OIS receives record number of applications

first_imgThe Office of International Studies (OIS) received a record number of applications for study abroad during the 2011-12 school year, according to Kathleen Opel, director of OIS. An increase in applicants is a recurring trend, Opel said. “The number of applications is very slightly higher than last year,” she said. “Each year the number rises slightly.” Opel said 1,002 students submitted 1,571 applications. OIS accepted approximately 800 students. That number will rise in the coming weeks as OIS accepts students from wait lists. “A number of offers of acceptances will be extended in the next two weeks to cover those who withdrew an application or declined acceptance,” Opel said. The rise in applications displays students’ interest in education extending beyond Notre Dame’s campus, Opel said. “The numbers indicate Notre Dame’s study abroad programs are strong, and that our students recognize the value of an international education experience, whether on an OIS study abroad program, a service-learning international experience or a research or internship opportunity off campus,” she said. Opel said OIS works to be a valuable asset to students’ educations. “Being engaged with the international community is an integral part of a Notre Dame education,” she said. The deadline for applications for the 2011-12 academic year was Nov. 15, 2010. Opel said the process of evaluating the applications is very intensive. “Each program has a committee that reads all the applications to determine if the student meets the qualifications necessary and if the student preferences for site and semester can be met,” she said. Opel said in addition to two students who were accepted to the new program in Dakar, Senegal, OIS is looking to replace the Leuven, Belgium program by next year. OIS accepted 26 students to its program in Cairo. Opel said despite the political upheaval in the country, OIS is exploring all possible options for students who were admitted. “It is not clear that the [Cairo] program will run, particularly in the fall.  We are presenting the students with several options including deferring acceptance to spring semester when the situation may be clearer or changing to their second preference program for consideration,” she said. “I hope and anticipate that Cairo will continue to be a study abroad site in the future.” Regardless of the location, Opel said OIS ensures programs affiliated with Notre Dame are of the highest quality. “We know our partners abroad and work with them to ensure that our students are in quality programs that provide rigorous and stimulating educational experiences while keeping students in safe living and learning environments,” she said. Regardless of whether OIS acceptances or rejections, Opel said Notre Dame undergraduates should attempt to study abroad by any means possible. “We in OIS want to help provide this opportunity to every student we can,” she said. “If there is not an opportunity through OIS, we urge students to explore other international options through ND or beyond ND.” Opel said the power of international educational experiences is defined by how students develop in a foreign setting. “Study abroad can change you, your life goals, your perspectives about other countries and cultures as well as your own,” she said. “It provides a window on the world beyond the U.S.  It allows you to grow and test yourself in ways that aren’t possible when you are in a completely familiar environment.”last_img read more

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Anthropology major focuses on career path

first_imgThe field of archaeology may conjure images of exotic locales and adventure thanks to Indiana Jones’ cinematic exploits, but for one Notre Dame senior, the discipline represents a very real career path. Senior Carleigh Moore spent last summer cataloguing a collection of roughly 20,000 Native American artifacts at the Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey. Moore’s project was more than a summer job, however, as she wants to use the experience as a springboard to future employment. Moore said a large portion of her task included sorting the artifacts in an efficient manner after years of neglect. “I needed to figure out what was in the collection … and how to organize them in a way that would benefit the National Park, interested Native American representatives and future researchers,” she said. “I went through every artifact in the collection and created a reference book that included descriptions of the artifacts and photos.” Moore said her work might have an even greater legacy at the National Park. The organization is exploring the possibility of making a lasting display with some of the artifacts she worked with. “After I left, the park took on a new intern from a local college who worked throughout the semester to make a temporary exhibit of some of the artifacts. The park is considering making a more permanent exhibit,” she said. “If they do have enough money to finance the project, the catalogue system and reference book that I created will be used as a resource in the development of the exhibit.” Moore said it was gratifying to know her work paid direct dividends to the site. “I was fascinated by the relationship between legislation and the constraints of running a museum,” she said. “Knowing as an unpaid researcher that I could help the park in learn more about a collection that they previously couldn’t because of money and time constraints was interesting and rewarding.” After studying abroad last spring in Australia, Moore said she was inspired to learn about Native Americans after studying the aboriginal community. “As an anthropology major I was itching to put my education to practical use. I thought that carrying out an independent research project would be a great way to test and strengthen my skills,” she said. “It was a way to take the larger ideas and lessons I learned abroad and apply them to a project in my own community. Moore said she obtained her position by sending out her resume to different organizations after she decided to work on a research project at a museum. “It just so happened that they had a need for someone to work with the Native American collection and I was interested in the working on it,” she said. “It turned out that my interests and goals met the needs of the park.” The Department of Anthropology was also very helpful in the process of realizing her research experience, Moore said. “The department helped me realize that as an undergraduate I could carry out a unique research project that could hopefully be beneficial to others,” she said. Though she has no immediate plans for the summer, Moore said her experiences working in the National Park have inspired her to explore similar career opportunities. “This project also sparked my interest in working for the federal government, since I was working in a museum that was run by the National Park Service,” she said. “I am now looking into ways my interests in anthropology and archaeology can be used in a position within the government.last_img read more

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Nuns offer applied communications experience

first_imgAssociate professor of communications Marne Austin took a new angle on her Introduction to Communications course last fall, requiring her 40 students to travel to the convent of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in order to speak to local nuns.If students are not actually doing communication, there is no point in studying it, Austin said.“Even though we are Saint Mary’s, founded by the sisters and have the convent right here, it is often the case that young women can go through all four years of college without ever knowingly interacting with the sisters, which is a huge bummer,” Austin said. “Whether you identify as a Catholic or not, it’s important to understand our history and legacy being at this school.“The three young sisters who founded the College did so when the odds were against them, and to have the courage to do what they did is pretty remarkable and should be a story of empowerment for the women here.”Students met with their assigned sisters five times over a five-week period, Austin said. Their assignment involved gathering oral histories from the sisters on their experiences in faith and service with plans to eventually compile a video documentary for the College and congregation.Austin said she plans to use this practice in all of her introductory courses because it is a great way to engage both the ideal of interpersonal communication and understanding history.“I think every moment is a moment of intercultural and interpersonal growth. So often we get stuck in our heads some idea of what ‘normal’ is, and there’s no such thing,” she said. “We think that people are the same and there’s this assumed homogeneity. “Even when we live in a place like South Bend or like Saint Mary’s, where we look around and think we know these people, we all have such different diverse stories to tell. There’s always those people in our communities who we overlook, including those right across the street from us or our neighbors who we see all the time, but we really have no idea who they are.”The majority of the students were apprehensively excited about connecting with the sisters, but by the end of the five visits, all had gained invaluable stories to share with others, Austin said.“But that isn’t to say that they didn’t have some hard times with it,” she said. “We did have a few sisters who had problems with Alzheimer’s, so a lot of the women in the classroom had to cope with that. They learned some awesome lessons from this and had to work in handling ethical issues.”First-year student Kathryn Mathews said the experience completely changed her ideas of nuns since she is not Catholic and previously believed nuns spent their entire days in prayer and reflection. Matthews was paired with Maura Brannick, a retired nurse from St. Joseph Hospital. “When she [Brannick] saw all the poverty in town, she wanted to set up a free clinic for patients but didn’t have much money,” Matthews said. “So while working at the hospital, she met some interesting characters who eventually helped her fund her project, like one Notre Dame student who was volunteering there.”Mathews said Brannick discovered this Notre Dame student donated money toward her goal years later.“The student told Sister Brannick that she would be the first one he’d see when he makes his millions,” Mathews said.Sister Brannick formed friendships with a local motorcycle gang, who also helped her clinic get started. “They told her to let them know if anyone messed with her,” Mathews said. “She still goes to the clinic once a week. She wants to help the community as long as she lives.”Mathews said over the five weeks, she and Sister Brannick grew very close, and though she had never met a sister before the class, she really enjoyed building their friendship.Sophomore Lauren Wells also thought the project was an amazing idea, though she was initially hesitant to ask a stranger personal questions.“I was partnered with Sister Mary Elizabeth Loughran, and she was a joy to work with,” Wells said. “I began to look forward to my afternoons with her because they became a highlight of my week.“It added so much peace and clarity to my life to talk with her and share our experiences. As our relationship continued to grow, the interviews were almost like therapy sessions. It was a time that all my anxiety from student teaching, homework and other extracurricular [activities] just went out the window, and Sister Mary Elizabeth helped me gain perspective on life.”Wells said her pairing was an act of fate, as the two women had so many things in common.“I’m studying to be an English teacher, and she spent years of her sisterhood doing the same thing,” Wells said. “Also, I’ve attended several mission trips to Belize, and in the same way, Sister Mary Elizabeth spent over 20 [years] working in Brazil to spread her mission and teach in schools there.”Austin hopes her students will continue to engage with people around the College who have such great stories to share.Currently, Austin is teaching an introductory course where the students will meet younger sisters in the convent and shadow them on a day where the sisters work in the local community. “It’s our ethical imperative to understand each other’s stories in building our community,” Austin said. “That’s why I embark on such projects. It’s the only way we’re going to grow.”Tags: Marne Austinlast_img read more

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Speaker discusses social reconstruction

first_imgProfessor Dinka Corkalo Biruski, visiting research fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, presented her research Thursday on social reconstruction in post-war societies in a lecture entitled “When Community Falls Apart: Challenges of Recovery and Social Reconstruction in the Aftermath of War.”  Annette Sayre | The Observer Biruski’s research, which started in 2000 and has received support from both the Kroc Institute and Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA), focused on the process of social reconstruction in the community of Vukovar, Croatia, one of many communities affected by the 1991 Croatian war for independence. Biruski defined the process of social reconstruction as the process a society goes through in order to achieve normalcy after a conflict or mass traumatization.“We actually talk about two processes,” Biruski said. “The process of individual recovery, and the process of social recovery, where individuals need to deal with their post-traumatic symptoms and the community needs to find ways to deal with painful collective history in relation to narratives of who they are to who in the past war.”According to Biruski, the community of Vukovar currently faces severe ethnographic division between Serbs and Croats. While pre-war relations among Serbs and Croats were relatively peaceful, post war relationships between Serbs and Croats have been characterized as socially divided, a definition that permeates aspects such as schooling, sports and business relations.“It’s more than obvious that social metric is not there anymore,” Biruski said. “It means that an important source of social support is lacking, which makes services for reconciliation or recovery much slower.”According to Biruski, there are four levels of social reconstruction: individual, community, societal and structural. Her research presented these levels as key to understanding and implementing changes in communities affected by war. Biruski emphasized the importance of social context in understanding mass traumatization and social reconstruction.“The social context where mass traumatization happened has qualities or characteristics that distinguish it from the circumstances where individual violence occurred,” she said.Biruski said she focused her research in segregated schooling between Serbs and Croats in the region of Vukovar. While schools in Vukovar before the war were integrated and possessed a common Serbo-Croatian dialect, education is now segregated between the two ethnicities and each ethnicity teaches in their respective language. According to Biruski, history is a delicate and poorly-handled subject in both ethnicities.“We do not claim that school division actually created negative attitudes,” Biruski said. “However we do argue that separate schooling does not help in social reconstruction. By keeping children apart in education, they lack a possibility to meet others.”Biruski said her research demonstrated that children in Vukovar are less equipped both socially and psychologically to contact or form relationships with people of another ethnicity, while adults, because they have pre-war memories of integrated relationships between Serbs and Croatians, are more equipped to engage in relationships between Croats and Serbs.“The only reality children have is the reality of a divided community,” Biruski said.Biruski said another factor that influences social reconstruction is misconceptions of the definition of reconciliation in a divided society.“We would be able to generalize more on the typical processes and obstacles in social reconstruction when we talk about the aftermath of war,” she said.Tags: Croatia, Kroc Institute, lecture, reconstruction, Serbia, social reformlast_img read more

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Service dog helps treat mental illness

first_imgJunior Ellen Chaleff’s dog, a Dachshund/rat terrier mix named Fred, is there when she wakes up in the morning. He’s there, wearing an NYPD coat, when she walks between classes. He’s there when she sits in class, when she eats at the dining hall, when she’s at Ultimate Frisbee practice and when she goes to bed at night.And if Chaleff has a panic attack, he’s also there, curled up on her lap until it passes.The first service dog for mental illness on campus, Fred has been at Notre Dame with Chaleff since last Halloween. Chaleff, who began showing symptoms of bipolar disorder in high school, said she found out about him after he was rescued from an abusive home. He already had training as an emotional support dog, making him easier to train further as a service animal. Professionals trained him to help with bipolar disorder, and Chaleff said she did the rest.Photo courtesy of I am Notre Dame “I trained him to be in public, to be in a restaurant, to be in a dining hall, to sit in a classroom,” she said.Disability services coordinator Scott Howland said students requesting accommodation must provide documentation of their disability, and students requesting service animals must say why they need one, though they do not need proof of the animal’s training. He said the process varies from person to person.“The key factor to any sort of accommodation request, regardless of what it is, is we would want to look at all the variables, look at the case on an individual basis to make the best decision,” he said. “We would never automatically think that a similar request is the same as the first.”Chaleff said she worked with Notre Dame’s Disability Services to make sure her professors, Notre Dame Food Services and Office of Housing were aware of and accommodating of Fred.Chaleff and Disability Services also worked with lawyers. Howland said students with service dogs, as with any disability, are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability and the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits denial of housing because of disability.Service dogs for mental illness are trickier, Howland said, because there is less of a precedent on how to accommodate them.“The whole issue of service animals and emotional support animals is still somewhat of a new topic on college campuses,” he said. “There’s been recent court cases regarding that, so a lot of schools will look to those court cases — how this issue was resolved between this individual and this college — and use that as a way to guide their own policies or their own procedures.”Now, with only a few location exceptions, Chaleff said Fred can go anywhere she does. Off campus, she said employees will sometimes be reluctant to let her and Fred into businesses because they don’t believe Fred is a service dog, or people will make assumptions about why Fred is there — such as that Chaleff is blind.On campus, Chaleff said people take Fred in stride.“The first few months, a bunch of people ran up to him, but now he’s just out there,” she said.In class, Chaleff said Fred normally sleeps on a blanket next to her desk. He has also quickly become acclimated to her friends, especially on the Ultimate Frisbee team, she said.“We were at a game watch of 30 people, and I was concerned about how he would work,” she said. “I might have to drive him home really quick, but he just ran around people, came back to me, walked around, tried to steal someone’s sandwich, then slept on [my friend] Caitlyn’s lap. It’s what happens.”Since she has only had Fred for a few months, Chaleff said he still has improvements to make.“His service stuff, he knows how to do,” she said. “He knows how to detect panic attacks and depression, and he can detect that in other people, not just me. [But] he doesn’t know ‘sit.’ He walks into things a lot. He gets himself entangled around tables. It’s great.”Since getting Fred, Chaleff said her life has improved dramatically.“I don’t have to skip as many classes; I can go out more and do things,” she said. “I have these periods where I feel like I can’t eat physically, and he won’t eat while I’m doing that. And I feel guilty, so I go to the dining hall, which annoys me, but it does what it’s supposed to do.”Chaleff said she hopes to raise awareness of the possibility of service dogs for mental illness. In December, she started a blog about her experiences with Fred, and in January, she and Fred were featured on the I Am Notre Dame blog.“I’m hoping that other people do try out service dogs because I’ve heard a lot of great things about them, and me having him for a few months has helped a lot,” she said. “It’s a responsibility, obviously, but it’s definitely worth the trade-off.”UPDATE, Feb. 17: Chaleff said Fred’s reluctance to sit on command reflects his training to detect stressful situations.“The reason Fred does not know ‘sit’ is because he is trained to stand until I feel comfortable somewhere,” Chaleff said in a Feb. 16 blog post. “He will not sit if I feel stressed or scared.  While I would like to have him sit when I tell him to, it is his training and I am thankful for it.  For example, in my classes I am relatively relaxed, so Fred settles quickly.  Last class in Intro to Gender Studies, we began speaking about a worrying topic of castrating men who do not fit into the norm, and Fred noticed and immediately stood at attention.”Tags: Disability Services, Ellen Chaleff, Fred, Scott Howland, Service doglast_img read more

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Expert dispels misconceptions about OCD

first_imgThe Notre Dame chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness hosted obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) expert Christopher Bedosky on Thursday evening in the Montgomery Auditorium for a talk titled “Do I Have OCD? What Can Be Done?”Bedosky addressed misconceptions about OCD and effective methods for treating it.Bedosky, a psychologist at University Hospitals of Cleveland and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University Medical School, said he has been helping treat patients with OCD for a long time, and he gets a lot of satisfaction and joy from helping those with the illness.“OCD is a condition that people only know through Monk or Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and the people who I see are not those people,” Bedosky said. “The people who I see, I see because they are not functioning. Or if they are functioning, they are only doing so under great stress and anxiety.“Mental health disorders are defined by the impairment of functioning, and my job, and the job of any mental health professional, is to get that individual to the point where they can function.”Bedosky said there are many misconceptions in the public sphere regarding obsessions and compulsions and their effects on an individual.“What is an obsession? Obsessions are persistent thoughts, images or urges that come into your head,” Bedosky said. “They are intrusive. You don’t want to think about it and then, bang, there’s the thought.“Obsessions are unwanted. No one with OCD sighs and regrets not pondering their compulsion in a while. Obsessions are what cause the stress and anxiety for the individual and can lead to compulsive behavior.”Obsessions and compulsive behavior both play a major role in the unhealthy behavior of the individual suffering from OCD, Bedosky said. Although obsessions are the unhealthy thoughts themselves, compulsions are behaviors individuals use to try to relieve the anxiety they feel as a result of unhealthy thoughts.“Compulsions are mostly repetitive behaviors like hand washing, putting things in order or checking things,” Bedosky said. “They can even be mental acts such as counting to yourself, or having to say a prayer over and over because you’re worried you had the wrong intention and having to start over.”Bedosky said avoidance compulsions are becoming more of a focus in research and treatment of OCD.“Many people say they don’t have any compulsive behaviors, but when you ask them about their fear of hospitals, they respond that they don’t go near them,” he said. “It’s almost like a post-traumatic stress disorder. They’re avoiding the cues that are going to increase the arousal and anxiety.”Bedosky said some of the biggest obstacles to proper treatment are misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment.“The average time between the onset of symptoms and receiving the correct treatment is 14 to 17 years,” Bedosky said. “These individuals will have gone to see people who say they treat OCD, but they just suggest meeting in an anxiety group or drawing pictures.“Sometimes I feel like I have to apologize for my profession, but there are those of us out there who know what we’re doing.”Bedosky said the most effective form of treatment combines exposure and response therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.“Cognitive behavior therapy is mainly about education,” Bedosky said. “We help the person to understand what’s going on and what can be treated and why we think it happens. It also includes some cognitive restructuring, which is changing the way that the patients look at things.“One of the great things about cognitive behavior therapy is that you’re teaching the patient to be their own therapist. By the time we’re finished, someone with OCD should be able to recognize obsessions when they come up and handle them effectively.”Exposure and response prevention is pure behavioral science that yields major positive improvements for patients, Bedosky said.“The model for OCD from a cognitive behavioral standpoint is that there is some stimulus in the environment that leads to the obsessive thought,” Bedosky said. “It can be something as little as a look that can trigger great anxiety in an individual.“First, you expose the individual to the stimulus that’s going to provoke the anxiety. When the individual begins to resort to the compulsive behavior, you keep them from carrying it out and track their anxiety over time. If everything else is normal, the anxiety should return to normal on its own.”Bedosky said exposure and response therapy is similar to becoming accustomed to cold temperatures in a pool.“Every time you jump back into the pool, the water is cold,” Bedosky said. “But if you stay in the pool, a natural habituation occurs and you get used to it. OCD works in the same way.”Bedosky said medicine plays a supplementary role in treatment of OCD and makes therapy more effective.“I tell my people that psychotherapy is like karate,” he said. “Martial arts always works better after you’ve hit your opponent with a brick. Sometimes for psychotherapy, medications are our bricks.” Tags: Christopher Bedosky, Do I Have OCD?, NAMI, OCDlast_img read more

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Senate discusses updated ticket plans, sustainability

first_imgStudent Senate met Wednesday night to hear presentations on the new men’s basketball and hockey student ticket plan, local and sustainable food initiatives and student government’s report to the board of trustees. Senate was closed to the public when student body president Bryan Ricketts, student body vice president Nidia Ruelas and chief of staff Dan Sehlhorst presented the student government sexual violence report, which will be delivered to the board of trustees Oct. 15. Brian Pracht, assistant athletic director, gave the first presentation on the new ticket plan for men’s basketball and hockey. “We’re not selling a season pass anymore — it’s going to be complimentary tickets,” he said. “But there’s going to be a three-day window for you to claim these tickets online.”Pracht said there will be no advantage to waking up early on the first day to claim tickets because students who go to more games will be given preference for ones that are expected to draw a large crowd.“We will weight it so that the more games you go to, the better opportunity you will have to attend the big games,” he said. “So if you go to every game prior to the North Carolina game, you will get a ticket to North Carolina. If you go to two games before North Carolina, I don’t know. You’ll have to play the odds. We’re definitely going to reward students.” Students will still be able to buy tickets at a walk-up price before the game if space is available, Pracht said. “We knew we needed to do something different,” he said. “We were selling 1,500 to 2,000 student season passes a year and the show rate for students with those passes was 30 percent. So not very good.”More information can be found at und.com/student-tickets.Sophomore Carolyn Yvellez, a staff member at the department of social concerns and a Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) intern, gave a presentation about increasing the amount of local and sustainable food on campus. “Food Services started the project of defining what local food is,” she said. “We’ve defined “local” as 250 miles from campus. We currently spend about $3.5 million supporting local farms and 38 percent of the dining hall food is from local sources.”Yvellez said that in a survey, students said they were more concerned about having healthy options than they were about having local options. “The current industrial model is not a sustainable model for providing food,” she said. “[There are] debates about how much it’s threatening public health through creating antibiotic resistant bacteria, pesticides and disease. In general, local farms have a lower risk for these issues.”After filling out a survey, the senators discussed problems surrounding local food sources and sustainability efforts on campus and potential changes, including eliminating trays and changing food options in LaFortune Student Center. “With people already so upset about the styrofoam cups leaving the dining halls, there would be a riot if the trays disappeared,” Amy Smikle, Howard Hall senator, said. “I’m getting so much negative feedback and comments about the styrofoam cups disappearing, the trays disappearing isn’t going to go well. How do we tell them it’s better for the environment when they don’t even care about the styrofoam cups?”Yvellez also said NDFS is looking for replacements for the Burger King in LaFortune and that a more local and sustainable replacement is under consideration. Tags: basketball, department of social concerns, Food Services, Hockey, Student government, student senate, sustainabilitylast_img read more

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Students connect with South Bend community

first_imgSaint Mary’s is hosting its first Westside Friday event aimed at connecting students with issues involving immigration within the South Bend community.Emily Sipos-Butler, assistant director of Campus Ministry, said the event, taking place this Friday, is the last event for the week-long Prayer and Action for Refugees and Migrants program.“It’s part of this global migration campaign that the Catholic Church worldwide is engaging in, and it is an important part of what we do here in Campus Ministry — to try and engage students with both their faith and issues of justice and charity and action.” she saidThe event aims to give students an experience of the immigrant community in South Bend, Sipos-Butler said. Receiving information through the news or social media creates a distance between students and those affected by these issues.“If we can help students encounter a community and individuals within a community and the culture of that community, that is a way of breaking into this big issue of immigration and refugees in a different way,” she said.Sophomore Anne Maguire said she started getting involved in South Bend last year, and it has helped her feel connected to the larger community and make it feel like home.“When I came here, I didn’t really think South Bend had much to offer, and I think that is a common misconception many students have when they’re stuck in their campus community,” Maguire said. “But I have discovered that the community is so incredible and full of inspiring people that have really welcomed me.”Maguire said one of the things Catholic institutions are called to do is to welcome the stranger.“The importance of this program through Campus Ministry is one that roots itself in faith, as we are called to love our neighbors, locally and globally,” she said.One of the best ways to support the community is to spend our money in places that count, Maguire said.“Spending your money is just a small part that can make a really big impact on someone’s life if you’re conscious of where you’re spending it and who you’re really supporting,” she said. “I really hope that, through this event, students will be more appreciative and supportive of the businesses in South Bend, particularly those that are owned by people with mixed-immigrant status.”Students often get stuck in the campus bubble and forget that one of the main goals of their education is to to go out into the world and be part of something larger, Sipos-Butler said.“If you can have a taste of what that’s like to be out into a real community of a diversity of backgrounds, beliefs and occupations, while you’re also participating in this wonderful bubble, I think that’s just going to help you prepare so much better when you go out into the world past this bubble for good.”Tags: Campus Ministry, Immigration, saint mary’s, Westside Fridaylast_img read more

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Duke dean discusses impostor syndrome

first_imgAs part of the Distinguished Lecture Series, Dr. Valerie Ashby, the dean of Trinity College Arts and Sciences at Duke University, gave a lecture titled “The Impostor Syndrome” Wednesday.“One day they are going to find out, I’m not really supposed to be here,” Ashby said to the audience.She said that if anyone else had ever felt this before, they might be experiencing the effects of the impostor syndrome.First identified by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, impostor syndrome is most commonly found “among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success,” according to the American Psychological Association (APA). It is often an effect of mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. It can also be a byproduct of growing up in families that place pressure on achievement.Ashby said she first diagnosed herself with the impostor syndrome at age 42, and before then, she simply dealt with its effects without knowing how to cope with it.“That’s a hard life,” she said. “You don’t have to do that.”Ashby asked who in the crowd thought they might experience the impostor syndrome in their daily life. She said she used to deal with its effects often and said compliments can hurt with imposter syndrome.“I’m thinking, oh my God, they think I can do this, and then … it’s pain. I laugh about this a lot because it’s actually painful,” she said.Ashby tried to give audience members a few key ways to cope with impostor syndrome.“One of the first things you have to do is not to walk around with this and not tell anybody,” she said. “You’re going to need some friends. No, no, no, I’m talking about real friends. Trusted friends. They will validate your feelings, but not your incorrect thinking.”Ashby said it’s normal for people to doubt themselves.“Doubt does not make you a fraud,” she said.As she learned about impostor syndrome, Ashby said she learned the importance of building up self-esteem and seeking validation from within by celebrating the small, good things in life.“As the dean, I am in charge of the chair of the department of physics,” she said. “I got a C in physics. Perfect[ion] is not required. When I would get my C+ on a physics exam, I should have been dancing! That’s a small good thing.”When things go awry, Ashby said it’s important to let go of the mistakes as they come. She said people dealing with impostor syndrome often feel like they should have mastered everything already, but it’s just not possible and mistakes happen no matter what you do.“You are not the mistake,” she said. “You made a mistake. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing anything. Nothing risky, nothing cutting edge, nothing creative. It can’t go perfectly.”While undergraduate and graduate students often fall prone to overcommitting, Ashby gave advice on how to combat the urge to take every opportunity given. She said that although high achievers can do many things well, it’s important to only do the things that are great for you right now.“I start with a blank calendar, and I put everything that is required for my self-care on first,” she said. “If we put ourselves on the calendar, you treat yourself like an appointment. I have an appointment with me. Because people will always want more from you than you can give.”Ultimately, Ashby said dealing with the effects of impostor syndrome is important not only for yourself but also your friends and family.“I love my life. There are a lot of people counting on me,” she said. “If I don’t take care of me, I have nothing to give them.”Tags: distinguished lecture series, imposter syndromelast_img read more

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Belles Bash welcomes Saint Mary’s students back to campus

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB) hosted Belles Bash, a tri-campus community event put together at the start of every school year, on Sunday.SAB president and senior Emma Freund said the organization prepared for the event over the summer.“We had to plan a lot over the summer because everything had to be done in advance, because it’s before the school year,” Freund said. “Basically, we had to reach out to vendors and work with our board to work on themes and get our ideas ready and our giveaways ready.”This mandated that much of the organizing take place online, Freund said.“It’s definitely more difficult than when we’re all together because everything has to be done digitally,” she said. “So it was a lot of messaging, emailing. That’s always difficult when you have to email back and forth so many times.”The theme for this year’s Belles Bash was “Sweet to be SMC.” The t-shirts given out at the event were designed by Giavanna Paradiso, a junior at the College.SAB also had multiple vendors at the event, who provided food. “Doughnuts from Rise’n Roll, Gigi’s Cupcakes, inflatables from Xtreme [Fun Party Co.], fried Oreos … from Herbkoe Fun Foods, and our DJ is from D&T productions,” Freund said.Treasurer Maria Bruno, a junior, said the event helps to usher in the new school year and to introduce SAB to students.“I think since this is our first event and we put a lot into it, the girls see what SAB does and then they come back for more events,” Bruno said. “And this is a good way to start off on the right foot, showing everyone this is what we provide for people during events and this is the fun we can have.”Bruno said the event is also a good way to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.“It’s always super fun to see the students get excited about t-shirts. But there’s the huge bustle that comes right away and everyone’s going around the see the free items and stuff to do,” she said. “After that, it’s much more laid back, so it’s cool watching everyone meet each other, or those first interactions once they’re back with friends.”Freshman Erin Bennett said she was happy to have an event that included students from multiple grade levels.“We’ve had the orientation stuff and Saturday we had Domerfest, but it helps us see that everybody is here,” she said. “For a while, when it was just us, I forgot that the upperclassmen were here, but now that they’re all here it’s kinda real.”Freund also said SAB has worked to improve the event and said its organizers strive to make their events about the students.“Belles Bash is always really fun because it’s one of our most heavily themed events, so we get to do different things. We’ve had a circus, last year was ‘under the sea,’” she said. “One of the biggest things we did to change is shortening our events from three hours to two hours. We felt it was more helpful for students to all be here together and that creates more of a sense of community with everyone.”Tags: orientation, saint mary’s, Student Activities Boardlast_img read more

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