The e-newsletter from the College of Arts and Letters
The e-newsletter from the College of Arts and Letters

FTT professor and chair Pamela Wojcik to receive 2020 Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching

Pamela Wojcik, also a concurrent professor in the Department of American Studies and the Gender Studies Program, will accept the College’s highest teaching honor during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, November 17. “Because of Pam, I have become a better writer, a better scholar, and a more critical consumer of media,” one 2020 graduate wrote in her nomination letter for Wojcik. “Pam’s guidance on my senior thesis pushed me in directions I could have never imagined on my own and has deepened my passion for academia to the point that I plan on returning to pursue graduate school in the next few years.”
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An affinity for problem-solving leads Program of Liberal Studies student to South Africa, Denmark — and to the Great Books major

PLS major Sam Cannova’s affinity for exploration and resolution has inspired him to travel to South Africa to research hip-hop, intern in Ireland, dive deep into classic texts, and serve the South Bend community. “There aren’t really direct lines between all of my experiences — except finding really fascinating problems and investigating how we can unravel them,” he said.
Read his story

Two Arts and Letters faculty members win NSF Early Career Development Awards

Sociologist Erin McDonnell and psychologist Nathan Rose have received National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards for 2020. They are among nine University of Notre Dame faculty members to receive the awards this year. “This is the most prestigious award granted by the NSF to early-career faculty and reflects the quality of Erin McDonnell’s and Nathan Rose’s research,” said Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “I am thrilled that they are continuing the College’s strong record of success with these awards.”
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How the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities is fighting to prevent homelessness

The Homeless Prevention Call Center for the City of Chicago, currently run by Catholic Charities of Chicago, has helped thousands of families stay off the streets. Knowing funding for public programs is never guaranteed, it wanted to prove its method was cost effective and impactful. In 2012, it approached Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) for assistance. This “What Would You Fight For?” video, which aired on NBC during the Notre Dame-Louisville football game, details how Notre Dame economists changed lives and helped improve policy.
Watch the video

There will be singing: Sacred Music at Notre Dame program awakens new echoes in football stadium

As with so much of life during the coronavirus pandemic, Notre Dame Stadium is operating under “business as unusual” — with choir rehearsals taking place in the Leahy Gate, near the south endzone. In accordance with recommendations from public health officials, Sacred Music at Notre Dame's large choir was split into two 12-to-16-singer ensembles, and they rehearse, masked and distanced and outdoors, for 40 minutes on and 15 minutes off. “Before now, the gate had been just a passageway and the only way to get from the first floor of O’Neill to other buildings,” said SMND’s Mark Doerries. “But now it holds rehearsals, classes and study space — a living incubator of music and teaching.”
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A Q&A with Patrícia Rodrigues, Ph.D. student in anthropology

Patrícia Rodrigues (above, right) focuses her research on the historical and anthropological bases for indigenous claims to territory and legal protection of archaeological sites and ecological resources in Brazil. In this interview, she discusses her research on the Wauja people in Brazil, why she chose Notre Dame, and how the anthropology program’s emphasis on transdisciplinarity makes it distinctive.
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‘We can’t stop doing research just because there are obstacles’: International development studies minors adapt projects in wake of pandemic

Political science major Oneile Baitlotli spent most of her junior year planning the summer research project abroad she needed to earn a minor in international development studies — a study of how to help low-income families in her native Botswana gain access to affordable early childhood education. But in March, the coronavirus largely suspended overseas travel and closed international borders. And Baitlotli and nearly a dozen other juniors in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies’ IDS program were forced to abandon their original capstone projects. With help from their faculty advisors and the Kellogg Institute, they developed new research projects they could do virtually within a matter of weeks. 
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