Monthly Archives: January 2021

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Jan
26

GALA to recognize SMC sister

first_imgAs assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Saint Mary’s College, Sr. Mary Louise “M.L.” Gude, worked to foster tolerance for gay and lesbian students at Notre Dame. Gude will receive the Thomas A. Dooley award on Saturday for her service to the gay and lesbian community of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s from Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College (GALA). The Thomas A. Dooley award is named after a gay, former Notre Dame student who worked as a Navy doctor in Southeast Asia and continued as a humanitarian doctor in Laos after his dismissal from the Navy, according to GALA’s website. The award is given to individuals who use their faith to advance the rights of American gays and lesbians. Growing up in Cleveland as the oldest of five children, Gude said she always knew she had a religious vocation. “I wanted to be a sister of Holy Cross because my mother’s family had connections to Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s,” Gude said. Gude came to Notre Dame in 1983 and remained at the University for 23 years, until she became the vice president for Mission at Saint Mary’s College in 2006. She started as an assistant rector in Breen Phillips Hall and eventually became an assistant vice president for student affairs in 1998. In 1996, Gude helped found the standing committee on gay and lesbian student needs at the University. The Network Initiative, one of the first programs implemented, was designed to promote understanding and facilitate dialogue in the Notre Dame community. “I met quite a few students in the late 90s and early part of this decade through that program,” Gude said. The standing committee is now the Core Council, which hosts events such as CommUnity and Solidarity Sunday in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community. “Catholic theology is founded on marriage, and sexual acts should take place in a marriage,” Gude said. “On the other hand, LGBT deserve not just tolerance, but our respect and acceptance.” She also said the goals of the standing committee and Core Council are not based on activism. “We were not activists. We just want people to be accepted for who they were,” she said.last_img read more

Jan
26

Renters adjust to landlord

first_imgEditor’s Note: This is the first installment in a two-part series about Kramer Properties and Campus Housing, which both lease off-campus housing to students in South Bend. Senior Carolyn Conley was one of over 300 students who signed a lease with Kramer Properties before learning via e-mail last spring that Campus Apartments would be managing her off-campus property this year. “I was a little surprised that they told us by e-mail because that seems like something more important, maybe a phone call or a letter in the mail,” Conley said. Mark Kramer, owner of the local management company Kramer Properties, sold a portion of his portfolio to Gross & Cohen Real Estate Investors two years ago, but maintained management of the properties to ease the transition process. Kramer sent an e-mail to students about the change in management in February. “We felt that was the most efficient and quickest way,” Kramer said. “We urged them that if they had further questions, they could call our office, and many of them did.” As a result of negotiations between Kramer and Gross & Cohen, the terms of the lease students signed with Kramer were still valid after the transfer. Gross & Cohen chose Campus Apartments, a national management chain, to manage the properties, including Notre Dame Apartments. “I hadn’t heard of Campus Apartments so I was a little confused as to why Kramer hadn’t given us any indication that he was going to sell our house, but it wasn’t a really big deal,” Conley said. “I know everybody’s had a couple issues this summer with like the dishwasher being checked and needing to get everything set up.” After Campus Apartments hired new staff members in August, Conley said management has improved. “I think they’ve come up with a pretty good team so everything’s been running smooth since then,” Conley said. Conley said the team keeps in touch with students on a regular basis. For example, Campus Apartments delivered free HotBox Pizza to student residents earlier this semester. “They’ve been really good about timely response,” Conley said. “Their office is really accessible, so even though I don’t need to contact them very much, they seem like they are doing a good job of staying connected with the students.” Danielle Champagne became regional manager of Campus Apartments’ South Bend office in August. Champagne said student complaints have been “minimal.” “We do quarterly inspections,” Champagne said. “We go through and we fix problems that students sometimes don’t tell us about.” Champagne said faulty appliances are typical when students move into properties. “Whenever students aren’t here for two months, appliances sit, and sometimes they don’t know how to properly use the items,” Champagne said. “Next year, our goal is that, when students go in, to go in with them and show them how to use every piece of equipment in their house.” According to Champagne, Campus Apartments has already made the necessary improvements as a new management company in the area. The company has updated its website with an interactive map of properties’ floor plans and is hiring a leasing agent to add to the three-person, full-time staff. “We have a very steady staff who are young and fun and energetic, who are just looking to plan events and get to know the residents individually,” Champagne said. “Notre Dame students are a tight-knit community, so we just want to make sure that we are helping them in any way possible.” Champagne recognized the advantages of being a part of a national chain serving colleges and universities across the country. “I think being a national chain helps us because we do have a lot of structure that if ever we need something, there’s always someone there,” Champagne said. Champagne expects a strong leasing season for Campus Apartments, which manages more than 68 houses and 44 apartments in the area. “I think they are just going a little bit slower this year as opposed to last year,” Champagne said. Rent depends on the property’s location, amenities and other factors. Conley pays $475 per month for a five-person house on Wayne Street. Champagne said that rent would stay the same for next year. Campus Apartments also offers students around-the-clock emergency maintenance and ADT alarm systems. “It’s up to their discretion and their parents’ discretion to activate it,” Champagne said about the security systems. Senior Colin Parker, who also lives in a house managed by Campus Apartments, said he has not had any safety or security issues this year. “I feel very safe because we have been good about locking our doors even when we are home, turning on the security systems when we are home,” Parker said. “I don’t think Campus Apartments has had much to do with that.” When the house’s shower was clogged and wasn’t running, Parker said Campus Apartments responded the following day.  “We took that issue first to Campus Apartments,” Parker said. “They did a very good job of turning it around and calling somebody.” Parker, who had signed with Kramer during the second semester of his sophomore year, advises students considering off-campus living to shop around early. “Go over to Campus Apartments and look at their options,” Parker said. “What was valuable to us was proximity to campus but also to other college students.” The second installment of this series will examine the changes Kramer Properties has experienced since selling many of its homes to Campus Apartments. It will run in tomorrow’s Observer.last_img read more

Jan
26

Kramer sells portion of portfolio

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the final installment in a two-part series about Kramer Properties and Campus Apartments, which both lease off-campus housing to students in South Bend. Local landlord Mark Kramer said selling a portion of his portfolio to Gross and Cohen Real Estate Investors has benefitted his business. “I believe that it’s impacted my business in a positive way,” Kramer said. “I’m able to continue with the personal service.” Kramer finalized the deal two years ago but continued to manage the properties until the national chain Campus Apartments, hired by Gross and Cohen, took over management last spring. Maintaining personal interactions with students motivated Kramer to sell, he said. “You get to a point where you get too large, and then you need to bring in more staff, and I’m a hands-on person,” Kramer said. “When I was approached by Gross and Cohen to sell a portion of the portfolio, I just thought it was a good idea so that I could continue to maintain that personal level of business with my clientele, the students of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.” Kramer gave no advanced notification to students who had signed a lease with Kramer Properties. “It’s a sensitive process, but I did notify them once the process was complete via e-mail and expressed to them that please feel free to call me so that I could help them with any transition situations, which many of them did,” Kramer said. Kramer said he would not hire a national chain to manage his properties, including 75 houses, Lafayette Square Townhomes and 20 apartments. “If I decided someday that I wanted to retire, I would not bring a national chain to manage my company,” Kramer said. “I would hire my family and that’s why we have succession plans in place.” Living in South Bend his whole life, Kramer has been in the student housing business for 20 years. Kramer said Kramer Properties is a “family business” where his wife manages the front office at 812 East LaSalle Street in South Bend. “That’s not a company name on my building,” Kramer said. “That’s my name. It’s not a big corporate name that’s sort of a shield, and that’s why I use my name.” Kramer said his personal service makes him unique in light of his competitors. “My students can call me directly,” Kramer said. “I’m the owner of the business, but I’m totally approachable.” A security firm patrols Kramer’s properties from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. Each property has a security system, peepholes in every door and motion sensors. Kramer said incidents concerning security have decreased. “We’ve had less incidents than we’ve had in past years,” Kramer said. “I think that has something to do with student awareness.” Kramer said he is “actively” leasing for next year. “To me, it’s business as usual,” Kramer said. “My business is active as it’s ever been and popular as it’s ever been.” According to Kramer, houses lease for $425 per month, and Lafayette Townhomes lease for $325 unfurnished and $395 fully furnished. Kramer has no plans to retire or sell any more properties. “I still have the desire to continue on and have fun in my business,” Kramer said. “Students make me young.” Senior Deirdre Murdy lives in a house on South Bend Avenue. Murdy said she and her roommates approached Kramer about installing additional motion sensors the morning after a security incident. According to Murdy, the house’s security system was not on, and a burglar crawled through an open window and allegedly stole an iPod and some speakers. “He was there later that afternoon and fixed it all for us,” Murdy said. Murdy said students should communicate with Kramer. “He’s really easy to get in touch with,” Murdy said. Senior Eileen Bingle lives in a five-person house managed by Kramer on Saint Louis Boulevard. “It was a little disconcerting that he had dropped some of the people that had originally signed with him, but as far as what I’ve experienced personally, I have no problem being under Kramer management,” she said. Bingle said Kramer has responded to the “few” issues she and her roommates had in a prompt manner. “We had mice, which was a little scary, but he came over and had an exterminator come in right away and took care of the problem,” Bingle said. Bingle said she values off-campus living. “It’s really a real-world experience dealing with paying bills, and things like that will help me in the future,” Bingle said. “It’s a lot of fun living with your friends in your house.”last_img read more

Jan
26

University continues to integrate iPads into instruction in campus classrooms

first_imgWhile iPads may be considered a trendy device outside of a university environment, this semester, two new pilot classes are exploring the benefits of using these University-provided devices in the classroom. Professors also are making adjustments based on last fall’s experiences. Last semester 50 iPads were dispersed among different undergraduate classes, including assistant professor of management Corey Angst’s Project Management course. The class used iPads mainly as e-readers, in addition to electronic pop quizzes and sharing documents and videos. Although student feedback was mostly positive, the e-reader through which the class read textbook and supplementary PDF files posed challenges because of its limitations. “One of the criticisms that we saw in the survey [the class took] was that the students said you couldn’t annotate and you couldn’t highlight,” Angst said. “But in fact you can do those things, but you need [to purchase an] application to do it.” Julian Velasco, associate professor at the Notre Dame Law School, who is using iPads in his Advanced Topics in Corporate Law class, requires students to purchase iAnnotatePDF, the application to which Angst referred. He also is using different e-reader software. “The software used to read the text [last semester] was very clunky software designed for the iPad, a 1.0 at best,” Velasco said. “I wanted to nip that in the bud, and I refused to use proprietary software.” Academic Technologies consultant Jon Crutchfield believes the upgrades for Velasco’s class will improve students’ experience with iPads. “Most of the technical issues [last semester] were the usability of the apps themselves,” Crutchfield said. “The apps that are available for Professor Velasco’s course are better than those available to the business school course.” In addition to Velasco’s class, iPads will be used in Professor Lance Askildson’s course on the Impact of Language, Culture and Identity on Educational Practices. For this class, the iPads have two distinct purposes. “They’re both using [iPads] for coursework and trying to figure out how to use it to teach others languages,” Crutchfield said. Because of the success of the iPad first semester and continued improvement, Crutchfield said he foresees an increase in the use of iPads and their equivalents at Notre Dame in the near future. “We actually have web statistics that show that more iPads are accessing Notre Dame websites as time has gone on,” Crutchfield said. Velasco said while the iPad has contributed to a decrease in their own paper usage, a truly paper-free class does not wait in the future. “A completely paperless office? No,” Velasco said. “But as for a drastically reduced paper one? I think absolutely.”last_img read more

Jan
26

Choosing more than a candidate

first_imgLike the other 46 states in the country, Tuesday is Election Day for Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. But for voters in those four states, casting a ballot does not just mean choosing a new president – it also determines whether or not gay marriage will be legalized. In Maine, Washington and Maryland, ballots feature referendums that would legalize same-sex marriages in the states. In Minnesota, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage will be put up for a vote. For senior Maura Newell, a native of Seattle, the fight is personal. With a gay brother, uncle and aunt, she says gay rights issues are “very much so” a consideration next Tuesday. “It is probably one of the deciding factors for me,” she said. Just as voters in these four states will cast their ballots differently, the two presidential candidates stand in opposition on many gay rights issues. Democratic candidate President Barack Obama voiced support for same-sex marriages earlier in the year, the first sitting president to do so. During his term in office, Obama also signed a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and announced the Department of Justice would no longer uphold Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against equal protection constitutional challenges brought by same-sex couples married under state law. In comparison, his Republican opponent Gov. Mitt Romney, supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage, in addition to a ban on same-sex civil unions if they differ from marriage in name only. Romney has said he would not seek to overturn the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Newell said she is pleased with the increased discourse on gay rights, saying the issue is a “hot topic” right now. “I just think it is going to be one of those things that we’re going to look back and be [like], ‘What were people even thinking?’” A ‘big deal’ when casting the ballot? Senior Pat Adams, who already has cast his ballot for Romney, said he does not support same-sex marriage because it conflicts with his faith. “As a practicing Catholic – I am a theology major – I look to the Catholic Church to help me form my conscience on issues like this,” he said. “The Catechism is pretty clear there is a distinction between orientation and action.” Gay rights issues were “relatively important” but not the most prominent issue in casting his ballot for the Republican candidate, Adams said. He said the issue of same-sex marriage and other gay rights have not been prominent in either candidate’s campaign. “To be totally honest, neither campaign talked about it a whole lot,” he said. “I think it is a pretty good strategy on both sides because the focus of the election has overwhelmingly [been] on the economy.” Senior Carson Kirkpatrick, who is gay, said gay rights issues are a “big deal” for him in the upcoming election. “And I think for my friends, it is too, even some of my straight friends have expressed concern whether or not they should vote for Obama or Mitt Romney,” he said. “The ones that are more moderate or on the fence. … I think where their split is their economic views and social views.” Kirkpatrick said he thinks there is a struggle for voters in choosing between candidates that may appeal to different issues at stake. “There is no middle ground between the two candidates,” he said. “You can pick Mitt Romney … but he’s going to do something you don’t believe in the social area, and with Obama, some people have argued he’s had a chance to fix the economy, and the economy is not fixed, but then he is on the right track socially.” Newell said she recognizes much of popular support for Romney stems from his successful business career and his economic policies. However, she said this is just one issue in determining a candidate. “As much as that of course is important, people are people. We’re not just members of this country where we work every day,” Newell said. “So that is what concerns me, that he may make progress in some arenas – but I can definitely see him putting that on the back-burner.” Senior Lauren Peartree, whose older brother is gay, said there is a momentum of support for same-sex marriage among younger generations, something she does not see totally stopping even if Romney is elected. “I hope it will [continue],” she said. “I think it has a lot to do with our generation growing up, and how we view things.” But if Romney is elected, Peartree said she hopes the Republican candidate becomes more moderate in his views on gay rights. “I think [a lot of what he says] is to get the conservative vote,” she said. “I don’t think he is necessarily close-minded. I don’t know if it is me being idealistic, but it’s what I would like to think.” However, she said the fact gay rights issues are an integral component of political discourse is to not be taken lightly. “I personally don’t think it is an issue to be ignored,” Peartree said. Hitting home With several gay relatives, Newell said she sometimes forgets others may not be as personally invested in supporting same-sex marriage. “For me, I can’t imagine telling my brother or my uncle or my aunt they can’t marry the person they love,” she said. “I think a lot of people don’t have that because they are removed from it, and they never even talked to someone that is gay. For me it is just something that is just so in-my-face, I guess I am just emotionally charged.” Most of Newell’s friends are “totally on board” with Referendum 74, which would allow for same-sex marriage in Washington while also preserving the right to refuse to perform, recognize or accommodate any marriage ceremony. “I think with most people I know from Seattle, maybe because it is more liberal, it kind of is just like, ‘Why are we even talking about this any more?’” she said. Senior Molly Millet, a native of Maryland who has a gay relative, said one of the main reasons she registered to vote is to vote on Question 6, a state referendum that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. She said while she would still be voting for same-sex marriage regardless, having a gay relative makes the fight important to her. “I would still hold the same beliefs,” Millet said. “I just think seeing it on a more personal level and having the exposure to the fact that there are people close to me I think should be able to get married. “I think they are some of the most healthy, normal couples I have ever seen. The fact that I have had the personal exposure to it makes it that much more important to me.” Like Newell, Millet said she sees similar sentiments of support among her friends back home. “Because it is something that a lot of young people care about and I think are a little more unanimous on than older generations, I see a lot of my friends getting a little more involved because of this issue that might not otherwise be as politically involved,” she said. Opposing viewpoints At Notre Dame, Adams said he feels his views are shared by many – but not the majority -because it is a Catholic university. “Other people are coming from the same spot,” he said. “I would say definitely in terms of being a 21-year-old male in the context of other universities, I don’t think it is a normal position at all. But for Notre Dame, I think it is fair to say there is a pretty conservative base on campus.” Going to Notre Dame, Millet said she has come into contact with other students who do not share her beliefs on same-sex marriage. “I’ve been in conversation with people who are vehemently against it,” she said. “I am not a confrontational person and I don’t want to start an issue that doesn’t need to be brought up, but the arguments I have heard that are against gay marriage don’t make sense to me.” For Newell, those who make a decision to not support same-sex marriage based on religious beliefs without exposing themselves to the gay community is “really scary.” “It’s just like they don’t know it, they make no effort to know it, so that’s it, their mind is made up,” she said. “I don’t get how other people can choose how other people’s lives are determined … It’s so archaic to me.” Political ‘give and take’ Senior Tom Temmerman is gay – but he also has already cast his vote for Romney. While he said gay rights issues are “really important” to him, he has to engage in a “give and take” with respect to whom he votes for. “I’m voting on all of the issues,” he said. “I’m not super pleased with either of the candidates.” Temmerman said he feels he can vote for a candidate without agreeing with every facet of his platform. “It’s hard,” Temmerman said. “It’s one of those things where people are like, ‘How can you even support that?  They say terrible things about [gay rights], but at the same time … if they did say positive things, they would lose a lot of people who support them. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t support that, I’m not pleased when [Romney] says stuff like that.” Temmerman said he does not take Romney’s opposition on same-sex marriage personally, but he is worried if elected, Romney may slow the momentum of the gay rights movement. “That’s my only concern … but I don’t think he has the power to stop it from happening,” he said. “I don’t think the amount of power he has to slow it down is that great, just because it has become such a predominant issue. I think there are a lot of people who will rally in support of it and keep it moving forward.”last_img read more

Jan
26

Bremyer named new director

first_imgElizabeth Kenney News Writer The Saint Mary’s Writing Center welcomed Aaron Bremyer as its new director last summer after the previous director, Kathy Thomas, retired in May.  Bremyer said he and his wife, assistant professor of English Dionne Bremyer, are thankful to be at the College. “We both fell in love with the place, fell in love with the students and fell in love with our colleagues,” Bremyer said. “So far, so good.”  Aaron Bremyer said this is his first time working at a single-gender institution. Although he was unsure about the experience at first, he said now he really enjoys it.  “Students are students and people are people,” he said. “I love not having loud jerks running around campus. It is so quiet.” Bremyer graduated from Emporia University, in Flint Hills, Kansas, with a degree in secondary English education. After teaching high school English for two years, he returned to Emporia to earn a Masters of English. He then moved to the University of Connecticut to pursue a doctorate in English. There, he first gained experience working in a writing center.  “I saw this as an extension of the teaching that I was doing but also understood that it was quite different,” Bremyer said. When he took a teaching position at the University of West Georgia, Bremyer said he simultaneously continued his part-time work with writing centers.  Bremyer said collaboration will be the key to a successful Saint Mary’s Writing Center. He said  The Writing Center can help all students, no matter what their ability levels are. “Very successful writers come and benefit from working with our tutors, so [the Writing Center] is for any level of preparedness,” Bremyer said.   The Writing Center now offers 30-minute and hour-long appointments, Bremyer said. Before, scheduling was limited to hour-long sessions.  “We help any student at any point in the writing process,” Bremyer said. Bremyer emphasized the importance of writing as a necessary life skill. “Being able to … communicate well in writing, as well as in any other mode, is an essential quality,” he said.  Bremyer said the Center offers a gradual process of assistance for writers looking to grow. “Not every tutorial will be life-changing or develop the paper in some perfect way. Not every paper is going to be an ‘A,’” Bremyer said. “That is not our goal, anyway, but it is to improve through practice, slowly and steadily. Every writing assignment will be better for having visited the Writing Center, and that is a powerful tool.”last_img read more

Jan
26

Moreau exhibits artwork

first_imgModernity, in both style and theme, has infiltrated the Moreau Center for the Arts at Saint Mary’s. The College’s spring exhibits feature pieces by Matthew Kluber, professor of art at Grinnell College, and Megan Vossler, professor of art at Macalester College.Tiffany Bidler, director of Moreau Art Galleries, said the works of both artists represent a modernist, minimalist style.“Both Vossler and Kluber’s work is quite minimalist,” Bidler said. “What I enjoy about Kluber’s watercolors is that they give the impression of being something produced in multiples by a machine, like a digital print, and yet they are each hand-painted.”Kluber’s exhibit features a combination of painting and digital technology and is available for viewing in the Hammes Gallery, Bidler said.The linear, geometric elements featured in his paintings reference the colorful horizontal bands of data one finds on a piece of compromised technology, Kluber said.“The thn horizontal stripes refer to that imploding data, while the picture plane alludes to the computer screen, resulting in a carefully edited version of a visual phenomenon associated with the breakdown of a system,” Kluber said.By manipulating the timing and fades of the projector while simultaneously playing multiple different layers of video and motion graphics on the pre-painted canvas, Kluber said he is trying to facilitate a seamless intersection between traditional media and new media. Although the Grinnell professor uses custom software written in C++ and OpenGL, Kluber said he draws inspiration from the age of psychedelics.“Reference points for this work come from interest in the historic changes brought about in art by the social and cultural upheavals and rapid developments in science and technology in the 1960s and 1970s,” Kluber said. “These changes compelled a new generation of artists to address emotional disengagement, formal rigor and anonymity of authorship in order to escape the art that had reached its height of influence in the form of Abstract Expressionism.”Vossler’s drawings, located in the Little Theatre and Sister Rosaire galleries, are less colorful and the borders are more defined. Bidler said she first saw Vossler’s work in an exhibition in Minneapolis.“We have two drawing courses in the art department and I thought students would enjoy the work of a contemporary artist working in a traditional medium,” Bidler said. “However, she uses the medium in a contemporary way. The drawings are somewhat minimalistic, making interesting use of negative space and dealing with contemporary subject matter.”Vossler said she meant for her graphite drawings to explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world. The exhibit features two bodies of work, one created in 2010 and the other in 2013, which Vossler said reveals how she has begun to hone her focus on the small details. The Macalester professor usually depicts northern landscapes dotted with human figures and caribou, shadowed by images of trees and hovering helicopters.“[The subjects] all are negotiating their positions within an environment that has been indelibly changed,” Vossler said. “The landscape through which these figures move is vast and overpowering, a silent backdrop to a host of migrations.”Her more recent pieces zoom in on the effects of human engineering, modification and control, she said. Octodrone I and II depict an octopus whose tentacles’ suction cups look more like loud speakers. Other graphite drawings depict loud speakers coming out of a dying tree’s trunk.“Both flora and fauna are affected by the interplay between natural process and human desires,” Vossler said.Bidler said that artists may find the relationship between humans and their ecosystems pertinent in order to explore their own medium of art.“Students in the art department are very interested in exploring questions relating to the environment by way of their artistic practice,” Bidler said. “We have, for example, a sustainable fibers course taught by Professor Julie Tourtillotte.”Bidler said the exhibit will be open until March 14, 2014.Tags: Moreau Center for the Artslast_img read more

Jan
26

Professor emeritus dies at 89

first_imgEdward Vasta, professor emeritus of English at Notre Dame, died Monday at the age of 89, according to a University press release.Vasta served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 through 1948, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship after graduating from Notre Dame in 1952 and returned to the University as a faculty member in 1958. He specialized in Middle English literature, medieval studies, creative writing and the humanities, the press release said.Vasta was the head of the department of English at Notre Dame from 1972 to 1978 after serving as director of graduate studies from 1966 to 1969.“Vasta had an infectious passion for literature, especially poetry,” Jacqueline Vaught Brogan, professor emerita of English, said in the press release. “My discussions with him over the latter remain among the high points of my time at Notre Dame and influenced my own creativity, for which I am grateful. His personal attention was an inspiration to many. He is sorely missed.”According to the release, funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, with visitation one hour prior at the McGann Hay University Chapel. A burial with military honors will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery.Tags: department of english, Edward Vasta, professor emeritus, professor emeritus dieslast_img read more

Jan
26

Singer visits Saint Mary’s, performs one woman musical

first_imgOn Monday, Saint Mary’s welcomed mezzo-soprano Kate Tombaugh who discussed her journey and shared career advice with students interested in musical theater. Tombaugh also performed her one woman musical, “It Just Takes One.”Tombaugh wrote, produced and starred in “It Just Takes One,” a one woman show about her journey to stage, from her first auditions in New York City, through her struggle to find the right guy and to living on her own while pursuing her dreams. The music in the show ranged from popular Broadway tunes such as “Cockeyed Optimist” from “South Pacific” to original songs and arias. Tombaugh is a mezzo-soprano, which means that vocally she has the capacity to play either a male or female role in a musical. Tombaugh has toured with a variety of opera companies and symphonies and has performed in such musicals as “Barber of Seville” and “Cinderella.”During her lecture, Tombaugh recommended that students start preparing for their careers while in college.“It’s not like one day you just wake up and say, ‘I’m a professional!’ You have to start practicing now,” she said. “This time for you is a very short blip in your career and the sooner you can start being proactive and learning how to be your own teacher and promoter, the better off you will be. There’s going to be a time where you’re out of school and you won’t have the resources like you have here.” College is the perfect “safe zone” in which students can start to realize their dreams, Tombaugh said. “I had always heard that you should create the life you imagine, but you can’t just keep seeing it as this distant thing in the future, you have to start taking tangible steps towards it,” she said.Tombaugh said students need to stop bragging, rather they should start to promote themselves effectively, as teachers, peers and colleagues can be the start of their network. “You have to decide what kind of person you want to be, and I have always known that I’m not the type of person who is comfortable throwing someone under the bus to make something happen for me,” she said. “If you start to view everyone as your asset, as your friend or network, not in a using way, but if you think, ‘their successes are my successes’ and ‘they have skill sets and information that I don’t have access to’ … then you are giving yourself a lot of power back.”Tombaugh said motivation is a key to success. “Find the happy medium in your personality,” she said. “If you are someone who is not super motivated, you have to think about ways to motivate yourself. I try to come up with a theme or mantra every year. This year, my goal is ‘simplify and streamline.’”Following one’s dreams requires effort, Tombaugh said. “Sometimes you need to just keep pushing to make something happen,” she said.   Tags: Broadway, mezzo soprano, musical theater, Operalast_img read more

Jan
26

Saint Mary’s students reflect on Iowa caucus

first_imgEvery four years, the state of Iowa holds the first contest of the presidential nominating process. The 2020 Iowa Caucus took place Monday. Iowans travelled to schools, churches and public libraries to record their votes. GRETCHEN HOPKIRK Iowans participate in the 2020 presidential caucuses on Tuesday night. While results were delayed for nearly a day due to technical problems, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was narrowly leading the field late Tuesday, with more than 70% of results reported.The results of this year’s caucuses were delayed due to failures in the vote-counting system and the people eagerly awaited throughout Tuesday to hear the results. The inconsistencies in the reporting of voting raised questions as to whether or not Iowa equally represented all of America. Professor William Svelmoe, the chair of the history department at the College, had a first-hand experience campaigning in Iowa. Svelmoe travelled to Iowa this past weekend in order to campaign for former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. “I wanted to go and just experience Iowa. Everyone always says it’s the heart of the political universe,” he said. The excitement that citizens expressed towards going door-to-door to campaign for their candidate was a one of a kind experience for him, he said. Nevertheless, while on this journey, he discovered that not everyone in Iowa was aware of the contest: most of the blue-collar workers he encountered were unaware that the caucus was approaching; they were unable to take time off from work in order to participate. “I was reminded, which I think is important, is just how much participation in our democracy is a class-based … privilege,” he said. Some have expressed a desire to see the inaugural contest moved elsewhere in future campaign cycles. Junior Kathleen Williams, however, has no problem with the caucus taking place in Iowa. “The working-class middle class takes up the majority of the voting bloc, so it’s a good predictor when they have more of a say in voting, because they will [vote],” she said.  Sophomore Isabella Thompson-Davoli said the caucus should be moved, as to increase its visibility to a non-Iowan audience.“Sure, move it. Maybe if they moved it to a different state people would know more about it,” she said.Freshman Delaney Garabed also agreed that finding a different, more representative state would be more beneficial. “I think [they should go] to a place, [that’s] not just racially diverse, but socioeconomically diverse, like class diversity and in a place where there is just more general representation across all fronts, rather than just by race or by class,” she said.For his part, Svelmoe said he believes the caucus represents more than just a chance to vote.  “It’s so important … because whoever wins Iowa … it launches you,” he said. “It certainly gives you a huge leg up and you’re doing it with virtually all white middle-class participation.”Tags: Iowa Caucus, Politics, saint mary’slast_img read more