Content will continue to be the most important aspect in the future of the rapidly changing television industry, Katie O’Connell told students in a lecture Monday night. O’Connell, senior vice president of drama development for NBC, graduated from Notre Dame in 1991 and has experience as an executive producer for NBC and CBS. She has also worked on major television shows such as 30 Rock, 24 and Law and Order. “Content will always be king,” she said. “Television is changing so rapidly, so the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to be on top of it.” Many of the students who attended O’Connell’s lecture were Film, Television and Theatre majors. She said they were lucky because that major did not exist when she was a student at Notre Dame. She graduated with a degree in American Studies. O’Connell began her lecture by describing the many different types of jobs that are available in the television industry today, including careers with networks, as managers and agents or as members of television shows’ creative teams. She discussed the most well-known jobs in the industry, but also encouraged students to explore lesser-known jobs. Students should save their money if they plan to move to Los Angeles, O’Connell said, as it is difficult to find a steady income in the field of television. O’Connell concluded the lecture with her thoughts on the future of television. She said the television business was moving toward becoming entirely digital, and mentioned the newly available online rentals of Apple and Amazon. “Work with the architects of change,” she said. O’Connell said although the transition into a more digital version of television may not occur in the next five years, but it will happen in the lifetime of today’s college students.
After sifting through hundreds of suggestions from Notre Dame seniors, the final options for the Class of 2011 Legacy Fund focus on helping students who are in need of financial assistance. Each year, the Student Development Committee (SDC) chooses a few ideas for the fund and the senior class votes on them and chooses where they would like their donations to go. There are five choices this year, and the voting began about a week ago and will most likely extend until Wednesday, said SDC Co-Chairs Maggie Nettesheim and Maria Sellers. “Something we definitely thought about a lot is that we wanted it to be something that would continue to make a difference on campus,” Nettesheim said. “We wanted it to be something that would improve life on campus and would continue to do so.” This year’s choices focus on providing funds for students who are in need of financial aid for a variety of occasions. The first option is a study abroad assistance fund. This program would be designed for students on financial aid who wish to go to abroad, Nettesheim said. “If they choose to go abroad, it would give them a little more spending money,” Nettesheim said. The second choice is a partial tuition scholarship for incoming freshmen each year. Seniors’ third option is a stipend for students who would like to do summer service, but aren’t sure where their funds would come from. “The summer service one would be a fund for those who want to do service, international or national, but they don’t have funds for where they’re living,” Sellers said. Nettesheim said it would be particularly useful for students who do not feel they could give up a summer income, and it could apply to any service endeavor, even if it’s not through Notre Dame. The fourth choice is an emergency assistance fund. This money could be used at the discretion of rectors in the event of an emergency, such as a death in the family of a student who is unable to cover the price of a plane ticket home. The last option is a donation to RecSports, which would allow for the purchase of new uniforms or equipment. SDC used multiple sources to gauge where the seniors wanted the fund to go to, including booths at senior events and an online poll. Nettesheim said this year’s senior class was very enthusiastic in contributing ideas. “We got probably 200 suggestions from the senior class when we did the online poll,” Nettesheim said. “We in the committee then narrowed it down from those suggestions.” The final outcome of the vote will most likely be announced in December. Tim Ponisciak, the assistant director of the Annual Fund, said the Senior Legacy Fund can generate anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000. Contributing to the Senior Legacy is the first step into the Annual Fund, which is a general fund that accepts donations to support “virtually everything under the Dome,” such as financial aid for students or advancing Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, according to its website. “In the spring we’ll send out a letter and brochure telling them about the sponsored fund, but also telling them a little about the Annual Fund,” Ponisciak said. Ponisciak said seniors are encouraged to contribute to the sponsored legacy fund, but they are also welcome to make a donation to any other fund at Notre Dame. “For a senior to participate in the legacy they don’t have to give to the sponsored fund,” Ponisciak said. “They can participate in another aspect of campus that they feel strongly about.” Although it is targeted toward the current seniors, other members of the Notre Dame community can contribute to the legacy as well. “Through the phone center, we call their parents to see if the parents want to give on their behalf,” Nettesheim said. “Also, that fund stays in existence. Any alumni really could donate.” For Nettesheim, the Senior Legacy Fund is important because it gives seniors the opportunity to give back to the University that gave so much to them. “I think most of us leave Notre Dame feeling like it’s been the best four years of our lives,” Nettesheim said. “And if you can get seniors exciting about giving back to the university and start that commitment early then I think that’s great.”
Leaders from South Bend and local colleges discussed student safety and the relationship between the city and schools at a Community/Campus Advisory Coalition meeting Wednesday. Mark Kramer, owner of Kramer Properties, which provides housing to many local college students including those at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s, said four larcenies occurred last weekend amid Blue-Gold Game festivities. “[Larcenies have] really been happening in the last two or three weeks, I guess,” Kramer said. “The students need to warn their fellow students to keep their laptops out of sight or out of the car … It can happen anywhere.” Student body president Brett Rocheleau said student government has sent emails to the student body about protecting themselves from theft. “In our Good Neighbor Guides that we give out to everyone at the beginning of the year, we’re going to add a whole section about staying safe,” he said. “Things like lock your door, don’t think you’re safe all the time and fall into that false sense of security.” Mike Carrington of the South Bend Alcoholic Beverage Board said students often host large off-campus parties this time of year because the weather becomes nice. He said excise and local police can become involved in these situations. “It’s possible to come out with a bus and take everybody to jail, and we’re not advocating for that,” he said. “We want to avoid that … When somebody shows up [at a student party] and says, ‘Hey, you need to turn it down and close it down,’ they need to understand that they need to do that.” Carrington said underage students who enter bars using fake identification cards are jeopardizing themselves and the business owners. “If [students] want to have good places to go to and have them be safe and good places, then we need to have the cooperation of those [owners] and … them not being inundated with students trying to get in with false IDs,” he said. St. Joseph County Sheriff Michael Grzegorek said cooperation between local colleges and the city has been “fantastic” recently. Jeffrey Walters, Uniform Division chief for the South Bend Police, said his department was pleased with the relationship that has developed over the past few years between South Bend residents and college administrators, students and faculty. “We’ve solved a lot of problems and I’m happy to report that we don’t have a whole lot of issues right now,” he said.
Partisan politics went under the microscope Monday evening as the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) hosted the first event in a series of seminars, titled “From Battleground to Common Ground,” featuring an interdisciplinary analysis of the state of American political discourse. Rosie McDowell, director of International Community-Based Learning Outreach at the CSC and organizer of the discussion panel said the CSC wants to focus its efforts this year on encouraging civic engagement. “The CSC theme for the year urges active participation in civil society according to individual talents, visions and vocations,” McDowell said. English professor John Duffy said American civil society is in a state of crisis. “We are at a time in our public discourse where there is no agreement on fact, no criteria for expression of language, how to govern or decide what is appropriate or how to use similes, metaphors and other figures of speech,” Duffy said. “Nor do we save a place for deliberative discourse, where participants can acknowledge uncertainty and that they might be wrong … Instead what we see are assertions and counter-assertions hurled back and forth – that is what I consider the crisis of public argument.” Duffy said the public discourse has created a charged atmosphere. “Toxic public rhetoric is a fact of everyday life,” Duffy said. “It is a form of entertainment, it is a corporate product that is bought and sold.” Political science and peace studies professor David Philpott said this toxicity is emblematic of the increased polarization in American politics. “Polarization technically does not mean nastiness, it means that opinions are distributed far to the left and to the right,” Philopott said. “Whatever [explanation] one likes, it is clear that our political discourse has gotten nastier and far more mean spirited.” Philpott said clearly drawing the line between religion and politics has become only more complicated in the modern civil discourse. “Much liberal enlightenment is premised on the idea that good politics is secular politics … and making an appeal to religion is problematic,” Philpott said. “But, secularism can be highly divisive as well; nastiness is hardly confined to the religious, it’s found among religious and secular alike.” In this atmosphere, the challenge to maintain an open mind has only intensified, Philpott said. “Another proposal is to maintain a healthy sense of doubt and skepticism… too often the virtue of doubt is made only to the position the recommender does not find persuasive, not to the recommender’s own position,” Philpott said. Margaret Pfeil, professor of theology, said Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris suggests a framework capable of building a more balanced discourse. This document reflects the attitudes Pope John XXIII exhibited during his lifetime, she said. “Pope John XXIII acted as an intermediary speaking with both [former leader of the Soviet Union Nikita] Khrushchev and the Kennedy administration during the height of the conflict,” Pfeil said. “In this situation he gave primary importance to the dignity of each person involved rather than to the ideological issues at stake … this enabled him to win even Khrushchev’s trust because Khrushchev knew that he respected the dignity of all of the Soviet citizens, of all the citizens of the world.” This universal respect allows for cross-factional discourse, she said. “John XXIII’s appeal to peace through respect for human dignity offers room for common dialogue … it might be asked whose voices are heard [in the dialogue], and if there are elements of truth and participation in determining the common good,” Pfeil said. “This is something to consider as we mark the anniversary of September 11th [Tuesday], what it would look like for love to reign instead of fear.” Philpott said acknowledgement of universal dignity will be a necessary component to any solution. “The broader restoration of the right relationship requires the struggle that respects the dignity of the opponent and seeks to find what is right to her own position, to perhaps amount to a fuller synthesis of justice,” Philpott said. A less caustic political climate will develop when the rhetoric used to engage politically changes, Duffy said. “I think virtuous discourse has to start in other settings … our politics are so deeply compromised that this will not be possible until there is a popular movement for a better kind of language, and until we model that language we won’t get it from the people who inhabit our public spaces,” Duffy said. Educators and students are responsible for modeling this type of ethical discourse, Duffy said. “In a sense this is a very deep existential crisis that we have, that there is no agreement on fact … this is something we have to work at,” Duffy said. “I was once bemoaning to myself that I don’t know if this was possible or not, but my wife said you wouldn’t be in education if you really believed that. I think education is where you begin, we need to look very hard at the way we understand our communicative practices.” Duffy said the Notre Dame community is the perfect place to enact this change. “Our task is to pursue knowledge, to ask deep questions,” Duffy said. “We live a life not all that different from the students in Plato’s academy: incredibly privileged. The change has to come from people like us who have these opportunities and the capacity to share and spread them.” Contact Nicole Michels at [email protected]
Saint Mary’s College welcomed a variety of young faces to campus to celebrate Little Sibs Weekend with several days of circus-themed activities. “I brought my brother to Little Sibs last year, and I really wanted to be a part of it this year,” sophomore Chloe Derank, co-chair of Special Events for the Residence Hall Association (RHA), said. “I was reading ‘Water for Elephants,’ and I was like, ‘We should have a circus!’ and that’s what we ended up picking.” The weekend was an opportunity for Saint Mary’s students to share their campus with younger siblings and relatives, including spending a night in the residence halls. Events began with registration at 5 p.m. on Friday, where participants received a t-shirt that displayed the circus theme. The group ate s’mores and played board games in Regina Friday evening, Derank said. Derank said Saturday’s circus in Regina North Lounge drew the largest crowd. She estimated about 120 siblings showed up, accompanied by around 75 Saint Mary’s hosts. “From 9 [a.m.] to 12 [p.m.] we had a circus with a bunch of different games, and [the siblings] could get prizes and snacks,” Derank said. “We had this game called ‘Spray Away’ … and I think that was probably the biggest hit.” Sophomore Kaitie Maierhofer coordinated “Spray Away,” a game that allowed the younger siblings to squirt water at her. She also hosted her own siblings for the weekend. “‘Spray Away’ went really well,” she said. “I don’t know if [the siblings] enjoyed squirting me or the balls more, but it worked out.” Other attractions included magic shows, a temporary-tattoo parlor, a photo booth and slushies, first-year Maureen Hutchinson, fellow RHA Special Events co-chair, said. In the afternoon, siblings had the opportunity to make their own Chex Mix and color Easter-themed coloring pictures for arts and crafts, Hutchinson said. After, the group visited Dance Marathon, a dance-themed fundraiser for Riley Hospital for Children in the Angela Athletic Facility. “We did a scavenger hunt through there with [the siblings], and got to see all the fun stuff,” Derank said. Saturday’s activities concluded with an evening showing of the DreamWorks picture “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” The weekend ended Sunday morning with an obstacle course for the siblings to play on. “It was really fun,” Maierhofer said. “In my personal experience, [it was] better than last year. My sister had more fun this year than she did last year.” Derank said her participation in last year’s event inspired her to become involved with planning this year’s weekend. “A lot of the ideas for things came from Pinterest,” Hutchinson said. “The crafts [especially].” Little Sibs Weekend accommodated visitors ranging from around one year old to 18 years old, Derank said. “I think we did a pretty good job [of entertaining with that age range],” she said. “I think the circus was able to do that a lot.” Maierhofer said she and her sister enjoyed the flexibility of the weekend. “It works out well, knowing that you can do all of the activities, or just have your sibling come out and just [enjoy the weekend] with them,” Maierhofer said. Despite the inevitable stress involved with planning, Derank and Hutchinson said they felt the success of the weekend was worth it. “The best part was a little kid, probably 3 or 4, [getting] his T-shirt at registration,” Derank said. “His sister held up the shirt … and he got so excited because there was a circus animal on it … and that was just the best moment.”
Students can play games, enjoy food and try their luck for the new year at the Asian American Association’s (AAA) annual casino night in the Coleman Morse Lounge on Friday in celebration of the Lunar New Year, lasting from 9-11 p.m.Crystal Chen-Goodspeed, junior and treasurer of the AAA, said the event will give students the chance to compete for tickets and enter into the raffle for prizes, which include a Kindle and Beats by Dre headphones.“There is free reign to play any game [visitors] want … There will be Asian-themed goodies and red envelopes during the course of the event to really convey the many messages of Lunar New Year,” Chen said. “At the end of the night, everyone will submit their raffle tickets and drawing will commence to distribute prizes.”Khanh Mai, junior and vice president of AAA, said the games will incorporate a range of meanings and traditions.“Some of the games are seen as traditional to the respective culture, such as bau cua of Vietnam and mahjong of China. Others are more prototypical of casinos, like blackjack and poker,” Mai said.“It is like your normal casino night with an Asian flair,” Chen-Goodspeed said.According to Chen-Goodspeed, gambling and games are traditional celebrations of the Lunar New Year.“A big part of the holiday is large family gatherings and gambling. It is believed that if you have good luck in gambling during the celebration, then you will have good luck for the remainder of the year,” Chen-Goodspeed said.Mai said this event is important because it allows students to maintain their Lunar New Year traditions even while away from home.“It’s important for ND students to celebrate partly because it may be a glimpse of home-away-from-home for them,” Mai said. “I know that my first time away from home during Lunar New Year was especially rough; I would equate it with not being home for Christmas.”The AAA — who partnered with the Vietnamese Student Association, Korean Student Association, Taiwanese Student Association, Chinese Culture Society and Japan Club, as well as the multicultural commissioners from Siegfried, Pasquerilla West, McGlinn, Carroll and Breen-Phillips for the event — encourages all students to attend, even if they have never celebrated in the past.“It’s always insightful to learn about different cultures and their own special way of seeing and celebrating the world,” Mai said.Although celebrations of Lunar New Year vary around the world, the AAA hopes their casino night will encompass the core tradition of the holiday, Mai said.“Families tend to gather in the days preceding Lunar New Year to indulge in family time and begin festivities; [Casino Night] plans to do the same. It’s time for us to spend with one another, and amidst the fun, think back on the year past and look forward to the future,” Mai said.The entrance fee of $5 at the door gives each student 15 tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased if needed.Tags: AAA, Asian American Association, asian american association casino night, Casino Night, coleman morse lounge, crystal chen-goodspeed, khanh mai, lunar new year
Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer Kennedy assassination enthusiast Jack Gordon discusses his theories on the shooting.He also said there were discrepancies with doctor reports, and that the consensus of doctors’ reports made at the hospital in Dallas were covered up. There were also people seen in the background of video footage from the procession who may have acted as signals for when the president was believed to be shot, Gordon said.“I think the president was hit in the throat first, and then shortly after the throat was then hit in the back causing his arms to go up. I’m not convinced that the back shot exited. … [Governor John] Connelly in my mind is hit twice, separately.”As for who shot the president, Gordon said, “For me, for 40 years, it’s been a triangle. Three corners to the triangle: Anti-Castro Cubans, Organized Crime, CIA. And inside the triangle, in bold print, Cuba. They all have motive to kill President Kennedy, and Cuba is the common denominator.”The event also hoped to mitigate the medical expenses of junior Jessica Richardson, who suffers from Bronchorrhea asthma, a rare respiratory disease. “I have known Jessica and her family for over ten years,” family friend Daniel Gaito said when he introduced Richardson to the crowd. “Considering how often Jessica has been in the hospital and how many times she has been in a doctor’s office, one would think she would pursue a course of study far from the medical community. “However, she is about to complete her junior year in the nursing program. Countless times, she has been a patient. For her career, she desires to administer to others. Even when she is receiving treatment, she is studying so that she may treat others.”According to Gaito, the money raised will go toward Richardson’s treatment and give her the opportunity to travel to and from National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado, which specializes in rare asthma cases. “She does not want anyone to feel sorry for her,” Gaito said. “She does not complain about her condition. She feels blessed and acknowledges that there are many worse off. She does not seek pity. Instead, she desires your assistance. “I am asking you to make an investment in Jessica. Normally, investments are quantitative in nature. But sometimes, investments are qualitative. … You invest in people. Jessica is my most worthwhile investment. Keeping her healthy and on her nursing trajectory is critical for this community.”Tags: Jack Gordon, Jessica Richardson, JFK, JFK lecture, Kennedy assassination Kennedy assassination expert Jack Gordon discussed the unexamined side of the shooting at a Saint Mary’s benefit lecture entitled “The Kennedy Assassination — Separating Truth from Myth,” on Thursday.Gordon’s presentation focused on the circumstances and investigations surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He said he believes there is more to the shooting than is normally taught. Gordon said he thinks there was more than one person who shot Kennedy because there is “overwhelming evidence that gunshots came from two different directions.” He cited video clips and photographs taken during the procession in Dallas to show that there were multiple shots fired at the president. Gordon said he believes the president was hit three or four times, and that it is possible there were six or seven shots total fired at the car.
La Fuerza, a club that celebrates Latina culture at Saint Mary’s, organized a “Week of Action” on campus this past week to address pressing issues facing the Latin community, sophomore Maria Hernandez, president of the club, said.Hernandez said the theme of the week was “Into the Unknown: The Immigration Journey of Unaccompanied Minors.” She said she thought this theme was especially important as there was an influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the U.S. from Latin America this past summer.“This was not the first time unaccompanied minors have come to the United States,” Hernandez said. “This has been and will continue to be an ongoing issue within the immigration sphere.“This recent crisis has exposed the many issues within the immigration system. These issues range from humanitarian to political issues — which is why La Fuerza decided to cover this particular issue from a variety of perspectives.”A panel of community members spoke about their experiences with immigration Tuesday, Hernandez said.Jose Alvarez, a senior at Holy Cross, spoke about the experience of his five-year-old cousin, who traveled from Honduras to Mexico via plane and then was sent across the border with ‘coyotes,’ people who smuggle immigrants into the U.S., Hernandez said.Hernandez said it was important for students to hear Alvarez’s story because the audience was able to put a face to the week’s theme of immigration and unaccompanied minors.Alvarez also showed a video of his cousin reuniting with his aunt in the U.S. after the long journey.After the journey, Jose’s cousin said he just wanted to eat pizza, which helped strengthen the audience’s connection to the child, Hernandez said.Throughout Alvarez’s story, there was also a great amount of information about how his cousin was treated while in the custody of the immigration system, Hernandez said.“[Alvarez shared] how his cousin was given one sandwich a day [while in custody] and a thin ‘aluminum foil’ type blanket which did not keep him warm,” she said. “Jose also shared how his cousin had to sign a paper stating he understood his basic rights.”On Wednesday, Fr. Daniel Groody, associate professor of theology and director of immigration initiatives at the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, spoke about his experience working on the border of U.S. and Mexico, Hernandez said.Representatives from Saint Mary’s Republican Club and Democrat Club also engaged in a political debate about immigration Thursday as part of the week’s events, Hernandez said.Overall, the week was designed for students to understand multiple viewpoints about child immigration because there are many injustices surrounding the issue, Hernandez said.“There is a lack of intercultural understanding, which is why we wanted to cover a wide variety of perspectives, because many people have different understandings of this issue,” she said. “We find it necessary to offer all perspectives to tackle this issue, to improve the lives of these children and learn what we can do to ensure their situation gets better.” Tags: Immigration, La Fuerza, unaccompanied minors, Week of Action
Following weeks of student protests against racial discrimination at the University of Missouri, a group of at least 75 Notre Dame students and faculty gathered outside of Main Building on Wednesday to demonstrate their support for students of color at the University of Missouri.Standing on the front steps of Main Building, student leaders from various multicultural groups said the events of the past week at Missouri — culminating in the Missouri football team’s announcement that they would boycott this weekend’s game and the resignation of Missouri’s president — affect not only students of the University of Missouri, but Notre Dame students as well. Grace Tourville Students marched from the steps of Main Building to the Great Hall of O’Shaughnessy as part of ademonstration in response to recent racially charged events at the University of Missouri.Senior Ray’Von Jones, one of the organizers for the event, called on members of the Notre Dame community “to stand up and speak out” against the racial threats and unrest at Missouri.“Far too often we are silent. … Part of standing in solidarity is also getting our voices heard as well,” Jones said.Following a reading of quotes about the experiences of students of color, event organizer and senior Geraldine Mukumbi invited her fellow organizers as well as those in attendance to share their reasons for participating in the demonstration.“Why are you all here?” Mukumbi asked the crowd. “What made you decide to come?”Passing around a megaphone, students named a variety of reasons for attending, from feeling exasperated with discrimination at Notre Dame to having personal connections with Missouri students affected by the disturbances on campus.“I’m here because I had friends at Mizzou who were afraid to leave their homes today, and that pains me greatly,” senior Rachel Wallace, another organizer of the event, said.The last to speak about her motivation for attending, Jones said she wanted to participate because she thinks that while there are current efforts at Notre Dame to address issues of racial discrimination, there is still more that needs to be done in order to make Notre Dame an inclusive campus.“I’m here because I know that there are people on this campus that care about these things. You all being here today is a really strong confirmation of that,” Jones said. “I know that there’s been a lot of work done on many levels to make this place safe for us.“But with that said we can’t be complicit; we can’t be silent, and we have to speak up about these things.”The demonstration concluded with a procession to the Great Hall of O’Shaughnessy, where students continued the discussion about race relations in smaller, more informal groups.In an interview following the demonstration, Wallace said her personal connection to students on Missouri’s campus made the problem of racial discrimination more immediate to her.“We hear about a lot of racial tension on college campuses all the time,” Wallace said. “It’s always very real, but it’s solidified when someone you know is in the mix.”The events at Missouri reveal that outbreaks of racial discrimination and violence are an ongoing problem on college campuses, Wallace said, and that racial tensions are not confined to any one locale.“This could happen here, this could happen everywhere,” Wallace said. “When you read back on the Mizzou story, there’re a lot of things that have happened on that campus that are really crazy in terms of racial relations. But things on our campus happen that are similar.“We have a lot of microaggressions rather than macro-aggressions, but I still think they’re a huge problem.”Freshman Bi’unca Redmon, who was also involved in organizing the event, said Notre Dame is not alone in demonstrating to express concern over what is happening at Missouri. Around the country students are taking to social media to voice support for students of color at Missouri, she said.“There are hashtags going around in solidarity with Mizzou, #ND4Mizzou or whoever for Mizzou,” Redmon said. “No matter what happens we’re behind them, and to the best of our abilities, we won’t let anything happen to them.”Redmon also said she hopes the demonstration will act as a “catalyst for change” and will prompt discussions about race relations both at Missouri and here at Notre Dame.Echoing Redmon’s sentiments, assistant professor of engineering Melissa Berke said events such as the one Wednesday evening offer students and faculty the opportunity to unite behind a common cause and confront discrimination on campus head-on.“Movements like this on campus are super crucial in having the ability to have a voice, to be able to get together, assemble and have a conversation together about important things going on on campus,” Berke said.She said these types of movements have the effect of bringing people from a variety of backgrounds together who might not otherwise have any interaction.“Otherwise we kind of all live in our own worlds,” Berke said. “I don’t actually even recognize any of the students here, which I think is great. It’s an intersection between people that you don’t know but who share a common belief and common support.“If you don’t bring people together from across campus, then what hope do we have across the country?”Tags: racial discrimination, student protests, University of Missouri
Saint Mary’s Office of Institutional Research conducted the annual Graduation Destination survey to chart the different paths undergraduates pursue after graduating from the College. As of May, the survey concluded that 57 percent of respondents will pursue employment, 38 percent will enroll in a graduate school, 10 percent will pursue externships or internships, 6 percent will involve themselves with voluntary service and 3 percent will join the military.Lauren Weldon | The Observer Stacie Jeffirs, director of the Career Crossings Office, said percentages from the survey do not change much over the years, with the post-graduation employment category usually having the highest percentage of students. She said graduate school enrollment also sees a high volume of post-graduates. “Most of our graduating students go into job fields, as career is the number one choice for students,” she said. “High up there, too, is graduate school. Our numbers will range from year to year, but typically, we have an upwards of 25-30 percent that go on to graduate school.”Other students choose to join service-oriented organizations or the military, according to Jeffirs.“Then we also have students who go into service and volunteering, like Peace Corps or Teach for America,” she said. “We also have a small percentage serving in the military, like ROTC students at Notre Dame. And then a small percentage of students who do something different like travel or go back abroad.”Jeffirs said surveys are also conducted at one year and five year intervals after graduation. “We also do one-year and five-year surveys to see where the alumnae are and how they feel like the Saint Mary’s education prepared them for the future,” she said. “We always ask questions about whether or not they think their current job is a career path for them, or a stepping stone into a career or just a job to get them by. By far, most graduates say their current job is a career path or stepping stone towards a career.”Jeffirs said deciding what to do after graduation forces students to consider what values are meaningful to them.“A lot of our decisions are driven by values and what’s important to us,” she said. “What do we see as our mission?”Senior Clare McMillan said her mission is to serve with the Olancho Aid Foundation — an organization that helps children maintain their bilingual education. McMillan said Saint Mary’s and the Career Crossings Office helped her to discover this opportunity. “My education at Saint Mary’s had opened my perspective to the global community,” she said. “During my four years here, I have come to understand the importance of serving those in need, and that is why I will be traveling to Juticalpa, Honduras this summer and serving with the Olancho Aid Foundation.”McMillan said she envisions her commitment to the Olancho Aid Foundation enduring over time, since she will embrace the opportunity to make valuable differences in students’ lives.“One of the goals of this foundation is to provide a moral framework for students, enabling them to overcome challenges in their community,” she said. “I am choosing to serve with the Olancho Aid Foundation because it provides a faith-based environment, which promotes education and hope for the future — two values that I also hold in high regard. It is a seven-week commitment that I hope to continue participating in for years to come.”Senior Mary Gring plans to attend graduate school at Columbia College Chicago. “I chose to attend graduate school because I really wasn’t ready to be done with school,” she said. “I love school, I love learning and I felt as though I had a lot more to learn, especially in my discipline.”Gring will be pursuing a Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media. “I love art, specifically video art, but I love that the program allows me to explore other areas of art and other disciplines, too,” she said. “If I want to grow as an artist, as a professional and as an individual, I think being in a program that allows for exploration would help me do that most effectively.” Gring said Saint Mary’s helped her decide to continue her education. “Saint Mary’s professors helped a lot in my decision to pursue graduate school,” Gring said. “My professors helped me narrow down programs I might be interested in, assisted me in writing strong statements of purpose and provided me with letters of recommendation. The Saint Mary’s community encourages all Belles to know more. It’s an environment that fosters exploration.”Senior Isabela Hudson said she decided to enter the Peace Corps after graduation, since Saint Mary’s helped her discover her love for traveling and assisting others.“I will be going to the Peace Corps to serve in Botswana,” she said, “I will be placed in a health facility to address the public health and HIV/AIDS needs of the community and be focused on delivering HIV prevention, treatment and care.” Hudson said Saint Mary’s strengthens students’ passions and gives them outlets to express those passions.“Saint Mary’s gave me the chance to grow in my experiences to strengthen my love for service,” she said. “The College gave me the chance to participate in the Uganda practicum, where I worked at the Sisters of the Holy Cross’s clinic. Saint Mary’s also provided me with the education and love for nursing. I cannot wait to put in practice what Saint Mary’s has taught me during my service in Botswana.” It may be hard for graduating seniors to plan for the future, but it is important for them to keep their interests in mind, Jeffirs said.“It’s hard to plan too far into the future in terms of what to do after graduation,” she said. “It’s important that [graduates] carefully consider their interests, what they would like to do in the future and what, in the next couple years, is going to help get them there. It doesn’t always have to be career-related necessarily, but it could be a job or position that will help give them some experience.” Jeffirs said career discernment does not have to be an arduous process.“If they’re not entirely sure what they want to do, they can look at what positions they might be happiest in, a job or even a service project, because service is a really great way to discern what your interests are and what you would like to do in the future and it looks great on a resume,” Jeffirs said.Career Crossings provides graduate with services, career advice, post graduation mapping, information, mock interviews and resume assistance.“All the services we provide to students when they are students here at Saint Mary’s are also provided to them after they graduate, indefinitely,” she said. “We do provide lifetime services for alumni, so as students graduate — even if it’s right after graduation — if they need assistance, we’re available.”Jeffirs said it is never too late for students to start planning for the future. “Students have to start planning for post-graduation early because there are stepping stones and baby steps to get to there,” she said. “It’s a process.” The Career Crossings Office maintains normal office hours throughout the summer months to provide information and guidance to graduates and proactive rising seniors, Jeffirs said. “We keep regular hours during the summer,” she said. “Even if [the student is] not in the area, I do email, phone calls and Skype calls to talk and help them.”Jeffirs said no matter what a student decides, the future beyond college graduation is an exciting time full of new opportunities. “That next step after graduation is exciting no matter what a student is doing,” she said. “Even if you don’t have it all figured out just yet, this is just the very beginning into the future.” Tags: 2017 commencement, Career crossings, Olancho Aid Foundation, Peace Corps