Panel presents community perspective on successful reforms

In response to the 2011-2012 Notre Dame Forum, four principals from South Bend schools came together with local parents, educators and ND students to give the community perspective on their schools’ stories of reform and change. “I think the conversation in the Forum has been very productive. But, it just seems to make no sense if we don’t move forward from the Forum and involve our local educators in this discussion,” senior Liz Chaten, the panel facilitator, said. The Education, Schooling and Society minor sponsored the event in response to the Forum in order to explore the issues on a local, community level. In addition to the panel discussion of local principles, a reception followed where other local organizations, teachers and principals shared their stories and displayed poster presentations. Deb Martin of McKinley Primary Center, Karla Lee of Edison Intermediate Center, John Kennedy of South Bend New Tech High School and Darice Austin-Phillips of Perley Primary Fine Arts Academy were the four principals featured in the panel discussion. “After the Forum, I felt many Notre Dame students had such negative feelings towards the South Bend education system,” Chaten said. “I wanted to give our students a chance to see the positive side of South Bend schools.” Each principal on the panel promoted the South Bend School Corporation and gave informative and inspiring presentations of the reforms and initiatives they have implemented in each of their respective schools. “At McKinley, we have adopted the motto ‘Learn like a champion today,’” Martin said. “This not only applies to the students, but also the teachers who promote, ‘Teach like a champion today.’” The principals also discussed how they went about planning their reforms. “We focused our reforms on answering the question, ‘What can we start to do to connect school material with real life experiences,” Lee said. Lee said Edison Intermediate Center has initiated off-campus experiences to help students connect academics with the community including a “Science Day” where students spend the day at Jordan Hall of Science and get a chance to interact with Notre Dame students and professors. Kennedy shared the new technological approach at New Tech High School, which focuses on 21st-century skills and emphasize the three C’s: college, careers of tomorrow and citizenship. Austin-Phillips discussed reforms resulting in a thorough arts-integrated academic program and heavily involved parent-teacher organization. After each principal completed a formal presentation, Chaten asked the participants a few questions about their feelings on some of the issues discussed at the Forum. Topics included the teacher accountability and common misconceptions in public dialogue on education. “Accountability of both teachers and students is necessary,” Kennedy said. “This accountability can be a good thing. Standards provide a sense of urgency for schools. If you spin that sense of urgency in a positive way, it can provide positive results.” At the end of the discussion, the panel addressed the community and Notre Dame students in particular by discussing what others can do to help education reform. “Many people often underestimate the tremendous amount of supports students need; it’s not just academic,” Austin-Phillips said. “If you want to help reform education, think about ways you can become part of that change.” Lee recommended students visit local schools to inform themselves about the issues. “What will be your impact and contribution to our future society? If you have not visited a South Bend school, go into a school and form your own perception and reality,” Lee said. Many students attended the event, including sophomore Lisa Chin and were able to start to form their own perception and attitude toward South Bend schools Lee mentioned in her advice to Notre Dame students. Students who attended said the event helped them become more informed about education issues. “It was so great that the [Education, Schooling and Society minor] brought these educators to Notre Dame. I attended the Forum, but there weren’t any actual teachers represented,” sophomore Lisa Chin said. “We are members of the South Bend community as Notre Dame students and it is definitely important that we know what is going on locally.” Contact Shannon O’Brien at [email protected] read more

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Architect gives lecture on urban design

first_imgWhat is a city and what is urban? Renowned architect and urban designer Steven Peterson of Peterson-Littenberg Architects said in a lecture Wednesday the two concepts are best defined separately. Peterson gave a talk titled “The Uniqueness of Urban Design” in Bond Hall, detailing five urban design projects he has worked on over the years in large, dense cities such as Paris, Rome and New York. He also described qualifications of cities versus urban centers. He began the lecture with a focus on the Forbidden City in Shanghai. It is enclosed by an inner city, which is enclosed by the actual city, with the suburban area on the outside. “What appears to be one of the great, gridded urban plans … is actually a very different thing,” Peterson said. The area is broken up into grids, and what appear as blocks today used to be walled-in areas. They were towns within towns in this larger city complex. Despite the large size of the city, Shanghai lacks certain urban qualifications. For instance, every house in the Shanghai region is built the same way, abiding by a principle of repetitive structure. Also, a number of the streets do not run through the city but are cut short by other structures, he said. “Because everything was aimed at the emperor, [Shanghai] is incomplete as a grid and network as we would expect to find in an American city,” he said. Peterson said he does not believe a highly rational, organized system makes an urban condition. He grew up in Chicago, and he assumed that cities were all like his hometown. In actuality, they contained a distinct fabric, one which did not historically translate to China. “I don’t think China ever had urbanism. It had big cities,” Peterson said.   Peterson then shifted to another area of China, the new Beijing region. He said the city features large city blocks and showcases the Chinese fixation on objects. Construction of buildings included gates built into the walls into the center of the structures. Tall buildings also came in clusters, he said. Through study of Chinese cities, Peterson said he abandoned his assumption that urban centers and cities are the same. “It’s not just a spontaneous evolution of time making things denser and denser, streets and squares. It’s actually an invention,” he said. “Urbanism is an invention, conscious, deliberate and innovative.” Peterson said the Hudson Yards Plan in New York exemplifies a part of a city with a lack of urban quality. This area needed shaping because it lacked spatial definition and there was fluid anti-space present in the design. Peterson then outlined what makes a city truly urban. “I want to pose a form-based list of necessary urban ingredients of the dense fabric of western cities,” he said.   Peterson listed eight such component.s of urbanism. He said the city block should be solid and closed, and the array of the block should exist in a formed pattern. An interactive urban field, a linked space network, and a volumetric, closed public space are also necessary. Furthermore, a membrane needs to incorporate a street wall as well as a block surface. Architecture should be commingled with the blocks, embedded in the wall, and entangled in a block base. Finally, a sequestered public space should form the precinct. “Chicago is almost all non-urban,” he said. “Alleys destroy the block membrane and street continuity.” He also said the architecture in Chicago does not touch its neighbors as it should, and such a factor is a major component in what makes cities work. The closed block is the essential atom of urban design. Peterson ended his lecture by talking about five of his design sites. One area he worked on was a sector of Paris in a 1978 competition site. He said he wanted the “essence of inner city to be distinctive from the typical Paris street architecture.” This called for an incorporation of a new block array and the creation of a volumetric public space. A more recent example of his work included the World Trade Center Innovative Design Study. The original layout of the towers prior to 2001 cut off five streets. In designing the memorial, Peterson said he hoped to make the city area urban. The plan included the Memorial Garden Precinct and a commemorative theatre with 2,797 seats, each for one victim in the September 11 attack, and resolved the issue of blocked streets. “This plan connects every one of these [street] back into a network,” Peterson said.last_img read more

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Philosophy professors collaborate on ‘The Experience Project’

first_imgPhilosophy professors Michael Rea and Samuel Newlands of Notre Dame and Laurie Ann Paul of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were named co-directors of “The Experience Project” this summer, leading an initiative designed to encourage interdisciplinary exploration of the nature of experience.Newlands, an associate professor of philosophy, said the three-year-long, $4.8 million project funded by the John Templeton Foundation is an interdisciplinary effort to explore different types of religious and transformative experiences and how they overlap.“I think it’s really kind of a cutting edge, exciting project — partly because it tries to pull these two groups together that don’t always talk. Namely, social scientists [and] what you might think of as sort of the more conceptual disciplines,” Newlands said. “There’s been this exciting move to kind of bring the two in dialogue together, and I think this project is an instance of that.”According to the project’s website, the project will fund “stimulating innovative research on transformative experience” in philosophy, psychology and sociology. Rea said the project will also fund researchers in theology and religious studies who aim to explore specifically the power of religious experience.“We are fundamentally interested in doing philosophical research informed by the social sciences,” Rea said.  “It’s the philosophical, theological questions that are driving the agenda rather than the psychological or sociological ones.”A University press release explained that the project will award funding to up to 30 research teams and offer residential fellowships at Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion and UNC. It will also invite scholars to participate in collaborative workshops.Rea said the majority of research on the Notre Dame end will focus on religious experiences in three forms.“There are the sort of ‘knock-your-socks-off’ religious experiences like, you know, visions of Jesus,” Rea said. “Then there are sort of what you might call moderate-level religious experiences.“And then there are what you might call low-grade religious experiences that are, I’d say, pretty common among believers. … You’re really stressed out, you pray to God for peace and then you feel peace and you’re like, ‘Wow, God answered that prayer.’ It’s totally low-grade. All kinds of people have experiences like this. They’re easily subject to interpretation.”Paul said she will concentrate primarily on transformative experiences and how they affect a person’s beliefs and understanding of the world.“There’s a way in which if you experience a kind of thing that you’ve never experienced before that you’ll be epistemically transformed,” Paul said. “Namely, you learn something new about yourself or about the way the world is, something that you couldn’t have learned until you had that experience.”Other researchers — including professors Fiery Cushman of Harvard University and Stephen Vaisey of Duke University — are researching the psychological and sociological nature of transformative experiences, Rea said. He said the different researchers will come together at some point in the future to share their findings.“It’s really exciting to see Notre Dame partnering with other research universities in this kind of thing,” Newlands said. “The project itself is run with a kind of broad team of people from different research institutions, different backgrounds [and] different sets of interests coming together on a common topic. That’s really rare.”Tags: L.A. Paul, Laurie Ann Paul, Michael Rea, philosophy, Samuel Newlands, The Experience Project, Theology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Damelast_img read more

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Professor chosen for Council

first_imgSaint Mary’s professor and director of the Social Work program, Frances Kominkiewicz, was appointed as a three-year member to the Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education. The council is a part of the Council for Social Work Education (CWSE) Commission on Diversity and Social and Economic Justice.Photo courtesy of Saint Mary’s Prior to this appointment, Kominkiewicz served as a site visitor for the CWSE for 17 years. In this role, she visited other college and university social work departments that were seeking accreditation.“I was chosen for [the council] because I’m lucky enough to be at an all-women’s institution,” Kominkiewicz said. “The council saw Saint Mary’s as strong in terms of understanding women’s issues.“It’s a perfect time to bring me into the council with all the experience I have had with CSWE as a site visitor and as someone who knows women’s issues, and [my] research is focused on women mentoring women.”Kominkiewicz sees her appointment on the council as complementary to her work in the classroom.“I’ve used classroom material in what I’m doing in my work at the council,” she said. “Teaching the ‘Women’s Voices’ course and gender and women’s studies are very applicable to social work education.“I am able to relay how our students learn so strongly in a women’s institution and give them my experiences in what I’m learning from my students.”The focus has shifted in her curriculum since her appointment to the council, Kominkiewicz said.“I’m focusing more on what we are doing differently here at Saint Mary’s, how we are able to learn differently in an all women’s institution and bringing those to the council so other institutions can see what we’re doing that’s so strong,” she said.Kominkiewicz said she is incredibly proud of the work being done at Saint Mary’s regarding her research topic of women mentoring women. In 2011, the Saint Mary’s social work department received 100 percent national accreditation from CWSE.According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the accreditation recognition process involves not only filing an application with the U. S. Department of Education, but also undergoing a review by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which makes a recommendation to the Secretary of Education regarding recognition.Kominkiewicz said the accreditation of the department wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community.“It was a collaborative effort,” she said. “We all worked together, [President] Carol Mooney and [College Provost] Patricia Fleming, to receive a prestigious award.“We had that support and trust among each other and that makes a big difference to be able to receive 100 percent accreditation.”Kominkiewicz said graduates of the Saint Mary’s social work department can receive a year of their Master’s credit in social work because of the 100-percent accreditation rating the department received.Kominkiewicz said she’s certain the department and her classes will benefit from her council experience.“I was so overjoyed to be chosen to do this, but I know there’s a reason why I got this role,” she said. “I accepted it right away because I thought this would work so well with what we are already doing at Saint Mary’s. We know how to strengthen women and respond to the needs of our community.”Tags: council for social work education, cswe, CWSE, kominkiewicz, social work, social work programlast_img read more

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South Dining Hall begins offering halal meat

first_imgMuslim students on campus have been benefiting from a new student-led initiative that brought halal meat to South Dining Hall in September 2014.The Notre Dame community includes “a handful” of Muslim students at the undergraduate level and many more at the graduate level, in addition to Muslim faculty and staff, according to Rosemary Max, director of international programs for Notre Dame International (NDI).However, according to an NDI press release, undergraduate students primarily drove this change, as they were the ones who primarily made use of the dining halls.Sophomore Hind Ourahou said she “never” made full use of her meal plan, mainly because of the lack of halal options. Meanwhile, Faisal Shariff, also a sophomore, frequently opted for Grab and Go.Ourahou, one of the key students initiating the move, said this gesture by the University “makes us feel more welcome.”Prior to serving halal meat, Muslim students’ dining hall meal options were limited to a mix of vegetables, pasta and other non-meat products, or students ate off campus instead. According to the press release, “halal” means “allowed” in Arabic and refers to meat taken from an animal sacrificed by a human “in the name of God, and without the use of machines.” Pork and most carnivorous animals are not allowed under halal rules.“One of the important reasons why we wanted halal food is to attract Muslim students to apply and attend,” Shariff, who also met with University administrators, said. He said the University shares this opinion.Max cited University President Fr. John Jenkins, who welcomed international students to campus by saying, “It is part of our Catholic character to invite students to practice their faith on campus.”Max said the University hopes this move will also encourage “other Muslim graduate students and faculty and staff who may not typically think of the dining halls as an option for them” to eat there as well.“Now more of us are looking forward to going to the dining hall — not just because our food is available, but also because the meat came with a feeling of recognition,” Ourahou said in the NDI press release.Chris Abayasinghe, director of Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS), said he wants the dining halls to be accessible to all of Notre Dame’s diverse student body.“When it comes to making our students feel at home, we want to make the experience as inclusive as possible,” he said, pointing out that South Dining Hall offers halal turkey and beef options at the stir-fry station with approximately two requests per meal on an average day.The halal meat comes from their primary vendor, Gordon Food Service, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Abayasinghe said.Although NDFS encountered problems sourcing the meat initially, Abayasinghe said, on the day-to-day operational front, staff were familiar with customizing meals and were able to follow the same protocol as they do for students with dietary allergies. Halal meat is individually labelled, handled with separate utensils and contained in designated storage areas.As for now, halal meat is limited to the stir-fry station at South Dining Hall but “may be expanded to North Dining Hall” if demand supports it, Abayasinghe said.Tags: Islam, muslim faith, muslim students association, NDFS, NDI, Notre Dame, Notre Dame Food Services, Notre Dame Internationallast_img read more

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Professor highlights relationship between oil, politics in US

first_imgDarren Dochuk, associate professor of history, addressed the relationship between oil, religion and politics in the United States as part of the Higgins Lunchtime Labor Research, Advocacy and Policy (RAP) series Friday.Dochuk said oil has a long and rich history as an important resource in the United States.“Oil achieved unprecedented status in the mid-20th century — the 1930s to the 1950s — as leverage for America’s authority in the hydrocarbon age,” he said. “But it first captured America’s heart at the dawn of the 20th century as the fuel and lubricant that would light its cities and grease its modern machinery and economic ascent.”Dochuk said oil’s connection to religion began primarily with Henry Luce, a co-founder of Time Magazine.“It directly influenced God-fearing individuals with clout, who translated crude and Christianity’s vision of the future into real institutional structures, policies and outcomes of significance,” he said. “ … For Luce, petroleum was a limitless power that held the capacity to transform the world into something godlier and good.”Luce’s involvement with the oil industry prompted an entirely new movement based on the combination of oil and religion, Dochuk said.“Luce’s aspirations mirrored those of a cadre of corporate, church and state visionaries who believed that petroleum-fueled Christian democracy … integrated and partnered with the state could guarantee this nation’s post-war influence,” Dochuck said. “This cadre of corporate church and state visionaries accelerated intensified outreach on behalf of what I call the ‘civil religion of crude.’ And this civil religion of crude at mid-century was designed to steer the United States’ oil sector and society out of several unfolding crises that emerged at that moment.”Dochuk said these crises, such as fear of depleting the nation’s oil supply, drove big businesses to drill for oil abroad.“Driven by fear and optimism, large corporations started chasing wider prospects,” he said. “ … With something momentous in reach, Chevron started sending workers to Saudi Arabia’s outback to consult with [tribes] and to drill. By 1940, assurances of shared destiny predominated as local and U.S. operatives together hunted bigger pools.”One person who distinguished himself in the oil business particularly well, Dochuk said, was John D. Rockefeller.“John D. Rockefeller embodied the civil religion by placing the profits of his family’s standard oil empire in the service of its broad initiatives,” he said. “Frustrated with outmoded strategies of corporate and church outreach, he built a philanthropy that stressed scientifically informed global development.”Rockefeller’s success in the oil trade, however, left him and his family with plenty of enemies, Dochuk said.“Those who inhabited oil patches were also filled with the spirit of rebellion, which was present from the beginning due to their marginalization by the Rockefellers,” he said. “ … The revolt intensified in the 1930s and ’40s in response to U.S. oil’s shift to foreign fields.”In the midst of dissent against the Rockefeller monopoly of the oil market, Dochuk said, Sunoco emerged as a worthy competitor.“Sunoco’s executives were the antithesis to Washington politicos and standard CEOs,” he said. “They focused on the interests of local people and their economic health, took care of the little man and royalty owners — with whom they collaborated — and stayed true to the politics of the small producer.”Dochuk said Sunoco joined forces with other smaller oil moguls to challenge the Rockefellers and begin to turn the oil industry into what it is today.“On a purely political level, the clash of the two gospels of crude animated some of the most crucial pivots in 1940s federal governance,” he said. “The struggle certainly played out as a clash of competing economic interests, but it was also a matter of colliding world views. Nurtured in different workscapes of oil, it was a culture war that folded matters of faith, labor and corporate politics into two competing sides.”Tags: Henry Luce, Higgins Lunchtime Labor, John D. Rockefeller, oil industrylast_img read more

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Breen-Phillips Hall hosts 34th annual meal auction

first_imgContinuing its long-held signature event, Breen-Phillips Hall (BP) will host its 34th annual Meal Auction on Friday evening, giving students the chance to bid on meals with their favorite professors and campus celebrities along with sports tickets, signed sports gear and gift baskets. The event is a team effort, with BP residents reaching out to local businesses and personal connections for donations, as well as contacting professors and coaches regarding meals.“You have to contact a lot of people and there’s a lot of logistics that go into it, but now that it’s the day before the event I’m super excited,” sophomore Maria Herrera, one of the event commissioners, said. “Yes, it’s been kind of a lot of work, but it definitely will pay off because I feel like we prepared really well for it.”Preparation included choosing a theme, recruiting more than 30 volunteers to contact businesses and creating section gift baskets to include in the raffle. This year’s theme is “Around the World,” which Herrera said was versatile enough for the hall to create interesting and creative baskets.“We try to do a gift card for each of the baskets so there’s some incentive for the person who wins the raffle to have some freedom in what they do, but then we also try to incorporate the theme with it,” she said. “One of the sections did a book theme, so they got a lot of different books and a map that you can color in a country if you’ve read a book from that country, which is something a little different.”All proceeds from the auction go to Meals on Wheels South Bend, an organization that delivers meals to homebound residents of St. Joseph County.“Meals on Wheels really relies on our donations because we give them anywhere from $4 to 7 thousand, so they kind of count on that,” junior Lauren Hebig, one of the event’s commissioners, said. Editor’s note: Hebig is a former graphic designer for The Observer.Herrera said this community engagement is one of her favorite aspects of the event.“I love the fact that it kind of brings BP together,” she said. “Rather than just having the BP community bond, it’s also for a greater good. I’m from South Bend, so I love the fact that there’s that engagement between the BP community and Meals on Wheels.”Sister Mary McNamara, BP’s former rector who passed away Feb. 7, left her mark on a Hall tradition Herrera said Sister McNamara loved. Though the commissioners suggested putting the auction online to raise more money, Hebig said, Sister McNamara wanted the event to remain student-centered.“She didn’t want it to get to really high numbers for the meals with campus celebrities because she wanted it to be more for the students,” she said. “The students couldn’t afford something that adults could afford.” Hebig said the commissioners were concerned about garnering resident participation so soon after Sister McNamara’s unexpected death, but the BP community rallied around the event, which Herrera said it is holding in her honor.“Sister Mary loved the meal auction, she was super excited for it all the time, so we just wanted to keep it the same way it was to remember her and honor her,” Herrera said. “We’re doing it for Sister.”This motivation, Hebig said, was a central aspect of the planning process for BP residents.“That was a really cool thing: everyone in BP was so connected,” she said. “We decided to keep it the day it was because it was what Sister Mary would have wanted.”Tags: Breen-Phillips Hall, Breen-Phillips Hall Meal Auction, meals on wheels, Sister Mary McNamaralast_img read more

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Kroc Institute celebrates International Day of Peace

first_imgTo celebrate the 2018 International Day of Peace, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies hosted several events Thursday and will continue its celebrations Friday, to reflect this year’s United Nations (UN) theme: “The Right to Peace: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”The commemoration kicked off Thursday afternoon, as scholar Thania Paffenholz lectured on the topics of conflict and inclusion in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies auditorium. Paffenholz is director of the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Her lecture, which was open to the public, discussed opportunities and challenges for international and local peacemaking.Later that evening, the Kroc Institute screened “In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America” in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium. This documentary, which aired at the Chicago Irish film festival in 2017, details the life of American John Hume and his role in the Northern Ireland peace negotiations. Erin Corcoran, executive director of the Kroc Institute, said Hume had connections to the institute.“I learned there is also a Kroc family connection to John Hume,” she said. “In the early eighties when the Kroc Institute was getting up and running, we gave a modern day peace award and John Hume was our first recipient.”On Friday, Corcoran will moderate the panel entitled “The Status of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70,” with Kroc Institute professors and fellow scholars. The panel discussion will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies auditorium.Featured on the panel is Diane Desierto, associate professor of Human Rights Law and Global Affairs at the Keough School; Maurice Fitzpatrick, filmmaker of “In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America”; Jennifer Mason McAward, associate professor of law and director, Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights; and Ernesto Verdajo, associate professor of political science at Notre Dame.“We are really fortunate that the Kroc Institute and the Keough School itself have so much expertise in an array of human rights topics,” Corcoran said.Each panelist brings a unique perspective to the discussion of the Declaration of Human Rights based on their expertise. McAward will speak about the United States’ Civil Rights movement in relation to the UN declaration, Verdajo will focus on human rights genocide and mass atrocities, Desierto will discuss how law was used to implement the Declaration and Fitzpatrick will elaborate on the topics of arts and culture in human rights.“It’s really important to raise awareness because often, when people think about peace, they think it’s just the sensation of violence and laying down arms,” Corcoran said. “But really, at the Kroc Institute it’s a lot more than that. It’s how can we create civil and just societies because without justice, there is no peace.”Tags: International Day of Peace, Kroc Institute, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studieslast_img read more

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Notre Dame philosophy professor appointed to Vatican academy of Thomas Aquinas

first_imgLast spring, Notre Dame philosophy professor Therese Cory learned she had officially been named a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas by Pope Francis. The John and Jean Oesterle Associate Professor of Thomistic Studies is currently one of 50 members, and is only the third woman in history to be made a member.“It was really exciting news, because the Pontifical Academy of Thomas Aquinas is the body that considers Aquinas Aquinas thought for the Vatican, right in the heart of the heart of the Church,” Cory said. “And so that was definitely a very exciting moment and a big honor.”Cory was told in early 2019 she had been nominated for the membership by others in the Academy. The nomination had to be approved by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cory said.“Spots open up when somebody passes away or retires,” Cory said. “So then [current members] go through a list of people who are working on Aquinas and decide who to nominate.”John O’Callaghan, an associate professor in the philosophy department, is also a member of the academy, and was appointed in 2010. Cory, who has been working at the University for four years, specializes in Aquinas and the philosophical traditions that connected Muslim, Jewish and Christian thinkers in the Middle Ages. “I work on medieval theories of mind and the human person — focusing especially on Thomas Aquinas and his Islamic sources,” Cory said. “So I’m really interested in the 13th century as a place where multiple strains of philosophical thought from different traditions are intersecting from Augustine and from the Islamic world and from Aristotle. But I’ve mostly been looking at Aquinas as a kind of Nexus for all of those different streams to intersect.”At Notre Dame, Cory serves on the executive committee for the Aquinas and the Arabs Project. In 2014, she was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, and in 2017, she won a National Humanities Center fellowship. Cory is currently teaching an ancient and medieval philosophy course — a requirement for philosophy majors — and is writing a book on Aquinas’ theory of intellect. As an academy member, Cory was able to attend the annual meeting in Rome this past June. “I can say that one of the most exciting things about attending the academy conference this June — this was my first time attending — was being able to talk to all of scholars from around the world,” Cory said. “But also it was pretty exciting to be able to go past the the Swiss Guards post into the Vatican and be on Vatican grounds.”Cory will be the second woman currently in the academy, and the third in its history. “In the past, a lot of scholars who worked at Aquinas have historically been priests,” Cory said. “And I think one of the things that the Academy’s been trying to do in the past is open up to more lay people, scholars from around the world and also to include more women. So it has certainly been an exciting thing to have this trailblazing role.”Tags: department of philosophy, Pope Francis, Thomas Aquinas, Vatican academylast_img read more

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College names interim vice president for mission

first_imgOn Wednesday afternoon, Saint Mary’s President Katie Conboy and Sisters of the Holy Cross President Sr. Veronique Wiedower announced in an email that religious studies professor Molly Gower will replace Judy Fean and serve as the College’s interim vice president for mission in January 2021.According to the email, Fean was supposed to retire last year, but the search was paused due to the College’s hiring freeze at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.Fean was named to the position in 2015 after working in the Campus Ministry office for 27 years. She was the first layperson appointed to the role in the College’s history.Conboy and Wiedower noted Fean’s dedication to the College community.“Over the course of her professional career, Judy has embodied the mission of the Sisters of the Holy Cross,” the email said. “At Saint Mary’s, she deepened her understanding and lived experience of Blessed Basil Moreau’s educational philosophy of engaging the whole person. Judy’s success in her work was all about her ability to build relationships and to inspire collaborations.”Gower said she is excited to take on the new role.“Saint Mary’s College has a special place in the history of women in religion,” she said. “I look forward to collaborating with the College community and the Sisters to honor that history and continue that work.”Tags: COVID-19, Judy Fean, Katie Conboy, Molly Gower, Sr. Veronique Wiedower, Vice President for Missionlast_img read more

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