The fellows of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame elected four new members at their Fall meeting on November 25, 2013. The new fellows represent a wide array of expertise, hailing from four different schools – Arts & Letters, Law, Engineering, and Business - and all of them are heavily involved in educating audiences outside of academia. The new fellows are Michael Desch (Department of Political Science), MaryEllen O’Connell (Law School), Laurel Riek (Department of Computer Science and Engineering), and Brett Robinson (Department of Marketing).

Michael Desch is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame as well as Co-director of the Notre Dame International Security Program (NDISP). His teaching and research focus on international relations, American foreign policy, and international security, and he is a member of the Reilly Center’s Emerging Technologies of National Security and Intelligence research initiative (ETNSI).

His publications include When the Third World Matters: Latin America and U.S. Grand Strategy (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), Power and Military Effectiveness:  The Fallacy of Democratic Triumphalism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). He is the co-editor of From Pirates to Drug Lords: The Post-Cold War Caribbean Security Environment (Albany: State University Press, 1998) and editor of Soldiers in Cities: Military Operations on Urban Terrain  (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College, 2001). In addition to his scholarly work, he has published in popular outlets such as the Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, and The American Conservative and appears frequently on radio and television, including recent interviews with NPR and PBS’ News Hour.

Click here to learn more about Prof. Desch.

Laurel Riek is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department. She also directs the Robotics, Health, and Communication Lab, which focuses on creating intelligent machines capable of robustly dealing with the human social world, and designing novel technological interventions to improve patient-centered communication and healthcare quality. Prior to her doctoral work at the University of Cambridge, Riek was a Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer and Roboticist at MITRE, a not-for-profit research institute.

Riek, whose research interests lie at the intersection of robotics, health informatics, and social signal processing, is the author of dozens of scholarly articles. In addition, she is actively involved in community outreach, serving as the coordinator of the annual Notre Dame National Robotics Week (ND-NRW),which she also founded. ND-NRW is an annual, nationwide event that celebrates robotics developments, educates the public about the ways in which robotics impacts society, and encourages K-12 students to pursue STEM careers.

She was recently awarded a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for her work on novel types of human patient simulators, which can facially express pain, stroke, drowsiness, and other neurological impairments. The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to young faculty in engineering and science.

To learn more about Prof. Riek’s work, click here.

Mary Ellen O'Connell is the Robert and Marion Short Chair in the Law School as well as Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution at the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies. She has been a vice president of the American Society of International Law and chair of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Use of Force. O’Connell served as a professional military educator for the U.S. Department of Defense in Germany, from 1995-1998 and is currently a member of the Reilly Center’s Emerging Technologies of National Security and Intelligence research initiative (ETNSI).

Her research is in the areas of international legal theory, international law on the use of force, and international dispute resolution. She is the author or editor of numerous books and articles on these subjects, including, What is War? An Investigation in the Wake of 9/11 (Martinus Nijhof/Brill, 2012) and The Power and Purpose of International Law, Insights from the Theory and Practice of Enforcement (Oxford 2008, paperback 2011). O’Connell is a prolific figure in the national and international media. In 2013 alone she either wrote or was interviewed in articles that appeared in/on the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, CBS News, Wired Magazine, NBC News, and

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Brett Robinson joined the Department of Marketing as a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2013. His doctorate is from the University of Georgia where he helped establish the New Media Institute, a program for exploring the critical, commercial and creative dimensions of innovative digital media technology.

Robinson has experience in advertising, public relations, and digital media management and has worked in several industries including CPG (GlaxoSmithKline), sports marketing (NHL), and manufacturing (Textron) in a variety of marketing communications roles. His interests include consumer culture theory and the integration of the liberal arts with business teaching and research. His new book Appletopia: Media Technology and the Religious Imagination of Steve Jobs (Baylor University Press, 2013) looks at the convergence of spiritual and technological ideals in the Apple brand story. He has written popular pieces on this topic for, Wired Magazine, and the LA Times and has been interviewed in many major news outlets on both Appletopia and other tech news.

Find out more about Brett Robinson's work by clicking here.