COR talks strategic planning, textbook rentals

first_img“We’re really excited about this,” he said. “We’ve done a lot but we’re still not quite there yet.”  Crawford said his talk would be centered on developments the College of Science is making in order “to enhance and expand research and enterprise.” Crawford said one of the goals was to cultivate Catholic tradition in the field of science. This particular initiative will be centered on the three Catholic pillars of truth, service and the common good.  “We don’t want to see this program fail,” he said. “We don’t want you to feel violated when you buy books.” “A lot of universities like Michigan, Stanford and [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] were fighting for this opportunity,” Crawford said. “This is the first accelerator the U.S. government has invested in since 1982 and Notre Dame is going to build it.” “We’re going to be launching a program called Compassionate Care, largely for our pre-med students,” he said. “This will have our students partner with hospice care on the local level, but we will also be participating on the international level with sending a few students to Africa to do work in those communities.” “The first goal we have is to enhance and expand undergraduate research in our core disciplines,” Crawford said.  “That way every year will be different and it will help to expand our international collaborations,” he said. “The rental idea came up on the national level,” Kirkpatrick said. “We did a pilot study in fall 2009 and we’re going to be implementing across the country next academic year.”The program will allow students to pay a fee to rent the book for a semester for a price that is up to 50 percent off the price of the new book.  “The biggest plus to this program is the upfront savings,” he said. “This program also provides the incentive for professor to make the books more affordable for students because they verbally commit to use the same book for four semesters.” Crawford said even with the individual proposals, the College will continue to be involved in continuous development. This includes creating a new institute within the College for 2011 focused on pure mathematics. The institute “will bring in the best math professors from all over the world for a semester.” Director of Retail Operations for the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore Keith Kirkpatrick then took the floor to talk about a rental system for textbooks for the 2010-2011 academic school year. The plan features seven goals, most of which are centered around creating and providing more research opportunities for students within the College of Science. Kirkpatrick said he believes the price of textbooks is “out of control” and the rental program will help drive costs down. Crawford also said Notre Dame recently was awarded $3.5 million to build a new nuclear accelerator for the federal government. The Council of Representatives (COR) brought in two guest speakers at its meeting Tuesday to discuss the Strategic Plan initiative within the College of Science as well as the new service that will allow Notre Dame students to rent their textbooks. Dean Gregory Crawford from the College of Science discussed the strategic plan that is in the process of being implemented within the College. Crawford said he was there to see what the student leaders thought about the effort.“This is a really important step in having student input in academic decisions,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “This is about moving forward and forming good relationships.”last_img read more

OIT encourages online security

first_imgStudents can best protect themselves while shopping online by paying attention to who they are purchasing from, said David Seidl, Information Security Program Manager for Notre Dame’s Office of Information Technology (OIT). As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, OIT is working to inform students of the dangers that can come from breaches in cyber security, including online shopping. Seidl said the two biggest areas where online shoppers neglect to protect themselves are in checking the credibility of the site they purchase from and the form of payment they use to buy their merchandise. “People will go to one website and get linked over to some fly-by-night site that’s not something like an Amazon,” he said. In order to prevent being scammed, Seidl said students can visit resellerratings.com, a website with ratings on different online retailers. “Resellerrattings.com generally gives you a star-based rating scheme. If you see it has 500 and has been in business for 10 years, then the website is probably okay,” he said. Another general rule of thumb to keep in mind is to think about the type of deal the website is offering. “One of the giveaways is that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t [true],” Seidl said. Another area where online shoppers run into problems is in the way they chose to pay for their purchases. Seidl said the best way to pay for merchandise purchased online is with a one-time use credit card number. “The basic concept is that you are able to go to a credit card companies website and click on a function that can generate a one-time use number,” he said. “The number is no longer valid after the purchase.” As opposed to giving a credit card number, where there is the possibility for someone to steal it and use it until the card expires, a one-time use number will be invalid after the transaction is completed, Seidl said. If, however, an online purchaser must choose between using a credit card or a debit card, Seidl said to opt for the credit card. Aside from potentially giving a website complete access to one’s checking account, there are also more safeguards put into place for credit card theft. “Credit cards have more protections by law so potential issues for you are much smaller,” he said. In addition to offering advice about online shopping, OIT is also hosting a number of speakers Tuesday at the Notre Dame Conference Center in McKenna Hall to advise on different topics related to cyber security. The first portion of the day features two speakers, who will address topics aimed at technologically oriented students and professionals. During the afternoon, events will be geared toward a wider audience, with speakers focusing on securing one’s mobile phone and tips for parents to protect their students online. A complete listing of the day’s events can be found on OIT’s website.last_img read more

Colleges discuss distribution of students

first_imgWith the March 4 deadline to declare a specific college approaching, students wandered up and down aisles of tables at Majors Night in South Dining Hall on Jan. 27. Along the way, they paused to inquire about specific majors in the five colleges that make up the University. Sam Gaglio, assistant dean of the Mendoza College of Business, said he was pleased by how students continued to explore academic opportunities. “Most didn’t have a predetermined track. That was what really demonstrated to me the opportunities of a Notre Dame education,” Gaglio said. Hugh Page, dean of the First Year of Studies, said enrollment numbers for each college are variables. “The first year at Notre Dame is a time of discernment and contemplative exploration,” Page said. “Enrollment numbers speak to the intellectual curiosity of our students and the unfolding of their journeys as they respond to the call of wisdom’s voice.” Page said he anticipates the College of Arts and Letters to enroll the most freshmen, followed closely by the Mendoza College of Business and the College of Science. Page said 28 percent of freshmen plan to enter the College of Arts and Letters, 26 percent the Mendoza College of Business, 18 percent the College of Engineering, 25 percent the College of Science and two percent the School of Architecture.Currently, Arts and Letters consists of 2,500 undergraduates. Mendoza has 1,780; Science 1,189; Engineering 950; and Architecture 250. Page said enrollment in engineering, science and business majors has increased, while the School of Architecture has seen consistent demand. Page said there is a deepening student interest in educational synergies involving coursework between other colleges and the College of Arts and Letters. “Contemporary issues such as sustainability, energy policy, global health, technology and values, ethics and business, peace studies and poverty studies require broad disciplinary exposure,” said Page. “That places students and faculty from all of these Colleges at what might be termed a ‘nexus of creativity,’ where the ideas and innovations that will shape the future are imagined.” Gaglio said students deciding which college to enter should consider their passions and what they wish to gain from their experiences. “To say one program will give you an advantage over another is an incorrect statement. What are you passionate about? Be excited, engaged and throw yourself into it,” he said. “Each is equally impressive and creates an advantage in your next endeavor.” John McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said a college should open significant intellectual and moral questions to students. “College is the perfect time to study and debate these great issues,” he said. “The ability to write, the ability to analyze data, and the ability to speak is of greatest use for any student after leaving Notre Dame.” For freshmen still deciding, Holly Martin, assistant dean of the First Year of Studies, said it is important to remember choosing a college or major is not the same as choosing a career. “The Career Center is happy to work with first-year students about possible career choices,” she said. “But it isn’t necessary to know what you would like to do as a future career when choosing your college or major.” Page said students change their minds often as coursework, conversations and intellectual exploration generate moments that lead to reevaluation. “A decision at or near the end of the first year at Notre Dame need not be seen as irreversible,” he said. It is crucial for students to follow their passions, Gaglio said. “You don’t ‘have’ to do anything except believe in what you study to be a success. The point is, the university education is your grounding, and then you specialize after that,” he said. “Continue your education. We learn our entire lives.”last_img read more

Professors discuss options in Syria

first_imgThree Saint Mary’s professors debated potential alternative routes of action in the Syrian conflict during a panel discussion titled, “What is an Ethical Response to the Crisis in Syria?” in the Vender Vennet Theatre on Wednesday. The event was sponsored by the Center of Spirituality, the Department of Religious Studies and the Department of Political Science.  Joseph Incandela, Aquinas chair and professor of religious studies, said when he was first invited to be a part of this panel two weeks ago, he believed a military strike was imminent. However, a military strike against Syria does not guarantee peace because of the uncertainty surrounding the conflict, he said. “So even if this works quote on quote, do we trot out our mission accomplished banner and say our work is done here because all of this other killing could go on, but as long as we got the ones from chemical weapons and those are in the closet stay in the closet than we have succeeded?” Incandela said. “That seems an odd stance to take.” Sonalini Sapra, associate professor of political science and gender and women’s studies, said leaders do not explore other alternatives to military intervention enough.  “There are other ways the U.S. could intervene that could use multilateral institutions like the U.N.,” Sapra said. “They could use their diplomatic means to get the Syrian parties on the ground to agree to a cease-fire and then start a negotiation process that way. I think the diplomatic route has been relatively unexplored until last week. There are other ways to intervene without a military intervention.” Marc Belanger, chair of the political science department, in contrast to Sapra and Incandela, said violence can build as well as destroy and occasionally accomplishes some goals.  “In the last 20 years, three genocides or three situations I consider genocide were stopped not by diplomacy but by violence: I refer to Bosnia, Cambodia and Rwanda,” Belanger said. “Where in every case a far from perfect actor intervened: Vietnam in Cambodia, Rwandan forces in Rwanda and the United States and NATO in Bosnia, to bring to at least a halt for the time being extraordinary levels of destruction. On the other hand, I can certainly list other conflicts where violence did very little but destroy.” Incandela said the best way to stop violence is to prevent it from escalating in the first place, and if it does get to that point, world leaders should consider non-violent and diplomatic options.  “Sometimes violence is like fast food,” he said. “It is eaten in haste and not very fulfilling.”last_img read more

Campus groups celebrate Hindu festival Diwali

first_imgCampus Ministry, along with the Indian Association of Notre Dame, the Graduate Student Union and International Student Services and Activities, hosted a Diwali festival celebration Sunday in LaFortune Ballroom as part of the Prayer from Around the World series.Diwali, a major Hindu festival which celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over dark and knowledge over darkness, recognizes the return of Lord Rama, an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, from a 14-year exile and the banishment of the demon Ravana, according to the Notre Dame website.Emily McConville Priscilla Wong, senior advisor to graduate and multi-cultural student ministry, said the celebration was first organized a decade ago with the help of physics professor Umesh Garg, who helped coordinate a Hindu prayer session as one of the first events.“About 10 years ago, at the initiative of students, Campus Ministry started the series, offering the opportunities for various faith traditions to share their forms of praying with the campus communities,” Wong said.Nishant Singh, graduate co-president of the Indian Association of Notre Dame (IAND), said Diwali is one of the biggest events on the Hindu calendar, although different sects of Hinduism celebrate it for different reasons.“Diwali is the most ancient of Hindu festivals,” Singh said. “It is based on the Ramayana, in which Lord Rama returns from his exile and finds that Ravana has abducted his wife.“He has a massive battle with Ravana, and after he wins the battle, he returns home. The people celebrated his return by lighting every room in every house, filling the city with light.”In Hindu homes around the world, Diwali – named the festival of lights – is celebrated by lighting oil lamps, candles and all the lights in the house, bursting firecrackers and fireworks, saying prayers to many of the Hindu deities and inviting many people over for dinner and sweets, Singh said. Diwali is celebrated in the fall season after the monsoon and during the harvest, and it also marks the beginning of a new year.“I am always reminded of Diwali during Halloween because as a child I would go around to my neighbors’ houses and eat candies and sweets during the Diwali festival,” Singh said. “But Diwali is much bigger than Halloween. It is like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years combined into one.”Despite not being Hindu, Wong said she and her family still take part in Diwali celebrations.“My son was friends with some Hindu boys when he was growing up so he always went over to their house for Diwali to celebrate with his friends,” Wong said. “My daughter also married a Hindu so although I am not Hindu, Diwali is a very important time for me.”The celebration on Sunday began with prayers, called puja, that were offered to the gods by graduate students Shailaja Kunda and Rashi Talwar. The prayers were concluded with a traditional closing song, called the aarti. After the aarti, guests were invited to a dinner of traditional Indian cuisine.“The meal, much like the festival, is heavily based on color,” Singh said. “Each different color represents a different god, and we invite the gods to sit upon the food and join us during the festival.”After the meal, the festival concluded with dancing to Indian songs.Tags: Campus Ministry, Diwali, festival, Hindu, Indian Association of Notre Dame, multi-cultural student ministry, prayer, Prayer from Around the World serieslast_img read more

Robinson delivers state of the student union address to senate

first_imgAmid donuts and hot chocolate, Senate discussed last-minute business, planned for the new semester and heard from student body president Corey Robinson.The meeting began with the official swearing in of new senators: Sage Guynn from Knott and Michael Semanek from Seigfried. A resolution was also passed that edited the Student Union Constitution’s non-discrimination clause to include age and veteran status.Robinson then gave his State of the Student Address.“We are living in uncertain times,” he said.But uncertainty, he said, was not a setback.“Uncertainty leads to necessity and creates innovation,” he said.Robinson highlighted the successes of the senate during the past semester, including the creation of a sustainability committee and Race Relations Week.“The rule book has gone out the window,” Robinson said. “We have a choice. Go down the well-trodden path or blaze a new trail.”He called on the senators to consider how they can better represent the student body.“Are we really the united voice of our student body?” he said. “Do you represent your dorm or your section? This is the crucial crossroads.”He concluded by encouraging students to follow their ideas.“We can make the student government what we want,” he said. “Blaze your own path. Some will say you’re wasting your time, but many will follow you.”Afterwards, committees met to make some tentative goals for the next semester, including editing the Taxi Bill of Rights, getting better coffee in the dining halls and sending out information on new dining hall hours.Tags: Corey Robinson, Senate, State of the Student Union, Student Body Presidentlast_img read more

Postgraduate service fair to feature over 70 service organizations

first_imgThe Center for Social Concerns (CSC) will host a fair to introduce students to an array of postgraduate service opportunities Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Joyce Center Concourse.The fair will feature representatives from over 70 service organizations situated across the world. According to the event website, the organizations confront topics such as poverty, immigration and refugee resettlement, environmental justice, healthy food, wellness, housing and homelessness, youth development and elder care.“What’s wonderful is there will be organizations that need people to do all different kinds of work,” Karen Manier, postgraduate service administration lead coordinator at the CSC, said. “No matter what your background is or your interests, you can usually find something that would be of interest to you.”Manier said the goal of the fair never differs: It aims to both educate students about postgraduate service — what it is, what it offers and how powerful it can be — and facilitate the process for students who want to do postgraduate service.“If there’s a passion that you have around a particular social issue, [postgraduate service] allows you to not only do good work and help people but also to learn more about things so you can decide to get involved with something in a different way or level,“ Manier said.According to the CSC’s website, though postgraduate service is “basically a full-time job in a non-profit organization,” service members typically receive a stipend and benefits in exchange for working with individuals and communities in need.Though bringing a resume to the event and wearing business casual attire can be helpful, Manier said, the service fair is different from a regular job search in that such formalities are not necessary and any question students ask service organizations is “fair game.”“Everyone wants the same thing, which is to make the world a better place,” Manier said. “These are folks who prefer to have lengthier conversations with the people they’re talking to because it allows them to get to know you better.”About 7 percent of the class of 2016 participated in postgraduate service, totaling to about 150 students, Manier said. The largest portion of those students came from the College of Arts and Letters, which saw 17 percent of its graduates commit to service.“I hope people take advantage of this opportunity, because Notre Dame students are extremely well-liked by service organizations because they’re so well-prepared,” Manier said. “[Students] come in with so much service experience already, tend to do service while here and are smart, energetic and good leaders. Our students are ideal candidates, so these service organizations really want to meet them.”Manier said she would recommend all students, regardless of grade level, to attend the free event.“Even if [undergraduates] just start with conversations now and get a sense of the landscape, they’ll be in a much better position going into their senior year when they’re trying to make those decisions,” Manier said. “It’ll give them a chance to see what’s out there.”As an alumnus of Notre Dame and now the director and founder of the Ignatiun Service Corps, a service organization that will be at the fair, Tom King said he has worked with many students who found their gifts and life-long passions through service.“You can have great, experienced people who have done all kinds of justice work for four years, and they’re a perfect match,” King said. “But then you can have someone that was not engaged [in service] at all, and they can be a perfect match as well. I think that anybody could do it. Just have an open heart.”King said he considers college graduates to be in a privileged class that is required to help “those on the margins.”“The programs all want the student to find the program that’s best for him or her,” King said. “That’s the beautiful thing about a fair like that. The programs want you to find the right match, so they may even lead you to another program. I never feel a spirit of competition among the programs.”Junior spanish and music major Katie Ward, who helped run the service fair last year, said she felt uplifted seeing the positive impact the service organizations have in different communities and the roles that were available to students through them.“I would highly recommend attending the postgraduate service fair, even if you have not considered doing postgraduate service before,” Ward said. “The postgraduate service fair can help you discern whether you feel called to do postgraduate service and also help you see more specifically what organizations might interest you. It’s a laid-back atmosphere, and everyone just really wants to get to know you and build relationships.”Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CSC, postgraduate service, postgraduate service fairlast_img read more

College of Science presents Fall Undergraduate Research Fair

first_imgHow does one find research opportunities?Many College of Science students ask this question. In fact, Dr. Sheryl Lu, director of undergraduate research for the College of Science, said this is the most common question undergraduate students ask her about research. Each year, the first Thursday after fall break, the College of Science answers this question with the Fall Undergraduate Research Fair.“For the students presenting, hopefully they can get feedback from their peers, really talk about their research,” Lu said. “I think everyone wants to share what they have learned, right? And for the students who just come here to learn what other students have done, I really want them to get some ideas about what does research look like and how do you approach the faculties or find the on-campus resources to look for those research opportunities and start early.”The fair, which runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Jordan Hall of Science, is split into three hour-long events. The first, Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Chemistry, runs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Jordan 101. Attendees then move to the Galleria from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. for student poster presentations and information tables, and the last hour of the event is the Undergraduate Research Internship Information Night in Jordan 101.“What we do specifically, in contrast with the normal abstract where you just write about your research, we have asked three questions at the end of the abstract, like how did you find your research opportunity, how did you like your research and what did you learn,” Lu said. “So that’s to really answer the questions of the students who are trying to find research opportunities.”The poster presentations offer an opportunity for students to interact with peers who have done research and ask them questions. Information tables from campus organizations like ND Energy, the Harper Cancer Research Institute and more will also be in the room at that time.These information tables offer the opportunity to talk with representatives from around campus such as Robyn Centilli, the assistant director for the engage and explore teams at the Center for Career Development (CCD). She is the CCD’s liaison to the College of Science.“My hope is that with our presence there that they realize that one, we are very friendly and approachable, and two, that we have a lot of really wonderful services that can help them along their path, whatever direction they decide to go,” Centilli said about the CCD’s information table.Some resources Centilli can provide include discernment and career treks to places like Washington D.C., help with learning how to connect with professors or find research, help writing resumes and more. The fair provides a chance to network with her and others on campus who can provide opportunities.“Where do I find the opportunities, how do I reach out to professors and should I be talking to them about their research?” Centilli said, referencing student concerns about networking. “My answer to that is always, people love talking about what they’re passionate about, right? … It can only benefit you by talking to people about what they’re doing, which is another great aspect of the research fair.”Later in the evening, during the Undergraduate Research Internship Information Night, several students will give talks about their research and offer advice. Helen Streff, a junior biology major, will be the plenary speaker this year.“I decided to speak because I enjoy talking about my summer experience, and I think that I went through the same process freshman year, so I think that I can help students out in that way,” Streff said. “I hope that people get out of it that summer research is something that is fun and doable and also that we have resources here that can help you get that research.”For students who have already done research, Streff recommends presenting.“It is always good to get out there for the purposes of being able to explain your research better,” she said. “Also, for applications, it is good to have presentations on there.”For students that are new to the fair and the research process, Streff said that the number of posters can be overwhelming, but she has some advice.“Just choose a few posters that interest you and try to understand the content of the poster, and also talk with the person presenting on how they got interested in that research and things like that which might be relevant to your experience,” she said.No sign up is required for students to come explore the fair, and no dress code is required for the attendees. For a continuation of the research experience in the Spring, Lu said students may also be interested in the College of Science Joint Annual Meeting (COS JAM), which is a more formal conference setting for students to present their research.There is something for all science students at the fair. Students who have done research can learn how to present it, and students new to research can learn more about it. Both Lu and Centilli encourage students of all years to attend.“Whether it makes you realize you don’t want to do research or whether it really makes you realize you do, it’s not going to be a bad experience,” Centilli said. “So, if you’re sitting on the fence, just go.”Tags: academic research, College of Science, undergraduate research fairlast_img read more

Cuomo Proposes Legislation To Hold Utilities Accountable For Storm Failures

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Pool photo by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo / Flickr.ALBANY — Saying the response by utilities in New York during recent storms was unacceptable, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing legislation to hold utilities more accountable for their storm responses.In response to what Cuomo calls unacceptable performance of multiple electric and telecom service providers during tropical storm Isaias, the legislation will increase the current legal limits on penalties and create a streamlined process for revocation of a utility’s operating certificate for recurring failures.“The response by the utility companies to Isaias was unacceptable and it’s even worse that they continue to have such problems during storms and in the aftermath. We know these storms are going to happen. We don’t pay for utilities to function on a nice day, the essence of what we pay for is be ready for a storm — give me information when my power goes out and get it back on quickly,” Cuomo said.“The laws are too protective of the utility companies and that has to change. I am proposing legislation that will create penalties that are significant and will force utilities to change their behavior. The bill will also create a faster revocation process so that if they’re not providing that service then we will find someone else who can and do it quickly. We must pass this new law and do it right away.” Currently, penalties related to reliability and continuity of electric service, including restoration following a major outage or event, start at $100,000 or .02 of 1 percent of annual intrastate gross operating revenue, whichever is greater, for each separate and distinct offense. Penalties rise to $500,000 or .04 of 1 percent, whichever is greater, for combo gas and electric utilities in the restoration of electric service following a major outage event or emergency.In addition, the bill will require utilities to clearly communicate with customers during outages and give accurate information regarding power restoration so New Yorkers can make informed decisions and plan based on the time of the outage.last_img read more

West End Transfer of Andrew Lloyd Webber & Don Black’s Tell Me On a Sunday Extends

first_img The show was originally performed as an album and then a TV special and later on stage as one half of Song & Dance. Bernadette Peters won a Tony Award for her performance in the 1985 Broadway production. Tell Me On a Sunday is a one-woman show that charts the course of an English girl newly arrived in New York. Brimming with optimism, she sets out to find success, companionship and love. But as she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties, frustrations and heartaches she begins to wonder whether—in fact—she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places. Webb’s credits include Stop the World I Want To Get Off, Half A Sixpence, Oliver!, Godspell, The Card, The Good Companions, Evita, Cats, The Seven Deadly Sins and Thoroughly Modern Millie. The West End transfer of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s Tell Me On a Sunday has now extended through March 8 at the Duchess Theatre. Marti Webb will continue to play her originated role of Emma in the production. View Commentslast_img read more