced with potassium cyanide. The crime, still unsolved, eventually led to large-scale reforms in the way food and drug products are packaged and sold in the United States.

For Johnson & Johnson, the drug’s manufacturer, the “Tylenol crisis” resulted in a new level of corporate crisis management; namely, how does a company show its concern for public safety, while at the same time, survive as a business in the face of controversy and fear?

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The Review of Politics turns 70

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Review of Politics

We can be grateful that the world of 2009 is so unlike the world of 1939, in which The Review of Politics was first published at the University of Notre Dame.

But agreeable as it is to leave the totalitarian regimes of Hitler and Stalin, the invasion of Poland, the concentration camps and fire bombings uniquely associated with that earlier time, it is not difficult in this one to share what the journal’s first editors described as a feeling “that we are living in a kind of interval of history, in a duration of formlessness and fury.” That generation-spanning resemblance may account for the Review’s enduring status as an indispensable journal of political philosophy.

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Notre Dame alumnus Bob McDonnell elected governor of Virginia

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Bob McDonnell

Former Virginia Attorney General and Notre Dame alumnus Bob McDonnell was elected governor of his state in an off-year election Tuesday (Nov. 3).

McDonnell, who was graduated from the University in 1976 after majoring in business management, defeated Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds, 59 percent to 41 percent.

A native of Philadelphia, McDonnell served 21 years in the U.S. Army and reserves after his graduation. While serving in Germany he earned a master of science degree in business administration from Boston University and later earned a degree in law and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent University in Virginia Beach.

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