Student starts WWFF chapter

first_imgIn order to provide international relief for malnutrition while offering a local twist, Saint Mary’s junior Meredith Rizzo opened a College chapter of the Will Work For Food (WWFF) organization. According to Rizzo, the organization, which was co-founded by Steven Weinberg and Josh Cohen of the University of Michigan in 2007, is a student-run non-profit which aims to fight malnutrition overseas by volunteering in the local community. “It is an organization that combines local community service with international relief,” she said. “So it kind of comes from the idea of a Dance Marathon or a Relay For Life where people get sponsors for, in that case, dancing or walking around, but we want to make the impact twice as big and so we do local volunteer hours out in the community and then find sponsors for that work.” The money raised from sponsorship is donated to Doctors Without Borders to buy nutritional supplements for malnourished children, Rizzo said. “It’s specifically this supplement called Plumpy’nut, and it’s kind of like a peanut butter type of material that has all these supplements in it,” she said. Since 2007, Rizzo said WWFF has raised more than $50,000 to assist malnutrition. In addition, the organization has been sanctioned by the Clinton Global Initiatives for Universities in 2008 and 2009 and was an International Semi-Finalist in the 2009 Dell Social Innovation Competition. The slogan for the campaign, Rizzo said, is “volunteering locally to make a difference globally.” Rizzo said she wanted to open a Saint Mary’s chapter in order to draw awareness to the issue of malnutrition while still assisting the local community. “Child malnutrition has been nicknamed the silent killer because a lot of people are unaware of it and it’s overshadowed by other crises,” she said. “I think this is a great way to take the things that girls are already doing in our community to make that impact a global impact.” According to Rizzo, each month the Saint Mary’s chapter will hold a work effort. Each work effort will allow members of the College community to collectively volunteer. “I’m the chapter representative for the Saint Mary’s community, and anybody is welcome to be involved,” she said. Rizzo said the first work effort will be held Nov. 7. According to Rizzo the November project will allow students to go door to door to collect canned goods for an area food pantry. Additionally, Rizzo said plans are underway for a variety of other work efforts including making cards for soldiers and helping at a local animal shelter. WWFF has a goal of collecting $4,000 this academic year, and Rizzo believes that the chapter has the capability to achieve it. “The headquarters team at the University of Michigan set us a goal of $4,000 for the year, which is the same goal set for every other university, for Michigan State, for Ohio State, for everywhere,” she said. “I think we’re completely capable of it. I realize we’re a much smaller school, but I kind of like the challenge and I think we can do it. According to Rizzo, students from Saint Mary’s College, the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College, as well as members of the surrounding community, are invited to join in the cause.last_img read more

Read More

Seniors DART for last time

first_img However, many other seniors find the academic burden is replaced by the weight of finding a job or applying to graduate school. Sullivan said her final semester would only be less stressful in terms of academics. Freshman Catherine O’Donnell said she wasn’t very worried about registering and she doesn’t believe she will encounter much trouble getting into the necessary classes. Many freshmen arranged for individual meetings with their advisors in the weeks leading up to registration. “I don’t know if we’re having trouble getting classes that we need to graduate,” Sullivan said. “But I know some people are having trouble getting the classes they wanted.” Registration can be a stressful experience for students of all years, but many freshman said they don’t have too many concerns. “There are more than enough classes I’m interested in, so if I don’t get my top choices I’ll be fine,” Kokotajlo said. “[My DART time] is on the second day, but it’s early in the morning, so I suppose that’s average.” Other students, however, decided to forgo taking the classes they wanted in order to save money. Choosing to become a part-time student for the final semester, such as Coldren did, saved seniors money on their tuition. Monday and Tuesday marked that last DART registration period for the Notre Dame’s Class of 2011. “How much time the applications take depends on where I could be traveling. It might be twice a month but hopefully not that much,” Coldren said. “Most people though, apply between 14 and 16.” Coldren said she wished she could stay as a full-time student. “Part-time students pay by credit, and to be a part-time student, you need under 12 [credits]. I’ll be taking eight next semester,” she said. “I’m still technically a Notre Dame student, even though I’ll be taking less classes.” While the senior class DARTed for the final time, the freshman class just began to register on their own and many have found the registration process less confusing than they originally thought. “I think that the last semester for seniors is more laid back,” Coldren said. “There’s a lot less to do.”center_img For Coldren, this academic time will be replaced by job and graduate university applications. Coldren said while taking her final pairs of classes and labs, she applied to 16 different schools. Senior Elaine Coldren said she did not face much competition for classes for her upper-level science classes. “I spoke with my advisor,” freshman Daniel Kokotajlo said. “We mostly talked about politics and my philosophy major.” “I mean, no one wants to end up with a bum schedule, but it should end up all right,” she said. “There are some [classes] that I need for major requirements, but they’re still the really big lecture classes.” “I like to learn so I would enjoy getting to take the extra elective classes,” she said. “But in terms of finances, it’s cheaper for my family if I’m part-time.” Some seniors worried about getting into the classes they needed in order to meet graduation requirements, while others looked for fun electives to fill their last semester at Notre Dame. The majority, though, did not find registering for requirements difficult. After one semester at Notre Dame, O’Donnell said she felt she was well-prepared to register for the Spring. “You have a better handle on classes,” she said. “Plus, you realize just how much you don’t want 8:30 classes.” Another senior, Caitlin Sullivan, said it was her desired classes, rather than the required classes, that were hard for her to get. In general, seniors reported feeling less stressed academically about their last semester.last_img read more

Read More

Telhami explores Arab identity

first_imgIn the latest installment of the “Ten Years Hence” speaker series, which asks speakers to analyze an issue’s effect on business and politics in the next decade, Professor Shibley Telhami from the University of Maryland discussed the shift in Arab identity.The lecture, titled “The World Through Arab Eyes,” took place Friday at the Mendoza College of Business.Telhami said his interest in Arab identity began even before the chain of protests and civil unrest in Middle Eastern countries, including Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.“What got me interested was not so much the uprisings but the discourses that preceeded them,” Telhami said.According to Telhami, the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords were among those critical discourses. More recently, he said he has focused on discourses regarding public opinion in the Middle East.“In all cases I studied, rulers behaved as if public opinion mattered even when they could act against the public through autocratic regimes,” Telhami said.To understand the importance of public opinion in the Arab world, Telhami said he utilized reliable research methods over a broad range of countries.“I set out to have 10 years of public opinion polling in six Arab countries to understand how media habits have changed notions of identity and public opinion in the Arab world,” Telhami said.Telhami said his survey asked citizens of six countries to rank the importance of three identifying traits: their nationality, their religious affiliation and their ethnicity.“Overall, the trend was a decline in affiliation with the state, an increase in identification with Islam and a robust identification with Arab ethnicity,” Telhami said. “In other words, transnational identity overtook national identity.“If one identifies as Arab, one feels affiliated with people from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, and if one identifies as Muslim, one may draw connections with people as far away as Malaysia.”Telhami said the information revolution accounts for much of the change in identity. In particular, he said the Arabic-language media outlet Al Jazeera has provided citizens of Arab countries with news outside state-controlled television and radio stations.“Media from outside the borders of a country places transnational identity at center stage,” he said. “When we asked citizens of Arab countries the question, ‘whom among your leaders do you admire most?’ they not only listed leaders in the Middle East but also included Hugo Chaves of Venezuela and the former French president Jacques Chirac.”Telhami said the information revolution will continue to empower citizens of Arab countries.“In my own opinion public empowerment in the Middle East, far from being episodic, is with us to stay,” Telhami said. “No one can put the genie back in the bottle.”Tags: Ten Years Hencelast_img read more

Read More

ND collaborates with research firm

first_imgThis month, Notre Dame announced the establishment of a joint venture with Feinstein Institute for Medical Research to establish a variety of academic exchanges, including collaborative research, student training and bilateral conferences as a combined effort to further clinical research and lower patient treatment costs, according to Arnie Phifer, external relations director for research of Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics (AD&T) initiative.Both students and researchers will have access to the combined resources of Notre Dame and Feinstein Institute, including data sets, patient trials and research developments. Early projects will feature research on an infectious condition known as sepsis, Phifer said.“It’s the leading cause of death for people who have infection in the world, and it’s the costliest condition for U.S. hospitals,” he said.Students in particular will see an increase of research opportunities in the coming years, Phifer said.“Notre Dame does a lot of student-involved research — hands-on, direct research in the lab. Any students who are involved in those can go to Feinstein and spend time in their labs,” he said.Notre Dame has invested many resources in medicinal research as part of a group effort that includes numerous biomedical research entities like Feinstein working to eliminate deadly diseases and lower treatment costs, Phifer said. AD&T, a group of Notre Dame scientists, engineers and researchers, was one such investment to that end.“About six to eight months ago, we started a new program that we call precision medicine,” Phifer said. “That program is really focused on tying our work in the lab directly to the problems that physicians and people who actually provide health care have.”Phifer said AD&T spearheaded the University’s cooperation with the Feinstein Institute. He said AD&T director Paul Bohn and Norman Dovichi, both professors of chemistry and biochemistry, first met with Feinstein leaders last spring to discuss prospective collaboration between the two institutions. Both are members of the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare Innovation Alliance, an association of healthcare organizations and individuals that combines clinical and technological research to the benefit of patients, according to a University press release.“This is a years-long process,” Phifer said. “We anticipate that we will get a lot of good work started between the two institutions and that it will last a long time — there’s no end date to it.”Tags: AD&T, biomedical research, Feinstein Institute, Notre Dame, research, sciencelast_img read more

Read More

Design students fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa

first_imgRobert Sedlack, associate professor of visual communication design, and a group of students from Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History and Design are creating a campaign to help HIV victims in South Africa by designing resources to inform and educate local communities.“We’re in a class called ‘Design for Social Good,” senior Colleen Hancuch said. “The idea is that design can be an effective communicator and the ideal method for education and problem-solving. The big project we’re all working on now focuses on the task of creating an over-arching campaign to address the issue and stigma of HIV/AIDS in South Africa.”Sedlack said the relationship between Notre Dame’s design program and Johannesburg, South Africa, was first established in April 2011 in response to xenophobic attacks. Since then, Sedlack has led two groups of design students on spring break trips to Johannesburg.“Last spring break, one of the things we realized was that the current HIV/AIDS situation in South Africa is not unlike HIV/AIDS was in the United States in the early 1980s,” Sedlack said. “The assumptions once someone gets HIV are really misguided.“Many people think being HIV positive is a death sentence. The population just doesn’t have access to the information that, in my opinion, they should have access to.”This semester, Sedlack assigned the 13 students enrolled in “Design for Social Good” the project of using design to better inform the people of South Africa about HIV/AIDS and help change societal misconceptions about the virus.Senior design students Holly O’Hara, Keri O’Mara and Samantha Lessen designed their project to focus on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), the medication given to individuals diagnosed as HIV positive. (Editor’s note: Keri O’Mara is Graphics Editor at The Observer)“In order for this medicine to be effective, people are supposed to continue taking it for the rest of their lives,” O’Mara said. “Problems occur when people run out of their medication and never go to refill it. In South Africa, the ARVs are free, so it really comes down to just taking the initiative to go and get more pills.”O’Hara, O’Mara and Lessen said they are trying to address this problem by designing a wallet-like accessory in which HIV victims can carry their daily doses of medicine in calendar-style pockets.“According to our contact, right now South Africans use plastic bags to carry around their phone, money, and other important things,” Lessen said. “The design we’re currently focusing on is kind of like a wallet that will have a foldable calendar with zipper pouches for their monthly ARVs. We hope it will allow people to carry everything that’s important for their lives — such as money or a phone — in one place. Because the ARVs would be carried with these other essentials, we hope it would show their value as something that’s important for the rest of their lives.”The students in Sedlack’s “Design for Social Good” class said the curriculum helps integrate their design skills with social concerns.“I think it goes along with everything that Notre Dame tries to instill in its students,” O’Hara said. “Get an education, learn your skills and then use those skills to better the world.”Two other groups’ projects target the social construction of gender in South Africa by designing and implementing after-school programs for elementary and high school-aged female students. Another group is working to make a booklet to hand out to people once they are diagnosed with HIV.“Hopefully our campaigns will give an element of hope and the possibility of continuation of life, which I think a lot of people struggle with upon diagnosis,” Lessen said. “We’re hoping our actions can help minimize that fear.”Sedlack plans to organize another trip to Johannesburg over the upcoming spring break so that design students can begin to implement some of their projects and adapt them to fit the South African culture as necessary.“I think it’s easy to think of design just as advertising, sort of just feeding into the commercial world,” O’Hara said. “That’s really the point of this whole class: to expand that idea and to get us to think that we can do so much more with design.”Tags: AIDS, design, graphic design, HIV, social worklast_img read more

Read More

ROTC hosts Pass in Review

first_imgMichael Yu Members of Notre Dame’s ROTC saluted the American flag during Wednesday’s annual Pass in Review ceremony on South Quad.Yesterday, South Quad played witness to a display of precision, skill and patriotic commitment as Notre Dame’s tri-military organization, made up of Army, Navy and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Units, presented themselves for their annual Pass in Review. The annual ceremony, which commemorates the efforts and prestige of Notre Dame’s three ROTC branches, featured the presentation of student awards, a benediction by Fr. Pete Rocca and a speech by University President Fr. John Jenkins.In his speech, Jenkins alluded to the importance of the military for promoting and strengthening peace and urged servicemen and women to remember the mission of the military.Jenkins said Notre Dame’s ROTC is an integral part of the University’s Catholic identity and encouraged graduating cadets to let Notre Dame shape their commitment and purpose during and after their college years.The University has a long tradition with the armed forces, particularly the Navy. University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who passed away in February, was named an honorary Navy chaplain in 2013 after having wanted to do so for many years.Midshipman third class John Walker served as Master of Ceremonies for the event. During the review, Walker reaffirmed the origins and meaning of the Pass in Review for both Notre Dame’s tri-military organization and the campus community. Walker said the Pass in Review is a “formal ceremony rooted in the tradition of a commanding officer inspecting the men and women serving beneath him for their appearance, technique, precision, and battle readiness,” Walker said.“In addition to ceremonially rendering honors to the members of our distinguished stage party, a Pass in Review is an opportunity to pay respects to the Notre Dame family and South Bend community for their support and encouragement throughout the academic year,” Walker said.Walker spoke of Notre Dame’s history with the military and said Notre Dame’s tri-military organization embodied the values and mission of Our Lady’s University.“Today, Notre Dame is one of 56 schools in the Nation with all four branches of the military present on campus. Notre Dame men and women have served, and will continue to serve, in our country’s battles with honor, courage and integrity and are proud to reflect the true essence of that powerful motto of our service, ‘God, Country, Notre Dame,’” Walker said.As part of the Pass in Review, students were presented with the following awards for their distinguished contributions to the various ROTC programs.The Edward Easby-Smith Award, presented to the midshipman who exemplifies the core values of integrity, service and leadership in a senior staff position, was presented to midshipman first class Kelsey Hutchinson.Midshipman first class John Gary received the Colonel Brian C. Regan Award.The first Lieutenant Vincent J. Naimoli Award was presented to midshipman first class Cassandra Gettinger.Midshipman first class Elizabeth Terino accepted the George C. Strake Award in recognition for her leadership and dedication during her four years at Notre Dame.Terino said she was excited to find out she won the George C. Strake Award.“I admire the seniors that have received this award over my past four years and it is an incredible honor to be considered in the same league as them.,” she said.“For me personally, it also represents how much I have learned over my time at Notre Dame. ROTC provided me with challenges and opportunities to discover, develop and refine my leadership skills.”Pass in Review is an opportunity to share her ROTC experience with the larger campus, Terino said.“My friends have the opportunity to watch my fellow midshipmen and cadets salute and march in formation while displaying military bearings and discipline. Sometimes it is difficult to describe those skills to people that haven’t experienced any facet of the military before, and Pass in Review provides a comprehensive visual for some of the skills we are working to develop in ROTC,” Terino said.Terino said it is significant that the ceremony is held on South Quad because it allows passersby to witness the history of the military on Notre Dame’s campus.“Part of Pass in Review is honoring the tradition of Notre Dame and simultaneously embracing the future service of ROTC midshipmen and cadets. The ceremony is reason to reflect on the powerful motto of service, ‘God, Country, Notre Dame,’ and personally I think being able to see midshipmen and cadets in front of the Basilica steeple, the American flag and the Dome really brings that motto to life.”The Chicago Navy League Award for exemplifying honor, courage, and commitment in a senior midshipman staff position was awarded to midshipman first class Maxwell Brown.Midshipman first class Maxwell Brown was presented with the Captain John A. McGurty Award.Midshipman first class Bryan Cooley, was a recipient of the Gallagher-Snider Award for superior military bearing and exceptional leadership.The USAA Achievement award was presented to midshipman first class Sean Fitzgerald.Kathleen Privateer, midshipman first class, was awarded The Carter Family Award.The Captain Paul Roberge Memorial award was presented to Cadet Connor Halloran.The Air Force Detachment 225 Commander’s Award was presented to Cadet Claire Mariani.Cadet Mary Hession was presented with the Reid Nishizuka Award in recognition of her dedication as a mentor .Cadets Eric Peace and Michael Loftus were both presented with The Army Officer’s Saber in recognition of their outstanding leadership while filling the Top Billet of Battallion Commanding Officer. Peace was also presented with the Henry Memorial Memorial Award.The Patrick Dixon Award, a $200 cash award presented annually to a distinguished senior Cadet, was presented to Cadet Raymond Donovan.Cadet Chelsea Ward was commemorated for her mastery of the Army’s Training Management System with the Patrick Haley Award.Cadet Peter Nolle was presented with the Dr. Michael McKee Award for his academic achievement in belonging to the top 20 percent of his class.News writer Michael Yu contributed to this report. Tags: Awards, Pass in Review, ROTC, tri-militarylast_img read more

Read More

NOVO registration replaces DART

first_imgIn an email to students Aug. 19, University registrar Chuck Hurley announced the former class registration system known as DART would be replaced by NOVO registration, which stands for “new organization via online registration.”Hurley said a number of new features designed to make the registration process easier for students, and the class search feature has been replaced by a feature in NOVO registration called “browse classes.”Erin Rice | The Observer “‘Browse classes’ has a whole different way to cut the data that didn’t exist before in class search,” he said. “One of the things for example, is that there is a keyword search. So if you search a word like ‘technology,’ any class in any discipline with the word ‘technology’ in the class title or description will pop up.”The NOVO registration system also includes enhanced error messaging, Hurley said.“In the DART system the error messaging could be quite cryptic. People didn’t always understand why they were receiving an error. You only received one error message at a time, which was a big pain,” he said. “In NOVO registration, it allows it to display all the error messages at once, and they give get a much more robust explanation. Additionally, within that, it shows more options at the top, so if you’re taking a class with five sections, you can see all the sections.”A conditional add/drop feature in NOVO registration also improves upon the DART system by allowing students to switch classes more easily, Hurley said.“When you’re in registration, there’s a box in the lower right-hand corner that says ‘conditional add/drop,’” he said. “When you wanted to swap classes in DART, you couldn’t. You had to drop a class, and then try to add a new class in. If you didn’t get the new class and tried to go back to the old class, your spot could be taken. … [Now] you can put in the old class, put in the new class, check the box for conditional add/drop, and it will allow you to or give you an error message.”Hurley said they discussed and tested a new planner feature with student government that has not been implemented and will not be available for registration in November, but could be available in the spring of 2016.“The planner feature is a very nice feature, it allows you to go and build a schedule beforehand, and when your registration time comes, you submit that schedule,” he said. “ … We’re working with the software manufacturer on that and we’ll do more testing with students on that this fall.”Hurley said the DART system came into use and was named after a student contest in the 1980s, and that they felt a new registration software called for a new name and issued a call for submissions.“We had 384 entries for suggestions of new names, and a student named Erin Hughes won the contest,” he said. “We had several members of the registrar’s office as well as several members of student leadership, student government, and ‘NOVO’ kept floating up to the top of the list for the preponderance of the people. ‘Novo’ also means ‘new’ in Latin, so it seemed pretty straightforward from there.”Hurley said the initiative to find a new registration system for the University came from last year’s student government.“The top two changes they really asked for were one, some kind of new class search, and the other change was to upgrade registration itself,” he said. “The first discussions took place late last fall, and it was really throughout the spring semester into the early summer that this testing took place.”Hurley said the Office of the Registrar is very grateful to the student government and the students who participated in the testing of new software.“It’s so much better for everybody when we have students who are willing to participate,” he said. “ … Last year, we really asked for student senate to provide us with sophomores and juniors, so that we had some continuity and when we came back this we would have a group of juniors and seniors looking at it, and then the following year a group of seniors who have been around for a three year cycle and can see all the changes that have taken place.“That had not occurred in the past, when we had seniors who were involved, but then we lost that continuity. … We have a real advantage coming back this year in terms of continuity.”Hurley said he believes the NOVO registration system is very intuitive and user friendly, but a training session will be offered on Thursday in 131 DeBartolo Hall from 3:30-4:30pm for students who are interested in learning more. He encourages any students with questions or difficulty using the system to contact the Office of the Registrar. Tags: Chuck Hurley, DART, NOVO, NOVO registrationlast_img read more

Read More

Saint Mary’s hosts ‘Campus Conversation’ about global religions

first_imgAs part of its “Campus Conversations” initiative, which aims to raise awareness about underrepresented societal issues, Student Diversity Board (SDB) hosted a discussion about global religion at Saint Mary’s on Thursday.The event featured religious studies professors Stacy Davis and Phyllis Kaminski, but students were also invited to engage in open dialogue directed at learning more about other faiths. Clarifying misconceptions about stigmatized religions promotes acceptance of various beliefs in an evolving world, Kaminski said.“While a lot of people in the world identify as religious, and currently Christianity in all its forms is the largest single body, Islam will overtake us by the end of this century in terms of numbers,” Kaminski said.Davis said a recent incident at Wheaton College, in which political science professor Larycia Hawkins was fired after she wore a hijab and claimed Muslims and Christians worship the same god, proves that religion should serve as a unifying, rather than divisive, force. Though Hawkins was a practicing evangelical Christian, she chose to stand in solidarity with persecuted Muslim women, who suffer from misrepresentation in the media, Davis said.“Religion does create barriers, and so the question becomes ‘How do we not have to give the pessimistic stories, and how can we be positive about things?’” Davis said. “Either we are a people who work in community, or we are not, and if we are not, then we should not pretend that we are.”Davis said people may think their own beliefs are superior, but this mindset hinders progression into a diverse and accepting world.“It becomes human nature to say, ‘We have this new idea, so clearly it must be better than everything that came before it.’” Davis said. “The question is whether that argument that sort of worked in the first or second century should work in the 21st.”As people stop judging and stereotyping, they can acknowledge value in other religions, which will help establish a more inclusive society, according to Davis.“Perhaps as we mature and develop over time, maybe that idea that we must be right at the expense of someone else is not necessary anymore,” Davis said. “Religion need not be used in simply exclusive terms.”Davis said her students have expressed more interest in learning about other religions over the past few years, which proves people can grow in understanding and acceptance as they acquire information about unfamiliar beliefs.“That to me is a wonderful positive sign because it means you can diversify your pool of knowledge while maintaining whatever tradition is meaningful to you,” Davis said.SDB president Courtney Lamar also said the topic of global religions is especially pertinent at Saint Mary’s, where students embrace diversity.“I think it is important for students to be accepting of other beliefs because it’s key to being a well-rounded person,” Lamar said. “What would it be like to have everyone be just like you? Boring.”Lamar said SDB hosted this event to help students celebrate and learn from differences in the Saint Mary’s community and around the world.“The information that students get can help tear down stereotypes they may have about different religions,” Lamar said. “Through our initiatives, events, projects and open conversations, we are one step closer to making Saint Mary’s a better place.”SDB vice president Angela Bukur said “Campus Conversations” helps students develop appreciation for other ways of life.“One of our goals for this semester is to create an inclusive community on campus and to bring together various perspectives to enrich people knowledge about topics facing our world,” Bukur said. “We want students to learn how to respectfully listen to other people, even if they might not agree. We want them to take away a greater understanding of other opinions as well as knowledge about issues facing our world.”Tags: Campus Conversations, Global Religion, Religious Studies, SDBlast_img read more

Read More

Notre Dame adjusts Moreau course based on survey results

first_imgOne year after creating the Moreau First-Year Experience course, the University has revamped the course’s curriculum, adding more faculty lectures, field trips to locations on campus and discussions of the mission of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.  Moreau First-Year Experience is a two-semester course which replaced the freshman physical education requirement last year. Throughout the year, students participate in weekly discussions with a class of about 19 peers. Through readings, reflections and videos, the class is meant to help students get accustomed to life at Notre Dame and teach them about about diversity and mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.“We want Notre Dame to be a community that supports dialogue from a very inclusive and welcoming standpoint,” Maureen Dawson, co-director for the course, said.The Moreau program directors sent surveys throughout last year and implemented changes to the curriculum based on student and faculty feedback.“We really took seriously the assessment we put out there in the midterm of 2015,” co-director Paul Manrique said. “Because this course was driven by student interest, we want to pay attention to making sure the existing need is met.”The program took feedback not only from students enrolled in Moreau but also from upperclassmen. Senior Eva Niklinska worked alongside Manrique and Dawson this summer, analyzing the curriculum and its requirements to try to ensure that first years get as much out of the program and their college experience as possible. “I really liked the content,” Niklinska said. “It gives you the right foundations for becoming a healthy, happy student.”Niklinska compared Moreau to a bucket list and a chance for students to customize their college experiences. She said the focus on mental health, a solid approach to studying and choosing a major that suits each student catalyzes a first year’s success. “[The class’s] components are things you don’t really have time to think about unless you’re given the space to do that creatively,” she said.Dawson said the program plans to implement changes that will shift the focus from the general student’s college experience to a Notre Dame student’s college experience. This spring, for example, the course plans to incorporate faculty lectures in a TED Talk format. “We are really happy with the content we created that is specific to Notre Dame,” Manrique said.Fr. Kevin Grove, a residential fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, will give a faculty lecture about diversity, and Mendoza professor Carl Ackermann will speak about financial literacy. Additionally, University of Pennsylvania biology professor Brian Gregory will speak about learning environments.To engage students with the Notre Dame community, Moreau will also incorporate more discussion about the Holy Cross congregation by emphasizing the power of the five pillars of a Holy Cross education: mind, heart, family, zeal and hope. The program plans to bring students to important campus spots, including the Log Chapel, the Holy Cross Cemetery and the Snite Museum. Manrique said the program directors hope these trips will instill within students a sense of belonging and loyalty. “What we’re able to do with this course is giving something tangible to students,” Manrique said. “We’re giving them the language to explain to other people outside the Notre Dame family, and we’re doing that through the pillars.”Students have their own goals in mind for Moreau. Freshman Francie Fink hopes to make friends with people in her group and to learn more about the roots that make Notre Dame what it is.“We’re all in this together, and I think it will be extremely valuable to have these people that I can go through my first year with and then hopefully continue to grow with them in the coming years,” she said. While changes are still to be made, the program’s directors look optimistically upon this next year and Moreau’s impact on Notre Dame’s students.“Moreau is the fulcrum of the lived experience and the academic experience,” Dawson said. “It’s all about putting the pieces of academic life together, and Moreau starts it off.”Tags: Moreau First Year Experiencelast_img read more

Read More

University begins construction of new female residence hall

first_imgConstruction began Dec. 10 on a new 68,000-square-foot women’s residence hall located east of Dunne Hall, the University announced in a Dec. 5 press release.The hall, which has yet to be named, will be completed in August 2020 and will house about 225 undergraduate women, the release said. The dorm will feature a community chapel, a reading room, lounges, study spaces and kitchens on every floor. It will offer a range of different rooms, including singles, doubles and quads, as well as apartments for hall staff. Residents will have access to vending, fitness, laundry and storage facilities within the building.Parking affected by the construction zone will be reassigned to the Fischer Faculty Staff Lot, according to the release. Tags: Construction, East Quad, new residence hall, women’s residence halllast_img read more

Read More