Month: January 2021

Students Storm court after win over Syracuse

first_imgThe Notre Dame men’s basketball team squeezed the top-ranked Syracuse Orange 67-58 Saturday night at the Purcell Pavilion, causing the student section to storm the court and creating lasting memories for those in attendance. Senior Christina Kuklinski said winning against the previously undefeated Orange at home was a sports moment she was excited to have witnessed. “It was the defining moment of sports in my four years at Notre Dame,” she said. “I have been a student season ticket holder for the last four years, and I have never seen anything like that.” The victory marked the seventh home victory for the Irish over a No. 1 ranked team in the program’s history, and junior Roscoe Anderson said he appreciated the historical significance of cheering on the Irish as they defeated another powerhouse team. “It was really exciting,” he said. “I had a blast to be there for such a huge event and to be part of the history of defeating number ones in the Joyce Center. It was a big deal.” Anderson said the highly charged game atmosphere was building up even before the Irish tipped off with the Orange. “My friends and I got there an hour before the game to get seats,” he said. “Everyone was really excited. To beat them without ever having given up the lead was huge.” The basketball team’s tradition of knocking off No. 1 teams is a testament to the loud game atmosphere courtesy of the Purcell Pavilion fans, Anderson said. “I think we bring a strong home court advantage,” he said. “It was really loud. Coach [Mike] Brey said it was as good an atmosphere as he’d seen in his years at Notre Dame. A lot of [the win] credit goes to the players, but I think [the fans] helped contribute.” Kuklinski agreed and said it seemed like the players on the court thrived on the fans’ passion. “I don’t know what it was like being on the court, but I would have to imagine that having thousands of people screaming so intently has got to be beneficial to the athletes,” she said. Anderson said storming the court following the victory was one of the most memorable moments he has experienced as a Notre Dame student. “It was really amazing, one of those priceless moments,” he said. “It was really crazy and hectic, but really exciting at the same time.” Junior Margaret Bellon said even though she was sitting in the upper part of the student section, she felt the energy. “Even in the last row, you couldn’t hear the person next to you ta3lking because everyone was cheering so loud,” she said. Bellon said the atmosphere peaked right as the Irish were about to close out the victory and fans prepared to storm. “Two minutes before the game ended, people came up to us and said we’re going to storm the court and we should move down,” she said. “Everyone was getting really excited and the energy was building up.” While she was excited to attend the game, Bellon was skeptical that the Irish could pull off the win. “I watched a couple of [Notre Dame’s] games over break and they played well in a few, but in a couple of games, they played horribly,” she said. “I remember talking with someone before the game and saying I wasn’t sure I should go because I thought it was going to be a blowout.” But Bellon said this win held her attention throughout the entire game, unlike her experiences during Notre Dame football season. “Sometimes there are boring drives [in football], so [the game] is usually exciting for just a little bit,” she said. “[But the basketball game] was exciting the entire time because it was moving so fast and Notre Dame was playing really well.” Of all the games she has attended as a student, Bellon said this was the one she will remember most. “I never have been to a game that was as big of an upset as this one,” she said. “It was really cool. Being there made me proud to be a Notre Dame fan.”last_img read more

Alumnus works dream job as sports agent

first_imgWhen Brian Murphy first told his parents that he had landed his dream job as a sports agent, they weren’t entirely impressed. “That’s what my parents said when I moved to California when I was going to become a sports agent, they were like, ‘Oh, disgusting,’” Murphy, a 1992 graduate of the University, said. “They didn’t really have a good view of it, and I think in general sports agents don’t have the greatest reputation.” So when Murphy and his partners – including Mark Humenik, his roommate from his days as a Flanner Hall resident – founded their own firm, Athletes First, in 2001, they knew they wanted to turn the image of the greedy sports agent on its head. Instead of thinking exclusively about money, they agreed that family and community involvement played a huge role in their lives – and they had a hunch that there were plenty of NFL players who would feel the same way. “When we started the company, a lot of people laughed at us and mocked us and said 21-year-old kids coming out of college don’t want to hear about personal relationships and giving back to the community, they want to hear about multi-million dollar contracts and guaranteed money and marketing deals,” Murphy said. “We thought that was probably not all that accurate, and I think we gave the kids coming out of college a lot more credit than maybe they’d received up to then.” Just more than a decade later, Athletes First represents 124 athletes, most of them NFL players, and 18 coaches, including stars like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Murphy, who serves as the company’s president, said Athletes First was intentionally designed to be an all-encompassing organization, just as his education at Notre Dame had been. “It’s an all-around experience, and so we don’t want our clients to just look at us as negotiating contracts or doing marketing deals or providing concierge service,” Murphy said. “We really want to be an integral part of their lives, so get to know the client, get to know their family and extended family really well, and really do whatever they need done in their life, whether it’s helping them move from South Bend to Arizona like Michael Floyd this year, or helping them buy a house or automobiles or plan vacations or whatnot. “We really want them to rely upon us to do everything for them so they can go and play football, and when they’re not playing football they can do what’s important to them in life as opposed to worrying about the little stuff.” For former Notre Dame player and current Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was drafted in 2011, Athletes First played a huge role in aiding his transition to the NFL. “They helped a ton, whether it was pre-draft process, just giving me updates as far as managing expectations of where I was going to end up going,” Rudolph said. “After I was drafted to Minnesota, they really helped me because we had the lockout, and we didn’t have any contact with the team, and so they were able to help me come up to Minnesota and find a place to move into once our season started. Normally that’s something that the team will do.” Athletes First draws heavily from recent Notre Dame and USC graduates – they’ve signed every USC quarterback since Carson Palmer – and while the company’s location in California makes recruiting former Trojans very easy, former Notre Dame players say that the Irish connection and the family atmosphere of Athletes First aided their decision. “I think the relationship that Murph and all the other people at Athletes First have with their clients is very family-oriented and family based,” Rudolph said. “They treat their clients like family, and I know for a lot of agents football is a business relationship, and I think our relationship is a family-oriented relationship as opposed to business-oriented.” Another Athletes First client, Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith, who was drafted last spring after five seasons at Notre Dame, said he trusted Murphy as a friend, something that can’t be said of all agents. Both he and Rudolph said they talk to Murphy and other members of the 16-person staff at Athletes First as often as a few times a week. They can confirm that Murphy’s commitment to family and community service aren’t just talk. “My parents are welcome and feel free to call Murph at any time if they ever need anything,” Rudolph said. “He always answers and helps them out.” This March, Murphy and several of his clients who are Notre Dame grads will travel to Africa with the Starkey Foundation to distribute hearing aids to people who would otherwise be unable to afford them. “That’s not stuff you traditionally do with your sports agent and not traditionally a job you would think a sports agent does,” Murphy said. “But we’re constantly looking for ways to work with our clients to give back to the community, and I think we all become better doing that.” Contact Vicky Jacobsen at [email protected]last_img read more

NFL players come to Mendoza program

first_imgThis weekend, 23 players from the National Football League (NFL) will travel to Notre Dame to participate in the NFL “Investment for Impact” program at the Mendoza College of Business. Paul Slaggert, director of Non-Degree Programs in the Mendoza College of Business, said players will gain basic business understanding to be able to make smart investments. “We plan to teach the idea of financial literacy and basic understanding of budget,” Slaggert said.  “Brady talked about the importance of building a successful portfolio being financially literate.” The program, developed by former Irish football players Brady Quinn and Jeff Faine, will work to prepare current and former NFL players with the ability to make smart investments. According to an NFL Communications press release, attendees qualify if they demonstrate an interest in business, complete an assigned essay and had NFL playing experience.  Prominent participants include former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch and current Minnesota Viking safety Harrison Smith. “I’m proud to have had a hand in bringing “Investment for Impact” to my alma mater and assisting in forming a partnership between Notre Dame and the NFL for the continuing education of professional in forming a partnership between Notre Dame and the NFL for the continuing education of professional athletes,” Faine said in the press release. The program will consist of keynote speakers and panel discussions from academic experts and corporate executives, the release stated.  Former NFL players with successful entrepreneurial backgrounds will also speak, including Warrick Dunn and Rick Mirer. Slaggert said the program’s location at Notre Dame presents opportunities to leverage unique activities adding a Notre Dame perspective to the program.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend the Notre Dame “Venture Fair” and the McCloskey Business Planning Competition, he said. The Venture Fair will consist of some 45 different booths pitching ideas to successful entrepreneurs and investors. Slaggert said this business understanding is integral to being a successful entrepreneur.   “Basic financial understanding is foundational to what one wants to do in order to ask someone to invest in a business,” Slaggert said.  “We want to teach them what it means to be a social entrepreneur.” Social entrepreneurship includes starting a private foundation or investing in a social enterprise, he said. One presentation will specifically highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Quinn, who studied political science and finance at Notre Dame, said his unique perspective on the event combines firsthand NFL playing experience with a financial background. “The opportunity to play in the NFL has provided a platform to have in impact on our communities,” Quinn said in the press release.  “It is my hope that through the Notre Dame Entrepreneurial program, attendees may learn how to invest with an impact for the greater good.” Slaggert said the program’s theme sums up their goals. “The theme is “Investing for Impact,” [or] how can these players use their wealth in order to make a difference in the world,” Slaggert said. For participants whose occupation lasts just 3.5 years on average, being financially smart is critical to being secure for life. Contact Peter Durbin at [email protected]last_img read more

Arts and Letters raises funds for mammograms

first_imgFor 14 years, the College of Arts and Letters has sponsored the Race to the Goal fundraiser to support breast cancer prevention during the month of October. Mo Marnocha, who organizes the campaign, said this October, the College of Arts and Letters raised more than $7,000 for mammograms, bringing the total amount of money raised over 14 years to more than $100,000. Marnocha said the money raised goes directly to pay for mammograms for people in St. Joseph’s County, and the funds collected this year will pay for approximately 45 of these tests.  “The facilitator of our fund is United Health Services, and they put that money into a special Notre Dame account,” she said. “When people come to them saying they need mammograms, if the person meets the criteria, the money will be used to pay for mammograms or diagnostic screenings.” Marnocha said the College of Arts and Letters has sponsored a variety of events including an online auction, soup-offs, chili-offs and raffles.  “We had a kind of flea market where people brought their goods and sold them in the Great Hall,” she said. “Also, one of the professors of music performed outside Crowley Hall.” Marnocha said the College also hosted a tailgate Oct. 19 before the USC game.  “It’s easy to raise money when there are people walking around campus on a home football game weekend,” she said. For every year of the fundraiser, the Dean’s Office has sold notecards with watercolors of various campus buildings, Marnocha said.   “That’s kind of our staple, we’ve always sold those,” she said. “Mark Roche, who was dean at the time [the campaign began] – his wife is an artist and a cancer survivor and she actually created those.” The majority of the donations for the fundraiser come from faculty and staff, Marnocha said.  “We’d love to have more students participate, but I know that our students on campus are already very involved in service,” she said.  Marnocha said she came up with the idea for the fundraiser 14 years ago when she read an article about breast cancer awareness.  “It was fairly new, 14 years ago, the whole pink ribbon thing,” she said. “So I went to the person I worked with at the time and suggested that as a team-builder we do a competition to raise money during the month of October for breast cancer awareness.”  Marnocha said in previous years the fundraiser was a competition among various offices in the College, but this year they decided to change this style.  “This year, we decided to do away with that and just do a total College effort,” she said. “A lot of people liked it that way, because there are people who will always work hard regardless if they are on a team or not.”  Although the fundraiser did not reach its goal of $10,000 for this year, Marnocha said she is satisfied with the outcome.  “We will ultimately help a lot of people with the money we’ve raised,” she said. Contact Catherine Owers at [email protected]last_img read more

Postdoc examines physics of aging and death

first_imgDervis Can Vural, postdoctoral fellow in the school of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard University, considered the nature of aging and death in the lecture “Statistical Mechanics of Aging and Death,” held in Nieuwland Science Hall on Wednesday.According to the physics department website, Vural said the purpose of his work is to better understand why so many organisms follow a similar trajectory of aging and death.“Nearly every complex organism experiences a life-long deterioration followed by a catastrophic collapse at the end,” he said. “Furthermore, the statistical characteristics of the collapse are remarkably similar for a diverse range of organisms ranging from worms to mammals.”Vural said his hypothesis for why humans and other organisms age is based on evolution. For example, natural genetic mutation may lead to the development of disadvantageous traits, he said. Despite being potentially harmful, these traits persist in the organism due to the presence of positive traits combating the effects of natural selection. The term for this process is neutral constructive mutation.“We age because we have a long neutral constructive evolutionary history,” he said.Vural said an example of neutral constructive mutation is when a bacterium, born without the ability to make a certain digestive enzyme, nonetheless survives since other bacteria around it secrete that enzyme as they collectively digest a given food source.Three conclusions were reached based on his statistical studies of aging and death, Vural said. The first conclusion is that aging is a universal phenomenon for humans and other complex organisms.“Aging is inevitable for any organism that has evolved long enough,” he said. “Aging is the price you pay for being multicellular. We can compose symphonies, we can ride bikes, we can eat pizza. The price you pay for doing all that is aging.”Vural said the second conclusion is that aging applies to all finite organisms.“Aging is a finite size effect,” he said. “This means you don’t see [aging] in very tiny systems and in infinite systems you see something very different. The actual characteristics of aging you see in finite systems.”The third conclusion is the possibility of attaining, with profound difficulty, immortality, Vural said.“Immortality is possible, but very expensive,” he said. “You don’t gain much by added repair for a long time.”Vural said his study fits within the broader principles of many-body physics, which is an area of physics that examines the collective behavior of interacting entities.Vural said he modeled networks of interdependent “nodes” subject to damage and repair and found that the system inevitably crashed over time as each node died either due to its own probability of death over time or the death of an inter-dependent node. The consistency in the time it took such systems to crash, Vural said, made it possible to estimate maximum lifespan based on initial factors. He said such theoretical predictions closely matched the observations in experiments with animal populations, from fruit flies to mice.Vural said his work has implications for destroying bacteria populations if scientists use neutral constructive evolution to weaken potentially resistant bacteria within the population. The science may, over time, also apply to cancer treatments as scientists learn how to target specific cells within a system, he said.“This is where mad science begins,” Vural said.Tags: Aging, Physicslast_img read more

Football players attend hearing in Fulton County Court

first_imgThree of the five Notre Dame football players arrested on Aug. 19 — senior Max Redfield, sophomore Te’von Coney and freshman Kevin Stepherson — appeared in court Tuesday morning for their preliminary hearings. All three entered pleas of not guilty on the charge of possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. Redfield also entered a not guilty plea on the Class A misdemeanor charge of possession of a handgun without a license.The other two players, sophomores Dexter Williams and Ashton White, filed motions to waive their initial hearing and proceed directly to pre-trial conferences. According to court documents, Coney was also found with a counterfeit Illinois driver’s license, though he was not charged for synthetic identity deception. Additionally, 12 tablets of prescription drugs were found in White’s possession, though he was not charged with possession of a prescription drug. According to the account provided in the probable cause affidavit, a “significant amount of green plant material” was found loose in the front area of the vehicle, on the center console and both of the front seats. The same green plant material, which later tested positive for the presence of marijuana, was also found in two clear plastic bags on the rear floorboard of the car. A 9mm handgun, loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition, was also found in the backseat of the car, according to the affidavit. When questioned by the officer at the scene, all five men said the handgun was not theirs, though they did acknowledge they were in possession of marijuana. Irish head coach Brian Kelly addressed the topic at Tuesday’s press conference, saying he is aware of who owns the handgun found in the car. “I didn’t know at that time,” Kelly said. “Yeah, we ended up finding out.”While Redfield was dismissed from the team after the arrest, Kelly said he did not ever consider suspending the other four players found in possession of marijuana. “The other four guys, we’re talking about possession of marijuana and me dealing with that situation. … I’ve never suspended a player for a game for a first defense in this instance,” Kelly said. Several of the player’s lawyers at Tuesday’s arraignment filed discovery motions to see the video recording of the traffic stop. Redfield and Stepherson are due back in court Oct. 19 and Coney is due back Oct. 13 for their respective pre-trial conferences. Court dates for Williams and White have not yet been set.Tags: Ashton White, Brian Kelly, Dexter Williams, Fulton County, Kevin Stepherson, Max Redfield, Notre Dame football, Tevon Coneylast_img read more

Families come together for SMC First Year Parent’s Weekend

first_imgParents from around the country traveled to Saint Mary’s this weekend to spend time with their daughters for the annual First Year Parent’s Weekend.Parents received an invitation to the weekend in December for this year’s event, which had the theme of Winter.The schedule was planned by the first year class council, including class representatives Kassy Acosta and Michelle Lester, with the assistance of Karen Johnson, vice president of student affairs, and Jennifer Terry, executive administrative assistant for student affairs.First Year Parent’s Weekend is an important event for the class of 2020 because this is many first years’ first time being away from family for so long. According to Acosta,parents were able to give input on what events they wanted to see during the weekend through Facebook and email.The weekend kicked off with a reception Friday evening, where freshmen and their parents received gift bags with mugs. Most of the day Saturday was taken up by bowling, go-karts and mini golf at the Strikes & Spares Entertainment Center in Mishawaka. “For a lot of girls, this will be the only time that they get to share the campus and South Bend community with their parents,” Lester said.Later in the day, parents and students attended a workshop put on by the College’s Career Crossings Office titled “Surviving Sophomore Year,” which aims to help students plan for their second year, when students declare a major and discern their career. A Mass in the Church of Loretto on Saint Mary’s campus was also offered Saturday.Saturday concluded with a cocktail reception and dinner at the Gillespie Center, which College President Jan Cervelli attended. The reception also included a photo booth.“That’s what most of our work has went towards, planning, so I’m just glad we’ll get to see it all planned out,” Lester said.According to Acosta, First-Year Parents Weekend was a chance for students to show their parents what life is like at the College.“Parents weekend is important,” she said. “It allows the students to show their parents what they have accomplished here at Saint Mary’s.”Tags: First Year Parents’ Weekend, Jan Cervelli, parentslast_img read more

Residents Improve Vista Of West Ellicott Senior Living Community

first_imgSubmitted image.WEST ELLICOTT – The vista at a senior living community in West Ellicott was recently improved thanks to the work of residents living at the location.Submitted image.Residents at Heritage Ministers The Woodlands worked with members of The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy to improve a retention pond area at their location on Southwestern Drive.With funding from a grant, the group purchase native plants, including shrubs and perennial grasses, that will attract wildlife, birds, and butterflies. “We are so pleased to partner with the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy to make The Woodlands pond more attractive for our residents, who spend time enjoying our water feature and the wildlife it brings to our community,” said Senior Housing Administrator, Rebecca LeBaron. “We appreciate the knowledge the CLWC has shared with us, and look forward to seeing more wildlife and birds make this area their home.” Submitted image.“We thank them for the grant that provided native plantings and for the residents who helped today, and are also thankful to Jacob Sherman, who will work to provide continued service on this, and similar projects, as he works towards his Eagle Scout badge,” further LeBaron. “We are blessed to be able to provide safe and unique intergenerational opportunities such as these for our independent living residents to participate in vital community projects.”As the plants mature, they will grow and fill in an area that is wet after rain.Root systems aid in filtration, while blooming flowers will be eye catching and enjoyable for both Heritage residents at The Woodlands, and the public.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

The First Course Begins for Off-Broadway’s Dinner with Friends

first_img Can these four friends move on to the next chapter without moving apart or have they changed beyond recognition? Head to the Laura Pels Theatre to find out, but be quick! The show is only playing through April 13. After the delaying of previews and a cast change, Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Donald Margulies’ Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Dinner with Friends begins performances off-Broadway January 17. Starring Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos, Heather Burns, Darren Pettie and Marin Hinkle, the starry limited engagement is set for opening night on February 13. Dinner with Friends View Comments Related Shows Directed by Tony winner Pam McKinnon, Dinner with Friends follows Karen (Hinkle) and Gabe (Shamos), who played matchmaker with their friends Beth (Burns) and Tom (Pettie). Ever since, the two couples have been inseparable—going to the Vineyard every summer, raising their kids and enjoying countless dinners together. But when one marriage unexpectedly crumbles, the couples’ lives begin to veer in opposite directions. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 13, 2014last_img read more

David Rabe’s Hurlyburly Opens Off-Broadway

first_img Set in the Hollywood Hills of the mid-1980s, Hurlyburly focuses on four men caught in a world of parties, backbiting, lies, and self-obsession in the decade of decadence. But a string of encounters with destiny convinces one of them to dig beneath the surface to discover his soul. View Comments The original production of Hurlyburly, directed by Mike Nichols, was a hit on Broadway in 1984 and featured William Hurt, Judith Ivey, Harvey Keitel, Jerry Stiller, Sigourney Weaver and Cynthia Nixon. Though originally presented in three-acts, the Variations Theatre Group production at the Chain Theatre will mount the revised version used in the 2005 revival starring Ethan Hawke and Bobby Cannavale.center_img Tony winner David Rabe’s chilling comedy Hurlyburly opens off-Broadway February 19. Directed by Rich Ferraioli, the cast features Deven Anderson, Jacklyn Collier, Rachel Cora, Kirk Gostkowski, Chris Harcum, Brandon Scott Hughes and Christina Elise Perry.last_img read more