News » Archives » November 2008

Obama's dilemma

By John Monczunski

If Barack Obama becomes the Democratic candidate for president, would you vote for him?

If you are white and a black poll taker asks you that question, Notre Dame political scientist Darren Davis says 10 to 13 percent of you are likely to say “yes” and then vote for someone else. Public opinion researchers call such behavior the “social desirability effect”—when someone gives what they believe is the desired response rather than their true response—and it’s one of the things that make assessing the Illinois senator’s support so tricky.…

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Ring out the vote

By John Monczunski

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So your cell phone makes that funny little noise announcing an incoming text message, but when you flip to the screen: Surprise! It’s not your BFF Mary saying “hi 2 u” but some politician saying “vote 4 me.”

Welcome to Politics: The Next Generation. Text messaging is among the new methods gaining popularity with campaign organizations as they try to influence young voters, says David Nickerson, Notre Dame assistant professor of political science.…

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A filmmaker-in-residence

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Gita Pullapilly ‘99, who has produced seven documentaries, was named a filmmaker-in-residence by WGBH’s Boston Media Productions. During the nine-month residency, which began in October 2007, she and director Aron Gaudet are doing post-production work on The Way We Get By. The feature-length documentary profiles three elderly troop greeters in Bangor, Maine, who show up day or night to talk to troops heading to or returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.…

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Cafe Choice: Creative work by Notre Dame people

By Carol Schaal '91M.A.

outside the box, John Garrett ’98. The debut comedy CD was recorded live last year at the Go Bananas Comedy Club in Cincinnati. “I’m an accountant with a sense of humor,” the comic says, allowing, however, that he and his fellow CPAs are “all huge dorks.” Here he riffs about slow cookers (“a microwave with a learning disability”), Humvee plates and NASCAR

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Domers in the News (Winter 2007–08)

By John Monczunski

Marathon runner Ryan Shay ’02 collapsed and died November 3 while competing in the U.S. Olympic team trials in New York City. An All-American track star at Notre Dame, Shay won the NCAA national title for 10,000 meters in 2001. After graduation he became a five-time national road-racing champion. Hundreds of mourners wearing blue-and-gold lapel ribbons with the ND logo attended his three-hour funeral in East Jordan, a tiny town in northern Michigan. Speaking at the funeral, Joe Piane, Shay’s ND coach, said “focus, discipline and sacrifice” were the words that best described the young athlete. . . . Rohan Gunaratna ’97

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GOP=God's Only Party?

By John Monczunski

David Campbell, Notre Dame associate professor of political science, is the editor of the essay collection A Matter of Faith: Religion in the 2004 Presidential Election (Brookings Institution Press), which examines the role of churches in the last election. Recently, we asked Campbell for his thoughts on religion in the current campaign.…

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Michiana money

By John Monczunski

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The idea behind Jackie Smith’s research spinoff is simple: “What happens in Michiana, stays in Michiana”—economically speaking. The Notre Dame associate professor of sociology, who studies world social movements, especially as they relate to economic globalization, recently started an ad hoc group to establish a “community currency” in northern Indiana.…

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A question of fertility

By John Monczunski

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Alan Johnson’s research is driven by a fundamental question: “Why this one and not that one?” The “this” and “that” are follicles, the structures that surround the eggs in the ovary. Specifically, the Notre Dame professor of biology is interested in learning why, at the time of ovulation, one particular follicle releases its egg while others don’t.…

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The adoption subsidy's surprise

By John Monczunski

Public policy decisions often have unintended consequences. In 1980, for instance, Congress passed the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act to encourage adoption of children from foster care, especially those with special needs. As an incentive, the law provided adopting families with an average monthly subsidy of $544 per child per month.…

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Power from pollution

By John Monczunski

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While working on a novel method to clean polluted water, Rob Nerenberg had a bright idea that could light up the country. The Notre Dame assistant professor of civil engineering realized that with a few easy tweaks his process could transform nearly every municipal wastewater treatment plant into a power plant.…

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Malpass & Co. take high road to bottom line

By Tae Andrews '08

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Notre Dame’s endowment grew 25.9 percent last year, pulling in $1.4 billion and placing the University second only to Yale in returns. The success is due to Notre Dame vice president and chief investment officer Scott Malpass and his investment team, who follow stricter ethical guidelines than do their colleagues at other top schools.…

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An extraordinary liturgy returns to campus

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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The Mass is celebrated publicly about 176 times each week at Notre Dame when the University is in session, says Father Richard Warner, CSC, the director of campus ministry. Different Masses meet different spiritual needs. Congregants may pray together in English, Spanish or Latin and choose from a sampler box of musical styles and aesthetic surroundings. All of these Masses are celebrated according to the reformed Roman Missal of Pope Paul VI introduced in 1970.…

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Going, going, gone: Campus' lost places

By Kerry Temple ’74

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A guy came in my office the other day. It was a football Friday afternoon, and he wanted to show his son the room in Grace Hall where he had lived in the 1970s. I was happy to accommodate the walk down memory lane.

I remembered going into Farley Hall, revisiting the familiar corridors and niches. Even spinning down the stairwell from fourth floor to first brought back a flood of memories—hurrying to class, catching up with the guys for dinner, running to play football on the fields by the library. The sound of the footfalls, the handrails and worn stone steps—the very details and smells of the place—carried me across time to those faraway years.…

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Notre Dame Hall Portraits: West Quad

By Tae Andrewws '08

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McGlinn Hall

Year Built: 1997

Capacity: 266

Male or Female: Female

They Call Themselves: The Shamrocks. With their chants of “Who, who, who are we? Mc, Mc, McG!” and their signature green togas, the ladies of McGlinn Hall are easily recognizable at pep rallies.

Named For: Terrence and Barbara McGlinn. Terrence ’62, a fellow of the University and successful entrepreneur and investor, has served as a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees since 1994.…

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Sifting through a stressful system: immigrant students

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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The immigration issue at Notre Dame goes deeper than the policy debate that crystallized on campus in October’s academic forum. For hundreds of foreign-born faculty, staff and students, the stakes and stories are personal. Just ask Adela Penagos.

It took Penagos, a First Year of Studies adviser who holds a faculty appointment in romance languages, 10 years to earn her doctorate and half that many to obtain permanent residency status in the United States. Her diploma and identification card arrived within a month of each other last summer, and while she’d always known discipline would get her through the dissertation, the residency process was far more stressful.…

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Letter from campus: Just One Season of Football

By John Carlson '07

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I still have vivid memories of setting foot inside Notre Dame Stadium for the first time.

Notre Dame was playing Stanford in football on the first weekend of October in 2002, and I had come to visit the campus for the first time. I learned quickly that this was the place I wanted to call home for my college years.…

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How blue and gold make green

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Shortly after Edison made incandescent light practical for use outside the laboratory, Notre Dame became the first university in the United States to generate electricity—reportedly up to 10 kilowatts powering eight lights in the Main Building. It’s pumped the juice ever since. The combined heat-power (CHP

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A New Climate of Cooperation

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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You might have thought it was fall break and the staff was playing hooky.

At 11:30 on a gray Thursday morning in mid-October, the campus was quiet. From the sidewalks of a breezy, leaf-strewn North Quad, not so much as a desk lamp could be seen in Stanford or Breen-Phillips halls. Inside the Center for Social Concerns, over at the College of Engineering, even under the Dome, most windows were dark.…

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The Fierce Wind Is Wearing Me Down

By Ryan M. Christman '98

November 2, 2003, around 3 a.m.

Around the corner from the Logan Square bus stop I pry open the massive window of my third-story apartment in a dilapidated 19th century graystone that reeks of squalor and before I write an email I wonder about the dimensions of my cell so I grab my 12-inch wooden ruler and move it along the walls pushing aside furniture and after finding it to be 10-feet square I am curious how many quarter inches that would be and then how many millimeters so while I calculate I lie down on my back on the flea-ridden, plaid futon that came with the furnished apartment that every morning produces fresh bites somewhere on my body and I put my feet up on the wall and kick them to the rhythm of the music I have just begun to compose in my mind.…

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I Suffer Not a Woman To Teach

By Liquid error: internal

It is the Sunday before the feast of Saint Patrick, the third Sunday of Lent, and my wife and I enter our church, a parish we joined after our move to a new city. We walk inward and away from the sharp, clear, open sky and into the soft, warm, rainbow light transfigured by stained-glass windows.

We seek the end of an aisle in a far corner, a place to kneel opposite the altar and lectern, and a place before Him who soon will be called among us from bread and wine. We have attended this parish for only a few months, and we want a quiet, comfortable space, a place at the edge of the ancient ceremony where we might watch, listen and be drawn into the communion of believers.…

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Moonrise Over Chimney Rock

By Elizabeth Dodd

When the moon first slides its slenderest rind of lit curvature above the stony crest where we’re all staring, it is almost invisible; for that precise moment, it is the essence of the ephemeral. Since we arrived some 15 minutes ago at the modern fire tower atop the mesa, we’ve been gazing at the point of high land just between Chimney Rock and its not-quite-shadow-shape, Companion Rock. Some of the assembled, volunteers and scholars who’ve been documenting this year’s lunar events, have really been watching for months.…

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Feeling Anxious?

By Andrew Santella

Walking up Wells Street in Chicago not long ago, I passed a storefront yoga studio. Nothing unusual about that, now that yoga studios have become about as ubiquitous as drug stores in some upscale neighborhoods. But what made me stop and take notice that day was a sign in the studio’s window.

“Stress,” it announced, “is connected to 99 percent of all diseases.”…

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Border Patrol

By David Devine '94

Everything turns on a dime.

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Two hours into the search for a missing 15-year-old boy on the sprawling Tohono O’odham Indian reservation southwest of Tucson, Arizona, a garbled voice on the pickup truck radio utters two letters that immediately transform the mission from a rescue to a recovery.…

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Road to Somewhere: The education of a backseat urbanist

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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The first thing you learn when you spend nine days in a car and on foot with Notre Dame’s graduate students in urban design is that there isn’t a big ego among them, just plenty of personality, life experience and strong opinions about buildings and neighborhoods.

The second thing you learn is that they love beauty, which may not seem exceptional until you consider much of architecture and urban planning in the United States since 1945.…

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Ten Principles of Good Neighborhood Design

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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“Cities are cooperative human enterprises that exist to promote the best life possible for their citizens,” writes Philip Bess, Notre Dame professor of architecture. The list here is a pared-down version of what he gives students in his graduate Urban Design Studio—a formulation of principles commonly held by traditional urbanists. Many of these are implied in the “Charter of the New Urbanism,” available on the web at cnu.org/charter

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A Good Read

By Kerry Temple ’74

And then, before I knew it, carried by the words, I found myself with a group of people in the cold January desert night in southern Colorado, watching the moon.

The passage across time and space wasn’t immediate. It took more than a few paragraphs to get my head out of the papery clutter and psychic noise of my office. At the time I was immersed in the swirl of getting the autumn issue done, thinking about the portrayal of Jimmy Carter and the writer’s take on the thorny, hot-button Israeli-Palestinian affair. I had a couple of articles of my own to write (hadn’t started) and was thinking about that proposed piece on abortion and presidential politics. I faced a backlog of emails, a dispute needing finesse, a squabble needing a referee. I pondered what the magazine might do with Iraq, Iran, global warming. I could hear the echoes of barking readers, the wishes of family, the argument between my health and morning donut and, well, I was fretting over my lineup for the fantasy baseball finals.…

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The Human Tide

By None

The story of immigration is a complex collection of statements, studies and personal narratives that pose conflicting truths and vexing questions. Here are some of those thoughts:

Immigration is a phenomenon that has shaped and reshaped the world for thousands of years. Here in the United States immigration is driving an intense and divisive national debate, one that stretches from the halls of Congress to communities across the country where people grapple with its effects in real and emotional ways. No other issue has so divided our country or stirred so much emotion since the Civil Rights Movement of the last century. The outcome of this debate will help us define our national character for years to come.…

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