News » Archives » February 2010

Notre Dame students and staff safe after quake in Chile

Author: Dennis Brown

Santiago, Chile

The University of Notre Dame has been assured that all students and staff members associated with its programs in Chile are accounted for and safe after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the nation Saturday morning (Feb. 27).

Those from Notre Dame include 19 undergraduate students and two staff members participating and working in the University’s study abroad program in Santiago, five graduate students involved in Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education program in Santiago, and a staff member from the MBA program.

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Political science professor wins awards for book on Plato’s dialogues

Author: Lisa Walenceus


“Plato’s Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues” by Catherine Zuckert, Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, received three 2009 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Awards), including the top prize, the R.R. Hawkins Award. Presented by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the award was for the first time also given to an online publication, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews.

With the prestigious Hawkins Award, Zuckert’s book was recognized as the most outstanding professional, reference or scholarly work in 2009. “Plato’s Philosophers” also took the PROSE Award in Philosophy and the Award for Excellence in the Humanities. More than 400 books were submitted to the annual award program.

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History professor wins Shea and Schaff Prizes

Author: Lisa Walenceus

Van Engen, John

John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History, has been awarded both the John Gilmary Shea Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA) and the Philip Schaff Prize from the American Society for Church History (ACSH) for his book “Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages.”

The John Gilmary Shea Prize is an annual award given to a book judged by a committee of scholars to have made the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church. In presenting the award, this year’s judging committee declared, “Van Engen’s book succeeds admirably at showing us why the devotio moderna was important, presenting what has been done on it to date, then exploring new paths to a fuller understanding of the subject.”

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In memoriam: Gail Walton, director of music, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 1954 to 2010

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Gail Walton

Gail Walton, director of music at the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart, died yesterday at the Indianapolis University Medical Center after a long illness. She was 55 years old.

Walton had served as director of music in the Basilica since 1988, directing the Notre Dame Liturgical Choir as well as the Basilica Schola, which she founded in 1989.

Walton held degrees from Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music, where she earned the doctor of musical arts degree in organ performance. The Eastman School also awarded her the prestigious Performer’s Certificate in Organ. Before joining the Basilica staff, she taught organ at Goshen College.

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Acropolis Restoration Project to be unveiled at architecture exhibition and lecture

Author: Karen Voss

Acropolis_architecture lecture

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture will host a lecture and exhibition highlighting the Acropolis Restoration Project on Monday (March 1) at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium and gallery in Bond Hall. The events are free and open to the public.

Lena Lambrinou, an architect and archeologist with the Acropolis Restoration Service, will open the event with her lecture, “Preserving the Parthenon: Principles and Implementation.” Lambrinou will discuss the ongoing restoration efforts at the Parthenon, with emphasis on techniques for strengthening damaged parts of the building, reinstituting retrieved fragments, and incorporating new architectural elements where necessary. Lambrinou will also discuss her most recent work on the Parthenon’s north colonnade and plans for interventions on the west wall of the cella.

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Long-standing expertise impetus for Wireless Institute

Author: Nina Welding

Wireless Institute

The College of Engineering has announced the launch of the Wireless Institute at the University of Notre Dame. From the first successful wireless transmission in the United States, which was sent by Professor Jerome Green in 1899 from the Notre Dame campus to Saint Mary’s College, to its current research, the University has a long history of expertise and international recognition in wireless communications and networking technologies.

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Nerenberg named CAREER Award recipient

Author: Nina Welding

Robert Nerenberg

Robert Nerenberg, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2010 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Award recipient. The CAREER program, established by the NSF in 1995, is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to young faculty in engineering and science.

A faculty member since 2004, Nerenberg’s research centers on biofilm processes in environmental engineering, especially for water and wastewater treatment. For example, he and his research team have developed a novel wastewater treatment process, the Hybrid Membrane-Biofilm Process (HMBP), that reduces energy requirements by up to 50 percent and minimizes emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas.

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Martha Minow to Deliver 16th Annual Hesburgh Lecture

Author: Joan Fallon

Minow, Martha  Dean of Harvard Law

Martha Minow, Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor at Harvard Law School, will deliver the 16th annual Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy at 4:15 p.m., March 16 (Tuesday) in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Minow is an expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children and persons with disabilities. She has served on the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and helped launch Imagine Co-existence, a program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to promote peaceful development in post-conflict societies. At Harvard Law School, she teaches civil procedure and constitutional law.

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Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for Saturday

Author: William G. Gilroy

Science Engineering Fair

The Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair will take place Saturday (Feb. 27) at the Stepan Center at the University of Notre Dame. The event is open to the public at 1:30 p.m. and parking is available in the D lot east of the Stepan Center at the corner of Wilson and Stepan Drives.

The fair will feature some 275 science, engineering and mathematics projects by students in grades three through 12 from more than 50 public and private schools in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Fulton and Marshall counties.

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Report urges U.S. policymakers to engage with global religious actors

Author: Joan Fallon

Scott Appleby

Watch Video Video

A high-level task force of academics, policymakers, lawyers and religious leaders has released a report urging U.S. policymakers to rethink the role of religion in world affairs and proposing a new strategy for engaging religiously inspired people of all faiths.

“Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy,” is a product of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy, co-chaired by R. Scott Appleby, the John M. Regan Director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and professor of history, and Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

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Robinson Center to celebrate 9th anniversary

Author: Shannon Chapla


The Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC) will celebrate its ninth anniversary Friday (Feb. 26) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the University of Notre Dame, the center is located at 921 N. Eddy St., South Bend.

The celebration will feature guest speakers Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president and South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke and will publicly recognize RCLC founding director Jay Caponigro’s promotion to the position of director of community engagement for the University, effective March 1.

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New speaker series to focus on land conservation finance

Author: Carol Elliott

Mendoza Hartman Series Land Conservation Finance

Prompted by concerns over urban sprawl and loss of open land space, land conservation finance is the subject of a new spring speaker series sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

The Hartman Series in Land Conservation Finance features experts in land conservation strategies and discussions on topics including conservation-oriented development practices, the for-profit conservation industry, public capital, tax incentives and local initiatives aimed at land conservation.

While sustainable development practices such as smart growth, brown field reclamation and urban in-fill development have gained momentum, there also has been an explosion of programs and important funding mechanisms to protect open spaces directly.

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Student-led conference to focus on human development

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Ford Program Human Development Conference

Graduate and undergraduate students from across the country will present dynamic human development research conducted in 43 countries at the second annual Human Development Conference titled “People, Power and Pragmatism: The Future of Development in Our Changing World” to be held Friday and Saturday (Feb. 26 and 27) at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The event is free and open to the public.

During the two-day conference, 64 participants will present their research from 14 different fields of development. Participants will analyze past successes and challenges, examine current development efforts and synergize their experiences into a view of the future of sustainable and authentic human development.

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Blessed Brother André to become first saint of Notre Dame’s founding religious order

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Blessed Brother Andre Bessette

Blessed Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., will be canonized, or formally declared a saint, in a ceremony to be held Oct. 17.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the decision to canonize Brother André following a meeting of cardinals in Vatican City today.

Blessed Brother André was a brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the religious order which founded the University of Notre Dame, and the founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal in Montreal.

“All of us in the Notre Dame family are delighted to hear of Brother André’s canonization” said Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “His brothers in Holy Cross founded Notre Dame three years before he was born and continue to teach and serve here today, determined not only to educate minds and hearts, but to give witness to the kingdom of God. Brother André’s life, now recognized as a true treasure of the church, and his continuing advocacy, renews, deepens, and strengthens our foundational mission.”

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International Masterclasses introduce high school students to particle physics

Author: Marissa Runkle

Quark Net

High school students from the United States and 22 other countries will participate in particle physics research through an international Particle Physics Masterclass managed by the QuarkNet Center at the University of Notre Dame.

The class will allow some 400 high school students at 23 sites in the United States to work directly with sophisticated physics data involved in critical research at the CERN collider in Europe. The students will work with particle physicists to analyze measurements from the Large Electron Positron Collider, the predecessor of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in a tunnel at the French-Swiss border, to determine how the Z-boson decays into other particles. Although scientists provided the original analysis, the high school students will conduct their own independent analysis.

Student groups will present their results to one another through a national videoconference moderated by scientists at Fermilab.

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Institute for Latino Studies to research immigrant retirement savings

Author: Andrew Deliyannides

Karen Richman 2010

The Center for Migration and Border Studies in the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies has received a $125,000 grant from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) to investigate how social and cultural factors impact Mexican immigrants’ savings for retirement.

Titled “Understanding and Increasing Mexican Immigrants’ Financial and Retirement Security,” the study will examine how Mexican immigrants prepare, or do not prepare, for retirement. The research applies a novel, interdisciplinary approach to the study of retirement, combining anthropological and economic theories and methods.

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Summer Institute prepares faculty to teach peace

Author: Joan Fallon

George Lopez

Drawing on the success of last year’s program, the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is preparing for its second annual Summer Institute in Peace Studies Program Development, which will be held June 13 to 18 (Sunday to Friday) at Notre Dame.

Teams of faculty in any field who are interested in peace studies can apply to the summer institute, which is designed to equip professors to launch or strengthen peace studies programs on their own campuses.

The institute is led by Kroc Institute professor George A. Lopez, an authority on peace studies program development, and run by Kroc faculty and staff. Participants engage intellectually with leading thinkers on peace studies research, teaching, and practice; collaborate on course development; and explore the pedagogical, administrative and communications challenges of peace studies. Last year, nearly 50 faculty members from 19 colleges and universities across the United States participated in the program.

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Notre Dame Executive Education offers new leadership program

Author: Carol Elliott

Mendoza College of Business

Succession planning is a fundamental challenge for any company’s leadership. Not only should an organization seek to minimize disruption during transition, but the planning should be an ongoing process because it has implications for all current employees, especially high performers.

Notre Dame Executive Education is offering a new four-day program aimed at helping organizations maximize the potential of high-performing managers and supervisors in order to develop future leaders. “Unleashing Your Leadership Potential” (UYLP), intended for individuals with at least five years of work experience, takes a broader view of a leader’s responsibility and impact, while emphasizing the integration of personal and organizational values into larger leadership skills.

The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business will offer two sessions of “Unleashing Your Leadership Potential” in 2010; the spring session will be held May 10 to 13 and the fall session will take place Nov. 1 to 4. The deadline for applications to the spring session is April 10.

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Films and Faith series to explore faith and doubt

Author: Christine Sopczynski

Films and Faith

The University of Notre Dame will present Films and Faith Weekend 2010, titled “Faith and Doubt,” Feb. 19 to 21 (Friday to Sunday) in the Browning Cinema of the University’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Presented by Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre; Department of Theology; College of Arts and Letters and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, this year’s Films and Faith Weekend will explore the concept of faith and the struggles of doubt within the context of four very different films.

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Dainotto wins $10,000 Nanovic book prize

Author: Monica Caro

Roberto M. Dainotto

The University of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies has awarded the $10,000 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies to author Roberto M. Dainotto for his book “Europe (In Theory),” published by Duke University Press (2007).

The Shannon Prize is presented annually to the author of the best book in European studies that transcends a focus on any one country, state or people to stimulate new ways of thinking about contemporary Europe as a whole, and rotates between the humanities and history and social sciences. This is the inaugural award for the humanities, which judged nominated books published in 2007 and 2008.

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ND theologian Father Michael Driscoll elected president of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Michael Driscoll

Rev. Michael Driscoll, associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, was elected an officer and president-elect of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy at its annual meeting in Milwaukee last month.

The Catholic Academy of Liturgy is an organization of Catholic professionals from the United States and Canada trained in the disciplines of liturgy, music and related studies.

Father Driscoll, a priest from the diocese of Helena in Montana, joined the Notre Dame theology faculty in 1994. In addition to his scholarship in the areas of liturgy and sacramental theology, he has been active in pastoral ministry, working as choir director of the Helena Cathedral and as a liturgical consultant throughout the country.

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National Council of La Raza president and CEO to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Notre Dame News

Janet Murguía

The Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame will present “A Place at the Table: A Conversation with Janet Murguía on the Latino Agenda in 2010,” Feb. 16 (Tuesday) at 4 p.m. in Room 210-214 of McKenna Hall on the Notre Dame campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Murguía is president and chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). As someone who has experienced the promise of the American dream firsthand, Murguía has devoted her career in public service to opening the door to that dream to millions of American families.
Now, as a key figure among the next generation of leaders in the Latino community, she continues this mission as leader of NCLR, the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

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Notre Dame tuition increase lowest in 50 years

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Notre Dame Blue Seal

In a continuing effort to respond to ongoing economic difficulties faced by students and their families, the University of Notre Dame has set the percentage increase for 2010-11 undergraduate tuition at its lowest since 1960, and the University has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial aid needs of all undergraduate students.

Undergraduate tuition at Notre Dame will increase 3.8 percent for the 2010-11 academic year to $39,919. The room and board rate will average $10,866.

In a letter to parents and guardians of students returning for the next academic year, Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., wrote that the University is mindful of the global financial crisis and appreciates the tremendous sacrifices that so many make to attend Notre Dame. He wrote that Notre Dame “employs a fiscally conservative approach to investments and spending to make the best use of all our resources.”

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Ten Years Hence speaker Dust brings “design thinking” to business

Author: Carol Elliott

Fred Dust

Fred Dust is described as an “experience designer” or a cultural anthropologist. In his work as a partner for San Francisco-based IDEO, Dust looks for ways to make a particular environment – a hotel room or an airport security checkpoint, for example – not only more effective, but deeply memorable for the person experiencing it.

Some of Dust’s recent projects include designing a service model for the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente, as well as redesigning the donation experience for the American Red Cross and helping the Transportation Security Administration improve airport security. He also consulted with cartoonist Scott Adams on creating “Dilbert’s Ultimate Cubicle,” an interactive makeover of the featureless office cube.

Dust will be speaking at the University of Notre Dame on Friday (Feb. 12) at 10:40 a.m., in the Jordan Auditorium of the Mendoza College of Business. His talk is part of the Mendoza College’s Ten Years Hence Speaker Series, an annual spring series that explores ideas and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade.

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Study on ‘untouchables’ can help end human rights abuses, says Notre Dame scholar

Author: Joan Fallon

Christian Davenport

The largest-ever study on the Dalits — the so-called “untouchables” of India — reveals widespread caste-based discrimination in every aspect of daily life, according to Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science and sociology at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and one of the co-authors of the research report.

“Dalits are widely abused, and they live lives of constant humiliation, indignity and violence,” Davenport said. “They also are often deprived of water, food and health. It really is a kind of institutionalized, slow genocide.”

“Understanding Untouchability: A Comprehensive Study of Practices and Conditions,” just released by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and the Navsarjan Trust, uses data from 1,589 villages and 5,462 respondents in Gujarat, the westernmost state in India. The three-year study combined the efforts of academics, human rights activists and lawyers.

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Robert E. Burns, ND historian and administrator, dies

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Robert E. Burns

Robert E. Burns, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, died Friday (Feb. 5) in Sebastian, Fla., after a long illness.

A native of Newark, N.J., Burns was born in 1927 and grew up in Lowell, Mass. After service in the U.S. Coast Guard, he was graduated from Northeastern University in 1951 and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Harvard University in 1953 and 1961, respectively.

Burns joined the Notre Dame history faculty in 1957, teaching courses in Irish and British history and soon enjoying a reputation not only as a popular teacher and faculty colleague, but also as a prominent scholar in his field. In addition to writing numerous articles in scholarly publications, he was the author of a two-volume study of “Irish Parliamentary Politics in the Eighteenth Century” and “Being Catholic, Being American: The Notre Dame Story,” a massive two-volume history of Notre Dame from its foundation to 1952.

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Notre Dame theater season to present Eric Coble’s "Natural Selection"

Author: Christine Sopczynski

Natural Selection

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre will present “Natural Selection” by Eric Coble as part of its 2009-10 theater season.

Directed by Tim Hardy, this ironic comedy depicts a future where technology rules supreme: everything is cooked in a microwave, blogging has replaced conversation, school has become virtual and the Coca-Cola flavor of the week is vanilla-cherry-lime.

In “Natural Selection,” Henry Carson, a curator at Cultural Fiesta Theme Park is forced to travel the country in order to restock the Native American Pavilion. He soon finds that “native” can no longer be strictly defined. Technology has a decided disadvantage against mythology and, after years spent making the world artificial, the world begins to fight.

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Freshman survey reveals money matters

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Main Building

It must be money on the minds of college students, according to a recent national survey of freshman attitudes.

From their choice of university and major to the loans they will need and the relative importance of lifelong objectives, the survey found that the global economic crisis has had a widespread impact on college freshmen. A record 78 percent said that being “well-off financially” is a very important objective.

But at Notre Dame, other values trumped financial gain in the annual survey from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) at UCLA. Notre Dame freshmen ranked raising a family (84 percent) and helping others in difficulty (80 percent) higher than being well off (70 percent) as long-term objectives.

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Retired ND professor Elizabeth Christman dies

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Elizabeth Christman

Elizabeth A. Christman, associate professor emerita of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, died Thursday (Feb. 4).

A native of St. Louis, Christman was born in 1914, the oldest of seven children. She grew up in Webster Groves, a St. Louis suburb, and attended Webster College, from which she was graduated in 1935 with an English degree.

Following service as an editorial research officer in the U.S. Navy WAVES during World War II, Christman struggled as a freelance writer before finding a job as a secretary at Harold Ober Associates, the prestigious New York literary agency, in 1946. Quickly promoted from secretary to reader to agent, she worked at Ober for the next 23 years, associating with such literary luminaries as William Faulkner, Pearl Buck and J.D. Salinger. She prized a rare first edition copy of “Catcher in the Rye” signed by Salinger.

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Jay Caponigro appointed ND director of community engagement

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Jay Caponigro

Jay Caponigro, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center (RCLC), has been promoted to the position of director of community engagement at the University, effective March 1.

In the newly established position, Caponigro will assist Tim Sexton, associate vice president for public affairs, in the development, execution and measurement of Notre Dame’s efforts to strengthen and enhance its relationship with the local community.

A 1991 Notre Dame graduate, Caponigro holds a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Chicago. From 1995 to 1999, he was executive director of Chicago’s Southwest Organizing Project, which included 25 churches and schools in the racially diverse neighborhoods of that city’s southwest side. For the last 10 years he has directed the RCLC, managing violence-prevention, youth entrepreneurship and educational projects for adults and children in South Bend’s Northeast Neighborhood.

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