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Notre Dame, Holy Cross Lead Transformational Liberal Arts Education Program at Indiana Prison

Author: Josh Weinhold

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Driven by a commitment to Catholic social teaching and a strong belief that a liberal arts education can transform lives, Notre Dame and Holy Cross College faculty are teaching college-level courses for inmates at Indiana’s Westville Correction Facility. Since 2013, nearly 100 inmates have earned college credit and 11 have earned associate degrees as of this month. But developing a strong foundation in reading, writing, research, public speaking, and critical thinking offers benefits that go far beyond the professional opportunities a degree might one day provide.

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Sociology Majors Set Sights on Business Careers

Author: Arts and Letters

Sarah Hart

With her Notre Dame sociology degree in hand, Sarah Hart ’15 is headed for the business world. When she starts work as a project manager at Epic, a software development company in the health care industry, her major has her set to succeed in a corporate environment. “It’s definitely given me a wide range of skills that can be applied to almost anything,” Hart said. “Critical thinking, delving deep into a problem and finding a solution, interacting with people, communicating your thoughts and ideas—those are transferable skills you can use in absolutely any workplace.”

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Mustillo Named Chair of Department of Sociology

Author: Josh Weinhold

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Sarah Mustillo, a professor of sociology, has been named chair of the department, beginning this fall. Mustillo, whose research involves the effects of adverse childhood experiences on health and mental health trajectories, came to Notre Dame in 2014. She will be the first woman to chair the department.

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Notre Dame Sociologists Examine Issues Surrounding School Choice in Indiana

Author: Josh Weinhold

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Notre Dame sociologists are undertaking major research initiatives analyzing the effects of Indiana’s school choice program, one of the largest in the United States. Mark Berends, a professor of sociology and director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, is leading a study on how educational options impact schools and students, while Megan Andrew, an assistant professor of sociology, is leading a separate study on the social aspects of school choice policies.

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Department Launches New Minor in Sociology

Author: Josh Weinhold

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Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology has added a minor, providing the opportunity for students pursuing careers in medicine, law, business, or any other area to gain a solid foundation in sociology methods and concepts. The five-course minor includes two required courses, one in research methods and one in theory. The three remaining courses are sociology electives.

 

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International Sociology Research Helps Shape Alumni Futures

Author: Arts and Letters

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For Emmie Mediate ’15 and Katie Brennan ’15, their undergraduate research in sociology allowed them to delve into issues they are passionate about—and played an integral role in shaping their futures. Mediate, who was named a 2016 Rhodes Scholar, worked as a research assistant to Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology,  and Terence McDonnell, assistant professor of sociology. Brennan is now enrolled in a master’s program in conflict transformation and social justice at Queen’s University Belfast, after researching the sectarian environment and history of violence in Northern Ireland.

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Sociology to be Housed in Newly Constructed Nanovic Hall in 2017

Author: Josh Weinhold

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The Department of Sociology will have a new home in fall 2017. Nanovic Hall is under construction on Notre Dame Avenue, south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The new building will contain classrooms, research and laboratory spaces, and offices. It will bring under one roof the sociology faculty and graduate students who are currently spread across multiple floors of multiple buildings.

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Graduate Students Gain Experience Editing Sociology’s Flagship Journal

Author: Carrie Gates

American Sociological Review

Notre Dame sociology graduate students are getting a rare inside look at the academic publishing process—and valuable experience that will give them an edge in their own research and careers. The students serve as assistant and coordinating editors of the American Sociological Review (ASR)—the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association (ASA)—under the direction of Professor Omar Lizardo, Professor Rory McVeigh, and Professor Sarah Mustillo.

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Sociology Majors Find Continued Success in Top Graduate Programs

Author: Tom Lange

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About 28 percent of recent Notre Dame sociology majors go on to graduate or professional school, according to data from The Career Center’s First Destination reports. Some pursue advanced degrees in law or medicine, but others—like Annalise Loehr ’09 (Indiana University) and Maryann Erigha ’07 (University of Pennsylvania)—enroll in prestigious sociology Ph.D. programs. It’s a trend that continues with the Class of 2016, as sociology majors Shannon Sheehan (University of Michigan) and Nicolette Bardele (Harvard University) plan to begin graduate programs in sociology this fall.

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Five Arts and Letters Students Recognized for Outstanding Leadership

Author: Ann Hastings

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The University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs honored five students—Maggie Skoch, Colleen McLinden, Preston Igwe, Meredith Fraser, and Maggie Bowers—from the College of Arts and Letters at its 30th-annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 7. These annual awards recognize current students who have made exceptional contributions to the Notre Dame community.

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Sociologist Focuses Research on Immigration Policy in the South

Author: Aaron Smith

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has received the Presidential Authority Award grant from the Russell Sage Foundation for her study of interracial coalitions and their effect on immigration policy in Mississippi and Alabama. Combining archival and media sources with interviews, “Enforcement or Embrace? The Determinants of State-Level Immigration Policy in New Immigrant Destinations” emerged from unexpected patterns Jones identified while researching race relations and immigration in North Carolina.

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Using New Technology, Sociologists Gain Insight Into Students' Social Development

Author: William G. Gilroy

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Cellphones, any parent can attest, play a central role in the lives of college students. Studies show that nearly all college students own a cellphone, and most of those students use text messaging as their main form of communication. Researchers from the University of Notre Dame used the centrality of cellphones in college students’ lives to delve deep into students’ usage habits and how their social networks affect their everyday lives.

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Urban Sociologist Joins Arts and Letters Faculty

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Robert Vargas

Robert Vargas, an urban sociologist whose research focuses on violence and health care, is joining Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology this fall as an assistant professor. Vargas, who will also be a faculty affiliate in the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, was previously on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at Harvard University. Vargas’ first book, Wounded City: Violent Turf Wars in a Chicago Barrio (Oxford University Press), will be released May 1. In it, Vargas argues that competition among political groups contributes to the persistence of violence just as much as the competition among street gangs.

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Ph.D. Student Named Pepe Fellow in Peace Studies

Author: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

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Matthew Chandler, a Notre Dame doctoral student in sociology and peace studies, has been named the Steven D. Pepe Ph.D. Fellow in Peace Studies for the 2015–2016 academic year. Matthew’s research and teaching interests include nonviolent social movements and revolutions, political culture, social networks, and social theory. His dissertation project investigates the linkages between civil resistance and peacebuilding, with a particular focus on the dynamics of contentious political transition in Egypt since the uprising against Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He is also actively engaged in innovative research on communication networks with the D

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New Burns Fellowship Program Supports Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Research

Author: Carrie Gates

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A new interdisciplinary fellowship program launched by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives will train graduate students in state-of-the-art quantitative methods, allowing them to examine the impact of educational policies, programs, and practices. Beginning in fall 2016, the Rev. James A. Burns Fellowship is open to prospective students applying to Ph.D. programs in economics, political science, psychology, and sociology who plan to pursue educational research.

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Sociologist’s Research Compares Police Presence at Christian and Secular Protests

Author: William G. Gilroy

Kraig Beyerlein

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 more likely to leave alone protests from religious groups. However, fundamentalist Christian groups were more likely to be policed than secular groups were.

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$1 Million Grant to Help Sociologist Research School Choice in Indiana

Author: Bill Schmitt

Mark Berends

Indiana’s school choice program is one of the largest in the United States. Until now, little has been known about how this initiative to increase parents’ educational options for their children is affecting either the schools or the students. A Notre Dame sociologist will now get to examine a range of those effects, thanks to a $1 million grant from The Spencer Foundation. The award will fund a three-year study in a ground-breaking initiative with data allowing for comparisons among traditional public, charter, and private schools.

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Sociology Student Spotlight: Katie Brennan '15

Author: Jennifer Lechtanski

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Belfast, Northern Ireland was once a city full of police checkpoints and barricades, bullets and bombs. It has only been within the last 15 years that the country, which is part of the United Kingdom but located on the island of Ireland, has moved away from this violent way of life. Katie Brennan interviewed young people, both Catholic and Protestant, from various underprivileged neighborhoodsin Belfast to better understand their views on community, antisocial behavior, and the future--both personally and what they saw for the future of Northern Ireland. 

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Sociology Student Spotlight: Jingting (Lily) Kang

Author: Jen Fulton

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Let’s welcome Jingting (Lily) Kang back to the Student Spotlight! Lily (’16), a double-major in IT Management and Sociology, has always had a burning passion for entrepreneurship, and has received several Nanovic grants to conduct research on entrepreneurship education in Switzerland. Last summer, she received the Vill Family Endowment for Excellence in the Nanovic Institute to intern with the Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership in Oxford.

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Scholars Gather in Rome to Bridge Migrant Issues

Author: Josh Weinhold

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An interdisciplinary symposium hosted this week by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies aims to facilitate conversation and collaboration between scholars from the United States and Italy who are researching issues related to immigration. “Transnational Migration in Comparative Perspective: Italy and the United States” offers the chance for academics to learn from one another about immigration experiences and discuss ways that research can better inform policymakers.

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