Two recent faculty hires in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters are generating excitement, even outside the University. David Gibson, associate professor of sociology, and Ann Mische, associate professor of sociology and peace studies, joined the faculty in the fall of 2013. Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology, says, “I can’t tell you how many people—outside of Notre Dame—have said something along the lines of, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize David Gibson was on your faculty,’ or ‘Wow! When did Ann Mische come to Notre Dame?’
What would make a patient withhold information from his or her doctor? How do class, race, and ethnicity affect the quality of health care a patient receives? What social factors help determine the illnesses we contract and the best treatment plan for them? A growing number of Notre Dame students who pursue a career in medicine are finding the answers to these questions through a combination of sociology and Arts and Letters Pre-Health coursework.
Sociologist Sarah Mustillo ’96 combines real-world experience and statistical expertise to explore the social origins of child mental health issues. This fall she returned to Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters to continue her innovative research as a professor in the Department of Sociology.
Meredith Whitnah took the first step along her journey to becoming a University of Notre Dame doctoral candidate in sociology when she was just 10 years old. “I borrowed a copy of Cry, the Beloved Country my sister was reading for a class,” Whitnah recalls.
The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) has been designated an “international research network” by the World Education Research Association (WERA). This recognition of CREO’s leadership in the sociology of education will open new doors for international scholarly collaborations in research on educational inequality.
Robert S. and Elizabeth Nanovic of North Yarmouth, Maine, have made a leadership gift to the University of Notre Dame for the construction of a new social sciences building in the College of Arts and Letters. Nanovic Hall will be built on Notre Dame Avenue, south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, and will house the Departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2015 and be completed by August 2017, prior to the start of the academic year.
“Walking into these professional environments as an intern, you see that being in the College of Arts and Letters, you’ve been given the foundation to succeed,” says Anna VanEgmond, a senior sociology and computer applications major at Notre Dame. During the summer of 2013, VanEgmond interned as an advisory technology consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
As a college student, Erin Metz McDonnell wanted “to experience a world view as completely different from my own as possible, a way of life that would take me out of my Midwestern comfort zone.” She chose Ghana and fell in love with the country. Now a Kellogg Assistant Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, McDonnell continues to explore the region in her research and teaching.
The Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame has traditionally been recognized for its continuing strengths in the sociology of religion, the sociology of education, and the study of social movements and political sociology. In recent years, Notre Dame has managed to firmly establish itself as a hub for excellence in cultural sociology, to the point where it is safe to consider Notre Dame one of the few places that can call themselves “culture departments” without danger of stretching the meaning of that term.
Notre Dame senior Margaret Pickard understands the challenges of integrating into a culture different from her own. The sociology and Japanese double major studied abroad last year in Nagoya, Japan, where she gained a fresh perspective on the difficulties of being a college student in a foreign setting.
Check out this list of books recently published by faculty members in Notre Dame's Department of Sociology.