A rigorous record of research

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Sometimes the mark of a great idea is that it occurs to more than one person at a time. Such is the case with the Journal of Undergraduate Research, a student-driven, peer-reviewed annual in the College of Arts and Letters. Three years ago Hugh Page, then an associate dean, announced his interest in a publication that would recognize the best undergraduate scholarship in the college and promote interest in graduate study. That afternoon, in walked history major Marianne Magjuka ’05 with a vision for the new journal already worked out.…

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Taking engineers to the zoo

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

A comedian once joked that a Donald Trump-guided tour of New York City would begin, “Own it. Sold it. Built it. Own it. Buying it.” A tour of South Bend’s Potawatomi Zoo with Lloyd Ketchum has a similar feel, minus The Donald’s egocentrism. It’s not that civil engineer Ketchum has become a wildlife tycoon in his retirement from full-time teaching. It’s just that the fingerprints of the students in his Civil Engineering Service Project seminars are everywhere.…

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Domer's Index

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Buildings erected on campus since the Class of 2007 entered in fall 2003: 6
Season and tournament goals scored by Irish hockey team en route to first-ever CCHA championship: 139
Shutouts suffered by team: 1
Teams in the ’07 Bookstore Basketball Tournament: 655
Seniors on Irish women’s track and field team, which won its first-ever Big East outdoor championship: 9

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Deaths in the family

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

REX J. RAKOW ’82M.S., whose 22 years of service as the director of the Notre Dame Security Police were marked by the same humility and grace with which he fought his 18-month battle with cancer, died in March at his home in Granger, Indiana, surrounded by friends and family. He was 55.

Rakow, a Mishawaka, Indiana, native, served under three presidents of the University, having joined the campus security staff as assistant director in 1979. He coordinated security details for the visits of nine U.S. presidents and 11 foreign heads of state, building a wealth of experience that he shared generously with colleagues as a leader of local and international professional organizations, as an instructor and as a friend. Phillip Johnson ’81, ’99MBA, Rakow’s successor at NDSP

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Notre Dame architects in high demand

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Graduates from the School of Architecture had to work awfully hard this year not to get a job. Eighteen firms purchased a $20 CD-ROM collective portfolio the school produced to feature students’ work. Another 65 firms showed up at the 2007 career fair in March. All to woo a pool of 52 undergraduates and master’s candidates.…

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Commencement: A class in ruins

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Lives ruined and complicated: such are the fruits of four years at Notre Dame, according to Class of 2007 valedictorian Michael Rossmann.

“You probably didn’t save for years and take out loans with the explicit intention of being ‘ruined,’ but Notre Dame has changed us, has ruined the ‘us’ that came here in the fall of 2003,” the theology and economics major told parents and students at the University’s 162nd Commencement Exercises on May 20. “We cannot see things the same way, and our lives are more complicated because of engaging the world with the resources of faith and reason.”…

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Growing up, pushing out: As it turns 25, the Center for Social Concerns pioneers new horizons

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

It’s hard to think of an institution closer to the core of Notre Dame’s collective consciousness than the Center for Social Concerns, unless it involves a gridiron and a pigskin or has a last name like Hesburgh. Considering that Father Hesburgh, CSC, has had more than seven decades to make an impression at Notre Dame and the football program even longer, that says a lot.…

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A Center for Social Concerns sampler

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns supports a breadth of experiential and service-learning opportunities for students. Some of the more visible include:

Urban Plunge—A 48-hour winter seminar that introduces students to problems faced by American cities and their residents. The center currently lists 32 plunge sites in 26 cities from Boston to San Diego.…

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Letter from campus: The news from Blacksburg

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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On a rare, sunny April morning that had followed a lot of unseasonably cold ones, I sat in my office at the magazine thinking about our student advisory board. I had convened them a few evenings before, and, munching pizza and arguing amiably about cover art and feature content, we’d had our usual lively discussion about things Notre Dame.…

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Irish motor pool toeing green

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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When the British rock band Queen recorded “I’m in Love with My Car”—its sensual, satirical paean to the muscle machines popular in the 1970s—it sure as Shinola wasn’t singing about the Toyota Prius.

Times have changed, and so has the feel most consumers have for their automobile. Pumpin’ pistons are out, energy efficiency and low emissions are in. So in January, Notre Dame took an experimental step toward an all-hybrid motor pool when it took delivery on a Toyota Prius after nine months on a waiting list.…

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nd.edu: There's no place like the home page

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Visitors to the University’s website home page on the morning of August 28 didn’t find the familiar navigation menus, plain white background and images of campus they’ve seen since that basic lineup was first formulated in 1997. Instead, they were greeted by . . . the smiling face of chemistry Professor Olaf Wiest?…

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Notre Dame's Media Magnets

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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They take calls about lips on Valentine’s Day, the cross on Easter and gas prices on Memorial Day weekend. They share expertise on solar power and lunar landings, Woody Guthrie and Irish dance, Church politics and selective conscientious objectors. They appear for live interviews on CNN

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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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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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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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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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Seen and heard on the Notre Dame campus (Winter 2007–08)

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

The 2007 season on the field was one to forget, but the previous year Notre Dame still boasted the most valuable team in college football, according to data that Forbes magazine evaluated in its second annual appraisal of the revenue generated by the sport. The 20-team ranking valued the ‘06 Fighting Irish squad at $101 million, based on profits contributed to the University and incremental spending in Saint Joseph County. Some $21.1 million of the program’s $45.8 million profit for that season underwrites academic programs, “as much as the next five most valuable programs contributed to their respective schools combined,” Forbes

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For startup, no time to waste

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Should you find yourself outside the glass doors of Room 234 at the Mendoza College of Business, you’d better watch your step. This is the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and things can happen pretty fast around here.

Just ask Sheila Powenski and the management team of MedXCycle LLC

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Echoes: Mock political conventions at Notre Dame, 1940–88

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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As Notre Dame went, so went the nation.

That was the story of the Mock Political Convention, a quadrennial event that was once to the political life of campus as Bookstore Basketball is now to its athletic life.

Launched in the spring of 1940 by Paul Bartholomew, a young politics professor, Notre Dame’s raucous mock cons became minor fixtures of the U.S. presidential election season, luring big-name politicians and wire-service reporters to the old Navy Drill Hall and, after 1960, Stepan Center. There they joined the hundreds of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s student delegates who mobilized for four-night programs that accurately mimicked the pageantry, infighting, horse-trading and ideological drama of the real Republican and Democratic deals.…

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Seen and heard on the Notre Dame campus

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

February 17 was a painful day for the Notre Dame family, as students learned of the unrelated deaths of two of their peers: second-year law student Timothy R. Aher, who lived in Ilford, England, while studying in the London Law Programme, and sophomore Connor P. McGrath. The University did not release information about the cause of either student’s death, but police investigators said in McGrath’s case, his diabetes may have been a factor. . . . Friends remembered Aher

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Having coffee with Carter Snead: What we owe each other

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Twenty-three minutes into a conversation with law Professor Carter Snead about life and death and science and law, we hit on something that had made our jaws drop.

Not at the moment. We’re not reeling in surprise during our afternoon chat in the basement of LaFortune. Snead in fact is relaxing in a chair that rewards slouching, and I’m on a sofa trying to balance a file of his articles about end-of-life issues and stem-cell research and neuroimaging the brains of criminals on my lap, Starbucks on the floor by our feet.…

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Cool ideas to cut energy use

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

The mercury hit 88 degrees outside Building 110 at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on July 11, but inside the converted military blast shelter the thermostat was set at a cool 71 and a fan was blowing in the empty shower room.

Tom Furlong says he often found the temperature in that building set as low as 65.…

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A new eye black

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Brian Farkas ‘03 received a tryout with the Notre Dame football program this summer, and it didn’t even cost him a day of his unused NCAA eligibility. The 6-foot, 200-lb. former lineman for Detroit’s Catholic Central high school even made a little money on the deal.

No need to worry about NCAA

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Strong bodies fight; strong bonds fight better

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Another hot day in northern Bangladesh, the coming monsoon already heavy in the June air, and Father Leonard Shankar Rozario, CSC, was visiting a school in one of the rural parishes administered by the Congregation of Holy Cross. As a teacher by trade, Father Rozario’s task this day was familiar: Stand in the front of a large room bursting with children who strive daily to survive extreme deprivation, malnourishment, an often hostile climate and inadequate medical care, and present a lesson.…

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Seen and heard on the Notre Dame campus

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

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Dame briefly led the United States’ gold medal count at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing thanks to Mariel Zagunis ‘08, shown right, who on the first day of competition repeated her best-in-class performance from the 2004 Athens games as part of a U.S. sweep of the women’s individual sabre event. Zagunis, who also earned a bronze medal in the team sabre contest, was one of nine current or former Fighting Irish athletes competing at the games. Junior Kelley Hurley was defeated in the women’s individual epée round of 32 by a South Korean opponent, while incoming freshman Gerek Meinhardt advanced to the round of 16 in the men’s individual foil. . . . In women’s soccer, Candace Chapman ‘06 of Canada scored the first goal of the games in the 27th minute of a match against Argentina, but Chapman and teammate Melissa Tancredi ’05 were stopped in the quarterfinals by the gold-medal U.S. squad that included Shannon Boxx ’99 and Kate Sobrero Markgraf ’98. In the Bird’s Nest stadium, Thomas Chamney ‘07 of Ireland finished fifth in his heat of the 800 meter race. Nigeria’s Selim Nurudeen ‘05 notched a personal best in the first round of the 110 meter hurdles event, but during the next round fell short of qualifying for the semifinals. . . . Director of bands Kenneth W. Dye reprised his own Olympic experience as assistant band director for the 1984 Los Angeles games by composing “Welcome to Beijing.” The Notre Dame Concert Band premiered the five-movement Olympic suite in May at the Beijing Concert Hall, and Dye says it was performed again during the 2008 Olympic Arts Festival by student musicians from Beijing schools. . . . He brought the 2012 Super Bowl, the Final Four and the NCAA

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