Month: January 2021

Administrators dedicate new London Program building

first_imgFirst the building housed a hospital for women and children in the early 20th century. Then it was a gloomy, dilapidated building in the background of a Sherlock Holmes film. Now it is home to more than 130 Notre Dame students studying abroad in London during the spring semester. University President Fr. John Jenkins and University administrators officially dedicated Conway Hall during a ceremony in London on Friday. The dedication marked the beginning of the building’s second semester as the new residential space for students studying abroad in the capital of the United Kingdom. Since the building officially opened in August 2011, London Program Director Greg Kucich said it has been “a major center for Notre Dame’s international operations in London.” The building had been abandoned and was “an eyesore” when Notre Dame began its renovations, Kucich said. When its first residents moved into the flats last fall, that eyesore was completely transformed. “There was an incredible process of renovating the building over less than a year period actually, a major renovation project to turn it into the very efficient and elegant building that it is now,” Kucich said. “I think you get the impression when you go in there that it looks like a four-star hotel.” The University previously rented accommodations for its students in London, but Kucich said owning a unique property was financially beneficial because of high rental costs in London. Conway Hall’s location set the building apart from other properties, he said. The building is located near Waterloo Station in the middle of the South Bank neighborhood, and students only need to walk about 15 minutes to reach the London Center in Trafalgar Square for their classes. “That not only provides students with a wonderful walk across the bridge every day, but it also integrates the two facilities really nicely so we can do academic events and cultural events at Conway Hall, as well as in the London Center,” he said. “Notre Dame becomes like a colossus with one foot in Trafalgar Square and another foot in South Bank, striding the Thames.” Conway Hall is also located next to one of the campuses of King’s College in London, and students have access to the college’s student union, gym and library facilities. “One of the challenges of the London program traditionally has been for students to move outside of the Notre Dame friend-work of living together, taking classes together, which has its benefits but has its limitations too because as an international student, one really wants to become immersed in local contacts and meet new people,” Kucich said. This opportunity to link with King’s College in this way is accomplishing or fulfilling one of the principle goals for this program, which has been a challenge for many years now. So we are overjoyed at the connection we have now with a British university and its environment.” Students living in Conway Hall are equipped with kitchen and living spaces, and the building also includes small study areas, a chapel and a student activities center for larger gatherings. “You develop community within individual flats and among different flats as well when students get together through meals,” Kucich said. “Along with that … arranging for dinners in your flats means going out in London and shopping in London and going to markets and engaging with London life, rather than just going to a dining hall the way you would at Notre Dame.” Junior Dylan Tramontin said the apartment-style living in Conway Hall helped her get to know the other members of her study abroad program. “I love how it encourages a sense of community, even more so than the dorms,” Tramontin said. Tramontin and junior Kailey Grant, who live together in a flat with eight other girls, said they especially enjoy cooking with their roommates and gathering for meals around their large dinner table. “I love our weekly flat dinners,” Grant said. Conway Hall accommodates a total of 268 students, according to a University press release. Kucich said 132 of those students are Notre Dame undergraduates participating in the London program, six are Notre Dame undergraduates studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies through the University of London and 22 are Notre Dame law students. Students from other universities occupy the remaining spots. At the dedication ceremony, Jenkins said the building strengthens Notre Dame’s historical ties to London. “Notre Dame has had a presence in London since 1968, when our first students came here to study law,” Jenkins said. “Since that time, we have been able to expand our international presence here, enabling the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Business Administration and Engineering to develop their own programs in London as well.” Kucich said the building opens new doors for the expanding international programs at Notre Dame. “The number one issue is Notre Dame’s commitment to expanding and strengthening its international centers, in London in particular because this is the flagship international study abroad program, but also around the world,” he said.last_img read more

Professor discusses Aquinas, natural law

first_imgA Boston College professor connected Saint Thomas Aquinas’ themes of solidarity, justice and natural law with contemporary global feminism in a lecture at Saint Mary’s on Thursday. Dr. Lisa Sowle Cahill’s talk, titled “Aquinas and Natural Law: Resources for Women’s Equality,” was part of the College’s 16th Annual Symposium on Aquinas. It took place in the Student Center Lounge. Although Aquinas did not participate in the modern women’s movement, his ideas directly relate to contemporary Catholic social teaching, Cahill said. She said bringing Aquinas’ theory of natural law, which takes a ‘do good, avoid evil’ approach, into modern dialogue aids discussion about feminist theology. “This natural law theory, applied equitably with a 20th century lens, results in a basic notion of justice for all,” Cahill said. “Ethics of natural law offer modern Catholic feminists a solid base to seek equality and combat global problems.” Cahill said human beings must be responsible for each other. Solidarity should extend farther than a neighborhood or community and should cross cultures and religions, she said. Modern-day slavery, also known as human trafficking, is an important issue facing contemporary feminism, Cahill said. “We have all this public rhetoric, but at the concrete level, there are more slaves in the world today than ever before,” she said. In order to increase gender equality, Cahill said the world must value four themes: lifting up women through empowerment and allowing them to prove their own capabilities, focusing on the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, creating cross-cultural dialogue and calling men and women to seek human flourishing for all persons. “Justice is a virtue that governs right relationships in society,” Cahill said. “Human laws and practices should be based on justice. Justice is rooted in Aquinas’ natural law theory.” Dr. Joseph Incandela, the Joyce McMahon Hank Aquinas Chair in Catholic Theology, sponsored the symposium. “Having Aquinas lectures at a Catholic college is a very significant way of calling attention to the ultimate harmony between faith and reason,” Incandela said. “Catholics colleges are founded on that harmony and work on the convergence of this approach with a significant emphasis on education.”last_img read more

Snite Museum hosts sewing circle

first_imgA sewing circle today at the Snite Museum of Art will allow members of the Notre Dame community to contribute stitches to an art project spearheaded by contemporary artist Marie Watt.  The project is part of the “Dreams Wiser than Waking: Recent Acquisitions of Native American Prints” exhibit, according to Cheryl Snay, curator of European art at the Snite. Watt, one of the exhibit’s featured artists, will lead the event from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  At the sewing circle, participants will contribute stitches to a set structure of blankets and fabric that Watt has created, which will eventually culminate into a greater piece of art, Snay said. No sewing experience is necessary, and everyone from the South Bend and Notre Dame communities is invited to join and receive a small silkscreen print from Watt.  Snay said this is a great way to promote a welcoming atmosphere and extend the Snite’s outreach in the community. “We want people to come to the Snite and to think of the Snite as a warm and welcoming place where people can share stories and experiences,” she said. “Ultimately, we are trying to cultivate this kind of attitude, and there are many opportunities to participate in art in a variety of fashions.” Furthermore, this sewing circle is a way to tie together Notre Dame students with the surrounding community, Snay said. “This event was designed for all students, not just art students,” she said. “We also want to foster an environment where the general community can come in and interact with the faculty, staff and students. Everyone can benefit from these mutual experiences.” Watt’s idea that art should be participatory and community building is reflected in the nature of the project, Snay said, because everyone that adds a stitch to the structure is contributing to a greater work of art. “Watt considers someone’s stitches their signatures, so she will not change them,” Snay said. “She feels as if their stitches are their contribution.” After hosting the sewing circle at the University, Watt will bring the structure to another museum or campus where more people can add to the piece.  While the sewing circle is just for today, the “Dreams Wiser than Waking” exhibit will stay at the Snite until Mar. 17. This exhibit, located in the Milly and Fritz Kaeser Mestrovic Studio, showcases Native American art that is interested in straddling two worlds, Snay said. “They question how they can negotiate between their culture and the “dominant culture,” this is a lot of what their art is about,” she said.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s develops Master Plan for campus

first_imgSaint Mary’s College is in the process of developing a new initiative called the Master Plan, aimed at realizing the College’s mission and vision, which director of facilities Benjamin Bowman said will be completed over the course of the academic year.“A master plan for Saint Mary’s College will guide short-term decisions about specific elements — from building locations to streets and even the placement of a bench or sign — so they contribute to, and achieve, the desired vision for a functional and beautiful campus,” Bowen said. “We have just started the Master Plan and have not yet defined goals for the project. More concrete ideas will be developed later in the process, most likely by mid-spring semester.”Bowman said these specific elements will likely focus on three main ideas.“The Master Plan is still in the first phases of planning and has not yet developed any concrete proposals,” he said. “However, we anticipate that some of the proposals will most likely focus on: how to efficiently use the existing space on campus, how to enhance the campus experience with planned investments in the facilities and grounds and how to adjust social spaces on campus to be more welcoming. ”He said the College hosted two open forums for faculty and staff last week, allowing them to hear from a wide variety of people within the community.“Attendees were asked what their vision is for the College and what aspects of the College currently work well and need to be preserved,” Bowman said.  “As you might expect, after three days of meetings, we started to hear some consistent things, both successes and challenges, from the group. A summary of these consistent themes and findings will be presented to campus in another open forum at a workshop in November.”Bowman said students and community members also can get involved in the development process.“We have been happy to see that many students are adding comments to the website,” Bowman said.  “… The website will have new information added to it periodically throughout the process. In addition to the website, open forums will be held when the consultant team is on campus. We encourage students to attend these open forums and share their reactions to the ideas being considered. In November, the open forum will be a summary of what was heard in the October open forums. Later open forums will present conceptual plans and design ideas to the campus community.”Senior Katie Stare, Student Government vice president of external affairs, said students’ and community members’ voices are important, and she is excited to see what the Master Plan does for the College’s future.“I think that it is great that Saint Mary’s is planning into the future to benefit in the long run,” Stare said. “I especially think that the importance they are putting on the perspectives of all those who utilize the campus, whether it be the students, faculty, staff or administrators, allows to have multiple voices be heard on different aspects of the College. Being able to have our, the students’, voices be heard makes our opinions and concerns have the potential to be a part of the Master Plan.”Tags: Campus beautification, Master Planlast_img read more

Renowned physicist Lisa Randall discusses dark matter

first_imgAcclaimed scientist and author Lisa Randall discussed particle physics and her recent book,“Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe” with Notre Dame physicist Ani Aprahamian on Tuesday night.Aprahamian began the conversation by asking Randall why she enjoys the difficult work of particle physics. Randall, a member of the physics faculty at Harvard University, noted how difficult physics is to understand and how she hopes to change that notion with her works.“It’s great that it’s reported on, but it’s hard to get to the meat of it. It’s important to remind people that women are doing this too,” said Randall.Much of Randall’s work focuses on elementary particles, extra dimensions and black matter. She said her thoughts on the field of science as a whole reflect the difficult and precise nature of her studies.“This is the continuous story of science,” said Randall. “We think that we know everything and we forget that there is something more behind it.”Considering Randall’s rigorous research of the topics of dark matter and alternate dimensions, Aprahamian said he was interested to hear Randall’s opinion of the hit 2014 film “Interstellar” which explores the complex topics of wormholes and black holes. Randall said she had organized a group of other physicists to discuss the legitimacy of the science presented in Christopher Nolan’s movie.“The movie directors aimed to make science that could conceivably be true and not be demonstrably false,” said Randall. “The story at times could be contrite, but for the most part, it was real science.”Randall was asked by Aprahamian to give attending students academic and advice for their future careers. Addressing future scientists in the room, Randall said it was important to be confident when attempting to solve a question.“People should know how to think like a scientist and evaluate a fact from an alternative fact,” said Randall.Aprahamian proceeded to ask Randall about her recent book which asserts that dark matter may have contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs. One student in the crowd asked Randall to simplify her hypothesis for those without a background in physics.“I talk about how we know dark matter exists,” said Randall. “It clumps together like matter, it interacts with gravity like matter, but it doesn’t interact with light.”Randall says that although we cannot see this phenomenon, we can use astrophysical measurements to learn more about what dark matter is. She said the lack of an answer is not synonymous with its lack of importance.“We won’t have the answer to everything,” said Randall. “That doesn’t mean it isn’t important, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” Tags: dark matter, Lisa Randall, Physicslast_img read more

Provost announces changes to academic policy due to COVID-19

first_imgUniversity Provost Thomas Burish announced several changes to Notre Dame’s academic policies, including the implementation of a pass/no credit system for undergraduate and graduate students, in a letter to faculty Friday.Under the new academic guidelines determined by the Academic Council, Burish said, students will be able to view their grades at the end of the semester and elect to either accept the letter grade options or choose a pass/no credit option, according to the release. For undergraduates, students receiving a letter grade of A through D can receive a pass, and those receiving an F can choose the no-credit option. If they choose, graduate students will receive a pass for grades from A to C and a no-credit result for grades ranging from C- to F. Pass and no-credit grades will not affect a student’s grade point average, according to the letter. Other updates to academic policies include a temporary expansion of the Leave of Absence policy for undergraduate students. “For the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, any undergraduate student who withdraws from classes due to a specific COVID-19-related concern will be granted a leave of absence and be allowed to automatically re-enroll in the fall,” Burish said.Students wishing to take a leave of absence must seek approval from the dean of the school or college of their primary degree or the dean’s designee and re-enroll by the first class day of the fall 2020 semester, the release said.Students writing theses and dissertations will receive an extension in light of the pandemic. The deadlines for defending a thesis or dissertation have been prolonged from March 30 for defense and April 6 for submission to April 20 for defense and April 27 for submission, according to the report.Professors seeking tenure have also been granted an automatic one-year extension for probationary faculty who are not currently being reviewed for tenure, according to the letter.“Tenure-track faculty members who wish to opt-out of the automatic extension of the tenure clock must notify their dean in writing no later than one year prior to the time when they would otherwise come up for tenure,” Burish said.Faculty who are currently supposed to have their tenure reviewed in the upcoming academic year should notify, in writing, the dean of the college they are employed under if they want to opt-out of the extension, the letter said.In the letter, Burish expressed his gratitude for the work University faculty have been doing to adjust academics due to COVID-19. “It is often said that a crisis brings out the best in people, and that is surely what I have witnessed during the past weeks,” Burish said. “Your ingenuity, selflessness and dedication in overcoming obstacles are both humbling and inspiring. I shall always be grateful for your efforts and example.”Tags: academic council, coronavirus, COVID-19, pass/no-credit, University Provostlast_img read more

Bankruptcies Likely For Shale Oil Fracking Biz

first_imgPhoto: Kate Ausburn. / CC BY 2.0NEW YORK – Dozens of American Shale Oil companies could go bankrupt as prices reach a historic low.The companies use Hydraulic Fracturing to get SHALE Oil out of rock and stone.The innovative method has made the United States, a major oil producer. But, it’s expensive.That makes it hard to turn a profit with a price war and coronavirus disrupting supply and demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude is the cheapest it’s been, Since the New York Mercantile Exchange started trading oil futures.Now, some experts believe 100 oil and gas companies could file for bankruptcy this year if prices don’t go up significantly. Share: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)last_img read more

Reed Blames Polosi, Schumer For Lack Of New Stimulus Package

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) kidTruant / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 WASHINGTON — While Congressman Tom Reed was hopeful the federal government could reach a deal on a new stimulus package, he now says politics took precedence over patriotism.“In my personal opinion, it is clear to me now, I was hopeful that she (Speaker Nancy Pelosi) was sincere and that she was going to cut a deal for the American people and would negotiate in good faith,” Reed said during a teleconference on Wednesday.“It is clear to me that it was Pelosi and (Sen. Charles) Schumer showing their true cards that they were never going to do a deal because they were putting politics first.”Unless something dramatic happens in the next few days, a deal, if one can even be struck, won’t likely be on the table again until February, Reed said. He explained that the election and possible changes in the presidency, the Senate and the House, would delay negotiations while lawmakers got the lay of the land.As for the upcoming election, Reed said he would not be surprised to see a very close presidential race that won’t be decided without court action.“You’re probably going to have to go through some recanvasing and you’re going to have to go through all the litigation that’s associated with it and so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a Bush-Gore scenario,” Reed said.last_img read more

Tony Nominee Harold Wheeler Eliminated From Dancing with the Stars

first_img “Our talented music director, Harold Wheeler, will not be joining us for season 18 of Dancing with the Stars,” said BBC Worldwide Productions and ABC in a statement. “Since season one, Harold and his band have performed brilliant music in our ballroom for our dancers and the American viewers at home. We are grateful to him and his band for their amazing work and years of collaboration. We wish him the best of luck.” Six-time Tony nominee Howard Wheeler has been eliminated from the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars. The Harold Wheeler Orchestra and Singers, which is made up of 28 members, has been let go from the hit ABC show after 17 seasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  The move was allegedly the result of an attempt to appeal to a younger audience for the long-running dance competition show. Wheeler received Tony nominations for his orchestrations of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray, The Full Monty, Swing, Little Me and The Life.  View Commentslast_img read more

Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information Opens Off-Broadway

first_img Love and Information marks Churchill’s seventh American premiere at New York Theatre Workshop. The play is a theatrical kaleidoscope exploring more than a hundred characters using wit, candor and nimble use of language as they try to make sense of what they find out. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 6, 2014 Love and Information Related Shows The cast includes Phillip James Brannon, Randy Danson, Susannah Flood, Noah Galvin, Jennifer Ikeda, Karen Kandel, Irene Sofia Lucio, Nate Miller, Kellie Overbey, Adante Power, John Procaccino, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Maria Tucci, James Waterston and Zoë Winters. Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information opens February 19 at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Directed by James Macdonald, the off-Broadway show, which was first produced at London’s Royal Court, will run through March 23. View Commentslast_img read more