The Student Union Board (SUB) recently announced that the much anticipated spring concern will feature The Roots, the current house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” on Saturday night in the Stepan Center.“The biggest consideration for us is that we book a performer that Notre Dame students actually want to see,” said concert programmer Marie Wicht, a junior. “We really believe that The Roots will be one of the best concerts Notre Dame has ever had.”Named as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 20 live acts in the world, The Roots recently performed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and have released a total of 13 albums since 1993. The Philadelphia hip-hop group has also won numerous awards, including several Grammys, Wicht said. She said deciding on The Roots “was what took the bulk of our time.”The concert planning process began last spring, but once an offer letter was sent out, The Roots signed the contract in about a week, she said. “In comparison with the other contenders, they stood out as having a great, award-winning history and are known for their fantastic live performances,” Wicht said. “Once the results from the student body survey came in, The Roots became one of our top options.”Of the seven genres listed on the survey, hip-hop was the clear preference, said senior Brian Hagerty, the concert’s co-programmer along with Wicht. “When we narrowed down our options based on price and availability, we felt that The Roots would put on the best concert and would generate the most excitement among the student body,” he said. Hagerty said they did their best to find a group that directly responded to the requests of the student body. Mike Posner, a singer, songwriter and producer who has collaborated with various artists, including Kid Cudi and 3OH!3, will open for The Roots. Known for his mixed tapes and high-energy shows, Posner is also scheduled to be a part of this summer’s Warped Tour. Tickets for the SUB spring concert went on sale Tuesday morning and can be purchased at the LaFortune Box Office for $10. Only 1,500 tickets are available and both Wicht and Hagerty said they expect the show to sell out.
“Our initial impression is [Arts and Letters students] are very impressive in the job market right now,” he said. “Comments included things about the graduates being both academically prepared and able to sort of jump in and contribute quickly at companies, but also — things that Notre Dame is kind of famous for — having a really ethical approach to the way they carry themselves and do business,” Merritt said. “We’re different,” he said. “Our graduates want to make a difference in the world in which they work. And that difference and that commitment to faith and community in a residential, Catholic institution, there’s different priorities. And there’s different values.” Merritt said the ranking list, which is on the Careers section of the Wall Street Journal’s website along with other information about job recruiting and career paths, marked the first time the newspaper focused on the job hiring process for new college graduates. For Svete, the size of a university also plays a large role. Notre Dame is the third smallest school on The Wall Street Journal’s list, larger than only Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University. “My first reaction was ‘we’re 22?’ We should be higher than that,” Svete said. Since last week, Svete said he has received phone calls from career counselors at Duke University, Stanford University, Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania. “The impetus for it really was that we wanted to figure out who was hiring, where they were hiring and why,” Merritt said. “Other rankings and studies look at things like SAT scores and GPAs … And we decided to look at the other end of the equation, which is really, really important to people these days.” Merritt said she was also surprised by the survey’s outcome, especially by companies’ preference for larger state schools. Merritt said they asked recruiters to measure students’ academic preparedness, ability to adapt quickly to a new job and ability to succeed in companies. According to the report, 479 recruiters completed the survey. Lee Svete, director of Notre Dame’s Career Center, said he was surprised when he first saw the Wall Street Journal’s rankings. Svete said Notre Dame Arts and Letters students who have internships do not face difficulty in their job search because internships serve as training experience. He did, however, agree with the finding that internships often lead to job opportunities. These qualities are typical of Notre Dame students, but may have also hurt Notre Dame in the overall ranking process, Svete said. For example, Notre Dame students pursue diverse career options, including graduate school and postgraduate service opportunities. Around 200 graduating seniors enter service programs, which Svete said limits the number of graduates seeking employment. “I expected that some of the common wisdom would be debunked, however I didn’t expect that to be sort of as extreme as it was,” Merritt said. The surveys showed that the private universities that did make the list, however, represented a combination of preparedness and other qualities, Merritt said. Notre Dame ranked highly because recruiters reported a commitment to integrity and ethics in its students. Job recruiters ranked Notre Dame No. 22 for producing the most well-prepared and likely to succeed graduates, according to The Wall Street Journal’s new ranking system for undergraduate colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal’s research also found companies to prefer hiring students out of their intern pool, as well as a decreasing desire for liberal arts majors, Merritt said. When he realized that other elite universities were not on this list, however, he said his surprise turned to elation that Notre Dame was ranked. “They asked how we made the list,” he said. Jennifer Merritt, who led the project as The Wall Street Journal’s careers editor, said many college rankings look at the caliber of students who enter the schools, but not as they graduate and look for jobs. Merritt and her colleagues worked for six months surveying recruiters based on what they look for when they hire new college graduates. Penn State topped the list of 25 schools released last week. Notre Dame was one of only six private universities listed in this new ranking system, and one of six schools ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 25 national universities. “It got a lot of response,” she said. “We had more than a million page views for this and all the components of this in the first day and a half.” “Our size of institution, if you go with pure numbers of placement of graduates in all kinds of fields … we will not have the quantity that Penn State has,” Svete said.
The eighth floor of the newly built Simon Family Tower of the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis will now have even greater significance for Saint Mary’s students. Room W8118, which serves as a patient room for the children’s hospital, has been dedicated as the Saint Mary’s room, said Katie Fadden, fundraising president of Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon. “There will be a sign outside of the room that reads, ‘A gift from Saint Mary’s College Dance Marathon,’” Fadden said. “It is quite an honor to have a patient room named on our behalf.” Fadden said Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon received the honor because Saint Mary’s dancers have raised more than $320,000 for Riley over the past six years. “We are so excited to be honored in this way because it is something that all of our hard work and dedication over the past six years can be remembered by,” Becca Guerin, the external vice president of the dance marathon, said. According to Guerin, the members of the Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon executive board will travel to Indianapolis in April to receive the award, see the room, meet with doctors and visit the patients. She said all members of the Notre Dame community, not just the Saint Mary’s students, should be proud. “I think that our Dance Marathon reflects very highly of the Notre Dame community because we are all able to come together and raise money for such a great cause,” she said. The marathon first began on campus in 2006, and since then, students have pledged to stay on their feet for 12 hours one day a year to raise awareness and money for the hospital. “Riley is Indiana’s only children’s comprehensive hospital and is a leader in providing treatment and research for sick children,” Fadden said. “Most importantly, they will never turn a family away for their inability to pay for their child’s treatment. As a result, over 50 percent of their care is uncompensated.” Fadden, along with fundraising chair Kelli Minor, said this lack of compensation is why they urge members of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community to participate in the event every year. “As healthy, happy college students having the time of our lives, I think it is important to participate in Dance Marathon, to be able to give back and help others who truly need it,” Fadden said. Minor added: “Riley is an amazing place because, being a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, they give away over 50 percent of their services at no cost and never turn away families due to their financial situations. Dance Marathon at Saint Mary’s is important in helping keep these services available by providing funds to the hospital to help treat sick children who may not be able to afford their care.” The Dance Marathon event will be held Saturday from noon to midnight. According to Minor, this year’s goal is to improve from last year’s $77,000 raised. Saint Mary’s dancers can still sign up for the event in the Student Center atrium during lunch and dinner hours. Notre Dame students can register online via the pre-professional society website, found at www.nd.edu/~medinfo/ “One of the things I love most about Dance Marathon is that participants have the time of their lives while helping to save lives,” Fadden said. Students, faculty and community members are welcome to take part in the event.
In honor of the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s ratification yesterday, the Center for Academic Innovation at Saint Mary’s College hosted “Constitution Day 2012: Reflections on the Letter and the Spirit of the U.S. Constitution.” Associate professor of communication studies Michael Kramer coordinated the day, including a panel in the Haggar College Center that featured veteran reporter and communication studies professor Susan Baxter, history professor Edith Miguda and political science professor Sean Savage. Baxter reflected on the importance of the Constitution in terms of her experiences as a reporter. Baxter said it was the right of the public to be present at city council meetings unless certain requirements and processes are followed to close the session. Baxter said at one meeting she refused to leave, and the mayor told her the next time she refused she would be arrested. “I told [the mayor] to prepare the sheriff because I’m not leaving,” Baxter said. “I thought ‘Wow, I’m going to jail for the Constitution.’” Baxter said the right to be present at public meetings is important to the freedom of speech. “Many times these public meetings are not important, but when they are, people need to know,” said Baxter. Miguda also emphasized the importance of protecting the Constitution. “The spirit of the Constitution is the spirit that lets us defend it,” Miguda stated. “The U.S. Constitution is exemplary in how we [Americans] defend it.” Savage spoke about how Americans have different ways of interpreting the document. “No matter how Americans differ [the constitution] is supposed to be the one thing that we have in common,” Savagedsaid. “It unites the U.S. in a basic document but it sustains an ongoing debate.” Savage said the Constitution is strong and that unlike the United States, other countries will often go through and review the wording of their respective constitutions. “We, [the United States], don’t do that,” Savage said. “We only added about 17 amendments since [the Bill of Rights]. …Maybe [the Constitution] unites us because we are always disagreeing about what it means.” Contact Sarah Swiderski at [email protected]
The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study has won $1.58 million from the John Templeton Foundation to host scholars interested in the “big questions” of philosophy, theology and science. Vittorio Hosle, professor and the Paul Kimball Chair of Arts and Letters, said the Templeton grant aligns with the institute’s methodology of research. “The Templeton Foundation is one of the most impressive foundations in this country,” Hosle said. “Their parameters for the type of research we want to foster is very similar to the Institute for Advanced Study, so it was a natural cooperation between what we want to do and what they want to do.” The foundation chose Notre Dame’s institute for its history of interdisciplinary research, Hosle said. “[The institute] is the right avenue to foster a type of research that is both more interdisciplinary and acts against the tendency of more and more limited specialization we’re seeing so much academia,” he said. “At the same time [the institute] tries to address big questions, the answers to which Sir John Templeton dedicated his life.” Hosle said the fellows at the institute are pleased with the grant because it will allow them to increase the caliber of scholars brought to research on campus. “All the questions have a big-question normative dimension, which would belong to philosophy or theology,” he said. “[The foundation] wants these questions to be addressed by those who have ‘know-how’ in the sciences. Selected scholars will live at Notre Dame and work with the institute for a year. “We have twice a week lunches where all of the fellows meet and present their proposals, which are selected according to their interdisciplinary qualities and their normative dimension,” Hosle said. “It is a way of living a life in which you do not only meet with the colleagues in your own department. The scholars will benefit from the chance to interact with scholars outside of their normal setting with persons from very different disciplines.” Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to work with the scholars as research assistants. “[Undergraduates] will learn how great scholars work,” he said. “People brought into the life of the mind will see how interesting and ambitious it is, and it may increase intellectual curiosity.” Hosle said scholars should produce a book while researching with the institute. “We hope these books will have an impact in various disciplines, possibly outside of academia,” he said. “Many people have to deal with the problem of creativity, persons in businesses.” There should be an incentive to study these types of big questions, Hosle said. “Realistically, since people want to make a career and feed a family, it is important that there are institutional structures that recognize work that is interdisciplinary,” he said. “There are not enough of them. The narrow approach is not the research of the future.” Donald Stelluto, the associate director of the Institute for Advanced Study, said applicants for the scholarship will focus on questions such as “What is human creativity and how does it manifest itself?” and “What is the place of the human mind in nature?” “Who will apply is also partly driven by scholars who work those areas in line with those big questions,” Stelluto said. “Not every scholar may yet be at a point in their career where they can address those types of questions.” The questions will connect the sciences with other disciples, especially theology and philosophy, he said. “This approach is a departure from a more myopic approach to research and returns back to big questions that link together the sciences with the other disciplines,” Stelluto said. “The formation of the universities during the Middle Ages and the Catholic intellectual tradition, integrated disciplines, and that’s one of the thrusts of this fellowship program, it’s to reintegrate the disciplines on major questions.” Working with the scholars will allow undergraduates to develop creative approaches to research. “We have the potential to impact a whole generation of scholars as the program grows,” he said. “As problems and issues become more global in scope, they require more than one discipline to solve them. … We offer a new model, based on a return to an older tradition, for scholars to collaborate at a meaningful level.”
On Wednesday evening, the Center for Social concerns connected students with current and former Peace Corps volunteers, including seven current volunteers who Skyped into the conversation from around the world. Notre Dame graduate Tim Durigan, who is currently serving in the Dominican Republic, shared his thoughts on service through video chat to the group gathered in Geddes Hall. He said the commitment to the Peace Crops can be daunting and some new volunteers may be naÃ¯ve when first joining. “Things are hard and are what they are for a reason,” Durigan said. “You can only do so much, and none of the problems are easy to solve.” 2011 graduate Clare Broshinan is currently serving in Rwanda and said her time at Notre Dame helped prepare for her service to the Peace Corps. “I knew I wanted to do post-graduate service, but was not sure what,” Broshinan said. “I was a political science and peace studies major, so when I looked at the Peace Corps, it was a good fit.” Notre Dame graduate Roger Parent said his service in Thailand was “one of the greatest experiences of his life.””I knew I wanted to have adventure, leave the country and help people, but there were not as many opportunities to do that back then,” Parent said. Parent said the Peace Corps was not as organized when he first joined, and therefore it was a learning experience for both him and the Peace Corps. “They sent me to Thailand where I worked on construction, and it taught me to be adaptive, flexible and accommodating,” Parent said. Junior graphic design major Jeff McLain said he is interested in the Peace Corps for the organized nature of the group that has developed over its existence. “I’m interested in both business development and post-graduate service,” McLain said. “The organization of the Peace Corps would give me opportunities in both of these areas.” Peace Corps recruiter Rok Teasley, who served in Moldova from 2005 to 2008, said the purpose of Wednesday night’s event was to allow current Notre Dame students to connect with former Peace Corps volunteers. Teasley also said the Peace Corps recruitment with Notre Dame has been “great” since both institutions share similar goals. “The Peace Corps has a commitment to service in a rapidly globalizing world,” Teasley said. “I see a similar commitment by Notre Dame.” Teasley said Peace Corps volunteers share common characteristics. “Volunteers are generally committed individuals, who want to serve and are strong leaders,” Teasley said. The application process tends to take seven to 12 months and includes seven steps, according to the Peace Corps official website. After an individual is admitted to the Peace Corps, Teasley said that volunteer will serve for two years in a nation that fits their area of expertise. Notre Dame is currently ranked No. 10 among medium-sized universities for Peace Corps volunteers.
On Saturday, an estimated 75 Saint Mary’s students joined members of the larger South Bend community to participate in Rebuilding Together, a community-driven effort to rehabilitate homes in South Bend. According to its website, Rebuilding Together is a non-profit, community-based partnership comprised of volunteers from local government, businesses, and other nonprofits that rehabilitates the homes of low-income homeowners and improves neighborhoods. Saint Mary’s students have been involved in the rehabilitation for nine years. “It is recorded that over 80 percent of our student body does some type of volunteer work before graduating,” Erica Buhring, director of the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, said. “The Rebuilding Together event is a great event for students to participate in because they can see immediate results.” According to the South Bend Tribune, the rehabilitation focuses on low-income neighborhoods and this year 18 homes will be rehabilitated in the city’s Westside-LaSalle Park neighborhood. “This event allows students to move off campus and go to some very diverse neighborhoods,” Buhring said. “Rather than just reading about diversity, these students have the opportunity to go out and bring this diversity to life. They can crush different assumptions.” It is through opportunities like this that students have the opportunity to connect with those in the larger South Bend community in very real and tangible ways, Buhring said. “Saint Mary’s is part of a larger community,” Buhring said. “I think this can be forgotten. … It is a good chance to work side by side with members of the larger South Bend community.” Markie Harrison, Student Director of the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, said she heard about the event from students who participated in it last year and decided to sign up after hearing their testimony. “I had heard from people who did the program last year that it was a lot of fun,” Harrison said. “Plus, I really enjoy helping out in the community and this just seemed like an optimal event.” She said the volunteers’ day began around 7 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m. Volunteers performed basic household task such as painting, planting and putting in new windows. Her group performed work at the house of a retired veteran who is unable to perform much basic housework himself, she said. “The transformation on the inside of the house was amazing,” Harrison said. “It was nice because we were able to see the difference made that day.” Sophomore Batool Alsawalha said this experience introduced her to new members of the community. Her work allowed her to see how simple things like paining a house of fixing a door can actually make “the world of difference,” she said. “I study engineering and would one day like to work in more rural areas to see what type of infrastructure can be fixed and things,” Alsawalha said. “This event was a great opportunity to not only branch out and work with people outside of the campus community, but to also see how important proper windows, doors, or kitchen cabinets really can be.” Buhring said events like Rebuiding Together help advance the mission of the College and provide opportunities for students to be involved in experiential learning. “At this institution, and this office in particular, we strongly advocate the positive effects of experiential learning,” Buhring said. “Events like Rebuilding Together, really add that practical component to our students’ education. It brings volunteering and classwork together in a meaningful way.”
Photo courtesey of Nicole O’Toole | The Observer Approximately 240 mothers traveled to Saint Mary’s this past weekend to celebrate the annual Junior Mom’s Weekend (JMW) on campus.Junior class president Nicole O’Toole said the weekend kicked off Friday with a wine and cheese reception in the Student Center Lounge.O’Toole said JMW is a great opportunity to bring the junior class together.“It’s great to meet everybody’s moms and it’s a special opportunity for students to show their mothers just exactly what Saint Mary’s means to them,” O’Toole said.Junior Emmi Hazen said JMW is a great way to honor the special women in our lives.“I think it’s a great way for all of the amazing young women at Saint Mary’s to pay tribute to some of our greatest role models, whether that be our mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, or close family friend,” Hazen said. “They have all helped shape our lives and lead us to Saint Mary’s in one way or another.”Hazen said the weekend is such a special time for the daughters, but also the mothers who have always supported them.“I know my mom was looking forward to coming to this weekend because, although she was not a Saint Mary’s grad herself, she knows how important it has been to me these past three years,” Hazen said.O’Toole said 237 juniors registered for the weekend’s events, amassing the total number of participants at 480.On Saturday afternoon, O’Toole said, there were tours of Reidinger House and Heritage Room and Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at 5 pm.O’Toole said she read the blessing over the class of 2015 at Mass and it was a unique moment in her time at Saint Mary’s.“I loved getting to read the blessing I wrote for my mom to our entire class,” O’Toole said. “She was crying, I almost started crying, and it was really special for me.”The blessing over the class rings, traditionally scheduled during JMW, has been recently switched to a Senior Week activity, O’Toole said.“[The ring blessing] has been a tradition to be saved for senior week because most girls do not order their rings until JMW so they can pick it out with their moms,” O’Toole said. “Doing it during Senior Week ensures that everybody has their rings for the blessing.”Saturday evening’s cocktail hour and dinner with College President Carol Ann Mooney were followed by a silent auction that raised over $6,000 for the junior class, O’Toole said.Tags: Junior Moms Weekend
The University recently acquired a Bible belonging to Stephen Badin, the first Catholic priest ordained in the United States and a previous owner of the land that eventually became Notre Dame’s campus. The Bible currently is on display in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in Hesburgh Library.Catholic Studies Librarian Jean McManus, who played a role in the acquisition, said John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States, gave the three-volume Bible to Badin in the late 1700s. She said Badin took it with him in his travels. These included visits to Kentucky and Northern Indiana, where he made his land purchases and built the original Log Chapel.Emily McConville Kathleen Cummings, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, said Badin gave the Bible to the Sisters of Loretto in Nerinx, Ky., who owned it for more than 200 years before only recently realizing its significance. She said the religious order had the books appraised and then contacted the Notre Dame, who purchased them with grants from the Library Acquisitions Fund and the Office of Research, with letters of support from history and American Studies faculty. The Sisters then brought the book to campus and gave it to the University at a special Mass in the Log Chapel in late June.Cummings said the Cushwa Center and the Library were interested in making the acquisition because the Bible linked two early American church leaders as well as other aspects of the early Church in the United States.“The way the Bible brings together the story of Catholics at every level – the leadership, the laity and religious – that’s enormously important,” she said. “The Fr. Badin connection makes it special, but the significance is far larger.”Margaret Abruzzo, an associate professor of history at the University of Alabama, who is studying the correspondence between Carroll and Badin as part of a project with the Cushwa Center, said the Bible also is significant because of its rareness. She said the Bible was printed by Matthew Carey, an Irish immigrant in Philadelphia. The edition, which was only 500 copies, was the second full Bible published in the United States and the first Catholic translation.“[Carey] was interested in kind of refuting the idea that Catholics didn’t read the Bible,” Abruzzo said. “He wanted to get the Catholic Bible into people’s hands because it was very important to Catholics at the time that they read the Catholic version of the Bible rather than the Protestant version.”Abruzzo said the Bible, which contains an inscription from Carroll to Badin, speaks to the closeness of their relationship at a time when the American Catholic Church was small and far-flung.“Badin would write questions to Carroll, and Carroll would write answers,” she said. “He was a source of advice for Badin.“When there were issues, Carroll would intervene, so sort of imagine something that is a very, very, very small version of any sort of diocese today. Imagine Carroll running the Catholic Church out of his garage. It’s that level of informality. They’re really trying to create a church from scratch.”McManus said the Bible, which shows signs of heavy use, will be on display this semester in Special Collections, and it will be the subject of a symposium on Oct. 10. She said the Bible will be available for scholars, who may study the book’s binding, marginal notes or relationship to Badin’s other writings and letters.“Connecting those letters to this time frame, and knowing where the Bible lived, that’s all of interest as well,” she said. “Its biggest use is just gesturing towards this big story of the very early 1800s [when] Catholicism was very much a minority religion. Things could have gone very differently, but this is a piece of the evidence for how it did go, especially that westward movement.”Cummings said faculty can bring classes to see the Bible, and researchers also can study the Bible’s translation and inscription.“Researchers who come – Bible scholars, scholars of American history – it will be a text that will be studied by them for a long time now,” she said. “A lot of people come to Notre Dame to do research on Catholicism, and so it’s a crossroads of source to scholars, so it will definitely get more exposure.”Tags: Badin Bible, Catholics
Associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame, David O’Connor, will deliver the College’s annual McMahon Aquinas lecture, which aims to discuss an avenue of thought related to Thomas Aquinas. O’Connor’s talk, titled “Love More Than You Know: The Tao of Thomas Aquinas,” will take place in Rice Commons on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., according to a Saint Mary’s press release.O’Connor specializes in ancient philosophy, ethics, political thought and philosophy and literature, the release states.Associate professor of philosophy at the College, Michael Waddell — who is hosting the lecture — said in the release O’Connor possesses abundant talent and prowess at fostering important dialogue.“His gifts in the classroom have made him beloved among generations of Notre Dame undergraduates,” Waddell said in the release. “His charm, generosity and insight as a conversation partner have made him a cherished mentor to graduate students, and his paradigm shifting scholarship has made him widely respected among professional colleagues.” Waddell said in the release he looks forward to the impact O’Connor will have on the Saint Mary’s community.“We feel very fortunate to be able to have him deliver this year’s McMahon Aquinas Lecture,” Waddell said.Tags: aquinas mcmahon, David O’Connor, philosophy