News » Archives » November 2010

New research shows sleep helps brain sift memories


Jessica Payne

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Most adults say they can’t remember things as well as they used to. But what they really mean is that they can’t remember anything for very long — and poor sleep may be the cause.

New research from the University of Notre Dame reveals that adequate sleep not only boosts or consolidates memories, making them easier to retrieve, but it actually goes beyond that to reorganize and restructure memories so that people retain the most salient of those, which often are the most emotional parts of a memory, according to Jessica Payne, assistant professor of psychology who specializes in how sleep impacts memory, creativity and the ability to process new ideas.

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Notre Dame selected to host national student affairs conference

Author: Notre Dame News

Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities

The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame has been chosen to host the 2012 national conference for the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU).

Scheduled for July 24 to 27, 2012, the conference will bring together student life administrators at Catholic universities from across the U.S.

The purpose of the annual ASACCU conference is to promote an understanding of the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and its relevance for student affairs professionals.

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New studies target childhood obesity, child maltreatment

Author: Renee Hochstetler

Center for Children and Families

With the new Family Lifestyles and Heart to Heart projects, researchers at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Children and Families are taking direct aim at two major obstacles to healthy child development: childhood obesity and child maltreatment.

The Center for Children and Families, established in 2001 by Professors John Borkowski and Mark Cummings, works to improve the well-being of children and families through research and intervention.

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Who needs music? Notre Dame student group dances to its own beat

Author: Meg Morrison

First Class Steppers

What do you think of when you hear “stepping” or “step-dancing”? If Irish dancing comes to mind, think again. Notre Dame First Class Steppers President junior Brittany Suggs explains what stepping really is.

“Stepping, or step-dancing, is a form of percussive dance in which the participant’s entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps,” Suggs said. “With roots in both South Africa and pre-Civil War America, stepping has a rich history.”

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ND Expert: No need to panic over N. Korea uranium enrichment

Author: Shannon Chapla

David Cortright

As diplomats meet in Asia to discuss new revelations surrounding North Korea’s uranium enrichment program, nuclear weapons policy expert David Cortright, director of policy studies for the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, says there is no need to panic.

“The new revelations are troubling but do not significantly alter the security calculus for the United States,” Cortright says. “The North’s program and the new enrichment program are violations of UN Security Council sanctions, but they do not pose an immediate danger of further nuclear weapons production.”

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Notre Dame hosts Indiana CTSI retreat on healthcare innovation

Author: Marissa Gebhard

ICTSI Student

The University of Notre Dame will host the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) informational retreat Nov. 23 (Tuesday) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Eck Visitors Center. Presenters will discuss the acceleration of the rate of health care innovation in Indiana and beyond through collaborations among the member universities as well as public and private partnerships.

Speakers will include Robert Bernhard, Notre Dame’s vice president for research; Anantha Shekhar, director of the Indiana CTSI; and Scott Denne, associate director of the Indiana CTSI. Participants also will hear about advances in medical science from Indiana CTSI investigators, who will discuss their research. Additional activities include a lunchtime poster session and afternoon breakout sessions.

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Seabaugh appointed to editorial board of IEEE journal

Author: Nina Welding

Alan Seabaugh

Alan C. Seabaugh, professor of electrical engineering, Frank M. Freimann Director of the Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery (MIND) and associate director of the Center for Nano Science and Technology at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to the editorial board of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) Transactions on Electron Devices.

One of the top 20 most cited journals in electrical and electronics engineering, the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices publishes original contributions relating to the theory, design, performance and reliability of electron devices — past, present and future — from quantum-effect structures and emerging materials to integrated circuits and nanoscale devices

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Siemens Regional Competition scheduled for Friday and Saturday

Author: William G. Gilroy

Siemens Foundation

The University of Notre Dame will host a regional final of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 19 and 20).

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 through Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C., for a top individual prize of $100,000. Members of the top winning team will share a $100,000 scholarship.

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Play Like a Champion program receives national accreditation

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Play Like a Champion Today Educational Series

The University of Notre Dame’s Play Like a Champion Today® Educational Series (PLC) has received national accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE).

Supported by social science research and emphasizing such moral principles as justice, caring, respect and solidarity, PLC, now in its fifth year, develops and offers coaching clinics and parents workshops in partnership with athletic leagues, youth sport organizations, and high schools around the United States, Canada, and, most recently, Uganda. More than 18,000 coaches and 3,000 parents have participated in PLC workshops.

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DARPA grant to fund research into magnetic logic

Author: William G. Gilroy

Wolfgang Porod

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a team of researchers led by Wolfgang Porod, Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology, a $9.9 million grant to explore logic in a magnetic system, which may open the door to all-magnetic information processing systems.

The Notre Dame team includes Gary Bernstein and Gyorgy Csaba of Electrical Engineering, Sharon Hu and Michael Niemier of Computer Science and Engineering, and Joe Nahas, a visiting professor who previously has worked for Motorola and Freescale on magnetic memory chips.

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Notre Dame to ring NASDAQ closing bell Friday

Author: Carol Elliott


Fighting Irish football excitement will ring out at the NASDAQ MarketSite as the University of Notre Dame visits the financial exchange in Times Square on the eve of the first Notre Dame-Army football game at the new Yankee Stadium in New York.

Faculty, administrators, students and alumni, as well as the Notre Dame cheerleaders and leprechaun, will participate in the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony from 3:50 to 4 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 19).

Robert Bernhard, vice president for research, will ring the NASDAQ closing bell on behalf of the University. A live webcast of the NASDAQ Closing Bell will be available here.

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Peter Annin appointed managing director of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative

Author: William G. Gilroy

Peter Annin

Peter Annin, an award-winning Great Lakes author and environmental journalist, has been named managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative.

The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) is a key branch of the University’s Strategic Research Investment (SRI) program that has allocated $80 million of Notre Dame’s own money to advance the scope, excellence and visibility of the University’s research enterprise.

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Go named to Air Force Young Investigator Program

Author: Nina Welding

David Go

David B. Go, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, was recently selected by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSOR) as one of 43 engineers and scientists who will participate in the 2011 Young Investigator Program (YIP).

The program, which is only open to engineers and scientists at U.S. research institutions who have received a doctoral degree within the last five years, recognizes those who “show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.” This year’s YIP honorees will share approximately $16.5 million for research efforts over the next three years as outlined in their winning proposals.

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New book on peace complements Catholic teaching on ethics of war

Author: Joan Fallon

Gerard F. Powers, Robert J. Schreiter and R. Scott Appleby

The Catholic Church has a rich body of teaching on the ethics of war that has been influential for centuries around the world. Peace also plays an important role in Catholic teaching, yet the concept of peacebuilding is far less developed than the well-known “just war” theory.

Peacebuilding: Catholic Theology, Ethics, and Praxis,” a new book edited by Robert J. Schreiter, R. Scott Appleby and Gerard F. Powers, breaks new ground on the concept of Catholic peacebuilding with essays by leading theologians, ethicists and scholar-practitioners.

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Driehaus Prize winner Rafael Manzano Martos to lecture on Mudéjar architecture

Author: Karen Voss

Rafael Manzano Martos

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture will host the annual Driehaus Prize Lecture featuring 2010 laureate, Spanish architect Rafael Manzano Martos, on Nov. 17 (Wednesday).

Manzano’s lecture, “Mudéjar Architecture: Balance Between East and West, ” will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Room 104 of Bond Hall. A reception will follow in the Bond Hall Gallery.

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ND Expert: U.S. trade deal with S. Korea would benefit both countries

Author: Shannon Chapla


Unable to strike a trade agreement, President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak ordered negotiators back to work today to try and resolve disputes about new rules for cars and beef, and Jeffrey Bergstrand, finance professor at the University of Notre Dame, says a new deal would substantively benefit both countries.

“The U.S. currently has an $8 billion trade deficit with South Korea, likely due to an undervaluation of its currency,” Bergstrand says. “An agreement likely would lead to more dialogue and pressure South Korea to let its currency float more. South Korea exports $38 billion to the U.S., and we export about $30 billion to them.”

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Kommers receives high honor from German government

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Donald Kommers Receives the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit

Donald P. Kommers, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science emeritus and professor of law emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Monday (Nov. 8) at a ceremony in the office of the German Consulate in Chicago.

The Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, or “Bundesverdienstkreuz,” is the German government’s highest award, given to G

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Notre Dame to celebrate International Education Week Nov. 15 to 19

Author: McKenna Pencak

International Education Week

What do Asian dancers, Salvadoran papusas and a documentary about South African street soccer have in common? Each will be part of International Education Week (IEW), presented by International Student Services and Activities (ISSA) at the University of Notre Dame. Events are open to the public and will be held Nov. 15 to 19 (Monday to Friday).

IEW is a national event coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate and promote global exchange between the United States and other countries.

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A second chance at graduation

Author: Angela Sienko

Gene Dixon

A firm believer in the adage “better late than never,” Gene Dixon turned heads at the University of Notre Dame’s Commencement this spring.

With his distinguished grey beard and academic-looking eyeglasses, Dixon wasn’t among the faculty and dignitaries on the podium. Nor was he among the thousands of proud relatives in the audience. Dixon, in full cap and gown, was in the processional.

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Department of Film, Television and Theatre presents "Boy Gets Girl"

Author: Christine Sopczynski

Boy Gets Girl

The University of Notre Dame Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) will present “Boy Gets Girl” by Rebecca Gilman Nov. 11 to 21 in the Philbin Studio Theater at Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

A complete schedule of performances is available here. Admission is $15 for the general public, $12 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $10 for all students. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the ticket office at 574-631-2800.

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Notre Dame appoints Peter Likins to provide independent review of Declan Sullivan investigation

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Blue Seal

As part of the ongoing internal investigation into the death of Declan Sullivan, the University of Notre Dame will turn over its findings and recommendations to Peter Likins, the president emeritus of the University of Arizona who has been engaged by Notre Dame to provide an independent review of the process.

A junior from Long Grove, Ill., Sullivan died Oct. 27 when the hydraulic scissor lift from which he was videotaping football practice fell.

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Open letter to the Notre Dame community

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

Dear Notre Dame students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends,

The tragic accident that took Declan Sullivan’s life just over a week ago, the Mass of Remembrance in the Basilica, and his family’s faith-filled funeral for him this week have given each of us the chance to grieve, remember and pray. Declan was a bright and energetic young man who lived his life with passion. We will miss him, and we believe that he is in the loving embrace of our Lord.

Over this past week, I have had the great privilege of meeting with and trying to provide some measure of support to Declan’s parents, sister, brother and other members of his family. Many Notre Dame faculty, staff and students also have reached out to offer their assistance. Yet the Sullivan family, through their incredible grace and courage, has given us support and an example of how to respond. They ministered to us as we tried to minister to them. …

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Inaugural 1st Source Bank commercialization award process underway

Author: Julie Hail Flory

1st Source logo

In an effort to provide innovative faculty with an incentive to move promising research discoveries into the marketplace, 1st Source Bank is sponsoring an annual award of up to $20,000 for researchers at the University of Notre Dame and the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) who have successfully commercialized their newest technologies.

Established last year with a $1 million gift from 1st Source Bank, the award will be presented each year to a Notre Dame or IUSM-SB faculty member in recognition for moving their technology out of the lab and into the marketplace.

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Notre Dame to invest $6.5 million in additional energy conservation measures

Author: Rachel Novick

Office of Sustainability

The University of Notre Dame will invest $6.5 million over the next two years in energy conservation measures across the campus, ranging from lighting and motor upgrades to improved thermostat controls and fume hood renovations.

The plan was announced by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and John Affleck-Graves, Notre Dame’s president and executive vice president, respectively, at recent Town Hall meetings for Notre Dame faculty and staff.

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Brennecke named editor of American Chemical Society journal

Author: William G. Gilroy

Joan Brennecke

Joan F. Brennecke, Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the University of Notre Dame Energy Center, has been appointed editor of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data.

The Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data is a monthly publication that reports on experimental, evaluated and predicted data on the physical, thermodynamic and transport properties of well-defined materials including complex mixtures of known compositions and systems of environmental and biochemical interest.

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Notre Dame students carry on peace house tradition

Author: Kate Cohorst

Peace House

A group of University of Notre Dame seniors are taking their peace studies beyond the classroom with an ongoing experiment in intentional community.

The students who live in the off-campus Peace House each year are generally College of Arts and Letters seniors with a supplementary major or minor in peace studies and an interest in social justice and international issues.

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Notre Dame study: Unions make both members and nonmembers happier


Benjamin Radcliff

It’s no coincidence that American workers have never been more dissatisfied with their jobs, and labor unions’ membership keeps dropping, according to a new study co-authored by University of Notre Dame political scientist Benjamin Radcliff. The study was published recently in the journal Social Indicators Research.

Based on a study of unions in 14 nations, Radcliff found that people who live in countries in which labor union membership was robust were happier – regardless of whether or not they belonged to a labor union themselves.

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In memoriam: Frederick S. Beckman, professor emeritus of art, art history and design

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Frederick S. Beckman, professor emeritus of art, art history and design at the University of Notre Dame, died Sunday at his home in South Bend. He was 93 years old.

A native of Cadillac, Mich., Beckman was graduated from Notre Dame in 1942, served three years in the U.S. Army Air Corps, and earned a master’s of fine arts degree from Columbia University in 1949.

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O’Donnell to replace Mitchell as Forum event moderator

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Norah O'Donnell

Due to a scheduling conflict, the moderator for this evening’s Notre Dame Forum event featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has been changed from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell to her network colleague, journalist Norah O’Donnell.

Friedman’s talk, which will be streamed live on the Web, is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall at the University’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The presentation is a signature event for the 2010-11 Notre Dame Forum, “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good,” a yearlong discussion of morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy.

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