Miss Kenya USA speaks on passion, purpose

first_imgWendy 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 USAlast_img read more

‘All rise’ . . . . or not

first_img‘All rise’ . . . . or not April 30, 2003 Regular News ‘All rise’. . . . or not Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Judges are not royalty requiring genuflection when they pass by, reasons lawyer Joe Negron. So why should a bailiff demand that everyone stand when a judge walks into a courtroom, the Republican legislator from Stuart asked his colleagues on the House Subcommittee on Judicial Appropriations that he chairs. While a bevy of judges watched in silence from the spectators seats, Negron offered an amendment to the Article V bill that would prohibit agents of the state from demanding or requesting that people stand when a judge enters or exits a courtroom. “I choose to stand up at the end of the Messiah, when the Hallelujah Chorus is sung. That’s my choice. It’s a tradition. It’s a custom. But I would resent being in a church and having somebody with a gun representing the power of the state, which is the power to confine you, the power to execute you, the power to take your money.. . . I do not like someone who represents that, who is a symbol of that, instructing citizens to do something that they may not be predisposed to,” Negron said. He’s been in plenty of hearings and trials where the bailiff announces “All rise” as the judge enters the courtroom. He’s also been in a trial where a Palm Beach judge preferred everyone keep their seats. If Gov. Jeb Bush were to walk into the committee room right then, Negron said, some would choose to stand out of respect — and some wouldn’t. While he has no problem voluntarily standing to show his respect for the court, Negron said, he objects to “a person with a gun and handcuffs.. . telling me that I must do something, and demanding an overt act. “That’s the purpose of me offering the amendment. It’s meant as no disrespect to the court.. . I look at the court as deserving of respect, and deserving of the appropriate level of honoring what they do,” Negron said. “But judges are not lords. We don’t all have to bow on the side of the road when the king’s carriage goes by. And I look at demanding that sort of obsequiousness at threat of gunpoint as something we ought to talk about today.” Talk about it, they did. “I think this sends a bad message,” said Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Pompano Beach. “The timing of your amendment is not really conducive to what we are trying to accomplish, really working with the courts to assist their funding.” Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, added: “This is really a 400-year-old practice of showing respect not for the person, so much, but for the position and the system. I am very sensitive to what you are trying to address, Rep. Negron, but there is an important role for requiring people to show a certain amount of deference and respect.” Rep. Juan-Carlos Planas, R-Miami, said he’s old-fashioned and likes traditions, especially in our society that is losing its civility and manners. “I think a little part of me would like to see the wigs back,” Planas said. Later, a balding Buddy Jacobs, general counsel for the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, quipped he liked the part about the wigs. And Rep. Holly Benson, R-Pensacola, joked that the maybe the judges should rise when legislators enter the room. But the judges in the audience weren’t laughing. “I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, which is to get a sounding from the people I work with and respect. This idea needs some more work,” Negron said, to laughter. “Traditions are worth discussing, so with that I’ll withdraw the amendment.”last_img read more

Racism should be treated as seriously as match-fixing and doping – Holder

first_imgPLAYERS found guilty of racism should face the same penalties as match-fixers and dopers, says West Indies captain Jason Holder. While International Cricket Council (ICC) rules allow for a life ban for on-pitch racist abuse, culprits are rarely punished to that extent.“I don’t think the penalty for doping or corruption should be any different for racism,” Holder told BBC Sport.“If we’ve got issues within our sport, we must deal with them equally.”Under the ICC’s anti-racism policy, a first offence is usually punished with between four and eight suspension points. Two suspension points equate to a ban for one Test or two one-day internationals or two T20 international matches.Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed missed two one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches as punishment for a racist remark to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo in 2019.Holder cited the experience of England’s Jofra Archer, who has been a target of racial remarks from the crowd both in home and away Tests, and team-mate Moeen Ali, who it is believed was targeted by India fans in a 2014 match because of his Pakistani background.Holder, whose team will take on England in a behind-closed-doors three-Test series starting on July 8 in Southampton, said that he believed that each international meeting could be preceded by reminders to both teams of their responsibilities around race.“In addition to having anti-doping briefings and anti-corruption briefings, maybe we should have an anti-racism feature before we start a series,” he added.“My message is more education needs to go around it.“I’ve not experienced any racial abuse first-hand but have heard or seen a few things around it. It’s something you just can’t stand for.” (BBC Sport)last_img read more