Faculty Stories

Faculty at Notre Dame come from communities and cultures all over the world. They conduct research and scholarship on topics and issues that span numerous academic disciplines. They share with students not just their areas of expertise but also their questions and concerns about the enduring issues and latest developments that shape our times.

But their role in broadening and sharpening the lenses through which we understand ourselves and the world around us extend well beyond individual research projects, classroom lectures, course syllabi, or a list of academic programs.

The selection of stories below helps illustrate the many other ways Notre Dame faculty foster diversity, support inclusion, and enliven the entire Notre Dame community.

Psychologist honored for a lifetime of influential personality research

Tom Lange

When you help create two dozen psychological assessment instruments—including one cited more than 19,000 times—the world takes notice. David Watson, the Andrew J. McKenna Family Professor of Psychology, was honored for those accomplishments and many others when the Society for Personality and Social Psychology presented him with the 2015 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality. The award recognizes...

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MLK Day — A time for reflection

Cidni Sanders

It will begin, fittingly, at the Hesburgh Library Reflecting Pool, a serene spot on campus designed to encourage serious thought and meditation. A midnight march will kick off the University’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I hope you will use this occasion to reflect on the values that are so central both to...

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Alex Chávez: Parallels among Latino, Mideast and North African migration

Gene Stowe

Alex E. Chávez, an assistant professor in anthropology and Fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), sees parallels between longstanding Latino migration to the United States and the current crisis of Middle Eastern and North African migration to Europe. He was part of a group of ILS faculty fellows who met with Italian scholars to discuss immigration at Notre...

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Three questions with political scientist Rev. Robert Dowd

Michael O. Garvey

  Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., assistant professor of political science, is a fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and director of its Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity. A popular teacher and scholar of religion’s impact on development and political institutions, he has conducted extensive research on communities and societies throughout Africa. His recently published...

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Notre Dame to host gathering of Latino poets

Arts and Letters

  The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), in close collaboration with the Creative Writing Program, will present a conference, “Angels of the Americlypse,” on October 28 and 29, 2015, featuring Latino/a poetry readings, literary translation, and roundtable discussions. The event—held in conjunction with Letras Latinas, the ILS literary initiative—will include readings by acclaimed poets Rosa Alcalá,...

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FTT course on nonfiction graphic novels inspires visual storytelling by students

Carrie Gates

  After adapting his award-winning documentary On the Bridge into a graphic novel that both portrayed stories of veterans and offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Olivier Morel’s emotions and struggles as he interviewed them, the FTT assistant professor was inspired to create an undergraduate course. In Graphic Wounds, Graphic Novels, in-depth readings and discussions with some of the genre’s leading...

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Three Notre Dame faculty receive fellowships from National Endowment for the Humanities

Josh Weinhold

Three faculty from the University of Notre Dame received fellowships this week from the National Endowment for the Humanities, continuing the University’s record success winning support for humanities research. Receiving the grants are Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French; Amy Mulligan, an assistant professor of Irish language and literature; and Gabriel Said Reynolds, a professor of Islamic studies and theology. ...

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Maurizio Albahari: How do liberal democracies deal with newcomers?

Gene Stowe

For Maurizio Albahari, an assistant professor of anthropology and native of Italy, this year’s refugee crisis in Europe is a new layer on an old story of deadly immigration efforts across the Mediterranean Sea from Africa and Asia to Europe.  The experience also bears considerable analogs with American migration issues, Albahari says, although especially in the Mediterranean situation, a fence...

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Rahul Oka: Advocating for refugees in Kenya

Carol Bradley

Anthropologist Rahul Oka has been working with UNHCR and the World Bank on a new refugee camp being built, helping create a template for refugee resettlement. “All the data we’ve collected, both qualitative and quantitative, will inform the new camp. My job is not to tell them that they need a paradigm shift. My job is to make sure that...

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Video: Fighting for Displaced People

Arts and Letters

  There are 60 million displaced people in the world, and every day, an estimated 40,000 people flee their homes in search of safety elsewhere. For many, a temporary stop in a refugee camp becomes a lifetime of dependency and desolation. Notre Dame anthropology professor Rahul Oka believes there is a better way to provide aid to these residents. For...

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Father Jenkins to receive Spirit of Francis Award from Catholic Extension

Michael O. Garvey

  University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has been named the 2015 recipient of the Spirit of Francis National Award by Catholic Extension for his role in supporting and encouraging future leaders of the Catholic Church throughout his career at Notre Dame. Father Jenkins will receive the honor at a dinner and ceremony at the Metropolitan...

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Theatre Professor’s Play Explores Nuances of Interfaith Love

Aaron Smith

Disheartened by anti-Muslim rhetoric that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Anne García-Romero resolved to write a play that explored the intricacies and nuances of interfaith love, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. After years in the making, that work has become a reality. Paloma—which received its West Coast premiere and ran for a month this summer at the Los Angeles Theatre Center—focuses...

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Spanish students connect with South Bend through community-based learning

Josh Weinhold

Through a series of new community-based-learning Spanish courses at Notre Dame, undergraduates are improving their language skills both inside and outside the classroom. Spanish students in intermediate-level and community-based learning classes now average about 3,000 hours of service per year in South Bend. The model is based on the idea that a faculty member and local organization leader are co-educators...

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Karen Richman: ‘We are a nation of immigrants’

Gene Stowe

Karen Richman, director of undergraduate studies for the Institute for Latino Studies, was one of the first scholars who saw both sides of immigration as it created transnational interdependent communities in the late 20th century. Her long-view historical perspective sees the current U.S. immigration debate as another in a long series of resistance followed by acceptance as newcomers contribute to...

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Sociologist’s research compares police presence at Christian and secular protests

William G. Gilroy

Police are less likely to show up at protests involving religious actors or organizations — unless the protesters are fundamentalist Christians, according to a new study. Notre Dame sociologist Kraig Beyerlein, the lead author of the study, analyzed protest-event data from daily editions of The New York Times published between 1960 and 1995 and found that, in general, police were...

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Six new history faculty bring transnational research and teaching interests to department

Josh Weinhold

  They bring expertise in subjects that span physical borders and chronological boundaries. They bring passion to their research and energy to their classrooms. And the six new faculty members joining the Department of History this fall bring additional prestige to an already elite group of academics. “For a long period of time, we’ve been working to assemble a group...

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Notre Dame adds to Wall of Honor on Founder’s Day

Brendan O’Shaughnessy

  Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, added two plaques to the Wall of Honor in Notre Dame’s Main Building on Tuesday (Oct. 13). One plaque honored Notre Dame theologian and teacher Rev. John S. Dunne, C.S.C., and another honored the first generation of African-American students at Notre Dame.  

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ND law professor Cassel Helps Craft Colombia peace accord

Catherine Behan

TThe agreements announced in Havana today between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could bring to an end that country’s 51-year war. The parties have now committed to an immediate, bilateral cease fire and to sign a final peace agreement within six months; the FARC have committed to disarm within 60 days thereafter, and both...

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