News » Archives » February 2013

Notre Dame to host 2013 conference of the Africa Faith and Justice Network

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Africa Faith & Justice Network

The 2013 conference of the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) will be hosted by the University of Notre Dame this weekend (March 1-3).

The 30th annual AFJN conference, “Justice for Africa: Justice for the World,” will bring together some 200 scholars, religious and social workers, and policymakers to discuss and reflect on issues of peacebuilding, human rights and social justice in African countries and communities.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and reputed papabile, or plausible candidate for election as Pope, had planned to attend and give the keynote address at the conference, but was unable to do so due to the upcoming conclave in Rome for the election of Pope Benedict’s successor.

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Change at the Vatican: Notre Dame faculty experts look ahead

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI

University of Notre Dame faculty members continue to react to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down from the papal post, effective Feb. 28.

Upon his official resignation at 8 p.m. Rome time (2 p.m. EST), the Catholic Church entered a period called “sede vacante” (empty seat), which will end with the election of a new pope by the Church’s cardinal electors in Conclave.

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VP and associate provost Don Pope-Davis to become provost of DePaul

Author: Dennis Brown

Don Pope-Davis Don Pope-Davis

Don Pope-Davis, professor of psychology and for the past six years vice president and associate provost at the University of Notre Dame, will leave Notre Dame in July to become the provost at DePaul University.

“From his research accomplishments to faculty support, diversity initiatives, leadership in graduate education and athletics, and resolute commitment to Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, Don has made significant contributions to the life of our University over the past 13 years,” said Thomas G. Burish, Notre Dame’s provost. “I am immensely grateful to him and know that he will serve DePaul well as its chief academic officer.”

Elected to his current position in 2007, Pope-Davis is responsible for expanding opportunities and participation in undergraduate scholarship and research, implementing the Undergraduate Academic Code of Honor, and leading the University’s enrollment management efforts by overseeing the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Services. He also provides oversight to the University’s ROTC programs, Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, Office of Disability Services, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, Snite Museum of Art, First Year of Studies, Institute for Church Life, and Center for Social Concerns.

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New studies link gene to selfish behavior in kids, find other children natural givers

Author: Susan Guibert and JP Shortall

children reading

Most parents would agree that raising a generous child is an admirable goal — but how, exactly, is that accomplished? New results from the University of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity initiative, which funds generosity research around the world, sheds light on how generosity and related behaviors — such as kindness, caring and empathy — develop, or don’t develop, in children from 2 years old through adolescence.

As part of Notre Dame’s Science of Generosity-funded research, psychology professor Ariel Knafo of Hebrew University focused on the complex interactions between genetics and socialization practices, more commonly known as the “nature v. nurture” question. Knafo’s study, published in PLoS ONE, showed a significant link between a particular gene variation and less altruistic behavior in preschoolers.

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Outsourcing family: Bridal registries replace matriarch with marketplace, new study shows

Author: Shannon Chapla


Bridal registries might be efficient — sparing the gift-giver from hours of shopping and the recipient from having to return unwanted items. But that convenience may come at a cost: Where once the mom held great sway over selecting the intimate items that shaped the new household, now Target, Macy’s and other retailers have taken over that role.

“Decades ago, the main role of the mother of the bride was creating the new home for the union of two families,” says Tonya Williams Bradford, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Notre Dame. “By turning to bridal registries, we’ve outsourced to the marketplace the sacred traditions of planning and outfitting a new family space.”

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Irish Innovation Fund established to assist student-led startups

Author: William G. Gilroy

Notre Dame engineering graduate students

A new $3.5 million fund at the University of Notre Dame has been established to help launch student-led ventures and further strengthen the educational component of the University’s ESTEEM Graduate Program.

The funds for the program will be from gifts made to the University by John Jeuck, the former dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, in honor of his close personal friend, Philip J. Purcell III, a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

The ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s) Program is the first multidisciplinary graduate program in Notre Dame’s history. Developed in collaboration with the College of Science, the College of Engineering and the Mendoza College of Business, and housed at the University’s state-of-the-art Innovation Park, ESTEEM provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-educated students an unparalleled opportunity to deepen their technical talents while also learning the business and innovation skills they need to commercialize research and bring new ideas and technological advancements to market.

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Remarks from memorial Mass for Bishop Emeritus John M. D'Arcy

Author: Notre Dame News

Bishop Emeritus John D’Arcy Bishop Emeritus John D’Arcy

In a memorial Mass on Feb. 7 for Bishop Emeritus John M. D’Arcy at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame, the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and John Cavadini, professor of theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the Institute for Church Life, delivered the homily and eulogy, respectively. Their remarks follow.

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Student Peace Conference to highlight research

Author: Renée LaReau

Cara O'Connor-Combee, left, and Anna Boarini are chairs of the 2013 Student Peace Conference

Registration is now open for the University of Notre Dame’s 2013 Student Peace Conference, which will take place on April 5 and 6 (Friday and Saturday) at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. Planned and organized by Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College peace studies undergraduates, the conference brings together undergraduate and graduate students from the United States and several other countries.

This year’s conference, “Fusion: Where Theory and Practice Meet,” explores the intersection of peace-building theory and practice in the modern world. Conference chairs are Saint Mary’s College students Anna Boarini, a history, political science and peace studies major; and Cara O’Connor-Combee, an economics and peace studies major.

The keynote address will be delivered by Katherine Marshall, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, who leads the center’s Program on Religion and Global Development.

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International economics major adds five languages


passport and map

Beginning this fall, University of Notre Dame undergraduate students interested in pursuing international economics as a major can choose from among five new language options: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, German and Russian. These are in addition to the three Romance languages — French, Italian and Spanish — already available.

International economics, the newest major within the College of Arts and Letters, combines substantial coursework in the Department of Economics with advanced training in language and culture. It also provides students with the potential for overseas internships and specialized research projects.

“With the addition of these languages, the international economics major is an even more attractive option for undergraduates who want to prepare for international careers,” said Richard Jensen, Gilbert F. Schaefer Professor and Chair of Economics.

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Notre Dame repeats as MacArthur Award winner

Author: Notre Dame News


The University of Notre Dame’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) department has once again won one of eight MacArthur Awards, signifying the top Army ROTC programs in the nation, for the 2011-12 academic year.

The awards, presented by the U.S. Army Cadet Command and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation, recognize the ideals of “duty, honor and country” as advocated by MacArthur.

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Building a future for young engineers, one LEGO at a time

Author: William G. Gilroy

Students from St. Matthew's

Watch Video Video

Much has been written and discussed about the outlook for science and engineering in the United States. If a recent event at the University of Notre Dame’s Stinson-Remick Hall is any indication, the future looks bright.

The University’s Graduate Career Services office hosted the Indiana Automotive Consortium Road Show at Stinson-Remick in January. The road show featured representatives from Chrysler, Cummins, Honda, Mursix and Subaru showcasing employment opportunities within the state of Indiana for Notre Dame engineering students. In conjunction with the event, the Cummins Young Engineers Club, which is designed to motivate and inspire pre-college students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), sponsored a Lego replica build of one of its engines.

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In memoriam: Frederic Syburg, Notre Dame professor emeritus of film, television and theatre

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Frederic Syburg

Frederic Winkler Syburg, professor emeritus of film, television, and theatre at the University of Notre Dame, died Friday (Feb. 15) at Zilber Hospice in Wauwatosa, Wis. He was 88 years old.

A Milwaukee native, Syburg grew up there and graduated from Milwaukee University School before going to Brown University, where he studied for a year before enlisting in the Army Medical Corps at the outbreak of World War II.

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ND Expert: SCOTUS 'drops other shoe' on campaign contributions

Author: Shannon Chapla

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Feb. 19 (Tuesday) to take another look at well-established limits on campaign contributions.

The court agreed to hear McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission — filed by a Republican donor and the Republican National Committee — which seeks to overturn limits on how much money a person can donate in any two-year period.

University of Notre Dame Law Professor Lloyd Mayer, whose areas of specialty include election law, says, “By indicating it plans to give a full hearing to the appeal, the Supreme Court has dropped the other shoe that has been hanging in the air since the court decided Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010. At issue is whether the existing federal and state limits on contributions to candidates and political parties are constitutional under the First Amendment.”

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Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for March 2

Author: William G. Gilroy

Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair will take place Saturday (March 2) at the Stepan Center at the University of Notre Dame. The event is open to the public at 1:30 p.m. and parking is available in the D lot east of the Stepan Center at the corner of Wilson and Stepan drives.

The fair will feature science, social science, engineering and mathematics projects by students in grades three through 12 from public and private schools in St. Joseph, Elkhart, Fulton and Marshall counties.

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Water on the Moon: It’s been there all along

Author: William G. Gilroy and Nina Welding

The moon

Looking at pictures of the Moon, even from the historic “giant leap” photograph, it is easy to understand why scientists used to think of it as a big dust ball. However, “conventional wisdom” has been changing over the years. This is largely due to the information garnered from missions such as NASA’s 2009 Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (L-CROSS) lunar-impact probe, as well as new scanning technologies and more precise measurements, which have been facilitated by enhanced instrumentation and improved analytical detection limits, on samples returned to Earth following the Apollo missions.

In a paper published in the Feb. 17 issue of Nature Geoscience, researchers show that they have detected significant amounts of water in the samples of the lunar highland upper crust obtained during the Apollo missions. The lunar highlands are thought to represent the original crust, crystallized from a mostly molten early Moon that is called the lunar magma ocean.

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Screening and discussion of 'Band of Sisters' to be held Feb. 21

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Band of Sisters,” a film directed and produced by 1982 University of Notre Dame alumna Mary Fishman, will be shown Feb. 21 (Thursday) at 7 p.m. in the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Presented by Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Center for Social Concerns and the performing arts center, the screening will be followed by a discussion led by Fishman and moderated by Kathleen Cummings, director of the Cushwa Center.

Admission is $7 for the general public, $5 for seniors and $4 for students, and tickets are available online here.

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Notre Dame forum brings K-12 educators and researchers together

Author: Marissa Gebhard

K-12 Education Forum

The sixth annual Collaborating for Education and Research Forum will gather STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research professionals from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 23) in the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Glenda Ritz, the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, will give a keynote presentation at 9 a.m., and will join a panel discussion titled “On the Road to High Quality Instruction: Creating a Culture of Support for Teachers.”

Educators will learn about the strategic plan for the new Michiana Science and Technology Center, as well as additional STEM education and research opportunities for students and educators.

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Kroc Institute leads effort to examine ethical and legal dimensions of drone warfare

Author: Joan Fallon

David Cortright David Cortright

The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies has launched a new policy initiative to examine the complex ethical, strategic and legal implications of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles — commonly called “drones” — for combat purposes, and to foster the development of internationally accepted rules for how these weapons should be used.

In the past few years, the U.S. military and the CIA have secretly launched hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and possibly other countries, says David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute. Drone warfare has become a centerpiece of the U.S. foreign policy agenda, yet there has been little systematic effort to look at the implications of this “remote-control” combat or to determine if and when it is ethically and legally justified.

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Architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang to lecture

Author: Kara Kelly

Jeanne Gang Jeanne Gang

The University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture and the Environmental Change Initiative will host the lecture “Building,” by Jeanne Gang, founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 20) in the Bond Hall Auditorium.

Gang roots her designs in both architectural form and idea-driven content toward achieving a compelling whole, and she often arrives at design solutions through investigations and collaborations across disciplines. Her projects include Chicago’s 82-story Aqua tower, the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the Year; the design of Northerly Island Park, a 91-acre former airfield on Chicago’s lakefront that is now under construction; and the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, an educational pavilion and landscape that also function as stormwater infrastructure

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New Notre Dame research paper offers insights on 'ecological speciation'

Author: William G. Gilroy

Leaf galls of B. treatae Leaf galls of B. treatae

A new paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame provides new insights into speciation, which is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise.

The research team, which was headed by Scott P. Egan, a research assistant professor with the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, and included Glen R. Hood, Gabriel DeVela and James R. Ott, investigated a special case of speciation, known as “ecological speciation,” in which new species arise as a result of populations adapting to different environments.

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Biologist Jennifer Tank named 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow

Author: William G. Gilroy

Jennifer Tank

Jennifer Tank, Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and an international authority on the cycling of nutrients in freshwater ecosystems, has been named a 2013 Leopold Leadership Fellow.

Tank is one of 20 mid-career academic environmental researchers named as fellows this year. The group was selected through a highly competitive process on the basis of their exceptional scientific qualifications, demonstrated leadership ability and strong interest in sharing their knowledge beyond traditional academic audiences.

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Notre Dame tuition increase same as previous year’s

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

blue seal

Undergraduate tuition at the University of Notre Dame will increase 3.8 percent for the 2013-14 academic year to $44,605. The rate of increase matches that of the previous three years, which was the lowest since 1960. With average room and board rates of $12,512, total student charges will be $57,117.

In a letter to parents and guardians of students returning for the next academic year, Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., thanked them for their investment in Notre Dame. Father Jenkins promised that the University would strive to honor their confidence and commitment by fully developing the already formidable gifts and talents the students bring to Notre Dame.

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ND Expert: SOTU economic substance 'weak,' proposals 'unsustainable'


Timothy Fuerst

Though raising the minimum wage, providing high-quality preschool to every child, enabling more families to refinance their mortgages and creating new jobs are worthy goals, President Barack Obama offered no clear ideas for how to pay for these proposals in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, according to a University of Notre Dame economist.

Timothy Fuerst, William and Dorothy O’Neill Professor of Economics, believes that the president “paid lip service” to two of the most pressing economic issues facing our nation: encouraging job growth in the near term and dealing with the nation’s fiscal solvency in the long term.

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Robinson Community Learning Center to celebrate 12th anniversary

Author: Brittany Collins

Robinson Community Learning Center

The Robinson Community Learning Center will celebrate its 12th anniversary from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 (Friday) at the center.

Guest speakers for the celebration will include Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame; South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly; and a representative from U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski’s office.

The evening will include live music from local band Kennedy’s Kitchen along with an awards ceremony and refreshments.

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Notre Dame study explores potential benefits and threats of nanotechnology research

Author: Arnie Phifer

Kathleen Eggleson Kathleen Eggleson

Every day, scientists learn more about how the world works at the smallest scales. While this knowledge has the potential to help others, it is possible that the same discoveries can also be used in ways that cause widespread harm.

A recent article in the journal Nanomedicine, born out of a Federal Bureau of Investigation workshop held at the University of Notre Dame in September 2012, tackles this complex “dual-use” aspect of nanotechnology research.

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Three College of Engineering faculty receive CAREER awards

Author: William G. Gilroy and Nina Welding

National Science Foundation

Three faculty members in the College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame — David Go, assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering; Hai Lin, assistant professor of electrical engineering; and Laurel D. Riek, the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering — have been named recipients of the 2013 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.

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Father Jenkins expresses gratitude for Pope Benedict’s leadership

Author: Dennis Brown


Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, expressed his deep gratitude for the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI, who announced today (Feb. 11) his intention to step down from the papacy at the end of the month.

“As surprising as today’s announcement is, it is apparent that Pope Benedict has made a decision that is motivated by his deep love for the Church,” Father Jenkins said. “He has been a dedicated pastor to Catholics worldwide for the past eight years – and even before as a cardinal, bishop and priest. As a former university professor, he is a serious intellectual with an understanding of education and appreciation for the life of the mind, and that has been important to all of us in Catholic higher education. As the College of Cardinals considers a successor to Pope Benedict, I pray God will guide their deliberations.”

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Students solve case in 'CSI'-style project

Author: William G. Gilroy


Watch Video Video

Visitors to the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library on a recent day most likely thought they’d wandered into location filming for a “CSI” or “NCIS” television episode. Yellow crime scene tape surrounded a library study area and a team of what appeared to be crime scene experts scoured the site for evidence.

However, the dramatic scene had an academic purpose. First-year students enrolled in a “Forensic Chemistry” course taught by chemistry and biochemistry professor Marya Lieberman worked the Hesburgh Library crime scene as the capstone experience for the class.

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Cupid’s arrow: Research illuminates laws of attraction


A man and woman exchanging a gift

We’ve heard the clichés: “It was love at first sight,” “It’s inner beauty that truly matters,” and “Opposites attract.”

But what’s really at work in selecting a romantic or sexual partner?

University of Notre Dame Sociologist Elizabeth McClintock studies the impacts of physical attractiveness and age on mate selection and the effects of gender and income on relationships. Her research offers new insights into why and when Cupid’s arrow strikes.

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Notre Dame ranks on Peace Corps’ annual list of top volunteer-producing schools

Author: John Guimond

Peace Corps volunteer Lisa Floran with her host family in Senegal

For the 13th year in a row, the University of Notre Dame has earned a spot on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. With 23 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, the University ranks No. 18 and remains a solid source of individuals committed to making a difference at home and abroad. Since the agency was created in 1961, 865 Notre Dame alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Notre Dame is the only Indiana school to make the Peace Corps’ rankings this year.

“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” says Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Peace Corps volunteer, Western Samoa, 1981-83), who visited Notre Dame in 2011.

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