In order to promote female entrepreneurship, Saint Mary’s College created the Women’s Entrepreneurial Initiative (WEI), a program designed to assist current female-owned and operated small businesses and create an interest in entrepreneurship among women, Susan Vance, senior project director for WEI and professor at the College said.In order to help execute the program, the College hired Martha Smith, a local business owner and program director for WEI. Smith has first-hand experience in entrepreneurship.Vance said she hopes the program will become a helpful resource for local businesses.Smith also wants to see the program reach out to female entrepreneurs.“[I hope the program will] provide a forum or a home for businesswomen to come and network and obtain resources and information to run a smoother operation if they already have a business,” Smith said.Smith said she also wanted to see WEI create an interest in owning a business within the College community.According to Vance, the College was awarded a $245,000 Small Business Administration two-year grant to support WEI in October 2009. Since that time the College has worked to aid local female business owners.Vance said the program has a two-part focus.“One part is externally, in the community, we want to be really viewed as the go-to place,” Vance said. “If you’re a woman and you want to start a small business or you want to launch a small business we want you to think about Saint Mary’s as the first place to go to.”Vance said the second part of the program was to focus on educating students about entrepreneurship.“We also are very interested in our Saint Mary’s women as well,” she said. “So what we want to do is engage the Saint Mary’s women with those women within the community, those women business owners. Also in addition to that we want to get students excited about starting their own businesses.”During the Spring 2010 semester, WEI offered a Small Business Consulting course where teams of students were paired with local female-owned companies. During the partnerships, students worked to create plans for better efficiency for the companies.According to Smith, one team of students was able to help a company create better efficiency with a computer program.Smith said Saint Mary’s senior Kathleen Mills was able to simplify a major computer issue at Nicholas J Salon and Spa in South Bend.Smith said Mills and her team of three other students were able to transform a computer task that originally took five hours into a 30 second job.“There was a success story, one of the students solved a problem for a local business owner. [The company] had asituation with the computers and it was taking them five hours to do a job,” Smith said.Smith owns two businesses of her own — a mini storage unit company and a textile company. Both businesses are in the Michiana area. According to Vance, Smith is a valuable asset to the program because she has the capabilities to assist in reaching out to the Latina women interested in entrepreneurship.“I can relate to other women business owners,” Smith said. “I sort of feel their pain and there’s a kinship.”Vance said the College has created a new course that will be supported by the grant. The New Ventures course will allow groups of students to create their own business. Vance will be teaching the course. Students will be responsible for creating their product or service, marketing it to the local community and running the company. Students will be required to take the course for two semesters, and at the end of the second semester they will create an exit strategy and close their company.The money that students have earned from their business will go towards paying of the start-up loan they received at the beginning of the course. After they have paid off their loan, students will donate the money to local charities.Vance said New Ventures will be offered for the first time during the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters.
Who They Are Student body presidential candidate Brett Rocheleau, a junior from Keenan Hall, is a Math and Finance major. Vice presidential candidate Katie Rose, a junior from Pasquerilla East Hall, is an Economics and Political Science major with a minor in International Development Studies. Rocheleau is the current student body vice president and Rose serves as senator for Pasquerilla East and director of the student government Department of Gender Issues. In Their Words Rocheleau and Rose, who are running on a platform they call “Advancing the Vision,” have a to-do list of five items in their plan of action. The list entails: • Improving the constituent service capacity of Notre Dame, both on and off campus. Rocheleau and Rose want to continue the trend of addressing the wants and needs of the student body, saying it will be the primary focus of their administration. • Increasing safety for all students by raising awareness about issues and addressing them effectively. Rocheleau and Rose want to install better lighting on campus and increase blue light phones off campus. They plan to work with Notre Dame Security Police and the Department of Campus Technology to develop a mobile safety app for smart phones. • Deepen relations with the neighboring community of South Bend. Rocheleau and Rose want to attract a specialty grocery store to Eddy Street Commons, such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. They also want to continue past administrations’ work with the Robinson Learning Center and Communiversity Day. • Modernize Notre Dame to make it a 21st Century Catholic university. The ticket wants to focus their efforts on making dorm life more ecologically friendly, updating school policies to reflect current Church teachings, and providing a forum for students to discuss the modernization of Notre Dame Stadium. • Connecting the Notre Dame campus to the global community. Rocheleau and Rose want to continue the work started under this year’s administration, partnering with David Clark Causes to bring a large-scale social justice event to the University. In Our Words • Best Idea: Rocheleau and Rose want to push for the inclusion of a non-discrimination clause and the establishment of a gay-straight alliance on campus. Public opinion and Church teaching on such issues have dramatically shifted in the past few years. • Worst Idea: The ticket plans to attract a high-end grocery store to Eddy Street Commons as an avenue to interact with locals. Such an idea is misguided, however, as stores like Trader Joe’s are too expensive for many residents and students. Their plan to address community relations was weak in general, as Rocheleau and Rose identified the relations as an issue and then outlined a plan to stay the course, saying much of what is currently being done is working. • Most Feasible Idea: Continuing the role of constituency services in student government. A lot has been done in this area through the work of this year’s administration. There is no reason Rocheleau and Rose cannot do the same, especially if they set it as a priority of their term. • Least Feasible Idea: Modernizing Notre Dame Stadium may seem like a nice idea on paper, but the thought that a student forum will change how things have always been done seems far-fetched. While changes have been made in the game day experience this year, these initiatives were not student led. • Notable Quote: “Notre Dame student government should not only be about merits of consequence, but merits of convenience.” –Rocheleau Bottom Line Rocheleau and Rose say their years of experience within student government is a strength of their ticket, and will provide for a smoother than usual transition period between administrations. While their primary goal of promoting constituent services is both achievable and commendable, it is nothing revolutionary, as it has been the priority of this year’s administration. At times, both Rocheleau and Rose seemed naïve about the goals they want to achieve — they identify student-community relations as an issue and then say the current method of addressing that area is working. They also have somewhat lofty goals in terms of campus safety and modernization. Rocheleau and Rose certainly have the experience to do the job. Only time will tell if they can achieve what they set out to do.
Editor’s Note: This story is the first 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. During the first semester Fr. Edward Malloy taught at Notre Dame, he taught more classes than any other faculty member at the time. “I taught six sections each semester because I was supposed to teach two semesters of seminar, and I had too many students,” he said. “So in a burst of young enthusiasm, I broke it into six sections. … I taught one seminar from midnight to 2:30 in the morning because I couldn’t find enough available time otherwise. But I loved it.” That semester as a seminar professor was Malloy’s first as a teacher at Notre Dame. His career eventually led him to the Office of the President, where he served from 1987 to 2005. During those 18 years in office, Malloy changed Notre Dame. The number of faculty members increased by more than 500. Notre Dame’s study abroad programs spread from nine countries to 17. He brought more diversity to the University, increasing the percentage of minority students from seven percent to 18 percent of the undergraduate population. Malloy changed Notre Dame. But before, during and after his tenure in the Office of the President, one constant remains. He teaches. As he sat in his office this week, Malloy looked back on his days as a high school basketball player and his one semester as an engineering major, his call to the priesthood on top of a mountain in Mexico and the beginning of his administrative life at Notre Dame years later. He leaned back in his chair, balancing precariously on its two wooden legs. “What I love about teaching in college is it’s a pivotal moment in people’s lives. They’re away from home, they’re refining their talents, they’re preparing to do all these things, choices about what they want to do with their lives, choices about the possibility of marriage and family. So I always thought about what a great opportunity it would be to teach at that level.” At the beginning of his presidency, Malloy decided he would continue to live in Sorin College among students. He would continue to make time in the classroom part of his routine, teaching a class on literature and film for the Department of English. The Board of Trustees bet he would move out of Sorin and change his mind after six months, he said. He never did. “I was always intrigued [by teaching], ’cause I loved my days at Notre Dame, about the possibility of teaching at a place like this,” he said. “I lived out my dream. The teaching style Malloy developed as a professor in English and theology began before teaching even crossed his mind, and it carried through to his leadership style at the head of the University. “I think from the days I was in high school, I was comfortable in public speaking,” he said. “I think a lot of it has to do with being a basketball player, where you can focus on shooting foul shots with all the people waving their arms trying to distract you. … I think you can learn how to focus on the activity as opposed to all the distractions that are around you.” As a teacher and lecturer, the former president stood in front of audiences of students, academics, alumni and others on hundreds of occasions. “I never use a text or an outline or notes,” he said. “So I talk before 10,000 people or 20,000 people or five people, and I mean, I prepare, but I do it from my head. … That’s my style.” Now, Malloy no longer teaches six classes per semester. His one course each term focuses on autobiographical or biographical books and movies, but that style he developed as a young teacher is still important. “I try to make it a true seminar so I get all the students engaged every class, they have to talk every class,” he said. “And I have to shut up the people that talk all the time and some people say nothing all semester, so I have to elicit their participation. So I think I came to appreciate because of that experience the seminar style of teaching.” In the same way he encouraged his students to participate in class and work together, Malloy pushed his administration to be a cohesive team. Everyone gets a turn, everyone speaks up. “I’m very group and collaboration oriented,” he said. “So I like to give a lot of effort to establishing our goals and set priorities and things like that, but then I would entrust the responsibility for the follow-through in different areas of the University to the people who were supposed to be doing it. … I really believe in group effort.” While he never teaches the same material twice, he said he does like to bring the coursework back to a Notre Dame connection. “I think it allows a kind of identification between the students and the student material we’re looking at,” he said. His curriculum has included “What Though The Odds,” an autobiography by Notre Dame alumna Haley Scott DeMaria, who came into his class and discussed the book with his students, Malloy said. “It was just unbelievably good,” he said. “And somebody asked her at the end, after her story of recovery and swimming again and now living a full life as a mother and coach and teacher and all that, what about pain? She says, ‘I live with pain. … But it’s better than all the other alternatives. You move on in life.’ It was a very powerful moment.” One of his former students, Alex Montoya, who has three prosthetic limbs, also became a part of Malloy’s class again when the former president included his book “Swinging for the Fences” in his syllabus. “[Montoya] was a valuable member of the class, but he also taught us something,” Malloy said. “We had to adjust. People had to come to class with him, help him up the steps with his books and all that stuff. Anyway, he wrote a book about his experience, which has a whole chapter on my class, so we used his book too.” But more important to Malloy than teaching his students about other people’s lives are the moments when he gets to learn about their own stories. After years as a University president, a Sorin Hall resident and a teacher, he still works to engage the students he meets in the classroom. “The first class, they have to tell their story,” he said. “We spent the whole class getting to know each other before we start talking about the elements of the class, and it’s a great opportunity. I really get to know my students.” He’s writing his ninth book. He serves on the board for Notre Dame Australia and a number of national organizations. He remains active with local organizations like the Robinson Community Learning Center and the South Bend Center for the Homeless. But for one class period a week, Malloy is still a teacher. “My job description now is I can do whatever I want basically, but I’ve kept teaching because I enjoy teaching,” he said. Tomorrow: Malloy on the voice of a University priest-president, facing controversy under the dome, looking ahead to Notre Dame’s next step at a top-tier college and more.
On Sunday, the legacies of four popes combined in St. Peter’s Square when John XXIII and John Paul II were canonized by Pope Francis in a Mass attended by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.Vatican Radio estimated that around 800,000 people flocked to the St. Peter’s Square area Sunday, making it the largest event in Vatican City since Pope Francis’s 2013 election.Timothy O’Malley, director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, said because the canonization of popes is a rare occassion, the celebration of two in a single ceremony was unique.“There’s a special joy in this ceremony of John Paul II being canonized, because he canonized the greatest number of saints by far, more than anyone else before him,” O’Malley said. “He had a very deep commitment to the lives of the saints, and so it’s fitting that he’ll be canonized now and join their ranks.”O’Malley said John XXIII’s canonization was prompted by the whole Church asking for him to be recognized as a saint and to celebrate his feast day.“John XXIII has been Blessed for a long time … but when you’re beatified, you’re not put automatically on the universal calendar of the Church,” he said. “Dioceses asked to celebrate his feast, showing that John XXIII has become universally important, and thus his canonization is a recognition that the whole Church already perceives him as a saint.”The dual papal canonization took place on Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day very important to John Paul II’s spirituality — but while the Polish pontiff had more connections to the specific date, O’Malley said the decision to canonize the two together is significant.“John XXIII was someone who set forth the Second Vatican Council, and John Paul II had such a force on implementing it in the way that he did,” O’Malley said. “There’s a way in which both popes are taken up into this [date].” Photo courtesy of Michael Kane Pope Francis celebrates Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on April 20. The pontiff led a dual papal canonization ceremony in the Vatican on Sunday, recognizing the sainthood of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.John XXIII led the Church from 1958-1963, succeeded by Paul VI and John Paul I. John Paul II was pope from 1978-2005, then Benedict XVI led from 2005 until February 2013, and Francis was installed March 13, 2013. O’Malley said all four popes were interested in the relationship of the Church to the modern world and sought particular ways to deal with that. “You can see John XXIII’s calling of the Second Vatican Council as a promulgation of the Church’s openness to the world,” he said. “And with Pope John Paul II, in some ways he was responsible for the fall of communism in Poland. When he went to Poland in the earliest days of his papacy, it changed the world.”He said as a scholar, Benedict has used his writing and explanations of the faith “to engage seriously with the world,” even writing a letter “as a very serious response … in a spirit of love and charity” to an atheist who critiqued his book “Introduction to Christianity.” O’Malley said Francis also has sought to actively engage the world with Catholicism.“I think you can say that they all have different understandings of the world … but all of them are serious about the Church’s engagement in the world,” he said.O’Malley said he had no doubt that the legacies of John XXIII and John Paul II have shaped Notre Dame and its mission.“John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council, and perhaps nothing has done more to shape the University’s mission and identity than its understanding of its relationship to the world,” he said. “As far as John Paul II goes … it’s a remarkable thing to think that basically from the late 70s to the year 2005, every student who came to Notre Dame knew John Paul II as Pope, the only Pope they’d had.“So that means a great deal of religious life, religious philosophy, the things that we study in the classroom, Catholic Social Teaching — it was shaped by John Paul II. Which means that a great deal of the religious intellectual life here on campus has been formed by that pope.“Notre Dame is different because these two popes existed, just as the whole Church is.”Tags: canonization, Catholic, John Paul II, John XXIII, Pope, saint, Vatican
In June, the University announced a project to build the nation’s premier turbine engine component research and testing facility, which will give researchers and students the opportunity to study and improve upon the technology used in aircraft and power production, according to a Notre Dame press release.The $36 million project, in which other partners include General Electric (GE), the city of Sound Bend, the state of Indiana, Great Lakes Capital and Indiana Michigan Power, will be completed by March 2015 and fully operational by July 2016, the press release said. Notre Dame will contribute $7.5 million to the project, which will occupy 25,000 square feet of South Bend’s Ignition Park and directly generate 60 new jobs.Notre Dame Vice President for Research Robert Bernhard said the project will also allow unparalleled academic opportunities for students.“The facility is able to support experiments at the extreme conditions [such as temperature, pressure and velocity] of real gas turbine engines,” Bernhard said. “Students will have better access to observe these conditions than any other facility in the world with the opportunity to learn about the physics of gas flow in gas turbine engines.“In addition, the experimental measurements made in this facility are unique. Undergraduate and graduate students will learn about very unique measurement methods that are state-of-the-art.”The research students and Notre Dame faculty perform could also directly translate into new techniques or products for turbine producers, Bernhard said.“The research our faculty and students will conduct at the facility could be implemented by gas turbine engine manufacturers within several years,” he said. “The various studies might result in higher engine efficiency, better performance, lower emissions or lower costs or some combination of these factors.”University President Fr. John Jenkins said the project will stimulate the local economy as well as produce unique educational opportunities.“This venture will be a cutting-edge research and testing facility for the turbine engine industry as well as a tremendous economic driver for our region,” Jenkins said in a statement. “Notre Dame is grateful to our partners for their support of this project and excited about all that it will mean to our University, the city and state, the industry as a whole and our nation.”The facility is expected to create more than $15 million in expenditures annually, and Indiana governor Mike Pence said it highlights Indiana’s growing presence in the aerospace industry.“The aerospace industry is reaching new heights in Indiana,” Pence said, according to the press release. “Universities like Notre Dame and others across the state are providing avenues for discovery, proving that the sky is the limit in Indiana when it comes to bringing a big vision to life. The next great technological innovation could come from the mind of a Hoosier, highlighting for the world the full range of possibilities when investing in a state that works.”Rick Stanley, vice president and chief technologist for GE’s Power and Water business and a 1980 Notre Dame alumnus, said the facility will continue Notre Dame’s fruitful relationship with GE.“The center will allow GE’s industrial businesses to simulate full-scale engine operating environments,” Stanley said in a statement. “The important rig testing we will do at the center builds upon GE’s already strong and long-standing technical relationship with the University. For years, GE has turned to Notre Dame for top technical talent.”South Bend Deputy Mayor Mark Neal said the project illustrates the city’s commitment to business innovation and economic development.“Attracting such major investment speaks to South Bend’s economic future and its capacity to attract high-tech businesses,” Neal said in the press release. “This project continues our city’s history of innovation and is more evidence of the benefits that South Bend’s economic and geographic advantages offer.”Tags: Aerospace, aerospace engineering, General Electric, Ignition Park, research, South Bend, Turbine Engines, Turbomachinery
The Notre Dame Department of Music will welcome Grammy Award-winning baritone Nathan Gunn as artist-in-residence next week as the beginning of a four-year stint during which the acclaimed musician will perform for the Notre Dame community, instruct students and collaborate with faculty, department chair Peter Smith said.Gunn, who grew up in South Bend, felt drawn to Notre Dame not only because of his ties to the city, but because of his past interactions with the University as well, Smith said. “The idea of … this artist-in-residence position was an outgrowth of those two components — that [Gunn] had gotten to know some of our faculty members, he had worked with some of our students, he had performed here and his family was here too,” he said.Smith said Gunn would participate in the standard responsibilities of an artist-in-residence — giving performances as well as conducting master classes, which allow one student to receive voice instruction while others look on. However, Gunn will approach the position far more personally than past artists-in-residence, beginning next week when he will provide one-on-one voice lessons to five students, Smith said. Gunn will also visit classes and work on scholarly pursuits with faculty.Fifth-year senior Elizabeth Curtin, one of the students who will work one-on-one with Gunn, said she is looking forward to the opportunities a Grammy Award-winning artist can provide to students, many of whom have heard Gunn perform before.“I couldn’t be more excited about Nathan spending some time with us at Notre Dame,” Curtin said. “I have had the privilege of watching him perform several times, and actually having the opportunity to interact with and learn from him will just be fantastic for the music students here, especially those studying voice.”Curtin said Gunn will be effective in helping music majors develop their talents.“Nathan Gunn, besides being an expert in his field, is also extremely approachable and down-to-earth,” Curtin said. “I anticipate that the students will find it easy to work with him and that he will be able to offer insight in his coaching sessions that is accessible and relevant to the aspiring musicians of today.”Gunn’s activities will impact not only music students, but also the campus community as well, Smith said. Gunn will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ for the University and South Bend communities March 1 of next year.“For the campus community, having someone like [Gunn] doing public events and performing is of course an enrichment,” he said. “If [students] went to hear Nathan sing at the Lyric Opera in Chicago and they wanted a reasonably good ticket, it would cost several hundred dollars. Whereas here, the student price is probably $20.”Overall, adding Gunn to the Department of Music’s programs and plans is an incredible opportunity, Smith said.“Any school of music — Julliard or Indiana University Bloomington, the Curtis Institute of [Music], or the New England Conservatory of Music — any top conservatory or school of music in the country, even the world, would consider themselves fortunate to have this kind of opportunity,” Smith said. “And we’re getting it here at Notre Dame.”Tags: artist in residence, baritone, Department of Music, Music, Nathan Gunn
Saint Mary’s alumnae offered advice Wednesday to students interested in majors or careers in accounting, business or management information systems at the Alumni Women in Business panel discussion Wednesday in Spes Unica Hall.The panelists shared their stories of business education and career success.Director of finance at LOGAN Community Resources Allison James, class of 2008, said students struggling to pick a major should consider participating in a variety of core classes and activities.“Get involved in absolutely everything you have time to do,” she said. “Don’t overload yourself, but you will learn a lot about what you are good at and you will learn different skills in different kinds of activities.”Operations auditor at 1st Source Bank Bethany Panting, class of 2012, said first-years should should not feel rushed to decide their majors.“Take your time in choosing your major as a first-year, you don’t have to come in thinking I’m going to do this,” she said. “Find what you really like because you work for the rest of your life. Find something you really enjoy.”Breighan Boeskool, class of 2002 and investment operations specialist at the University of Notre Dame, said networking is essential when progressing in any career.“Saint Mary’s has a great network,” Boeskool said. “If you get to go to the happy hours, any sort of event that has professionals from the area or anything you think you might be interested in, don’t be afraid to just go up, introduce yourself and talk to them and make that connection. … That process of networking — that’s what helped get my feet on the ground.”James said joining clubs and attending events can help build a network.“When I was in school, I had no idea that pretty much every club I was involved in or activity I went to I was networking,” she said. “Six years, seven years down the line, I am still talking to those people, and all those people are in business too. Its amazing the connections you make just talking to people.”Boeskel said students interested in business-related fields should consider taking an introduction to databases course.“I think in today’s day in age, where business is going, a working knowledge of databases is absolutely essential,” she said. ” … Management, finance and accounting are all about big data, every single firm. The way we search the internet, the way we look for numbers, the way we check numbers, the way we are able to make decisions or if we want to make decisions on a moments notice.”Students should learn good communication and organization skills as well, Boeskel said.“It’s one thing to understand your job,” she said. “It’s then another thing to be able to communicate the ideas of how you can further your projects and goals by presenting in an articulate way to the rest of the team, and that is almost as important as knowing the items themselves.”Tags: Alumni Women in Business, business, panel discussion
Many diabetic patients suffer associated complications with their disease, but Dr. Mayland Chang, a research professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, is attempting to mitigate the complication of chronic wounds.“Diabetes has many complications and one of them is that patients with diabetes get wounds that don’t heal,” Chang said.She said there is almost no knowledge of the causes of this specific complication, and this limited knowledge has led to the inability to combat the problem.“This results is more than 70,000 lower limb amputations in patients every year just in the U.S.,” she said. “About half of those patients, within three years, end up dying.”These statistics drove Chang to look for solutions to these problems, she said. Chang leads a research group from Notre Dame’s department of chemistry and biochemistry that has made significant progress in finding ways to fix the prevalence of chronic wounds in diabetic patients.The team’s main tools are diabetic mice, she said.“We inflict wounds to mice, db/db mice, so they have type 2 diabetes, and we go with a biopsy punch,” Chang said. “If you can imagine it, it is like trying to punch a hole in paper, you make a wound in the back of the mice.”The research team is able to analyze the mice wounds and gather data, she said, and the mice have already led the team to new discoveries. In an earlier study, the research team found two enzymes in the diabetic mice wounds: MMP-8 and MMP-9.Chang said the research team hypothesized that MMP-8 was coming in to repair the wound.“We also saw that MMP-9 up regulated in diabetic animal wounds, so we thought that MMP-9 was the cause for why the wounds did not heal,” she said.The first study also led to the team to utilize an MMP-9 inhibitor, ND-322, in attempt to heal the wounds, Chang said, but the results did not overly impress the team.“We would see improvement, but not great improvement, so then we worked on making a more selective inhibitor,” she said.In their most recent study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team utilized a new and improved MMP-9 inhibitor, ND-336, Chang said. While low levels of selectivity lessened the earlier inhibitor’s healing abilities, the new inhibitor, ND-336, is far more sophisticated, Chang said..“The ND-322 was a three-fold selectivity, this is like a 50-fold selectivity,” she said.Chang said ND-336 is a much better inhibitor, and now that the team has proven their discoveries yield successful results, she can envision the practical benefits of these discoveries.“If you had an MMP-9 inhibitor like ND-336, that in itself can become a drug that you can apply to heal wounds,” Chang said.Other options, Chang said, would be to apply MMP-8 to the wounds or utilize the combination of both. First the team would have to move on to human trials, she said, which will not be happening in the near future.“You need first to get investment money that usually does not come from federal agencies. It may be like $2 million to manufacture kilograms of the compound that we can’t do here, and then be able to do the toxicology in a rodent and non-rodent species. We would submit that to the FDA and then they would grant us approval so we can test on humans,” Chang said.Finances, not time, are the main obstacle, Chang said.“It is not that it is a long road, it is that you have to go and find the money to do it. If you have the money, you can get it done in one year. The problem is just getting the money to do that,” she said.Tags: department of chemistry and biochemistry, diabetes, research
Dedicated to raising awareness of social justice topics, Saint Mary’s first Justice Friday of the school year focused on an increasingly widespread humanitarian issue that has forced countries to reconsider immigration policy: the Syrian refugee crisis. Led by senior Caylin McCallick, the discussion began by tracing the origins of the crisis.“A few citizens put rebellious graffiti on a wall,” McCallick said. “They were promptly pushed down by those who agreed with the Syrian government and, in turn, more peaceful protests started in solidarity with this event until eventually, a civil war broke out.”McCallick said surrounding countries and terrorist groups took part in this civil war as time went on.“Both the rebel groups and the government have been accused of war crimes by the U.N., including things like murder, rape, torture and forced disappearances,” she said.McCallick said terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) offered the people of Syria protection for themselves and their family in a time when citizens felt desperate and hopeless, allowing the group to grow in the region.“A group like IS could easily thrive in an environment that was suffering as badly as Syria was because you have turmoil, politics, fighting, bloodshed and people dying,” McCallick said. As the conflict intensified, many Syrian citizens fled the country, becoming refugees, she said. A refugee is defined as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons such as their race, religion or nationality, according to McCallick. “They are people who are very much struggling and if they go back to their country, they won’t be safe,” McCallick said. While countries have struggled to accommodate this influx of refugees, McCallick said the United States has been one of the strongest supporters in providing aid for Syrian refugees.“The U.S. has given $4.5 billion in aid and this year we expect to admit around 7,000 refugees,” she said.McCallick said refugees currently undergo a more rigorous screening process than anyone else allowed entry into the United States, but that many states are worried there is not a strong enough vetting process to allow refugees into the country without endangering American citizens. “It’s a valid concern — we are worried about national security,” McCallick said. “There’s always problems with every process and it’s worth looking at [it] again, because this is a large group of people.” However, junior Morgan Matthews said the refugee crisis is a problem without a clear solution.“It’s very hard to say we should or shouldn’t [do something] without being properly educated on the subject matter,” she said. “It’s not like you can have just a surface-level knowledge, you have to understand the deep core of the situation before forming a viable opinion.”McCallick said as a college student, the refugee crisis can feel like a distant problem, but it is nevertheless important to take action.“It’s important to do research and vote on who you think has a comprehensive plan surrounding the refugee crisis,” McCallick said. “We need to stand up for the sake of people who are suffering.”Tags: ISIS, Justice Fridays, refugee crisis, saint mary’s, Syria
Chris Collins | The Observer Juniors Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart discuss their platform points during the 2018 student government elections debate.Kruszewski said the McGavick-Gayheart platform — divided into the three categories “approachable, collaborative and transformative” (ACT) — contained several initiatives which had already been completed.In particular, Kruszewski said the ticket’s plans to implement GreeNDot at bars, facilitate exemptions from the six-semester housing policy with a waiver program and create an SAO-based “student leader directory” had already been done.“Do you vote for student body president and vice president because you want to get GreeNDot training in bars on campus?” he said. “If that’s the case, that was done three years ago. … Do you vote for student body president because of waiver implementation on housing policy? If that’s the case, that’s done this year. If you want an SAO list of clubs on campus, that’s done. It’s called SAO 360.”The Kruszewski-Dunbar ticket centers on eight platform points, including plans to decrease tuition, adjust the definition of consent at Notre Dame and double club funding. Kruszewski said he and Dunbar planned to carry out initiatives which had never been undertaken before.“The reason you vote for student body president or vice president is to tackle the big ideas out there,” he said. “We can do tangible things in the departments that we’re going to empower, but we want to make pushes to start conversations that are constantly in the back of your heads.”Kruszewski said he and Dunbar have the experience and relationships with administration needed to enact large-scale change. McGavick said he disagreed that this student government experience was needed to be successful.“If we start deciding that the litmus test for being student body president is how many administration people you know and the amount of clout on the second floor of LaFun that you have, we’re going to shut out pretty much every student on this campus,” he said. “And that is just a destructive idea. That’s not the point of representative democracy.”Past student government administrations, McGavick said, have been similarly shut off from the concerns of those outside student government.“I think, frankly, we’ve seen that a bit in the past couple years with presidencies being handed down from president to vice president to cabinet secretary, and I think we need an outside voice,” he said. “I think we need people that understand that we have to represent a lot of people on campus who don’t necessarily know every working of student government but have a sense of what kids on campus really care about.”Moran said he and Gannon — the first Zahm ticket since 2014 — took student feedback into consideration when formulating their platform. The two created a crowd-sourced platform, including items such as a proposed monorail to Saint Mary’s, another Campus Crossroads and two-ply toilet paper.“I think one of the best ideas was to have two-ply toilet paper in all bathrooms on campus,” he said. “That is a very large improvement we can make to our campus as a whole. We were talking with our campaign manager about how so much of the physical and emotional pain that students bring to him is because they’ve had to use single-ply toilet paper.”All three candidates said they opposed the new housing policy, which requires students to live on campus for six semesters. Both the McGavick-Gayheart and the Kruszewski-Dunbar tickets said they hoped to overturn the housing policy.McGavick said in addition to implementing GreeNDot in South Bend bars and supporting the Stand4IX movement, he and Gayheart also planned to purse a “parietals amnesty campaign.” This would allow students to leave dangerous situations — despite breaking parietals — without getting in trouble.“If a student feels they are unsafe in a dorm after parietals, they should have the full flexibility and comfort of being able to leave that dangerous situation without any consequences from the dorm staff or rector,” he said. “We believe that that is a major student safety issue because if somebody feels they’re going to get in trouble for escaping a dangerous situation, that’s a major problem.”Dunbar said this policy had already been implemented. She said she and Kruszewski planned to adjust the definition of consent in DuLac and also support the Stand4IX campaign as part of their sexual assault prevention initiatives.“We’d also like to talk about how DuLac does not have a definition for consent,” she said. “That hurts women and men, and that is not okay. This is a policy shift that we could realistically achieve, and we think it’s necessary and will protect our community and would also help survivors in their cases and trials, going through the process.”While Gannon and Moran often answered questions with jokes, they said they wanted to address the question of sexual assault seriously.“One of our ideas was making it a mandatory requirement for all hall staff to be GreeNDot certified, and while we are not active participants in any high-up roles in any sexual assault groups on campus, we definitely would bring in the right people to bring in the wisdom and experience needed to do a good job with this if we were elected,” Moran said.Kruszewski said another of his and Dunbar’s main focuses if elected would be to increase funding for clubs. He said 38 percent of the funds from student activities fees, a portion of the endowment and funds from The Shirt go to clubs. He said he plans to decrease funding for student government to increase funding for clubs.“We would flip the percentage and give student clubs 62 percent of the funding, take a pay cut, a budget cut, for the two of us,” he said. “So take money away from the president and vice president and give it back to students through the CCC, and that way in the first week this would be implemented, we would pass it through student senate, and then the change would be in place for this upcoming fall.”Gayheart said he and McGavick hoped to increase student government transparency if elected.“There have been four closed Senate meetings this year,” he said. “Literally, newspaper was up over the windows. That is a problem. That literally exemplifies not being transparent. So the first step, again, no closed senate meetings.”Kruszewski said he and Dunbar hope to turn student feedback into concrete changes.“The fact of the matter is there’s not a power right now that allows the student voices to actually turn into tangible, real action,” he said. “So we provide what I think is the biggest challenge for this role is changing those voices into tangible action. You need clout to do that. You need experience. You need understanding of how to work with administrators.”Tags: Kruszewski_dunbar, McGavick-Gayheart, Student government, Student government 2018 election, student government debate After an election season marked by allegations of campaign misconduct, student body presidential candidates sparred over issues such as student government transparency and the originality of their platforms in a debate in Duncan Student Center on Monday.This year’s candidates and their respective running mates include freshmen Andrew Gannon and Mark Moran, juniors Alex Kruszewski and Julia Dunbar and juniors Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart.