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Archives for: January 26, 2021

I work for everybody back home’

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first_imgEditor’s Note: This is the second story in a series featuring Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s graduates serving as members of Congress. This series, titled “Trading Golden Dome for Capitol Dome,” will run on Fridays.  Election Day 2012 marked the election of Sen. Joe Donnelly, the first Democrat to win an Indiana statewide race in more than a decade, and the end of one of the most contentious Senate races in Indiana history.  After State Treasurer Richard Mourdock beat out six-term senator Richard Lugar in the Republican primary, Mourdock faced then-Representative Donnelly in the general election. The contest culminated in a debate at New Albany, Ind., at Indiana-University Southeast, where a comment he made about abortion and rape gained national attention.  Donnelly, a “Double Domer” who graduated from Notre Dame with a B.A. in 1977 and with a J.D. in 1981, said his faith in the people of Indiana and his Notre Dame education helped him to focus on the path to the Senate, despite partisan conflict. “It’s not usually the easiest path as a Democrat in Indiana,” Donnelly said. “But, what I always knew was that the people of Indiana are common-sense, are willing to listen, and are a lot more focused on what’s right and building our state than they are worried about party labels.  “So, I never worried about party labels, and the other part is what you learn at Notre Dame is that you do your very best, you stand up for what is right, you try to have an effect on those things you can change, [but] on the things you have no control over, you can’t worry about them.” At Notre Dame, Donnelly majored in government and also studied business. “While I didn’t have a business degree or business minor, a lot of my electives were in the business area, so I tried to combine [government and business] while at Notre Dame,” he said. “I had an interest in becoming an attorney, and I think that mix really lent itself well to that field.” After graduation, Donnelly practiced law, worked at his family’s printing and rubber stamp company and served on the Indiana State Election Board. In 2004, he ran for and secured Indiana’s 2nd district congressional seat, and secured the seat in 2006. “I had never actually expected to run for office again,” Donnelly said. “That was probably for a 15-year period. I just raised my family and tried to be a good member of the local community, then was asked by members of the local Democratic Party if I would consider running for Congress.” Donnelly said serving as the representative for Indiana’s 2nd district prepared him to work as a senator for the state of Indiana.  “What made it easier is that in many ways, the 2nd district is a microcosm of the state, and the state is a microcosm of the country,” he said. “And so, the needs of the people of the 2nd district, the concerns of the people of the second district, were reflective of the entire state.”  Donnelly said his time in the House, in part, guided his goals as a senator. “I came in with areas that I wanted to focus on, based on my time in the House,” he said. “No. 1, first and foremost, would be that every Hoosier who wants a job, can have a job. When Mom and Dad are working, everything works much better for the family – everything works much better for our state. So, a huge portion of my efforts have been in making sure that we continue to grow our economy and create more jobs.” As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Donnelly said resolving the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan sits at the top of his priority list. “I’ve been focused on making sure we have a solid plan to come home from Afghanistan, to do it in a way that enables Afghanistan to stand up on their own and have our men and women back home in South Bend and in Rising Sun and in Merrillville and in Indianapolis, rather than in Kabul,” he said. Donnelly is following the situation in Syria closely and soliciting opinions on the issue from his constituents, his communications director, Elizabeth Shappell, said.  “He supports President Obama’s decision to seek Congressional approval,” Shappell said. “Like all Hoosiers, he strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons and is carefully reviewing proposed options for ongoing humanitarian assistance and possible military action.”  Donnelly announced his support for same-sex marriage in an April 5 post on his Facebook page. His desire for all people to feel comfortable in Indiana motivated this decision, he said. “My feeling is that as we look at this, as a state, Indiana wants to be welcoming to all of our citizens,” Donnelly said. “To our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters – I want them all to feel that no matter what their beliefs, they can find a home in Indiana. For our companies, [we don’t want them] to lose extraordinary talent and extraordinary people because we weren’t welcoming to them on this issue. “As I said, this is no way any suggestion to any Church as to what they [should] believe or what they should do. This is simply recognition that we want Indiana to be a welcoming state.” Donnelly said his experience in the House, his role as a father and talks with friends inform his policy positions. Staying connected to his constituents also shapes his actions as a senator.  “I go home every weekend,” Donnelly said. “There is so much more wisdom in Indiana than there is in Washington, D.C., and so in a typical day at home I’ll be visiting with a group of farmers. I’ll be visiting with a group of small business people. I’ll stop at the local supermarket to get something, and people are more than happy to come up and tell me what they think. “I get my knowledge, my wisdom, from everyone back home. … I keep that sign in the office up there, ‘Hoosier Common Sense,’ because that’s what we try to do. I think that is what the country needs, and that is what I try to reflect every day.” These frequent interactions with his constituents keep Donnelly grounded. “What I never forget is that I’m the hired help,” he said. “I work for everybody back home. That’s my obligation.” Donnelly’s connection to Notre Dame also shapes his beliefs, he said.  “I think [University President Fr. John Jenkins] is an extraordinary president,” Donnelly said. “I think [University President Emeritus Fr. Monk Malloy] was as well, and I went to school there when [University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh] was our president. Fr. Hesburgh made it very clear that you have an obligation to not only look out for yourself, but to look out for your brothers and sisters, and tried to make sure that everyone who graduated from Notre Dame understood that you had a bigger obligation than just making sure that you’re all squared away. “We’ve had extraordinary leadership. … Obviously, Our Lady really looks out for the school because of who she has put in charge.” Donnelly said he remains extremely grateful for his Notre Dame education, which continues to shape how he approaches the world around him. “I never in a million years expected to be able to go there,” he said. “I was just a middle-class kid; it was almost just beyond my wildest dreams. … What Notre Dame does is it colors the way you look at every issue so that it’s not just about yourself, or it’s not just about a narrow set of views. But you look at things in a way that says, ‘How does this affect all of us? How do we make our country better? How do we make our nation stronger? How do we do what is fair and what is just?’ “I say a little prayer that I can do that every day, and I’m far from perfect. I don’t hit a home run every day. But I do my best, and that was shaped in large measure by folks like my parents, by Fr. Hesburgh. … They ground you very well, and if I had to do it all over again I’d do it in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”  Contact Nicole Michels at nmichels@nd.edulast_img read more

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Students sell Nicaraguan goods in bookstore

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first_imgThe Nicaraguan-based Custom Elevation, a company founded by three Notre Dame students in 2012, continues to expand its sale of handicrafts to improve the lives of artisans.Co-founder and senior Christian Estrada, who is from Nicaragua, said Custom Elevation bases itself on the principle of fairness.“It is about giving the artisans a chance,” he said. “It is about letting them do what they love and getting paid fairly.”Estrada said the company has developed new handmade products since it began selling its goods at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore in April 2013.“We expanded our product line to fit the likes of our various customers,” Estrada said. “In the collegiate market, we have added the Salbeke Hand-woven Bag. We introduced this product in early December and have received quite a bit of attention.”The company introduced the new products after assessing the marketability of the Amaka Hammocks featured in the company’s first product launch.“The hammock has proven to be a very tough product to sell because of the lack of summertime activities around Notre Dame and the high price point due to royalty expenses, transportation and packaging,” Estrada said. “This is why we introduced the Salbeke.”Estrada said the artisans employed by Custom Elevation work out of a renovated building in the Nicaraguan city of Masaya, where the production of handicrafts stretches back many generations.“The conditions in Masaya in general are still very bad. Given that the artisan community is extensive, it will be hard to fix this problem right away, but our vision is to help change the lives of as many artisans as possible,” Estrada said. “By eventually expanding to more and more universities and institutions, we will be able to increase the size of our facility and the number of workers we employ.”Between business classes and collaboration with recent Notre Dame alumnus Roberto Pellas, Estrada said he has met with officials from Texas Christian University (TCU) and the University of Texas at Austin to market Custom Elevation’s products bearing the logos of each institution.“I just met with TCU’s licensing director and it went very well,” Estrada said. “We have basically secured a license with them and will most probably start selling at their bookstore around June.”In addition, Estrada said Custom Elevation has set its sights on the corporate logo market.“This will be pretty much like the collegiate market in that we will personalize our products with institutional logos,” he said. “We are also selling our generic products [without logos] at different boutiques in Nicaragua and here in the states.”Tags: Custom Elevationlast_img read more

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ACE initiative helps literacy in Haiti

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first_imgNotre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) partnered with the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to begin the Haiti Reads project in August 2014, working to improve the literacy of Haitian children.The initiative is sponsored by a $1 million grant from an anonymous foundation, with additional funding and personnel provided by ACE and CRS, according to a University press release.Emily Danaher | The Observer Kate Schuenke-Lucien, associate director of Haitian Catholic Education Initiatives for ACE, said the primary goal of the project is to help Haitian children to “learn to read, to read to learn,” a mantra the project uses to promote the long term benefits of increased literacy. Haiti Reads is trying to improve students’ ability to read and write in Creole, which is spoken by 95 percent of the Haitian population, and French, which is the language primarily used in educational instruction, Schuenke-Lucien said.“We know that early literacy is incredibly important for educational success for children,” she said. “Basically, children who don’t learn to read well in the early grades are not able to continue in school.”According to the Haiti Reads press release, this explains why 50 percent of the Haitian adult population is illiterate and why only five percent of students continue past primary school.Haiti Reads works with some of the 2,400 Catholic primary and secondary schools in Haiti as a way to “renew and strengthen Catholic education to provide an improved education and opportunity for the children in Haiti,” TJ D’Agostino, associate director of Haitian Catholic Education Initiatives for ACE, said.“Catholic schools are the biggest single educational provider in the country so [Haiti Reads] is a way to make a pretty big dent in trying to improve education quality in Haiti at large,” he said.Schuenke-Lucien said the project’s approach to their mission is two-fold.“[Improved literacy] would happen by improving students’ test scores and students’ ability to read and write … and then also by improving the ability of the teachers to deliver a high quality curriculum to the students,” Schuenke-Lucien said.The Haiti Reads team began training teachers in approximately 50 Catholic schools in August 2014, and the teachers implemented the newly crafted curriculums in December 2014, Schuenke-Lucien said.Jaime Zarafonetis, associate director of teaching and learning for ACE, said Notre Dame is excited to work with the teachers in Haiti.“The Haitian educators are exceptionally dedicated, and we feel really grateful at ND that we are working with so many knowledgable and committed educational leaders [in Haiti],” Zarafonetis said.As of now, 49 percent of Haitian third graders cannot read either language, Zarafonetis said.Tags: ACE, Alliance for Catholic Education, Catholic Education, catholic relief services, Haiti Readslast_img read more

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Memorial Mass commemorates life of junior Theresa Sagartz

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first_imgCaitlyn Jordan Students and other members of the Notre Dame community attended Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Wednesday night in memory of junior Theresa Sagartz who died last week.“As we situate Theresa’s death into the fabric of our day-to-day lives, we are invited to look back, not with sadness or regret, but with gratitude, to be thankful for the way she touched our hearts, both directly and indirectly [in] her love of her family and friends, the resilience with which she lived her life,” McCormick said.“Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, he demonstrated how far he would go to prove God’s love and lasting commitment to each of us. Jesus’ testimony and God’s desire to be in relationship with us now serves as the basis for our prayer tonight, to commend a sister, a daughter, a friend, a role model, back to God.”McCormick said Sagartz was a woman who lived selflessly and was known for both her compassion and leadership — evident in her multiple roles on campus, which included being an “honorary mom” to section 2A in Zahm House who brought oranges to soccer games.“The list could go on forever of the things that made Theresa, Theresa,” McCormick said. “But what we celebrate is her turning back to God, a God who so deeply loves each of us that he has created a space for us in him to return. Theresa’s life has changed. It has not ended.”Sagartz’s life was a manifestation of God’s grace, McCormick said.“God blessed Theresa with the precise amount of time needed for her to make an impact on this world. We no doubt would have preferred more of it, yet so goes the delicate and precious nature of life. And while we are tempted to measure the quality of life in years, the true measure of life is what you do in the time that you have,” McCormick said. “If a person with 75 years mostly wraps himself in anger and greed, what good is that? Is it somehow better than 21 years filled with love and service to others? … No matter the time we have here, five minutes or 100 years, we are invited to look forward, mirroring God’s love that extends beyond us and extends beyond death.”The fullness of Sagartz’s life can serve as inspiration, McCormick said.“Leaving the Basilica tonight, my sincere hope is that each of us might be changed in some way,” he said. “Perhaps we may express a deeper gratitude for the family, friends and those lives that we come in contact with on a daily basis. … Or maybe, we develop a deeper trust through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection — that we do not mourn Theresa’s death as if it were the end, but rather, prayerfully, as she begins her journey to eternal life.”Senior News Writer Catherine Owers contributed to this report.Tags: memorial, memorial mass, Student death, Theresa Sagartz Family, friends and members of the Notre Dame community filled the Basilica of the Sacred Heart Wednesday evening to honor the life of Theresa Sagartz, a junior and former resident of Pangborn Hall, who died last week in her off-campus apartment due to apparent natural causes related to a medical condition.University President Fr. John Jenkins celebrated the memorial Mass, and Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry, delivered the homily. The Notre Dame Liturgical Choir provided music for the Mass.last_img read more

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Saint Mary’s students celebrate Senior Week

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first_imgIn the week leading up to Commencement, seniors had the opportunity to participate in different activities to celebrate the traditions and sisterhood fostered at Saint Mary’s.The week is a time for students to have one more chance to spend time together as a class, senior class president CoCo Craig said.“It’s time for memories,” Craig said.According to Craig, the week began with a senior formal Sunday, followed by the Alumnae-Senior Champagne Brunch, yoga and scavenger hunt Monday.Senior class vice president Lindsay Rzepecki said the Class of 2016 participation in the Class Gift Campaign — in which each class tries to achieve 100 percent participation in raising money for Saint Mary’s — will be revealed, and the class’s gift will be presented to College President Carol Ann Mooney on Monday.Domerfest 2.0 and Babetostal were held on Tuesday, and the class took a trip Wednesday to Chicago for a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.The main events of the week took place Thursday, Craig said, when students painted handprints in the underground tunnel that connects Le Mans Hall and the Saint Mary’s Student Center and participated in the Saint Mary’s tradition of Opening of the Circle. Additionally, they received their letters from the Letter Writing Project, had a party on the island in Lake Marian and had their final walk down the Avenue.“The Opening of the Circle is a tradition where the president of the class reads a script that basically prepares to send us off, but reminds us we are always welcome to come home,” Craig said. “The Letter Writing Project is a genius idea the Class of 2015 started. Friends, faculty and family write letters to students about the positive impact they have contributed.”The Opening of the Circle will be a time of reflection for the graduates, Rzepecki said.“Opening of the Circle will surely be a sentimental moment for all of us graduating seniors, as we participated in a very similar ceremony [Closing of the Circle] on our first day at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “We will reflect in prayer and join hands with our classmates.”Rzepecki said the week aimed to make memories for students to “carry with us as we move past the comfort of Saint Mary’s.”“Each memory, person, hardship and celebration has made our own personal Saint Mary’s story,” she said. “These unique and precious gifts are something we will not be able to relive, but they will live on. This is the opportunity to celebrate those memories with just us, and only us — the Class of 2016. It’s a time of celebration, and we certainly deserve it.”Senior Isabella Gagnon said in an email she was excited to spend her final days at Saint Mary’s with her classmates.“Senior Week has really allowed me to hang out with girls that I may not usually hang out with, that aren’t in the same major or clubs that I am,” Gagnon said. “It’s also an extra week that we get to pretend we aren’t about to be real adults. We can just … bond with our fellow Belles all week without the stress of finals.”Gagnon said she is looking forward to the Senior Letter Writing Project, as well as other events during the week.“I am excited for taking our final walk down the Avenue,” she said. “I’m pretty sure this is the part where I will start crying uncontrollably. … I want to get as much out of my Saint Mary’s experience as possible. I think it’s important to go to yoga classes and handprint paining to really do that. I’m not doing every Senior Week event, but I will make the best out of the ones I do go to.”Tags: Commencement 2016, saint mary’s, Senior Weeklast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s debuts summer study abroad programs

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first_imgSaint Mary’s debuted two new summer study abroad programs this summer: the London LEB Program and an archeology program in Trim, Ireland.Both programs are open to students from all majors. The London LEB Program is a four-week program. Archeology in Ireland is a six-week program, but two- and four-week long options are also available, according to the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL).“I have always wanted to study abroad, but by virtue of being a transfer student and someone who is double majoring, I could never do a semester program,” senior Adrienne Whisman said. “So, I looked for summer programs.”Junior Kiersten Lieurance said students participate in the London LEB Program through Maryville University in St. Louis. This past summer, two Saint Mary’s students were participants: Lieurance and senior Allison Burns. Photo courtesy of Allison Burns Junior Lieurance, left, and senior Burns, right, pose in London in front of the London Eye. The two participated in the London LEB program in the summer of 2016.“It was so culture-driven,” Lieurance said. “We went to the businesses for class — it wasn’t classroom-based, it was more learning and cultural experience.”The program consists of one class and one practicum. Lieurance took a globalization course, coupled with a practicum at the Victoria and Albert Museum. “[The] part that I liked best about my classes was the opportunity I got to go and visit all of these prominent businesses in London,” Burns said. “We went to City Hall, the Houses of Parliament, Canary Wharf, Fuller’s Brewery and many others, and [we] discussed topics of globalization with prominent business leaders.”Participating in a practicum allows the students to take things they learned in their classes and take it into the real world. As part of their practicum, Burns and Lieurance studied an exhibit at the museum and, using what they gathered, created a marketing plan. “The London LEB Program helped me within my major by being able to actually go and see some of the places [and] things I’ve learned about in class,” Burns said. “Any program or experience that exposes me to the history, religion, art, literature and philosophy I’ve only previously read about in a book is amazing.”The opportunity to work in the museum added to the cultural experience the students received from living in London, Lieurance said. “It was a completely different culture, but everyone we worked with was very welcoming,” she said. “I think it was more a learning experience, getting to understand the difference between their culture and our culture and how that affects the worldly businesses.”The archeology program also presents an opportunity for students to gather “real world” experience. Students stay in Trim and excavate the remains of a 13th century Dominican friary, according to CWIL.“The Trim program is unique,” Whisman said. “It allows students to integrate into Irish culture through a homestay family as well as loads of free time to explore not only Trim, Ireland, but also the rest of Ireland and the U.K.”Study abroad programs at Saint Mary’s are coordinated by CWIL. Karen Chambers, faculty coordinator of the Ireland program, said CWIL tries to listen to the requests of students as to which programs they would like to partake in.“On occasion, we have had students request some type of active archaeology experience which we previously had not been able to offer in our portfolio,” she said. “We have a long relationship with Maynooth University — next fall is our 40th year partnering with Maynooth — so we have a long and sustained interest from our students in Ireland, so this program combined the two interests.”This responsiveness led to the establishment of the archeology program. Whisman and senior Caylin McCallick are two of the students that participated in this program. “I decided to go because I love history and the thought of being a part of discovering even a small part of history was extremely intriguing,” McCallick said. “I wanted to go to a place where I wouldn’t get in trouble for touching historical artifacts.”Students work with the Irish Archaeology Field School and with professors that work on site with them, Chambers said. It also fulfills several requirements for students.The program facilitates a homestay for students and requires them to walk to and from the work site. The homestay provides a cultural experience for students that cannot come from simply visiting Ireland as a tourist, Chambers said.“Ireland is a rich culture, but those who visit as a tourist miss much of the culture that makes it different than U.S. culture,” she said. “Our Trim program is highlighted by a homestay experience in which students are invited into the home life of a family in the town. Understanding cultural differences is inherent in the liberal arts education — seeing that ideas can be viewed differently and learning to appreciate that difference.”Whisman experienced this exploration of culture during her time in Trim.“The fact that the dig excavated a medieval friary made me nerd out so hard,” she said. “The dig and the program helped me see history as it was and how it is still with us today. I walked to the dig site every day passing ruins and castles. America doesn’t have the luxury of seeing the remains of history from 800 years ago, or even 5,000 years ago.”Tags: center for women’s intercultural leadership, Ireland, London, saint mary’s, SMC, study abroadlast_img read more

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Anthropology professor instructs popular tap-dancing class

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first_imgA world-renowned expert on human parenting and infancy with more than 130 published articles in medical, anthropology and psychology journals, professor of anthropology James McKenna boasts a special talent: tap dancing.McKenna, director of Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory, is a leading expert on “co-sleeping,” which involves conducting research on the benefits of mother and infant pairs sharing a bed together. However, when he is not knee-deep in his research, McKenna also teaches the Irish American tap class.“I tap danced pretty much all my life in one form or another,” McKenna said. “I started when I was two or three years old watching a Fred Astaire film in black and white in Boston.”McKenna said when he saw Fred Astaire dancing on the screen, his two-year old self ran to the two-foot wide hard wood space between the living room carpet and dining room carpet, looked at the television and “started tap dancing with perfect beats and rhythms and rolls.”“I just could do it,” he said. “I could always tap dance to any music that has a beat. I don’t know why, but it’s been a great joy and a wonderful thing to do. It’s like playing drums with your feet.”After this talent surfaced, McKenna said he pursued it further by taking more formal dance lessons. He taught tap for five years at Pomona College until he was recruited to be a faculty member at Notre Dame. When he arrived in the fall of 1997, McKenna said, he discovered the University did not have a dance department, so he worked on starting a tap class. After a year of preparation, McKenna taught his first tap class in the fall of 1998.Senior Allison Griffith, a current student in McKenna’s Irish American tap class, said she and her friends planned to take the class together. With majors in English and American studies, Griffith said she thought there was no better time than her senior year to try something new.“It is a blast,” she said. “At least for my friends and I, it’s what we look forward to for most of the week.”Initially unsure of what to expect when enrolling in the class, Griffith said she now knows how much time and practice goes into a tap dancing routine.“My expectation before was that it would be a class that people kind of trickled in and out of, and maybe they were just taking it for fun,” she said. “What I’m realizing is that tap is definitely a really difficult skill, and it takes a lot of time and practice to get down.”Previous students have written to McKenna saying they performed their tap dancing routine at their wedding reception with friends who were also in the class, he said. He said he believes the class remains meaningful for the students that take it.“I think Notre Dame students are usually very self-critical,” McKenna said. “There are very few classes where students are able to be non-judgemental of themselves, and to relax and be who they are without the kind of strain and struggles that all of us go through when you care about doing well.”The class has proven a less-traditional, yet still learning-focused environment, Griffith said. McKenna tells his students from the start that they will make mistakes, she said, but that it is okay because they are learning a completely new skill.“A lot of times at Notre Dame, we’re so fixated on making sure we do everything exactly right,” Griffith said. “A lot of us are afraid to make mistakes, and a lot of us are used to not failing — especially in a class setting. It’s very rare to have something to work towards that’s not a paper or an exam. We’re working towards a performance, and that’s really fun.”Griffith said everyone should consider taking the class, regardless of their dancing background.“I had not danced since like first grade,” she said. “Absolutely still take it. Probably a majority of the people in the class had never danced before, or did when they were really little.”A transformation occurs once students put on their tap shoes for the first time, McKenna said, and students should not be afraid to sign up for the class.“It is such a joyful exercise,” he said. “All your troubles blow out Washington Hall windows. It’s done in a very easy, relaxed manner. I have not had one single person — of all the people that have taken this class — that couldn’t do just fine.”The class will present its end-of-the-year recital Tuesday around 8 p.m. in South Dining Hall, McKenna said. It is free to students, and the class performs about six numbers.“It’s very raucous and joyful and really fun,” McKenna said. “These are students that never really saw a pair of tap shoes. I think they’ve all surprised themselves about how much they really learned.”McKenna said he thinks the class is so popular among seniors because they take it for no other reason than their personal satisfaction and joy in tap dancing as an activity.“It really becomes this really absolutely joyful, no-holds-barred experience for the kids, and they let themselves go in there,” he said. “It is one of their truly joyful, restful, self-assuring spaces at the University.”Tags: anthropology, Dance, Irish American tap class, McKenna, recital, tap dancinglast_img read more

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CDC Issues Travel Advisory For New York Tri-State Area

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first_imgCutout Photo: chensiyuan / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0NEW YORK – New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been placed under a 14-day travel advisory in the latest effort by United States officials to slow down the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus.More than 121,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US and more than half are in those states, according to a tally of cases reported by health officials.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new travel advisory Saturday night, urging people in those states to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel” after President Donald Trump announced on Twitter he had asked for it.The CDC said this advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services and food supply. Trump also said a quarantine would not be necessary in those states. Earlier on Saturday, Trump tweeted that he was considering a two-week quarantine due to the pandemic, even though the governors of New York Connecticut and New Jersey were unaware of the possibility.In an interview over the weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a quarantine “would be chaos and mayhem.”“It’s totally opposite everything he’s been saying. I don’t think it is plausible. I don’t think it is legal.”In the past days, federal and state authorities have been scrambling to slow down the spread of the deadly virus. The US surpassed Italy and China this week to become the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world.At least 121,285 people in the US have contracted the virus since the first case was reported in late January. The death toll has reached 2,043, doubling in the last two days. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Two New Pediatric Cases Of COVID-19 Reported, County Total Now 60

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first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) JAMESTOWN – The number of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County has reached 60, after two new pediatric cases and another adult case was reported on Thursday.The county health department says the adult case involves a woman in her 30s. They did not release any other information about the two new pediatric cases.Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been three reported cases involving minors in the county.There are now 19 active cases, up from 16 the day before. So far, 37 people have recovered from the virus since the outbreak began. Four deaths have since been reported because of COVID-19.The Cattaraugus County Health Department reported two new COVID-19 cases, bringing the countywide total to 55, with 16 active.Meanwhile, the third COVID-19 case was reported in Warren County, Pennsylvania today. Officials say the person was tested for the virus and is now seeking medical treatment.“The test was not conducted at Warren General Hospital,” said officials in a statement to the media. “Currently, no further details about this case are available.”The Emergency Management Team says they will continue to monitor the outbreak and provide updates as additional information is obtained.As a reminder, the public is encouraged to continue practicing safe COVID-19 mitigation practices:Engage in safe social distancingWear masks in publicWash their hands frequentlyDisinfect common areasAnd isolate themselves and seek medical attention if they don’t feel welllast_img read more

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Chautauqua County To Implement Three Clean Energy Projects

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first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Justin Gould / WNY News Now.JAMESTOWN – A $150,000 Clean Energy Communities grant will allow Chautauqua County to implement three clean energy projects this year.County officials say the grant projects include purchasing three Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to replace existing gasoline vehicles, installation of two electric vehicle charging stations for use by public facilities staff and converting to LED lighting at the Jamestown Airport’s Oak Hill Road tunnel, as well as the conversion of parking lot lighting at the DPF’s Falconer Shop to LEDs.Because electric vehicles and LED lights are substantially more energy efficient than the vehicles and lights they respectively replace, these projects will save the County nearly $40,000 per year in energy costs, officials said.“This is exciting news,” said Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel. “NYSERDA has led the charge in cost-saving measures as they relate to clean energy initiatives. I am excited to see the upgrades and the savings with this grant.” County Legislator Mark Odell said among local municipalities and the county, more than $600,000 has been awarded for energy projects.“As one of my first initiatives during my tenure on the Legislature, I am very proud of the collaborative effort that led to Chautauqua County’s ‘Clean Energy Community’ designation,” said Odell.“We also had several towns and villages within the County that have attained this status by completing high-impact energy-related actions and have received awards ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 to further improve and modernize their energy infrastructure as well. County-wide we had an influx of over $600,000 awarded through this initiative. Our attainment of this Clean Energy Community designation will further elevate Chautauqua County’s ranking for business recruitment as well.”“With this grant, the Department of Public Facilities is excited to help the State achieve its environmental goals by purchasing the first ever all-electric vehicles for use by DPF as well as replacing old and inefficient lighting at various county locations,” said Brad Bentley, Chautauqua County Director of Public Facilities. “This grant came at a great time, as DPF needs to replace old fleet vehicles, so this also has a direct savings.”last_img read more

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