University supports research initiatives

first_imgThe University recently announced the administration will continue to push its goal of becoming one of the best research institutions in the world and announced an additional $40 million of internal funding to support nine projects.“Doing research is fundamental to the University,” Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves said. “The goal of the University is fairly simple — to be a source for good throughout the world. We do that through three ways: our undergraduate program, our research and our Catholic tradition.”The funding is part of the second phase of the University’s Strategic Research Initiative (SRI), which began last year and now stands as an $80 million investment. Projects funded examine nanotechnology, sustainable energy, climate change and the interaction of Roman Catholicism and Islam, among other subjects.“We are studying some very important questions and some very important problems, and the impact of the things that we find is going to influence many important things around the world,” Vice President for Research Robert Bernhard said. “We felt, as a panel, that we have a chance to make great breakthroughs in those areas.”Bernhard said research is different for each field, and the University’s goal encompasses “research, scholarship and creative endeavor.”“Many people in the humanities do research, but they often refer to it as scholarship,” he said. “For the scientist, research is the discovery of knowledge — learning something that no one has ever learned before. For the social scientist, it’s looking at improving human conditions. For the engineer, it’s solving problems. For the artist and people in architecture, it’s the creative experience of being able to do something that’s admired. The shorthand version is, it’s all research.”Bernhard said pushing Notre Dame to become one of the premier research institutions would help the University attract an elite faculty.“Faculty from the very best universities are all involved in some type of scholarship or research and want the opportunity to continue that work because it helps them have an impact on the world and stay current in their subject,” he said. “Research is important for people and for impact.”According to Bernhard, students also stand to benefit from the funding because it will provide them with not only the best teachers, but also the opportunity to get involved.“I think students benefit significantly both from the type of faculty that we will be able to recruit as part of these things and secondly from the opportunity for them to get involved,” he said. “More and more of our undergraduate students are doing research, and I think that the trend is going to continue.”Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Jessica Hellmann agreed, adding that expanding research will allow the best students to work with the best faculty.“Of course, research plays a critical role in enhancing undergraduate and graduate student instruction; the best students want to work with the best faculty on the most pressing problems of the day,” she said. “By having a great research infrastructure, Notre Dame can offer courses and experiences to students that are taught by leaders in the field.”Hellmann, whose project is titled “Notre Dame Collaboratory for the Study of Adaptation to Climate Change,” said her research will allow her to have a real impact on the world beyond campus.“Research provides the University the opportunity to engage and affect the world around us,” she said. “Climate change adaptation will involve difficult decisions that are legal, moral, scientific and political, and Notre Dame is uniquely poised for this kind of interdisciplinary and complex thinking.”Engineering Professor Tracy Kijewski-Correa, whose project is titled “CYBER-EYE: A Cyber-Collaboratory for National Risk Modeling and Assessment to Mitigate the Impacts of Hurricanes in a Changing Climate,” said it is important for Notre Dame to fund research initiatives because it is one of the areas where the University lags behind its peer institutions.“As a university with a strong undergraduate educational tradition, we lag behind many of our peers who have been doing research from ‘day one,’” she said. “One part of their competitive advantage, aside from their long standing traditions in research, is the fact that they have endowments to seed research ideas.”Kijewski-Correa said her project will help contribute to Notre Dame’s mission by finding a way to save the lives that are often lost in disastrous hurricanes.“Notre Dame has had a long tradition of responding with great compassion and generosity to help the afflicted in the wake of these disasters,” she said. “This project would deepen that mission commitment by helping us to lead the way on developing hazard-resilient communities using cutting edge research to prevent these losses altogether.”The panel that evaluated the merits of the research proposals, which included both Affleck-Graves and Bernhard, originally received 45 three-page proposals. Bernhard said the proposals were evaluated based on a set of criteria, which included mission fit, contribution to the research prominence of the University, educational benefits for students and whether the project was sustainable in the future.“The University is trying to jump start areas of research that they believe will be important in the future and where Notre Dame can play a role,” said Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Paul Huber, who is leading an initiative called “Assessment of the Impact of Nanoparticles on Human Health and the Environment.”Of the original 45, 10 were invited to write full proposals, which the panel then sent to be evaluated by the top experts in each of the respective fields.“My proposal was selected based upon the uniqueness of the research approach, the importance of the research to Notre Dame’s mission and the possibility that the research could provide a significant return on investment in terms of research dollars resulting from the proof-of-concept research proposed,” said Professor of Biological Sciences Malcolm Fraser, who is spearheading the initiative entitled “Developing Group I Intron Antiviral Strategies for Treating HIV and HCV Infections.”Fraser, whose project will attempt to develop cures for HIV and HCV, said his project will help raise the University’s visibility in the research field while also possibly curing one of mankind’s greatest plagues.“The unique approach we are establishing immediately provides high value and high visibility research for the University,” he said. “If successful, we will have made a unique and significant contribution to the development of cures for these two extremely important diseases.”Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Gregory Hartland, whose project is called “A Focused Interdisciplinary Research Group in Nanostructured Solar Cells,” said his project will help boost Notre Dame’s reputation as a leader in the nanotechnology field while also attempting to find a cheap, sustainable source of energy.“We think we will be able to get some very high profile papers out of our efforts, which will show (along with the work being done in the NDNano center) that Notre Dame is a serious player in nanoscience at an international level,” he said. “Hopefully, this will also lead to new funding (from agencies such as the NSF and DOE), and establish Notre Dame as a leader in nanomaterials for solar energy applications.”But while Hartland examines the applications of nanotechnology, Huber will be looking at its possible perils, particularly whether or not nanoparticles are toxic to humans.“A lot of different materials are being developed and released into the environment because they’re not regulated,” Huber said. “If the University is going to be involved in research activities, then the burden is on them to make sure everything is safe.”The other four projects chosen were the “Sustainable Energy Initiative” from Professor of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering Joan Brennecke; the “N.D. Environmental Change Initiative” from Professor of Biological Sciences David Lodge; “Contending with Modernity: Islam and Roman Catholicism in a Secular Age” from Professor of History R. Scott Appleby; and “Laboratory for Enhanced Wind Energy Design — eWind” from Engineering Professor Thomas Corke.Affleck-Graves said the projects have the potential to help shape the world.“It’s through their research that the faculty can change the world,” he said. “Curing a neglected disease, tackling the problem of religious fundamental violence, energy and the environment — these are all ways that Notre Dame can help change the world.”In the future, Bernhard said he is undecided about whether another round of funding will take place, but he stressed that the SRI was just the beginning.“These two rounds of investment are part of our process but they’re not all of it,” he said. “We’re thinking about whether a third round makes sense and whether we would want to do a third round. We’re not decided on that yet.”last_img read more

Continue Reading

Robert Gates to speak at 2011 commencement

first_imgU.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will be the 2011 Commencement speaker, according to a University press release. Gates will speak and receive an honorary degree at the University’s 166th Commencement on May 22 at Notre Dame Stadium. “The contributions Dr. Gates has made in service to our nation and to higher education are many and significant,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the press release. “I am so pleased that he has accepted our invitation and look forward to welcoming him to our campus. I am sure his perspectives on our nation and world will be of considerable interest to Notre Dame’s graduating Class of 2011.” Nominated by President George W. Bush, Gates became the 22nd secretary of defense in 2006. Under President Barack Obama, he became the only defense secretary asked to remain in his role under a newly-elected president. After joining the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1966, he served as an intelligence professional for 27 years, including nine years at the National Security Council. He served as director of the CIA from 1991 to 1993, which made him the only career officer in CIA history to rise to director after beginning at an entry-level position. Gates was also deputy director of the CIA from 1986 to 1989 and was assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser at the White House from 1989 to 1991. Gates also has experience in higher education. He was president of Texas A&M University for four years before becoming secretary of defense. From 1991 to 2001 he was interim dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001. Gates earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, his master’s degree from Indiana University and his doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Students face breakfast decision

first_imgA battle of the bagels commenced on Jan. 22 when popular chain Einstein Bros. opened a location on South Bend Avenue, just a few doors down from local establishment Studebagels. Merry Smith, owner of Studebagels, said business has held steady since Einstein Bros. opened. “It’s only been a month or so, but we really haven’t seen a difference yet,” she said. “We looked at last year’s numbers from the same time and we’re about identical.” Smith said this is not the first challenge Studebagels has experienced in 18 years of business. She said the company continues to focus on producing the best product. “There actually have been a couple of different bagel shops around, and a lot of places offer bagels, but nothing has opened this close,” Smith said. “We just roll with what we know. We try to do the best we can.” Smith said rather than view Einstein Bros. as detrimental to Studebagels’ business, she sees a chance to improve her restaurant. “I think it will make us even better. Competition is always good,” she said. “We may have to step up our game a little bit, and do some different things.” Business has started strong for Einstein Bros., owner Michael Newton said. “[Business has been] good, very good,” he said. “We have been fortunate so far. … [Notre Dame students] are a big part of our business. We look for everyone in the community, including Notre Dame students and local college students.” Einstein Bros has offered coupons on campus in addition to giving away free breakfast sandwiches for a year to their first 100 customers, Newton said. He said these promotions have helped draw students to the restaurant. “The redemption rate has been quite impressive,” Newton said. “It definitely has been nice to see the kids come in and use those coupons. I think they have been quite happy so far.” College students will remain a big part of business once the coupons expire, Newton said. He said drawing in customers initially was important to introducing the Einstein Bros. experience. “I think this was a great way to introduce ourselves to the community and say, ‘Hey, we’re in town. Why don’t you come in and let us take care of you,’” Newton said. “Hopefully they like the product and they’ll come in again, with or without a coupon.” Smith said she estimates 30 percent of Studebagels customers are Notre Dame students. In addition to a 10 percent student discount, she said the warm atmosphere of Studebagels draws the college crowd. “Some of the kids who come by at night to see the bagels made, I have become sort of their mother. I think we offer them more than just food. We bake them with love,” Smith said. “It’s not like some place else. There is only one of us.” Smith said she appreciates the interaction the Studebagels staff has with students. “We like to have them come in because we learn from them everyday,” she said. Newton said one of Einstein Bros. strongest facets is the level of commitment he and his wife Melissa, co-owner and operator, bring to the business. “I think the [goal] of every restaurant is to execute well. Not everyone does that, but we have consistent, excellent service,” he said. “We do it with a personal touch. My wife and I are in the store pretty much from open to close.” Health-conscious food is also part of Einstein Bros. appeal to college students, Newton said. “When you come into Einstein Bros., you’ll see we’re more health-oriented. We use fresh products and we bake everything on site,” he said. “We have a lot of good stuff.” Studebagels focuses on providing fresh food, with homemade bagels, cream cheese, and original recipes, Smith said. She said Studebagels is able to offer a wider variety of specialty items than Einstein Bros. “We offer a lot of things they cannot do because they are a chain,” Smith said. “We make heart bagels on Valentines Day, different colored bagels for different sporting events and different schools, some things that are just unique.” Senior Sarah Weiler, a regular Studebagels customer, said it is important to support local businesses. “As long as we have local businesses, why not support them, especially because they were here first,” she said. “It’s not the most important thing students can do, but it is probably for the better.” Senior Jessica Spiewak, who received a ticket booklet for 52 free breakfast sandwiches as one of Einstein Bros. first 100 customers, said she remains a loyal Studebagels customer. “It’s definitely a temporary thing,” she said. “I never spend any money when I go to Einstein Bros., and as soon as I run out of these coupons I will start going back to Studebagels again.” The friendly atmosphere of Studebagels is what draws college students, Weiler said. “It’s more like a coffee shop where you can sit with friends. I wouldn’t think of a chain restaurant in that way as much,” she said. “I go to Studebagels because it is fun to go and chat about the weekend and what everyone is up to.” Spiewak said as a local business, Studebagels is unparalleled in the attention to detail they bring to their food, such as the variety of bagels and rotating coffee flavors. “I think it is all the extra little touches that local businesses can add to things, unlike corporate chain-type of atmosphere,” she said. Despite what Studebagels offers, Spiewak said Einstein Bros. poses a difficult challenge for the locally owned business. “I’m kind of worried about them actually. Einstein Bros. has been pretty crowded,” she said. Spiewak said since Einstein Bros. offers free wireless Internet, many students see the restaurant as a place to enjoy a meal while working on schoolwork. “I have noticed from going to Einstein Bros. that people have been doing their homework there,” she said. “They have been hanging out, eating snacks with their computers out. I don’t feel like they do that at Studebagels.” Weiler said she is confident Studebagels’ long-standing reputation will allow its business to remain strong. “The novelty of Einstein Bros. might attract students,” she said. “Studebagels has been so popular with students for so long that they will keep going.”last_img read more

Continue Reading

UNC weekend events draw season-high number of fans

first_imgBlue skies and “perfect weather” helped Notre Dame welcome season-high numbers of fans to football activities throughout the North Carolina game weekend, according to Mike Seamon, associate vice president for campus safety.Zach Llorens “For as bad of weather as it was for the Stanford game last week, it was the exact opposite this week, as it could not have been a more perfect day on Saturday for the UNC game,” Seamon said. “… As expected given the perfect weather, there were literally thousands of people who came to campus to enjoy the home football weekend atmosphere.“We saw an uptick in the number of people on campus as we estimated about 110,000 were here to watch the game, visit the Grotto and the Basilica, go to the bookstore, hear the band play their pre-game concert on the Bond Hall steps, see the player walk to the stadium and tailgate before the game.”Zach Llorens Seamon said 6,150 fans took the tunnel tour at Notre Dame Stadium on Friday and 1,516 visited the LaBar Practice Complex, both of which amount to season records. He said 8,250 fans attended the pep rally, and the number of guests at Friday’s football luncheon remained consistent with 1,050 people in attendance.Seamon said Notre Dame fans continued to represent the University and its football culture well by being “very welcoming to our guests and visitors from the opposing school.”“We’ve received numerous emails and letters from the North Carolina fans telling us how welcomed they felt when they visited campus,” he said. “That welcoming spirit by everyone on campus, including our students, is a testament of what it means to be part of the Notre Dame family.“This welcoming attitude is one of the main reasons why the University has such a special and unique reputation as one of the top places in the country to watch a college football game.”Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) officers arrested nine individuals Saturday, according to NDSP Chief Phil Johnson.“Three arrests were for public intoxication or public order related offenses,” he said. “Four people were arrested for shoplifting.“One man was arrested for attempted theft and resisting law enforcement, and one man was arrested for public intoxication and possession of marijuana.”Tags: Mike Seamon, NDSP, North Carolina, Notre Dame football, Phil Johnson, UNClast_img read more

Continue Reading

Saint Mary’s campaign raises $25 million over goal

first_imgSaint Mary’s concluded its comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Faith Always, Action Now,” after surpassing the initial goal and raising $105 million, making it the most successful fundraising campaign in the College’s 171-year history.Vice president for College Relations Shari Rodriguez said the campaign idea originated from the plan College President Carol Ann Mooney’s devised in 2008, which outlined the goals of the College for the next five years.President Mooney’s strategic plan prioritized renovations in the College’s Science Hall and Angela Athletic Facility as well as student scholarships, Rodriguez said. The Board of Trustees deliberated and determined in order to implement the plan, the College needed to secure funding through a fundraiser, Rodriguez said.Before the campaign’s launch, the Board of Trustees determined how feasible the fundraiser would be by gauging the interest of alumnae and friends of the College.“The feasibility report really showed the passion that donors had for the College,” Rodriguez said. “Little did we know, how difficult things were going to be financially at the time. [In 2008] when the campaign began, the recession wasn’t fully realized yet.”Despite the difficult launch of the campaign, “Faith Always, Action Now” raised a record amount of money is the College’s history. Rodriguez said the campaign was a success because the donors recognized their contributions help further the education of current and future Saint Mary’s women.“Our goal was to create opportunities for students through scholarships and to support the educational environment and faculty,” Rodriguez said. “That was our driving motivation and we persevered. We continued to talk about the amazing education that young women get here and the need to make certain that it’s accessible financially.”Rodriguez said the College’s mission remained on the forefront of the campaign while the heritage of the Sisters of the Holy Cross guided it through the entire process.“Saint Mary’s continues to answer the need of society, which hearkens back to the Holy Cross Sisters,” she said. “They assessed the need and answered the call to lead women’s education, which is exactly what our graduate programs are doing today.”The campaign also facilitated the addition of three new graduate programs to Saint Mary’s curriculum beginning in fall of 2015. The programs are a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, a Master of Science in Data Science and a Master of Science in Speech Pathology.To continue to educate women, no matter their financial status, “Faith Always, Action Now” set of a goal of $20 million for student scholarships, Rodriguez said. The college surpassed that goal by $15 million, raising a total of $35 million for future students.“One thing that has been made clear through the great recession is that we are called to make certain that young women can be educated in a Catholic liberal arts tradition,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think there’s any better place than at Saint Mary’s to get that education. So we really want to create that access for the future.”Rodriguez said “Faith Always, Action Now” can be attributed to the hard work of the College’s president as well as the great education already offered at Saint Mary’s.“The success of the campaign is in part because of the great leadership of President Mooney and a solid strategic plan,” she said. “But the [campaign’s success] also highlights the education that is offered here. Donors believe the strength of the educational experience here is worthy of the investments they have made.”The campaign celebration is scheduled for April 17. All the donors who have given to Saint Mary’s will be invited to campus to celebrate and watch the groundbreaking of the new soccer, softball and lacrosse fields.Rodriguez said the College appreciates the donors who have helped to make this the most successful campaign in Saint Mary’s history and who continue to build the College’s legacy through new programs and facilities.“We are so grateful to the donors who believe in the mission here and have supported the College to continuously educate women,” Rodriguez said.Tags: Action Now”, donors, educational environment, Faith Always, Fundraising Campaign, Sisters of the Holy Cross, student scholarshipslast_img read more

Continue Reading

ND professor’s first book released in Dublin

first_imgDUBLIN — Surrounded by notable priests, politicians and members of the Notre Dame community at the historic Merrion Hotel in Ireland’s capital, professor of political science Fr. Sean McGraw launched his new book, ‘How Parties Win: Shaping the Irish Political Arena’ on Thursday evening.The book, McGraw’s first, stems from his doctoral research dating back to 2006, he said.“It’s been a long time coming because I began my doctoral research back here [in Dublin] in 2006 and 2007 when I lived here and had a Fulbright [Scholarship] at University College Dublin and worked out of O’Connell House,” McGraw said in an interview. “I followed a lot of politicians around during the 2007 election, and that’s really when I did the heart of my initial research, and then have done several rounds of research from that. Photo courtesy of Eimear Clowry Delaney Professor of political science Fr. Sean McGraw discusses his first book to an audience in Dublin, Ireland.“In 2010 and 2012, I did parliamentary surveys where I interviewed nearly two-thirds of the Irish parliament. So I’ve been kind of building on my initial research since back in 2006, so it’s been a long time coming. It feels good to actually have it done.”The book also launched in the United States last Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day, at an event on Notre Dame’s campus that featured former Irish President and current Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies visiting fellow Mary McAleese.Thursday’s event brought together important figures in Irish politics and society, including Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland Charles John Brown, who received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, Irish businessman Fergal Naughton, who serves on the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and current and former Irish legislators and members of government.McGraw encountered many of these politicians during the course of his research and said his experiences working on the book showed him the hard working reality of Irish political life.“The politicians [in Ireland] take a bad wrap, I think, as politicians do in many places, but they are really hard working, and they’re almost hyper representative in responding to the needs of their constituents, maybe to a fault,” he said. “But it was pretty remarkable to see how hard they work and literally knock on doors with them and go into peoples’ homes with them and to see how responsive they are.”Some of these politicians who read earlier drafts of McGraw’s book have given him positive reviews, he said.“Thankfully, the few politicians who have read it already in earlier drafts have given me good feedback,” McGraw said. “Mary McAleese … used the image that it was as if I gave her my hand and walked her through a period of her life that she lived through and showed her things that she hadn’t seen before, which was a great compliment because in some ways, I’m an outsider, so to be able to have them say that you’re an insider is really a great honor.”McGraw said his research for the book led to several basic conclusions “about how major political parties adapt to huge socioeconomic change.”“I think the main thing that’s different in my approach than in many others is that I try to look at multiple dimensions and I look at competition over time,” he said. “So a lot of studies look at one election and make a lot of that, and my point is actually you have to look at how parties adapt over a series of elections, and that’s really what matters.“The other thing is I come up with this idea of what I call ‘displacing issues.’ In Ireland they have referenda and all kinds of other institutional bodies that deal with issues that I think in some ways some people look at as a bad thing because they feel like politicians are punting. But in some ways it reduces tension and creates consensus, and that’s not such a bad thing, especially if you look at what we’re experiencing in the U.S. or other places where there’s such intense polarization.”In his remarks at the event, McGraw thanked the politicians and academics he worked with throughout his research, and also the friends who he said have helped make Ireland his home.“One of the first times I came to Ireland, I heard the phrase, ‘Home is the place you always have to go back to and they always have to take you,’ and for me, that’s the way I think about Ireland … that it’s my home.” McGraw said. “And even though for many people I encounter, I am just one of these yanks and I’m an outsider, in some ways, my time over the last really 20 years of coming to Ireland has been one of shifting from, hopefully, being an outsider to one of being an insider.”In an interview before the event, McGraw, who said he hopes his second book will focus on “the collapse of the institutional Church in Irish society,” also expressed his gratitude to the Notre Dame undergraduate students who have worked with him over the course of his research for the book.“I’ve been very fortunate to have students working with me over the last five years,” he said. “When I was here as a doctoral student, I had students who were at the Trinity and [University College Dublin] program who literally helped me look through newspapers and went to elections with me. One of the exciting to me all along is that Notre Dame undergrads have been hugely helpful to me in my research, and that’s also made it more fun.”Tags: Dublin, Fr. Sean McGraw, How Parties Win: Shaping the Irish Political Arena, Ireland, Irish Politics, political sciencelast_img read more

Continue Reading

Carroll, Badin Hall to host first annual Lakeside Music Festival

first_imgThis Saturday at 1 p.m., Carroll and Badin Halls are hosting Carroll Lakeside Music Festival, an event that will showcase various musical student acts from across campus. This outdoor festival will also consist of giveaways, games and food.Mary Howard, sophomore and resident of Badin Hall, helped organize this annual event. She said Carroll’s lakeside location, with its rivaled view of the dome, is perfect for this musical event.“[Lakeside] is the inaugural concert on Carroll’s lawn featuring student bands, including the Undertones, food, free giveaways from Southern Tide, Kind, Bobble and more — and outdoor lawn games,” Howard said.Howard said Carroll has been planning this event since last year. Badin got involved at the end of last semester and has had weekly meetings about the event since the end of January. Several of the student groups performing at the event are The Undertones, Frances Luke Accord, Nick Lindstrom, Be Goode, Erin Klaus, DJ Jhin and The Jersey Chasers, Howard said.“The most challenging part of the event has been building the hype of the event and making our name for ourselves since it is our first year,” she said.Howard said the collaboration between Badin and Carroll has been key to making the event possible. The two dorms have participated in regular meetings together and have had residents from both dorms involved in planning the logistics of the festival.“Our planning committee has split into many teams, including music, social media, apparel and grounds so everyone can take responsibility for the event, and everyone has contributed and put so much work into it,” Howard said.According to the event’s Facebook group, all proceeds from the event benefit the Boys and Girls Club of St. Joseph County, which has the mission of creating a safe space to help 1,500 children reach their full potential while having fun, according to its website.“The GRC has provided funding for us, so with the motto of the GRC and the Boys and Girls Club in mind we are hoping to provide a great place for all students to come together and enjoy themselves and each other’s company,” Howard said.Tyler Belin, freshman and resident of Carroll Hall, said there are several highly anticipated acts that are performing and he thinks the event is a great opportunity for the Notre Dame community to come together.“It’s going to be a great time for a great cause,” Belin said. “It’s a cool chance to see all the student talent we have here at Notre Dame.”Howard said students should grab their blankets, sunglasses and lakeside tanks and soak up the rare South Bend sun while enjoying the music talent of their peers.“I hope in the coming years we are seen as a sister to the Fisher Regatta — we kick off Antostal on one side of the lake and they close it out on the other,” Howard said. “Pray for sunshine with us, and it is going to be a really fun day as the semester starts to come to a close.”Tags: badin hall, Carroll Hall, lakeside music festivallast_img read more

Continue Reading

Robinson delivers State of the Student Union address to Senate

first_imgOn Wednesday night, student senate met for the final time this academic year to hear the State of the Student Union address from student body president Corey Robinson and to discuss the outgoing administration’s spring report to the Board of Trustees.Robinson’s State of the Student Union address focused on three main pillars of the Robinson-Blais administration: leadership, partnering with the city of South Bend and service.“As students we must lead one another in an effort to make our University a national leader that represents the core values and beliefs that we hold,” Robinson said. “The best leadership that I have seen comes from a place of servanthood. Servant leadership allows you to be able to set an example for your fellow Senate members, for your teammates, for your classmates by showing them that you are not afraid to put yourself out there and make a sacrifice for the greater good.”Robinson said it is important to connect students and administrators with South Bend and its residents.“The University prides itself on a strong Notre Dame family, and truly the Notre Dame experience is defined by the tenacity and passion of its students and alumni,” he said. “We believe that this feeling of community necessarily extends to our neighbor, South Bend.“In the past, we have had rather strained relationships with South Bend,” Robinson said. “ … So we are going to strengthen the bond between South Bend and Notre Dame through open communication and mutual participation.”Robinson referred to the Center of Social Concerns and Riverlights Music Festival as examples of a partnerships created to open South Bend up to students.“Service is a key component of what it means to belong to the Notre Dame community,” he said. “ … We view our education as preparation for our lives, geared towards serving others.”Robinson said, ultimately, he hopes student government will be able to effectively use its resources and support from the administration to ignite change.Next, former student body president Bryan Ricketts, former student body vice president Nidia Ruelas and former chief of staff Sibonay Shewit presented the the report they prepared for the Board of Trustees.Each semester, the student body president, student body vice president and chief of staff present a report to the Board of Trustees, regarding a prevalent issue on campus. According to Blais, the outgoing administration focused diversity and inclusion in the report.Ruelas first discussed the campus climate toward diversity and inclusion, citing three trends noticed throughout the development of the Moreau First Year Experience course — lack of community on campus, lack of readiness to have controversial conversations and lack of transparency of institutionalized efforts towards diversity and inclusion.She said the course was built to help students build relationships to make difficult discussions easier to have.Shewit addressed the current hiring criteria for faculty, none of which directly address diversity and inclusion.“With the way they stand, none of these five criteria address diversity, and we all feel this is important … not only to increase diversity in these hirings, or to show the University’s commitment to diversity, but also to ensure that diversity and competency relations are being taken into consideration for these hiring decisions,” she said.Ricketts addressed the lack of collaboration between student-led and administrative initiatives, which he said impedes the process of achieving the groups’ goals. Ricketts proceeded to discuss five recommendations the report offers.Ricketts said the first and second recommendations involve adding student members to the President’s Oversight Committee on diversity and inclusion and appointing Diversity Council as a student subcommittee to this group.The third recommendation is to find a common definition of diversity on campus, according to Shewit.The fourth recommendation is to re-invigorate the vision of diversity at Notre Dame as described in the University Statement, Ruelas said, while the fifth recommendation deals with the development of a plan to demonstrate diversity as a Notre Dame value.Afterwards, Senate approved a new vice president of judicial council for elections, sophomore Matthew Ross, and vice president judicial council for peer advocacy, sophomore Phil Pickering.News Editor Katie Galioto contributed to this report.Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, Senate, Smashburger, Spring Board report, State of the Student Union, student senatelast_img read more

Continue Reading

Couples share ‘Ring by Spring’ stories

first_imgDominique DeMoe Spring has sprung at Notre Dame — in more ways than one. March 5, the day engaged students and alumni can reserve the Basilica of the Sacred Heart for their 2019 wedding dates, has come and gone in glorious Irish fashion. It is no secret that the population of lovebirds rivals that of our squirrels on campus, and this year has brought in a new wave of couples keeping the spirit of “ring by spring” alive and well.Here are just a few profiles of the Notre Dame students preparing to say “I do” and “yes to the dress” to their chain and ball by fall.A pair with chemistry and physics: Lizett Pink and Andrew SpitzerSeniors Lizett Pink and Andrew Spitzer have been inseparable since meeting in their physics lab freshman year. They started out as best friends, as Lizett recalls.  “First semester sophomore year at formal, Andrew was slightly intoxicated and started telling random people that we were getting married,” she said. “We were not dating at the time. So after he would say it, I would vehemently tell people that that was absolutely not happening.”After a spontaneous kiss from Andrew during their sophomore year, the pair became a couple. Since, they’ve created memories in South Bend together with a “date night jar” full of popsicle sticks with activities and restaurants written on them.When asked how he proposed, Andrew said, “Think of the most cliche Notre Dame proposal ever.”After getting down on one knee at the grotto, Lizett said yes. The couple will marry next summer at the Basilica and move to Chicago, where Andrew will attend law school at Northwestern University to become a patent lawyer and Lizett will begin a consulting career at West Monroe Partners.Highschool “Hun-nies”: Cam Kormylo and Maddy McTernanJuniors Cam Kormylo and Maddy McTernan met on the very first day of high school, and will be returning to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to be the third generation of Cam’s family to get married in their church back home.“He may not believe me, but I knew there was something special about him the moment I saw him,” Maddy said. Cam said he also knew Maddy was the one early on, when he discovered that she found the movie “Step Brothers” funny.When asked if they had nicknames for each other, Maddy said one developed through their text messages.“I used to call him Attila the Hun because every time I sent a text message calling him ‘hun,’ it would auto-correct to ‘Hun,’” she said.Cam proposed to Maddy last August during a trip to South Haven, Michigan, with another couple. He asked their friends to suggest it as a guise for Cam to plan the entire trip. After a day of “kayaking, going on long walks and eating amazing food,” Cam got down on one knee at the end of the pier as the sun set and Maddy said yes in a tear-filled moment of joy.At 16 years old, Cam told Maddy that he wanted to marry her and in June 2019 — a month after Cam graduates from Notre Dame and Maddy from Saint Mary’s — he will get his wish.My John Sun and star: Hanna Kreiner and John SunSeniors Hannah Kreiner and John Sun have come a long way since meeting through a mutual friend freshman year. They began dating sophomore year after studying together for their Organic Chemistry II class, and it quickly became apparent that their relationship would last.“I knew she was the one around two months in,” John said. “Each snowflake took its time falling, coasting downwards slowly in wavy paths, like you see in the Christmas movies. We were sitting in my room and I turned on Christmas music. It’s really cheesy, but I felt a deep sense of warmth and belonging that I had never felt before in my life. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be with her forever.”John asked Hannah to be his wife with a heartfelt Christmas Day proposal.“After the whole family was done opening presents, he brought this huge present over to me and told me he actually had one more gift,” Hannah said. “Inside the box was a series of little presents that represented our relationship — most of them were inside jokes. The last one was the ring. It was really special because my parents and little sister were able to be there when he proposed.”The pair will be married June 5 at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas — close to Hannah’s hometown of Houston. After a year working in Houston, they will relocate for John to attend medical school.Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, engagements, marriage, Ring by Springlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Senate discusses clear bag policy, NDtoGo

first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate convened for its first official meeting of the year Monday night in the LaFortune Ballroom. During the meeting, members of the senate briefly discussed campus dining’s newest innovation — NDtoGo, an app that will allow students to order their food in advance and pick it up at various locations around campus. Senators also examined the new clear bag policy for events in Notre Dame stadium, which will be implemented starting this Saturday at the Notre Dame-Michigan game. NDtoGo will utilize an app called Tapingo, allowing students to place their orders ahead of time at main locations of campus restaurants like Starbucks and Smashburger, Briana Tucker, student government chief of staff, said. Students who order using the app will also be able to track their order. Tucker said NDtoGo may eventually offer delivery services as well. The senate was also briefed on the new clear bag guidelines for Notre Dame stadium events. Mike Seamon, vice president of campus safety and event management, and Keri Kei Shibata, chief of the Notre Dame Security Police Department, outlined the policy. Seamon cited the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing as the beginning of a series of additional safety procedures that would eventually lead to the clear bag policy. “[We], like many other institutions across the country, both professional and collegiate and university sports, decided that we needed to do something,” Seamon said. After the Marathon bombing, Notre Dame prohibited large bags and duffel bags from stadium events. In addition, security officers began examining all bags upon entry. Seamon said this policy caused much controversy among game attendees about what size and styles of bags were acceptable. Notre Dame then decided to follow the lead of many other universities and professional sports teams and implement the clear bag policy.Seamon then detailed the exact criterion that any bag must meet to be admitted into the stadium.“A bag has to be clear and it cannot be bigger than 12 by 12 by 6 inches,” Seamon said.Clear bags will still be inspected upon entry into the stadium, Seamon said. Purses or large wallets with dimensions no bigger than 4.5 by 6.5 inches will also be allowed in, and don’t necessarily need to be clear. Shibata added that the clear bag policy will also increase efficiency because the security guards will be able to check the contents of people’s bags more quickly and thoroughly. The presenters then opened up the floor for questions from senators.One senator asked if the “clear” applied to red or green see-through plastic or even semi-clear frosted bags. Seamon and Shibata clarified that the bag must be completely clear to be allowed into the stadium.Another senator broached the question of whether the clear bag policy would apply to the Duncan Student Center, O’Neill Family Hall, and the other buildings that attach to the stadium on game days. Seamon responded by saying that as of midnight on a game or event day, the entire stadium, including its adjacent attached buildings, becomes a heightened zone of security. The entire complex, including O’Neill, Duncan, and Corbett Halls are all closed for a “variety of police sweeps,” Seamon said. Therefore, all of these buildings will be closed until two hours after the game.Tags: clear bag policy, NDSP, security, student senatelast_img read more

Continue Reading