“University teachers should seek to improve their competence and endeavour to set the content, objectives, methods, and results of research in an individual discipline within the framework of a coherent world vision,” Pope Saint John Paul II wrote in his 1990 apostolic constitution on Catholic universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae. “Christians among the teachers are called to be witnesses and educators of authentic Christian life, which evidences attained integration between faith and life, and between professional competence and Christian wisdom. All teachers are to be inspired by academic ideals and by the principles of an authentically human life.”
Recognizing the important role professors can play not only as instructors but also as mentors and models, the Rover staff presents the following recommendations for courses offered in the 2016 spring semester, and also advises that students refer to NDCatholic.com, a new resource, for further suggestions.
Walter Clements will be teaching “Advanced Corporate Finance” in the spring for juniors. In addition to being a superb teacher, Clements brings a wealth of experience to the classroom from his experience managing multinational corporations. The class focuses on the essential skills needed for any student interested in entering into corporate finance, and is extremely useful when interviewing for jobs or internships. Clements is also happy to work with his students outside of the classroom, giving them useful life advice and guidance as they determine the right career for them.
Martijn Cremers, a faculty advisor for the Rover, will offer his usual upper-level finance course, “Corporate Governance and Catholic Social Teaching.” Cremers is dedicated to the university’s Catholic mission and to incorporating Catholicism into his class. As the title indicates, finance majors are sure to learn both about their field and how it interacts with the social teaching of the Church.
Angela Engelsen will be teaching a section of “Business Law Contracts and Agency” next semester. The course examines the background of the legal process and the judicial system, torts, contracts and the Uniform Commercial Code and agency law. Engelsen is a devoted teacher who wishes to tie her courses into the university’s mission, and readings will include selections from Aquinas, among others. Business Law is a required course for business students.
Benjamin Golez teaches “Investment Theory” in the spring for juniors. Golez hails from Slovenia and is highly knowledgeable about markets and investment products. Students in his class consistently report their satisfaction with Golez’s ability to connect the course material with real world investing decisions. He also has a strong skill set for taking complicated math equations and simplifying them down into more manageable portions, something that is crucial for having a thorough understanding of the coursework.
Rover advisor Laura Hollis will be teaching “Business Law Contracts and Agency” and “Introduction to Entrepreneurship.” Her teaching style makes law interesting for people who might never have considered a career as a lawyer. Class is almost always an interactive lecture, in which she both asks questions of the students and answers questions her students might have. When I say “any question,” I mean any question. If you have ever wondered if it was legal to get drunk with someone and then get them to sell their house to you, Hollis can tell you. While her tests are rigorous, it is possible to excel on them as long as you attend class and have a genuine desire to learn.
Other staff picks include Carl Ackermann, Ed Hums, and Jamie O’Brien.
Kirk Doran, another Rover faculty advisor, will be teaching two sections of “Principles of Microeconomics.” Doran is an accomplished economist and in class, he illustrates complex concepts with simple, humorous examples. He is a thoughtful professor who holds extensive office hours, takes time to get to know his students, and genuinely cares about their success in his class.
Economics Department Chair William Evans will teach “Econometrics” in the spring. Evans is also a co-founder, with James Sullivan, of the Lab for Economic Opportunities, which works to discover research-driven solutions to poverty in the United States.
Timothy Fuerst will offer a course on “Asset Pricing Theory” in which the theoretical foundations of financial asset pricing will be examined. Topics will include the capital asset pricing model, stochastic discount factors, arbitrage pricing theory, the efficient market hypothesis, and option pricing. Fuerst is enthusiastic about the mission of the university and is one of the most-cited economists in the world.
Joseph Kaboski is once again offering his economics seminar “Introduction to Economics and Catholic Thought,” which satisfies the writing-intensive requirement of the economics major. In the course students will discuss the relationship between economics and Catholic social teaching and learn about key principles of Catholic social thought by reading key papal encyclicals and other writings. Kaboski is an engaging professor and his course, integrating the economics discipline with the university’s mission, is an excellent choice for any student wishing to receive a well-rounded education in economics or business.
James Sullivan will be teaching “Advanced Labor Economics.” Sullivan is an engaging teacher with an ability to make difficult material more accessible and interesting. He, along with Bill Evans, is a co-founder of the Lab for Economic Opportunities, which seeks to alleviate poverty in the United States through research-driven solutions.
For first year students still looking for a university seminar, Father Edward “Monk” Malloy, CSC, is teaching another iteration of his Sunday night literature seminar. The once-weekly class has covered biographies of world leaders and other notable figures in past years.
Tim Machan, a thorough and entertaining lecturer, is offering a course “History of the English Language,” which will cover the history of the language from Anglo-Saxon to Tahitian English. Students will learn about the linguistic development of the English language and discover the meaning of common first names and surnames. Jokes involving J.R.R. Tolkien are likely to become a classroom staple.
John Sitter is teaching a class on “Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain” that focuses on the satirical writing of both of these prolific authors. Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” are listed on the syllabus. Sitter was recognized for his excellent undergraduate teaching with the 2014 Sheedy Award, which acknowledged his emphasis on “ethics, virtue, and engagement in civil life.”
Stephen Fallon is teaching an upper-level course “Milton” next semester that explores Milton’s poetry, prose, and the complexities of the man himself. Not only is Fallon a world-renowned scholar of Milton and early modern literature and intellectual history, but he is also a passionate and engaging teacher who truly cares about the material and his students.
Father Gregory Haake, CSC, will be teaching “Overview of French Literature and Culture I” this spring. Few professors are as dedicated to their students as is Fr. Haake. He has flexible office hours and strives to help make students reach a high level of proficiency in both speaking and written French. His classes are challenging, but also engaging, and he creates a positive classroom environment through peer writing reviews and group presentations. If you plan to study abroad in the Angers or Paris programs, Fr. Haake’s class will prepare you well for the type of language courses you will encounter abroad.
John Deak, a scholar of World War I and Central Europe, is teaching “The Great War.” Deak is an energetic and innovative scholar with an infectious passion for exploring the past who also cares deeply about his students.
Brad Gregory’s class “Christianity, Commerce, and Consumerism: The Last 1000 Years” is an incredibly thought-provoking class that elucidates some of the West’s current social mores. It includes a wide array of primary source reading as well as lectures packed with Gregory’s cogent thinking. “Christianity, Commerce, and Consumerism” is an excellent chance to benefit from a world-class historian and a man of deep faith.
Semion Lyandres, teaching “From Rasputin to Putin: Russia’s Troubled 20th Century” and a history university seminar, is a scholar of modern Russian history. His wit, sense of humor, and kindly nature make him popular among students, but his vast range of knowledge and passion for European history is what makes his classes truly academically enriching.
You cannot go wrong with any class taught by Father Bill Miscamble, CSC, one of the Rover’s advisors and a perennial campus favorite. This semester he is teaching “U.S. Foreign Policy in Cold War” and a history university seminar. His love for his students, his work, and the material he teaches is evident. If you are looking to fulfill a history requirement or simply take from one of Notre Dame’s finest scholars, this class is not to be missed.
“World History of 20th Century Christianity,” taught by Mark Noll, presents a fascinating picture of Christianity around the globe. Students will learn that “hot button” issues in Africa barely resemble hot button issues in America, that the southern hemisphere features rapid growth of Christianity, and much more. Noll has traveled and presented in many of the countries he will discuss in class, and is a friendly wealth of information. Noll is also teaching “Religion and American Politics.”
Other top Rover picks include Steven Brady, Patrick Griffin, and Paul Ocobock.
Italian / Literature
Vittorio Montemaggi is offering a much-cross-listed course called “Meaning, Vulnerability, and Human Existence.” Students will explore this topic through the works of Dostoyevsky, Aquinas, Shakespeare, and Dante, among others. Montemaggi is a renowned Dante scholar and is well-respected in the classroom.
Christian Moevs is once again offering his course “Dante II” featuring a close reading of the Purgatorio and the Paradiso. This is the second half of a two-part course, but can be taken without having taken the first and without knowing any Italian. Moevs is not only a world-class Dante scholar but also an amazing person, a professor who teaches as much by his own example as by his knowledge of Dante. This class is an opportunity to grow in faith alongside learning about one of the greatest minds in the history of Christianity.
Larry Dwyer is teaching his regular “Introduction to Jazz” course again in the spring. The course is difficult to enroll in due to high demand, but it is certainly worth pursuing as an elective or to fulfill the university requirement in fine arts. As a music appreciation course, no musical background is required, and students will gain an understanding and knowledge of the most significant musicians, styles, and structures of jazz music. Watch out for the instrument quiz, however.]
Do not miss taking a class with Fred Freddoso before he retires after this coming semester. A scholar of Saint Thomas Aquinas, he is offering both the major requirement, “Ancient and Medieval Philosophy,” as well as a class on G.K. Chesterton. You might even be lucky enough to catch sight of him wearing his yellow-knit winter cap.
For freshmen looking to complete the “Introduction to Philosophy” university requirement, do not miss the chance to take either Sean Kelsey or Therese Cory. Kelsey specializes in Plato but his syllabus covers many important philosophers. He is an engaging lecturer and provides excellent examples and analogies on the spot. Cory is a new hire at Notre Dame, and she comes with a strong academic background in Thomistic thought.
David O’Connor will be teaching one of his favorite courses about which he recently published a book, “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Love.” With Plato’s Phaedrus and Symposium at the center of the class, he also incorporates Shakespeare and modern films. This class provides an excellent chance to fulfill a second university requirement while thinking deeply about a subject that affects us all, as well as an opportunity to get to know a very personable and learned professor.
Adrian Reimers will teach a 200-level Introduction to Philosophy course entitled “Ethics and Politics,” as well as “Philosophy of Human Nature,” which will fulfill the second university requirement in philosophy. Reimers is an accomplished philosopher, and his knowledge does not stop there; he is well-known for enlivening his lectures with a variety of interesting and uncommon anecdotes.
If you take David Solomon for either the university requirement-level class, “Medical Ethics,” or for the upper-level course, “Morality and Modernity,” you will meet one of the longest-serving professors and one of the kindest and most intelligent people at the university. In the former, he provides balanced viewpoints on hot topics, and in the latter, he takes you through Alasdair MacIntyre’s book, After Virtue, and critically examines influential philosophers, films, and fiction.
Rover advisor Patrick Deneen is a renowned scholar teaching two courses in the fall semester: “Introduction to Political Theory” and “Liberalism and Conservatism.” Both promise to be excellent forays into the field of political philosophy. If you are interested in addressing questions about human nature and political thought with one of the nation’s best political theorists, Deneen’s classes are for you.
Vincent Phillip Muñoz, another Rover advisor, directs both the Constitutional Studies minor and the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and Public Life on campus and will offer a class entitled “Civil Liberties.” Muñoz is an energetic scholar of religion and public policy, and he conducts class fairly and with regard for student input.
Michael Zuckert will be teaching the graduate-level “Federalist and Anti-Federalist Debate.” A Rover advisor and engaging professor, Zuckert offers key insights into the debate that created this nation.
Not teaching next semester, but nonetheless Rover favorites, are Mary Keys and Dan Philpott.
Program of Liberal Studies
Joseph Rosenberg will be teaching “Great Books Seminar I” this spring. In addition to being the Director of Undergraduate Studies for PLS, Rosenberg is an engaging and knowledgeable seminar professor who understands how best to facilitate discussion. He engages with his students, pushing them to clarify their arguments and delve more deeply into the texts. If you are a freshman considering PLS, this class is a great introduction to the program. It can also satisfy your required Freshman Seminar course.
Jennifer Martin will be teaching “The Bible and Its Interpretation” and “Great Books Seminar IV.” As a concurrent professor of theology, as well as a systematic and historical theologian, students in her theology class will have the benefit of an expert in the field. She stimulates discussion well, raising pertinent questions and showing an interest in students’ ideas. She is also very approachable and helpful, making that big term paper for Seminar seem slightly less intimidating.
Denis Robichaud will be teaching “Metaphysics and Epistemology.” Not only does he explain texts well, often unearthing phrases’ exact meaning with his vast knowledge of etymology, but he also can assist students very well in office hours, helping guide a broad idea of a complex text to a simpler and more specific one.
Gary Anderson is teaching a large section of “Foundations of Theology: Biblical/Historical” next semester. This first course in theology, required for all undergraduate students, offers a critical study of the Bible and early Christian tradition. Anderson is a leading biblical scholar and seeks to foster a love and understanding of theology in all of his students. You cannot find a better professor to teach this introductory theology course.
John Betz is teaching “Foundations of Theology: Biblical/Historical” and “The Christian Tradition II” this spring. Betz is a passionate and knowledgeable teacher who begins each class with a prayer and cares deeply for the spiritual growth of his students.
Rover advisor John Cavadini is teaching a course that fulfills the second university requirement for theology. “The Catholic Faith” is centered around the Catechism and is enriched by a variety of primary sources. Cavadini is an engaging teacher who offers clear and relevant explanations filled with analogies and stories.
Father Terrence Ehrman, CSC, will offer a 200-level course, “Science, Theology, and Creation,” which fulfills the second university requirement in theology. Father Terry is an accomplished biologist with an extensive knowledge of Church teaching, and he weaves the two together seamlessly in discussion that involve both faith and reason.
Monsignor Michael Heintz is offering a one-credit course that includes a trip to Spain, entitled “Camino Pilgrimage.” This class is available by application only, and applications can be completed through Campus Ministry.
Cyril O’Regan is teaching “The Christian Theological Tradition II,” a requirement for all theology majors, as well as for theology-philosophy joint majors. This is arguably one of the most important classes a Notre Dame student could ever take. You will receive a solid foundation in the Christian tradition from the Reformation to the present.
Gabriel Reynolds, an expert on the relationship between Christianity and Islam, is offering an upper-level course, “Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.” Reynolds draws his students into a thoughtful conversation about these two Abrahamic traditions, exploring their interactions.
Other Rover favorites include Timothy O’Malley, Father Brian Daley, SJ, and Leonard DeLorenzo.