News » Archives » April 2012

Unique research laboratory focuses on making aircraft engines more efficient

Author: William G. Gilroy

Jet engine

Travel on airlines has become so routine for most of us, we often fail to appreciate what a true technological marvel it is. And it’s a costly and noisy marvel. Moving millions of passengers millions of miles each year requires an astounding amount of costly jet fuel and generates a significant amount of engine noise.

That helps explain why the companies that manufacture aircraft engines often find their way to the laboratory of Scott Morris, an associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

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Play Like a Champion Today® National Sports Leadership Conference set for June 22-24

Author: Jane Ralser

Play Like a Champion Today®

The Play Like a Champion Today® (PLACT) Program of the University of Notre Dame will hold its 7th annual National Sports Leadership Conference on the Notre Dame campus June 22-24.

This annual conference is perhaps one of the largest gatherings of youth and high school sports coaches, athletic directors and administrators in the country preparing leaders from both public and church sponsored sports organizations through coach and parental educational programs.

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NDnano paper examines nanotechnology-related safety and ethics problem

Author: Arnie Phifer


A recent paper by Kathleen Eggleson, a research scientist in the Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano) at the University of Notre Dame, provides an example of a nanotechnology-related safety and ethics problem that is unfolding right now.

The world of nanotechnology, which involves science and engineering down at billionths-of-a-meter scales, might seem remote.

But like most new advances, the application of that technology to everyday experience has implications that can affect people in real ways.

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Notre Dame enhances support for gay and lesbian students

Author: Dennis Brown

Dome and Clouds

In response to student suggestions, the University of Notre Dame has taken several new steps to better support gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning members of its community.

The result of meetings between student leaders and members of the University’s administration, the initiatives include improving awareness of existing non-discrimination practices and protections as articulated in Notre Dame’s discriminatory harassment policies and “Spirit of Inclusion” statement, and enhancing the structure and functions of the Core Council for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Students.

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New study examines dire retirement security of Latinos



As our nation’s youngest, longest-lived and fastest-growing labor force, understanding the savings and retirement security of Latinos is of national importance.

Confianza, Savings, and Retirement,” a newly-published report examining the social, cultural, and economic factors influencing Chicago-area Mexican immigrants’ savings and preparedness for retirement. (“Confianza” means a “bond of mutual trust,” and is the word Mexicans use for the intangible resource or cultural capital that carefully builds to establish social wealth and security.)

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Notre Dame political theorist charts early global thinking on women’s rights

Author: Joan Fallon

Eileen Hunt Botting

Surprisingly soon after it was published in England in 1869, John Stuart Mill’s essay on women’s rights, “Subjection of Women,” was embraced by intellectuals around the world, according to University of Notre Dame political theorist Eileen Hunt Botting.

“I was really struck by its acceptance in non-Western cultures almost immediately,” said Botting, an associate professor of political science, who noted that an earlier feminist work, Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (1792), received scant attention outside of Britain, Europe and the United States.

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Director of Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health to deliver 2012 Graduate School Commencement address

Author: William G. Gilroy

Thomas Quinn, M.D.

Thomas Quinn, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, has been named the University of Notre Dame Graduate School’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2012 and will deliver the Commencement address at the Graduate School’s Commencement ceremony on May 19 (Saturday) at 10 a.m. in the Compton Family Ice Arena on the south edge of campus.

Quinn, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Notre Dame in 1969 and 1970, respectively, and his medical degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine, is renowned in the area of global health.

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Eck Institute for Global Health joins AMPATH Consortium

Author: Sarah Craig

Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare

The University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health is now a full member of the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) Consortium, led by Indiana University.

The Consortium works in collaboration with Moi University School of Medicine and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya to help build the care, education and research capacity of these institutions with the goal of providing access to health care for all persons throughout western Kenya. The Eck Institute will serve as the central coordinating body for Notre Dame activities within the AMPATH Consortium.

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Study finds mild winters are detrimental to butterflies

Author: William G. Gilroy


The recent mild winter throughout much of the United States was a cause for celebration for many. However, butterfly aficionados shouldn’t be joining in the celebration.

A new study by Jessica Hellmann, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, and researchers from Western University found that mild winters, such as the one many of us just experienced, can be taxing for some butterfly or possibly other species.

Hellmann and her fellow researchers studied caterpillars of the Propertius Duskywing butterfly, which feed on Gary Oak trees. This species of caterpillar, like many insects, has a higher metabolic rate and burns more fat during mild winters.

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Carole Sandner Hall receives LEED Gold certification

Author: Brittany Collins

Sandner Hall

The University of Notre Dame’s Carole Sandner Hall was recently certified LEED Gold by the United States Green Building Council.

The building, opened in the summer of 2011 as the new home for the Alliance for Catholic Education, is the sixth building on campus to receive LEED certification. Carole Sandner Hall features the following sustainable design and construction practices:

  • It saves 172,032 kWh ($26,013) per year in electrical energy use, equating to 120 tons of CO2 annually versus a conventionally designed building.
  • Its irrigation system uses 59 percent less water than a traditional irrigation system design.
  • The building uses 60 percent less water, resulting in a water savings of 121,180 gallons of water per year.

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Notre Dame’s 'The Shirt' for 2012 to be unveiled Friday

Author: Michael O. Garvey

The Shirt, 1990

One of the University of Notre Dame’s most visible traditions will be celebrated again Friday (April 20) as the 2012 version of “The Shirt” is unveiled during events beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Hammes Bookstore on campus.

The celebration, which is open to the public, will include a variety of outdoor activities such as face painting, prizes and inflatables as well as performances by the Notre Dame Band, Glee Club, cheerleaders and Pom Squad. Notre Dame’s head football coach, Brian Kelly, will unveil The Shirt during a stage presentation at 6 p.m.

Details, a schedule and more information about the celebration and about The Shirt are available online.

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University of Oxford chancellor to present Nanovic Forum

Author: Jennifer Lechtanski

Lord Patten (Photo courtesy BBC Trust)

Christopher Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC, will present the Nanovic Forum at 5 p.m. April 19 (Thursday) in Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall at the University of Notre Dame. The lecture, titled “Europe, America and the Changing World Order,” is free and open to the public.

“Lord Patten is an extraordinary figure, a man who has epitomized global leadership in diplomacy, higher education, international affairs and Catholicism,” says A. James McAdams, director of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

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Christian and Muslim scholars to meet at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Institute for Church Life

Scholars and believers from the Catholic and Islamic faiths will meet at the University of Notre Dame Thursday and Friday (April 19 and 20) to discuss and deepen the encounter of the Catholic Church and Islam.

Among the issues discussed in “The Church and Islam: An International Colloquium,” sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life, will be Muslim views of the Bible, the church and the saints; Christian views of the Quran and Islamic teachings on Muhammad; and the roles of conflict, reconciliation and healing in Christian-Muslim relations.

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Legal scholar publishes research on Shariah in America

Author: Joan Fallon

Julie Macfarlane

In 2003, with heated debates about Shariah law raging around the U.S. and Canada, legal scholar Julie Macfarlane set out to find out what the controversy was all about. Several years and many hundreds of interviews later, her quest to document and analyze the North American notion of Shariah — Islamic principles that are part of a voluntary system of personal obligation — has resulted in a new book and two new reports for policymakers, religious leaders and the public.

“At first, there was no data on Shariah at all, just negative speculation,” said Macfarlane, a law professor at the University of Windsor (Canada) and adjunct professor of the practice at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “News reports implied that terrible things were happening, but it was unclear what the reality was.”

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Rev. Paul Kollman, C.S.C., appointed to direct Center for Social Concerns

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Paul V. Kollman, C.S.C.

Rev. Paul V. Kollman, C.S.C., associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed executive director of the University’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC), effective July 1.

“Father Paul Kollman’s scholarship and teaching, his commitment to Catholic social teaching and his administrative experience all uniquely equip him for leadership of the Center for Social Concerns,” said Don Pope-Davis, vice president and associate provost for undergraduate studies.

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Harper Cancer Research Institute plans public Research Day

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini

Harper Cancer Research Institute

Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) Research Day on April 23 (Monday) will gather cancer researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) in an afternoon of exchange and discussion. A keynote address by Beatrice Knudsen, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss “Tissue Banking for Genomic Research and Personalized Medicine.”

Knudsen is the medical director for Cedars-Sinai Advanced Biobank, director of translational pathology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a member of the HCRI external advisory committee. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

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Architect revives art of set design for opera


David Mayernik

During the Renaissance period, it was common for architects also to be painters — a natural integration of two sets of skills, both of which create an experience with space.

“In the Renaissance, painting and architecture were viewed as intellectual exercises. The intuitive brain-hand dynamic facilitated thinking, and the main skill painters brought to the table was perspective,” says David Mayernik, a University of Notre Dame associate professor of architecture and practicing architect who is among a just a handful of contemporary architects who also apply their artistic talents to the theater.

Mayernik recently served as set designer for the baroque opera “La Déscente d’Orphée aux Enfers,” a 17th-century love story in which Orpheus rescues his bride, Eurydice, from the underworld through his musical gifts. It was produced by the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago.

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Former U.S. Forest Service Chief to lecture at Notre Dame

Author: William G. Gilroy

Mike Dombeck

Mike Dombeck, former U.S. Forest Service Chief, will deliver a lecture at 4 p.m. April 17 (Tuesday) in Room 105 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

His lecture, titled “From Conservation Milestones to a Sustainability Reality Check,” is free and open to the public.

As a prelude to Earth Day, Dombeck will talk about the complex and often controversial relationship that humans have had with the land in North America, from the Native Americans and early explorers, to the tragedy of the commons, urban sprawl and beyond.

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'Light Up The Sky' to be performed at Notre Dame

Author: Chris Sopczynski

"Light Up The Sky"

The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) will present “Light Up The Sky” by Moss Hart. Directed by FTT faculty member Jay Paul Skelton, the play runs in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. April 17 through 21 (Tuesday through Saturday), with a matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. April 22 (Sunday).

“Light Up The Sky” (1948) is the last play written by Pulitzer Prize winner Hart. This backstage tale takes a jaundiced view of the theatrical archetypes: the arrogant director, the diva leading lady, the seen-it-all-before mother and the naïve new writer.

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James Schmiedeler receives 2012 Ganey Award for community-based research

Author: John Guimond

James Schmiedeler

Watch Video Video

James Schmiedeler, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, is the recipient of the 2012 Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D., Faculty Community-based Research Award, which is given annually by the University of Notre Dame Center for Social Concerns.

Schmiedeler has an extensive record of research and scholarship in several fields including robotic-assisted rehabilitation and the dynamics of bipedal walking motion. The award, in the amount of $5,000, honors a Notre Dame faculty member whose research has made a contribution in collaboration with a local community organization.

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Notre Dame anthropologist ‘follows the pots’

Author: Mark Shuman

Meredith Chesson in the field

An Indiana Jones-style expedition might be one way to locate 5,000-year-old Early Bronze Age artifacts like those University of Notre Dame associate professor Meredith S. Chesson studies.

Logging onto eBay, however, is the cheaper, easier route. On eBay and similar auction sites, Chesson says, Web surfers can all-too-easily find such artifacts using search terms such as “Early Bronze Age pots” and “holy land.”

Her ongoing project, “Follow the Pots: The Social Lives of Early Bronze Age Artifacts From the Southeastern Dead Sea Plain, Jordan,” documents the extensive looting — mostly by economically struggling local residents — that for decades has affected the area in and around the Jordanian cemetery at Fifa.

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Old2Gold sale changes location, hours

Author: Brittany Collins


A few major changes are in store for the University of Notre Dame’s 2012 Old2Gold sale, which will take place from 9 a.m. to noon June 16 (Saturday).

Because of construction at Notre Dame Stadium, the sale will be held off-campus at the old Target/Steve & Barry’s store near the intersection of McKinley Avenue and Hickory Road on the east side of South Bend, across from the Town & Country shopping center. This is the first year since the annual event began in 2004 that it has not been held in the stadium.

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Fifth annual Father Ted's 10K helps youth get a running start on education

Author: Melissa Lindley

Father Ted's 10K

Father Ted’s 10K, the fifth annual race for TRiO Upward Bound at the University of Notre Dame, will start at 10 a.m. April 29 (Sunday) at the Jordan Hall of Science.

This 5K and 10K competitive race and family walk provides a spring tour of campus with University landmarks such as the lakes, south quad, library and Golden Dome.

For the first time, the race will chip-timed with digital tags embedded in the race bibs. Participants will see their name in lights when they cross the finish line. A post-race prayer service also will be held this year. This race is part of the Michiana Runners Association official race circuit for 2012. Father Ted’s 10K is the only Michiana 10K race in April.

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Researchers using novel method to combat malaria drug resistance

Author: William G. Gilroy


Researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health have developed a “gene chip” to contribute to the identification of malaria drug resistance, an effort that will allow for real-time response in modified treatment strategies for this devastating disease.

The discovery is described in a paper appearing in the latest early online edition of the journal Science. The team of researchers includes Notre Dame’s Michael Ferdig, associate professor of biological sciences; doctoral student Becky Miller; and John Tan, managing director of the Genomics Core Facility, in collaboration with Tim Anderson of Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Francois Nosten, M.D., of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Thailand.

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Mechatronic football goes intercollegiate

Author: Nina Welding

Mechatronic football

The University of Notre Dame Robotic Football Team will host the Polar Bears of Ohio Northern University in the first ever intercollegiate mechatronic football game at 7 p.m. Friday (April 20) in Notre Dame’s Stepan Center. The event is free and open to the public.

For the last three years, this “game” has served as the final requirement for seniors in one section of Mechanical Engineering Senior Design, a capstone course that is the culmination of the mechanical engineering curriculum in a design, build and test experience. Michael Stanisic, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, developed the robotic football concept and is leading the course this year. Stanisic and sponsors hope to grow the game into a collegiate robotic league via the Mechatronic Football Club at Notre Dame, which becomes an official University club this fall.

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Notre Dame to host National Robotics Week event

Author: College of Engineering

Notre Dame National Robotics Week

On April 14 (Saturday), the University of Notre Dame is hosting a free community-wide event celebrating National Robotics Week, which will give participants the opportunity to see and interact with robots built for fun, learning and cutting-edge research.

The event, which will take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the North Dome of the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center, is open to the public. Local students, parents and teachers are especially encouraged to attend.

More than 65 students and faculty members from Notre Dame’s Colleges of Engineering and Arts and Letters, Saint Mary’s College, and the Robinson Community Learning Center will be demonstrating their robots and discussing their research.

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The Bald and the Beautiful coming to Notre Dame April 18-20

Author: Brittany Collins

The Bald and the Beautiful

The Bald and the Beautiful, an annual fundraiser to fight pediatric cancer, will take place April 18-20 (Wednesday-Friday) in the Sorin-Dooley Room in the LaFortune Student Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Started in 2008 by a group of students, this head-shaving event has raised more than $115,000 in the last three years to benefit Memorial Hospital in South Bend; St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-run organization that funds pediatric cancer research; and Pantene Beautiful Lengths. It is now the largest student-run philanthropic event on campus, with more than 40 student volunteers and 1,500 participants.

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