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.

Truly Christian and African: Notre Dame theologian Paulinus Odozor’s new book

Michael O. Garvey

The election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as Pope Francis nearly two years ago is only one illustration of how the Catholic Church has become less concentrated in Europe and North America than in the southern hemisphere. Nearly half of the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics live in Latin America, and the Catholic Church in Africa, home...

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Notre Dame Haiti Program dedicates new salt facility

Marissa Gebhard

In partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and the Population (MSPP), the Congregation of Holy Cross and other partners, the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program dedicated a new fortified salt production plant Monday (Dec. 8) in Delmas, Haiti. Several dignitaries were in attendance, including Sophia Martelly, first lady of Haiti.

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Political scientist Luis Fraga joins Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies

College of Arts and Letters

Luis Ricardo Fraga, a heralded scholar and pioneer in the field of Latino politics, joined the faculty of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall. Fraga has been named the Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership in the Institute of Latino Studies and a professor in the Department of Political Science.

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Film, Television and Theatre students shine at national auditions

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“Imagine a kind of live, national GRE exam where students audition in open competition against one another, evaluated by representatives from the best graduate theatre programs,” said Professor Jim Collins, chair of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT). Notre Dame had record success in 2014 at the national auditions organized by the University/Resident Theatre organization (URTA), with six...

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Venezuelan maestro receives final Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America

Elizabeth Rankin

Visionary music educator José Antonio Abreu was awarded the final Notre Dame Prize for Distinguished Public Service in Latin America at a private campus ceremony on Sept. 22 in recognition of his extraordinary work fighting poverty and violence and developing whole, successful young people through classical music.

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STEM day camp for elementary school girls

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For the inaugural GE Girls @ Notre Dame summer camp, local fifth- through ninth-graders spent a week on campus launching rockets, building hovercraft and making robots dance. The day camp, which takes place on college campuses around the country, is designed to introduce middle school girls to STEM activities, with the goal of encouraging them to pursue careers in science...

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Two new hires bring expertise in Chinese history

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Notre Dame’s Department of History has significantly broadened and deepened its coverage of China with the appointments of Elisabeth Köll and Liang Cai, two scholars “who are doing extraordinarily exciting and complementary work,” said Madden-Hennebry Professor of History Patrick Griffin, chair of the department. “These two historians enjoy established reputations in their subfields,” Griffin said. “They are also committed to...

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Notre Dame professor’s new work explores morality and tradition in African Christian theology

Arts and Letters

The Catholic Church in Africa is growing at an annual rate of over 3 percent. Given the largely Eurocentric nature of moral theology in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, what will it take to invest the theological community in the history and moral challenges of the Church in other parts of the world, especially Africa? What is to...

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Notre Dame’s crèche pilgrimage: Celebrating life’s most intimate moment

Michael O. Garvey

When the University of Notre Dame’s Crèche Pilgrimage begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 7) in the Eck Visitors Center, those on hand to visit, view and pray at some 30 Nativity scenes on exhibit throughout the campus will be participating in a Christmas tradition as ancient as it is universal. “Mary is the most ‘inculturated’ person in the Church,”...

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Michelle Whaley is 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year

William G. Gilroy

Michelle A. Whaley, a teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She will be announced as the award winner at a luncheon Thursday...

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Notre Dame unites to fight Ebola

Carol C. Bradley, NDWorks

When news broke of the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, “We knew we had to do something,” says Katherine Taylor, director of operations for the Eck Institute for Global Health and interim director of global health training. “Ebola in West Africa is a crisis in our own family,” she says. “We felt we couldn’t stand around and do nothing. This...

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'Gay in Christ' conference to be held at Notre Dame

Michael O. Garvey

A two-day conference, “Gay in Christ: Dimensions of Fidelity,” co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and the Gender Relations Center, will convene Oct. 31 (Friday) to explore appropriate pastoral strategies for Catholic parishioners who regard themselves as non-heterosexual, but who accept Catholic Church teaching on marriage and sexuality.

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Washington Post writer Wil Haygood, author of 'The Butler,' to speak at Notre Dame

College of Arts and Letters

Washington Post national writer Wil Haygood, whose feature story provided the basis for the movie “The Butler,” will discuss his career as a journalist and author Oct. 28 (Tuesday) at the University of Notre Dame. The conversation, which is open to the public and free of charge, will begin at 7 p.m. and take place in the auditorium of the...

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ND Expert: Hong Kong movement unlike any other

Shannon Chapla

Hong Kong marked China’s National Day (Oct. 1) in unprecedented fashion, as pro-democracy protesters crowded the streets of the Asian financial hub for what is being called a critical day in the territory’s “Umbrella Revolution.” University of Notre Dame political scientist and Hong Kong native Victoria Hui has worked in the democracy movement there. She says it is unlike any...

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Video: Peter Casarella on the future of Latino theology

Todd Boruff

“I want to try a new step forward in Mestizo Christianity, looking at cultural dialogue and cultural difference that brings the traditions from the past … into conversation with Latino theology,” said Peter Casarella, associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and a fellow at the University’s Institute for Latino Studies.

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ACE launches $1M project to improve reading outcomes in Haitian Catholic schools

William Schmitt

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Haiti initiative recently launched its “Haiti Reads” project, an innovative literacy program in 52 Haitian Catholic schools. Working in partnership with the Haitian Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education (CEEC) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the project began in the summer and is supported by a $1 million grant from an...

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Notre Dame biologist Nora Besansky leads international consortium in sequencing the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes

William G. Gilroy

Nora Besansky, O’Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world. Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting human malaria parasites that cause an estimated 200 million cases...

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Sociologist Jennifer Jones to convene Afro-Latino conference

Institute for Latino Studies

Jennifer Jones, Institute for Latino Studies faculty fellow and assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, will convene a conference on Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas on October 31, 2014. The conference and an accompanying volume, for which Professor Jones will serve as co-editor, explore broad questions of black identity and representation,...

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Notre Dame music faculty build scholarly connections in Asia

College of Arts and Letters

Three faculty members from Notre Dame’s Department of Music embarked today, October 7, on a 12-day tour to Asia, building scholarly and cultural connections with universities in China and South Korea. Professor Peter Smith, chair of the department, Professor John Blacklow, an award-winning pianist, and Assistant Professional Specialist Tricia Park, a critically acclaimed violinist, will travel to Shanghai, Beijing, and...

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Fulbright foreign language teachers introduced to American culture at Notre Dame

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The University of Notre Dame is hosting its ninth Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) orientation for the upcoming academic year. Sixty teachers from 28 countries, representing 15 languages, are staying on campus Aug. 9-13 (Saturday-Wednesday) and will attend a series of workshops designed to enhance their teaching in the United States.

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Grant propels largest growth of Notre Dame Haiti Program’s salt operations

Marissa Gebhard

The Notre Dame Haiti Program at the University of Notre Dame has received a large, anonymous grant that will support the growth of its salt program, which produces clean, co-fortified salt, intended to eliminate lymphatic filariasis and combat iodine deficiency disorder. The $375,000 grant will be matched by other donations and, in conjunction with several other resources, will fund the...

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The ministry of storytelling

Michael O. Garvey

The Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation, and more than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos. Barring massive changes in birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. If the rise of Latino Catholics confronts the...

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