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Family Newsletter: January 2012

Welcome to the inaugural issue of our family newsletter. As part of Notre Dame’s extended family, we hope this publication helps you stay informed of campus events and special activities to help you stay connected to your daughters. We look forward to hearing from you, and seeing you on campus often.


In the know


Holidays at Notre Dame Back to Top

President Mary Pat Seurkamp and the entire Notre Dame community hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas and very happy New Year.

Holidays at Notre Dame

Christmas is always a special time at Notre Dame, when we hold many traditional events to ease the end-of-semester stress and focus on the spiritual needs of the entire campus. Every year, the community comes together for the annual Tree Trim, Christmas Dinner and Christmas carols. We also spend the holiday season serving the Baltimore community, including charity drives for Boys Hope, Girls Hope and the Caroline Center, which are presented with donations each year.

Christmas Dinner and Tree Trim is a favorite holiday tradition at Notre Dame, an evening where faculty and staff serve the students and lead them in the singing of Christmas carols, including an all-time campus favorite, “The 12 Days of Christmas” Enjoy more photos by visiting Notre Dame of Maryland University Admissions on Facebook.

Notre Dame’s 2011 Winter Ball on December 2 was an elegant affair, as Doyle Dining Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland. Students and their guests kicked off the holiday season with an evening of dancing and good fun.

On December 3, Notre Dame’s annual New York City bus trip gave students the chance to take in the holiday sights and sounds of the Big Apple and catch up on holiday shopping.

December 12 was the annual Late-Night Breakfast, when faculty and staff pamper our hard-working students with comfort food, providing a well-deserved study break.

To enjoy more event photos and stay abreast of campus fun, join us on Facebook and Flickr.



Did you know? Back to Top

Notre Dame undergraduates have been awarded Davis Projects for Peace grants every year since the program’s inception in 2007. The program, which is now in its fifth year, is an international initiative to help today’s youth support and encourage peace worldwide. Past recipients have traveled to Ecuador, Kenya and Peru. Students have until January 5 to submit proposals for Summer 2012. Visit the official site at http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org for details and to learn more about the amazing works of our Davis scholars.


Bragging Rights Back to Top

Of course, WE know that Notre Dame provides all of the perks of a large, world-class university with the care and attention of a small liberal arts college—but it’s nice to be recognized. Here are our latest accolades.

• USA Today named Notre Dame of Maryland among the 10 groundbreaking colleges that paved the way for women’s higher education in the United States. Notre Dame was the first Catholic college for women to award the baccalaureate degree in the United States.

• Notre Dame of Maryland was again named among “Great Schools, Great Prices,” by U.S. News & World Report. It is ranked 29 overall among Best Regional Universities – North, recognized particularly for its low faculty-to-student ratio, with 85 percent of classes containing fewer than 20 students.

• The 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement ranks Notre Dame students among the most engaged in the United States. The study of first- and senior-year students showed Notre Dame Women’s College undergraduates are more engaged and more satisfied with their college experiences than their peers at similar institutions across the country. Ninety-five percent of first-year Notre Dame students discuss their career plans with faculty members, and nearly 75 percent work with faculty on committees, student-life activities and service learning. 

• Notre Dame was listed by the Institute for International Education, which administers the Fulbright program, as a top producer of Fulbright students for the 2009-2010 academic year among the U.S. colleges and universities. Since 1991, 12 Notre Dame alumnae have been named as Fulbright scholars. Alumna Lauren Parsons ’10 is currently serving as a teaching assistant in Malaysia.


Student Profile: Rachel Ann Jones, Class of 2013 Back to Top

“From the moment I first visited campus, I knew it was the right fit,” says Rachel Ann Jones ’13. “I liked the environment and was glad to know it was a place where I could learn and grow and play sports.”

Rachel credits her family with providing the love and support to help her meet the challenges of a rigorous honors program with internships, service learning, conferences and directed research; her duties as a teaching assistant and a busy sports schedule, including lacrosse. “My parents come to all of my home games,” she says. “They want to be here to celebrate all of my important events, such as my induction into the Morrissy Honors Society.”

One of Rachel’s most rewarding experiences at Notre Dame has been her participation in the Will2Win mentoring program, which pairs our Notre Dame athletes with Baltimore City high school girl’s lacrosse team. Notre Dame players coach the younger girls, provide equipment and transportation and host an end-of-year banquet. “The girls come to school so that they can play. They are happier, they work hard. They just want someone to believe in them,” said Rachel. “It’s the best feeling.”

For Rachel, it is the personal interaction with faculty that sets Notre Dame apart. “The teachers care and take a very active role in your education. They expect a lot of you, but when you earn that A, you know you’ve worked for it. Parents can trust that their daughter will be in very good hands. You couldn’t ask for a better faculty.”

The junior from Westminster loves literature and poetry, and she hopes to parlay her undergraduate English degree into a master’s in creative writing and, ultimately, a career as a high school teacher.

“I’ve grown a lot more confident in class and life in general. Notre Dame expects a lot more of us as students, says Rachel. “It’s a very good environment for young women.”


Faculty Spotlight: Charles Ritter, Ph.D. Back to Top


At the end of the 2011-2012 year, Notre Dame will bid farewell to Professor Charles Ritter, chair of the Department of History and Political Science, and director of the Morrissy Honors Program.

Over the course of his time here, he has watched Notre Dame grow from a small liberal arts college for women into a full-fledged University, offering a diverse array of programs for women and men, from baccalaureate through doctorate. What has not changed, however, is Notre Dame’s core commitment to the education of women, a role that Dr. Ritter still sees as a critical component to the higher-education landscape. Young women have many more options for higher education than they did in the days when Loyola, Johns Hopkins and Mount Saint Mary’s were still male-only, but Dr. Ritter remains a proponent of the value of women’s colleges as places where undergraduate women can learn and thrive in an environment, and they are encouraged to think critically and become ethical leaders.

The most rewarding aspect of Dr. Ritter’s career has been the ability to teach and mentor young people. Over the years, he has led hundreds of students to succeed, as they pursue rewarding careers, raise families and remain lasting friends “Parents can feel confident their daughters are getting an education beyond books—an awareness of their world and their role in that world,” he says. “I am extremely proud of my Notre Dame career and my students, who use their educations to transform the world.”

Dr. Ritter arrived at Notre Dame in 1967 with an undergraduate degree in history from Ashland University and a master’s and doctorate from the Catholic University of America. Dr. Ritter says he looks forward to retirement as a time to delve further into researching and completing a book in his area of expertise, gender and justice in the Civil War.


Notre Dame alumnae make a difference Back to Top

A survey of the Class of 2010 shows alumnae are landing jobs with some of the region’s most prestigious organizations. Reflecting the array of programs offered at Notre Dame, they serve as case managers, teachers, audit associates, researchers, operations research analysts, development associates, writers and editors, and they are climbing the ladder in organizations such as the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, Clifton Gunderson LLP, Episcopal Community Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Defense, University of Maryland Medical School, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, T. Rowe Price, Pacific Daily News, and the Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Harford County school systems. Within 10 months of graduation, 96 percent of graduates are employed or pursuing graduate study full-time.


Campus News Back to Top

New gathering spaces enhance campus community

Students returned to campus from Thanksgiving break to find several new gathering spots for their relaxation and enjoyment. A lounge created in Doyle Dining Room provides sofas, comfy armchairs and a relaxing environment to study.

Commuters will find their lounge in the lower level of Doyle Hall (soon to be renamed the Roads Scholar Lounge) renovated during the Christmas break. This refreshed social and study space will get a new paint job, as well as a full-size refrigerator and printer.

In MBK, a new game room offers several study areas, as well as a large flat-screen television with a Wii and Blu-ray player. Walls coated with chalkboard paint offer a fun study break option.

All three of these gathering spaces will enhance students’ experiences here at Notre Dame — providing a welcome break on busy days and offering an environment conducive to creativity, conversation and friendship.



New majors emphasize workforce preparedness

Responding to student interest and regional workforce trends, Notre Dame has introduced new undergraduate programs focusing on the high-demand fields of environmental sustainability, international business, integrated marketing communications and nursing.

Environmental sustainability is an interdisciplinary program offering students the opportunity to study the relationships between environmental concerns and social, political and economic institutions. Students can choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on science, public policy or sustainable entrepreneurship.

The undergraduate nursing degree program supplements Notre Dame’s longstanding coeducational registered nurse (RN) to BSN, RN to MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) and MSN programs offered in the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and College of Graduate Studies.

Integrated marketing communications involves the coordination of marketing and communication efforts to support organizational branding and messaging through traditional and new media channels.

International business emphasizes the business, trade, cultural, international affairs and language skills that prepare graduates to become successful leaders in the competitive global market place.


From the office of financial aid Back to Top

IRS data retrieval tool helps streamline FAFSA paperwork

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a helpful resource for many parents and students filing the FAFSA. The tool allows first-time and returning applicants to retrieve their tax data directly from the Internal Revenue Service in order to auto-fill the tax portion of the form. Beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, financial aid officers are no longer permitted to accept copies of personal tax returns for financial aid processing, and more families will use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to avoid any processing delays.

The tool works for about 80 percent of all filers. Students and parents should not use this tool if any of the following apply:

• you did/will not file, or filed an amended tax return for 2011 year;
• your tax status is Married, Filing Separately;
• your tax status is Head of Household;
• you filed taxes outside of the U.S.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool becomes available for the 2012-2013 FAFSA on February 1, 2012. Families who file before February 1 should use tax estimates, and file a correction once the taxes are complete. Once your taxes are filed, you can then go in and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Families who will be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will need to provide their tax transcripts from the IRS to the office of financial aid, if requested.

Important Dates

February 15: Priority deadline to file 2012-2013 FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov for a new academic year

April 1: Priority deadline for returning students to submit their verification paperwork

May 1: Last day to activate federal loans for Spring 2012 semester

Mid-June: Financial aid award letters for the 2012-2013 academic year sent to returning students.


Notre Dame of Maryland University/Loyola University Maryland Student Health Center Back to Top

With winter settling in and flu and cold season upon us, we understand that you want to be assured that your daughter will be taken care of if she becomes ill, especially when you are unable to be with her.

Our Student Health Center, shared with Loyola University Maryland, is across the street from the Notre Dame campus and open for medical care during the regular school year.

Students may use the health center for both sick and routine visits, as well as for various other needs, including allergy shots, laboratory testing, consultations and referrals. For more details regarding fees and specific services, please visit the website at http://www.ndm.edu/offices-and-services/health-services/.

Notre Dame’s office of public safety is available to any student needing transportation assistance to the health center, and after-hours medical care or advice can be obtained from a physician or nurse practitioner at Sinai Hospital who will return your daughter’s call. All information in student medical records is confidential, and access to these records is limited to authorized personnel. A written release, available from the health center, must be signed by the patient in order to have information released, even to a parent or guardian.

Student Health Center
4502A N. Charles Street
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (weekdays)

Notre Dame of Maryland University office of public safety

Sinai Hospital


Athletics highlights Back to Top

Welcome new coaching staff

Please join us in extending a warm Notre Dame welcome to several new additions to the Gators coaching staff: Erin Sturgis ’02 was named assistant director of athletics and head soccer coach. Another Gator alumna was named head coach when Ashley Demski ‘10 took the reins of the field hockey program. Kendell Jamison is the new head basketball coach in 2011-2012 after serving as assistant coach last season. The Gator softball team will be under the direction of Larry Alvis in 2012. Nichole Ruppel is the new athletic trainer and wellness coordinator while Jennifer Woytach serves as the assistant director of athletics and sports information director.

The new assistant coaches for the Gators in 2011-12 are: Michael Harnden, field hockey; Kyle Boyer and Erin Albright, soccer; Catherine Subrizi ’11, volleyball; and India Scott ‘11, basketball.

Fall End-of-Season Accolades

Junior Megan Satchell (Trappe, Md./Easton) was named to the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Tennis Sportsmanship Team, while classmate Rachel Jones (Westminster/ Francis Scott Key) was a CSAC Field Hockey Sportsmanship Team selection.

Volleyball players Marylu Ortiz and Amanda Sijera were also recognized by the CSAC. Ortiz (Fr., Oceanside, Calif./El Camino) received an Honorable Mention, while Sijera (Baltimore/Perry Hall) earned a spot on the Sportsmanship Team. Junior soccer standouts Kelsey Kempf and Allison Terry also garnered conference awards, with Kempf (Huntingtown) earning an Honorable Mention nod and Terry (Towson/Baltimore Catholic) picking up Second-Team honors. Classmate Mindy Daugherty (Hampstead/North Carroll) was named to the CSAC’s Soccer Sportsmanship Team.

Notre Dame of Maryland University was accepted to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as an associate member in women’s swimming for the 2011-2012 school year.

Follow the Gators on Facebook.


Mark your calendars Back to Top

Important dates to remember

January 3-28 Winterim
January 16 M.L. King Jr. holiday-campus closed.
January 21 Winter Open House
January 27 Women’s College new student orientation
January 30 Women’s College classes begin
February 3 Drop/Add period ends
February 7 Last day to change to Pass/Fail or Audit
February 7 Notre Dame Day
February 20 Get Acquainted Day
March 10 Transfer Saturday
March 19-24 Spring break-no classes
March 28-30 Registration for Summer and Fall 2012
April 5-9 Easter Holiday-campus closed.
May 5 Spring Open House

It’s all about balancing work and play. Baltimore is chock-full of events and entertainment geared to the college crowd. Check out Localist and Collegetown Network for a lively line-up of happenings.


Helpful campus resources Back to Top

Academic and Career Advising (Women’s College)

Business Office

Office of Disability Support Services

Office of Public Safety

Office of the Registrar

Office of Student Development

SAGE Dining Services

Student Health Center

Writing Center


Make a gift Back to Top

The generosity of families, graduates and friends provides essential and tangible resources to Notre Dame students, supporting the University's critical operational needs and strategic priorities. Gifts to the Notre Dame Fund made by December 31 may be tax deductible on your 2011 tax returns. For more information, visit ndm.edu/giving.


Stay in touch! Back to Top

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