News » Archives » February 2012

David Lodge attends White House Great Lakes event

Author: William G. Gilroy

David Lodge

David Lodge, Ludmilla F. and Stephen J. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a world-renowned expert on invasive species, was invited to attend a White House Community Leaders Briefing on the Great Lakes Region that took place today (Feb. 29) in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The event was a gathering of environmental, recreation, business and academic leaders from the Great Lakes region and included a discussion of Obama administration initiatives and priorities in the region with senior White House and administration officials. It was co-hosted by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Public Engagement.

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Go-getters fall short in happiness and health, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

Timothy Judge

People who are considered ambitious attend the best colleges and universities, have prestigious careers and earn high salaries, but they don’t necessarily lead more successful lives, according to new research by Timothy Judge, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

The lead author of “On the Value of Aiming High: The Causes and Consequences of Ambition” forthcoming from the Journal of Applied Psychology, Judge seeks to create a better understanding of ambition — a commonly mentioned but poorly understood concept in social science research — and its consequences.

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Amartya Sen to receive Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity

Author: Elizabeth Simpson

Amartya Sen

The Nobel Prize-winning economist and philosopher Amartya Sen will receive the 2012 Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity in recognition of his contributions to the field of human development. The award will be presented at a campus ceremony on April 17.

A visionary and spirited advocate for the world’s poorest people, Sen has worked for 50 years to illuminate the true causes of poverty and suffering. He has transformed how development is defined and measured by focusing attention on positive freedoms and human capabilities rather than income alone.

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Congregation of Holy Cross celebrates its 175th birthday

Author: Michael O. Garvey


The Congregation of Holy Cross, the international Catholic religious order whose members founded the University of Notre Dame, celebrates its 175th birthday March 1.

The Congregation was established in France on that day in 1837, when Blessed Rev. Basil Moreau, C.S.C., and six other priests of the diocese of Le Mans joined with 54 Brothers of St. Joseph, a religious community founded by Father Jacques Dujarie, the pastor of a rural parish in the diocese, to form a single community of priests and brothers. They were later joined by a community of sisters, the Marionites of Holy Cross.

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Notre Dame researchers provide fascinating insights into elephant behavior, conservation issues

Author: William G. Gilroy


Last year, Kenya lost 278 elephants to poachers, as compared to 177 in 2010. On the continent of Africa as whole, elephants have declined from an estimated 700,000 in 1990 to 360,000 today due to the demands of the ivory trade.

Spend some time with University of Notre Dame researchers Elizabeth Archie and Patrick Chiyo and you’ll gain a better understanding of just what a tragic loss elephant poaching is.

A thinking, reasoning species with extraordinary memories, a strong sense of family and caring and nurturing natures are increasing at the risk of extinction.

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New partnerships bolster Notre Dame federal research development

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Office of Research

The University of Notre Dame’s Office of Research has added three top professionals in research and government relations to its Washington, D.C., office. The three will focus on furthering the University’s work in the area of federal research development.

Dr. Kathie L. Olsen, retired Rear Adm. Nevin P. Carr Jr. and retired Maj. Gen. Robert Latiff will serve as consultants to facilitate relationships between the faculty of the University and key federal agencies, provide a link between Notre Dame and national research initiatives and advise University personnel about interactions with federal agencies.

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A new consideration of human dignity

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Institute for Church Life

Philip Sloan, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, is speaking to a lecture hall full of undergraduate students about what it means to be a human being and what that means for the sciences.

A philosopher and historian of science, Sloan emphasizes that the concept of human dignity, the insistence that a human being is literally invaluable, is not only central to the social teaching of Roman Catholicism, but emerges from a philosophical tradition with ancient and pre-Christian Greek and Roman roots. It is a concern not only of the church, but of the United Nations, whose Millennium Declaration acknowledges “a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level.”

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Mark Brazaitis wins 2012 Sullivan Prize

Author: Coleen Hoover

Mark Brazaitis

Mark Brazaitis is the winner of the University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Sullivan Prize for his collection of stories, “The Incurables.”

The Sullivan Prize, which began in 1996, is awarded biennially to an author who has already published at least one volume of short fiction. The winner receives a thousand dollars and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press.

Valerie Sayers and William O’Rourke, both professors of English and former directors of Notre Dame’s Creative Writing Program, were the judges. O’Rourke commented that this year, “Once again, the difficulty in judging was extreme; we had to contend with an excess of riches, but Brazaitis’ collection stood out amongst the many worthy (manuscripts) we had to consider.”

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Conference to explore conceptions of truth



The University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) will host an international conference, “Conceptions of Truth,” focused on the nature of truth.

The interdisciplinary conference, scheduled for April 12-14 (Thursday-Saturday), will bring 17 leading experts in various disciplines to McKenna Hall to address the subject of “the truth.” The conference will include discussion of ideas presented as well as less formal opportunities for scholarly interaction.

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Team of physicists finds new path toward increasing semiconductor functionality

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Margaret Dobrowolska

The past decade has seen the emergence of the field of spintronics, aimed at increasing the efficiency of information processing and computer memories. The idea behind spintronics is to harness the magnetic property of the electron, referred to as its spin. This property can then be used, in addition to the electron charge, for increasing the functionality of the semiconductor computer chip, in terms of its capacity to store and process information.

Margaret Dobrowolska, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, has led a team of collaborators from Notre Dame, the University of British Columbia and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in an effort that has succeeded in identifying the mechanisms responsible for ferromagnetism in (Ga,Mn)As, an alloy.

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Father Jenkins makes staff changes in president’s office

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Blue Seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. president of the University of Notre Dame, has made three staff changes in his office, effective over the next month.

Frances L. Shavers, chief of staff and special assistant to the president, has been appointed to the newly created position of chief diversity officer; Ann M. Firth, most recently associate vice president and counselor to the president and previously associate vice president for student affairs, will become chief of staff; and Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., executive director of the Center for Social Concerns, will take on the new position of vice president for mission engagement and church affairs.

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A new journal for the New Evangelization

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization

The “New Evangelization” of the Catholic Church, a term often used by Blessed Pope John Paul II to describe and inspire efforts to reawaken the faith in nominally Christian parts of the world, was used again last week in Rome by the newly created Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, in an address to his new colleagues.

At the University of Notre Dame, a new online publication, “Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization” is intended both to celebrate and invigorate Catholic life and mission by exploring aspects of its theology, liturgy, teaching, community and prayer.

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Physicist Brian Greene to address 'The Fabric of the Cosmos'

Author: William G. Gilroy

Brian Greene

Brian Greene, the best-selling author of “The Elegant Universe” and “The Fabric of the Cosmos” and host of two NOVA series based on his books, will present a public lecture March 6 (Tuesday) in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

The lecture is free, but ticketed. Tickets can be reserved beginning Feb. 21 (Tuesday) at the DeBartolo Center ticket window or by calling 574-631-2800.

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Robinson Center I-Robotics team to compete in Germany


The team is coached by assistant vice president of student affairs, David Moss, and graduate assistant Lionel Pittman

The Robinson Community Learning Center ’s LEGO Robotics team, in only its fourth year, is heading to Mannheim, Germany, to compete in the Open European Championship June 7-9 (Thursday-Saturday).

The team, comprising 10 students ages 10-15 from South Bend area schools, went to Fort Wayne, Ind., in December to participate in the state tournament. Out of 52 teams statewide, the RCLC’s I-Robotics team earned the top prize and the opportunity to travel abroad.

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Collaborative forum will explore K-12 education and research

Author: Marissa Gebhard


The Notre Dame extended Research Community (NDeRC) will gather education and research professionals for the fifth annual Collaborating for Education and Research Forum from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 25) in the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

The event fosters interaction among K-12 teachers and administrators; university faculty, graduate students and staff; and local industry specialists in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The forum showcases a broad spectrum of professional engagement opportunities for K-12 educators, including summer- or week-long opportunities in nanotechnology, genetics, embryonic development, environmental studies, astronomy, subatomic physics, engineering, mathematics and science. All of the programs are free to educators, while some programs also provide stipends.

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Notre Dame to celebrate International Festival Week Feb. 25 to March 4

Author: McKenna Pencak

International Festival Week 2012

For more than 40 years, the Office of International Student Services and Activities (ISSA), in conjunction with other campus departments and organizations, has hosted International Festival Week at the University of Notre Dame. International Festival Week 2012, which will celebrate Notre Dame’s international community, will take place Feb. 25 through March 4 (Saturday through Sunday).

For more information as well as a complete list of International Festival Week events, click here.

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Green Summit to highlight sustainable transportation

Author: Sara Brown

Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation

Electric cars, bicycles, alternative fuel vehicles and innovations in public transportation will take over the University of Notre Dame’s Stepan Center in an exciting trade show display on Feb. 29 (Wednesday) for “Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation.”

“Sustainable transportation is a rapidly developing field, and we wanted to create a setting in which the ND community could connect directly with those who are redefining what’s possible,” explained Rachel Novick of the Office of Sustainability. “Experts will be on hand at the summit to answer questions about battery technology, charging stations, electric bikes and much more.”

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Nobel Prize winner in physics to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Brian Schmidt

Brian Schmidt, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, will deliver a public lecture at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 (Monday) in Room 101 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame. The talk, titled “The Accelerating Universe,” is part of the John A. Lynch Lecture Series coordinated by the Department of Physics and is free and open to the public.

Schmidt was awarded the Nobel Prize jointly with Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter for their research in the 1990s that revealed the expansion of the universe is accelerating. An accelerating expansion implies that most of the universe is made of a mysterious dark energy.

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Mexican democracy advocate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas

Mexican statesman Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas will speak on the contemporary political process in Mexico in a lecture at the University of Notre Dame on Feb. 22 (Wednesday). An unwavering advocate for democracy and justice, Cárdenas will draw upon his own experience in helping to open up the political process in Mexico, dominated for decades by one-party rule.

His lecture, “Elections in Mexico: Change or Continuity?” will take place at 6 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium on the Notre Dame campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

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Notre Dame biologists tackling big question in evolution

Author: Arnie Phifer

Apple orchard

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame, the University of Iowa and Cornell University have been awarded collaborative grants totaling $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation to answer a fundamental question: As a new species evolves, how, and to what extent, do other species that depend on it evolve as well?

In this case, the targets of study are a fruit fly — specifically the apple maggot fly — and some of its deadliest predators, parasitic wasps.

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Spring Notre Dame Forum events to bring K-12 education thought leaders to campus

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation

A number of events exploring important issues in K-12 education will be held this spring on the University of Notre Dame campus as part of the 2011-12 Notre Dame Forum, “Reimagining School: To Nurture the Soul of a Nation.”

A yearlong discussion of the profound and challenging questions that shape the national debate about K-12 education, the Forum features a series of panel presentations, symposia and workshops spanning the entire academic year. Fall events included addresses by notable speakers including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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Notre Dame and St. Patrick’s County Park team up on new cutting-edge environmental facility

Author: Notre Dame News

St. Patrick's County Park

The University of Notre Dame and St. Joseph County Parks are launching a new partnership to build a cutting-edge environmental research and education facility at St. Patrick’s County Park. The new facility will be called the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND LEEF) at St. Patrick’s County Park.

Construction will begin this spring on a field-based environmental research facility that will allow Notre Dame scientists, graduate and undergraduate researchers, visiting scholars and other area academic institutions to study the interrelationships of land, water and wetland ecologies in the face of environmental change.

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Institute for Church Life to host bishops’ discussion of celibacy

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Some 25 Catholic bishops will be among the theologians, pastoral ministers, men and women religious and interested laypeople gathered at the University of Notre Dame Feb. 15 to 17 (Wednesday to Friday) for the Symposium on the Charism of Priestly Celibacy.

The symposium, sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will explore several dimensions of an old, distinctive and occasionally controversial discipline of the Catholic priesthood.

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Notre Dame research team featured in launch of Latin American/Latino digital archive project

Author: Notre Dame News

Document from Midwest US-based research team

A research team based at the Julian Samora Library of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS) is one of three hemispheric teams to have its work featured in the launch of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) digital archive, which was formally released to the public during an international symposium held in Houston on Jan. 19 to 20.

A project of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at MFAH, “Documents of Twentieth-Century Latin American and Latino Art” is the result of a decade-long, multimillion-dollar initiative.

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Statement from 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 change announced Feb. 10 regarding the religious liberty concerns related to the Health and Human Services ruling on birth control coverage in insurance plans:

“The widespread concerns expressed by Catholics and people from other faiths have led today to a welcome step toward recognizing the freedom of religious institutions to abide by the principles that define their respective missions. We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.

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Shakespeare at Notre Dame presents SonnetFest 2012

Author: Chuck Gessert


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the third annual “SonnetFest” — a community-wide public reading of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets as interpreted by members of the University of Notre Dame and Michiana communities.

“Over the past two years, the event has been so popular that we are continuing an annual tradition where faculty, staff, students and members of our community can gather together to bring Shakespeare’s beautiful ruminations on love to life,” according to Scott Jackson, executive director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame.

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ND Expert: Obama administration 'compromise accommodation' inadequate

Author: Michael O. Garvey

O. Carter Snead

President Barack Obama’s proposed adjustments to the new Health and Human Services rule requiring Catholic institutions, including the University of Notre Dame, to provide health care plans covering contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs continue to violate religious liberty, according to O. Carter Snead, professor of law at Notre Dame.

“Today’s ‘compromise accommodation’ is nothing of the sort,” Snead said. “The original uproar across the ideological spectrum was in reaction to the administration’s requirement that virtually all religious employers cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization in violation of their strongly held beliefs."

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Brennecke elected to National Academy of Engineering

Author: Nina Welding

Joan F. Brennecke

Joan F. Brennecke, the Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for her innovation in the use of ionic liquids and supercritical fluids for environmentally benign chemical processing.

Election to NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including significant contributions to engineering literature, the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

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Department of Film, Television, and Theatre presents 'Antígona Furiosa'

Author: Chris Sopczynski

Antigona Furiosa

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) will present “Antígona Furiosa” by Griselda Gambaro in 10 performances beginning Feb. 23 (Thursday).

Directed by FTT faculty Anton Juan, the play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, 24, 25, 28 and 29 (Thursday through Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday), and March 1, 2 and 3 (Thursday through Saturday) with matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 and March 4 (Sundays) in the Philbin Studio Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

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