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Assessing Cities Around the World for Female Entrepreneurs

first_imgEver since the end of the aughts, Dell has been running a project that revolves around supporting female entrepreneurs: the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). Around that time, the question often arose – not least in the wake of the financial crisis – as to how enterprises could return to increased growth. One potential answer: companies led by women.The World Bank and the World Economic Forum drew the conclusion that female entrepreneurs could be decisive in effecting a shift towards increased growth in the global economy. This is because, taken as a total, female entrepreneurs possess economic power roughly equivalent to those of China and India combined. That vast resource should not be left untapped.However, research into this area also indicated that female executives and entrepreneurs often do not actually play the roles that they could in the economy. In most cases, this has nothing to do with the fact that women are often hindered or thwarted in their work. Usually, their inability to reach their full potential is due to ‘static’ framework conditions that have a negative impact. For example, these include disadvantages in access to capital or markets, or poor access to other resources such as technology or ‘the best and brightest’ staff – to say nothing of women’s need to catch up with their male counterparts in terms of informal networking, a phenomenon that I can confirm from personal experience. In the established business networks that men have often built up over many years, an ‘old boys club’ attitude still prevails – which, of course, nobody would ever actually admit out loud.That is why DWEN has, from the very start, operated as an international networking platform for women in leadership positions, forming a network and community of like-minded women that also opens up direct access to valuable resources. At the many and highly popular annual DWEN meetings, which have been held at sites including New Delhi, India, Cape Town, South Africa, Berlin, Germany, and, recently, San Francisco, we lived up to our promise and created a platform for making new contacts, one that women use to share their professional experiences. DWEN is a success story; and since women still aren’t where they could – and should – be in the business world, it will continue to serve as an important stimulus towards making that happen.Addressing factors on a local scale: DWEN’s WE Cities IndexOf course, DWEN has not contented itself with merely building an international networking platform. Another pillar of the work we do – in the broadest sense – is lobbying for female entrepreneurs. We want to instill within decision-makers in the fields of business and politics a sense of how important a role women-led companies can play in the global economy.Our effort towards this end particularly includes the Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, which was informed by numerous experiences gathered through the DWEN campaign.WE Cities takes a different focus – as its name suggests, instead of focusing on countries, it focuses on cities. The WE Cities Index evaluates various cities’ potential for female entrepreneurs. It is a gender-specific index that researches the conditions for companies founded by women in the respective cities. The index also makes it possible to summarize the effects of local politics and measures for promoting women at the workplace.Of course, since studies are always bound to a certain scope, only a limited selection of cities could be taken into account: 50 cities in total were researched and evaluated along the criteria of access to capital, technology, education, and markets, as well as cultural factors. Out of 72 indicators in total, 45 had a gender-specific component.The 50 cities were selected for their general, gender-independent reputations as hubs of innovation, as well as for geographical aspects – in other words, these are cities from all parts of the world.Two German cities were included in the index: Berlin and Munich. Berlin took 21st place in the overall ranking; in the ‘Markets’ category it attained 8th place, and took an impressive third for costs of technology. Meanwhile, Munich only took 31st place in the overall ranking. The Bavarian state capital came away in 13th place in ‘Culture’ and a mere 42nd in access to capital.I want to strongly discourage against conceiving of the selected cities as being in a competition for the best spots, turning the index into a mere comparison of figures, and obsessing over where we stand. It is far, far more important that the (political) powers that be in the selected cities take the data and information from the WE Cities Index as a tool that they can use to critically assess and review their own efforts towards promoting female entrepreneurs. The index is meant to serve as a way of identifying needs for optimization.I also do not wish to address the individual results and the rankings of the 50 cities at this point in time. Instead, I would prefer to point out two things that I found particularly interesting.Firstly, there is a great deal of room to improve. Although New York City came in first in the overall ranking, at 63 out of a potential 100 points, even number one has significant potential for optimization. NYC is still a long way away from being an ideal city for female executives and entrepreneurs. In other words, nothing is set in stone.Secondly, the rankings in the individual categories vary widely – no one city is leading the way in terms of all criteria, and no one city is bringing up the rear on all fronts, either. For example, Lima, the Peruvian capital, is lagging far behind in terms of access to capital, but offers comparatively good opportunities for market access. This means that even lower-ranking cities have areas in which they are doing well.Taken as a whole, WE Cities shows that there remains a great deal of work to be done – women stand to achieve more than is currently the case. The digital transformation represents a vast entrepreneurial challenge, one that calls for drawing upon all available resources. No society can afford to leave valuable resources – such as a qualified female workforce – untapped.last_img read more

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Smart Devices and Services Are Driving Edge Computing. Is Your Organization Ready?

first_imgThe fourth wave of computing is being driven by a combination of forces – organizational demands to increase revenue, profitability, and serve customers better as well as robust use cases that can be solved by the latest technology advances. The first wave of computing started with centralized mainframes, the second wave swung to distributed use of client-server-PCs, and the third wave shifted back some to centralized cloud computing. Now, the fourth wave, which is also called “distributed core” or “fog computing”, distributes computing back to the sources of data and consumption of services.Operational EfficiencyOperational efficiency leads the first phase of the fourth wave deployments. These include Internet of Things (IoT) sensors installed in high value, mission critical products deployed in field. This is a low cost entry point to add sensors to field devices, and cuts across many industry verticals. Early adopters such as manufacturing and facilities benefit economically from monitoring and acting on critical or expensive end-point data generated from manufacturing platforms, IT equipment, electrical grids, oil and gas grids, shipping containers to transportation fleet equipment. Another low-risk, high-return application is the automation of facilities such as HVAC, lighting, and facilities equipment.Predictive MaintenanceExtending monitoring to predictive maintenance is the logical next step. This requires developing machine learning infrastructure and applications in the back end data center to predict upcoming failure conditions in field equipment. Predictive maintenance is an easy upsell of a value added service that creates an extra revenue stream for the provider and improved customer satisfaction. The Dell Technologies Support and Deployment services (SDS) group is applying this through SupportAssist. Over the last several years, the SDS team has collected more than 260 attributes from 50 million hard drives. Using this info, they’ve trained neural network models to make highly accurate predictions of drive failures. Those models are then pushed to the edge to monitor real time attributes of active drives in-service and to generate alerts with associated metadata of any imminent drive failures weeks in advance. This allows customers to take corrective actions like backups or replacing drives dispatched by the services team.SecurityThe next round of IoT deployments is around security. These include analysis of sound, images and video from cameras and surveillance equipment deployed in many private and public spaces. The analysis happens in batch mode retrospectively, or with a significant time lag. Infrastructure with machine learning  intelligence detects unusual or abnormal situations in these physical spaces. Automating this repetitive and mundane process reduces human labor and decreases the risk of overlooking real anomalies. Moreover, humans can be deployed to address these abnormal situations.In the initial phases of these use cases, the compute and storage are deployed at the back-end data center (aka core) or cloud. Scaling out these applications increases round trip data size transfer, and adding a real-time component overloads the end-to-end infrastructure. Real-time security alerts need very low latency decision making. To satisfy that, compute (including storage and communication) pushes closer to the action, driving the need for a layer of computing. This layer is called edge computing.Smart Devices and Smart Services: Two Main Categories of Edge ComputingThere are two broad categories for edge computing – “Internet of Things,” described above, and “Smart Services”.  While IoT primarily consists of interacting with inanimate “things” like field equipment, smart services add a layer of rich interactions to humans as well. Examples of smart services at the edge include smart multi-media service, first responder services during emergencies, multi-player gaming with real-time and richer audio-visual experiences, and immersive experiences like AR/VR.  This new class of “born in the edge and for the edge” services demands faster response time, high data bandwidth, and predictable quality of service. These cannot be well-serviced with long round trips back and forth from consumption point to a centralized data center.  The majority of data created at the edge needs to be computed and acted upon locally.In smart multi-media services, real-time analysis of audio and video can then be extended to object profiles recognition, human sentiment and intent analyses, and more. These can be used to provide improved, personalized services or precautionary actions as the case may be.Retail object recognition can be used for inventory management and faster checkouts. In manufacturing, image analysis of quality of final products at the end of assembly line can improve yield and lower cost at higher speeds with lower human involvement.More viewpoints at The hitchhiker’s guide to Edge Computing – by Moor Insights posted on ForbesMicrosoft BrainwaveDell Technologies and Microsoft have kicked off joint proof of concept for bringing Microsoft Brainwave to the edge. Brainwave improves quality by processing product images in manufacturing use cases. Brainwave executing on PowerEdge servers with custom FPGAs will improve accuracy, speed up the process, with reduce the amount of human intervention to improve both operational efficiency and customer experience. More info is available here: Microsoft-unveils-project-brainwave, view the video, and Open to External TestersImmersive ExperiencesToday, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) add immersive experiences to mostly 2-dimensional internet experiences. They provide distinct competitive advantages by changing the experience for your users, customers or partners. Even today’s content delivery requires content caching at edge cloud locations for latency. However, immersive experiences are computationally more intensive, requiring high data bandwidth and low latency responses matching human reaction time. It is infeasible to drive this from centralized data centers or distantly located clouds.  This will require a combination of powerful edge computing distributed closer to consumers and 5G mobile for practical applications such as consumer shopping, virtual real estate property visits, and remote physical examinations. On the consumer side, these need to be supported with affordable and lightweight headsets. To learn more, refer to Enabling Mobile Augmented and Virtual Reality with 5G Networks.As servers and accelerators can be deployed away from traditional data centers, the technology improvements described here are key drivers for moving compute closer to the edge. Technology that is more power efficient, lower cost, secure and resilient for training and inferencing; fast NVMe storage, storage class memory, software defined paradigms, cheaper sensors and AR/VR headsets. 5G promises theoretical bandwidth of gigabits and will reduce latency to sub-millisecond levels – ideal when data needs to be transferred back to the core.OT and IT DynamicsAre groups inside your organization ready for the fourth wave?  There is strong collaboration required between Operational Technology (OT) groups and IT groups. OT from lines of business (LoB) lead the charge on use cases and business cases.  IT needs to deliver on their strengths of software, infrastructure, security, and analytics to OT groups.  451 Research reports that OT budgets will rise by an average of 49% in 2018, higher than IT’s 35% gains. Despite the fact that IT has the bigger budget. The good news is that both groups rate business value of such projects very similarly.Organizations leading the change work through longer investigation and deployment cycles but will benefit from competitive advantages to better serve their customers and improve revenue streams.The fourth wave will require modernization of IT infrastructures on account of:IT will be deployed in less than ideal data center environments like manufacturing floors, retail environments, closets, switching stations, telecom central offices, and remote and branch offices. Infrastructures in these “extended” environments must operate in +10° to +20°C above data center ambient, in constrained spaces, or using fresh air cooling. Infrastructures are already available today to operate in these near to data center like environments (“near edge”) including from Dell EMC.To further reduce decision latency and data transfer sizes, infrastructures will be rolled out one level further to harsher environments like parking lots, rooftops, rugged terrains like hills, fields, deserts, barges, glaciers, or trucks. These are hot, dusty, and experience severe humidity, temperature, and power variations. These infrastructures must be resilient to operate in sustained 50°C to 70°C temperatures in polluted and humid environments. Self-contained data centers with optional power and cooling called micro data centers (MDC) are emerging to tackle such environments. Additionally, server, storage, and network switches will be hardened beyond what is possible today.Software-defined hyperconverged architectures will be more prevalent in edge deployments compared to traditional 3-tier architectures deployed by core IT. These converged devices will integrate server, storage, and networking and will be easier to deploy and manage with minimal IT resources.The remote management of these edge infrastructures and the services that run on them will add a layer of complexity beyond traditional data center management. Additionally, some level of autonomous management will be required in situations of dropped connections to core operations.More devices outside the cozy confines of the data center, significantly increases the risk of hacking and security interference. There will be more machine-to-machine interactions with 3rd party devices of an uncertain pedigree. These will demand both physical and virtual security with stronger firewalls so any intrusions can be as contained as possible. Refer to “6 ways IoT is Vulnerable”. The solution is to invest in vendors to who offer 7 to 10 years of support and vendors offering more end to end systems.Despite the improvements in mobile networks, network services will not be uniformly available in many of near-edge situations. Therefore, network services acceleration will be required using innovations like Smart NICs.This data-centric approach naturally leads to the application of machine learning models with global training at the core, fast inferencing for decision making and localized learning at the edge. This will require infrastructures to support accelerators of different types, such as GPUs or IPUs at the core and FPGAs at the edge.Lastly, expect more diversity of agents or parties at the edge, autonomously setting up and executing on multi-party transactions without being constrained by centralized single owner databases, leading to need for blockchain based databases.Read more at Edge Computing – the Fourth Wave Rises – by Moor InsightsTo participate in proof of concepts, contact your Dell EMC sales team.References: “OT Stakeholder Perspective – Q1 2018 Advisor Report – Voice of the Enterprise, Internet of Things” by 451 Research“Edge Computing – the Fourth Wave Rises – by Moor Insights” Matt Kimball, Moor Insights and Strategy“6 ways IoT is vulnerable,” in IEEE Spectrum, vol. 55, no. 7, pp. 21-21, July 2018“Enabling Mobile Augmented and Virtual Reality with 5G Networks”, AT&T Foundry, Jan 2017“Azure AI – Productivity for virtually every developer and scenario”last_img read more

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Announcing Dell EMC Innovations in Data Protection and Data Management

first_imgToday I joined Jeff Clarke on stage at Dell Technologies World to announce major innovations in our data protection portfolio. As we have maintained no. 1 positions in the Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Market and the Data Replication and Protection Software Market[1], we have been hard at work continuing to innovate without compromise. Dell EMC is powering up our portfolio with the introduction of our next-generation data management software platform and first multi-dimensional data management appliance.The fact that Digital Transformation is disrupting every industry is unavoidable – and our customers all make it clear that the explosion of data has been hard to manage. Organizations are facing unprecedented complexity and inefficiency, making it difficult to derive business value from their data. Businesses are consuming IT resources differently, and the need for a powerful, efficient and trusted solution to protect data assets is clear.Protecting data’s value isn’t about locking it away; it’s about providing superior risk reduction for workloads and enabling data reuse. With those goals in mind, we’ve built a platform to help organizations not only retain and manage essential data, but also keep the digital business running.With the all-new Dell EMC PowerProtect Software platform and the multi-dimensional Dell EMC PowerProtect X400 appliance, we are helping mid-size and enterprise organizations transform their data protection strategy and prepare for the future of business.PowerProtect Software is a software-defined platform that gives IT staff confidence that their data is protected and available. PowerProtect Software offers efficient data management capabilities across ever-changing IT environments, leveraging the latest evolution of our trusted protection storage architecture. With the flexibility to consume via software or via an integrated appliance, PowerProtect Software provides data protection, replication and reuse, and can be simply deployed on any standard hardware.PowerProtect Software empowers the entire IT team – allowing data owners to perform backup and recovery operations from their native applications, while at the same time providing central oversight and governance to ensure compliance. We believe this balanced approach to self-service for admins combined with central IT governance is a key element of any team’s data management strategy.Of course, the PowerProtect Software platform is built with multi-cloud organizations in mind. The platform is multi-cloud optimized, enabling long-term retention via cloud tiering and soon cloud disaster recovery. PowerProtect Software can send data directly to the cloud with no cost, allowing customers to maximize their investment and expand capacity further.Additionally, PowerProtect Software utilizes SaaS-based management to easily monitor, analyze and troubleshoot distributed environments from anywhere. PowerProtect Software and the PowerProtect X400 appliance enable IT to meet objectives more effectively with evolving operational intelligence.As with any purchase, we want to make sure the investment is one that prepares our customers for the future. PowerProtect Software leverages a modern, services-based architecture to ensure the ease of deployment, scaling and upgrading that all our customers desire.Future IT demands are difficult to predict precisely – I have noted how the explosion of data has been hard for organizations to track. Consequently, we developed our new integrated data management appliance to be multi-dimensional.PowerProtect X400 scales out with linear performance and capacity increases and delivers scale-up, grow-in-place capacity expansion. This allows the appliance to grow with the organization as its IT demands change. As additional scale-out cubes are added to bring more performance and capacity, the X400 uses load balancing enabled with machine learning to deliver optimal deduplication and performance.Further flexibility comes from the option of hybrid or – for the first time – all flash. In fact, PowerProtect X400 is the industry’s first All-Flash Integrated Purpose-Built Backup Appliance.[2] Providing all-flash as an option ensures that every organization can find the level of performance they need, preparing today’s largest organizations to meet the SLOs of tomorrow.After using PowerProtect X400 in his environment, our customer Brian Linden, director of IT with Melanson Heath, shared this perspective: “Adding complexity to our data center right now is not an option. The PowerProtect X400 appliance was easy to deploy and configure. Within minutes we protected our virtual machines. The tight integration with VMware and Instant Access allows our IT staff to quickly deploy production VM images for test and development. As a result, we are able to speed up the process for initiating test and development of production applications, making our data center staff more efficient.”Our continued focus on integration has been key to our leadership in data protection appliances, which makes PowerProtect X400 a natural addition to our portfolio as our first integrated data management appliance.While we’ve been developing the PowerProtect X400, we’ve also been focused on extending our Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA) portfolio, including last year’s DP4400. Today, we also announced an 8TB capacity option for the IDPA DP4400, furthering IDPA’s momentum and market acceleration. According to the latest market data from IDC, both IDPA revenue and unit shipments have grown by more than 10x from 2017 to 2018.This announcement cements Dell EMC’s commitment to the IDPA platform and conviction that no business is too small for world-class data protection. Now, smaller customers and locations can obtain all the enterprise-level data protection features and functionality of the IDPA family, including simple deployment, easy management, high performance, widest application coverage and cloud extensibility with native cloud tier and cloud DR capabilities, in a smaller capacity appliance. And, as the customer’s needs expand, the new 8-24TB model can easily expand to 96TB with an optional hardware kit that will be available later this year.We are proud to introduce the Dell EMC PowerProtect next generation data management platform and the new entry point for the IDPA DP4400. To learn more, please visit the PowerProtect Software home page, the PowerProtect X400 Appliance home page and the IDPA home page. And, be sure to follow @DellEMCProtect  on Twitter for our latest announcements and content. Your future self will thank you. Finally, be sure to stay tuned to Dell Technologies World 2019 coverage from Las Vegas for the latest announcements.[1] Based on combined revenue from the IDC 4Q18 Purpose Build Backup Appliance (PBBA) Tracker, with select Storage Software market segments from the 4Q18 Storage Software and Cloud Service Qview.[2] Based on Dell internal analysis, March 2019.last_img read more

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Maduro’s ‘miracle’ treatment for COVID-19 draws skeptics

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro appears to be counting on yet another “miracle” to save his citizens from COVID-19. He’s promoting a secretive solution with no published scientific evidence he claims will conquer the new coronavirus. Maduro said on television over the weekend that “it’s a powerful antiviral” that neutralizes the coronavirus. But his government has released no evidence and he’s touted other ephemeral treatments in the past. He even kept secret the name of the person behind it. Scientists at home and abroad remained skeptical. The local National Academy of Medicine said it appeared be derived from the common herb thyme.last_img read more

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Professor emeritus conceives foundation

first_img Basu was recently invited to speak at the 8th Annual Congress of International Drug Discovery Science and Technology in Beijing in October for the second year in a row. At the conference he will speak on the compounds and possible delivery methods for treatment in breast and colon cancer therapy.  Once he arrives at Innovation Park, Basu said he would apply for a patent for the liposome bullet and continue research. A synthetic liposome “bullet” was developed for the delivery of the drugs into the cells, he said. The bullet attaches to the cancer cells and delivers the medicine, triggering cell death. The foundation will be listed as a non-profit foundation, independent from Notre Dame. However, Basu will continue much of the research he started at Notre Dame, and he will also work with graduate, postdoctoral and undergraduate students. At the conference, Basu will also be working with Dr. Rui Ma, a 2008 graduate whom Basu taught.  But for Dr. Subhash Basu, retirement was an opportunity to do more work. Since 2004, Basu and his research team have isolated five compounds known to be apoptotic agents — compounds that trigger the death of cancer cells. Betulinic acid, one of the compounds, is already used as an herbal treatment in China for cancer. Basu received letters from University President Fr. John Jenkins and President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh wishing him well on his research endeavors. Basu said he and his team have published more than 250 papers on the treatment. “Ordinarily, our normal cells are born and die,” he said. “This is called ‘programmed cell death.’ Cancer cells get immortality.” Many professors might be ready to hang up their lab coats after 40 years of teaching.  “We’re going one drug at a time, to find the dose,” he said. “Then we’ll be testing intravenously to see them work. This phase will be done at the foundation.” “This could be beneficial in a drug,” Basu said. All of this, he said, will be powered through national and international grants. “The whole purpose [of the foundation and published papers] is to tell the world we’ve found different compounds,” he said.  Basu, once a professor in chemistry and biochemistry, is working on establishing the Cancer Drug Delivery Research Foundation, a foundation located in Innovation Park researching methods for drug delivery for compounds to cure cancer and more. “This May I became a Professor Emeritus,” Basu said. “My goal is to do research.” He and his team discovered the cancer cells still have the “machinery” to have programmed cell death, but it is isolated and inactive in the cell. The compounds they have created trigger this cell death, eliminating the cancer cells. “We’re going to make [the lab] bigger, establish patents,” he said. “I’ve been working on this idea for 40 years.”last_img read more

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Gay-straight alliance debate tabled for week

first_imgStudent Senate passed resolutions at its meeting Wednesday requesting the Hesburgh Main Library extend its hours and creating a formal process for selecting the Hall of the Year. Meanwhile, a discussion related to a possible gay-straight alliance was tabled until Wednesday. The resolution to extend the library’s hours asked the Hesburgh Library administration to hire sufficient staff so the facility can remain open until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The library currently closes at 11 p.m. those days.  Student body vice president Brett Rocheleau said there have been discussions about keeping the library open 24 hours, but no conclusions have been reached. The resolution regarding Hall of the Year mandated attendance at all Hall Presidents’ Council (HPC) meetings by a member of hall government.  It also stipulated the decision to award the title of Hall of the Year will be decided by a review board comprised of two senators, one senior Judicial Council member and HPC co-chairs, treasurers, social chairs and athletic chairs. The board will allocate points to each hall to determine the winner. Ben Noe, internal affairs director for student government, said the resolution helps avoid overregulation of HPC. “I think that this is a good intermediate step to put in a procedure, but also to give Hall [Presidents’] Council some leeway about how they go about the actual process itself,” Noe said. Rocheleau said if someone believed the review board made a biased decision, a complaint could be filed with Judicial Council. Sophomore Tom Lienhoop, a member of Core Council for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Students, spoke about the need for a gay-straight alliance (GSA) on campus. “The reason we need a gay-straight alliance here at Notre Dame is partly that the environment is still largely homophobic,” Lienhoop said. “The fact that the gay-straight alliance has been denied [club status] … in the past is kind of seen by people outside the University as a homophobic act. It’s an act of discrimination.”  Lienhoop said a student-led GSA would grant more independence to the GLBT community than Core Council does. He said the organization would also provide a venue for straight allies to express their support. The GSA would be service-based, Lienhoop said. It would partner with high school GSAs to fund campaigns against teen bullying. “We could also partner with GSAs at other universities in the region to make our outreach even more pervasive,” Lienhoop said. “And service isn’t really a mission of the Core Council at all, so that’s really a detriment.”  The difference between Core Council and the proposed, more informal GSA is largely contextual, Lienhoop said. “People could just come to a [GSA] meeting once every two weeks and it would be less formal in that sense, but we could also have a campaign targeted at specific issues,” he said. “The way that Core programming is set up right now, you have to declare your sexuality or be certain of your sexuality in order to participate.” Lienhoop said this requirement dissuades students from attending Core Council events. He said the proposed GSA would not require students to declare their sexualities.  “Certainly, things that alliance does could be more lenient and more student-based,” Lienhoop said. Lienhoop said it was not practical to create a GSA as an outgrowth of Core Council. “The number of people who want to participate in alliance is far too many to sustain an organized role with an expanded Core Council,” he said.  The Student Activities Office had previously said a GSA was unnecessary because Core Council already served the functions the proposed alliance would serve, Lienhoop said. Nich Ochoa, multicultural affairs director for student government, said there are multiple clubs for students that identify as black, and all target different interests.  Student body president Pat McCormick asked if any other clubs had been denied recognition on the grounds that their purposes were already being served.  “If we are unaware of another organization that has not been allowed to [duplicate some of the functions of an existing organization], then it seems to me to be a problematic point of inconsistency to then level that criticism with a gay-straight alliance,” McCormick said. Multiple senators said members of their residence halls supported recognizing a GSA.  Senate voted to table the resolution until next Wednesday’s meeting. Rocheleau said a similar resolution is in discussion at Faculty Senate and Campus Life Council.  Lienhoop said representatives from Core Council planned to meet with Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. Tom Doyle on Thursday to discuss the creation of a GSA.last_img read more

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Student body presidential candidates square off in second debate

first_imgRosie LoVoi | The Observer Juniors Alex Kruszewski (left) and Gates McGavick (right), student body presidential candidates, participated in a debate Monday in DeBartolo Hall. The two will compete in a run-off election to take place Friday.The debate, the second of this campaign, focused on issues such as sexual assault on campus, the University’s relationship with the South Bend community and closed senate meetings.Kruszewski said he and his running mate, junior Julia Dunbar, took time to re-evaluate their platform, moving away from some of the tickets previous, big-ticket campaign platforms.“Specifically tonight, we would like to talk to you about passions … past simply flex points and Chick-Fil-A, whatever we had talked about a few weeks ago,” he said.Central to this refocus, Kruszewski said, was placing sexual assault prevention at the center of their platform.Kruszewski proposed student government continue implementation of Callisto and change du Lac to better deal with sexual assault.“Currently, du Lac doesn’t define consent for whatever reason, and that’s important because it affects victims,” he said.McGavick also laid out his and running mate, junior Corey Gayheart’s, vision for helping to decrease sexual assault on campus.Central to the ticket’s platform was expanding the blue light system, using “a map of crime across campus” to guide placement of new blue light stations.This implementation, along with the rest of their platform, had to be put into place with diverse student input, McGavick said.“I think there is an issue in that people on campus don’t necessarily feel like they understand what student government does,” he said. “One thing student government can improve is … accessibility and drawing on a diverse range of ideologies voiced around campus.” This increased transparency was part of McGavick’s stance on the issue of closed student senate meetings, he said. While McGavick said there are “certainly” some instances in which senate meetings ought to remain closed — specifically when immigrant students who benefit from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), whose public identity could put them at future risk, speak at meetings — in many other situations, the senate needs to remain open, where it has not in the past. “There are some situations where closed senate meetings aren’t required,” he said. “ … I think a lot of people feel shut out in the process because a lot of decisions that happened in the election have been decided being closed doors, with windows papered over.”Kruszewski, referring back to the DACA case, said the issue of closed senate meetings had to be looked at in a broader context.“It’s a deeper problem than transparency, it’s inclusion,” he said “ … [DACA students] were afraid to share their story, afraid to show their face because of the repercussions and the stigma that occurs in the United States and on campus.”This message of inclusion was central to the ticket’s platform, Kruszewski said, stressing that their No. 1 priority would be the creation of a multicultural student center and pledging to try to alleviate certain systemic barriers for some students’ participation on campus.“There are passions that are not being heard at Notre Dame,” he said.The candidates also discussed their respective visions on how to better interact with the South Bend community.McGavick said he not only hoped to continue the University’s close working relationship with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, but that he also wanted to expand student access to local media.“I think we should [give students access to the] South Bend Tribune,” he said. “An easy way to understand someone else’s experience is hearing about what they’re talking about in their homes at night.”Kruszewski, who said McGavick’s media-related proposal would be difficult to implement, said he hoped students would be more willing and able to share their skills in the local community.“The South Bend community has a lot to offer Notre Dame students,” he said “ … Students [can use] their finance skills, their psychology skills, whatever it is and go out into the community.”The candidates closed the debate by thanking the student body for their time and stressing what an honor it was to serve and interact with them.“The best part of the campaign … is going door-to-door with a pen and paper,” Kruszewski said.Tags: Knights of Columbus, Student government election After a week without campaigning, suspended out of respect for those mourning the death of former Breen-Phillips rector, Sister Mary McNamara, campaigning for the student body presidential reaction resumed Monday in preparation for Friday’s run-off election.As a part of this second round of campaigning, the Knights of Columbus hosted a debate, moderated by senior Rohit Fonseca, between the remaining two presidential candidates — juniors Alex Kruszewski and Gates McGavick — Monday evening in DeBartolo Hall.last_img read more

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Professor explores Notre Dame’s St. Patrick’s Day history

first_imgSt. Patrick’s Day carries many different meanings. For the Irish, it is the Catholic feast day of Ireland’s patron saint and a day for honoring Irish heritage. For Irish-Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a celebration of Irish-American identity. And at Notre Dame — a school with the Irish leprechaun as a mascot — St. Patrick’s Day holds special significance, although spring break sometimes keeps students off campus on the holiday.Deborah Rotman, an anthropology professor and director of Notre Dame’s Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), has conducted research on the Irish-immigrant experience in the U.S. and in South Bend.“The history of Notre Dame and St. Patrick’s Day actually goes back to our founding as an institution,” Rotman said.Although Fr. Edward Sorin was French, four of the seven monks who founded the University were Irishmen. In the midst of building the Notre Dame campus in 1842, Sorin had to address growing anti-immigrant sentiment toward Irish immigrants in the South Bend community. As a result, Rotman said Sorin made a point to integrate the Irish into the Notre Dame Catholic community. He established Sorinsville, a residential neighborhood around campus where the Irish-Catholic immigrants would reside together. Although Rotman said this strategy separated the immigrants from the community, she said Sorin wanted to help the immigrants integrate.“Sorinsville may seem like a form of residential segregation, but Fr. Sorin’s intent was to stabilize the workforce for the University and help these immigrants create new lives for themselves in South Bend,” she said.Despite his work with the Irish, Sorin banned the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Notre Dame, a decision that was justified for security reasons, Rotman said.“Most people do not know that Sorin’s decision to forbid celebration on St. Patrick’s Day was grounded in his belief that the anti-immigrant sentiment of the time was a public-safety issue,” she said. “In other words, Sorin was not trying to scorn the Irish or evade a day of festivities; he was really just trying to to protect the Notre Dame community from potential social conflict.”By the time of Sorin’s death, Rotman said the negative sentiment toward Irish-Catholics “shifted” to other immigrant groups, and Americans began to embrace the Irish much more. As a result, St. Patrick’s Day at Notre Dame involved a variety of activities. Every year, a Mass commemorated the feast of St. Patrick, the band played Irish sacred music in front of the Dome and students recited Irish poems to one another for entertainment. Classes were cancelled for University-wide concerts, banquets, football games, plays and parades.By the early 2000s, Notre Dame students had established a variety of festive traditions for St. Patrick’s Day. Some students attended the feast day Mass which features Notre Dame Folk Choir’s collection of Irish sacred music. Students dressed for class in green garb and make-shift “bands” paraded through academic buildings playing the bagpipes. Many of the dorms on campus hosted cookouts or gave out Irish paraphernalia, and the dining halls offered Irish cuisine in the form of potato dishes and cabbage.This year marked another year of a spring break St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, there have only been a handful of years in which St. Patrick’s Day has actually taken place when students were on-campus. Rotman dispelled the notion that the administration manipulates the dates of spring break to prevent a rowdy, on-campus celebration of the holiday. She noted that by rule spring break must begin the Saturday after the 39th class day.“I do not believe the administration purposely schedules spring break to avoid St. Patrick’s Day,” Rotman said. “I think the scheduling ultimately comes down to the timing of Christmas and Easter break, and they have to follow the registrar’s spring semester calendar rules, too.”Tags: Father Sorin, Heritage, immigrants, Notre Dame history, Saint Patrick’s Daylast_img read more

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Doctoral student researches history of Catholicism, American liberalism at Vatican archives

first_imgBetween study sessions, doctoral candidate Susanna De Stradis takes breaks at a small, private courtyard cafe of the Vatican Apostolic Archive to drink coffee, meet other scholars and “zoom back to the present day.”De Stradis recently started conducting research into the Vatican’s archives for her dissertation during her third year as a doctoral student of history at Notre Dame. Her investigation explores the relationship between Catholicism and principles of American liberalism like religious freedom and the separation of church and state.Her studies focus primarily on Vatican perspectives on post-war Catholicism in the United States, that is, between the end of World War II and the Second Vatican Council.During that time, the Church is learning to deal with American democracy through a closer, geopolitical relation with the United States, De Stradis said.“But also, the United States is rethinking the terms of its own First Amendment and what it implies, both in the courts, but also in Congress,” De Stradis said.The archives open at 8:30 a.m. every day. Whenever she goes to the Vatican, De Stradis arrives at the Porta Sant’Anna around 9 or 9:30 a.m. and shows her entrance badge to the Swiss guards. Then, she passes through a metal detector and heads to the archive; before entering, she leaves her belongings in a locker — even her phone.“It’s not a normal Hesburgh Library-type thing, obviously,” she said.There is no signal inside the Vatican Archive and no photos are allowed, anyway. “This slows the process quite a bit,” De Stradis added, “but it also forces you to really think critically about what you’re seeing on the spot.”Her research is being funded by a Peter R. D’Agostino research travel grant through the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and the Center for Italian Studies, as well as by a “Religion, Spirituality and Democratic Renewal” fellowship from the Social Science Research Council.De Stradis initially became interested in the historical tensions between the United States and Catholicism when she studied history as an undergraduate student at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and as a Master of Arts student at the University of Pisa.“As I started to delve deeper into this kind of history, I realized there had been frictions between the Vatican and the United States, something that I was not necessarily aware of before I entered college,” she said.She called her particular interest an “exotic topic to pursue” in Italy, but not so much in the United States where she was told even sociologists, political scientists and lawyers would be interested in the questions she wanted to ask.“I was interested in the history of American Catholicism, so Notre Dame is pretty much the best place in the world to pursue this kind of studies,” De Stradis said.In fact, she said, a book that drew her to this research topic was “Catholicism and American Freedom: A History” by John McGreevy, professor of history and De Stradis’ mentor and dissertation adviser at Notre Dame.“I lived in South Bend for three years, and now the time has come to finally go do some research — or should I say come do some research — over here, in Rome,” she said.De Stradis is originally from Apulia, the “heel of the [Italian] boot,” but she said she had not been feeling homesick before returning to her country.“I can’t say that I’ve missed Italy while I was in South Bend,” she said. “I really loved the U.S. … But Rome is sort of exceptional.” Courtesy of Susanna De Stradis Originally from Italy, Notre Dame doctoral candidate Susanna De Stradis arrived in Rome Sept. 14 to study the Vatican archives.De Stradis said her plans fell into place, time-wise, since Pope Francis opened in March 2020 the archives of Pope Pius XII’s papacy — which lasted from 1939 to 1958, when World War II took place.For doctoral students, De Stradis said, their academic credentials and a letter of recommendation are often enough to apply for and gain access to the archives.“I don’t know of anyone who has applied and has been rejected for obscure reasons,” she added.De Stradis said most documents that can be accessed through the Vatican Archive were produced or received by the central organs of the Roman Curia — the different branches of the Vatican’s central bureaucracy. Of particular interest to her, though, was the collection of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States.“Every kind of communication between the American Catholic hierarchy and the Vatican had to go through the Apostolic delegate,” she said. “Since I want to look at Rome’s attitude towards mainly domestic developments in the U.S., this is the place to look at.”But the archives are not as well sorted as she expected, so “you have to rely a lot on the goodwill of the personnel there,” De Stradis said. She, for one, has been collaborating with an archivist to overcome these hurdles.“He’s basically bringing folders to me that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to locate and ask [for] through the normal system,” she said.Due to COVID-19 health and safety precautions, the archives can accommodate only 25 scholars every day in a room that would normally accommodate 60, De Stradis said. But the effects of the pandemic can be seen outside of Vatican City and throughout Rome, as well.“The city is empty,” De Stradis said. There are few tourists — particularly, very few Americans — and the subway is not crowded.She said she expects her research at the Vatican and her stay in Rome will last for at least seven months.“I do realize that I’m in a very uniquely privileged position as an Italian [and] as a graduate student who’s still able to go to the archives,” she said.De Stradis arrived in Italy on Sept. 14.“Which is exactly the date I had planned to be here, so this is not COVID-related, it’s just as planned,” she said. “Again — I feel very blessed.”Tags: American Catholicism, Rome, Vatican Archivelast_img read more

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Local Health Officials Report Trouble In Properly Tracking COVID-19 Testing

first_imgPhoto: CDCMAYVILLE – Health officials in Chautauqua County say they are having trouble properly keeping track of novel Coronavirus testing.“We recommend that all county physicians and hospitals notify the Chautauqua County Health Department when a COVID-19 test is performed, but we cannot assure that we have record of every test that has been performed in the county,” said officials. “Thus, we are not able to give an accurate report of the number of tests that have been done.”However, as of Saturday afternoon, officials say there remains no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Thirty-four people remain in precautionary quarantine status and are being monitored daily by public health nurses.Health experts continue to stress the importance of following the precautionary guidelines and social gathering regulations. Complying with these guidelines will help decrease the spread of the novel coronavirus: Wash your hands (for 20 seconds) often throughout the day;Cover your cough and sneezes;Avoid close contact with others (leave at least 6 feet between people); andStay home.Officials say testing supplies and personal protective equipment used when doing a test, continue to be in very low supply, not only in Chautauqua County, but around New York State and the nation.“Please communicate with your healthcare provider’s office if you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms,” said officials. “They will assess your condition over the phone and direct your care. Just having symptoms does not mean you need tested; testing does not change the way your symptoms are treated.”Currently there is no vaccine or medication that will fight the virus.Officials are also asking residents to support local food establishments that are offering takeout, although they ask to continue to practice precautionary hygiene:Keep the suggested 6 foot physical distance between you and other people;Wash or sanitize your hands as soon as you get home and before you eat or prepare food;Wash your hands again after you unpack your groceries/food;Avoid touching your face;Only go to the store if you are feeling well; andThe CDC does not recommend wearing gloves or masks when shopping or going out to pick up food.“Stay well – make the most of your time at home; get out, move and enjoy some fresh air,” said officials. “And always, wash your hands and frequently touched surfaces.  You can wash that virus off with just soap and water.”Officials say the Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response team continues to meet daily to evaluate and respond to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. This team is made up of local public health and emergency response professionals. 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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