Professor recognized for service

first_imgThe Notre Dame faculty recently acquired another academic accolade when Vania Smith-Oka, assistant professor of Anthropology, was honored with the Center for Public Anthropology’s Ruth Benedict Global Citizenship Award last week. The national award, which honors 1 percent of introductory Anthropology faculty across the country, recognized Smith-Oka for her continued involvement with the Center’s Community Action Project (CAP). Smith Oka said CAP actively engaged students in ethical issues within the field of Anthropology. Smith-Oka said she first became involved with CAP when she began teaching at Notre Dame in 2006. The project includes students from Notre Dame and 60 other universities and colleges, she said. “I heard about [CAP] through another person who really enjoyed working with the program,” she said. “My students have been involved with it in some shape or form almost every semester I’ve been here.” Smith-Oka said students discussed a different anthropological question related to research and ethics each semester. Last semester’s topic covered the role of the Institutional Review Board in the research process, she said. Smith-Oka said CAP provides her undergraduate students with an outlet for critical thinking and a pathway into the world of anthropology by requiring them to write pieces about the issues presented in the project. “I like the fact that [CAP] is applied. It gets students involved in real-world issues outside the classroom,” she said. “The project changes every semester to make students feel that they’re involved in something larger than themselves.” Past students have examined a wide range of debates, including the controversy involving anthropological rights to the material remains of an indigenous group in the Amazon, Smith-Oka said. CAP now focuses more on large-scale ethical issues within research procedures, she said, and this broader scope of discussion enhances the anthropological learning process for her students. Smith-Oka said her Notre Dame students share their work with students from around the country, so the peer review process functions on both a local and national level. “[CAP] is essentially a self-sustaining project because students grade each other’s work and participate in blind peer reviews,” she said. “I find it’s a good learning process to learn through peer review and evaluation.” Though Smith-Oka is actively involved in CAP, her day-to-day work on campus relates to research on the way large-scale health policies and institutions shape reproduction and motherhood for low-income women, especially those in Mexico. Since she became a faculty member at Notre Dame, Smith-Oka said the University has supported her goals as both a teacher and an anthropologist. “[Notre Dame] has helped support me at all levels, from grants to teaching and mentorship to infrastructure, and they’ve always been supportive of the more engaged or applied side of my teaching,” she said. “This award validates the teaching approach I have in general.”last_img read more

Graduating seniors look to explore call to religious vocations

first_imgAfter a long discernment process, several graduating seniors will explore the call to religious vocations after their time at Notre Dame.  Fr. Jim Gallagher, director of the Office of Vocations, said some students will enter the Congregation of Holy Cross, while others will join diocesan seminaries in their hometowns or different religious communities.  “The call isn’t ever going to be a solid sense of ‘Yes, this what I’m going to do for the rest of my life,’” Gallagher said. “It’s more a sense of, ‘I think there’s something there, and I want to go and give at least a year or so to figuring it out.’” Senior Chris Brennan said he has been discerning whether God is calling him to the priesthood since high school, prompting him to join Old College his freshman year.  Brennan said his time in Old College cemented his desire to become a Holy Cross priest. “It’s the community, the community support and the familial bonds that you make,” he said. “My best friends are in Holy Cross, and we’re as close as brothers.” Living in Old College while still being a normal Notre Dame student helped in the discernment process, Brennan said. “Being able to have the structured prayer life in college while still taking classes with other students was a great balance,” he said.   Brennan, who lived in Moreau Seminary his senior year, said he will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., for his novitiate year in the fall. “I’m looking forward to growing in my spiritual life but also growing in self-knowledge and humility,” he said. “To have that time to be on a mountain and hike and be in the beauty of nature is a very unique opportunity. It’s a gift.” Although Brennan said he is excited to pursue religious life, he is nervous about being asked to give spiritual advice. “It’s scary … [to face] your own unworthiness,” he said. “You’re going to be telling people to do something that you yourself struggle with, and constantly being aware of your own sinfulness while still having to try to help others through that, even though you may know that they’re holier and better people than you are yourself.” Despite his anxieties, Brennan said he is confident in pursuing a religious vocation. “I look forward to being happy, being hopefully a joyful priest that inspires other people to love Christ,” he said.  Senior Laura Thelen said she is returning to her hometown of Ann Arbor, Mich., to enter a semi-cloistered Dominican convent. As a biochemistry major, Thelen said she wrestled with the decision to go to medical school or become a nun. “I did the whole MCAT thing and almost applied to medical school,” Thelen said. “I decided I just didn’t feel confident enough about that … Deep inside, I don’t know how to explain it, but I really feel like God wanted me to explore [religious life]. Not that I think I’ll be there forever, but that this is where I think He wants me to be for next year.” Thelen said the Dominican community she is joining is young and active, and most of the nuns teach high school. “My community is really young and really fun and really crazy,” she said. “They play sports all the time … and they were on ‘Oprah.’”  Joining the convent will be a formative experience, Thelen said. “I’m really excited to get deeper into prayer,” she said. “I really want to do what I feel called to. … There’s something that keeps pulling my heart onward.” Thelen said she is most nervous to be separated from her family and friends. “It’s scary to lose family and friends. I’ll still see them, of course, but a lot less,” she said. “It’s scary being separated from the real world.” Gallagher said he advises those seniors entering religious life not to expect to discern their calling quickly. “My advice is not to get too wrapped up in figuring out too quickly if this is what they’re supposed to be doing,” Gallagher said, “Enter into the year and let the rhythm of religious life help them develop their sense of self, their relationship with the Lord, and through that they’ll gain a better sense of whether this is something that they’re called to do.”last_img read more

I tried every other way to end this’

first_imgRonaiah Tuiasosopo fell as deeply in love as Manti Te’o did. Tuiasosopo, the mastermind behind the fictional Lennay Kekua, spoke publicly Thursday to Dr. Phil McGraw on “Dr. Phil.” For the first time since the hoax was revealed, Tuiasosopo offered his side of the story. “I grew feelings, I grew emotions that sooner or later I couldn’t control anymore and it just lingered on,” Tuiasosopo said in the interview, the second part of which will air today. “As twisted and confusing as it may be, yeah, I cared for this person. I did all that I could to help this person become a better person, even though I wasn’t getting nothing out of it.” When McGraw asked Tuiasosopo if he was gay, Tuiasosopo said he was confused. The 22-year old confessed to being behind the scam and said he did not perpetrate the hoax in order to gain money. He also added that his plan was cruel – but not a cruel joke – and that Te’o had no involvement. “He said nothing but things about her heart and her character had had a major impact on him and though it was deceptive, there was a lot of positive that came out of it,” Tuiasosopo said. “He really did fall in love with this character and, you know, it is what it is.” Tuiasosopo said he deployed Kekua’s leukemia as a plan to try to end things with Te’o. “I tried every other way to end this. I tried this lie and this lie and this lie but nothing would work,” Tuiasosopo said. So on Sept. 12, 2012, Tuiasosopo killed off Kekua, who had purportedly been battling leukemia, just hours after Te’o’s grandmother died. Tuiasosopo also said Te’o and Kekua broke up two weeks earlier but continued to communicate. Tuiasosopo – who had access to Te’o’s passwords – checked on his Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts. While there were no changes on Te’o’s Facebook and Twitter, his Skype was different. When Tuiasosopo, posing as Kekua, asked Te’o if he had been Skyping other girls, the two got in an argument before Te’o said his grandmother died. Tuiasosopo said the fight quieted down until Te’o texted Kekua admitting to Skyping other girls and said he didn’t need Kekua. “It hurt me,” Tuiasosopo said. “It hit me like a brick wall. I was like, ‘Whoa, I’ve given so much into this.’ And I realized right then in that moment, that I poured so much into Lennay, that I myself was getting nothing, and look what I was left with. “Right then and there, I made the decision I can’t do this Lennay thing anymore and I ended it.” But nearly three months later, Te’o received a call from Kekua, who he thought had already died. Tuiasosopo said he called because he wanted Te’o to know the truth. “If the truth wasn’t known, it wouldn’t truly be moving on. It wasn’t the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “I knew I needed to come clean and make everything right.” Te’o said Tuiasosopo offered him a full apology two weeks ago. Te’o and Tuiasosopo, who was acting as a family member of Kekua, met the night before the USC game in November in Los Angeles. Tuiasosopo said he wanted to confess to Te’o then but ultimately decided not to. “I wanted to tell him everything right then and there and that’s the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “But shortly after, his uncle and a lot of his uncle’s friends and some other family, they all came in … It wasn’t the right time.” Tuiasosopo also said he was the voice behind the phone calls and voicemails to Te’o although previous reports said a cousin of Tuiasosopo’s was the voice. McGraw asked Tuiasosopo to duplicate the voice but he initially declined. The program promised to air it during Friday’s show. “Dr. Phil” airs locally on weekdays at 3 p.m. on WSBT.,Ronaiah Tuiasosopo fell as deeply in love as Manti Te’o did. Tuiasosopo, the mastermind behind the fictional Lennay Kekua, spoke publicly Thursday to Dr. Phil McGraw on “Dr. Phil.” For the first time since the hoax was revealed, Tuiasosopo offered his side of the story. “I grew feelings, I grew emotions that sooner or later I couldn’t control anymore and it just lingered on,” Tuiasosopo said in the interview, the second part of which will air today. “As twisted and confusing as it may be, yeah, I cared for this person. I did all that I could to help this person become a better person, even though I wasn’t getting nothing out of it.” When McGraw asked Tuiasosopo if he was gay, Tuiasosopo said he was confused. The 22-year old confessed to being behind the scam and said he did not perpetrate the hoax in order to gain money. He also added that his plan was cruel – but not a cruel joke – and that Te’o had no involvement. “He said nothing but things about her heart and her character had had a major impact on him and though it was deceptive, there was a lot of positive that came out of it,” Tuiasosopo said. “He really did fall in love with this character and, you know, it is what it is.” Tuiasosopo said he deployed Kekua’s leukemia as a plan to try to end things with Te’o. “I tried every other way to end this. I tried this lie and this lie and this lie but nothing would work,” Tuiasosopo said. So on Sept. 12, 2012, Tuiasosopo killed off Kekua, who had purportedly been battling leukemia, just hours after Te’o’s grandmother died. Tuiasosopo also said Te’o and Kekua broke up two weeks earlier but continued to communicate. Tuiasosopo – who had access to Te’o’s passwords – checked on his Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts. While there were no changes on Te’o’s Facebook and Twitter, his Skype was different. When Tuiasosopo, posing as Kekua, asked Te’o if he had been Skyping other girls, the two got in an argument before Te’o said his grandmother died. Tuiasosopo said the fight quieted down until Te’o texted Kekua admitting to Skyping other girls and said he didn’t need Kekua. “It hurt me,” Tuiasosopo said. “It hit me like a brick wall. I was like, ‘Whoa, I’ve given so much into this.’ And I realized right then in that moment, that I poured so much into Lennay, that I myself was getting nothing, and look what I was left with. “Right then and there, I made the decision I can’t do this Lennay thing anymore and I ended it.” But nearly three months later, Te’o received a call from Kekua, who he thought had already died. Tuiasosopo said he called because he wanted Te’o to know the truth. “If the truth wasn’t known, it wouldn’t truly be moving on. It wasn’t the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “I knew I needed to come clean and make everything right.” Te’o said Tuiasosopo offered him a full apology two weeks ago. Te’o and Tuiasosopo, who was acting as a family member of Kekua, met the night before the USC game in November in Los Angeles. Tuiasosopo said he wanted to confess to Te’o then but ultimately decided not to. “I wanted to tell him everything right then and there and that’s the truth,” Tuiasosopo said. “But shortly after, his uncle and a lot of his uncle’s friends and some other family, they all came in … It wasn’t the right time.” Tuiasosopo also said he was the voice behind the phone calls and voicemails to Te’o although previous reports said a cousin of Tuiasosopo’s was the voice. McGraw asked Tuiasosopo to duplicate the voice but he initially declined. The program promised to air it during Friday’s show. “Dr. Phil” airs locally on weekdays at 3 p.m. on WSBT.last_img read more

Cardinal Timothy Dolan reflects on Notre Dame’s role in Catholicism

first_imgAt the University Commencement Ceremony on May 19, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Notre Dame students strive for “not just a degree, but discipleship.” In an interview with The Observer on May 22, Dolan said discipleship requires being “intensely dedicated to the intellectual apostolate.” “What it is is a return to the old scholastic maxim from St. Thomas Aquinas that … what we do flows from who we are,” Dolan said. “If we are first and foremost an overtly Catholic institution with no apologies for our Catholic mission and Catholic identity, then a very rigorous academic identity will flow from that.” Contrary to what some people say, Dolan said the terms “Catholic” and “university” are compatible. “The crusaders of secularism would have us believe that the term ‘Catholic university’ is an oxymoron,” he said. “One of the reasons that I love Notre Dame and other Catholic universities … is that if you believe that ‘Catholic’ and ‘university’ can’t go together in the same phrase, come to Notre Dame.” Dolan said because young people are in a formative stage, all disciplines and modes of thinking, including that of faith, are relevant to them. “We actually think when you have an openness to the beyond … you’re going to be a more liberal person than ever, in the classical sense of the word,” Dolan said. “Those who say, ‘I want to be open; I don’t want to go to a university where the faith is obvious,’ … they’re closed to the faith, aren’t they? … They’re really the close-minded ones.” A Catholic university must acknowledge all points of view while maintaining its basis in Catholicism, Dolan said. “A university is always open to probing, criticisms, questions, getting the other view, because that’s part of the pursuit of truth, … with the utter conviction that the conclusion that we reach is going to be consonant with the faith,” Dolan said. Dolan said “prudential judgments” must be made when a Catholic university such as Notre Dame considers whom to invite to speak at an event such as Commencement. “When a university stands for something, even though it says, ‘All are welcome,’ what you’re saying is, ‘You’re welcome to a community that cherishes that identity,’” Dolan said. “For instance, if the leader of the Ku Klux Klan wanted to come speak [at Notre Dame], … I’m sure everybody would agree that’s not consonant with our values. If the leader of the [National Rifle Association] wanted to come to speak, I would guess it would be a prudential judgment. It was a prudential judgment when [President Barack Obama] came to speak four years ago.” As an institution of higher learning that considers itself “the nation’s preeminent Catholic university,” Notre Dame must spread Catholicism by teaching theology and philosophy, executing service projects and maintaining an atmosphere of faith, Dolan said. “We often say that faith is not so much taught as caught,” he said. “This happens, I would contend, at Notre Dame. The faith, yeah, it’s taught in the classroom, yeah, it’s evident in our service projects, but it’s also just a very, very beautiful, tangible part of the climate, of the atmosphere, of Notre Dame. “When you’ve got the Blessed Sacrament there in every student residence, when you’ve got a priest who lives in every student residence, we’ve … got hundreds of kids every day just whispering a quick prayer at the Lord’s Grotto, … there is an atmosphere at Notre Dame that somebody absorbs, somebody picks up, somebody catches.” Dolan said the University promotes a positive approach to faith, learning, service, friendship and country. He said Notre Dame is “a big ‘yes’ to the faith.” “[Faith is] taught well and it’s practiced well in the service projects,” he said. “But it’s caught in the liturgy, in the sacraments, in the friendships with people who share your values. … And I think that’s what a [Catholic] university is all about.”,At the University Commencement Ceremony on May 19, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Notre Dame students strive for “not just a degree, but discipleship.” In an interview with The Observer on May 22, Dolan said discipleship requires being “intensely dedicated to the intellectual apostolate.” “What it is is a return to the old scholastic maxim from St. Thomas Aquinas that … what we do flows from who we are,” Dolan said. “If we are first and foremost an overtly Catholic institution with no apologies for our Catholic mission and Catholic identity, then a very rigorous academic identity will flow from that.” Contrary to what some people say, Dolan said the terms “Catholic” and “university” are compatible. “The crusaders of secularism would have us believe that the term ‘Catholic university’ is an oxymoron,” he said. “One of the reasons that I love Notre Dame and other Catholic universities … is that if you believe that ‘Catholic’ and ‘university’ can’t go together in the same phrase, come to Notre Dame.” Dolan said because young people are in a formative stage, all disciplines and modes of thinking, including that of faith, are relevant to them. “We actually think when you have an openness to the beyond … you’re going to be a more liberal person than ever, in the classical sense of the word,” Dolan said. “Those who say, ‘I want to be open; I don’t want to go to a university where the faith is obvious,’ … they’re closed to the faith, aren’t they? … They’re really the close-minded ones.” A Catholic university must acknowledge all points of view while maintaining its basis in Catholicism, Dolan said. “A university is always open to probing, criticisms, questions, getting the other view, because that’s part of the pursuit of truth, … with the utter conviction that the conclusion that we reach is going to be consonant with the faith,” Dolan said. Dolan said “prudential judgments” must be made when a Catholic university such as Notre Dame considers whom to invite to speak at Commencement. “When a university stands for something, even though it says, ‘All are welcome,’ what you’re saying is, ‘You’re welcome to a community that cherishes that identity,’” Dolan said. “For instance, if the leader of the Ku Klux Klan wanted to come speak [at Notre Dame], … I’m sure everybody would agree that’s not consonant with our values. If the leader of the [National Rifle Association] wanted to come to speak, I would guess it would be a prudential judgment. It was a prudential judgment when [President Barack Obama] came to speak four years ago.” As an institution of higher learning that considers itself “the nation’s preeminent Catholic university,” Notre Dame must spread Catholicism by teaching theology and philosophy, executing service projects and maintaining an atmosphere of faith, Dolan said. “We often say that faith is not so much taught as caught,” he said. “This happens, I would contend, at Notre Dame. The faith, yeah, it’s taught in the classroom, yeah, it’s evident in our service projects, but it’s also just a very, very beautiful, tangible part of the climate, of the atmosphere, of Notre Dame. “When you’ve got the Blessed Sacrament there in every student residence, when you’ve got a priest who lives in every student residence, we’ve … got hundreds of kids every day just whispering a quick prayer at the Lord’s Grotto, … there is an atmosphere at Notre Dame that somebody absorbs, somebody picks up, somebody catches.” Dolan said the University promotes a positive approach to faith, learning, service, friendship and country. He said Notre Dame is “a big ‘yes’ to the faith.” “[Faith is] taught well and it’s practiced well in the service projects,” he said. “But it’s caught in the liturgy, in the sacraments, in the friendships with people who share your values. … And I think that’s what a [Catholic] university is all about.”last_img read more

Santorum promotes new economic approach

first_imgSarah Olson | The Observer Former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum spoke to a capacity crowd in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library on Wednesday afternoon, and said Republicans must refocus their efforts and political strategy on strengthening the American family.Santorum, who was also promoting his book, “Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America That Works,” said promoting family is economically and socially beneficial, but often draws criticism.“The biggest determiner of economic success: family structure, by far,” Santorum said. “If you come from a single parent family, [it’s a] much harder road.“And yet if you talk about the importance of family, the importance of marriage, the importance of mothers and father raising children, you are a dinosaur. You are a old-fashioned, out-of-step, moralizing hater, when all you’re trying to do is give kids in America a chance. Why isn’t the government on the side of marriage?”Santorum, who spoke at the invitation of Notre Dame College Republicans, said Republican candidates center their economic messages on three principles: lowering taxes, cutting spending and balancing the budget. These three points of emphasis cater almost exclusively to small business owners, who only comprise 3 to 5 percent of the population, he said.Instead, Santorum said, Republicans should focus on how economic policies impact workers. He told a story from the 2012 Republican National Convention, where he delivered a speech in the midst of other Republicans who only spoke to small business issues.“Imagine, now, instead of one after another [Republican politician] coming out, had someone walked out with an employee of a company, and the employee of the company stood up and talked about how important the policies that create opportunity for businesses are to grow for their job, and talk about the standpoint of a worker, and talk about how important policies are to help workers in America,” Santorum said.“Well that’s what we’re trying to do with this book. I believe in pro-growth policies. I believe that we need to grow the economy. Yes, we need smaller government. Yes, we need to look at our tax code [because] we have the highest corporate taxes in the western world. … We need to do something to keep companies here, to grow companies here [and] create opportunities. But that isn’t enough.”Santorum said his presidential campaign and his new book sought to create a more inclusive nation in the face of fierce political discord.“[My campaign] had a message that resonated,” he said. “We had a message that said, ‘We are inclusive, we care about everybody. We don’t just focus on business people or corporations. We want to create an opportunity for everybody, and we know that the problems confronting America are, in part, economic, and here’s something we can do about it.’“Imagine if we actually included people who didn’t think anybody cared about them. Well that’s the focal point of this book. And the amazing thing about this is it’s not a liberal [or] conservative issue. The policies and the ideas that we put forward actually do something that I think is really important in this country. I think people are tired of division.”The book, which was “born out of the 2012 campaign,” proposes a way to bridge the American political divide, Santorum said.“[The political climate] is certainly as ugly as I’ve seen it in my lifetime,” he said. “And people are tired of it. They’re sick of Republicans and Democrats not wanting to get anything done. They’re sick of pointing the finger at each other. There doesn’t seem to be any common ground. But, see, I believe what we’ve laid out here [in the book] is a common ground because it’s common sense.”Santorum said America “need[s] to recreate a manufacturing juggernaut in the United States” and work to give all citizens an equal opportunity, which is more difficult in the context of the current welfare system and tax structure.“We’re setting up a system that is harmful to women and children, and we call that benevolence and kindness and all these wonderful words the left likes to use,” he said. “There’s nothing compassionate about this. There’s nothing compassionate about stopping and discouraging people from forming solid bonds for themselves as well as for their children and their community.”Santorum said the interesting situation in immigration also contributes to political polarization and prohibits greater unification.“I can understand why corporate America, as they are the chamber of commerce, is all for more legal immigration: cheap labor, higher profits,” he said. “I just don’t happen to look at human beings in America as a commodity. I look at workers as men and women who are trying to provide for themselves, and in some cases their family or their relatives, and try to make a decent living. The government shouldn’t be out there undermining their ability to get a decent wage.“So here you have, the horrible confluence of people who are looking at [immigration] as political power on the one side and profits on the other side, and the guys in the middle, the average working Americans, get stiffed.”With his book, and his possible 2016 presidential campaign, Santorum said he aims to change the course of the polarization in the United States and instead unite people.“What I’m trying to do in this book, what I’m trying to do within the party, is try to rewrite the narrative, and write it in a way that brings people together,” he said. “People who are poor realize that the government programs harm them in many ways. I’m not saying that the money they get harms them, but the incentives are very harmful, the structure is very harmful. So it’s an opportunity for us to reach out and bring people who don’t think we care about them.”Tags: College Republicans, economy, family, Santorumlast_img read more

ND, SMC offer resources for mental well-being

first_imgMore than 25 percent of American college students were treated for a mental health condition in 2012, according to the American College Health Association. The 2010 National Survey of Counseling Center Directors reported counseling centers saw an increase in mental health issues on campuses.In an effort to respond to these trends and meet the needs of all students, both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s provide resources for students experiencing mental illness.Dr. Bill Stackman, associate vice president for Student Affairs at Notre Dame, said the University’s goal is to provide “holistic care” that incorporates mental health issues into a larger conversation on well-being, including physical health and academic success.“Mental health and emotional well-being: it’s not a separate piece,” Stackman said. “It’s not like we’ll take care of the student over here, and then we’ll think of the emotional piece over here. It’s all integrated … [and] that emotional piece is often part of the conversation as we’re looking on how to support the student.”The University Counseling Center (UCC) is a key piece of the University’s support network, director Susan Steibe-Pasalich said. It provides free individual and group counseling, crisis services and self-help guides to undergraduate and graduate students and interested faculty and staff.Steibe-Pasalich said approximately 1,400 of the University’s 12,000 students used the UCC in the past year, an increase of almost 400 students over the past five years. She attributed the increase both to increased awareness of and need for campus counseling services.“Students are more comfortable with counseling,” Steibe-Pasalich said. “There isn’t that stigma that there used to be 10 years ago. Many students have already been in counseling when they come to college, so they have exposure to it. They feel comfortable with it.“Also, there are some students who maybe a decade ago wouldn’t have been able to come to college [but] because they had in high school some really good interventions, some really good diagnoses and medications, [they] are able to attend college, and they need support to be able to maintain that.”In response to the increased demand, Steibe-Pasalich said the counseling center expanded its services to include the Inner Resource Room, a room containing relaxation tools such as massage chairs and light therapy; Let’s Talk, weekly consultations about mental health issues open to all students; and programs and events with other campus organizations, such as the Gender Relations Center, Campus Ministry and Multicultural Student Programs and Services.She said the UCC also shifted its individual counseling services, which most counseling center clients use, to a brief therapy model, which provides temporary counseling and refers students to off-campus counselors and provides taxi vouchers if they need ongoing care.Steibe-Pasalich said the UCC also strives become more integrated with other services in St. Liam Hall, such as University Health Services and the newly-created McDonald Center for Student Well-Being.“We are looking to the whole health and wellness units,” she said. “All the departments in [St. Liam] are hoping to be more collaborative so that there is a continuity of care that would be seamless, so that wherever a student started out in this building, they would get the right place in an easy way. We’re looking at what are obstacles to that right now, nd how might we better serve the students in terms of the ease of that, so we’re examining that this year.”Steibe-Pasalich said the counseling center was ranked number one in 2013 on a comparison of National Senior Exit Surveys and consistently garnered positive feedback in student surveys.Junior Maggie Skoch, president of Notre Dame’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), said her own experience with the University’s mental health resources began with a visit to her resident assistant, who directed her to the counseling center.“The residence hall life here is much better than most schools at facilitating help for students who are struggling with not just mental health issues but any sort of issue, because it’s much more of a community with a good, trained staff that you sort of have a hierarchy to go to,” Skoch said. “… I think that’s very conducive to helping people who are struggling.”Skoch said the counseling center is a “great resource” for students.“They’re a wonderful, wonderful resource, especially in a nation where mental health coverage can be iffy and sketchy and difficult in terms of cost and availability,” she said. “This is basically free, and very excellent trained professionals at the snap of a finger. In that realm, they do a great job.”Steibe-Pasalich said the counseling center is heavily involved in another campus mental health resource, the CARE team, a group of individuals from various University organizations, including UCC, NDSP, Graduate Services and the Office of Community Standards.Stackman, the director of the CARE team, said concerned students, faculty, parents or hall staff refer students to the team if they notice a problem with that student’s well-being, including mental illness.Erica Kelsey, a case manager for the CARE team, said the team directs students experiencing mental health issues to the appropriate resources.“We’re sort of guiding students to resources they need,” Kelsey said. “So if we meet with them and it seems like they definitely need counseling services but haven’t yet been connected, then we’ll provide those referrals and then also following up with students as they go through the semester to see if are these referrals we set in place working for you, if there is anything else we can do to help.”Skoch said NAMI hopes to host or co-host more events in addition to Irish State of Mind and become more involved in student and administrative discussions on mental health issues. She said she also hopes to see more awareness of mental health issues and the resources to combat them in the future, as well as an effort to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.“[There is] the classic, Notre-Dame-students-are-perfect-and-have-no-problems paradigm, which is ridiculous, and students are very aware that that mindset exists,” Skoch said. “This isn’t necessarily something that a policy would change, but it’s something to work on. Culture shift is another gap that we as a university could be emphasizing more.”Saint Mary’s senior Chloe Deranek is a social concerns member of Support a Belle, Love a Belle (SABLAB), the Saint Mary’s adaptation of Mental Illness Awareness week.“[SABLAB] is a week out of the year where Saint Mary’s comes together to bring awareness to Mental Health, end stigma and encourage students to take care of themselves,” Deranek said.Deranek said SABLAB aims to raise awareness about mental health issues that college students experience on a daily basis.Deranek said resources available on campus include Women’s Health, where counselors are available by appointment, and the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO), which specifically handles issues related to sexual violence.She said Saint Mary’s students can also go to the counseling center at Notre Dame for help.“All of these sources work together to get students the help that they need,” Deranek said. “These places are all great starting points to come up with a plan to figure out what each individual needs.”Campus Ministry acts as another resource for students, and director of Campus Ministry Judith Fean said her office works with other departments if additional support or healing is appropriate.“All members of Campus Ministry assist students by being a place to share their story, listen compassionately and pray with and for those who are struggling,” Fean said.She said Campus Ministry provides several different Masses and prayer services throughout the year, a candlelight vigil for those impacted by sexual violence, a prayer service for hope and healing and Taize Prayer.Fean said the Eucharist is offered everyday on campus at least once, which provides students with an opportunity for spiritual support.“It invites students to gather with their joys, sorrows and hopes to celebrate with the Body of Christ, God’s compassionate love, healing and mercy,” she said. “Also, all campus ministers in the department offer spiritual guidance as they share their story, their fears and anxieties.Sophomore Clare O’Malley said she sought treatment for her depression by speaking with counselors at Women’s Health once a week.She said the counselors are available to those feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or simply in need of someone to talk to.“They will listen to you when you just need to talk and provide the positive voices to trump any negative ones in your mind,” she said.Additional resources include Project HEAL, a new organization on campus this year, and simply talking to a Resident Advisor, sophomore SABLAB committee member Elizabeth Murray said.“These resources are important because girls struggling need to know there is always someone on campus to confide in,” Murray said. “The people working in these offices are trained and have our health in their best interest.”Anyone struggling with mental health issues should contact:Womens Health at SMC: 50 Holy Cross Hall, 574-284-4805, [email protected] Counseling Center, Notre Dame: Saint Liam Hall, 574-631-7336Belles Against Violence Organization at SMC (BAVO): 33 Holy Cross HallNational Hotlines: Suicide: 1-800-TALK, www.teenhealthandwellness.com/static/hotlines Tags: BAVO, Irish State of Mind, NAMI-ND, support a belle love a belle, UCC, University Counseling Center, Women’s Healthlast_img read more

PrismND president announces resignation

first_imgSenior Jeffrey Murphy announced his resignation as president of PrismND in an email to the organization’s email list Thursday night. (Editor’s note: Murphy is a columnist for The Observer). “It is with a truly heavy heart that I announce my resignation as president of PrismND,” Murphy said in the email. “I have so cherished the years I have spent with all of you. Prism has been like a second home to me during my time at Notre Dame, and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful relationships I have built through this supremely important organization.”Murphy‘s resignation comes approximately a week after the publication of his column “The statistics on Dreamers are a nightmare.” Bryan Ricketts, vice chair for membership of the Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, said the organization decided not to financially support PrismND this year unless Murphy resigned.Senior Devon Harford will serve as the new president of PrismND, according to an email from the organization’s officer board to the group’s email list. Harford previously served as co-vice president of PrismND, beginning April 1, 2018.“As you all know, Jeff Murphy has decided to resign as President of PrismND,” the officer board said in the email. “We want to thank Jeff for all the time, energy and effort that he has devoted to this organization. From his time as treasurer last year to his last five months serving as president, we appreciate all that he has brought to this team. Thank you Jeff, and we wish you all the best going forward.”Murphy commended the new president and offered his continued support for the club.“I have no doubt that Prism will flourish in the coming year,” he said in the email. “Our community could not be more blessed with the new incoming president. Under her leadership and the leadership of the remaining officer board, I know Prism is going to have one of its best years ever.”Tags: PrismND, PrismND officers, resignationlast_img read more

Mendoza adds new position of associate dean for undergraduates

first_imgA new position of associate dean for undergraduate studies has been added to the Mendoza College of Business’ leadership team, the University announced in a press release Friday. Jim Leady, an associate teaching professor of finance, will begin the position July 1.Leady will oversee the existing undergraduate curriculum, as well as develop new initiatives for business students. As the new associate dean, Leady will work with Mendoza’s academic departments and with Notre Dame’s other colleges to create opportunities for undergraduates.Martijn Cremers, the Bernard J. Hank Professor of Finance, who served as Mendoza’s interim dean, said the position was a crucial addition because there are new academic developments occurring in the college.“Undergraduate studies at Mendoza is undergoing major changes, including transitioning from basically a three-year curriculum to a four-year curriculum, the addition of four minors open to non-business majors and organizational changes to our Office of Undergraduate Advising, which will mean adding four additional student advisers to the office,” Cremers said in the press release. “We also plan to explore further significant innovations and enhancements of our undergraduate curriculum, and thus hope to strengthen the college’s administration of our undergraduate studies by adding an associate dean.”Leady said in the release he is looking forward to beginning preparing students to be leaders in their eventual business fields.“I am very excited about this opportunity to lead the transformation of undergraduate business education at the University,” Leady said. “We want to leverage Mendoza’s unsurpassed excellence in preparing young women and men to be leaders in business and the community to broaden opportunities for current Mendoza students and expand programs for non-business majors.”Leady has been a faculty member of Mendoza since 2006 and teaches economic courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. He also served as the assistant chair and director of undergraduate studies for Mendoza’s Department of Finance and advises the Corporate Finance Club.Throughout his career, Leady has taught courses in public finance, labor economics, game theory, intermediate microeconomics and principles of economics at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan.He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the U.S. Military Academy and his master’s and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. Leady continues to serve as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve in the 766th Transportation Battalion, with his most recent deployment to Kuwait in 2015-2016.Tags: business, economics, Jim Leady, mendoza college of businesslast_img read more

Community gathers to celebrate First Generation Day

first_imgThe First Gen Club held a celebration Thursday in recognition of First Gen[eration] Day. The event featured guest speaker Kris Arizmendi-Choinacky, a Catholic Latinx woman who is the assistant director of the Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE). A University of Indianapolis alumna, Choinacky was a first-generation college student. In her speech, she acknowledged the factors that make her a first-generation woman and commemorates first-generation students, faculty and staff of the Saint Mary’s community. She recounted her experience in college as a first-generation student and the struggles and successes she faced in her educational and professional careers.Following Choinacky’s speech about family, internal issues and higher education, some stayed to mingle. There were other first-generation professors, staff and students at the event who were able to interact with one another.President of the First Gen club, junior Damariz Olguin spoke to her decision to run for the position and what the club means to her.“As a first-gen student, I want to help other students, having gone through and still living through the struggles many first-gen students face, such as filling out FAFSA and asking for help,” she said. “I applied to be part of the first-gen board because I found it interesting how the club came to start. Last year’s president was talking to current vice president of student affairs Gloria Jenkins, and asked why there was no established First Gen club. I understood then the importance of having the club.” Olguin then spoke to the challenges faced by first generation students.“There are many challenges, and there will keep being many challenges, and if I can encourage other students and give advice as a junior having gotten through these past years as a first-year at Saint Mary’s, I am more than happy to. It is something I enjoy and something I hope to keep doing during my time here,” Olguin said.She spoke to the challenges she faced being the first in her family to attend college, specifically filling out forms.“As a first-gen student, you will always face challenges, a big one for me, and what I’ve noticed for many too is FAFSA,” Olguin said. “You know, it’s so complicated when you have to not only do it yourself but also encourage your parents to hand over their tax returns to you.”While there are difficulties she faces, Olguin said there are many organizations on campus that support first-generation students.“One that comes straight to mind is the student diversity board,” she said. ”They are a great resource for all students, and I remember joining early on and feeling a sense of family and unity that I needed as a first-year. I know can be greatly helpful for any student. I urge students to seek these resources, especially first-gen as we try to help first-year students as best as possible.”For sophomore club secretary Alok Agwick, the First Gen Club is key to creating a community during times of uncertainty. “We must get together to celebrate and embrace one another because many students don’t necessarily have that support at home, and it is something we as first-gen students aren’t used to,” Agwick said. “We are each other’s resources, our stories are resources, and if we come together, we will get through the difficulties to achieve success.”Tags: first gen day, first generation, kris choinackylast_img read more

Hundreds Without Power In Parts Of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus Counties

first_imgRANDOLPH – Hundreds of people are without power Thursday morning in parts of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.According to the NYSEG Outage Map, 520 customers are in the dark in parts of Cold Spring, Conewango, Napoli, Randolph and East Randolph.National Grid says residents from Gerry to Stockton are in the dark. Both companies did not report the reason power was lost.However, National Grid expects to restore service by 10:15 a.m. in Gerry and by 11:15 a.m. in Stockton. NYSEG says power should be restored by 11:15 a.m. in Cattaraugus County. MGN Image Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img