Professor discusses global impact of Irish literature

first_imgOn Friday, Dr. Kasia Bartoszyska, a professor at Bilkent University in Turkey, presented a lecture titled “Ireland Among Others,” as part of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies’ Lectures and Public Talk Series. Bartoszyska, who received her Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2011, spoke on the significance of Irish literature in a global and transnational context. Irish Studies typically draws comparisons to its western European neighbors, Bartoszyska said, but a better understanding comes from comparing Ireland to countries with similar features. “Irish Studies has long had an implicitly comparative dimension, often seeing its cultural output in relation to, and in turn set by, that of its nearest neighbor, Great Britain,” Bartoszyska said. “Recent years have seen an increase in different forms of comparison.“In examining Irish writing alongside that of other cultures, be that of other colonies, other islands or other predominantly Catholic nations, new geographical coordinates, it is suggested, have the potential to highlight aspects of the tradition that have heretofore received less attention, giving us a new perspective on Irish literature.”Bartoszyska said she based her lecture on a comparison between two novels, one Irish and one Polish. Bartoszyńska focused on “Melmoth the Wanderer,” written by Irish author Charles Maturin and “The Manuscript Found in Saragossa,” written by Polish author Jan Potocki. “Focusing on these concrete examples gives us a pathway to the bigger questions by seeing how some of the theoretical paradigms play out in practice,” she said. “They were written around the same time, in the late 18th and early 19th century, and they’re oddly similar to each other in many ways, except that one has a Polish author and the other, an Anglo-Irish one. They are not exactly world-famous classics, but neither are they completely unknown.”The novels share a similar style of seemingly unrelated characters telling interconnected stories, Bartoszyska said. “What ‘Melmoth the Wanderer’ and ‘Manuscript Found in Saragossa’ share is a highly interconnected character structure, where people who have seemingly nothing to do with each other are shown as related in various ways,” she said. Bartoszyska said it is common for scholars to attribute similarities like these to the similar cultural and socio-political factors present in both Ireland and Poland. “After all, weren’t both Poland and Ireland countries with extremely powerful neighbors, places that had to struggle to keep their cultures alive in the face of constant threat or even a total loss of sovereignty,” she said. “Didn’t both have a lasting, deep connection to the Catholic Church?” The connection runs much deeper than superficial characterization, Bartoszyska said. “As a starting point, we can say that when we compare Polish and Irish literature, we learn that neither is the anomaly it often imagines itself to be,” she said. “In both Polish and Irish Studies, references abound to the uniqueness of each as a dominated region within Europe.”Bartoszyska said comparative study of such literature helps develop an overall better understanding of world literature. “Examining the way these two texts create fictional worlds and articulate the relationship between those worlds, and the world, we can begin to consider the question of how they fit in to a more global understanding of literature,” she said. Studies like hers may ultimately lead to a better conception of literature overall, Bartoszyska said. “So comparing Irish literature to other traditions, paradoxically, may help us move beyond such narrow comparisons, and to contextualize Irish writing within a more transnational frame,” she said. Tags: Irish Studieslast_img read more

Play honors life of former College president

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s community brought to life the story of the College’s illustrious visionary, poet, scholar and third president Sister M. Madeleva Wolff, in an original play titled “Madeleva: A Play in Several Voices” on Thursday evening.Communication studies lecturer Susan Baxter wrote the play using alumnae memories as well as essays and dramatic monologues by students.Since 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Madeleva’s death, the play was a highly anticipated event for the entire Saint Mary’s community.The play was part of the annual spring lecture series hosted by the Center for Spirituality (CFS). This year’s series is focused on the lives and leadership of religious women, director of media relations Gwen O’Brien said.Wolff was the president of the College from 1934-1961. According to a College press release, during her tenure, Wolff put her talents and efforts to use in leading Saint Mary’s to become nationally recognized as a premier liberal arts college. At the time of her death, one journalist described her as “the most renowned nun in the world,” O’Brien said.Elizabeth Groppe, director of CFS beginning this academic year, carried forward plans for the lecture series and solicited the help of two faculty members in the creation of a play celebrating the life of Sister Madeleva, O’Brien said.In the fall of 2013, students in professor of English Laura Haigwood’s writing proficiency course, along with students Baxter’s playwriting course, wrote research essays and extended monologues about Wolff, O’Brien said.“Sister M. Madeleva Wolff was a complex, flawed and brilliant individual,” Baxter said. “What we came to appreciate as we worked on this play, however, is that she was less extraordinary than — and more exemplary of — the beautiful Holy Cross Order that created her. With all our hearts, we believe she would concur.”Groppe said she was grateful to Haigwood and Baxter for their tremendous work and long hours put into the composition and production.“The play … will bring Sister Madeleva to life for a new generation of young women, for whom she is a model of a woman of prayer who surmounted many challenges to become a distinguished scholar, poet, educator, and leader in both Catholic higher education and the life of religious communities of women,” she said.The cast was comprised of students and faculty, with sophomore Kaitlyn Baker starring as Wolff from age 5-17, alumna Eva Cavadini ’12 as Wolff from age 18-60 and Baxter as Wolff at age 70, Baxter said.Baxter said the play is a work in progress, which she hopes will include even more stories of Wolff’s life in the future.Tags: Center for Spirituality, Madeleva Wolff, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

Senior advisor spreads awareness of education

first_imgTags: (USAID), christie vilsack, educational mission in developing nations, U.s. agency for international development Christie Vilsack, the self-proclaimed “storyteller” for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), spoke about the organization’s educational mission in developing nations April 16 in Carole Sandner Hall.Vilsack, the senior advisor for international education at USAID, asked approximately 50 students and staff members to spread the message that the safety and prosperity of the United States depends on education in developing countries.“If young people have jobs and they feel like productive citizens in their own countries, they’re not going to become security threats to us,” she said. “So, it’s in our best interest … to make sure that we consider that educating children in other countries is just as important as educating children in our own country.“Everything that happens out there in those countries where I’m visiting … will impact kids in this country every day as they grow up. … Our economy depends upon people in other countries and … our trading dollars are very definitely connected to the developing countries, as well.”To that end, Vilsack said her branch of USAID seeks to increase opportunities for learning.“The ability to function in the world today is pretty dependent upon being able to read,” Vilsack said. “If you can read, that means you can read the medicine that you get at a drugstore or from a doctor. It means that maybe you can better understand the people that you might be voting for. It means that you can start a business.”In 2010, USAID created a three-part strategy for using education to empower people in impoverished countries, Vilsack said. She said the organization pledged to improve the reading skills of 100 million children, put 15 million additional children in school and increase vocational opportunities and access to higher education.USAID currently is hosting “All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge,” which asks people to create technology that helps children learn to read, Vilsack said. According to USAID’s website, this international grant competition makes $2.7 million available to innovations and programs.Vilsack said USAID is looking for software that creates open-source books, uploads them to a cloud, translates them into multiple languages and submits them to local publishers in various nations. As it works to accomplish its goals, USAID considers the impact its efforts will have on women and girls, Vilsack said.“We don’t do anything at USAID without putting it through the filter of gender,” she said. “We know that one of the best ways to raise the standard of living in developing countries is to make sure girls and women have opportunities they maybe haven’t had in the past.Vilsack told The Observer that in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, for example, USAID tries to increase the number of female teachers because girls are not permitted to attend classes taught by men.“In every program that we do, we think about how is this going to affect girls in this country,” she said. “And in some places, in Haiti, the number of boys and girls in Haiti in school are the same, so in some places this isn’t so much of an issue, but in other places, it definitely is for different reasons.”Vilsack said USAID asks colleges and universities to help students see themselves as problem solvers.“It’s about changing the attitude that we have about education so that we’re not just getting degrees so that we can get a job. We are actually able to solve problems,” Vilsack said. “And sometimes if you can solve a problem at a local level, you can take that and work at a global level.”College students with limited time can begin to address global issues by educating themselves about current events in one particular nation, Vilsack said.“It’s overwhelming to pick up a newspaper if … you don’t feed on these things,” she said. “As a young parent and as a teacher, I’d often think, ‘I have to teach these kids tomorrow. I don’t have time to sit and read about South Sudan in depth or every country in the world that I should be thinking about.’ But if you choose one.”Ultimately, students should aim to consider the ways in which all people are connected, Vilsack said.“If people can think more globally, I think that’s important, and it doesn’t take any more time,” she said. “Just opening your mind … to understanding different cultures.”last_img read more

Notre Dame Community Remembers Lisa Yang

first_imgKevin Song | The Observer Students lit grotto candles in the shape of Lisa Yang’s name in the late hours of March 3, following her death the same day.“Lisa is one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met. She always cared about other people’s feelings and never wanted to burden anyone. She was always willing to listen and offer consolation to those going through a tough time.“Lisa loved to laugh and make jokes with people and was all around a good person to be around.”Senior Joseph Celeste chose those words to describe his girlfriend of two years, Lisa Yang, who died March 3.Others who knew her described her as a girl with a nearly ever-present smile and as “a friend to all.”When the University announced her death late in the evening of March 3, dozens of those friends flocked to the Grotto to remember her and to illuminate the space, spelling out her name in candles.‘A hardworking individual’All those who knew her said Yang was an accomplished student. A finance major in the Mendoza College of Business with a job lined up after graduation, she was “naturally very good at many of the things she did,” senior Amanda Kotey said.Kotey remembered spending time with Yang studying late into the night.“I would say that Lisa was such a genuine and hardworking individual,” Kotey said in an email. “Often times when I had to pull all-nighters in our section lounge of McGlinn, I would almost always see Lisa there, too.”Yang loved her studies and her extracurricular activities — numerous business-related clubs and the Debate Team — loved to cook and travel and dreamed of moving to New York, Celeste and senior Nikki Reyes said.McGlinn Hall senior Boyoung Yoo said she met Yang walking to Domerfest during freshman orientation, and the two remained friends throughout their time at Notre Dame. She said she viewed Yang as one of the smartest people she had met at the school.“I remember when she got her first internship; it was in sophomore year,” Yoo said. “It’s kind of hard as a sophomore to land an internship, and she had such a good one … she was getting paid really well, and as a fellow sophomore looking at someone this successful I just thought, ‘Well, you’re going places.’ … She had so much going for her.”‘Always smiling’Several of Yang’s friends recalled her memorable smile and laugh that accompanied her cheerful disposition.“She was always smiling. I’m sure you saw pictures of her smile, it was super bright, and it just lights up the entire room,” Yoo said.Reyes, who lived in McGlinn and studied finance with Yang, described Yang as a young woman dedicated to her schoolwork who was generally very happy and playful.“The way I describe Lisa is that she was always such a happy person,” Reyes said. “She was always very light.“Even when she was stressed, she would laugh about things. She had a very distinctive laugh, when she felt awkward or something was funny.”“She was very light-hearted and almost like a free spirit,” Reyes said. “During the Asian American retreat she stayed up all night to pull this elaborate prank on some of the guys … something with a vacuum and the boys sleeping and duct tape on the door. She was just fun.”‘Everyone’s friend’Reyes said Yang offered friendship to all those who knew her, but Reyes personally appreciated her optimism and support.“I remember during interviews the fall of our junior year, Lisa and I both wanted to do banking, and we didn’t get anything we wanted in the fall,” Reyes said. “We were freaking out because we thought we were out of luck. But Lisa was always very positive. I was abroad, and she would text me when I had interviews to encourage me and say ‘You can do this.’”But Yang’s kindness and friendship extended beyond the classroom and professional sphere, senior Margarita Arcenas said. Arcenas said she specifically recalls a night out with Yang and other girls from McGlinn.“The last event I remember going to with her was a concert in Legends at the end of our sophomore year,” Arcenas said in an email. “It was pretty empty and the McGlinn girls from 2A, including Lisa, took over the entire dance floor. I wish she could have found the same happiness she had that night.”‘An opportunity for others to understand … ’The St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office ruled Yang’s death a suicide, after what Celeste and Lisa’s father Gary Yang described as a lengthy battle with clinical depression.“Lisa suffered from depression for a number of years, starting in high school,” Celeste said. “Her depression was a self-enforcing cycle; she couldn’t see that she was smart, talented, beautiful and very successful.”Gary Yang said although his daughter struggled with depression, she often hid her suffering.“She cared about her parents and sister very much; she didn’t want them to be worried about her depression,” he said in an email.“The extent of her struggle was not something she was comfortable sharing with those she loved. As a result, her family’s deepest regret is that Lisa didn’t receive the essential help and support that she deserved.”Gary Yang said he hoped Lisa’s death would allow the community to move forward a better understanding of the disease and how to get support.“The greatest sorrow and sadness of her family is that they came to know her struggling and suffering alone only after her death,” he said.“We hope that her death might be an opportunity for others to understand that students suffering from depression should not suffer alone, but instead reach out to others for support and help.”The University Counseling Office is offering special walk-in hours for students affected by Yang’s death today from noon to 1 p.m. and next Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., in addition to its additional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday hours.Tags: Lisa Yang, University Counseling Centerlast_img read more

Goldman Sachs executive analyzes the benefits of impact investing

first_imgTags: Goldman Sachs, impact investing, Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference Andi Phillips, a vice president in the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs, spoke about the importance of impact investing during a conversation with director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship Sam Miller on Thursday evening. Phillips served as the keynote speaker for the 2015 Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference.According to the conference’s website, the aim of the conference is to discuss impact investing, the practice by which investors finance projects that can provide social benefits to a community. Phillips said her work at Goldman Sachs aligns with this practice and that she has made it her mission to “drive strong financial returns while also having a very strong social impact.”“There are opportunities to invest in the communities where we live and work that can have that double bottom line,” Phillips said.As a result, impact investing is not only be beneficial to the investor, but also to the government and individual communities, Phillips said. She said the main problem service providers face in trying to help the community is a lack of funding.“If what I’m paying for is outcomes, which is at the end of the story, how do I get the capital I need as the service provider to actually deliver the service?” Phillips said.Furthermore, Phillips said many service providers would be unable to recover from large investment failures.“Service providers don’t have the financial wherewithal to absorb the risk of not reaching the impact and therefore not getting paid.”In contrast, large companies like Goldman Sachs can absorb this type of risk, Phillips said. She said because of this, service providers can “use private capital to finance the services people need.”Phillips discussed several projects through which impact investing has already been beneficial for Goldman Sachs and the community. She said one particular project involved funding prevention programs in Massachusetts for at-risk young men in order to prevent recidivism, which is the cycle of arrests and convictions to which many first-time criminals fall prey.The problem, Phillips said, was that “the government was spending of all its money to actually put these kids in prison and incarcerate them and didn’t have the money to pay for the preventive services.”She said Goldman Sachs provided this funding, with the potential to receive financial returns depending on the success of the program.“For every decrease in recidivism and increase in employment, the commonwealth will make a payment,” Phillips said.The program was a great success, Phillips said, lowering Massachusetts’s recidivism rates and bringing financial returns to Goldman Sachs.Phillips also discussed the positives of some of Goldman Sachs’ impact investing failures, specifically an attempt at Rikers Island to lower recidivism through cognitive behavioral therapy. Although the therapy failed to have an effect, Phillips said the venture “represented a very different way of the government doing business.”“There was no waste of taxpayer dollars, because it was Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropy that lost money,” Phillips said.Finally, Phillips offered advice for those looking to become involved in the impact investing field.“Get involved in the social issues you care about in such a way that you begin to understand what the challenges are and how to effectuate change in that area,” she said.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s names Outstanding Senior

first_imgGraduates of the College will receive their diplomas Saturday, but this year’s Outstanding Senior Eleanor Jones said she has already earned the most valuable gift possible — a Saint Mary’s education.Jones, a global studies major, said she was surprised to learn that her leadership, service and academic achievement qualified her for this award.“It was really unexpected just because I know how many people in our class are so passionate about what they do,” she said. “We’ve got a great student body with a lot of people who do different activities across the board, so honestly I wasn’t expecting it because we have so many incredible people. Knowing that makes it an even bigger honor.”Jones said her involvement with the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership enhanced her college experience by encouraging her to appreciate other lifestyles while recognizing a common humanity.“There are universal issues that we can all revolve around,” Jones said. “You get to realize more of your similarities and your differences and how you can celebrate them.”Jones said she spent two summers at Saint Mary’s working for the Study of the United States Institute (SUSI), where women from North Africa and the Middle East develop action plans they want to implement in their home countries. Through her work with SUSI, as well as her year-long study abroad experience in South Africa, Jones said she learned the importance of intercultural leadership and sensitivity. In 2014, the Jordanian team proposed a company called SheCab, in which all passengers and drivers are female.“I got to go to Jordan to give them moral support, and we went to the embassy with them when they presented their business plan,” Jones said. “We decided we wanted to start a fundraiser on campus to show that Saint Mary’s still supported them even though they weren’t here anymore.”Marc Belanger, Global Studies professor, said in an email Jones’s desire to understand and improve the world around her is evident in her superior work.“As a student, [Jones] has first rate writing and analytic skills comparable to other outstanding students, but what makes her different is that [Jones] really cares about the human dimension of the issues we are discussing and asks questions that always push the discussion to a deeper level than it might normally go,” Belanger said. “While her GPA shows that she gets A’s most of the time, it is this level of what I would call ethical seriousness that makes her so interesting to work with.”According to Belanger, Jones’s desire to respond to global challenges makes her deserving of the Outstanding Senior Award.“I don’t think I have ever had a student any more determined to figure out the best way for her to make a difference in the world or more willing to question her own motives and goals with more honesty,” Belanger said. “I think she can do that because she never forgets that it’s not about theories or ideologies, but about human beings.”Jones said the support of Belanger, along with other faculty and staff, enables her to be her best self.“Most of the things I’ve done are because a professor has tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Hey, I think this would be a good idea,’” she said. “Saint Mary’s has kept pushing me to get outside my comfort zone. I feel like I’m always presented with different opportunities, and it’s been hard for me to say no.”Jones said one of her most meaningful accomplishments is helping to pioneer the Food Recovery Program, which donates leftovers from the dining hall to the Center for the Homeless.“We’ve saved about 5,100 pounds since last year,” Jones said. “You can see the initial impact of everything that you’ve done.”Though Jones has contributed to the community, she said her classmates’ success is most impressive to her.“I think that we have a lot of students who found what they are passionate about and have started applying it,” Jones said. “We’ve got a well-rounded student body.”Jones will return to South Africa for a year of service at a children’s home. She said students should view every challenge as a path to success and make the most of their college years.Jones said Saint Mary’s shapes its students into goal-oriented, compassionate leaders capable of changing the world.“In a world where women are often times pitted against each other, here we’ve got this community of people constantly trying to support each other,” Jones said. “It has taught me to be strong and confident in what I say, and I think that’s pretty special.”Tags: Commencement 2016, Outstanding senior award, saint mary’slast_img read more

Justice Friday examines migration

first_imgIn this week’s installment of Justice Friday, Saint Mary’s first year Annie Maguire and sophomore Krystal Harris presented on the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) campaign called “I am Migration.”Maguire and Harris are both CRS ambassadors, meaning they work to inspire and mobilize students to achieve the mission of CRS and to create global solidarity on campus. The CRS mission encompasses faith, action and results.The goal of the “I am Migration” campaign is to educate students about what migration is and to encourage them to take action by supporting immigrants and refugees both locally and nationally.Beginning the presentation, Maguire clarified the difference between a migrant and a refugee.“Many times, we hear the terms ‘migrant’ and ‘refugee’ used interchangeably, but there is a significant difference when it comes to legal proceedings,” she said. “Refugees are protected under international law. They should not be expelled or returned to situations where their life and freedom are under threat and are legally allowed to take refuge and asylum in another place.”According to a video from CRS University (a CRS outreach program to partner with universities and students across the country) included in the presentation, the refugee crisis is currently the worst in human history due to conflict and persecution. Refugees will be displaced for an average of 17 years. There are 65 million refugees and displaced people worldwide.“In 2013, the number of international migrants worldwide reached 232 million up from 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990,” Maguire said. “At the end of 2014, 38 million people around the world had been forced to flee their homes by conflict and violence.”Maguire also clarified what it means for someone to be native or indigenous to a certain area.“Native or indigenous means originating in and characteristic of a particular region or county,” Maguire said. “We all have stories. As a history of people, we always move.”Harris and Maguire opened the discussion by asking students to share their own family migration stories.Saint Mary’s junior Denisse Mendez said her family originated in Aguascalientes, Mexico.“I was born in Mexico and I came here when I was three years old,” Mendez said. “My dad came to the U.S. first thinking it had better economic opportunities. Eventually my mom said ‘I can’t take it anymore, we have to reunite our family,’ so then we came to Warsaw, Indiana.”Senior Elizabeth Kochniarczyk said although her immediate family doesn’t have a migration story, her grandparents and great grandparents immigrated to the U.S.“My family is from all over,” she said. “I’m Polish, Irish, Native American and Native Australian.”Justice Education Club president Caylin McCallick said she enjoyed hearing everyone’s stories.“It was nice to see the diversity even within a room of people,” McCallick said.Harris said Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross are all the results of migration.“All three schools were founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross founded in the 19th century by Fr. Basil Moreau,” she said. “He migrated to the United States from Le Mans, France.”Sam Centellas, who for the past three years has been an active member of the South Bend youth and Latino community center, La Casa de Amistad, also shared his migration story.Centellas is originally from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. His mother, who is from Michigan, went to Bolivia to be a missionary where she met his father who was a native of Bolivia. He said their decision to move came from the hyperinflation Bolivia was experiencing in 1984.“My dad was a business man and my mom was a teacher,” he said. “People had to pay him in goods — a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk.”Centellas said sharing stories is an imperative part of understand and connecting with those who are immigrants or refugees.“It is important that we all share our stories and talk about taking action,” he said. “In this area unless you’re Potawatomi Indian, you’re not from this area.”According to Centellas, the U.S. needs to change its language concerning immigrants.“Just because someone isn’t a citizen doesn’t mean they’re undocumented,” Centellas said. “The only difference between me and an undocumented immigrant is that my dad was married to an American. It’s who their parents decided to fall in love with.”“We’re trying to change that conversation piece from people being illegal to people being undocumented,” he said. “Those words matter.”Centellas said promoting awareness concerning language can make a difference for people who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is the result of an Obama administration executive order, and shields certain undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation.Additionally, Centellas said 13 to 14 percent of South Bend’s total population is Hispanic — approximately 18,000 people. Across the U.S. there are 750,000 DACA recipients — 1,200 in South Bend alone.“I almost guarantee you if you’ve walked around in our community, you’ve met someone who is undocumented,” Centellas said. “Part of why we talk about action is that our community doesn’t want your pity. We need people to do tangible things, to come and help.”Harris said students can show their solidarity with DACA students by spreading awareness for International Migrants day on Dec. 18, participating in the “Week of ‘Poder,’” contributing to the Lenten CRS Rice Bowls and volunteering at La Casa de Amistad. Students can also wear a safety pin to show their support and promote safe spaces for everyone in the community.Maguire said taking action in these ways support the mission of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. According to Maguire, the mission is to “deepen our understanding and appreciation of distinct cultures, realities and persons so we live our Holy Cross charism and identity more fully.”“This knowledge of the mission really speaks to who we are as Saint Mary’s students,” she said. “We encourage you to be an activist, an advocate and an ally.”Tags: DACA, Immigration, migration, undocumented immigrantslast_img read more

SMC student receives LGBTQ alumni club scholarship

first_imgSaint Mary’s junior Morgan Haney is one of the recipients of a scholarship from the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s (GALA). The mission of GALA is to create a future where no one is discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Haney said in an email that the scholarship award is offered to LGBT students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.“GALA ND/SMC, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae Association of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, offers a scholarship for current Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) undergraduate students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s,” she said. “I believe it started in 2015 as this is the third time it has been awarded to students.”Haney said the scholarship provides financial support to students who identify as LGBT, thanks to the contributions of the donors of GALA.“The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance and support to full-time undergraduate students who identify within the LGBTQ community,” she said. “This scholarship is funded by the monetary contributions from GALA members and friends.” Haney said the scholarship assists recipients financially, which then allows them to positively impact their campus communities. “The intention is that this scholarship will assist the recipients with reducing the financial costs incurred while pursuing their education as well as allow them to make a positive impact at Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and/or the South Bend community, as LGBT students often face barriers in their education that other students may not,” she said.Haney said organizations such as PRISM and SAGA are proof of the great strides Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s have made towards accepting LGBT students —however, there is a still a long way to go. “A feeling of belonging and acceptance is always a challenge LGBT students face across the campuses,” she said.Haney said she is working on a community service project to teach life skills to LGBT youth in the South Bend area.“My community service project is to create a workshop teaching life skills for the LGBT Center,” she said. “Some of the curriculum I would like to include would be budgeting, getting insurance, and finding resources/organizations in the South Bend area.”Haney said her ambition comes from fellow LGBT youth who have become homeless as a result of coming out to their families. Haney became self-supportive at age 19 after coming out to her family, and she said her personal involvement is the driving force behind her mission to provide resources to local LGBT youth.“I personally wanted to provide resources and assistance to LGBT youth who have found themselves homeless as a result of their sexual orientation,” she said. “Coming out to family does not always go well and many LGBT youth face rejection. I, myself, had to become self-supportive at the age of 19 as a result of coming out to family. I want don’t want other LGBT youth to feel the fear and isolation that I felt.”Haney said her future plans include graduating early and pursuing a Ph.D. at Northwestern University.“As for future plans, I will be graduating a semester early, so the fall of 2017,” she said. “My goal is to get into the JD-Ph.D. program at Northwestern and study forensic psychology.”Haney said she would also like to encourage more clubs to host all-age LGBT events, as at these events, Haney was able to meet new people and feel more accepted in the community. “I am not a member of SAGA at Saint Mary’s, but I know they have worked really hard to put on events and panels to help spread acceptance,” she said. “I think it would be beneficial to spread the LGBT events that go on in South Bend. South Bend is a unique place, as there are fun social events people can go to put on by the LGBT community. There are GGB events, Gorilla Gay Bar, once a month for those who are 21 and older. There are drag shows every Saturday. SAGA can’t advertise events due to campus rules, but maybe Saint Mary’s could work with South Bend organizations to start having more all-ages events. “Once I started going to those events, I found wonderful people that made me feel personally accepted.” Tags: GALA, LGBTQ, scholarshiplast_img read more

Student group celebrates national “Respect Life” month with week of events

first_imgThis week, the Notre Dame Right to Life club is celebrating Respect Life week, a part of National Respect Life Month. The week began with a rosary for life at the Grotto on Sunday and a booth on South Quad yesterday, where club members sold apparel and answered questions about the club.The organization chose “Love in Action” as this year’s theme because it represents the positivity and service that the club hopes to share with Notre Dame students throughout the week, senior Sarah Drumm, president of Notre Dame Right to Life, said.“The purpose of our club is to promote the dignity of all human life and to show love to these people, to all people, but particularly the most vulnerable in society. Therefore we picked ‘Love in Action,’” Drumm said. “That’s what these events are. They’re taking the love that we have for these groups of people and putting it in action, either talking about it or doing something about it: card making, making blankets for hospice care, having a dance party with Hannah and Friends, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with special needs. [They’re] tangible ways to show your love to other people.”Sophomore Jack Ferguson, vice president of campus involvement of Notre Dame Right to Life, said that that club has been planning the week since July. Ferguson said the Human Dignity Service Fair on Tuesday, co-sponsored by student government, is a great event for students who want to get involved with a service opportunity. ND Right to Life service commissioners — including groups that work with the homeless and pregnancy help centers — will be in attendance, as well as other clubs presenting service opportunities. Wednesday, the club will host a blanket and card making activity for people in hospice from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the Gold Room of LaFortune Student Center. Afterwards, the group will hold the next segment of their semester long “Pro-Life Vision of the World” panel, which will feature Jess Keating from the Institute for Church Life speaking on pro-life feminism, Andrea Verteramo and Mary Ball from the Holy Family Adoption Agency speaking on adoption and Aly Cox from the Center for Ethics and Culture on bioethics.“They approach it from many different disciplines and faculty: theology, philosophy, from a feminist approach, from an environmental approach, with respect to things like war and poverty,” Ferguson said.The club will hold their annual rose garden memorial on South Quad on Thursday, Ferguson said. “It’s a memorial to all those lives lost, particularly through abortion, but any major life issues: the death penalty, euthanasia, suicide, civil war strife, persecution in the Middle East or in South America,” Ferguson said. “It will conclude with a prayer service on Friday morning.”Last year, the rose garden memorial was vandalized overnight, an event the group views as an opportunity to promote more civil dialogue with other groups on campus, Ferguson said.“We took it as an opportunity to respond with love and positivity and rise above the occasion,” Ferguson said.Thursday evening, the club will host keystone speaker Lila Rose, an outspoken critic of abortion and founder of Live Action at 7 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium for a speech called “Transforming the Abortion Debate.” The club is expecting a large turnout, Ferguson said.The week will come to a close with Lifefest on Friday, an event organized by the Joys of Life commission of the Right to Life club, which will be held on North Quad from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., and a dance party with Hannah and Friends on Saturday from 5:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The festivities will include food, inflatables and games. All students and faculty are invited, as well as members from the South Bend community. “Essentially what the Joys of Life part of our club does is they just celebrate life,” Drumm said. “I think that that can often be forgotten in the pro-life movement. We’re always fighting so hard for different groups of vulnerable people, but this aspect of celebrating life and remembering that life is a gift and remembering why we’re fighting is important.”Notre Dame Right to Life encourages all students to attend the Respect Life Week events, even if they have no affiliation with the club.“Everyone on this campus, there’s something about this club that they would like,” Drumm said. “We do so many things on campus with so many different groups of people. We have so many service commissions, so many opportunities for discussion or prayer or volunteering to help other people. We want to reach as many people as possible. Even if you disagree with us on one or two issues, there’s still something here for you.”Tags: Notre Dame Right to Life Club, Pro-life, Right to Lifelast_img read more

Notre Dame honors ‘subway alumni’ during game weekend in New York

first_imgWhen Notre Dame fans converge on New York City this weekend ahead of the Shamrock Series football game against Syracuse, a blue and gold illuminated Empire State Building will greet them Friday evening.How did Notre Dame negotiate this display?Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, asked.“They did this at no cost to Notre Dame, but I guess my best explanation is I asked nicely,” he said.Browne formerly worked as a public information officer at the New York City Police Department, and had seen the Empire State Building lit in various colors to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah. Through his work at the police department, he had crossed paths with Tony Malkin, CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the Empire State Building.“I wrote Tony a note, reminding him we had crossed paths when I was with the NYPD,” Browne said. “ … And I explained how the Shamrock Series worked — that we would take one of our home games and play it in an interesting place outside of South Bend and that this year we were doing it in New York.”Browne hoped that illuminating the Empire State Building would both celebrate the fact that Notre Dame was visiting New York City, as well as recognize “subway alumni” without any official connection to Notre Dame.“We were kind of honoring the ‘subway alumni’ which is those people, many of them located in New York, many of whom started following Notre Dame when they were immigrants and came into New York,” he said. “We kind of wanted to honor that tradition and thought what better way to do it? New York City is a city of immigrants, Notre Dame is a college that itself was founded by immigrants. … So, Tony eventually agreed. We also agreed to let people know we were doing it.”Overall, the University will seek to honor subway alumni throughout the weekend with various events, according to a University press release published Tuesday. Festivities kicked off Thursday with a prayer service in St. Peter’s Church for Notre Dame community members impacted by the 9/11 attacks. The play “Sorin: A Notre Dame Story” was also presented Thursday. On Friday, members of the Notre Dame community will participate in a service project and host multiple panels. The celebrations will conclude Saturday with a Mass celebrated by University President Fr. John Jenkins at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a marching band concert and the football game.According to the release, the events are free and open to the public, though some require registration in advance.Browne said Notre Dame first began to gain subway alumni during the early 20th century, when Catholic immigrants often faced discrimination.“[Notre Dame] became very prominent in the American imagination,” he said. “It really dates back to the 1920s. And there were two things kind of interesting going on in the 1920s — in Indiana, in the midwest but Indiana specifically, the Ku Klux Klan stronghold was in Indiana. And Notre Dame as a University was viewed very suspiciously and antagonistically.” Because of this, the University had a hard time finding schools willing to play them in football, Browne said.“It was difficult for Knute Rockne, the coach, to get a number of midwestern universities to accept playing football with Notre Dame because they were those ‘Fighting Irish,’ meaning those fighting, brawling, drunken Irish,” he said. “That original term was a slur that Rockne had the brilliance to take over and wear as a badge of honor.”As a result, the football team had to travel the country to play schools across the nation, Browne said.“[Rockne] had to take the Notre Dame team on the road, had to travel to New York to play Army, which would not discriminate, which would play us,” he said. “But in doing that … Notre Dame was the first football team to play nationally. Before that, nobody went through a couple of days on a train to go somewhere. They all played regional. But out of necessity, Rockne brought us to New York.”When the Notre Dame football team arrived in New York, they were greeted by numerous Catholic fans, Browne said.“When [Rockne] gets to New York, New York City is filled with what? Irish Catholic immigrants. Italian Catholic immigrants. Polish Catholic immigrants,” he said. “And Notre Dame to them is an aspirational place. It is a place where Catholics can be admitted to a university, not be discriminated against, like my own mother in Northern Ireland. She couldn’t get into a good university if they looked at her name. … It wasn’t a law that discriminated, but they could tell by her name that she was Catholic.”Browne himself identifies as a subway alumnus. He said his parents long admired Notre Dame as a place where Catholics could get a good education, despite facing discrimination.“My parents didn’t go to college,” Browne said. “They knew nothing about American football, because football to them was soccer. So they didn’t know anything about the sport, they didn’t know anything about American higher education. “All they knew was that Notre Dame was this aspirational place that did not discriminate against immigrants and we were Notre Dame fans for that reason. I, as a little kid, learned the Notre Dame fight song, and I couldn’t have told you where Notre Dame was but I would listen or watch the games with my father.”Similar stories exist across the country, Browne said, and contribute to a large subway alumni population.“Repeat that millions of times in cities specifically on the Northeast — New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago,” he said. “This created what became known, because it started in New York, as the subway alumni, people who were not alumna at all, but they identify with Notre Dame because of their immigrant tradition, because they were Catholic and they wanted to root for the team that represented them in a way larger than just football.”Browne said subway alumni’s love for Notre Dame persists today. He recounted the enthusiasm with which policemen greeted Jenkins when he toured the One World Trade Center a few years ago, before it opened. “They were all so proud … they brought him up to the very top of the Freedom Tower, before it opened, before it was finished and had him sign his name on a steel beam on the very top of the Freedom Tower,” Browne said. “It’s now enclosed behind walls, etc., but it was very important to them to have Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame sign the steel at the top of the New World Trade Center. It’s all tied to that history of immigration and pride in ethnicity and religion.”Their excitement stemmed from their love for the University, Browne said.“It meant a lot to those cops because it was the president of Notre Dame,” he said. “The president of any other university? They wouldn’t care, to be honest.”Tags: Empire State Building, subway alumni, Syracuselast_img read more