January 26

SMC leadership builds during ‘transition year’

first_imgLearning, leading and listening have been and will continue to be the goals of what Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president have labeled the “transition year.” President Nicole Gans and vice president Jacqualyn Zupancic began the year tweaking the Student Government Association’s (SGA) constitution and bylaws. “This year [Nicole and I] felt as though we came into our positions ready to go and fired up,” Zupancic said. “Everyone had all these great things they wanted to do, and then we slowly started to realize that our time was being consumed with financial things, with different policies and mending the bylaws.” After restructuring the Student Government Association (SGA), Gans and Zupancic researched how to make the board more effective. Recently, the voting members of SGA agreed to transition into a Student Senate structure that will be in full effect next school year. “Next semester we will be working in an interim between the two structures, and we’re going to be working very closely with the Office of Student Involvement and the Multicultural Services (SIMS) to get our policies laid out, so for April first, the new board can start running on that,” Zupancic said. The new structure will call for student councils rather than student commissioners, thus opening new positions for greater student involvement, Gans said. “[Restructuring SGA will] allow [for] even greater student input and more student representation,” she said. “That is the greatest change in our platform from last year.” Zupancic is also happy with the changes, but said the board will have to work hard to keep the process moving. “We definitely have our work cut out for us, and we want all of this to be in place as soon as possible,” she said. However, Zupancic said the process has also been exciting. “Our board is doing a great job of getting the word out there and still staying motivated through all these changes,” she said. “Everyone is very adaptable, and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback. “Everyone is very enthusiastic about the changes, and they want their opinions to be heard. It’s great. In our meetings, no one can stop talking about it.” Gans and Zupancic said these “transition projects” have made them realize the many facets of leadership. “[This semester], Nicole and I realized how long the path is to becoming leaders,” Zupancic said. “We’re still becoming leaders and still honing our leadership skills everyday because problems come up, and we have to exactly be on our ‘A’ game and problem-solve every day.” For this reason, Zupancic and president Nicole Gans began a monthly leadership program this semester. “We wanted to create some sort of series that [teaches] students who may not be in leadership positions, who are aspiring to be in them or who are currently in them … about the different components of leadership and how to motivate and organize different structures and focus on your goals,” Zupancic said. The program started in November and will run through March. It consists of talks held by current Saint Mary’s professors, coaches, staff and alumnae. “We don’t really have leadership classes, so we wanted to bring in different alum, or different professors from the school,” she said Zupancic said the program has been a success thus far. Looking toward next semester, Gans and Zupancic both said a major goal would be better communication with the student body. Gans said she wishes SGA would have administered more student feedback programs to allow students to voice their concerns this semester. However, Zupancic said this process is difficult because not many students find new problems at Saint Mary’s. “There aren’t very many issues here at Saint Mary’s that we have to deal with. Still, I think we have a long way to go to making Saint Mary’s the best place possible, and the hardest thing to do is to make something good better,” she said. “It’s not that we hope students will find something to complain about, but feedback on day-to-day issues if it’s a class, or even if it’s (that) people want to get paid every two weeks instead of monthly, is beneficial.” Ultimately, Gans and Zupancic said their biggest goal for next semester is to spread awareness that SGA values the needs of the student body, Zupancic said. “I wish students saw SGA as their ally and us fighting for them,” she said. “But if there aren’t fighting issues, it’s tough to make students aware. We want to change their interests into tangible things that make them grow.”last_img read more

January 26

I knew this was the place for me’

first_imgEditor’s Note: This story is the second installment in a two-part series on University President Emeritus Fr. Edward Malloy’s presence at Notre Dame. This series is also the second of three similar “From the Office of the President” series on the University presidency to appear in coming weeks. Before he was a University president, Fr. Edward Malloy was a basketball player. In four years of basketball at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C., he kicked off what would become a 55-game winning streak for his team through his senior year season and the season to follow. Notre Dame was one of 50 schools to offer him a college scholarship to play basketball while earning his degree. “I came and visited Notre Dame, and I knew this was the place for me,” Malloy said. “I loved it from the first time I arrived.” Malloy’s official basketball career at Notre Dame ended in the early 1960s, but the lessons he learned as an athlete returned to him when he ascended to the University’s Office of the President in 1987. “I can honestly say I was never intimidated by the job or felt overwhelmed by the possibility,” Malloy said. “My athletic career, I’m competitive, so there’s something about my strength as an athlete, as a player. … I played at high levels, and so when somebody was a challenge in the big game, I think there’s something about that that prepares you well for various kinds of leadership roles.” Malloy led Notre Dame through 18 years of immense growth, but he stepped into big shoes when he assumed the position. His predecessor, University President Emeritus Fr. Ted Hesburgh, had just resigned after 35 monumental years. “Fr. Ted was great to me in the transition and encouraged me to be my own person and do it my way, not to imitate him,” Malloy said. And Malloy did just that. “I really believe in group effort,” he said. “I think my experience in basketball, we were successful I think especially in high school because it was a team orientation, so that’s the way I’ve always been. Not that Ted wasn’t team-oriented, but I think in his time in history, he was trying to lead Notre Dame in a very dramatically different direction, and that required a lot of effort on his part. “For example, he was always a great international citizen and involved in a lot of activities. … I saw my goal as bringing the University in the same international direction that he tried to establish by his own personal example and leadership. I wanted the whole University to go in that direction.” Malloy expanded Notre Dame’s international presence from nine countries to 17 by the end of his term. “We had more affiliations with colleges and universities abroad,” he said. “There’s a lot more of our faculty and our administration traveling and building bonds and so on … like what happened in Ireland [last weekend at the Emerald Isle Classic].” Notre Dame connections followed Malloy throughout his travels to 80 different countries. A couple even recognized him in a hotel in Lhasa, Tibet. “I could be in some obscure country, and somebody comes up to me in the airport or some restaurant or something ’cause I’m Notre Dame and they’re Notre Dame,” he said. “It’s an amazing experience.” Malloy’s term was not without controversies of its own, however. In 1991, African-American and Hispanic students staged a sit-in outside the registrar’s office against the University’s slow progress to integrate more racial diversity into its student body and its policies, according to Notre Dame Magazine. The University drew major controversy when Malloy presented the Laetare Medal to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York lawmaker who supported abortion, in 1992. In 1999, Malloy guided the University through its first major NCAA violation. The organization put the Irish athletic program on two-year probation following the NCAA ruling that Notre Dame committed a major violation in regards to gifts to players by a University representative, according to The Observer archives. “I think that got negotiated well,” Malloy said of the 1999 incident. “We’ve not had any recurrence. I think we have in place better protective mechanisms.” For every controversy at Notre Dame before, after and during his presidency, Malloy said the University has always been and will always be a place for open discussion. “It’s a question about whether you want to be a full university where the great issues are represented and people come and give talks, and in a sense allow you to listen to them and make judgments about what you think about them, or to live in a more isolated way,” he said. “Notre Dame was a place where the Church could do its thinking, and wecould help society think about the great issues of the day. And you can’t do that unless you invite people or have sometimes controversial topics discussed. I think we’ve done that generally quite appropriately, and I hope we’re always a place where that can go on.” In the future, Malloy said he hopes to see the professional and graduate schools grow further. But he said seeing the school in the hands of a Holy Cross priest like current University President Fr. John Jenkins is a reassuring moment for the future of Notre Dame. “For the Notre Dame constituency, the priest-president like Ted and myself and John represent in a sense the whole institution,” he said. “And because we celebrate Mass and do a lot of things that some lay presidents don’t do, it allows us to have a visibility and the consciousness of the peer group that you have when you’re in that role. “So for the 18 years that I was president and for the years in which I have other roles in other people’s lives, I can hopefully represent the best of what Notre Dame is about.” More than 50 years after he joined the Irish as a basketball player and eight years after he took a seat from the president’s position, Malloy still plays for the Notre Dame team. “You feel good about the place you’ve given your life over to, that the next person in line is carrying it forward in pretty much the same general direction that you’ve tried to lead it,” he said. And so we can kind of sit on the sidelines and cheer and be happy that Notre Dame is prospering.”last_img read more

January 26

ASC awards engineering professor research award

first_imgLast month, the American Chemical Society (ASC) recognized Notre Dame chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Joan Brennecke’s research with the 2014 E.V. Murphree Award in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. The award, which Brennecke will accept at the ACS’s Spring National Meeting in March, includes a $5000 cash prize and travel expenses. Brennecke and her research group have studied ionic liquids, chemical compounds which she said could  make refrigeration and power plants more environmentally friendly. Brennecke said she was excited about the prestige the award would bring to her research and to Notre Dame. “[The award] brings recognition to the research,” Brennecke said. “What it says is that the research that we’re doing here at Notre Dame, the graduate students and the postdocs and the undergrads who work in my group – it says that we’re doing good work. We’re doing things that are good scientifically and good technologically, and this award recognizes that.” Brennecke said her team has several projects that develop commercial uses for ionic liquids, which are salts in liquid form. Because of the substances’ chemical makeup and low melting points, she said they have widespread applications. “We can design them,” she said. “We can put all sorts of different combinations of cations and anions and put substituents on top of the cations and anions, so we can really change the properties.” One of Brennecke’s team’s projects focuses on designing a way to use ionic liquids to remove carbon dioxide from flue gas in power plants, preventing it from entering the atmosphere and intensifying climate change. The process works by placing naphthalene into the ionic liquid and allowing the carbon dioxide to evaporate with the naphthalene, she said. This process of carbon dioxide removal uses less energy than other methods, which could use up 30 percent of a power plant’s energy capability. “We’ve got some [ionic liquids] that, based on the prospects of this modeling and all the thermodynamic properties and everything should use about 22 percent [of the energy of the power plant], and that’s certainly better than 30 percent,” Brennecke said. “We’ve also got some interesting ones that start out as solids, but when they react with the [carbon dioxide] they become liquid, so we call them phase-change ionic liquids. “Those numbers look like it’s closer to 15 percent, so that could be a really huge improvement.”   Another project, one that Brennecke said has more commercial potential, is designing air conditioners and refrigerators using ionic liquids. Carbon dioxid, would be a good replacement for traditional refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbon, because it is non-toxic and non-flammabl, with relatively low global warming potential, she said. A stable liquid, however, would be needed in order to harness as much energy as possible from the carbon dioxide. “So then we said, ‘Well, gee, ionic liquids are just perfect.’ We know how to tune them explicitly to work with carbon dioxide, so that’s been another project that we’ve been working on,” Brennecke said,s”Several of us faculty have got a start-up company working on commercializing that application. Brennecke has won several awards for her research on both ionic liquids and supercritical carbon dioxide, a liquid form of the compound. Contact Emily McConville at [email protected]last_img read more

January 26

Humanitarian describes work with child refugees

first_img“Children are moving; children are on-the-go; children are unsafe in the world. It’s our job — my job — to keep them safe.”Saint Mary’s alumna and associate director of Save The Children Sarita Fritzler spoke at the College on Tuesday afternoon to talk about her work with the D.C. organization and raised the issue of child protection for refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border as well as the rest of the world.After graduation, Fritzler joined the Peace Corps and was initially stationed in Zambia. There, Fritzler said her passion for children and child safety grew. After a year, Fritzler said she was moved to South Africa to work with Save the Children.Fritzler currently works in Texas to aid the large numbers of unaccompanied children and family units who have crossed the southern border into the United States. With the combined effort of Catholic Charities, the American Red Cross and FEMA, Save the Children offers children access to food, water and shelter.“This sort of crisis, or any crisis, can happen in your own backyard, and it can happen in places like Syria,” Fritzler said. “But it’s happening in our own backyard at this very moment in McAllen, Texas. Children who have left their homes in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are seeking safety above all … they come to the U.S. for asylum.”According to Fritzler and Save the Children, there are 8.4 million child refugees all over the world. These children have been forced from their homes and are not living in their home country any longer. Further, an additional 16.5 million children are internally displaced, forced within their countries to leave home due to violence, political instability and abuse.“This includes children in South Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, here in the United States and in central America, and these numbers go up every year,” Fritzler said. “These are numbers from the end of 2013, so we are not even including the recent immigrant crisis down on the border.“In June, you probably heard the media reports of large numbers of children coming across the border,” she said. “[This included] 68,000 more children, as young as one all the way up to 15-16 who were crossing by themselves. An additional 68,000 were coming with a parent, so that’s 120,000 since June alone.”With all of these refugees scattered and separated from their families, Fritzler said the agency works to ensure that children are safe when traveling to the border, when in border patrol custody and when they are reunited with families.“President Obama declared this a humanitarian crisis at the end of May, but it’s important to note that this is not a new crisis,” she said. “It was declared a crisis because border control was overwhelmed and couldn’t handle the number of refugees they were getting.”Fritzler said this is not the first time the U.S. government has proved itself incapable of responding to the needs of children in disasters.“The [U.S.] just has no capacity to respond and help support children. After Hurrican Katrina, it took seven months to reunite a 5-year-old child with their parents when they were separated after the hurricane,” Fritzler said. “We need to do more. We need to be better.”Save the Children has responded to these needs by setting up child-friendly spaces at the border and in refugee camps. There are spaces specifically designed to support a child’s emotional well-being and recovery, she said.Compared to the detention sites established by the border patrol, shelters set up by Save the Children provide for those who are in desperate need of support.“The detention sites are jails — crowded, crowded, cold jails. The women call them the ice cubes, like freezers, because of the cold conditions they keep them in,” she said. “[Save the Children’s shelters] provide food, clothing, child-friendly spaces, showers, and then we also give them food and clean-clothes for their travel journeys.”Trained Save the Children staff and volunteers who know how to support the emotional recovery of the children operate the shelters, Fritzler said.Beyond facing harsh conditions when detained by border patrol, Fritzler said the people coming across the border are most likely to be fleeing for their lives. Often, refugees as young as six years old have been targeted by gangs.“If you were in the position as a parent, knowing your child is not safe and knowing you’re risking everything you’ve built up for your family to make sure that your kid can get somewhere that’s safe, you would do the same thing,” she said. “But this is not an immigration talk. These are children. At the end of the day, their basic rights and needs deserve to be met.“Children are always the innocent ones in this … and there simply aren’t enough people advocating and fighting for the rights of children.”Such unsafe environments extend to other global crises, where ISIS and other extreme terrorist groups like Boko-Haram or Al-Shabab are threatening the security of thousands of families and children, she said, making humanitarian efforts all the more imperative.Though the crisis may seem over due to the lack of media coverage, Fritzler insists it is still happening and will continue for years to come.“The crisis is not over … it’s out of the public, but it’s still happening,” she said. “I was in Texas last week down on the border and the detention centers are full. We see the critical need to be down there, and I think we will be there for a very long time.”For Saint Mary’s students, this lecture was an awakening to all of the issues that children face on a global scale and all of the humanitarian needs that must be met, senior Cathy Alcantara said.“Clearly, there’s a large humanitarian issue right in our backyard,” Alcantara said. “I knew about it over the summer because it was in the media a lot, but it hit me more hearing this lecture because it is about children.”Alcantara said she hopes she can utilize all that her Saint Mary’s education has taught her in the future and service people, like the refugee children, who need help.“I would like to help my community someday and help the children, even if it is here in the U.S.,” she said. “Right now, my whole focus is business, and I wish I had more experience with women’s studies or something to give back. I will definitely try to do more service work or something to get involved someday like Sarita.”Fritzler said everyone has a civic duty to help those around them, though this doesn’t mean we all must go to Syria to deliver aid.“I encourage everyone in college to use their skills — whether it’s in math, science, human services or education, whatever the field of study, to help those around them. That’s how we create real change in the world, by applying what we can do best, and helping those around us to do the best they can be,” she said.“That’s the true meaning of humanitarian.”Tags: American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, child protection, FEMA, human rights, Humanitarian, Sarita Fritzler, Save the Children, U.S. border crisis, U.S. border patrollast_img read more

January 26

Saint Mary’s orchestrates opportunities for music education majors

first_imgSaint Mary’s membership to the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), which provides professional development opportunities and resources for those intending to teach music, proves that without the fine arts as a part of core curriculum, students would fall flat.Visiting assistant professor of music Dawn Farmer, who initiated the Saint Mary’s chapter during the 2014-2015 school year, said the organization helps students prepare for life after graduation.“Students gain access to publications, research and teaching materials,” Farmer said. “They are also given considerable networking opportunities. We can connect with other music education students all over the country, with practicing music teachers in multiple fields and with professional musicians.”The club travels to workshops and conferences, where students refine skills from their music and education classes as they learn what exactly their future career entails, according to Farmer. She said traveling to these events benefits not only members of the club, but also the Saint Mary’s community, because it gives students the chance to demonstrate leadership qualities.“I feel that students who intend on being music teachers should start participating in the expectations for the field,” Farmer said. “Other local music education programs respect us and know us to be positive, prepared and knowledgeable. At these music events, people may know of Saint Mary’s College, but we set the bar for what Saint Mary’s is, and we represent with pride.”Junior Allie Kroehler, who serves as treasurer of the club, said she is grateful she can develop her knowledge of her future profession.“I have access to a lot of different music education journals, which I have used many times for research for my classes,” Kroehler said. “Saint Mary’s has given us a great opportunity to be able to major in this specific field, so it is important to acknowledge and appreciate that.”Kroehler said this organization gives students studying music education somewhere to belong, as it allows them to interact with like-minded peers who share similar aspirations.“We are kind of caught between two departments — music and education,” Kroehler said. “We are such a small population, and sometimes it can feel like we don’t have a place in either department. NAfME has provided us place where we can come together and have any specific music education questions answered.”Kroehler said she enjoys working with others and learning about how to effectively advance and preserve music education’s spot in the core curriculum of U.S. schools.“It is really important for teachers to collaborate and work with others in their field,” Kroehler said. “NAfME gives me the opportunity to work with other future music teachers and learn from them. We also have the opportunity to discuss how the music education field is changing and how it impacts us.”Farmer said she is happy this organization became active at Saint Mary’s last year because it plays an integral role in catapulting students careers and in promoting a sense of unity among members.“We continue to look for ways in which to bolster music education and music awareness within the community,” Farmer said. “It gives us an opportunity to bring music education into other parts of the Saint Mary’s community and beyond.” Tags: music education, NAfMElast_img read more

January 26

Saint Mary’s Career and Internship Fair connects students, employers

first_imgOn Tuesday, Saint Mary’s will host its third-annual Career and Internship Fair, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center. It is open to all Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross students, Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office (CCO), said. “We pretty much start planning from the time that the Career Fair gets over with,” Jeffirs said. “Usually within a couple of days to maybe a week after the Career Fair ends we set the date for the next year’s Career Fair.”This planning has paid off, as the Saint Mary’s Career Fair has seen steady growth, Jeffirs said. “The first year that we had it, we had 25 employers,” Jeffirs said. “Last year, we had 35. And then this year, we have almost 50 that are coming. So each year we are kind of growing it. … We outgrew our space in Rice Commons so we’ve had to add some tables upstairs in the Student Center.”Jeffirs said the Career Fair offers a variety of opportunities to students. “We have a pretty good list of employers, post-grad service programs, graduate programs that we reach out to to participate in the fair,” she said. In order to continue drawing new organizations and employers to the fair, Jeffirs said the CCO looks to implement new strategies to increase student attendance. “We have done a lot more marketing and promoting for the event this year as well,” she said. “We are always looking for new ways to get more students to come to it, because the more students that we can get to come to it the more employers and organizations we can get to come to it as well.”For students looking to attend, much of their success depends on putting in work both beforehand and afterwards, Jeffirs said. “A lot of the success of a career fair depends on preparation beforehand and then follow through after the career fair is over with,” she said. “So, the successful student is actually going to spend more time on the both of those than actually at the Career Fair itself.”Jeffirs said students must also know what to do during the fair itself in order to reap its benefits.“When you get there make sure you ask questions, get contact information, so that way you can follow up after the career fair,” she said. “Find out what the next steps in the process will be, find out if they’re planning to do interviews in the near future. It’s not too pushy to ask about those because it is a career fair, so they’re coming here to recruit students. You need to ask questions to find out what the next step will be so that way when you leave the career fair you will have a strategy.”Jeffirs said although some first years and sophomores may feel too young to attend career fairs, there are benefits for them as well. “You don’t want to necessarily just show up to the Career Fair and you do want to prepare in advance,” she said. “So what first years and sophomores can do is to research the employers and have some ideas about employers they may be interested in now for internships or summer opportunities, but also employers that they may be interested in the future to build a relationship or connection with them.”This connection is what makes a student’s experience at a career fair successful, Jeffirs said. “Building the rapport, regardless of your major regardless of your class year and what you’re looking for, that’s the biggest objective coming out of a career fair,” she said.In today’s digital age, showing up to the Career Fair and getting face-to-face interaction with employers is especially important, Jeffirs said.“It’s hard to [network] when everything is done electronically, because to them you are a number or you are a page on the screen that they are looking at, so it’s hard for you to stand out and differentiate yourself,” Jeffirs said “But when you go to a career fair, it’s an opportunity to connect with a person and build that rapport.”Tags: Career and Internship Fair, networking, Saint Mary’s student centerlast_img read more

January 26

Theology on Fire sheds light on depression

first_imgAs Mental Illness Awareness week approaches with the first seven days of October, Lorraine Cuddeback, a post-doctoral scholar in Notre Dame’s Theology Department, used her installation of Theology on Fire, “Responding to Depression: Theological Insights and Pastoral Practices,” to address the topic of depression.  Cuddeback specializes in the field of Catholic Social Tradition, which can be traced back to the Catholic Church of the early 20th century, and reflects on worldly matters such as poverty, labor and other social issues.  “ … What the Catholic Social Tradition does is offer a really helpful framework for addressing ethical issues such as mental illness and depression,” Cuddeback said, “ … Ideally, this would be an ongoing process.” Monica Villagomez Mendez | The Observer Lorraine Cuddeback discusses a pastoral and theological approach to depression, an illness which affects about 10 percent of the world’s population,.Cuddeback referred to the Pastoral Circle, a Catholic social justice tool invented in 1980, that bridges the experience of mental illness or depression to social analysis, theological reflection and pastoral action. After showing a short film titled “What is Depression?” from Helen M. Farrell’s 2015 TED Talk, Cuddeback launched into four points that covered the current understanding of depression in today’s Catholic community.“Depression is not rare; in fact, it’s actually pretty common,” Cuddeback said. She said an estimated 10 percent of the world population have suffered from depression, and that over the past ten years, that number has increased by about 15-20 percent in college-aged students.  These statistics only indicate people who have sought treatment for their diagnosed mental illnesses. Therefore, she said, the numbers could actually be much higher.“Depression is not just ‘feeling down,” Cuddeback said. “There’s a difference between feeling depressed or feeling upset about something and medical depression.” Mental illnesses like depression operate on a spectrum, which means that though symptoms might be present, clinical diagnosis only follows the crossing of a certain threshold, Cuddeback said.  To be medically diagnosed, the patient must display at least five of the possible symptoms of depression. Thoughts of self-harm automatically cross this threshold, despite the normal rule of five observed signs, Cuddeback said.“What’s really behind that is not just a number of symptoms, but recognizing that things start really interfering with your everyday life.  Your ability to take care of yourself: to sleep, to eat, to work,” she said. “Depression is not all just in someone’s head.  There is a real biological aspect to it.”Like any other illness, depression manifests itself in a constellation of symptoms, including chemical changes within the body.  Cuddeback said there is a false impression that because depression is a mental illness, it can be cured with sheer will power.  Depression takes on real, physical symptoms that must be taken into consideration, likening mental illness to a case of strep throat, she said.“No one says, ‘Just try to not have strep throat,’” Cuddeback said.Though this explanation seems simple enough, Cuddeback said today’s society still does not have a complete understanding of the nature of mental illness.“Depression is stigmatized,” she said. “People don’t take it seriously.” 44,193 people died by suicide within the last twelve months, Cuddeback said.  Research projects 41,070 deaths related to breast cancer by the end of this year.  While Cuddeback said she is a strong advocate for breast cancer research, she said sees a disparity in the disproportional amounts of publicity surrounding both conditions, given that suicide often results in a greater number of deaths. “We don’t talk about depression and suicide anywhere close to as often as we talk about breast cancer,” she said.The fact that mental illness and breast cancer share the same month of awareness makes the level of invisibility and societal stigma surrounding depression all the more glaringly obvious, Cuddeback said. By leaving our preconceptions and stereotypes of depression at the door, we can come to a better understanding through faith and reflection, she said.Despite the shortage of official documentation addressing a theological viewpoint on depression, Cuddeback referenced a passage from “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” and a letter from John Paul II.  According to “The Catechism,” a person afflicted with “grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardships, suffering, or torture,” is freed from responsibility, should they take their own life.  The letter from John Paul II emphasized mercy and the importance of creating structures that support people’s mental health.Cuddeback included the theological concept of “Imago Dei,” or the idea that men and women are created in the likeness of God, and stressed the connection between the human soul and the body.  She said as humans, we are sometimes tempted towards dualism, which forces us to prioritize either the body or the mind as the embodiment of the whole person.  Cuddeback said we must pay attention to both.  “We are the Imago Dei, the image of God. And that is an image that involves both spirit and flesh,” Cuddeback said.  “Care for the body is care for the soul, and in fact, caring for the soul is caring for the body.”When specialized treatment and self-care isn’t enough, Cuddeback said she suggests turning to the Psalms, specifically Psalms 44, 60, 74, 79, 80, 85 and 90.  These Psalms offer a form of prayer life amidst the darkness of depression, she said.“God does not want us to suffer, but God is with us in our suffering,” Cuddeback said. “God wants an abundant life for us.”Cuddeback said she would urge listeners to advocate for a more visible support system for those suffering, to keep the conversation on theology and mental illness open and to react appropriately to friends or relatives experiencing depression.“Being with someone who is suffering, with mental illness or otherwise, means that we must love and accept that person as she is, not as we hope her to be,” Cuddeback said.  “We can’t dictate what their journey looks like. We can love them.”Tags: Depression, mental illness awareness, Mental Illness Awareness Week, theology on firelast_img read more

January 26

Cervelli addresses campus community

first_imgSaint Mary’s will continue to support victims of sexual assault and maintain the College’s mission, president Jan Cervelli said in an email sent to the College community on Friday. “Saint Mary’s remains committed to support and respect survivors of sexual violence,” Cervelli said in the email. “In response to proposed changes announced last week by the U.S. Department of Education to federal guidance affecting college investigations of sexual assault, I want to emphasize that Saint Mary’s mission remains unchanged: We show respect for each person and provide support for those in need.”The Memorandum of Understanding — signed by Cervelli, University president Fr. John Jenkins and former Holy Cross College president Br. John Paige on March 7 — will help spread information, including prevention education, resources, reporting options and procedures. Cervelli said in the email the Memorandum will continue to aid the campus communities in preventing sexual assault. “The Memorandum of Understanding, which Saint Mary’s signed this year with Notre Dame and Holy Cross, will continue to strengthen our capacity to prevent sexual assault and harassment, as well as respond to accusations with fairness and sensitivity, through the sharing of information and best practices,” Cervelli said.Students at Saint Mary’s should feel protected under the College’s policies and mission statement, Cervelli said.   “In our efforts to live up to our community values, we look, as always, to the example of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, who guide us toward a peaceful, pastoral engagement with others as a path to healing and justice,” she said. “Everyone at Saint Mary’s College should feel protected and empowered under the policies in place and the mission that inspires our commitment to creating an environment of love and respect.”Tags: cervelli, memorium of understandinglast_img read more

January 26

Saint Mary’s undergoing $2.5 million-dollar, campus-wide renovation

first_imgSaint Mary’s is spending more than $2.5 million upgrading its campus this summer, the College announced in a Wednesday press release. Anna Mason | The Observer Saint Mary’s is spending more than $2.5 million on renovations to its campus this summer.Renovations began at the end of last semester and have continued throughout the summer months, vice president for strategy and finance Dana Strait said in the release.“We are thankful to have a healthy endowment and a budget to support our campus’ rich history, maintain our high standards for students and fulfill our commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability,” she said in the release.In progress are updates to the Noble Family Dining Hall and retail dining funded by Sodexo, including Cyber Café’s rebranding to the 1844 Grill; cosmetic changes to the Cushwa-Leighton Library and the addition of a 24-hour study space and a Starbucks bar; renovations to Holy Cross Hall and the first floors of McCandless and LeMans Halls; the installation of more accessibility ramps; retouching to sidewalks and parking lots; and various other foundational repairs to buildings across campus.Strait said additional renovations were made to help Saint Mary’s curb its energy consumption.“From choosing energy-efficient lighting and window materials to the installation of energy-monitoring meters, the campus is looking to enhance its resources in every possible way,” she said in the release. “The bonus will be seeing students’ reactions as they return from summer break to the beautiful Saint Mary’s campus. These enhancements take us to the next level.”According to the release, this summer’s upgrades mark the start of a much larger renovation project. Saint Mary’s hopes to secure a $51 million bond for the endeavor, which must first be approved by the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners. The Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees approved a plan for the additional renovations in June, which will include campus beautification and improvements to buildings’ energy efficiency, health and safety.Strait said the College expects to hear from the Board of Commissioners by the end of August. If the bond is approved, the board and other administration officials will move forward in finalizing the renovation plan, she said. Input from the Saint Mary’s community will be also be taken into consideration during this time.Tags: enhancements, facilities upgrade, renovations, repairs, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

January 18

No New Emojis In 2021 Due To COVID

first_imgJAMESTOWN – Smart phone users won’t have new emojis to select in 2021.It’s yet another result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.A non-profit group called the ‘Unicode Constortium’ oversees the creation of emojis.They usually get approved in January for release in September. But, the group relies on volunteers. It says people have too much to deal with right now, so it’s pushing back the release date.Some new emojis will come out this year. Those are from this past January’s batch. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more