One of the many beautiful things about musical getaways like Strings & Sol in Puerto Morelos, Mexico is that with such a concentration of artists in the same place, sit-ins abound. For last year’s Strings & Sol this past December, Yonder Mountain String Band took advantage of this fact, inviting Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth and Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass to join them on the track “Traffic Jam.” You can check out newly released pro-shot footage of this musical moment below, courtesy of Cloud 9 Adventures.
“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.”
With 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.”
The tough early schedule may prove to be an advantage for USC as conference play continues. USC will have more experience against top-level talent than other teams who played an easier schedule before Pac-12 competition. Strong defense will be important when facing a tough middle-hitting team in the Bears. Cal relies heavily on two middle blockers, senior Savannah Rennie and junior Preslie Anderson. Sunday will be a battle of two of the conference’s best players. Stanford senior outside hitter Kathryn Plummer leads the Pac-12 with 5.18 kills per set. USC senior outside hitter Khalia Lanier is fourth in the conference in that category with 4.39 kills per set. The Trojans face the 17-1 Bears Friday night before taking on the 13-3 powerhouse Cardinal Sunday afternoon. USC’s defense at the net has been a consistent advantage for the team. The Trojans have 186.5 total blocks this season while their opponents have 133.5. This weekend is an opportunity for a USC team that entered the season with high expectations to right the ship after what has been a disappointing start. USC still has hopes of competing for the Pac-12 title and making a run deep into the NCAA tournament. “[The Bears] have got exceptional middle attackers, and when they are able to pass well, they can get the ball to them; they are really really physical and really good,” Crouch said. “If we can serve them and keep them off the net a little bit, that will help us a lot.” Facing Stanford poses a tougher challenge for the Trojans. Stanford is the reigning NCAA champion but has shown a slight regression this season. The Cardinal have three losses, but each of those came against teams ranked in the top 12. The Trojans bring momentum into this weekend’s matches after defeating Oregon State 3-1 and sweeping Oregon last weekend. The Cardinal have won the past six matchups against USC and have not lost to an unranked opponent since October 2016. Six of the Trojans’ seven losses have been to teams currently ranked in the Top 25. The only other loss USC has suffered so far was a five-set loss to UCLA. The Trojans have just one win against a ranked team — a four-set victory over No. 9 Washington at the end of September. “The offense is coming along,” head coach Brent Crouch said. “In both those matches we were able to hold both those teams to fairly low hitting efficiencies, and that is starting to look better, the defense is really starting to look better.” Every service for the Trojans is essential; if the Bears can make accurate passes off the serve, they will be able to set up their powerful middles for easy scores. USC will need to maximize service opportunities from freshman outside hitter Emilia Weske and sophomore setter Raquel Lázaro — two of the team’s most potent servers. “I think if we can win the serve pass battle versus Cal, our pins our better than theirs, we are better at the antennas than they are,” Crouch said. Sophomore setter Raquel Lázaro sets up for her serve. Lázaro has 17 service aces on the season, which ties for second most on the team. (Edison Liu / Daily Trojan) “Stanford is a little bit more stacked all the way around, so that’ll challenge us all over the floor,” Crouch said. “So we will have to play our best to beat them.” The USC women’s volleyball team hosts No. 15 Cal and No. 2 Stanford — according to NCAA’s AVCA Coaches’ rankings — this weekend at the Galen Center. Cal has faced just three ranked teams so far this season, losing to Stanford 3-1 and beating Washington State and Utah in five sets. First serve against Cal is at 8 p.m. before Stanford visits for a 1 p.m. start Sunday.