Stephanie Mola graduated from Notre Dame in 2009 and moved to Florida to work for Johnson & Johnson, but a “Notre Dame itch” brought her back to South Bend a year later. “Along the way there just seemed to be a big part of me missing and a lot of it pointed me back here,” she said. “And this just kind of fell in my lap and seemed like the perfect fit.” Now, as the Notre Dame Alumni Association’s young alumni programs manager, Mola is one of many young graduates to work for her alma mater. While Mola said she is happy to be back at Notre Dame, there are differences between being a student on campus and being an employee. For example, she said students are not necessarily aware of the number of people who work on campus as full-time University employees. “Now I walk around and see all these people I work with that I didn’t really know existed before,” she said. One difficult part of returning to Notre Dame as an employee, Mola said, is separating herself from student life because she has friends who are still undergraduates. As a former Notre Dame softball player, it is especially difficult for her to be on campus but no longer playing with the rest of the team. “It’s hard to seem them. It’s hard to go by the field and hear about them going to practice, and I’m not going with them,” she said. Because Mola graduated recently, however, she said she is better able to do her job at the Alumni Association, where she organizes programs for both for current students and alumni who graduated within the past 10 years. Mola said she has also learned since she began working at the Alumni Association that people who work for the University, even if they are not alumni, are just as enthusiastic about Notre Dame as the student body. “I guess an easy parallel from both perspectives is Notre Dame’s pretty well-known for having great people,” she said. “Everybody here is so welcoming and wants you to do well, just like when you were a student.” Mola said she does not know what she will do in the future, especially since her current position is best filled by a young alum. She said she would be open, however, to other positions at the University. “I’ll tell you, I left this place once and it’s going to be hard to do it again,” she said. “So I can definitely see myself staying here for a long time.” John Whitty, a 2010 Notre Dame graduate who now works for the athletic department’s Joyce Grants-in-Aid Program, said he also experienced a transition from being a student to being a University employee. Unlike Mola, Whitty began working for Notre Dame immediately following graduation. “I think it’s definitely a different experience working for a university than attending a university, but it’s been a good opportunity to see the different sides of the University as a whole,” Whitty said. “And I’m bummed that my card doesn’t work at the dining hall anymore.” He currently works with donors who give enough to the Athletic Department each year to fund one student athlete’s scholarship. Whitty did not plan to stay at Notre Dame following graduation, but he began working in the athletic department during the second semester of his senior year. “As the semester progressed, I talked to my superiors and they expressed interest in keeping me,” he said. “It was pretty much too good of an opportunity to pass up. So I decided to stay here and it’s actually worked out pretty well.” Because he works for the athletic department, Whitty said the contrast between his life and that of undergraduate students is perhaps best exemplified on home football weekends. “I get to see a lot of insider stuff from places we take the donors, but it’s definitely not … the student weekend football experience,” he said. “I’m pretty busy on football weekends, but I definitely don’t get to tailgate.” Although he would like to go to graduate school for business or sports administration in the future, Whitty said he is happy in his current role at the University. “I like where I’m at right now, but I’m always open to options other places as well,” he said. “There’s no question that if there were positions available … I would stay at Notre Dame.” Sarah Rodts, also a 2009 Notre Dame graduate, began working for the University’s athletics media relations office following graduation. Rodts had planned to go to law school following graduation, but said she realized last spring she was not passionate about it. During the final semester of her senior year, she cancelled her plans to work at a law firm in Chicago and decided to work toward her dream of being a sports broadcast reporter. Now, she splits her time between two jobs: one at Notre Dame, and one at WNDU, a local television station. “In terms of whether or not I thought I would end up doing it last year at this time, absolutely not, … but as it’s all falling into place, it could not be more perfect,” Rodts said. “I’m learning a lot about athletics and how it is to work in the media, but then I’m on the other side of it, too.” Rodts said one of the highlights of working for athletics media relations thus far was serving as the University liaison to an Adidas production crew that came to campus on a football weekend to shoot a commercial. While it is difficult to transition from student life to working 13-hour days, seven days a week, Rodts was prepared for the change. “I was going to have to separate my undergrad life from the post-grad life,” she said. In addition, she said her busy work schedule does not allow her much time to miss being a student. Even though she was prepared to face this transition, Rodts said it is hard when she does not have time to see her friends who are still undergraduates. But her current positions are perfect for her planned career path, and she is happy to remain at Notre Dame. “I’m still so much a part of the University, and I don’t feel like graduation has made me any less a part of it,” she said.
A snow removal ordinance recently passed in of South Bend may penalize off-campus students who do not clear their sidewalks in front of their houses within 24 hours of snow accumulation. Student body president Catherine Soler said the new ordinance reinforces a policy that was already in place in South Bend. “It’s been a long conversation in community meetings about people not shoveling their sidewalks, not just students but everyone,” Soler said. The new ordinance will impose a fine of $15 to start and $25 for noncompliance if a sidewalk is not cleared within 24 hours after snowfall, according to The South Bend Tribune. Soler said student government believes off-campus students choose to be a part of the South Bend community and therefore assume all the responsibilities of a regular resident. “We are members of the community,” Soler said. “If we want to be respected in other ways we have to participate as a normal citizen would.” Although students will be responsible for their sidewalks while school is in session, student government is in the midst of figuring out how to help students over breaks, Soler said. “We want to make sure that students who are away over break aren’t penalized,” Soler said. “Hopefully we can work out a system and provide volunteers.” Soler said the University hopes to create a volunteer system to help both off-campus students and those in the local community who are not able to shovel outside their homes. This project was still in planning stages, but Soler said Notre Dame and other local colleges want to set up a database of students willing to be contacted after snowfall in the area. The various leasing companies around Notre Dame have different policies regarding shoveling. Mark Kramer, owner of Kramer Properties, said his policy is to shovel snow for students over breaks and after the heaviest snowfalls, but his tenants are responsible for clearing their sidewalks after light snowfall. “If it’s just a light snow then it’s in their lease that students will take care of that part themselves,” Kramer said. Senior Elise Gerspach leased her off-campus house through Kramer Properties. She said she agrees Kramer should be responsible for shoveling over breaks and the students should be accountable for their sidewalks while they are at school. However, some companies will shovel for their tenants after any amount of snowfall. “It’s definitely an annoyance especially considering our next-door neighbor’s landlord did shovel for them last time it snowed,” Gerspach said. “Their sidewalk was literally shoveled right up to the borderline between our houses.” One such landlord is Campus Housing, a leasing company managed by Campus Apartments. Property manager Sean Conley said his company shovels for its residents throughout the winter. “We make sure everything’s cleaned for our students,” Conley said. “We’re constantly removing snow from sidewalks and if they have driveways then clearing the driveways.” Conley said Campus Houses takes pride in the fact that their maintenance staff and landscapers keep their sidewalks clean. “We don’t want to make it our students’ responsibilities,” Conley said. “We just want people to feel safe walking out their doors.” Driving on snowy roads is also a concern for many students. Gerspach said she would like to see the city become more efficient in their own removal of snow on the streets. “Maybe if my car didn’t slide out of control on my way to campus every time it snows I’d be more willing to shovel my sidewalk,” Gerspach said.
Welsh Family Hall will bring together dance groups ranging in style from swing to hip-hop this weekend in its annual signature event, DanceFest 2012. Junior Anna Gorman said the goal of DanceFest is to highlight the performing arts culture at Notre Dame. “The DanceFest started as a way to showcase dance groups on campus because not too many are aware they exist or find them interesting,” Gorman said. “We have dancers on campus who are absolutely phenomenal and deserve more attention than they currently receive.” DanceFest will take place Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Washington Hall. The show will feature numbers from Dance Company, TransPose, Project Fresh, the Pom Squad, Troop ND, the Irish Dance Team and Swing Club, along with a few group performances choreographed specifically for the show. Gorman said she hopes the DanceFest’s collaborative nature will entice students to attend one of this weekend’s performances. “People don’t necessarily want to go to all the different dance shows, but this gives them a taste of the different companies in one sitting,” Gorman said. “Hopefully, attending one show will spark their interest, and they will recognize the impressiveness of dance.” Gorman said though all the performers share an enthusiasm for dance, each group participating in DanceFest brings its own unique style to the show. “When you see the dancers on stage, you can see their passion, and you can tell their having a great time dancing under the lights and having an audience to enjoy their performance,” Gorman said. Sophomore Katie Fusco, a member of the TransPose modern dance company, said DanceFest builds a stronger campus arts culture for students. “The chance to collaborate with all of the dance groups on campus is an opportunity invaluable to fostering a supportive performing arts community at Notre Dame,” Fusco said. Gorman said proceeds from the DanceFest will benefit the Robinson Community Center’s Summer Shakespeare Program in support of the performing arts. “We hope our efforts will give more kids the opportunity to express themselves artistically through the Shakespeare program,” Gorman said.
As part of Love Your Body Week at Saint Mary’s, Emily Raleigh, founder of the online magazine “Smart Girls Group,” shared how the magazine began and why it is important for all girls to be smart girls. Raleigh, a freshman at Fordham University, brainstormed “Smart Girls Group” one year ago when she wrote her younger sister a guide to getting through high school. The guide discussed fashion, peer pressure, classes and social life. “When I was younger, I used to dress up and say, ‘Mommy, do I look like a smart girl?’” Raleigh said. “So, when I was thinking of my sister’s Christmas present my senior year of high school, I really wanted to give her something meaningful and I decided to pull from this idea of being a smart girl. My family then really pushed me to get it published and pursue it.” After Raleigh decided to develop the concept as a magazine, she contacted girls from her community and elsewhere, she said. The group expanded from there. Today, “Smart Girls Group” is published once a month. The organization started college chapters, runs daily blogs and now has more than 150 contributors from 10 countries. “‘Smart Girls Group’ is all about connecting and inspiring girls from all over to be smart girls,” Raleigh said. “We offer a supporting environment that cultivates empowerment within girls.” She said the magazine and overall organization use blogs, articles and personal stories of high school and college women to provide girls with a healthy support network. “What is unique about our group is that all the girls who are writing or contributing to the group are high school- or college-aged,” Raleigh said. “You will not find anyone our moms’ age writing for the magazine and I think that is very important. When girls go on our website and read our magazine, they are hearing from girls going through many of the same experiences as they are.” The magazine covers an array of topics from politics to fashion to relationships, Raleigh said. It also offers advice on how to be a smart girl. She said being a smart girl starts with finding your “I am’s” and using positive language as an essential tool for breaking down barriers. “I think that being a leader and being a smart girl starts with how we speak,” Raleigh said. “When we say things like ‘I can’t,’ we are unconsciously putting up barriers for ourselves. Saying ‘I am’ and using positive language is the first step in being a smart girl.” The next step is finding your smarts, Raleigh said. “‘The Smart Girls Group’ helps you grab your passions,” Raleigh said. “We help you find things that interest you. I always had an interest in girl power and technology, and founding this group has allowed me to bridge those two passions. That is what we would like to do for our smart girls.” Raleigh said once a girl finds her passion, she should determine her goals and make plans. “Ask yourself what can I start doing today? Make sure these goals are something you can control,” Raleigh said. “You do not want to leave your destiny up to somebody else.” Raleigh stressed the importance of independent leadership and surrounding yourself with positive people. “You want to surround yourself by people that lift you up higher,” she said. “This means your friends, boyfriends, whatever. Find people that lift you up.” Raleigh encouraged those in the audience to find their own inner smart girls and set the world on fire. “Take your smarts and your passions to help change a part of the world,” she said. “There are so many ways we can all impact others’ lives in some way. Find your smart girl and set the world on fire.”
In the beginning, the University of Notre Dame was a log chapel alongside a lake in northern Indiana. Following the chapel’s construction, a church was built, and this same church became the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. Sacred Heart Church, now the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, was consecrated on August 15, 1888. Fr. Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica, said the building’s exterior has not changed since that day in 1888, although it took four additional years to complete the spire and bell tower. “Fr. Sorin was very progressive in terms of education theory, but he was very conservative in his tastes,” Rocca said. “The bells in the tower were made in France, and all the stained glass windows came from France. In the Basilica, we have maybe the largest collection of 19th century French stained glass in one place.” The original Sacred Heart Church was 90 feet long by 38 feet wide, Rocca said. Because the original structure was torn down as the second one was constructed, he said the two represent a continuity of communities although the exterior building changed. When the history is traced back to the 1847 origins, the current Basilica is the oldest church built in North America by the Congregation of Holy Cross, according to Rocca. Acknowledging its historical significance and lasting vitality, Pope John Paul II declared the church a basilica on Jan. 17, 1992. “Basilica is an honorary title given to a church for a number of reasons,” Rocca said. “First, it has to have great historical significance… and another reason would be because it’s a place of pilgrimage. We usually have 100,000 people visit the Basilica each year. Thirdly, usually a church that is designated a basilica is a living, vibrant community of faith, and our Basilica is a place where worship is celebrated regularly. “Finally, a church that has been dedicated a basilica should be beautiful and well taken care of. It’s no doubt that the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is one of the most beautiful churches around.” The designation as basilica followed a 14-month multi-million dollar renovation financed by former University trustee Thomas Coleman, Rocca said. “[During this renovation], all the frescos were redone and all the stained glass windows were cleaned,” he said. “The church received new lighting, air conditioning, carpeting and a whole new slate roof. “It was especially important that those paintings be restored because many of them had been covered with dust and dirt and incense smoke and had become dull. They were redone using the same method used in the Sistine Chapel to restore Michaelangelo’s frescoes.” Rocca said the completion of the spire with the bell tower in 1892 represented the fulfillment of one of Fr. Sorin’s dreams. “One of the reasons Fr. Sorin wanted a nice bell tower was because he had been buying all these bells in the 1850s. He loved bells,” Rocca said. “These bells were made in France, and the first Sacred Heart Church had two wooden towers that could not support bells. “For the longest time, he was collecting these bells from France, and he built a giant black crate in front of the Main Building to hold the bells until he could build a proper tower for them.” The bells currently housed in the spire of the Basilica are the same ones acquired by Sorin, Rocca said. “There are 23 bells up there plus one additional bell that weighs eight tons,” he said. “The 23 form what is called a carillon, which means the bells can play carols or tunes. We believe that this is the oldest carillon in North America.” Rocca said the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is not synonymous with Sacred Heart Parish, which is housed in the crypt of the building and is a “totally separate operation” with its own pastor and programming. The only person buried in the basilica proper is former University president John Francis Cardinal O’Hara, who led Notre Dame before World War II, he said. O’Hara served in the military archdiocese and went on to be the bishop of Buffalo, New York, and archbishop of Philadelphia, Penn. “The story goes that the people of Philadelphia loved Cardinal O’Hara and… they wanted him to be buried in the crypt of the cathedral in Philadelphia,” Rocca said. “But Cardinal O’Hara wanted to be buried with his fellow Holy Cross priests and brothers in our Holy Cross cemetery here. “Apparently, after he died they realized there was a Church law that forbade cardinals from being buried underground, so he could not be buried in the community cemetery. Instead, they buried him in the then-Sacred Heart Church.” Though the true 125th anniversary occurred on August 15, Rocca said a celebration was held on August 16th to commemorate the original consecration while still observing the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on the 15th. A “pick-up choir” made up of mostly past and current members of Notre Dame’s liturgical choir sang for the Mass celebrated by Holy Cross Bishop Daniel Jenky of the diocese of Peoria, Ill., he said. “Following the Mass, there was a grand reception for everyone in the rotunda of the Main Building,” Rocca said. “Following the reception, there was a dinner for about 90 invited guests on the 14th floor of the Hesburgh Library, which was the perfect location because it has an incredible view of the side of the Basilica, the same view it would have been so long ago.” Contact Ann Marie Jakubowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our world is changing.Or, better yet, it has changed right in front of us with the creation of the internet. Those of us in college right now are some of the last people who will remember life before the internet, before our world changed.The way we consume news, hear about stories and share experiences has changed because of dot-coms, social media and blogs.But in our little world in the basement of South Dining Hall, we have always had one goal in mind since Nov. 3, 1966: To uncover the truth and report it accurately. We have worked the last 47 years to serve the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community with that statement at the forefront of our operations.So in order to continue our mission, we at The Observer felt as though we could better serve you — the student body, faculty and community — with a new website, one that fits your needs, schedules and curiosities.Over the past year, we have been working on getting it perfect, from a more appealing design to more user-friendly components. After all, this website is for you, the reader. We realize you most likely get your news online, and we are here to cater to you.We wanted to make this about you, so we went for a more interactive, simpler design that will make it easier for you to access our content in ways that you have never been able to before.Our new commenting system links your Facebook, Twitter or Google account to an article, blog or video that will create a more interactive realm for students, faculty and others to gather and create their own forum within a story. You can now share photos with us of events on campus or in the surrounding community. You can also directly submit letters to the editor online for the next day’s issue.Starting next week, you can view any of our student-life video features on the new YouTube ribbon on our home page or view a PDF version of our daily print edition from your laptop, tablet or computer and flip through the pages yourself if you didn’t make it to campus.By no means is this a competing venture with our award-winning print newspaper. We have seen this happen all too often with other outlets and newspapers around the country. What we wanted to do with our new website is create a supplementary experience that goes hand-in-hand with our daily newspaper and provides an additional, interactive service to the community — such as multimedia features and up-to-the-minute breaking news, among other features — that you wouldn’t be able to have by picking up our paper.We at The Observer are lucky to not face the same challenges that affect the rest of the newspaper industry with subscriber-based production. We are lucky to have you, the people who pick up our paper every day and make it what it is. Because of you, our newspaper will live on and continue our mission.We just thought we could show our gratitude for journeying with us in a changing world. (Just bear with us as we break in the site.) Check out our new world at ndsmcobserver.com and please let us know what you think. After all, this is for you, the reader.Tags: Andrew Gastelum, Internet, ndsmcobserver.com, The Observer, website
On Tuesday, Saint Mary’s President Carol Ann Mooney announced her retirement after the 2015-2016 academic year.At that point, Mooney will have led Saint Mary’s for 12 years as its first lay alumna president.Mary Burke, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said in a press release that the Board is grateful for all Mooney accomplished during her tenure as president.“Her most lasting legacy will be the Faith Always, Action Now campaign, the most successful capital campaign in our history, raising $105 million which will benefit generations of future Saint Mary’s students through scholarships and improved facilities,” Burke said.Mooney’s legacy as 11th president of the College will include the formation of three graduate programs that were announced earlier this year. In addition, the College’s endowment increased to over $160 million in spite of the Great Recession, the press release said.During her tenure, the College has increased the percentage of the student body from historically underrepresented groups from nine to 19. She also oversaw the establishment of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) to support and educate students on sexual and dating violence.In her final academic year, Mooney will oversee the College’s reaccreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, complete fundraising for the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex and obtain approval of a new master plan for the campus.Another priority during her last year as president will be to chair the newly announced Presidential Task Force on Sexual Violence, which will be made up of students, faculty and staff members. The task force will recommend ways to further improve the College’s efforts to prevent sexual assault and misconduct and to assist and support student survivors of sexual assault.The Task Force was announced in the wake of the release of the CNN documentary “The Hunting Ground,” which detailed several allegations of sexual assault against Saint Mary’s students. Mooney declined to be interviewed for the film, but later spoke at a showing of it on campus.“My decision to retire next May comes at a natural time,” Mooney wrote in a letter to students. “Thank you for being the wonderful young women you are and for the support and friendship you have extended to me in so many ways at so many junctures.”Tags: Carol Ann Mooney, Saint Mary’s College, sexual assault, The Hunting Ground
The Actors from the London Stage are returning to Notre Dame this week for their 36th show on-campus. The group will perform Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” in Washington Hall, Wednesday through Friday. The actors will also work with classes throughout the rest of the week.“Actors from the London Stage has 14 shows in its repertoire that they do with five actors,” Scott Jackson, executive director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, said. “The last time we did ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ was spring of 2008. It was time in the rotation for it to come back.”Jackson said that Shakespeare at Notre Dame not only hosts the Actors from the London Stage twice a year before the group departs on its two month–long rotation across the United States, but also serves as the administrative base for the scheduling and logistics of their tours in the United States.“This is a fascinating piece to do in this idiom because of the intrinsic problems with it, because there’s five actors playing 25 to 30 roles, but in this play some of these characters are in disguise, so it’s an added complication,” Chris Donnelly, a member of the Actors from the London Stage said.The play is performed with minimal costumes and props in order to change characters quickly, Donnelly said.The actors were cast by the associate directors of the program in October and November and began preparations for the play in January. The five actors also serve as the directors of the play and make all of the artistic choices.“The main thing I’ve learned about it is the ability to easily give a note and take a note, which is a very difficult thing in our profession,” Donnelly said. “Because there is no director, you have to be each other’s eyes at the front. It’s good because you’re going to get five very different perspectives working together.”In addition to their three performances between Wednesday and Friday, the actors will also visit various classrooms to explore Shakespeare’s words and put them into action. “The actors go into class and they bring the actor’s perspective into various classes,” Jackson said. “They come in and illuminate the text, bringing it to life from a performance standpoint. It’s also a great way for the actors to see the states and try your hand at teaching because, for a lot of them, it’s the first time that they’ve ever taught.”Expanding beyond English or theater classrooms, the actors will meet with students from different backgrounds, including business and philosophy classes.“It’s really interesting how relevant what we do can be in most classes,” Donnelly said. “If you’re a lawyer, you’ve got to be able to stand there stand there in court, or a business majors have to be able to run teams. You’ve got to have a level of confidence, a level of communication, a level of eye contact.”Jackson said that Shakespeare’s work is still applicable in the contemporary world.“Shakespeare has a sheer versatility to his works; in terms of being able to apply his works into all these different settings and cultures, we can all find a little bit of ourselves reflected back in his works that lends his voice a certain resonance, especially at a Catholic university like Notre Dame,” Jackson said. Tags: Shakespeare, Shakespeare at Notre Dame, Taming of the Shrew, The Actors from the London Stage, Washington Hall
Corby Hall, a priest’s residence hall and one of the oldest buildings on campus, will be demolished this summer and rebuilt, The South Bend Tribune reported Wednesday.Built in the late 19th century, Corby Hall is property of the Congregation of the Holy Cross and does not belong to Notre Dame. However, the University and the religious order decided together to replace the building, the report said.“We originally planned to renovate the old building and put an addition on,” Rev. Austin Collins, the religious superior of the Corby Hall community, said to The South Bend Tribune. “It just was not feasible.”University spokesman Dennis Brown said the structure of the building made renovation not possible.“The load-bearing walls in the current structure were such that we couldn’t effectively renovate the building,” he said to The South Bend Tribune.The report said, the building has been home to several “famous residents,” including University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and former football coach Knute Rockne.The new Corby Hall will feature a “similar design” to the old building and is expected to be completed in spring of 2020. Until the hall is completed, the 28 current residents will live elsewhere on campus.The new building will be constructed with $20 million from Mary and Jay Flaherty’s gift to the University and Congregation of the Holy Cross last year as well as $10 million from Notre Dame, the report said.Tags: Congregation of the Holy Cross, Corby Hall
JAMESTOWN – A cool air mass over Western New York is slated to bring a quiet weekend. Although it will be cooler with temperatures running well below the average of 76. For your Saturday, plenty of sunshine with a few clouds around. Highs only in the lower-60’s.Tonight it will remain clear but temperatures bottom out into the upper-30’s to lower-40’s. Patchy frost is possible inland away from the lakes. If you have plants outside, it may be a good idea to cover them for the night. Sunday will feature more sunshine and a bit more warmth as highs will reach to near 70.A blocking high pressure system will remain parked in place for most of the upcoming week. This will provide for plenty of sunshine everyday through the week. With the next best chance of rain not being until near the end of the week. Temperatures will begin a gradual warming pattern over this period. Highs in the mid-70’s on Monday, reaching the lower-80’s by mid week.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.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)