News » Archives » January 2012

Notre Dame launches new partnership program in St. Petersburg area Catholic schools

Author: Bill Schmitt

Notre Dame ACE Academy

The University of Notre Dame has named two Catholic schools in the Diocese of St. Petersburg as Notre Dame ACE Academy (NDAA) schools.

The NDAA partnership marks a significant deepening of the relationship between Notre Dame and K-12 schools in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, begun in 1997 when the University first provided teachers to local Catholic schools through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Service through Teaching program.

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Notre Dame reaches No. 10 on Peace Corps’ college rankings

Author: John Guimond


For the twelfth year in a row, the University of Notre Dame has placed on the Peace Corps’ list of top universities nationwide producing Peace Corps volunteers, and its rank is steadily rising.

This year, with 35 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Notre Dame moves up to the No. 10 spot among medium-sized universities (with between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates), from last year’s No. 18 ranking with 25 volunteers in service. In 2011, Notre Dame moved up to No. 18 from the 2010 No. 23 spot. Since Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 858 Notre Dame alumni have served in Peace Corps.

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Research: Is fair value really fair?

Author: Notre Dame News

Mendoza College of Business

As the United States continues its struggle to emerge from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a practice known as fair-value accounting has been taking heat. Critics—mostly banking associations—say it worsened the recession’s impact on banks, restricting their ability to lend money. Congress, prodded by banking industry lobbyists, has held hearings on the subject and pressured the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which responded swiftly with changes. And the debate has continued in both mainstream business publications and academic journals.

But ongoing research by three faculty members in the Accountancy Department in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, indicates fair value is getting a bum rap from those in banking circles who may be using the controversy to loosen some of the regulatory controls that were put in place during the past three decades.

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Engineering students building hope through bridge construction

Author: William G. Gilroy

ND SEED students

“Building Bridges-Building Hope” is the motto of an innovative program in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering that enables undergraduate students to use the knowledge they have gained to benefit residents of impoverished countries.

Now in its third year of operation, ND SEED (Notre Dame Students Empowering through Engineering Development) connects rural communities stricken with poverty to greater opportunities through cooperative design and construction of footbridges that span otherwise impassible rivers. Tracy L. Kijewski-Correa, associate professor and Leo and Patti Ruth Linbeck College Chair in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, serves as advisor for the program.

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Notre Dame researchers publish new findings on aging pediatric bruises

Author: Rachel Fellman and Marissa Gebhard

Researchers study bruising using spectroscopic measurement

A multi-university research group which includes several University of Notre Dame faculty and graduate students, has recently published a paper detailing new work on the analysis and dating of human bruises. The research, which is funded by the Gerber Foundation, will have particular application to pediatric medicine, as bruise age is often key evidence in child abuse cases.

Using a combination of modeling and spectroscopy measurements, the researchers have advanced our understanding of the changing composition of aging bruises and developed new tools for detailed biomedical studies of human skin tissue.

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Mark Roche honored for "Why Choose the Liberal Arts?"

Author: Kate Cohorst

Mark Roche

Mark Roche, formerly dean of the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, has been named winner of the 2011 Frederic W. Ness Book Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Ness award is given annually to the book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education.

Roche’s winning book, “Why Choose the Liberal Arts?” (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), “outlines the benefits of a liberal education for all students striving for success in today’s tough economy,” says Pomona College President David W. Oxtoby, the Ness Book Award committee chair.

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Father Jenkins and students, faculty and staff attend March for Life

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Father Jenkins at March for Life

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, was among some 350 Notre Dame students, faculty and staff who traveled to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 23 to take part in the March for Life.

The annual march, which marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, has drawn increasing numbers of people over the years, and this year, the 39th anniversary of the decision, tens of thousands of marchers braved raw temeratures and intermittent rain to participate.

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Notre Dame dedicates Conway Hall in London


Conway Hall

A blessing and dedication ceremony for Conway Hall, the University of Notre Dame’s new residence hall for students studying abroad in London, took place Friday (January 20).

After undergoing a complete façade restoration and interior renovation, Conway Hall opened in August 2011, welcoming students more than four months ahead of schedule.

The new hall is named in honor of Robert and Ricki Conway. Mr. Conway has been a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees since 1990 and former chair of the academic affairs committee of the Board. A longstanding London resident, he currently serves as senior director of Goldman Sachs in London.

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Memorial Mass to mark 20th anniversary of swim team bus tragedy

Author: Dennis Brown


A Mass of Remembrance on the 20th anniversary of the University of Notre Dame swimming team bus accident will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 24) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will preside and president emeritus, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., will deliver the homily.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 24, 1992, in the midst of a heavy snowstorm, a bus bringing the Irish women’s swimming team back to campus from a meet at Northwestern University slid off the Indiana Toll Road and rolled over. Meghan Beeler from Granger, Ind., and Colleen Hipp from St. Louis, both freshmen, lost their lives in the accident. Most of the other swimmers, coaches and staff were injured, including Haley Scott, also a freshman, who was paralyzed for more than a week.

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Memorial Mass to be held Feb. 6 at Notre Dame for Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F.

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F.

A live webcast of Sister Jean’s Memorial Mass will be available by clicking here at 5:15 p.m. EST. on Monday, Feb. 6.

A Memorial Mass will be held at the University of Notre Dame on Feb. 6 (Monday) in memory of Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F., former assistant vice president for student affairs at the University. Sister Lenz died Jan. 21 at Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home in Joliet, Ill., after a long illness. She was 81 years old.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, will preside at the Mass, which will begin at 5:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus.

Visitation will be held Wednesday (Jan. 25) from 2 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home, 1201 Wyoming Ave., Joliet, Ill., followed by a funeral Mass at 7 p.m. Burial will be Thursday (Jan. 26) at 9 a.m. in Resurrection Cemetery, 200 W. Romeo Rd., Romeoville, Ill.

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In Memoriam: Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F.

Author: Michael O. Garvey

In memoriam: Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F.

Sister Jean Lenz, O.S.F., former assistant vice president for student affairs at the University of Notre Dame, died this morning (Jan. 21) at Our Lady of the Angels Retirement Home in Joliet, Ill., after a long illness. She was 81 years old.

A Chicago native and a Franciscan sister of the Congregation of the Third Order of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, Sister Lenz, who earned a master’s degree from Notre Dame in 1967, was among the first women rectors on campus following the University’s transition to coeducation in 1972 after 130 years as an all-male institution.

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Statement from Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Blue Seal

The following is a statement from Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, on the announcement Jan. 20 by the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the health care reform law:

“I am deeply disappointed in a decision by the administration that will place many religious organizations of all faiths in an untenable position."

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Notre Dame researchers report fundamental malaria discovery

Author: Pamela Tamez and William Gilroy


A team of researchers led by Kasturi Haldar and Souvik Bhattacharjee of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases has made a fundamental discovery in understanding how malaria parasites cause deadly disease.

The researchers show how parasites target proteins to the surface of the red blood cell that enables sticking to and blocking blood vessels. Strategies that prevent this host-targeting process will block disease.

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Notre Dame physicists use ion beams to detect art forgery

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Accelerated ion beams used to reveal counterfeit art work

University of Notre Dame nuclear physicists Philippe Collon and Michael Wiescher are using accelerated ion beams to pinpoint the age and origin of material used in pottery, painting, metalwork and other art. The results of their tests can serve as powerful forensic tools to reveal counterfeit art work, without the destruction of any sample as required in some chemical analysis.

Their research is featured on the front cover of the current issue of Physics Today in an article titled, “Accelerated ion beams for art forensics.”

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Notre Dame psychologist developing new math learning strategies

Author: Joanna Basile

Nicole McNeil

What do children know about mathematics before they start learning it in school? How do external factors like language, education and culture affect children’s understanding? What is the best way to structure an environment so they have the building blocks needed for success in math?

These are just some of the questions Notre Dame psychologist Nicole McNeil seeks to answer in her research, for which she recently received a three-year, $565,000 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

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Actors From The London Stage to present Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"

Author: Chuck Gessert

Twelfth Night

Actors From The London Stage, a self-directed ensemble of five professional British actors, will present Shakespeare’s comedy of gender confusion “Twelfth Night” in historic Washington Hall at the University of Notre Dame Jan. 25 to 27 (Wednesday to Friday) at 7:30 p.m. The performances begin a national tour for this production with stops at Schreiner, Middle Tennessee State, Rice and Vanderbilt Universities.

Admission is $20 for the general public, $18 for Notre Dame faculty and staff and senior citizens, and $12 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office, by phone at 574-631-2800, or online at

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Bruce Harrison appointed Notre Dame fire chief

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Bruce Harrison

Bruce Harrison, most recently chief of the DeKalb (Ill.) Fire Department, has been appointed chief of the University of Notre Dame Fire Department (NDFD), effective March 1.

A 30-year veteran of the DeKalb Fire Department, Harrison served as a paramedic, firefighter, shift commander and captain before assuming the position of assistant chief and then chief. His background includes leadership experience in emergency communications, disaster management, emergency medical services, operations and public education.

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Kareem appointed to Homeland Security risk assessment committee

Author: Nina Welding

Ahsan Kareem

Ahsan Kareem, the Robert Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed by the National Research Council, Division of Earth and Life Sciences, of the National Academy of Sciences to serve on the Committee on the Evaluation of a Site-Specific Risk Assessment for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Planned National Bio-and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).

The committee of 17 experts will review the initial risk assessment and the developing work plan for the facility as part of the Department of Defense and Full-year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.

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Feast of Blessed Basil Moreau to be celebrated at Friday Mass

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C.

The feast of Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, will be celebrated Friday (Jan. 20) at 5:15 p.m. with a Mass in the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

During the Mass, Joseph Russo, director of student financial strategies at Notre Dame, will receive a 2011 Spirit of Holy Cross Award.

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ND Expert: Eurozone downgrade will have small impact

Author: Shannon Chapla and Carol Elliott

Jeffrey Bergstrand

Watch video

On Friday (Jan. 13) the Standard & Poor’s Rating Services downgraded the triple-A ratings of nine European countries over concern of the Eurozone’s ability to handle its continuing debt crisis.

But University of Notre Dame Finance Professor Jeffrey H. Bergstrand doesn’t expect the move will have a big impact on the financial markets.

“The S&P credit downgrades of the nine eurozone countries will have a small, and varied, impact on interest rates among the nine countries," says Bergstrand, one of the world’s top experts in international trade and the international economy. "Many of the anticipated downgrades – such as France, Italy and Spain – will have little net impact this week on interest rates in markets of these countries, because most of this information was anticipated. Some of the lesser anticipated cuts will have larger impacts on their interest rates.

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Research on “Russia’s 9/11” shows surprising response to violence

Author: Joan Fallon


On the morning of Sept. 1, 2004, Notre Dame political scientist Debra Javeline found herself, like many people around the world, glued to the television, watching in horror as the Beslan school hostage crisis — widely known as “Russia’s 9/11” — unfolded.

Dozens of militants from a Chechen separatist group had converged on a school in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia. For three days, the terrorists held hostage more than 1,200 children, teachers and parents. When Russian security forces stormed the building with tanks and rockets, the school gym blew up in flames. Hundreds of people, many of them children, died, and hundreds more were grievously wounded.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race to begin Jan. 25

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race

The University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Series for the Study of Race will feature four consecutive Wednesday night discussions led by prominent athletes, coaches, university athletic directors and sports scholars.

All the conference discussions, collectively entitled “Playing with Fire: Race and Sport in American Culture,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Legends nightclub each Wednesday night from Jan. 25 through Feb. 15. The series is open to the public.

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Engineering professor to help review U.S. national nanotechnology efforts

Author: Arnie Phifer

Wolfgang Porod

University of Notre Dame professor Wolfgang Porod has been invited to serve on the committee conducting a comprehensive strategic review of the U.S. government’s National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).

The NNI encompasses the nanotechnology-related activities of 25 Federal agencies and coordinates a portfolio of basic and applied research activities focused on advancing the economic and national security interests of the United States. The 2012 federal budget provides $2.1 billion for the NNI, and cumulative investment in the NNI since 2001 totals over $16.5 billion.

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23rd annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival to screen Jan. 19 to 21

Author: Notre Dame News

Student Film Festival

The wildly popular Notre Dame Student Film Festival returns to campus Jan. 19 to 21 (Thursday to Saturday) at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. in the state-of-the art Browning Cinema at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office, 574-631-2800 or online at

Admission is $3 for students, $5 for Notre Dame faculty and staff and $6 for the general public. The total running time is approximately 105 minutes with each film three to 12 minutes in length.

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Former Notre Dame coach and breast cancer survivor to speak for Pink Zone luncheon

Author: Marissa Gebhard


Sharon Drake Petro, former head coach of Notre Dame women’s basketball and women’s tennis, will be the featured speaker at the Pink Zone luncheon on Feb. 12 (Sunday) at 12:30 p.m. at the Purcell Pavilion at Notre Dame.

The luncheon will precede the annual Notre Dame women’s basketball Pink Zone game at 3:30 p.m. that day and is organized by the College of Science to recognize researchers and physicians in the fight against cancer.

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Martin Luther King to be honored by Notre Dame prayer service

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Day will be observed at the University of Notre Dame with a prayer service Monday (Jan. 16) at 11:30 a.m. in the Main Building rotunda.

Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will lead the “Prayer Service to Honor the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Other participants will include Rev. Hugh Page, dean of Notre Dame’s First Year of Studies and associate professor of theology and Africana studies and community leaders from the Michiana area. Music will be provided by Notre Dame’s Voices of Faith Gospel Choir.

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The challenge and blessing of Latino Catholicism

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America's Largest Church

Statisticians quibble, but it is widely agreed that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, and it is inarguable that the Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation. More than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos, and, due to birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. As Peter Steinfels, former religion writer for the New York Times summarized, “Latino Catholics will not just have a place at the table, they are likely to be the hosts at the table.”

A new book by Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, closely considers the five-century-long history of Latino Catholics in America and how that history has affected them and their Church.

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ScreenPeace Film Festival to begin Feb. 2

Author: Renée LaReau


The University of Notre Dame’s annual ScreenPeace Film Festival will kick off with a powerful film about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

“On the Bridge,” directed by Notre Dame faculty member Olivier Morel, explores the impact of PTSD on former soldiers as they adapt to life outside of combat. The film begins at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2 (Thursday) in the Browning Cinema of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Morel will introduce the film and lead the post-screening discussion.

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Rousseau exhibit to focus on dignity of the human person

Author: Joanna Basile

Julia Douthwaite

Julia Douthwaite, professor of French in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, is organizing a series of events to honor Swiss philosopher and writer Jean–Jacques Rousseau’s 300th birthday and stimulate a cross–disciplinary discussion on social justice and human dignity.

The project, called “Rousseau 2012: On the Road to DIGNITY,” will be part of the curriculum for more than a dozen courses throughout the College of Arts and Letters and the Law School and will feature both guest lectures and an Amnesty International photography exhibit on poverty and human rights that includes portraits from Mexico, Egypt, Nigeria, India and Macedonia.

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Hybrid silkworms spin stronger spider silk

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Silk made with spider silk sequences

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Research was published this week showing that silk produced by transgenically-engineered silkworms in the laboratory of Malcolm Fraser Jr., professor of biological sciences at University of Notre Dame, exhibits the highly sought-after strength and elasticity of spider silk. This stronger silk could possibly be used to make sutures, artificial limbs and parachutes.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and highlighted for their breakthrough in the long search for silk with such mechanical properties.

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