News » Archives » June 2012

Norovirus cited as cause for illness at sports camps

Author: Dennis Brown

Youth Sports

Laboratory tests conducted by the Indiana State Department of Health have confirmed that Norovirus was the cause of a gastrointestinal outbreak that affected 106 participants in sports camps this week at the University of Notre Dame, according to Dr. Thomas A. Felger, St. Joseph County health officer.

Most of those who became ill were middle and high school athletes participating in the football, hockey, women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis camps. Twenty-nine campers were hospitalized; all have been released.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus, and is the most common “stomach bug” in the United States. It can be spread in the same manner in which flu viruses are spread. The specific reason for the outbreak at Notre Dame is unknown. Food poisoning, which is bacterial rather than viral, was ruled out as a cause.

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USDA funds development of a new test for safer milk

Author: Arnold Phifer

A USDA grant will help a team of researchers develop a test for pathogens in dairy products such as milk.

A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Purdue University has received a three-year grant of $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a new technology that can rapidly test milk and other dairy products for harmful pathogens.

Though the research will be applicable to many microorganisms, the team’s first goal is to reduce the incidence of brucellosis, a condition caused by infection from Brucella bacteria, various strains of which are found in sheep, goats, cattle and swine. Brucellosis is the most common animal-to-human infection worldwide, with more than 500,000 new cases reported each year. It rarely causes death, but it can result in prolonged health problems.

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ND Expert: Supreme Court decision won’t assuage religious liberty concerns

Author: Michael O. Garvey

O. Carter Snead

Whatever else its consequences, today’s Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act won’t affect the issues raised in the lawsuit recently filed by several religious institutions against the federal government, according to O. Carter Snead, professor of law and William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture.

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ND Expert: SCOTUS upholds health care, ignores partisan intimidation

Author: Shannon Chapla

Richard Garnett

The U.S. Supreme Court today largely upheld the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, as predicted by University of Notre Dame Associate Dean and Law Professor Richard W. Garnett, a past clerk to former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and an expert on constitutional law and religious freedom matters.

The court decided that the “individual mandate,” which requires Americans to either purchase health insurance or pay a fine, effectively functions as a tax and is therefore constitutionally permissible.

“While the individual mandate survived its constitutional challenges, the sweeping assertions of regulatory power made by many of the act’s supporters did not,” Garnett says. “As the chief justice wrote, ‘the framers created a federal government of limited powers and assigned to this court the duty of enforcing those limits. The court does so today.’"

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Sports campers treated for gastrointestinal illness

Author: Dennis Brown

Notre Dame Youth Sports

Update, 3 p.m.: A total of 107 people have now been treated for symptoms related to this illness.

Some 80 youth sports camp participants at the University of Notre Dame were treated today on campus and at local hospitals for a gastrointestinal illness. All have been successfully treated for symptoms that are typical of the stomach flu and short-lived.

The cause of the illness is unknown, though it may be related to food or a virus and was not associated with any physical activity. The University is working with the St. Joseph County Health Department in an effort to determine the cause.

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After child dies, mom’s risk of early death skyrockets: study


William Evans

In the first two years following the death of a child, there is a 133 percent increase in the risk of the mother dying, a new study from the University of Notre Dame shows.

Titled “Maternal bereavement: the heightened mortality of mothers after the death of a child,” the study is published in the current issue of Economics and Human Biology.

Researchers William Evans, a health and labor economist at Notre Dame, and Javier Espinosa of the Rochester Institute of Technology studied 69,224 mothers aged 20 to 50 for nine years, tracking the mortality of children even after they had left the household. It is the first study of its kind using a large, nationally representative U.S. data source.

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Historian Jon Coleman explores a mountain man, a myth and the American West

Author: Mike Danahey

Jon T

Notre Dame Professor Jon T. Coleman is interested in the truths that hide in lies. In his new book, “Here Lies Hugh Glass: A Mountain Man, A Bear and the Rise of the American Nation,” the historian uses a whopper of a story to explore not how the west was won but how its image was built.

Mountain man Hugh Glass’ lingering lore begins in the wilds of South Dakota, where a grizzly bear mauls him in 1823.

According to the story, the party Glass traveled with killed the bear, but Glass had been mortally wounded. The expedition leader told two men to stay behind to bury Glass if he died or, should he recover, to lead him back to civilization.

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Theologian Gary Anderson elected to American Academy of Jewish Research

Author: Joanna Basile

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research (AAJR).

The AAJR is the oldest organization of Judaic scholars in North America, and fellows are nominated and elected by their peers. The group has approximately 100 members in the United States — and Anderson is one of a select few who are not Jewish.

“For me,” Anderson says, “to be treated in such a way by my Jewish colleagues while at a Catholic institution is the highest of honors given the importance I have placed on Jewish studies in my own life and career."

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$5 million gift establishes Gallagher family professorships in adult stem cell research

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Stem cell research

Alumnus Michael Gallagher and his wife, Elizabeth, have made a $5 million gift to establish the Elizabeth and Michael Gallagher Family Professorships in Adult Stem Cell Research at the University of Notre Dame.

Their gift, which will fund three new endowed professorships in adult and all forms of non-embryonic stem cell research, will strengthen Notre Dame’s leadership in the field of stem cell research and enhance the University’s effective dialogue between the biomedical research community and the Catholic Church on matters related to the use and application of stem cells and regenerative medicine.

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Notre Dame announces an innovative partnership with Indiana Department of Education

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Indiana Department of Education

The University of Notre Dame has entered into a historic partnership with the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) that aims to improve learning for Indiana children. Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., of the University of Notre Dame, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett announced the partnership at a press conference in South Bend this afternoon.

This new research partnership will allow scholars at Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and others from around the country to conduct independent research to inform policymakers as they seek strategies to improve educational quality in the state of Indiana.

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Notre Dame researcher’s paper examines the biology and clinical application of tumor-derived microvesicles

Author: William G. Gilroy

"Genes and Development," June 15, 2012

A new paper by Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey, professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, discusses the biology of tumor-derived microvesicles and their clinical application as circulating biomarkers. Microvesicles are membrane-bound sacs released by tumor cells and can be detected in the body fluids of cancer patients.

The new paper discusses the potential of microvesicles to present a combination of disease- and tissue-specific markers that would constitute a unique and identifiable biosignature for individual cancers.

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Takach named managing director of Notre Dame’s cSEND

Author: William G. Gilroy

Stephen F. Takach

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (cSEND) has named Stephen F. Takach managing director, effective July 1.

In addition to his oversight of the business and operational functions of cSEND, his responsibilities will include growing and strengthening the University’s energy-related research, education and outreach across campus and on a national level. He will also work with faculty on large multi-investigator grant applications; work to augment research funding; foster high-quality, high-impact scholarly contributions, including seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences; promote business development with industrial sponsors and partners; and develop relationships with energy-related governmental agencies and industrial enterprises on the state and national levels.

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Examining Christian perceptions and Muslim identity

Author: Joanna Basile

Olivia Remie Constable

Olivia Remie Constable, a professor in the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for her book project “Christian Perceptions of Muslim Identity in Medieval Spain.”

Among other things, her work will examine Christian attitudes toward Muslim dress and appearance and whether Muslims could engage in public religious expressions, teach Arabic to their children and maintain bathhouses, schools, cemeteries and other separate spaces important to the continuity of their culture and religion.

“Over the period that my study covers, Christian attitudes changed dramatically about all of these things,” Constable says.

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Controlling for the weather: Hedging increases firm value, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla

Hayong Yun

A highly debated topic in corporate finance is whether active risk management policies, such as hedging, affect firm value. New research from the University of Notre Dame and Stanford University shows that active risk management policies lead to an increase in firm value.

Hedging refers to insuring against extreme fluctuations in the prices or quantities of commodities/securities.

In “Risk Management and Firm Value: Evidence from Weather Derivatives,” forthcoming in the Journal of Finance, co-author Hayong
, an assistant professor of finance in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, examines the impact of financial innovation on firm value, investment and financing decisions. Specifically, the research examines the effect of the introduction of weather derivatives on electric and gas utilities, arguably some of the most weather-exposed businesses in the economy.

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Confusion can be beneficial for learning: study


A man sitting in front of a computer with his head in his hands

Most of us assume that confidence and certainty are preferred over uncertainty and bewilderment when it comes to learning complex information. But a new study led by Sidney D’Mello of the University of Notre Dame shows that confusion when learning can be beneficial if it is properly induced, effectively regulated and ultimately resolved.

The study will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Learning and Instruction.

Notre Dame psychologist and computer scientist D’Mello, whose research areas include artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and the learning sciences, together with Art Graesser of the University of Memphis, collaborated on the study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation.

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ND Expert: J.C. Penney pricing mistake – it’s all about bargain hunting

Author: Carol Elliott


The sudden departure of J.C. Penney President Michael Francis yesterday is being viewed by marketing experts as another sign that the department store chain got it wrong when it announced its new “no sales” pricing strategy in February.

The strategy, which emphasizes low everyday prices rather than deep-discount sale prices, is a fundamental misread of the current consumer mindset, says Carol B. Phillips, marketing instructor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

“Our research shows that frugality has become a way of life, but there is an element to consumer buying behavior now that is qualitatively different," she says. "Bargain hunting is now like playing a game – and finding deep discounted goods on sale is part of the game. By pursuing everyday low prices, J.C. Penney may have been sailing into the consumer headwind.

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Array of ACE programs and people will energize summer at Notre Dame

Author: William Schmitt

Alliance for Catholic Education

The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) begins its peak season for scholarship during summer break at the University of Notre Dame. This internationally known initiative is welcoming new classes to its formation programs for teachers and leaders and will host numerous campus programs and events for people passionate about sustaining, strengthening, and transforming Catholic schools.

ACE is best known for its Service through Teaching program, founded in 1993, to prepare young men and women from around the country to serve as teachers in under-resourced Catholic K-12 schools in more than two dozen dioceses. Nearly 90 newcomers in ACE’s 19th class arrived on Friday, June 1, to begin their formation in this two-year journey that culminates in an M.Ed. degree.

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Congregation of Holy Cross elects new Provincial Superior

Author: Stephanie Sibal


Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., was elected as the new Provincial Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers by the Provincial Chapter in Portland, Ore., on Friday, June 15 (Feast Day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus). The congregation is the international Catholic religious order whose members founded the University of Notre Dame.

Fr. O’Hara is the first elected Provincial of the newly merged United States Province. The Eastern Province merged into the Indiana Province forming the United States Province of Priests and Brothers, which became effective on July 1, 2011.

“I am both honored and humbled to be chosen to serve my fellow Holy Cross religious as Provincial of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers as we strive to serve the people of God,” said Fr. O’Hara after Friday’s election.

As Provincial Superior, Fr. O’Hara will oversee the work and welfare of more than 500 priests, brothers and seminarians in the U.S. Province. He succeeds Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., who served as Provincial Superior for nine years.

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In memoriam: Sabine MacCormack, Hesburgh Professor of Arts and Letters

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Sabine MacCormack

Sabine MacCormack, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday (June 16) after suffering a heart attack while gardening at her home in South Bend. She was 71.

A native of Frankfurt, Germany, MacCormack was educated there and in England, where she earned bachelor and doctoral degrees from Oxford University in 1964 and 1974, respectively. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2003, she had taught history and the classics at the University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University and the University of Michigan.

MacCormack, a historian and classicist who taught and wrote about religion and culture in ancient Rome and colonial Latin America, was unusual among her international colleagues for the prominence of her scholarship in those two very different areas. She also was among Notre Dame’s most popular and affectionately regarded teachers, not only among the graduate students whose dissertations she directed, but also among first year students whom she taught in the required University Seminar course. A particular focus of her teaching, she said, was “on the nature of knowledge; on what we think we know, and why, and what we might actually know.”

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Health IT expert: Electronic medical records finally catching on with policymakers -- and Olympians

Author: Shannon Chapla

Corey Angst

The U.S. Olympic Committee is converting to electronic medical records (EMRs) this month for hundreds of athletes who will be competing in London, as well as thousands of other athletes who have been seen by Olympic Committee doctors in recent years.

EMRs also are catching on nationwide as the federal government encourages health care providers with financial incentives, and Corey Angst, assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and an expert on health information technology, says “Policymakers seemed to have listened and are not just insisting on EMR adoption, but more importantly, they are mandating that the systems be used in a meaningful way. There are specific things that must be measured and reported for hospitals and doctors to receive the incentives.”

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Nanoparticles engineered at Notre Dame promise to improve blood cancer treatment

Author: Arnie Phifer

A time-lapse image showing multiple myeloma cells internalizing the engineered nanoparticles

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.

One of the difficulties doctors face in treating MM comes from the fact that cancer cells of this type start to develop resistance to the leading chemotherapeutic treatment, doxorubicin, when they adhere to tissue in bone marrow.

“The nanoparticles we have designed accomplish many things at once,” says Başar Bilgiçer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry and biochemistry, and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics (AD&T) initiative.

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Notre Dame theologian to assist in forming a Society for Qu'ranic Studies

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Gabriel Said Reynolds, Tisch Family Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will be co-director of an international consultation to develop a plan for the formation of an independent association of Quranic scholars.

The three-year initiative, sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) with a $140,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, will bring together scholars of the Quran to discuss the potential establishment of a Society for Qu’ranic Studies (SQS) to foster scholarship in an expanding and increasingly diverse academic field.

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Fight in front of kindergartner, expect problems during teenage years, study shows


Mark Cummings

Parents who fight in front of their kindergarten-aged children could be setting them up for depression, anxiety and behavioral problems as adolescents, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame. A new longitudinal study finds that the impact of destructive marital conflict on children in their kindergarten years is long-lasting and can lead to emotional problems and difficulties in adolescence.

“The results further highlight the possibility that there will be persistent negative effects of children’s early experiences when there is conflict between their parents, at least when their emotional insecurity increases as a result of the conflict,” according to Cummings, Notre Dame Endowed Chair in Psychology.

“This study has important implications for clinicians and parents,” he added.

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Kevin Barry appointed Kaneb Center director


Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry, most recently interim director of the University of Notre Dame’s Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, has been appointed permanent director of the Center, effective July 1.

“We are very pleased that Kevin has accepted this role,” said Daniel J. Myers, vice president and associate provost for faculty affairs. “His strategic vision will guide the Kaneb Center in its existing activities and spark new directions as well. Kevin has already identified several new initiatives for the Center, and I look forward to watching it flourish under his direction.”

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ND Expert: A 'rare and wonderful' discovery of ancient Christian documents

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Michael Heintz

The discovery of 29 previously unpublished homilies by the third-century theologian Origen of Alexandria could provide an unprecedented glimpse of ancient Christian preaching, according to Rev. Michael Heintz, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Master of Divinity Program.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, reported Tuesday (June 12) that the homilies, written in Greek, were discovered two months ago in the Bavarian State Library by Marina Pradel, an Italian scholar.

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College of Arts and Letters launches international economics major

Author: Joanna Basile

A male student raises his diploma to the crowd

Linguistic and cultural fluency is an increasingly important asset in business. And to address the growing demand for professionals who can both understand and help shape the world market, the College of Arts and Letters has created a new major in international economics. The major combines substantial coursework in the Department of Economics with advanced training in language and culture, starting with French, Italian or Spanish.

It will also provide students with the potential for overseas internships and specialized research projects. “This program will be an attractive option for ambitious, sophisticated and savvy Notre Dame undergraduates seeking to prepare themselves for successful international careers,” says Richard Jensen, Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Economics.

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Notre Dame Magazine receives five medals in CASE awards

Author: Brittany Collins

Notre Dame Magazine

Notre Dame Magazine, the University’s quarterly alumni publication, received five medals in the annual Circle of Excellence awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Notre Dame Magazine was awarded the silver medal in general excellence. This award is given in three circulation categories, and the Magazine competes in the largest category. The University of Chicago received the gold award in this class.

Kerry Prugh, the Magazine’s art director, received a bronze medal in editorial design for her layout of Gary Gaffney’s poem “Mil Preguntas” in the Summer 2011 issue. Staff members were awarded three of 13 medals given in CASE’s Best Articles of the Year: Higher Education category.

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Groundbreaking for Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility set for June 15

Author: William G. Gilroy

St. Joseph County Parks

The new research facility is a partnership between the University of Notre Dame and St. Joseph County Parks. Its goal is to build a cutting-edge environmental and research facility at St. Patrick’s County Park.

The field-based environmental research facility will allow Notre Dame scientists, graduate and undergraduate researchers, visiting scholars and other academic institutions to study the interrelationships of land, water and wetland ecologies in the face of environmental change.

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Notre Dame undergrads 'on board' to assist local public transportation system

Author: Allison Nanni

Notre Dame students taking surveys of city bus passengers

A ridership survey designed by University of Notre Dame students will yield valuable information for TRANSPO, South Bend’s public transportation system.

“The customer satisfaction survey, designed by Notre Dame students and then implemented by those same students while riding our local buses, benefits us in a number of ways,” said Jeanette Pancoas, TRANSPO marketing manager. “Not only do we have more comprehensive information about our riders, but the presence of the students surveying riders on the bus conveyed a genuine concern for customer feedback.”

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Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., completes nine-year tenure as provincial superior

Author: Stephanie A. Sibal

Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., will complete his service as provincial superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, at the end of the Provincial Chapter on June 22.

Father Tyson has been provincial superior since 2003, serving the maximum nine-year term limit.

“It is by God’s grace these past nine years that I have led my brothers in Holy Cross, while walking side by side with them in proclaiming the kingdom of God through our ministries of education, parish and mission,” Father Tyson said.

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