A new book by Notre Dame Sociologist Terence McDonnell examines why expensive media campaigns that try to harness the power of culture to change beliefs or behavior often fail. Using AIDS campaigns in Ghana as his central case study, he lays out an argument that carries important implications for diverse types of media campaigns around the world.
Kevin J. Christiano, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, is the recipient of the 2016 Prix-du-Québec, presented by the Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie of the Gouvernement du Québec in association with the American Council for Québec Studies.…
Notre Dame student Stephen “Pete” Freeman, a sociology and gender studies major, has been selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study or intern abroad during the 2016-2017 academic year. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go.
Twenty-four members of the Class of 2016 who study in the College of Arts and Letters have won major national and international fellowships and scholarships, from prestigious institutions such as the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program and the National Science Foundation.
Tamara Kay, a scholar with extensive experience in Latin America and Africa, will join the new Keough School of Global Affairs as associate professor of global affairs, according to Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School. Kay will hold a joint appointment in the Notre Dame Department of Sociology.
Notre Dame alumna Ray’Von Jones ’16 wants to make a difference in the world of education. And her sociology and Spanish majors are going to help her get there. “Education doesn’t only happen inside schools,” Jones said. “It happens in communities and in neighborhoods. So it’s important for me to have a larger understanding of what’s going on in our country in terms of racial climate, what different communities look like, and how they interact." Jones will begin a master’s of education program at Stanford University this year.
Lyn Spillman, professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has been awarded two book prizes from the American Sociological Association for her work Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations (University of Chicago Press). The Mary Douglas Prize honors the best book in the field of cultural sociology, and the Viviana Zelizer Award recognizes the best book in economic sociology.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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