Subway exec discusses brand, ND

first_img Pace, a passionate Notre Dame fan who has a helmet signed by Joe Montana in his office, said he was disappointed that the Notre Dame Subway location does not offer $5 Footlongs. He does not believe students should have to go off campus to take advantage of the deal.   “Unlike many other brands, we don’t use celebrities, we use fans of Subway who happen to be famous,” Pace explained. “These guys and gals really do eat at Subway, so it’s natural for them to talk about the brand.” “Michael Strahan will go into a Subway and send out a tweet say ‘I’m having a Subway blank and blank sandwich,’” Pace said. “We just view it as another way to connect to our consumers. [Social media] advertising allows consumers to get as close to Subway as they want.”  Pace said that sometimes, celebrities will tweet the sandwich they’re ordering, just because they love Subway, and because they know “the [people at Subway] like it.” Pace said Subway does not solely use the faces of celebrities to promote the brand. Each afternoon, like clockwork, lines form in front of the Subway in the LaFortune Student Center as students wait to order their favorite subs. What most of those students do not realize is that the guy behind Subway’s global brand advertising, the guy behind $5 Footlongs, those television commercials with Jared Fogle and Subway ads with celebrities like Michael Phelps, is Notre Dame alum Tony Pace.  Pace said he personally likes to get creative with his Subway order.  “Obviously, everyone’s communicating digitally now,” he said. “We are trying to use innovative techniques in [our advertising.] Whether its Michael Phelps, Michael Strahan, Nastia Liukin — all of those folks also have a presence in the digital [space] and social media.” “I’m in marketing now, and the great thing about marketing is that a big piece of it is how you communicate — whether you write headlines, or lay out a paper, all that was fabulous training,” he said. “Television is still an extremely effective media form,” he said. “Without traditional advertising, the $5 Footlong Song would never have caught on that quickly. With television … you’re reaching 30 million people with a message.”  “As a longstanding and generous alum, I’m not very happy about [that.] I see ads in the Observer for Subways off-campus [for] the $5 Footlongs. That makes me upset,” he said.  “The Observer was the toughest job I ever had,” Pace said. “I was Editor-in-Chief of the Observer from March 1978 to March 1979. Before that, I was features Editor, and before that I covered interhall sports.” While digital media is an ever-expanding advertising platform, Pace said he has not lost focus on more traditional methods of advertising. Pace said his background in journalism and the liberal arts helped him build the communication skills necessary for a career in business.  Pace emphasized that all of Subway’s  “Famous Fans” are celebrities who already liked to eat at Subway. “If I ask someone what their favorite sandwich is, and they say ‘uh…tuna?’ I know that person isn’t a real fan,” Pace explained.  Most recently, Pace has been working on an advertising campaign with the New York City Marathon, creating a sponsorship deal as “Official Training Partner” since Subway’s Jared Fogle will be participating in marathon.  Pace said his education at Notre Dame as a double major in the Program of Liberal Studies and economics, as well as his experience as Editor-in-Chief of The Observer, helped prepare him for a job in the business world.  Pace said under his leadership, Subway emphasized advertising on the Internet, specifically on Facebook and Twitter sites of celebrities.  “So the thing that we just kicked off last weekend is making news of the fact that Jared’s running the New York City Marathon,” Pace said. “Jared lost all that weight by walking and eating Subway. Here we are 10 years later he’s running a marathon, so that’s a big deal. We have a TV commercial [on Jared] that actually just started running on Sunday.” After graduating from Notre Dame, Pace went on to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where he earned his Masters of Business Administration and was the editor of Business School Weekly.   He said people often have a go-to Subway sandwich. He talked about Michael Phelps ordering turkey when he’s in training, but a meatball sub when he’s not.  Pace, a 1979 alumnus, is the Chief Marketing Executive of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust. Since Pace joined Subway in 2006 and helped create a new digital marketing team, develop new marketing opportunities on shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Chuck” and bring the $5 Footlong deal to widespread success.   “My favorite Subway sandwich is actually not on the menu,” he said. “My favorite is what I refer to as ‘chicken and cheese.’ I want a single portion of cheese, half of it Swiss and half of it provolone. Put onions on before you toast it, so they’re cooked into the cheese. Then I want lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sometimes pickles or banana peppers, depending how I’m feeling, and a bit of mayo … usually on flatbread, although I also do Italian once in awhile.”last_img read more

Lecture discusses ‘Mormon moment’

first_img “Right now, there is extraordinary media attention given to Mormons both home and abroad,” he said. “There are three reasons for this; the candidacy of Mitt Romney, the Broadway hit musical “The Book of Mormon,” which is a parody of the religion … and our own media campaign, ‘I am a Mormon’ intended to dispel stereotypes.” The sheer growth of the church and the rising prominence of Latter-day Saints in a wide variety of fields also contribute to the added attention, Porter said. To begin his talk, Porter explained some of the LDS hierarchy and central beliefs. He dispelled a common myth about the church’s founder, Joseph Smith. “We recognize him [Joseph Smith] as a fallible mortal and do not in any sense worship him,” he said. Porter said despite the explosion of growth in the LDS church, Mormons are still very connected.” Our policies and curriculum originate from church headquarters … it helps ensure the church remains one unified body,” he said. “We are a close-knit people, we feel strong bonds to other saints across the world. There exists a global Mormon village.” After explaining some aspects of the church, Porter discussed Mormons and politics. Porter said the 12th article of faith says Mormons believe in being subject to kings, presidents and rulers and honoring and sustaining the law. “We believe the law and government holds men accountable,” he said. The LDS church renounces war and proclaims peace, according to what Jesus said to the prophet Joseph Smith, said Porter. “We believe the defense of family and country is justified, but war is a necessary evil and a last resort,” he said. “If all people believed in Christ, the world would be at peace.” Porter said unlike many believe, the LDS church does not endorse political candidates or policies. “We believe in the separation of denominational influence in politics, religion should not have undue influence in politics,” he said. While the church has sometimes taken a stance on prominent issues, Porter said, it is an issue of what is moral or not moral. “Many of the stances we have taken on political issues are conservative – like abortion or same-gender marriage,” he said. “On the other hand, our stance on illegal immigration is seen as fairly liberal.” Porter said even though Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon, the church has not and will not endorsed him, due to church policy. “In this campaign like others, the church has taken no position,” he said. “We’ve done nothing whatsoever to support Mitt Romney.” With the increase in media attention on the faith this primary season, Porter said the church has used it to promote the church in a positive light. “We have sought diligently to correct misconceptions about our beliefs … dispel stereotypes and misinformation about the church,” he said. Contact Anna Boarini at aboari01@saintmarys.edu Tuesday evening, Dr. Bruce Porter, an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) gave a lecture arguing there is currently a “Mormon moment.” Porter is a member of the Quorum of 70, an LDS governing body, and titled his lecture “The Latter-Day Saints come marching in: Mormonism abroad and at home in the 21st century.”last_img read more

Pink Game to benefit charity

first_imgThe Fighting Irish football team will don its traditional blue and gold uniforms when it faces Stanford at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, but players will add a bold color to their game day look: pink.   During the annual Pink Game, sponsored by the Kelly Cares Foundation (KCF) in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, players and coaches will accessorize with pink wristbands, shoelaces and other items to show their support for both the foundation and breast cancer awareness in general, KCF executive director Lisa Klunder said. The Pink Game also gives the Foundation an arena for raising awareness of its commitment to health, education and community, and its particular focus on breast cancer education and research, Klunder said. “This is a great opportunity for the foundation to get its name out there and let the community, fans and alumni know what we do,” she said. “Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is a perfect platform to do that.” Founded by Irish head coach Brian Kelly and his wife, Paqui, the Foundation dedicates much of its work to causes related to breast cancer awareness due to Paqui Kelly’s personal connection to the cause as a two-time survivor of the disease, she said. “As part of the three pillars of the organization, we focus on breast cancer awareness, education and research,” she said. “We continue to help organizations in any of those facets, whether it’s assisting research facilities with funding or me doing speaking engagements and encouraging people to be proactive about their health.” The Foundation also supports other non-profit organizations, Paqui Kelly said, as it recently donated $10,000 to Notre Dame swim coach Brian Barnes’s Coaches vs. Cancer event in honor of Barnes’s late wife, Alyssa. This year’s Pink Game holds special significance for Paqui Kelly, as she celebrated being five years cancer-free in September. “The first time around, I didn’t get to celebrate because I was diagnosed again before the five-year mark,” she said. In addition to the visual display of support from the football team and sales of Adidas licensed pink gear on game day, Klunder said the Foundation will be selling facemasks of Brian Kelly’s pink-visored face to fans as part of a partnership with the Logan Center in South Bend. “The proceeds will be split 50-50 between the Logan Center and the Foundation. They do wonderful things for their clients, and in keeping with our pillar of community, we can give back to an organization that could use the additional funds,” she said. “The Logan Center’s clients helped assemble [the masks], so they’ve been really proactive and involved in this. I don’t know if there are more or bigger Notre Dame fans than the Logan Center clients.” The upcoming game is a continuation of the Foundation’s other breast cancer awareness efforts, including last week’s second annual Think Pink with Paqui golf outing, which hosted 250 guests and raised more than $75,000 in net proceeds, Klunder said. Although the noncompetitive event was “lighthearted,” Paqui Kelly said its educational value was the real focus of the outing, as two Michiana oncologists spoke to attendees about breast cancer treatment, early detection and research. “The event was quite successful, and we got positive feedback from people who came,” she said. “The oncologists discussed current treatments, and so many things have changed that what people were told 10 years ago is a lot different now. From my first to my second diagnosis, my treatments were very different.” Paqui Kelly said her experience motivates her to share her story and raise awareness of the disease year round, not just in October. “It’s personal to Brian and me. I feel like I had a red carpet with cancer treatment because we had everything we needed along the way,” she said. “It’s also very important to understand that breast cancer doesn’t just happen in October, but using the same platform of awareness as the country and the NFL helps.” For more information about the Kelly Cares Foundation, visit kellycaresfoundation.org.last_img read more

Registration opens for Holy Half Marathon

first_imgThe time for training season has officially begun for people running in the Holy Half Marathon this year. The Student Union Board (SUB) has opened registration for the ninth annual half marathon that will take participants on a scenic route through Notre Dame’s campus March 23. “The Holy Half is one of the biggest student-run events on campus and has quickly become a Notre Dame tradition,” Maria Murphy, an SUB representative, said. Murphy, who is also a Holy Half programmer this year, said the best part of the Holy Half is that runners not only get to train and compete in a 13.1 mile race, but also get to make a difference in the South Bend community on behalf of the University. “All proceeds from the race go to the Women’s Care Center (WCC) and the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County,” Murphy said. “Our goal this year is to raise $40,000 for these awesome organizations.” This year the Holy Half will include a new course for runners, Murphy said. She said the event will also feature Mike Collins, the voice of Notre Dame Stadium, as the emcee. “Runners will get a 2013 Holy Half t-shirt and a bunch of other free goodies from our sponsors,” Murphy said. “All volunteers will get lots of food and our undying thanks.” Sponsors for the 2013 Holy Half include GU Energy, Blistex, Jimmy Johns, Dunkin’ Donuts, Harper Cancer Research Institute, Hagerty, Zone Perfect and ABRO Industries, Murphy said. For those runners who aren’t prepared to run 13.1 miles, there is also a 10k race option that will take place 15 minutes after the half marathon begins. Murphy said there is a capacity for 1,300 runners. For students who aren’t runners but still want to get involved, there are plenty of spots open for student volunteers to help set up the race, run water stations and cheer on runners. “By volunteering I gained so much respect for people who were able to run that long,” Ann Kebede, a 2012 volunteer for the event, said. “It was especially cool to watch the girls who kept such a fast pace. I also liked seeing people I knew run past while I cheered them on.” Kebede said volunteering was a great way to get involved in the event because she knew she wouldn’t want to participate as a runner. “A lot of what I did was cheer people on and give them motivation to keep going,” Kebede said. The Holy Half is a great way for Notre Dame and the surrounding community to be able to physically participate in the athletic culture of the school, she said. “It is an athletic event that the whole campus can do, as well as the outside community,” Kebede said. “Since athletics is such a big part of Notre Dame, this is a great thing that is open to everyone and gives people the opportunity to be active for a day.” Murphy said SUB has given the Holy Half a lot of freedom this year. She added that SUB plans to make the race fun for all and, most importantly, raise money for WCC and the Family Center of Saint Joseph’s County. “We are so happy with how the race is coming together and cannot wait for March 23,” Murphy said. The deadline for registration is on March 14.last_img read more

Give them a reason to believe in you’

first_imgNever has a woman served in the highest public office in the United States, and men outnumber women in Congress, 517 to 118. But, three women have stood at the helm of United States foreign policy formation as secretaries of state. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the second woman and second African American to hold the position, spearheaded American efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East and helped to lead the country through the Iraq War’s beginning, Sept. 11, the collapse of the Soviet bloc and German reunification Rice, who received her master’s degree in political science from Notre Dame in 1975, served as national security advisor from 2001 to 2005 and as secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 under the Bush administration. Rice said she was able to lead within the male-dominated security field because she was confident. “Early on in my career, I think when I walked in the room, people might have been a little surprised that I studied military affairs, and Soviet military affairs at that, but when you walk into a room like that, you have to walk in with confidence,” Rice said. “And what makes you confident is the sense that you’re well prepared. So, I always felt that I was well prepared and I never felt out of place in those circumstances. But I think there’s no doubt that when I walked in the room there were a few raised eyebrows, right at the beginning. “But you get used to that, and you get to the place where you just move on and do the business that you’re there to do.” A seat at the table Connecting with leading foreign policymakers helped Rice to break into the ranks of the field’s most elite thinkers, she said. Among these interactions was a critically important meeting with Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor under Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, during a 1985 arms control meeting at Stanford University. “When President George H.W. Bush won the presidency, Brent [Scowcroft] went to be his national security advisor, and Brent asked me to come and be his Soviet specialist on the National Security Council,” Rice said. After her time within the Bush administration, Rice returned to Stanford in order to remain eligible for tenure at the university. She then met George Shultz, then-secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, at the Hoover Institution. Shultz invited her to a luncheon club, where she engaged other preeminent foreign policy intellectuals. “You have to find people who will advocate for your career, who believe in you. … You have to give them a reason to believe in you,” Rice said. “So, you have to be good at what you’re doing, but in the case of both George Shultz and Brent Scowcroft, they were very senior people. … And so I got to know them, and they began to introduce me to other people in the field.” Rice said Scowcroft and Shultz helped her to jumpstart her career, even though they were not from similar backgrounds or of the same demographics as her. “I know that people say you need role models to look like you,” Rice said. “It’s wonderful, if that’s the case, but my mentors were white men. They were old, white men, because those were the only people who dominated my field. Had I been waiting for a black, female Soviet role model, I’d still be waiting. Firsts only come about when you’re willing to take that first step. Even if there is somebody in the field who doesn’t look like you, don’t make that a constraint.” A world of ideas and research Rice graduated from the University of Denver in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 with a master’s in political science. She then received her Ph.D. at the age of 26 from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. Though her expertise positioned her well to be an influential policymaker, Rice said her time in academia made it more difficult for her to depend on others to supply her with specialist knowledge while serving as a high-level policymaker. “When I say I’m an academic, what I mean is that there is no greater profession for me than teaching and the world of ideas and research,” Rice said. “My academic background, of course, gave me the depth of expertise, … starting with the work that I did [at Notre Dame] in international politics and economics, becoming a specialist on the Soviet Union, deepening that knowledge. One of the hard things when you’re a policymaker is that if you’re an academic, you like to know things in great depth. I probably knew more about the Soviet general staff than they knew about themselves, at one point in my life. “When you are a policymaker, you aren’t ever going to know everything in depth – you’re going to have to depend on other people’s expertise. That is a little bit hard sometimes, for academics, to make decisions when you aren’t the expert on an issue.” As a result of her studies, especially at Notre Dame, Rice said she developed a very strong sense of “the important values.” “I’m actually a Presbyterian minister’s daughter, and I’ve been deeply religious all my life. This important link of faith and reason, the recognition that faith and reason are not enemies of one another, is very important and has been very important in my development,” Rice said. “I think Notre Dame played a major role for me in that.” The essence of leadership Developing the ability to adhere to personal values while making decisions is a critical component of good leadership, Rice said. “I think the most important characteristic of a leader is to have integrity,” she said. “When you look in the mirror and you’re about to ask people who you’re leading to do something, ask yourself, ‘Is this something I would do?’ And if the answer is ‘This isn’t something I would do,’ then don’t ask people who work for you to do it.” Rice said leaders should focus not only on shaping the paths ahead for their organizations, but also on developing the leadership capacities of their support staff. “I think that it’s really important to recognize that part of your job is to recognize leadership qualities in other people. You can’t lead by yourself,” she said. “You need others, a team, to help you lead, and the larger the organization, the more people you need to help you lead. And so, recognizing and nurturing leadership qualities in other people is one of the really important characteristics of leadership.” Critical to Rice’s leadership in American foreign policy was cultivating her own awareness of her goal, she said. “You have to have a strong sense of the essence of what you’re trying to do,” Rice said. “In American foreign policy, that meant really understanding what the United States really meant in the world and building on that.” Rice said both men and women need to draw on a broad spectrum of leadership qualities. “Sometimes you want to collaborate and bring people together. Sometimes you just have to say, ‘No, we’re going to do it that way,’” Rice said. “Both women and men have to do that. … I don’t think women are any more collaborative or any less tough. If you’re going to be a leader, you’re going to have to have all of those qualities.” ‘Work twice as hard’ Realizing she would be unable to turn her childhood dream into a fulfilling career, Rice said maintaining an open mind allowed her to develop a passion that she eventually made into a career. “It may actually not even be the first passion that works out,” Rice said. “I went to college to be a piano performance major, and having recognized that I was probably going to end up teaching 13-year-olds to murder Beethoven for a living, I decided to find another way. “Fortunately, I wandered into a class in international politics in my junior year of college, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s what I want to do.’” Nurturing passion for something is key to a successful career, Rice said. “You have to find something you’re really passionate about, because if you’re passionate about something, you’ll spend the time to become really good at it,” she said. “Becoming good doesn’t mean skimming the surface and becoming superficially good. My parents used to say to me, because I grew up in segregated Birmingham, Ala., where prejudice was all around us, … ‘You have to be twice as good.’ “Now, that’s actually not a bad idea even if you’re not growing up in segregated Birmingham, Ala. Because if you think you have to be twice as good, you’ll work twice as hard. And so, I always felt like I outworked everybody.” Rice said getting involved in politics requires a sense of optimism. “You actually have to give the political system a chance,” Rice said. “I know there are a lot of reasons these days to not have very much faith in our political system. I know that a lot of people are skeptical about Washington, D.C. People don’t trust the political system, but we’re a democracy. “We have to own our institutions. We have to own our political process.”last_img read more

Students spend break in Europe

first_imgBefore he was Pope, John Paul II was Fr. Karol Józef WojtyÅa, a priest living and working in Poland under communist rule. Junior Christina Serena, a Notre Dame philosophy and theology major, wanted to know what impact this Church leader had on his native country. Through a grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Serena traveled to Poland over fall break and interviewed 23 people there. Some were priests; some were ordinary citizens; some knew the Pope personally and called him “uncle” at a time when it was dangerous to identify a Catholic priest as “father,” she said.   “One summer, [the Pope] invited them to the Vatican … and Pope John Paul was making up songs about their memories back in Poland,” she said. “They still called him uncle then – they said it was like he was still their uncle – like he was the Pope, but he wasn’t the Pope … he was still their friend, even as Pope.” Dr. Anthony Monta, associate director of the Nanovic Institute, said the group granted $31,786 allowing 14 students to go to European countries conducting research in a variety of fields. Monta said the Nanovic Institute has a long history of working with the College of Arts and Letters, but recently it has encouraged students interested in science and business topics to apply for grants as well. This year, he said “about half” of the students conducted research related to international economics or topics outside the College of Arts and Letters. “The economic situation in Europe affects us all, so we’re interested in sending students who are interested in those types of problems,” Monta said, “and the scientific community is global.” Alex Yaney, a senior majoring in Science Preprofessional Studies and Italian, said he spent his fall break in hospitals and on the streets of Rome, asking both health professionals and ordinary people about their opinions on Italy’s public healthcare system. “It really gave me the chance to practice my Italian and [learn] about the medical system there,” Yaney said. “That was why I came, to incorporate my two majors together. … It was a good reminder of why I came to Notre Dame and why I’m studying what I’m studying.” The Nanovic Institute, Monta said, encourages seniors in particular to travel to Europe to gather material for their theses. “We always earmark funds for seniors, because we want very much to promote a culture of the senior thesis in concert with the College of Arts and Letters,” he said. “We had five seniors working on theses receive funding to do the kind of original, experiential research that take their theses to the next level … to find bits of research that really amplify the significance of their research.” For his thesis, Matt Cook, a fifth-year architecture student, said he traveled to the Cinque Terre region of Italy for the second time, speaking with community leaders and studying wineries, a significant source of revenue in the area. His goal, he said, is to design a winery and town center for the town of Vernazza. Cook said he hoped to contribute to the discussion about reviving the town, which in recent years has struggled with tourism, environmental degradation and a 2011 flood. “I don’t think there’s a lot of money in Vernazza for a project like this, but it at least gives them some kind of idea about how they can respond to the needs of tourists, how they can accommodate a growing number of visitors, and how they can get people back out into the territories outside of town and respond to the environmental pressures so that people can live safely in Vernazza,” Cook said. Monta said the Nanovic Institute also encourages students to work on philosophical and theological projects, such as Serena’s study of Pope John Paul II’s impact on Poland, which she intends to turn into a research paper and video compilation. “As an institution we like to build connections to the Vatican,” Monta said. “We like to build connections to all the great Catholic universities in Europe, and we have very nice partnerships set up with these.” In addition to gathering insights about John Paul II’s personality, Serena said she found the Polish public, while they didn’t know much about his theological teachings, “loved him in the way that you love your father” and considered him a national icon. “Pope John Paul really became not a direct leader but definitely a spiritual leader for the solidarity movement, which is a movement in Poland of the common people to fight against the power of the Soviet Union in Poland,” Serena said. “… It’s like, ‘We have the strength as Poles to be able to finally become independent.’ They have a lot of respect for him.”last_img read more

University kicks off year with Frosh-O

first_imgAs members of the incoming Class of 2018 pack their last bags and begin to converge on campus from all over the world, groups of older students from each residence hall are hard at work behind the scenes, putting the final touches on what will be the freshmen’s first glimpse of life at Notre Dame.Commonly known as Frosh-O, the First Year Orientation is a whirlwind of new faces, speeches and events from Aug. 22-24. In addition to open houses, an official orientation program, academic advising and DomerFest, freshmen will participate in a variety of activities with their residence halls. These events often include icebreakers, learning Notre Dame and hall-specific traditions, and small service projects, sometimes in conjunction with other halls. Senior Deirdre Harrington, chair of the Student Campus Orientation Committee (SCOC), said preparations for the weekend began last April, when the 29 residence halls’ Frosh-O commissioners, the leaders of hall orientation events, gathered for a series of training sessions. Keri O’Mara | The Observer “[It] was basically going over what we expect of them and their staff and what kind of events they should have, and preparing them to be able to plan the events during the summer,” Harrington said. She said the Student Activities Office (SAO) had to approve all Frosh-O events. Commissioners for each hall began exchanging ideas for events with their staffs and with other halls in the spring semester, and, after consulting with rectors, submitted schedule proposals to SCOC. Harrington said SCOC then acted as an intermediary between commissioners and SAO staff, offering suggestions and improvements before submitting the final proposal to SAO, which then offered its own feedback based on a number of considerations, from risk management to what kind of food each event would need. Another dimension of the training process, Harrington said, was a renewed emphasis on inclusiveness, taking students’ differences in background and personality into account, so that all freshmen could feel welcome and comfortable. She said this involved keeping diverse ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations and ability levels in mind when planning events and adjusting existing traditions, such as designing an event students of all athletic abilities could enjoy. “The overall goal is to get people used to Notre Dame and what it means to be a student and part of this community at large, and understanding what it means to be a part of your dorm, or all the types of identities you might have as a Notre Dame student on campus,” Harrington said. Junior Josh Dempsey, a Frosh-O co-commissioner for Duncan Hall, said he and his staff decided to change serenades, a tradition in which male dorms sing to female dorms, by having the residents sing to other male dorms. He said he and his staff also worked to develop better events with female dorms. “It’s more about developing friendships early on and developing meaningful, lasting friendships,” he said. “So we try to avoid your 30-minute event with a female dorm … What we did instead was schedule an hour and a half block where the guys are in a low-pressure atmosphere and they can just mingle and talk and actually get to know [another hall resident] as a person.” The initiative also extended to personality types. Junior Maggie Schmid, a co-commissioner for Cavanaugh Hall, said she worked to make Frosh-O welcoming to both introverted and outgoing students.“We want to make sure we’re taking care of [the students],” Schmid said. “I love Notre Dame, and I want to make sure [freshmen] have a good first impression. The training helps me focus on people who I don’t [normally] focus on, and I like that, because we don’t want to let anyone slip through.” The result of all this work is a months-long, multi-step process of adjusting events and schedules and coordinating with other halls, so that it all fits together in the end. “We’re actually still today just getting approval for things that we submitted in May,” sophomore and Breen-Phillips Hall co-commissioner Melaina LaSalle said.  “It’s very long because I think Notre Dame just wants to make sure that everyone is safe and everyone has options that weekend, so it’s understandable, but it’s a long process.” LaSalle said her goal was to make the freshmen’s orientation experience as good as hers was. “Everyone in the moment is like, ‘oh, serenading, this is so awkward, DomerFest is so awkward … but I met my best friends that weekend, and I’m so thankful for that,” LaSalle said. “If I’m able to give that opportunity to someone else, even if it’s just one person, it’s worth it . . . . Our goal as BP students is to build both a sisterhood within our dorm and relationships outside of our dorm, because that’s what Frosh-O weekend is about, building relationships you’re probably going to know your whole life.” Dempsey said he wanted to emphasize a sense of community during Duncan’s Frosh-O. “Our goal would be really make them feel like Duncan is their hall,” Dempsey said. “That was a big thing for me, when I felt comfortable with the guys I was living with, going to dinner with, makes the guys excited to call their parents at the end of the weekend and say, ‘I had the best time.’ You really have kids who miss home, but are comfortable in their hall. It’s that welcoming aspect that is our main objective.” Tags: class of 2018, Freshman Orientation, Frosh-Olast_img read more

Professor analyzes theater of Irish Revolution

first_imgTags: Easter Rising, Irish Theatre, W.B. Yeats Fearghal McGarry, a professor of Irish History at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, delivered a lecture Thursday titled “Lost Republic: The Abbey Theatre’s 1916 Rebels,” which focused on the role of seven leading members of W.B. Yeats’s famous Abbey Theatre during the Easter Rising.McGarry also highlighted Ireland’s cultural revolution and its connection to the growth of revolutionary political movements, and how the goals of the Easter Rising differed from its legacy as the centennial anniversary of the event approaches.McGarry challenged the concept that Yeats and the Abbey’s political productions inspired the Irish people to support a republican sentiment. Instead, he said the actions of many often-overlooked organizations that shared members with the Abbey, operated in both the political and cultural spheres, and were more notable causes for the violent uprising than Yeats’s relatively conservative theatre.“Contrary to the myth of the Abbey as a breeding ground for Irish Republicanism, the theatre was often critical of the movement, and while some plays caused the Abbey to come into conflict with Dublin Castle, there were similar clashes with Irish Republicanism,” McGarry said.McGarry said rather than the commonly-held view that a cultural revolution fueled a political movement and violent uprising there were in fact “many overlapping circles or culture and activism, and it is out of this that revolution began.”McGarry said many other groups played a more important part in the Rising than the Abbey Theatre, including Inghinidhe na hÉireann, or the “Daughters of Ireland.” The Daughters of Ireland, like almost all Republican organizations of the time, contained its own theatre company, McGarry said.“It is culture, rather than class, that allowed for the inclusion of those who would typically be excluded from these political movements, such as women and the working classes,” he said.“The nature of drama appeals to the political because it requires actors to take part in the play, an audience to observe it and a space for the play to be performed in.”McGarry also said these organizations were crucial to the Irish revolutionary movement because of their values and the importance of these values to the Rising. These values were gradually lost over time by what McGarry called the “Catholic-Nationalist narrative” of events. Specifically, McGarry said the feminist and socialist aspects of the Rising, which the Abbey’s revolutionary members supported, appeared to be forgotten in its legacy.“In economic, political, cultural and gender terms, the revolution disappointed its members from the Abbey Theatre,” he said. “Revolutions usually end in failure, and for the Abbey Seven, there was the failure to transform society rather than just change the state.”last_img read more

Real Life Program promotes balanced lives

first_imgOn Wednesday, the Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality’s Real Life Project held its first meeting for the 2015-2016 academic school year.Michelle Egan, associate director of the Center for Spirituality, said the Real Life Project began as a Student Independent Study and Research (SISTAR) project in 2007 and now takes place once a year, usually during the fall semester.“The Center for Spirituality subsidized the Real Life Project in 2008-2009 as a pilot, and [it] was met with such positive evaluations that it was incorporated into the Center’s regular programming,” Egan said.According to the Saint Mary’s website, the Real Life Project provides “students and faculty the chance to talk together about how to connect all the parts of [their] lives in a meaningful way.”Egan said participants must attend all four meetings, which occur over dinner with a small group of faculty facilitators. At these meetings, the faculty aids students in discovering how to balance their daily lives with fulfilling their calling.“The central focus of Real Life is to explore the notion of vocation on many levels, deepening students’ understandings of both vocation, or life calling, and the discernment process,” she said.According to the Saint Mary’s website, students complete readings and reflections to help prepare themselves for the discussions to come.“All participants share the experience of making major life decisions, plus they discuss the challenges of integrating all aspects of life as they pursue their goals and dreams,” Egan said.Egan said that after listening to guest speakers, reading, reflecting and having discussions with faculty, students have a better understanding of the role of theology.“Students come to a better understanding of the process of thoughtful, prayerful decision making, and they develop a broad definition of gifts or passions,” she said. “They also leave with a better understanding of how their ‘passions’ can respond to the needs of the world.”Students often enjoy the program so much that they are not ready for it to end, Egan said.According to the Saint Mary’s website, a Saint Mary’s student said, “My Real Life experiences have helped me to realize that discernment is a lifelong process and that my path might zig-zag and change directions a number of times during my adult life.  I remind myself that I will know what choice is right for me when it feels right.”Tags: Real Life Program, Saint Mary’s Center for Spiritualitylast_img read more

Alumni secure corporate funding on ‘Shark Tank’

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Mike Doyle CEO Mike Doyle, left, and co-founder Drew Mitchell landed a deal with the popular ABC show, “Shark Tank,” for their company, Rent Like a Champion.Rent Like a Champion is a housing rental company that targets fans traveling to college towns for games and other major events.  Doyle and Mitchell initially asked the sharks for an investment of $200,000 for a 10 percent equity stake, and eventually, Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca matched their terms. “The whole ‘Shark Tank’ experience was surreal,” Doyle said.Although the episode aired on Oct. 30, Doyle said it was filmed in June. The deal with Cuban and Sacca was signed in late August after the due diligence process.Doyle said he became involved with the business by managing student apartment rentals as an intern during his time as undergraduate at Notre Dame. “We realized there’s a huge market for people who want to rent homes on game weekends,” Doyle said.Doyle said Rent Like a Champion began in South Bend, but expanded to other college towns when he realized the scalability of the business model.“We can do this not just at Notre Dame, but we should be doing this at Penn State, at Michigan, at Florida State, all of these college towns around the country where this service makes sense,” he said.This approach led to rapid growth, Doyle said, with an average growth rate of 80 percent over the last three years and a projected revenue of $4.1 million for 2015.“It’s gone from me knocking on doors at Penn State to a team of seven employees,” Doyle said.Although Rent Like a Champion was already quite successful, Doyle said “Shark Tank” represented a chance to rapidly accelerate their expansion from their current 21 towns to around 40.“We see ‘Shark Tank’ as this opportunity to take things to the next level,” he said. “We’ve gotten to this point with a nice business that’s working really well, but the sharks are the most incredibly smart and accomplished business people you could possibly meet and they know how to bump businesses up a notch or two.”Cuban and Sacca actively help Rent Like a Champion, Doyle said, by providing advice and support.“They’re super plugged-in and very involved in the business,” Doyle said.In explaining his plans for the future of Rent Like a Champion, Doyle said it is important to note that opportunities for the big event rental paradigm exist beyond college sports.“There’s definitely a model for this outside of just college sports towns, so any big time events that happen with regularity in smaller towns like NASCAR races, PGA tour events, concerts, and even Democratic and Republican National Conventions make sense with our model,” Doyle said.Despite Rent Like a Champion’s track record of success and its plans to expand, an investor on “Shark Tank” episode expressed concern about competition from Airbnb and other companies.However, Doyle said Rent Like a Champion has a unique business model that differentiates it from Airbnb.“We’re really event-focused, they’re really destination-focused,” he said.Notre Dame senior David O’Connor interned at Rent Like a Champion for the past two years and worked to help establish its identity in a market that Airbnb does not serve.O’Connor said this process involved focusing on what their customers wanted and using this information to attract them.“The first summer I was there it was a lot of figuring what works and what doesn’t work,” O’Connor said.O’Connor said a vital priority for the company was making potential renters in college towns comfortable with their online business model.“The demographic tends to be older people with no kids, as opposed to [the typical customers of] Airbnb, 34-year-old young professionals looking to make another $200 a month. We’re trying to get [our customers] accustomed to this digital sharing economy,” O’Connor said.Ultimately, O’Connor said the hard work behind Rent Like a Champion has paid off with its robust growth.Doyle also said the “Shark Tank” experience was a validation of the effort he and his co-founders put into Rent Like a Champion. However, he said they did not plan on being chosen for … “Shark Tank” because the competition for spots on the show was so rigorous.“We didn’t want to put all of our eggs in that basket because we didn’t know if we were one of ten companies vying for spot or one of 1,000 vying for spot,” he said. “There was definitely some ambiguity about how likely this actually was to happen.”Despite the odds, Rent Like a Champion made it onto “Shark Tank,” and Doyle said the final result was exactly what he and Mitchell hoped for.“In a dream situation, if we could have any we wanted, we would do a deal with Mark and Chris together.” Doyle said. “So the fact that Chris pulled Mark into a deal meant it really couldn’t have worked out any better for us.”Tags: ABC, Rent Like a Champion, Shark Tank The opportunity to appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” is offered to a select number of entrepreneurs, but even fewer are able to close a deal with a shark and secure funding for their company.Notre Dame alumni Mike Doyle and Drew Mitchell were able to do both on an episode of “Shark Tank” when they pitched their business, Rent Like a Champion, and landed a deal with Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca.last_img read more