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Council discusses FLEX, du Lac recommendations

first_imgThe Council of Representatives (COR) presented a new initiative for the Freshmen Leadership Experience (FLEX) and discussed ongoing recommendations for revisions to the du Lac student handbook at its meeting Tuesday night.The FLEX committee presented its draft of a student booklet that will be mailed to incoming University freshmen over the summer before they arrive on campus in the fall.The committee said the booklet, which it compiled based on research and feedback from the current freshman class, is intended to give the Class of 2014 information about campus they might not be able to find anywhere else.The booklet would feature specific details about locations on campus, rankings of on-campus and off-campus eateries, and walking times from one campus location to another.Student body president Grant Schmidt said the current proposal is to make revisions to the existing draft and then send it as a booklet to students over the summer.“Technically this is information that could be found other places,” Schmidt said. “But there is no central location where this can all be found, and anything you get in the mail as an incoming freshmen is gold — you read it cover to cover.”Schmidt said it is possible the information will be posted online so students can potentially have links to the various organizations listed in the booklet. Many COR members said they believed it would be more effective to mail the booklet as initially proposed.Schmidt said everything is in the planning stages, but if the FLEX committee decides on mailing the booklet as opposed to creating a Web site, he hopes to include the booklet in one of the initial mailings the Class of 2014 will receive this summer.Since the FLEX booklet is still in the initial phases, student body vice president Cynthia Weber recommended that members of COR present the current draft to their individual councils.“This is a good thing for you guys to show your respective groups because not only is it fun to read, but you can get feedback,” she said.Schmidt then turned the topic of discussion to the ongoing revisions to the du Lac student handbook. Schmidt said that while student government does not get to vote on any changes, they can make recommendations to the Office of Student Affairs about issues student government has recognized as being concerns of University students.“We came up with nine concrete recommendations and so far, four of the recommendations were passed in [Campus Life Council] at their meeting this week,” Schmidt said.CLC officials recommended that du Lac clarify the use of the word “shall” in its rulings and more specifically define policies for off-campus activities. CLC also recommended the continued use of service hours as a sanction.Schmidt said clarification in wording was needed when addressing the accountability of the student in off-campus situations.“Right now it’s hard for students to understand what policies they are accountable for adhering when they are off campus,” he said. “The Indiana law doesn’t apply when students are out of the state of Indiana or abroad. We recommended that the new wording say that students are responsible for complying with the laws of the state or the country in which they are residing.”Schmidt said CLC recommended the wording of du Lac be changed from “shall” to “may” when talking about punishments.“The term ‘shall’ didn’t allow for a lot of flexibility for the Office of Residence Life [and Housing,]” he said.The remaining five recommendations, which include recommending a medical amnesty policy, will be debated when CLC resumes after Spring Break.last_img read more

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Council members get zen

first_imgOn Wednesday, a group of yogis gathered to attempt the Lord of the Dance pose. Displaying varying levels of enthusiasm, commitment and balance, most channeled their chi masterfully. This is not RecSports Pilates class, this is not Badin Hall Flirty Girl Fitness: this is the Council of Representatives (COR). Student body president Catherine Soler introduced the Hindu/Buddhist practice to COR meetings upon coming into office. She said that it gives members an opportunity to unload stress and do something fun in an otherwise serious setting. “Everyone in COR is a leader and has a really busy schedule, so I thought it would be a nice way to include a relaxation technique in a fun way to end the meetings,” she said. “As these meetings can be pretty mundane, sometimes it’s just nice to relax and do something new.” Soler said she was a fan of yoga long before coming into office and taking the lead at COR. “I’ve taken yoga classes and I buy yoga magazines and stuff like that, but I’m nowhere near a certified yoga master,” she said. “I like to think I’m more of a yogi than I probably am.” Soler said that as far as she knows, no past student body president brought any similar practice into student government meetings. Since the practice is untraditional for student government and many Council members are unfamiliar with yoga, Soler made an effort to ensure that the poses she chooses are beginner-friendly. “I’ve never heard of this before. Apparently it’s very unconventional,” she said. “I try to choose poses that are simple enough for people to follow along with, but that are also gender-neutral.” Soler said she was not the only Council member enthused about the end-of-meeting yoga exercises, whether it is apparent at the meetings or not. “Sometimes there is some eye-rolling, I’ll admit, from certain members. On the whole I think people think it’s fun,” Soler said. “Andrew [Bell, student body vice president] and Nick [Ruof, chief of staff], who don’t like to admit it, really enjoy the yoga portions of the meetings,” she said. “No comment,” Bell said. While COR tried out a variety of different poses, Soler has a few favorites. “My favorite pose we’ve done so far, well, warrior one was a hit right away. I also like the one we just did which was the Lord of the Dance pose.” To keep things interesting, Soler led Council members in other unusual relaxation practices. “We were trying to think of different mind-body exercises so we’ve done some pilates, we’ve done a little meditation, and some yoga,” she said. As far as for the future, Soler has high expectations for COR members’ development as yogis. “I’m hoping by the end of the year we’ll be able to do a whole sun salutation together as COR.”last_img read more

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Graduating seniors set to enter into service work

first_imgWhile many graduates prepare to enter the traditional work force, roughly 10 percent of the class of 2012 are set to pursue service work after graduation. Graduating senior Annie Boyle is one such student looking to make the leap into something different.  Boyle said her experiences at Notre Dame helped her decide to volunteer after graduation.  “I have committed to a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) in the Northwest. I’ll be working at a Catholic Charities organization in Spokane, Wash.,” she said. “My Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) had perhaps the greatest influence on my decision to commit to post-grad service.”  Boyle’s SSLP took her to a camp for children and teens with physical disabilities for eight weeks. She said the atmosphere at Notre Dame and the opportunity to interact with service-oriented individuals was also influential.  “The kids that I met during my SSLP exhibited more positive energy than most individuals that I know. Each had a great capacity for finding joy in life’s everyday activities, despite the physical challenges that these activities often posed,” Boyle said. “They became my own little role models for living in gratitude.”  Boyle said she looks forward to the sense of community in the JVC.   “I’m looking forward to meeting and learning from people with different life experiences than my own,” she said. “I’ll be living with five to six other volunteers.”  Boyle said her work with the JVC will help her prepare for other challenges and positions in life as she continues to be engaged with social issues.  “I think that a year, or more, of full-time service allows grads not only to deepen their awareness of social issues and work toward positive change, but also to achieve a better understanding of their personal strengths and values,” she said.  Erica Michelle Severson, a 2011 graduate who works as a patient navigator for breast cancer patients with the Redeemer Ministry Corps, said her choice to enter volunteer service gave her time to discern a future career in medicine, dentistry or other allied health fields. “Professional school is a very large commitment, so before I put a large amount of time and money into it, I wanted to be sure of the profession I chose,” she said. “Doing service is also a fabulous way to learn more about yourself in an environment you normally wouldn’t be exposed to.”  Severson said the mission of Redeemer Ministry Corps is to “Care, Comfort and Heal.” Volunteers serve in ministries throughout the Holy Redeemer Health System and the local community, she said.  Spending the summer after her sophomore year in an Summer Service Learning Project (SSLP) at Matthew 25, a free medical and dental clinic in Indiana, helped her with the decision, she said.  “I felt honored to help serve so many patients and provide them with comfort during their suffering,” she said. “The experience allowed me to witness the trials of those who are uninsured and develop a greater understanding of poverty.”  Severson said she plans to return to school for a masters program before pursuing dental school.  “After my experience working in a health system, I want to coordinate positive changes in healthcare,” she said. “I would love to found a non-profit organization or work for one in the future.”  She said graduates entering volunteer service should be patient and flexible, especially as their job tasks change throughout the year.  “Every action you perform might not be the most valuable or significant contribution, but it is necessary to perform to the work you’re doing,” Severson said. “Remember this year is a learning experience.”  Many seniors who are participating in service work after graduation discerned their path of volunteerism with the help of the Center for Social Concerns (CSC).  Michael Hebbeler, director of Student Leadership and Senior Transitions at the CSC, said the Senior Transitions Program is designed to assist students who hope to integrate social concerns into their postgraduate careers.  “The CSC is committed to helping students discern their vocation, whether it’s through seminar immersions, summer service-learning programs, theological reflection, the study of Catholic Social Teaching or local volunteer service,” he said.  Hebbeler said a special commencement ceremony will be held in honor of students entering volunteer service on May 19 in the Leighton Concert Hall of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Speakers will include University President Fr. John Jenkins, Bill Lies, CSC executive director and Katie Bergin, a 1994 graduate who volunteered with the Holy Cross in Chile.  Hebbeler said students entering post-graduate service work should be open to where the experience may take them.  “Recognize that the greatest challenges and sorrows just might lead to the greatest growth, to celebrate the joys, and to trust,” he said.last_img read more

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We are made for this moment’

first_imgWASHINGTON – On Monday morning, most Notre Dame students in South Bend woke up and went to class on campus. On Monday morning, another group of Notre Dame students woke up and, instead of trudging through the snow to class or the dining hall, stood in front of the U.S. Capitol Building to watch President Barack Obama publicly swear his oath of office to begin his second term. These students are members of the University’s Washington Program, a semester-long experience working, studying and living in Washington, D.C. Junior Wendy Hatch spent her morning in the crowd, squinting at the small figures in the distance on the steps of the Capitol. But as she pursues her goals in politics, she might not be so far from those steps during inaugurations to come. “In four years, we could be one of those people sitting in one of those chairs … next to President Obama,” Hatch said. “We could be senators, representatives, in Congress, in someone’s cabinet. We’re smart, we’re capable. If we wanted that position, if we wanted to be that person, we could be.” The alternative study abroad program thrusts students with interest in politics or journalism into the heart of current affairs in the nation’s capital. As Obama resumes his work in the Oval Office, Hatch said she appreciated the message of bipartisan cooperation she heard in his inaugural address. She has studied the ideological divide of the past Congress, she said, and his words were perhaps a reminder of what the country needs most right now. “This is the mantra of Congress right now, that we need to come together,” Hatch said. “I really believe that is incredibly true.” Junior Mia Counts, who stood with Hatch in the crowd, said she felt Obama’s inaugural speech was “timely,” as he addressed a range of issues like immigration, gay rights and education. “I thought it was very appropriate and the fact that he addressed issues that we all need to work on … they’re not Democrat or Republican issues,” she said. “They’re American issues.” Before Counts was born, her grandmother immigrated to the United States from Mexico to earn her college degree. Her family history has prompted her to follow issues like immigration closely, she said, and she hopes to see Obama address that debate seriously in his second term. So when she heard the inaugural address Monday, she said she hopes the president’s words would motivate all members of Congress and government to work together for action on immigration and education. “I thought it was something that isn’t always easy to hear, that maybe we aren’t doing the best job at communicating and talking to each other and doing the things we should be doing,” she said. “So it’s a good wake-up call.” Junior Brian Vogt stepped onto the National Mall for the inauguration ceremony as a minority in the crowd during – in the midst of “Obama” chants, he said he was a voter who had not cast his ballot for the president in November. “As someone who didn’t vote for President Obama, it reassures me when you can hear in his voice how seriously he takes his office,” Vogt said. “He’s still the president of the United States, so I support him 100 percent. Maybe I disagree with his politics, but I support him.” No matter the party allegiances of those in the crowd, Vogt said the whole experience felt “uniting.” “It’s nice to see for once the politicians to take a moment, to recognize how special it is what they do and not just be all about [partisanship,]” he said. Vogt said he was impressed with Obama’s repetition of the phrase “We the people” throughout his inaugural address. “When you’re little, you think government is this big thing out there,” he said. “But [the government] is exactly what we are, what we want. … There’s nothing America can’t accomplish if we come together. “It gave me a lot of hope and I was just really proud to be American.” In the midst of Obama’s call to compromise, Hatch said she was disappointed to see evidence of partisan divide at the inauguration. A protestor near her spot in the crowd had climbed a tree to yell anti-Obama messages through the entire ceremony, and members of the crowd booed when vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, former vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket, appeared on the television screens. Hatch said she would have hoped to see more deference to the day’s purpose – the successful inauguration of a president – rather than party divide. “I thought it was a little disrespectful,” she said. “We’re here to inaugurate a president. I know Obama and [First Lady Michelle Obama] have made statements earlier in the week that this [inauguration] is supposed to be celebrating democracy and what it means to e American and the American dream … especially now when we need more bipartisanship, more cooperation in Congress.” Whatever the next four years may hold, Hatch said the inauguration reminded her that she is studying in the nation’s capital at a critical point in United States history. “I felt really very lucky that I got to be here as a part of the D.C. program through Notre Dame,” she said. “It was awesome to be a part of that.”last_img read more

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Justice Education drive helps Dismas House

first_imgThe Justice Education Department of Saint Mary’s College conducts its first clothing drive from March 17 to April 17 and will sell donated clothing at a “Just Shop Boutique” on April 25. All proceeds from the boutique benefit the men and women of the Dismas House.Junior Meredith Mersits said the Dismas House is an organization in South Bend that serves both men and women who are former offenders.“The house enables them to get back on their feet after incarceration and learn skills to apply after leaving Dismas House,” she said.Mersits said the organization not only helps support individuals, but also promotes key moral values.“We are giving all of monetary proceeds to Dismas to further directly support the population of former offending individuals because people deserve second chances, as well as justice, dignity and worth,” she said.Mersits said there are currently donation boxes located throughout Saint Mary’s campus, including in Spes Unica, Madeleva, Moreau, Angela Athletic Facility, the Student Center, ECDC, Admission Office and the Welcome Center.Beginning April 7, residence halls will also have boxes accepting clothing for both men and women and individuals of all ages, she said.“Please wash all clothes and make sure they are in good condition,” Mersits said. “We would also really appreciate professional clothing to serve the former offending women population.”Mersits said the Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and South Bend community are encouraged to come to the “Just Shop Boutique” in the Student Center’s A, B and C conference rooms. According to Mersits, the boutique will have clothing, accessories and shoes, and sales will be based on donations.Besides aiding the organization financially, Mersits said the Justice Education Department also hopes to spread awareness of injustice by educating students.“Justice Education is about advocating and bringing awareness to topics that do not get light shed on them and also pursuing a change,” she said. “Another aspect of Justice Education is not just talking about what we could do, but going out and doing it.”Mersits said this call to action is reflected in the goal of the organization to support a population of offenders who do not necessarily receive justice after gaining freedom.“These men and women go through rough situations even before incarceration, especially women who experience sexual and domestic abuse,” she said. “Also, in many cases, most crimes that incarcerated women commit are not the most dangerous crimes.“After incarceration, offenders face a harsh world with the inability to vote, apply for SNAP [food stamps]. They have to find housing, most likely in a rough area, [and] sometimes their children are not returned to them. [They may have] no job, no source of income.”Mersits said excess clothing from the drive is donated to Good Will, which also supports former offenders by offering a work program to help them get back on their feet.Freshman Mairead Zigulich said she recently donated items to the clothing drive.“It felt really good to donate knowing that I was able to be a part of someone’s progress and growth, even from a small action,” she said. “It’s great that our community is able to encourage and help the residents get a second chance.”Zigulich said the boutique benefits those who otherwise could not afford some of the items and will sponsor increased community engagement on campus.“I think that by integrating Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame along with the South Bend community will spark further volunteerism not only with the Dismas House, but other local organizations as well,” she said. Tags: Clothing Drive, Just Shop Boutiquelast_img read more

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SMC backs sustainability

first_imgTags: consumerism, Dooney Grant, Justice Education, Justice Fridays, Lyles-Chockley, sustainability Junior Bri O’Brien, co-chair for sustainability at Saint Mary’s College, gave a presentation on sustainable consumerism Friday as part of the Justice Fridays lecture series.O’Brien, who won the Dooley Grant for Justice Education this year, is conducting an independent study with philosophy professor Adrienne Lyles-Chockley on sustainable education. She said she wants to encourage student involvement in sustainability events on campus.“We are killing the world faster than we can fix it,” she said.Juniors Meredith Mersits and Molly Smith, fellow grant recipients, also attended the event.“There are obviously dumb ways to sho,  so buying the unsustainable is one of these ways,” Mersits said.Showing a documentary about the creation of chocolate, O’Brien unmasked the “ugly truth” of the unsustainable practices used in the creation of some of American’s favorite foods. She discussed child labor and unsustainable means of extracting energy.“Even though these appear good, they are not,” O’Brien said. “These items are given to us in unethical methods.”O’Brien said the commitment to saving the planet involves every aspect of the College.“Establishing strong relations between our campus and sustainable efforts, it is extremely important to get everyone involved from the administration to alumnae and student body,” she said.Following the presentation, O’Brien opened the floor to small group discussion.“’The Cove’ is a documentary that shows unsustainable practices in Japan,” senior Jessica Richmond said. “You all should look into it and learn about the unsustainable crimes in Japan.”Smith stressed the goal of the need for a student movement toward sustainability.“We wanted to work to connect the student body to sustainable approaches,” she said.last_img read more

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Visiting professor links architecture, community health

first_imgThe state of national public health has been influenced by a surprising factor: the architecture of America’s cities.Richard J. Jackson, pediatrician and professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, spoke Monday night about the correlation between America’s infrastructure and the diminishing state of health most Americans are experiencing.Buildings are “agents of health,” he said, and effective urban planning can promote physical, mental and social health.“Architecture is the hardware of building communities, the software are the festivals and the culture and the programs,” Jackson said. “If you want people to be physically active, you have to create environments that entice them and that support them.”The fixation on emergency care methods has trumped preventative measures, Jackson said.“We’ve essentially medicalized environmentally induced diseases … rather than change the environment we’re living in,” Jackson said.He said the stratification caused by socioeconomic status contributes to obesity and, for many people, obesity is out of their control, as the food deserts in their neighborhood provided them with inadequate and unhealthy food options.“The more we stratify populations, the less people grow up better equipped for the diversity of the world,” he said. ”Economic diversity is equally important.”Two factors have had a larger impact than medical care when it comes to increasing life expectancy in the United States, Jackson said.“We think that medical care is what’s really prolonging life span in the United States, but actually only five years of the 30 years of increased life expectancy can be attributed to medical care and the other 25 years … come from immunization and infrastructure,” Jackson said. “We’re underfunding prevention over and over again.”Under the category of infrastructure, Jackson said cleaner air, better ventilation and clean water were just a few factors among many that could improve America’s national health, and urban planning must be approached with the intention of designing a city that encouraged its citizens to engage in physical activity, such as walking.“We have removed 60,000 square miles of photosynthesis just in the United States to meet the needs of cars,” Jackson said. “Every city in America puts huge amounts of money in roadways and lets sidewalks starve. … It’s malpractice for a doctor to tell a patient to go for a walk if there’s no place to walk. It’s malpractice to tell a person to eat healthy if all the healthy food costs five times as much and there’s no way for them to get there to get it.”After finishing medical school, Jackson said he focused on combining his desire to engage in social issues with his belief that the community could be empowered with science. He said his main fear with public health was that the issue was being dealt with at the end of the pipeline as opposed to the root cause of the problem.“It is the right time to have a vision,” Jackson said. “I think what’s happening is sustainability and health are now merging, and they are common threads of what we need to be doing.”Tags: health, sustainabilitylast_img read more

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Belles first years experience Saint Mary’s traditions

first_imgCaitlyn Jordan | The Observer A student has a free passport photo taken during Saint Mary’s study abroad fair. The fair introduces incoming students to the college’s study abroad opportunities.“The ceremony at the end of our orientation was a great way to send off our parents and it was very powerful,” Pierret said, “The speeches that were given during that ceremony were very moving and seeing my whole class like that at once was awesome, especially when the candles were lit.”Fellow first-year Kayla Knapke also said she found the “Closing the Circle” ceremony to be a memorable part of the weekend. “It was cool to take part in that tradition and it was great to finally get a look at every girl in our entire class to end orientation,” Knapke said. “‘Closing the Circle’ tied together our first weekend perfectly.”Tags: Belles Beginnings, Jan Cervelli, Saint Mary’s Orientation After a busy orientation weekend, members of the Saint Mary’s class of 2020 are ready the start of their first years as Belles.  Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer A Saint Mary’s first-year student attends an orientation event before Domerfest. Students participated in icebreakers and watched the Undertones perform.First-year orientation at the College this year consisted of a number of speeches made by Saint Mary’s new president Jan Cervelli, other administrators and fellow Belles. First-year Kristen Smith said she noticed a common theme of campus safety around many of the speeches.“I liked those speeches about safety because we were assured that this campus is trying it’s best to be safe place and I really feel secure here with a campus focused on protecting us.” Smith said. “With that though, we are reminded of the dangers that come with going out. Sexual assault was a huge point of many speakers, and we were reminded we need to watch out for each other.”Another important topic of this year’s orientation was internet safety. Smith said this was essential to talk about at colleges, especially with first-year students.“Internet safety was a good focus point because as the internet is becoming a more useful way to talk to new people. However, they told us how this can lead to danger,” Smith said. “In the midst of all the excitement, Saint Mary’s was good at emphasizing all kinds of safety. It’s a good thing for us just starting off alone, they made us cautious and feel safe.”Highlights of the weekend also involved meeting new people according to first-year Kaitlin Emmett. Emmett said she was excited to arrive on campus and this weekend was perfect for her to finally meet and bond with her new classmates in person.“Meeting people was so fun and so easy, it was so cool to find all the people from social media,” Emmett said. First-year Clare Pierret said her favorite part of the weekend was DomerFest, an organized gathering at the University for all first-years. “DomerFest was definitely the best part of the weekend for me. It was great meeting a lot of really nice new people,” Pierret said.One of Pierret’s favorite parts of orientation weekend was the “Closing the Circle” ceremony which has been a tradition at Saint Mary’s for many years.last_img read more

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Walsh Hall rector explains roots of community, tradition

first_imgWalsh Hall, situated on God  Quad, first housed students in 1909 and was one of the first dorms to be converted into a women’s dorm in 1972. Named after former-University President Thomas Walsh, Walsh prides itself on being a place of tradition and community, Walsh rector Liz Detwiler said.“Two … things have come in to clearer focus over the time I’ve been here,” Detwiler, who has been rector since 2014, said. “They are the pillars of safety, inclusion and community flourishing, which are values that our community prioritizes. Everything we do stems from an interest in achieving these goals.” Sarah Olson Walsh Hall prides itself on its sense of community and tradition according to rector Liz Detwiler.Detwiler said residents of the hall faced big changes recently, especially when the dorm was being renovated Walsh residents lived in Pangborn Hall.“I think ever since I first came here, Walsh has been growing a lot,” Detwiler said. “ … The community first had to transition to me as a new rector and then transition to the idea of living in a different hall for a year while ours got renovated, and then transition to actually living in that hall and preparing to move back, as well as transitioning and moving into their newly renovated home this year.”Detwiler said that during her four years as rector, Walsh has won Hall of the Year or Women’s Hall of the Year three times.“This community knows how to rally together, build fruitful relationships and create great programs even when faced with challenge,” she said.Detwiler said the Walsh experience is one of a deep and proud tradition.“The traditions that we have often involve all of us doing something altogether,” she said. “We may be a small hall, but everyone is very invested. I would say events like the Thanksgiving sustainability dinner — which attracts at least 100 people to come and gather in gratitude with our Walsh family before many of us go home to our own families — is really special to the hall.”Sophomore Walsh resident Viktoria Teneqexhi said she enjoys the community and tradition in the dorm.“It’s been amazing,” she said. “It’s so much better than being off-campus. The community is really strong … You can tell that everyone really cares about you and your well being. One of the biggest Walsh traditions is Mr. ND, and that was in the fall … It’s kind of like a talent show … where you have different males come in and do comedy or singing or whatever their act is”Detwiler said the sense of community in Walsh is longstanding and includes a Welcome Weekend tradition specific to Walsh that is also rooted in Catholicism.“At the end of Welcome Weekend, we invite our new first year students into our chapel, the Chapel of the Visitation, to close out Welcome Weekend with a reflection on what our Walsh love means,” she said. “We offer a prayer service led by the Hall Staff and the Welcome Team that illustrates for the first years how our Walsh love flows from the example of Mary literally overcoming great obstacles to accompany Elizabeth in her time of need and to share divine love with her. Their example of love, friendship and family serves as the foundation on which we model our own community.”Tags: dorm features, God quad, Mr. ND, Walsh Halllast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s valedictorian Melissa Henry shares academic advice

first_imgEditor‘s note: This is the third of a five-part series profiling the valedictorians of Saint Mary‘s class of 2018.Melissa Henry is one of Saint Mary’s five valedictorians this year. Although she worked hard to achieve this standing, her focus over the course of her four years at the College was to get involved and form relationships with all those in the Saint Mary’s community. Henry, who will pursue a doctorate of audiology at Vanderbilt University after graduating, said she hopes to use hearing technology to work with clients who are in varying stages of life. “I went into audiology because of hearing technology and so I hope to be doing hearing and cochlear implants with a lifespan,” she said. “I’ve worked at the convent the past four years with the sisters but I’ve also been in the pre-school setting, so I love people of all ages and would like to work with a lifespan of people.”Henry said she first learned about Saint Mary’s from her mother, who had fallen in love with the beauty of the campus. “I did a tour in November and then I ended up coming back to observe [professor] Susan Latham’s class and just by sitting in the classroom I knew that this is where I wanted to be,” she said. Henry has majors in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) and Psychology. As the only audiology student in her graduating class, she said she has been busy performing hearing evaluations and gaining the hands-on experiences other students usually do not get until graduate school. “I am doing an independent study with Dr. [Rhonda] Tomenko, so I see two clients per week and I perform hearing evaluations,” she said. “That’s been great because I’ll go to graduate school with so many hours of experience.”Henry said she did not realize she could be a potential candidate for valedictorian until her sophomore year. “With freshman year, everyone comes in just trying to get through it,” she said. “I got all A’s those first two semesters and I didn’t think much of it. And then fall semester of my sophomore year, I sat down with my advisor who looked at my transcript and said that I could be valedictorian — and I said, yeah, right. But ever since she mentioned that, it was a possibility for me. I was going to try for it, but it wasn’t the be-all-end-all for me.”The hardest part of a Saint Mary’s education is wanting to embrace all the opportunities the school has to offer, Henry said. “The most difficult part is wanting to be involved in everything,” she said. “Saint Mary’s students are so involved. It’s probably because of the small campus, but, there’s times where I’ve realized you can’t do it all and it’s kind of sad that there’s only twenty-four hours in a day. You have to make choices about what to be involved in.”However, Henry said students should try to get involved in as much as they can during their four years.  “Getting involved is such an important part of becoming a part of the Saint Mary’s community,” she said. “It allows you to form relationships with all sorts of people.”Henry said she will miss the students, faculty and staff who make up the Saint Mary’s community.“The campus is beautiful but without the people we just wouldn’t have what we have here,” she said. “I love meeting new people and I love that I can just walk around campus and see plenty of people I know.”Diligent attendance and reaching out to professors are the keys to becoming a successful student, Henry said.“Up until this year, I have never missed a college class,” she said. “Some people call me crazy, but honestly, there were times when my grade was on the brink but it was the attendance, the participation that helped. As well, taking advantage of that professors has to offer you in terms of resources, assistance and guidance is really how I got to where I am.”   Saint Mary’s encourages leadership and inspires confidence for all those who consider the College to be their home, Henry said. “Saint Mary’s has given me the confidence to go for what I want,” she said. “The College has allowed me to realize my potential as a leader. I’ve had a lot of professors who have expressed their belief that I will be successful and that support will propel me forward, knowing that these amazing people feel that I have this great potential.”Tags: 2018 Commencement, class of 2018, saint mary’s valedictorians 2018, smc valedictorian, valedictorianlast_img read more

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