Sorin Scholars engage in research, discussion

first_imgIn the group’s second year on campus, the Sorin Scholars continue to “act as catalysts” for undergraduate research and intellectual discussion outside of the classroom, said Philippe Collon, associate director of the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) and the group’s faculty mentor. The Sorin Scholars, comprised of about 30 students per class, is the only University-wide honors program, Collon said. Students are chosen by recommendations from faculty advisors and teachers after their freshman year. Collon said the group, sponsored by CUSE, formed last year to carry on University founder Fr. Edward Sorin’s legacy of academic leadership. “We call them the Sorin Scholars [so] they would act as catalysts for all the other students at the University, like Fr. Sorin, who not only managed to create the University but was a really strong catalyst for getting things started and getting things off the ground,” Collon said. “We wanted these students to have Fr. Sorin as their example as being the real catalyst to get students to think early on about scholarly engagement, undergraduate research and making the most out of their four years at Notre Dame.” The objective of the group is to provide opportunities for the students involved to further supplement their academics through thought-provoking discussion and research, Collon said. “We want this to be an additional opportunity for students to have mentors, to have a place to meet and to have opportunities to discuss and to grow, then, to become ambassadors of undergraduate research here on campus,” he said. To accomplish these goals, CUSE chooses students from all colleges to participate in the group, provides a lounge for them and helps them coordinate research projects, Collon said. CUSE also sponsors many other activities, such as monthly coffee house discussions, trips to see plays, ice cream socials and educational workshops. “It is up to the students to define what they want to do and how they want that research to be as fruitful as possible,” he said. Junior Michael Fronk said participating in these activities as a Sorin Scholar allows him to engage in intellectual dialogue outside of the classroom. “It’s been really helpful and insightful in sparking engaging thinking,” Fronk said. Fronk, who is on the steering committee for the group, said the research opportunity he gained through Sorin Scholars was invaluable. As an English and mathematics major, Fronk said he received $3,000 to spend the summer in London studying Anglo-Caribbean culture and literature. “I made the connections that helped me to get the $3,000 grant to go abroad over the summer,” Fronk said. Junior chemistry major Patrick Kramer said he used his connections through Sorin Scholars to perform chemistry research at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis last summer and continue research on campus this fall. Kramer said the benefits he has gained through the program will help him discern what to do after college. “I’m hoping to go to med school eventually, but I don’t know if I want to combine that with clinical research,” Kramer said. “[Sorin Scholars] gave me a window to explore that opportunity and also to look at post-graduate opportunities involved with research.” Kramer said meeting new people through the group was just as beneficial as making important connections. “It’s a good group of people to collaborate with on different ideas,” he said.last_img read more

Alumni serve in Washington

first_imgWith five alumni gaining or holding seats in Congress following last week’s election, the University’s ties to national politics are more prominent than ever. Rep. Joe Donnelly’s election to the U.S. Senate, Keith Rothfus’s win for a seat in the House of Representatives and the re-elections of Peter Visclosky, Peter King and Michael Kelly to the House offer strong avenues for advocating the University’s interests on Capitol Hill said John Sturm, associate vice president for Federal and Washington Relations. Sturm, a 1969 Notre Dame graduate, was appointed to the newly-formed position on June 1. He’s been tasked with communicating the University’s views to federal officials, including the aforementioned alumni. He said the degree to which the University works with alumni in Washington depends on the committees they sit on. “We don’t know what committees [Donnelly] is going to serve on,” he said. “That has some effect on what he does and how he might interface with the University.” Regardless of where Donnelly ends up, Sturm is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the 1977 alumnus. “Not only is he a Notre Dame alum, but he comes from South Bend. He lives locally and his wife works at the University,” he said. “That’s about as good a relationship as one can expect, and frankly, Joe Donnelly is a very easy person to be around.” Sturm said future committee placement is clearer for Rep. Visclosky, a 1973 graduate of the Law School returning for his 15th term in the House. “He’s been on the Appropriations Committee for ages. I think he’s likely to become the ranking member of the [defense] subcommittee … that’s a pretty big deal,” Sturm said. “Congressman Visclosky has been a terrific friend of Notre Dame. He recently visited campus and we were able to show him a few facilities where his help has brought fruit for Notre Dame.” Given the limits on committee chair tenures, Rep. King’s committee assignment is unclear following his re-election, Sturm said. “Pete King has been chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the House … We don’t know yet, but we should know fairly soon whether he’s going to move to another committee as chairman or if he’s going to get a waiver to continue on homeland security.” While the University has little at stake within the area of homeland security, King’s high profile has done much for the Notre Dame brand in Washington, Sturm said. “King has been pretty prominent when major things happen around the world or domestically,” Sturm said. “He’s been on radio, television and newspapers a lot … We’re waiting to see what happens with him.” As for the remaining alumni in Congress, Sturm said the formal interactions with the University have been minimal so far. “Mike Kelly, I think he’s been on foreign affairs. We haven’t had much to do with Congressman Kelly as of yet. Committee assignments mean a lot,” he said. “Keith Rothfus [hasn’t had] any committee assignments yet. We’re not really sure where he wants to go.” Regardless of whether their area of policy focus is directly relevant to the University, Sturm said each elected alumnus benefits Notre Dame. “The more the merrier. When members are Notre Dame alums … for example, they can have an effect – especially if they’re the chairman or ranking member on a committee – on witnesses brought into a hearing,” he said. “To have witnesses in front of Congress to provide information for policy makers, they get quoted in the press or appear on TV, all that contributes to the overall image and success of the University.” Sturm said the alumni voted into office last week aren’t the only ones on Capitol Hill building the Notre Dame alumni presence. “There’s also a strong, great group of Notre Dame alumni, parents and friends who make their living around the federal government – lawyers, lobbyists, trade association folks, journalists, defense contractors – who interact one way or another with the federal government or whose businesses depend on the federal government,” he said. “For them to be successful and prominent is another way the University’s image goes north, and they’re a resource for Notre Dame.” While their relationship with the University doesn’t affect the voting or policy stances of Notre Dame alumni in office, Sturm said the affiliation allows for smoother communications. “It just is a lot easier. You have faster and easier access and there’s familiarity with the alums. I make it my business to get around and see them,” he said. “That extends to the Indiana delegation as well.” Regardless of where officials were educated, Sturm said the University’s reputation carries weight in Washington. “Representing the University of Notre Dame, I don’t think there are too many people who haven’t heard of us. It’s a great brand. Other than some of the Ivies … we’re in that league, generally speaking,” he said. “Partly because of our Catholic significance and because of our reputation as a great undergraduate school that produces people who are not only successful, but seem to be successful by doing things the right way.” Contact John Cameron at [email protected]last_img read more

Hackathon participants seek to develop mobile apps

first_imgWhen Notre Dame introduced Innovation Park, a research facility that aims to transform innovations into marketplace ventures, in 2009, it was trying to develop its standing as a research university by commercializing intellectual property. Natalie Gunn-Stahl, the facilities manager at Innovation Park, said the location will do just that today when it hosts its first Hackathon, a 36-hour event in which participants compete to create mobile applications.  The Hackathon is open not only to coders or designers, but to anyone who wants to participate in the technology-based event. “People with ideas will pitch them and say what kinds of team members they need – business, marketing, etc.,” Gunn-Stahl said. “If people don’t have an idea, they tell the audience what their skill set is, and then there is an hour or so where people network.” Participants then form teams and work together to develop their mobile apps, Gunn-Stahl said.  According to the Park’s website, a panel judges participants equally on the app’s pitch, the originality of the idea and how technically challenging or innovative the app’s implementation is. Gunn-Stahl said judges award prizes at the end of the competition. “For [Notre Dame] students, there is … an all-expense paid trip to the AT&T foundry in Plano, Texas,” she said. “There are also opportunities to win cash prizes for best user interface, best overall app, etc.” Gunn-Stahl said the Hackathon is not limited to just Notre Dame students.”We are hoping to get the majority of participants from Notre Dame, but faculty or staff are also welcomed, as well as members of the community,” she said. This is the first Hackathon hosted at Notre Dame, but Gunn-Stahl said they occur all over the country and even around the world. “Usually, there are different types of Hackathons,” Gunn-Stahl said. “For example, in Chicago, they opened up public data sets and gave money to people who helped make apps that helped fight crime, help parks and were somehow related to making Chicago a better city.” Participants in the Innovation Park Hackathon may create an app about any topic they want, but Gunn-Stahl said people will most likely tailor their creations to the criteria of the prizes. The event begins today at 6 p.m. and stretches until Saturday night, when participants are invited to a tailgate and football game watch, Gunn-Stahl said. Innovation Park will provide food and snacks. It asks participants to bring laptops to the event.  “We just really encourage people, at least Friday night, to come see what it is all about,” Gunn-Stahl said. “Just come and try it.” More information about the Hackathon and how to register is available at http://mobileappnd-org.eventbrite.com Contact Katie McCarty at [email protected]last_img read more

Operation Smile fundraises at Five Guys

first_imgToday, you can indulge in Five Guys and not feel guilty about it, since every dollar spent will bring the Notre Dame chapter of Operation Smile closer to its goals. To help the cause, present the voucher, virtual or physical print, from the Operation Smile Five Guys Fundraiser’s Facebook event page to the cashier at the Five Guys Burgers and Fries at Eddy Street Commons. Five Guys Burgers and Fries will donate 25 percent of all eligible purchases to Operation Smile.The Notre Dame chapter of Operation Smile was founded in 2003 and currently is led by junior Janie Zhang.Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a national nonprofit medical service organization that raises money to provide cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for families who cannot afford the procedure, particularly those in countries without widespread access to health care, Zhang said. Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. The national chapter of Operation Smiles also conducts research on the causes and eradication of the birth defect.The Notre Dame chapter’s goal for this year is to raise enough money to provide surgeries for 12 kids with the condition, Zhang said. The cost required for each procedure is approximately $240.Zhang said Operation Smile has been planning this fundraiser since September.From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Operation Smile club members will be stationed outside of South Dining Hall to hand out promotional flyers. The Five Guys vouchers will be attached to the flyers.“It only takes $240 to provide a free surgery that will heal a child’s smile and change [his or her] life forever,” Zhang said. “It can be hard at an individual level to provide these funds, but collectively, as a student body and a community, we have the potential to change the lives of more than just a dozen children.”Besides the primary goal of funding surgical procedures, another goal is to raise awareness for this organization, Zhang said.“Even though we’re a representation of the national organization, not many people have heard of Operation Smile,” she said.According to Zhang, Operation Smile is in the process of planning its first 5K race, Miles for Smiles, to promote awareness. Operation Smiles will also continue to hold its annual photo booth event for the spring’s Blue and Gold football scrimmage.Aside from directly supporting the national chapter, the Notre Dame chapter also helps out in the local community, Zhang said.“We’re volunteering at Center for the Homeless later this month to teach the kids about oral health,” she said.“Set some time off today, make the trip to Five Guys and enjoy a delicious burger,” Zhang said. “All the while, you will help restore children’s smiles and shape their futures. Good food, good cause.”Tags: five guys burgers and fries, notre dame chapter, notre dame chapter of operation smile, operation smilelast_img read more

OIT provides update on new Wi-Fi arrangements

first_imgLast spring, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) announced that the University would change its main Wi-Fi network from “ND-secure” to “eduroam.” Since the transition to the new network over the summer, OIT has encouraged students to switch to eduroam, in place of Notre Dame’s guest network, “ND-guest.”“The change to use eduroam for secure wireless access has gone smoothly,” Katie Rose, OIT’s senior director of user services, said in an email. “Approximately half of the devices on campus use eduroam instead of ND-guest. The biggest challenges have been making sure people know to use eduroam and also making sure that they know why they should.”There were two secure Wi-Fi networks on campus last year — ND-secure and eduroam — in addition to ND-guest. Switching over to just one secure and one guest network has improved Wi-Fi service, Rose said.“The two secured networks actually caused some conflicts that degraded performance, and the OIT received a lot of feedback about wireless being slow,” she said. “Since consolidating the secured networks to just eduroam, we have seen much more reliable performance and faster speeds, especially as you move from one space to another.”Students should switch over to eduroam rather continuing to use ND-guest in order to fully benefit from the University’s online resources, Rose explained.“Eduroam is a secure network, so your wireless traffic is encrypted to protect your information,” she said. “It also is treated like a trusted part of campus, so you can access more services from eduroam than you can from ND-guest.”Maintaining Notre Dame’s wireless networks is an continuous process, Rose said, due to the widespread use of its Wi-Fi.“We continually optimize the network — with so many people, so many buildings, so much on-going change, we monitor and adjust the wireless network often to make sure you have the best experience possible,” she said. “Eduroam has all the same functionality that ND-secure did, but eduroam also offers you the ability to visit other schools that use eduroam and easily get on their network too. ND-secure couldn’t do that.”Rose said the shift to the new network has been positive, though OIT faced some challenges during Welcome Weekend.“So far, we are hearing the Wi-Fi is better than last year,” Rose said. “During move-in weekend we heard from are a few people who had some issues getting signed onto eduroam, and we continue to look at how to make the sign-on process better.”Rose encouraged students to reach out to OIT if they are facing issues with eduroam. She said the information gained from these interactions helps OIT improve service for everyone.“If anyone has any questions, please call our OIT Help Desk at 574–631-8111,” she said. “There are lots of details our team needs to gather to help learn how we can continue to improve your experience, so a phone call makes it easier to gather those details.”If students need OIT assistance in person or want to access other OIT resources, they can visit OIT’s office in 115 DeBartolo Hall, Rose said.“This year, we consolidated all of the places you could go for different things in the OIT into one space — 115 DeBartolo,” she said. “Now you can get help with IT and printing questions, get your computer repaired and checkout A/V equipment … for your class work all in one location. We hope this will get you all of the technology help you need in a more convenient location.”Tags: Eduroam, ND-guest, ND-secure, Office of Information Technologies, OIT, Wi-Filast_img read more

Activist Andrea Jenkins speaks on poetry, transgender rights

first_imgWriter, performance artist, poet and transgender activist Andrea Jenkins shared her poetry and essays with the Saint Mary’s community March 28 as the keynote speaker for Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Week.Jenkins is the first African American, openly transgender woman to hold office in the United States. Currently, she is city council Vice President of Minneapolis Ward 8. Jenkins began her presentation by acknowledging the privilege one has as an American. Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31 and the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death on April 4 are two important days she said she wanted the audience to recognize throughout her speech.“I want to acknowledge that we stand on stolen land, indigenous and native land, built by stolen labor, by Africans brought to America,” she said. “We must always keep this understanding in mind, because history gives context to the issues that we face today.”Jenkins said she got involved with politics because she wanted to devote herself to helping those in need. “I’ve been working all of my adult life trying to help and improve people’s lives,” she said. “Politics is about improving people’s lives.” Much of the poetry Jenkins writes is inspired by the art, culture and stories she encounters, especially those related to the early days of hip hop music. “Hip hop music was a force to be reckoned with,” she said. “I have been shaped, formed and informed by the music of the urban community all my life … Back then, Chicago had its own distinct musical sound. Chicago was perfectly suited to embrace the music that came out of the Bronx. It was gritty, grimy, cold and fast. Everybody had a hustle in Chicago.” The rappers she grew up with, Jenkins remarked, brought the realism of black neighborhoods and the black community to the forefront.  “They described the stark reality of black neighborhoods all around the country,” she said. “Broken glass everywhere. Roaches, rats, junkies in the alley with baseball bats. So much pain. So much realism. Everybody in the hood knew what they were talking about, but no one had ever put it out there like that before for the entire world to see.”The music industry also reflected the bitter reality of life in inner city communities, Jenkins noted. “All of this was taking place in the midst of the crack cocaine epidemic that was ravaging inner city communities across America, and black rappers were not immune,” she said. “In fact, they were some of the most vicious perpetrators. The Notorious B.I.G. said ‘either you’re slinging crack rock, or you got a wicked jump shot.’ That was the sentiment of many black youth in America, and unfortunately, some thirty-five plus years later, that proclamation still reigns.”Even so, hip hop was able to endure hardships and become economically successful and bold enough to inspire Jenkins to be true to who she was inside, she said. “But along with the economic success comes this attitude of, I can do what I want, say what I want and be who I am,” she said. “And that sentiment was not lost on me. I always knew in my heart that I was destined to be a woman. You see, I was born in this obviously male body when I had this heart of a woman, but for a long time I was afraid to admit it. I tried to conform to society’s expectations of what I thought a man should be. Hip hop indirectly provided me with the courage to fully express myself.” Jenkins said she found a new way to express herself through spoken word poetry, which is often considered an offset of rap and hip hop. “I had found my community,” she said. “I began to hang out with local spoken word artists and poets and writers, and I found myself writing about the identity that I had for so long hidden deep within my psyche. And people responded. So I gradually began to outwardly express myself. And quite to my surprise, I didn’t receive the mass rejection I thought I would.”She read openly from her book of poetry and spoke of being oppressed and those who oppress. “If there is such a thing as the oppressed, then there must be an oppressor,” Jenkins said. “This has weighed heavy on my mind for a long time … If there is such a thing as an oppressor then there must be the oppressed. It is a mutually accepted relationship. Why do we strive for the same ideals as the oppressor?”We should not be afraid to love who we want to love, she said. “Are we afraid to let real love shine?” Jenkins said. “Afraid to say, I’m in love with a big, black, transgender goddess and she loves me back?”We must strive to not let ourselves become the oppressors, she concluded. “If we are the oppressed, then it is imperative that we not become the oppressors,” Jenkins said. “We got to love every color in the rainbow. Respect the beauty that lives in each and every one of us. When your blues become my blues, we can sing ‘Oh Happy Day.’”Tags: Andrea Jenkins, Hip hop, Poetry, Politics, Transgender rightslast_img read more

The Observer wins Indiana Collegiate Press Association awards

first_imgThe Observer won 28 awards at the 2018 Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) awards in Indianapolis on Saturday, including second place in the Division I Newspaper of the Year category and second place in the Best Overall Website category.The News department won third place in the Best In-Depth story category for current Editor-in-Chief and former News Editor Courtney Becker’s feature on the Save the Village movement. Becker, along with Assistant Managing Editor and former Associate News Editor Lucas Masin-Moyer, also received second place in the Best Continuous Coverage of a Single Story category for coverage of Vice President Mike Pence as the 2017 Commencement Speaker.The department took second and third place in the Best News or Feature Series for its coverage of the Deferred Action for Childhood  Arrivals (DACA) repeal and former Saint Mary’s Editor Martha Reilly and Becker’s political climate series.Additionally, Becker took third place in the Best Non-Deadline News Story category for her feature remembering the life of former student Edward Lim.Former Assistant Managing Editor Marek Mazurek won first place in the Best Sports News Story category for his coverage of the Notre Dame football team’s loss to the University of Miami and sports writer Renee Griffin took second place in the same category for her story about the Notre Dame women’s basketball team’s loss to Stanford in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.Mazurek, former Editor-in-Chief and current Sports Editor Ben Padanilam, Assistant Managing Editor and former Sports Editor Elizabeth Greason, Managing Editor and former Associate Sports Editor Tobias Hoonhout and sports writer Daniel O’Boyle won first place in the Best Podcast category analyzing Notre Dame football’s faceoff against Miami (FL). Padanilam won second place in the Best Sports Column category for his column “Kelly must avoid repeat of last year’s mistakes.”The Scene department won three awards, including first place for former Scene writer Matt Munhall’s piece “Margo Price, poet laureate of the dive bar” in Best Review and second place for former Associate Scene Editor Kelly McGarry’s piece  “Feminism is for kids” in Best Entertainment Column. Current Associate Scene Editor Mike Donovan also took third place in Best Entertainment Story for his feature on Notre Dame’s student music scene. The Photo department won first place in the Best Sports Photo category for former Photo Editor Chris Collins’ picture of junior wide receiver Chase Claypool diving into the end zone for a touchdown. Additionally, Collins and former Graphics Editor Lauren Weldon won first place in the Best Special Section Front/Cover category for the “Gold Standard” Irish Insider cover.Weldon and former Scene Writer Jack Reidy took third place in Best Illustration for the full-page “Ladibree, trill since birth” graphic. The Graphics department also took second place in the Best Informational Graphic category for graphic designer Cristina Interiano’s graphic for the story “University releases 2016 Campus Climate Survey results.”Show Some Skin won third place in Best Opinion Column for its piece “Protect survivors of sexual violence: Ambiguous waiver policy needs clarification.” The 2017-2018 Editorial Board won third place for Best Staff Editorial for “Observer Editorial: It’s your turn.”Advertising Manager Alexandra Pucillo won first place in the Best Self-Promotional Campaign (Three or More Pieces) category and second place in Best General Media Kit/Marketing Package. Additionally, Pucillo, Padanilam and Weldon won third place for Best Rate Card.The Observer won first place in Best Single Issue for Irish Insider: USC and third place for the edition for Sept. 15, 2017. Additionally, The Observer won first place in Best Overall Website Design, third place in Online Publication of the Year and third place in Advertising Publication of the Year.Tags: ICPA, ICPA 2018, Indiana Collegiate Press Association, The Observerlast_img read more

Institute for Latino Studies celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

first_imgThe Institute for Latino Studies plans to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with seven events highlighting the cultural richness and diversity of countries with Hispanic origin in the Americas.Hispanic Heritage Month, which was established by law in 1988 under President Reagan, lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Several countries with Hispanic origin celebrate their independence days during this timespan.Director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor Luis Ricardo Fraga said the month is a way of celebrating the shared Hispanic history of American nations.“The idea behind it — I think — is basically the idea that given the long history of the presence of peoples from Spain, and later from other countries in Latin America, in the United States, it was appropriate that the United States … celebrate both the heritage of our Latin American countries that we might see as brothers and sisters of the western hemisphere … and at the same time celebrate the presence of people from a number of different countries in Latin America in the United States,” Fraga said.Fraga said Hispanic Heritage Month is a demonstration of the way America can recognize and celebrate diversity.“The whole purpose of Hispanic Heritage Month is to celebrate the way in which America at its best has the capacity, through its institutions, and at its best through some of its political leaders, to see and celebrate difference and know that it doesn’t in any way threaten our common destiny and our linked fate with one another,” he said.This year’s festivities include a viewing of the film “Selena” on Sept. 16 at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, as well as a discussion by Luis Alberto Urrea, an award winning Mexican-American poet on Oct. 2 at McKenna Hall Auditorium.“[The activities planned] are a demonstration of the varieties and richness that the presence of Hispanics here at Notre Dame bring to the university — intellectual richness, cultural richness, linguistic richness,” Fraga said.While all the events are scheduled to take place on the Notre Dame campus, Fraga said the Institute hopes to attract people from the surrounding areas as well.“We strongly encourage, of course, all the members of the Notre Dame community to come, but we also make a concerted effort to bring people in from South Bend, from St. Mary’s, from Holy Cross, from IUSB,” Fraga said. “We’re fortunate in having resources and we want to make sure we share them with the broader community. We have found that at most of our events, all sorts of people come, it’s not just Latino folks who come, and that’s our purpose. Our purpose is to share, to celebrate and to learn from each other.”Senior Jinelfry Rodriguez, president of the Latino Students Alliance (LSA), said Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate Hispanic heritage, regardless of ethnicity.“It’s nice to have a time when we are acknowledged by the community and to have a time and space where we’re able to come together and also … share our culture and the aspects of ourselves and our history with people who may not be aware or just aren’t Latino themselves,” Rodriguez said.LSA secretary and junior Julianna Ortiz said Hispanic Heritage Month allows members of LSA to reach out and share the joy they find in their culture.“We definitely all love as a community to get together and be able to hang out and be with something familiar to us, but also to share with people who don’t really know our culture as well,” Ortiz said. “To be able to share with people our culture and show how great it can be … I think that’s important.”Fraga said Hispanic Heritage Month should have particular importance at Notre Dame because of its shared Catholic roots with countries of Hispanic origin and the rising numbers of Catholic Hispanics and Latinos in America today.“Hispanics represent both the future of the Catholic Church and the past of the Catholic Church at the same time. We have endorsed Hispanic heritage month as a major opportunity to celebrate the presence of Latinos in the United States,” he said. “The increase in the capacity of our institutions to grow even more richly if they embrace the diversity of our growing community gives Notre Dame an opportunity to be at the forefront of the best thinking, the best research, the best teaching, the best students who are interested in understanding the future and committing to it.”Junior Hibram Sanchez, LSA’s diversity council representative, said Hispanic Heritage Month allows communities to escape the negativity in politics and focus on the beauty of a diverse American society.“[Hispanic Heritage Month] is important right now especially with this negativity that’s going around,” Sanchez said. “You just see the negative aspects regardless of what your position is … Showing that there’s also these subsets of the American population that contribute to the fabric of the country … it’s important to show what we believe is beautiful in our cultures but at the same time acknowledge that we’re a part of the American experience.”A full listing of Hispanic Heritage Month events can be found on the Institute for Latino Studies’ website.Tags: hispanic and latino culture, Hispanic Catholics, Hispanic Heritage Month, Institute for Latino Studies, Latino Student Alliancelast_img read more

Political science professors discuss ‘politics of place’

first_imgKay Bontempo | The Observer During the question-and-answer segment of the talk, one student asked if there was any truth to the statement that southern suburbs were starting to vote according to northern patterns, while northern towns were beginning to follow southern voting habits.Kaplan said, “It’s a combination of demographic patterns; for example, people from the north moving to Arlington, Va. who don’t vote like southerners.”Of the phenomenon of northern towns voting like the South, Campbell said “to be rural is now associated with a particular brand of conservatism, almost a psychic bond with what you’d find in the South.”When asked what was most crucial for students to understand about the politics of place, Kaplan said understanding context is necessary to understanding trends.“The importance of putting a particular election result in context,” he said. “We tend to look at elections as a snapshot — who won, what happened? But to understand a particular election it helps to see it in the context of a tendency over time. Politics is always changing and we’re always trying to catch up, [but] to understand the direction of change, you have to look at trends over time.”Tags: election 2016, Election 2020, Pizza Pop and Politics, political science, Politics of Place, Racism ND Votes hosted a discussion on Wednesday which addressed an issue at the forefront of modern American politics — demographics and how one’s place of birth can influence voting habits. The event, held in the Geddes Hall Coffee House, was part of an ongoing monthly series called “Pizza, Pop and Politics,” sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and designed to increase discourse among students on topics related to politics.This month’s discussion, titled “The Politics of Place,” featured presentations by Josh Kaplan, professor and director of undergraduate studies for the political science department, and David Campbell, professor and chairperson for the Department of Political Science.Kaplan said he first became interested in the politics of place while in graduate school.“I took a lot of history courses, and one of my teachers kept referring to a political scientist named V.O. Key,” Kaplan said. “I read Key’s work, and he wrote a very influential book on southern politics. And about 10 years ago I got the idea for a course on politics in the south. … [I realized the course was actually] about the demographics in politics.”Kaplan said demographic trend analysis has only become a standard way of understanding politics in the past decade.“It used to be something that political scientists, that campaigns talked about it, but now it’s become just one of the things that everybody talks about,” Kaplan said. “Hillary Clinton’s problems with young voters, Bernie Sanders’ problems with minority voters, Donald Trump’s affinity with uneducated voters … all these categories that we now use. So, I see this event as a way to look at the future of American politics by looking at what we can learn from demographics, and how we can think about the influence of demographic change on political change.”The presentations centered around two major demographic divides in American voting habits—north versus south, and urban versus rural.Professor Campbell opened the discussion with a question concerning the title of the event itself — why was it “Pizza, Pop and Politics” rather than “Pizza, Soda and Politics?”“Some of you grew up calling it ‘pop,’” he said, “but why?”Campbell then transitioned to a discussion of cultural differences across different regions of the United States, particularly the urban-rural split, and its implications for American politics.Campbell projected slides showing how the divide between urban and rural voting patterns in the United States was wider in 2016 than it was in 2012, though he said the phenomenon was present in both elections.“This is not a brand-new distinction,” Campbell said. “But it’s one that we’re talking about a little more than we had been.”Professor Kaplan followed with a discussion of northern voting habits versus southern, and their implications for the 2020 election. Informed by post-Civil War history, Kaplan said there is an important distinction between the “deep South” and the “peripheral South” in their levels of racial integration and urbanization at the time, and the lasting effects those differences had on political participation in the region.last_img read more

Friends, family remember 2014 Notre Dame grad Hannah Turgeon

first_imgFriends and family were never far from Hannah Turgeon’s thoughts.She was the kind of person to always leave a gift, or note, just to show she cared. The kind to always make time for others. Observer File Photo Hannah Turgeon’s LinkedIn profile picture. Hannah won the Sr. Kathryn A. Haas Award for dorm service and leadership in 2014.“I can’t remember a time when you proposed something to do and she was like, ‘Okay, sure,’” Melanie Trivella, one of Hannah’s best friends and a fellow 2014 alumna, said. “She was always like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’”The kind who always saw the best in everyone.“She would always use at least three adjectives to describe everyone and everything, and they were usually superlatives,” Trivella said. “Everyone was the best and the prettiest and the smartest.”Hannah, a 2014 Notre Dame graduate, died in a hit-and-run accident Oct. 13 while in South Bend for the Notre Dame-USC football game. She was 27.A McGlinn Hall resident for all four of her years at Notre Dame, Hannah found a place in her dorm community right away.“Hannah was one of those people that you just got to know early on,” McGlinn rector Sr. Mary Lynch said.She was devoted to McGlinn’s Big Sister Little Sister program, where girls from St. Adalbert Catholic School in South Bend would spend Saturdays with hall residents.“It was our effort to help those little girls realize that [Notre Dame] not such an impossible reach for them,” Lynch said.Hannah would spend hours leading the girls in activities like baking or arts-and-crafts, Trivella said.“I just kind of remember her always running around trying to get stuff together for the girls coming,” Trivella said.Hannah was instrumental in strengthening the Big Sister Little Sister program, Lynch said. The program has continued most years since her graduation, with Fisher Hall hosting similar activities for St. Adalbert boys. For her dedication to Big Sister Little Sister, Hannah was given the 2014 Sr. Kathryn A. Haas Award, presented each year to a McGlinn senior who sets herself apart in service and leadership in the hall community.An art history major, Hannah also excelled academically. Her freshman year seminar professor, Robin Rhodes, remembers her turning in a particularly impressive first essay, though the assignment is usually a stumbling block for first-year students. “It was one of the very best papers I’ve gotten for a first paper in that seminar,” he said.She went on to earn a strong reputation across the department, Rhodes added.Hannah’s father, Paul Turgeon, said despite her academic success, she stayed deceptively humble.“She was famous for being stressed out and studying too much and thinking her papers were no good,” Paul Turgeon said. “Then she’d get all A’s, and they’d use her paper as an example.”After graduation, Hannah would eventually settle in Denver working as the executive assistant to entrepreneur and former Colorado state treasurer Brian Watson. In keeping with her love of the arts and passion for service, Hannah began her own handmade card company, “I’m Bringing Crafty Back,” in 2017. She sold over 200 cards since its debut on Etsy.In late 2018, “I’m Bringing Crafty Back” partnered with coffee and retail company Generous International to fund nonprofit work in developing communities around the world. Generous International will dedicate one of its new houses in Honduras to Hannah’s memory, Paul Turgeon said.Born Dec. 25, Hannah had a lifelong love of Christmas — earning her the family nickname “Hannah Claus,” Trivella said.“We always worried, ‘Boy, she could feel cheated because her birthday is Christmas,’ and so we would celebrate it for the entire month,” Paul Turgeon said.Naturally, Hannah was in her element during Christmas season at Notre Dame, Lynch said.“People were always happy when she was in their section, because when they did the Christmas decorations in the section, they could count on her to have some really good ideas,” she said.She was constantly thinking of others — always going the extra mile to make those around her feel loved, Trivella said.“She told everyone that she loved them or that they were a great friend or they were a great sister, a great dad,” she said. “And a lot of that was through the homemade cards that she would make. … Everyone has all those memories to keep and to read.”In Hannah’s memory, the Turgeon family began a scholarship fund for McGlinn students, students from Los Angeles and Denver and those who serve in South Bend schools. The family is accepting donations at https://giving.nd.eduTags: Hannah Turgeon, McGlinn Hall, St. Adalbertlast_img read more