Three Notre Dame students and alumni have been named Yenching Scholars and will be given the opportunity to pursue Master’s degrees at Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, according to a University press release. The three students receiving the scholarship are Teresa Kennedy, class of 2016, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts; senior Jenny Ng, a political science major from Sai Kung, Hong Kong; and Dominic Romeo, class of 2014, a political science and Chinese major from Turlock, California, according to the release. “I hope that this program will allow me to gain a more nuanced understanding of Chinese domestic politics, as well as my current area of study — China-Latin America relations,” Ng said in the release. “More importantly however, I’m most excited for the opportunity to build China connections for Education Bridge — an education project in South Sudan that I have been working on with Notre Dame classmates and professors.”The current group of Yenching Scholars comprises of 125 students attending 80 universities from 40 countries, according to the release. Tags: Alumni, China, Yenching Scholars
A 76-year-old man died after going into cardiac arrest during the Notre Dame-USC football game at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday night, according to an email from University spokesperson Dennis Brown.The St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office confirmed the man was Stephen Briley of Midway, Utah, according to a report from WNDU.Briley went into cardiac arrest at about 8:10 p.m. and paramedics from Notre Dame and the South Bend Fire Department tried to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful, according to the email.The University “extends its deepest condolences to the family,” the email said. Tags: cardiac arrest, Death, Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame-USC
Ten years ago, John McGreevy made the transition from chair of the department of history to dean of the College of Arts and Letters.The transition made him nervous, he said — he would henceforth be responsible for Notre Dame’s oldest academic college and serve as the main voice for what is now 500 faculty members, 3,000 undergraduates and over 1,000 graduate students.“[I was] wondering if I could succeed and flourish in the role,” McGreevy said. “Because you are speaking in front of a lot of different audiences, you are playing a lot of different roles [and] you are making decisions. You can only grow used to that over time.”McGreevy occupied the post for a decade. In February of this year, the University announced McGreevy’s decision to end his tenure as dean. His successor will be department of sociology chair Sarah Mustillo.“It’s been a great experience,” McGreevy said. “I wasn’t a person who was chomping at the bit to become dean. I was happy to do it if asked. But I have found it a very rewarding job.”Despite the challenges that came about through managing time, “a lot of different people” and certain personnel issues and disputes, McGreevy said he liked the day-to-day aspects of the job the most.“I feel lucky, honestly, to have met the people that I have met in the job and to just see how deeply students and faculty and benefactors and supporters and parents and top administrators, how deeply they love Notre Dame and how hard they are working to advance the University,” he said. “I wish every faculty member could see that because it is a neat thing to see.”McGreevy began his Notre Dame story in 1982 as an undergraduate student. After graduating in 1986 and teaching elsewhere, he joined the University faculty in 1997 and served as chair of the history department for six years and was a history professor before being asked to become dean.“I took the job because I thought maybe I could make a difference in the role,” he said. “It is a role with a lot of influence at Notre Dame in terms of hiring and setting priorities. … You do that in collaboration, of course, with the faculty and with your colleagues and administration. And I think that’s proven to be the case — it’s been satisfying in that way.”As dean, McGreevy said his responsibilities included raising money to support the college’s priorities, determining the allocation of resources and communicating with the administration, the departmental chairs and the University’s other colleges while advancing the educational mission of the College of Arts and Letters. “I came in with some goals in mind but … it took a little bit of time to come up with everything,” he said. “You are changing all of the time, too. Things happen that you don’t anticipate.”In addition to increasing the number of faculty within the college, McGreevy said changes during his time as dean include making collaborative programs with other colleges on-campus, expanding departmental space with three new buildings and raising money to assist graduate students.Another one of his most significant contributions to the college was an ambition he had in mind as soon as he took on the role as dean — increasing the level of interest in student theses.“We are really proud of the fact that over 40 percent of our students do a senior thesis now and that’s up from nine percent when we started 10 years ago,” he said. “I think our departments have advanced, probably the most dramatic advance has been in economics because it was really quite small.”Getting stronger students who were more interested in undergraduate research helped the college achieve that student thesis increase, McGreevy said.“I think it has just been a happy marriage of more ambitious and talented undergraduate helping faculty see that this could be one of their most rewarding kinds of teaching that you do, which I believe to be the case, and putting that together,” he said.McGreevy said he feels confident Mustillo — who will take over the position July 1 — will not need much advice from him regarding the position.“We are at a place where students are eager to come to, a place that has resources and a place where you really can do things,” he said. “And I think that’s what makes this dean’s job really attractive and I think I have said that to my successor, Sarah Mustillo — that it’s really a job where we can do interesting things.”Though July will mark the end of McGreevy’s time as College of Arts and Letters dean, this isn’t the end of his career at Notre Dame; he said he plans to spend the next year researching and writing about global Catholicism before rejoining the faculty as a teacher and advisor.“Seeing how people love Notre Dame — it’s very striking,” McGreevy said. “And I have no regrets whatsoever having done it. I think I will be a better faculty person because I’ve done it. … You see how strong some of our faculty are and what they do to advance their careers and advance their disciplines and it makes you want to be a little bit like them.”Tags: College of Arts and Letters, dean, John McGreevy, Sarah Mustillo
Early in the fall semester of 2017, the Office of Residential Life announced a new policy mandating that, beginning with the class of 2022, students are required to live on campus for six semesters. Immediately following the announcement, students expressed concerns about the policy regarding the safety and security of students who want to move off-campus due to instances of discrimination, sexual assault, mental health and financial distress. Since then, the Office of Residential Life has been investigating ways to alleviate students’ worries, including the possibility of exemptions from the policy for students who demonstrate substantial need.In an announcement made via email Monday, the Office of Residential Life announced the preferred method of helping students with residential issues will be a streamlined hall transfer process. While exemptions will be available for some students, such exemptions will be rare and determined on a case-by-case basis.Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for residential life, said the Office of Residential Life believes hall transfers provide students with the chance to find a community better fitted to their needs without moving off-campus.“[The exemption] will be used rarely because we think what we’re actually doing is changing the culture — we hope to change the culture — around hall transfers,” Russell said. “ … We think there’s something very special about residential life here and we think that having an experience of being formed in the residence halls — multi-class, single-sex, randomly placed, all of that — we think that forms people. We want people to have the opportunity to flourish, and if it’s not happening for you in [your hall], we want to redirect you to another [hall] where you might have that experience.”For those instances where a hall transfer would be insufficient, students will be able to apply for an exemption through the Office of Residential Life. Russell said because each exemption will depend on the student’s specific circumstances, she could not provide an example of what would qualify a student to live off-campus early.“I think it will be on a very case-by-case basis, and I don’t think I could in a genuine way answer that question without it just being a shot in the dark,” Russell said. “ … We’re hard-pressed to come up the kind of case that would actually qualify because we think the reasons that would qualify someone for an exemption are probably going to be deeply personal and particular. So, will there be exemptions granted? Certainly, we wouldn’t have created a process if they wouldn’t. But we want to believe … that most of the challenges that students are encountering to their flourishing in their residence halls might be remedied by trying the experience of another residence.”Russell said the application process for an exemption asks the student to demonstrate a clear, corroborated need to move off-campus.“You would first encounter the opportunity to apply for a hall transfer, which would allow for the possibility for someone to hear your story about why you’re not having a good experience and see if there’s another option for you,” she said. “But let’s say there isn’t. Let’s say, based on your particular story, there was an experience of discrimination or sexual assault or something that makes being here feel unwelcome, or maybe it’s financial aid driven, or maybe it’s medically driven, or maybe it’s mental health driven. If it’s any of those kinds of things, what we want to do … is allow for an open-ended process where the student can tell his or her story — but not have to retell it multiple times — and for that story to be heard and corroborated in some ways by someone else if that were attractive to a student.”The announcement said students will need to submit a written application to receive an exemption. If the application is found to have merit, the student will have the option to appear before a review board as well as receive support from a member of the Notre Dame faculty or staff.The announcement also said students will be required to renew their exemption each year.The decision to prioritize halls transfers over exemptions was made by the University with the understanding that residential life is essential to a student’s development, the announcement said.“Sharing life in community in the residence halls supports students’ formation as they deepen their faith, cultivate moral virtues, develop healthy relationships, become servant leaders and reflectively and prayerfully discern their future,” it said. “The mixed-class, single-sex, stay-hall system featuring random assignment of first-year students to modest-sized halls is critical for the model, as is each hall’s unique community, character and traditions.”Because hall transfers will be the primary method of solving a student’s residential issues, Jonathan Retartha, director of residential life for housing operations, said the hall transfer system is changing in two key ways.“First, the elimination of the requirement to speak to your current rector or the rector that you wish to move to,” Retartha said. “It’s not always an option that’s practical or advisable in some circumstances. … The second is to give people the option to select two preferred halls that they’re willing to transfer to. … [They’ll also have] an opportunity to indicate a willingness to accept a spot in any available hall, something closer to what we do in our float-for-a-single process. If they don’t elect that kind of floating option, they’ll be returned back to their original hall’s room picks if those two options they select are not available.”Retartha said in an email that, with the new system, the Office of Residential Life hopes to allow a growing number of hall requests.“Our fall semester typically sees over 200 hall transfer requests, the vast majority of which were approved,” he said. “We do anticipate that number to go up, and we hope to accommodate most requests. However, the capacities of our halls will always limit our ability to honor every request.”These changes to residential policy come at the end of an extended process spent engaging with and listening to the voices of students regarding the six-semester policy. Russell said following the policy’s initial announcement, she saw an overwhelming student response.“Over that fall semester, our office — the Office of Residential Life — received about a hundred emails from current students echoing those same sentiments [of worry],” she said.Proactive engagement with students helped the Office of Residential Life understand the concerns of students better and quell fears held by some students, Russell said.“In the spring semester, our office engaged students in focus groups and listening sessions,” she said. “So, we proactively said, ‘let’s get together,’ and we did that with different groups of student leaders — diversity council, committees on race and ethnicity and LGBTQ students, as well as student senate, [Hall Presidents Council], [Campus Life Council and] various [other] student groups.”Russell said the process led the Office of Residential Life to conclude that what students want most was simply an opportunity to live well in a community.“We think actually what students — without naming it — are asking for is a way to find a place to flourish,” Russell said. “And we think that’s actually to utilize the hall transfer process.”While the new residential policies require students to stay six semesters on campus, there are hopes that new incentives for seniors to stay on campus will convince students to stay all four years. Russell said a mass movement of seniors off-campus would be damaging to the campus culture the University hopes to create.“If what we do with the residence requirement is we have people who live here for six semesters and then they go off in droves as seniors, or we don’t successfully turn the tide on the number of seniors who are staying, our model still falls apart because we don’t have the halls that are created by class,” Russell said.Breyan Tornifolio, director of residential life for rector recruitment, hiring and retention, said seniors who stay on stay on campus are fundamental to the development of all students.“We want our seniors to stay, we want them in the halls,” Tornifolio said. “Our model doesn’t work without the seniors here. The leadership that our seniors provide is crucial to the development of our students, so ways that we keep them here is really important.”To keep seniors on campus, Russell said the Office of Residential Life will be releasing a list of incentives designed to convince seniors to stay on campus in the spring, in time for freshmen to consider their options as they begin looking for future housing. Russell said while nothing has been approved yet, the incentives being considered include more flexible meal plans, free laundry and discounted room and board.Russell said as the six-semester policy, and its associated changes to residential life, take root in campus culture, the program’s success will be found in the number of students who decide to stay on campus all four years.“By giving the choice to seniors, they will vote [on the policies] with their feet and stay,” Russell said. “In a wonderful, perfect world, we have to go the administration and say we need ‘x’ number of new residence halls because so many seniors are opting to stay back because of the experience they had in all six semesters.”Tags: Dorm Culture, Dorm Equality, Hall Transfers, Housing, Office of Residential Life, Six Semester Policy, six-semester requirement
University President Fr. John Jenkins voiced his concerns in a letter marked Saturday regarding proposed changes to a federal policy which would make it more difficult for international students to enroll in schools in the United States.The letter was addressed to Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The policy intends to limit international and exchange students’ time in the U.S. to a fixed period of two to four years. Students would be able to apply for an extension in this time.Currently, student visas allow students to remain in the U.S. as long as they continue to be enrolled in school.With the proposed policy, students who are citizens of countries with high rates of visa overstay — above 10% — along with other designations of students would only be able to apply for two-year visas with the possibility of renewal.While reports have detailed concerns regarding overinflated data regarding overstays, Jenkins also expressed concerns over the DHS identification of these countries.“Typically, these are impoverished countries from which few international students manage to enroll in the United States,” Jenkins said. “Among them are Haiti and the Philippines, where the University of Notre Dame has special relationships among the poor. While DHS reports that students from each country are more likely to overstay their visas, Notre Dame has not found that to be the case.”Jenkins went on to reference the University’s own data on compliance of international students in the 2019-2020 academic year and urged Wolf to examine the records of other U.S. universities as well. Out of the 1,546 international students Notre Dame enrolled last year, Jenkins said only one student failed to return to campus as expected in the spring semester and did not have a record of departure in the government’s reporting system.“Examining our track records is a fairer and surer way for your department to protect the national security interests of the United States,” Jenkins said. “Notre Dame fully recognizes your obligations in this regard and stands ready to assist you in having international students adhere to their obligations under existing visa requirements.”Instead of limiting international students’ stays in the U.S., Jenkins suggested the DHS find other ways to resolve the increase of students abroad requesting education at U.S. universities.“I recognize that your department is responsible for screening these increasing numbers of foreign students,” Jenkins said. “However, DHS funding should be increased to meet the demand rather than restrict wholesale admission of desirable foreign students to our institutions of higher learning.”The University is expected to submit a formal statement in opposition to the expected changes in the coming days, according to a Tuesday press release.Tags: Department of Homeland Security, Fr. John Jenkins, International students
Photo: PxHereALBANY – New York State is directing all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail salons, hair removal services, and related personal care services to close amid the novel Coronavirus outbreak.Governor Andrew Cuomo says that the services cannot be provided while maintaining social distance. The directive states the businesses should close effective Saturday at 8 p.m.“We know how the novel coronavirus spreads, and we are making data-driven decisions as the situation evolves to continue to reduce density and slow the spread of the virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “We remain in constant communication with our neighboring states to ensure we are establishing a set of uniform rules and regulations for the entire region. ”“These temporary closures are not going to be easy, but they are necessary to protecting the health and safety of New Yorkers and all Americans.” On Thursday, the state announced indoor portions of retail shopping malls, as well as amusement parks and bowling alleys were ordered to close.Earlier in the week, the Governor announced limits on crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people. The governor also announced restaurants and bars would close for on premise service and move to take-out and delivery services only.The governor also temporarily closed movie theaters, gyms and casinos.Similar closures are also in effect in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. 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)
WNY News Now / MGN Stock Image.OLEAN – A nursing home workers in Cattaraugus County has tested positive for COVID-19.The County Health Department says the female health care worker was tested last week part of New York’s new nursing home testing mandate.The result was reported Tuesday revealing the active case. Prior to the test, health officials say the woman was asymptomatic and denies contact with an active case.There are now 63 cases total with 43 active in Cattaraugus County. The department has begun a contact tracing investigation on the new case. Officials say any resident interested in getting a swab COVID-19 test can register online at cattco.org/coronavirus and click on the COVID-19 Diagnostic Test link.The health department did not identify the specific nursing home involved. 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)
Cutout Photo: Kenneth C. Zirkel / CC BY-SA 3.0ALBANY — As activists in several U.S. cities pull down and damage memorials to Christopher Columbus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo voiced support for a statue of the explorer in Manhattan.In recent years, critics who point to evidence of Columbus’ brutality toward indigenous peoples have called for New York City to remove his 70-foot-tall statue standing atop a column in Columbus Circle.Some have suggested that New York rename Columbus Day and call it Indigenous People’s Day, arguing that commemorating Columbus glorifies a symbol of genocide and enslavement and glosses over history.Those calls have been renewed in many cities in the wake of nationwide protests against racism following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Italian American groups, however, have used memorials to Columbus, who was from Genoa, as a way to celebrate their own heritage. The Manhattan statue was put up in 1892 as the Italian American community attempted to overcome prejudice and assimilate into American society.Cuomo, who is Italian American, defended the statue Thursday while saying he understands ongoing dialogue surrounding it.“I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts, which nobody would support. But the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York,” Cuomo said. “So for that reason I support it.”His remark comes amid a growing push for the nation to reconsider who is honored and reckon with oppression and violence committed by national icons.The colonizer is at times credited with “discovering” the New World though millions lived there, said Onondaga Nation citizen Betty Lyons, who also leads the American Indian Law Alliance. Columbus never landed on what’s now known as the continental United States and faced accusations of tyranny and enslavement toward the native residents of a Caribbean colony he governed for Spain.“Governor Cuomo’s eloquence in response to the anti-racism movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd apparently does not extend to the genocide and enslavement those first transatlantic voyages initiated and which continue to underpin the oppression of indigenous peoples to this day,” Lyons said.In 2017, vandals doused the Columbus statue’s hands in blood-red paint and scrawled the words “hate will not be tolerated.”A 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue led New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to launch a commission that evaluated how to deal with controversial sculptures including the Columbus statue.The commission recommended adding historical markers to give more context.In New York City, Democratic lawmakers have called on the military to rename two streets — General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive — at Fort Hamilton, an Army base in Brooklyn.They wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper that soldiers “deserve to serve on bases that honor their ancestors’ contributions to our nation, not those who fought to hold those same ancestors in bondage.”De Blasio said Thursday: “Nothing should be named after Robert E. Lee at this point in history.” 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),What most people today fail to realize is that Columbus was Genoese not “Italian”. Columbus himself would not self identify as Italian. The Republic of Genoa was established in 1005 and maintained its autonomy until 1797. Italy, as a united entity, did not exist until the mid 19th century. So to say he was Italian is not historically correct. Besides the aforementioned facts he was in the employ of Spanish monarchs when he “discovered” the “new world”. Italian heritage has little to do with a man who brought suffering and genocide to the native peoples of the new world. In my opinion there is no reason to glorify him in any way.
Stock Image.OTTO – Officials with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office say a 16-year-old girl died after falling off a ledge in Zoar Valley.First responders were called to the scene around 6 p.m. on Saturday.Deputies say the girl sustained facial injuries in the fall.Medical crews from the Otto, Eden and Gowanda Fire Department assisted law enforcement at the scene. Deputies say the investigation into the incident is still ongoing.The Erie County Sheriff, New York State Police, New York Forest Rangers and New York Environmental Police were also on scene.No further information about the incident was released. 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)
Mitchell recently helmed a workshop of But I’m A Cheerleader in London. He won Tonys for his choreography of Kinky Boots and La Cage aux Folles and has received additional Tony nominations for Legally Blonde, Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Never Gonna Dance and The Full Monty. He made his Broadway directorial debut with Legally Blonde in 2007 and also choreographed Catch Me If You Can. “I’m actually working on a new show,” Mitchell said. “I’ve got the rights to a British book I read on the plane called Becoming Nancy by Terry Ronald.” The novel tells the story of David Starr, who plays Nancy in his school’s production of Oliver. When rehearsals start he falls for Maxie Boswell, who plays Bill Sikes and is captain of the school football team. “It’s an amazing, amazing story about accepting people for who they really are and also about how the adults work around these two children. I’m really looking forward to developing it into a full musical!” No timeline was revealed on bringing the Becoming Nancy musical to the stage. View Comments As long as he needs me! Tony winner Jerry Mitchell is working on a musical version of Terry Ronald’s novel Becoming Nancy. The Kinky Boots director and choreographer, currently occupied with the London premiere of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, shared the news about the upcoming project to West End Frame.