Students volunteer on Mexico border

first_imgWhile many students were vacationing or relaxing at home, some Notre Dame students saved lives along the U.S. and Mexico border this Spring Break, senior Joan Swiontoniowski said.Swiontoniowski helped lead a group of 15 students who traveled to Arizona to work with No More Deaths, a national organization providing humanitarian aid to migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.“No More Deaths provides basic humanitarian assistance [in the form of food, water, and medical aid] to those migrants who cross the desert in search of a better life,”Swiontoniowski said. “To me, this humanitarian aid is something we can all stand behind — in spite of what our political and other beliefs may be — as it simply serves to keep people alive.”No More Deaths began in 2004 at the Multi-Faith Border Conference, according to the organization’s Web site. The group seeks to monitor U.S. border practices and lower the number of migrant deaths by providing water, food and medical assistance. The first group of Notre Dame students worked with No More Deaths in 2008.“Originally I was interested in the trip because I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn more about immigration issues,” Swiontoniowski said. “As a result of my experiences along the border and the people that I met there though, what began as a mere effort to learn more about immigration has turned into a passion for border issues and immigrant rights.“It’s been important to me to get others involved in No More Deaths so that more people could learn about the realities migrants face in their attempt at a better life.”“No More Deaths is the demand that immigration must be a human rights issue,” junior David Rivera said. “No matter what your politics are on the issue, that doesn’t change the fact that people are dying on the border basically every day.“Our policies attempt to hide the human side of the issue but families are being broken up and people are dying.  We visited the memorial site for a 14-year-old Salvadorian immigrant who died alone in the cold waiting for someone to find her.”Junior Elizabeth Furman also experienced life at the border.“We camped out in the Sonora desert, and every day, we went on patrols down trails that migrants use and left water and sometimes food for them,” Furman said. “We also spent one day across the border in Nogales, Mexico, learning about the process of ‘voluntary’ repatriation. We met migrants who had been deported and listened to their stories of abuse from border patrol and separation from their families.”Junior Beverly Ozowara said she learned more about immigration and border issues on the trip.“It was amazing to be surrounded by so many other individuals eager to learn more and eager to spread the word about the immigration of undocumented individuals and individuals who were genuinely invested in the efforts to end migrant deaths,” Ozowara said.Rivera said that he had fun, but it was not a vacation.“It’s humanitarian aid, and more than anything it left me feeling angry and a little depressed.  I’m definitely not hopeless, but I’m just angry about the inaction on the issue and how it’s become so politicized so as to mask the human element behind it,” Rivera said. “We hope to raise awareness here on campus this semester, possibly raise money for the organization and focus on immigration issues here in the community that other groups are already involved with.”Swiontoniowski said the experience helped bring the issues presented to the forefront for those students who attended.“Living in South Bend, Ind., it is easy to be ignorant of or forget about the realities migrants face when they cross the border,” Swiontoniowski said. “Border issues really is one of the most important social justice issues of our time though, so I encourage everyone to, at the very least, learn more about it.”last_img read more

Read More →

OIT presents enhanced classroom in DeBartolo Hall

first_imgIn the basement of DeBartolo Hall, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) is testing new gadgets for an educational setting, and the office held an open house Friday to show students a new, technology-based classroom. “This room lends itself to more collaborative, interactive type classes,” Paul Turner, manager of academic technology, said. “We wanted the room to be radically different.” There is no designated front of the classroom, Turner said. It is also completely wireless and can be rearranged to fit any technological need. Turner said that the classroom is not discipline-specific, but rather more based in the professor’s teaching style. “We wanted a room that was completely flexible, and so far, so good,” Turner said, “We can test new technologies in the lab and then implement them in the classroom.” One example of technology implementation is the use of iPads in classrooms, but Turner said this is not the only project OIT is working on bringing to campus. The open house featured various technologies including Microsoft Surface, Xbox Kinect and some projects with Sprint. The Microsoft Surface is a multi-touch surface that multiple users can manipulate at one time. Turner said the College of Science was one of the first to utilize the technology and the University will probably get more in the future. The Xbox Kinect is another technology in the testing phase. “[The Xbox] Kinect is just fun,” Turner said. “It’s like the Wii , but without the remote.” Kinect tracks your movement instead of relying on a handheld controller of some sort. OIT wants to eventually implement this technology into a classroom setting, Turner said. Junior Ben Keller has also worked on new technology for OIT — taking high quality panoramic photographs. He said he traveled to Rome with the School of Architecture for the project. “We use a gigapan, [which is] a robotic base that rotates and takes pictures in sequence,” he said. “Then we can put the pictures together and create one big image.” Sophomore Bridget Curran said she enjoyed working in OIT with the new technologies on campus. “The people we work with here are really great,” Curran said. “It’s pretty cool to play with an iPad the day it comes out. No more waiting in line at the Apple store.” Some new technology is being tested in cooperation with Sprint mobile. One project is with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Android equivalent of the iPad, Kevin Abbot, an educational technology professional in OIT, said. “The Galaxy Tab is an open resource that can pretty much do anything,” Abbot said. Notre Dame is also working on ND ID with Sprint, which is a service for cell phones that plugs into Notre Dame specific apps. “If you open your Gmail on your phone, it goes to your University e-mail address,” Abbot said. This technology is already available but not many people know about it, Abbot said. Abbot said OIT hopes to move to a completely e-book campus. When that happens, the campus will move to a 4G wireless network to handle all the Internet traffic. “We would have a 4G network that is super fast, so anywhere on campus, you can use your e-book or search the web,” Abbot said.last_img read more

Read More →

Veteran faculty member recalls Vietnam era

first_imgAs the United States celebrates Veterans Day today, Peace Studies professor and 1968 alumnus David Cortright said he will remember his unique experience as a Vietnam-era soldier actively involved in the anti-war movement. “I became strongly opposed to the war effort while I was in the Army,” Cortright said. “I came to believe the Vietnam War was unjust, which brought me to a crisis of conscience.” While Cortright was never deployed to Vietnam and instead remained stationed in the United States from 1968-1971, he was far from inactive during the war. “I joined the underground anti-war movement while inside the Army, which was called the GI Peace Movement,” Cortright said. “I organized soldiers, as there was an active opposition to the war even among those inside the military.” Cortright said the movement gave him a sense of purpose while he served. “I found my involvement in the GI Peace Movement to be personally liberating and fulfilling,” Cortright said. “It gave me a sense that I was doing something that was necessary and I felt like I was serving my country more nobly by speaking out against an unjust war, rather than remaining silent about something that I felt was wrong.” Cortright said his experience in the Army during the war inspired him to study public policy. “Once I began to speak out against the war and learned more about the nature of militarism and the need to work for peace, I decided to dedicate my life to it,” he said. He completed his doctoral studies in 1975 at the Union Institute in residence at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., where he received a Ph.D. in History. “My dissertation was on the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, especially on the anti-war sentiment within the military in those days,” Cortright said. Cortright returned to his alma mater in 1989 as a professor at the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies. Today, he is the director for Policy Studies at the institute. Cortright said his experience as a soldier during the war enables him to bring a unique perspective to his teaching and research. “I made some of the most important decisions of my life during the Vietnam War,” Cortright said. “It has shaped my passions as I search for the truth in a profound and distinct way.”last_img read more

Read More →

Lecture discusses legacy of Clarence Thomas

first_imgDr. Ralph A. Rossum of Claremont McKenna College gave a lecture on his book “Understanding Clarence Thomas: The Jurisprudence of Constitutional Restoration” on Thursday night in the Eck Hall of Law. Rossum focused on exploring Thomas’ specific jurisprudence, or philosophy of law, called originalism.Kevin Song | The Observer The Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies sponsored the lecture, and Dr. Vincent Phillip Muñoz, associate professor of political science, introduced Rossum. Rossum began by explaining Thomas’s jurisprudence.“There are three forms of originalism, which are known as original intent, original understanding and original public meaning,” Rossum said. “Original intent focuses on the intent of the authors of the Constitution, original understanding focuses on what the provisions of the Constitution meant to the delegates and original public meaning focuses on the meaning in the context of the public with the vocabulary and beliefs of the time.”Rossum wrote a book on Justice Antonin Scalia and his jurisprudence in 2006. He decided to focus on Thomas because his beliefs were similar to Scalia’s, but also encompassed important differences.“Both Scalia and Thomas remain unswayed by the claims of precedent,” Rossum said. “Scalia focuses on original public meaning, while Thomas focuses on the general meaning, which incorporates Scalia’s approach but also considers intent and understanding.”Rossum said another difference between the two justices is their opinions of the Declaration of Independence. Scalia rejects it because he believes it is not relevant, but Thomas highly values the document, Rossum said.“To Thomas, the original intention of the Constitution was to be the fulfillment of the Declaration of Independence,” Rossum said.Rossum gave examples of Thomas’s originalist jurisprudence as applied to the Interstate Commerce Clause, a part of the Commerce Clause that allows Congress to regulate economic activity between states. Rossum said Thomas votes against cases in which the Interstate Commerce Clause is applied, such as Gonzales v. Raisch, because it was not included in the original Constitution.Dr. Donald Drakeman of Princeton University closed the event with remarks on Rossum’s book.“It is a wonderfully done book that shows the incredible consistency of Thomas’s jurisprudence,” Drakeman said.Tags: Antonin Scalia, book, Clarence Thomas, jurisprudence, lecture, SCOTUSlast_img read more

Read More →

Panelists investigate relationship between poverty and sustainability

The Keough School of Global Affairs held an opening keynote panel for the Schools’s first conference, “For the Planet and the Poor,” on Monday.The keynote included remarks from University President Fr. John Jenkins, followed by a panel of four speakers.“No issues are more challenging, perhaps, or pressing than those we will discuss in coming days — care for the Earth’s environment, alleviating extreme poverty and achieving sustainable development,” Jenkins said. “In a world where differences in faith often lead to conflict and destruction, this dialogue draws us together as one human family in conversation about our common home. Let us make this conference a shinning example about how this dialogue about our world can draw us together in solidarity and common commitment.”While the conference focuses on the complex issues, it is important to remember that all these problems are solvable, Jenkins said.“An adequate response to the challenges before us will demand the very best science and technological innovation available,” Jenkins said. “It must call on experts to develop sophisticated and effective policies at the national and global level. It must influence governments and institutions around the world, yet it also must address the deeper moral, spiritual and theological questions about who we are individually and collectively — and who we want to be together.”Scott Appleby, Marilyn Keough Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs, said the inaugural conference was created to underscore the convergence of three current events.“The first [event] is the promulgation of ‘Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home,’ Pope Frances’s bracing, widely discussed and debated encyclical, calling for nothing less than ethological and ecological convergence of all peoples and nations in response to a global crisis precipitated, the pope argues, by the intertwined dilemmas of rapid environmental degradation and unjust global economic practices, both of which take their largest toll on the poor,” he said.The United Nation’s adaption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is the second event the conference emphasizes, Appleby said.“[This goal] has an ambitious and comprehensive agenda to end poverty in all its forms, everywhere, eliminate hunger, ensure healthy lives, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, build peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access for justice to all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels,” Appleby said. “And here, I mention only seven of the sixteen SDGs. And for the sake of brevity, I include the Paris Climate Agreements within this category of remarkable steps forward.”The third event is the founding of the Keough School, Appleby said.“The first new school or college established at Notre Dame in nearly a century, the Keough School aspires to become a recognized world leader in globally oriented research, teaching and the education of professionals dedicated to advancing sustainable development, the alleviation of poverty, good governance and the peaceful transformation of violent conflict,” Appleby said. “Notre Dame has never been shy in endeavoring to do great things with the dedicated people and plentiful resources that God has blessed this place with.”Rev. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican, also spoke at the conference. He highlighted the importance of science to the modern world.“It is impossible to understand the modern world if we don’t understand science,” Sorondo said.This merge of Catholic tradition with modern science is new and is breeding a special culture of philosophical and moral reflection within the Catholic faith, Sorondo said. One tangible example Catholics can look to when understanding this new doctrine is the pope’s acceptance of evolution, he said.The pope agrees with the scientific community regarding climate change and is folding the scientific community’s unique respect and development of natural things into church teachings, according to Sorondo. The pope’s motivation lies in the beatitudes and the Gospel, he said.In his address, Jeffery Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said he wanted to focus on the economic implications of these programs.“The economy needs to be surrounded by science and scientific realities, by ethics and faith, and then by learning,” Sachs said.“Because if you let the economy roam free … it can make a terrible mess. The economic part of this may be the smallest part of the story. That is because the result of 250 years of technological progress and economic development means that the economic parts of our story are probably the most solvable problems.”A. Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, said it is economically feasible to implement programs that would alleviate the suffering of those living in abject poverty.“We cannot have a home where one-third of our family is in poverty,” Rahman said. “No house would function if one-third of its members were in abject poverty.”Sara Sievers, associate dean for policy and practice for the Keough School, said it is urgent to implement the programs described above.“So if we have the opportunity because of this historic moment, and we have an urgency because, like it or not, this world is going to change, and it’s either going to change in a direction where we try to do something about it and succeed or where we let things run amuck and deal with problems in some sort of dystopian consequence,” she said. “But it is possible to get all these things done.”Working together, Sachs said, is the only possible way to create solutions to these problems.“We have an accurate view of what needs to be done. It gives us a spirt and a direction. So, we have our work cut out for us,” Sachs said. “The Keough School will make a profound difference — you are coming at exactly the right moment. The idea of a school of global affairs that takes on the challenges not only analytically but morally and spirituality, to turn to the learning and results is exactly what we need.”Tags: For the Planet and the Poor, Keough school, poverty, sustainability read more

Read More →

Architecture students present design proposals for affordable housing options

first_imgEight undergraduate architecture students, directed by Kim Rollings, assistant professor of architecture, presented design proposals Friday for a facility that will provide safe and affordable housing options for homeless people in South Bend.“Permanent supportive housing [PSH] links safe, affordable housing with social support services that address challenges associated with chronic homelessness, addiction and other disabilities,” Rollings said in an email. “The facility in South Bend will be the area’s first permanent supportive housing, with 32 one-bedroom apartments and a variety of shared and support spaces, including outdoor space.”Rollings said she and the University’s School of Architecture became involved in the PSH project when she heard about it through the St. Joseph County Health Improvement Alliance, where she spoke about community-based teaching and research. “I proposed the student project to the South Bend Heritage Foundation, who will own the local supportive housing facility, and Alliance Architects, the local firm designing the building,” she said. “They were very interested in learning from the students, as well as providing the students with a real-world project experience.”Rollings said eight of the fourth-year architecture students in Rolling’s Healthy Places studio class — who chose to participate because they were interested in building places that are “not only architecturally successful, but that also help people” —  began working on the project in March. “Some chose to focus on, for example, promoting a sense of community in the building, while others focused on providing restorative spaces and access to nature, and connecting the look of the building to historic buildings in South Bend,” Rollings said.The project began with students visiting the local site and learning about permanent supportive housing, she said. Then, they researched connections between architecture and physical, mental and social health. “I also took the students to Boston to study two successful supportive housing examples designed by The Narrow Gate Architecture Ltd. [TNG],” Rollings said. “TNG, started by three Notre Dame alumni, provides architectural services for marginally underserved populations. Students visited the firm and interviewed the architects then visited the housing facilities. They shared meals with and interviewed residents, which gave a voice to the resident population in the design process.”According to Rollings, the project is primarily funded by a state grant award and tax credits and the students’ research and design ideas will inform the finalized design of the building. “People struggling with chronic homelessness and other challenges often cycle in and out of shelters and require costly emergency medical and public safety services,” Rollings said. “PSH helps to break this cycle so people can regain stability and move forward with their lives.“The students really embraced the idea that this project was about people and not just a building.”Tags: Permanent Supportive Housing, PSH, School of Architecture, The Narrow Gate Architecture Ltd.last_img read more

Read More →

Students to perform in coming-of-age play

first_imgThe debut performance of Notre Dame’s film, television and theatre department’s production of “I and You” takes place Wednesday at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC).Courtesy of Carys Karesny The play by Lauren Gunderson, recently named the “most-produced playwright in America” by American Theatre magazine, follows the adventures of 17-year old Caroline, a young girl confined to her room due to illness, and her unexpected friendship with her classmate, Anthony.Senior Mary Patano, who plays Caroline in the production, said the best part about her role is getting to play a character who is “so authentically herself.”“Caroline makes up for her physical weakness with an overactive use of language, specifically using sarcasm and self-deprecation to make herself feel better,” Patano said. “What I like most about Caroline is that she is kind of unlikeable. She’s annoying in the way most 17-year-olds are, and can be a little bit of a brat sometimes. But this is juxtaposed by her passion for photography, Elvis and waffle fries.”Patano said this play in particular is incredibly applicable to the lives of young adults. She said the story of Caroline and Anthony demonstrate two people who were wary of each other initially but bonded more strongly with each new discovery about the other.“I think it’s important to tell the story that when you get to know people and look past what you initially see or think you see, you have the chance to form a relationship you never thought possible,” Patano said.“I and You” is relatable in that a lot of the worries and anxieties felt by young adults materialize on stage, Patano said.“We’re on the cusp of real responsibilities, and oftentimes feeling so much pressure to succeed in what is expected of us we forget we’re supposed to be having fun along the way, and that’s what this play does,” Patano said. “It reminds everyone to keep in tune to the stupid silly things that we love and will be with us even as we grow up,” she said.The two-person show — which also stars junior Eric Ways as Anthony — has been challenging, Patano said, because the two actors have essentially memorized an entire play between them.“This was pretty daunting at the beginning of the process, but since we’ve been running it we’ve gotten a chance to feel how everything fits together for the first time, which has been pretty cool,” Patano said.Patano said during her time at Notre Dame she has realized that a lot of the art can feel like “a stretch” for students. She said there’s a geographical challenge as well, since DPAC is so far from where most people live, and often walking to the venue to watch a play you’re unsure about can seem like a large request.“I believe ‘I and You’ is the perfect combination of quirky teenage comedy blended with the sincerity and fear of what happens when you grow up, and will be something students will be excited to see,” she said. “I promise, it’ll be worth the walk.”Tags: DPAClast_img read more

Read More →

Blais, Shewit weigh in on transition, goals

first_imgThe Notre Dame student body gained new leadership Saturday, as juniors Becca Blais and Sibonay Shewit took office as student body president and vice president, respectively.Blais, who served as vice president for the past year, said the administration will spend a large portion of the rest of the semester focusing on training new cabinet members and “rebranding” student government — a movement inspired by the knowledge she gained over the past year about how members of student government can most effectively fulfill their leadership roles.“My past year has informed a lot of what I believe and a lot of what we’ve seen works and doesn’t work … it allows us to skip a lot of the learning curve,” she said.Sophomore chief of staff Prathm Juneja said the shared experience he, Blais and Shewit have as part of Notre Dame’s student government has aided in a smooth transition process.Lauren Hebig | The Observer “Everyone will always tell you that experience is the most useful tool,” he said. “ … Combining the administrative aspects from our experience with our new perspectives on being productive and [what] being a voice for change can look like is where I think the diversity of experience comes in really well.”One of the biggest projects for this year’s administration, Blais said, is restructuring student government to function more effectively and efficiently.“We’re tearing [student government] down and rebuilding it, pretty much, from the ground up,” she said. “It started with the executive cabinet, [which] was restructured to have a more efficient department system. So we actually have fewer departments, but the size of the departments will be larger, and they have more of an internal structure with commissionerships.”While restructuring the cabinet was done with the long-term success of student government in mind, Blais, Shewit and Juneja selected people for positions within their administration carefully, considering how individuals could help them accomplish their goals, Shewit said.“We kind of kept in mind, the entire time, how much we want to accomplish,” she said. “ … So it’s very much that our platform mirrors the abilities of our department directors, of their commissioners and of their department members, too. So we’re widening the umbrella, but it’s in a way that matches what we plan to do this year, too.”Part of that plan, Blais said, includes making student government more visible on campus and improving communication throughout the entire student union.“The rebranding is going to be the biggest thing,” Blais said. “And that is a lot of what’s happening in this first month. We have to address that image of, ‘Student government doesn’t do anything.’ And so what we’re doing is actually trying to make a unified brand for the whole student union. Because the student union, in total, is over 500 people.”Shewit said this project is already underway, and she pointed to Blais’ restructuring of senate as an example of positive change in student government.“As far as rebrand goes, I would say the biggest rebrand so far has been senate,” she said. “The way people look at senate and talk about senate is totally different, so now that I’ll be taking over, I just want to build on that momentum. … We’re trying to answer the question of how [we can] make this group the most reflective and representative of the Notre Dame community.”In addition to adjusting aspects of student government that are already in place, Blais’ administration has also created positions to focus on new aspects of student life at Notre Dame, such as Campus Crossroads, which will open during her time in office, Blais said.“We created a new department called the department of student life,” she said. “ … We want to be constantly getting student feedback on Campus Crossroads, because — especially when it’s in its baby stages — we’ll have good opportunities to make adjustments.”At present and in the immediate future, student government is working with the University to improve aspects of student life, such as the Moreau First-Year Experience course, Juneja said.“We’ve started a lot of meetings that have basically guaranteed us administrative response, which is really useful,” he said. “ … I think the things that we want to get done this semester are student representation on a lot more things.”The ultimate goal for the new administration, Shewit said, is to positively impact students’ experiences at the University.“If I was graduating and I could talk to someone who isn’t involved in student government at all, and they could tell me something that we did that impacted their time at Notre Dame, I would be so happy,” she said. “Once the rumor is dispelled that student government doesn’t do anything because we are impacting individuals’ experiences at Notre Dame, then I will be happy. I will graduate and be on my merry way.”Tags: blais, shewit, student body vice president, Student government, student government presidentlast_img read more

Read More →

Saint Mary’s sustainability committee discusses plans for the year

first_imgWith a new semester in progress, Saint Mary’s has new goals to promote sustainability on campus according to the Student Government Association (SGA) sustainability committee co-chairs, juniors Kassidy Jungles and Courtney Kroschel.“Our job is working on sustainable efforts across campus,” Jungles, who is in her third year on the committee, said.This is Kroschel’s second year on the sustainability committee. She said the group’s initiatives last year were successful and they hope to get more participants this year.“Last year, one of our main goals was to fundraise money for hand dryers in the student center,” Jungles said.However, not long after raising nearly $1,000 by selling t-shirts, the sustainability committee became aware of studies suggesting hand dryers might cause hygienic issues, Kroschel said. This led the committee to spend some time pondering how they could reduce paper towel waste in the student center without the risk of spreading bacteria.“This year our goal is to implement that money and purchase bins to compost paper towels instead of hand dryers,” Jungles said.A composting initiative in the Noble Family Dining Hall began last fall, but it has not continued this year. Jungles said the group that started composting last year is not the sustainability committee, but the two have been in contact as the idea of composting paper towels has become closer to implementation.Jungles said she hopes composting paper towels will become something that takes place on campus for years to come.Beyond continuing last year’s project, the SGA sustainability committee has other initiatives for this year as they hope to start projects both outdoors and indoors.“We’re … going to try to buy outdoor recycling bins because there are no outdoor recycling bins across campus,” Jungles said.Kroschel said these bins, paired with the knowledge of what products can be recycled, could greatly reduce waste thrown into trash cans outside.“Another goal this year is to do another t-shirt sale to fundraise money for new shower heads in the dorms,” Jungles said.Most of the shower heads in the dorms are less than sustainable, as they are prone to leaking, Jungles said.Handling issues like this is important to the campus community, Kroschel said, because previous environmental projects on campus have been successful. Among them are composting in the dining hall and the removal of plastic straws from the dining hall and cafes on campus.“President Cervelli made the executive decision to get rid of [straws] across campus,” Jungles said.While the SGA sustainability committee was not involved in making this decision, Jungles said the group supported it.“We get to plan events, which is fun,” Jungles said, “but we also get to make a difference.”She said events like one held on Earth Day last year promoted the committee’s environmental initiative while also being enjoyable for those in attendance. At this particular event, students brought an item to recycle and were given a small plant as well as information about climate change.“We’re making impacts that will last well beyond our time here,” Kroschel said.Jungles and Kroschel said they feel that the campus community is open to learning to become more environmentally conscious.“A lot of students want to be environmentally friendly,” Kroschel said. “Sometimes they just need an avenue.”Tags: Saint Mary’s SGA, Student Government Association, sustainability committeelast_img read more

Read More →

Saint Mary’s celebrates rich history of nursing, looks to the future

first_imgGina Twardosz | The Observer In the Our Lady of Peace Cemetery on the Saint Mary’s College campus, sisters that worked as Civil War nurses are honored with additional headstones recognizing their service.Since the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, only eighteen years after having established themselves in the United States, the Sisters have answered a call to serve as nurses, and since then, Saint Mary’s has sought to further this legacy through the education of nursing and become an innovative leader in the field of nursing.Sister Maureen Grady, senior lecturer in nursing, was a nurse who spent over twenty years in the Middle East assisting with the medical and social crises that arose because of war and social conflict. She said she spent nine years answering a call in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War.Grady said the history of the Sisters is important and their legacy can inspire students and help them discover their own vocation.“I do a cemetery walk with the students and I talk about the Sisters and the [American] Civil War,” she said. “In the Civil War, there were no hospitals or interns, or any nursing education, so overnight, these women stepped out of Saint Mary’s and their comfortable life and went to the warzone.”During these walks, Grady said she discusses a lot of things with the future nurses of the world. Mostly, she recalls the legacy of the Sisters, from Sister Veronica Regina Scholl, who, while aboard a mail boat, had a shot pass through her veil, to Mother Angela Eliza Gillespie, who, while ardently operating on a soldier who was near death, failed even to notice the blood that was dripping on her head from above — blood from an unknown soldier.The first nursing education did not exist until 1872, yet in 1861, the Sisters of the Holy Cross answered a call to serve. At the request of Father Sorin, twelve Sisters, with six to follow, reported to Ulysses S. Grant in Cairo, Illinois where they would soon be split up among North and South, nursing soldiers on both sides of the battlefield.The Sisters of the Holy Cross inspire Grady, and she said she hopes they inspire her students as well.But, nursing is not solely a profession of the past; the Saint Mary’s Department of Nursing is on the cutting edge of advanced education for nursing students, and Grady said she also finds inspiration in her colleagues at the College.Grady said Linda Paskiewicz, director of nursing, is an innovative and creative person who helped create a course on communication for the program.“[Paskewicz] had the courage to begin a course in communication, because it’s not just what you do to alleviate pain or suffering … it’s about connecting, on a human level, with people who are in a very vulnerable situation,” Grady said. “Other schools just don’t have this type of class.”Paskiewicz said she started her career in nursing in a hospital-based diploma program, most of which no longer exist as more and more students are encouraged to study nursing in a higher educational setting.“Nurses are always learning, and they have to be always learning,” she said. “Technology changes all the time, and new medications and procedures are always there.”To fit the ever-changing field of nursing, Paskiewicz and her colleagues worked to develop a graduate program in nursing at Saint Mary’s. She said the program is hybrid and online, so it can serve students all across the country.“Our program takes students straight out of the bachelor’s program and moves them all the way to the doctorate degree,” she said. “This is the way nation is going, too. We were early to adapt to this change and, as of now, we’re admitting our fifth cohorts.”Paskiewicz said that the nation’s hospitals are realizing that nurses with advanced degrees provide a “different level of care and assessment, so more and more hospitals are requiring that nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree.”Yet, this need for nurses with advanced degrees poses a problem in terms of accessibility. Paskiewicz said this push for education does not help to alleviate the nursing shortages around the country, as many students may not have the ability nor income to support their higher educational needs.“Hospitals are pulling back on how much they reimburse nurses for going back to school, and many men and women in nursing have families — they have bills to pay — so there’s many personal factors that impact a nurse’s decision to go back to school,” she said.Along with this push for more education, there is a concern for a different kind of education, an education that facilitates an awareness for the kinds of social justice issues that plague the country. Both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs look to include these social justice issues in their courses, Paskiewicz said.“We teach and talk about the social determinants of health, things like education, environment — things that put people at risk for poorer health,” she said. “These things lend themselves to health disparities in impoverished or marginalized populations. Nurses are inherently involved in all of this.”Paskiewicz said she teaches a class devoted to these issues called Social Entrepreneurship and the Business of Healthcare. She said the class focuses on identifying and brainstorming solutions to health problems across communities.Creating these sorts of innovative classes takes forward thinking, and some past thinking too, as Paskiewicz said the Data Analytics class for nursing students was inspired by the work of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.“When she worked with hospitals, she used all this data and was able to create change through a healthcare system in order to solve a problem,” she said.All in all, Paskiewicz said Saint Mary’s nurses continue to be some of the most competitive in the field.“I wanted to work with smart women, and when I came here, I felt like I could make a difference,” she said. “We’re helping students become clinical experts, leaders within hospital systems. We’re helping them bring meaningful change that will ultimately improve health outcomes.”Tags: 175 years of SMC, civil war, graduate program, history, nursing, saint mary’s department of nursing Editor’s note: Throughout the 2019 calendar year, Saint Mary’s College is celebrating its 175th year as an institution.  This is the first installment in a series exploring facets of the history and community at Saint Mary’s.During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln gave tribute to the nuns of the battlefield, Saint Mary’s very own Sisters of the Holy Cross.“More lovely than anything I have ever seen in art, so long devoted to the illustration of love, mercy and charity, are the picture that remain of those modest sisters going on their errands of mercy among the suffering and dying,” Lincoln said of the nuns.last_img read more

Read More →