US boosting vaccine deliveries amid complaints of shortages

first_imgPresident Joe Biden says the U.S. is ramping up vaccine deliveries to hard-pressed states over the next three weeks and expects to provide enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer or early fall. Biden is calling the push a “wartime effort.” He said Tuesday that his administration is working to buy an additional 100 million doses of each of the two approved coronavirus vaccines. And he acknowledged that states in recent weeks have been left guessing how much vaccine they will have from one week to the next. He called that “unacceptable” and said “lives are at stake.”last_img read more

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North Carolina stops issuing Confederate license plates

first_imgRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles says it will no longer issue specialty license plates featuring the Confederate battle flag. The StarNews of Wilmington reports the agency says removal of the license plate, issued to members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization, took effect Jan. 1. A statement from NCDMV says it will continue to recognize the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans as a civic organization entitled to a specialty plate, but the recognition doesn’t entitle it to dictate the contents of the government speech on that plate.last_img read more

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Czech PM in Hungary to discuss Russian, Chinese vaccines

first_imgBUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Czech Republic could be on the way to become the next European Union member to seek a COVID-19 vaccine from outside the EU’s common procurement program. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis travelled to Hungary on Friday to consult with Hungarian authorities on their experiences with vaccines from Russia and China. The Czech leader, who has criticized the speed of vaccine delivery in Europe, said vaccines should not be a political question and their countries of origin should not determine whether they are used. Hungary has purchased vaccines from both Russia and China, the only EU country to do so. Next Wednesday, Babis plans to visit Serbia, which has also begun administering Russian and Chinese vaccines.last_img read more

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Memorial Mass held for Seeberg

first_imgMore than 400 students, faculty, staff, family and friends gathered together in remembrance of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Seeberg, a Saint Mary’s College student who died Friday. The College held a memorial Mass in Regina Hall’s Chapel Monday evening. Members of the Saint Mary’s College community filled the chapel. Attendees filled all of the chapel’s seats; many attendees stood or sat on the ground. Fr. John Pearson celebrated the Mass. “It’s hard to believe, that it’s barely 72 hours since shock descended on McCandless Hall and Saint Mary’s from Lizzy’s death,” Pearson said. “It’s been such a strong reality that in some weird way it feels like the feelings and emotions and reactions have been going on for a very long time.” Pearson shared his experience meeting Seeberg and said her bright personality and sunny disposition affected everyone she met. “Here at Saint Mary’s we grieve for Lizzy both because of the presence and friendship and vitality she left us with, and because we know we will miss all that she could have been here and how she might have placed her own particular stamp on our community, our family,” he said. Lizzy’s father Tom Seeberg, as well as other family and friends, attended the Mass. Carol Ann Mooney, president of the College, participated in the Mass as the lector. At the end of the service, Seeberg’s father spoke to the congregation. Karen Johnson, vice president of Student Affairs, said Saint Mary’s College would provide transportation for any students who wished to attend the funeral Friday. The visitation will be held Thursday at N.H. Scott & Hanekamp Funeral Home, located at 1240 Waukegan Road in Glenview, Ill. from 4 to 9 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Norbert Church, located at 1809 Walters Ave. in Northbrook, Ill. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ the King Jesuit College Prep at www.ctkjesuit.org or Erika’s Lighthouse at www.erikaslighthouse.orglast_img read more

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Legends holds focus group for Saint Mary’s students

first_imgLegends of Notre Dame is a restaurant, bar and club that serves as a gathering place for the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross communities. On March 8, the Legends marketing team held a focus group at Saint Mary’s for students to voice their opinions and concerns. Catherine Flatley, a Notre Dame junior and marketing research manager of Legends, is in charge of coordinating focus groups. “We try to get a better insight to specifically what students want to see at Legends,” Flatley said. “Focus groups and surveys are held for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students so that we can find ways to better serve our customers’ needs.” By holding a Saint Mary’s focus group, Flatley hoped to learn how Saint Mary’s students looked at Legends differently from Notre Dame and Holy Cross students, she said. “By acknowledging the needs of the Saint Mary’s students, we will be able to modify the experiences they have at Legends to make it more enjoyable,” Flatley said. JoLynn Williams, Saint Mary’s senior and Legends’ branding manager, also assisted Flatley in holding the Saint Mary’s focus group. “I am the only Saint Mary’s student on the marketing team at Legends, so we felt that my presence in this focus group would be very important to maintaining our goals,” Williams said. “A big part of my job is to make sure we can extend the olive branch to Saint Mary’s students and remind them that while Legends is on Notre Dame’s campus, we cater to the whole community of students.” Over the past four years, Williams noticed there has only been one promotion driven by handing out flyers, as opposed to posting them in dorms, for a Legends event on Saint Mary’s campus. “There are usually three to four members of the marketing team on campus [Notre Dame] who hand out promotions for our events happening each weekend,” Williams said. “Saint Mary’s has not seen this much.” Williams said this type of promotion can help bring people to events. “The one time I saw this type of promotion for an event at Legends, it struck me so much that I actually went to the event and enjoyed myself,” Williams said. By holding the Saint Mary’s focus group, Flatley and Williams hoped to gain constructive criticism to make changes where needed. “We use more of guideline questions to steer our focus groups so that the participants have a chance to get the dialogue really flowing without being pushed in different directions,” Flatley said. “This is what leads to the constructive criticism, which is what we are looking for.” When building the focus group, the participants tended to be juniors and seniors, Flatley said. “The most common thing we heard was Legends being compared to other bars around town and the differences between Legends and other go to places in the community,” she said. To maintain the constant input from Saint Mary’s students, Williams hopes the marketing team at Legends will have at least one or two students from Saint Mary’s on future teams. “I know there have been Saint Mary’s students on the team in the past, but currently I am the only one on the marketing team,” Williams said. “It would be truly beneficial to maintain a working relationship between Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross students in the future.” Contact Jillian Barwick at jbarwi01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

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Innovation Park holds event

first_imgCould you develop a prototype for a new business in a little more than two days? Participants in Notre Dame’s first-ever Startup Weekend event will attempt to do just that during a 54-hour period from April 13 to the 15. The event, hosted by Innovation Park at Notre Dame and sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to entrepreneurship, brings creative thinkers together to conceptualize and launch companies during Startup Weekends around the world, co-organizer Melissa Parker said. Parker and co-organizer Brendan Daly, students in the Engineering, Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters (ESTEEM) program, have planned the event since November, and hope Notre Dame’s Startup Weekend becomes an annual event. “We had heard about Startup Weekend and even visited a Startup Weekend event in Grand Rapids, [Mich.] We wanted to bring something here that was a hands-on entrepreneurship experience,” Parker said. According to Parker, a startup is simply a new company different from ones already “out there,” and Startup Weekend event embraces this innovation, though it focuses on technology-related ideas. “There’s a wide range of startups. A new restaurant is considered a startup.” Parker said. “This weekend tends to be more web-based because it’s easier to develop the prototype, but that doesn’t have to be the core business-model of the startup.” Project teams will need a variety of designers, developers, lawyers and business people, Parker said, but the event is open to anyone interested in learning more about startups. “We’re trying to build collaboration. Businesses require a lot of people working together,” Parker said. “Technology, business, marketing, law and design, all of these pieces need to come together for a successful startup.” Parker said she recommends the event to anyone interested in business, namely entrepreneurship. “You can meet a lot of people who are entrepreneurial-minded, and it’s a great way to get in contact with startup companies that are looking to hire people,” Parker said. Startup Weekend also provides undergraduate students with new creative opportunities, Parker said. “For undergraduates who are worried about finding jobs after graduating, it will look great on their resume, but it is also an alternative – starting a company instead of working for one,” she said. The weekend kicks off 8 p.m. Friday, when attendees begin pitching ideas for potential startup businesses. Attendees then vote on their favorite proposals, and the creators of the top-10 ideas assemble their respective teams from other participants and begin working on their projects. The prototypes are completed by 12 p.m. Sunday and are presented to the judges at 1 p.m. Experienced faculty members and business professionals will serve as mentors during the event and assist the teams with their projects. Parker said roughly 60 percent of the currently registered participants are undergraduate, MBA, Law and ESTEEM program students. Forty percent of attendees come from the greater South Bend community, a majority of which are web developers. One of the community participants, class of 2011 alumnus John Rocha, is the co-founder of myFit, a startup company housed in Innovation Park. Rocha said Startup Weekend presents an opportunity for Notre Dame to make a name for itself in the world of technology. “I believe Notre Dame is on the cusp of a huge technology revolution, especially compared to other universities,” Rocha said. myFit is developing software that will allow Microsoft Kinect and Windows 8 PC users to create a virtual avatar and fitting room for online clothing shopping. Although the myFit software will not be included in Startup Weekend, Rocha said he plans to present other ideas that will make use of the compatibility of the soon-to-be-released Windows 8 with the Kinect system, which currently operates with Microsoft’s Xbox. Tim Braun, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Elevate Ventures, Dave Brenner, president and CEO of Innovation Park, and Mike Vogel, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, will serve as judges for the event. Developer Town, Localstake, Elevate Ventures and Innovation Park donated prizes for the winning team, including a dinner, design software, free consultation, a business plan review and six months of free rent at Innovation Park. The second-place team will receive three months of free rent at Innovation Park, and the third-place team will receive free consultation on pitching their idea.last_img read more

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Students prepare for holidays

first_imgIt may be the day before Halloween, but Saint Mary’s fine arts students and faculty are already revving up for the Christmas season. The College’s Department of Music and Department of Theatre have begun preparations for the Madrigal Dinner, an annual medieval-themed holiday celebration in its 40th year at the College. Theatre professor Michaela Duffy said the event incorporates song and dance into a commemoration of Christ’s birth. “[The Madrigal Dinner] is a feast celebrating the nativity, with performers in traditional garb, usually singing traditional Christmas music and sometimes featuring actors, dancers, jugglers or other performers,” she said. This year’s event will include a redesign of the production’s traditional set. Duffy led a team of students responsible for the set redesign for this year’s celebration. “The previous scenery was a backdrop hung behind the risers where the singers stand,” she said. “There were also Christmas decorations hung throughout the hall. This year, we’re adding backdrops throughout the entire hall and adding even more Christmas decorations.” Having been at the College for seven years, Duffy said she is excited to see the revamped production come together. “We’ve been very busy painting and sewing and we are very excited to see the new elements for this year’s dinners,” she said. Senior Sophia Korson is also a member of the team working on the set. Duffy tasked her scenic design class with the redesign last spring, Korson said. “As you can imagine, out of our ideas came some good ideas and not so good ideas,” Korson said. “But Michaela took bits and pieces of our good ideas and added a lot of her great ideas and developed the design that you will see at Madrigals this year.” Korson said the event is not only a chance to perform but also an opportunity to engage with the audience. “It’s a great way to meet new people who come year after year to these dinners,” she said. “It’s also just awesome to stand in the middle of a room with everyone watching as you make a fool out of yourself.” The Madrigal Dinner will run Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.last_img read more

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App enables users to track Transpo buses

first_imgStudents, faculty and other members of the campus community will see the wheels on the bus go round in a whole new way, as Transpo now offers an online bus tracking service. The service allows anyone in the University community to track Transpo buses in real time, giving riders a better idea when a particular bus will arrive at a given location, student body president Brett Rocheleau said. This information is available online via http://nd.doublemap.com/map or through the DoubleMap Bus Tracker app for iPhone and Android phones. Rocheleau said the application overlays icons of buses on a map of the Transpo routes to show where the buses are at all times. The service will be valuable for people who want to avoid waiting outdoors for the bus during harsh weather, he said. “You can stay inside and track the bus, then step outside just as it arrives,” he said. The service will be especially useful for students who use the SWEEP route Friday and Saturday nights and students who rely on Transpo buses to visit or work in South Bend, Rocheleau said. He said the service is provided by DoubleMap, an organization based in Bloomington, Ind., that offers GPS bus-tracking applications for personal computers and mobile phones. Rocheleau said he and other members of student government worked with DoubleMap representative Peter SerVaas, who brought a similar service to Indiana University while he was student body president there for the 2009-10 school year. Rocheleau said he and student body president emeritus Pat McCormick looked into the possibility of such a program during the 2011-12 school year, but it wasn’t until SerVaas contacted Notre Dame’s student government that the DoubleMap system was implemented. “Pat [McCormick] and I looked at this issue a little bit last year, and we worked with Transpo to consider installing this sort of system,” Rocheleau said. “Then Peter [SerVaas] came to us and was able to set it up at no charge, so it was perfect.” According to the DoubleMap website, the service is in place at several other universities, including SUNY Cortland and the University of Cincinnati. The new service will be one of the final projects of the outgoing student government administration, Rocheleau said. The service can be accessed at http://nd.doublemap.com/maplast_img read more

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Campus mourns student death

first_imgAkash Sharma, a graduate student from India, died Jan. 1, according to an email Notre Dame International sent to international students Jan. 9.Photo courtesy of nd.edu Sharma was a third-year Ph.D. student in chemical and biomolecular engineering, according to the email. He served as co-president of the Indian Association of Notre Dame during the 2012-13 academic year and was a teaching assistant for several classes.“Akash was an enthusiastic and passionate student with big dreams about the future,” the email said. “Due to his always smiling and friendly nature, he was liked by a large number of graduate and undergraduate students. Akash will greatly be missed.”The University declined to comment on the cause of Sharma’s death.Grief counseling is available to students through the University Counseling Center, Campus Ministry and International Student and Scholar Affairs. Details about a memorial service will be forthcoming, according to the email.Tags: Student deathlast_img read more

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Earth Institute director compares university curricula

first_imgAs part of her visit to Notre Dame, senior director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University Sara Sievers gave another lecture on Thursday night in conjunction with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. The lecture, titled “What Contributions Can Universities Make to the Practice of International Development?” focused largely on her experience designing university curriculum.Sievers specifically spoke about Notre Dame’s planned Keough School of Global Affairs, which will contribute to advancement in the developing world. The Keough School — the first new school at the University in 97 years — is set to open in 2017.“It’s really a pleasure and quite literally an inspiration to be here,” Sievers said. “I think it’s tremendously exciting. It’s not every day of the week that a university starts a new school.Sievers served as founding executive director of Harvard University’s Center for International Development, and has worked extensively in the developing world as a Foreign Service officer during her tenure at the Gates Foundation. For the last 10 years, she has worked at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.Initially, Sievers’ talk focused on curriculum used at both Harvard and Columbia.“We’ve tried to build a tripartite model of learning, integrating academic degree programs and teaching, research programs and field work,” she said.Part of the Earth Institute’s work focuses on what Sievers described as “peer-to-peer partnerships.” Through Global Classroom projects at Columbia, students all over the world, particularly in Africa and Latin America, have been able to take classes taught at the Columbia through lectures posted online and online discussion sections. Harvard participates in the edX program, which offers a similar experience.Sievers said this was significant because, of the top-10 universities in Africa, none of them made the top 300 globally — mostly because education funding in the developing world was pushed toward primary and secondary education instead of tertiary education.Sievers said the goal of international development is to empower people in developing countries with the tools and skills to manage on their own.“We’ve done the knowledge transfer to work ourselves out of a job, which is a pleasure,” Sievers said of one particular project in which she was contracted to the Nigerian government to do technical backstopping.“International development is inherently interdisciplinary. An interdisciplinary method is the only way to approach a problem like this,” she said. “At the Earth Institute, we have ten degrees that we have adapted with other departments … earth and science, earth and journalism, and several others.“Technical skills have been very helpful for our students, in fact we’ve probably focused too much on the quantitative. When you’re actually out practicing development, there need to be tools and skills that you have that are more qualitative.”“Right now, there is more demand for space in these programs than we are able to supply. The country and the world need more programs like this,” Sievers said. “And there are jobs for these students, and our students are getting jobs.”Sievers said that in many universities she has worked with, “we have to cajole the university president into doing this weird thing as opposed to what we should be doing, which is research. My understanding is that would not be the case [at Notre Dame].“The Catholic Church is basically unparalleled in terms of service to the poor. I was astounded by how many people on the ground in these countries were Catholics, not necessarily peers but nuns and priests and missionaries. It’s my opinion that because of that, you will be able to be more effective more quickly.”Tags: International Development, Kellogg Institute, Keough School of Global Affairslast_img read more

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