News » Archives » March 2012

Parents rank Notre Dame No. 4 ‘Dream College’

Author: Brittany Collins

Main Building

The University of Notre Dame is the No. 4 “dream college” among parents of college applicants, the Princeton Review reported in its annual “College Hopes and Worries” survey. Notre Dame moved up from the No. 9 slot last year.

Released Tuesday (March 27), the rankings are, in order, Stanford University, Princeton University, Harvard College, Notre Dame, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Duke University, Yale University and University of Southern California.

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New finding affects understanding of formation of the solar system

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Mini planetary system

A global collaboration including five University of Notre Dame researchers has revised the half-life of samarium-146 (146Sm), reducing it to 68 million years from 103 million years. The finding is published in the journal Science.

The revised half-life, which is 34 percent shorter than the previously adopted value, affects the understanding of processes leading to the formation of the solar system, and dating of some major geological events in the mantles of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the early solar system.

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One hour in solidarity with the Earth

Author: Erin Hafner

Earth Hour

This weekend, the University of Notre Dame will participate in Earth Hour by turning out the lights on the Golden Dome of the Main Building and the Word of Life mural on the Hesburgh Library. Earth Hour, which takes place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (March 31), has become an international symbol of support for climate change action.

This year’s Earth Hour will be celebrated by hundreds of millions of people in more than 130 countries. Lights will be turned off on such iconic landmarks as the Empire State Building, the Pyramids of Giza, the Parthenon, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

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Research shows invasive species cost the Great Lakes millions

Author: William G. Gilroy

Zebra mussels

Although there has been growing recognition among researchers and policymakers that shipborne invasive species cause a considerable economic toll, this environmental problem often goes unaddressed because of the difficulty in quantifying annual impacts on ecosystem services.

However, a new paper by researchers from the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wyoming and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands assigns a dollar figure on the cost to the Great Lakes from invasive species that originate in the ballast water of ocean-going vessels.

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When scandal gets you down, study reveals, talk yourself up – sometimes

Author: Shannon Chapla


When facing a scandal, an organization must first consider what’s under attack. Is it the firm’s character or the quality of its product?

A new study by University of Notre Dame management professors Emily Block and Michael Mannor is the first to explicitly compare and contrast character and quality (capability) reputation, and shows the best approach to impression management is completely different for each.

In sociology and social psychology, impression management is a goal-directed process in which people attempt to influence perceptions about a person or organization by regulating and controlling information in social interaction.

In their study “The Path Dependence of Organizational Reputation: How Social Judgment Influences Assessments of Capability and Character,” published in the May issue of the Strategic Management Journal, Block and Mannor emphasize how difficult organizational reputation is to win back once it’s lost, and which impression management approach is best.

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In memoriam: Jaime Bellalta, professor emeritus of architecture

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Jaime Juan José Bellalta

Jaime Juan José Bellalta, professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, died March 20 at his home in Brookline, Mass. He was 89 years old.

A native of Santiago, Chile, Bellalta studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the University of London. He joined the faculty of the Pontificia Universidad Católica in 1968, teaching architecture and urban design there until 1975.

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In memoriam: Sister Eleanor Bernstein, former director of Notre Dame Center for Liturgy

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Sister Eleanor Bernstein, C.S.J.

Sister Eleanor Bernstein, C.S.J., former director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Liturgy, died March 12 in Cleveland after a long illness. She was 73 years old.

A native of New Orleans, Sister Bernstein entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1957 and professed her final vows in 1965. A graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican College in New Orleans, she earned a master’s degree in English from Louisiana State University. She also earned master’s degrees in theology and liturgical studies from Notre Dame in 1969 and 1981, respectively.

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Developing more energy-efficient transistors through quantum tunneling

Author: Arnold Phifer

Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University have announced breakthroughs in the development of tunneling field-effect transistors (TFETs), a semiconductor technology that takes advantage of the quirky behavior of electrons at the quantum level.

Transistors are the building blocks of the electronic devices that power the digital world, and much of the growth in computing power over the past 40 years has been made possible by increases in the number of transistors that can be packed onto silicon chips.

But that growth, if left to current technology, may soon be coming to an end.

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ND Expert: Babies can sleep safely next to mothers


James McKenna

If practiced safely, co-sleeping with your baby is safe and beneficial, according to James McKenna, University of Notre Dame biological anthropologist and world-renowned expert on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released March 26 examines the data on SIDS, comparing infant deaths before and after the 1994 implementation of the “Back to Sleep” campaign, a national movement to have parents put babies to sleep on their backs rather than in a prone position.

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Notre Dame named with distinction on 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Author: John Guimond

2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

The University of Notre Dame has been named with distinction to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in recognition of the role it plays in solving community problems; achieving meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities it serves; and placing students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.

Notre Dame is one of four Indiana colleges and universities to be selected with distinction. The Corporation for National and Community Service releases the Community Service Honor Roll annually.

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Green companies earn more 'green,' new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla


Using LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings increases revenue generated by bank branches even when they offer the same products and services, according to a new study co-authored by University of Notre Dame management professors Edward Conlon and Ante Glavas.

In their study of 562 PNC branches (93 LEED, 469 non-LEED), “The Relationship between Corporate Sustainability and Firm Financial Performance,” Conlon and Glavas found that PNC employees who work in LEED-certified branches are more productive and engaged in their work.

Although they’re not yet certain if it’s because LEED buildings are more attractive to visit or because their employees are more satisfied, and consequently providing better service, Conlon and Glavas find that sustainability equals a big difference to the bottom line at LEED bank branches— $461,300 per employee after controlling for other variables that influence performance (e.g., consumer net worth, employee demographics, market demographics, size and age of branch, marketing spend).

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Fourth annual CommUniversity Day deepening its roots

Author: Brittany Collins

CommUniversity Day 2012

The fourth annual CommUniversity Day, a day of community service and teamwork between University of Notre Dame students and the City of South Bend, will take place March 31 (Saturday).

The effort, a collaboration between the student governments of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Ivy Tech, Holy Cross and Indiana University South Bend; the Robinson Community Learning Center; Unity Gardens; and the City of South Bend, involves 40 projects in the community. Organizers anticipate about 700 student volunteers.

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ND Right to Life to host panel discussion on HHS contraception mandate

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Eck Cross

The new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirement that most employers provide free coverage of contraceptives and sterilization to their employees through health insurance plans will be the subject of a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. March 27 (Tuesday) in the McCartan Courtroom of the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Hall of Law.

The discussion, sponsored by Notre Dame Right to Life, is titled “Notre Dame and the HHS ‘Contraceptive’ Mandate.” Panelists will include O. Carter Snead, professor of law in the Notre Dame Law School; Richard Garnett, associate dean and professor of law in the Notre Dame Law School; Lisa Everett, co-director of the Office of Family Life for the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend; and Gabrielle M. Speach, senior student in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies.

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Sleeping after processing new info most effective, new study shows



Nodding off in class may not be such a bad idea after all. New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that going to sleep shortly after learning new material is most beneficial for recall.

Titled “Memory for Semantically Related and Unrelated Declarative Information: The Benefit of Sleep, the Cost of Wake,” the study was published March 19 in PLOS One.

Notre Dame psychologist Jessica Payne and colleagues studied 207 students who habitually slept for at least six hours per night. Participants were randomly assigned to study declarative, semantically related or unrelated word pairs at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., and returned for testing 30 minutes, 12 hours or 24 hours later.

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Scott Malpass elected to Vanguard board

Author: Notre Dame News

Scott Malpass

Scott C. Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer at the University of Notre Dame, has been elected to the board of directors of The Vanguard Group and to the board of trustees of each of Vanguard’s mutual funds.

Also elected to the Vanguard board was Mark Loughridge, senior vice president and chief financial officer, finance and enterprise transformation, at IBM Corporation.

“We are very pleased to welcome two distinguished individuals to the Vanguard board. Mark and Scott bring a wealth of knowledge, acumen, and experience from the corporate and academic worlds, which will greatly benefit Vanguard and our fund shareholders,” said Vanguard Chairman Bill McNabb.

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Taoiseach awards Hesburgh Irish citizenship at St. Patrick's Day dinner

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Father Hesburgh holds Irish passport

Despite the fact that four Irishmen were among the seven brothers who arrived in northern Indiana with him in 1842, Notre Dame’s founder, Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., had misgivings about the Irish, and struggled, with notable lack of success, to repress celebrations of St. Patrick’s feast day during Notre Dame’s early years.

That irony in Notre Dame’s history became all the more agreeably pronounced when offset by the glowing bonhomie of a dinner reception for Enda Kenny, Taoiseach (or prime minister) of Ireland, on the 14th floor of the University’s Hesburgh Library Saturday evening.

Shortly before the dinner, Kenny, meeting privately with Sorin’s successor, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., had given Notre Dame’s 94-year-old president emeritus an Irish passport, officially recognizing him as a citizen of Poblacht na hÉireann, the Republic of Ireland.

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Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education to deliver Keeley Vatican Lecture

Author: Jennifer Lechtanski

The Most Reverend Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, will deliver the 2012 Terrence R. Keeley Vatican Lecture at 4:30 p.m. March 22 (Thursday) in the Eck Visitors’ Center Auditorium at the University of Notre Dame.

Sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, his lecture is titled “The Second Vatican Council Ahead of Us,” and is free and open to the public. Bruguès is also scheduled to celebrate Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame at 5:15 p.m. March 23 (Friday).

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Father James King appointed to direct campus ministry at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. James B. King, C.S.C.

Rev. James B. King, C.S.C., religious superior of Holy Cross priests and brothers at Notre Dame, has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Office of Campus Ministry by Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, C.S.C., vice president for student affairs, effective April 2.

Father King, who is also a trustee and fellow of the University, has ministerial responsibility for the 60 Holy Cross religious at Notre Dame. Before his appointment to that position in 2010, he had served for seven years as rector of the Sorin College residence hall.

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Gurulé travels to Bahrain to support pretrial detention reforms

Author: Shannon Chapla

Jimmy Gurule

Jimmy Gurulé, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, just returned from a week-long trip to Bahrain to assess the country’s pretrial detention policies and procedures.

The trip was funded by the State Department and American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative to support Bahrain’s newly adopted zero tolerance policy toward “torture, inhuman treatment and degrading detention” of political prisoners, which includes detaining them without judicial process. An independent commission found that police tortured and used excessive force against civilians arrested during protests that followed successful uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia last year.

Gurulé toured Bahrain’s major prison and visited with the country’s attorney general, minister of justice, chief justice of the Supreme Court, and senior members of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as human rights lawyers and political prisoners.

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New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste

Author: William G. Gilroy


While the costs associated with storing nuclear waste and the possibility of it leaching into the environment remain legitimate concerns, they may no longer be obstacles on the road to cleaner energy.

A new paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, led by Thomas E. Albrecht-Schmitt, professor of civil engineering and geological sciences and concurrent professor of chemistry and biochemistry, showcases Notre Dame Thorium Borate-1 (NDTB-1) as a crystalline compound that can be tailored to safely absorb radioactive ions from nuclear waste streams.

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Engineering faculty receive CAREER Awards

Author: Nina Welding

National Science Foundation

Two faculty members in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame — Arezoo Ardekani, the Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Assistant Professor; and Assistant Professor Philippe Sucosky — have been named recipients of the 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to young faculty in engineering and science.

The CAREER program, which was established by the NSF in 1995, recognizes and supports junior faculty who exhibit a commitment to stimulating research while also providing educational opportunities for students.

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Holding a gun makes you think others are too, new research shows


Seeing guns in the hands of others

Wielding a gun increases a person’s bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows.

Notre Dame Associate Professor of Psychology James Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, together with a colleague from Purdue University, conducted the study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

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What's the big idea? Ten speakers to participate in ND Thinks Big

Author: Brittany Collins

ND Thinks Big

ND Thinks Big, a student-organized event modeled after TED talks and Harvard Thinks Big, will take place at 7 p.m. March 22 (Thursday) in the Jordan Auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Sponsored by student forum The Hub and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, the event features 10 speakers from the Notre Dame faculty and administration, who will each deliver a 10-minute talk about their research and current work within their respective fields.

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Award-winning short documentary 'Okuyamba' to screen at Hesburgh Center

Author: Notre Dame News


Watch Trailer Video

“Okuyamba,” a locally produced award-winning short documentary about palliative care in Uganda, will be shown in the auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies at 6 p.m. March 21 (Wednesday).

The film, which will be honored this month by the National Hospice Foundation with the Zachary Morfogen Art of Caring Award, is directed by Ted Mandell, a faculty member in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT), and Mike Wargo of the Hospice Foundation.

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Notre Dame to celebrate 2012 Holy Cross Week

Author: Michael O. Garvey


The Congregation of Holy Cross, the religious community that founded the University of Notre Dame, celebrates its 175th birthday this month, and the anniversary will be commemorated on campus during the events of Holy Cross Week beginning March 25 (Sunday).

Sunday Vespers will be celebrated on March 25 at 7:15 p.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and prayers will be said through the intercession of Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., for the intentions of the University community, vocations to religious life and priesthood and an increase in zeal to make God known, loved and served.

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Ken Hackett, former CRS president, to receive 2012 Laetare Medal

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ken Hackett

Ken Hackett, former president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will receive the University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics, at Notre Dame’s 167th University Commencement ceremony May 20 (Sunday).

“Ken Hackett has responded to a Gospel imperative with his entire career,” said Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “His direction of the Catholic Church’s outreach to the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and unsheltered of the world has blended administrative acumen with genuine compassion in a unique and exemplary way.”

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Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College commemorate Archbishop Romero

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Archbishop Oscar Romero

The 32nd anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be commemorated at the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College with the events of Romero Days on March 27 and 28 (Tuesday and Wednesday).

The 16th annual Romero Days celebration, sponsored by Latin American/North American Church Concerns in Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute, will include a film screening, a discussion and a lecture given by South African Bishop Kevin Dowling.

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New paper examines poison resistance in snakes around the world

Author: William G. Gilroy

T. Sirtalis

A new study by University of Notre Dame biologist Michael Pfrender and a team of researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno; Utah State University; and the University of Virginia suggests that snakes from different regions of the world have evolved a similar, remarkable resistance to a deadly neurotoxin.

The finding, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, greatly increases scientists’ understanding of the genetic basis of adaptation and is a model for understanding the limits to adaptation and the degree to which evolutionary responses are predictable.

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Notre Dame to host conference on the theology of Pope Benedict XVI

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Pope Benedict XVI

Before he was Pope Benedict XVI, before he was a cardinal and a Vatican bureaucrat, and before he was archbishop of Munich, the German priest and professor Joseph Ratzinger taught theology at the Universities of Freising, Bonn, Munster, Tubingen and Regensburg, served as a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council and wrote several widely acclaimed and influential books of theology.

Touching on nearly every imaginable theological topic, that career, uninterrupted and even magnified by the theologian’s election to the papacy, will be the subject of a conference, “God is Love: Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI,” to be held at the University of Notre Dame March 25-27 (Sunday-Tuesday).

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