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Rome Global Gateway names new director

| Monday, September 1, 2014

Professor Theodore J. Cachey, Jr., who assumed the position of director of the new Notre Dame Global Gateway center in Rome, Italy in June 2014, aims to bolster both the program’s European credentials and connection to the University.

According to the program’s website, the Global Gateways are campuses around the world – Beijing, Chicago, Dublin, Jerusalem, London and now Rome – where international researchers and faculty come together with Notre Dame faculty and students to interact and cooperate on discussion and research. The Gateways’ mission is fundamentally interdisciplinary, as exhibited by their hosting of faculty and students of other programs and institutes, as well as symposia and workshops.

Rome’s Gateway is housed in a newly renovated, 32,000-square-foot facility one block from the Colosseum through which it will host academic colloquia, seminars and forums as well as faculty and graduate students conducting research. Prior to Cachey’s arrival and the christening of the new site, no such means for expansion existed for Notre Dame in Rome. The Gateways go beyond standard study abroad programs to furnish a greater capacity for academics, Cachey said.

Cachey said he hopes to see a rise in the number of undergraduate applications to study abroad in Rome for a semester or entire scholastic year. He also said he expects to see a climb in the number of students traveling abroad on internships and grants, such as those offered by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and conducting research during the summer and breaks.

“The goal of the [Rome Global Gateway] is to encourage more students to pursue education abroad opportunities in Rome and to enrich the variety and the quality of those opportunities,” he said.

The Global Gateway will support and work with various organizations and institutes doing research in Rome and throughout Italy, Cachey said. An early case in point is its support of a post-doctoral fellow of the the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism tasked with crafting a guide to “Roman Archival Sources for the History of U.S. Catholicism, 1776-1939.” Going forward, a biannual conference focused on issues facing the global Church will also emerge from this partnership. An upcoming Nanovic-sponsored conference, “Sources of the Civic: Catholic Higher Education and Democracy in Europe,” will bring together leaders of European Catholic universities to deliberate various ideas of civic education and the singular role these Catholic institutions play in promoting virtues central to civic life.

“The Rome Gateway offers an ideal platform for the global expression, the distillation really, of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission in research, education and service,” he said.

With Notre Dame’s status as one of the world’s premier centers of study for Dante and medieval Italian literature, the program aims to stimulate research and scholastic collaboration with international peers, Cachey said.

“I plan to do within my own field of expertise what I invite colleagues from across the University to do, that is, to utilize the Rome Global Gateway as a vehicle for fostering innovative research and teaching in their respective fields,” he said.

Notre Dame’s main campus will not be left out of these developments. Though the program is still in its infancy, Cachey cites early examples, such as new undergraduate internships at the Vatican and short-term graduate fellowships in Rome, as foreshadowing future developments.

“I anticipate that there will be many positive changes and enhancements at Notre Dame’s home campus as the faculty and students in South Bend become increasingly aware of the opportunities presented by the fact that Notre Dame is operating a major research and educational center in Rome,” Cachey said. “Through coursework, research, service and through a linguistic and cultural immersion in the contemporary reality of the ‘Eternal City,’ we invite the Notre Dame student to become citizens of the world.”

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