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.

Institute for Latino Studies report analyzes role of gender in Latino savings and retirement

William G. Gilroy

A new report by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies examines how gender affects Latino men’s and women’s savings for retirement and concludes that there is a need to develop programs to empower lower-income women and men to save for retirement. The research report, directed by Karen Richman, a Notre Dame cultural anthropologist, applies a novel, interdisciplinary...

Read More

Scholar of Chinese literary and internet culture appointed director of Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies

Joan Fallon

Michel Hockx has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies within the new Keough School of Global Affairs. Hockx is professor of Chinese and director of the China Institute at SOAS, University of London. He will join the Notre Dame faculty in August 2016 and teach in the Department of East...

Read More

Crossing the border

Marisel Moreno

A literature professor who teaches about the U.S.-Mexico border reflects on the troubled lives and deaths of would-be migrants — from the southern side of the desert wall built to keep them out.

Read More

Notre Dame faculty discuss the right to vote

Lauren Love

While Americans tout the right to vote as the cornerstone of democracy, a number of states across the country have recently passed measures making it harder for citizens to vote. Studies have shown these new rules — including voter identification laws, voter list purging, and cutting into the number of early voting days — have disproportionately affected low-income and minority...

Read More

Robert O. Smith named academic director of Jerusalem Global Gateway

Amanda Skofstad

Robert O. Smith, historian and specialist in American Christian theologies concerning the Israeli-Palestinian context, has been appointed the first academic director of the Jerusalem Global Gateway by Nick Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. Smith is concurrent faculty in the Department of Theology and Keough School for Global Affairs.

Read More

Notre Dame scholars address challenges for Latino Catholic education

Michael O. Garvey

Luis Ricardo Fraga, Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and co-director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, served as co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Catholic Education, its first issue ever to focus specifically on Latinos and Catholic education.  

Read More

Notre Dame economists help small business owners in Kenya find success

Carrie Gates

In a dense Nairobi slum best known for its toxic garbage dump, the crowded streets are lined with roadside stands. With no job prospects, residents’ best chance to eke out a living comes from selling foods and handcrafted goods at these tiny stalls. Three assistant professors in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics—Wyatt Brooks, Kevin Donovan, and Terence Johnson—are researching ways...

Read More

Next steps in our journey of purpose; beyond Walk the Walk Week

Cidni Sanders

What does it mean for the Notre Dame community — its students, faculty and staff — to be doers, not merely speakers or hearers, of the call to Walk the Walk? As the campus paused January 18-22 to reflect on the values central to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the mission of the University, several speakers outlined possible next steps...

Read More

King Day prayer service honors the past, looks to Notre Dame’s future

Cidni Sanders

The midnight prayer service held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2016 was just as much about the historic actions of the slain civil rights leader as it was about the prospective actions of the Notre Dame students, faculty, staff and guests who gathered together. More than 1,000 people attended the service at 12 a.m. on Monday, January 18, the...

Read More

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...

Read More

A transformative journey: Notre Dame experiences life at the border

Brendan O’Shaughnessy

A dozen Notre Dame faculty members and community partners from South Bend went to Tucson, Arizona, to hear migrants’ stories during a four-day Mexican Border Immersion seminar in early January. The faculty and student groups participated in activities ranging from talks with community activists to hikes through the desert with humanitarians who deliver water, and from witnessing border violation court...

Read More

The strength of leadership

Anthony DePalma

By any measure, Father Theodore M. Hesburgh’s influence on higher education — both during the 35 years he served as president of Notre Dame and over the many years after he retired — was oversized: broad, deep and enduring, touching everything from athletics and academics to the very essence of what makes a modern university, especially a modern Catholic university....

Read More

Political science, peace studies associate professor wins grant to study war's hidden costs

Renée LaReau

Tanisha Fazal, associate professor of political science and peace studies, has been awarded a research grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to investigate the human and financial costs of war. The costs of caring for wounded veterans are not traditionally or accurately factored into government assessments, Fazal said. 

Read More

Inaugural Ursula Williams Faculty Fellow develops hybrid Chinese language course

Anne Daly

The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures has partnered with the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning to offer the Ursula Williams Faculty Fellowship. The fellowship connects foreign-language faculty with technology experts and supports research to help faculty members determine which technological tools are most helpful in language classrooms. Chengxu Yin, associate teaching professor of Chinese, was awarded...

Read More

New Political Science faculty expand department’s international profile

Tom Lange

As students read news about China’s turbulent economy or about Russia flexing political muscle, two new professors in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science can provide them with context about what’s happening. Associate Professor Karrie Koesel and Assistant Professor Susanne Wengle have both lived in Russia and studied its culture and politics for years. Koesel has also worked and researched...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More