A group of Army ROTC cadets from Notre Dame and other Indiana colleges put their training to the test last weekend when they travelled to Fort Custer in Augusta, Mich., to participate in a Field Training Exercise (FTX). Saint Mary’s senior Katie Roitz said 70 cadets were involved in the exercise from schools including Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Indiana University in South Bend, Bethel College and Valparaiso University. “[The exercises are an] opportunity to be challenged during land navigation assessments, garrison leadership positions, and during all Situational Training Exercise lane training,” Roitz said. Roitz said the events took place throughout the day, as cadets were required to complete both day and night land navigation exercises requiring cadets to locate and plot a number of points on a map. “They had to figure out their pace count and correctly use … their compass in order to find these points”, Roitz said. The cadets were split into different squads and given various tasks to complete, Roitz said. Each was designed to test how the cadets would fare in real-world scenarios. “[The tasks] helped with their leadership skills and how to act in various situations,” she said. Cadets were designated leadership duties in various capacities on a daily basis, Roitz said. “[It offered an] opportunity to be exposed to the responsibilities of both company-level leadership as well was squad level leadership in the garrison environment.” Freshman cadet Brett Quick said she enjoyed the leadership tasks the most. “It was cool to make decisions and look out for people,” Quick said. Developing leadership skills in FTX is integral to preparing cadets for Leadership Development and Assessment Course, a required summer program, Roitz said. “FTX built upon the fundamentals the cadets have learned in previous labs and classes and used those skill during this event,” she said. “It better prepares the [cadet] class for their summer camp and gives them an opportunity for various leadership positions.” Quick said the experience was exhausting. “The most difficult part of the weekend was the lack of sleep and cold,” he said. Despite the business of the weekend, the ROTC students found time for one important leisure activity. “We got to watch the football game,” he said.
Six Saint Mary’s varsity teams and 49 individuals were recognized by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for outstanding academics in the 2014-2015 school year, the College announced in a press release. The release said six of the College’s eight varsity teams were recognized — volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer, cross country and softball.Director of Athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek said this is the most teams in one year that she can remember being recognized.“We often have had three or four teams, but this is something that we are especially proud of,” Schroeder-Biek said.Schroeder-Biek said a team must have a year-end cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher, and an individual must achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or higher to be recognized.“The reason [these athletes] are here at Saint Mary’s College is to pursue a quality college education, and we cannot lose sight of that,” Schroeder-Biek said. “As NCAA Division III student-athletes, our philosophy supports balance between athletics, academics and full integration into their college experience. Our athletes need to achieve in the classroom in order to have the opportunity to compete in their sport.”Senior basketball player and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president Krista Knapke said being involved in athletics has taught her the value of time management.“Balancing schoolwork and athletics can seem overwhelming at times, but it is very rewarding when you are able to find some level of success in both areas,” Knapke said. “The number of student-athletes at Saint Mary’s who received this recognition shows just how valued academics are within the athletic program.”Schroeder-Biek said the MIAA recognition supports the mission of the College.“[Athletes] excel academically while also developing their talent as they prepare to make a difference in the world,” she said.Knapke said the community in the athletic program helps students excel.“There are always teammates, coaches, staff and additional resources available to provide academic assistance when needed,” she said.Tags: Saint Mary’s Athletics, SMC athletics, SMC Basketball
Knott Hall, along with Circle K, will hold their annual Aidan Project Sunday, and event that invites students to help make blankets for cancer patients because, according to the College of Science event description, “Cancer is cold.”Sophomore Nathan Kriha, the Knott Hall service commissioner, said the Aidan Project started in 2006 when a member of Knott Hall discovered he had cancer.“The Aidan Project is basically an opportunity that we do every year with Circle K,” Kriha said. “Years ago there was a student named Aidan [Fitzgerald] who had cancer and he recovered, but something he really wanted was to have a service event for those who are in the hospital dealing with cancer.“So ever since then there’s been the Aidan Project, which is an opportunity to make blankets in South Dining Hall for kids who are in the hospital with cancer,” Kriha said. “It’s a really nice thing.”Junior Patrick Sheehan, Knott Hall co-president, said various members of the dorm have contributed to the work necessary to prepare for the event.“We organized an event … the week before [Thanksgiving] … where we actually took all of the rolls of fleece and cut them into blanket size,” Sheehan said. “We cut them and put them into bags and got all of that ready to get carried over [to South Dining Hall]. Another thing we do is make baby blankets too, so we cut some smaller pieces too.”Kriha said that along with members of Knott Hall, members of the campus service organization Circle K have also helped prepare for the Aidan Project event.“Buying felt was a big thing too, finding places to buy it, and that was actually all Circle K,” Kriha said. “[Circle K] is a club that focuses on service in the area, so for instance … at the beginning of November, they went out into South Bend and raked leaves for people who can’t actually rake themselves.“They’re very oriented in service, so if anyone wants a good opportunity to be involved in the community with service then Circle K is a good club for that.”This year’s Aidan Project will take place Sunday in the East Wing of South Dining Hall, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During that time, all students are invited to come and help make blankets for local cancer patients.“There will be stations for people to come in,” Sheehan said, “All the blankets are already cut, actually, we did that ahead of time, so it’s just going to be actually making them into blankets. You just knot the ends of them and make them look good on the corners.”Kriha said the goal of the event is not only the quantity of blankets made, but to engage the student community.“The goal is just to get through all of the stuff we have and not have extras,” Kriha said. “We just want to see a variety of kids from campus come … because last year it was pretty much only Knott and Circle K, there weren’t a ton of outsiders, so this year we’ve tried to make it a little bit more known to the campus.“So hopefully, our goal is just to have as many people come as possible,” he said. “Everyone’s welcome.”Tags: Circle K, Knott Hall, The Aidan Project
When Hazim Al-Adilee arrived in the U.S. in 2014, his wife Entidhar Abbood was nearly 7,000 miles away in Jordan, having been denied relocation privileges. Now, more than two years later, Abbood’s application to enter the U.S. has still not been approved, as Al-Adilee discussed at a lecture about migration on Tuesday at Saint Mary’s.Al-Adilee said his family established a happy life in Iraq, where he and his wife both worked as teachers, but was forced to move to Jordan after the rise of insurgents in his homeland.“They kill anybody in Iraq, especially if they know he is a teacher, a doctor,” Al-Adilee said. “We don’t know what happened. We are now refugees.”Al-Adilee said President Donald Trump’s desire to stop the entry of nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen into the U.S. may prevent him from seeing his wife ever again. The situation is further complicated because Abbood suffers from diabetes and heart disease, according to Al-Adilee.“I have a green card now, but I cannot go back to help her,” he said. “If I go out of the U.S., I cannot enter again. That is a problem for me.”Alumna Laurie Pinter, class of ’84, who helps settle refugees in South Bend, said she aims to connect refugees with resources in the community that can fulfill their legal and medical needs. She said she works with a task force that arranges household items, enrolls children in school and conducts a cultural orientation for the refugees to make their transition easier. “We are supposed to have refugees settled and independent in 90 days,” Pinter said.“In anticipation of Hazim’s wife coming, we are trying to prepare what cardiologists we are going to have working with her.” Pinter said she strives to make refugees feel welcome in the U.S. by surrounding them with members of the local community.“As a resettlement agency, you’re trying to find a sponsor group, which often is a church, because as case managers … you are so busy,” Pinter said. “You don’t have the time to sit and socialize.”According to Pinter, many refugees are surprised that Americans spend so little quality time with their loved ones.“It’s really important to connect families with a group that can spend that time being social,” she said. “What I’ve learned doing this work is that we really are not a very social culture because people are shocked how busy we are as Americans. Having that church group that can help them acclimate and learn things about our culture is really important.”Pinter said the sheer number of steps involved in applying to enter the U.S. can be daunting, which likely discourages people with harmful motives from relocating to the country. “I just don’t think this is a way any possible terrorist is going to choose to come to the United States because it’s tough to get through this process,” Pinter said. According to Pinter, students should aim to dispel misconceptions about refugees while fostering dialogue with people who hold opposing viewpoints.“Stay informed,” she said. “Be aware. Use your voice to speak up. You have to hear what the other side is saying. Once in a while, listen in on people who are anti-refugee or anti-immigrant to know what the other side is saying and to have those conversations.”Tags: executive order, Refugees, SMC alumna, South Bend
Teagan Dillon | The Observer Senior Maggie Rogers, foreground, and senior Annie TImmerman arrange lockers for Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team. Rogers and Timmerman are two of the programs six student managers.Rogers, along with senior Annie Timmermann, is one of two head managers for the women’s basketball team. Together, Rogers and Timmermann lead a team of five managers — six before freshman Nicole Benz walked onto the team in late December — that act as the glue that holds the program together.“Maggie and Annie sort of run the ship,” Katie Capps, director of basketball operations, said. “They come to me and let me know if there’s problems. If we’re low on this or need to order more of that — they run it. It becomes their team; I’m just overseeing and making sure there’s no big issues.”They are assisted by fellow student managers Saint Mary’s senior Maggie Maloney, junior Colleen Iannone, junior Jackie Collins, sophomore Molly Light and Saint Mary’s sophomore Meghan Mulroe.Armed with each of the manager’s class schedules, Rogers and Timmermann are in charge of scheduling the staff to ensure that there are enough people available for practice, meetings, equipment training and packing.In order for practice to run smoothly, the managers arrive an hour early to set up and stay an hour late to tear down, Rogers said. From organizing the practice uniforms and filling water bottles, to running the shot clock and keeping track of player-specific stats, the managers are involved in every aspect of practice.“You really have to pay attention to what’s going on in front of you. You can’t just go through the motions of starting the shot clock or passing the ball when they need it,” Timmermann said. “You have to actually be engaged in what you’re doing.”On average, Rogers and Timmermann estimated they spend about 15 to 20 hours per week dedicated to the team. If they’re traveling — one head manager must be present at every road game — then another 24 hours is tacked onto the weekly total.When it comes to creating a schedule that can accommodate this time commitment, the managers benefit from an early registration time, Rogers said. If their majors permit, the duo strives to finish their classes by noon. Unfortunately, that can be difficult.“There’s a lot of good history classes at 2 o’clock,“ Rogers said.But it’s all worth it, they said.“When they’re competing at such an elite level, you can’t help but get wrapped up in all of it,” Rogers said. “We still get that same thrill when we walk out of the locker room on game days.”With a program as successful as Notre Dame’s, that thrill usually continues well into the postseason.“When you go to those [tournaments], you’re not thinking you’re going to be leaving the next day,” Timmermann said. “You plan on staying the whole time. Whether the team is celebrating afterwards by going out to ice cream or getting called up on the podium with confetti and cutting down the net, we’re part of both of those things.”But before any celebrations, Rogers, Timmermann and the rest of the managers have all hands on deck to make sure the players and coaches’ only focus is the game itself. Either sitting on the bench or at an arm’s length behind it, the two must be prepared for anything.“You’re almost like a waitress at a high-end restaurant, sometimes, behind the bench,” Rogers said. “So-and-so only likes gold Gatorade, and so-and-so likes this color, but watered down. This player needs her Chapstick at this time. … You know more about these people than I think their moms sometimes.”Even though both Timmermann and Rogers grew up fans of Notre Dame basketball, Rogers said she never expected to reach this point when she got involved with the team her freshman year.“There’s not a lot of people that can say they’ve had their head in a Muffet McGraw huddle on a regular basis,” she said.Tags: athletics, Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame Womens Basketball, Student Managers It’s just after midnight and senior Maggie Rogers has put on her pajamas to wind down after a full day of classes and work. Suddenly, she realizes that nobody took care of the laundry after practice, and the team leaves for an away game in the morning.Rogers has no choice. She throws her winter boots on over her pajama pants and runs a half-mile through the snow to the JACC to put the laundry in.“But I’d rather be elbow-deep in our laundry than any other team’s,” she said.
Donald P. Kommers, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Chair in Government and International Studies and a concurrent professor emeritus of law, died at 86 on Dec. 21, the University announced in a news release Wednesday.An expert in German and American constitutional law, Kommers served as editor of Notre Dame’s political theory journal, The Review of Politics, from 1981 to 1992. From 1976 to 1981, Kommers was the director of the Law School’s Center for Civil and International Human Rights, the release said.“Don Kommers was a major force in shaping our department and the broader field as well,” political science professor and former political science department chair Michael Zuckert said. “Notre Dame now has one of the leading programs in constitutional studies in the United States. When Don started out, this was a declining field within political science, but he, together with longtime colleague Sot Barber, led a revival of the field here so that it is now stronger and more firmly established than ever.”As an undergraduate at the Catholic University of America, Kommers studied philosophy and English literature. After serving two years in the U.S. Marine Corps, he earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Kommers is the author of over 100 articles and books. According to the release, the third edition of his book on German constitutional law, “The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany,” was published in 2012 by Duke University Press and received praise from German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.“Don was a real pioneer in forming a new subfield within constitutional studies — the field of comparative constitutionalism,” Zuckert said. “When Don entered the profession, it was heavily focused on the American constitutional experience. Although Don was a leading student of American constitutionalism, he made his real mark in his much-awarded work on German constitutionalism. This work, in turn, was one of the major formative influences on that new field of comparative constitutionalism.”From 1995 to 1996, Kommers served as president of the National Conference Group on German Politics and in the 1970s was an advisor to President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on the Holocaust, the release said.He also held fellowships at several institutions and organizations, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Philosophical Society, Max Planck Society and Rockefeller Foundation.According to the release, Kommers earned the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. He also received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.In 2010, Germany awarded Kommers with the Distinguished Service Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.German consul general Onno Huckmann said Kommers’ work “remarkably enriched both the American and German legal systems and [built] a bridge between our two countries as few others have,” the release said.“[Kommers’] career at Notre Dame spanned my own time here as a student, as a member of the faculty and as dean,” said law professor and former Law School dean Patricia O’Hara. “First established as the Center for Civil Rights in 1973 under the leadership of Father Hesburgh, today’s Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights in the Keough School of Global Affairs broadened its direction internationally during Don’s tenure as director … A true interdisciplinary scholar, Don will be missed by his colleagues across many different departments at the University.”A funeral Mass will be held Jan. 21 at 9:30 a.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.Memorial donations may be made to the University of Notre Dame Department of Development or online at giving.nd.edu.Condolences may be mailed to Nancy Kommers, P.O. Box 303, Notre Dame, IN, 46556 or left online at Kaniewski Funeral Homes.Tags: department of political science, Donald P. Kommers, Eck School of Law
Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is a preeminent research body on campus focused on taking on the wide-ranging and complex challenge of poverty. The lab is run by and co-founded by Professor William Evans.According to Evans, there are many reasons why one might be experiencing economic hardship.“[Some people] dropped out of high school, so they’ll not have the credentials to get a high-paying job,” he said. “You could have a person who has been out of the workforce because they’ve been raising children and then they need to enter the workforce because they find themselves divorced. They overuse payday lending or write up their credit cards and find themselves heavily in debt.”Evans explained the importance of securing housing as the first step out of poverty.“You can’t start working on how to figure out your job situation,” he said. “You’ve got to stabilize the housing situation first, so what I’m finding big improvements for the homeless right away but for people that are coming to the program in a stable housing situation. That may be a bad job situation or a bad skill situation.”Noting the program’s individualized approach to intervention, Evans is pleased with the work the lab has done.“The program seems to work incredibly well,” he said. “And so that, I think that intensive nature of the intervention, and the fact that it’s tailored to the individual needs of the family has been proven to be successful and we’re trying to replicate that in different situations or different populations in different cities, so that that’s been one very encouraging program that we’ve seen actually, in some of the work that we’ve been doing.”Evans described the negative impact that the pandemic has had on individuals with a lower socioeconomic status.“There’s a tremendous amount of economic dislocation that’s been generated by the pandemic,” Evans said. “And if you take a look at the national data that that dislocation is heavily correlated with socioeconomic status, so low wage workers have lost a lot of work because they can’t typically work from home.”Due to this new housing crisis, the LEO lab is working to by provide emergency cash assistance that allows people to stay in their homes. However, according to Evans, this brings up the question if the program should pay the landlords or renters.“One city is asking … why we write a check to the landlord,” Evans said. “Why don’t we write a direct check to the person, and let them figure out how to spend the resources? So we’re actually sort of testing whether it makes a difference — whether you write the check to the landlord or whether you write the check to the person themselves.”Evans emphasized that the pandemic is also affecting some of the LEO’s work, giving an example of a financial assistance program for single parents trying to finish college degrees in South Dakota.“College degree completion rates are very low in certain populations, and they’re incredibly low for single parents,” Evans said. “[T]he mentoring is there to help them deal with shocks that occur might prevent them from finishing, and the financial assistance is to help them with things like paying for babysitting so they can work and go to school and study, so they can complete their degree. This program we started two and a half years ago, and then COVID-19 hit. And a lot of the people have watched deployments.”Even though it is more difficult to measure this initiative’s effectiveness when colleges are going online and these families are struggling with issues surrounding COVID-19, the LEO continues to provide financial support.Tags: COVID-19, Homelessness, Lab for Economic Opportunity, poverty
View Comments The Drama League has set the date for the 80th Annual Drama League Awards. The ceremony will take place on May 16 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. This year’s eligibility cut-off date will be on April 20, with the nominee announcement taking place April 23 at Sardi’s for Distinguished Play, Distinguished Revival of a Play, Distinguished Musical, Distinguished Revival of a Musical and the Distinguished Performance Award. Star Files First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theatergoer awards chosen by audience members—specifically, by the thousands of Drama League members nationwide who attend Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Last year Tony winner Nathan Lane took home the top honor, winning the Drama League Distinguished Performance Award for his performance as a veteran burlesque performer in Douglas Carter Beane’s The Nance. Nathan Lane
The Lion is a true story of love, loss, family loyalty and the redemptive power of music. The show has been previously performed in various incarnations at Lincoln Center, the St. James Theatre in London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Lion, an autobiographical musical from Benjamin Scheuer, celebrates its opening night on June 26. The American premiere, presented by Manhattan Theatre Club and directed by Sean Daniels, will run through July 13 at The Studio at Stage II at New York City Center. Last year, Scheuer was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award for songwriting and the Musical Theatre Network Award for Best Lyrics. He has served as a writer-in-residence at the Goodspeed Theater, the Weston Playhouse and the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Workshop. His band Escapist Papers’ second album, titled The Bridge, features music from The Lion. View Comments Related Shows The Lion Show Closed This production ended its run on July 13, 2014
First, there was Carole King, the legendary singer-songwriter who started it all. Then there was Jessie Mueller, who snagged a Tony Award for her portrayal of the Grammy winner on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Now, the hit musical is making its way to the West End, led by Katie Brayben, beginning February 10, 2015 at the Aldwych Theatre. Check out this Beautiful shot of Brayben as Carole, then see her rock out onstage this winter! View Comments