Archives

2018

Fighting for the Human Heart

Fighting for the Human Heart

The human heart beats 70 times per minute, 4,200 times per hour and 100,800 times per day. In that day, it pumps more than 2,000 gallons of blood through the body and provides essential oxygen, nutrients and sustenance to other organs. But for the 60,000 patients in advanced stages of heart failure, their hearts can no longer do the job and their survival rests upon a heart transplant.

Fighting for Religious Understanding

Fighting for Religious Understanding

On a large patio overlooking verdant hills outside Kathmandu, Nepal, Professor Ebrahim Moosa sits surrounded by an unlikely group. Before him are Muslim scholars from both Pakistan and India — typically unfriendly nations — mixed with a small contingent of female, largely Christian Notre Dame undergraduates.

Fighting the Spread of Misinformation

Fighting the Spread of Misinformation

It was 2012. Tim Weninger was a Ph.D. student surfing Facebook and Reddit. As a computer scientist, his procrastination took a turn when he noticed some alarming trends on the sites. The Islamic State group, commonly known as ISIS, was on the rise in Syria and was using social media to effectively convert and recruit young terrorists from the West. How, Weninger wondered, did they have such sway?

Fighting to Protect Our Community

Fighting to Protect Our Community

As Ed Striedl remembers it, the borough of Keansburg, New Jersey, tried to fortify against Hurricane Sandy. In the days and hours ahead of the storm, evacuation was encouraged. Locations on high ground were set aside for people to park cars. Shelters were put into place. And yet when the storm hit, destruction came in unlikely and devastating forms.

Fighting for Fair Housing

Fighting for Fair Housing

It has been 50 years since the Fair Housing Act made discrimination in buying and selling homes illegal. Fifty years since Edward Brooke, the first African-American senator from Massachusetts, testified that upon his return from World War II, no one would sell him a home because of his race. And 50 years since the act was passed, without debate, just one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. But even after 50 years, there’s still discrimination and scheming against minorities who wish to own homes.

Fighting for Freedom of Thought

Fighting for Freedom of Thought

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine declared itself an independent state. But political independence didn’t rid the country of Soviet or communist influence. Democracy was fragile. Corruption ruled government, business and education. People were killed for speaking out and demanding justice.

2017

Fighting to Protect Our Country

Fighting to Protect Our Country

Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency has tracked 2,500 trafficking cases of nuclear material. While there has yet to be a detonation of a dirty bomb, the threat remains present. In the unlikely event of a nuclear attack on American soil, Notre Dame engineering professor Antonio Simonetti makes one thing clear: The perpetrator could and would be found.

Fighting Mosquito-borne Diseases

Fighting Mosquito-borne Diseases

Leading up to the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil, Zika virus ravaged South America, and photos and videos of patients haunted the news worldwide. A year later, Zika has fallen out of conversation in the United States, but not so for the rest of the world.

Fighting to End Poverty

Fighting to End Poverty

In Dandora, Kenya, a sprawling neighborhood in Nairobi, housing for 250,000 people is built around the city’s largest dumpsite. Life near a large trash heap exposes the population to problems ranging from illness to unemployment to extreme poverty.

Fighting for the Lives of Children

Fighting for the Lives of Children

When your child is diagnosed with a rare, genetic disease, it feels like you’re rolling down a mountain, just waiting to hit rock bottom, says Doug Berns. When his daughter, Samantha, was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C, an incurable, neurodegenerative disorder, he and his wife watched as Samantha’s energy depleted, her balance became shaky, and her laughter quieted. 

Fighting to Cure Food Allergies

Fighting to Cure Food Allergies

Sarah McKenzie knows the deadly potential of food allergies all too well. Her young son, Gunner, has a peanut allergy, and while the family is attentive, the smallest mistake can endanger him. Like the time she ate a peanut butter cookie and hours later triggered a life-threatening reaction in her son with a simple kiss. In the ER he recovered, but they live in constant fear of the next time his allergies take over.

Fighting to Walk Again

Fighting to Walk Again

James Schmiedeler, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, builds and conducts research with biped robots. 

Fighting for Shakespeare for All

Fighting for Shakespeare for All

When Christy Burgess started the Robinson Shakespeare Company in 2008, the idea of the youth acting troupe one day performing in England would have been laughed off as an impossible dream.

2016

Fighting for our Veterans

Fighting for our Veterans

At a young age, it was ingrained into Brady Quinn ’07 that it was important to respect and support the military. His father was a marine in Vietnam. His grandfathers had both served. The lineage ensured he and his sisters never took for granted the sacrifices soldiers made for the good of the country

10-year Anniversary

10-year Anniversary

Beginning in 2007, the University of Notre Dame has partnered with NBC to tell the stories of our students, faculty and alumni through the “What Would You Fight For?” series. The achievements showcased in these annual spots are representative of the transformational research, scholarship, service and community that Notre Dame characterizes around the world.

Fighting for Better Cancer Detection

Fighting for Better Cancer Detection

It seems black and white: Either you have cancer or you don’t. But for many women the answer is gray. Hazy mammogram gray.

Fighting to Protect the Innocent

Fighting to Protect the Innocent

“We have found you and we have given you time to enter the [gang]. You have had two opportunities to join and we will kill you if you don’t,” the note said. It was addressed to Ariel, a 14-year-old boy living in El Salvador with his mother and sisters. It continued to outline that the gang would slit his throat and kill his family if he did not pledge allegiance to their group. Knowing the police would be no help, his mother, Maria, knew she had to get Ariel out of El Salvador in order to save his life.

Fighting to Explore the Moon

Fighting to Explore the Moon

It was the middle of the night when Clive Neal was shaken awake by his father so they could watch the first man walk on the Moon. That night, the world watched in awe as a frontier was traversed, a dream was discovered, and a Pandora’s box of mysteries opened.

Fighting for Lasting Peace

Fighting for Lasting Peace

Peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the country’s principal guerrillas had come to a standstill yet again. One of the longest and bloodiest civil wars in modern history hung in the balance. A month earlier, the rebels had killed 11 soldiers at an army camp. The government retaliated, killing more than 20 guerrillas, who ended their unilateral ceasefire.

Fighting To Cure Food Allergies

Fighting To Cure Food Allergies

Sarah McKenzie knows the deadly potential of food allergies all too well. Her young son, Gunner, has a peanut allergy, and while the family is attentive, the smallest mistake can endanger him. Like the time she ate a peanut butter cookie and hours later triggered a life-threatening reaction in her son with a simple kiss. In the ER he recovered, but they live in constant fear of the next time his allergies take over.

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