Saint Mary’s will host Light the Night, an annual walk in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Thursday, Carrie Call, director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) said. Registration for the walk will begin at 5 p.m., and the walk will begin at 7 p.m. This is the fourth year the College will host Light the Night. Each year, students, faculty, staff and members of the community gather together to raise funds and awareness for LLS. OCSE is sponsoring the event. “It’s a way to show our support of and solidarity with those who are battling cancer,” Call said. The proceeds raised from the walk will support research on blood cancers, Call said. In addition, the money will provide funding for patient services for local community members who are being treated for blood cancers. “The purpose of hosting this event is to raise awareness about blood cancers and to give people the opportunity to walk in solidarity with those who are struggling with cancer,” she said. “It means a great deal to an individual when a whole team rallies around him or her and takes part in the walk.” According to Call, LLS approached the College with the intent to host the event on campus. Call said the College saw the walk “as an opportunity to get the campus community involved with a great organization,” and decided to begin hosting the event annually. With more than 300 walkers expected to attend, Call said students have the opportunity to become involved with Light the Night in a variety of ways. “Students can get involved by walking and by raising money,” she said. “Even a few dollars makes a difference.” Students can also become involved by volunteering to help with the event. According to Call, Light the Night is an important event for several reasons. “First of all, raising awareness about serious medical issues is always a worthy cause,” Call said. “Secondly, it’s important for us as a faith-based college to demonstrate our solidarity with and support for those who are in need.” Call said students, faculty, staff and community members can register as an individual or as a team to participate in the walk. To register for the walk, visit www3.saintmarys.edu/ocse/calendar/ltn-form
Thirty years have passed since the sudden death of Fr. Bill Toohey, the first director of Campus Ministry at Notre Dame, and friends and former colleagues said during his time at the University, he played a dynamic role in the spiritual life of the student body. Toohey, who died of encephalitis in 1980 at the age of 50, wanted to bring students to a larger consideration of what was at stake in their development as a people of God, she said. “He taught me to respect each person and see in them the life of God,” Pitz said. “He showed that we should love unconditionally all those we meet.” “The place would be packed,” she said. “I think everybody saw him as a man of prayer who had a deep commitment to preaching the Gospel.” “Bill was a gentle soul who wrote with a powerful pen and preached with a magnificent effectiveness,” McTaggart said. “He drew many to a deeper understanding of the Gospel and society. “We were very good friends from the novitiate days until his death,” McNally said. “In fact, he was my best friend.” McNally also introduced Br. Joe McTaggart to Toohey. Pitz said during his time as director of Campus Ministry, Toohey was the celebrant at the 12:15 p.m. Mass every Sunday in Sacred Heart Basilica. When Toohey became the head of Campus Ministry, he invited McNally to join him as an associate. “Those days on Campus Ministry were wonderful days for all of us,” he said. “There was lots of creativity, occasional run-ins with the higher-ups and a great emphasis on social justice concerns. Bill was our leader in every way.” Fitzgerald said Toohey always preached with passion and fire. John Fitzgerald, a 1965 alumnus, worked with Toohey as a member of the Campus Ministry staff. Toohey also taught Fitzgerald preaching for three years in the graduate seminary. He said Toohey’s life and witness taught him to stand up for what he deeply believed and experienced in the spiritual life. “Bill was humble and unassuming,” McTaggart said. “That is what I saw and experienced in him as he led our staff for 10 of the most growth-filled years of my own life.” Fr. Tom McNally, graduate of the class of 1949, said he first met Toohey in the Holy Cross novitiate in Jordan, Minn., in 1955. “Along the way he also became my spiritual director and mentor,” he said. “A whole generation of Holy Cross priests learned from Bill that we had no business stepping into the pulpit unless we were passionate and on fire about communicating the Gospel.” “When he stepped into a pulpit, he became a living sacrament of God’s word,” Fitzgerald said. “Those of us who were privileged to hear him will never forget the thrill.” “His preaching was powerful and charismatic,” former Walsh Hall rector, Jane Pitz, said. “He used language that students could understand and were drawn to.”
During the fall semester of her freshman year, doctors diagnosed junior Courtney Rauch with breast cancer. Two years and numerous surgeries later, Rauch is now cancer-free and is actively involved in breast cancer research on campus. “[Breast cancer has] kind of given me the mentality that you don’t wait for things,” Rauch said. “I try to make the most out of everything that I do here. Coming in, I knew I only have four years here and I have to make the most of college, but the fact that I had to miss school and, occasionally, I thought I would have to stay home an entire semester … I dedicate myself to everything I do as much as I can.” Rauch said her family and friends supported her throughout the past two years as her cancer returned over and over again. She stayed in school, but traveled home multiple times for doctors’ visits and surgeries. “I have tremendous thanks for all of my friends, because freshman year — that’s a lot to handle,” Rauch said. “My friends did such a great job of keeping me positive.” As an applied mathematics major and a breast cancer patient, Rauch said she was immediately drawn to a research opportunity with Department of Applied Mathematics chair Steven Buechler. “He’s doing research where he’s not really finding a cure for cancer, but he’s finding out ways to group breast cancer patients so you know which treatment … they would respond to,” Rauch said. “The way it is now, a lot of people get chemo when they don’t actually need chemo. The chemo isn’t necessarily the best treatment to help them.” Her experience with cancer helped Rauch dedicate herself to Buechler’s project. “His research won’t necessarily affect me, but it is going to help other people who were in my position,” Rauch said. “Knowing how that felt — literally I was sitting there, and they were saying I could choose what I wanted my treatment to be. I was like, ‘I’m 19 years old, and I don’t know anything about this.’ Having that experience helps me understand what other women are going to feel.” In his research, Buechler is developing an affordable test to determine the chance of relapse for breast cancer patients through genetic data. The test will allow oncologists and patients to make more educated decisions about cancer treatment. “[The test offers] added information for the patient and the oncologist about what is really going on in that specific disease so you can plan a treatment that makes sense,” Buechler said. “[Courtney is] helping to understand when oncologists decide to give a certain type of drug or not … Identifying the right drug for them, that might be a lifesaver.” Buechler became interested in applying math to disease five years ago. Breast cancer was a natural choice for his project focus because so much information was available on the disease, he said, and he began to compile genetic data from the National Institute of Health for his project. “My test identifies four genes that, if they are turned on at a high level, the patient has a poor prognosis,” Buechler said. Once marketed commercially and applied to real patients, the test would allow labs to compare a genetic sample to past samples and predict how the cancer will act in the future. In order to understand the more technical biology behind breast cancer, Buechler consulted oncologist Dr. Rudolph Navari, the director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute. The Institute is a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine and Notre Dame. “Right now we have about six people on campus, both at Notre Dame and the School of Medicine, who are doing basic science work in cancer and breast cancer,” Navari said. “They are working anywhere from developing drugs, to learning how breast cancer grows, to learning how breast cancer spreads.” Genetic tests like Buechler’s could be a key to future clinical treatments for cancer, Navari said. “One of the things that is also important is that if we use a genetic approach to these various cancers and find out which genes are important, then we may be able to alter these genes to prevent breast cancer,” he said. “Breast cancer is still the main disease that is predominantly, if not 100 percent, gene-based.” Buechler said one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, and more research means more steps toward a cure. “I think it is extremely promising,” Buechler said. “There are a lot of advances that have been made and are being made. Every dime that has been spent has been well spent … It’s also a story of what advocacy can do. [October] is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’ve heard a lot about it. All of that effort and attention and money and advocacy pays off.” For Rauch, advocating for breast cancer awareness and research will continue to be important. “I think one of the biggest things that I have learned is how much [cancer] affects everyone around me … knowing that it’s not just one person or their close friends,” she said. “It’s everyone that interacts with them on a daily basis … [Cancer research like Buechler’s] is a job I would love to do, to use my degree and help other people.”
The chill of winter may have overtaken South Bend, but Notre Dame’s fashion scene is heating up with the launch of its CollegeFashionista webpage earlier this month. Indiana University graduate Amy Levin founded CollegeFashionista in 2009 as a fashion blog site for style-conscious college students around the world. Since its inception, the site has expanded to include more than 180 college campuses in the United States and Canada. Student “Style Gurus” represent each campus, contributing blog entries and photos of the “Fashionistas” and popular trends they find on campus, according to CollegeFashionista’s website. These blog entries take on a different focus each day of the week, from “Style Advice” on Mondays to “Accessories Report” and “Fashion from Abroad” on Fridays. Sophomore Elizabeth Willis became interested in bringing the site to Notre Dame after hearing about it from a friend at another university. “My friend worked for [CollegeFashionista] last year as a Style Guru, and I’ve always had an interest in writing and especially fashion after doing fashion internships in the past,” Willis said. “I decided to apply to be a Style Guru this semester, so I wrote to [Levin] and recommended Notre Dame for the site.” Willis applied for CollegeFashionista in November and found out in December that she was selected to be one of Notre Dame’s two new Style Gurus, along with senior Katherine Lukas [Note: Lukas is the Advertising Manager of The Observer]. Levin said she felt the time was right to get Notre Dame involved in her site, especially based on Willis and Lukas’ enthusiasm for the idea. “We felt a need to showcase the fashion at this Midwest college and found two perfect candidates to help us launch CollegeFashionista at Notre Dame,” Levin said. “Katherine and Elizabeth both reached out to us about their interest in launching a Notre Dame page. Their photography, writing and social media skills were totally in line with what we were looking for in Style Gurus and we quickly brought them on the team.” Willis said her focus as a Style Guru is on accessories, while Lukas gives general style advice in her posts. Both girls submit a blog entry directly to the site once per week, including their campus fashion findings for that week. “We both walk around campus and look for people whose style catches our eyes,” Willis said. “We stop them, take a picture and interview them about what they’re wearing and why.” Willis said she has already received positive feedback from her Notre Dame peers. “A couple of my friends here had read CollegeFashionista in the past, but more attention is drawn to it when I post my blogs on Facebook and Twitter,” she said. “As Style Gurus we’re required to do that, so that promoted it and got people asking about the site.” As the site gains popularity at Notre Dame, Levin said she hopes to expand CollegeFashionista’s presence on campus by developing a full team of five Style Gurus. In the meantime, she said she is optimistic about the site’s potential impact on fashion at Notre Dame. “We hope students at Notre Dame will be inspired by their peers and use CollegeFashionista as a place to learn about trends happening not only at their campus but at college campuses around the world,” she said. Willis said she hopes her contributions to the site will help dispel stereotypes about Notre Dame student style and encourage them to display their individuality as well. “Notre Dame often gets the reputation of having a ‘uniform,’ so I want to bring attention to various styles and interesting things people are wearing on campus,” she said.
In celebration of National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day today, the Office of Recreational Sports (RecSports) is encouraging students not only to be fit, but also to inform its directors on how they are using campus facilities to accomplish their fitness goals. Mary Strebinger, communications and marketing coordinator, said RecSports will ask people who use their facilities to fill out sheets of paper with their planned activities or fitness goals for the day. “They’ll see these slips of paper that say ‘It’s your day, celebrate your way,’” Strebinger said. “We’ll post the stories throughout the day to share with our community.” Strebinger said this is RecSports’ second year celebrating the day started by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). “It’s our national holiday, not just for RecSports, but for any recreational program [in a] collegiate or university institution,” she said. “NIRSA started this initiative about 10 years ago, and it’s growing in the community as a day to be recognized.” RecSports is also using the day to promote the activities and programs it provides throughout the year, Strebinger said. Signs around campus athletic and exercise facilities will share statistics about RecSports’ events and users. RecSports offered 372 programs during the 2011-12 school year, according to the office’s Year in Review report. Rolfs Sports Recreation Center and Rockne Memorial had 245,676 and 137, 217 recreational users, respectively. RecSports also raised $8,500 for local charities and partnered with the women’s basketball team and the College of Science to sponsor the Pink Zone Spin-A-Thon. Strebinger said RecSports offers opportunities for all community members, including non-students. “It’s not just for students,” she said. “I think they [the community] think we do a lot of intramural sports, competitions, fitness classes,” she said, “but we also have family programs, swim lessons and outdoor sports programs.” Strebinger emphasized RecSports is a service-driven business and hopes to better learn its users’ goals through National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day. “We want to know a little bit more about the people who do come in,” she said. “I hope people enjoy the day, and even if you can’t celebrate on Friday, find another day to celebrate.”
With a $3 million grant at her disposal, assistant professor of psychology Kristin Valentino will be able to test a maltreatment intervention program for local families. Valentino received a grant from the Eunice K. Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to further her program that helps preschool age children in families with maltreatment problems, Valentino said. She said the program partners with the Department of Child Services in St. Joseph County. The brief intervention program works with preschool age children and their mothers through six weekly home-based sessions. The sessions focus on enhancing mother-child communication and emotional support, Valentino said. Valentino said she the pilot program work’s success lies in the simple skills taught to help improve the lives of the participating families, She said these skills include emphasizing a child’s feelings and resolving negative emotions. “We focus on three primary skills for mothers: asking more open ended questions, building on and being descriptive of what the child says and communicating about feelings,” Valentino said. The program uses live videotaping and positive reinforcement to optimize parental motivation, Valentino said. “Family coaches are trained to highlight and reinforce positive elements, and don’t give negative feedback,” she said. “These moms have a lot of people coming into their lives and telling them what they are doing wrong. You are better able to engage a parent by helping to reinforce what they are doing right, and building on that.” Valentino said this grant provides financial support to extend this program more fully, and will allow her to see the long-term effects of the program. “We are now able to extend this study longitudinally to 240 local families over the next five years,” Valentino said. “We are hoping to see these maltreated children develop to have a cognitive, social-emotional and physiological development that is not different from their peers. We also want to see an improvement in the moms, with decreased victimization.” This research has the potential to advance scientific knowledge and help families outside of the local community, Valentino said. “We have the potential to inform more effective clinical and social policy efforts designed to improve the welfare of maltreated children,” she said. “These programs can also be easily disseminated. It can be taught on a wider scale and introduced into wider communities.” Valentino said she is passionate about using science to improve the lives of maltreated children and their families. “Child abuse and neglect receives little public attention even though it is a big problem in our nation,” Valentino said. “This research can contribute to more practical programs that can help the developmental trajectory of maltreated children.” Valentino conducts her research at the University’s Center of Children and Families, and she said Notre Dame’s mission as a university has supported her research. “I really appreciate Notre Dame’s broader mission, and because my research fits with the mission of the University, I feel like my research is really supported at Notre Dame in a special way,” Valentino said. “I have also received excellent mentoring from colleagues and my co-investigators, Professor Cummings, Professor Borkowski and Professor Maxwell.” Contact Evelyn Huang at [email protected]
The Kellogg Institute for International Studies hosted a panel discussion Thursday afternoon that explored how the Institute could take advantage of the opportunities offered by Notre Dame’s newest college, the Keough School of Global Affairs.Kellogg Institute director Paolo Carozza moderated the panel titled “How Can the Kellogg Institute Flourish as Part of the New School of Global Affairs” in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium. His initial remarks expressed the University’s clear commitment to use the founding of the new college as a way to build the University’s institutes, such as the Kellogg Institute, to a new height.Members of the audience included Notre Dame students, members of the administration and members of the Board of Trustees, as well as scholars from and representatives for various NGOs and governmental agencies.The panel included four academic and policy leaders closely associated with the Kellogg Institute: Wendy Hunter and Joseph Loughrey, both members of the Kellogg Institute Advisory Board, and Joseph Kaboski and Scott Mainwaring, both Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellows.The panelists took turns highlighting how the distinct characteristics of the Institute, such as its research agenda, faculty abilities and outreach and partnerships around the globe, could benefit from the School of Global Affairs.Loughrey said the Institute must continue to follow its initial strategy. The introduction of the School of Global Affairs, however, represents a positive opportunity to achieve that strategy faster than it would without the new college, he said.“We should not lose sight as we move to new entity and have it end up clouding what we said was important to the success of the institution,” Loughrey said.Loughrey said he believes the new school could create a new sense of aura for the University that portrays a university committed to better understanding the world around it and seeking ways to make a difference.Hunter focused her remarks on how the new school should embrace a new approach when hiring faculty, headed by the efforts of the Kellogg Institute.“The School of Global Affairs presents a great opportunity for the Kellogg Institute to make some hires in areas that probably wouldn’t be hired through traditional disciplines,” she said.Hunter said she suggests hiring faculty that compliment, and not replicate, faculty already employed in the traditional disciplines. New faculty should be hired based on who can add a unique value, Hunter said.“New faculty members must have a skill set that many faculty in existing disciplines do not,” Hunter said.Hunter said she believes creating a unique faculty is integral to establishing a distinctive niche for the new school, and the school must rival existing global affair colleges.“I think you have to think long and hard [about] what the distinctive feature of this school is going to be, especially because you have to come to Indiana to come here,” Hunter said.Kaboski said there is a great need in the world for an institution like the Keough School that concentrated on human development and issues of global conflict and peace because the world is becoming increasingly more global.Kaboski said he recognizes the challenge of building a new college.“It seems a daunting venture to come to the middle of Indiana and build what we hope to be a leader of global affairs,” he said.However, Kaboski said he sees the Kellogg Institute as a great foundation for the new college, especially during its initial stages. The Institute must play a leadership role during its opening stages, Kaboski said. He also said he perceives the new college as an opportunity for the Kellogg Institute to help grow a community of scholars that build of off each other.Mainwaring, who spoke last, said the biggest opportunity he sees in the conception of the new college is for Notre Dame to become a national and international leader in human development.The Kellogg Institute is full of students who want to make change, and it should use the new resources and faculty to become national leaders in international development, he said.Mainwaring said new college will be a great asset to improving the gathering and promulgation of important research regarding international development.“The capacity to rejuvenate efforts to get research out into other circles – policy, media – is something we have done pretty well historically, but we should aspire to do better,” Mainwaring said.Tags: Hesburgh Center for International Studies, Kellogg Institute, Keough School of Global Affairs
For the fourth consecutive year, The Shirt Committee selected Alta Gracia as the vendor of the 2015 The Shirt.Junior Abbey Dankoff, president of The Shirt Project, said Alta Gracia’s mission to provide its workers with a living wage played a large role in the committee’s decision.According to Alta Gracia’s website, the Dominican Republic-based college apparel company pays its workers more than three times the minimum wage. Additionally, Alta Gracia is committed to providing its employees with “the right to a safe and healthy workplace, the right to be treated with dignity and respect on the job and the right to form a union.”“I think a major part of why we chose Alta Gracia is that their mission aligns perfectly with our mission, both as an organization and a larger University,” Dankoff said. “Alta Gracia provides its employees with a living wage that allows them to afford life’s essentials. That recognition of the value and integrity of each person is something I think Notre Dame tries to instill in all of its students.”Junior Camden Hill, creative director of The Shirt Project, said he had a good experience working with Alta Gracia in past years. Although the committee considered three other vendors, it ultimately decided to continue its relationship with Alta Gracia for a variety of reasons.“Economically, it made a lot of sense because Alta Gracia does give us competitive prices for each shirt,” Hill said. “There’s a business aspect to our selection which allows us to keep the prices of The Shirt lower, which means more money goes back to the students.”Both Dankoff and Hill have visited Alta Gracia’s factory in the Dominican Republic in past years to see in person the effects of The Shirt Project.“Our contribution and support of their company really does ultimately affect the lives of those working in the Dominican Republic,” Hill said. “We can help employment down there by placing these large orders. The employees were so excited to go to work in this country and very grateful for the opportunity to partner with us.”According to a press release, The Shirt is “the single highest-selling collegiate apparel item in the nation.” The funds raised by The Shirt Project are used to help students in need of financial assistance and to support clubs and organizations on campus.The Shirt Committee is currently working on the design of this year’s Shirt, which is set to be unveiled April 17.“Alta Gracia really enjoys our business, and we really enjoy working with them,” Dankoff said. “We’re excited to continue working with this company that embodies a commitment to social justice, in accordance with Notre Dame’s mission.”Tags: Alta Gracia, alta gracia company, The Shirt, the shirt 2015, The Shirt Project
Paul Kempf, senior director of Utilities and Maintenance at Notre Dame, provided an update on the state of the campus energy strategy in a seminar Friday. The update covered the progress Notre Dame has made toward sustainability and renewable energy goals, such as being coal-free by 2020, as well as plans for future projects, such as a hydroelectric dam on the East Race in South Bend.Kempf said since power is so foundational to Notre Dame, reliability is always important when looking for ways to improve energy conservation, renewable energy and other factors, especially considering the constant growth of the University. “We’re very concerned about being reliable, everyone wants reliable. We don’t like when the power goes out at home or the heat doesn’t work. Obviously, there’s a lot of activities that go on here at campus, we have research, a lot of public events that require reliability so that’s important,” Kempf said. “We also want it to be cost effective. Nobody really wants to spend more on energy than they really have to so that’s important.”A large portion of Kempf’s talk was devoted to an update about the state of the University’s progress toward sustainability and energy goals. The department has multiple plans for the development of increased sustainability and energy conservation at the University. These include a plan which looks out to 2050 and was created not only to set aspirational and meaningful goals, but also to be affordable, resourceful and above all, flexible, allowing for new developments in science and technology, Kempf said. “We set goals of a 50% reduction by 2030, and that goal was based on a 2005 baseline for our carbon emissions,” Kempf said. “And by 2050, we’re looking for a reduction of 83%.”The significant progress that the University is making towards these goals, as well as others, such as the goal to stop burning coal as a fuel source by 2020, is thanks in part to the resources the University has dedicated to the department. “Over the last decade the University has afforded us about $19 million in resources, of which we’ve invested to date about $15 million,” Kempf said. However, Kempf also said these advancements in sustainability and conservation do not just reduce carbon emissions and help the environment, but are also financially sustainable. “You’re going to see a sort of payback year by year in what we’ve saved both in fuel and electricity use,” Kempf said. “So we’ve saved the University over $20 million.”The seminar also gave an update on the state of current and future renewable-energy projects at Notre Dame. Initiatives discussed include various geothermal, solar and even wind and hydroelectric power projects.Kempf said, often when trying a new renewable energy project, the department tends to start with something small. “There’s been, to date, three geothermal projects,” Kempf said. “[The first one] was sort of an early pilot project for us to get our feet wet. You’ll see sort of a trend of this, where we like to do small or mid-sized projects so we can understand the technology, understand the engineering behind it and then sort of ramp up.”However, this method can be more difficult to implement when applied to certain forms of renewable energy, like solar power, Kempf said.“The payback in solar is more when you get to scale,” he said. “Little, small projects, unless you’re getting huge tax-credit benefits or things like that, are difficult to pay back.”One of the major up-and-coming renewable energy initiatives discussed in the seminar was a plan for a hydroelectric dam on the St. Joseph River in South Bend. “We’re coming back with sort of the third coming of hydro-power in South Bend,” Kempf said. “What we intend to do is, underground, build a channel system that comes in. And then in the back, there are 10 turbines that will generate electricity and then discharge the water back out.”The plan has been in the works for a while, Kempf said, and while it looks like the project will soon break ground, getting to that point involved planning and communicating with a multitude of groups and organizations. “The turbines are in storage, they’ve already been built. Probably the most difficult of the projects I’ve worked on in my 30 years here. You have to deal with the federal government, the state government, Indian tribes and everything you can imagine,” Kempf said. “We’ll probably complete it in 2020, it’s been an exciting project to work on.”Sophomore Conor McDonough, who attended the seminar for an ethics class, said that he was impressed with the talk and Notre Dame’s progress and commitment to a sustainable future.“I was very surprised at how much goes into keeping our campus sustainable,” McDonough said. “I know it’s a pretty political issue, but at the end of the day it affects everyone. If you have the resources and you’re an institution that people look to for guidance on how to address important issues, then Notre Dame has a responsibility to do as much as it can.”Tags: Paul Kempf, sustainability, Utilities and Maintenance
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) Photo: PixabayALBANY – Governor Cuomo says there’s not enough testing being done in the state, especially in places that house a lot of people.The governor said today the state needs to bring testing to scale across the board. His main concern remains nursing homes.“Nursing homes are the single biggest fear in all of this – vulnerable people in one place. It is the feeding frenzy for this virus despite everything we can do in the best efforts of people working in those nursing homes who are doing just a fantastic job,” Governor Cuomo said.More than 2,600 nursing home residents across the state have died as a result of the coronavirus.