Tonk hired as director of energy department

first_imgFormer director of Strategic Planning for the University Heather Tonk will assume the role of director of Sustainability in order to continue Notre Dame’s goal for a more energy conscious campus.“I’m really excited about the opportunity and that the University feels so strongly about this initiative,” Tonk said. “Not all universities are willing to invest this kind of money and resources to focus on this, and we are in a unique position to be a leader in this field and in the Midwest.”After graduating from Notre Dame in 1998 with a degree in chemical engineering, Tonk worked in engineering and management before her desire to participate in non-profit work brought her back to the University.Tonk will transition from her current position as the director of Strategic Planning into the Office of Sustainability to replace interim director Robert Zerr beginning April 1. “Heather is really passionate about sustainability,” Office of Sustainability Education and Outreach coordinator Rachel Novick said. “She has proven through her other positions at the University that she is very effective at consensus building and getting things done on the ground.”The Office of Sustainability is a relatively new office for the University, and part of her position as its director will involve determining exactly what the department will mean for Notre Dame, Tonk said. “There is tremendous interest in sustainable initiatives across the campus from faculty and staff as well as from students and alumni,” Novick said. “Our biggest challenge is harnessing that enthusiasm from such a large and diverse constituency.”Student involvement is a major contributor to the work of the Office of Sustainability.“We are continuing to refine how we communicate with students, how we involve them and how we really do our best to make sustainability as relevant and as much a part of the fabric of Notre Dame life as possible,” Novick said.The office employs student interns and integrates student environmental clubs in many of its projects, Tonk said.“One of the things I am personally more excited about is that the Office works strongly with the students,” Tonk said. “I am really looking forward to hearing new ideas and what they want for the University that they love.”Novick also cited the particular need to work closely with the Department of Utilities to improve the buildings on campus and construct the University’s energy plan. Director of Utilities Paul Kempf called the relationship between his department and the Office of Sustainability a “good partnership,” and he said Tonk is “a great hire for that position.” “I see them as taking a leadership role for all things sustainable for the University,” Kempf said. “And energy is a major part of that. We appreciate that they can take that leadership role and let our group take a technical role.”Novick said some other goals for the Office are enhancing its relationship with the sustainability commissioners in residence halls and continuing building a relationship with student government.last_img read more

Heritage Week showcases Riedinger House

first_imgThe mystery of Riedinger House has been dispelled. Heritage Week 2014 featured annual tours of the ‘Model House,’ an inconspicuous English cottage located directly west of Moreau Center for the Arts and north of Holy Cross Hall, on Monday.The brick and stone building, which stands as a subtle statement of Saint Mary’s rich history, was built in 1939. The 75 year-old house was commissioned by the first legacy family of Saint Mary’s College, said Kara O’Leary, director of Alumnae Relations.“Adaline Crowley Riedinger, class of 1864, was the first alumna to send her daughter, Mary Adalaide Riedinger [class of 1889] to Saint Mary’s to graduate,” O’Leary said. “1939 would have been Adaline’s diamond jubilee and golden anniversary of her daughter.”The family contributed $5,000, a significant portion of the final cost of production which would be the equivalent of $21,272 in the modern era, O’Leary said.“When it became known that the house would cost more than was planned, it was decided to save money by building the house to 7/8 scale,” O’Leary said.This downsize is extremely apparent in the low ceiling of the first-floor powder room, said John Kovach, Saint Mary’s archivist. He said one of the rooms even requires visitors to turn sideways to fit into the doorway.“From the outside, the Riedinger House appears to be a full-size house, it’s only when you walk through the doorway that you see it’s somewhat smaller,” Kovach said.Kovach said the building was originally designed and used as a laboratory for home economics majors, a bachelor degree at the time.”You’d have your folks who lived there and basically run a household and you would have to work,” Kovach said. “It was quite domestic.”The major, which offered classes in thrift and the conservation of food, was originally designed during the government’s push for domestic aid during World War II, Kovach said.“The residents were expected to maintain the household under a certain budget,” O’Leary said.The home economics degree was phased out in the 1960s, but the Riedinger House has retained its homey allure, Kovach said“It’s just very picturesque. It’s very period. You feel very comfortable in there,” Kovach said. “I know when it’s open for tours in the spring time all the women who have worked here in the archives who have gone on that tour want to come back there to live.“The decorating was supervised by Sister Madeleva herself.”The house is currently used for official guests of the college, which includes members of advisory boards, the Board of Trustees, the Alumnae associate board of directors and the Madeleva Society Steering Committee. Commencement speakers, guest lecturers and recipients of honorary degrees are also permitted to stay in Riedinger House.“When you get into the little yard there it’s kind of like you’re away from everything,” Kovach said. “It would be a fun place to live.”Tags: Heritage Week, Riedinger House, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

Students to compete in Chinese speech contest this weekend

first_imgStudents of the Chinese program will demonstrate their aptitude in the language by competing in the eighth annual Chinese Speech Contest in Hesburgh Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday.Freshman Ailsa Xing and junior Zachary Sturm will serve as emcees for this contest. Associate professor Yongping Zhu, who is a chair in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, will provide the introductory remarks to start off the contest.Approximately 20 students who were recommended by their language instructors will have the chance to present on a variety of topics. These topics range from the student’s experiences in learning Chinese and the benefits of learning Chinese to topics including arts and addressing race.The contestants will be competing within their level of language proficiency, with the exception of fourth- and fifth-year Chinese students, who will compete with students from both levels.Associate professional specialist Chengxu Yin spearheaded the event along with various other instructors.“Our primary goal in organizing this event is to enhance the study of Chinese at Notre Dame and to foster a sense of community among our language students,” Yin said.She said the large number of students in the Chinese language classes inhibits interaction between students of different levels of instruction.“The speech contest provides an excellent opportunity for students to get to know each other better,” Yin said, “[It also] allows students at lower levels to be inspired by the achievements of those at higher levels.”In attendance will not only be Chinese language students and the language instructors, but also faculty in the Chinese language program who are not involved in facilitating language acquisition.“The contest will also provide an opportunity for [all of] our faculty to assess the learning outcome of our students, especially in the area of pronunciation and intonation,” Yin said.Yin said students worked with their instructors to flesh out their speeches and rehearsed them their own time. She emphasized many hours of work went into preparations for the contest.Specific speech titles include “Evolution Of Chinese Music,” “China Allowed Me To Accept My Skin Color” and “Under the Dome,” among others.Along with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Office for Undergraduate Studies of the College of Arts and Letters, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures will also be sponsoring this annual event.The winners of each category will have the chance to compete in the U.S. Midwest “Chinese Bridge” Speech Contest, which will be hosted by Notre Dame on April 18. The winners will compete against contestants from more than 10 different Midwestern universities and colleges.Tags: Speech contestlast_img read more

Former Saint Mary’s president dies at 81

first_imgDr. William Hickey, who served as the ninth president of Saint Mary’s from 1986-1997, died Tuesday at age 81 in Sanibel, Florida, according to an email College President Jan Cervelli sent to the College community Friday.A biology professor and nationally acclaimed insect geneticist, Dr. Hickey spent almost 40 years at Saint Mary’s — during which he served as academic vice president and dean of faculty before advancing to the role of president. Dr. Hickey left his home in Pennsylvania to receive a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Notre Dame, according to the email.Cervelli said in the email that Dr. Hickey’s contributions have made lasting impressions on the College.“He bolstered faculty research and professional development grant program funds,” she said. “Dr. Hickey was a tireless promotor of the College, overseeing an increase in the endowment from $20 million to $75 million during his tenure. He launched the Center for Academic Innovation [and] the merit scholarship program and directed a reorganization of the College’s governance structure.”Dr. Hickey is survived by his wife Barbara and his children William Jr., Timothy, Sandra — a 1989 alumna of the College — and Kristina. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan. Cervelli said the Saint Mary’s community must also remember his legacy.“We owe Dr. Hickey a great debt for upholding the mission and furthering the values of Saint Mary’s,” Cervelli said in the email. “I, along with the rest of the Saint Mary’s community, mourn his passing and celebrate his life.”Saint Mary’s invites those who knew Dr. Hickey to visit to share memories and thoughts. A memorial service for Dr. Hickey will be held at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto in the spring.Tags: Center for Academic Innovation, memorial, Saint Mary’s president, william hickeylast_img read more

Film, Television and Theatre professor publishes play exploring diversity, religion

first_imgYears in the making, Dr. Anne Garcia-Romero’s play, “Paloma,” was recently published by Broadway Play Publishing Inc. “Paloma” follows three characters, Ibrahim, Paloma and Jared, all of differing religious backgrounds, and explores the idea of coexisting with diverse religions and cultures. Garcia-Romero, an associate professor of Film, Television and Theater, specializes in playwriting and Latina theater. Largely affected by her bicultural upbringing, she considers cross-cultural communication in a number of her works.“My whole life has been negotiating diverse cultural worlds, and my plays often explore these kinds of intersections between Latinx worlds and Anglo worlds, questioning how we find ways to connect and how we find find ways to navigate these divides,” she said. “I think that the American theater needs to reflect the diversity of our society in language and in culture, and so my plays are my effort to contribute to that.”While in graduate school studying the Don Juan plays throughout history Garcia-Romero came across “Ring of the Dove,” an ancient Muslim text from Spain that examines the nuances of love. Garcia-Romero said the book and the idea of coexistence together guided her in writing the play, and every scene in the play is named after a chapter in the book. Ibrahim and Paloma also study this text in the play, and eventually fall in love.“After I found the book I just was so taken by this idea that in my personal family history and Spain there was this time where there was this coexistence,” she said.After writing the first draft of “Paloma” in 2005, it has since been produced three times across the nation—in New Mexico, California and New York.“In each experience I was involved in the production. I was revising it and trying out new things, adding new scenes and getting feedback from my directors and actors,” Garcia-Romero said. “After the third production in Ithaca, New York, the play had been through years of processing, and at that point my publisher said she would love to publish the play to make it more accessible to the theater-going community at large.”Integrating a spectrum of religious and cultural ideas in “Paloma,” Garcia-Romero worked with a number of scholars and artists who share the same interest in the idea of coexistence. “As a playwright it is really important for me to consider how I honor the traditions I am trying to write about that aren’t my particular experience,” Garcia-Romero said.She said Notre Dame has contributed largely to the success of her work by providing a degree of access and research necessary to fully represent the religions and cultures detailed in the play.“I am really grateful to Notre Dame’s support through this process. The Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, of which I am a fellow, both supported the development of my play,” Garcia-Romero said. “I had a chance to bring my cast to campus about a year and a half ago, and it was really an extraordinary experience to share with Notre Dame, the journey of this play with these actors that have been working on it for two years.”Although “Paloma” was conceived years ago, it addresses elements of the human condition that will resonate with audiences today and for years to come, she said.“I am humbled by the fact that it continues to be very relevant, that these issues around coexistence and Islamophobia persists. My play is an attempt to look at these issues and complicate received ideas of what is means to coexist,” Garcia-Romero said.Tags: FTT, Paloma, Play, Theaterlast_img read more

SMC SGA plans 2018 first year orientation

first_imgSaint Mary’s student body president and vice president — seniors Madeleine Corcoran and Kathy Ogden — have been tasked with planning an informational yet entertaining first year orientation. Corcoran and Ogden said they hope this orientation is even better than those in previous years.This year’s first year orientation has “some new components and changes,” Corcoran said in an email.“One of the biggest additions is adding early orientations for multiple groups of students such as band, sports and ROTC.”Corcoran said many of the events were inspired by her first year experience at Saint Mary’s. “My first year orientation experience was great,” she said. “They did a nice job making us [see new faces] and meet a lot of my classmates, and some of my friends in my peer mentor group became my future best friends and roommates. There were a lot of meetings, though, and we have been working to change that.”Ogden said her first year orientation was too “chaotic.” Ogden kept this experience in mind when planning orientation, allowing more time for first years to decorate their rooms and spend time with their parents. “I remember my first year orientation experience being so surreal, so much was moving so fast and there was so much going on,” she said in an email. “It seemed like I met over 100 girls in one day and that there would be no way to remember anyone’s name. I remember being so busy I wished I was given more time to just slow down and set up my dorm room with my parents before they had left. “This year’s freshman orientation will be a little less chaotic. We have lots of events scheduled for the freshman, but we tried to recognize that many girls will want to set up their rooms with their parents before they leave. The students who are there without their parents will be able to attend optional events hosted by SGA (Student Government Association), RHA (Residence Hall Association), SDB (Student Diversity Board) and many other student run events.”These events will be supplemented by other optional events like technology workshops, Ogden said. “We tried to rearrange the schedule where students will be busy but not too busy,” she said. “There are lots of informational events being hosted around campus and one that we are very excited about is ‘Tech Tips.’ As students, we found it would be beneficial to have a technology informational session for students where they are informed about the many websites (Blackboard, The Portal, Prism, TouchNet, ResLife) that SMC uses before their first day of classes.”SGA is planning several other first year events, some occurring as soon as the end of August, Corcoran said. The group will host the First Year Student Leader Reception on Thursday and the Involvement Fair on Aug. 29.Ogden said a panel discussion will be held early in the year. This panel will invite all students to ask SGA leaders questions and propose solutions as to how student government can help better service the campus community. “During this panel, we hope to have open conversations with students about what they see the student leaders are doing well and [what the student leaders] need to work on,” she said. “We also welcome any suggestions they might have midway through the first semester. We hope that by holding this panel, students will be able to come to us before concerns escalate. In addition to this, we also hope to have many events collaborating with Notre Dame, Holy Cross and the uniting the clubs around SMC.”First years should attend orientation because it is a quintessential part of the first year experience and a time, Corcoran said, many students will look back on fondly as they grow older. “I think the greatest benefit of attending orientation events is meeting new people,” she said. “These are your classmates, roommates and friends for the next four years. More importantly, these are the people who will become your family at your new home. Enjoy these moments, even if they are awkward, sad or take you outside your comfort zone. Some day you are going to be laughing about orientation and wishing you could do it all over again.”Tags: First Year, First Year Orientation, Saint Mary’s SGAlast_img read more

Student government stays connected with University community

first_imgDespite the distance, Notre Dame’s student government continues to operate remotely and serve the student body with online programming and events.Although events like Back the Bend — a day of service which allows students to give back to the South Bend community —were canceled due to the transition online, student body president Rachel Ingal and vice president Sarah Galbenski — both juniors — have found ways to continue to connect to the Notre Dame community.Ingal said the governing team has started hosting virtual office hours as one way to stay connected.“We just want to be a safe space if anybody wants to talk, just needs a friend, has an idea of how they could support the community or just has any questions or concerns about how we’re transitioning forward and moving into an uncertain landscape,” Ingal said.According to an email sent to the Notre Dame community Tuesday, office hours will be held Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon EST and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. EST. Ingal and Galbenski hope to further develop this initiative.“We’re in communication with our communications director about getting a questions/comments/suggestions box on the student government website to make it very easy for students to come to us with any ways they think that the University could improve,” Galbenski said.Student government also has created its #StayHomeND initiative to connect with students.“We wanted to give people something productive and engaging to be doing, just [to] offer some options,” Ingal said. ”So we kicked it off with our workout classes this weekend.”The workout classes included a yoga session hosted by junior Erica Steigauf and a dance cardio class hosted by sophomore Sarah Duarte. Those who missed the workout classes can watch the sessions on student government’s YouTube channel. A cooking class will be also be shared on the channel.“We’ve had an outpouring of support coming into our inboxes from students who are just eager to help and provide some sort of generosity at this time,” Ingal said. “So we’ve been working with those students to channel how we can best support the community [and] what gaps need to be filled the most.”To maintain its administrative work, student government continues to meet over Zoom, Galbenski said.“I have been able to have a virtual coffee chat with almost every senator, to learn about their interests and the upcoming term, what policy areas they’re excited about working on,” Galbenski said.With two meetings left this semester, senate aims to pass a budget for the next school year and address the Notre Dame student body government constitution.“There are a lot of things we need to get done before May 1, such as the approval of the Student Union budget, so that will be something major that will be occurring in the senate,” Galbenski said.Ingal and Galbenski said it is the student body that will continue to hold the Notre Dame community together and that student government serves in order to better achieve that goal.“We do have a platform,” Ingal said. “So [we] are able to use our platform to take the amazing work that people are doing and amplify that and coordinate it so that it can be best distributed to the entire student body.”Tags: #stayhomeND, Rachel Ingal, Sarah Galbenski, Student Body President, student body vice president, Student governmentlast_img read more

Big Brother, The Full Monty & More in This Month’s London Datebook

first_img FEBRUARY 17-23 Honey Pot: A Taste of Honey introduced a young Amanda Plummer to New York City more than 30 years ago. Now, the National Theatre revives Shelagh Delaney’s contemporary classic, with Kate O’Flynn inheriting Plummer’s role as feisty teenager Jo and Lesley Sharp as her errant mother Helen; Bijan Sheibani directs. FEBRUARY 24 – MARCH 2 Let It Go: The 1997 smash hit British film The Full Monty, about six Sheffield steelworkers who turn to stripping, is back—this time not as a Broadway musical set in the U.S., but as a play by original screenplay writer Simon Beaufoy. Sidney Cole and Kenny Doughty lead director Daniel Evans’ cast into the Noel Coward Theatre, opening February 25 for a 16-week run. ALSO: Francis Beaumont’s rarely seen period caper The Knight of the Burning Pestle opens February 26 at the capital’s newest venue, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe—expect madcap comedy by candlelight. Writer-director Peter Gill opens his new play Versailles at the Donmar February 27: Francesca Annis, Gwilym Lee, and fast-rising young actor Tom Hughes lead the cast of a play said to chime with the 100-year anniversary of the start of World War I. ALSO: Previews start February 22 at the St. James Theatre for the U.K. premiere of Urinetown, directed by Jamie Lloyd and starring Jenna Russell (Merrily We Roll Along) and Richard Fleeshman (Ghost). Last chance to catch the sellout run of Gina Gionfriddo’s feminism-themed comedy Rapture, Blister, Burn, which ends February 22 at the Hampstead Theatre; Emma Fielding and Emilia Fox play the onetime friends who swap lives—for a while, anyway. ALSO: Irish actress Lisa Dwan’s Beckett triptych, Not I, Footfalls, and Rockaby, which opened the Court’s 2014 season last month, transfers to the Duchess Theatre for two weeks beginning February 3. First full week of performances for Stroke of Luck at north London’s Park Theatre, marking the playwriting debut of former Broadway press agent, Larry Belling; Kate Golledge directs and stage and TV veteran Tim Pigott-Smith (Benefactors, The Iceman Cometh) leads the cast. FEBRUARY 10-16 Room 101: Who can forget the Ministry of Love’s most feared room in 1984, the classic novel by George Orwell? A new stage version adapted and co-created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan opens February 13 at the Almeida Theatre, led by Mark Arends and Hara Yannas.center_img FEBRUARY 3-9 O Mistress Mine: Abi Morgan, who scripted Meryl Streep’s way to a third Oscar for The Iron Lady, returns to the theater with the true-life story of an American couple who formed a contract to sustain their adulterous relationship for 30 years. Danny Webb and Saskia Reeves play the mysteriously titled He and She. Vicky Featherstone directs at her home base, the Royal Court, where the show opens February 5. February brings cold weather to London, but there’s plenty brewing theatrically to stir the emotions and warm the heart. This month’s offerings range from the start of previews for a Tony-winning musical satire to a classic English novel shifted to the stage. Plus, The Full Monty—this time not as a musical, but as a play—read on! View Comments ALSO: Tony winner Debbie Shapiro Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ Broadway) comes to the Pheasantry nightspot in Chelsea for a week of cabaret February 11 through 16. Last chance to catch Jude Law leading a testosterone-charged “band of brothers” into battle in Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre, marking the end of the director Michael Grandage’s 15-month residency there on February 15. A former screen Henry V, Tom Hiddleston, wraps up his extended Donmar run as Coriolanus on February 13.last_img read more

Mackie’s Back in Town! The Threepenny Opera Begins Performances Off-B’way

first_img The production will play a limited engagement through May 4. The Atlantic Theater Company’s revival of The Threepenny Opera, starring Emmy winner Michael Park, Tony nominee Laura Osnes, Sally Murphy and Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham begins performances off-Broadway March 12. Opening night is set for April 7 at the Linda Gross Theater. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on May 11, 2014 The Threepenny Operacenter_img The cast also includes Lilli Cooper, Rick Holmes, Mary Beth Peil, John Kelly, Sophie Bortolussi, Jon David Casey, Timothy Doyle, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Christina Spina and John Watkins. Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s most popular collaboration, The Threepenny Opera is based on John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. Adapted by Marc Blitzstein, The show centers on the scoundrel Macheath and his criminal exploits in 19th century London. In the tuner, Macheath, or Mack the Knife as he is known, marries the impressionable and innocent Polly Peachum, much to the displeasure of her father and mother. Throughout his marriage, and a series of arrests, he maintains a strong relationship with his mistress, Pirate Jenny. View Commentslast_img read more

Sneak Peek! Phantom Star Sierra Boggess Goes Jellicle in Daae Days

first_img The Phantom of the Opera Related Shows from $29.00 View Comments Wait, we could have sworn Sierra Boggess was starring in a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical! Looks like the Phantom of the Opera star is getting in touch with her frisky feline side in the upcoming episode of her video blog Daae Days…but you’ll still have to wait a few more hours until the new episode airs July 29! But as a special sneak peek, Boggess posted this divinely Jellicle selfie on Instagram for her fans. Wow, Sierra, this is a great look for you. Have you ever considered ditching the Opera Populaire for the Heaviside Layer? Check out the Phantom star’s new look, then catch the newest episode of Daae Days, right here on! Star Files Sierra Boggesslast_img read more