first_img“This is why we created a week where all the student groups can pitch in and host their own events,” she said. “Meanwhile, on the Facebook page, we are featuring the clubs that have reached out to us, ‘Humans of New York’-style.” Despite busy days filled with final exams and essays, the Notre Dame Right to Life Club is working to spread unconditional love through its “YOU ARE LOVED” campaign.Senior club president Janelle Wanzek said in an email that her and Right to Life secretary junior Aly Cox’s experiences with Summer Service Learning Programs (SSLPs) inspired the campaign, which aims to share love with the entire community.“We both worked at disability homes, we learned from the residents that loving unconditionally is the purest, most genuine love,” she said. “We had been trying to brainstorm ways to share this idea of unconditional love with the student body, then a friend of the Right to Life Club suggested we do an event for foster kids. Thus, the first event of the week was born — making care backpacks for children being placed into foster care. The backpacks will include stuffed animals, coloring books, fleece blankets and a note from the students who put them together with the you are loved picture.”Other events for the week include tutoring South Bend children with Slice of Life, participating in discussions on climate change with GreeND and Ugly Christmas Sweater Spirit Day, sponsored by the Junior Class Council. Wanzek said the Right to Life officers realized “almost every club here at Notre Dame is in someway telling some group of people that they are loved.” More than 20 University clubs have joined the campaign. Tags: Right to Life, YOU ARE LOVED Wanzek said feedback for the campaign has so far been positive.“I am amazed at how great the responses have been for this week so far, and this is only the first year,” she said. “I can’t wait to come back after graduation and see how much it has grown.” The campaign fits into the Right to Life mission of respecting life from conception to natural death, she said.“… We are telling all groups of life, that no matter what their circumstance, that they are loved,” she said.last_img read more


first_imgAzareen Van der Vliet Oloomi has always felt like a stranger; she thinks she always will, she said. “I was born right after the Iranian revolution,” Van der Vliet Oloomi, assistant professor of English, said. “My mother is Iranian and my father’s British-Dutch … they were forced to exit the country, sort of overnight. “I was obviously born under the sign of exile, and that sort of political tension really sort of infuses itself into everything you do; it’s part of your everyday life,” she said.For Van der Vliet Oloomi, this “inherited suffering” has been a critical influential factor in her career as an author.“This theme of exile and this kind of aimless drifting as a result of exile is a big part of who I am as a person, but obviously a big part of my writing,” she said. “Issues of alienation and displacement come up quite a bit in my work.” Currently, Van der Vliet Oloomi is finishing up her second novel, “Call Me Zebra,” which she said follows a heroine’s quest to reclaim her past by mining the wisdom of her literary icons and continues to build upon her work on the theme of exile. “She goes from the new world back to the old world and, as she regresses through her own life story-line, she also is investigating the great writers of the past, all of whom would have had a relation to exile,” she said.In her own life, Van der Vliet Oloomi’s own literary icons — including Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges and Samuel Beckett — have helped her find her place in the world. “People tend to think of reading as a way to escape the world, but I really think reading literature is a way of going deeper into the world and coming out the other end, probably with more questions, but hopefully with a tremendous amount of imagination and empathy as well,” she said. “Fra Keeler,” Van der Vliet Oloomi’s first novel, drew a lot of attention to the author: She was named a Whiting Award winner in 2015 and was named a “Five-under-35” honoree by the National Book Foundation. The book follows a man as he investigates the death of the title character, who used to own the house he just purchased.“I realize now, looking back, that I was really trying to map consciousness onto the page,” Van der Vliet Oloomi said. “The reader is really immersed in the thought patterns of the narrator and I think I was really interested in this notion as beingness as thought — that we’re just thinking beings and we produce narratives as a result of thinking and those things lead to stories and narratives that can then be of incredible consequence.” In addition to several cities in the United States, Van der Vliet Oloomi has also lived in Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, England and Italy. Currently, she and her husband — Leonardo Francalanci, assistant professional specialist in the department of romance languages — split their time between South Bend, Ind. and Florence, Italy. Having lived in both big cities and remote villages, Van der Vliet Oloomi said her life experiences have made her very comfortable when it comes to adaption. “I always feel like an alien observing human life, because I’m kind of from nowhere and that allows me to have this kind of anthropological experience, so I’m really interested in the idiosyncrasies of life in places that are a little remote, or where life is slower or different,” she said.Tags: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, department of english, Fra Keeler, Whiting Awardlast_img read more


first_imgJunior Jean Llenos said he wanted to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the general public. So when he learned that The Health Guardians of America was looking to found a chapter at Notre Dame, he submitted an application to be the club’s founding president.“Science is very important,” he said. “We need people who make scientific breakthroughs. They save lives, but for me personally, [medicine] has been a lot more about the people because [one of] the biggest problems in medicine today, among many other things, is that we have such a disconnect between what the scientific community knows is good for people and how that information is given to the public.”The Health Guardians of America is a national organization originally founded in California that aims to address America’s health issues, with a particular focus on heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Llenos said the organization’s founder reaches out to universities’ pre-health programs and invites students to apply to found a chapter.“Everything that we do is coordinated between the chapters, and then the results of all the chapters are kind of compiled in order to see what works on a really large scale,” Llenos said. “So this is about implementing very scalable and measurable interventions for health on a global scale”.Senior Meghan Cohoon, the club’s vice president of external relations, said she was drawn to the club because she enjoys teaching people about how their lifestyles can impact their health.“I’ve always had a profound interest in and passion for teaching people that their lifestyle choices have effects on their resulting health conditions and that making healthier changes can often be more effective in addressing one’s well-being than necessarily taking a plethora of medications, [though] obviously, not in all cases,” she said in an email.As one of its main initiatives, the club is implementing a program, “FitlifeFlow,” to incentivize exercise, Cohoon said. The program is part of a nationwide initiative and allows students to earn money by consistently exercising.“As a college student, I know how easy it can be to push one’s health and fitness to the back burner as academics take over our lives,” she said. “Yet, with our program, ‘FitlifeFlow,’ we hope to help students find a better balance between academia, health, fitness and [maintaining] a social life.”One of the club’s other initiatives will focus on nutrition and healthier options in the dining halls, Llenos said.“Looking forward, one of the things I personally want to do while I’m president is get more of an interaction between the student body and the dining halls,” he said. “ … Exercise is important, but diet is 100 times more important when it comes to regulating health than exercise is.”The organization is unique in that it does not have a general membership, Llenos said, and each member is involved with a specific project. Students must submit a resume and undergo an interview process in order to join the organization.“If you’re a member of the club, you’re assigned a role,” he said. “ … If you’re part of the club, you will have a lot more independence and a lot more direct impact on something, especially in a relatively quicker amount of time than you would with another club.”Tags: club, Health Guardians of America, sciencelast_img read more


first_imgCommunity Justice CommitteeSophomore Terra Nelson and junior Francesca Cervone are co-chairs of the community justice committee, which hosts Monthly Mingles — monthly meetings which engage students and faculty in discussion on issues they feel are pertinent to the community. In the future, the committee looks to gather more student input when deciding the topic of the month and involve more professors and staff.Grade: A- Mission CommitteeJunior Madeleine Corcoran and senior Kaitlyn Cartone, co-chairs of the mission committee, are planning Heritage Week, which will occur from Jan. 21 through Jan. 28. The week will feature a service project, a tour of the convent, a heritage dinner, Moreau dinner, tea in the Riedinger house and pastries after Mass. In addition, the committee plans to host a weekly or biweekly meeting that features guest speakers and allows students to discuss different aspects of their faith.Grade: A- Food Services CommitteeFood services committee chair and sophomore Emily Besler said her committee acts as a liaison between students and Sodexo, the College’s campus dining company. The committee hosted Food Week in October, and it included a different cultural food each day in the dining hall, a cooking demonstration, a candy bar and a partnership with the Student Activities Board to host an ice cream sundae event. In the near future, the committee hopes to implement Chef’s Corners, where students can learn more about where the dining hall’s products come from.Grade: A Technology CommitteeSenior Tenley Aufdencamp serves as the chair of the technology committee, which is working to find the most appropriate software with which to provide students with a newly-established budget for software and a guest speaker. The technology committee is also planning Saint Mary’s first hackathon this spring, and intends to feature a guest speaker during that time frame. In addition, the committee has begun an initiative to implement lighting on the Trumper Computer Center computers that follows the pattern of sunlight and sunset.Grade: A Sustainability CommitteeSustainability committee co-chairs junior Emily Harrast and sophomore Kassidy Jungles aim to lessen the College’s carbon footprint. They plan initiatives to educate students about sustainable practices and to make the concepts of sustainability and conservation engaging. Through a T-shirt sale, the committee raised enough money for hand dryers in the Student Center, and these will be implemented next semester.Grade: A Community CommitteeThe community committee’s two co-chairs, juniors Sarah Law and Grace Ward, aim to initiate more service involvement by SGA members, increase engagement and collaboration with the South Bend community and host a successful “Thank You” Week to honor faculty and staff. Their current primary initiative is organizing the first all-school 5k, which will occur during Junior Mom’s weekend and benefit the Sisters of the Holy Cross.Grade: Acenter_img Marketing and Media CommitteeThe marketing and media committee chair, junior Sidnee Silveira, said the committee’s main purpose is to keep students informed and involved in Student Government Association’s (SGA) events. This year, SGA has publicized events on Facebook to gain an audience for events such as Monthly Mingles and Mental Health Awareness Week, and has used social media to inform students about tickets for the Navy Ball and the Sustainability Committee shirt sales.Grade: A Sophia CommitteeSophia committee chair and senior Megan Battaglia acts as the student voice for the Sophia program, the Saint Mary’s general education program that promotes critical thinking skills and comprehensive knowledge across disciplines. Battaglia said she assists with the process for approving new courses into the Sophia curriculum and assessing their value.Grade: A Big Belle, Little Belle CommitteeJunior Ashlyn Maes and senior Kellsey Wiser serve as co-chairs of the “Big Belle, Little Belle” committee, which aims to pair first-year students with upperclassmen to help ease the transition into college. The program meets once a month as a large group and once a month one-on-one between the first-year and sophomore students, though some juniors who signed up for the program cannot meet as often as may be ideal for first years.Grade: B Social Concerns CommitteeAs chairs of the social concerns committee, juniors Anna Mullek and Haley Coghlan helped coordinate Support a Belle, Love a Belle Week, which promoted acceptance and unity across campus through discussions of mental illness and available resources. The two also work closely with the Belles Against Violence Office and are planning to collaborate more with its director, Connie Adams, on events such as Take Back the Night next semester.Grade: BTags: 2017 student government, 2017 Student Government Insider, Big Belle Little Belle, Food Services, Food Week, marketing and media committee, student activities boards, Student Government Association, sustainability committeelast_img read more


first_imgPhoto courtesy of Sully O’Hara Students from Keough Hall participate in a “Mulch Madness” community service project Saturday as part of “Back the Bend,” a day-long event dedicated to volunteering around South Bend.“‘Back the Bend’ is, at its simplest level, a community service day, but it’s a lot more than that,” Moeller said. “We tried to focus it on getting students exposed and into the neighborhoods so that they’ll hopefully think about developing relationships with some of these groups. Obviously, these are all organizations who do wonderful things throughout the year and don’t rely on ‘Back the Bend,’ but it is a day when we can all come together and work on really important projects. I think it ends up being a learning moment for a lot of the volunteers, just seeing all the amazing things that community partners do.”For the event, students and community members worked together on seventeen different projects, including restoring Leeper Park, cleaning trash from a tributary of the St. Joseph River, and a project that Moeller organized, “Mulch Madness” — a project to mulch the soil around homes in the Near Northeast neighborhood to prevent lead exposure from degrading paint chips. Moeller said that this project, involving roughly 100 students distributing 24 truckloads of mulch around affected homes, demonstrates the often-extensive planning that goes into many of the “Back the Bend” projects.“It was one day of mulching about a hundred homes, but there was so much more behind that,” he said. “Since October, we were meeting frequently, discussing our plans for this. We spent the last eight weeks working with the workers at the [Near Northeast Neighborhood] to campus the neighborhood and talk to people about the lead issue and how the soil can have very elevated levels of lead.”Moeller said that, unlike past years, student government allowed and encouraged students to sign up as groups.“We had eight teams, and most of them were people who had signed up as part of a group, which was another strategy that we introduced this year,” he said. “We approached dorms, clubs, Tau Beta Pi [the engineering honors society] and many other groups. They were all able to work together, and I think that made it a fun group effort to be in a team with people you knew.”While the event itself is only a single day, Moeller believes that it can have a greater and longer-lasting impact on the participants and community.“In the immediate sense, the projects that happen are very important because it’s by far the best way these community partners can afford and make these projects happen,” Moeller said. “The greater importance of it is that people realize in the work they’re doing that it doesn’t have to be a one-day thing, that there are great people and great organizations doing things every day in the community, … that they should get more involved more and form relationships with these groups and people [and] that they should treat South Bend as their community, even [if] they are just here for two or three more years.”Tags: back the bend, Community Service, Mulch Madness, South Bend, volunteer Braving the cold and rain, students from the tri-campus community and other members of South Bend gathered Saturday to help with a variety of community service projects for the ninth annual “Back the Bend.”The event was a collaboration between the South Bend community, local universities and organizations — Notre Dame Student Government, Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College and Indiana University South Bend’s Student Government Association — and ten other local organizations.As the student government director of community engagement and outreach, senior Adam Moeller co-led the event with director of faith and service junior Keenan White. Moeller estimated that about 300 to 400 students attended the event.last_img read more


first_imgThe Actors From The London Stage will once again be performing Shakespeare at Notre Dame’s Washington Hall on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This time, the team will be performing the famous tragedy, “King Lear.”Actors From The London Stage is a group that has a longstanding relationship with the University. It usually performs on campus once a semester as part of a larger tour of the United States. Peter Holland, associate dean for the arts and McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare studies, helps organize most Shakespeare productions on campus. Holland said Notre Dame has been working with Actors From The London Stage, which Sir Patrick Stewart and Dr. Homer “Murph” Swander founded in 1975, for nearly 20 years.“For the the last 18 years, we have been their U.S. base,” Holland said. “We help organize all their U.S. touring, which schools coast-to-coast they’re going to be visiting.” However, the group does not host your average play production, because Actors From The London Stage is not your ordinary theater company. The entire cast of the play will be performed by only five actors with no director, minimal costumes and props, a couple light cues and not much else.“This is theater unlike any other kind of theater — there is no director,” Holland said. “So these actors are basically locked into a room for some weeks and told, ‘Come out with a show.’”This means the company, made up of actors Richard James-Neale, Ffion Jolly, Tricia Kelly, Fred Lancaster and Jonathan Dryden Taylor, will each be playing multiple roles, splitting a total of 24 among the five of them.Since there are always only five performers, the company’s approach to the show must be both improvisational and innovative.Tricia Kelly, who will be playing the major roles in both King Lear and the Duke of Cornwall, said the group relies on “solving problems in an elegant and hopefully witty way.”She also spoke to the fact that the play presents challenges to the actors because, in many cases, female actors must play male characters and vice-versa, a practice becoming more and more common in Shakespearean plays, offering new takes on old classics. “I am a female actor playing the role of a king and a father,” Kelly said. “It’s a different, more complicated set of ideas and concepts to deal with as an actor.” The production of King Lear is not all the actors will be doing with their time at Notre Dame, however. They will also be helping run workshops and teach classes, not just within the College of Arts and Letters, but all across campus.“They also go into the Mendoza school because, if you’re a business major, think [of] how often you have sat through a Powerpoint presentation by somebody who really cannot talk,” Holland said. “They go into the Law School, they work with some of the law students on how you should speak in a courtroom and how you make sure that people can hear your voice. They go and work in the architecture school because, if you’re designing buildings, actors understand space in a very different way from anyone else.”While the company has been rehearsing for a while, this will be the second stop for Actors From The London Stage on a 10-stop tour schedule across the country. Jason Comerford, the audience development manager for Actors From The London Stage at Notre Dame, said while the actors figure out their roles in rehearsals, live performances are different.“It’s fun to watch them work in front of an audience — the spontaneity of it,” Comerford said.Having just arrived in South Bend from Rice University in Houston, performances are scheduled for Feb. 6, 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Washington Hall. Tickets are available for purchase online at shakespeare.nd.edu before the shows.Tags: Actors from the London Stage, Department of Film Television and Theatre, Shakespeare at Notre Damelast_img read more


first_imgSaint Mary’s announced on Aug. 12 a new health and wellness program “YOU at College,” which is designed to help students anonymously find resources and support for academic, mental and physical health related problems.The program was created by the company Grit Digital Health. Karen Johnson, vice president of student affairs, said in an email she first learned of it when she attended the NASPA Strategies Conference in January. “This site was described to us as a way to get students information in a format that they use, it’s non-obtrusive, it’s easy to use and it’s fun,” Johnson said. “After bringing a group on campus together to see a demo of the program, we all agreed that this might just be the way to reach students in their comfort zone.”When logging on to the program, users are encouraged to create a personalized profile. They are then prompted to complete assessments that help the program better understand the health and wellness of the user. Users are asked to rate their sleeping schedule, academic satisfaction, mental health and physical well-being, among other questions that, according to the email Johnson sent to the student body on Aug. 12, “foster student success in three domains: Succeed (academics and career); Thrive (physical and mental health); and Matter (purpose, community, and social connections).”After completing the assessments, students receive access to resources and articles that are related to the answers they provided via the assessments.While the assessments tend to focus on the general well-being of the user, some questions specifically address suicide and suicidal thoughts. While the program offers Saint Mary’s specific resources for those dealing with suicidal thoughts, Johnson said all answers to the assessment are private and can only be accessed by the student user. “I have no access to individual student data,” she said. “If a student is in crisis, there is a button at the top of the page to click on and get some immediate resources. Also, as a student moves through articles and searches for information, services and support information will be pushed out to that student.”Anonymity was an important factor when creating the YOU program, Nathaan Demers, a clinical psychologist and vice president and director of clinical programs at YOU at College, said. The program only collects aggregate data — or generalized data summaries — that the College can use to improve the quality of their on-campus academic, mental or physical health resources. The goal of the program, Demers said, is to move students to action — whether that be encouraging students to seek counseling or providing them with over 1,000 resources to contribute to their knowledge of self. He said anonymity helps students feel comfortable and supported while they engage with the program’s articles and resources. YOU at College is not a replacement for counseling, Demers said, but it can give students the information to “know where to start” and can “recommend to them where to go.” “Students don’t conceptualize mental health problems as mental health problems,” Demers said. “They see them as [a part of] life.” This poses a problem, Demers said, since one in four college students have a mental illness. Some studies show that 50% of students report feeling stressed out to the point of not being able to function.Demers said the program can help students learn about good mental and physical health, especially if students do not feel automatically comfortable visiting a counselor. YOU at College gives students the tools to better understand themselves and their mental and physical health before those problems manifest into something worse, Demers said. “We don’t want to wait until something’s wrong to treat it,” Demers said. “Let’s not wait until someone has depression to treat that depression.” While the focus of YOU at College tends to be on mental and physical health, there are also several academic assessments available to help students understand their academic limits and aspirations. YOU at College can help students discover other relevant on-campus resources, like multicultural centers and academic study groups that can help a student become well-rounded and healthy, Demers said.While the company has yet to specifically study the effects of the program on an all-female student body like Saint Mary’s, Demers said the company is looking to conduct a longitudinal study on gender identity in the near future. “[Generally speaking], individuals who self-identify as female utilize the platform at higher rates, as well as for longer durations of time,” he said.With this program, Johnson said the College hopes to help students “become self-reliant and able to manage issues.” “Our goal is to have information available to our students whenever they want to access it,” she said.Tags: academics, Anxiety, campus technology, Depression, Mental health, mental health resources, sleep deprivationlast_img read more


first_imgThe Notre Dame student senate met Wednesday to vote on a previously-discussed resolution to amend the Student Union constitution to add a provision allowing for oversight over the spending of the different student union organizations. This resolution is in response to concerns brought up in a meeting with the Financial Management Board (FMB) at the end of September about implementing some form of oversight for student union spending. The student senate also began discussing a resolution for implementing impeachment reform.The financial oversight resolution differs from the original resolution in that FMB is the primary group tasked with the job of oversight. The Student Union treasurer is also tasked with meeting with the student senate once per semester to provide an update on student union fiscal policy.The resolution was read to the senate by one of the sponsors, Samuel Delmer, a sophomore senator from the Dillon community in Baumer Hall. Delmer answered questions about the resolution afterwards.Questions were related to specific language of the resolution such as what specific violations could result in impeachment and whether the word “and” or “or” should be used in a sub-clause. A friendly amendment from D.C. Morris, the junior senator from Fisher hall, changed the particular “or” to “as well as.” Senior Patrick Paulsen, a proxy representing Off-Campus Council inquired as to who the provision would help.“Simple definition: like who does this benefit at Notre Dame?” Paulsen said.Delmer said the amendment would be a positive for a wide group of people.“This benefits basically everyone,” Delmer said. “There is currently no formal oversight over the student union organizations, and if they worked to spend over there wouldn’t be any formal way to address that sort of thing.”Other questions centered on clarification as to whether the student union treasurer needs to meet with the senate and whether the bill was necessary. Patrick McGuire, student body vice president and a junior, pointed out that similar legislation about having the Club Coordination Council (CCC) and FMB meet with the student senate once per semester had been passed previously and used the same language as the bill’s present language.Following the end of debate, the resolution was passed. After this, the senate discussed legislation in the works meant to reform the impeachment process. Thomas Davis, a sophomore and the parliamentarian, was the sponsor of the working resolution and wanted to make the process one of removal as opposed to impeachment.“So right now, the way it stands is, if there’s a complaint, it goes to the Student Union Ethics Commission,” Davis said. “They take a look at it, then if they believe there is a problem, they refer to the senate, which then votes on impeachment by a majority, and then turns around and hears the exact same complaint to vote on removal, which requires a two-thirds majority. That to my eyes seemed a little bit redundant.”Davis then highlighted how he thinks this process should be altered with the first and final step not receiving any alterations.“If [the Ethics Commission] believes that there has been an ethics violation, they would then refer that to the committee on constitution. If you’re going to have a separate body other than the senate take a look at constitutionality of an issue,” Davis said. “I believe that would be the best smaller body to take a look at the issues.”Questions and arguments centered on the precedent of previous student governments’ impeachment process and on the merits of having senate be the place to make the appeal as opposed to the constitutional committee.Tags: Financial Management Board, impeachment, student senatelast_img read more


first_imgSaint Mary’s hosted a virtual celebration to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. The event was hosted by the President’s Council on Inclusivity and Multicultural Diversity.College President Katie Conboy began the ceremony explaining the importance of the holiday.“This day is observed each year on the third Monday in January as a day on, not a day off,” she said. “Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.”Conboy also spoke about King’s lasting legacy and its significance today.“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used the power of words and acts of non-violent resistance such as protests, grassroots organizing and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly impossible goals,” she said. “He went on to lead campaigns against poverty and national conflict and international conflict — always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family. We certainly need his spirit today.”Though the holiday was first observed in 1986, the College recently adopted it as a school celebration three years ago, Conboy said.Kirk Franklin and an ensemble then performed the Black National Anthem for the virtual audience.Student body president, senior Giavanna Paradiso reflected on her favorite quotes from King.“[King said] ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ — I love that quote because it keeps you mindful of the fact that all little injustices add up to big injustices and nothing is too small to confront in the face of equality,” she said. “My other favorite quote is, ‘I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.’ I love that because it’s so true and [King’s] really speaking to the way he manifested his civil disobedience and being peaceful in the manner of protests in such a face of evil and to be able to rise above that, I just find that to be insane.”Paradiso expressed her gratitude for King, as well as the need to continue his work today.“I don’t even know if I could do that and the way he managed to turn the other cheek against violence and continue to push forward and make change is so admirable to me, and I’m so thankful that he did,” Paradiso said. “Any inequalities in society are not tolerable, and we need to fight them wherever we continue to see them.”Executive director of inclusion and equity Dr. Redgina Hill announced the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Recipients.“Throughout the program, we will recognize 12 individuals or groups that were nominated because of their personal and professional commitment to furthering the vision of Dr. King, especially in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice,” Hill said.Professors Leslie Wang, Cibele Webb, Kelly Hamilton, Mana Derakhshani, Jamie Wagman, Jessica Coblentz, Sandra Usuga Giraldo, junior Cadie Lourigan, administrator Dr. Redgina Hill, alumnae Jalyn King (’20) and Kristen Lynch (’91) and student organization La Fuerza all received the Drum Major recognition.The program also profiled the work of Romona Bethany (’04). She received the Drum Major for Peace Award at the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Breakfast in South Bend during her first year at Saint Mary’s. After graduation, Bethany earned a master’s degree in Intercultural and Urban Studies from the Theological Seminary in Chicago and a Certificate of Completion on Kingian nonviolence principles.“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been the template for the greatest achievements in my life,” Bethany said. “I could not have foreseen such a trajectory. I went from receiving a Dr. King themed award and now am preparing to issue grant awards to willing [and] dedicated workers in efforts to reduce violence in the city of South Bend through the Office of Community Initiatives. I have been personally and professionally impacted by Dr. King and honestly, I know this is just the beginning of how his influence will continue to impact my life.”CEO of Holy Cross Ministries Emmie Gardener (’82) shared the history of service completed by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, and subsequently the Holy Cross Ministries, and their connection to King’s mission.According to Gardener, the Sisters established many hospitals, orphanages and schools. An initiative was started in 1995 to serve immigrant populations in Utah, which became Holy Cross Ministries. They are the largest visa provider in the state and provide outreach to domestic violence victims, English Language learners and other disadvantaged immigrant populations, Gardener said.Gardener expressed the importance of the role of caring for immigrants to fulfill King’s legacy.“On behalf of all of us here at Holy Cross Ministries, we are humbled and honored that the President’s Council on Inclusivity and Multicultural Diversity has asked us to be a part of the 2021 Martin Luther King Virtual Celebration,” she said. “We stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters and continue to work to meet their needs as well as to create a more just inclusive and compassionate society.”Chair of the History and Gender and Women’s Studies departments and one of this year’s Drum Major recognition recipients Dr. Jamie Wagman spoke on continuing the fight for equality inspired by King’s leadership.“Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to reflect on the long arc of the civil rights movement and on Dr. King’s legacy and what people are still fighting for in this country today — the fight for equality. I am so grateful to Dr. King and all he gave to the United States. King is an icon [and] a leader,” she said. “His message must be carried on. We all must still be determined to work and fight.”Art professor Ian Weaver said King’s views about service impact all parts of his life.“If I had to choose one aspect of his legacy that would be the most impactful for me and how I live my life, it would be his approach to service,” Weaver said. “As King once said, ‘Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.’ I’m struck by how this quote’s new definition of greatness, as [King] said, is within everyone’s reach. I think about this every day when I ask myself, ‘How can I be of service to my family, to my colleagues, my students, and my community?’”The livestream featured a photo montage of King and recent Black Lives Matter protests.Hill, also a recipient of one of the Drum Major recognitions, concluded the event with a reminder of King’s unpopularity at the time of his assassination and his courage to continue to campaign for universal equality.“Although Dr. King gets revered today, at the time of his death, he was disliked by many Americans,” she said. “Even though Dr. King knew he was hated and that people were trying to kill him, it did not stop him for fighting for the freedoms, not only for himself but also for others.”Recounting the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan, Hill encouraged community members to care for their neighbors, especially Black and brown communities who are suffering disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic.“We are living in a time where so many of our neighbors are wounded, hurting and crying out in need of compassion and grace,” she said. “In 2020, the global pandemic and racial unrest showed us exactly who our neighbors are. The Black and brown communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. … As this day around the country is observed as a day of service, I challenge you to go and do the same. Serve your neighbors, love your neighbors, and fight for your neighbors.”Tags: president katie conboy, President’s Council on Inclusivity and Multicultural Diversity, Redgina Hill, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.last_img read more


first_imgShare: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) Pixabay Stock Image.ALBANY – Necessary, in-person special education instruction will be allowed in New York State this summer.The change comes after an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Frustration had been growing among parents of children with special needs as the Governor had given approval for summer camp, but summer school programs for kids with disabilities were still ordered closed and summer schools will continue through online learning.The new executive order will allow for in-person special education instruction to continue. According to the order, a school district that provides the services must follow state and federal guidelines.last_img read more