Notre Dame Stories: In Studio

Conversations with experts, stories from the field

Episodes in Notre Dame Stories: In Studio feature studio interviews with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields. In addition, most episodes include an element of storytelling from campus or the world, where Notre Dame students and faculty are bringing knowledge in service of justice.

Conn Selmer Pod

Helping the Last of the Instrument Makers

ConnSelmer is the last major manufacturer of band instruments in the United States. They were looking for ways to innovate to keep their operations in-country. That's when they received a boost from iNDustry Labs, Notre Dame's platform for collaboration between the University and local manufacturers.

Read the Grand Reprise

Devin Diggs, in a suit.

The 2022 Valedictorian: Devin Diggs

The Class of 2022 valedictorian Devin Diggs joins us to talk about his Notre Dame story, and what's in store after commencement. Among other activities, Diggs worked in Dr. Jessica Payne's Sleep, Stress and Memory Lab. Find out more about the lab at

Learn more about the SAM Lab

The Right Reverend Borys Gudziak, Archeparch of Philadelphia greets residents of the Emmaus Center at Ukranian Catholic University (UCU).

A Conversation with Commencement Speaker Archbishop Borys Gudziak

On March 23rd, Ukrainian Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak was announced as the keynote speaker at Notre Dame’s 177th commencement ceremony.

Ten days earlier, Archbishop Gudziak sat down for an interview for the Henri Nouwen Now and Then podcast, produced by the Henri Nouwen Society.

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch-born Catholic priest who taught psychology at Notre Dame for a time. The society that bears his name is dedicated to advancing Nouwen’s spiritual vision.

In this podcast episode, which originally aired on March 13, host and Nouwen Society executive director Karen Pascal, speaks with Archbishop Gudziak about his background and his perspective on the ongoing war in Ukraine. To hear the full episode, click here.

Our sincere thanks to the Henri Nouwen Society for sharing this episode with us.

Learn more about the Archbishop's selection as commencement speaker

Church at Ukrainian Catholic University (UCO) Lviv, Ukraine

Ukraine: Sanctions, War Crimes, and International Law

After 3 weeks, the war in Ukraine is only becoming costlier, and deadlier for both the militaries fighting, and the civilians caught in the middle.

We spoke with Mary Ellen O’Connell, the Robert and Marion Short Professor of Law, about the international legal framework that could help bring the war to a close, and deal with its aftermath.

Learn more about Mary Ellen O'Connell

A human head model is tested in an anechoic chamber to measure absorption of radiation from cell phone antennae.

Understanding the 5G rollout

The rollout of 5G seemed to be going along smoothly until it wasn’t. So why did the airline industry ask for a pause in some areas? And, should we expect other disruptions in the future?

For answers, we turned to Nick Laneman, co-director of the Notre Dame Wireless Institute.

Learn more about the Institute's work

A Beijing 2022 sign with a panda.

The Winter Olympics, Equality in Sports, and Exercising in the Cold

The Winter Olympics are here, and while they provide hours of incredible viewing for sports fans, they also offer insights into life and society. To explore the Olympics in this light, we turn to Cara Ocobock, assistant professor of anthropology.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Prof. Ocobock explains what makes the Olympics so appealing, but also what needs to happen to achieve greater equality for male and female athletes. Finally, Ocobock talks about what happens to the body in extreme temperatures, citing insights from her research working with reindeer herders in northern Finland.

Learn more about Ocobock and her research

A delivery man smiles while unloading several boxes.

What's going on with the supply chain?

One of the biggest stories in the last half of 2021 was the supply chain. It seems everyone was impacted by shortages or delays in getting a product from a manufacturer to a consumer.

Well now that we’ve turned the page into 2022, where do we stand? To find out, we spoke with Kaitlin Wowak, associate professor of IT, analytics, and operations in the Mendoza College of Business.

Learn more about Kaitlin's work

Detail of an ornate crown.

The Great Crown Caper

Tour guides have been answering questions about it for years. There's a large gold crown in a case, situated by the elevators in Notre Dame's Main Building (aka, the "Golden Dome"). A plaque inside the case offers some explanation, but there's much more to know.

Turns out, this crown may not be the most famous piece of royal headwear the University has received. Our story is about two crowns, one crime, and one unsolved mystery.

Read the story

A close up of an iPhone with social media icons.

Social Media, Misinformation, and You

It's one of the biggest news stories of the month: social media and the spread of misinformation. While Facebook garnered much attention over the past several weeks, the problem of misinformation goes back far longer and is far broader than many people realize.

In this episode, we chat with Tim Weninger, Frank M. Friemann Associate Prof. of Engineering. His work in this area goes back to the dawn of ISIS in the Middle East and continues today through the development of a suite of forensics tools to help fight coordinated misinformation campaigns.

Read more about Weninger's work

Musical notes on a piece of paper.

Making a Musical

Ronnie and Alex Mansour chose Notre Dame over a traditional music conservatory because the University’s music program allowed them the flexibility to do it, as Sinatra would say, their way.

In this episode, Brendan O'Shaughnessy tells the story of the siblings who charted their own creative path at the University.

Read the story

911 Memorial Site in New York. Flowers were placed in honor of members of the Notre Dame family.

Remembering 9/11

Fr. Malloy offers his reflection on the events of 9/11 and what followed for the campus community and himself.

An illustration of three wise men looking at a star in the distance.

What was the Christmas Star?

The Gospel account of St. Matthew includes a peculiar episode: Magi or wise men who followed a star to the place of Jesus’ birth. Grant Mathews, a Notre Dame astrophysicist, details the astronomical phenomenon he believes led them to Bethlehem.

Re-edited version of the episode that aired Nov. 30, 2018.

Read the story

The bronze water fountain at the Grotto

Of Analytics and Art

In this episode, we meet a business students who is helping the NBA understand a new rule change. And, one of the most iconic landmarks on campus gets an upgrade.

Editor's note: The original Grotto fountain was crafted in 1943 by William Schickel, as part of his thesis project.

A try of salmon, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Food and Thought

A look at ideas that are addressing major food-related problems: A potential breakthrough on peanut allergies. Learn more about how Basar Bilgicer, associate professor of engineering, is fighting to cure food allergies here.

And, what Notre Dame is doing to help kids get the nutrition they need, so they can focus in school. Read more about the program here.

St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City in Rome.

Unexpected Guides

What your social circle can tell you about your health, and what centuries-old travel guides can tell us about a city.

Preparing For The Future

Preparing for the Future

In this episode, a look at preparing for the future in two very different economic circumstances: In the US, how AI and advanced technology could disrupt the workforce; in the Amazon basin, how indigenous people are bolstering production of a common food staple.

Faculty guest: Ray Offenheiser, distinguished professor of the practice and director, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development. Learn more about the Future of Work Conference.


Breastfeeding & IPV, Rome Global Gateway

A Notre Dame psychologist explains how breastfeeding can mitigate the impacts of intimate partner violence, or IPV.

And, we return to the Eternal City, for a look at the layered experiences that make Notre Dame, in Rome.

Faculty guest: Laura Miller-Graff, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor of Psychology and Peace Studies. Read more about her work.

Professor Richard Piccolo holds a drawing class in the Square at the top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome, Italy.

Lunar Samples, Rome Studies 50th Anniversary

We chat with Notre Dame geologist and moon expert Clive Neal, who is part of a team that will examine previously sealed lunar samples obtained during the Apollo missions. Note: Clive refers several times to "regolith," which is the powdery, dusty material on the lunar surface.

In addition, we look at the School of Architecture's Rome Studies Program, as it marks its 50th Anniversary in the Eternal City.

Notre Dame and St. Mary's College Irish Dance Team rehearsal.

Venezuela, Irish Dance

As the situation deteriorates in Venezuela, we chat with Latin American expert Michael Coppedge of the Keough School of Global Affairs, who explains how we got here, and what to expect next.

And, as millions of people celebrate their Irish heritage this month, we look back at a student club’s championship foray into Irish Dance.

Trend Spotting

Trend Spotting

In this episode, we chat with Kasey Buckles, a Notre Dame economist who studies the family. Her research follows trends in the fertility rate, and yields clues about what that may mean for the US economy. Read more about Buckles' work.

And, we bring you the story of Notre Dame students getting real-world experience as police officers through the county's cyber crimes unit.


On Preservation

In this episode we chat with Pinar Zorlutuna, a professor in aerospace and mechanical engineering, who is using tissue engineering to extend the viability of hearts in a transplant scenario. Read more about her work.

In addition, we catch up with Sophia Bevacqua, an alumna who is working in art restoration at the Vatican Museums. Her story was featured in the piece, "Cultural maintenance".

Three adults and a child sit at a dinner table.


A Notre Dame researcher discusses the relationship between the built environment and our habits, especially our eating habits. And, as hundreds seek a path to asylum in Italy through a unique private-public partnership, the University is tracking how this method of resettlement is working, and can it be replicated elsewhere.

Star Of Wonder

Star of Wonder

The Gospel account of St. Matthew includes a peculiar episode: Magi or wise men who followed a star to the place of Jesus’ birth. A Notre Dame astrophysicist details the astronomical phenomenon he believes led them to Bethlehem.

An American flag on Notre Dame's campus.

The role of Latinos in American politics

As the dust settles on the 2018 midterm elections, how the Latino community is shaping the American political landscape. Our guest is Luis Fraga, director of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies.

A 3D printed town.

Confidence, building

New research on confidence says nonverbal cues can help people avoid the social penalties of overconfidence. And, a collaboration between Notre Dame’s School of Architecture and the City of South Bend shows how buildings from the past can help plan for the future.

A beautifully painted ceiling with two angels.

Heavenly Realms

We're closer than ever to knowing whether life exists on other planets. A Notre Dame researcher talks about what he and other experts are recommending to find the answer in the next 20 years.

And, what can be done at the moment a life passes from this world to the next? A scholar of Medieval chants finds surprising insight into how modern Americans respond to the end of life.

Two students stand in front of a colorful mural.

Helping the Most Vulnerable

A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors declared the war on poverty largely over. A Notre Dame researcher, who helped produce much of the data behind the report, explains that statement, and talks about what can be done to continue to help those in need in the US.

And, two Notre Dame students signed up to spend their summer at a shelter near the US-Mexico border, helping migrant families who are seeking asylum. But they didn’t know the role that shelter – called Casa Vides – would play when the immigration issue exploded.