Month: January 2021

Month: January 2021

first_imgUniversity President Fr. John Jenkins took responsibility for the death of junior Declan Sullivan in a Friday afternoon e-mail to the University community. “We are conducting an investigation and we must be careful not to pre-judge its results, but I will say this: Declan Sullivan was entrusted to our care, and we failed to keep him safe,” Jenkins said in the e-mail. “We at Notre Dame — and ultimately I, as President — are responsible. Words cannot express our sorrow to the Sullivan family and to all involved.” Sullivan, a videographer for the football team, died Oct. 27 after the hydraulic scissor lift from which he was filming football practice fell. Jenkins’ e-mail also announced the appointment of Peter Likins, former University of Arizona president, to lead an external review of the Notre Dame’s investigation into Sullivan’s death. Likins is also former president of Lehigh University, according to a University press release issued Friday. In addition to other roles in higher education, he has served as provost at Columbia University, where he was a professor and dean at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Jenkins did not provide a timeline for the investigation, but said the University would make the results public when they became available. “Investigations and external reviews such as this take time, but I assure you that, when complete, we will issue a public report on the outcome, including information on the events of the afternoon of Oct. 27, any institutional ramifications and recommendations for safety policies in the future,” Jenkins said. Jenkins also expressed support for Head Football Coach Brian Kelly, in reaction to what he called “unfounded and unfair commentary and speculation.” “Coach Kelly was hired not only because of his football expertise, but because we believed his character and values accord with the highest standards of Notre Dame,” Jenkins said. “All we have seen since he came to Notre Dame, and everything we have learned in our investigation to date, have confirmed that belief. For those reasons I am confident that Coach Kelly has a bright future leading our football program.” Finally, the e-mail thanked Notre Dame students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents for concern and prayers following Sullivan’s death. “At the darkest moments, the love, and care, and faith of the Notre Dame family shines most brightly,” he said.last_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgThe past few months brought major stepping-stones toward second-year graduate student Betsy Cornwell’s dream of becoming a published author. Cornwell, who is seeking her master’s degree in creative writing, recently sold two children’s novels, “Tides” and “Mechanica,” to Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. “I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer,” Cornwell said. “When I was little, I was pretty shy and introverted, and I read books all the time and it was really important to me. Now I like the idea of writing books for kids who really rely on books the same way that I did.” Cornwell said she sent cover letters to literary agents during the 2010-2011 school year and was rejected many times. She said she finally received an offer the same day she moved to New York City last summer to work as an intern with The Park Literary Group. Cornwell said her agent helped her revise “Tides” and sent the manuscript to several publishing houses. “It took about three months after that to get the deal,” she said. “That was pretty quick, I felt. Some people it takes years to get an agent. I feel really, really, really lucky.” “Tides” takes place on the Isles of Shoals, situated off the northeastern coast of the United States, Cornwell said. The novel builds upon the Irish myth of selkies, which are said to live as seals in the sea and as humans on land. “I always really liked that fairy tale when I was growing up,” Cornwell said. “The summer before I wrote my first draft, I worked on a steamship in Portsmouth Harbor … I came to know really well these little islands off the coasts of New Hampshire called the Isles of Shoals.” Cornwell said she became serious about her goal when she participated in National Novel Writing Month while working at “Teen Ink,” a teen literary magazine. “You write a rough draft of a novel in a month [during National Novel Writing Month],” Cornwell said. “So I tried that during my junior year of college just to see if I could, and what I got to in the end of it was the first draft of “Tides” … I had put all that work into it at that point and I wanted to be committed to it.” Cornwell said “Mechanica” is a “steampunk retelling of Cinderella.” “My best friend is a set designer for theater and she had sort of stumbled upon this aesthetic movement called steampunk, which is this kind of neo-Victorian science fiction … and I thought that was really neat,” she said. “I was just going to write a short story, but it kept getting longer, so now it’s going to be a book.” Cornwell said she would like to work in different genres in the future and plans to write a graphic novel. While she said it is difficult to finish the first draft, she enjoys receiving feedback from readers. “My favorite thing so far has been hearing from people who have read the book and have gotten out of it what I hoped they would get out of it,” she said. “I really do like the idea that writing and reading is about connecting with someone else.” Writing frequently is the best way to be a successful author, Cornwell said. “It’s really easy to convince yourself that you’re not a good writer or it’s not going to work … but it really comes down to … trying to get a little bit done every day and to just keep trying because it seems like this big thing, but like any sort of big goal, you have to do it a little at a time,” she said. “It’s just like writing those 1,000 words every day.” Cornwell said she plans to live in Ireland while she does research for “Compass,” the intended sequel to “Tides.” Eventually, she would like to move to New York City and pursue a career as an author. “I say writing is really hard, and it is, and a lot of times it’s not an easy, pleasant thing to do, but it was really compelling to me, so once I started, I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Cornwell said. “Tides” is tentatively slated for release in the spring of 2013 and “Mechanica” for the spring of 2014.last_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgThe Office of Campus Ministry cancelled the Notre Dame Encounter (NDE) retreat last semester in an effort to better serve the spiritual needs of students, associate director of undergraduate ministry Tami Schmitz said. “We wanted to give students the best possible retreat experience, and the NDE seemed to be missing the mark,” she said. At the time of the inception of NDE, Schmitz said the retreat was one of few offered on campus. But in the years since, Campus Ministry has expanded its retreat options, which now include the Freshman Retreat, Sophomore Roadtrip, individual hall retreats and the Senior Retreat. As a result of the wider selection, Schmitz said the level of interest in NDE, formerly the office’s flagship retreat, has declined. “Our students are still faith-filled and interested in spending time with God and exploring discernment,” she said. “We just need to respond to what the students desire in a retreat experience.” The retreat’s length also factored into the decision to cancel it, Schmitz said. NDE lasted for two nights, unlike some of the newer retreats. “It is becoming more and more difficult for students to ‘give up’ an entire weekend,” Schmitz said. “We may have to look at doing one overnight or a day or an evening of reflection instead of the full weekend.” But junior Cindy Stanley, a previous participant in NDE, said the weekend was well worth it. “The retreat provided me with the perseverance to power through the rest of an academically difficult sophomore year,” she said. “I’m heartbroken for my friends who wanted to attend the retreat this year but will not have the chance.” Although some students like Stanley expressed disappointment in the cancellation, Schmitz said she is hopeful the end of NDE will allow Campus Ministry to further develop engaging spiritual experiences. Campus Ministry has already developed a new retreat titled “A Weekend with the Word,” she said. “The format consists of having a ‘retreat master’ give a series of talks on a particular faith topic,” Schmitz said. Fr. Joe Corpora will lead one of these retreats focusing on the parables from April 12-14. Schmitz said the cancellation of NDE marks the beginning of an exciting time when retreats are becoming more numerous and tailored to the spiritual desires of students. Campus Ministry’s mission must continually adapt to these needs, she said. “We need to understand their current spiritual needs and stay relevant so that we can respond to these needs in meaningful and effective ways,” Schmitz said.last_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgToday marks the beginning of International Education Week, a nation-wide initiative established to promote international exchange of customs and cultures, McKenna Pencak, assistant director of communications and outreach for International Student Services and Activities (ISSA), said. Pencak said the week will be celebrated on campus through Nov. 17. “International Education Week is a national event coordinated by the US Department of State and the US Department of Education to celebrate and promote international education and global exchange between the United States and other countries,” Pencak said.  She said ISSA sponsors International Education Week at Notre Dame every year. “This year, there are thirty-five events going on over the course of the week,” Pencak said. “There’s a wide array of events ranging from theater performances and lectures to food tastings and book signings.” The week’s signature event is the International Taste of South Bend, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the LaFortune Ballroom, Pencak said. Free and open to the Notre Dame community, she said the event includes a sampling of international cuisine from 12 local ethnic restaurants, Pencak said. Pencak said this particular event has been successful in years past. “Last year, we had about 400 people attend the event,” Pencak said. “It’s always a lot of fun and a great way to spread cultural awareness and learn about restaurant offerings in the community.”  Timothy Roemer, a former U.S. Congressman and Ambassador to India, will be among the variety of guest speakers who will take part in the week’s events, Pencak said. Roemer will speak in the Mendoza College of Business Jordan Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m.In addition to Roemer’s lecture, Pencak said student government is joining forces with Fostering Internationalism at Notre Dame (FIND) to host a student discussion with faculty members focusing on how students can integrate their voice into the University’s role as an international research institution.   “This event, in particular, will be great for students to participate in,” said Pencak. “FIND is a brand new organization on campus and the discussion will be a great way for students to get involved in the conversation about internationalism at Notre Dame.” The Brazilian Club, the Irish Club, the Muslim Students Association, the Asian American Association and the Indian Association of Notre Dame are among the student groups that will be hosting events on campus in celebration of international education week, said Pencak. “There’s a variety of events for a variety of different people. That’s the great part about the schedule this year,” Pencak said. International Education week is a wonderful celebration of different countries and cultures and a great way to learn about Notre Dame’s initiatives and programs throughout the world.” For a complete listing of the events, visit issa.nd.edu Contact Cristina Sanchez at [email protected]last_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgTo mark the passage of the last home game of the 2013 Irish football season Saturday, Notre Dame fans celebrated in a variety of ways. One group of students used the game as a venue to express their opposition to the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” The Generation Opportunity tailgate, which occupied six tailgate spots in the JACC lot, said they wanted to inform young people of the other options available to them besides participation in the federal health care exchange established by the new law. The Washington, D. C.-based group Generation Opportunity is described on the group’s website as “a free-thinking, liberty-loving, national organization of young people promoting the best of Being American: opportunity, creativity and freedom.” The tailgate Saturday was not the group’s first event -according to a Nov. 12 article in the Huffington Post, the group previously partnered with University of Miami College Republicans to put on a tailgate at the Virginia Tech-Miami game on Nov. 9. Junior Mark Gianfalla, president of College Republicans, attended the tailgate event. He said the tailgate attracted a sizable crowd. “People of wide variety of ages, from between the ages of 15 to 50 or so, attended the tailgate,” Gianfalla said. “Alumni, students and non-ND folks, were there as well.  Throughout the course of the day, I would say 200 people came by.” At Saturday’s tailgate, Gianfalla said tables were set up with refreshments, one table with 70 pizzas, and another offering Opt Out T-shirts, sunglasses and other merchandise. Gianfalla said the tailgate introduced Generation Opportunity’s ‘Opt Out’ campaign to Notre Dame’s campus, a program that aims to reach young people deciding whether or not to purchase health care plans through the federal health care exchange. “We recognize better options are available outside the exchanges, so we’re overwhelmingly choosing to Opt Out and buy insurance that better meet our needs and budgets,” David Pasch said in a Generation Opportunity internet article. Gianfalla said the tailgate was designed as an informational event, which worked to alert youth of the benefits of searching the private sector for insurance plans. Obamacare is not the ideal option for those in need of insurance at a young age and that the private sector offers much more appealing insurance plans for their age group, he said. “I think Notre Dame was a perfect location for such an event as a college campus where the outspoken liberal minority of the student body often overshadows the conservative majority, and where the student body needs to know that conservative values and ideals are just as popular with the youth of this country as the ‘popular’ liberal ones,” Gianfalla said. Gianfalla said he believes conservative values – like those supported by groups like Generation Opportunity – sway and will continue to influence young voters. “A little known fact is that Chris Christie won 49 percent of the youth vote in his recent gubernatorial election, and [Ken] Cuccinelli won the vote of 18-to 24-year-olds in his recent Virginia race,” Gianfalla said. “The fact that young people are increasingly turning to conservative politics to ensure their best interest is even more apparent as the Obamacare disaster moves forward.” Gianfalla said he believes Generation Opportunity plans to continue partnering with groups at other colleges to develop similar events.   Contact Charlie Ducey at [email protected]last_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgBen Reuler, executive director of LIFT-Chicago, lectured on the non-profit organization’s work helping people to escape poverty Wednesday in Geddes Hall. Reuler, a licensed social worker, leads the Regional Advisory Board at LIFT-Chicago and directly supervises the program team as well as the development and communication team. Yale University students Kirsten Lodal and Brian Kreiter founded LIFT in 1998. Lodal and Kreiter wanted to establish a neighborhood center where families could receive assistance from trained volunteers in their searches for jobs, housing and public benefits. Sixteen years later, LIFT has spread across the country with 100,000 members in six major cities all with the goal of building personal, social and financial foundations that people need to get ahead. According to LIFT’s pamphlet, “The challenge is to systematically listen to the people you serve and design solutions around what they tell you they need. At LIFT, we call this a human-centered approach to social change.”“Every one of us experiences shaky ground moments during life,” Reuler said. “We all need the same thing: support. For many people, this support comes from LIFT.” Reuler specifically described the struggles of Angela Allen, a former beneficiary of LIFT. Allen was experiencing a major “shaky ground moment” when she divorced, received a breast cancer diagnosis, and lost her job. Reuler said LIFT supported Allen’s medical bills, and today, she is healthy, employed and an active member in the community. Reuler said there were three important goals to address when working to eradicate poverty today. Society needs to change the narrative of poverty in this country, disrupt the status quo and hit for singles because the home runs will come, he said.“We all have the power to inspire change and we certainly all have the power to lift,” he said. Tags: LIFT, povertylast_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgTwo separate Notre Dame students were the victims of similar robberies Tuesday evening, according to an email Thursday from Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) sergeant Tracy Skibins.The email stated both robberies occurred off campus, one near 1200 N. Eddy Street and the other “in the 1000 block of N. Notre Dame Ave.”In both incidents, a suspect approached the victim and hit the victim in the face.“Both victims had their cell phone taken,” the email stated. “In one of the incidents the suspect asked the victim for the time before striking the victim in the face. In the other incident the suspect also exchanged words before assaulting the victim and stealing the phone.”According to the email, there were two suspects involved in each robbery. The email described the suspects in both cases as “young, 12-15 years of age, black male [and] 4’6”-5’ tall.”“One suspect had dreadlocks and the other suspect had short black hair,” the email stated. “One wore a red sweatshirt; the other one was wearing a gray sweatshirt. The suspects fled on foot in both incidents.”The email also referred to a separate report of “theft by deception,” in which a suspect impersonating a member of the police department approaches students and requests money in return for overlooking minor violations.“A separate investigation has revealed that a suspect may be approaching people on the edges of campus claiming to be working for a police department and threatening fines for violations like minor possession/consumption of alcohol,” the email stated. “The suspect then offers to overlook the violation if the victim will give the suspect a smaller amount of money.”The email asked students to contact NDSP if they have any information regarding the incidents.“If this has happened to you or someone you know, please contact NDSP at 574-631-5555,” the email stated. “Your information may help us stop the suspect from doing this to others.”Tags: NDSP, robbery, theftlast_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgHarper Cancer Research Institute will be sponsoring its annual chili cook-off to benefit undergraduate cancer research in Harper Hall’s multipurpose room Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.“It’s $10 that will get you unlimited tastes, and as I [have] said, when you leave you are not hungry,” Angela Cavalieri, who is heading the cook-off, said.The cook-off has boasted a number of diverse chilis in the past, from dessert chilis to cheesy chilis, according to Jenna Mrozinske, another one of the cook-off’s organizers.“One year, we had a faculty go to Wendy’s and get a huge tub of chili, and that was his entry,” Mrozinske said. “We were all like, ‘Wow this is so good,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve tasted this before,’ and then he revealed ‘Oh, I just went to Wendy’s.’”Cavalieri, who said she grew up in the Midwest with “one type of chili,” also said she remembers unusual chilis from past cook-offs.“We’ve had an Argentine chili — which if you know anything about Argentina, they’re famous for their beef,” she said. “That particular chili looked like a giant ball of shredded beef.“We had a chili with ghost peppers submitted by someone from Mexico City. He was kind of benevolent and let people know there were ghost peppers in that chili.”Last year, Smoke Free St. Joe, a local organization working to help smokers quit smoking, brought a particularly unusual chili to the cook-off, according to Cavalieri.“They brought a regular chili and what they called a ‘smoker’s chili’,” she said. “So one was a white chili and one was [representative] of somebody who smoked. I don’t know what they put in it. It was smoky.”Sometimes the cooks will bring special “secret” ingredients, and attendees will try to guess what they used.“We’ve had some secret ingredient chilis,” Cavalieri said. “Those are fun. Those are the ones where you taste it and you think, ‘That is delicious. What is that?’ and they disclose the secret ingredient.“People have used coffee, they’ve used chocolate — things you don’t normally think.”The event draws participants from both the South Bend and Notre Dame communities, from undergraduate students to children of faculty at the research institute.“We consistently have entries by the Notre Dame fire department,” Cavalieri said. “There’s just something about the fire department and chili makers that just go together. Firemen are known for making excellent chili, and we generally have a couple entries from them.”Though she said organizing the cook-off has not been too difficult, Mrozinske said finding the right type of sample cup for the event has been a challenge.“Trying to find the right cup to serve chili has been the most challenging thing,” Mrozinske said. “You wouldn’t think it, but … you don’t want it too big because then people pour too much of a sample, and then they run out quick … but then you have to keep the cup from melting. They melted one year because the chili was so hot.”Cavalieri said the organizers would like to attract more students to the cook-off.“The only logistical challenge, I would say, is that some people think that Harper Hall is next to Florida because we’re down here on the south side of [East] Angela [Boulevard],” Cavalieri said. “We’re over by Eddy Street, so some people think it’s so far to walk. That’s the only thing. We would like to see more students come down for it.”According to Mrozinske, the event not only helps raise money for researchers, but also allows the community to reflect on those who have been affected by cancer.“ … [It’s] kind of a way to get the Notre Dame community together to reflect on those who’ve been impacted by cancer and spread awareness,” she said.Tags: chili, cook-off, Harper Cancer Research Centerlast_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgStudent government is revamping the Political Brew initiative with a modern take: a regular podcast that will cover a wide range of issues to educate students and incite political engagement.The new initiative will begin Sunday with a live event at 2:30 p.m. in Andrews Auditorium in Geddes Hall that will be recorded for the pilot episode podcast and will be released in the near future. The event is open to all students to attend.Previously, the Political Brew initiative was a monthly event where students gathered to watch the political talk show “Meet the Press” and discuss current events, senior and student government director of community engagement and outreach Adam Moeller said. The Vidal-Devine administration started the program in 2015 to foster conversation between students with differing views. Moeller and the community engagement and 0utreach team have partnered with BridgeND — a campus organization with similar goals of bipartisan discourse — and ND Votes for the revised Political Brew initiative.“We were tasked by student government leadership to revamp it, bring it back and keep going with that mission to generate good, bipartisan discourse — issue-based discourse,” Moeller said.The group plans to record some parts of the podcasts live in addition to using some closed interviews.“We wanted to create more of a brand with it and reach a broader audience,” Moeller said. “There are so many events that happen on Notre Dame’s campus, and we know that people — even if they are interested — can’t always make the time commitment to get there, so that’s why we thought a podcast would be good.”For the pilot episode, which will center around the topic of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and immigration, a Notre Dame DACA student will talk about her own personal experience. For the second half of the podcast, Moeller said, the group will interview prominent immigration lawyer Reaz Jafri. He said the podcast as a whole will give both a human and legal perspective on the issue from an objective stance, but will give students all of the facts surrounding various issues.Sophomore Evan DaCosta, moderator of the podcasts, said he is hoping the popularity of the podcast increases as word of it spreads.“We’re trying to make it something that people can plug in whenever they have some time and listen to it,” DaCosta said. “We’re trying to get it out to a pretty big audience.”The episodes will center on political topics that relate to college students, Moeller said. The group felt DACA and immigration were prominent issues, DaCosta said, because they affect a number of Notre Dame students.“I hope that it becomes a long-term thing that has a large audience and that it’s something that continues to grow and will carry on past us,” DaCosta said. “Notre Dame is not as politically active of a school as other schools, so the whole thing is stoking political activism and getting people to talk about what they believe in and stand up for what they believe in, no matter what it is.”The second episode will cover free speech and political polarization on campus, Moeller said. Political Brew will interview Cass Sunstein, a legal scholar and administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs under President Obama, for the episode.“We are hoping if it’s high quality it can be a way for Notre Dame to engage on a more national level,” Moeller said. “For Notre Dame students to show that college students can think critically about these issues, but also that college students are very divided about these issues just like everyone else.”Some students tend to shy away from political engagement due to the negativity of politics and the perception that there is more focus on winning than actual progress and improvement for the country, Moeller said. The Political Brew podcasts, he said, will be a way to educate students about current issues and encourage them to become more engaged.“Why people should be more open to bipartisan, productive, issue-based discourse is that hopefully this is the way we want our politics to turn in the future,” Moeller said. “You can be a part of building a better country where we can talk and actually make things happen, and where we can respect every member of our broader national community.”Tags: Community Engagement and Outreach, Podcast, Political Brew, Student governmentlast_img read more


Month: January 2021

first_imgA two-semester, graded course sequence, the Moreau First Year Experience helps new students integrate their academic, co-curricular and residential experiences. This year’s class of first years recently completed their diversity and inclusion unit. However, the lesson plan appeared different from that of past years.Andrew Whittington, one of the co-directors of the Moreau program, said one great differences between this year and last year is all those involved in coordinating the course hoped to create a streamline for talking about inclusion and the value of diversity throughout the entire semester.“Regardless if our topics are explicitly on belonging at Notre Dame, or academic success or academic rigor, the spirit of inclusion is present in that conversation even if it is not specifically titled that,” Whittington said.Moreau advisers have been trained to use a dosing technique in which they are constantly introducing language, the Notre Dame community values and ways to engage in difficult conversations throughout the entire semester, so that when they move into more specific discussions, the topics are not entirely brand new to the first year students.Lauren Donahue, co-director of the Moreau program, explained her team has decided to take more of the micro lens to approaching diversity, which prompts students to conduct a deep introspection look into who they are, their identities and what is most salient for them.“This self-awareness enables them to be more open and to consider other identities and experiences, and how they differ from them[selves],” Donahoe said.In addition to starting at that micro level and talking about the students’ identities first, another change this year is when the course addressed implicit bias, which is usually taught in the spring semester. Donahue believes introducing topics early on, then revisiting them, allows the first years to have a more foundational, shared experience.“Last week’s lesson on diversity and inclusion has been really helpful in transitioning into a community that I am not used to,” first year Caroline Bender said. “It’s taught me a lot about how to live in a community with so much diversity and how to grow in this community.”She said her Moreau class focused on talking about different strategies, like having civil discussions with people who may not share similar beliefs or are from different backgrounds.Bender said one thing her class really emphasized was civil discourse and how to have respectful conversations to foster growth not division.Bender and her classmates were provided various strategies on how to speak with people from different backgrounds in a respectful manner. She learned conversation tips she had not previously considered.“I think it really helps to have these strategies, so that we are able to use them in everyday conversations,” Bender said.First year Eleanor Rey also spoke highly of last week’s course material, saying it was different, but eye opening.Rey said her professor placed an emphasis on microaggressions, teaching what they are and how people tend to frequently overlook them.“I realized how much I use microaggressions in daily life and how easy it is to stop using them, and to use a different type of language if you are curious about someone else’s culture,” Rey explained. “By doing this, you avoid hurting someone else’s feelings and invite community-building, instead of breaking down another with microaggressions, which most of the time are made without ill intentions.”While the topic of diversity and inclusion can be a sensitive subject for some students to speak about, Rey and Bender said their Moreau advisers had done a great job in making their discussions comfortable for them.Rey said her Moreau teacher has made it easy for her and her classmates to talk in class. She said he always speaks first after posing a question to the class, making the students feel comfortable in what can be a very nerve-racking period for the new college students.“We are really open in our Moreau class. We talk about everything and anything,” Rey said. “My adviser is the best. I find it extremely easy to share my thoughts with the class, and I think they feel the same way.”Tags: Diversity, first years, inclusion, moreaulast_img read more


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