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University evaluates reliability of Paper Analytical Device

first_imgThe hunt for counterfeit drugs in third world countries has found an ally in Notre Dame junior Kellie Raddell. Raddell is currently hard at work with the Paper Analytical Device (PAD) program to help put a stop to counterfeit drug trafficking. Raddell is working with a research team of students headed by Notre Dame professor Marya Lieberman and Saint Mary’s professor Toni Barstis. Raddell said counterfeit drugs are a serious problem in third-world countries. “Companies make lots of money selling these counterfeit drugs in third world countries,” she said. “By the time we test if the drugs are real, the dealers have already changed the names and packaging.” The PADs program works efficiently to detect certain ingredients in counterfeit drugs rather than identifying by labels, Raddell said. “You put [a salt pad] in water, and in three to five minutes you know what’s in the drug and if it’s effective,” she said. “We’re testing to see if there are specific chemicals in the drugs.” Raddell said this new method of detecting counterfeit drugs is the most cost-effective developed to date. “PADs allows for quick diagnoses,” she said. “Chemicals move up with the water, and the paper will turn blue at the top if the chemicals wanted are present.” Raddell, who has been working on the project since last summer, said her experience with PADs has been invaluable to her career aspirations. “This research is a great way to take the skills I learn in the classroom and go out and apply them to a real world setting,” she said. The PADs program has crossed borders to the island nation of Haiti, Lieberman said. She said the PADs project got involved in Haiti at the behest of biology professor Fr. Tom Streit. “Fr. Streit came by to talk to me about some quality control problems that the Bon Sel factory in Haiti was having,” she said. “This factory makes salt supplemented with iodine and diethylcarbamazine citrate, and they don’t have access to the tools and instruments that we would normally use to carry out chemical analysis.” Lieberman said she expects the program to move even further forward once the PADs are tested for reliability and repeatability. She said after field tests at Notre Dame, the group plans to expand its work into the African continent.  “We will be working with three pharmacists with the AMPATH (Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV) program at Moi University Teaching and Research Hospital to implement field tests in Kenya in summer 2012 and 2013,” she said. “We will be testing three types of antibiotics, two artemisinin combination therapy drugs and an analgesic.” Raddell said a large group of students and faculty has been hard at work to ensure the success of the program. “Currently, there are about twenty to thirty people working on this project. Research is done in the Stepan Hall of Science and in St. Mary’s science building,” she said. “We also have one large group meeting once a week.” Even with a large number of students working on the project, Raddell said the project is far from over.  “We need to run five hundred of each test by the end of February … We need to know if it’s effective before sending it out into the field.”last_img read more

Panelists discuss Syrian refugee dilemma

first_imgAs President Obama rallies congressional support to intervene in the Syrian conflict, panelists Asher Kaufman, Kevin Appleby and Fr. Dan Groody discussed the volatile Middle Eastern country’s refugee diaspora Monday night in Geddes Hall. In a presentation titled “Dignity and Justice for Migrants and Refugees: the Case of Syria,” part of the Center for Social Concerns’ lecture series on dignity and justice, the panelists covered the history of modern-day Syria, its current political conflict, the refugee crisis that resulted from it and the theology behind support for refugee rights. Kaufman, an associate professor of history and peace studies, began the discussion relating the history of Syria since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. As the modern nation state of Syria developed throughout the 20th century, the Alawites, a minority group from the northeast part of the region, began to gain power in the country’s military and Ba’ath Party, Kaufman said. “For the Alawites, the military became almost the only possibility for social mobility,” he said. “And they used another venue for social mobility and that was the Ba’ath Party, the political party that advocated Arab nationalism as the most important identity, not only for Syrians but for all Arabic-speaking peoples in the Middle East.” Syria endured 14 coup d’états between 1949 and 1970, and during that time, the military and the Ba’ath Party converged, leading to an Alawite takeover of politics, Kaufman said.    Hafez al-Assad, father of current leader Bashar al-Assad, took over in 1971, leading to nationwide stability, despite his ruthless tactics, he said. “From a weak country, he turned Syria into a regional sort of a superpower,” Kaufman said. “Syria slowly but surely enjoyed a stability that it did not have before 1970.” When Hafez al-Assad died in 2000, Kaufman said his son Bashar took power, promised reform and formed alliances with minority groups in Syria, including Jews, Christians and Sunni urbanites. The Arab Spring arose in 2011, and Syrians realized Bashar al-Assad’s government never delivered the reform it promised, Kaufman said. The opposition deteriorated into a sectarian war. To gain support, Bashar al-Assad told minority groups they would not survive if they did not support him, Kaufman said. “He has played the sectarian card, using his pull with other minorities – Christians and Jews – saying that he is the supporter of their safety,” he said. “If this uprising is successful, then they will lose their own safety. They will lose their own ability to live … in Syria.” The issues in Syria have become more complex since then, spreading to neighboring countries, Kaufman said. “The conflict has deteriorated into … a regional conflict complex, where different states around are involved, where ethnic communities straddle the borders,” he said. This dispersion of conflict and violence has led to a refugee diaspora from Syria into neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan. Appleby, the director of the Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said 1.7 million refugees in the region have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but he estimates more than two million refugees roam the area in total. Appleby said the Middle East is experiencing “refugee fatigue” because refugees from Iraq, Palestine and Syria are all seeking permanency in the area, leading countries to contemplate closing their borders. “You’ve got the issue of a domestic discontent over this new wave of refugees that are here that are on top of Iraqis that are also on top of other refugee populations,” Appleby said. “Governments are starting to get more restless, and it puts pressure on the governments to do more or puts pressure on the governments to close their borders. And then you’ve got a situation where people are fleeing persecution or death and they have nowhere to go.” Appleby said it’s up to the international community to share the burden of resettlement so deserving refugees can find stability. “Unless the international community antes up, then there’s a risk that these countries are going to close their borders, and one of the reasons that they might close their borders is because the resident population is feeling threatened,” he said. The United States intended to resettle most of the Iraqi refugees living in Syria before the conflict erupted, but poor relations with the Syrian government prevented this from happening, leaving thousands of Iraqis stranded in turbulent Syria, Appleby said. “We’re debating these cruise missiles going into Syria, which is a serious issue, but there’s really no discussion of this major humanitarian crisis that’s occurring,” he said. “In that way our priorities are backwards, in my opinion.” Groody, an associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, ended the discussion by sharing some reflections from his and Appleby’s visit to the Middle East as part of the USCCB’s Syrian refugee delegation last fall. Groody said as he stood atop Mount Nebo in Jordan, where Moses died waiting to cross into the Promised Land, he realized to a certain extent we still have not reached it because we continue to search for right relationships. “The God who had everything migrated into the foreign, distant territory of our sinful, broken existence, and there he laid down his life on a cross so we can be reconciled to God and migrate back to our homeland,” Groody said. “What we see God doing in Jesus is constantly trying to overcome those borders, those divisions, those walls, those barriers that keep us from being in right relationships.” Groody said four dimensions shape migration theology: crossing the inhuman/human divide, crossing the divine/human divide, crossing the human/human divide and crossing the country/kingdom divide. When he met a Syrian woman stranded in Lebanon whose husband, three sons and grandson had all been killed, he realized that all the divides break down in the face of true suffering. “When you really get to the place where you see the suffering of humanity in such raw form, to me it just totally dissolves many of these differences because you really see what I think is at the base of all of us, which is our basic humanity,” he said. Groody said the Church seeks to bring a message of reconciliation in hopes that future generations will cross into the Promised Land. “At the heart of the theology of migration is that even in these situations you must not despair because I think that the God who crossed over these borders is the same God who continues to tell us to cross over borders and try to make interconnections with our brothers and sisters in need,” he said.   Contact Tori Roeck at [email protected]last_img read more

University announces speakers for Fr. Hesburgh’s memorial

first_imgFormer President of the United States Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, M.A. class of 1975, top a long list of dignitaries who will offer reflections at the memorial service for University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore “Ted” Hesburgh on Wednesday evening, the University announced in a press release Monday.According to the statement, other speakers will include Carter’s wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter; former president of Princeton University William Bowen; Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, class of 1977 and Law School class of 1981; Dillon Hall rector Fr. Paul Doyle; former football head coach Lou Holtz; archbishop emeritus of Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; Board of Trustees member Martin W. Rogers, class of 1988; former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson and former Pennsylvania Sen. Harris Wofford.University President Fr. John Jenkins will also offer a tribute, the release stated.“We are honored that the Carters, Dr. Rice and our other distinguished guests will join to pay tribute to Fr. Ted and his many contributions to national and international affairs, the Catholic Church and higher education,” Jenkins said in the statement. “This tribute will be a special opportunity to celebrate Fr. Ted’s remarkable life and career.”The tribute will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Purcell Pavilion and will also include music from Notre Dame student choirs and instrumentalists, the release stated.Members of the general public can obtain a limited number of tickets to the service beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Murnane Family Ticket Office at Purcell Pavilion.According to the release, both the Carters and Rice knew Hesburgh for nearly 40 years. Hesburgh served on the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy in the Carter administration and as University president while Rice was a graduate student.Tags: Alan Simpson, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Condoleezza Rice, Fr. Paul Doyle, Harris Wofford, Hesburgh, Jimmy Carter, Joe Donnelly, Lou Holtz, Martin W. Rogers, Memorial Service, Mike Pence, Rosalynn Carter, tribute, William Bowenlast_img read more

Student, alumnae march on Saint Mary’s campus

first_imgSaint Mary’s alumnae hosted a march around campus Thursday to protest the administration’s sexual assault policy and show support to students.Jessica Lopez, class of 2013, started an online petition for alumnae to sign and organized the march. Other alumnae included Abigail Burgan (’14), Karen DeCocker (’97), Nori Drach (’10) and Heather Smith (’13) who walked with Saint Mary’s and Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) students on campus and personally delivered the petition to President Carol Ann Mooney.Saint Mary’s director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said the mission of the College was what inspired the marchers to take action.“Saint Mary’s women are empowered to make a difference in the world. It’s in the College’s mission statement,” O’Brien said. “The planned march was an example of a group of Saint Mary’s students and alumnae who are working to make a difference. We recognize and appreciate their passion.“President Mooney, as an alumna, is another example of a Saint Mary’s woman who, throughout her career and her 11-year tenure here, has made a difference in the world.”O’Brien said Mooney’s newly announced Presidential Taskforce will address ways to handle sexual assault on Saint Mary’s campus.“The newly announced Presidential Taskforce, made up of students, faculty and administrators and chaired by the president will examine the issue of sexual violence and move the dialogue, which has been fruitful, into action,” O’Brien said. “That’s the difference we all seek.”Burgan said the purpose of the march was to show the current Saint Mary’s student body that alumnae support them.“As alumnae, we want to let the students know that we are supportive,” Burgan said. “All the Belles support them. That’s why we have almost 500 signatures on the petition. … In less that 72 hours, we got almost 500 signatures. That just shows that we’re in tune with our school, our alma mater, and we just want to make sure we stay current on all the issues.”Drach said it is important for students to understand other Saint Mary’s women were on their side, especially survivors of sexual assault.“When you have an institution or community that doesn’t really support you, you’re not going to report anything,” Drach said. “That’s going to continue to go inside you and get worse. I highly doubt students are going to be able to [report] if they don’t have the support of their alumnae and the community in the first place.”IUSB showed their support of the Saint Mary’s community as president and vice president of their Feminists Student Union,  Cassandra Castro and Dominique Bonilla, marched with the group that included other IUSB students.Castro said IUSB screened “The Hunting Ground” on Tuesday and then held a panel discussion about the violence and sexual assault that occurs on their own campus. She said they decided to participate in the march because the Saint Mary’s community has supported them in the past and they wanted to return the favor.“We came here because as a community, it is our responsibility to help each other in times of need,” Bonilla said. “We’re all women, and if we don’t stand up to what’s wrong, then who will?”Burgan said she was nervous yet hopeful when walking into Mooney’s office.“She’s a very powerful president who is also an alumna, who we all really respect,” Burgan said. “We really want to see her make positive change. … I knew I had such amazing Belles behind me. All these current students who stood up. I felt so empowered and so supported.”According to the alumnae, Mooney mentioned her plans for the task force to them when they brought her the petition. However, Drach and DeCocker said that while they were happy with this idea, they do not believe it is enough.“I just want to make sure something happens,” Drach said. “I would like people involved who are outside the school and not bound by employment contracts.”“There needs to be a concrete action plan,” DeCocker said.DeCocker said they asked to have alumnae involved in the future. She was surprised by Mooney’s denial to a request to have alumnae either on the task force or sitting in as advisers without voting power.The alumnae all agreed their purpose in marching and in writing the petition was to see positive change in a place they love.“This is not about chastising the administration, “ Burgan said. “We are Saint Mary’s. We love Saint Mary’s. We want to see this institution thrive as much as possible and especially be a leader in the nation regarding this issue. To make a big change in our policies shows how much we support our students and how much the administration wants to give that same respect back.”“This can help us be a leader in the area, as a woman’s college and in the community,” Drach said. “You have Holy Cross, you have IUSB, you have Bethel College, you have Ivy Tech. You have so many women on these college campuses, and we can be a leader in that.”Nicole Caratas | The Observer Nicole Caratas | The Observer Nicole Caratas | The Observer Nicole Caratas | The Observer Tags: IUSB, Presidential Taskforce, saint mary’s, sexual assault, The Hunting Groundlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s club hosts bra drive

first_imgThis week, Saint Mary’s Women in Healthcare hosted its inaugural bra drive as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The group planned to hang the bras across the Lake Marian Bridge in the center of campus to draw attention to women’s health.Co-president of the club, Alayna Frauhiger, said Saint Mary’s Women in Healthcare is a student organization that serves as a resource for women interested in medical graduate programs. Throughout the year, it usually sponsors an alumnae panel for women interested in healthcare and provides academic support.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer Frauhiger said she first heard of the “Bras Across the Bridge” idea online through the Feel Your Boobies Foundation; she brought the idea to other committee members, and they decided to begin a new tradition.“I thought we could do [the bra chain] on a smaller scale since we are an all women’s campus, and it’s important to know the risk factors for breast cancer,” she said.The main idea behind the slogan “Bras Across the Bridge” is that bras support women each day, and together women can support each other, Frauhiger said.She said each bra will have a pink ribbon pinned to it for breast cancer awareness.“It’s humbling, too, to see [the bras] up there, because it’s something we take for granted, because we wear bras each day, but some people have that taken away,” she said.The bras were hung in the Student Center Atrium on Tuesday night due to rain, but Frauhiger said the importance of hanging the bras from a bridge is really about awareness.After hanging the chain of bras, the club hosted a yoga class charging either $2 or bra donation, Frauhiger said.“We wanted to do something in October for Breast Cancer Awareness, and we didn’t want to ask for money. So [our event] is really about awareness,” she said.Some of the donations have come from people affected by breast cancer. She said that should be important to students, because women of all ages are being diagnosed with breast cancer.Frauhiger said in addition to raising awareness, bras from the event will be donated to the local YWCA.“Students should want to be a part of something bigger,” she said. “It’s really about women supporting other women, whether or not you know someone affected by breast cancer or not.”Tags: bra drive, breast cancer awareness, saint mary’s, SMC Women in Healthcarelast_img read more

Student groups prepare for 2016 elections

first_imgJOSEPH HAN | The Observer As first years settle in and the 2016 campaign season enters its final stages, politically-minded student groups are helping candidates, organizing events and trying to get the student body informed and excited about the upcoming election. Both student groups connected with major political parties are working with party offices in St. Joseph County and creating volunteer opportunities with local and national campaigns. Senior Andrew Galo, co-president of the College Democrats, said the group is working with Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Indianapolis, as well as her national office in Brooklyn. After Activities Night brings a new crop of members, they’ll start making phone calls and knocking on doors on behalf of the Democratic presidential candidate — mostly in Indiana, where Clinton is trailing Republican nominee Donald Trump, whose running mate is Indiana governor Mike Pence —but also in places like swing-state Ohio. Galo said he hopes College Democrats will help “turn Indiana blue.”  “A lot of people are excited about Hillary, so we’re hoping to get a pretty good turnout, both here on campus and in South Bend and St. Joe County, but also in bigger trips, bigger phone banks and canvasses,” Galo said. Galo said College Democrats also organizes internships with local candidates and with the St. Joseph County Democratic Party. He said members interned this summer with gubernatorial candidate John Gregg; Lynn Coleman, who is running for U.S. House of Representatives in the district that includes South Bend; and other campaigns. Galo said the internships, which the club hopes to expand this semester, are tailored to members’ interests, from canvassing to finance. “I’d rather go knock on doors than make phone calls — other people are the other way around — and then we’ll get other members who just want to come in and do an issue presentation on something they’re passionate about or something that they’re researching,”Galo said.“There’s a lot of cool ways students have been involved in the past, and we’re hoping to get a big presence this year with the ticket being so exciting.” College Republicans is also on the campaign trail. Vice president Dylan Stevenson said the club does not have a formal relationship with the campaign for Trump, but that if members wanted to work with the campaign, or on any campaign, the club would facilitate. On the other hand, the group is organizing campaign activities with other federal and state candidates. One of them is Eric Holcomb, the current Indiana lieutenant governor who took over Pence’s reelection campaign after the latter withdrew to run as vice president. College Republicans is also working with Todd Young, who is running for the U.S. Senate, and with incumbent U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski, with whom Stevenson said the club has a “long-standing relationship.” He said the club will start campaigning for all three starting Saturday. “[We’re] knocking on doors, making phone calls, making sure what we can control — which is St. Joseph County, the Mishawaka-South Bend area — is aware of who these candidates are and are enthusiastic about these candidates,” he said. “We are very much the boots on the ground, the grassroots activists for these larger campaigns.”Stevenson said he hopes some of those grassroots activists will be freshly-recruited first years.“The freshman year is always the most enthusiastic group,” he said.Other campus groups are getting the word out not to persuade, but to educate. ND Votes is a nonpartisan project by the Center for Social Concerns and the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy with a student task force and representatives from each dorm and more than a dozen student organizations. One of the task force’s main goals is voter registration — in addition to a Welcome Weekend drive, the group will set up tables to help students register and request absentee ballots in LaFortune Student Center on Sunday nights and, for National Voter Registration Day at the end of September, it will have a registration drive in dorms, said task force co-chair Sarah Tomas Morgan. ND Votes is also organizing a number of events, including a issue discussion series called “Pizza, Pop and Politics,” presidential debate watches complete with food trucks and homework tables, a Voter Education Week the first week of October and an election watch party.  “My biggest hope is that students come away well informed, not just about these particular candidates, but about the specific election issues that the candidates are campaigning for,” Tomas Morgan said. “That knowledge of election issues will be the best investment for students’ political life going forward.”   Tags: 2016 Presidential Election, College Democrats, College Republicans, Donald Trump, hillary clintonlast_img read more

Speaker calls for ban on nuclear weapons in annual Hesburgh Lecture

first_imgBeatrice Fihn, executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), spoke in the McCartan Courtroom in the Eck Hall of Law on Tuesday to discuss the threat of nuclear war and need to ban nuclear weapons for the 24th annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy.Fihn reminisced on the work of former University president Theodore Hesburgh, who represented the Vatican in signing the treaty that established the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an organization that sought to harness nuclear energy for peaceful energy uses rather than for war.The threat of nuclear warfare, Fihn said, is an intense reality people today have already had to face.“Imagine you are in your home, relaxing in your bed,” Fihn said. “You grab your phone to silence it, and in all capital letters, ‘Ballistic missile threat inbound, seek immediate shelter, this is not a drill.’ What do you actually do — seek shelter underground? Or do you stay put, do you turn on the news, turn the radio on, pray? … As you can tell by now, this is not an imagined reality, these messages are real, this is an alert that greeted the residences of Hawaii on the morning of January 13. In Hawaii, mothers hustled confused children into closets, siblings debated staying put or driving to be together … No person should be faced with these horrible choices.”Nuclear weapons have been a forgotten threat and reasonable voices on the issue have turned into men like Donald Trump shouting on Twitter about the size of America’s nuclear button, Fihn said.“What I see often across various issues is the confusion, whether by ignorance or design,” she said. “It’s centered between the impossible and inconvenient efforts. For meaningful change towards equality and justice is often a trade for those in power and for those who benefit from keeping things the way just they are. They will try and discourage us from demanding change. But change will come. It’s inevitable. We will not live with nuclear weapons forever. We will not live without them being used and face consequences.”Considering recent tension between the United States and North Korea, Fihn commented that people should not confuse nuclear weapons as a political issue but rather a human rights problem that needs to be fought through diplomacy.“We have made North Korea one of the most powerful countries in the world, when they probably aren’t, in a way, without weapons,” she said. “Their arguments around their weapons and why they have them [and] their threats to use them are all very similar to the United States. It is for our security, claiming we have reasonable, rational nuclear arms for the protection of people. You end up with this situation where it’s really difficult to tell another country you can’t have [nuclear weapons] when you can.”To avoid eventual humanitarian consequences, such as cities leveling out and the effects of radiation, Fihn said people have the responsibility to question politicians and target companies contributing to nuclear arms funds. Supporting ICAN and signing up for its email lists, she said, will keep people informed on nuclear weapons ban efforts.“I am a big fan of giving people simple actions,” Fihn said. “Lot of the activists are full time — their whole life is committed to it. I think you can start small. Really the first step is staying informed, sign up for the newsletter … you can google ‘Back from the Brink’ which is an organization trying to pull back the U.S. from the huge spending that is taking place right now. … And you can check if your bank invests in nuclear weapons and if they profit. You can check if your university does as well and call for that to change. Just start asking questions. Just small things can freak them out.”Tags: beatrice fihn, Hesburgh Lecture, international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, nuclear threat, nuclear weapons banlast_img read more

Football student managers reflect on behind-the-scenes work

first_imgBuilding RelationshipsHowbeit their mission is to remain as unnoticeable as possible, their support is not invisible to the football team, junior linebacker Reed Gregory said.“Without the managers, practice would be chaos,” he said. “They always have everything ready to go so no time is wasted. We need managers during the week so we can be successful on Saturday.”Football student managers do everything from packing trucks for traveling and tying the players’ shoes to waking the team up at hotels and making sure they get the nutrition they need. As such, an enormous part of their job is spent with the football players.“Traveling with the players is really fun and going to all these places where I wouldn’t be able to go otherwise,” Notre Dame senior John Geppert said. “We also get to work with coaches and other incredible people.”Spending that much time with the team not only means these students know the songs they like to hear during practices — “they like ‘Circle of Bosses’ and ‘God’s Warrior’ a lot,” Geppert said — but they also build relationships with players that translate into greater cooperation and success in their work.Yet, perhaps one of the most meaningful relationships they cultivate during their four years in the program is the one they share with each other, Geppert said.“I really love the relationship you form with other managers,” he said. “The work can be hard and tedious, but we have a great group of kids.”Saint Mary’s senior Molly Hart agrees that having a close-knit group of people to work with is one of her favorite parts of the job and considers last year’s trip to the Cotton Bowl one of her favorite memories.“I really enjoyed our week-long trip to the Cotton Bowl because we’re already a close group, but we spent a lot of time together, hanging out in the hotels and spending Christmas together,” Hart said. In 1759, Adam Smith created the “Invisible Hand” concept. Though his idea referred to the unobservable forces that move a free market economy, at Notre Dame a similar Invisible Hand allows the football program to run smoothly, making sure the team is equipped with everything it needs to succeed.Even though students and Irish fans may pay no heed to their efforts, a group of about 24 students are constantly working behind the scenes to maintain the football team’s equipment and travel accommodations. They make sure balls and machinery are present during practices and players have warmers in the cold winter games. From fixing helmets and drying balls to waking up players and creating music playlists for their practices, the football student managers are there to cover the program’s every need. Courtesy of Jennifer Buck Student managers fulfill one of their major responsibilities, maintaining and preparing the football team’s equipment.A four-year programThe program, which has three divisions — operations, equipment and personnel — is designed with a tiered model, with managerial duties increasing each academic year. First year students, the largest group, work as volunteers, shadowing upperclassmen. Sophomores have greater responsibilities, having to work during home games. At the end of the year, eight students are chosen to continue the program as juniors, selections being made through peer-evaluation. Juniors are then able to work both home and away games, and, when the year comes to an end, four are selected to be the senior managers, who have the tasks of overseeing the program and training members.During the year, the football student managers tackle both academic and work responsibilities, juggling not only the challenges present a college student’s reality but also the responsibilities associated with the jobs.In the summer, these students stay on campus in order to assist during the football team’s practices. Once the college football season begins, they must not only attend practice, but also prepare the home games and travel with the team when they play away from Notre Dame. Though one might imagine a student manager’s work ends once the season comes to an end, but during the spring semester, students must continue attending practices, make the Blue and Gold game a reality and train the incoming class of managers who will take over the senior’s responsibilities once the year ends.“There’s really no off season in this job,” Notre Dame senior Harrison Kranz said. “We’re there for practices, games, winter workouts, conditioning and [the] summer.” Always on their toesLike any other student, Kranz wakes up and attends classes in order to complete his accounting degree. Around 2 p.m., his role changes from student to football student manager.In a normal practice day, Kranz heads to Guglielmino Athletics Complex, or “the Gug,” in the afternoon and takes attendance to make sure all 120 players are present. Then, he sets up for practice and makes sure that scheduling and itinerary tasks are ready in case the team is traveling. Afterwards, Kranz goes out to the field to check that all the necessary equipment is there. Finally, he oversees post-practice recovery for the players and leaves at around 7 p.m.On game days, the football managers arrive at the stadium at 8 a.m. in order to make all the arrangements for the day.“Basically, everything you see on game day are things we set up,” Kranz said. “Long days, but they are definitely really rewarding.”Even though there is a certain routine regarding the tasks they must complete, Saint Mary’s senior Jennifer Buck said every day brings a new surprise, meaning she must always be “on her toes.”“You never really know what a coach might want,” Buck said. “It’s hard to plan ahead because you just kind of have to be in the moment and adjust to what they want, and that’s kind of hard.”Hart said some days might be harder than others, and that sticking through is definitely important.“Sometimes you don’t have the best days and sometimes something goes bad at practice, but there are days where everything just perfectly fits together,” Hart said. “It’s a lot of rolling with the punches, and if something happens you just have to adapt and overcome.”Kranz believes this adaptability is an important skill to have while working behind the scenes, especially since “the job of manager is to not be noticed,” he said. Looking back on their time togetherEven though they work arduously as football student managers, the sentiment Buck, Geppert, Hart and Kranz said they shared was one of deep gratitude for the program.Looking back on the four years they have spent on the job, the group of four considered that, despite the difficulties associated with their work, the football manager program has been an important part of their time in college.“It’s definitely a great commitment, and so it’s hard to commit yourself to something where you’re not there to get recognition and you’re not there for the spotlight,” Kranz said. “But, I think it’s an awesome experience and you gain so much from it.”Buck provided a piece of advice for the first-year students who are beginning the program this year and will eventually fill in her shoes.“I want the freshmen to know that it’ll be difficult and that there will be moments when they’ll maybe want to quit, especially when school gets hard, but it’s so worth it to stick with it as long as you can because you learn so much from this experience,” she said. “Push through the hard times.”Tags: Football Student Managers, Invisible Hand, Notre Dame footballlast_img read more

‘Educated’ author Tara Westover to speak at Christian Culture Lecture

first_imgSaint Mary’s will host the annual Christian Culture Lecture series with speaker Tara Westover on Wednesday.The Christian Culture series is an annual event at the College that brings influential figures in to speak to students.“We’re always looking for a big name in the humanities who could speak in some way to the influence of Christianity on culture,” Laura Williamson Ambrose, chair of the humanistic studies department, said. Ambrose said she initially got the idea to invite Tara Westover after learning about her memoir “Educated” through a local book club discussion. “At that book club discussion, one of the people in attendance excitedly talked about this memoir that had just been published, ‘Educated,’” she said. “I took a mental note and within a couple of months, I went and read it and immediately recognized its power. We recognized it had really great potential to speak to our students, the community at large and we really lucked out in being able to secure Tara Westover to come to campus.”The lecture will look different this year due to coronavirus, Ambrose said, but the College still wants to give the community a chance to share in this experience. “We decided to do a pre-recorded conversation that we could bundle into a nice video to give everyone an entertaining experience as well as an enlightening one,” Ambrose said.The College has received an overwhelming amount of support from the community, she said, as thousands of people have registered to receive the link to view the event Wednesday.“The event that is most pertinent to the public at large has essentially gone viral,” she said. “We have over 30,000 people from six continents registered to watch the video when we release the link at 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday. The video will be available for at least 24 hours, but we hope to keep it up longer in order to accommodate different time zones.”Ambrose said the College also wants to find a way to engage its students since many attend the lecture for their various classes, so the idea of a watch party was born.“We are going to bring in a truck with a giant screen on library green at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night so that 250 students can watch the event,” she said. “There is a special bonus feature for students Wednesday night, and the first 100 students to check-in get a free Saint Mary’s blanket.” Ambrose also said that because of the online format and the effects of coronavirus, the College has decided to make this event free to attend. “Historically we did charge for the lecture, but when we went online we had a conversation and ultimately, I felt really strongly that there was too much chaos with the pandemic and too much of a sense of loss for us to think about monetizing this event,” she said. As an institution, the College decided that the goal was to promote the idea of education and get as many people in the community involved as possible.“We thought, ‘What is the essence of this event?’ We want to communicate the message of the importance of education, particularly for women,” Ambrose said. “That’s what we stand for as an institution.”Instead, the College has asked that if anyone wishes to make a donation, they make it to the COVID-19 emergency fund for students. “Tara Westover’s story about overcoming adversity felt like the perfect opportunity to encourage people who attend for free to consider offering a financial gift to the student emergency fund at Saint Mary’s,” Ambrose said. Many students have expressed excitement about the event.“I had to read ‘Educated’ for a class and I absolutely loved it. It is an incredible memoir and I’m very excited to see the interview with Westover,” senior Brynne Volpe said. “It’s kind of crazy to hear how many people are viewing this lecture. I remember the biggest Christian Culture lecture was probably Margaret Atwood, but this is on a whole new level.”Junior Abigail Pinnow said she is excited to attend the student viewing party after reading Westover’s book with her family. “I read the book with my whole family and we really enjoyed it,” she said. “I think it’s super cool how many people can attend the lecture this year. My high school teacher went to Saint Mary’s and she’s able to participate even though she lives twelve hours away. It lets people from all over enjoy Saint Mary’s and all the wonderful things we have to offer here.”Ambrose said she hopes that students will attend the watch party or view the event because it will be an opportunity that they will never forget. “When I think about my time as an undergraduate, I don’t always remember my classes, but I do remember waiting in line to attend events when speakers came to campus,” she said. “They are world-class speakers and to be able to do that for free and with your fellow students on a beautiful evening and watch your institution celebrated is frankly, just a really positive collective experience that we need right now.”The link will be available online starting 5 p.m. EST Wednesday.Tags: Christian Culture Lecture, Christianity, humanistic studies, student watch party, tara westoverlast_img read more

Top NY Judge Orders Independent Review Of Court System

first_imgStock Image.ALBANY – The top Judge in New York has commissioned an independent review of state justice system policies, procedures, and practices as part of ongoing efforts to advance equality under the law.Judge Janet DiFiore. Image via NYCourts.gov.Spurred by George Floyd’s impact across the country, Judge Janet DiFiore announced Tuesday the evaluation of the court system as a response to questions of institutional racism.Jeh Johnson—a lawyer who served as Secretary of Homeland Security and General Counsel for the Department of Defense under Obama—has been named Special Adviser on Equal Justice in the Courts, and will lead the in-depth review process.Johnson’s independent review will thoroughly reexamine (and include recommendations about revising or expanding where appropriate): Policies, programs, and practices that address or are affected by racism or racial biasesThe structures, operations, and effectiveness of efforts to address systemic or implicit biasBias education and racial justice training practices for judges and personnelFairness, equity, and inclusiveness of selecting and appointing officers and employeesOperational issues within the power of the court system to implement 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