A Cornell University political science professor critiqued the lack of foreign policy progress of both the former Bush and current Obama administrations in a lecture Tuesday in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.Professor Matthew Evangelista’s lecture, titled “A ‘War on Terror’ by any other name … What has Obama changed?” was partly based on Evangelista’s book “New Wars, New Laws? Applying Laws of War to 21st Century Conflicts.”The lecture examined “how policies regarding the war on terror … have changed or not changed under the Obama administration,” Evangelista said.Much of the lecture focused on controversial topics like Guantanamo Bay, military torture and targeted killing using drone aircrafts.Evangelista compared statements made by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld — like his description of Guantanamo Bay detainees as “the worst of the worst” — with CIA statements that classified most detainees “noncombatants.”“[Only] 8 percent of the detainees at Guantanamo were Al Qaeda,” Evangelista said.The treatment of detainees was one of the main focus areas of Evangelista’s examination.Evangelista quoted excerpts of Article 5 of the Geneva Convention, which calls for a determination of detainee status by “a competent tribunal.”Evangelista said that vague term typically implies a committee of officials from the military force itself.“The people who decide … are the people who capture them,” Evangelista said. “There is no right of appeal.”Evangelista said under these policies, officials often fall short of adhering to acceptable standards of treatment of prisoners.“Of course, we know their human rights are being violated,” he said.Torture, especially waterboarding, has become an especially hot topic, Evangelista said, as it has been contested on both legal and ethical bases.“The only time it wasn’t considered a form of torture was during the Bush administration,” he said.Targeted killings, like those initiated with the use of remote-controlled aircrafts to target presumed hostiles, have also come under fire in recent years.Evangelista noted a problem in the inefficiency of the practice.“The people being targeted … [are] not soldiers,” he said. “Civilians are protected under the Geneva Conventions.”The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently ruled that the U.S. had indeed violated the Common Article 3 of the Conventions, which states during armed conflicts, noncombatants and civilians should be treated “humanely.”“The Bush administration responded by making legal many of the things the Supreme Court had declared unconstitutional in the Military Commissions Act of 2006,” Evangelista said. “So, how would we recognize if things have changed?”He established three standards for evaluating the Obama administration regarding war practices: whether former policies were discontinued, whether the illegal practices were stigmatized and whether the crimes and perpetrators were investigated.Evangelista said Obama’s initial language on the subject was vague, as he said detainees would either be released, detained in the U.S. for trial or handled in a manner categorized as “other.”“This language worries people,” he said.Furthermore, Obama’s failure to follow through with the closing of Guantanamo Bay, Evangelista said, falls short of the first qualification of change: discontinuing practices.Evangelista said the shortcomings of the Obama administration, especially with regard to investigating the crimes, are associated with issues that date back to the Bush administration’s Justice Department.The current administration has, however, succeeded in stigmatizing the practices, Evangelista said, referencing a statement by Attorney General Eric Holder that called waterboarding torture.Evangelista offered a simple response as to why the administration has failed to identify and thwart policies deemed immoral and illegal by many.“The politically attuned advisers got scared, I think,” Evangelista said. “The answer is politics.”
Student senate covered a broad agenda during titsmeeting Wednesday and discussed plans for voter registration and education, a disaster relief fund and the upcoming Stanford pep rally in Purcell Pavilion. Social Concerns chair Pat McCormick said efforts for voter registration and education kicked off Monday with a standing-room-only crowd for the lecture “Pizza, Pop and Politics: Midterm Elections 2010.” “The way that we have developed [voter registration] in terms of an action plan splits into three tiers,” McCormick said. “We have spent a lot of time researching this because it is really a priority.” The plan includes education on election issues for all voters, voter registration for residents of Indiana and encouraging out-of-state students to participate in midterm elections in the best way possible, McCormick said. Those students who are not residents of Indiana may legally switch their residency to Indiana and vote in local elections, but this change could be problematic when transitioning back to their home state, McCormick said. “State laws vary in terms of switching your permanent residency,” McCormick said. “We are encouraging everyone who is thinking about switching their residency to Indiana to register here to meet with someone who can give them legal specifics.” Oversight chair Paige Becker said her committee is planning a disaster relief fund that would help the University reach out financially after a crisis. “The fund would act somewhat like a church charity fund,” Becker said. “It would be a continuous charity fund to be accessed in the event of a national or international disaster.” Student clubs could also petition to use the fund to finance projects and trips to areas in need of aid, Becker said. Senators also talked about the details of the upcoming home game weekend. The Stanford pep rally on Friday will bring the student body back to Purcell Pavilion, student body president Catherine Soler said. Each dorm will not have a designated seating area, so students should arrive as early as possible with their residence hall before the pep rally begins at 6 p.m., she said. “We will definitely have good conversations next week about what format we like best for pep rallies,” Soler said. Feedback from the Stanford pep rally will continue efforts to host pep rallies that are more oriented toward students, Soler said.
A new employee wellness center will add benefits for faculty, staff and their families, but its construction in the D2 parking lot will significantly reduce the number of parking spaces on campus for students, according to University officials. University architect Doug Marsh said the University considered an array of sites for the $1.5 million facility. “A variety of locations were considered to meet the needs of the facility, which included the need to be convenient to employees and families coming from either work or from home,” Marsh said. Marsh’s office also considered building next to the Early Childhood Development Center on Bulla Road. Construction on the new facility will begin in December and should be completed by mid-summer. “This site was selected because it is near the B staff and faculty parking lot, at the edge of the pedestrian campus and convenient to vehicular routes,” Marsh said. Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) director Phil Johnson said construction will reduce the number of spaces in D2 South, one of the lots closest to Hesburgh Library. “Occupancy studies show we have capacity in other areas of D2 (the middle and north lots) for the cars displaced in D2 South,” Johnson said. “The changes will be implemented when construction begins — likely mid-December. So when students come back from semester break, some who would have parked in D2 South will be in the D2 middle or north lot. Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis.” Some parking spaces will also be open in the D6 parking lot, Johnson said. NDSP will communicate with students via email as the construction moves forward. Off-campus council president Tess Fitzpatrick said students are disappointed in the University’s decision to relocate student parking for the project. “My biggest concern is people who are coming from off-campus houses,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s hard enough to park now without the renovations. As of now, we are going to have to use a shuttle … It’s going to be a huge hassle.” Fitzpatrick said the University did circulate a survey about how many students would be interested in using a shuttle service from the C-lot, which is located south of Notre Dame Stadium. The shuttle would run a 4-minute route between Main Circle, Library Circle and the C-lot. “We are looking into maybe if there should be further parking for on-campus students so off-campus students could park closer when they commute,” Fitzpatrick said. The Off-Campus Concerns Council will continue to discuss how to help students adjust to the new construction, she added. Denise Murphy, the Director of Compensation and Benefits for the Department of Human Resources, said the new center will provide better medical care for University employees. “The Wellness Center provides an opportunity to enhance the benefit program for faculty, staff and their families,” Murphy said. “We are researching whether there will be opportunities to offer services for the families of graduate students.” Murphy said the center will provide primary and urgent care needs, health coaching and care management, preventative health and wellness programs, referrals to community physicians and a full pharmacy. “The University has researched the possibility of offering an on-site wellness center for faculty and staff for several years,” she said. “Many organizations, such as Disney, Intel and Toyota, have offered the convenience of a wellness center to assist employees and their families to gain access to medical care.” Occupational health services, wellness programs, lab services and physical therapy will also be available.
Tags: bharativya janata party, BJP, CWIL, hinduism, India, india elections 2014, karie cross, panel at saint mary’s on india, pradeep naravanan, sonalini sapra, srishti agnihotri On Wednesday, Saint Mary’s hosted a panel on the 2014 elections in India as part of International Education Week, sponsored by the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) and the department of political science. The panel was called “India 2014: Assessing the Elections and Beyond.”Contributing to the panel were four presenters, including Srishti Agnihotri, a graduate student in International Human Rights Law at Notre Dame, Sonalini Sapra, assistant professor in political science at Saint Mary’s, Karie Cross, a Ph.D student in political science and peace studies at Notre Dame and Pradeep Narayanan, head of research and consultancies at Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices in India. Chair of political science at Saint Mary’s Marc Belanger helped to facilitate the discussion.Agnihotri began the panel discussion as the first presenter, focusing on the context surrounding India’s 2014 elections. She spoke of India as a multi-party parliamentary system, with 543 available seats in the congress. The significance of this election was due to the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the majority, holding 282 seats, which has not happened since 1984, Agnihotri said.The reason the BJP was able to get so many seats was due to “changes that arose between the 2009 election and the 2014 election that diminished public opinion of the government,” which “was due to a series of a high-profile scandals,” she said.“The public began to see the regime as corrupt, and what could have been defended by public policy, the government seemed to be completely mute,” Agnihotri said.Agnihotri also brought up the reasons the leader of the BJP, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeas, was able to gain popularity.“He was a self-made man, who had very good public speaking skills … but under his leadership, the BJP was able to channel the sense of dissatisfaction, due to corruption, inflation and the increase of rapings, into political action,” she said.The second panelist presenter, Cross, changed the tone of the panel to focus on religion in India’s election, describing the significance of Hindu nationalism and how it had been utilized by politics in the past.Cross discussed how there were two ideas about running the government in regards to Hindu nationalism.“Hinduism is not just a religion, but it gives India its distinctive national identity … and that others do not have to convert but adapt and accept the sameness of the nation’s interest,” Cross said. “This was against the idea that all religions should have an equal pull in the state and focus on diversity and inclusion.“There would be a problem because the minorities could lose their security to practice their own cultures” Cross said. “Incidents of religious tensions and riots in Gujarat that were possibly led by the new PM, Modi, reveal this loss of security. This was overshadowed by Modi’s focus on economic growth, which was largely accepted, and shows that the economy is being more valued than humanity.”Cross also looked to different areas in India, such as the northeast, where there is an even larger diversity.“Problems of sameness promoted by Hindu Nationalism reveals that the conditions of people in the northeast will degenerate,” she said.Narayanan, who joined the discussion via Skype, spoke of the different influences effecting participation and voters in the 2014 Indian election.“What is shaping elections today is a bit of danger, which comes from the Americanization of the Indian election … the rise of the power of money and how it is able to influence how politics are brought out into the public domain and change the narration of debates,” Narayanan said. “My main point is that in 2009, the government was not voted out by the people, because big corporate lobbies were in favor of the government.”According to Narayanan, corruption within the system stems from inequity, which is the main problem.“Because corruption is being addressed without looking at equity technical solutions being made cannot fix the situation,” he said.The final presenter, Sapra, described the environmental policies in the post-election period.“I want to emphasize that it is not just the modern government that has not taken environmental policy seriously, but previous governments as well did not fulfill any of their promises of environment sustainability,” Sapra said.Sapra spoke of how the government’s focus on economic development overshadowed the environmental concerns.“Businesses would more often support the focus of economic interest, but many critics would stress that it is hard to separate the environmental concerns from the needs of the Indian people,” she said. “Coal mining is increasing in India, which is affecting more people because it is by the process of strip mining.“India has long maintained that it has not been largely responsible for emissions thus far and so should be able to industrialize,” she said.However, Sapra spoke of positive initiatives to clean up India that can act as generative solutions to the environmental concerns.“By 2019, the holy city of Varanasi is to be cleaned … it is interesting how initiatives are being taken up by local communities and religion,” she said.
The third annual Rare Disease Day Celebration, organized by the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, will take place this upcoming weekend.Outreach coordinator Barb Calhoun and director of external programs Shahir Rizk, who both helped organize the celebration, said the event consists of a research symposium to be held in DeBartolo Hall on Friday and a community discussion to be held in McKenna Hall on Saturday.“[Rare diseases] are everywhere, and I think this is something that we wanted to emphasize and bring the community in on and be able to have everyone tell their side of the story, patients and their families living with the disease,” Rizk said.Organizers focused on recruiting a wide spectrum of attendees, which Rizk said included physicians, healthcare providers, patient services organizations and foundations and insurance company representatives.“Each one has a very unique perspective on rare diseases and what the challenges are that they see,” he said. “Doctors need more information, patients want faster diagnoses, better access to drugs and more research, and researchers want more patients and more information and more collaborations.”The events aims to bring the community together, Rizk said, to allow patients, families and everyone involved to come together and share their unique perspectives.“A lot of researchers at Notre Dame work on rare diseases,” he said. “This is a big focus, and it really comes from the Catholic mission of the University of helping those that are in need or that maybe have been marginalized by the medical industry or the pharmaceutical industry.”Although there are roughly 7,000 rare diseases, Rizk said they affect approximately 30 million Americans, which translates statistically to about one in ten people.“Each rare diseases poses its own different challenge and it takes on a different toll, but the main challenge is the diagnosis because a lot of doctors have not seen these diseases before,” he said.It is critical for all of those involved to learn from one another and celebrate everyone’s point of view, Rizk said. This is achieved through the use of open forums and panel discussions dedicated to different themes, such as sibling relations.“We actually will have a presentation from a rare disease patient that is a student here at Notre Dame,” Calhoun said. “Along with that, we will then engage siblings who have brothers or sisters that have a rare disease, and share their experiences and engage in conversations about some of their ideas of caregiving.”This undergraduate participation is just one example of all the work Notre Dame students have dedicated to making Rare Disease Day a success, Rizk said.“They’re also involved in developing a database for rare disease patients because there’s a huge need for medical information on rare disease patients,” he said. “There are usually just a handful, and we just want to see what’s common, what’s uncommon.”The data collection for the data is currently taking place regionally with plans to eventually expand nationally, Rizk said, adding that student involvement reaches a more personal level as well.“They’re also involved in telling their own stories and their experiences with rare diseases, whether it would be their own or a sibling or a family member,” he said.Kasturi Haldar, director of the Center for Rare & Neglected Diseases, created the celebration, which originally began in 2010 as a meal for students in a biology course. Although the event was originally closed to the public, faculty involvement and activity expansion grew until it was decided to make the event open to students and the community at large.“Over the years, it’s really attracted patient families across the Midwest,” Haldar said.With approximately 80 to 100 attendees at each event, Calhoun said people are travelling from as far as Pennsylvania and Seattle to attend the meeting this year.“It’s a great platform for our students to interact with the broader rare disease community,” Haldar said. “You really don’t learn about the diseases as well as if you directly interact with patients, and rare disease patients are usually very willing to bring awareness to the rare diseases that they suffer from because they effect a small number of people … and they’re not really well known or understood.”Online registration for the Rare Disease Day Celebration ends Thursday, but Calhoun said walk-ins are also welcome to attend the event.Tags: Barb Calhoun, Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare & Neglected Diseases, Rare Disease Day Celebration, rare diseases, Shahir Rizk
Last night in McKenna Hall, the Dean’s Fellows of the College of Arts and Letters invited three speakers from Kalamazoo, Michigan — Michael Wilder, Yafinceio Harris and Sam Bailey, a professor from Kalamazoo Community College — to speak about the Peace During War project. Peace During War is a group that visits high schools, juvenile homes and prisons to share Wilder’s and Harris’s story about their life of drugs and crime and redemption after prison. Wilder said they hope to change lives by showing young people they can turn their lives around.“We tell our story to the youth so that they don’t make the same mistakes we made and end up in prison like we did,” he said. “Our story ends in good, but a lot of young people that go on that same path don’t end up good; they end up dead, they end up in prison forever.”Wilder and Harris talked about their childhoods and adolescences being surrounded by a culture that did not encourage them to have a life outside of crime. Harris said to have aspirations in that culture was looked down upon.“To try to be positive is a negative in our neighborhood,” he said. “But to be positive around you all, to be positive to your teachers, is a plus to them, and they make you feel glorious and good.”Wilder and Harris said Peace During War has spoken with 3,000 to 4,000 troubled youth in the past three years, visiting all the juvenile homes and alternative high schools in Kalamazoo and has traveled to speak to youth in other parts of the country as well.Wilder said his work with the program has changed his life and allowed him to contribute more to his community, after years of dealing drugs.“Now, I have seven police officers’ personal numbers in my phone, including the narcotics agent that raided my house and caught me with drugs in 2008,” he said. “Now, they call on us for community help. If drug dealers get out of hand, they call Peace During War. If the gang violence gets to an accelerated rate, they call Peace During War. We’re so honored and proud to be a part of that.”Harris said he and Wilder started speaking in schools because they wanted to share their stories, but they did not expect it to become a job for them.“We’re just happy to be here, to change lives,” he said. “We’re just happy to be who we’re becoming”Tags: Dean’s Fellows, juvenile crime, peace during war
The Junior Class Council will host the second annual Notre Dame Dance-a-thon from 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday in the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (JACC) to raise funds for renovations to the Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend.Junior Tegan Chesney, Dance-a-thon chair, said the Dance-a-thon committee appreciated the opportunity to make a difference in the local community.“[We] went on a tour of the children’s hospital, and we saw the rooms as they are now and the rooms how they’re going to be in the future with the new renovations, the new addition,” Chesney said. “We wanted to raise money for this cause because for other schools [dance-a-thons], often times they’ll raise money for a big organization, a big hospital where they may have a local branch, but we really liked Memorial because it was so local and a lot of the residents and community members have been there.”The marathon’s move from South Dining Hall to the JACC and its shortened time frame will allow more participation in the event, junior Freddie Stavins, Dance-a-thon marketer, said.“I think the JACC is sort of a more immersive experience. … There’s a bit more room for people to play on the inflatables,” Stavins said. “Last year it went on really long and sort of the focus of the event is family-oriented and we want kids to show up as well, so by having a more concise time frame, that way we can draw more people and people will be able to experience more in the smaller amount of time.”Paul Davis, gift officer for Beacon Health System, said the adjusted time frame has already attracted many patients and their families to the event, including this year’s guest of honor, Hannah Bell.“[Bell]’s been battling cancer for a few years, and there’s a video of her online singing the song ‘Flashlight’… and she’s actually singing it while she is in her infusion bed getting chemotherapy, and then the video is intertwined with different kids in the hospital,” Davis said. “We’re going to have her probably at about 3:30 get up onstage, say a few words about what she’s gone through, how much it means to her having the Dance-a-thon and everything and basically say ‘3, 2, 1, get moving.’“It’s going to be really neat to celebrate her.”Davis said he issued a challenge to the Hall Presidents’ Council for increased student participation in the event.“[For] the hall that raises the most money — with a minimum of a $1,000 — in our new facility in the front entrance will be a large Dance-a-thon plaque with a picture of the entire hall,” he said. “Then we’re also going to give that hall two exclusive visits to the new Children’s Hospital where they can go and visit with patients, physicians. … They’ll pretty much have the run of the mill of our children’s hospital one time in the spring [and] one time in the fall.”Chesney said in addition to music and dancing, the event schedule will feature a performance from the Irish Dance team at 5 p.m., a Zumba instructor at 7 p.m. and inflatable bounce houses and activities throughout the marathon.“We’re trying to integrate the student performers within the event, but then also get students excited about it through all of the inflatable things which can either be geared toward the kids who can be coming from the hospital or college students,” Chesney said. “We’re trying to have these things that can appeal to any audience, any range of people who want to come. In the future we’d love to reach out to more groups and have different performers.”Stavins said the Dance-a-thon committee’s marketing campaign has focused on the joy of the event as well as the charitable aspects.“We’re just trying to promote the joy of dancing,” he said. “I feel like we all sort of have this great, childlike portion to ourselves and helping these kids experience a rich childhood is the ultimate goal.”Chesney said she hopes students enjoy the event in addition to gaining a new appreciation for the Dance-A-Thon’s cause.“I hope that they — at the event, and before the event — they see the cause and they see what the money is going for, but then they also have fun dancing and have fun on the inflatables and face painting or having their own face painted,” she said. “I hope that they take joy from this event.”Davis said he wants students to realize Memorial Children’s Hospital’s unique and important impact on the South Bend community.“Our children’s hospital loses over $1 million every year because 64 to 70 percent of the kids that we see are either on Medicaid, or they’re completely uninsured and we don’t turn anybody away regardless of their ability to pay,” he said. “If we didn’t have Memorial Children’s Hospital right here in South Bend they would have to travel a minimum of two hours away to receive treatment. … I just want students to understand what a unique resource is just right down the road and how much it means to the community, and to partner up with the students, for us, is just amazing.“It’s definitely a blessing.”
Editor’s note: This is the third story in a three-part series featuring the completed Campus Crossroads project. Today’s story focuses on the enhancements to academics at Notre Dame resulting from the construction of O’Neill Hall and Corbett Family Hall.The construction of O’Neill Hall and Corbett Family Hall marks a new era for the music, psychology and anthropology departments at Notre Dame.Both part of the Campus Crossroads project, O’Neill Hall will be the new headquarters for music and sacred music, while Corbett Family Hall will house the psychology and anthropology departments.John McGreevy, professor of history and dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said the completed project will be able to serve the Notre Dame community for generations to come.“We really view this as a great day for the College of Arts and Letters, and for Notre Dame,” he said on a press tour conducted Aug. 11. “[These are] two spectacular new buildings that are going to advance research and teaching capacity of our students and faculty for a hundred years.”The new facilities are an exciting step for the College of Arts and Letters, McGreevy said.“I am a historian, so I’m neither a psychologist, anthropologist or musician, but these are my colleagues, as well, and to see them be able to have the opportunity to do the best possible work and to train their students in the best possible way — it’s magical,” McGreevy said.O’Neill HallOn the south end of Notre Dame Stadium stands O’Neill Hall, the first new building designed specifically for the music program since the 1800s. Chris Collins | The Observer O’Neill Hall, built as part of the Campus Crossroads project, will serve as the new facility for both music and sacred music.“We didn’t build a music building in the 20th century,” McGreevy said. “There was one built in the late 19th century, and now we have one for the 21st century. And music and our program in sacred music will have the opportunity to flourish in a way they’ve never had before with recital halls, the practice rooms and simply the ability to put music front and center, as it should be at a Catholic university, in a Notre Dame student’s education.”This new space was crucial for the music program, vice president for facilities design and operations Doug Marsh said on the press tour, because the department is currently squeezed into Crowley Hall, an undersized building for the program.“Those programs are moving from quaint quarters in the heart of campus at Crowley Hall and about 9,000 square feet into over 30,000 square feet of usable space in that facility,” Marsh said. “They’re very excited, needless to say.”Within O’Neill Hall is the LeBar Family Recital Hall, a 170-seat concert space, and the LeBar Family Performance Hall. Marsh said the smaller size of the LeBar Family Recital Hall is perfect for performances by smaller ensembles.“It’s a size [of] space we haven’t been able to accommodate in other buildings on campus, so this works very well with the facilities at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, which of course are larger and such,” Marsh said. “This is perfect for our student voices and small quartets, etc.”The program hopes to be able to utilize this component of the facility as soon as possible, Marsh said.“We’re targeting to finish this, again, fall semester so that we have our faculty move in and we’ll have our first performances in here in January,” he said.McGreevy said the impact of Campus Crossroads will be particularly noticeable for the music programs in light of the potentially enhanced performances.“I think it’s going to be most vivid for the community here in O’Neill, where there will be recital halls open to the public and string quartets … and wonderful vocal performances and all sorts of things that will be open to members of the community,” McGreevy said. “I’ll add, too, that our sacred music program, I believe, has seven choirs of over 300 students from in the community. We just started a new sacred music choir for students with disabilities, and there’s a new collaboration with the South Bend school choir. All of those students will be coming into this building, too. So we really viewed this building, O’Neill, as a kind of portal to Notre Dame because our music programs really do reach out in the community.” Corbett Family HallCorbett Family Hall, the building to the east of the stadium, will bring the psychology and anthropology departments together in a way they have never been before, McGreevy said.“For the first time ever, those faculty and students will be together, and they’ll be able to move from the research lab — where our psychologists study things like depression and ADD — to the classrooms there to the faculty offices,” McGreevy said. “ … Our department of psychology at the moment has faculty and students in seven different buildings, and now they’ll almost all be consolidated in Corbett. And we don’t even know what that’ll mean for anthropology and psychology — that opportunity to collaborate — but we know it’ll be great for our students and faculty.”While these departments do not necessarily do as much outreach work with the South Bend community as the sacred music program, McGreevy said their impact still goes beyond the University.“Psychology and anthropology is a little bit more focused on Notre Dame, but even there, I would say — some of [the] psychologists see patients, some of them have clinical studies as part of what they do and even there there’ll be a community dimension to our work in psychology,” McGreevy said.“The exciting part for me will be the day when the faculty and students move in. That will be the biggest day,” McGreevy said. “I, like everybody else in the community — and I live near campus — have been watching the buildings go up and involved in the planning and involved in figuring out which faculty member goes into which office. I’m not sure I’d call all of that exciting. It’s been fun, but the most exciting day will be when we see our students and faculty members come into these buildings. … These are hundred-year buildings. For the next hundred years they will be helping make Notre Dame and the college a better institution.”The Martin Media CenterAn extra element of Campus Crossroads that Marsh said he expects to contribute to the academic development of students and faculty is the Rex and Alice A. Martin Media Center on the first floor of Corbett Family Hall.“This is a space for the University to better connect its message and put its message out to the world, but also for our faculty and our students to learn all things digital media,” Marsh said. “We’re learning in a different way, we’re teaching in a different way. So much of that information will be hosted and developed in that facility.”Dan Skendzel, executive director of ND Studios, said the 2,000 square-foot facility has been in the works for a long time.“This is really the next evolutionary step in media production that Fr. John Jenkins, our president, and John Affleck-Graves, our executive vice president, set out several years ago,” Skendzel said on the press tour.The center offers students and faculty members the opportunity to be creative with their teaching and learning processes, Skendzel said.“This space is really important for the University, largely because of the way communication has evolved and changed,” he said. “ … Characteristics like mobile, social and video are the way particularly younger generations are communicating. This center gives us the ability to compete in that space. So you think about academic, this space will be used for faculty to come in and record a lecture in the flipped classroom model so that students can go and view that lecture prior to class, and then come to class and use that for interaction time with other students and the faculty members.”Skendzel said faculty members will also be able to take advantage of the facility.“We’ll use this space for seminars on emerging technologies — so think virtual reality and bringing faculty in and showing them how virtual reality might be a factor in their research,” he said. “How can they use it for research? How can they use it in their [classrooms] for teaching and learning? We’ll use this space for all kinds of promotional and outreach uses.”Aside from its academic benefits, Skendzel said the University will use the Martin Media Center to turn Notre Dame into a force in the producing sphere.“This facility will set us up to be a leader in the ACC as the ACC Network moves towards a linear launch in 2019,” he said. “Dare I say, it sets us up to be the leader across the country and any school in terms of our capability to produce athletic press. But it also sets us up to be the leader in producing, period.”Tags: anthropology, Campus Crossroads Project, Corbett Family Hall, Martin Media Center, Music, O’Neill Hall, psychology, Sacred Music
Katelyn Valley | The Observer University executive vice president John Affleck-Graves speaks at a town hall Wednesday.Burish also highlighted the involvement of the Kellogg and Kroc Institutes in Columbia. The Columbian president negotiated a peace treaty between rebels and the government, who have been engaged in a civil war for years, Burish said. Both the government and rebel forces appointed three members to a committee tasked with writing the treaty.“They each appointed three individuals, and those six people would get together and see if they could come up with a resolution,” Burish said. “One of the three appointed by the president was a Notre Dame faculty member. Doug Castle was his name. They created a treaty. All six agreed.”Executive vice president John Affleck-Graves discussed the construction projects currently in progress at the University.“[Rolf’s] will be closing in January, and we’ll start to remodel it for the two basketball teams,” he said. “Because many of us use the rec sports center — either for exercising or for basketball — what we’ve done is we’re moving all the rec sports equipment into the Duncan Student Center.”Affleck-Graves said Notre Dame will likely begin the project of building a new men’s dormitory in March of 2018.“Early next year, we’ll start this project, and we’re hoping to have a new men’s residence hall in August of 2019,” he said. “So it will probably take us 16 to 17 months to do this. It will look very much like Flaherty and Dunne.”The University is also constructing a new facility with water chillers and a 2 million-gallon water tank, Affleck-Graves said.“We’ll run them mainly at night because at night, electricity is cheaper,” he said. “You can buy it off the grid. We can run the chillers, and we can make cold water more cheaply.”Affleck-Graves, Burish and University President Fr. John Jenkins answered questions from faculty concerning the new facilities, changes in University policies and parking.In response to a question about the changes to housing requirements, Jenkins said he felt they will help form stronger communities in residence halls.“The reason we decided to do that is we really do believe it’s an important part of a Notre Dame education, just as we require philosophy and theology and math and science,” he said. “So we feel this is an important part of a Notre Dame education.”When asked if the number of students enrolled at Notre Dame would increase following the construction of the new men’s residence hall, Jenkins said it would not.“We feel we’re about the right size,” he said. “We don’t want to get to such a big, impersonal place we don’t know one another. We have about a little over 8,000 undergraduates and we think that’s about the right size, so we’re going to stay there.”Tags: Faculty Research, Faculty Town Hall, new residence hall, six-semester requirement, town hall The University conducted a series of faculty town halls across Wednesday and Thursday to answer questions from Notre Dame employees and address various projects and policy changes on campus.University provost Thomas Burish discussed research conducted by Notre Dame faculty members. He said Notre Dame has a turbomachinery lab in South Bend where researchers can test airplane engines under simulated conditions.“They don’t have to experiment or try to run it through a computer, build it and see what happens,” he said. “They can just test it in this lab because it’s the real life conditions. It’s the only laboratory in the world that can do this. It’s not just a research project.”
The University announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2018 in a press release Thursday. Senior Andrew Grose will be the 2018 valedictorian and will deliver the valedictory address at the Commencement ceremony, while senior Harisa Spahić will be salutatorian and deliver the invocation as well as the valedictory address if Grose is unable to do so.Originally from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Grose earned a 3.997 overall grade point average (GPA) as a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program and will graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in preprofessional studies and a major in Spanish, according to the press release. An “early inductee into the Notre Dame chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society,” the press release said, he will pursue a master’s degree from Notre Dame. After receiving his master’s, Grose plans to work as a doctor in the “global public health setting, with a focus on underserved rural communities in both the U.S. and Central America.”According to the release, Grose worked for the non-governmental organization Libras de Amor in El Salvador this past summer through the International Summer Service Learning Program. He spent the previous summer studying Spanish history and film in Toledo, Spain. Additionally, he received the Jose Tito Siguenza Award for Service to Hispanic Youth in April 2018, the James T. DiNardo Award as outstanding junior science preprofessional student in January 2017 and the Department of Preprofessional Studies’ Samuel J. Chmell, M.D., Award, which the department awards each year to a student who “demonstrates a high level of academic achievement, exemplary character and integrity,” the press release said.Grose was also a four-year member of the University marching band’s drumline and the Dean’s List, and volunteered with multiple service organizations in the Michiana area throughout his time at Notre Dame.Spahić, the salutatorian, is a native of Granger, Indiana. According to the press release, she will graduate with a major in biochemistry and minors in anthropology and science, and she recently won the 2018 Daniel and Anne Crossen Pre-Medical Student Award from the Office of Preprofessional Studies. A Marshall Scholar finalist with a 4.0 GPA, Spahić will enroll at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the fall.According to the release, Spahić, another early inductee into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and four-year Dean’s List member, conducted research in “the Cancer Neurocognitive Translational Research Lab, where she was the head undergraduate research assistant for two years, and the Clark research lab, where she studied protein folding in E. coli cells.”Spahić also participated in several service programs while at the University, taking on a leadership role in Habitat for Humanity and volunteering with other groups such as the Social Justice in American Medicine Club, the Timmy Global Health Notre Dame chapter and the Center for Hospice Care, the press release said.According to the release, the University selects the valedictorian and salutatorian through an application process amongst “the top three students in each college or school with the highest grade point averages.” The students must receive letters of recommendation from faculty members a write a draft of their potential Commencement speech before a selection committee chooses the two from a group of finalists.Tags: class of 2018, Commencement 2018, Glynn Family Honors Program, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, salutatorian, valedictorian