SMEAC Free Store offers used items

first_imgThe members of Saint Mary’s Environmental Action Coalition (SMEAC) strive to be positive role models on campus by promoting the well being of the environment and enacting change, Monica Aguirre, co-president of SMEAC, said. “A lot of the time, we are geared toward reaching out to the campus,” Aguirre said. The club hosts several programs and events at the College that are geared to draw awareness to environmental issues. One such program is the SMEAC Free Store, which is designed to allow students to reuse unwanted items instead of throwing them away. “We are helping the community, but we are trying to get the campus to help the community more,” said Katherine Kohler, the Free Store coordinator. The store is located in the basement of Le Mans Hall and offers a variety of items including furniture and decorative items such as vases and holiday décor. “Saint Mary’s needs to learn about recycling and reusing items because I think that sometimes in our population that idea is lost,” Aguirre said. “If you take something from the Free Store, the owner might see it and that should be OK. Just getting that mentality that it doesn’t have to be new.” The Free Store, which will now be open 24 hours, hosted its grand opening Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Instead of having to go out and buy bookshelves and other stuff, you can come here and get it for free, which will save money and save the environment,” said Ellen Huelsmann, vice president of SMEAC. The Free Store accepts almost all items that are in good condition, Kohler said. According to Aguirre, the club is planning other activities as well. A tie-dying event is currently in the works; students will be invited to bring an old shirt, tie-dye it and keep it. Another event SMEAC sponsors is Weigh Your Waste, an annual event that measures the amount of food students, faculty and staff dispose of during a single lunch period, will be held again this year. “That [Weigh Your Waste] has the potential to have the most impact because when you see that we we’ve wasted in one lunch period 150 pounds a day, which could be equivalent to over 500 pounds a day, this is fact,” Aguirre said. Other events include Race to Recycling, a competition in which two people sort through trashcans and determine what can and cannot be recycled. In addition, Aguirre said SMEAC is planning on making this year’s Earth Week bigger and better. The club meets weekly to plan activities and discuss how to get students involved. “It’s only an hour commitment, but what the campus gets back from everybody getting involved is a lot because we’re changing the ideas on campus,” Kohler said. “If you care about it, do something.”last_img read more

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Students make cards for Sullivan family

first_imgStudent government delivered more than 200 letters from members of the Notre Dame community to the family of junior Declan Sullivan on Monday, student body chief of staff Nick Ruof said. “The Notre Dame family is truly a family and it was shown over these past few days,” Ruof said. “Everyone came together to be arm-in-arm together in support.” Student government wanted to allow students to show their support for the Sullivan family after Sullivan’s death, Ruof said. In a Thursday e-mail, student body president Catherine Soler and student body vice president Andrew Bell invited students to bring notes and cards to their office in LaFortune Student Center. “As student government we wanted a cohesive effort to send things to the family instead of berating them with mail,” Ruof said. “We wanted a unified student body response to the Sullivan family.” The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore donated 200 cards that were available at the reception following Thursday’s Mass of Remembrance in honor of Sullivan. The remaining cards were later available in the student government office, and they were all used, according to Bell. Students also placed many other envelopes in the collection box, Bell said. Student government collected cards throughout the weekend so students had time to reflect, Ruof said. “We wanted to be a place for students to send their sympathies through us to the family,” Ruof said. Ruof said the fact that many students who did not know Sullivan wrote letters to his family represents the manner in which the student body has united following Wednesday’s accident. “We want to let the Sullivan family grieve,” Ruof said. “We want to give them their privacy but facilitate the student body’s sympathies to the family at the same time.” Bell said the University provided buses to transport students, football players, student athletic managers and videographers from campus to Sullivan’s funeral in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Monday. Various administrators, deans and representatives of Student Affairs were also present at Monday’s funeral Mass, Bell said. The University is looking to work with Fisher Hall and the Financial Management Board to create a memorial scholarship in Declan’s name, Ruof said. “We want to show support for the family as well as for the men of Fisher and the women of Lewis,” Ruof said. Ruof said student government would also organize a tribute to Sullivan during the home game against Utah on Nov. 13 to show continued support in the Notre Dame community for Sullivan’s family.last_img read more

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OIT works on CIF system after Dec. crash

first_imgThe University’s Course Instructor Feedback (CIF) system experienced problems at the end of last semester, resulting in the entire student body receiving their grades at the earliest time, Erin Hoffmann Harding, associate vice president for Strategic Planning, said. “For a period of about three hours on the last night of the CIF window for most undergraduate courses, the OIT server supporting the CIF system experienced a slow down in performance,” Hoffmann Harding said. “The system never crashed, almost 1,000 surveys were successfully submitted during this time and no information was lost.” Some students who tried to access the system could not complete their CIFs, she said. Beginning during the 2009 fall semester, completing CIFs allowed students to view their semester grades seven days early. “The system slow down prevented some students from successfully submitting their CIFs,” she said. “Unfortunately, it was not possible to reopen the survey system prior to the beginning of final exams. It was also not feasible to identify which students had been affected by the slowed performance.” Administrators decided to modify the grade holding policy for the fall semester only, Hoffmann Harding said. OIT is investigating the system problems, and the early grade incentive will exist again in the spring. Hoffmann Harding said the CIF system is still in development, and the next priority is to solve the performance speed. “The system will also soon have the ability to provide more customized information to students in e-mails about which CIFs they still need to complete and when their individual survey windows close,” she said. “We welcome suggestions about other enhancements that would improve students’ ability to offer feedback to their professors.” The response rate was 78 percent for all of the fall 2010 courses, she said. This rate was lower than fall 2009, but exceeded the response rate for fall 2008. Dennis Jacobs, vice president and associate provost, said feedback from CIFs is integrated into the classroom through feedback given directly to departments and faculty. “Instructors are provided with a detailed summary report of the CIF data collected for every course section they teach,” Jacobs said. “For each CIF item, the instructor can see the distribution of student responses, a calculated mean score, and a comparison to the scores received by other faculty who teach similar courses at Notre Dame.” Professors also see the open-ended answers, but they cannot see student names, he said. This allows for anonymity. “Many faculty members reflect on thoughtful CIF feedback from their students as they consider ways to improve their teaching in future semesters,” he said. Past improvements to CIFs have provided more incentive for students to complete them, Jacobs said. “Five of the questions appearing on the CIF were written together by students and faculty with the purpose of providing more information at the time of course selection,” he said. “The results to these five items are displayed within Class Search on the Registrar’s website.” Only students who have completed their CIFs the previous semester can view these results, Jacobs said. “This enhancement to Class Search along with gaining earlier access to grades provide two valuable incentives for students to complete all their CIFs,” he said.last_img read more

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Phishing scams target students

first_imgA Phishing scam infiltrated Notre Dame G-mail accounts and sent massive amounts of spam from nd.edu addresses, the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) reported Tuesday in an e-mail to the student body. The scam blocked nd.edu users from e-mailing hotmail.com users. OIT administrators are communicating with hotmail to lift the blocks, and OIT recommended using alternate communication with hotmail users, the e-mail said. The e-mail warned that other e-mail services may be blocking ND e-mails for the same reason. “Over the weekend, spammers compromised several [Notre Dame] NetIDs and used those accounts to send thousands of spam e-mail messages,” the e-mail said. “Spammers most likely gained control over these accounts when the account owners responded to a phishing scam by providing their NetID and password.” The OIT Helpdesk helped students who were hacked by the phishing scam, David Seidl, manager of information security for OIT, said. When OIT discovered the scam, Seidl said the office responded to protect the Notre Dame network and e-mail accounts. “We blocked access to the site from campus, preventing people who clicked the link from accessing the site,” he said. “We sent messages specifically reminding campus users about the phishing attacks and what not to do.” The OIT staff also checked for systems that contacted the phishing site so they could notify system administrators whose users had visited it. “When we discover a compromised account being exploited, our first step is to have the Helpdesk change the password and lock the account so the spammer can no longer use it,” he said. “They then try to contact the account owner to let them know, but often do not have a telephone number to do so, and obviously they no longer can access their e-mail.” Without a phone number, Seidl said OIT must wait for the nd.edu user to discover the problem and contact his or her administrator. Seidl said Notre Dame students, faculty and staff can prevent phishing by taking a few preventative steps. “First, remember that the OIT, Notre Dame or any other legitimate organization will never request your password or account information by e-mail,” he said. “Second, be cautious of any URL that asks for your Net ID and password does not end with nd.edu. Third, type URLs manually rather than clicking on them. “You can also usually see the URL that link is hiding by hovering your mouse over it to see what the link actually is.” Phishing sites pose as secure websites and request personal information from visitors, including usernames, passwords, bank account numbers and credit card numbers. Phishers then use that username and password to log into the campus e-mail system to send span e-mail, Seidl said. The scammers used the Notre Dame Outlook Web Access (OWA) to send the spam e-mails. “The high volume of mail sent by spammers in this type of event can result in our campus e-mail servers being blacklisted, blocked, by major email providers like Hotmail and Yahoo,” he said. “Our system administrators are typically able to remedy this quickly, and our campus e-mail servers are configured to prevent this from being a significant issue in most cases.” More information about phishing scams can be found at http://oit.nd.edu/email/phishingfaq.shtmllast_img read more

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Students celebrate sweet victory

first_imgSeniors left Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday feeling content after the football team defeated Boston College 16-14. Though the Irish won by less than he expected, senior Matt Sushinsky said he was still happy with the outcome. “It is always nice to win, but I think we should have won by a lot more seeing as how we were playing Boston College. But a win is a win,” Sushinsky said. Participating in the traditional Senior Day marshmallow fight was especially enjoyable for Sushinsky. “The marshmallow fight was a lot of fun. It is nice that the seniors have a great tradition for their final home game,” Sushinsky said. “It did get a little messy, but I think we all had a blast.” Seniors rushed the field after the Irish victory, a tradition Sushinsky said meant a lot to him. “For all Notre Dame students, the field is a sacred place,” Sushinsky said. “Being able to go out there after the game and walk on the field where some of the greatest football players have played was a great finale to my four years here.  “It also was nice to touch the grass before they decide to get turf or something.” Senior Meghan Donoghue said a lackluster effort by the Irish did not hinder the football environment.  “[Saturday] definitely was not the best performance I have seen in my four years here,” Donoghue said. “However, I was caught up in the moment of this being my final time inside Notre Dame Stadium as a student, so I was not affected by the play on the field.” Donoghue said the atmosphere in the senior student section was amazing. “Being around fellow classmates made us all feel lucky to attend a school where there is so much camaraderie,” Donoghue said. “Needless to say, it was a great ending to our four-year football careers.” Senior Christina Carson echoed Donoghue’s feelings regarding the environment at the last home game. “All of the seniors rallied around the fact that it was the last home game,” Carson said. “There was tons of spirit which was cool.” Carson said going onto the field after the game was the highlight of the bittersweet weekend. “It was fun to get on the field after the game, although it was not as climactic as previous years,” Carson said.  Both Donoghue and Carson agreed that the Irish offense must show up in Palo Alto, Calif., on Saturday if the team is to have a chance of knocking off the Cardinal. “Stanford is a really good team,” Donoghue said. “Hopefully we can put on a good showing, but no matter the outcome, we have had a great run at it this year.” Carson reflected on the loss of senior running back Jonas Gray to injury. “The absence of [Jonas] Gray will significantly hurt our running game, but hopefully we will be able to put some points up on the board,” Carson said. Douglas Farmer contributed to this report.last_img read more

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Panel analyzes school choice debate

first_imgPanelists examined the growing movement to allow families to choose their child’s school Tuesday night in a discussion on school choice titled “To Choose or Not to Choose.” The panelists included director of teacher formation and education policy at the Alliance for Catholic Education, John Schoenig, who said he wanted to emphasize the importance of staying true to intentions. “I would imagine that the perspectives on what education reform means in the first place is as varied as the number of people in the room. I don’t like giving advice, but I do like contradicting myself, so I’ll tell you this: It’s very important that you find ways to decouple, divest, separate … your purpose and the means to get to your purpose, to effect social change,” he said. Schoenig said the focus of the movement should be to provide children with the best education possible. “We too often allow ourselves to get too tied to the methods to get our things done. What is the purpose you believe in? What you’ll find, if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll say your purpose is making sure that every child has an equal opportunity at education. But your means to get there may change,” Schoenig said. Maria McKenna, senior associate director of education, schooling and society at the Institute for Educational Initiatives, spoke about the many changes that have occurred over the past 40 years in regards to early education. “To get us situated in the landscape, 40 years ago looks so different than today. In the 90s, we made this choice that one of the ways we’re thinking about leveling that playing field is that we’re allowing these kids to go to schools that weren’t operated by the school district,” McKenna said. The change came from a state level due to certain revelations, Schoenig said. “In 1990, we came to a place where we realized that maybe the state doesn’t need to operate all of the schools it regulates or funds, it’s not that far to say that it doesn’t have to have to operate any school it funds,” he said. “The entire landscape had changed into a choice-based marketplace. It’s probably here to stay, and now it’s about trying to figure out how to best deal with it.”“The idea of having options, and equating that with a market-based system, is not necessarily a bad thing,” McKenna said. Notre Dame MBA student Steven L’Huereux spoke on his experience working in New Orleans as an educator in one of the worst-performing areas of Louisiana.“For the last four years, I’ve been working in charter schools down there. We had to enroll 550 brand new students, and at that point, there was no common application for all the schools. They would have to travel to a school, fill out the form and it was really difficult,” L’Huereux said.  To solve this problem, the recovery school district centralized the process through the OneApp, a system designed to streamline the application process, he said. “Now, you can rank the schools in terms of which ones you wanted to attend. Regardless of where these students lived, they could apply to any school that participated in the OneApp,” L’Huereux said. This influx of options has afforded children with more options than they were allowed 40 years ago, according to Schoenig.“Take the inner city closest to your home and imagine being a marginalized child living there. In almost every one of those inner cities, those children have many, many more options to choose than they did 40 years ago,” Schoenig said.Schoenig said education is more than a policy or a social change issue. “If today’s conversation is about choice, it’s not really about any of that other stuff, it’s about human dignity,” he said.  “If you think about marginalized children and families in that city and the things they have to decide, the choices they have to make. All of the choices you make every day, to go across the way and get Starbucks or to get coffee from elsewhere, these aren’t choices these families can make. The effect of educating by zip code is to deny people the access to choice that we used to have.”Tags: #SCOP, ACE, school choicelast_img read more

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15 ND students awarded national fellowships

first_img15 graduating seniors have received awards from the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This program provides grants for individually-designed study, research projects or English Teaching Assistant Programs.According to its website, the Fulbright Program “facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things and the way they think.”The awardees for Fulbright study and research grants were Lauren Antosz, Rose Doerfler, Charlie Ducey, Savannah Kounelis and Andrew Scruggs. The awardees for English Teaching Assistantships were Whitney Bellant, Bridget Galassini, Adam Henderson, McKenzie Hightower, Zachary Horne, Ray’Von Jones, Emily Migliore, Monika Spalinski, Luke Wajrowski and Kyle Witzigman.Witzigman, who is an honors political science major and a member of both the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program and Glynn Family Honors Program, said he was inspired to apply for the fellowship partially due to multiple research and travel opportunities he had at Notre Dame during his undergraduate career. “Notre Dame’s support and funding allowed me to teach and intern with non-governmental organizations in Hanoi, Vietnam during two separate summers,” he said. “I attended a higher education conference in Bac Ninh province last summer and was intrigued by the relationship between an education and an education system. Fulbright provides a window in which I can learn about the nuance of a culture and of a student perspective by teaching in a classroom.”Witzigman said he has four goals for his time in Vietnam.“One, learn how to cook Vietnamese food. Two, improve my Vietnamese language skills. Three, play football with a câu lạc bộ and make a fool of myself,” he said. “And four, say yes more often than not.”Ducey and Wilson both received the Austrian Teaching Assistantship, which “provides prospective teachers of German and/or graduates with an interest in Austrian studies with opportunities to work at secondary schools throughout Austria,” according to CUSE.Other awards included funding for abroad graduate programs.Grefenstette, who is a theology major in the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program and Glynn Family Honors Program, received full funding for a one-year Master’s of China Studies program at Yenching Academy, a prestigious college within Peking University.According to Dr. Jeffrey Thibert, interim director and assistant director of national fellowships at CUSE, the graduating classes of recent years have seen increasing success in regards to national fellowship applications, especially the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.“We have also seen increasing success more generally for Notre Dame undergraduates. … Not only have we had a Rhodes Scholar for two consecutive years, but also we have had larger numbers of finalists for other major fellowships, like the Marshall Scholarship and Luce Scholarship,” Thibert wrote in an email.Among the graduating class, six students were awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP), and two were named Honorable Mention. According to CUSE, the fellowship provides funding for research-based study leading to a master’s or doctoral degree in the fields of science, engineering, technology, math or social science. The National Science Foundation received over 17,000 applications for the 2016 competition, and made 2,000 fellowship award offers and 2,908 honorable mentions. “I believe that this increasing success is indicative of an upward trend for fellowships outcomes for Notre Dame students and alumni, as it is now clearer than ever that our students and graduates can hold their own in the competitions for these prestigious opportunities,” Thibert said. The awardees included Kenzell Huggins, Brian Keene, Ellen Norby, Joseph Norby, Toby Turney and Melanie Wallskog. Jesse David Suter and Zoe Volenec received Honorable Mention awards.Wallskog, who is an honors economics and ACMS major in the Glynn Family Honors Program, expressed the flexibility that the NSF’s GRFP will provide her going forth as she pursues an economics Ph.D at Stanford University in the fall.Having been a part of several economics research projects, some of which were with the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, Wallskog naturally found graduate school to be her next step, she said.“My ND economics professors highly recommended that I apply for the NSF GRFP as part of my journey towards my economics Ph.D,” Wallskog said in an email. “The GRFP is extremely valuable for three reasons — it provides three years of grad school funding, it allows you to focus on research during those three years … and it sends a big signal in your grad application that you are a valuable applicant.“The GRFP allows me a lot of research flexibility at Stanford, since it encourages me to focus on my own research, rather than teaching or researching solely for faculty members. Furthermore, having the GRFP opens up opportunities for me with the NSF; they have additional funding resources and programs that are particularly available to GRFP recipients,” Wallskog said. According to Thibert, besides graduating seniors, CUSE is seeing increased alumni success in applying for national fellowships as well.“For some, it makes sense to wait an extra year or two to apply for something like the Rhodes or Fulbright, because it gives them more time to develop a record of achievement that demonstrates that they are already making a difference with regard to a field of study or social issue,” he said. “First, we would like to see more alumni applying for national fellowships. Second, alumni can work with CUSE on their applications. Third, nearly all fellowships allow you to apply multiple times, so I would encourage most people to apply as graduating seniors and as alumni — in fact, both of our most recent Rhodes Scholars were re-applicants.“An undergraduate education characterized by scholarly engagement [and] applying what is learned in the classroom to make a meaningful impact on the world, is key to success with national fellowships, and CUSE’s primary role is to help students identify and pursue these opportunities. … CUSE has had great success in recent years, and we look forward to building on that momentum in the years ahead.”Tags: Commencement 2016, CUSE, Fellowships, FLTA, Graduation, NSF GRFPlast_img read more

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Career Crossings Office prepares students in planning for future

first_imgTo equip Saint Mary’s women with resources and tools to guide them in planning for their lives after graduation, the Career Crossings Office (CCO) is hosting a variety of events this week to help students to start thinking about their future. Sarah Enck, assistant director of CCO, said the goal of this week is focused on what students in each respective class year need the most to set them up for career success.“Many students will come into our office for individual meetings with similar questions, and those questions revolve around feeling prepared for the next steps in their career journey,” Enck said. “We think these events are important for students, especially at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, because we can talk to a group who may be struggling with the same things and have similar questions and they can find support from us and in one another.”This is the tenth consecutive year CCO has hosted the Junior and Senior Startup events. Enck said two years ago CCO introduced Sophomore Springboard to help guide sophomores in deciding their majors and prepare them for junior year.“Each year brings a different level of preparedness: sophomore year – officially choosing their major and feeling good about their resume; junior year – understanding the process of searching and landing an internship; senior year – gearing up for careers or graduate school after graduation,” she said. “By hosting these events during the second week of classes we hope students have a little more time and space to think and prepare because they haven’t quite been immersed into a busy semester yet.”In addition to these opportunities, CCO offers various opportunities and programs throughout the academic year to assist students in writing resumes, learning about internships, preparing for interviews, and talking about future career paths. All of these opportunities are available to students without a scheduled appointment, Enck said.“Every week we have open hours on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. – noon and Thursdays from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.” she said. “We have Coffee and Career Chat in the Spes Atrium from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Wednesday. We will also be hosting our Career and Internship Fair on September 12 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. in the Angela Athletic Center. We would love students to come and talk with the employers about internship and job opportunities.”Enck said these events have provided a great way for the CCO to maintain a presence on campus and make the organization more available to students. Prompting students to begin thinking about their options for the future at the beginning of the academic year allows them to get a good idea of what is needed from them to achieve their goals, to plan ahead and to ask for support when they need it, Enck explained.“We would love to have students come to these events,” she said. “It really helps to get similar students together to cover this information and help them feel more confident for life after graduation. We really hope that students go away with a solid game plan for the school year and feel confident in the resources they need for success.”Tags: Career Crossings Office, Career Prepartion, Internships, saint mary’slast_img read more

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Students to participate in mock interviews at Dalloway’s Coffeehouse, prepare for career and internship opportunities

first_imgSaint Mary’s students will gather in Dalloway’s Coffeehouse on Wednesday to participate in “Mock Interview Day,” an event hosted by the Career Crossings Office. Angela Fitzpatrick, the office’s assistant director, organized this career development opportunity with the hope that students would become more familiar with job-interviewing skills.Fitzpatrick and the rest of the Career Crossings Office have been planning different spring programs since before winter break. “Mock interviews was one [event] we decided we could try to make happen because more and more we’re seeing students who need practice,” she said. Students who will be attending the mock interviews will gain an advantage in their interviewing skills, Fitzpatrick added. “The more they practice, then the more confident they’ll be and professional,” she said.Fitzpatrick utilized Saint Mary’s employer relations to reach out to off-campus human resources professionals, and invited them to participate in Mock Interview Day. These experts will ensure that participants experience a realistic interview scenario, she said. “There are HR, talent acquisition managers … that actually are HR people who interview and screen people,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s who we have actually doing the mock interviews.” Throughout the month of January, students received multiple emails from the Career Crossings Office inviting them to RSVP for the event through a Google form. Students were asked to upload their resumes, select interview times and answer questions based on their interests and goals. Each mock interview is split into two sections: 30 minutes of interviewing and 15 minutes of feedback and questions and answers.Tammy Wever, the administrative assistant of the Career Crossings Office, will prepare folders — containing the student’s resume and specific questions pertaining to their major — for the HR professionals to use as a resource during interviews.Each professional will interview three or four Saint Mary’s students. In regards to preparation, Fitzpatrick said students have been visiting the Career Crossings Office throughout the week asking for tips and having their resume’s looked at. Junior Emma Schramko is one of the students participating in tomorrow’s event. “I encouraged myself to sign up because I thought it was a unique and beneficial opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever participated in,” said junior Emma Schramko, one of the students participating in tomorrow’s event. Schramko said the event can provide students with a feeling of comfort and familiarity as they prepare for a real job interview in the future. “I hope to gain a new level of comfort from sitting through a mock interview in a place that I am comfortable and familiar with [at Saint Mary’s],” she said. Tags: Career Crossings Office, Dalloway’s Coffeehouse, Mock Interviewslast_img read more

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Study Abroad Week’s virtual format increases accessibility for students, advisors

first_imgNotre Dame Study Abroad Week debuted on Monday with a new virtual format to accommodate the logistical changes required by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.The virtual week, which is set to run from Monday, Aug. 31 to Friday, Sept. 4, is a combination of live and pre-recorded sessions. Live events include open advising sessions, informational sessions for select locations and discussions with study abroad influencers, who are student ambassadors selected by the Study Abroad team to interact with students on a peer-to-peer level.Study abroad advisors will be offering live informational sessions specifically for Jerusalem, the Ireland programs and London, as well as a live diversity and inclusion panel on Wednesday and a panel addressing the implications of COVID-19 for Notre Dame Study Abroad on Thursday. Pre-recorded sessions include short college and site-specific informational presentations that are available to watch at any time.Zoom links for live sessions and the videos of pre-recorded sessions are available on the Study Abroad website with Notre Dame log-in credentials.While planning over the summer, assistant director for Study Abroad Katie Kovar said the team was mindful of changes to class times since some students would be in class for longer hours relative to previous years. Kovar said she thinks the pre-recorded videos will give students better access to information at times that work best for them.“The videos were a way to make sure that students could view the content at their leisure, whichever videos they’re interested in,” Kovar said. “Most importantly, we needed to make sure students could access the information anytime.”Laura Stipic, an associate director for Study Abroad, said she hopes the increased accessibility to information about the sites offered by Notre Dame International will encourage students to explore locations they may not have considered before.“Students can sit at home and learn about everywhere from Jerusalem to Santiago to Beijing, to Kigali,” Stipic said. “They can learn about all of those in quick five to 10 minute increments.”Kovar added that adopting a virtual format has allowed the team to include staff who live on site at the Notre Dame Global Gateway centers to participate directly in student engagement, in addition to providing flexible access for students. “The great thing about virtual is that it’s allowing us to connect all of our Gateway Center staff around the world,” Kovar said. “That’s more difficult to do when we have these events in person to get people to fly out here and be a part of them.”Summer Kerksick, a sophomore at Notre Dame, said she is most looking forward to hearing from fellow students about the challenging aspects of their study abroad programs and plans to attend the sessions with student influencers to hear more about their experiences.“I want to know the stuff that people normally don’t talk about because you always see the pictures of people in the nice little landscapes, but I’ve seldom heard about the times where people are just like, homesick or their mental health is just kind of down the drain,” she said. “I want to know more about those little real moments: What are the challenges of studying abroad?”Kerksick, who is double majoring in international economics and Irish language & literature, says she is also eager to learn about the differences between the various Ireland programs. “I definitely want to learn about the different programs in Ireland, what’s the difference between [Trinity College Dublin] compared to Galway, because I know that Galway is a relatively new program,” she said.Kerksick also said she is optimistic about planning to study abroad in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.“In the United States, we’ve been dealing with this pandemic very differently from everybody else,” she said. “So I want to see, how did the rest of the world deal with this? What is this going to look like for everybody else? I’m actually pretty optimistic about it.”Looking ahead, Stipic said she hopes students will take advantage of Study Abroad Week to learn about the variety of options that exist at Notre Dame.“I hope students really take this time to explore their options and be intentional about their program that they choose to apply for,” she said. “I think Study Abroad Week gives them that platform to do so because we present everything all at one time, so they can jump around to different programs, different locations and learn what might be a good fit for them.”Tags: COVID-19, Notre Dame International, study abroad, Study Abroad week, virutal study abroad weeklast_img read more

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