Although Linda Cirillo, rector of Lewis Hall, attended the University of Southern Califorinia, previously worked at Georgetown University and will now be living near Ohio State University, she said she will always be a Domer at heart.“If I had a choice today on which university I would I have gone to, Notre Dame would be the one,” Cirillo said. “Do not worry that I will start cheering for the Buckeyes. I really feel that I am a Domer.”Cirillo and several other rectors will leave their positions at the end of the academic year. Other rectors who will be leaving include Sr. Janet Stankowski of Walsh Hall, Fr. Jim King of Sorin College, Sophie Henrichs of Pasquerilla West Hall and Amy de la Torre of Cavanaugh Hall.Henrichs, who will leave the position of rector to get married, said she tried to keep a balance between allowing fun to occur and following University policies.“I think [being a rector] maybe has actually caused me to step up and really be a lot more responsible because any decision I make just isn’t going to affect me,” she said.At the same time, Henrichs said it was a privilege to experience “the randomness, the joy and the laughter” with her residents.“Just letting the silliness happen. The kind of conversations or bits of conversations I overhear from my door, just the normal everyday life of a student with relationships, friendships, giggles, quarter dogs,” she said, listing the things she enjoyed about being a rector.Cirillo, who is moving to Ohio to be a hospital chaplain, also said she will have fond memories of her students.“I think the most important thing or the most enjoyable thing for me is to see my freshmen when I came in as a freshmen rector, now they’re graduating as seniors and also I’m graduating,” she said. “That has been a lot of joy — to see them blossom and see them grow into young beautiful women that are mature and ready to go out into the world.”Both Cirillo and Henrichs said they will remember their participation in dorm events after leaving the University.“It was my second year here and I allowed them to paint me up just like them and it was really fun,” Cirillo said. “[It was] the Lewis pep rally for the football game. I allowed my chicks to paint my face, and I was part of the cheering group.”Henrichs also showed dorm pride when Pasquerilla West Hall was in the interhall football championship game and she dressed up as the dorm’s mascot.“I wore a weasel costume out onto the field,” she said. “I don’t think anybody else can actually say they’ve worn a weasel costume down Library Quad and right into the tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium. A rector in a weasel suit.”King, who was the rector of Sorin College for seven years, said dorm life is integral to the Notre Dame experience. “I believe that Holy Cross’ model of residence hall ministry is the heart and soul of Notre Dame and the single most important explanation of why alumni feel as strongly about the University as they do,” King said.King will serve as Religious Superior for Holy Cross priests and will move to Corby Hall to take over his new position.Cirillo said her experience at Notre Dame will help her as a hospital chaplain, where she will specialize in end-of-life care.“Of course I’m very much drawn to Our Lady. I know she brought me here and I know she’s sending me forth,” Cirillo said.“I feel comfortable in saying that Notre Dame gives you the whole education. The mind, the body, the spirit, what it means to be alive and to be there for one another,” she said. “As I move into this next phase of my life, which is being present with people that are dying, I know that the dying phase of their life is part of living,” she said.“I will take all this love that I was given in the last four years and I’ll use that in my new position.”
Sorin College’s second annual Kick It for Kevin kickball tournament Sunday raised enough money to lead to a donation to pediatric cancer research. The tournament is held in memory of former resident Kevin Healey, who died two years ago after a battle with cancer. “Kevin was really a charismatic person, and a kickball tournament kind of epitomizes the type of guy he was,” Sorin College president, junior Andrew McKernan, said. Healey was a member of Notre Dame’s class of 2011 and a Sorin College resident. He died of osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in 2009. Sorin College vice president junior Max Maier, who organized the event, said the tournament really proved the strength of community present at Notre Dame. “I think it says a lot about the men of Sorin College as a whole that we can come together to remember one of our own every year through a fun-loving game of kickball,” Maier said. “I don’t think such an event would be possible without the tight-knit community present both in Sorin College and at Notre Dame.” For $3 per person, teams of 5 -10 players could compete, with all proceeds going to the CureSearch for Children’s Cancer research fund. Most of the competitors were Sorin residents, although several teams from other dorms participated as well. The kickball event was held at McGlinn Fields. Freshman Sorin resident Justin Dancu participated in the tournament, which he said was a success overall. “It was a fun way to help a good cause,” he said. “It was pretty relaxed which made it fun too.” Even though Healey passed away before Dancu arrived at Sorin, Dancu still found the event moving and meaningful. “I thought it made people remember and sometimes even ask about Kevin’s story, and it helped raise awareness for pediatric cancer research,” Dancu said. McKernan said enough teams signed up to cover the event’s costs, and have money left over to donate. He said the idea for a kickball tournament came from the success of other campus-wide athletic events, such as the Bookstore Basketball tournament or the Lose the Shoes soccer tournament. “It’s only the second year, and we had a pretty good turnout,” McKernan said. “We’re very happy that we made money to give to the fund, but in the future, our goal is to make it a more prominent campus event like the Fisher Regatta or Muddy Sunday.” Sorin College plans to improve advertising and work on increasing participation in the future. “It’s really a question of advertising and persuasion,” McKernan said. “We’d be set for a tournament if we had one team, 5-10 people, from every dorm.” The logistics of this year’s event included poster printing, organizing sign-ups in the dining hall, and getting the necessary snacks and kick balls. “Fortunately, we had a great group of guys this year who were more than willing to help out,” Maier said. “Most of the work just went into advertising.”
In preparation for Saint Mary’s spring production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Rabbit Hole,” the cast went to extreme lengths to capture the spirit of their characters. The play tells the story of a family dealing with the collective and individual grief over the death of a child. Notre Dame senior Chris Sylvestri, who plays a grieving father, said cast members worked with a psychologist to examine the mental state of their respective characters and read articles on parents whose children have died. “We discussed the grieving process and how different people have particular ways of dealing,” senior Sophie Korson said. “After a certain period of time, people expect you to get over it, but it doesn’t work like that.” To prepare for the role of Becca, a mother coping with her child’s loss, sophomore Erin Moran searched social media for articles about parents who have lost children. “There are Facebook groups,” Moran said. “They offer support for people who can’t accept ‘God needed another angel’ as an explanation for their incredible loss – just like Becca.” Perhaps the most unconventional way the cast tried to relate to the emotional devastation of the family was by giving their child a face. Sylvestri said he carries around a picture of a smiling little boy in his pocket every day to class. The cast took these extra measures to combat the sense of disconnect the audience will likely feel, he said. “We always have that voice in the back of our head that says this sort of thing will never happen to me,” Sylvestri said. “This sort of play reminds us that it could.” Moran said the play pays tribute in this way to anyone who has ever lost someone close to them. The intimate cast of five resembled a family long before auditions for “Rabbit Hole” began. “Honestly, we’ve been building this ensemble since last August,” Korson said. “[Four of the five of us] were in the director, Katie Sullivan’s, characterization class last semester.” Notre Dame sophomore Conor Nicholl, the actor who was not enrolled in the class, coincidentally plays the one character not related to the rest, Korson said. Senior Kara Quillard, another cast member, said the comfortable dynamic between the actors benefited the preparation of the play. “Being tight-knit works to our advantage,” she said. “We’re kind of subconsciously method acting in our day-to-day life.” The play’s title, a reference to the infamous rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland,” is a double metaphor, according to the cast. Korson said it compares losing oneself in grief to being lost in a rabbit hole and unable to find one’s way out. Silvestri said the title also expresses the idea of parallel universes. “Two realms of reality allow for Becca to imagine another life in which her son is still alive, which she uses as a coping method,” Silvestri said. Although the story is sad, the actors agreed the play is not entirely somber. “It’s very real, it’s raw, it’s humorous and there’s a lot of truth,” Quillard said. “Rabbit Hole” will run from Thursday to Sunday at the Moreau Center for the Arts. Tickets can be purchased online or by visiting or calling the Moreau Center box office.
“Justice Friday’s” will be one of many events planned to help the Saint Mary’s Justice Education department make a comeback on campus. After one academic year without a department chair, the department will be stronger than ever, interim director Adrienne Lysles-Chockley said. “There was no one running the department last year, so my job this year is to set the direction of the ship and get the program back on task,” Lyles-Chockley said. “To do this, I am focusing on two tasks: developing the program’s minor courses and setting up different Justice Education programming throughout the year.” To begin the year, the department launched a series of discussions titled “Justice Fridays”, Lyles-Chockley said. Each meeting will look at justice through a different lens, where students coordinate the dialogue. “Justice Fridays will be during lunch on Friday before every home football weekend,” Lyles-Chockley said. Last Friday’s discussion looked at justice through a gendered lens and was led by junior Clare Maher and senior Galicia Guerrero, she said. “Saint Mary’s students are exceptional in their commitment to justice and I think they need to be a part of the development of the program this year,” Lyles-Chockley said. Both Maher and Guerrero said they felt the topics of sexual assault and the media’s portrayal of women were important topics worth covering in the first Justice Friday discussion. “Sexual assault is not limited to ‘Law and Order: SVU’ or to big cities,” Maher said. “One in four College women are sexually assaulted. That is the norm. It is something that needs to be discussed and is truly an injustice.” Guerrero said the depiction of gender issues in the media perpetuates a system where sexual assault is tolerated. “Let’s take a look at the media and pop culture,” Guerrero said. “The song ‘Blurred Lines’ for instance. Just in this song you can see a media that is promoting a culture where sexual assault is okay and it really is not.” Maher said Saint Mary’s is a place where gendered issues can be discussed over a proper dialogue, but encouraged their audience to bring that dialogue outside of campus grounds. “As bystanders and active individuals in society, we have a duty to inform others of injustices going on in the world,” Maher said. “Gender justice issues are around us all the time and we cannot sit back and let them go on without a proper discussion.” Guerrero said it is important for individuals to find an issue they are passionate about and work to promote justice in that issue. Both Guerrero and Maher are involved with the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) on campus. Guerrero said their time spent with this office and director Connie Adams has shaped their views of justice around sexual assault and violence. “We have both been through Green Dot training,” Guerrero said. “This is a national campaign that works to discuss bystander intervention and how issues of violence should be addressed.” Through working with BAVO, Guerrero said she realized how certain powerful words have been changed over the course of time. “In our language the word rape is almost used as a slang term,” Guerrero said. “Sometimes you hear people say things like, ‘That test raped me’. Rape is not something that should be taken lightly.” Maher said individuals should stand up against injustices even if it means going against the norms of society. “You know sexual assault is not taken seriously when such a thing as a rape joke exists in our society,” Maher said. “Letting things like this slide means letting a whole lot of other things slide. It really is just perpetuating a system where sexual assault is looked at as okay and where victims are stigmatized.” Lyles-Chockley said she was excited about the turnout at the department’s first event of the year and hopes future programming events will be just as successful. “This first event was hugely successful,” Lyles-Chockley said. “I am thrilled because it was quite a challenge to get this done the first week of class, but the attendance, diversity of individuals who showed up and the overall participation were all great. It is a great way to start the year.”
During this time of late night studying and coffee breaks, both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s offer resources to help students manage the stress of finals week in a healthy manner. “College is a high stress environment and we perform best when we have learned to manage our stress,” Dr. Megan Brown, a counseling psychologist at the University Counseling Center (UCC), said. “However, many of us need to learn the skills of stress management. These resources help students learn and hone these skills.” In Saint Liam Hall at Notre Dame, students have access to the Inner Resources Room, which contains tools used to guide relaxation and enhance performance, according to the UCC’s website. Students can use a massage chair, a light box and computer biofeedback programs such as emWave and Healing Rhythms in the room, Brown said. Saint Mary’s also provides a form of light therapy, the Happy Light, offered by Women’s Health, Kris Pendley, a Saint Mary’s counselor, said. These devices combat seasonal affective disorders by giving students exposure to a full spectrum of light similar to the light of the sun for 20 to 30 minutes, Pendley said. “I think that for people used to sunny climates like California and the Southwest and southern states like Florida and Georgia where they have more sunlight are often more affected by the climate here,” Pendley said. “So this is an easy way to help with depression without needing a pill.” At Saint Mary’s, counselors in Women’s Health work with students to manage stress and anxiety, Pendley said. They use a wellness approach that includes looking at sleep habits, practicing visualization and discussing nutrition as well as deep breathing, she said. “[Deep breathing] levels out the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in your blood, and it gives your brain a good shot of oxygen which helps you think,” Pendley said. Taking care of the body through sleep, a healthy diet and exercise, as well as positive self talk that involves realistic encouragement and self compassion are techniques students can use to relieve stress, Brown said. “I think the most effective stress management is practicing a balanced lifestyle every day,” Brown said. “Then when things get particularly stressful, there is nothing new to learn, only slight adaptations to be made.” Pendley said smiling is another simple technique to manage stress. When you smile, the brain releases a chemical that makes you happy, and even if the person doesn’t return the smile, their brain releases a positive chemical as well, she said. “The thing with anxiety and stress is that you have a lot of control over your brain chemistry,” Pendley said. “When you think negative thoughts your brain produces the chemistry that causes anxiety and sadness.” Pendley said excessive stress is not healthy and often results in not only unhappiness but increased levels of procrastination. “All-nighters” are often a result, and are often counter-productive because without sleep the brain is unable to transfer information from the short-term to the long-term memory, she said. “Catastrophizing and not seeing a way out of the stress can shut us down,” Brown said. “If the stress is so bad that you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, ask for help from someone who can do something – a professor, a parent, a rector or a counselor.” Taking part in healthy activities, such as going for a walk or calling a friend, that elicit positive emotions are good ways to handle the stress college naturally invokes, Brown said. “I challenge students not to wait until finals to learn stress management,” she said. “These are the skills of success and happiness that will last a lifetime.” Contact Kathryn Marshall at [email protected]
Saint Mary’s College plans to institute a new graduate degree program offering a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) beginning in the fall of 2015 or 2016 due to a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.Saint Mary’s was one of 39 institutions that received a total of $62.7 million dollars to enhance career opportunities for college graduates.“For more than a decade … the Endowment has awarded grants to Indiana colleges and universities to pursue activities that improve the job prospects of college graduates in the state,” Lilly Endowment’s Dec. 5press release said.The PSM website, sciencemasters.com, defined the program as “an innovative, new graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics, while simultaneously developing workplace skills highly valued by employers.”Steven Broad, assistant professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, said local Indiana partnerships are a major component of Lilly Endowment’s goals for the grant.“This is certainly a focus for our development of the program,” Broad said. “We are working to identify a range of Indiana business, non-profit and education partners.”Broad said this type of program is not a new topic on the College’s agenda.“The idea of developing a PSM degree has been floating around for a couple years now, but it was only at the beginning of Fall 2012 that we landed on the idea of a program related to data analysis,” he said.A detailed budget for the development of the program was laid out in the grant application, Broad said, which included funding for a new faculty position at Saint Mary’s.Patricia Fleming, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, said professors from the Mathematics and Computer Science department would primarily teach the courses. However, the master’s program has several substantial differences from the traditional Saint Mary’s undergraduate education.“Most of the courses … will be offered online,” Fleming said. “This degree will be a hybrid degree, where students will come to campus at certain intervals. At this point, our planning would allow for cohorts of 15 students, but we will scale the program up given adequate demand and resources.”Another significant distinction is the inclusion of both female and male students in the graduate program. While Fleming said Saint Mary’s is happy to make the program coed, she said the decision was not made by the College.“When a single-gendered institution offers graduate programs, they must admit men,” Fleming said.She said the majority of online courses and interval campus attendance combine to remove the difficulty of housing on the residential, all-women’s campus.“If [the on-campus intervals are] primarily during the summer, we may have options on campus or locally for housing the students who pursue this degree,” Fleming said. “[H]ousing options will not present any problem for us.”The focus of the PSM program differs from past graduate programs offered at Saint Mary’s. The PSM degree will be much more technical and professionally oriented, Fleming said.“Saint Mary’s offered an STD — Doctorate in Sacred Theology — [and received] permission from the Higher Learning Commission to offer a graduate degree in Education, Fleming said.According to the College’s Dec. 12 press release, the last graduate program ended in 1969. Fleming said Saint Mary’s is still able to offer graduate credit toward a graduate degree but not toward a degree itself, until establishment of the PSM program is complete.Many aspects of the program are in development, Broad said. The Saint Mary’s press release cites projected open dates for an inaugural class in the fall of 2015 or 2016.“Partnering with businesses, specifically Indiana businesses, was a goal of the Lilly grant,” Broad said. “We have some strong relationships and several that are developing, and of course we are identifying potential partners with the kind of data needs relevant to the program for new relationships.”Tags: graduate program, master’s program, Saint Mary’s College, science
Four months ago, Fr. Stephen Newton fell 20 feet off a ladder, breaking his back and neck. Newton said harrowing experiences such as this remind him to value life’s unpredictability and embrace its challenges, an outlook he will carry with him in his new role as the Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry priest.“There are no straight lines in my life,” Newton said. “Everything is kind of jagged. I’ve been through a number of things that brought me to the brink of hopelessness, and then, I broke through to hope.”Newton’s path to becoming ordained was far from straight and narrow, he said. He said he struggled with an addiction to alcohol that forced him to resign temporarily from the seminary, leaving him homeless and poor.Newton began to overcome his alcoholism when he found a dime on the ground one day, with which he was able to fund a pay phone call to an addiction center. He said seeking treatment strengthened his relationship with God and taught him the importance of remaining open to God’s plans.“Control is not success, but letting go is,” Newton said. “Living a life based on spiritual principles is a lot better than living a life on self-will or pride.”Newton said his application for re-admission to the seminary was accepted, allowing him to approach his studies with a renewed sense of purpose.“I used to thank God for recovery, but now I thank recovery for God,” he said. “Coming through all of that helped me with my faith. You learn so much about how we are not the center of the universe.”Newton said he now accepts change as a natural part of life, for it fosters personal growth and encourages him to take risks that could lead to increased knowledge.“We are always growing, and if we’re not, we’re not living,” Newton said. “I might define what I believe now, but if you said ‘Is that what you’re going to believe in five years?’ I’d say ‘I don’t know. It’ll probably be along those lines, but it’ll be deeper.’”When Newton fell from the ladder recently, he suffered no cognitive or peripheral damage, shocking the doctors who treated him. After four months of rehabilitation, Newton said the lessons he learned from the accident remind him difficulties happen for a reason.“I’m still healing,” Newton said. “I didn’t survive that broken neck and back and all that to just retire.”At Saint Mary’s, Newton looks forward to dispelling misconceptions that may distance people from the Church and welcoming those who might feel unwelcome.“Across the board, there are people who have felt alienated,” Newton said. “Maybe their notion of church and the reality of what Jesus wanted it to be are at odds and can be reconciled.”Newton said his own path, while not orthodox, ultimately made him a better priest.“[My experience] really renewed my faith and brought me to a different place with it than I otherwise would have been,” he said. “I might have been a nice-guy priest, but I don’t think there would have been much empathy or compassion or true openness to the grace of God.”Tags: Campus Ministry, saint mary’s, Stephen Newton
Calling for the tri-campus community to see their education as a stepping stone toward pursuing their greater purpose, Cornel West, Harvard professor, philosopher, activist and author of social sciences book “Race Matters” delivered the 25th-annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy on Friday night.West began by taking time to thank two Notre Dame professors who he said made a lasting impact on him as colleagues in thought. “I would like to dedicate my feeble words and my weak efforts that can never capture the depth, the scope, the breath of who ultimately they were — Erskine Peters and Joseph Buttigieg,” West said. West did not only recognize the lasting impact of his peers, but also the lasting legacy of the University’s President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.“[Hesburgh] was willing to embark on wrestling what the most fundamental question any one of us will ever have to come to terms with: ‘What does it mean to be human?’” West said.West used Socrates’ teachings as an illustration of how education should be used as a means to promote free thought in society.“Socrates argues that we must take seriously argument evidence, viable conclusions,” he said. “We must be able to enter public space without humiliation to disagree with one another across political, ideological lines in a respectful way.”Approaching education in this way allows us to challenge and change our views, pushing us to grow as people, West said.“All of us have the capacity to change — don’t ever freeze anybody in a stationary stance,” he said. “And allow them to keep track of your devilish behavior. We humanize, and anytime you humanize, you contextualize, and you pluralize and you individuate so we’re all distinctive persons.”West said Notre Dame students ought to carry the legacy Hesburgh left them and, in Socratic fashion, pursue their education for a greater purpose.“Young folk, our dear Fr. Ted would want to say to you, ‘Socratic legacy of Athens is about finding your sense of a calling — not just a career of vocation, not just your profession. … [It’s about] trying to make a decision of what kind of human being you’re going to be, what kind of virtues, what kind of visions, what kind of values will they say about you when you are in your coffin at your funeral,’” West said. “They’re not going to read your curriculum vitae at that moment. They’re going to talk about what was the scope of their courage to think, to laugh, to love, to sacrifice, to serve?”West said in order to live for this greater purpose, we must be willing to submit ourselves to the transformative experience education provides us.“The question will be, ‘Have you really learned how to die, in order to learn how to live?’” West said. “Because when you interrogate yourself and give up any slice of assumptions, of presupposition, any prejudices you have, any prejudgments that need to be unsettled, that’s a form of death. And there’s no education without death and no paideia. I’m talking about deep education, not cheap schooling. Cheap schooling is about information and steel acquisition. No, what goes on at Saint Mary’s, what goes on at Notre Dame, is paideia. That transformation — that metanoia — that fundamental interrogation of self that results in intellectual, moral, political awakening.”Though a quality education is important, we must also learn to love and serve one another, West said.“Love flows across denominations, flows across skin pigmentation, it flows across class and national boundaries,” he said. “I am who I am because somebody loved me, somebody cared for me, somebody attended to me.”With love comes an openness to truth, West said, which in turn allows us to empathize with those less fortunate than us.“If you shatter your numbness, shatter your callousness, shatter your indifference, maybe you can listen to the voices of the suffering,” he said. “It’s an invitation to care, an invitation to have a concern, an invention to be in solidarity, to express generosity.”Tags: 25th Annual Hesburgh Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy, Cornel West, Socrates
Members of different faith communities gathered for Mass on Wednesday evening in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart to remember the victims of the Sri Lanka Easter bombing attacks and their families. University President Fr. John Jenkins presided.The bombings, which killed over 350 people, targeted Christians celebrating Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. The attacks came at a time of heightened religious tensions both in Sri Lanka and around the world.Fr. Robert Dowd, a professor of political science who concelebrated the Mass, said in his homily there is a gap between the will of God and the will of humankind.“Even as we celebrate Easter — the Resurrection of the Lord —we are reminded that there is a gap: a gap between the way the world is, and the way God intends it to be,” he said.Dowd said he encourages the Church to join with individuals of other faith backgrounds in resisting religious hatred and violence.“Religion, you know, has been used far too often to cut people off from one another and to justify violence,” Dowd said. “Yet we know there are people in Sri Lanka and other parts of the world — people of faith — who are dedicating themselves to building bridges between people of different faiths.”Nilesh Fernando, an economics professor, grew up in Sri Lanka and said he welcomed the support of the Notre Dame community. “I’m not Catholic, but I appreciate the solidarity in a pretty difficult time for Sri Lankans,” Fernando said. In wake of the attacks, Dowd reminded the congregation of the story of Jesus’ resurrection, which he said was a symbol of love overcoming violence and death. Dowd said the role of peace builders who promise hope for a grieving community should specifically be remembered.“We also pray for them, the peace builders — those dedicating themselves to building peace between communities of faith and other groups,” Dowd said. “They play their role in closing the gap between the way the world is and the way God intends it to be. So, we pray for them in a special way.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Catholic Mass, Easter Bombings, religion, Sri Lanka, terrorism
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) Image via Apple.com.NEW YORK – Think you need to be screened for the Coronavirus? There’s an app for that.Friday, Apple released an app and a website that will ask you about your symptoms and give users information on the virus.It’s all thanks to a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FEMA, and the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force.Apple isn’t stopping there, CEO Tim Cook said the company is donating 10 million face masks in the United States and in Europe.