News » Archives » May 2010

Notre Dame Executive Education presents annual awards

Author: Carol Elliott

Mendoza Executive Education

The Executive Education Department in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame honored faculty, alumni and corporate partners for their contributions for excellence in innovation, ethical commitment and values-based leadership in keeping with the Notre Dame mission.

“We are delighted to recognize those individuals and organizations who give the best of themselves to Notre Dame,” said Sharon Keane, director of Executive Education. “They contribute to our success by generously sharing their expertise and doing so with a collaborative spirit.”

Presented annually since 2001, the awards were given at the Executive Education banquet held May 19 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the Notre Dame campus.

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Brennecke receives $2.5 million energy research grant

Author: William G. Gilroy

Joan Brennecke

Joan M. Brennecke, Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, is the recipient of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant for research that could fundamentally change the way the country uses and produces energy.

Brennecke received the $2.5-million grant through the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to study how solid compounds will turn into an ionic liquid when they react with CO2 and turn back into a solid when the CO2 is released. Ionic liquids require less energy than today’s approaches to capturing CO2.

In 2004, as part of a project sponsored by the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, a research team led by Brennecke and Edward J. Maginn, a Notre Dame professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, demonstrated that ionic liquids have the potential to efficiently capture CO2 from the flue gas of coal-fired plants. Ionic liquids, they believe, are a potentially pivotal component of an integrated system that can safely and economically sequester combustion-generated CO2, thereby mitigating its impact on climate change.

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Institute for Flow Physics advances laser communications

Author: Gene Stowe

Laser aerospace

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The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Flow Physics and Control’s Aero-Optics project recently conducted two flight tests of a laser system aimed at, among other things, developing communication capabilities for airplanes in flight.

The flights demonstrated that the system does not interfere with the plane’s ability to fly and that a laser from one plane in flight, using a tracking mechanism, can be held at a fixed point on another plane in flight.

Lasers offer wide-broadband, relatively inexpensive, secure point-to-point contact. Applications include video feeds from unmanned flights over battlefields or disaster areas, communication between pilots and other planes or ground stations, and high-speed Internet access for commercial passengers.

More test flights will begin in the spring, after more wind tunnel tests, according to Mike Zenk, operations manager for the project that started in August 2007 with a five-year, $5.6-million grant from the Air Force. Eric Jumper, a Notre Dame professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, is the lead investigator.

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New book by father-daughter peacebuilders published

Author: Joan Fallon

Lederach book

John Paul and Angela Jill Lederach have written “When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys Through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation.”

Published by the University of Queensland Press, the book challenges the traditional idea that healing and reconciliation are linear and sequential “post-conflict” processes. Instead, the authors write, healing (after war, near-death experiences, or sexual violence) is circular and dynamic and can continue even when the violence hasn’t stopped.

“We often hear that there are ‘phases’ in healing and reconciliation, but that isn’t the experience of many people in local communities,” said John Paul Lederach, professor of international peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “Even the concept of ‘post conflict’ is fiction, as people live through repeated cycles of violence. We wanted to document and explore how people who had faced the unspeakable found their voices. And much of it came back to poetry, music and sound.”

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Notre Dame architecture students begin building Ugandan school

Author: Karen Voss

Notre Dame Architecture students begin the construction of a school in Uganda.

University of Notre Dame School of Architecture students have teamed up with Building Tomorrow, Inc. (BT) to design, fund and build a much-needed school in the Kiboga district of Uganda, Africa. They leave this week to begin construction.

BT is an international social-profit organization that encourages youth philanthropy to build educational infrastructure projects for under-served children in sub-Saharan Africa. BT currently works in Uganda, identifying areas with the greatest number of children with the least access to a primary school.

Notre Dame’s involvement began last year when fifth-year School of Architecture student Elijah Pearce attended a talk by BT president, George Srour, and decided to recruit fellow students to join their efforts. Over the next year Pearce, with the generous funding of Matthew and Joyce Walsh, brought together a group of six Notre Dame Architecture students to build the new school.

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Notre Dame faculty to assist in oil spill forecasting

Author: William G. Gilroy


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University of Notre Dame researchers Joannes Westerink and Andrew Kennedy are participating in an innovative effort to forecast the movement of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to coastal areas of the Gulf Coast.


Westerink, Kennedy, Luettich and researchers from the University of Texas and Louisiana State University are now applying the ADCIRC program to help predict the near-shore and “inner-shore” movement of oil from the Horizon spill off the Louisiana coast.

Westerink notes that there are existing predictive models that are well suited for projecting the movement of the oil plume in deep ocean water and on the mid to outer continental shelf. However, these models lack the horizontal resolution and physics components that are critical for realistically portraying water and oil movement on the inner shelf, the near-shore and the “inner shore” (sounds, estuaries, marshes and bayous).

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Julie Hail Flory promoted to director of public relations

Author: Dennis Brown


Julie Hail Flory, associate director of news and information at the University of Notre Dame for the past two years, has been promoted to director of public relations.

In her new role, Flory will oversee a team of five writers and media specialists to help proactively tell the Notre Dame story. In addition to media relations efforts, Flory’s team will oversee the day-to-day management of the Notre Dame home page and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Flory also will work with Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown on crisis and issues communications.

A member of the University’s communications division since 2000, Flory has worked primarily as a media liaison, managing editor and a writer, focusing largely on the fine and performing arts, the School of Architecture and student activities and accomplishments.

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Thirteen seniors receive national fellowships and scholarships

Author: William G. Gilroy


The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation and other national organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 13 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2010.

Ryan Lash, Venetia, Pa., has received a Gates Cambridge Scholarship for advanced study at the University of Cambridge.

Three graduates received Fulbright Research and Study Grants. They are: Monica Grzesiak, Macomb, Mich., to Germany; Jenna Knapp, Indianapolis, Ind., to El Salvador; and Catherine Stecyk, Uniontown, Ohio, to Ukraine.

Four seniors received Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships. They are: Kate D’Ambrose, Naperville, Ill., to Germany; Tracy Jennings, Richmond, Va., to Turkey; Hayley Mohr, Midlothian, Va., to Germany; and Allison Thomas, Belleair, Fla., to Spain.

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ND Expert: Lopez says U.N. sanctions on Iran are strong

Author: Shannon Chapla


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The newly proposed U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran are not weak and watered down, but smartly targeted and likely to be effective, according to George A. Lopez, who holds the Hesburgh Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute.

This year, Lopez serves as a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., writing a book on the future of sanctions. He frequently provides advice and background research to Security Council members and the U.S. government regarding the effectiveness of sanctions, and testified before Congress last year on Iran sanctions. He has been involved in a number of discussions in New York and Washington about this new package of sanctions.

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Notre Dame law professor Cassel to help draft peace declaration

Author: Melanie McDonald


Douglass Cassel, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, is one of ten experts from around the world invited by UNESCO and the Spanish Association for International Human Rights Law to help draft a proposed universal declaration of the human right to peace.

Cassel, who serves as the director of Notre Dame Law School’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, is a scholar and practitioner of international human rights, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law.

The drafting committee, which convenes at the end of this month in Barcelona, Spain, consists of two international experts from each of the five geographical regions represented at the United Nations: Latin America and the Caribbean; Africa; Asia; Western Europe and other western states (including the United States); and Eastern Europe. Ultimately, a draft of the peace declaration will be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with a recommendation that it be adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Cassel’s scholarly articles in English and Spanish are published in the United States, Latin America and Europe, and he lectures at universities and conferences worldwide. On behalf of retired United States diplomats, and leading experts on international law, he has filed several amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, involving the rights of prisoners at Guantanamo, and accountability for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Claims Act. He represents victims of human rights violations in Colombia, Guatemala, Peru and Venezuela, in cases before the Inter-American Commission and Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

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ND safety personnel to undertake training



University of Notre Dame personnel will conduct emergency training exercises from 7 to 11 p.m. May 26 and 27 (Wednesday and Thursday) in the area around Hesburgh Library, the Stepan Chemistry building and Malloy Hall.

During that period, officers from Notre Dame Security Police and the Notre Dame Fire Department will be actively involved in emergency response training. Personnel, students and campus visitors should be assured that the activity is to ensure preparedness, and involves no actual threat.

During that period, officers from Notre Dame Security Police and the Notre Dame Fire Department will be actively involved in emergency response training. Personnel, students and campus visitors should be assured that the activity is to ensure preparedness, and involves no actual threat.

Media Note: The event is not open to the media

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance aids in drug design

Author: Marissa Runkle

Peng_Jeff NMR

A new study by a team of researchers led by Jeffrey Peng, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, is using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), to move drug design into groundbreaking consideration of the dynamic flexibility of drugs and their targets.

The research, which was published by the Journal of the American Chemical Society, contributes to the growing attention given toward the shape-shifting movement of molecules, a feature that potentially could help drug designers overcome issues of resistance, transportation of drugs to targets and oral bioavailability.

“The new focus is that it’s not enough just to look at the protein motion,” Peng said. “Of course, we’ve studied protein motions for some time, as many disease-related proteins are flexible. But we’ve also realized that in order to impact drug discovery, we also have to look at the candidate drug molecule that is being designed, that is, the ‘ligand.’ It can move too.”

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Notre Dame graduate students lead “Teaching in the Community” workshop

Author: Paul Horn

Kaneb Center logo

Two University of Notre Dame graduate students recently led a workshop titled “Meaningful Teaching Experiences: Partnering with the Community” to encourage graduate students interested in teaching and getting involved in the larger South Bend community to participate in volunteer teaching at South Bend’s Center for the Homeless (CFH).

Carrie Miller, who studies chemistry, and Laura Kinnaman, who studies physics, led the workshop, which was sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns, the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, and the CFH. It was designed to further develop a culture of volunteer teaching by Notre Dame graduate students.

“I encourage others to volunteer because the University of Notre Dame does not exist in isolation — when we enrich those around us, we enrich ourselves,” Miller said. “Fostering a culture of volunteerism to help the homeless in South Bend is a legacy that will endure after we move on to our post-graduate careers, and I want everyone to have a part in that legacy.”

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Dana Gioia Laetare Address

Author: Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia

Thank you very much. Thank you, Father Jenkins and all the members of the Laetare Committee. I am enormously honored by this award, which I receive with sincere humility and gratitude.

Humility and gratitude are not formulaic words for me today. When I received the letter from Notre Dame notifying me of the Laetare Medal and read the noble criteria for the award, I felt the same emotions I do kneeling at Mass each Sunday—first a deep sense of my own unworthiness—Domine, non sum dignus, Lord, I am not worthy—and then gratitude for such undeserved grace.

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Class of 2010 called to help solve nation’s crises

Author: Shannon Chapla

Brian Williams

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Citing the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico among a laundry list of national crises, Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” told the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2010, “There is a solution to each of our nation’s challenges in each of you,” at the 165th University Commencement Ceremony held Sunday (May 16) in Notre Dame Stadium.

Williams was the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the ceremony, at which 1,829 new graduates received their diplomas.

“There are four million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico,” Williams said. “Oil is pouring into the Gulf of Mexico as I stand here. There is nothing to stop it, nothing at all. They’ve asked the public for ideas. My certainty is that this institution, this graduating class, has the brainpower to fix it, and now you’ve just been asked.”

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Father Malloy to address Thomas More College graduates

Author: Dennis Brown


Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, will deliver the principal address and receive the St. Thomas More Medallion at Thomas More College’s commencement ceremony May 15.

Located in Crestview Hills, Ky., just south of Cincinnati, Thomas More College is a Catholic liberal arts institution serving some 1,900 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. The college’s St. Thomas More Medallion is bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate the qualities associated with its patron.

Father Malloy retired as Notre Dame’s president in 2005. During his 18-year tenure, the University experienced rapid growth in its reputation due to substantive improvements in the size and scholarly credentials of its faculty, the academic quality and diversity of the student body, and its financial resources and physical infrastructure.

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Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program inaugural class announced

Author: Shannon Chapla

Hesburgh Yusko scholars

Twenty-five high school seniors from 17 states and Korea comprise the inaugural class of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, a comprehensive undergraduate merit scholarship and enrichment initiative.

Selected from a pool of more than 400 applicants, the scholars embody the program’s vision of influence, scholarship, character and compassion. Each will receive four years of merit scholarship awards of $25,000 per year. Other components of the program will include a complement of fully funded summer enrichment experiences, seminars and service-learning projects during the academic year, career advising, and alumni mentoring and networking.

“The inaugural class of Hesburgh-Yusko scholars brings together an uncommonly accomplished, diverse and ambitious group of students,” said University Provost Thomas G. Burish. “We look forward to helping them grow and develop not only into successful leaders in their professions but also ethical and generous leaders in their communities, the nation and beyond.”

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Notre Dame research awards exceed $100 million


Undergraduate research

The University of Notre Dame’s research awards have exceeded the $100-million mark for the first time in its history, fulfilling a goal set by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, during his 2005 inaugural address.

“This is an important milestone for Notre Dame because it signals progress toward our goal as a pre-eminent Catholic research university,” Father Jenkins said. “It shows that our faculty are making valuable discoveries in areas as diverse as nanoscience technology and conflict resolution.”

The milestone was reached on April 6 with the arrival of a $93,158 grant from the National Science Foundation to Karsten Grove, professor of mathematics, for a study titled “Geometry and Topology in the Presence of Lower Curvature Bounds.”

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Notre Dame MBA wins second place in Aspen Institute case competition

Author: Carol Elliott

MBA Aspen competition

How can business leaders balance the need for business growth while being responsive to the social and environmental needs of the communities in which they operate? That was the issue business students from 25 leading international business schools responded to in a new, complex case study addressing today’s international management challenges, based on the experiences of The Tata Group, a multinational company—and India’s largest business group—operating in seven business sectors.

The MBA team from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame won second place and a cash prize of $10,000 for its plan that effectively leveraged sustainability across Tata’s expanding markets. Team members included MBA student Kevin Richards and 2010 MBA candidates Mathew Ashley, Rachel Reiter and William O’Brien.

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Notre Dame and Madison Center announce new partnership

Author: William G. Gilroy

Madison Center

The University of Notre Dame and the Madison Center, the leading provider of behavioral health care services in northern Indiana, have announced a new series of agreements which will enhance research opportunities for University and Madison researchers while helping to improve the already high level of services Madison provides to the local community.

Although Notre Dame psychologists have conducted research at the center for a number of years, the new agreements represent a significant scaling up of the relationship between the two entities.

Notre Dame will occupy space in buildings on the Madison Center campus for researchers from its Department of Psychology who specialize in areas such as geropsychology and personality and mood disorders. This will improve access of researchers to patients in their fields of expertise. The agreements also will enhance training opportunities for Notre Dame graduate and undergraduate students interested in behavioral areas.

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More than 3,000 students to receive degrees May 16

Author: Julie Hail Flory


More than 3,000 students will receive degrees Sunday (May 16) at Notre Dame’s 165th University Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 9 a.m. in Notre Dame Stadium.

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. Dana Gioia, poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will receive the 2010 Laetare Medal, Notre Dame’s highest honor and the most prestigious award given to American Catholics.

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Paper offers important new insights into the genomics of speciation

Author: William G. Gilroy

Feder_apple fly

A new paper by a team of researchers led by University of Notre Dame biologist Jeffrey Feder could herald an important shift in thinking about the genomics of speciation.

Titled “Widespread genomic divergence during sympatric speciation,” the paper appears in today’s edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Richard Notebaert reelected chair of Notre Dame Board of Trustees

Author: Dennis Brown


Richard C. Notebaert, chair of the University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees, was elected to a new three-year term at the Trustees’ spring meeting May 1.

In addition, Douglas Ford, a Board member since 2001, was elected a Fellow of the University and four Notre Dame alumni were newly elected to the Board.

A member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees since 1997, Notebaert became chair in 2007. He is a Fellow of the University and previously served as chair of the board’s University Relations and Public Affairs and Communications Committee.

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Pope’s representative, Archbishop Sambi, visits Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, will be a participant in the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation from May 6 to 8 at the University of Notre Dame.

The three-day meeting, convened by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and hosted by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, will bring together some 300 leaders from diverse cultures, ethnicities and races in the Catholic Church of the United States to discuss ways to deepen unity among the country’s 68.5 million Catholics and to derive from their diversity a more robust sense of Catholic identity.

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Notre Dame Band to perform in Carnegie Hall

Author: Notre Dame News

Carnegie Hall_band

The Notre Dame Band will make history on May 11 (Tuesday) as it make its concert debut on the stage of the world famous Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The concert is an exclusive presentation of the University of Notre Dame and more than 90 Notre Dame student musicians from nearly every academic discipline at the University will be featured on the program. The students will share the stage with several guest artists, including: Phil Smith of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Stephen Lancaster of the Notre Dame Department of Music, and television personality, entertainer and Notre Dame alumnus Regis Philbin.

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Nuclear policy experts chart path toward global zero

Author: Joan Fallon, Kroc Institute

Cortright book authors

The world is facing an unprecedented opportunity to make real progress in reducing the threat of nuclear weapons, according to the authors of “Towards Nuclear Zero,” a new book published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“Nuclear disarmament has moved beyond idealism to a thoroughly realistic vision,” said author David Cortright of the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “Governments and leaders around the world now recognize that there are sound security reasons why we should reduce our reliance or eliminate nuclear weapons.”

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Winners announced for 2010 McCloskey Business Plan Competition and Social Venture Competition

Author: Carol Elliott

Gigot logo

A plan to recycle water bottles into comfortable fitness apparel and a business approach catering to the needs of college students studying abroad won top prizes of $15,000 each as part of the annual business plan competitions held at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies announced the winners of the McCloskey Business Plan Competition and the Social Venture Competition following final-round judging on April 22 and 23 at the Mendoza College.

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Scholastic named Newsmagazine of the Year

Author: Notre Dame News

Scholastic award

Scholastic, the University of Notre Dame’s student news magazine, has been named 2010 Newsmagazine of the Year by the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA).

It also won first-place awards for its issue on alumni-student relations, as well as for best editorial, best opinion column, best sports column, best feature story, best humor column, best cover design, best overall design, best news photo and best sports photo.

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