first_img “Being a small community and with a great liberal arts coordination, I was able to take a lot of social sciences that my colleagues weren’t able to take,” he said. “Your inner ear is in tune with gravity. You are made for this planet, and when you leave it, it is confusing for your head and your eyes,” Ford said. Ford said experiencing a new view of earth was one of the most memorable experiences of his 2009 trip to the International Space Station, which lasted almost fourteen days. “The coolest parts are that you have a view of the planet out of the window, and the zero gravity,” he said. “Almost everything you do, gravity is somehow involved. Just doing little things involved a little forethought.” “I knew I wanted to fly when I was 13 or 14. I wanted to be an Air Force pilot and maybe be an airline pilot down the road,” he said. “I took flight lessons when I was 16, and worked at a grocery store to pay for it, so that should tell you how much I wanted it.” Prior to his time at NASA, Ford was a member of the Air Force for 18 years — something he said was a near lifelong dream. Ford, who is scheduled to return to the International Space Station in October of 2012, said he believes the drive to succeed is what enabled him to achieve his dreams, and is the key to success for Notre Dame students. Ford said it takes years to train to be certified as a flight-ready astronaut. Once he was assigned to his flight, he had a little over a year to train with his team. Ford says it took him a while to be accepted into the astronaut-training program, which he began in August of 2000. He said though zero gravity was an entertaining aspect of his time aboard the space staion, it did present its challenges to the human body, especially in terms of acclimating to the new conditions.center_img Though they were just about to be launched into space, the flight crew sitting in the cockpit of the space shuttle Discovery was not too nervous just prior to their Aug. 28, 2009 launch, according to astronaut Kevin Ford. “I applied three times before I was accepted. I still have the rejection letters at home,” he said. While at Notre Dame, Ford was a member of the Air Force ROTC and lived in Morrissey Manor. He said that Notre Dame prepared him in ways for his career and training that no other school could. “Quite frankly, I don’t think anyone in our cockpit was nervous. If you are nervous about anything, it’s about throwing the correct switch at the right time,” he said. “After being on the launch pad for three hours in a space suit, it is nice to be launched into space.” Ford, a 1982 graduate of Notre Dame with a degree in aerospace engineering, participated in the flag presentation ceremony prior to this weekend’s football game between Notre Dame and Stanford. “A big part of training is astronaut candidate training, which lasts about a year and a half to two years. You get some hands on and leadership training,” he said. “They also teach you some technical training that you will need to fly a space shuttle. After completing this you are assignable to a space flight.” He also said Notre Dame’s course requirements helped make him a stronger student by forcing him to take classes he normally would not take, which has paid off in his career as an astronaut. “It’s a special place to get a good feel for other people’s point of view. The fact that Notre Dame has this real diverse attitude provides well,” he said. “Patience is required in training, and you are essentially a student for something that has risk associated with it.” “Consider your life and educational experiences. If you have a dream or goal, persistence is a virtue. Don’t be afraid to get out there,” he said.last_img read more


first_imgIs it hard to find time to run errands between schoolwork, sports and clubs? Problem solved: erraNDs-4-U, a new student-run delivery service, will do the shopping for you. Senior Shea Streeter and junior Angelise Hadley began the business with just $30 as a project for their introduction to entrepreneurship class. “Everyone here is so busy that it’s often a huge ordeal to have to get off campus for little day-to-day items, especially for the people who don’t have cars. When given the task to start a business, I thought that we’d be able to reach a huge portion of the student population and would hopefully be able to make their lives a little easier,” Hadley said. Streeter said they began the project because it is often inconvenient for students who live on campus to get toiletries and other essential items. “Every year I’ve been at Notre Dame it’s been a struggle to try to get off campus to go shopping for the things I need. I know that there are lots of other students who have the same difficulty, so I started erraNDs-4-U with Angelise in order to give students a convenient alternative to taking a taxi or going without necessities like shampoo for days,” Streeter said. Drivers shop at both Super Target and Super Wal-Mart and service fees are $5 for one to five items, $7 for six to 10 items and $10 for more than 10 items. They make deliveries on Tuesdays and Fridays. Students also have the option to ride along to the store for a $5 fee. Seats are on a first-come-first-served basis. To place an order, students can either send an e-mail to [email protected] or fill out an order form through a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ND.erraNDs4U. Hadley said feedback about the new service has been positive thus far. “People who we’ve told about the business or advertised to have all said that it is a great idea and a much-needed service,” Hadley said. Currently, services are provided solely to students living on campus at Notre Dame. “Right now, we are putting our focus on the Notre Dame dorms. However, that’s not to say that we won’t expand to Saint Mary’s College and off-campus students in the future,” Hadley said. Just in its beginning stage, Streeter and Hadley are the sole errand-runners, but they said the business has great potential to expand. “We hope to be able to reach as many students as possible and maybe expand to have more students working for us as drivers and deliverers,” Hadley said.last_img read more


first_img During his visit, Desch, chair of the Political Science Department at Notre Dame, got a V.I.P tour of the Pentagon and witnessed a head of state visit from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I was literally the only person that wasn’t part of the security details there for that visit,” Desch said with a laugh. “Netanyahu’s security people couldn’t figure out who I was. They kept eyeing me.” The two former colleagues will reunite again in May — this time at Notre Dame. Gates, who took office in December 2006, will deliver the University’s 166th Commencement on May 22 at Notre Dame Stadium. Desch — who held a chaired position in Gates’ name at Texas A&M while Gates was president of the university — knows the Commencement speaker on a personal level, and has invited him to speak at Notre Dame in the past. “I could have planted that seed for the idea of inviting Gates to be Commencement speaker,” Desch said. But Desch wasn’t part of the selection process for the speaker, and was pleasantly surprised when he heard his old colleague would come speak at the University. Desch said Gates was well-respected by faculty and students during his tenure as president of Texas A&M from 2002-2006. His appointment as university president was controversial, Desch said, because of his governmental ties to the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. The Aggies, or A&M alumni, also saw him as an outsider. “But Gates was so effective as president that the Aggies quickly decided he was an Aggie all along, even though he had never gone to school there,” he said. While leading Texas A&M, Gates displayed qualities similar to what Desch said appeared later in his leadership style as defense secretary. “People say what makes him so influential in Washington these days is that he’s careful, he picks his fights, is smart about how he goes about things and doesn’t get up and pontificate,” Desch said. “Bob is not somebody whose ego gets in the way of getting what he wants.” Desch said the qualities that helped Gates win over the Aggies at Texas A&M made him ideal to serve as defense secretary under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. “The fact that he served as secretary of defense in two different administrations, one Republican and one Democrat, is a pretty powerful indicator of where he stands as an American statesman,” Desch said. Gates has also served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was a member of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission that examined the Iraq War. Desch said he is looking forward to seeing the former Texas A&M president speak at Notre Dame. Desch said he believes Gates is the “perfect” choice for Commencement speaker because of his position as a crucial statesman in the U.S. government. But perhaps, he said, what makes Gates the right choice is his record with students at Texas A&M. “The students loved him,” Desch said. The last time Professor Michael Desch saw Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was in Gates’ office in the Pentagon in 2009. The two had been colleagues at Texas A&M, and Desch was in Washington seeking the defense secretary’s help in a project to reconnect academia and military policy.last_img read more


first_imgIn honor of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, the Center for Social Concerns hosted a unique networking event that brought together Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s Peace Corps alumni and prospective volunteers Friday in the LaFortune Ballroom. 2009 Notre Dame graduate Bill Warnock is currently serving with the Peace Corps in Alakamizy-ambohimaha, Madagascar. Warnock spoke with current students about participating in the Peace Corps. “I work in a small enterprise development program, teaching management, marketing and accounting skills to artisans like basket weavers and painters,” he said. Warnock also teaches information technology courses at a local high school in a computer lab he established and runs an English club for middle and high school students. Warnock said he was not sure what he wanted to do after graduation, and the Peace Corps is a great place to learn about yourself. “I was an accounting major and now most of my friends are working for a big firm, and I knew that really wasn’t for me,” he said. “Peace Corps is a pretty good place to find yourself. It gives you a lot of time for reflection and to think about what you want out of your life.” Marilyn Blasingame, a current senior, applied for the Peace Corps. “I’m really interested in the program and could learn a lot from it,” she said. Blasingame is open to several places if accepted into the program, but hopes to serve in a Russian-speaking country. “I’m really open to where I’ll serve, but I currently take Russian, and want to serve in a Russian-speaking country,” she said. Deputy Director of the Peace Corps Carrie Hessler-Radelet said Notre Dame students make ideal Peace Corps volunteers. “Notre Dame’s commitment to social justice, your commitment to community based learning, your commitment to research and study of humanity all contribute to the goals of world peace and encouraging service among your students,” Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “So I would say that Peace Corps and Notre Dame share the same guiding principles.” The Peace Corps guiding principles are to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of people served and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans, she said. “Today at the Center for Social Concerns, I was told that 10 percent of the Notre Dame population goes overseas in some type of service, and that’s incredible,” she said. “I don’t know another school that has such a high percentage of students that are that interested in international volunteering and service, and so it is exactly the same kind of students [the Peace Corps] wants.”last_img read more


first_imgTarget. Visa. Abercrombie & Fitch. Allstate. Heard of these companies? They’ve heard of Notre Dame, and they were just a few of more than 130 companies looking to hire students at this year’s Winter Career and Internship Fair. Hundreds of students from all majors and class years suited up to speak with recruiters from these companies about prospective summer internship opportunities and postgraduate careers. With so many different companies to choose from, there was something for everyone, from accounting and finance to sales and engineering. Though the process of preparing for and attending a career fair may seem daunting, ND Minute caught up with a few students who used University resources like the Career Center to get ready to find the perfect job opportunity at the fair. See what these students, a recruiter and the director of the Career Center had to say about the Career Fair in all its business-attired glory.last_img read more


Students and professors can step outside the classroom to discuss intellectual matters in an informal setting through the new Student Pub. Sophomore Neil Ravindra, academic affairs director for student government, said the Dean’s Fellows, the College of Arts and Letters and student government co-sponsor the Student Pub. “It’s kind of founded in the idea of the Oxford University pub model where [authors C.S.] Lewis and [J.R.R.] Tolkien used to go to the pub and talk about their different literary ideas over drinks,” he said. Student body president Pat McCormick said the pub helps foster a “community of learning” on campus, incorporating both faculty and the student body. “This was another opportunity to really advance this effort in a way where we can create a space on campus that would serve as a place for students and faculty to meet in an informal setting,” McCormick said. “That was something that had been a hope of ours, as a way to try to build up a community of learning here on campus and to provide ways for students and faculty members to come together and get to know each other in a more holistic way.” Senior Malcolm Phelan, a member of the Dean’s Fellows and coordinator of the Student Pub, said a University alumna developed the idea when she was an undergraduate. Phelan said Assistant Dean Joe Stanfiel later took an interest in the Student Pub and approached student government leaders with the idea. “[The Student Pub] allows students and professors to relate on a different level, a much more fulfilling level for both parties involved,” Phelan said. Ravindra said the Student Pub is an opportunity to discuss various issues and promote intellectual engagement outside the classroom. “[Participants] would be standing or walking around, discussing whatever issue of the times they want to discuss,” he said. The College and student government held a pilot run of the Student Pub on Friday in the Hospitality Room of South Dining Hall, Ravindra said. He said the event featured free snacks, coffee and soda, as well as alcoholic beverages for purchase. “In my group, we discussed education reform, healthcare reform, the HHS mandate and also just general Notre Dame stuff, like what Notre Dame students care about or are interested in,” Ravindra said. “There would be maybe a professor sitting at a table and then students would come up to them and introduce themselves and conversation would go from there.” Ravindra said he thought the pilot run went “wonderfully.” “I would love to see it become a part of Notre Dame culture, to engage the intellect and stimulate conversation with professors and other students outside the classroom,” he said. “And so it’s just one more venue for students to jump on that opportunity.” Phelan said he foresees the Student Pub becoming a popular event and, eventually, a tradition. “Hopefully it’s something that will go on and the demand is here,” he said. “Basically the [first] event went really well. We ended up having 50 people come through.” Although the Student Pub is currently open only to professors from the College of Arts and Letters, Ravindra said he hopes participation will expand in the future. He said the coordinators are in the process of developing a permanent name for the pub. The coordinators plan to advertise the Student Pub more in the future, Phelan said. “We’re going to up the scale a little bit, since the first one went so well, and hopefully we get to the point where it’s kind of standing-room only,” he said. Ravindra said he is excited about the ongoing development of the pub. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for students,” he said. “It’s still developing, but I think it shows wonderful promise for the future.” read more


first_imgStudent Senate discussed potential changes to freshman orientation and the upcoming unveiling of The Shirt at its meeting Wednesday. Junior Ricky Bevington, Student Campus Orientation Committee chairperson, said the committee hopes freshman orientation can be a “vehicle for inclusion” at Notre Dame. “It definitely needs to be a student effort,” he said. “We’re working really closely with the dorms to be a resource … [The] goal is creating a sense of belonging on campus.” To improve orientation, senators suggested increasing the comfort of lesbian, gay, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students, instituting diversity training, reforming the College HAS (Hookups, Alcohol and Sexual Assault) Issues program, hosting a sexual education session and distributing a sheet with useful miscellaneous information. Bevington said anyone with suggestions about reforming freshman orientation should email [email protected] Senior Paul Baranay, vice president of The Shirt Project, said The Shirt will be unveiled April 20 at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Alta Gracia Apparel, a company with a social concerns focus, will produce this year’s The Shirt, he said. “They have a factory down in the Dominican Republic where they pay all their workers a living wage, several times higher than other factories,” he said. The price of The Shirt will increase from $15 to $18 this year, Baranay said, but shirts will be sold to students for $15 at the unveiling ceremony. Baranay said some of the proceeds from sales will benefit The Shirt Charity Fund, which gives money to students who could not otherwise afford to participate in campus activities. The rest of the profits will cover students’ medical costs and fund student organizations, he said. “Last year, we sold 165,000 shirts and we raised over $700,000 for students,” Baranay said. Senate also approved junior Katie Hennessy for the position of Judicial Council’s vice president of elections.last_img read more


first_imgWednesday, members of Special Olympics Notre Dame and Best Buddies, two clubs dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual disabilities, will call upon their fellow students to participate in “End the R-Word Day” by signing banners and taking a pledge to stop using “retarded” as an offensive term, Special Olympics Notre Dame co-president and junior Laura Gardner said.Kelly Konya | The Observer “End the R-Word Day is a day about raising awareness about the dehumanizing effects of the word retarded for those with intellectual disabilities,” Gardner said. “The movement was started by Soeren Palumbo, who was a Notre Dame grad, and Tim Sharver from Yale in 2009.”Special Olympics Notre Dame co-president and senior Mo Connelly said using the word “retarded” often seems harmless but in fact offends people with intellectual disabilities by making them feel marginalized and inferior.“Many people often say, ‘it is only a word,’ but that is just not the case,” Connelly said. “In our society today, the R-word is used in a context that relates individuals with intellectual disabilities with something bad or wrong.“In order for everyone to truly practice acceptance and tolerance in our culture, the first step to take is to promote inclusive language that does not set apart a group of individuals as any less of a person than another.”Gardner said events throughout the day will draw attention to the “dehumanizing” effects of the R-word on individuals with intellectual disabilities.“Basically it invalidates their humanity,” Gardner said. “They are intelligent; they’re sisters, fathers, sons, friends. It’s a slur that puts people down.”Members of Special Olympics Notre Dame will be stationed in the LaFortune Student Center, the Hesburgh Library and at both dining halls during meal times and will ask students to show support for End the R-Word Day. Best Buddies will also host events to raise awareness, Gardner said.“We’re doing banner signings for students on campus to pledge with their signature to stop using the word retarded in a derogatory way, and Best Buddies is having their fashion show with models from a local center,” she said.Palumbo, a former Notre Dame Special Olympics president, initiated the first-ever “End the R-Word Day” while he was still a student at Notre Dame, Connelly said.“[Palumbo] decided to announce it as he was presenting for a Special Olympics event over five years ago,” Connelly said. “Luckily the idea spread like wild fire, and he was able to work with Special Olympics National to begin the ‘Spread the Word’” campaign and truly jump start this magnificent cause.”Connelly said students who are not involved with Notre Dame Special Olympics or Best Buddies should still participate by taking the pledge to stop using the word retarded.“Sign our banners and encourage others to do the same,” she said. “Most importantly, remember that our campaign is a year round effort to end the R-word. Have the courage to remove it from your vocabulary, and encourage others to do the same.”Contact Lesley Stevenson at        [email protected]: best buddies, disabilities awareness, notre dame best buddies, notre dame R word, R word, spread the word to end the wordlast_img read more


first_imgCavanaugh Hall is hosting its second annual Ready Set Glow Fun Run Thursday. The run, which follows a two-mile course around campus, will start at 8 p.m. at Fieldhouse Mall.“It’s a fun run, so everyone is encouraged to do of their best ability and then at the end we have glow powder and glow lights, and it really just turns into a fun Cav celebration/dance party,” junior Brittany Benninger, one of the organizers for the event, said.Benninger said registration for the event is $10, and participants can register online with Student Shop or at the dining halls this week, or at 7:30 p.m. before the race. Photo courtesy of Hannah Bruening Cavanaugh Hall prepares for its second annual Ready Set Glow Fun Run, where it raises funds for the Visitation Maternity Ward at Brother Andrew Medical Center in the Dandora area of Nairobi, Kenya. Last year, the event raised over $500.Proceeds from the event benefit the Visitation Maternity Ward at Brother Andre Medical Center in the Dandora area of Nairobi, Kenya. Fr. Bob Dowd, an associate professor of political science and director of the Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, is a resident in Cavanaugh and helped found the ward last year.“Dandora is a very tough place, underserved,” he said. “The health facilities in Dandora are substandard. It’s a place where there is a great deal of poverty, lack of decent healthcare. The city dump site for all of Nairobi is located in Dandora, so it affects the quality of life for everyone in the area.”Last year’s race raised just over $500, and Benninger said this year’s goal is to raise $1,300. Dowd said the maternity ward must cover the costs of delivering the babies, which is $50 for a regular delivery and $200 for a Caesarean section.“The support that Cavanaugh is generating is really important because we struggle to make ends meet at the maternity ward, because the costs far exceed the revenue,” Dowd said. “We’re always trying to find new ways of closing the gap between costs and revenue to ensure that women are getting the skilled and compassionate care that they need, that their dignity really demands.”The nearest maternity hospital is an hour away from Dandora, and Dowd said many women would give birth at home if the maternity ward did not exist, which can be risky.“If you were to see the surroundings, you would see the risks — the lack of decent sanitation,” he said.Benninger said the goals of the maternity ward align nicely with Cavanaugh’s values, which is why the dorm chooses to support the maternity ward.“The resemblance of our community of women coming together to empower each other really goes hand in hand with the maternity ward’s mission of empowering women,” she said. “We see our community as being able to support these women and empowering them to bring the vision that we want to see to the world.”Dowd said the run is an opportunity to support human dignity in Kenya.“It’s about women and children, it’s about life at it’s beginning, it’s about human dignity, and I think that’s something to keep in mind — essentially, the run will be about human dignity,” he said.Tags: brother andre medical center, Cavanaugh Hall, ready set glow fun run, visitation maternity wardlast_img read more


first_imgFour percent of the president’s leadership council at Notre Dame are people of color, compared to 30 percent of the student body while just 28 percent of the University’s Board of Trustees are women, compared to 49 percent of the student body.These statistics were among several others presented to the student affairs committee of the Board of Trustees last week.These statistics were presented by members of the 2017-18 student body leadership as part of their spring semester report to the Board on Thursday.In the fall, the Board chooses the student body leadership’s report topic. Last fall, the Board selected the topic of campus alcohol culture. In the spring, the students get to choose the topic, this year they chose to focus on people of color and people of low socioeconomic status in University and student leadership.“They’re always really fascinated by what is going on and what we pinpoint as student issues,” student body president emeritus and senior Becca Blais said.Chief of staff emeritus and junior Prathm Juneja said the students drew upon their own experiences at Notre Dame to pick the topic.“You have two women in the room, two people of color in the room [and] people of low socioeconomic status in the room,” Juneja said. “We’re just like, these are some of the barriers that we had to face, and we were lucky enough to overcome some of them, but not everyone else gets that opportunity.”The day before giving the report, student body vice president emeritus and senior Sibonay Shewit said she had high expectations for the report’s reception.“I think the conversation will be really positive,” Shewit said. “Once it’s in front of you, you acknowledge it and you work towards progress. I can’t imagine a situation where they would deny that this is something that needs to be worked on.”The report looks at the representation of women and minorities in leadership roles among students — for example, in hall staff — and among University leadership, in groups such as the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows.Juneja said there were no RA‘s of color in his dorm his freshman year, which impacted his ability to feel completely welcome.“The experiences I had in O’Neill, at least early on, were ones of microaggressions. Even my sophomore year, I had a decently serious hate crime happen against me,” Juneja said.  “Those are things that made feel really apart from Notre Dame, and had I had representation in my dorm, I think I would have had mentors.”The report offers several solutions for lack of representation. Aside from making a greater effort to place minorities in leadership roles, the University could offer monetary gifts to allow students of low socioeconomic status to participate in student government and be RAs, Juneja said.“Students of low socioeconomic status have no incentive to be RAs because their financial aid often already covers room and board,” Juneja said. “As a result, there aren’t representative leaders in the dorm for students who come in with issues like that.”The report also asks for student union talentship grants, which will allow students of low socioeconomic status to work in student government without sacrificing the income that an on-campus job would provide.Blais and Shewit said they found that a lack of female representation in University leadership inhibited their ability to find mentors.“I did intentionally seek out women mentorship at the University, specifically in administration, and found it very challenging,” Blais said. “It means a lot when you can see a leading woman and identify with her and have someone to look up to.”Because of stipulations for the Board of Fellows, six of the 12 members of the Board must be Holy Cross priests, according to the website. The University president must also be a Holy Cross priest, restricting the role to men.“I would love to see a woman in charge of this university one day, more than anything,” Blais said. “But, if that cannot be possible, then I would at least like to see women in the second-hand position … and in more positions on the Board of Fellows.”Shewit, as a woman and a person of color, said both of these identities have impacted her experience at Notre Dame.“You see time and time again, when they do these inclusion surveys, there’s almost a correlation between minority students and not feeling as welcome in the community,” Shewit said.Because of the few poor experiences Juneja had in his dorm community, he does not always know what to advise prospective students of color, he said.“I’m not sure that Notre Dame is the perfect place for me, but I’m happy with the person it’s making me,” Juneja said. “It’s not an easy task for people of color to come to this University … but by no means is it a bad decision. It’s just a challenging one.”The results from the Board report might not be visible for several years, Juneja said. However, increased diversity in hiring over the next few years could show the impact of the report.Shewit said the University must be proactive in taking steps to make sure all students feel welcome.“Even if it doesn’t really seem like so many tangible things … I can’t stress enough how important it is that students, faculty members, alums, Board members, administrators, continue to talk about representation and the minority experience,” Shewit said.Tags: blais-shewit, Board of Trustees, board report, Diversity, representation, Student governmentlast_img read more