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NDFS, student gov. to host Circus Lunch

first_imgToday, Notre Dame Food Services and student government will bring back the “Circus Lunch,” a famed dining hall special event of the 1980s and 1990s. During lunch in both North Dining Hall and South Dining Hall, students will find various circus-themed food and decorations. The event was coordinated by the Circus Lunch Committee of student government’s Department of Constituent Services. Sophomore Mary Tomasik, head of the Circus Lunch Committee, and sophomore Heather Eaton, director of Constituent Services, helped coordinate the event. “We thought it would be a fun event for students, especially during midterms,” Eaton said.  “I love cotton candy just as much as the next person.” Constituent Services went forward with the idea to hold a circus lunch after an administrator from the Student Activities Office (SAO) helped convince them to bring back the traditional event. Basic circus foods like hot dogs, cotton candy, cracker jacks and popcorn will be served in both dining halls. North Dining Hall will also have snow cones and elephant ears. The Circus Lunch was one of the most popular dining hall special events of the 1980s and 1990s, Eaton said, because back then the dining hall did not serve the large variety of food that it does today. “Circus lunch was a way to give variety,” she said.   When the dining halls added more foods to the menu in subsequent years, the circus lunch was no longer necessary and occurred less often, she said. The circus lunch will not interfere with the regular lunch menu and will last for the regular lunch period — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Circus Lunch Committee decorated both dining halls Wednesday night. Along with food, there will also be balloon animals, face paint and circus-themed temporary tattoos. Lollipops will be provided next to the mints at the exits. Eaton said the Circus Lunch Committee met with dining hall managers and they agreed to assist with the event.  If the feedback is positive, Eaton said student government hopes to hold more circus lunches in the future. “We’ve put in the work to make sure that it could be a yearly event,” she said.last_img read more

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Nothing less than a reformation’

first_imgKrista Tippet, Peabody Award-winning journalist and broadcaster of the radio program “On Being”, spoke as this year’s Christian Culture lecturer at Saint Mary’s on Tuesday in O’Laughlin Auditorium.   The lecture, titled “Civic Healing and Christian Virtue in the 21st Century,” focused on issues of reforming modern Christian society. Tippet said the modern, technologically driven century forces society to reexamine questions they considered answered.  “We are reimagining the very nature of authority, of leadership, of community,” Tippet said. “We are fundamentally reconsidering how we structure our lives together. We are in the midst of nothing less than a reformation, but this time it’s all of the institutions including education, economies, politics, and religion. The interesting and challenging thing about this moment is that we know the old ways aren’t working, but we can’t yet see what the new forms will be.” Tippet said words shape how people understand the world, how they understand themselves and how they treat others. She said, in this light, tolerance is a problematic word for people of faith.  “Tolerance was the primary civic virtue we chose to navigate difference. And I think this word was always problematic,” she said. “Tolerance connotes allowing, enduring and indulging. In the medical context where it comes from, tolerance is about the limits of thriving in an unfavorable environment.  “Now I’m not saying that tolerance doesn’t have value and doesn’t have its place but it’s not a big enough word, and don’t think its ever a big enough word, for people of faith. Tolerance doesn’t ask us to care for the stranger. Tolerance doesn’t even bid us to know each other, to understand, to listen, to be curious.” Tippet said Christians need to rediscover the way in which questions can be spiritual virtues and civic tools.  “A simple question is not the same thing as the wrong question. I think what I’m talking about here is intentionality in our questions and acknowledgment of something,” Tippet said. “I know very well that questions are powerful things, questions elicit answers in their image. A simplistic question elicits a simplistic answer; an inflammatory question elicits an inflammatory answer. There is something redemptive and life giving about asking a better question.” Tippet said science demonstrates that humans don’t do their best thinking when afraid, but rather that is when they do their worst.   “Fear shuts down imaginations rather than opening them up, and depending how vulnerable we are to fear it sends us sheltering back with our tribe, behind our barricades, and makes creative open hearted encounter with the other almost impossible,” she said.    Tippet said humans are complicated creatures and change takes time. She said she is encouraged by the possibility of this societal conversation working when people are realistic and start small.   “My encouragement is to honor the difficulty of what we face, the complexity of what it means to be human,” Tippet said. “To be realistic about how difficult this has been up until now. To start small, to realize for example the critical importance of the creation of safe places before anything can happen, to realize we can immediately take part in this work,” she said.  The annual Christian Culture lecture is sponsored by the Humanistic Studies Department and honors the late Saint Mary’s professor Bruno Schlesinger.last_img read more

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Professor researches potential allergy treatment

first_imgBasar Bilgicer, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative, said groundbreaking scientific advances have taken a step towards preventative treatment possible for millions of Americans who suffer from life-threatening allergies. He said he and his team have made progress towards the first-ever inhibitory therapy for Type I Hypersensitive allergic reactions.  “These type of allergies are potentially lethal,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are no available medications that can prevent the occurrence of an allergic response to … Type I allergies.”  Type I hypersensitive responses occur by the components of the immune system designed to fight harmful parasites when mast cells and basophils, both of which are types of white blood cells, respond to harmless allergens with symptoms that can be as devastating as potentially lethal anaphylactic shock, Bilgicer said.  The only treatments currently available for severe allergies, like an EpiPen, attempt to manage symptoms until a victim can be taken to the hospital, Bilgicer said.  Bilgicer, also part of the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases and the Harper Cancer Center, said his team of Notre Dame researchers are working on the  design and synthesis of Heterobivalent Inhibitors (HBI), which bind more effectively to mast cells and basophils than allergens like shellfish and peanuts. “Our approach is to stop it before it takes place,” Bilgicer said. “Our molecules are designed so that they will compete with the allergen molecule in binding to the receptor in mast cells and basophils. Our molecule binds more effectively, blocking binding of allergens and keeping allergic reactions from happening in the first place.” He said HBI molecules have worked successfully in cellular and animal tests in mice, and although all the ideas were developed at Notre Dame, his group has been in collaboration with Dr. Mark Kaplan’s at Indiana University (IU).  “We did all the design and synthesis here,” Bilgicer said. “The animal studies were verified at IU Med School in Dr. Kaplan’s lab.”  This allergy research has been in development since Bilgicer joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2008, and he said Dr. Michael Handlogten, a recently graduated PhD student, worked as the leading scientist on the project since its initiation. Bilgicer said the most updated version of these advances, included the findings from the mice studies, were published in the Nature Chemical Biology Journal.  Bilgicer said Notre Dame partly funded his research, but the project also received support from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergic and Infections Diseases.  Society increasingly needs this groundbreaking inhibitory treatment, as Type I allergies become more prevalent, Bilgicer said.  “At present, there is a strong prevalence of peanut allergies, unfortunately,” he said. “The number of cases is increasing.”. People could eventually use Bilgicer’s HPI research with severe allergies in multiple ways, he said. First, it could work to replace an EpiPen if symptoms of a reaction begin to occur. It could also be used if an exposure to a deadly allergen is likely, like when sending a child to school, he said. “If you are allergic to peanuts and you know you are getting on a flight, you could take an HPI,” he said. “The dust from the guy next to you opening a bag of peanuts can cause deadly reactions, which has happened before.” He said another important usage could be in Immunotherapy, which involves slow exposure to an allergen so that they body gradually learns that the allergen is not actually harmful, eventually leading to tolerance. Currently, he said most Type I allergy sufferers cannot safely be exposed to any amount of their allergen. “We could give the allergen in presence of HPI to control the effects of the allergen and reduce the symptoms for a patient,” he said. “Therefore, HBI can potentially be used in conjunction with immunotherapy to treat Type I hypersensitivity.” Bilgicer said he plans to develop a specific HPI for each type of allergen that causes Type I allergic reactions.  “The next step is to take this away from model system and into a system where it would be more relevant to natural allergens,” he said. “The HBI needs to be redesigned for every new allergen. To inhibit, say, peanuts we have to make a new HBI, and that is the next step in our research.” Contact Abi Hoverman at ahoverma@nd.edulast_img read more

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OIT warns students, faculty of phishing scams

first_imgSara Shoemake Phishing emails – “fraudulent emails and copy-cat websites [that] trick you into revealing valuable personal information,” according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – continue to target Notre Dame students and faculty.Kolin Hodgson, senior information security analyst for Notre Dame’s Office of Information Technologies (OIT), said the use of phishing scams is increasing not just at Notre Dame but worldwide.“This year, there are about 50,000 new campaigns a month worldwide,” he said. “Here on campus students were specifically targeted in Sept. 2014 [when] almost 3,000 students got a phishing email within 48 hours.”First, Hodgson said the phishers motivate their targets to provide them with their email and password.“Phishers use threats like ‘your credit card will be cancelled’ or ‘your email will be shut down’ to motivate,” he said. “Once they have motivated you, the first goal is complete.”The primary goal of phishing scams, however, is money, Hodgson said.“They will try to use [the username and password] on your credit card company, bank, Facebook, eBay, Amazon, Twitter, Snapchat, Google … everywhere you have an account,” Hodgson said.This is why college students and large universities in particular have been increasingly targeted by these phishing campaigns, Hodgson said.“College students have money, but universities have a couple other things that are useful to the phishers,” he said.Among these are the advanced computer operating systems, exclusive research data and fast internet connection that allows phishers to send out more phishing emails very quickly, Hodgson said.At Notre Dame, students and faculty provide their log-in information to phishing scams every month, which Hodgson said often leave them unable to access any Notre Dame resources online.The SEC says one of the best ways to avoid falling into a phishing scam is to verify the validity of the email.According to the SEC website, “If you have reason to believe that a financial institution actually does need personal information from you, pick up the phone and call the company yourself.”Hodgson said students at Notre Dame should never provide their ND log-in information in response to an email, nor should they ever click on a link provided in a potentially scamming email.To identify phishing emails, the SEC website recommends looking for three common trends: real company names and logos, URLs that appear to be legitimate but direct to incorrect locations and messages of urgency.Hodgson said there are several steps available for Notre Dame students who are “phished.”“If you gave up your username and password, change your passwords immediately … report it … and run a thorough virus scan,” he said.Although computers and email companies continually improve their detection of phishing emails, Hodgson said they cannot stop them all.“The new frontier of information security is the individual making choices about what to open and what to respond to,” he said.Tags: Kolin Hodgson, phishing emails, SEC, viruslast_img read more

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McWell introduces new services to promote wellness on campus

first_imgIn its second year, the McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, also known as McWell, is looking to expand the services it offers in order to encourage more students to utilize its resources.Michael Yu | The Observer Kelly Hogan Stewart, director of McWell, said the mission of the Center — located on the second floor of St. Liam’s Hall — was to strive for comprehensive wellness for all those on campus. “Our mission is to cultivate a healthy campus environment where students thrive through the integration of mind, body and spirit,” she said in an email. The Center pursues its goal by offering programs that focus on increasing well-being in all aspects of student life, Stewart said.“By strategically partnering with units across campus, we create well-being programming and resources that are easy for our students to access,” she said. These programs include leadership training workshops, the McWell Sleep Program, Koru Mindfulness Training and the Annual Wellness Expo. By offering many different options for students to better influence their own well-being, they “strive to make the healthier choice the easier choice for Notre Dame students,” Stewart said. In addition to the many programs offered for the greater health of the University, McWell itself has also undergone significant changes in recent months in order to better serve its function as a place of relaxation and revitalization for students. McWell now houses a student break room, living room — complete with a mini fireplace — and the fort, a small room ideal for reading or meditating. Every room is available for reservation, Stewart said. After studying or lounging in the living room, students can take advantage of the resource hub, where coffee, tea, trail mix and even strawberries are all offered free of charge. The essential oil station provides a wide variety of calming and beneficial topical and air sprays. Stewart said input from student government and Notre Dame faculty experts in the field of environmental psychology was crucial to the planning of the renovations to the Center. She said that the “space was updated to reflect the expanded mission.”“We have become a holistic well-being department, driven by students for students,” she said. Concern for the environment was also a large factor in the creation of the new space. Dana Bakirtjy, sustainability communications project manager for the Office of Sustainability, worked closely with the staff of McWell to ensure that the upgrades to the center were as environmentally friendly as possible.Bakirtjy said the “greener” solutions included reusable containers and bulk dispensers in the resource room, as well as a gooseneck spigot for the water fountain and the introduction of LED lights.“They’re a fairly young office,” Bakirtjy said. “They were brought in to increase wellness through the student body.”“They’re really working on the overall concept of wellness,” Bakirtjy said. “They’re always looking for new opportunities [to increase the sustainability practices of McWell].” Tags: health, McDonald Center for Student Well-Being, McWell, sustainabilitylast_img read more

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Holy Cross celebrates class of 2019 with Senior Week, Commencement Weekend

first_imgCommemorating the class of 2019 as well as all those who helped shape their college careers, Holy Cross will hold its 52nd annual commencement ceremony Saturday in McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center.Ashley Adamczyk, a communications major and theology minor, will be delivering the ceremony’s valedictory address.“It’s just really humbling, and I’m really excited to be able to address my class that I’ve gone through these four years of school with and wrap it up on a good, happy note,” Adamczyk said.Adamczyk said her address will focus on four words: “You can do anything.”“This was a simple message that my mom told me on the first day before beginning college,” she said. “I know it’s kind of a cliche statement that you could see on the bottom of a motivational poster or something, but if you just say these words to yourself, it can really change your mindset and put you in the mood or give you the confidence to actually face a challenge head-on.”Adamczyk said she hopes her address helps graduates of the class of 2019 to remember those who supported them throughout their time at Holy Cross.“In my example, it’s my mom telling me these words, but in another student’s case there might have been a professor that really impacted their life and really helped them to just try to achieve more and to keep learning or keep trying,” she said.She said she is especially thankful for Holy Cross’ liberal arts education because it helped her develop a passion for learning across disciplines.“Even if it’s something you don’t expect to ever use again in your life, there’s something you can learn from every class that you’ve taken and just use it to go forward,” Adamczyk said.Her time at Holy Cross was also formative for her Catholic faith, she added.“Being able to focus on my relationship with God was really helpful for me because it gave me the strength or the focus to put into my academics, but also focusing on how I am in other aspects of my life, and so I was gaining an education, but I was also growing in my heart and spirit,” she said.Senior Karen Eckrich will be delivering the ceremony’s invocation prayer. The prayer, which Eckrich wrote herself, will commemorate her graduating class’ four years at Holy Cross as well as extend thanks to the College’s faculty and staff, Eckrich said.“My theme is just going to be ‘overwhelming gratitude’ and just thanking God for all of the different people that make up the Holy Cross community,” she said. Similar to Adamczyk’s address, Eckrich said the prayer aims to help seniors call to mind all those who have made an impact on their undergraduate journeys.“I hope that … people think of all of the different people who have helped them get through college,” she said.In the days leading up to the ceremony, the class of 2019 celebrated Senior Week, which commenced May 11 with an outing to an Escape Room at the Studebaker Mansion in South Bend. On Sunday, Holy Cross seniors joined Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s seniors in Chicago for a Cubs game at Wrigley Stadium. Seniors traveled to the Indiana Dunes National Park on Monday, and Tuesday to Bair Lake Camp in Michigan for zip-lining and a ropes course. The class had lunch at Round Barn Winery, Distillery and Brewery in Michigan on Wednesday. Senior Week festivities concluded Thursday with Holy Cross’ annual bonfire and luau at O’Connor Commons.Jodie Badman, associate director of development for cultivation and special events, said graduating seniors received special notes from friends and family during Senior Week in a Holy Cross tradition called “Letters from Loved Ones.” “I send out to the families a request for them to send in letters and cards from all their family members, coaches, teachers neighbors, whomever — they send in letters to their students and then the students receive those,” Badman said. Holy Cross’ 2019 Commencement Weekend begins Friday with the annual Baccalaureate Mass at Saint Joseph Chapel at 4:30 p.m., followed by a graduation social and dinner in a tent on the O’Connor Commons at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, a graduation brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the O’Connor Commons tent. The commencement ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center.Tags: Class of 2019, Commencement 2019, Holy Cross, Senior Weeklast_img read more

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Labor Department Sends Out 90K Emails To Uncertified Unemployment Beneficiaries

first_imgImage by labor.ny.gov.ALBANY — The New York Department of Labor wants to ensure every New Yorker who filed for unemployment benefits is keeping up with their weekly certifications.This means if you do not certify that you are still unemployed each week you will not get paid your unemployment benefits.The Department of Labor said over the weekend that 90,000 people who were eligible for unemployment payments did not certify, and therefore, did not get paid.If you’re not sure if you are certified, check for an e-mail or a letter from the Department of Labor. 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

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Saturday Event To Feature Antique Tractors, Plows

first_imgSubmitted image.STOCKTON – An annual event that aims to show off the area’s antique tractors and plows is scheduled take place this weekend.The Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Association says a plow demonstration will take place Saturday around 9 a.m. at the intersection of Route 380 and Pierce Road in Stockton.Antique tractors and plows will be demonstrating plowing in the surrounding fields. Last year’s event featured four antique tractors and a variety of plows.Members of the group are invited to participate in plowing and the community is invited to watch. “Spectators may stay in their vehicles and pull off the side of the road,” said the association in a statement. “If spectators exit their vehicles, we are asking them to follow social distancing guidelines.”The group says they hope to have a “soil-turning good time.” 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

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NY Announces New Rent Relief Program

first_imgDennis Capati / MGNALBANY — New York State has announced a new program to help those struggling to pay rent.The money for the COVID Rent Relief Program is coming from the coronavirus relief fund, which is part of the CARES Act.Under the new program, eligible households will benefit from a one-time rental subsidy paid directly to landlords and housing providers. Tenants are not required to repay this assistance.In order to qualify for rental assistance, you must: Be renting in New York State as your primary residence;Must have an income that is 80 percent below the area median income level;Must be paying more than 30 percent of income in rent; andLost income during any time from April 1 to July 31, 2020The application period begins on Thursday and will be open for two weeks. 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

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Business Development Specialist To Explain Revamped PPP Funding

first_imgMGN ImageJAMESTOWN – A Jamestown area business development specialist will spend time next week helping local businesses understand the expanded Paycheck Protection Program.The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual Zoom meeting with Dr. Courtney Curatolo, the Director of the Small Business Development Center at SUNY JCC, on Tuesday.In December lawmakers passed another round of PPP funding to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.The program, which reopened for community financial institutions (CFIs) earlier this week, will open for lenders with $1 billion or less in assets on Friday and for all lenders next week. Known as the Economic Aid Act, the program rebooted PPP with $284.5 billion in fresh funding, changed the existing rules regarding increases to PPP loans made to first-time borrowers.Under previous rules, a PPP loan could not be increased unless the loan was made to a partnership or seasonal employer and the lender approved the increase before submitting the initial SBA Form 1502 report for the loan.Section 312 of the Economic Aid Act scraps the Form 1502 restriction and provides for additional narrow circumstances under which increased PPP loans would be allowed.Dr. Curatolo will explain how businesses can get additional funding through the program and the from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant.The program, which is part of the Chamber’s Tuesday Talks series, starts at 8:30 a.m. with participants registering online first at chautauquachamber.org 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

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