Moreau fellows adjust to life on Notre Dame campus

first_imgSekou Remy said he feels like a freshman again on campus, even though he has a Ph.D. Remy, one of the 11 inaugural fellows of the Moreau Academic Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, said he is still learning his way around campus since his, and the other fellow’s, arrival on Aug. 1. “I like what I’ve seen,” he said. “There are really cool things around. It’s a really nice campus and nice people.” Remy is from Trinidad and Tobago and works in the field of robotics. On campus, he is working with the computer science and engineering department and also collaborates with faculty in the aerospace and mechanical engineering department. “I’m not teaching this semester, but next semester I’ll be teaching a class called ‘Assisted Robotics,’” he said. “I hope it will be a fun class. All the other professors said it sounds fun and that they want to take it.” Susan Ohmer, assistant provost and co-director of the program, said she is thrilled with the fellows selected for the first year of the program, especially as the committee is now preparing for the second year’s candidates. “When I think about them, I am bursting with pride,” she said. “They are fantastic in their fields and I’m really proud of them.” The deadline for applicants for next year’s slots is Nov. 1, and Ohmer said she noticed a few changes from last year. There are around 100 applications in so far, compared to the 300 applications they had last year, she said. However, she said she is not worried because the number could double in a week’s time. She said there is also a possibility of selecting fewer than 11 applicants. “The word is out there,” she said. “There’s quite a buzz about it and it’s popular. We have a number of international applicants.” Ohmer said they won’t be making any major changes to the program because it has been successful as is. The program was designed to help celebrate diversity in all venues of life, not just diversity of racial background or culture. In fields of study, seven of the fellows work in the College of Arts and Letters, while four work in science and engineering. With funding help from the President’s Office, several deans and the Lilly Foundation, the program was a success, she said. “We work with the idea of diversity,” Ohmer said. “The way these fellows exemplify diversity is either from underrepresented groups or their research focuses on diversity. We have some women from fields with few women in them.” Remy said he can apply diversity to his field of study — though not many attempt to do so. “One of the things about engineering is that there are not many ways the traditional [societal] views of diversity fit in, like skin color and culture difference,” he said. “It works in different ways. It can manifest itself with how familiar you are with different ways to solve a problem.  I also embody diversity by having attended both Catholic and secular schools, attended engineering and non-engineering schools.  In my work I can see similar problems across various disciplines.” Anne Garcia-Romero, another Moreau fellow and working in the Film, Television and Theatre Department, said her ideas on diversity stem from her cultural background. Born from a Spanish father and an American mother, Garcia-Romero works as a playwright and a theatre professor. “I write about diversity in my plays,” she said. “In my playwriting, I address how Latin and American cultures collide.” Part of Garcia-Romero’s fellowship is to write a new play. She said she is focusing on Martin Ramirez, an artist, and her play will be structured around his life and work. She is also working on a book about Latina playwrights. “[The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center] is a phenomenal facility,” she said. “The whole thing is incredibly impressive. The facility just blows everyone else out of the water.” The fellowship has offered her a chance to practice her craft and teach, she said. The fellows are required to teach one course a semester while working in their fields of study. “As a scholar-artist, I was keenly interested in working in an institution which championed research excellence, intellectual rigor and artistic achievement and Notre Dame clearly offered all of this and more,” Garcia-Romero said. “As a bi-cultural Latina, I was encouraged by Notre Dame’s commitment to cultural diversity. As a Catholic, I was also really interested in the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about issues connected to education in the Catholic tradition.” Remy’s only complaint is he is hoping to discover more unique and interesting campus events. “I get the sense there is so much more to experience,” he said. “Like the midnight drum circle — that’s not in the orientation. I look forward to experiencing things like that.”last_img read more

Lecturer discusses Swedish saints

first_imgSaints were a democratic feature of Christian religion in medieval times, according to Anders Frojmark, senior lecturer in History at Linnaeus University in Sweden. Frojmark discussed the role of saints and miracle tales during his lecture “The Voice of the People: Pilgrims’ Miracle Tales at Medieval Swedish Shrines” Monday in Haggar Parlor at Saint Mary’s. He spoke about the miracle tales of saints from Sweden, of which he said there are approximately 600. He talked about how these tales impacted the pilgrim, or peasant, society of the region during the medieval times. He narrowed his discussion down to the more significant tales of certain saints from Sweden, and talked about the role these saints played during the 15th century. “I will say, a saint was a good person, essentially a dead person, who lived in one way or another and who now lives with God.” Frojmark said. Peasants and other members of society during medieval times could use particular saints for guidance, he said. “You are free to choose. You decide which saint to turn to,” Frojmark said. “If saint No. 1 doesn’t help, then you are free to go further.” Turning to stories of saints also helped Swedish peasants connect with God, he said. “God lives everywhere and so do the saints who live with him,” Frojmark said. He also said saints are accessible to people seeking help through miracles. “Miracles count as an important role in the biography of saints. After their death … they are more accessible,” Frojmark said. “Now I can go visit [a saint]. I can stand some inches from her body and talk to her.” In order to keep the saints and their stories alive, those who had interacted with them would become storytellers and spread their stories throughout the region, he said. Frojmark equated these storytellers from medieval times who had experienced the miracles with modern television stars. “Those who have miraculous experiences became the object of a lot of attention,” he said. The significance of these storytellers was their faith toward the saint they were discussing, Frojmark said. “Miracle stories were a prized offering that concerned the saint’s honor, not one’s own,” he said. According to Frojmark, these stories were important because they provided average citizens with role models. “You never walk alone. [Saints] are there and they are willing to help,” Frojmark said. “So no matter where you are, you can talk to them.”last_img read more

Belles to hold concert raising money for charity

first_imgSaint Mary’s College Dance Marathon club will host a benefit concert titled “Rock Out for Riley” Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Haggar Parlor to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Vice president of Dance Marathon Kate Kellogg said she has been looking forward to “Rock Out for Riley” since the beginning of the school year. “It’s an event we wanted to have first semester to really kick-off Dance Marathon and get the student body involved and excited for the marathon in the spring,” Kellogg said. “The concert allows the campus to come together and for students to get a break from classes and school work while also creating more awareness on campus for the marathon.” Tickets are $5 at the door with all proceeds benefiting Riley Children’s Hospital. Notre Dame alumnus Pat McKillen, who recently released an album on iTunes, and Trent Romens, brother of Saint Mary’s senior Taylor Romens, will perform at the event. Fundraising executive Alex Munsey, who planned and organized the event, said the concert supports a good cause. “It’s a way to bring students together to enjoy good music for an even better cause,” Munsey said. “It encourages the campus to come together and have fun in support of charity … Having events throughout the year helps students understand that Dance Marathon is a year-long fundraiser.” In addition to entertainment from Romens and McKillen, there will also be door prizes as well as Dance Marathon trivia questions in between sets. Popcorn, candy, hot chocolate and apple cider will be sold for $1 with all proceeds benefiting Riley Children’s Hospital. Students will also be able to text donations all day Thursday by texting “Riley” to 90999, which automatically donates $5 directly to Dance Marathon. Kellogg said any small donation will make a big difference for patients in Riley Children’s Hospital. “We want students to understand that Dance Marathon is not just one big event in the spring,” Kellogg said. “We raise money year long and we are doing it for the kids – any child receiving treatment at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Any little bit helps.”last_img read more

SMC seniors named Orr Fellows

first_imgSaint Mary’s seniors Annie Kennedy and Sara Napierkowski are the latest Belles to receive Orr Fellowships, offering them a two-year entrepreneurial opportunity to gain  post-graduation experience in Indiana.Photo courtesy of Gwen O’Brien | The Observer Previous Orr Fellows from Saint Mary’s include 2013 graduate Nichole Clayton and 2012 graduates Amanda Lester and Melissa Jackson, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said. This is the third consecutive year Saint Mary’s seniors have received this award.“Commonly referred to as the Orr Fellowship, the Governor Bob Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellowship was established in 2001 and provides a unique opportunity to soon-to-be college graduates,” O’Brien said. “Approximately 35 Orr Fellows are selected each year from hundreds of applicants to break into the professional world through paid positions with high-growth Indiana companies.”O’Brien said applicants are typically natives of Indiana or have attended a college or university in the state.“During their two-year tenure, Orr Fellows gain executive-level mentorship at their host companies and build professional and peer networks,” O’Brien said. “The recipients gain experience with other high-potential professionals within dynamic, fast-growing entrepreneurial companies.”Upon graduation, both Kennedy and Napierkowski will work for Orr Fellowship host companies located in Indianapolis.“Napierkowski, an Italian and global studies double major with a concentration in global business administration, will join [previous Orr Fellow Melissa] Jackson at Teradata,” O’Brien said. “Teradata specializes in helping companies consolidate and analyze large amounts of data to ultimately inspire further corporate development.”Napierkowski said she will most likely have a role in marketing and research.“When I start in late June, I will do some preliminary work. This will then determine in which area my skills will be most beneficial for the company,” Napierkowski said.O’Brien said Kennedy, a communication studies major and public relations and advertising minor, will join [previous Orr Fellow Nichole] Clayton at Courseload.“Courseload primarily helps higher education institutions transition into the digital space,” O’Brien said. “Additionally, Courseload strives to make classroom materials and resources more affordable and accessible for students by creating integrated technology platforms.”Kennedy said she will be starting out in services to learn the ins and outs of the company, but as time progresses, she will have the opportunity to take on other responsibilities.O’Brien said Clayton works as an academic services manager for Courseload, focusing on retention and growth at universities where the company is already established.Clayton said Kennedy and Napierkowski will be immersed in a very innovative and passion-driven community of the Orr Fellowship community.“Indianapolis is the perfect city for young professionals to explore, learn and develop,” Clayton said.O’Brien said the previous Orr Fellows from Saint Mary’s have come back to campus and spoken to students about their experiences.“Hearing about how positive their personal experiences were as Orr Fellows really drew me to the program, and helped me decide it was something I really wanted to do,” Kennedy said.Clayton said it was very important for her to reach out to fellow Belles and share her story about her exciting and rewarding experience.“The constant exposure to new opportunities, talented community leaders and ambitious peers is what makes the Orr Fellowship so special,” Clayton said.Tags: annie kennedy, orr fellows, orr fellowships, sara napierkowskilast_img read more

Students participate in Lunar New Year Celebration

first_imgStudents of the Chinese program received the opportunity to learn more about the Chinese culture outside of class during this year’s annual Celebration of the Lunar New Year. This Lunar New Year, which begins Thursday, will mark the start of the Year of the Sheep.The event featured various traditional and modern Chinese songs, a fan dance and a lion dance. Performers comprised entirely of students in the various levels of the Chinese language courses.Assistant professional specialist Wei Wang spearheaded the event, with help from the Chinese program faculty, including Chengxu Yin, Congcong Ma, Shiyi Lu, Weibing Ye, Xi Zhang, Yongping Zhu, Yuming Liu and Zijun Wang.Zhu said Hibachi Grill Buffet catered the Chinese food, and the Oriental Market provided the snacks. The event was sponsored by Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, College of Arts & Letters’ Office for Undergraduate Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures.Students currently taking a Chinese language course were asked to attend the event. International students and a Chinese program alumnus, Philip Hootsmans, also attended the celebration.“It was great to see my Chinese professors and classmates in an informal setting, celebrating, having fun and getting to know each other outside the classroom,” junior Emily Bedell said.Sophomore Kelia Li performed a fan dance with freshman classmate Sophie Spartz. The Chinese Culture Society provided the two set traditional Chinese attire, qi paos, and the pair of fans used for the dance, Li said.“Since a lot of us aren’t home with family, having people who learn Chinese and speak Chinese really adds to my idea of a Notre Dame family,” Li said. “The idea of family is in the spirit of Chinese New Year, and I was glad to be able to celebrate that.Sophomore Shinaola Atoro and junior Neil Xue performed the traditional lion dance. Atoro and Xue danced in their two-man lion costume, weaved around tables and interacted with the audience. According to the Chinese culture, the dance frightens of evil spirits and brings good luck.Freshmen Dennis Zheng and Abigail Awodele sang a duet at the end of the event. The chorus comprised of Elementary Chinese and first-year Chinese students performed a song wishing everyone a happy Chinese new year.“Since we’re in a western society, we, as Asian Americans, tend to lose connection with our culture,” Zheng said. “This celebration of the holiday brings us back in touch with our culture and roots. ”Tags: Chinese, Chinese Culture Society, Chinese New Year, lunar new yearlast_img read more

Notre Dame hosts annual Activities Night

first_imgThe annual frenzy of hundreds of students hoping to learn about and sign up for some of the more than 350 student clubs and organizations represented at Student Activities Night filled the Notre Dame Stadium concourse Tuesday night. The event, hosted by the Student Activities Office (SAO), provides the student body with a way to see and get involved with the campus’ myriad of student groups and provides clubs with a unique way to advertise themselves, especially to first-year students.This was the second year that Activities Night had been hosted in the Stadium concourse rather than in the Joyce Center. Karen Kennedy, the director of student centers, activities and events for SAO, and described this year’s event as “a great success,” mentioning the high temperature as the only challenging aspect.“I think it’s been great,” she said. “We’ve had a great turnout, lots of interest in our clubs and I’m really pleased with how the event has turned out.”The event ran from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with large crowds throughout the concourse for the entire duration. A few clubs advertised outside the official venue, such as the Ultimate Frisbee team, which had members on Library Quad tossing frisbees back and forth and encouraging passersby to join the team.The presidents of many clubs were present to attract as many passing students as possible to join. Many tables were strewn with posters, decorations and candy in an attempt to stand out and attract passersby.“Activities Night is awesome because we’re able to reach almost the entire freshman class, but also anyone who’s interested in getting more involved,” said junior Katie Powell, president of the Christian a cappella group Unchained Melodies. “We’re able to find people and yell at them, ‘Do you sing?’ And sometimes they might nod their head and we can rope them in. It’s a good way of reaching people that we might not normally interact with or see.”The president of the men’s boxing club, senior Ryan Richelsen, also said reaching first-year students was the biggest advantage of the event.“With all the newcomers and first-years, it’s good to get our name out there, because a lot of people know about Bengal Bouts [an annual charity boxing tournament held by the club], but a lot of kids come to campus without having heard much about it,” he said. “Just the exposure we can get to a lot of the first-years and also grad students and other people who might wander by helps.”Saul Cortez, a junior and president of Notre Dame radio station WSND, said Activities Night helped him to find rare students with a strong passion for radio hosting.“We really want a nice group of kids who are wanting to continue on with the tradition of working in radio stations,” he said. “It’s hard sometimes to find these kids who are really passionate and will stick through it all four years, but I believe that they’re still out there and want to do something as archaic as radio.”Freshman Alexander Shyne said he hoped to be able to sign up for clubs that allow him to pursue interests he was unable to in high school.“It was very overwhelming after the first half-mile walking through, but it was amazing to see all the clubs and be able to talk to all the people and see all the variety, from board game club to service clubs,” he said. “It was amazing to see how many opportunities there are to form a community outside of the dorm, and I’m excited to pursue as many of them as I can.”Some students, such as junior Griffin Modjeski, had other goals for the night.“I’m just here for the free shirts,” he said.Tags: Activities Night, concourse, Student Activities Officelast_img read more

Gerry Man Arrested After Allegedly Assaulting Woman Following Party

first_imgWNY News Now Image.GERRY – A Town of Gerry man was arrested this week after allegedly assaulting a woman following a party.New York State Police say troopers received a walk-in complaint of a past-tense domestic incident on Monday.Through investigation it is alleged that while driving home from a party Casey Saeger, 32, moved to the backseat and choked the victim, preventing her from breathing.Saeger then, according to police, returned to the front seat and head-butted the victim in the face, causing injury to her eye. Troopers say Saeger is charged with third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.He was arrested, processed and transported to the Chautauqua County Jail. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tickets on Sale for A Second Chance at the Public

first_img A Second Chance tells the New York story of a recent widower and a divorcee who meet in mid-life and mid-crisis. Presented with the overwhelming challenge of freeing themselves from their painful pasts, neither feels deserving of happiness. Yet, the awakening of unanticipated feelings leads them to a possibility they both least expected to find. Everyone deserves to see A Second Chance! Tickets are now on sale for the New York premiere of Ted Shen’s new musical. Directed by Jonathan Butterell, the show will star real-life husband and wife Brian and Diane Sutherland and begin performances off-Broadway on March 18 and will run through April 13. Opening night is set for March 30 at the Public’s Shiva Theater. A Second Chance View Comments Brian Sutherland’s Broadway credits include The Sound of Music, 1776, Steel Pier and Victor/Victoria. Diane Sutherland’s Broadway credits include The Light in the Piazza, 1776 and A Chorus Line. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 13, 2014last_img read more

Greed: A Musical for Our Times Begins Performances at New World Stages

first_imgWhat happens when you put Jamie Dimon, Lance Armstrong, Pope Francis and Bernie Madoff all on the same stage? No, not the worst ever cast of The View. You get Greed: A Musical for Our Times, beginning performances March 19 at New World Stages—Stage 2. The cast features Tony Award nominee Stephanie D’Abruzzo, as well as Julia Burrows, James Donegan and Neal Mayer. Greed officially opens April 3. Greed, written by Michael Roberts and directed by Christopher Scott, explores the sin we can’t seem to get away from. The show tackles everything from Ponzi schemes to the not-so-subtle sales pitches of retirement planners and mortgage bundlers. With numbers such as “A Little Juice” and “I’ll Cheat On My Taxes,” Greed takes aim at the obvious, and not so obvious, targets.center_img View Commentslast_img read more

Girls Star Allison Williams Will Play Peter Pan in NBC Telecast

first_imgShe’s flying! Girls star Allison Williams will play the titular character in the upcoming NBC telecast of Peter Pan Live! on December 4. The classically trained singer will join the previously announced Oscar winner and Tony nominee Christopher Walken as Captain Hook. Pan is the Peacock Network’s follow-up to the highly rated Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood along with many Broadway favorites. Further casting will be announced later. A Great White Way family classic, Peter Pan premiered on October 20, 1954 at the Winter Garden Theatre, featuring a book by J.M. Barrie, music by Mark “Moose” Charlap and Jule Style, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins and Mary Martin in the lead role of the boy who won’t grow up. NBC has broadcast the musical live a total of three times previously: in 1955 (when it reached 65 million viewers), 1956 and 1960. The musical has been revived five times on Broadway since. The tuner’s classic songs include “I’m Flying,” “I’ve Gotta Crow,” “I Won’t Grow Up” and “Never Never Land.” “I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true,” said Williams in a statement. She added: “what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?” Williams stars as Marnie Michaels in HBO’s Girls and has recorded several songs (as Marnie) for the show’s soundtrack. Other credits include The Mindy Project and The League. View Commentslast_img read more