Junior battles cancer, researches disease

first_imgJunior Courtney Rauch is a student researcher. For the past two years, she was also a breast cancer patient. Rauch works with Dr. Steven Buechler, the chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, to compile and organize data about breast cancer treatment. “He’s doing research where he’s not really finding a cure for cancer, but he’s finding out ways to group breast cancer patients so you know which treatment … they would respond to,” Rauch said. “The way it is now, a lot of people get chemo when they don’t actually need chemo. The chemo isn’t necessarily the best treatment to help them.” Rauch spent the last two years splitting her time between surgery and student life. She is now cancer-free. ND Minute spent some time with Rauch to learn about her “let’s fix it” attitude, her love of math and her experience with breast cancer. “It’s kind of given me the mentality that you don’t wait for things,” Rauch said. “I try to make the most out of everything that I do here. Coming in, I knew I only have four years here and I have to make the most of college, but the fact that I had to miss school and occasionally I thought I would have to stay home an entire semester … I dedicate myself to everything I do as much as I can.”last_img read more

Egyptians face civil unrest, political change

first_imgCrowds lined the streets of Cairo on Monday to cast their votes in Egypt’s first parliamentary election since the removal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office in February. Political science professor Asher Kaufman said the election in an important step for the Egyptian people almost one year after the revolution that sparked the Arab Spring. “This is the first time since the early 1950s that they’ve been able to vote. There have been elections [in the past,] but they have been predetermined,” Kaufman said. “The party in power would expect seats in parliament and presidents could win most of the vote. The question now is: what will be the outcome?” The week leading up to the first day of the election was not without violence in Tahrir Square. Kaufman said skirmishes between police and protestors killed more than 40 people. “There were less causalities than in spring, but this has also stopped because we’ve arrived at the climax of election day,” Kaufman said. “Those who oppose the military council say the military will curtail the new parliament, but it’s impossible to know what will happen.” While the polls functioned Monday, Kaufman said the lack of voting infrastructure forced some to wait in line for up to six hours. “The military council promised to give power to a civilian government, but there are skeptics who believe otherwise,” Kaufman said. Tension between demonstrators and the military government has led to a disjointed Egypt, Kaufman said. “Unlike a year ago, there is no unified front,” Kaufman said. “Not all parties that demonstrated last year participated again, so the unity that defined the movement a year ago is no longer there. There are disagreements, so there are reasons for a possible continuation of violence. There is a cause to be worried.” While the Muslim Brotherhood was active in the spring protests, Kaufman said the group was not a major player in the streets. Instead, he said the party was organized in its campaign and is expected to win a dominant role in Parliament. “The polls have not been closed yet,” Kaufman said. “But there are signs that the Muslim Brotherhood envisions a major victory. If they win, we will see an entirely new political landscape in Egypt. However, it is not certain what would be the official policy of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in a secular democratic branch of the government.” Despite civil turbulence and an uncertain future, Kaufman said Egypt has entered a new era. “Democratic processes are bringing down rulers,” Kaufman said. “The Western world welcomed the Arab Spring and the downfall of Mubarak. So long as it continues with little interruption, this could be a positive evolution. Still, there are too many question marks to be sure yet.”last_img read more

Friends remember graduate student

first_imgWhen graduate student Sneha Polisetti remembers fellow graduate student Akash Sharma, she said she thinks of laughter.“Every memory I have of him is either him laughing or making other people laugh,” Polisetti said. “That was Akash all the time. He was never sad or angry.”Sharma, a third-year Ph.D. student in the chemical and biomolecular engineering program, died Jan. 1. The University did not comment on the cause of Sharma’s death, but friends said he died of health-related causes.Sharma was a native of Delhi, India. He served as co-president of the Indian Association of Notre Dame during the 2012-2013 academic year and was a teaching assistant for several classes. Sharma was also a member of the Notre Dame Men’s Boxing Club. Photo courtesy of nd.edu Polisetti, who is a third-year student in the chemical and biomolecular engineering graduate program, said she and Sharma are both from India and lived in the Fischer Graduate Residences.“I can’t even think of one person who he did not get along with or he had a problem with,” Polisetti said. “He got along with everybody, and anyone you talked to, they’d have a good word to say about him.”Sharma was “extremely giving,” Polisetti said.“He was very willing to help, but I don’t even think he did it consciously. That’s just the way he was,” Polisetti said. “He would not even think twice about doing something for somebody else, going out of his way. He would be happy to do it.”Nick McNamara, who is also a third-year graduate student in Sharma’s program, said he met Sharma in their math class.“He started telling a few of us this story about a problem he was having back in India with a monkey and a dog,” McNamara said. “He was surprised at how much the American students loved hearing about monkeys, because they are so common in India. He told us a bunch of other hilarious stories about monkey antics.”Sharma constantly was smiling, McNamara said.“He always had a huge, goofy grin on his face,” McNamara said. “He was always telling jokes and trying to make people laugh. And he was never mean or rude about it. He was just a genuinely nice and friendly person.”Grief counseling is available to students through the University Counseling Center, Campus Ministry, and International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA).Rosemary Max, director of ISSA, said her office is planning a memorial Mass for Sharma in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Details are forthcoming.Tags: Student deathlast_img read more

Week recognizes women leaders

first_imgTo kick off March as Women’s History Month, Saint Mary’s student diversity board continued its celebration of Women’s Appreciation Week by recognizing women leaders, their accomplishments and their shared history with two on-campus panels.During this week, the student diversity board strives to celebrate the women “within us” rather than implementing a specific stereotype that women must fit, chair of the event Christin Kloski said.As part of the weeklong event, students host speakers and participate in discussions and panels, Student Diversity Board president Maria Del Cardenas said. More than anything, the event was meant to celebrate and empower women around the Saint Mary’s campus and community, Del Cardenas said.“I think that we all feel the importance of giving a woman the attention and praise she deserves,” she said. “Especially Saint Mary’s women, we have high levels of achievement and participate in an extreme amount of activities on campus, we are making history year after year.” Saint Mary’s held a professor panel on “Her Story” at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Lounge on Tuesday to demonstrate the depth of character that defies the stereotypical image of women and to discuss what makes professional women who they are today, Kloski said.“We want to show that our journey of becoming women is never ending,” she said. “Each student could learn something from the women and use them as a resource to guide them on their own path to becoming a strong, independent women.”The panel focused on the empowerment of women, Kloski said. “It is acceptable to be vulnerable, but a woman is also resilient,” Kloski said. “Through a journey, emotion and unknown outcomes, a woman is transformed by each experience.” The panel included philosophy professor Adrienne Lyles Chockley and communications professor Marne Austin, and each shared her “life story” with students, Kloski said. “[They] are awesome ladies,” Kloski said. “The two were the best options for the panel. Both simply explained that life is full of imperfection, and as women, we must understand that concept.”The two women also discussed how life and plans can unexpectedly change, just by the nature of the universe, Kloski said.“If life were a set plan, then it would be boring,” she said. Austin said she was approached by the student diversity board to partake in the panel because she lives for women’s empowerment everyday.“The reason I’m here at Saint Mary’s College is because I believe in the inherent power, brilliance, resilience, heart and compassion of, for and with women and those who identify as gender minorities,” Austin said. Kloski said women could act as a huge presence in today’s world every day. “What we do in our everyday life guides us to find our path to becoming a woman,” Kloski said. “It is okay to be vulnerable. It is normal to be imperfect.”As members of an all women’s college, students at Saint Mary’s should build one another up and unite to form a place where they can fully express and develop their emotional, mental and physical identities, Kloski said.“We need to support one another as women because we each go through the same discrimination,” she said. “It is a recognition that we are all vulnerable and it is a need for unity to understand perfection.”Kloski said an ambition board was held during lunch hour in the Noble Family Dining Hall on Wednesday to discuss the theme of, “I will be… I am… I admire…” “Women live in a patriarchal society in which are voice is limited or hushed,” Kloski said. “This week, we want to hear the ‘hushed’ voices.“The week goes in full depth on how to become a woman with not only a voice, but a mind that is not limited but opens itself to all opportunities.” Austin said she has all the hope and confidence in the world for the students of Saint Mary’s.“[The students] all are full of brilliance, tenacity, and resilience,” she said. “Where we can improve is in the area of perfectionism. There is no such thing as perfect.Though Women’s Appreciation Week only runs through Feb. 28, there will be a showing of the film, “Women, War & Peace” on March 5 to celebrate International Women’s Day, Del Cardenas said. “We hope that by the end of the week, students are empowered to continue to be catalysts of change, both locally and internationally by hosting diverse point of views on leadership,” Del Cardenas said.Tags: Student Diversity Board, Women’s Appreciation Weeklast_img read more

Schwarz earns prestigious architecture award

first_imgArchitect David M. Schwarz was selected as the recipient of the 2015 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at Notre Dame. The $200,000 award, which will be presented at a ceremony in Chicago on March 21, recognizes an architect whose work demonstrates classical and sustainable architecture in modern urban society.“My goal in establishing the prize was to recognize excellence in architecture that communicates enduring humanist values,” founder and chief investment officer of Driehaus Capital Management LLC Richard H. Driehaus said.Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize jury chair and Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, said the award fosters the classical architectural principles of “permanence, durability, beauty, but also utility.”“In a world where all you hear is about constant change for change’s sake — a world in which fad trumps any sense of purpose — consumption is the rule of the day; waste is the outcome of that consumption,” Lykoudis said. “This prize basically values conservation of resources and of ideas and investment. Cities are investments in the future.”Schwarz, who is president, founder and CEO of David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. in Washington D.C, said the award is “the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the kind of architecture I practice.”The Driehaus Prize is accompanied by the Henry Hope Reed Award, presented annually to a non-architect committed to the principles of traditional urban design and development.This year’s recipient, environmental health expert Dr. Richard J. Jackson, said architecture is closely related to the wellbeing of society and “has enormous influence on people’s health and happiness.”“When we build, when we create places, we should put people in the center of what we build,” he said.Schwarz said his firm always considers the impact of its designs on people and the community as a whole, both regarding sustainability and beauty.“We are very interested in having our design promote community,” Schwarz said. “Architecture can divide people or bring them closer together.”Some of Schwarz’s more notable designs include the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, Lykoudis said.Lykoudis said the value of classical architecture and the work of Schwarz and previous recipients of the award lies in its public appeal.“If a building is loved it remains,” Lykoudis said. “That’s the best kind of sustainability you can have.”Driehaus said that in recognizing Schwarz and previous laureates, the award complements the principles of the Notre Dame School of Architecture.“The prize rewards the same qualities in the practice of architecture that Notre Dame emphasizes in architectural training,” Driehaus said. “Educating young architects to build for long-term values, and recognizing those values where they appear in the work of mature architects, are two sides of the same coin.”Tags: 2015 richard h. driehaus, award to architect, david m. schwarz, david m. schwarz architects, Driehaus capital management LLC, henry hope reed award, Richard H. Driehauslast_img read more

Museum leads discussion

first_imgBridget Hoyt, curator of education at the Snite Museum of Art, led a discussion Friday of photos by social documentary photographer Sebastiao Salgado at the biweekly Labor Café meeting.Two of Salgado’s photo series, of the gold mines of Serra Pelada in Brazil and the oil field fires in Kuwait, were selected and presented by Hoyt at the meeting, which the Higgins Labor Studies Program and the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) sponsored.Michael Yu | The Observer Daniel Graff, director of undergraduate studies for the history department, said by making something into art, the very nature of the thing is changed.“The way that it’s shot and the way that it’s framed ennobles it,” Graff said. “I think it’s interesting that there’s this sort of tension when films or photographs show us these things we think of as ugly when, even still, the act of making them into art seems to ennoble them.”Junior accounting major Sebastian Morelos said the photo display raises questions about issues of ethics and exploitation.“[This] would bring up the question of if he is exploiting the workers by putting [the pictures] in a gallery,” Morelos said.Hoyt said one of the photographs was valued at approximately $10,000.As the discussion focused on the ethical nature of Salgado’s photographs and similar artists, graduate student Srishti Agnihotri said these types of pictures garner criticism from many people in other countries.“I come from a country where there’s a lot of criticism of the West engaging in what people call ‘poverty porn,’” she said. “They go to these countries, and they glorify these images of poverty. But I think that when photographers take these pictures, they are telling their stories.”The suffering of others has shaped the nature of all types of art, Agnihotri said, and problems arise when they are not shown.“It’s just that when communities predominantly have suffering, if we see art as something that diverts from that, then we are depriving them of their stories and their art, and that has been a problem with history,” she said.The Labor Café is open to all students, faculty and staff to discuss contemporary issues related to work and social justice. More information regarding these and other events can be found at the Higgins Labor Studies Program’s website. Tags: Kuwait, Labor Cafe, photographer, Sebastiao Salgado, Serra Pelada, Snite Museumlast_img read more

Robinson, Blais reflect on year in office

first_imgTags: Becca Blais, Corey Robinson, Robinson-Blais, Student government, Transition Editor’s Note: A version of this story was published April 3.Though outgoing student body president Corey Robinson’s time in office has come to an end, he and outgoing vice president Becca Blais used their term to begin a number of enduring initiatives — ones that would not have been possible without the duo’s focus on teamwork, Robinson said.“Without the team, none of this would have happened at all,” he said. “We couldn’t have done half of the things we did without the team. When you have extraordinary people who are passionate and highly capable, you get a great, extraordinary product. That’s what I’m proudest of.”Blais said she was consistently impressed with the commitment every team member showcased in the past year.“We have this incredible team in here that is so dedicated to other people and making their goals reality,” Blais said. “It’s been really cool to see that in motion and the momentum that’s building for that.”One of their major successes this year was changing the way student government worked at Notre Dame, Blais said. “Student government is just different now, and I love that,” Blais said. “I get reached out to by a different student at least several times a week. Somebody will be like, ‘I’m really passionate about this. I really want to change this,’ and they really see student government as an avenue to make change, which is monumental.”Blais said she and her team understood the importance of contributing to sexual assault awareness on campus. “I think three, four years ago, [sexual assault] was definitely a discussed issue on campus,” Blais said. “But compared to now, I think you could walk up to any student on campus and ask them what the three biggest issues facing students are, and one of them would be sexual assault. To have people cognizant of that, and not only recognizing it but moving into the steps of making a change, and getting involved … the progress has been really cool.”Robinson said he was proud of his involvement in increasing conversations about diversity. “I mean that in the big sense of the word diversity,” Robinson said. “We started off in the summer with getting to work on talking about police brutality, then moved into race relations, then we talked about undocumented students … it’s diversity in a lot of different aspects, and it was a constant conversation for a year, and, personally, that’s what I’m proud of.”Reflecting on the year, Robinson said the team “left it all on the field.”“Like I said to the team, I’m just so proud of everything they’ve done, and I’m so thankful for being able to serve alongside them this year,” Robinson said. “We gave it everything we’ve got, and to be honest, when you’ve given it all that you’ve got, and you did something that was really worthwhile and matters, you can’t go wrong with that.”His only regret, Robinson said, is that he and Blais do not have more time in office. “I walk away feeling like I did everything I possibly could have, but of course there’s things I wish we would have done more of,” Robinson said. “I wish we could have gone to more club meetings, gone to the students, gotten more people involved in the process. I just wish we had more time.”Robinson said he hopes the legacy he leaves assures students that their voices are powerful.“You don’t have to wait until you graduate to make a difference,” Robinson said. “That can be in anything. You don’t have to wait. You can act now. There are resources now. If you have a will and a passion, there is a way.”The most important lesson Robinson learned, he said, was being able to “live what you say.”“I think trying to live that example, being intentional about what you do, is really important,” Robinson said. “It all comes down to one thing for me, and that’s integrity.”last_img read more

Student senate votes to increase club funding

first_imgAfter struggling for weeks to reach a compromise, the student senate passed a resolution Monday evening to increase funding for student clubs and organizations by approximately $30,000. The new resolution will cut three percent of the budget for Student Union organizations — including the class councils and the Student Union Board — and reallocate it to other student clubs.Student body president Gates McGavick and vice president Corey Gayheart, both seniors who promised to increase club funding during their campaign last year, were instrumental in pushing the resolution through the senate.“This is a really important day for clubs and student organizations,” McGavick said in a comment after the meeting. “We reached a compromise that worked for everyone, and I know I can speak for Corey in saying that we’re really happy to deliver on a campaign promise of ours to give clubs more money.”The student senate has been discussing the issue of club funding for over a month. Many student leaders have argued in previous meetings that student organizations are strapped for funds.Diversity chair, senior Alyssa Ngo, previously told the senate that diversity clubs, such as the Asian American Association, are struggling financially. Ngo argued that increased club funding would help support these clubs’ diversity initiatives on campus.Six weeks prior, the senate voted on — and rejected — the same resolution. McGavick and Gayheart negotiated for weeks with the resolution’s opponents and reached a final agreement for Monday’s meeting.Opponents originally had two main concerns: financial transparency and budget cuts. McGavick and Gayheart developed two new resolutions to resolve these concerns.The first resolution addressed the financial transparency of the Club Coordination Council (CCC), the student organization responsible for allocating annual funding to student clubs. The CCC oversees a budget of about $340,000, which it distributes between the more than 400 student organizations on campus, according to CCC sophomore vice-president elect Patrick Harris.Senators, notably the representative from Welsh Family Hall, junior Lindsay McCray, originally opposed the funding reallocation because they thought that the CCC lacked financial transparency.McCray, along with Gayheart and CCC president, senior Samantha Scaglione, co-authored a resolution to increase the CCC’s transparency, which passed unanimously during Monday’s meeting. “CCC took that [feedback] to heart … And we decided that we want to be more transparent directly to the senate,” Harris said.Although student government leaders easily resolved the concerns about the CCC’s transparency, they clashed over the second legislative compromise, which addressed the concerns of Student Union representatives.Student Union leaders had previously opposed the reallocation because they worried that the budget cuts could jeopardize their mission. In response, they crafted a resolution that revised the budgetary process.The Financial Management Board, which has nine voting members — including all four class council treasurers — votes on the budgets for student clubs. The FMB could traditionally pass this budget with a simple majority of five voting members.Class council presidents were worried that their voices could be ignored by a simple majority vote, so they proposed an amendment requiring that the budget pass with a two-thirds majority.“[The amendment] ensures that the three percent that gets transferred over will be more equitable, with more people being on board,” Michael Conlon, president of the Senior Class Council, said.But other student government leaders were skeptical of this change, which would empower the four class council leaders to veto a budget they dislike. Critics argued that this change could potentially allow class council leaders to derail the budgetary process.“The system as it currently stands is not broken. … Why would we change something that’s not broken to implement something that could go wrong?” Harris said.McGavick and Gayheart, however, dismissed these concerns.“This is a very minor procedural edit. … It’s what is the missing piece in the opportunity that we all have to give clubs thousands of more dollars,” McGavick said.Ultimately, the second resolution passed, causing Student Union leaders to fully support the budget reallocation. The increased club funding marks a major legislative victory for McGavick and Gayheart, whose term ends on April 1.“Never doubt your ability to impact someone’s experience here,” Gayheart said.Tags: Club Coordination Council, club funding, Notre Dame Student Senate, Senatelast_img read more

2019-2020 Notre Dame Forum to address Church sex abuse crisis

first_imgThe 2019-2020 Notre Dame Forum, titled “Rebuild My Church: Crisis and Response” will focus on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced in press release Wednesday. “While we must never fail to be honest and forthright about terrible acts of abuse and failures of oversight, the forum is designed to be constructive and forward-looking,” Jenkins said in the release.According to the release, the annual Notre Dame Forum, first established in 2005, promotes academic discussion of “issues of importance to the University.” The 2019-forum will “examine the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and explore reforms to which it should lead,” the release said.The forum’s first event, a panel titled “The Church Crisis: Where are We Now?” is scheduled for Sept. 25 and will feature several scholars familiar with the crisis, including Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI executive who contributed to the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”; sexual abuse survivors’ advocate Juan Carlos Cruz; journalist Peter Steinfels; and John Allen, the editor of Crux, a Catholic news organization.More panelists may join the panel, the release said. More events in the forum will explore possible reforms to address the crisis.In the release, Jenkins also announced the creation of a committee to award over $1 million in grants to Notre Dame faculty to support research on sexual abuse and clericalism in the Church.Tags: 2019-2020 notre dame forum, Catholic church, church sex abuse crisis, Notre Dame Forumlast_img read more

Holy Cross announces 2019 commencement speaker

first_imgEditor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the print edition of The Observer on Feb. 21. K.J. Martijn Cremers, interim dean of Mendoza College of Business and Bernard J. Hank professor of finance at Notre Dame, will be Holy Cross College’s 2019 commencement speaker, Monica Garvey Leyes, assistant director of communications at Holy Cross, announced in a press release Wednesday.“We are honored to welcome Dr. Cremers as our commencement speaker,” Holy Cross President Fr. David Tyson said in the release. “The breadth and integrity of his work set him apart in both the academy and the business field. Even more so, his commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition and his dedication to truth, the dignity of the human person and the common good will speak to every one of our graduates, professors and guests.”Cremers served as faculty at the Yale School of Management for 10 years before joining Mendoza in 2012. He earned his master’s degree from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and received a doctorate in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.Cremers’ scholarship focuses on investment management and corporate governance, and he teaches at both the MBA and undergraduate levels.He received recognition for his 2007 academic paper, “How active is your fund manager? A new measure that predicts performance,” which he co-authored with management professor Antti Petajisto and published in the Review of Financial Studies in 2009. According to the release, the paper “introduced a measure of management called ‘Active Share’ now widely used in the financial industry.”Cremers’ work has been published in several academic journals, including the Journal of Finance, the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Financial Economics, Stanford Law Review and Northwestern Law Review. His research has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, the release said.Outside his work at Notre Dame, Cremers serves as the independent director at Ariel Investments in Chicago and as an external consultant with State Street Associates.The Holy Cross commencement ceremony will take place May 18 at 2 p.m. in the Pfeil Center’s McKenna Arena.Tags: Commencement 2019, Holy Cross College, martijn cremers, mendoza college of businesslast_img read more