News » Archives » September 2011

ND Expert: Al-Awlaki killing was illegal

Author: Shannon Chapla

O'Connell, Mary Ellen

An airstrike carried out by the CIA and U.S. Joint Special Operations Command that killed radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki today in Yemen was illegal, according to University of Notre Dame international law expert Mary Ellen O’Connell, one of the world’s leading experts on targeted killing.

A key al-Qaeda leader, al-Awlaki has been in hiding in Yemen since 2007.

“The United States is not involved in any armed conflict in Yemen, so to use military force to carry out these killings violates international law,” O’Connell says. “It is only during the intense fighting of an armed conflict that international law permits the taking of human life on a basis other than the immediate need to save life. In armed conflict, a privileged belligerent may use lethal force on the basis of ‘reasonable necessity.’ Aside from armed conflict, the relevant standard is ‘absolute necessity.’

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Notre Dame ACE Academy Schools in Tucson receive scholarship boost

Author: Bill Schmitt

Alliance for Catholic Education

More than 100 at-risk children will be able to attend Notre Dame ACE Academy (NDAA) schools in the south-side Tucson community thanks to a recent contribution of $100,000 from New York Life Insurance Company through Arizona’s corporate tax credit scholarship program.

The NDAA initiative is a comprehensive school support program of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), a University of Notre Dame-based movement that strengthens, sustains and transforms Catholic K-12 schools around the country.

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Painting an evangelical icon

Author: Michael O. Garvey

John Cavadini

John C. Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL), was recently in Washington speaking to a symposium of young Catholic theologians about how to teach the faith.

The meeting, “Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization,” was sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and intended to deepen and strengthen their relationship with a new generation of America’s Catholic teachers, and most of the 54 as-yet untenured theologians in attendance had received their doctoral degrees within the last five years.

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Astronomy Night Oct. 3 features refurbished historic Napoleon Telescope

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Astrophysicists Nicholas Lehner and Chris Howk with Napoleon Telescope

The Napoleon Telescope, an antique instrument freshly refurbished and housed in a modern dome atop Nieuwland Science Hall at the University of Notre Dame, will focus on the moon and maybe Jupiter during Astronomy Night Oct. 3 from 8 to 10 p.m. (later in the week in case of clouds or rain).

More modern telescopes will be set up in the North Quad and the first 300 students will receive t-shirts and donuts. Organizer Peter Garnavich, professor of physics, operated the Napoleon Telescope during a near approach of Mars in 2004.

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Community partnerships challenge ND football players to think in new ways

Author: Allison Nanni

Notre Dame Football player Robert Blanton plays checkers with Michiana refugee children at the Red Cross of St. Joseph County in South Bend

As a part of a one-credit, community-based learning course offered through the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC) over the summer, 54 Notre Dame football players spent mornings in the classroom discussing texts on ethics, and then afternoons interacting with participants of local area organizations.

“Our refugee children looked forward to these days with the players. But the appreciation was for the person, not for the name.  These kids had never heard of American football or Notre Dame before,” says Esther van Stam, casework coordinator at the American Red Cross.

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New study on poor financing in developing countries explains sluggish growth


Joseph Kaboski

Though economists have long suspected that developing countries struggle to emerge from poverty because they lack robust financial sectors, few economists have tried to determine just how this phenomenon occurs – until now.

University of Notre Dame Economics Professor Joseph Kaboski, together with colleagues from UCLA and Washington University in St. Louis, examine this phenomenon in the study “Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors,” published recently in the American Economic Review.

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Notre Dame to build new employee wellness center

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Notre Dame to build new employee wellness center

The University of Notre Dame will break ground this fall on a new wellness center that will offer employees convenient, quality health care through an on-site medical clinic and pharmacy. To be located at the corner of Wilson Drive and Bulla Road on the northeast corner of the Notre Dame campus, the center is scheduled to open Summer of 2012.

“The health and well-being of our employees are important priorities for the University,” said Robert McQuade, vice president for human resources. “By implementing this innovative solution, we are furthering our commitment to provide the resources and benefits necessary to ensure our faculty and staff have access to quality, affordable medical care.”

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Notre Dame research group reports terahertz technology breakthrough

Author: William G. Gilroy

Terahertz technology breakthrough

A team of University of Notre Dame researchers has harnessed graphene to control the terahertz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Researchers are increasingly interested in terahertz radiation because it offers the possibility of new technologies in communications, medical imaging and chemical detection. However, terahertz waves, which are located between the lowest energy infrared light and the highest energy radio waves, are notoriously hard to produce, detect and modulate. Modulation, which involves varying the height of the terahertz waves, is an especially important property because a modulated signal can carry information and is versatile enough for applications in fields such as chemical and biological sensing.

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President of Sierra Leone to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone

The University of Notre Dame will welcome Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, to campus Sept. 27 (Tuesday) for a lecture titled “Faith, Tolerance and Progress.”

President Koroma will speak at 4 p.m. in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. A question-and-answer session and reception will follow the address. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and will be available beginning today (Sept. 23) by visiting or calling the performing arts center ticket office at 574-631-2800.

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Palestinian Christian peace activist to speak Sept. 29

Author: Renée LaReau

Occupied with Nonviolence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks

Jean Zaru, who was born into a Quaker family in Ramallah, Palestine, was eight years old when she witnessed the Nakba (“the catastrophe”) that made 750,000 Palestinians permanent refugees during the creation of the State of Israel. Since then, she has become a leading force of nonviolent resistance against all forms of personal and structural domination.

Zaru, the author of “Occupied with Nonviolence: A Palestinian Woman Speaks,” will discuss nonviolent resistance at the 13th annual John Howard Yoder Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion and Peace at the University of Notre Dame.

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Learning and remembering linked to holding material in hands, new research shows


James Brockmole

New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that people’s ability to learn and remember information depends on what they do with their hands while they are learning.

According to a study conducted by Notre Dame Psychology Professor James Brockmole and post-doctoral fellow Christopher Davoli, people holding objects they’re learning about process detail and notice differences among objects more effectively, while keeping the hands away from the objects help people notice similarities and consistencies among those things.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of Memory and Cognition.

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New home of Alliance for Catholic Education is dedicated

Author: Bill Schmitt

Carole Sandner Hall

A commitment to strengthen Catholic primary and secondary education prompted celebrations of joy and hope at the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 16 and 17 with the dedication of a new home for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).

A series of events, including a blessing by University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., spotlighted the newly built Carole Sandner Hall as well as refurbished office and gathering spaces where ACE and the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI) will advance Notre Dame’s service to K-12 education.

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Two biology faculty receive NIH director’s New Innovator Award

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Shaun Lee and Rebecca Wingert

Shaun Lee and Rebecca Wingert, assistant professors in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, have been selected as recipients of the highly competitive National Institutes of Health (NIH) director’s New Innovator Award. Each award covers $1.5 million in research expenditures over five years.

The award, which encourages creative ideas in science, stimulates highly innovative research and supports promising new investigators. Lee and Wingert are part of a small group of only 49 exceptionally creative, early stage investigators who propose bold new approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.

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Notre Dame nanofabrication facility installing new electron-beam lithography system

Author: William G. Gilroy

Notre Dame Nanofabrication Facility

The University of Notre Dame has accepted delivery of a high-end Vistec EBPG 5200 electron-beam lithography system to campus. The multi-million dollar tool, purchased from Vistec Lithography Inc., will be installed in the Notre Dame Nanofabrication Facility (NDNF) in the new Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering. The equipment was purchased with the University’s Strategic Research Initiative funding.

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Revealing the earliest origins of Italian language

Author: Kate Cohorst

Piazza San Carlo, Torino, Italy

It’s a timeless project—and a priceless opportunity: Advanced students at the University of Notre Dame are currently working with some of Italy’s top linguistics experts to assemble the most complete historical dictionary of the Italian language prior to 1375.

Notre Dame is currently the only university outside of Italy invited to contribute research to the Tesoro della Lingua Italiana delle Origini (TLIO) project, an initiative of the prestigious Accademia della crusca’s Opera del vocabolario italiano (OVI) branch.

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Former president and first lady of the Federal Republic of Germany to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Notre Dame News

Dr. Horst Koehler, former president of the Federal Republic of Germany and his wife, Mrs. Eva Luise Koehler

The University of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) will welcome Dr. Horst Koehler, former president of the Federal Republic of Germany, and his wife, Mrs. Eva Luise Koehler, to the University for a three-day visit that will include a major public lecture by Dr. Koehler.

Titled “The Whole is at Stake,” the lecture will be held Sept. 28 (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library.

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Rich get richer: Study shows cumulatively overpaid CEOs get the highest raises

Author: Shannon Chapla


CEOs who have been overpaid earlier in their tenures continue to receive the largest raises or smallest pay cuts, according to new research by Adam Wowak, assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Lead researcher Wowak, along with Donald Hambrick and Andrew Henderson, examined the relationship between CEO pay and performance over a decade. They looked at 590 big company CEOs who had tenures of at least four years between 1996 and 2005 in their study “Do CEOs Encounter Within-Tenure Settling Up? A Multi-period Perspective on Executive Pay and Dismissal,” which appears in the current issue of the Academy of Management Journal.

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"The Secret in the Wings" to be performed at Notre Dame

Author: Chris Sopczynski

The Secret in the Wings

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) will present Mary Zimmerman’s drama “The Secret in the Wings” Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances on Oct. 1, 2, and 9 at 2:30 p.m., in the Philbin Studio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Siiri Scott, FTT’s head of acting and directing, “The Secret in the Wings” weaves together a number of short fairy tales through different means of storytelling.

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Notre Dame researchers demonstrate antibiotic sensing event central to MRSA antibiotic resistance

Author: William G. Gilroy


A new paper by a team of University of Notre Dame researchers that included Shahriar Mobashery, Jeffrey Peng, Brian Baker and their researchers Oleg Borbulevych, Malika Kumararasiri, Brian Wilson, Leticia Llarrull, Mijoon Lee, Dusan Hesek and Qicun Shi describes a unique process that is central to induction of antibiotic resistance in the problematic bacterium methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

MRSA first emerged in the United Kingdom in 1961 and spread rapidly across the globe. Modern strains of MRSA are broadly resistant to antibiotics of various classes, but resistance to β-lactam antibiotics, which include penicillins, cephalosporins, and carpapenems, is an acute problem because it impacts virtually all commercially available members of the class.

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New book explores dark side of emerging adulthood


Christian Smith

Young adults today enjoy more freedom, opportunities and personal growth than any previous generation. But their transition to adulthood also is more complex, disjointed and confusing than their counterparts a generation ago.

In “Lost in Transition” (Oxford University Press, 2011), University of Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith explores the difficulties today’s young people face, the underlying causes of those difficulties, and the consequences for both individuals and for society in general.

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The spiritual legacy of liberation theology

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez

Since it began to be used nearly a half century ago, the term “liberation theology” has been provocative and susceptible to caricature. Ideologues of the right and left respectively denounced and extolled its impact on the Third World, particularly on Latin American Christians who found in its “preferential option for the poor” a summons to confront and transform oppressive military regimes and economic structures, sometimes in alliance with armed revolutionaries. The excitable television commentator Glenn Beck has recently gone so far as to assert that liberation theology equates salvation “with minorities achieving economic and political parity, via redistribution of wealth with whites.”

The controversial phrase was coined by Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., whose 1971 book, “A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation,” is widely considered the most influential and lasting expression of liberation theology.

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Notre Dame Forum events to explore “reimagining” K-12 education

Author: Julie Hail Flory

2011-12 Notre Dame Forum

The 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation,” will present a number of events this fall, beginning this month with an address by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and a panel discussion featuring four leading figures in American education.

Gov. Bush, founder of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, will deliver the keynote address and lead an interactive discussion titled “The Architect: Radical Education Reform for the 21st Century,” on Sept. 26 (Monday) at 7 p.m. in the Leighton Concert Hall of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. In his talk, Gov. Bush will explore the dramatically changing landscape of K-12 education, as well as how the Notre Dame community can play a vital role in providing vision and leadership in crafting a vibrant education sector for all children.

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I2D2 event to be held Sept. 9

Author: William G. Gilroy

I2D2—Imagination, Innovation, Discovery and Design at Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame College of Engineering undergraduates will be working with 340 fifth-grade students from the South Bend Community School Corporation on Friday (Sept. 9) as part of a technological discovery day titled, “I2D2—Imagination, Innovation, Discovery and Design at Notre Dame.”

The event will take place in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to present annual McBride Lecture

Author: John Guimond

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will deliver the 2011 McBride Lecture at the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 14 (Wednesday) at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Library.

A leader and tireless advocate in the struggle for workers’ rights and economic justice, Trumka will speak on the AFL-CIO’s America Wants to Work campaign to address the jobs crisis and put people back to work.

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Mass to be celebrated at Notre Dame in remembrance of 9/11 attack victims

Author: Michael O. Garvey

U.S. Flag

The tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks will be observed with a Mass of remembrance for the victims Sunday (Sept. 11) at 7:30 p.m. on the Hesburgh Library Mall at the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will be the presiding celebrant at the Mass, and Notre Dame president emeritus, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., will preach.

The public is invited, and the customary Sunday evening Masses in all of the University’s 29 undergraduate residence halls, as well as in the Fisher Grace and University Village graduate student residences, will be cancelled in order to allow all Notre Dame students to participate in the Mass of remembrance.

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Notre Dame alumni honored

Author: Liam Farrell '04

The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association

The Notre Dame Alumni Association recognized three Notre Dame graduates last week for their accomplishments and notable achievements.

Haley Scott DeMaria ’95, was honored for her distinguished involvement in civic and University initiatives with the Harvey G. Foster Award. As the recipient of the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award, Lt. Cmdr. Robert L. Miller, Sr. ’42, ’47 J.D. USNR (Ret.) was recognized for his distinguished military service and dedication to serving his country. And Rev. David Garcia ’74 M.T.S., ’84 M.S.A. was honored for his exemplary commitment to Catholic values and his outstanding contributions in the field of public service with the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award.

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Lou and Beth Holtz become “research ambassadors” for Notre Dame

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Beth and Lou Holtz

Watch Video Video

Former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz is once again taking a leadership role at the University – this time in an arena outside of athletics. He and his wife, Beth, have graciously agreed to serve as Notre Dame’s first “ambassadors for research” by taking a prominent role in increasing awareness of the University’s mission to pursue research that aims to heal, unify and enlighten a world deeply in need.

“Beth and I have always believed that Notre Dame is different,” Lou Holtz said. “Not only by educating young people who go out and do remarkable things in the world, but also through its commitment to research with potential to alleviate pain and suffering, the University is taking on global challenges and bringing about real change.”

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Notre Dame announces first chair in Byzantine Studies

Author: Jen Hengehold

Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis

The University of Notre Dame has established an endowed chair in Byzantine Theology. The position, which will focus on the theology of the medieval Greek-speaking church, will be named in honor of Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.

The Archbishop Demetrios Professorship in Byzantine Theology is a central component of the University’s efforts to expand the scope of its renowned Medieval Institute — which was the first of its kind in the United States — to include teaching and research on the Eastern Roman Empire.

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Former NASA administrator to deliver Edison lecture

Author: William G. Gilroy

Michael D. Griffin

Former NASA administrator Michael D. Griffin will deliver the University of Notre Dame College of Engineering Edison lecture Sept. 8 (Thursday) at 4 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A physicist and engineer, Griffin served from April 2005 to January 2009 as the 11th NASA administrator, overseeing work on the future of human spaceflight, the fate of the Hubble telescope and the agency’s role in understanding climate change. He previously was NASA’s associate administrator for exploration and he also has served with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and as head of the space department at Johns Hopkins University.

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Notre Dame 2011-12 theater season to open Sept. 29

Author: Paul Murphy

Notre Dame's Film, Television and Theatre Department presents its 2011-12 Season

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) will present four plays in its 2011-12 season, beginning Sept. 29 (Thursday) with “The Secret in the Wings” by Mary Zimmerman.

Directed by FTT professor Siiri Scott, “The Secret in the Wings” weaves together a number of fairy tales told through a variety of techniques. Each one cuts off before its conclusion, and then all are neatly resolved into a charming ending that reminds us that they are, after all, just fairy tales. Schedule and ticket information are available here.

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