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.

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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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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Center for Civil and Human Rights co-hosts International Conference on Christian Response to Persecution

Michael O. Garvey

  The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, in partnership with Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project, is co-hosting the International Conference on Christian Response to Persecution. The conference, a major component of the first systematic global investigation of the persecution of Christians, will take place at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome on Dec. 10-12.

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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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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 questions with theologian Timothy Matovina

Michael O. Garvey

  Pope Francis is due to arrive in America Sept. 22, his first trip to North America. He’s expected to address the growing influx of Latinos in the U.S. Catholic church while he’s here, including delivering several talks in Spanish. Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and co-director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, says Latinos have...

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Three questions with Gabriel Said Reynolds, Quran scholar

Michael O. Garvey

  University of Notre Dame theologian Gabriel Reynolds studies the Quran and the interactions between Christians and Muslims. Academic courses taught by Reynolds include “Foundations of Theology,” “Islam and Christian Theology,” “The Qur’an and Its Relation to the Bible,” “The Holy Land” and “Islamic Origins.” He is the author of the forthcoming book “The Qurʾan in Conversation with the Bible:...

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LEO receives $435,000 NIH grant to study impact of community college intervention program

Josh Weinhold

Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities has received a $435,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a two-year study of Stay the Course, a program designed to keep low-income community college students on the path to academic success. Participants are paired with a case manager who offers guidance and support on how to stay on track...

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Video: Theologian Gary Knoppers on the origins of an international Judaism

Todd Boruff

  “Different texts speak with different voices. Paying attention to these differences between different writings really helps to illumine the history of early Judaism,” said Gary Knoppers, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Knoppers, whose research focuses on ancient Israelite history, is currently writing commentaries of 2 Chronicles and 1 and 2 Kings, Biblical...

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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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Law professor appointed as consultant in Colombia peace talks

Michael O. Garvey

  Douglass Cassel, professor of law and adviser to the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), has been appointed by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos to a bilateral working group in the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Colombian government and FARC, the country’s largest rebel...

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Notre Dame receives $1.6 million from Accenture to expand technology and opportunity in Uganda and South Africa

Notre Dame News

  The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) has received $1.6 million from Accenture — one of the world’s leading professional services companies, with capabilities in consulting, strategy, digital, technology and operations — to expand the Connectivity, Electricity and Education for Entrepreneurship (CE3) project. CE3 empowers disconnected communities in northern Uganda by harnessing solar energy to deliver...

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Notre Dame’s Irish Seminar moves from Ireland to Argentina

Michael O. Garvey

  One of the flagship programs of the University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, its annual Irish Seminar, will be held this year in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since it was established in 1999, the seminar, an international conference of Irish scholars, post-graduate students and faculty in Irish Studies, has met in Ireland at Notre Dame’s Dublin Centre...

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Women in engineering at Notre Dame

Nina Welding

While many colleges and universities are struggling to attract and retain women in their engineering programs, the number of women choosing to study engineering at Notre Dame has increased to 33 percent — almost twice the national average. Impressive numbers considering the rigor of an engineering major and the fact that Notre Dame was an all-male school for 130 years,...

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