News » Archives » September 2010

$1.4 million awarded in second round of scientific research on generosity


Science of Generosity

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The University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity Initiative has awarded $1.4 million to nine research projects that will study the origins, manifestations and consequences of generosity. The winning projects were chosen from among 327 proposals by scholars in numerous disciplines in this second phase of research funding. Four projects were funded earlier this year.

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Notre Dame and University of Wyoming scientists genetically engineer silkworms to produce artificial spider silk

Author: William G. Gilroy

Matured Silkworm

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A research and development effort by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wyoming, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. has succeeded in producing transgenic silkworms capable of spinning artificial spider silks.

“This research represents a significant breakthrough in the development of superior silk fibers for both medical and non-medical applications,” said Malcolm J. Fraser Jr., a Notre Dame professor of biological sciences. “The generation of silk fibers having the properties of spider silks has been one of the important goals in materials science.”

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Notre Dame presents The Tournées Festival

Author: Chris Sopczynski

The Tournees Festival

The University of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies, French and Francophone Studies Program, and Department of Film, Television and Theatre will present The Tournées Festival, a showcase of five of today’s internationally recognized and celebrated French films, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 28 in the Browning Cinema of the University’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the ticket office at 574-631-2800. Prices are $6 for the general public, $4 for seniors and $3 for all students.

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Research breakthrough to be announced at press conference

Author: William G. Gilroy

Notre Dame Blue Seal

The University of Notre Dame and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories will hold a joint press conference at 11 a.m. on Sept. 29 (Wednesday) in the Jordan Hall of Science on the Notre Dame campus to describe a new research breakthrough and its possible biomedical and commercial applications.

A live video stream of the press conference will be available here.

Notre Dame and Biocraft representatives will make comments and answer questions during the press conference.

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Research to focus on increasing security for humanitarian workers worldwide

Author: Joan Fallon

Larissa Fast

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Larissa Fast, assistant professor of conflict resolution and sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and her co-investigators from Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children, a grant for research that seeks to increase security for international relief and development agencies worldwide.

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New study reveals that insecticides from genetically modified corn are present in adjacent streams

Author: William G. Gilroy


A new study by University of Notre Dame ecologist Jennifer Tank and colleagues reveals that streams throughout the Midwest are receiving transgenic materials from corn crop byproducts, even six months after harvest.

Transgenic maize (corn) has been genetically engineered to produce its own insecticide, a delta endotoxin from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Bt endotoxins deter crop pests, such as the European corn borer.

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Notre Dame to host fourth annual Energy Week

Author: William G. Gilroy

Energy Week

The University of Notre Dame will observe its fourth annual Energy Week today through Thursday (Sept. 24-30) with the theme “Green is Gold.”

Organized by members of the Student Advisory Board of the Notre Dame Energy Center, each day of Energy Week will feature energy education and awareness activities, lectures on renewable energy sources, tours of both the Notre Dame power plant and Geddes Hall (the first building on campus to receive LEED Gold Certification) and screenings of documentaries and energy-focused movies, such as “The 11th Hour.” See all the activities.

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Gurulé to address AG symposium on Mexican criminal justice reform

Author: Chuck Williams

Jimmy Gurulé

Jimmy Gurulé, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, will make two presentations at a major symposium hosted by the Indiana Attorney General’s office for training Mexican prosecutors in the modernization and reform of Mexico’s criminal justice system.

The training session is the result of an agreement signed by Attorney General Greg Zoller and Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, the attorney general of the Mexican state of Baja California.

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Center encourages students to become creators of knowledge

Author: Carol Bradley

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Undergraduate Scholars Conference

“Notre Dame is strong in undergraduate teaching, but the next frontier is students working with professors to do research,” says Daniel Lindley, associate professor of political science and director of the University of Notre Dame’s new Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE).

“Research is development of the mind—the development of students who will be of service to the University and to the world,” he says.

The center, which opened on the second floor of Notre Dame’s Geddes Hall late last year, will offer ideas, advice and centralization of information for undergraduates interested in doing research, in addition to partnering with faculty to create research opportunities.

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Notre Dame updates University events calendar


Events Calendar

The University of Notre Dame has launched a new electronic events calendar that delivers information about Notre Dame activities to your desktop, your smart phone and to personal electronic calendars such as Outlook and Google.

The new site,, phases out the former for a visually lively homepage of pictures and clearly identified events of the day.

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Cargill donation will help Notre Dame Haiti Program fight disease

Author: William G. Gilroy

Haiti Program

Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services, has donated $20,000 toward the purchase of raw salt to assist in the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program effort to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in that country.

LF, which commonly is called elephantiasis, is one of the leading causes of disability in the world and it affects roughly one-third of the population in Haiti. However, the debilitating disease can be eliminated by using table salt. Cargill’s donation will assist a community development model that includes table salt as an integral component.

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President of Catholic Relief Services to present lecture at Notre Dame

Author: Paul Horn

Ken Hackett and Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, will present the Center for Social Concerns’ 2010 Rev. Bernie Clark, C.S.C. lecture, “Globally Engaging Charity in Truth,” on Sept. 23 (Thursday), at 7:15 p.m. in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall on the University of Notre Dame campus.

CRS is one of the world’s most effective and efficient relief and development agencies according to independent studies and Hackett will share best practices on relief and development efforts, situating the work of CRS in the context of recent papal encyclical which addresses the financial crisis.

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Green Chemistry and energy experts to present lectures and demonstrations at Notre Dame

Author: Marissa Gebhard

John Warner

John Warner, one of the founding fathers of green chemistry, will give a lecture titled “Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry” on Saturday (Sept. 25) at 10 a.m., in Room 101 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Warner is the co-founder, chief technology officer and chairman of the board of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. Warner, who co-authored the seminal book “Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice,” will discuss green chemistry and how it is used to reduce the use and/or generation of hazardous substances in the design phase of materials development. Warner holds numerous patents and has worked extensively in the areas of semiconductor design, biodegradable plastics, personal care products and polymeric photoresists.

Warner’s talk will be immediately followed by a presentation by Ty Newell at 11 a.m., and green chemistry demonstrations for children of all ages by Amy Cannon at noon also in the Jordan Hall of Science.

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Notre Dame creates position to coordinate life initiatives

Author: Dennis Brown

Mary Daly

A final recommendation from the Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life at the University of Notre Dame recently was accepted by the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

As it completed its term of service in May, the task force recommended to Father Jenkins that structures be created to implement previous recommendations and continue the group’s work. In response, Father Jenkins has established the position of coordinator for university life initiatives and appointed Mary K. Daly to the post.

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Research shows child rearing practices of distant ancestors foster morality, compassion in kids


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Compassionate Kids

Ever meet a kindergartener who seemed naturally compassionate and cared about others’ feelings? Who was cooperative and didn’t demand his own way? Chances are, his parents held, carried and cuddled him a lot; he most likely was breastfed; he probably routinely slept with his parents; and he likely was encouraged to play outdoors with other children, according to new research findings from the University of Notre Dame.

Three new studies led by Notre Dame Psychology Professor Darcia Narvaez show a relationship between child rearing practices common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies (how we humans have spent about 99 percent of our history) and better mental health, greater empathy and conscience development, and higher intelligence in children.

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Notre Dame Forum events to explore morals, professions, technology and the common good

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Notre Dame Forum

Three panel discussions will be presented at the University of Notre Dame in September and October as part of the 2010-11 Notre Dame Forum, “The Global Marketplace and the Common Good.”

A yearlong discussion on the role of ethics, values and morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy, the Forum will bring experts and speakers to campus to join Notre Dame faculty and students to examine the inherent demand for an essential moral framework in the quest for human development, a topic that has taken on increased scrutiny in the wake of the current global economic crisis and that is relevant to the recent papal encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” in which Pope Benedict XVI offers reflections on the subject, touching on theological, economic and political questions.

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Notre Dame alumnus Bishop appointed associate VP for undergraduate enrollment

Author: Dennis Brown

Donald C. Bishop

Donald C. Bishop, a long-time admissions leader in higher education and a University of Notre Dame graduate, has been appointed associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment at Notre Dame, effective Dec. 1. He succeeds Daniel J. Saracino, who retired in June.

In addition to directing the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Bishop will oversee the Office of Student Financial Services, a new collaboration that will help Notre Dame attract and recruit highly talented students whose interests and aspirations align with the University’s mission as a Catholic university.

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Notre Dame alumni honored with annual awards

Author: Angela Sienko


The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association honored the achievements of two Notre Dame graduates with awards this month.

Capt. Wendy Sue Kosek, a 2004 graduate and 2007 graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, received the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award for distinguished military service.

Victor Dukay, a 1978 Notre Dame graduate, was presented the Thomas A. Dooley Award for his outstanding service to humankind, specifically for his work with HIV/AIDS and improving the lives of orphaned children in Africa.

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Newt Gingrich to present new John Paul II documentary at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Newt Gingrich

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista Gingrich, will introduce the documentary film “Nine Days that Changed the World” Sept. 20 (Monday) at 7 p.m. in the University of Notre Dame’s Washington Hall auditorium.

The Gingriches are the executive producers of the film, which concerns Pope John Paul II’s nine-day visit to his native Poland in June of 1979. That historic papal trip greatly strengthened the country’s Solidarity workers movement, emboldened conscientious dissidents throughout Eastern Europe, and hastened the collapse and dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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A vision informed by a life journey

Author: Arnold Phifer

Hsueh-Chia Chang

The behavior of fluids seems simple and intuitive—rivers flow downhill, drinks take the shape of the glass they’re in, etc.

But at extremely small scales, fluids follow a physics that can seem strange to us. The effects of gravity and inertia, for example, give way to more powerful forces like surface tension and viscosity. By understanding and exploiting these properties, engineers in the young field of “microfluidics” have developed a wide range of useful applications, including well-known ones in the home (inkjet printers) and on police dramas (DNA analyzers).

For Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, the greatest uses of microfluidic technology still lie ahead, in applications that will help tackle some of the world’s toughest health and environmental problems.

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Notre Dame police, fire and risk management departments to be aligned under new Office of Campus Safety

Author: Dennis Brown

Mike Seamon

The University of Notre Dame’s police, fire and risk management and safety departments will be aligned under a new Office of Campus Safety to be directed by Michael Seamon, who has been promoted to associate vice president.

An eight-member task force led by John Affleck-Graves, the University’s executive vice president, was created last October to examine Notre Dame’s current structure as well as the organizational models at others colleges and universities. Working in conjunction with an outside consultant, the committee made the recommendation for the realignment, which is effective Oct. 1. Seamon will report to Affleck-Graves.

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Lecture to provide insider’s look at New START treaty

Author: Joan Fallon

Rose Gottemoeller

Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. assistant secretary of state and chief negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the U.S. and Russia, will speak at the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 21 (Tuesday) at 4:15 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The event is free and open to the public.

Gottemoeller will provide an insider’s view of negotiations toward a treaty to reduce nuclear arsenals, which was signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last spring. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote on ratification of the treaty on Sept. 16.

Respondents to the lecture are Col. Richard Klass of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Discussion will include the terms of the new treaty, its impact on relations between the United States and Russia, and its implications for U.S. and international security.

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Chuck Lennon retiring as executive director of Notre Dame Alumni Association

Author: Dennis Brown

Chuck Lennon

Charles F. Lennon Jr. will retire in June 2011 after 30 years as executive director of the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association. Louis M. Nanni, vice president for University Relations, will conduct a national search for Lennon’s successor.

Speaking on behalf of the two other presidents for whom Lennon served, Revs. Theodore M. Hesburgh and Edward A. Malloy, Notre Dame’s current president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said: “Chuck Lennon embodies the spirit of Notre Dame. As a student, athlete, alumnus, coach, administrator, and, since 1981, as the leader of one of the most extraordinary alumni associations in the nation, that spirit animates everything he does. His life is one of loving service to Notre Dame. We will miss his leadership, insight and infectious enthusiasm but wish him the very best in this next stage of his life.”

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Student play explores migrant issues, energizes London community

Author: Joanna Basile

"Child of the Migrant Moon"

During the spring semester, students studying abroad at the University of Notre Dame’s London Centre brought the mission of the University to life in a local school play that was far from the typical gymnasium fare.

Led by Anton Juan, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the undergraduates helped bring to the stage the stories of migrant families as seen from the perspective of the children at Sacred Heart Primary School.

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Twins are intriguing subjects for Notre Dame biometrics researchers

Author: William G. Gilroy

Twinsburg, Ohio

Each year in August, the aptly named town of Twinsburg, Ohio, is the site of the largest official gathering of twins in the world. Open to all multiples — identical and fraternal twins, triplets and quads from newborns to octogenarians — the weekend’s events include food, live entertainment, a golf tournament, and a twins’ parade.

The event also has become an important site for field research by Kevin Bowyer and Patrick Flynn of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Flynn has a twin sister, making this research especially relevant to him.

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President Kennedy’s speech on separation of church/state is focus of lecture


Michael W. McConnell

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s historic speech on the separation of church and state, the University of Notre Dame will present “Remind Me: Why Did Anyone Care if JFK was a Catholic?” on Sept. 10 (Friday) from 4 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The keynote speaker is former federal judge Michael W. McConnell, the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law at Stanford University and leading expert on constitutional law. McConnell also directs Stanford’s Constitutional Law Center.

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Tom Ridge, former Homeland Security chief, to talk at Notre Dame

Author: Carol Elliott

Tom Ridge

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Tom Ridge became the public face of America’s national security concerns as he became the first secretary of the newly created U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Although he left the post in 2005, Ridge continues to serve as an expert in global security as the president and CEO of Ridge Global LLC.

Ridge will be visiting the University of Notre Dame during the weekend commemorating 9/11. As part of his visit, he will deliver a talk, “A Conversation with Tom Ridge,” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Sept.10 (Friday) at the Mendoza College of Business Jordan Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

He also will be recognized during the Notre Dame-Michigan football game on Sept. 11.

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Stinson-Remick receives LEED Gold Certification

Author: William G. Gilroy

Stinson-Remick Hall

The University of Notre Dame’s Stinson-Remick Hall has received LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Stinson-Remick, which is being dedicated today (Sept. 3), is a 160,000-square-foot College of Engineering facility that houses a nano technology research center, an 9,000-square-foot semiconductor processing and device fabrication clean room, and an undergraduate interdisciplinary learning center.

Stinson-Remick is the third Notre Dame building to be LEED certified. Geddes Hall, the home of the University’s Center for Social Concerns and Institute for Church Life, and Ryan Hall also have received Gold certification.

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Psychologist explores effective treatment options for children with autism disorders


Joshua Diehl

When one out of every 100 children born in this country is diagnosed with autism, treatment for those children requires as much attention as the diagnoses.

“Ten or 20 years ago we were lucky to diagnose a child by age four or five,” says Joshua Diehl, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, who specializes in developmental disorders, with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorders and dyslexia.

“Now we’re able to reliably diagnose as early as 18 months, with some studies trying to pinpoint it within six months. Our ability to diagnose earlier – regardless of the treatment – means earlier intervention and better outcomes,” says Diehl.

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