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Family Newsletter: December 2012


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Letter from Dr. Sawyer Back to Top

Dear Families,

We are pleased that your student has chosen to study at Notre Dame of Maryland University, an institution with a rich history and unique culture—a culture of community. We welcome you and your family into our community and hope you will take advantage of all that Notre Dame has to offer.

Notre Dame’s mission is to educate leaders to transform the world. That’s a bold statement, I know. But each day, we enrich the lives of our students by encouraging them to be committed to their studies, to the community and to their personal self-development. The path to academic success and leadership is paved with support and guidance here at Notre Dame. Our hope is that your student becomes fully immersed in the Notre Dame  experience and takes advantage of the many leadership, scholarship and cultural opportunities that are readily accessible within our learning community and in Baltimore.

While Notre Dame offers many student resources and services, research shows that parents and families are the number one resource for their students. Your involvement with us increases the likelihood that your student will be more successful—academically and socially.

Please feel free to stop by my office in Doyle Hall the next time you’re on campus. My door is always open, and I welcome the opportunity to meet you.

In our Notre Dame bond,

Rebecca A. Sawyer, Ed. D.


Upcoming Events and Important Dates Back to Top

December 29-January 1
New Year’s Holiday
January 2–26     
Winterim: School of Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Education
January 21
M.L. King Jr. Holiday: Campus Closed
January 28
Women’s College Classes Begin
February 5 
Power Hour Plus: Networking Naturally
February 13 
100 Nights
February 14
Notre Dame Day
February 18
Get Acquainted Day
March 13-15
Women’s College Registration for Summer and Fall 2013
March 13
Transfer Evening Program
March 14
Spring Break
March 29- April 1
Easter Holiday: Campus Closed
April 5
Presidential Inauguration
April 16 
Power Hour Plus: Power Tools for Women


Student Spotlight: Cindy Contreras Back to Top

Class of 2014
Major: BA/MA
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

How did you choose Notre Dame?
When I came to visit campus, it felt like home. When I saw the beautiful campus and met the magnificent people, I knew I found the right place for me.

How have you evolved as a student and a young woman during your time here?
Being involved with many groups and organizations has improved my time management and interpersonal skills. I have had the opportunity to express my love and passion for helping others and for being around people.

As an honors student, how do you benefit most from the Morrissy Honors Program?
In the Morrissy Honors program, I read challenging material and can engage in intellectual discussions with my peers, which helps foster my development.

Has any faculty member in particular helped to shape or inspire you?
Dr. Susan Barber has influenced me the most. She chose me to be her teaching assistant and has always encouraged me to challenge myself. She has shown me that she believes in me and allows me to believe in myself more than I have before.

How has Notre Dame prepared you for a career in teaching?
With the 5-year BA/MA program in education, I will leave school having a definite job opportunity, which is one of the most comforting aspects of the program.

What would you tell prospective students who might be considering Notre Dame?
I believe that the visit here is what solidifies the decision-making process. If this is the school for them, they will know as soon as they visit campus.

What do you wish more people knew about Notre Dame?
On this campus, people are incredibly kind and open minded. We are a very welcoming, diverse group of women who love to learn.

Notre Dame prepares leaders to change the world. How are you going to change the world?
I know that teaching my students will change the world because of the values I will have helped instill in them.


Faculty Spotlight: Deborah Calhoun Back to Top

Chair, Business and Economics Department
Associate Professor of Business

Notre Dame’s mission is to “educate women as leaders to transform the world.” How do you try to incorporate this goal into your teaching?
Our mission statement guides me professionally and resonates with me personally. My job is to help students acquire the knowledge, attitude and skills needed to implement a course of action—but also to take them out of their comfort zone, lead them to question their assumptions and preconceptions, and encourage them to engage in self-reflection.

What initially attracted you to Notre Dame?
The Notre Dame community cares deeply about all of its students, both their personal happiness and their professional success. As faculty members, we wear many different hats.

We are not only teachers, but often career coaches, cheerleaders, financial advisors, counselors, role models and mentors—so I am never bored. In addition to our remarkable students, I enjoy working with the many wonderful caring people at Notre Dame, particularly the spunky, intelligent School Sisters of Notre Dame. Most importantly, I enjoy working in an environment where faith, diversity, integrity, service and morality are respected.

What do you do in the classroom to help prepare students for the business world?
I teach courses in marketing, buyer behavior, customer service, teamwork and negotiation on a regular basis. In these courses I work hard to make sure the students gain a solid understanding of the academic content, but I also place a lot of emphasis on the development of what business people call the “soft skills.” The research indicates that employers are generally satisfied with the technical knowledge and skills of most college graduates, but they need workers who are strong problem solvers, good critical thinkers, excellent communicators, good project managers and collaborators who can be team leaders as well as team players. They look for candidates with a positive attitude and the willingness to work hard.

This past year you piloted a new program in partnership with Notre Dame’s Office of Alumnae and Alumni Relations and Academic and Career Enrichment Center called First Impressions. How does this program help students entering the workforce?
First Impressions prepares business, economics, marketing communications and international business students to enter the workplace as confident and successful professionals by honing their soft business skills. Gerry Sandusky, WBAL TV sports director and voice of the Ravens, kicked off the First Impressions workshops with a presentation on personal branding. Our second workshop, hosted by Macy’s Towson Town Center, focused on professional dress and appearance. In February, the Continuing Education chapter of the Alumnae and Alumni Association hosted a four-course dining etiquette workshop. The March workshop focused on networking and interview skill development and was led by a panel of business professionals. The workshop was followed by a mock-interview opportunity, where each student met with an alumna at her place of employment and received constructive feedback. During the month of April, each young woman was treated to a $175 shopping trip with a Macy’s personal shopper. I am very proud of this program and look forward to offering it again next year to our junior and senior students.

Could you explain some of the benefits to Notre Dame’s 5-year BA/MA program in business and management?
Employers are increasingly looking for a different kind of graduate business degree than an MBA, and our MA in Leadership and Management fits the bill. This program and our entrepreneurship minor are designed for students in any major who would like to work for a business or start their own business or nonprofit organization. A student with a major or minor in business with grades of B+ or higher in a few key business and economics courses may qualify for a waiver of 9 of the 39 credits required for the master’s in leadership and management. She would begin graduate courses her senior year, enabling her to complete the program with just one additional year—assuming she is taking a full-time course load in graduate school.

What qualities are most important for a Notre Dame student to succeed?
The successful Notre Dame student possesses a great attitude, has an adventurous and generous spirit, is willing to question her own assumptions and enjoys active learning. A willingness to work hard, respect for people’s differences and seeing value in working and learning with a diverse student body are also key qualities.

What words of advice do you frequently offer your students?
Develop your own personal definition of a successful person – define success using objective standards that are important to you. Do not rely on anyone else’s definition of success as you monitor and evaluate your accomplishments.


Student Services: The Writing Center Back to Top

The University Writing Center in Gibbons Hall provides free tutoring services to all Notre Dame students. Trained student “peer tutors” work with writers in one-hour sessions on various course assignments—from essays for English 101 to research papers for religious studies to scientific papers for pharmacy courses. Our tutors help students with every phase of the writing process—brainstorming and planning, writing, revising and proofreading—and with qualities of effective college writing such as refining a thesis statement, developing and supporting ideas, organizing ideas, employing sentence variety and using grammar and punctuation correctly.

Many Notre Dame faculty members urge students to take their writing assignments to the Writing Center before submitting them in class, and some professors require at least one tutoring session during the semester. The Center is open 30 hours per week. Appointments are recommended (call 410-532-5113), but students may also simply walk in.

Katie Engle, a senior Writing Center tutor, says, “The Writing Center is a valuable resource for students and tutors alike, as it enables us to work together to improve writing, analyzing and critical thinking skills.” Kristen Gilbert, English major, Class of 2014, agrees: “I always look forward to going to the Writing Center. The people there are friendly and ready to assist you.”


Tips of the Month: Support and Encouragement from Home Back to Top

After a well-deserved break, NDMU students will be returning for spring semester. Here are a few ways you can support your student next semester:

1. Check in frequently. Ask how classes are going and encourage her to visit the Academic and Career Enrichment Center and/or set up appointments to meet with faculty members to discuss any areas of concern.

2. Encourage good nutrition. Well-balanced meals during studying sessions improve concentration. Gator Alley provides an a la carte menu that’s easy for an on-the-go meal.

3. Remind her to stay informed. Students may sign up for the campus alert text messaging system to receive alerts of University closings and delays due to inclement weather.

4. Encourage her to seek support from others. The Counseling Center is available to assist any student in need and has access to many resources, both on campus and in the community.

5. Suggest online tutoring services. Convenient and accessible extra help is available:
Drafting Papers
Library Tutorials and Guides

7. Express your pride. Remind her that you are proud of what she has accomplished so far.


The Honor Code: An Important Foundation for Notre Dame Students Back to Top

With a keen sense of responsibility, I accept this symbol of my entrance into the world of scholarship.
And I give this pledge of my purpose to wear it worthily.
I shall try to follow all truth.
I shall try to see all beauty.
I shall try to be all goodness.
And thus to come to that eternal wisdom
which is the word of God.

Every September at Honors Convocation, incoming students are introduced to the Honor Code and its central importance to campus life. Surrounded by faculty, staff, administrators, family and friends, they recite the Honor Pledge committing to the ideals contained in the Honor Code.

The Honor Code bestows upon students the privilege to write their tests without proctoring by the instructor. Students affirm the Honor Pledge every time they take an exam as a sign of their personal responsibility for their own and Notre Dame’s academic integrity.


Gators Athletics Highlights Back to Top


The 2012 tennis team began a new era of the program under the guidance of new head coach Brittany Bolster. A team that featured just two returning players showed tremendous improvement throughout the year, indicating they can develop into a team to be reckoned with in the near future. Senior Amanda Fansler (Smithfield, Va.) and sophomore Anna Schmedding (Silver Spring, MD/Paint Branch) teamed at the No. 1 doubles spot to lead the Gators. Schmedding also led the team in singles action, with five wins at the No. 2 singles spot. Fansler picked up four victories at No. 1 singles.

Field Hockey
The Notre Dame field hockey team began the season with just eight returning players, forcing the team to depend on several first year players. Under the guidance of second year coach Ashley Demski, a 2010 graduate of Notre Dame, and led by senior goalkeeper Emily Langton (Mays Landing, NJ/Holy Spirit), one of the school’s top goalies in school history, the team took incredible strides forward as the young team began to develop during the season. Freshman Taylor Stevens (Baltimore, MD/Patapsco) has led the team’s offense this season with her goal scoring, while several other newcomers gained valuable experience and will continue to work towards becoming a potential playoff team.

In 2012, the soccer team had high hopes as they returned their entire starting defense and also welcomed some prominent incoming goal scorers. The team opened with the best start to a season since the 2002 season, opening with a 4-2 record. The team also picked up a victory over Baptist Bible College for the first time in school history. Unfortunately, injuries struck the team, dashing the hopes of playoffs held by second year coach Erin Sturgis, a 2002 graduate of Notre Dame. The freshman pair of Lauren Santi (Accokeek, MD/Elizabeth Ann Seton) and Chrisline Kimball (Washington, D.C./St. Johns) led the team’s offense. Santi opened her collegiate career with four goals in a 5-1 victory over Valley Forge Christian College.

The volleyball team’s 2012 campaign started off with a bang, starting with a 3-1 record. The squad has been led by three consistent players: junior Cortney Silvis (Boonsboro, MD/Hagerstown Comm. College) leads the team with over 200 kills, while ranking second in service aces and digs; first year student Kamelya Medina (Albuquerque, N.M./West Mesa) ranks second in kills and third in aces (she also leads the team in digs); and sophomore Marylu Ortiz (Oceanside, Calif./El Camino) leads the team with over 300 assists. She leads the team in aces and total blocks. The team continues to work hard even in the midst of a challenging season.

Swimming and head coach Curt Jordan have been a mainstay at Notre Dame. Jordan enters his 23rd season at the helm of the Gators Swimming team. The team began their season with the annual Old Dominion Athletic Conference Relays. The 2012-13 squad features a mix of returning swimmers with a group of newcomers all of whom had standout careers at the high school level.

The basketball program begins a new era under the direction of first year coach Allen Dehority. Dehority looks to take over a team that has been looking for stability over the past few years. Having started their season in mid-October, the team features just three returners from last year’s squad and is working hard to show what they can do this season.

For more current information regarding Notre Dame of Maryland University Athletics and teams, please visit www.notredamegators.edu


Fall 2012 Orientation Back to Top

Faculty and staff welcomed Women’s College students for our Fall 2012 Orientation with the theme, “Oceans of Opportunities.”


For More Pictures, Check out www.NDM.edu and http://vimeo.com/49846822 for a video from Move-In Day 2012.


Did You Know? Back to Top

You may recognize Notre Dame’s scenic campus in the movies!


  • Scenes from the 2006 Disney film, Step Up, starring Channing Tatum were filmed in the LeClerc Auditorium.
  • Parts of Fox’s pilot for the show Reincarnation were shot on campus.
  • A scene from the Whoopie Goldberg/Neil Patrick Harris movie, Clara’s Heart, was filmed at the LeClerc Pool.
  • The Bone Garden, a thriller premiering in 2013, was filmed on campus just last summer.

For more events, please visit events.ndm.edu.

We want your feedback! Tell us what you would like to see in the next issue. Send an email to VPSL@ndm.edu or visit the Parent’s Page on our website.