Students dedicate summers to service nationally, globally

first_imgFor the past several months, Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns (CSC) provided students the opportunity to serve with partner agencies, examine social issues and reflect on their experiences through the Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) and International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) grounded in the roots of Catholic social thought.Two hundred and seventeen students completed SSLPs in 175 sites across the country, which were sponsored by 106 Notre Dame alumni clubs. Fifty three students completed ISSLPs in 17 countries, according to CSC  international service learning and justice education director Rachel Tomas Morgan. The ISSLP offers a chance to combine academic studies with hands-on volunteer activities in vastly different cultures across the globe, she said.The program includes a “year-long academic service-learning program that comprises two courses and the eight-10 week service-learning field placement so students receive an academic framing that surrounds their immersion experience,” Tomas Morgan said.Theological reflection and summer service learning director Andrea Smith Shappell said the SSLP also encourages students to learn academic and personal lessons through active service and integration in communities.The SSLP “recognizes that building relationships with people who live on the margins of society brings knowledge about people and social issues in ways that cannot be taught in a classroom setting,” Shappell said.Both programs require students to take workshops and classes on campus and then immerse themselves in the topic of study. Tomas Morgan said the ISSLP, which encompasses a three-credit pre-departure theology course and one credit for summer work, forces students to recognize and evaluate the existence of extreme poverty across the globe.“Through our classes, students are introduced to pressing global issues. Students who participate … already have a strong heart for the poor. It is our hope that our students also develop and cultivate a mind for the poor,” Tomas Morgan said.Shappell said the SSLP can also open students’ minds to future academic and career decisions and deepen their commitment to community service. SSLP students earn three theology credits for their summer work.“The SSLP has the potential for being a transformative experience for students,” she said. “This may be a new understanding of putting their faith in action, redirecting their career plans or deepening their commitment to community engagement.”Sophomore Amber Bryan spent her eight-week SSLP in New Orleans serving at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church for the Local Organizing Ministry.“I did a wide variety of things — help with the opening of a new school in the community, establish a good neighbor ordinance between community members and businesses with alcohol beverage permits, pack food in the food pantry and map blighted property,”  Bryan said.Bryan said the SSLP sparked a deeper interest in policymaking and reinforced her previous interest in education.“It was rewarding to help people get more than the immediate change that can be completed in 20 hours or so,” she said. “After the SSLP, I am going to be taking more research and policy courses. This experience reassured me that I want to work in education policy.”Senior Emily Horvath spent eight weeks in Chennai, India, working at Vidya Sagar school for children with developmental disabilities. She said her passion for occupational therapy led her to seek the opportunity of an ISSLP, which would push her outside her comfort zone.“I spent my time working in the occupational therapy department and teaching a creative movement (music and dance) class,” Horvath said. “The curiosity to travel to a random city in a random country, knowing no one, and see if I could come out of the experience with amazing new relationships plus a strong desire to pursue occupational therapy in a setting where I’d be working with children with developmental disabilities, made me choose to participate in an ISSLP.”“This experience also opened my eyes to the battle for the rights of people with disabilities that is currently being fought in India,” she said. “I formed friendships with people who face these issues every day. Forming these relationships has transformed my perspective on issues of global human development.”Tags: Center for Social Concerns, CSC, ISSLP, Notre Dame, service, SSLPlast_img read more

Di Canio: Strict rules for players

first_img Di Canio, who accepts he is viewed in some quarters as “the mad Italian”, said he is ready to give any lazy players a “kick up the bottom” and claimed the sceptics will soon be cheering his name to the Stadium of Light’s rafters. He also insisted he can weather the storm blown up by Labour MP David Miliband quitting as club vice-chairman over the 44-year-old’s past statements professing to be a “fascist but not a racist”. Press Association New Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has warned the players will have to fit in with his disciplined approach to training to avoid becoming “a team of anarchists”.center_img Sunderland are a point off the relegation zone and the new manager admitted his first training session came as a shock to some players, stressing the need for discipline. Di Canio, who previously achieved success as manager of Swindon, said: “You have to know how to manage your players. “It is obvious you have different egos in the Premier League, but you have to have strict rules, discipline, and work hard on the field during the week otherwise the product you deliver on Saturday is not good. “That won’t change. It’s not just Paolo Di Canio’s opinion, all managers around the world think the same. If everybody interprets the game wrong because they do not train properly during the week or because there is no discipline you have an anarchists’ team, and if there is anarchy maybe the players try to do the right thing but doesn’t work in the way it should. “Especially the new generation, not because they are bad guys but they are young and full of technology, they go round the town and if you don’t make them concentrate during training sessions you don’t help them to be focused. “I am not saying it happened here, I have to be clear. I don’t know what happened here but with the players we have got I can’t imagine how we are one point from relegation zone. Yesterday was the first training session and it was a shock for them. “But they showed fantastic commitment and we are going to change a bit our philosophy in the way we approach our training sessions, because if you do not prepare yourself the best in your training session you can’t do a good job in a Saturday or Sunday game. “We have a very good foundation with five or six players with fantastic talent and a group of young players who are full of enthusiasm to prove their quality. We can now light the fire and let them play together with energy and quality.” last_img read more