Artist explores racial injustice through monologues

first_imgAs part of the annual Margaret M. Hill Endowed Visiting Artist performance, Anna Deavere Smith gave a lecture and performance titled “From Rodney King to Michael Brown: The Narrative of Ferguson,” in which she performed monologues from her first play, “Twilight: Los Angeles,” and her most recent project on the school-to-prison pipeline — the practices that push at-risk youth out of schools and into the criminal justice system.Professor of Theatre Katie Sullivan introduced Smith. She said Smith was the first visiting artist when the endowment began in 2006, so it was appropriate to invite her back for the 10th anniversary, especially in light of recent racial tensions in America.“As we have watched our country struggle with racial division and inequality once again these last two years — from Ferguson to Baltimore, and Cleveland, and then Chicago — it seemed a good time to hear from [Smith] again,” Sullivan said. “She has the wonderful capacity to engage in conversations and ultimately to listen carefully to everyone as she carves out space for us to understand each other on complex and distressing national issues that involve us all politically, racially and culturally.”Smith said she travels around the country and interviews different people who were involved in or who witnessed different racial injustices.“My grandfather told me when I was a girl, ‘If you say a word often enough, it becomes,’” Smith said. “For the last many years, I’ve been going around America with a tape recorder trying to become America word for word by repeating what people say and putting myself in other people’s words, the way you would put yourself in someone else’s shoes.”Smith said the excerpts from her plays focused on law enforcement and education. She said she would perform pieces from her play from 1992 and from her most recent play to show how tensions have not necessarily changed over the years.“One of the things that plagues America from time to time is the relationship between law enforcement and individuals,” Smith said. “ … We also haven’t really gotten over the sort of chasm between social classes and races, which means some people are left outside of opportunity.”According to Smith, her first play focused on the riots that ensued after the killing of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers was captured on film and spread worldwide. Similarly, her most recent play focuses on the riots that ensued after the killing of Freddie Gray by Baltimore police officers was captured with a smartphone camera and broadcasted to the world. Smith performed as Stanley Sheinbaum, Elaine Young, Cornel West, Keith Godfrey, Kevin Moore and Michael Tubbs — all people she had interviewed — to illustrate the experiences of people who have been pushed to the edges of society.“I want to look at this because it’s sort of remarkable that it keeps happening,” Smith said. “The question is: Are there things that we here in this room … can do in our own lives to keep things from happening?”She said her performances are not about the police officers, citing a speech by President Barack Obama in which he said fixing the problem does not start with trying to fix the officers.“This is really a problem of poverty,” Smith said. “It’s a problem of who is left behind. The cops in many ways are here for all of us — including me — to protect us against the possibility that those who are disenfranchised will harm us, our property or our loved ones. They are in the trenches to protect us, so we need to get it together and do something about this gap that we have.”Tags: Anna Deavere Smith, Ferguson, Margaret M. Hill Endowed Visiting Artist, race, Rodney Kinglast_img read more

College Republicans “support,” but do not endorse, Donald Trump

first_imgThe Notre Dame College Republicans announced Monday that the group would publicly support Donald Trump in his bid for President of the United States.Citing Trump’s opposition to abortion, his economic plan and his running mate selection, the club’s statement said Trump, despite his brash personality, “has a certain strength and a particular vision to see that these tasks are accomplished.” Rachel O’Grady | The Observer Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a rally in South Bend days before winning the Indiana primary in May.The announcement came after the club’s president, senior Pat Crane, told ABC News the club would be supporting the Republican nominee. Harvard University’s College Republicans and other GOP clubs had recently said they would not endorse Trump.But Crane said the Notre Dame College Republicans’ statement also did not constitute an “endorsement,” which he defined as agreeing with all of a candidate’s views. They instead chose to “support” Trump, acknowledging that not all members backed him or his views.“Endorsing would mean that we, as a total organization, are fully aligned with the candidate . . . Supporting means that we will provide any aid we can to the candidate, while the entire organization may not fully agree with the candidate,” Crane said.While the club’s officers wrote and released yesterday’s statement, vice president Dylan Stevenson said the officers and some members decided at a club meeting in April to support the as-yet-undecided Republican nominee.“We made a conscious decision as a club to support whoever that nominee was, and at the time it was uncertain as to who that might be,” Stevenson said. “But we made that conscious decision . . . so we kept that promise to our members in mind, and when we compared the policies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, we came to the conclusion that we could very much keep that promise.”The Notre Dame College Democrats responded on Facebook today to the College Republicans’ statement, saying it was “unsurprising but nonetheless disappointing to see them embrace a wholly unqualified and dangerous presidential candidate.”The College Democrats had endorsed Hillary Clinton last month in conjunction with the College Democrats of Indiana. That group’s joint statement said Clinton “will fight to make progressive change a reality” and focused primarily on criticizing Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.Co-president Grace Watkins said the club had debated the issue during the spring semester, hearing from supporters of both Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but she and fellow co-president Andrew Galo, both seniors, made the decision to endorse Clinton when a consensus emerged over the summer. Watkins defined endorsement as publicly supporting and campaigning for a candidate.“I think that we made the decision to endorse because we felt we were strongly in favor of Hillary Clinton, and we also expect a public endorsement, along with the cycle itself, to drive participation up,” Watkins said.For both clubs, endorsing or supporting their party’s nominee means galvanizing support and encouraging members to become more involved in national and local campaigns this fall.“We’re focusing on programming on the messages of inclusivity and effecting change on the local and federal levels, so in practice that means connecting students to opportunities involving candidates including Hillary Clinton, as well as to local races.” Watkins said. “… In addition, we’re planning meetings for members to debate and present issues they’re interested in.”Stevenson said College Republicans would work on behalf of Trump, as well as in local races.“We plan on being involved in as many of those campaigns as possible and helping members get involved in the campaigns they care about. We understand that not everybody’s going to be on board with Donald Trump. … But we want to make sure that everybody at Notre Dame who cares about individual and economic liberty — there’s a place for them in the Republican Party.”Tags: College Democrats, College Republicans, Donald Trump, hillary clintonlast_img read more

Saint Mary’s launches Master of Autism Studies program

first_imgIn 2018, Saint Mary’s will introduce new graduate program, a Master of Autism Studies. Although students cannot begin their coursework until 2019, the program will begin accepting applications and hosting workshops this calendar year. “Everyone knows about the critical need for understanding and responding to autism in the world today,” Michael Waddell, program director, said in an email. “The Master of Autism Studies program responds to this need by examining autism from scientific, therapeutic and humanistic perspectives.”The first proposal for the program was submitted in the spring of 2011, Waddell said. This program speaks to the values of Saint Mary’s and specifically a Holy Cross education, said Susan Latham, a Master of Autism Studies faculty member and program director of the Master of Science in speech language pathology program.“I think it’s important that this is happening at Saint Mary’s because we are Holy Cross. And Holy Cross means that we are educating our students in a way that reflects the way that Fr. Moreau envisioned our work happening,” Latham said. “So for example, one characteristic of Holy Cross educators is respect for the individual in that we don’t concern ourselves with only the mind but also the heart, and that really speaks to our values and how we approach families with whom we work.” Waddell said that throughout their time in the program, students will study autism in relation to both intervention approaches as well as other subjects.“The Master of Autism Studies program will provide the interdisciplinary, autism-specific expertise students need to become leaders in autism-related fields,” he said. “Unlike other programs, the Master of Autism Studies will introduce students to the full range of evidence-based autism interventions, including — but not limited to — behavioralist approaches. And it will do all of these things in conversation with the Catholic tradition.”Waddell said the program looks beyond just the science and examines the intersection of autism with the humanities.“Autism therapies are important because, when done well, they can improve the quality of life of people who live with autism,” he said. “And, of course, in order to provide the best autism therapies, you have to understand the science of autism. But autism is about more than a diagnosis and treatment.  It affects every dimension of life. That’s why it’s important to think about autism from humanistic perspectives too.”In these humanities courses, students will study autistic art and literature, as well as take into account how philosophical, theological, political and legal lenses can aid in the understanding of autism, Waddell said. “The humanities courses in the autism studies program help us to think about autism as more than a diagnosis and treatment — to understand that autism shapes the lives and identities of human beings and is giving rise to a distinctive culture,” he said. “This is the only program I know of that takes such a broad approach to thinking about autism as part of the human experience.”This specific approach is unique to Saint Mary’s. Most other programs across the nation look solely at the scientific aspects, and the holistic approach taken in this program is “visionary,” Latham said.“There aren’t other programs like this,” she added. “This is sort of groundbreaking, in having this degree being offered. It’s nice to know that right here, on this campus, we are creating something and are really passionate about something that I feel is visionary, that is not what everybody is doing.”The program brings together faculty and faculty fellows who are experts in various aspects of autism studies, Waddell said. “Every person teaching in the program has a significant interest in autism and brings a special kind of expertise to the table,” he said. “In my personal opinion, the quality of the faculty and fellows is one of the greatest strengths of the program. I want to take every course my colleagues will be teaching.”On March 2, the program will host its first workshop. Waddell said workshops will be focused on intervention techniques, sometimes offering an opportunity for certification.“The autism intervention workshops bring world-renowned experts to campus to provide training in state-of-the-art autism interventions,” he said. “… We strive to represent the full range of evidence-based interventions rather than just limiting ourselves to one particular approach, as happens in many programs.”Waddell said that many of the workshops offer students and community members the opportunity to achieve valuable certification in intervention methods at little to no cost. The upcoming one will be cosponsored by the Master of Autism Studies program, the Communicative Sciences and Disorders department and LOGAN Community Resources. It is free and open to all, as long as participants register online prior to the workshop. “This is the sort of thing that students can list on resumes and professionals can use to maintain licensure,” Waddell said. “The training would cost a lot of money for students and community members if they pursued it on their own, but it’s being offered for free in our workshops through the financial support of sponsors.”Latham looks forward to sharing her passion for autism studies to both the community through workshops and through teaching, she said. “It’s really encouraging to me to know that there are people that think that there is value in this as a graduate study and that they have that same level of compassion and concern for individuals on the autism spectrum,” she said. Tags: Autism, Holy Cross, Master of Autism Studieslast_img read more

New location in Duncan Student Center allows career services to expand

first_imgIn addition to the numerous dining options, improved workout facilities and expanded study space in the new Duncan Student Center, the building also houses the Center for Career Development on the fifth floor. Previously located on the first two floors of Flanner Hall, the Department for Career Services is now centrally located on campus and easily accessible for students. Vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding cited the Career Center’s new location along with many other aspects of student life as one of the biggest advantages of the new student center.“To have the Career Center and the Center for Career Development right upstairs rather than across campus … bringing together all of these different elements, for us, is part of the exciting piece to things that had previously really been scattered across campus,” she said in an interview Jan. 15.Julie Gray, associate director of career operations, said the move has allowed the department to operate more effectively due to the increased amount of space available to it.“In the past, especially during the fall semester, we would often have to kick staff out of the second floor offices because there simply wasn’t enough room,” Gray said. With 36 interview rooms, 11 conference rooms that can hold up to 16 people and one training room that holds about 60 people, there is ample room for the next wave of recruitment in the new location, Gray said.The Career Center also houses eight virtual interview rooms along the east wall that feature Zoom technology. Gray said employers would often come to campus with a full slate of interviews but still miss out on a qualified candidate. These new interview spaces, she said, will enable them to also network with students abroad in the same trip to Notre Dame’s campus. Hoffmann Harding said the improved technology came as a result of student feedback during the planning process of the Duncan Student Center.“The types of interviews that students are now getting from employers — so the increased need for technology and the ability to Skype or talk remotely to employers [came from students],” she said. “And actually, during peak study times, the addition of the need for study space. So we’ve designed the fifth floor in a way that the offices can be separable from the interview center, which can be open during peak times for student study space. And that’s new, that’s different and it’s accessible because now it’s in a building that students frequent — we hope — during the day and even into the evening.”This newly-available space, Gray said, highlights the purpose of the Center for Career Development as well as the Duncan Student Center.“This is a student center, and we want this to be student-focused,” she said. “These next few months, we’ll be working [to] optimize this space and hopefully create a better environment for students and employers.”Gray said the new centralized space has also allowed the department to integrate the various stages of education and career building, as the undergraduate, graduate and Mendoza graduate students are “all under student affairs.” This integrated method, she said, is largely due to an initiative the department took on several years ago to shift the emphasis on students’ approaches to career searches from major onto industry. “We have career counselors that are liaisons to each of the different colleges,” Gray said. “It doesn’t matter what your major is, it doesn’t dictate what you do. We try to focus on a student’s passions and strengths and how we can translate those into the workforce.”News Editor Courtney Becker contributed to this story.Tags: Career Center, Center for Career and Development, duncan student center, Notre Dame Career Centerlast_img read more

University names valedictorian, salutatorian for 2019 commencement ceremonies

first_imgSeniors Sofia Carozza and Annelise Gill-Wiehl will be valedictorian and salutatorian of the 2019 Notre Dame graduating class, respectively, the University announced in a press release Wednesday.The two were chosen following an application process that invites the top three students of each school in the University with the highest grade point average to submit faculty recommendations and a draft of their commencement speech. The press release said a selection committee chose the finalists who were then approved by University President Fr. John Jenkins.A native of South Bend and a graduate of Saint Joseph High School, Carozza is a neuroscience and behavior major with a supplemental major in theology as well as a minor in philosophy, politics and economics. Carrying a 4.0 grade point average, Carozza is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, a Glynn Family Honors Scholar and a de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture Sorin Fellow, the press release said.Over the course of her time at Notre Dame, Carozza has been involved with the Institute for Advanced Study, ND Students for Worker Justice, Show Some Skin and Baraka Bouts, the press release said. The statement said Carozza is fluent in Italian, conversational in Spanish and is a classically trained harpist. She was named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship in December, which will allow her pursue a master of philosophy in basic and translational neuroscience and eventually a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England.In the community, Carozza is also a mental health coach for at-risk youth and is involved with heading an exercise program at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. During her summers, she has tutored disabled children in Paraguay at the National Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, conducted neuroscience research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and studied toxic stress at the ChildWise Institute in Montana.Hailing from St. Louis, Gill-Wiehl is an environmental engineering major with a minor in international development studies. A member of the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, Gill-Wiehl has performed research at the University through the Kellogg Institute and the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Modeling Group on topics such as environmental sustainability and infrastructure, the release said.On campus, Gill-Wiehl is involved with Kellogg Institute International Scholars, NDSEED and student government, in addition to serving as co-president of GlobeMed. She is also a member of both the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. She is also conversational in Swahili.Gill-Wiehl has been recognized for work at Notre Dame in the past with the Rev. Thomas A. Steiner Award in the College of Engineering for excellence and commitment to engineering and to the common good as well as the John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award for exemplifying the ideals of the University through outstanding volunteer service beyond campus, the release said. Gill-Wiehl plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a doctorate in energy resources.Tags: 2019 Commencement, 2019 salutatorian, 2019 valedictorian, salutatorian, valedictorianlast_img read more

University to ease restrictions on gatherings, heat outdoor spaces, provide indoor dining

first_imgThe University will begin to loosen restrictions as a result of a decrease in the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the community, vice president for student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said in an email Thursday.Students may begin to gather outdoors in groups of 20 or fewer, and indoor gatherings will depend on the distanced capacity of the space to allow for proper physical distancing.As a result of a decrease in case counts in residence halls, up to two additional residents of the same residence hall may gather in another student’s room. All will be required to wear masks, physically distance and leave the doors open.“If this extension is successful and case counts stay low, we anticipate modifying the guest policy again by opening up 24-hour space in a few weeks,” Hoffmann Harding said. “Please help us achieve this goal by continuing to follow all requested health and safety protocols.”The University has extended hours in a number of spaces across campus, and the eighth floor of Duncan Student Center will now be open for study use between 8 p.m. and midnight daily.A number of outdoor locations will begin to be heated, including Library Lawn, South Lawn, North Quad, South Quad, East Quad and West Quad.North and South Dining Halls will offer indoor dining with physically distanced seats and plexiglass shields.“These steps will increase seating capacity while reducing potential virus transmission,” Hoffmann Harding said. “All meals will continue to be served in takeout containers with additional seating available in the adjacent heated tents and other locations around campus.”More details regarding the Winter Session will be relayed in the next few weeks. Notre Dame will offer a limited number of housing options during the session, but separate charges and contracts will apply.Hoffmann Harding closed the email by reminding students to continue to follow the health and safety protocols.“Thank you for all you are doing to keep us healthy by following the University’s health and safety protocols,” Hoffmann Harding said. “I am proud of our community and grateful to be on campus together.”Tags: COVID-19, duncan student center, Erin Hoffmann Hardinglast_img read more

Jamestown’s Yard Waste Collection Site To Open This Week

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) Photo: PixabayJAMESTOWN – Jamestown’s Yard Waste Collection Site will open this week amid requests from residents.City of Jamestown officials say the site will be manned by City Department of Public Works employees and be open Monday through Fridays 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from May 4 to May 15.Residents are asked to visit on their garbage pickup day to prevent overcrowding.“As a reminder, the yard waste site is available to City residents and BPU residential Solid Waste customers only,” explained officials. “No contractors or out-of-city residents (that are not BPU Solid Waste customers) will be allowed to enter the site.” The site collects discard leaves, grass clippings, mulch, plants/shrubs/bushes, tree parts and brush up to eight inches in diameter. Metal, sod, concrete, rocks, dirt, lumber, wood, tires, drywall and other construction materials are not accepted.The site is located at 1001 Monroe Street at the dead end of Monroe Street, off Eighth Street.last_img read more

36 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Monday, 105 Now Active

first_imgAll businesses are being asked to increase the implementation of disease mitigation efforts. Residents are being asked to take greater measures to protect themselves and others.Officials say large public and private gatherings and parties are not permitted; this will be actively enforced by law enforcement and public health officials.“We’ve been cautious to share case information only by fire battalion because we were dealing with small numbers.  Using aggregated data such as this is appropriate to minimize the need for data suppression,” said Christine Schuyler, County Public Health Director.  “We are now dealing with a surge of cases and these higher numbers allow us to share more specific data and not breach confidentiality.”“We are working with everyone we think of – local elected officials, college and school officials, community organizations, health care providers, emergency responders, law enforcement, churches, and community leaders – in an effort to help everyone stay abreast of the situation, deploy education and information, and get the entire community to stop this outbreak,” added Schuyler.Officials say these steps must be followed:Stay home if you feel ill;Wear a mask or covering over your nose and mouth when you can’t maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet;Wash your hands frequently with soap and water; use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;Avoid large gatherings;Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects;Avoid international travel and travel to states listed in the NYS Travel Advisory; if travel is unavoidable, quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Chautauqua County.August 31 Chautauqua County Statistics:105 active cases, continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Official per NYS Public Health Law including:36 new cases were reported from August 29-31 including:5 persons under the age of 18,6 males in their 20’s,5 females in their 20’s,2 females in their 30’s,1 male in his 30’s,4 females in their 40’s,1 male in his 40’s,2 females in their 50’s,1 male in his 50’s,4 females in their 60’s,1 male in his 60’s,1 male in his 70’s,1 female in her 70’s,1 male in his 80’s,1 female in his 80’s. The state’s free rapid testing at the Dunkirk Fire Murphy Training Grounds at 665 Brigham Road in Dunkirk remains open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Wednesday by appointment only.All residents are eligible for tests and appointments can be made by calling 833-697-8764. All tests at these sites are free of charge and results will be available within 15 minutes to help support contact tracing efforts and control the spread of the virus. 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),After speaking with Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendell’s office, the rules of NYS that banquet venues may have up to 50% of capacity are in effect. and are not superceeded by this large gathering mandate. *number of persons in Chautauqua County hospitals diagnosed with COVID-19, regardless of residencyTo date:282 recovered cases;9 deaths;396 total confirmed cases;34,268 negative test results to date.center_img 384 cases under quarantine/isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored.  Not all of those being monitored are confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors;544 persons under domestic traveler quarantine for having arrived to Chautauqua County from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory;2 person hospitalized* in Chautauqua County as of 8/27/2020 WNY News Now / MGN Stock Image.MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County’s Heath Department continues to be concerned about the increase in COVID-19 infections in the northern part of the county after 36 new cases were reported over the weekend, with 105 now active.Officials say those who tested positive are placed under mandatory isolation orders and their identified close contacts are placed in mandatory quarantine by order of the Public Health Director.Twelve of the new cases were tied to the current outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods, Inc., six were workers and six were identified close contacts of the workers.To date, 75 positive cases have been associated with Fieldbrook Foods. Three workers tested positive out of the 248 tested, 1.2%, from the rapid testing site in Dunkirk.“Today, we have 105 active cases of COVID-19 in the community.  For the first half of August we experienced, on average, 13.6 active cases per day, with an active case rate of 1.07 per 10,000 in Chautauqua County,” reported Breeanne Agett, Epidemiologist with the health department. “We are currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases that is nearly 8 times greater than we see on average.”Agett provided the following data on the current COVID-19 situation in the County:last_img read more

Chautauqua County Sheriff K-9 Rescues Missing Hiker Overnight

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) Pixabay Stock Image.ARKWRIGHT – A Chautauqua County Sheriff K-9 is credited with locating a missing hiker overnight. Deputies report Sheriff’s Office K-9 Link was deployed to search for the missing 36-year-old City of Buffalo man in the area of Burnham Road in the Town of Arkwright at 1 a.m. Sunday.At about 3 a.m. K-9 Link located the man about a mile into a wooded area near Arkwright Falls.Deputies were able to navigate with the man out of the woods to Park Road, where he was evaluated and returned to his camp safely. last_img read more

Chautauqua County Sees Five New Cases Of COVID-19 Tuesday

first_imgWNY News Now / MGN Stock Image.MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials reported five new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.Officials say 92 active cases, continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Official per NYS Public Health Law including:o 5 new cases were reported today including:1 new case in 14063 (Fredonia) 1 new case in 14750 (Lakewood) 1 new case in 14701 (Jamestown) 1 new case in 14720 (Celoron) 1 new case in 14787 (Westfield)· 10 people *hospitalized* in Chautauqua County as of 10/11/2020 To date, there have been:o 691 recovered cases;o 13 deaths;o 796 total confirmed cases; ando 51,559 negative test results 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