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Messages From Dr. Rebecca Sawyer, Vice President for Student Life

January 17, 2014

Dear Notre Dame Community,

This week, a student at neighboring Loyola University was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. Please join us in praying for this student's recovery.

After consulting the director of our student provider, Patient First, as well as Loyola officials, we do not believe this situation poses a risk to the Notre Dame campus community. Bacterial meningitis is not considered to be highly communicable, but can be transmitted between people who have had very close contact (e.g., the sharing of drinking glasses). In addition, all residential students had to show proof of vaccination for bacterial meningitis prior to starting classes and moving in. 

Bacterial meningitis is an infection that is spread by direct, close contact with saliva, mucous or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. It is not spread by breathing the air where someone with the disease has been. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Skin rash of small, bright red spots or a larger, reddish/purple bruise

These symptoms can closely resemble those of the flu, and early diagnosis is extremely important. Those who suspect they could have meningitis are urged to seek medical care immediately for evaluation. The number for our health provider, Patient First Medical Center at Greenspring Station, is (410) 583-2777. The center is open from 8 am to 10 pm every day, including weekends and holidays.  The University has partnered with a taxi service and will cover any metered rates to and from Patient First at Greenspring Station.  

For additional information about bacterial meningitis, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Sawyer, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Life


 

August 22, 2013

With the start of a new academic year, our campus is always full of new faces—new students, new faculty, new staff, and this year, a new face in the Office of the President. When the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame of Maryland University learned in August of Dr. James F. Conneely’s decision to resign for family reasons, the Trustees acted expeditiously to appoint Joan Develin Coley, Ph.D., President emerita of McDaniel College, to serve as President of the University for this academic year while a search is conducted for a new President.

Who is our new leader? She describes herself first and foremost as a teacher, an indication of her enthusiasm for connecting one-to-one with students. She began her career in 1973 as a Professor of Education, a field in which she is a noted expert and author on reading and reading disabilities. Notably, she is the first President of McDaniel College to be appointed from the faculty ranks, a sure sign she understands that what happens between teacher and student in the classroom is the most important measure of success. She is also an academic leader, having served as a Department Chair, Dean of Graduate Affairs, and Provost and Dean of the Faculty before being named President of McDaniel in 2000, a leadership position she held for a decade. In short, she is everything we could ask for in our President for this year.

Even before she shared her first words with the Notre Dame community, she signaled her affinity for us. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was providence, but in any case, the photo Dr. Coley provided to accompany her biography was one that showed her wearing a jacket whose color was unmistakably Notre Dame blue. Her first words to our community are equally encouraging: “I pledge to carry on the work initiated by Dr. Conneely—and by all of you. I am here to continue the energy and momentum of the past year and to propel Notre Dame forward—in this, its 119th academic year—to meet the needs of our students and to advance the University. I am honored to be a part of NDMU, and I will be a staunch advocate for its powerful mission.”

I welcome your student back to Notre Dame, and I encourage them to take advantage of the many opportunities they will have in the weeks ahead to introduce themselves to Dr. Coley and to experience firsthand her enthusiasm for their academic success, for our University and for its mission.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Sawyer, Ed.D.,

Vice President for Student Life

 


 

 

February 7, 2013

Dear Notre Dame Community,

Today a student at neighboring Loyola University was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. Please join us in praying for this student's recovery.

After consulting the director of our student health center (shared with Loyola), as well as Loyola officials, we do not believe this situation poses a risk to the Notre Dame campus community. Bacterial meningitis is not considered to be highly communicable, but can be transmitted between people who have had very close contact (e.g., the sharing of drinking glasses).

Bacterial meningitis is an infection that is spread by direct, close contact with saliva, mucous, or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. It is not spread by breathing the air where someone with the disease has been. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Skin rash of small, bright red spots or a larger, reddish/purple bruise

These symptoms can closely resemble those of the flu, and early diagnosis is extremely important. Those who suspect they could have meningitis are urged to seek medical care immediately for evaluation. The number for our Health Center is 410-617-5055. The center is staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners and physicians and is affiliated with Sinai Hospital, which provides medical coverage after hours.  

For additional information about bacterial meningitis, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Sawyer, Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Life