Visitation honors Zhang’s life

first_imgStudents, faculty and staff wore green ribbons pinned to their jackets, dresses and suits as they celebrated the life of sophomore Ziqi Zhang during a visitation service at Kaniewski Funeral Home in South Bend on Wednesday afternoon. After procuring the necessary visas, Zhang’s parents, sister and uncle flew in from China last week in order to make final arrangements to bring their daughter back home. Zhang, who passed away from injuries sustained in a car-bicycle accident Oct. 18 on Route 933 just outside the entrance of Saint Mary’s, was an international student from the Jiangsu Province in China. She was studying philosophy and mathematics at Saint Mary’s and taking engineering classes at Notre Dame. At the visitation, Zhang’s mother received a special gift from an anonymous member of the Class of 1963. The woman gave Zhang’s mother a sterling silver Saint Mary’s ring with the College seal on it. The woman said she felt compelled to give the ring to her family when she heard of Zhang’s passing. “I just felt it would be a small gesture from someone in the Saint Mary’s family,” she said. “The Saint Mary’s family extends beyond class year. Once a Belle, always a Belle.” The visitation was another chance for friends of Zhang to remember her spirit and intelligence after her sudden death. Patricia Sayre, philosophy professor and Zhang’s advisor, said she was impressed with Zhang’s determination to study the subjects she wanted to, regardless of difficulty. “On that day when I first met her, she came into my office and told me she wanted to major in philosophy because, in effect, she wanted to be able to think more freely than was possible within the constraints posed by real-world engineering problems,” she said. “Ziqi was a person that knew her own mind.” Sayre said she was impressed with Zhang’s courage and bravery in her studies. Philosophy, Sayre said, is a special subject that not just anyone can study. “I would like [Ziqi’s family] to know that the choice to study philosophy is not one to be taken lightly, and that it takes a special kind of courage to go down the path she was taking,” she said. “I want to try to convey something about how it was a courage that extended far beyond simply being willing to go away to study thousands of miles from home. It was the courage to confront and explore serious human issues and go off in search of the truth no matter where that search might take you.” While Zhang was known throughout Saint Mary’s for her bravery in academics, she was also regarded as someone who wasn’t afraid to take risks. Business and economics professor Richard Measell and his wife Nancy spend a lot of time with international students to provide comfort, entertainment and friendship to them while they are studying at Saint Mary’s. One of the favorite destinations they liked to take students to was the beach in New Buffalo, Mich. On the way home, they would stop at Oinks, a popular ice cream place in the town. “We always stopped at Oinks to get whatever flavored ice cream the students wanted,” Richard Measell said. “She got different flavors [each time].” Nancy Measell said Zhang was someone who was always surprising people with her choices. “She was very adventurous and always wanted to try new things,” she said. “You would always go, ‘Well, why would you want to do that?’ She was just adventuresome like that.” The Measells also introduced Zhang and other international students to horseback riding. For Zhang, who lived in a big city, Richard Measell said this activity allowed her to get out to the countryside and see more of nature. “She was always interested in animals, and for me, the greatest memory of her was her riding horses,” Richard Measell said. “Here was somebody who maybe never even touched a horse before she came here and … she was riding on a horse and she just loved that.” Richard and Nancy Measell said the students were supposed to just walk with their horse, but Zhang had other plans. “Ziqi and her adventurous spirit decided, ‘Let’s just gallop,’” Nancy Measell said.last_img read more

Board analyzes community, academic needs

first_imgAlex Coccia, student body president and chair of the Campus Life Council (CLC) said the organization brings together students and faculty for a wide range of different perspectives on campus. “When we come together to discuss issues related to student life, I think it’s very important to have those varied perspectives,” he said.  This year, the council is organized into three task forces, Coccia said, in an effort to address comprehensive issues. The three groups focus on safety and health, community building and holistic student development, and they will draft reports of their findings next semester. Coccia said the third task force focuses on students’ overall growth and improvement especially outside the classroom.  This semester, the safety and health group initiated the prayer services following email alerts of sexual assault, Coccia said.  “Now that’s a small action step,” he said. “At the same time, we’re talking about sexual assault and alcohol culture on campus. One of the things we’ll be focusing on next semester is doing focus groups with students to really get a sense of what people look for in parties and in building healthy relationships, whether people understand the signs of alcohol poisoning, and what the potential barriers are to helping someone who is intoxicated if they need help.” The community building task force is examining programming, Coccia said, and examining “where people find their primary community.” “They’re going to look at dorms that have a high rate of rector turnover, and they’re going to look at the effect that that has had on dorms, in order to help make recommendations on rector recruiting,” he said. “They’ve also been looking at Mass attendance information to see how we can better serve people in that area, and with consistent presiders. Also, they’re working with Diversity Council and the recommendations they’ve made recently.”  The third task force has examined potential improvements in academic areas, Coccia said.  “One of the things they’re looking at right now is office hours, what best practices for office hours are and ensuring students have a mentoring relationship with their faculty,” he said. “They’ve also been looking at class timing, to see if there are ways we can ensure that students aren’t getting out of labs at crazy hour of the night, so people can actually have time to work on their own and have extracurricular engagement, as well.”  The CLC works to “benchmark” the practices of peer institutions, Coccia said, as well as soliciting student feedback, in the process of making recommendations.  “It’s a very deliberate procedure, but it’s also good because it allows us to the time to have ongoing discussions, rather than just jumping in and saying ‘this is what I think we should do,’” he said. “We have the opportunity and the perspective to really challenge each other on various issues and make sure we’re going to make proper recommendations.” Grade: B CLC is primarily an advisory body, but it does not seem like they achieved many concrete goals this semester. Contact Catherine Owers at [email protected]last_img read more

Professor wins book prize

first_imgProfessor Alexander Martin of the department of history was recently awarded the 2013 Marc Raeff Book Prize for his most recent work, “Enlightened Metropolis: Constructing Imperial Moscow, 1762-1855.”The prize is awarded annually by the Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association (ECRSA) to works of “exceptional merit and lasting significance for understanding Imperial Russia, particularly during the long 18th century,” according to the group’s website.According to Martin, who had not known that his book was under consideration for the prize until he was notified that he had won, the ECRSA, an affiliate of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, appoints a prize committee that reviews all new books in English, Russian and several other languages on Russian history, literature and art in the period from about 1689 to 1825. The prize is named after late historian and professor Marc Raeff, who taught at Columbia University.Work for “Enlightened Metropolis” began after Martin finished his first book, “Romantics, Reformers, Reactionaries: Russian Conservative Thought and Politics in the Reign of Alexander I,” in the late 1990s, he said. His research for his latest book took him abroad on several occasions.“I spent one semester in 1999 working with rare books in Germany, and two semesters in 2002 and 2004 researching in archives and libraries in Moscow,” Martin said.Martin said his book explores two major questions that historians of modern and imperial Russia study.“Two of the biggest questions of Russia after 1700 are how Russians became culturally European and why the 1917 revolution happened,” Martin said in an e-mail. “In my book, I address both questions. I look at Moscow, a place that previously reminded Europeans of the Middle East, and I ask: How did it change under the tsars from a supposedly “Asiatic” city to one that was recognizably European? And, why didn’t this strengthen the regime’s popularity?“To find an answer, I explore three things. First, how the regime tried to modernize the city — the police, the schools, street lights, pavement, drainage and so on. Second, how this affected the life and the attitudes of Moscow’s middle classes; and third, how journalists, novelists and so on described these changes.“What I found is that Muscovites thought increasingly like Europeans, but for precisely that reason they held the tsarist regime to a Western standard that it wasn’t able to meet,” Martin said.Looking to the future, Martin plans to expand the release of “Enlightened Metropolis” and also has another project on the horizon that will take him in a different direction than his previous research and writing.“My book on Moscow will come out in a Russian-language edition later this year, which I’m very excited about,” he said. “My next project is a biography of a German immigrant who had a fascinating life in Germany and Russia in the decades around 1800. After writing about a whole city, it’s fun to immerse myself in the detective work of reconstructing the life of just one person.”Tags: (ECRSA), alexander martin, constructing imperial moscow, eighteenth-century russian studies association, enlightened metropolis, marc raeff book prizelast_img read more

Group collects donations for Flint water crisis

first_imgThis week, Saint Mary’s College Justice Education Board is hosting a fundraiser in the Student Center Atrium for the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. According to sophomore Board member Alex Shambery, the primary focus of the Justice Education Board is to create awareness, understanding and advocacy for justice in any and all ways in the communities of Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College and South Bend.Raising awareness of the events in Flint was an ideal project for the Board, sophomore Board member Courtney Weston said.“The population of Flint, Michigan, has been deeply affected by their water crisis, especially the children,” Weston said. “The children of Flint have been poisoned by the corrosive and lead-contaminated water. Any amount of lead is harmful to children and can have long term effects.“These children have been exposed to the contaminated water for too long of a period of time, and the damage done could inhibit them from this time on. To help these children of Flint, the Justice Education Board has created the ‘Flint Fund.’” According to Weston, the Board plans to gather donations that can be sent to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. The fund was established by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint in order to receive state and federal funding, Weston said.“This fund will help provide affordable care to the children of Flint who have been affected by the lead exposure,” she said. “Each of these children deserve to recover and be healthy again.“This is important to me because I do not think it is fair that these children from Flint might not be able to function to their best potential due to something that was out of their control. The Flint water crisis was something which should have, and could have, been avoided.”The purpose of the collection is not only to raise money for the residents of Flint, but also to raise awareness of the injustices that had taken place to lead to the crisis, sophomore Board member Morgan Matthews said.“This project not only allows Saint Mary’s College to be a part of the solution, but also teaches others about the injustice that occurred … [under] the Flint leaders,” Matthews said.According to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund website, all grants will be advised by a committee of community members with representation from residents, Hurley Children’s Hospital, Mott Children’s Health Center, Greater Flint Health Coalition, United Way of Genesee County and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. To donate online, go to flintkids.orgTags: Flint, Flint water crisis, Justice Education Board, Michigan, saint mary’slast_img read more

Saint Mary’s hosts orientation activities for international students

first_imgSaint Mary’s welcomed 24 international students this past week from 10 different countries: some returning students, some new students. They attended both Belles Beginnings – the College’s orientation program – as well as an International Student and Scholar Orientation, which is a program designed specifically for them. The program introduces and orients international students with aspects of college and university life in the States, which may differ from what they’re used to.  Adriana Petty, assistant director of International Student and Scholar Services, helps the students with logistics such as visas and more personal integration into Saint Mary’s, such as learning to adapt to the social and academic climate.  “At the International Student and Scholar Orientation, the students learn about types of classroom experiences,” she said. “This includes class participation, where they can really share their opinions and offer perspectives. This is a shift for a few of them who are used to lecture courses with an emphasis on memorization. They discuss with the students, social involvement and how joining clubs, participating in activities and attending sports events can all contribute to their experience.”In addition to orientation, Saint Mary’s also coordinates various events and programs to help the students become more comfortable with U.S. culture, Petty said.“The International Student and Scholar Services office provides monthly events for all international students and scholars to experience activities related to U.S. culture,” she said. “We have on- and off-campus activities to introduce the students to different cultural celebrations like U.S. holidays.”Saint Mary’s students from the United States also have the opportunity to learn about different cultures from international students, Petty said.“Saint Mary’s also plans events during the International Education Week, starting November 13, during which the international students get to share with the Saint Mary’s community about their own culture and country customs,” she said.In addition to 19 four-year students, Saint Mary’s is also hosting one Fulbright scholar from China, two J-1 research scholars from Poland and China and two exchange students from South Korea and Tunisia. The four-year students originate from Chile, China, Spain, Rwanda, Vietnam, Mexico and South Africa, Petty said.The International Student and Scholar Services helps international students focus on the positives when they have difficulties adjusting to the United States, Petty said. Some students start to feel overwhelmed or homesick, she said, while others who come from large cities sometimes find it difficult to adjust to the quiet environment of Saint Mary’s. Petty said almost all of the first-years talk about how different the U.S. education system is.“We often talk about the fact that they are only here for a limited amount of time and to find ways to enjoy this unique and memorable experience,” she said. “The semester, year or four years goes by quickly, so even though there are many changes to become accustomed to, there are also a lot of new opportunities to make life-long memories … [and] make their time here as an international student or scholar a wonderful experience.”Tags: International Student and Scholar Services, International studentslast_img read more

University plans events to celebrate Black History Month

first_imgVarious groups on Notre Dame’s campus will come together during the month of February to celebrate Black History Month to continue the conversation regarding diversity and inclusion highlighted during Notre Dame’s Walk the Walk Week and Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day celebrations.The month will kick off with a concert titled “Unsung: The Exploration of the Sounds of Black Folk” which will highlight underrepresented African American voices in jazz, classical and gospel music. The concert will feature guest artists Callie Day, Isaac Cates, J.J. Wright, Alex Mansour and Emorja Roberson in the effort to unite different age levels, races and musical styles.Claire Kopischke | The Observer Roberson, a doctoral student in the doctor of musical arts program, will be hosting and performing in the concert on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Debartolo Performing Arts Center. Roberson said although the African American population at Notre Dame remains low at 3.5%, he hopes African American music will become a universal musical genre everyone can enjoy.“This is the first time we have had this event on Notre Dame’s campus, and it would be beneficial for our campus to not just have an immediate appreciation for the music but also have a longstanding sense of gratification for it because it’s so memorable,” Roberson said.In the effort to expose African American students to local hair stylists and barbers in the community, multiple student groups and departments will sponsor a Black Hair Expo on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Lafortune Ballroom. “The basis of this event is to educate some of our colleagues in regard to how to assist students of African American descent … and to highlight the importance of having information and resources available to the students,” director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services Iris Outlaw said. “Oftentimes students are hesitant to go to salons because they don’t know the work of the stylists or paying for the salons can become expensive, so some of the vendors [at the expo] are open to coming to campus or providing transportation.”Outlaw, who is also the advisor for the Black Cultural Arts Council (BCAC), said the BCAC will host a cultural talent show on Feb. 15, where two first-year students will be awarded with the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship. The BCAC has given away over $27,000 since the creation of the scholarship.Later in the month, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, Gender Relations Center, Campus Ministry, McDonald Center for Student Well-Being and Student Government will collaborate to host Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, for a professional development workshop and a race lecture series on Feb 25. According to a New York Times article, Tarana Burke coined the phrase “me too” in 2007 after creating a nonprofit organization that supports victims of sexual harassment and assault, Just Be Inc., but the phrase garnered national attention in October 2017 after it was promoted by actress Alyssa Milano in response to the slew of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.Outlaw said she looks to Burke’s lectures to spark a discussion regarding the intersectionality between gender and race and to give people a different perspective from which to approach issues surrounding both.The Black Faculty and Staff Association will end the month by sponsoring an ecumenical prayer service and lunch on Feb. 27.“For the events this month, I would like a continuation of the conversations after the MLK celebrations because I think a lot of times people look at those kinds of events as one touch point, but we need to have multiple touch points to continue conversations,” Outlaw said. “We need to look at the contributions underrepresented group bring to campus, but we also need to look at the issues impacting those groups.” Tags: Black History Month, Campus Events, iris outlawlast_img read more

Chautauqua County Reports Four New Cases Of COVID-19 On Thursday

first_imgMGN ImageMAYVILLE – Chautauqua County officials have reported four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in their daily press release Thursday afternoon.The new cases consist of a male in his 20’s, a male in his 40’s, and a male and female in their 70’s. There is also one new hospitalization in the county as well. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 81 with 19 active, 58 recoveries, and 4 fatalities.241 cases remain under quarantine and isolation orders while there have been 2,704 negative test results to date.Officials remind residents that people under a quarantine or isolation order are not confirmed to have COVID-19 but have either shown symptoms, are awaiting results, or have risk factors. 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

Jamestown Drug Trafficker Gets 6 1/2 Years In Prison

first_imgPhoto: Pxhere 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) BUFFALO — A Jamestown man is set to spend the next six and one-half years in federal prison for his role in trafficking heroin, according to U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr.Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez, 27, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Higgins and Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who handled the case, said that beginning in early 2016, Ferrer-Vazquez distributed heroin and cocaine for a drug trafficking organization led by co-defendant Sigfredo Martinez. The defendant was responsible for the “day shift” transactions, while another co-defendant, Alex Mercado, was responsible for “night shift” transactions. Ferrer-Vazquez would receive several hundred bundles of heroin from Martinez every few days and was tasked with distributing it to users and lower-level dealers. The defendant then turned over the proceeds to Martinez and took payment for his role in the distribution.During the course of the investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted three controlled purchases of heroin and cocaine from Ferrer-Vazquez, who was arrested on April 6, 2017, at his Buffalo Street residence. A federal search warrant was executed at the residence and investigators recovered 19 cellphones, a quantity of suspected cocaine hidden in lunchboxes in the rafters of the basement, a quantity of suspected heroin, $2,994 in cash, three ledger notebooks, and a scale. A loaded.380 caliber semi-automatic handgun was found wrapped in rags and a plastic shopping bag locked inside a cabinet in the detached garage. Mercado and Martinez were both previously convicted and sentenced to serve 120 months and 175 months in prison respectively.The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan; the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff James B. Quattrone; the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb; the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Timothy Jackson; the Town of Ellicott Police Department, under the direction of Chief William Ohnmeiss Jr.; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; and the Dunkirk Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Ortolano.last_img read more

Casa Valentina Opens On Broadway

first_img View All (4) Show Closed This production ended its run on June 29, 2014 Related Shows Hey, fellas! Pack up your dresses and eyeshadow, because Harvey Fierstein’s Casa Valentina celebrates its Broadway opening on April 23 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The Manhattan Theatre Club production, under the direction of Joe Mantello, stars Gabriel Ebert, John Cullum, Patrick Page, Reed Birney and Mare Winningham. Gabriel Ebert View Comments Reed Birney Star Files To commemorate the play’s opening night, resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of our favorite men in full drag (and one lady; can you spot her?). In addition to Ebert, Cullum, Page, Birney and Winningham, the portrait features Tom McGowan, Larry Pine and Nick Westrate. Mare Winningham Patrick Page Happy opening to the company of Casa Valentina! We can’t wait to hear who you’re wearing on the red carpet! Casa Valentinalast_img read more

Hetty Feather Will Transfer to the West End

first_img Hetty Feather tells the story of a foster child in Victorian London searching to find her real mother and a true family of her own. The play features live music and aerial and circus acts. View Comments Hetty’s off to the West End! The acclaimed stage production of Jacqueline Wilson’s popular children’s book Hetty Feather will transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre. Adapted for the stage by Emma Reeves and directed by Olivier nominee Sally Cookson, the play will begin performances on August 5 and run through September 6. Opening night is set for August 6. Hetty Feather is currently playing in Dubai. Prior to its West End run, the play will continue its UK tour in Edinburgh, Cambridge and Sheffield. The production features designs by Katie Sykes, original music by Benji Bower with additional composition by Seamas H Carvey and Luke Potter, aerial direction by Gwen Hales, lighting design by Aideen Malone and sound design by Leigh Davies. The cast will include Phoebe Thomas, Matt Costain, Sarah Goddard, Nikki Warwick, Isaac Stanmore, Paul Mundell and Luke Potter.last_img read more