SMC students run to raise cancer awareness

first_imgStand Up To Cancer, a new club at Saint Mary’s College, kicked off the year Saturday with a 3K Halloween Fun Run. More than 20 runners sporting Halloween costumes participated in the Saturday morning run that looped through campus. Senior Laura L’Abbe ran the race with her father. “My dad was here for Senior Dad’s Weekend and we just found out my dad’s uncle has esophageal cancer, so the run actually came at a good time,” L’Abbe said. “My dad actually won the race and we got a free HotBox pizza.” L’Abbe, who dressed up as a ballerina and ran in pinks tights, said she had a lot of fun running in costume. “It was a great time and we are really glad we participated,” she said. “Thanks to everyone who put the race on.” Junior Devon Graham, president of Stand Up To Cancer at Saint Mary’s, was happy with the turnout and enthusiasm people showed. “This was our first event ever as a club and we raised close to $100, which I think is a great start for our kickoff event,” Graham said. She said all proceeds went to Stand Up To Cancer. “What’s great about this organization is 100 percent of donations [go] to cancer research,” Graham said. Graham said she had known about the national organization for a few years and thought it would be a great club to bring to campus since so many people are affected by cancer. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” she said. “It’s something that hits everyone.” Stand Up To Cancer supports cancer research as a whole and promotes cancer awareness. “It’s not only about funding breast cancer research, but also research of other cancers that affect people too,” Graham said. “What’s different and great about Stand Up To Cancer is that they work together with scientists in research rather than in competition,” Graham said. Junior Brittani Hradsky, vice president of Stand Up To Cancer at Saint Mary’s, agreed. “It’s also about bringing awareness of all different cancers and getting involved,” she said. Saint Mary’s College is one of the first schools to have Stand Up To Cancer as an official college club, Graham said. “As a club we are planning to volunteer in the chemotherapy room at Memorial Hospital and we’re working on a Cancer Awareness Week,” she said. The club is also open to Notre Dame students and anyone interested is encouraged to email [email protected]last_img read more

Runners conquer 13.1 miles in Holy Half

first_imgWhether they were running to meet a personal goal, return to top physical condition, benefit local charities or spurred by other motivation, this year’s 1,300 Holy Half participants ensured the event’s continued success and recognition as a valued Notre Dame tradition. Low temperatures on Saturday posed the possibility of having to cancel the ninth-annual event, but by race time, runners received the go ahead from safety crews monitoring the event. Junior Connor Reider, running in his first Holy Half, commented favorably on the weather conditions at the start of the race. “When we started the race, the weather was beautiful. Once we were done, though, we were quickly reminded it was only 30 degrees outside,” Reider said. “The freezing wind combined with being soaked and not running around made a long warm shower even more appealing.” After volunteering for the event last year, Reider said he immediately added the event to his Notre Dame bucket list. While maintaining motivation often arose as a challenge throughout the training process and on race day, Reider said he held no regrets with his race experience. “I am definitely glad that I ran it and proud of my efforts. All my goals were met,” Reider said. “Plus, not everyone can say they have run a half-marathon.” Months of planning gave student programmers the assurance of successful race day operations. Junior Maria Murphy, lead programmer for the Holy Half, expressed complete satisfaction with the event. “The 2013 Holy Half was fantastic,” she said. “We had no major injuries, decent weather, lots of compliments on the course and overall experience, and a bunch of great volunteers who helped make the race a success. The race exceeded all of my expectations.” The official fundraising numbers have yet to be calculated, but Murphy estimated the event raised $35,000 for the Women’s Care Center and the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph’s County. Senior Ashley Markowski, director of the Student Union Board (SUB), echoed Murphy’s enthusiasm for the success of the event on race day. While responsibilities for Holy Half operations have shifted between groups during previous years, Markowski said SUB assumed command of programming and running the half marathon this year and into the future. “By placing the Holy Half under SUB, it gives it a permanent home under one organization,” she said. “This will hopefully make it more successful in future years as we will be able to make changes each year, based on the previous year’s experience.” Comments from community members and initial fundraising numbers for Saturday’s event certainly point towards future success for the Holy Half under its new leadership,” Murphy said. “In its nine years, the Holy Half Marathon has become a great Notre Dame tradition. I think the race has grown so much since its start because of the challenge the race itself presents to runners and the community-focused nature of the event,” Murphy said. “Runners can challenge themselves physically and, at the same time, help those in their community. The race is about so much more than running.”last_img read more

Corby Hall holds open house

first_imgFor young men at Notre Dame considering a religious vocation, the doors at Corby Hall are always open. On Wednesday night at 8 p.m., Corby Night, hosted by Holy Cross priests, brothers and seminarians, took place at Corby Hall for those young men discerning the priesthood. It began with a candlelight service in the chapel of the hall and was followed by a social hour, in which the undergraduates could get to know one another and speak with the religious leaders. Fr. Jim Gallagher, director of the Office of Vocations, said he could relate to young men deciding whether or not a life in the priesthood was right for them. “For the longest time it was on my mind but I never talked to anybody about it,” Gallagher said. “The most important thing is to talk to somebody.” Students at the event ranged from Notre Dame undergraduates and those living at Old College, the University’s undergraduate seminary for the Congregation of the Holy Cross, to seminarians who had already completed their undergraduate degree.  Vincent Nguyen, a Notre Dame senior who currently lives in Moreau Seminary, said he recognized his vocation as early as freshman year. “It was the community life and prayer life that brought it all together,” Nguyen said. As a seminarian, Nguyen said he is still an active member of the Notre Dame community and is able to balance the religious aspects of his life with academics and social activities.  “I’ve had practice with the balancing since I lived in Old College for the first three years,” Nguyen said. “I’m still involved on campus.” In the past 10 to 15 years, vocations to the priesthood in America have increased, Gallgher said. At a Catholic university such as Notre Dame, those thinking about committing to life as a priest have many resources to help them in their discernment, he said. “The sort of guys who might be thinking about a vocation will go to Notre Dame,” he said. “At Notre Dame there are a lot of opportunities to deepen one’s faith life.” However, a calling to the priesthood is not met without certain difficulties, he said. “One of the biggest challenges is commitment,” Gallagher said. “For young people today it’s hard because there are so many things for them to commit to.” Gallagher said talking to one of the many priests and brothers on campus is a good way for young men to introduce themselves and discuss their vocation. “My job is not to convince them to join the seminary,” Gallagher said. “My job is to help them decide whether or not the seminary is right for them.”last_img read more

Justice Alito speaks on panel about Italian constitutional system

first_imgThe Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies hosted the book launch for the book, “Italian Constitutional Justice in Global Context,” on Wednesday afternoon. The book was co-authored by a group of four legal scholars that includes Paolo Carozza, a Notre Dame law professor, and Andrea Simoncini, a visiting fellow and professor of constitutional law at the University of Florence, and focuses on the Italian constitutional court system and the lessons it contains for constitutional legal studies around the world.As part of the launch, Kellogg and the Potenziani Program arranged a panel of speakers who were involved with the writing and editing of the book, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and the O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law, Anthony J. Bellia. Simoncini also spoke on the panel.Alito, who wrote his senior thesis on the Italian constitutional courts, said the Italian court is particularly deserving of study by the English-speaking world.“One of the great opportunities I’ve had is to compare how I do things with other judges and justices,” he said.Simoncini said he and his co-authors realized there was a lack of Italian constitutional study in the English language, which is mainly due to the lack of translations available.“It was surprising to hear decisions from Albania and Zimbabwe talked about and studied, but the Italian counterparts were not,” he said, “I found this to be because Italy did not translate their decisions, and so they had no bearing on matters of global constitutionalism.”Alito said constitutional law procedure differs drastically in courts around the world, and these differences are a mechanism through which the American court system and it’s many unique facets can be evaluated.“Judicial review used to be unthinkable,” Alito said. “Here, in our idea of judicial review, the Constitution is law, but a higher form of the law. If the law clashes with the Constitution, constitutionality is debated and litigation arises.”Alito said this perception of judicial review may be derived from variances in how scholars and philosophers around the world think about rights, but that judicial review holds a very important place in American constitutional law.“Judicial review serves to protect against rights violations in the future,” Alito said.Alito said the idea of using legal precedent to substantiate legal decisions in the Supreme Court has become a topic of much debate by legal scholars, and he believes this practice does not account for differences in value systems between countries.“The point that emerges from looking at different cases, while Europe and America agree on certain values, it is simplistic to rely on counting up foreign decisions,” Alito said.Alito said in the U.S. justice system, there is at least a connection to the democratic process, as elected officials are still held accountable to their constituents for decisions to accept candidates for the Supreme Court or not.“Judges are appointed by an elected president and confirmed by elected members of congress, with only a majority,” Alito said.Alito said this contrasts sharply with other international courts, whose procedure helps to preserve courts as “judicial bodies and not political bodies.”Paolo Carozza, director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, said the book was a deeply collaborative venture that was the product of friendly discussion.“We didn’t take different chapters, each chapter was written by four pairs of hands,” Carozza said. “One person would write a chapter and then it was circulated for comments and editing.”Simoncini said the collaborative nature of the book is perfectly suited to the subject matter, as the global community can draw important lessons from comparing their varying modes of operation.“The dialogue between different constitutional scholars was not only the content of our work, but also the methodology,” Simoncini said.Carozza said the way the book was written was exemplar of Notre Dame “as a community of friendship and learning.”He also said the contributions the book will make to the study of comparative global constitutionalism “pales in comparison to the ways in which we, as a University, will impact the world.”Tags: Constitutional Studies, Kellogg Institue, Potenziani Minor in Constitutional Studies, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Courtlast_img read more

Lecture explores business ethics after collapse of accounting firm

first_imgLarry Katzen discussed the collapse of the accounting company Arthur Andersen on Tuesday afternoon, as part of the annual Ethics Week hosted by the Mendoza College of Business. Katzen, who was a managing partner at the company when it was indicted for obstruction of justice in association with Enron, said the media played a large part in the company’s downfall.“Everything people learned about the Arthur Andersen and Enron case was what they read in the papers and saw on TV,” Katzen said. “It all said that Arthur Andersen did a terrible auditing job, and this was responsible for the demise of the company.” Emmet Farnan Larry Katzen speaks Tuesday afternoon. Katzen previously worked for Arthur Andersen, a company indicted for association with Enron.Katzen disputed this portrayal, arguing there was no evidence Arthur Andersen did anything wrong during the auditing process.As an accounting firm for Enron, Arthur Andersen had millions of documents subpoenaed after Enron was exposed for accounting fraud, Katzen said. However, he challenged the accusation that Arthur Andersen shredded important documents prior to the subpoena.“It’s a requirement that before you get an indictment, you must destroy all documents that are irrelevant to the auditors,” he said.Furthermore, Katzen said Enron’s fraud was mainly related to special purpose entities, which another accounting firm was responsible for auditing. Katzen said Arthur Anderson, throughout his 35 years at the company, maintained a high ethical standard.“The reason why I joined Arthur Andersen was their integrity,” he said. “These people walked away from clients that they felt were not operating under conservative accounting principles.”Katzen said the effects of the scandal were devastating. Within 90 days of the indictment, Arthur Andersen had lost its right to audit and was out of business.“Eighty-five thousand people lost their jobs because of Arthur Andersen’s association with Enron,” he said.Although Katzen said he was about to retire right before the scandal hit, he stayed on for longer in order to help other employees find new jobs.“I can proudly say that almost all 85,000 people have landed on their feet well and have done great things in their new organizations,” he said.Katzen said he learned from this experience “to do the right thing, no matter what the political ramifications might be.” In addition, Katzen said his decision to delay retirement helped him learn the sacrifice that is often necessary for the greater good of the company.“You will go through situations where you have to make tough decisions and must make personal sacrifices,” he said.Katzen also said his desire for new knowledge and strategies helped him to have a long and accomplished career. Up until his retirement, he regularly attended new training sessions and workshops, he said.“The only way you can stay ahead of this game throughout your entire career is to continually learn new things,” he said. “Don’t get soft and lean on your past. You have to always rise to the top.”Finally, Katzen said a company must have a culture that values integrity in order to be successful.“The common culture is the glue that holds an organization together,” Katzen said.Ethics Week at the Mendoza College of Business will continue tomorrow with the keynote address, to be delivered by Susan Ochs, a senior fellow and founder of the Better Banking Project. The lecture, titled “Managing Mindset: The Key to Better Corporate Behavior,” will take place in Giovanini Commons at 4:30 p.m.Tags: Arthur Andersen, Enron, Ethics week, Larry Katzen, mendoza college of businesslast_img read more

Notre Dame to confer seven honorary degrees

first_imgEditor’s note: A version of the story appeared online March 3.Notre Dame will confer seven honorary degrees at this year’s commencement ceremony, the University announced in a press release Wednesday.Diane Nash, Rita Colwell, Richard Notebaert, Arturo Sandoval, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Pauline Yu will join U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the 2015 commencement speaker, as honorary degree recipients.Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2011 to 2015, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.Nash, a civil rights movement leader, will also receive a doctor of laws. Nash helped shaped the Selma right-to-vote movement that eventually led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, according to the press release. She also participated in peaceful protests of the Vietnam War and worked in support of women’s rights.Colwell, a molecular microbiologist, will receive a doctor of science. Colwell’s work focuses on global infectious diseases, water and health and is a highly-sought after counselor on science policy and education matters, according to the press release. She is the Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 800 scientific publications and has been awarded 61 honorary degrees.Notebaert, chair of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, will receive a doctor of laws. Notebaert is the retired chair and CEO of Qwest Communications International. During his time as chair, the University has provided more financial aid, welcomed more diverse groups of incoming students and launched the Campus Crossroads construction project, the press release stated.The University will honor Arturo Sandoval, an internationally acclaimed jazz and classical musician and composer, with a doctor of fine arts. Sandoval, who began playing the trumpet at age 12 at his home in Cuba, has since received 10 Grammy Awards, six  Billboard Awards, an Emmy Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, according to the release.Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington D.C., will receive an honorary doctor of laws. Wuerl was appointed a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in March 2010 and is a chair of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, according to the release.The University will award an honorary doctor of humanities to Pauline Yu, president of the American Council of Learned Societies, a private, nonprofit federation of 73 national scholarly organizations that represent American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, according to the release. Yu previously served as dean of humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles and has taught at the University of California, Irvine, Columbia University and the University of Minnesota.The commencement ceremony will be held on May 15.Tags: Commencement 2016, commencement honorary degrees, Honorary degreeslast_img read more

Students respond to changes to residential life at Notre Dame

first_imgThe announcement that the University will require students to live on campus for six semesters starting with the class of 2022 has been met with widespread reactions from students. At a town hall held Sept. 13, students raised concerns ranging from financial difficulties to a lack of support for students who feel alienated when it comes to residential life on campus.Senior Rohit Fonseca, who moved off campus after his junior year, raised a question at the town hall about the administration’s support for students who feel alienated in dorms on campus.“The root of the question [at the town hall] was that there are people who are left out in the housing system,” Fonseca said Sunday. “I don’t think that’s done intentionally, but that’s just the nature of [housing]. … So the root of the question was how much do we value the input of people that don’t agree or don’t appreciate some of the basic values that we have in the housing system?”Fonseca said parietals and dorm Mass are aspects of the housing system students might take issue with. While University President Fr. John Jenkins said the University makes “no apologies” about its Catholic identity, Fonseca said he believes the question needs more consideration if Notre Dame is going to require students to live in dorms on campus for three years.“There’s a variety of reasons why people feel marginalized from the halls or why people disagree with whatever the practices are in the halls,” he said. “ … I wasn’t expecting a head-on answer, but I don’t think I have the answer either, personally. I don’t pretend to know what it is, but I think it’s an important discussion to have, and I don’t think we have it enough.”While Fonseca said he enjoyed his time as a resident of Fisher Hall on campus, he knows students who have had negative experiences in their dorms. Fonseca said he believes requiring these students to remain on campus could actually end up being detrimental to hall communities.“I loved my time on campus, but I know — and I have specific people in mind — who really didn’t like their experience their experience in the halls at all,” he said. “ … A big part of community is that people want to be a part of it or choose to be a part of it. So if you’re forcing people to be a part of something they don’t want to be in, I don’t think it’s the best move.”The biggest concern Hoffmann Harding said the administration has with the changes to residential life is their potential to drive students to move off campus as seniors for the sake of taking advantage of the ability to do so. Junior Hanna Zook, who lives off campus this year, said she does see potential for backlash against the requirement.“First of all, it could drive away students who feel as though they will not fit into the dorm system,” Zook said in an email. “For example, for someone who is gender non-conforming, the idea of three years in a strictly-male or strictly-female dorm might seem like too much to handle. So we actually diminish our chances of growing diversity as everyone who commits to the University is someone who feels as though they can mesh into our dorm system. Second … the requirement may cause the opposite of what the administration intends by encouraging seniors to move off since it will be something exclusive to seniors.”Senior Sean O’Brien, who has lived on campus throughout his entire time at Notre Dame, said he doesn’t believe the requirement will have as much of an effect as most students think.“I don’t believe that this requirement will completely ruin the sense of community of [Notre Dame] like many people are saying it will,” he said in an email. “I believe that the overwhelmingly negative response is being blown out of proportion. Things will not be that different. To my knowledge, most students stay on campus six semesters. So, there will be some people that will be affected. However, as new students start coming in, this will just become the norm and no one will really know the difference.”Another major question discussed at the town hall, which Zook initially raised, is whether or not the new six-semester requirement could potentially be harmful for students who have been sexually assaulted on campus. Zook said the requirement for students who have gone through the experience to remain on campus represents a “lack of empathy” for those students.“Being assaulted or experiencing any type of trauma in a dorm has the potential to make someone never feel fully safe on campus again,” she said. “Living off campus decreases the chances of running into one’s attacker — since they are rarely expelled — and allows for a survivor to be in much more control of their environment. Requiring someone to stay on campus when they are no longer comfortable there is not only a complete lack of empathy on the part of the administration, it is a danger to the mental health and wellness of people who have already gone through awful things.”Fonseca said the potential exceptions for survivor of sexual assault need to be determined before the requirement begins to affect students.“Especially the sexual assault issue — obviously anything with sexual assault — it needs to be addressed,” he said. “If someone feels unsafe on campus and wants to move off for that reason — and I don’t think the University would block them. Erin Hoffmann Harding talked about potential waivers and things like that.”While Hoffman Harding said at the town hall this conversation is one the administration will continue to have with students, Zook said the changes should not have been announced without an official solution to the problem.“Saving a conversation for later isn’t adequate when the issue affects so many people,” Zook said.One of the most common complaints from students about the six-semester requirement is that living on campus typically costs more money than living off campus. Zook said this factor played a major role in her decision to move off campus as a junior.“Since I’m studying abroad next semester, I needed a way to somehow cut costs and start saving up,” she said. “ … I am saving literally thousands of dollars this semester, so going abroad would have been very difficult financially if I lived on campus. And although there are aspects of dorm life that I miss, I am overall much happier off campus.”One suggestion raised by students at the town hall was staggering room and board pricing based on the quality of dorm facilities. This idea, Hoffmann Harding said at the town hall, would foster an environment that “would not be helpful to the integrated communities” the University is aiming for, a sentiment Fonseca said he agrees with.“You would literally segregate the school by income — by family income — which I think is very dangerous,” he said. “So I do not think that staggering the housing prices is a good idea at all because people would know your socioeconomic background based on the hall you live in. So yeah, I think that would be a terrible idea.”Two alternatives Fonseca said could be effective are decreasing the cost of room and board somewhat for upperclassmen and updating meal plans for seniors.“I think the University should … look into ways to subsidize on-campus housing or perhaps giving a break and a slight reduction in room and board to upperclassmen to encourage them to stay on campus,” Fonseca said. “That’s, I think, a very viable option. Even a drop in $1,000 or $2,000 I think is a viable reason to stay on campus. And another thing they could do that I think we don’t do right now … a lot of people have swipes left over at the end of the week. And I think what we should do — and I think it makes perfect sense — is that all your swipes that are left over at the end of the week from your freshman through junior year, have those save up and then have that be your meal plan senior year.”Zook said she appreciated that the initial email to students announcing these changes recognized flaws in residential life, but is disappointed the administration didn’t work to repair these flaws before enacting the requirement.“I couldn’t believe that they sent an announcement of this magnitude in the middle of the night,” she said. “While reading the email for the first time, I was satisfied that they were accurately pointing out some of the problems of dorm life. But the decision to create a new requirement rather than working to fix the problems really surprised me.”While O’Brien said he does not appreciate the fact that students will no longer be able to decide whether or not they stay on campus for six semesters, he can see the changes to residential life having some positive effects in the long run.“I think the biggest drawback is that the element of choice has been removed,” he said. “I think a positive of this rule will be an increased focus on residential life, and I believe that this will lead to positive changes.”The lack of student say in the matter, Zook said, remains a point of contention with many members of the student body.“I think a big part of it is that we feel as though our opinions were not at all taken into consideration,” she said. “Conducting focus groups did not seem to reflect the views of the current student body in general. Also, simply put, as young adults we don’t [need] more restrictions. Since Notre Dame already has such a high rate of upperclassmen living on campus, imposing a new requirement just didn’t seem necessary to many including myself. … There can be benefits, but they are reliant on some big ‘ifs.’”Tags: dorm life, Housing, New Housing Requirement, residential life, sexual assault, six-semester requirementlast_img read more

Notre Dame Irish dance team to compete in All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships

first_imgHaving Irish danced since she was a toddler, Notre Dame junior Addie Donaher said the adrenaline rush she gets walking out on stage is a sensation that has yet to waver in her career as a performer.“Being on stage is the reason that we all do it,” Donaher said. “You have those two minutes to get up on stage and show them, ‘I’ve been working for a whole year for these two minutes.’”As part of the Irish Echoes, Donaher — along with 7 other Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students — will be competing this weekend in the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships. Photo courtesy of Hanna Dutler Members of the Irish Echoes, Notre Dame’s Irish dance group, compete in the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships every year.Fresh off their annual showcase last January, the Irish Echoes are a Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s Irish dance team consisting of roughly 70 members — the largest collegiate team in the nation, Donaher said.Members of the Ceili team — a subset of the Irish Echoes — were selected for the competition via tryout. The Ceili team is lead by juniors coach Hannah Dutler and assistant coach Emily Cline. Dutler and Cline are joined by seniors Caitlin O’Rourke, Rebecca Sidler, Kali Graziano and Lauren Tucker, juniors Donaher and Julia Forte and sophomores Kate Brown and Rachel Hughes.“I think everyone on the Ceili team has been dancing since they were three or four years old and has gone over to Ireland at least once or twice to compete,” Dutler said.The team flew out of Chicago on Tuesday night, landing in Dublin early Wednesday morning. After spending a day in the Irish capital, where they will get a chance to visit Notre Dame students currently studying abroad in Dublin, the women will be hopping on a bus to the competition’s host city, Killarney, a southwest Ireland town with around 14,000 residents.“Girls from all over the world come to compete, and then the competition that we’re in is a club Ceili competition,” Donaher said. “ … It’s like Irish clubs, [and] there’s a bunch of schools from the U.S.”With funding assistance from the Nanovic Institute and the Keough-Naughton Institute, the team has been able to travel to Ireland seven of the past 10 years for this competition and have found themselves atop the podium every time.“We have won the last seven years that we have competed, so hopefully we make it eight,” Dutler said.Dutler also noted that although the teams are strictly business backstage while preparing for their performances, the event gives many of the women the unique opportunity to reconnect with Irish dancers they trained with at past studios who may also be in Killarney for the week’s festivities.Whatever the outcome of Saturday’s competition, however, both Donaher and Dutler said they are thankful to the Irish Echoes for giving them a chance to form the friendships they have in their three years with the team, and for allowing them to continue their passion for Irish dance into their collegiate lives.“We’re all really close, and we all had that love for Irish dance that made us want to go to a school that had a team and keep doing it,” Donaher said. “We both danced competitively our whole lives, so it was such a big part of our life. And then coming to college you kind of expect that to stop. But here, it doesn’t really have to.”Tags: Irish dance, Irish Dance Team, irish echoeslast_img read more

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

Jenkins announces prayer service for George Floyd

first_imgIn light of George Floyd’s death, University President Fr. John Jenkins invited members of the Notre Dame community to gather at the Hesburgh Library Quad to “pray for unity and walk for justice” Monday evening at 7:30 p.m.“We will pray for George Floyd, his family and friends and for a recommitment to defend the dignity of every human life, particularly the lives of our black brothers and sisters,” Jenkins said in the email announcement.Jenkins will deliver words of reflection, a reading and opening and closing prayers.“Participants can then process to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, where they will be invited to pray in memory of those who have lost their lives and for peace and justice for all,” the email said.Participants are expected to maintain social distancing procedures in the interest of health and safety, and a low number of masks will be provided for those who do not have one.The service will be live streamed here.Tags: Black lives matter, Fr. John Jenkins, george floyd, Racismlast_img read more