Innovation Park looks toward expansion

first_imgRich Carlton, a local entrepreneur, attended the groundbreaking ceremony at Notre Dame’s Innovation Park in 2008 as a member of the Chamber of Commerce for St. Joseph County. At the time, Carlton did not envision himself participating in the Park, but today he is the president and COO of Data Realty, one of 30 client companies at Innovation Park. “I saw it as an opportunity to be involved in a true community partnership between the community and the University,” Carlton said. Innovation Park, located just south of Notre Dame’s campus, opened in October 2009 and provides short-term space and advisory services to entrepreneurs while they start new companies. Its client companies either have previous ties to the University or are looking to make connections to resources at Notre Dame. Dave Brenner, Innovation Park’s president and CEO, describes the Park as a bridge between the University and the marketplace. “We act as a commercialization bridge between the University and the marketplace,” Brenner said. “As a bridge, it’s not a final destination. People go from one side to the other.” At Innovation Park, startup companies rent space for up to a year and are able to connect with Notre Dame students, faculty and research. Being at Innovation Park allowed Carlton to find student interns from Notre Dame. While he has been in business in South BenAd for more than 15 years, he made connections with the University for the first time when Data Realty, his technology-based startup, came to Innovation Park in October. “The interaction that I get here with the students is not only energizing, I’m just thoroughly impressed,” he said. Other client companies come to Innovation Park because they already have connections to Notre Dame. Les Ivie, president of F cubed, is developing a molecular detection device based on technology that Hsueh-Chia Chang, a Notre Dame chemical and biomolecular engineering professor, invented. After Ivie decided to start F cubed based on Chang’s technology of using carbon nanotubes to attract and detect certain types of DNA, he came to Innovation Park because he could be close to research at Notre Dame. While he is based in Chicago, Ivie travels to South Bend three days each week. “It’s been good for us,” Ivie said. “Not only do we get support from Innovation Park, but we get a lot of support from the local community.” Ivie said the common laboratory with special equipment at Innovation Park has been especially valuable in developing a molecular detection device that can quickly and easily test liquid samples. Applications of his device include doctors being able to diagnose patients with conditions such as influenza or strep throat in 15 minutes as opposed to several hours. In addition, it could test lake water and quickly determine whether it is safe to swim. After F cubed is ready to move out of Innovation Park, Ivie said he plans to remain in South Bend. “My three top scientists that work at Innovation Park moved to South Bend, one of them from Pittsburgh, one of them from Raleigh-Durham and the third one from Austin, Texas,” he said. “So our intention is to graduate and stay in the local area.” Innovation Park is also “a good community of like-minded companies,” Ivie said. Brenner said client companies at Innovation Park often communicate and collaborate with one another because they find things in common. “That’s the secret sauce of what goes on in a park like this,” he said. “It’s very rare that a single individual has all the answers. They need to reach out to other people.” While all 30 client companies at the Park, which include for-profit companies and non-profit social ventures, are startups, Brenner said he and his staff have learned to be flexible in advising each company. “Without any definitive data to base it, we really had assumed we would get companies in different stages of development but that there would be a number of them that would have common needs so it would be easy to shape programs,” he said. “What we’ve learned is that we have 30 companies in different stages of development with different challenges.” Feedback from client companies has been very positive, Brenner said, and in the future Innovation Park could look to expand, although it is not yet at full occupancy. “We do have space here on this site for four buildings,” he said. “It’s an open, active issue sand we’re very pleased we have the space.”last_img read more

Sociology interns gain real world experience

first_imgNotre Dame’s Sociology Internship class provides a way for students to experience classroom lessons in the real world, bringing book learning to life. “[Students] get the opportunity to take their sociological knowledge out to the field, and see how sociological theory works in action, and reflect on the social conditions of the community.” Ann Marie Power, director of the sociology internship program, said. “It’s one thing to learn it in an academic setting, and another to actually have the flexibility of mind to call on [sociology] to help you to analyze what’s going on.” Senior Danny Jackson, an intern at the Robinson Community Learning Center, said despite being only two months into his internship, he is already humbled by his experience. “I get a better understanding of the seriousness of the [education] problem, just the educational inequality that we have,” Jackson said. “Hopefully [down the line] I can change it.” More than 10 agencies accept interns from the course, ranging from the South Bend Center for the Homeless to Indiana Legal Services, Power said. “[These organizations are] another very vital set of hands, another person who’s actively thinking, and helping [students] to engage whatever the challenges are.” Power said. Senior Christian Moore, who interns at the local Salvation Army, monitors the local food pantry. He said his experience in the class has opened his eyes to the struggles of community members. “It’s challenging seeing all the struggles, and not being able to do anything immediately for people,” Moore said. “It’s like a wake-up call. When you’re on campus it’s really hard to relate to a lot of what’s going on with the majority of Americans.” Interns put in six to eight hours at their agency per week, and the course meets every four weeks as a class. Students engage academically by completing readings that are both general and specific to their particular placement, and finish off the semester with a presentation of their experience through a sociological scope, Power said. Though much of their time is dedicated to the internship, Power said students must keep their course content in mind. “I like to encourage them to think about the difference between knowing sociology and making sense of what they’re doing versus somebody who just comes in off the street, and doesn’t have a sociological background.” she said. Moore said the sociology internships are rewarding and offer an experience that is atypical of common student internships. “A lot of people usually just intern with bigger firms, but actually interning at non-profits or schools is just as important and just as rewarding.” Moore said. Jackson said the internship class allows students to experience inequality first hand. “It’s one thing to learn from a book,” Jackson said. “I mean you can hear all you want about the inequality, but until you really see it, how detrimental it is to these kids, you don’t really appreciate it.  So I think it’s extremely important to go out there and experience it first-hand.”last_img read more

University strives to reduce carbon emissions

first_imgThe University announced a new sustainability strategy that sets ambitious goals to reduce campus carbon emissions dramatically in less than 20 years. The new Sustainability Strategy pledges to reduce the University’s carbon footprint by 50 percent per square foot by 2030, according to a Monday press release. The strategy also outlines goals to improve water efficiency, expand sustainability education and divert 67 percent of campus waste from landfills by 2030. Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves said in a press release that the plan builds upon the University’s past green initiatives. “We have made a great start: our carbon emissions per square foot have already declined 15 percent since our 2006-2007 baseline year,” Affleck-Graves said. “During that time, we have invested over $10 million in energy efficiency, and we continue to invest in energy and water efficiency technology as well as recycling infrastructure. But in order to achieve the goals we have now set for ourselves, we need the entire campus community to rise to the challenge.” Director of Sustainability Heather Christopherson said plans for the new strategy began when the University founded the Office of Sustainability in 2008. “[The Office of Utilities] was investigating all options for its energy demands,” Christpherson said. “We worked in conjunction with that effort and looked a lot at what other universities have done, what other corporations have done in terms of what their goals have been … We wanted to create goals that made sense for Notre Dame, that were achievable but aggressive.” Christopherson said the strategy also includes plans to investigate more alternative energy sources. “What’s in the strategy, as long it economically makes sense, is to push as much as we can to natural gas … which is a smaller carbon output than coal,” she said. “In this exact moment, it doesn’t make sense for us to invest heavily in solar or in wind.” Educating students on how they can contribute to meeting this goal will be the first step toward a change, Christopherson said. “The University is making a commitment saying, ‘We commit to reduce carbon emissions, we commit to reduce our waste,’” Christopherson said. “The goal is to change the mindset of everyone on campus [about sustainability.]” Christopherson said the Office of Sustainability will also continue to promote its current projects. Over 100 classes focusing on sustainability are taught each year, and minors in Sustainability and Energy Studies are growing. The University’s $2 million Green Loan Fund developed by the Office of Sustainability is also used to fund projects such as high-efficiency data servers, environmentally friendly laundry equipment, real-time electricity metering in the residence halls and the annual CFL light bulb exchange, the press release stated. “One of the aspects of the strategy that is really important is that it is really flexible,” she said. “It is part energy conservation, part look at fuel, part looking at renewable [resources] … We can adapt to changing technologies.” Small changes from students, staff and faculty members can also help achieve the strategy’s goals, Christopherson said. “Being mindful of the energy that person consumes, so turning off lights; game systems and televisions when they are not in use, putting computers to sleep when not in use; when a cell phone is not in use, unplug the charger … all of those little things, if all of us do those little things on campus together, it adds up,” she said. Student body president Pat McCormick campaigned for his administration on the platform of improving Notre Dame’s sustainability. Shortly after he assumed his office last April, the Student Senate passed a resolution proposing the adoption of a comprehensive University sustainability strategy. The resolution stated that the strategy should “include a plan that will aim to put the University on a trajectory to reduce the University’s carbon footprint 70 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.” McCormick and other student government leaders collaborated with the Office of Sustainability and the Office of the Executive Vice President as they developed the final strategy over the past few months. While the new Sustainability Strategy does not exactly match the resolution, McCormick said he feels the plan is “aggressive, but achievable.” “The ultimate compromise that ended up developing as we talked about this was that we would have an interim target, a 2030 target that … would be based on gross square footage so you could have a measure that could incorporate the future growth of the University,” McCormick said. The plan, however, could still meet McCormick’s most long-term vision. “What we are most excited about is that this still does put us on the trajectory to potentially have the kind of trajectory that we had hoped for in the Student Senate resolution by 2050, but it sets an interim target that allows us to have an interim set of goals,” McCormick said. McCormick said he sees students as important voices as the University attempts to meet its goals. “As we move forward, the key is going to be to ensure that students continue to have a place at the table when it comes to shaping this strategy,” he said. “We are just very grateful to Dr. Christopherson and Dr. Affleck-Graves in their willingness to really allow students to play a role in shaping this effort.”last_img read more

University looks to hire LGBTQ liaison

first_img Brian Coughlin, associate vice president for Student Affairs, said the administration hopes to make a hire for the position no later than July 1. The job posting comes three months after the University took major steps toward improving the campus climate for LGBTQ students. In December, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced a plan to establish a “new support and service organization” for LGBTQ students and their allies, a new advisory committee and this full-time student development position. At the time of that announcement, Jenkins and vice president for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding could only provide the basics of this new administrator’s job. Harding said this new administrator would be responsible for advising the planned LGBTQ student organization, among other roles. “That person will play several roles associated with a student organization: to serve as advisor; that person will participate on a new advisory committee that will work with and give input to my office; and lastly, will be responsible for the consistency of the training and awareness that we build over time,” Harding said in a December interview. With this job posting, however, more details about the new staff member are emerging. The position, officially titled the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Student Initiatives Assistant Director, is listed under the umbrella of the Gender Relations Center (GRC). Coughlin said the new staff member will report to GRC director Christine Caron Gebhardt, but he or she will also be an integral member of that new advisory committee on LGBTQ issues to the vice president for Student Affairs. The posting, which can be found on, described this staff member as having a special focus on students who identify as LGBTQ. “The professional staff person will spearhead and evaluate all education initiatives particularly relating to LGBTQ needs within the GRC but also in collaboration with student organizations, other departments and centers across campus,” the posting states. One of the primary roles this position will play is that of advisor for the developing LGBTQ student organization, Coughlin said. “In that capacity, they will act as any other advisor to a student organization,” he said. “Think of it in terms of how the [Student Activities Office] advisors work with class councils or the Shirt Project and Bookstore Basketball.” The posting continues to emphasize Notre Dame’s Catholic character in relation to the work of this new staff member in areas such as programming. “Last, the position requires the implementation of best practices in programming on relationships, sexual identity and sexual orientation consistent with the University’s Catholic mission,” the job description states. “Ultimately this position promotes the moral formation of college students and embraces the Catholic identity, mission and values as it relates to sexual orientation and sexual identity.” Coughlin said this staff member and the new student group will work together to program events that encourage education, growth and development. Just like any other student organization advisor, the new staff member will provide guidance, mentoring and advice on topics and programming, Coughlin said. But the students themselves will primarily plan and execute these events. The LGBTQ Student Initiatives Assistant Director will also train students as peer educators, like the FIRE Starters in the GRC or Pillars members in the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education, who can speak specifically to LGBTQ issues. He or she would also collaborate with other departments on pastoral care concerning sexual identity, as well as lead outreach through social media and other communication resources. Junior Alex Coccia served as the co-president of the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) and helped found the 4-to-5 Movement during his sophomore year to increase campus conversations on inclusion at Notre Dame. When he reviewed the posting for the LGBTQ Student Initiatives Assistant Director, he called the position description “very fulfilling.” “I appreciate the emphasis on collaborative nature and building these relationships between the staff advisor and all different offices and different student groups,” Coccia said. “I think that’s one of the most important aspects in making sure the conversation of LGBTQ concerns … does not die down.” Coccia is now preparing to assume the role of student body president April 1. His administration will be critical to the development of the proposed LGBTQ organization, and Coccia will most likely work regularly with this new administrator. “It’s got to be someone that is very comfortable working with students and working with students on a one-on-one level, not as an advisor but as a mentor,” Coccia said. “Someone who is extremely approachable, someone you could easily stop … for conversation.” The range of background experience in the job posting lends itself to a “holistic” approach to personal development and LGBTQ issues, Coccia said. The minimum qualifications for applicants include a bachelor’s degree ideally in theology, gender studies, psychology, sociology or a related field with three or more years in ministry or administration, the job description stated, and a master’s degree is a preferred qualification. Applicants should also have “awareness of Catholic character, mission and values as it relates to issues of relationships, sexual identity and sexuality” and “specialized training in sexual identity and moral formation.” Experience working with both male and female college students is also required. “The fact that this person would have experience with working with students in all different areas … they mentioned in terms of theology, sociology, gender studies, I think that’s a very healthy background coming into a position like this where you’re going to have to be, as an advisor, very respectful of people’s identities,” Coccia said. Sophomore Lauren Morisseau, current co-president of the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) and a member of the Core Council, said she is “very pleased” with the job description for this new position. “I think that it reflects the level of care and the thorough job the administration has done so far,” she said. “They’ve really taken our feedback … into consideration, and I’m extremely hopeful as to what that will yield.” As the hiring process begins, Morisseau said she also hopes the new director will be a “warm and open person who is comfortable relating to and communicating with young people.” “Dealing with sexuality in Catholicism can be complicated, but as long as we can all communicate and be open to each other’s stories, we can build a strong organization that can serve the needs of the Notre Dame LGBTQ and ally communities for years to come,” she said. The Office of Student Affairs has posted a job description and started the hiring process for a new staff member who will focus on providing services and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students and their allies at Notre Dame.last_img read more

SMC Student Involvement Fair offers variety of clubs and activities

first_imgSaint Mary’s students attended the College’s annual Student Involvement Fair on Tuesday evening.  The fair, hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Office of Student Involvement, encouraged student involvement in the College and community activities. The number of clubs on campus has reached 87, but increases every year. Cinthya Benitez, founder of the new Neuroscience Club, said, “We started this club to support neuroscience since Saint Mary’s doesn’t have a neuroscience major. It is a great opportunity for biology and psychology majors to come together.” Another new club on campus, Active Minds, will work to erase the stigma surrounding mental health issues and aims to reduce stress on campus through fun events and activities.Caroline Koenig, an organizer of the new Little Belle/Big Belle program, said the initiative will allow first year students to have an upperclassman mentor. “You get paired with a person who has similar interests with you. … It’s like a big sister program.”Originally founded at the University of Michigan, the Saint Mary’s Chapter for the Student Food Allergy Network plans to launch their club by working with Sodexo, a company that focuses on improving health in workplaces and schools, to to gain more options for students with food allergies. They also plan to make more people aware of the dangers of food allergies. Many returning clubs strive to gain new members by offering incentives for joining and promoting exciting upcoming events. Secretary of the College Republican club, Anna McCambridge, handed out free club novelty items in efforts to make the club more prominent at the fair. McCambridge said, “Our goal this year is to become more active on campus than last year and make our name known.”Hannah Brinkman, vice president of the Stand Up for Cancer club, describes the group as holding fun events, such as a “prom” for cancer survivors, to raise money for cancer research. “I love getting new freshmen in and dedicated to the club,” Brinkman said.A full list of Saint Mary’s clubs can be found on OrgSync.Tags: sga, SMClast_img read more

Big Belle, Little Belle program promotes sisterhood, community

first_imgThere may not be any Greek life in South Bend, but the “Big Belle, Little Belle” initiative at Saint Mary’s promotes a sisterly bond, allowing upperclassmen to help first-years transition into life at the College.Co-chairs of the first year concerns committee, sophomore Caroline Koenig and junior Taylor Lashbrook, collaborated to assemble the program, according to Koenig. She said the juniors and seniors who serve as Big Belles bond with their assigned littles through events such as craft nights, highlighting the supportive environment of Saint Mary’s.“Trying to connect the first-years and the upperclassmen can be hard at times because there are things that separate them,” Koenig said. “To bring everyone together, to make more connections and to make more friends is a very positive thing for the community.”An overwhelming number of first-years signed up, so the program, which would initially have included only junior Big Belles, broadened to incorporate seniors as well, Koenig said.“You make all these friends so fast, and you get thrown into the crazy different environment that college is,” she said. “We felt that we needed people who are already grounded, people who already know who they are in college, to lend a helping hand.”Koenig said she and Lashbrook made an effort to pair girls with common interests, such as the same major, making it easy for first-years to receive pertinent advice. Based loosely on the sorority concept of having an older sister, who serves as a role-model, “Big Belle, Little Belle” aims to promote relationships between grade levels, Koenig said. She also said the success of this year’s launch helped identify ways to improve the program in following years.“We have a lot of ideas for how it’s going to flow next year and how we want to make it bigger and better,” Koenig said. “We’re still trying to work out a bit of the kinks since it is such a new program, and we had such a big turnout.”Junior Katie Slisz said she feels fortunate to mentor two Little Belles, as she enjoys interacting with and learning from younger students.“It’s nice to be able to get to know freshmen and expand your base of the connection with people you know in college,” Slisz said. “Instead of staying with my own group of friends or people I know from class, I’m able to meet people outside of that.”Slisz said she enjoys referring back to her own experiences so she can advise students and ease any difficulties they may have while adjusting to the college environment.“Personally, it was kind of scary coming in because I didn’t know anyone initially,” Slisz said. “It’s nice to have the ability to reach out to them. It really is such a great community-builder.”Slisz said so far Big Belles have made crafts — including door decorations and booklets with useful tips — for their mentees to promote a comfortable relationship with open communication. She said participating in the program has given her friends she would not have made otherwise, while granting her the chance to make their college experience the best it can possibly be.“A lot of our core values are about sharing in a bond and working to build people up,” Slisz said. “This really is a great way to form positive relationships where we can be helping one another.”Tags: Big Belle Little Belle, sga, student government in focuslast_img read more

Sprinkler goes off in Keough Hall

first_imgA fire sprinkler in Keough Hall deployed without the help of a fire Tuesday afternoon, flooding one room.A Notre Dame Fire Department officer at the scene said the sprinkler went off in a dorm room. University spokesman Dennis Brown said Building Services, the Risk Management and Safety Office and the Notre Dame Fire Department worked to preserve property on the second floor and “to some extent” on the first floor.Brown said the Risk Management and Safety Office will replace damaged items, “with hall staff providing support and assisting with immediate needs.”last_img read more

Former student files lawsuit

first_imgAn unnamed former Notre Dame student has filed a lawsuit alleging he was unjustly dismissed from University less than a month before his graduation. An initial hearing on the case will take place in Hammond, Indiana on Tuesday.According to the lawsuit, the student — referred to as “John Doe” in the legal documents — underwent “a difficult moment in his life when he was experiencing episodic depression including suicidal ideation, and was clearly in need of mental health resources and formative remedies.” His ex-girlfriend perceived his repeated texts reaching out for support as harassment and dating violence, and the University deemed his conduct to be sexual harassment, the suit states. The lawsuit alleges Notre Dame mishandled this case and conducted an investigation full of  “procedural flaws, lack of due process and inherent gender bias, designed to ensure that male students accused of any type of sexual misconduct or harassment — concepts that do not apply to John’s conduct — are found responsible.”Accusations that Notre Dame did not properly address incidences of sexual assault provoked the University to dismiss the accused student without undergoing a thorough investigation, according to the lawsuit. The suit states the male’s ex-girlfriend took advantage of the Title IX policy to exercise a “personal vendetta” against him, for she was captured on video expressing she hoped to “destroy” his reputation.According to the suit, the University intervened in John’s therapeutic relationship with his psychologist, who had been treating him through the University Counseling Center (UCC). After the student’s therapist wrote a letter on his behalf — detailing his desire to cease contact with his ex-girlfriend and showcasing the progress he made — the University “admonished John’s psychologist and made clear that the University Counseling Center was never again to advocate for male students accused of sexual misconduct.”The suit states the male’s presence on campus “presents no danger,” so Notre Dame’s decision to dismiss him must be motivated by “gender bias” rather than by genuine concern for students’ safety.Updated April 24 at 10:49 p.m.Tags: dating violence, lawsuitlast_img read more

Tennessee state representative addresses diversity, her experience at Saint Mary’s

first_imgTennessee representative London Lamar (’13) sat down with students, faculty and members of the Student Diversity Board (SDB) of Saint Mary’s on Tuesday evening. Lamar, the state representative for District 91 of Tennessee, spoke about her experience at Saint Mary’s and the work she has done since she graduated.During the dialogue, which continued during the keynote address in Carroll Auditorium, Lamar described her journey. She began engaging with politics after former U.S. president Barack Obama was elected president during her senior year of high school. She said this prompted her decision to major in political science instead of engineering, which was her previous goal. “To see a man who looked like me get elected to the highest office in the land … really was life-changing for me,” she said.During her time as a student, in addition to completing minors in sociology and intercultural studies, Lamar was the president of the Black Student Association (BSA), which at that time was known as the Sisters of Nefertiti. She also served in leadership positions in SDB and founded the College Democrats of Saint Mary’s during the 2012 general election.“I started this club and I invited everybody,” Lamar said. “Regardless of … party [affiliation] I wanted you involved.” The College Democrats of Saint Mary’s helped 10% of the student body register to vote that year, she said, in addition to hosting events such as watch parties. Lamar said she is proud of the work completed by the club she founded. “[I was able to] lead girls to be more active and bring more fair representation to campus in a time when there wasn’t any,” she said.Throughout her career, Lamar said she continually worked hard to motivate young people to vote and to get involved in the political sphere. “Young people are the majority and we are not using our power,” Lamar said. After she graduated from the College, Lamar moved back to Memphis and ran several candidates’ political campaigns while interning at a political firm. She then served as president of the Tennessee Young Democrats and worked with other organizations, including as a policy associate for SisterReach. On Nov. 6, 2018, she was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, where she serves today.Members of the audience responded enthusiastically to Lamar’s message. “London is a student of color,” senior Jazmin Herrera, president of SDB, said. “Sometimes when you’re here it can be really discouraging as a student of color — how hard it can be to fit in, to prove yourself. Hearing other people’s stories once they leave Saint Mary’s, like how we should use that to our advantage to prepare us for our futures, is what we should take away from their messages. These kinds of talks help prepare us and motivate us to keep going.”Senior and SDB vice president Bella Tillman said she was also excited to attend the discussion. “[I enjoyed hearing] how [Lamar felt] Saint Mary’s … prepared her for her position, and how she got her position as a State Representative,” Tillman said.Tags: Black Student Association, College Democrats, Student Diversity Boardlast_img read more

UPMC Chautauqua Temporarily Restricts Visitation Amid Coronavirus Concerns

first_imgWNY News Now File Image.JAMESTOWN – UPMC Chautauqua Hospital announced changes to their visitation policy Wednesday to temporarily ban all non-medical necessary visitation effective immediately amid the current Coronavirus pandemic.In a statement, officials said only visitors who are “essential to the care of the patient” will be allowed visitation access into the hospital.Any visitors meeting these exceptions will be screened for symptoms relating to the COVID-19 virus which include coughing, shortness of breath, or a fever.Any visits that meet this requirement should be kept brief. 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