News » Archives » August 2010

Engineering students join South Bend school kids for technological discovery day

Author: William G. Gilroy


Watch Video

University of Notre Dame College of Engineering undergraduates will be working with 350 fifth-grade students from the South Bend Community School Corporation Friday (Sept. 3) as part of a technological discovery day titled, “I2D2 — Imagination, Innovation, Discovery and Design at Notre Dame.”

The event will take place in the Stepan Center between 10:15 a.m. and 1:40 p.m.

The students will participate in two active learning projects designed to help them learn about the kinds of questions that engineers and scientists ask and answer, such as “Why do things work the way they do?” and “How do we make them work better?”

Full story

Zipcars come to Notre Dame campus

Author: Kristen Georgian


The University of Notre Dame is launching a new partnership with Zipcar Inc., providing the campus with access to the world’s leading car-sharing service. The option of renting a high-efficiency, low-cost and convenient Zipcar encourages students on campuses across the country to leave their cars at home during the school year.

Zipcars are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all students, faculty and staff members, ages 18 and older. Gas, 180 miles per day, insurance, reserved parking spots and roadside assistance are included in the hourly and daily Zipcar rates. Cars can be reserved for as short as an hour or for up to four days. Rates on all Notre Dame vehicles start as low as $8 per hour and $66 per day (24 hours).

The annual membership fee for anyone affiliated with Notre Dame is $35 and applicants receive $35 worth of free driving credit applied toward their first month of driving. The annual membership fee is waived for department accounts and residence hall staff. Notre Dame students, faculty and staff can join at

Full story

Hispanics, African-Americans more likely to graduate at Notre Dame

Author: Shannon Chapla

Notre Dame Graduates

The University of Notre Dame is ranked 13th among research universities and in the top 35 overall for graduating Hispanic students, according to “Big Gaps, Small Gaps: Some Colleges and Universities Outpace Others in Graduating Hispanic Students,” recently released by the Education Trust.

Notre Dame was identified as having only a 2 percent gap in graduation rates between white and Hispanic students and the third-highest six-year graduation rate (94.3 percent) for Hispanic students, bettered only by Duke and Stanford Universities.

In addition, Notre Dame’s six-year graduation rate for African-Americans is approximately 91 percent, a figure that is higher than every institution listed in the report, except Rice University, meaning an African-American student has a higher probability of achieving a bachelor’s degree at Notre Dame than at almost any other university in the country.

Full story

Notre Dame’s Westerink reflects on Hurricane Katrina 5th anniversary

Author: William G. Gilroy

Hurricane Katrina

The fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (Aug. 29) has caused many Americans, and the news media in particular, to look back on that tragic event and reflect on its meaning.

Joannes Westerink, a professor of civil engineering and geological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has especially keen insights into Katrina and its significance. As the hurricane unfolded, he was providing forecasts of its incoming storm surge, and in the storm’s aftermath, he played a leading role in the effort to understand the causes of the catastrophe and the development of steps needed to prevent its reoccurrence.

Full story

Notre Dame launches eReader study, creates first paperless course

Author: Shannon Chapla

Watch Video Video

Notre Dame eReader Study

“This has become known as the iPad class,” Corey Angst, assistant professor of management at the University of Notre Dame, told his students on their first day of class Aug. 24. “It’s actually not…it’s ‘Project Management.’”

A member of Notre Dame’s ePublishing Working Group, Angst is debuting the University’s first and only class taught using Apple’s new wireless tablet computer to replace traditional textbooks. The course is part of a unique, year-long Notre Dame study of eReaders, and Angst is conducting the first phase using iPads, which just went on sale to the public in April.

“One unique thing we are doing is conducting research on the iPad,” Angst says. “We want to know whether students feel the iPads are useful and how they plan to use them. I want them to tell me, ‘I found this great app that does such and such. I want this to be organic…We have an online Wiki discussion group where students can share their ideas.”

Full story

Notre Dame MBA recognized as “military friendly” school

Author: Carol Elliott

Military Friendly Schools

The University of Notre Dame’s MBA program at the Mendoza College of Business has been recognized as a “2011 Military Friendly School,” an honor awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools. G.I. Jobs compiles the annual list of schools, which range from state universities and private colleges to community colleges and trade schools that “are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.”

“The military values of integrity, leadership, excellence and community are perfectly aligned with the values espoused by our MBA student body,” said Edward J. Conlon, associate dean for Graduate Studies of the Mendoza College of Business. “The Notre Dame program provides an excellent fit and a great opportunity for current and former members of the military services, and we are deeply honored to be described as ‘military friendly.’”

Full story

“Cultural Passport” program encourages Notre Dame students to visit area attractions

Author: William G. Gilroy

Cultural Passport

A new program created by the University of Notre Dame’s College of Science provides University students with the opportunity to explore cultural institutions in the South Bend area, many of which offer discounted student admission.

Students will receive a “Cultural Passport” which contains information on 14 regional cultural attractions such as the Morris Performing Arts Center, the East Race Waterway, the South Bend Museum of Art and Studebaker National Museum. As students visit each site, they will have their passport stamped upon entry. Students who visit all of the places listed in the passport will receive a South Bend Cultural Award Certificate signed by Mayor Stephen J. Luecke and the dean of their college.

Full story

School of Architecture sponsors third annual Accessibility Awareness Day

Author: Kara Kelly

Watch Video Video

Accessibility Awareness Day

Raising awareness about the challenges faced by people with physical disabilities and increasing architecture students’ awareness of accessible design in the context of daily student life on the University of Notre Dame campus is the purpose of the third annual Accessibility Awareness Day on Friday (Aug. 27).

Sponsored by the Notre Dame School of Architecture, with the support of the Office of the University Architect and Notre Dame Disability Services, the day-long program is a component of the University’s commitment to accessibility.

Senior architecture students will be divided into three groups: one with crutches, one with wheelchairs, and one with blindfolds and canes. They will navigate the campus and participate in various day-to-day activities such as riding the shuttle, attending class, and using public restrooms. The day will conclude with a lecture on designing for compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Full story

Goldman Sachs and business ethics first topic of ND lecture series

Author: Carol Elliott

Berges Lecture Series

In July, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million to settle federal claims that it misled investors in a subprime mortgage product as the housing market began to collapse. The fine was the largest ever levied by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and it settled at least a portion of the banking giant’s legal difficulties.

But many critics continue to debate whether Goldman’s actions were ethical, and whether the payment of a fine – however large – constitutes justice.
The issue of business ethics in the Goldman Sachs case is the opening topic of the 2010 John A. Berges Lecture Series in Business Ethics hosted by the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. The panel discussion, “The Ethics of Goldman Sachs: A Debate,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 31 (Tuesday) in the Mendoza College’s Jordan Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Participants in the discussion include Notre Dame business professors Georges Enderle, Ryan Professor of International Business Ethics; and Paul Schultz, Clark Professor of Finance. Patrick E. Murphy, professor of marketing, will serve as chair.

Full story

Opening Mass launches new academic year


2010 Opening Mass

University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., urged the Notre Dame community to take time for reflection Tuesday as he ushered in a new academic year during his annual Opening Mass homily.

Father Jenkins recommended the life of Blessed Brother Andre Bessette, C.S.C., of Montreal to inspire that reflection, and the ND Forum discussion on “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good” as a point of focus.

Blessed Brother Andre will be canonized in October, the first member of the Congregation of Holy Cross to become a saint.

“In many ways, this life of a simple man is so different from our lives at Notre Dame,” Father Jenkins said. "Among his assignments, he stood watch at the door of the C.S.C. community house, making many friends as he prayed for and counseled those who were ill. Miraculous healings resulted; Blessed Brother Andre also is credited with building a shrine to St. Joseph that today remains a place of pilgrimage in Montreal.

Full story

NOAA awards Notre Dame researchers $2.5 million invasive species grant

Author: William G. Gilroy


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded $2.5 million to the University of Notre Dame and its partners to predict the next wave of invasive species likely to enter the Great Lakes and to identify cost-effective countermeasures.

Invasive species such as zebra mussels are already a large problem, costing the Great Lakes region more than $200 million annually by disrupting fisheries and damaging waterway infrastructure by clogging water intake valves. Information generated by the study will help authorities prepare for new invasions and control current non-native populations.

David M. Lodge, professor of biological sciences at Notre Dame and director of its Center for Aquatic Conservation, will serve as principal investigator for the project. He served as the first chair of the National Invasive Species Advisory Committee and was the lead author of the Ecological Society of America’s paper calling for a stronger government response to the problem of invasive species.

Full story

Cardiology researcher to speak at Global Health Colloquium

Author: Marissa Runkle

Mark Huffman, M.D.

Mark Huffman, M.D., a 1998 University of Notre Dame graduate and a cardiology research fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will present at the Global Health Colloquium on Aug. 25 (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. in Room 283 of the Galvin Life Sciences building at Notre Dame.

Huffman, who recently spent nearly a year in India as an NIH Fogarty International Research Fellow, will speak on “A New World Order of Heart Disease: Trying to Telescope the Transition in India.”

India is in the midst of a public health transition common among developing countries, Huffman says. According to a theory of epidemiologic transition developed in the 1970s, medical issues shift as societies advance in ways that allow people to live longer. The results of poor diets and bad habits such as tobacco use leave many with heart disease, lung disease and diabetes where such basic issues such as maternal-child and infectious disease had been more prominent. In India, Huffman says, “poor rural parts are still battling measles. Other parts like New Delhi that are wealthier have plenty of heart disease, diabetes, etc.”

Full story

Interim director appointed for Notre Dame Press

Author: Dennis Brown

Harv Humphrey has been appointed interim director of the University of Notre Dame Press. He replaces Barbara Hanrahan, who left the University at the end of June.

Humphrey, who earned bachelor’s and master of business administration degrees from Notre Dame, is a consultant on organizational management and financial analysis. His work has ranged from broadcast media to industrial experience in the energy and housing sectors. Humphrey’s expertise in process development will enhance the press’ ability to bring to print the many manuscripts presently in-house.

Full story

Children’s lack of sleep can mean trouble grasping new ideas, Notre Dame research shows


Watch Video Video

Jessica Payne

You’ve purchased the new backpack, pencils and notebooks in preparation for the new school year. But there’s one school necessity you may have overlooked that can have a profound effect on your child’s ability to learn: adequate sleep.

Research from the University of Notre Dame shows that too little sleep causes more than crankiness and tantrums: it also results in the inability to process new ideas and be creative.

“If children are deprived of adequate sleep, their brains are not as able to make the kinds of connections necessary for learning new ideas,” says Notre Dame Psychologist Jessica Payne, whose research focuses on sleep, memory and creativity.

Full story

Astrophysicist Bennett’s project rated top priority research activity

Author: William G. Gilroy


A research project headed by University of Notre Dame astrophysicist David Bennett that is aimed at discovering Earth-mass planets has been named part of the top priority space-based research project for the next decade in a new report by the National Research Council (NRC).

The report by NRC’s Committee for a Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics, titled “New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics,” recommended priorities of the most important scientific and technical activities for astronomy and astrophysics over the next 10 years.

The report identified the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), scheduled to launch in 2020 as the top priority because the telescope would determine the likelihood of Earth-like planets over a wide range of orbital parameters, help settle fundamental questions about the nature of dark energy and provide surveys of our galaxy and others.

Full story

ADHD diagnosis overused for children youngest in class, Notre Dame research concludes

Author: John Monczunski, Notre Dame Magazine

William Evans

From the late 1980s to the early 2000s, the rate of diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) soared 500 percent. Today 5 to 10 percent of all U.S. children between the ages of 6 and 18 have been diagnosed with ADHD.

A recent study by University of Notre Dame economist William Evans and colleagues at the University of Minnesota and North Carolina State University suggests that, at least in part, the epidemic may be driven by misdiagnosis. The economists reach that conclusion based on statistical analyses of data on ADHD diagnosis, medication treatment and the age of those diagnosed relative to peers enrolled in school. The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Health Economics.

Full story

Father Carey to serve as interim director of Campus Ministry

Author: Dennis Brown

Rev. Joseph Carey, C.S.C.

Rev. Joseph Carey, C.S.C., a campus minister and priest in residence at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed interim director of Campus Ministry by Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, C.S.C., the University’s vice president for student affairs.

Rev. Richard V. Warner, C.S.C., director of Campus Ministry for the past 21 years, recently was elected superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross and is now leading its worldwide ministries from its headquarters in Rome. A permanent successor to Father Warner will be selected in the spring from among candidates from the Congregation of Holy Cross.

A member of the Campus Ministry staff since 2005, Father Carey has served as co-director of the Notre Dame Encounter retreat program, director of the senior retreat program, and chaplain to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program, international students, and the Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students. He is a priest in residence in Ryan Hall.

Full story

Notre Dame doctoral students win more than $1.5 million in external awards during 2010 awards season

Author: Notre Dame News

Golden Dome

University of Notre Dame doctoral students were awarded external fellowships during the course of the 2010 awards season totaling over $1.5 million, according to Gregory E. Sterling, dean of the Graduate School.

Many other students received recognition as finalists for various prestigious national awards. Still others received internal fellowships to support their research, travel or conference attendance.

“I congratulate our award winners and finalists. Their achievement should be celebrated by all of us at Notre Dame, for these students exemplify the standard of excellence in research by graduate students at our University,” Sterling said in making his announcement.

Full story

New paper offers breakthrough on blinking molecules phenomena

Author: William G. Gilroy


A new paper by University of Notre Dame physicist Boldizsár Jankó and colleagues offers an important new understanding of an enduring mystery in chemical physics.

More than a century ago, at the dawn of modern quantum mechanics, the Noble Prize-winning physicist Neils Bohr predicted so-called “quantum jumps.” He predicted that these jumps would be due to electrons making transitions between discrete energy levels of individual atoms and molecules. Although controversial in Bohr’s time, such quantum jumps were experimentally observed, and his prediction verified, in the 1980s. More recently, with the development of single molecule imaging techniques in the early 1990s, it has been possible to observe similar jumps in individual molecules.

Full story

Notre Dame hosts top African American high school students


Seminar for African American Scholars

Forty of the nation’s best and brightest rising high school seniors converged on the University of Notre Dame campus recently for a week of intellectual engagement and a glimpse of academic and student life.

Since 2000, Notre Dame’s Seminar for African American Scholars (SAAS) has exposed students to the vibrant intellectual life and Catholic character of the University with the hope that these gifted students ultimately will choose to attend Notre Dame.

This year, SAAS program director Darren Davis, associate vice president for research and professor of political science, designed the week’s curriculum and activities around the theme of Catholic social teaching, presenting race and identity in a broader theoretical context.

Full story

Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival to present “Cymbeline”

Author: Maryam Zomorodian

ND Shakespeare Festival logo

Watch Video Video

The 11th season of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) opened in mid-July and continues until the end of August with a variety of performances on campus and throughout the Michiana region.

As the professional theatre in residence at the University of Notre Dame, the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival presents world-class productions on its Mainstage while fostering young actors through unique educational performance opportunities such as the Young Company and ShakeScenes programs. Since its inception in 2000, the program has grown exponentially. Today, housed in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, it reaches thousands of people each year with Shakespeare’s timeless words.

Full story

ACE missioning sends new life and hope into America's classrooms

Author: William Schmitt

ACE Missioning Mass

The annual culmination of summertime studies in the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) programs on July 22 and 23 saw hundreds of new teachers and school leaders join the mission of Catholic education in schools and classrooms from coast to coast.

About 250 participants in the ACE formation programs for Catholic school teachers and leaders ended their coursework and prepared to fan out to serve in under-resourced schools during the upcoming academic year. But before leaving, they were missioned with the help of Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Bishop Thomas J. Curry, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Bishop Rhoades addressed the program participants at a prayer gathering at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on Thursday evening. A vocation to work in Catholic education is “a noble mission, a holy mission,” he said. Complimenting the ACE participants, he said such Catholic school teachers “recognize the mind, body and spirit” of children.

Full story

Notre Dame biologist believes Florida dengue cases merit close attention

Author: William G. Gilroy

David Severson

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report presents evidence that dengue fever, largely absent from the United States for decades, has reemerged in Florida. David Severson, a University of Notre Dame biologist and director of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health who was instrumental in mapping the genome of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the dengue virus to humans, believes that the report signals a possible significant public health concern that deserves increased public awareness.

The last dengue fever outbreak in Florida occurred in the 1930s. However, the Caribbean region and Central America are experiencing one of their worst public health outbreaks in decades and public health officials theorize that an infected visitor from those areas may have passed the virus to mosquitoes in Florida or that mosquitoes infected with the virus may have arrived in Florida on cruise ships or airplanes.

Full story

Notre Dame receives nine national communications awards

Author: Dennis Brown

Main Building

The Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC) at the University of Notre Dame has received nine national awards this summer from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Catholic Press Association, eduStyle and the University Photographers’ Association.

OPAC advances Notre Dame’s vision by providing strategic and creative communications expertise to compellingly tell the Notre Dame story to multiple audiences using traditional media and emerging technologies.

Full story