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‘Impermeably and forever’: Reflecting on Rory Gilmore’s graduation speech

“Gilmore Girls” has been a comfort show of mine for years. Through my many watches, I’ve processed that Rory Gilmore is no perfect character. In fact, she’s one of the farthest main characters from “perfect” that I have come to know in my 22 years of reading, watching and learning. While she and Lorelai didn’t always get everything right, they’ve shaped who I am from some of their best moments and I’ve learned from watching some of their worst. 

One of Rory’s biggest, humblest moments (and simultaneously one of her best) is her Chilton valedictorian speech. In it, she touches on all that she learned and all those she loved. It is this speech that feels like the most relatable piece of Rory’s character for me at this moment in time. It felt that way at the end of high school, and it feels the most fitting now as the class of 2023 enters our final semester.

Because the speech feels so fitting, I’m going to follow its framework as I reflect on the people and the things that made these four years possible and made them worth all the work they required before I fully embark on my last semester on Notre Dame’s campus. A semester that I know will be full of light and laughs, but that ultimately came too quickly.

“I live in two worlds. One is a world of books.” 

For anyone who knows me, they know I understand that the ability to read and write day in and day out has been a gift. I’ll pick up anything from a pop culture magazine to Proust and read them cover to cover. Sure, reading has been tedious at times, but this university gifted me with the space to explore. My very first class started with Sophocles and his stories about Oedipus and Antigone. I learned that a coffee mug has one side and is, in fact, a doughnut. We read everything from Plato and St. Augustine to Betty Friedan and Malcolm X. And I defeated George Foreman with Muhammad Ali after simulating an acid trip with Timothy Leary. I can’t thank my professors enough for introducing me to some of the greatest minds of every generation. Especially the professors that have become my mentors in other facets of my work, as well.

I have not only read as much as I wanted, but I’ve also had the chance to put pen to paper. I’ve written essays I couldn’t be prouder of (and some I wish to never see again). I’ve interviewed some of the coolest athletes and coaches this university — or the world — has ever seen. And I’ve told their stories the best way I knew how. Writing has been an outlet and an exercise throughout my four years. I am so grateful to have taken the classes I did. They really focused on using the knowledge I gained in the ways I knew how: in my own voice.

And to The Observer, for training my journalistic voice in ways I would never be able to just in the classroom. There’s nothing more important to me than the work I have done in the basement of South Dining Hall. I will carry those skills for the rest of my life. And I hope to always read all the important work student journalists do on our campus each and every day. 

“It’s a rewarding world, but my second one is by far superior.” 

I am so grateful for all that I have learned here, but that is a fraction of what Notre Dame has come to mean to me. My second world includes the people I have had the chance to meet here. These people, like the people of Stars Hollow to Rory Gilmore, are eclectic, fun and beyond intelligent. Everyone I have come to know on this campus is “supremely real, made of flesh and bone and full of love.” I could not have grown and learned in all the ways that I have without the discourse, the support and the care of my friends here. 

From late nights in the library to similarly late nights out. From fabulous birthday parties to sitting on the couch playing a board game. I have come to recognize the people here as my family. Without them, my life here would not be the same. They let me cry in my hardest times, called me out in my stupidest and celebrated with me my achievements, no matter how big or small. I am every bit who I am after these four years because I got to know them. To the group of friends born of a math class we had to take — despite none of us wanting anything to do with math — I am so lucky we bonded as tightly and quickly as we did. To the friends who have come since then, you have come to mean the world to me, just as quickly. 

“My twin pillars … from whom I received my life’s blood and … without whom I could not stand.”

While I love it here, I had to get here first to figure that out. And it’s at this point that I stray slightly from Rory’s speech. She thanks her grandparents at this moment (and while my grandparents have always been the brightest lights in my life) I’d like to combine her words for them and her words for Lorelai into some for my parents.

To be at Notre Dame would not have been possible without the love I know from Heather and John McGinley. They truly are my twin pillars. They created a space for me to ask questions, figure things out and learn from everything I do. My mother and father “never gave me any idea I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be.” My mother showed me every role model imaginable, but none as influential as herself. And my father? He is the reason for my confidence. I never feel more prepared for anything than I do after talking to them. Without them, succeeding here simply wouldn’t be possible. And it wouldn’t mean all that it does to me. 

“But my ultimate inspiration comes from my best friend … the person I most want to be is her.” 

And I save the rest of Rory’s words for my very best friend in the entire world. My little sister is the person I learned from the most and has guided me through these four years even without trying to. She knows my every move, how I react, what to ask when I don’t know where to start and how to respond to my answer.

Without my little sister, I couldn’t do what I do. She inspires it all and I am so grateful. Weekends she would visit for football or for the hell of it were bright spots in semesters. Watching her perceive the people and spaces around me gave me new perspectives. For a while, she practically knew me better than I knew myself, and it helped me to find the right people in my life. I have so much more to learn from Ry but I cannot thank her enough for all that she’s taught me already. She’s a “dazzling woman” and the Lorelai to my Rory. She helped me to shape the person I have become and pushed me in ways no one else knows how. 

“Impermeably and forever”

The last thing I want to steal from Rory Gilmore is the sentiment that this isn’t an ending but a beginning. At least, that’s what everyone will tell us. We will get jobs. We will start new schools and we will do work in other ways and continue growing outside the gates of Our Lady’s University. Still, that doesn’t mean I want to reach my last days here and say goodbye to all of this. It has meant so much to me and become such a powerful part of who I am. 

In spite of that, I know that at some point this semester, I will catch myself wishing it were all done. Wishing I could turn in my thesis as is and finish my finals already. I caught myself doing it in the seven semesters leading up to this one. This time, though, I refuse to hurry anything, even in those moments. I am going to cherish it all. For as quickly as this semester has come, I don’t want to see it go. As Rory Gilmore said, leaving here “means leaving friends who inspire me and teachers who’ve been my mentors, so many people who’ve shaped my life… impermeably and forever.” It’s going to hurt making that leap from our home under the dome. 

But that’s the thing about it. Yes, we will be leaving, but Notre Dame will always be our home. “Impermeably and forever.”

Contact Mannion at mmcginl3@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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News

Panelists advocate for ‘culture of life’ in wake of Dobbs decision

Participants in the panel “A Culture of Life in Post-Dobbs America” advocated against abortion and for a pro-life movement that places equal emphasis on the life of the mother and child Wednesday afternoon.

The panel, which was hosted by the Notre Dame Office of Life and Human Dignity and the Notre Dame Right to Life club, consisted of: Danielle Brown, associate director of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Charles Camos, professor of medical humanities at the Creighton University School of Medicine; Angela Franks, professor of theology at St. John’s Seminary in Boston; O. Carter Snead, a professor of law at Notre Dame; and Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the diocese of Fort Wayne — South Bend.

Snead began the panel by emphasizing the importance of the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision for their movement.

“Before we could even have any substantive conversations about how to shape the law, Roe v. Wade had to be overturned,” Mr. Snead said, arguing that the Roe v. Wade decision was “pursuant to an illegitimate power grab by the court that didn’t have any sources in the text, history or tradition of the Constitution.”

Now that the Court has tossed the power to regulate abortion to the states, Snead said “it’s our responsibility to take that authority and to care for mothers, babies and families and build a culture of life and a civilization of love.” 

Snead advocated for policies that outlaw abortion while also supporting mothers, pointing to the state of Texas as an example.

“Texas has not just extended the protections of the law to the to the unborn child but at the same time, authorized $100 million … for alternatives to abortion programs to try to support pregnancy resource centers … to help support women in terms of poverty, health care [and] addiction,” he said.

Brown then spoke, drawing connections between abortion and racism.

“There are … two thirds as many abortions in the Black community than amongst our sisters in the white community,” she said.

While African-Americans make up roughly 12% of the American population, Brown said, “some figures report that without abortion, the population and the communities would be double that percentage.”

But Brown said it is not enough to simply point out the issue of race with abortion — she said action must be taken.

“The problem that I see most within the pro-life movement is that we are all stats when it comes to the Black American and no heart. [We are] not caring about health care disparities, food deserts, safe and affordable housing, educational choice, and the Catholic Church is rapidly withdrawing from city centers. Why don’t we care?” she said.

While Brown argued that laws must be enacted to stop abortion, she also argued that a shift in the culture is necessary.

“Men and women today, really, we just want to be God. We lack a proper anthropology of the human person and a definition of true freedom,” she said.

Franks then talked about the role that abortion has played in feminist movements over the past 100 years. 

While the first wave of feminism, Franks argued, was mostly about “moral exhortation” and changing social structures to benefit women, second and third wave feminism evolved to the point where “the problem was female fertility.” The solution for these feminists, Franks argued, was abortion.

This view of feminism, Franks said, was out of touch with basic biology and “just doesn’t work.”

“Women cannot simply follow a male timetable when it comes to pursuing education or pursuing a career if they also want a family,” Franks said.

Franks argued that a worldview that pushes motherhood to the side in favor of monetary gain should be rejected by the movement.

Camosy turned the focus of the conversation to the future of the anti-abortion cause.

“Just as a quarterback needs to lead his receiver and throw the ball, not where he is now, but where he will be in a few seconds,” Camosy said, “so we as a pro-life movement need to think about not where the culture is now, if we want to be persuasive in the public sphere, build alliances, appeal to people with different sources of ultimate concern, but think about where we’re going.”

Like other speakers, Camosy stated that in a post-Roe world, “the goal of radical equality for both mother and child” should be the priority.

Camosy argued that in order to do this, anti-abortion advocates must not be afraid to use the government to achieve their goals.

“We have been led, in my view, by far too tight connections to a Reagan-style Republican Party that rejects the role of government in favor of virtually only private solutions. There is nothing Catholic about this approach,” Camosy said.

After the four panelists spoke, Rhoades came to the stage and praised the work of the panelists and the Right to Life group on campus, saying that “respect for the life and dignity of every human being” is the “foundation of what makes a university truly Catholic.”

Rhoades touted the work of pregnancy and women’s care centers in the diocese, which give material assistance to women during and after their pregnancies.

“It’s remarkable the number of women who’ve been helped, and many African-American, many Latinas and many who are lower income people. And the method is love,” Rhoades said.

“The number of abortions in our diocese has been cut in half,” he added.

Concluding his remarks, Rhoades emphasized the importance he places on the fight against abortion.

“Life is the first good received from God and is fundamental to all others. To guarantee the right to life for all and in an equal manner for all is the duty upon which the future of humanity depends,” he said.

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FTT department hosts 34th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival

This weekend, Notre Dame’s Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) Department will host its 34th annual Notre Dame Student Film Festival in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Browning Cinema. 

Ten unique short films made by 20 different student filmmakers in Notre Dame’s FTT Department, both collaboratively and individually, will combine to put on a film festival open to the entire Notre Dame community.

The Film Festival will take place Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite film via text after each screening, and the student(s) who receive the most votes will be presented with an Audience Choice Award after the final screening.

Ted Mandell, professor in the FTT Department and the founder of the festival, emphasized that attending the film festival is a great way to support on-campus student filmmaking and also “understand that we’ve got some very talented, creative students here on campus.”

Mandell said he was impressed with all of the films the students have prepared but noted that picking out a favorite would be like “picking a favorite child,” even when looking back at all of the films that students have produced for the last 34 years.

Mandell said he can recall each and every film his students have produced since the festival’s origin in 1990. He emphasized that the filmmaking process is extremely collaborative, and “the faculty is just as invested in the process as the students.” 

Just last year, three documentaries that premiered in the festival went on to be played in both Los Angeles and New York Film Festivals. Mandell describes the festival as “a launching pad,” as alums have gone on to work for Saturday Night Live, Netflix, NBC and other entertainment companies. 

Suneina Badoni, a senior filmmaker participating in the film festival, collaboratively filmed, produced and edited two films: “Tension” and “Lily.” Going into her Notre Dame education, Badoni wasn’t initially set on the FTT program, but after attending one of the admitted student days and talking to the professor Michael Kackman at the FTT table at the majors fair, she decided to give it a try.

“Tension,” a film that Badoni put together with classmates Isa R. Maiz and Tianji Lukins in her Intermediate Film Production class, was especially exciting for Badoni to make because it is a horror film about the struggle between a voodoo doll and Badoni’s friend Matt, who acted in the film.

“It was really fun to shoot because we got to use a ton of cool equipment like huge rigs and lights that we checked out through the FTT office” Badoni notes. Badoni also teased a creative twist at the end of the film. 

Chloe Stafford and Suneina Badoni traveled to Los Angeles to film “Lily,” a story about a girl who uses non-psychedelic medicinal mushrooms to treat her frequent seizures. Courtesy of Ted Mandell.

“Lily,” Badoni’s second film, was entered into the festival with classmate Chloe Stafford in their Documentary Production course with Mandell. “Lily” is a documentary that features the daughter of Badoni’s uncle’s Notre Dame roommate, who suffers from epilepsy and has had up to 50 seizures a day since she was five weeks old. But since taking non-psychedelic medicinal mushrooms, Lily has been seizure-free for up to 20 weeks. Inspired by Lily’s story, Badoni and Stafford traveled to Los Angeles during fall break to spend time with Lily’s family and capture Lily’s story for their documentary. 

Reflecting on her time at Notre Dame, Badoni said she’s grateful for the close-knit relationships that she’s developed with the FTT faculty and students and everything she’s learned in her classes.

Liz Maroshick, another senior FTT student from Buffalo, New York, also contributed two films to this year’s festival: “Sew Loved” with Abby Urban and “For Better, For Worse” with Olivia Hsin.

Maroshick also produced “Sew Loved” in Mandell’s Documentary Production class, and the assignment was to simply pick a documentary topic “pretty much anywhere in the country,” but Maroshick and Urban “fell in love with” and decided to choose a women’s organization right here in South Bend that teaches underserved women in the local community general life skills, sewing in particular. 

Abby Urban and Liz Maroshick’s film tells the story of a local South Bend center that teaches underserved women how to sew. Courtesy of Ted Mandell.

Maroshick and Urban went to the center and filmed content for three days, developing close relationships with the women there. Maroshick says that it was a “super interesting experience and something that [she] definitely wouldn’t have gotten” had she not taken Mandell’s class. 

The second film that Maroshick is contributing to the festival is “For Better, For Worse,” a narrative fictional film made in her Intermediate Filmmaking class. The class tunes into students’ more creative sides, allowing them to write creative scripts and experiment with new things such as unique lighting. Maroshick describes the film as “film noir meets modern day Tinder… kind of like a ‘dating-goes-wrong’ situation.” 

Both Badoni and Maroshick encourage all students to attend the festival, as it is “a tangible way to show the Notre Dame community what the FTT students spend their time working on and what they are really passionate about.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at performingarts.nd.edu or in-person at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center ticket office. Mandell advises everyone to “buy your tickets online because the event will sell out fast.”

Contact Emma Vales at evales@nd.edu.

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News

Students line up at UHS clinic to receive booster shots

Students snaked out the Stepan Center Thursday morning to receive their bivalent booster shots.

The line for the clinic, which was hosted by University Health Services (UHS), went all the way to the snow-covered sidewalks. In fact, when the clinic opened at 10 a.m., students were already lined up to get their COVID-19 booster shots.

Inside the building, a sign was set up with instructions for people with and without their vaccine card on how to check in. A mask was required to proceed into the building for the shot. 

Bethel Aninyei, a graduate engineering student, was one of the people waiting in the line outside for their booster shot.

When asked why she came to the clinic, Aninyei said it was because the shot will be mandatory for the upcoming school year, as announced by the University last November. She said she probably wouldn’t have come to the clinic if it wasn’t, since she had already received the first booster.  

Going to the University-run clinic had two main advantages for sophomore Anna McCartan. One was the clinic’s convenient location, and the other was that she would not need to worry about submitting information through her UHS portal.

“Mostly, it’s really nice just walking a couple minutes from my dorm and not really having to worry about submitting it separately on the portal, like automatic uploads,” McCartan said. 

McCartan said she caught COVID for the first time this fall.

“I think since I had gotten the disease so recently, I probably would have waited longer, because I think I still have some antibodies from having it. So, it probably would be more effective later, but since they’re requiring it, I think I would sign up now,” McCartan said.

The convenience of going to the University-run clinic was also expressed by junior Chris Barile.

“It’s the closest thing, and also they upload your information right to your portal,” he said.

Barile said he probably would not have gotten the bivalent booster if it was not required because he is already boosted.

Diana Taylor, a nurse at the clinic, said that the bivalent booster is different from the earlier monovalent booster because it protects against more strains of Covid-19.

“This one has the Delta, the Omicron and the BA.5. So, it’s a totally different strain of what those first boosters came out,” she said. “The bivalent means more than one, so there’s two new things they’ve added onto there, so the booster you had is not the same as this.”

Contact Colleen at cfarre23@nd.edu.

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Sports

Three Irish skaters nominated for prestigious Hobey Baker Award

As this weekend’s important conference series against Wisconsin approaches, three Notre Dame skaters have been nominated for college hockey’s most prestigious award. But don’t tell them that. 

With the Irish in the thick of the hunt to make the NCAA Tournament, individual awards are not at the forefront of their minds.

“I didn’t know it was coming out or anything, so I got a text and thought, ‘This is pretty cool!’ It was never on my mind at all,” senior forward Trevor Janicke said. He, along with graduate student defenseman Nick Leivermann and senior goaltender Ryan Bischel, were nominated for the Hobey Baker Award.

The award, named after one of the greatest American athletes of the twentieth century, Hobey Baker, is given out annually to the most excellent all-around player in men’s college hockey. Despite its status as an individual accomplishment, all three Irish were quick to pass off the praise. 

“It’s not an individual award at all,” Janicke said, whose eight goals and 17 points lead the team. “It’s a testament to my teammates and the coaches as well.”

For Leivermann, the team’s captain, seeing his and his teammates’ names on the list of 86 nominees is especially meaningful. 

“One other thing that’s special for us [to see] is all the other guys in the country right now that are up for [the award]. Those guys are all pretty high-end talent names, so any time you’re in a category of the top players in college hockey, it feels pretty good,” Leivermann said. “You’re doing something right. It’s a testament to everybody, not just us, and we are pretty grateful.”

All three have taken different paths to earning their nomination. 

Goaltender Ryan Bischel, for instance, was not initially named to the list of nominees. Yet, 52 and 42-save performances in last weekend’s games at No. 6 Penn State caught the attention of the committee, who added Bischel to the list this week. 

His late addition has nothing to do with a lack of qualifications. The netminder has been a stalwart for the Irish, racking up 824 total saves, the most in college hockey. His .928 save percentage is fifth-best nationally, and best among goaltenders who have played 1,000 minutes or more. Earlier this month, Bischel was also named to the watch list for the Mike Richter Award, given to the nation’s top goaltender.

As the team’s go-to goalie, Bischel has started every game this season to date, and he ranks second nationally in minutes played. What’s his secret to staying sharp so consistently?

“I spend a lot of time in the hot tub,” Bischel said, half laughing. “Focusing on taking care of my body has been a big emphasis here.”

Being prepared mentally has also been a focus for Bischel, who said that football coach Marcus Freeman’s message to the team earlier this month helped him stay in the moment, “one shot at a time.”

For forward Trevor Janicke, the path to his nomination has been bolstered by a strong second half of the season. The Maple Grove, Minnesota, native has been finding his offensive rhythm of late. He has tallied five goals in the last seven games.

Such success in his senior season at Notre Dame is extra special for Janicke because of his family ties to the program. Janicke’s Dad, Curtis, was a forward with the Irish from 1989-1993. His brother, Justin, is a sophomore on the team. The brothers have played together for the first time in their hockey careers during the last two seasons.

“I basically have been bleeding gold and blue since I was born. I knew the Notre Dame fight song when I was, like, two years old,” Janicke said. “My whole life, this was my dream.”

Leivermann, returning for his fifth and final season with the Irish this year, is one of the most important members of this Notre Dame squad. As usual, Leivermann is putting up good offensive numbers, averaging .72 points per game from the back end. Despite missing eight games this year due to injury, Leivermann leads Irish defensemen in points and his next goal will tie his single-season high of six. 

Most importantly, the team’s captain does not shy away from the ambitions of Notre Dame hockey. Acknowledging, with an 11-12-3 record through 26 games, that this year has not gone to plan, Leivermann sees opportunity ahead for this Irish team.

“We have an expectation to win the Big Ten and make a run for the national championship, and that’s still our expectation, even though things aren’t going our way,” Leivermann said. “We still find ourselves in a spot where things are going to work out if we pull together a few wins.”

In that sense, this weekend’s series against Wisconsin takes on an important tone. Time is of the essence for the Irish to start their climb up the standings. Only six games remain in the regular season after this weekend, all of which are against top-15 opponents.

The Irish are currently on the NCAA Tournament bubble. They sit at 15th in the PairWise Rankings, a system that determines which teams qualify for the 16-team tournament. 

What is the energy like in the locker room going into such a critical series?

“Excited,” Bischel said. “I think the room today after practice was, like, the most excited I’ve seen it all year, so yeah, I think the guys are fired up for sure.”

The sense of urgency around the team was best summed up by Janicke.

“It’s time to go… now, it’s playoff hockey.”

The puck drops on a crucial regular season series at Compton Family Ice Arena tonight at 7:35 p.m EST. Game two of the series will follow on Saturday at 6 p.m. EST.

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Viewpoint

Snow days

A few days ago on my way across campus, instead of hurrying to get to where I was going like I normally do, I took time to admire the snow. I noticed how beautiful the Golden Dome looked as the snow fell down and how much people seemed to be embracing the moment. Being from Chicago, I don’t have as much appreciation for the snow as most people do. I love when it snows around the holidays, but not so much when it’s March and nearing April. However, given that we’re still in January, I’ve chosen to embrace the snow for the time being. 

As a little kid, I would always get so excited at the possibility of a snow day. I remember sitting and staring wide-eyed at the TV as a five year old hoping and praying that my grade school would be listed in bold red font as one of the schools that would be closed for the day. At five, a snow day meant that I could drink hot chocolate and go sledding with my friends. In high school, I had the same feelings when it came to snow days. I vividly remember checking snow day calculator apps and refreshing my email numerous times per day in hopes that we had received an email stating that classes had been canceled. Only, in high school, instead of drinking hot chocolate and going sledding with my friends, I mostly chose to take the time to sleep in, something my normal 6:30 AM wakeup had prevented me from doing. 

Needless to say, snow days were always great. During the pandemic, however, I realized that snow days had become a thing of the past. Classes could get moved online and carried on as normal. As nice as it was that people were able to adapt their daily routines to working remotely during a time when the whole world had seemed to stop, there was a huge part of me that longed for the traditional snow day. 

Last year, during my first year of college, there were one or two days where the weather was so bad that classes were moved online. Some of my professors conducted classes as normally as they would have had we been in an actual classroom, while others told us to go out and enjoy the snow. During one of the snow days, I took advantage of the extra time and caught up on some sleep. And during the other, once classes had finished, I remember going over to my friend’s dorm room, where we ordered Domino’s pizza and watched Gossip Girl. Despite having to go to class online, we still managed to make a “snow day” enjoyable. 

As much as I could say I am not a fan of the snow, I realize that snow can bring a lot of joy if you choose to embrace it. Snow reminds me not only of snow days, but also of skiing and snowmobiling with my family. It reminds me of the time I was little and built snow forts with my cousins. And, most recently, it’s given me memories of being here at Notre Dame in South Bend.

Isabelle Kause is a sophomore at Notre Dame studying sociology and minoring in journalism. When she’s not busy, you can find her listening to country music or Taylor Swift or trying out new makeup/skincare products. She can be reached at ikause@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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Sports

Irish men’s tennis hopes to continue hot start in Kentucky

It’s a new season for Notre Dame men’s tennis. Following a mediocre season last year, the Irish are looking for improvement both in and out of ACC play this year. Irish head coach Ryan Sachire and his team — filled with savvy veterans and some high-flying freshmen — know that this weekend presents a key opportunity to showcase that improvement.

The Irish have gotten off to a blazing start this season, crushing DePaul and IUPUI on Jan. 13, sweeping Chicago State on the road and winning a 4-3 thriller against Western Michigan last week at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Their lone defeat came against Northwestern on Jan. 15 in Evanston. 

The Irish will head to Lexington, Kentucky, this weekend to play in the Kentucky Regional of the ITA Kickoff. They are seeded No. 2 in the tournament and will take on No. 3 Washington on Friday at 5 p.m. in the opening round. The Irish last played Washington in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Championships. The Huskies won 4-3 in a match that lasted more than four hours.

Should the Irish prevail, they will play the winner of No. 1 Kentucky and No. 4 Liberty in the final. The victorious squad will earn a spot in the ITA National Indoor Championships. That tournament will be hosted by the University of Illinois in February. 

Notre Dame was last invited to the Kentucky Regional in 2014. That season, they would go on to qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championships. Overall, Sachire has brought the team to the competition three times during his tenure, most recently in 2019.

This weekend’s competition provides a premier opportunity for the Irish to continue their success this season and reach a milestone that they failed to last year. In a season which will be defined by momentum and consistency, playing in these sorts of big-stage matches before ACC play begins will be crucial for the team.

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News

Seven Notre Dame alumni make the Forbes 30 under 30 list

Every year, Forbes magazine releases their 30 under 30 lists. Within these lists, the 30 most accomplished people in their fields under the age of 30 are highlighted. This year, seven Notre Dame alumni were included

The alumni 

In order to address national housing issues, Colin Devine, a 2016 graduate, co-founded and acts as chief operating officer of BotBuilt. The company sets out to use robotic technology to make the homebuilding process more efficient. 

Raquel Dominguez, an alumna who graduated in 2016, works as creative executive of OBB Media. In this role she is able to help A-list celebrities such as Hailey Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Demi Lovato and Kevin Hart with their content. Along with this, she works on the show “Who’s in my Bathroom?” that has hosted celebrities like Kendell Jenner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keke Palmer and Emily Ratajkowski.

A 2017 graduate, Jackson Jhin, acts as co-founder of Protege. He left his position as chief financial officer of Cameo in order to pursue this passion. Protege works to connect the average person to their role models, allowing them to get advice from celebrities such as DJ Khaled and Florida Georgia Line. 

Natalie Marshall, a 2019 alumna, has earned the nickname “Corporate Natalie” for her humorous social media content on experiences in a professional work environment. Her posts on Instagram and Tiktok have allowed her to gain nearly 900,000 followers. On the side, she still acts as an advisor for start up entrepreneurs or aspiring social media creators. 

DxTx and Spine was co-founded by Mack Mazeski, a 2015 graduate. The goal of the company is to find better treatments for back pain that do not rely on opioids or surgery. They aim to find the root cause of these issues, rather than to simply suppress symptoms. 

Former Notre Dame women’s basketball player and 2019 graduate Arike Ogunbowale acts as a founding member of LeBron James’ More Than a Vote initiative. The initiative stands to improve voter turnout among Black people and reduce their voter suppression. She is also an investor of Just Women’s Sports. 

Chas Pulido is currently on leave as a Notre Dame student and is founder and general partner of Alix Ventures. This company aids startup companies that focus on advancing the science of human health. 

Gratitude for success and advice for others 

Jhin credited the roundedness of Notre Dame’s liberal arts approach to education as helping his career.

“Interestingly, everything helps,” Jhin said. “All of the extracurriculars, a lot of things that aren’t necessarily towards your professional tract, if you’re passionate about it and you get really good at it or you learn a lot about it, it does come back to help.”

Notre Dame’s fine arts requirement allowed Dominguez to find what she was truly passionate about. By taking an elective in the Film Theatre and Television (FTT) department, she was able to find the major that would help her career as a creative executive.

“Well, I went in thinking I went in as a political science and economics double major, but then like, my first year, I really did not enjoy it. So, I took an elective in the film in the FTT department and I really liked it,” she explained. “My sophomore year, I dropped economics. I kept political science, which did get better … but I added FTT as a second major.”

Devine credited Notre Dame’s holistic curriculum and the University’s academic atmosphere as preparing him for the workforce and its turbulent realities.

“My time at Notre Dame taught me how to learn difficult things extremely quickly, which is of central importance as a non-technical founder at a startup because your job varies so much from day to day (and hour to hour),” Devine said in an email.

The alumni on the Forbes list attributed their career success to having been pushed forward their support systems, including professors, friends and coworkers. Further, many of their nominations for the list came from these groups. 

Dominguez, however, said that it was also nice to hear from those in her past who she has had a hard time staying in touch with, but is nonetheless happy to hear from. She moved to California for her career, but can still feel the support of those in her hometown in Ohio.

“It’s kind of exciting. Like, my high school crush sending me an Instagram DM, we love to see it,” she said. 

Jhin suggested that students should make a conscious effort to Notre Dame’s mission to be a force of good in the world while picking their professors, advising others to look at an Ikigai circle diagram. The diagram reveals to its users four intersecting categories to guide their career choices: passion, skill, necessity and profitability.

“If you’re missing any of these circles, you’re not going to feel fully fulfilled,” Jhin explained.

Devine, on the other hand, did not simply pick his career with that mission, but aimed to create a business that emulated the Notre Dame mission. 

“One of the reasons I have had deep conviction about BotBuilt from the first day is because of our mission to use technology to solve the housing crisis,” Devine said. “Just about all companies now tend to claim that their mission is positively impacting the world, but being surrounded by people at Notre Dame who live its mission with such courage and wisdom made me want to work on a project that was actually having a profoundly positive impact on the world.”

Domiguez said success comes to each person in different ways, but it is essential to have grit.

“It’s really about being scrappy and working hard and finding your own path because everyone does it differently,” she said.

Jhin’s advice to others discerning their career paths revolves around risk-taking, which he said is essential for success.

“I would encourage people to take risk as much as possible,” Jhin said. “Whenever there’s something where you’re like, ‘wow, I really want to do this, but I’m scared that I could fail,’ I think that is the quintessential type of risk that I’m talking about.”

Contact Emma Duffy at eduffy5@nd.edu.

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‘Still a lot of important work to be done’: Hundreds of Notre Dame students to join annual March for Life

For the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, thousands of students — including roughly 500 Notre Dame students — will coalesce on the U.S. Capitol for the March for Life.

The march began in 1974, the same year the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in the U.S.

Half a century later and after a historic ruling overturning the federal right to an abortion, Notre Dame’s Right to Life club will march alongside tens of thousands of fellow pro-life and anti-abortion activists. The club has attended the march since it began.

Yet one thing distinguishes this year’s march from those of years past. This past summer the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that abortion is not a constitutional right, effectively overturning their prior decision in Roe v. Wade. Now that overturning Roe is no longer a rallying cry, Right to Life club leaders say they will campaign for other anti-abortion policies and support for pregnant women.

The Notre Dame Right to Life club is partnering with the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture to plan the event, including coordinating bus transportation for those participating. Right to Life club president Merlot Fogarty said the center is “crucial in helping us to execute this large-scale event and making it a success each year.”

The club will also host a mass in D.C. for alumni and others in the Notre Dame family to attend, Fogarty added. 

“[The mass] allows us to remain grounded in the true mission of our community, to promote and protect the sanctity and dignity of all human life in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church,” Fogarty said.

Many members of the club have made the trip before and are excited to do it again this year, including first-year Martha Cleary who has gone twice. 

“If there’s one thing that stands out in my memory of the march, it’s how joyful people were,” she said. “It’s a long walk, typically in the middle of really bad weather, and yet the sense of joy and community was contagious. I’m really looking forward to experiencing that same enthusiasm and community with Notre Dame Right to Life.” 

Fellow first-year Theo Austin, who has attended the march “at least seven times,” says that his favorite experience from the event in previous years has been reaching the top of Capitol Hill before getting to the Supreme Court and looking back. 

“You can see over the entire crowd of Americans who are standing together with one mission, to save the lives of the most vulnerable,” he said. “I find peace and strength in that.” 

Historically, the march has placed great emphasis on the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Cleary said one of the most common chants in previous years has been, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!” Currently, abortion legislation varies by state.

Yet students like the club’s sophomore class representative Frankie Machado are undeterred. 

“This year has obviously been big for the pro-life cause,” Machado said. “But there is still a lot of important work to be done.” 

The sentiment is echoed by anti-abortion advocates across the country, including here on campus. 

“Our club wants to emphasize its commitment to supporting women in this post-Roe America,” Fogarty said. “We demonstrate this commitment through our partnership with Saint Joseph Fertility Care Center in Mishawaka, our service through the Women’s Care Center and so much more. We want to create a culture in which abortion is never necessary, and no woman ever feels pressured to take the life of her child.”

Contact Matthew Broder at mbroder@nd.edu.

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Poetry Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey discusses her inspiration for writing

Students, faculty and guests came together on Tuesday evening to listen to Walk the Walk Week keynote speaker, Natasha Trethewey as she answered the question “Why I Write.”

Trethewey is a former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning poet, best known for her books “Memorial Drive” and “Native Guard.” As the Initiative on Race and Resilience artist-in-residence for 2022-23, she was selected to give the keynote address for the eighth annual Walk the Walk Week at Notre Dame.

Fr. John Jenkins kicked off Walk the Walk Week, introducing the event and its significance.

“Walk the Walk Week is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on what it means to be Notre Dame,” Jenkins said. “Let us listen to sieving, not only from the perspective of scholarly detachment, but let us open our minds and hearts to engage in ways that lead us to action for peace and justice on our campus, in our local communities, in our nation and in our world.”

Trethewey then took the stage and began by paying a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr..

“It could be said that part of my journey as a poet began with Dr. King when I was only in the third grade. I wrote my first poem for him and his message of social justice continues to guide me,” Trethewey said.

Titled The House of Being, Trethewey’s lecture was split into four distinct sections. The first section was titled “The World Book”, named after an Encyclopedia set Trethewey’s grandmother kept on her bookshelf.

“That the story of The World Book’s provenance was passed down to me from the beginning made it even more prized. I was enthralled with the title,” she said. “The idea that a set of books could contain even a single year of the world beyond our house.”

She then discussed her father’s role in introducing her to knowledge through books and stories.

“I heard Yeats’ “Sailing to Byzantium”, Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays”, Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”, all in the cadence of my father’s resonant voice,” Trethewey shared. “When I think back on it now, I can see that all the stories my father told me, each with some form of the hero’s journey, must have taken root in my psyche, establishing early on the pattern to which my own journey would conform.”

Next, Trethewey moved on to the second section of her lecture which was titled “Crossroads.” In this section, Trethewey’s main focus was on her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi.

She discussed the cultural and familial significance of her homeland before going on to highlight the devastating changes which then took place.

“In the decades of the early 20th century, when my grandmother was growing up there, the land and the house on it had abutted a pasture. By the time I was born, the pasture was gone, paved over to make way for new highway 49 and the house now stood at a crossroads — the intersection of 49 and Jefferson Street,” Trethewey noted.

Trethewey then explained the significance of the changes to her homeland, emphasizing the unjust concealment of many people.

“On every corner, four foot tall concrete pillars sunk deep in the ground and painted white, bore their names like monuments to the founding of the nation, the complex ideals embedded therein,” she said.“It was one of the myriad ways the landscape of my geography was inscribed with one version of America while simultaneously subduing or erasing others,” Trethewey said.

She then continued her point by explaining that the geographical location one is born in, or grows up in, plays a significant role in determining their fate.

“Inevitably, individuals are shaped by the history and culture of inherited places,” Trethewey said. “Geography is fate.”

Returning to the purpose of her talk, Trethewey takes a moment to link her story thus far to the purpose and reason behind why she writes.

“That is one of the reasons I write, to create the narrative of my life so that my story would not be determined for me,” Trethewey shared.

Before moving on to the third section, Trethewey delves into the fact that she is biracial, as well as how that affected her writing.

“Despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act, my parents’ interracial marriage was still illegal in Mississippi, rendering me illegitimate in the eyes of the law,” Trethewey highlighted. “The act of writing is a way to create a world in language. It is an act of reclamation and resistance.”

Trethewey then moved on to the penultimate section of her speech which she titled “The House of Being.” Here, Trethewey shared details about her grandmother’s job as a seamstress and how she was impacted by it.

“She made precise measures in cuts so that no material was wasted, nothing was out of place, the patterns true, the results a thing of beauty. That translates to me now as a way to think about syntax. How one writes is inseparable from why one does,” Trethewey said.

Next, Trethewey shed light on the abusive relationship her mother was involved in after her parents’ divorce. At this point in her life, Trethewey was no longer living in Mississippi.

She emphasized her extreme dislike for living in Atlanta as well as how much she enjoyed the summer when she got to return to her grandmother’s house.

“At my grandmother’s house, I could relax and I’d spend a good deal of my time in solitary reverie, as the dreamy child does. I could sit down to read and lose myself all without fear of the chronic tensions I left behind in Atlanta,” Trethewey recounted.

Finally, Trethewey began her fourth section, “The Pasture.” In this section, Trethewey dove into her relationship with her mother, emphasizing how supportive her mother was.

“She will do whatever she wants,” Trethewey recalled her mother saying in response to doubtful comments made by her stepfather.

After discussing her close connection to her mother, Trethewey shared her reaction to hearing of her mother’s murder.

“Following her death, I turned to poetry, the only language that seemed capable of containing my immeasurable grief,” Trethewey said. “I placed my grief in the mouth of language, the only thing that would grieve with me.”

Before concluding, Trethewey returned to the big question one last time, giving a final insight on why she writes.

“I have turned to literature for the way it enables us to momentarily suspend time, to live in the moment of a story unfolding, wherein the intimate voice of a poem reanimates in the mind both for the writer and reader,” she said.

Prior to the conclusion of the event, there was an opportunity for a brief question and answer session. When asked about how she goes about unpacking something so traumatic, Trethewey shared that it is all about memory.

“The rhythm of my own thinking makes memories reemerge. I think that is one of the joys of writing poetry,” Trethewey said.

Another audience member asked a question about how Trethewey is able to overcome the fear of others’ perception of her work.

“First, I believe in the goodness of people. The second thing is precision in the telling of our own experience,” Trethewey responded.

Finally, Trethewey was asked about her upcoming work. She shared that she plans to expand this very lecture into a small book. She then plans to work on a memoir about her father in which she will really explore how she came to be an author.

Contact Jenna Abu-Lughod at jabulugh@nd.edu.