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Image: Tower Talk January 2015

Tower Talk January 2015

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Date Set for Inauguration of President Marylou Yam
marylou yamThe Notre Dame of Maryland University community is proud to announce the inauguration of Dr. Marylou Yam as our 14th President. 

Dr. Yam will be formally installed on April 17. Inauguration festivities will run from April 12 to 19, 2015. Formal invitations are forthcoming. Additional details about Inauguration Week will be available at ndm.edu/inauguration in the coming weeks.

We hope that you will join us as we celebrate another new and exciting chapter in NDMU's fearless and faithful history!

Save the Date: Reunion 2015
Mark your calendars for Reunion 2015, taking place on September 18–20, 2015. Members of classes ending in 0 and 5, this is your year! Make plans now to attend and reunite with your friends and classmates and the entire Notre Dame community.

If you are interested in helping plan Reunion Weekend by volunteering for the 2015 Reunion Committee, contact alumnae and alumni relations at ndmalum@ndm.edu.

For out-of-town alums, discounted hotel rooms are available at several local hotels. Visit the Accommmodations website for more information.

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Alumnae Day at Gators Basketball Game
The athletics office is hosting a basketball Alumnae Day on Saturday, January 17, at the Gators’ basketball game, starting at 2 p.m. At halftime, we will be honoring former coach and new Athletics Hall of Famer Tim Engle. Plan to join us, and bring your family! Please contact Allen Dehority at adehority@ndm.edu for more information.

Caring for Caregivers Event
Caring for a loved one can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. A panel of caregiving experts will offer advice and answer questions for family caregivers.

Our panel includes:

  • Michelle Bruns, Manager of the Baltimore County Department of Aging Caregivers Program
  • Sue Collins, Hospice Nurse and Co-Author of the book OK, Now What? A Caregivers Guide to What Matters
  • Ellen Platt, Geriatric Care Manager, The Option Group/Senior Management Options
  • Ilene Rosenthal, Program Director-Alzheimer’s Association

Moderated by Connie Matsumoto W'94, Owner, Pabrique Interior Design and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist


Saturday, January 24 (Snow date: Saturday, February 7)
2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Doyle Formal Lounge
Free and open to the public

A resource fair and afternoon tea reception will immediately follow the panel discussion.

Click here to register. If you have any questions, please contact Megan Lentz at 410-532-5542 or mlentz@ndm.edu.

Alumnae Day at Gators Swim Meet
Alums of the Gators swim team are invited to the meet on Saturday, January 31, where graduating seniors will be honored. Light refreshments will be provided before the meet, and a happy hour will be held off campus afterward. For more information, please contact Shannon Berry at sberry1@ndm.edu.

Dr. Yam in Florida
President Marylou Yam will be visiting alums in Florida between February 23 and 26. Events are being planned in Ft. Myers, Naples, and Vero Beach. If you will be visiting or live in any of these areas  and would like to join a gathering of Notre Dame alums and friends and Dr. Yam, please let us know! Contact Jessica Angell, jangell@ndm.edu or 410-532-3166.

100 Nights
One of the most cherished Notre Dame traditions is 100 Nights, when seniors in the Women’s College mark the countdown to Commencement. The students gather in Noyes House for a cocktail hour, hosted by the Alumnae and Alumni Association, before a formal dinner and optional night out in Baltimore.

Alums are welcome to join us for this special cocktail reception, taking place on Thursday, February 19. This year we hope to rekindle the lantern chain tradition, with a modern spin! If you would like to attend, please contact Jessica Angell at jangell@ndm.edu.

Center Club Breakfast with Debbie Phelps
debbie phelpsThe Alumnae and Alumni Association's Networking and Leadership Committee invites all alums to a special breakfast event at the Center Club in downtown Baltimore. Our second annual Women in Leadership Breakfast will feature keynote speaker Debbie Phelps—NDMU trustee, educator, community leader, and mother of swimmer Michael Phelps. She will offer insights into her current role as the director of the Baltimore County Public Schools Education Foundation and the importance of her extensive community and charity involvement, while also touching on her experiences as mom to an Olympic athlete.

Thursday, March 12
8 to 9:30 a.m.
Center Club, 100 Light St. #16
$35 per person

To register for the Center Club Breakfast, click here.

Busta Lecture
Save the date for the 2015 Busta Lecture in Business, taking place on Wednesday, April 29. This year’s lecture will feature women leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. Information on speakers will be forthcoming.

One of Notre Dame’s signature annual events, the Charles J. Busta III Lecture Series is designed to showcase the thoughts and experiences of business leaders, especially women leaders, in order to encourage creativity and personal growth in women. The series was created in memory of Charles J. “CB” Busta, a Notre Dame trustee and marketing executive who died in 1999.

For more information, visit ndm.edu/busta in the coming weeks.

Beer and Wine Tasting
Mark your calendars for a springtime beer and wine tasting, hosted by the Networking Committee of the Alumnae and Alumni Association on Thursday, May 7. More details will be forthcoming.

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Alumnae and Alumni News

Class Notes
Under the pen name Cammue Togbah, Jerry Woah-tee W’01 published a novel entitled The Victim of Goodness in October 2014.

Share your accomplishments, family updates and other news in Class Notes—and search for Class Notes from your friends and—by joining MyNDM.ndm.edu today! 

Nominate an Outstanding Notre Dame Graduate for an Alumnae and Alumni Award
Help us in recognizing the achievement of our alumnae and alumni by nominating a fellow alum for one of our prestigious awards:

Elizabeth P. Hoisington ’40 Distinguished Alumna Award
Service to Society Award
Regina Russo Hammel ’41 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award
Athletic Hall of Fame Award

All awards are presented during Reunion Weekend. For more information and to make a nomination, click here. To nominate someone for the Athletic Hall of Fame, click here.

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Giving Back/Volunteer Opportunities

Networking Committee
The Networking Initiative Committee of the Alumnae and Alumni Association hosts networking, professional development, and social events for Notre Dame alums and friends. So far this academic year, the committee has planned and hosted several successful events: An Evening with WBAL Sportcaster Gerry Sandusky, Mingle Mingle, and the NYC Bus Trip.

Upcoming events in 2015 include Caring for Caregivers, the Center Club Breakfast with Debbie Phelps, and a wine and beer tasting at the President’s Residence. If you’d like to join the Networking Initiative Committee—made up of Notre Dame graduates who work in higher education, law, public relations and many other fields—contact us at 410-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.

Our next meeting is February 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m in Noyes Alumnae House.  Wine and nibbles provided.

First Impressions Committee
For young women just out of college, advice and counsel from experienced professionals can be critical to success. Do you have experience and insight that could benefit Notre Dame graduates as they prepare to enter the workforce?

The First Impressions program provides juniors and seniors in the Women’s College with the skills to make a strong first impression. Students must apply and be accepted into the program, which includes a personal brand-building workshop from WBAL sports broadcaster Gerry Sandusky, a professional dress fashion show at Macy’s, a resume writing workshop, an interview prep workshop, and the annual Etiquette Dinner.

The next event is the Interview Workshop taking place on February 24. In addition, volunteers are sought to conduct practice interviews in the spring with students. To volunteer or for more information, contact Alumnae and Alumni Relations at 410-532-5201 or ndmalum@ndm.edu.

first impressionsFirst Impressions Students at the Graduation ceremony 2014.

Answer the Call: The 2015 Notre Dame-a-thon!
On Wednesday, January 21, Notre Dame will hold the Notre Dame-a-thon—a day of giving back that celebrates Notre Dame’s inspiring, enduring mission.

The Notre Dame-a-thon is an all-day event, incorporating social media, online giving, and phonathon-style calling. Opportunities to give to Notre Dame will be promoted throughout the day on our website and Facebook page.

Additionally, in the evening, our calling team will reach out to many of our alums.

Be sure to “answer the call” and make your gift to Notre Dame on Wednesday, January 21!

For more information, please contact Catherine McCabe by email cmccabe2@ndm.edu or phone at 410-532-3197. Gifts can be made at any time by phone or at ndm.edu/giving.

Montrose Society: Diane Finley, Ph.D. ’74
diane finleyWhy have you chosen to support NDMU with a legacy gift as a member of the Montrose Society?

“I chose to put Notre Dame of Maryland University in my will because I want future students to have the same chance to study abroad that I did. It was one of my most valuable experiences in college. My folks had to really scrimp in order for me to go overseas, but not everyone is lucky enough to have this opportunity.”

Diane L. Finley, PhD. ’74

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University News

Tutors Needed for Adelante Latina!
There is an urgent need for tutors for Adelante Latina!, a college-bound, after-school program for Latina girls. This program was started by Notre Dame of Maryland University Professor Emerita Leonor Blum and relies almost exclusively on NDMU graduates and students.

WHERE: Esperanza Center at 430 S. Broadway (corner of Eastern)
WHEN: On Tuesdays and/or Thursdays from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.  
GOAL: To improve English composition, reading comprehension, and writing skills of 7 Latina high school juniors and 10 high school sophomores of low-income families, and prepare them for college.  
TUTOR QUALIFICATIONS: Excellent English language skills, tutoring skills, ability to get along with teenage girls. No knowledge of Spanish is required as English is their primary language. Tutoring sessions are one-on-one or, at most, two students per tutor.
TIME COMMITMENT: Once a week, either on Tuesday or Thursday, from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

For more information or to apply please contact:

Leonor Blum, Professor Emerita, Notre Dame of Maryland University
410-591-0547, blumle@aol.com or lblum@ndm.edu

ELI Welcomes Visitors from Japan
On January 2, the English Language Institute welcomed a group of seven students and two faculty leaders from Seirei Women’s Junior College. The guests were here on a language and culture immersion trip sponsored by a Notre Dame partner institution in Akita, Japan.

The students took part in ESOL classes in the daytime and made visits to area attractions in the afternoons and evenings, including a trip to the Inner Harbor, an activity with the children at A Child's Place, an overnight visit to New York, a day trip to Washington, D.C., duckpin bowling in Baltimore, and, of course, some much-requested shopping! The group was also invited to participate in an activity with local school children who are students of Jessica Parton Chambers ’02, a Notre Dame alumna who taught at Seirei Women's Junior College after graduating from Notre Dame.

Interactive ESOL classes offered an opportunity for the students to practice English-language skills while learning about American life and culture. The students also enjoyed activities after class with Notre Dame Women’s College students and ELI students who were in the area over winter break. The group was with us until January 13.

Notre Dame SAAC Adopt-A-Family—a Great Success!
SAACNDMU’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) adopted four families for an Adopt-A-Family drive that ended December 1. In partnership with Sarah’s House, a supportive housing program and a sub-branch of Catholic Charities, Notre Dame’s SAAC President Ashley Fallon ’15 organized the donation event.

Thanks to both Ashley Fallon and the Notre Dame community for the outpouring of generosity, SAAC was able to contribute over 215 gifts for our families. That is more than 50 gifts per family!

We received over 75 specific gifts, $200 in gift cards, and $485 in monetary donations. After the initial presents were donated, additional gifts were purchased with the monetary donations at local retailers by SAAC Secretary Julianna Randazzo ’17.  Every member of each family received the majority of the items on their wish lists, in addition to so much more! Director of Athletics Erin Foley delivered the hand-wrapped gifts to Catholic Charities on December 18.

“This was an amazing experience that provided the Notre Dame community with the opportunity to help families in need during the holiday season,” said Ashley. “I am extremely grateful to Sarah’s House for allowing the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Notre Dame community to participate in their program, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in years to come. I would like to personally thank everyone that made contributions to our mission. With your help we able to help four families have a very special holiday.”

Thank you to the seven Notre Dame SAAC member who donated their time to organize a gift-wrapping party to wrap the items: Bryanne Baskette ’18, Tawny Cevora ’15, Erika Deppenschmidt ’17, Ashley Fallon ’15, Emily Jordan ’16, Brea Kehr ’15, Margaret Pedersen ’17, and Julianna Randazzo ’17.

Restored Merrick Tower Greets Community in New Year
The first phase of The  Gibbons Project was completed in the final weeks of December 2014 with the removal of scaffolding revealing a newly restored Merrick Tower.

The $10.5 million capital project will restore the historic beauty of Gibbons Hall and its landmark tower and will renovate classrooms and corridors to provide exceptional instructional and social space for 21st-century students.  Restoration of the west and south facades of the building is expected to continue in spring 2015, and will follow recommendations of a preservation plan that is currently being developed by a Baltimore preservation architect. The project is supported by planning grants from the Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Heritage Fund of the Maryland Historical Trust and Preservation Maryland.  

Besides the exterior work, planned interior renovations include enhanced technology, the creation of informal learning spaces for student-faculty collaboration, and a new elevator and restrooms to increase accessibility. 

Please consider becoming part of this effort to preserve Notre Dame’s heritage through a gift to the Gibbons Hall renovation. You can learn more about how you can contribute by contacting campaign director Kelley Kilduff at kkilduff@ndm.edu.

Notre Dame Welcomes Dr. Ammad Sheikh, New Director of the Career Center
Ammad SheikhIn December, Dr. Ammad Sheikh joined the Division of Student Life team as the director of the Career Center. A 2014 graduate of Northeastern University with a doctorate of education in higher education administration, Ammad brings more than 10 years of leadership and supervisory experience in career services and student affairs. His previous work at Fitchburg State University, both as student affairs professional and adjunct faculty, combined with his leadership and career counseling skills in the United States Navy and Department of Workforce Development make Ammad a strong leader at NDMU.

In March, the Career Center plans to launch a new database called GatorWorks to track and support career services and employer relations, to ensure quality of services and maximize efficiency. All students, alumnae, and alumni will be invited to create a new profile on GatorWorks if looking for career services.

Downtown Hoedown: Raising a Ruckus for Sisters Academy
downtown hoedownAfter ten remarkable years, Sisters Academy will host the “Downtown Hoedown: Raising a Ruckus for Sisters Academy,” on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Montgomery Park. Notre Dame alum Sallie Mullen '68 is a member of the event planning committee.

This festive and relaxed evening of country music and BBQ is intended to thank those who have faithfully supported Sisters Academy in its critical first years, bring in new friends, and raise money to guarantee the future of this life-changing school. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at the Sisters Academy website. Baltimore needs schools like Sisters Academy, and Sisters Academy needs the support of friends like you!

Sisters Academy was founded on the belief that an excellent education at the middle level (fifth through eighth grades) is critical to success in high school and beyond. The school was created to educate motivated girls who would not otherwise have access to an excellent education. Sisters Academy empowers young women to achieve academically, acquire social skills, develop their talents, and gain self-confidence. Our Graduate Support Program enables Sisters Academy to stay in close contact with its graduates throughout high school and college. With 100% of our first three classes graduating from high school, and a majority matriculating to college, Sisters Academy has a documented record of success.

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Soul Sister: What is Tattooed on Your Heart?
Tattoos mark a person’s body with a permanent pattern. They make a statement about the person’s identity, a person’s values. Uniforms represent not only individual values, but also group values. U.S. military personnel espouse dedication to our country by the wearing of uniforms. Police and firefighters are easily identifiable when in uniform. School children represent their belonging to a certain school when wearing their uniforms.

Religious clothing, called habits or clerical garb, can easily identify priests and sisters. For those religious men and women who do not wear a distinguishable garb, what is the identifying mark that they wear? It may be a cross, a pin, a ring, a collar, etc. Yet their main identifying mark of religious dedication is how they interact with each other and with the people they serve.

St. Paul tells us in several of his letters what should be the identifying armor of a believer in Christ: the breastplate of faith and love and a helmet that is the hope of salvation (1 Thes. 5:8). He reminds us to shod our feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace and the sword of the Spirit—in other words, to put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11). 

“So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).  Make sure that what you wear on the outside reflects what is tattooed on your heart from the inside!

From your uniformed Soul Sister,
Mary Roy Weiss, SSND

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In Memoriam

Katharine Ellis O'Conor  ’50

Theresa Abernathy W’00

Ann Miller Gumula ’63

Geraldine Quinn Fallon ’54

Alice Knott Voelkel  ’54

Mary Medairy Barstow, MD ’43

Sharon Landis M’04

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In the News

The Baltimore Sun, NDMU theology professor quoted in story on the Star of Bethlehem.” The Rev. Henrietta L. Wiley, associate professor of religious studies, provides some theological context on this story on the Star of Bethlehem. “It tells us about God’s relationship with the whole world,” she said. “It’s the first revelation to the gentiles [non-Israelites] about the coming of this king, the messiah, who will bring justice and salvation from suffering.”

Towson Times, “NDMU Students and Alums learn the finer points of business etiquette.” The International School of Protocol still teaches children's etiquette classes, but its offerings have expanded to programs on dining etiquette and a class on social skills, called Mingle Mingle, for teens, college students, and adults. The school held a Mingle Mingle program at Notre Dame University of Maryland, on North Charles Street in the fall. For two hours, about 30 current students and alumni learned to start and hold a conversation and mingle in group settings.

The Towson Jeffersonian, “NDMU Grad Named Teacher of the Year by Disabilities Commission.” Meryl Hawkins, a teacher at Lansdowne High School and a Notre Dame School of Education graduate, was named Teacher of the Year by the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities.

The Maryland Daily Record, Leading Women: Melissa Lees, director of campus ministry and service, Notre Dame of Maryland University. Top 100 Women honors women who 40 years old or younger and are at the pinnacle of their career and making a sustained impact on their business, community and our state. 

The Maryland Daily Record, Leading Women: Elizabeth Brescia, foster care and adoption resource specialist, Adoption Exchange Association. Elizabeth holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

The Maryland Daily Record, Leading Women: Kathryn C. Mills, assistant director, Office of Congressional Relations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Kathryn is a 1999 graduate of Notre Dame of Maryland University.

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