Wendy Oduor, Miss Kenya USA and a 2014 Saint Mary’s alumna, spoke to the importance of relationship-building and mental health in her keynote speech at the annual Martin Luther King dinner Wednesday night in Rice Commons.Miss Kenya USA is an annual pageant held in Houston, Texas. According to its website, the organization pairs contestants with organizations working to combat inequalities Kenya and the U.S.Though she holds degrees in biology and psychology, Oudor currently works in fashion in New York City. After graduation, Oduor spent time at home working in the medical industry before making the decision to apply to the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.“My acceptance to Parsons was a green light from God,” Oduor said.Taking this sign, Oduor packed her bags and moved to the Big Apple.Oduor attributes her four years at Saint Mary’s as the foundation for what she has accomplished today.“If you were to ask me four years ago, I would have told you that my degree from Saint Mary’s was a waste because I was not directly using the biology or psychology — but today, I know that it is so much more than that,” she said.She said returning to campus and speaking to a new generation of Belles was a meaningful experience for her.“Being back on campus is so surreal, it is a truly humbling experience,” Oduor said. “The fact that I am able to be here tonight is a testament that God is a man of his words.”Oduor said she urges current Saint Mary’s students to curate relationships, whether it be the girl you pass in the hall or your future bridesmaid.“It is so important to make time for relationships,” Oduor said. “It doesn’t matter how close you are or not, [if] you don’t know what they are going to be doing one year [or] five years from now and how that could benefit you.”Odour said this mindset helped her maintain a years-long relationship with Interim President Nancy Nekvasil, a longstanding Saint Mary’s biology professor.After losing her brother to suicide during her senior year, Oduor became an outspoken mental health advocate.”I use a lot of the psychology that I learned at Saint Mary’s in the work that I do surrounding mental health advocacy,” she said. ”Acknowledging the grief allowed me to heal and move forward and establish where I am today.”In addition to speaking at social events, Oduor utilizes Instagram as a platform to share stories and engage with her followers about mental health. She hosts weekly Mental Health Monday livestreams to spread awareness of the issue.Oduor said she places a high value on finding and pursuing ones’ passions.“It is God’s version of my vision. I would not have been able to heal if I did not find my purpose and allow God to work through me,” she said. “Passion is for you, purpose is for others. God gives us the tools to turn our passions into our purpose.”Tags: Martin Luther king dinner, Miss Kenya USA
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” District Court officials are expecting around 100 candidates in the jury selection process of the Lindsey Nicole Blansett murder trial at the Sumner County Courthouse Tuesday morning.Of those 100 potential jurors, at least 42 of them will be selected for an interview, said Kerwin Spencer, Sumner County attorney. Then the judge, defense attorney and prosecuting attorney are expected to decide who will be the 12 jurors and two alternates, who will be seated to determine the fate of Blansett, 33, 0f Wellington who has been charged with premeditated murder. She is accused of killing her 10-year-old son Caleb at her home on Dec. 14, 2015.At the courthouse Monday, both Spencer and Blansett defense attorney Michael Brown met with Judge Scott McQuin during a pretrial hearing to go over the logistics of the trial which is expected to last into next week.Blansett was in attendance at the hearing Monday in her orange prison uniform and remained silent throughout the discussion.Brown said the jury selection could last two days through Tuesday and Wednesday. Spencer said he disagrees with Brown and expects the jury process could be wrapped up by tomorrow.â€œI could be asking for my first witness by 4 p.m. on Tuesday,â€ Spencer said.Spencer said the case will probably go into Monday of next week, and maybe into Tuesday or Wednesday.Security will be tight for the trial in which Blansett faces two felonies of premeditated murder and aggravated assault after being accused of using a rock and knife multiple times to fatally wound her son, Caleb, a Wellington Lincoln Elementary student while he was allegedly sleeping late in the evening last December.Those who come to the courthouse must adhere to various security measures including passing through a metal detecting device. Security officials at the courthouse are expecting a large number of media that could take up two rows on the bench.The hearing lasted two hours this morning and much of it surrounded logistics, including how to handle the media and jurors, what items can or cannot be allowed in the courtroom, and the scheduling of key witnesses. There was also discussion how many jurors will be interviewed. Some have already been deemed ineligible to serve, estimated at 30 percent of the pretrial questionnaires that were returned to the courthouse.Upon Brown’s request and agreed upon by the judge and prosecuting attorney, the two alternates for the 12-person jury will be considered “blind” meaning they will not know they are alternates through the proceeding.“That way they may pay attention more, thinking they are part of the 12-person jury,” Brown said.Follow us on Twitter.
A man who killed a young student and then hid his car in his garage before fleeing the country has applied to get back on the road.Laura Hegarty was killed when she was struck during a hit-and-runJames McDevitt, 31, knocked down student Laura Hegarty as she walked home on St Patrick’s Night in 2007.Laura, from College Farm Road in Letterkenny, was just a couple of hundred yards from her home when she was hit by a car which then took off. The 18 year old had been walking across the road as she was afraid someone was following her.After hitting Ms Hegarty, McDevitt fled and hid his car at his home in Dooen Glebe, Newmills.The following day he fled to Scotland.Gardai launched a massive manhunt and interviewed 96 people as part of their investigation. Their search led them to McDevitt’s home where his mother Lynne showed them his car in the family garage.Forensic results showed the silver Honda Civic car had been the car that struck tragic Laura.McDevitt returned from Scotland to face trial a number of days later.In 2008 he was found guilty of careless driving, hit and run and failing to remain at the scene of an accident and jailed for five months and disqualified from driving for five years.Laura’s heartbroken mum Marie said at the time that her family had been left devastated by Laura’s death. “In that instant the world stopped turning, then it froze, and cracked and fell down around me like shards of glass.“The protracted nature of the case and the late guilty plea has painfully dragged out Laura’s death…The real victim of this is Laura who was robbed of her life at 18 years of age.”At Letterkenny District Court today McDevitt applied to have his license back – four years into a five year ban.His solicitor Patsy Gallagher said the incident would live with his client for the rest of his life but he was now just trying to get on with his life. Garda Superintendent Vincent O’Brien said McDevitt did not submit his license at the time of the disqualification and the endorsement would begin if a new license was granted.Judge Paul Kelly said he would adjourn the case until January 21st to consider the matter.MAN WHO KILLED STUDENT IN HIT-AND-RUN APPLIES TO GET LICENSE BACK was last modified: December 18th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:James McDevittkilled hit and runLaura HegartylicenseNEWMILLS