Notre Dame students like to have fun. Tonight, they get the chance to prove it – for free. An evening of campus-wide frivolity and entertainment, Irishenanigans will take place beginning at 8 p.m. The Student Activities Office (SAO) organized the event, coordinating a variety of unusual entertainment opportunities to encourage students to explore campus and interact with peers. David Mattingly, program associate for SAO, said a wide range of events is to take place on campus, mostly between LaFortune Student Center and Stepan Center. All of the activities are free to students. “We have a comedy troupe coming from New York to perform at Washington Hall at 9 p.m., and Stepan Center will have an event [inspired by NBC’s] American Gladiators, complete with Nerf guns and inflatable obstacles,” Mattingly said. “Expect glow-in-the-dark laser tag at Stepan too, with a fire-juggling show at 10:30 p.m.” Free food is also part of the festivities. Mattingly said a cupcake truck parked near North Quad will hand out 1,200 gourmet cupcakes, with a smoothie distribution stationed nearby. A trivia game in The Huddle at midnight will offer “quarter dogs” as prizes, and elephant ears will be available near Stepan Center. Mattingly hopes the events will draw out both new and returning students to get better acquainted with campus and each other. “We want students to go to Washington Hall, and then to Stepan and then LaFortune,” Mattingly said. “We want them to understand that campus is fun, and that it’s exciting to be coming back here for the year.” In planning the event, Mattingly said SAO tried to orchestrate something that would appeal to everyone, so his office organized a vast array events and activities. Students looking for a workout can try their hands at Blitz Ball and Laser Tag in Stepan Center, or at the hourly games of Capture the Flag on the RecSports fields. Students seeking a more relaxing time can listen to live music played by the pop/rock band South Jordan, or catch a game of glow-in-the-dark corn hole. Mattingly said he hoped the variety of activities will draw a variety of students who might not typically interact. “The event is really just a social tool, a way to meet people,” Mattingly said. “You can do the cool exciting stuff or the more relaxing activities. There’s something for everyone.
Students can tantalize their taste buds Tuesday evening as celebrity chef Jet Tila flies in from Los Angeles to serve up a range of Asian favorites, with a special focus on Thai cuisine.Between 5 and 7 p.m. at both dining halls, the “Chef Jet Menu” will be a step up from the usual dining hall fare, with the appearance of dishes such as honey ginger salad; tom yum soup, a Thai spicy and sour soup; drunken noodles and pad thai, according to a Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) press release.Apart from performing cooking demonstrations at South Dining Hall, which will be video-streamed to screens at both dining halls, the Cordon Bleu graduate and current Food Network chef will present a new signature dish for NDFS. This is all part of NDFS’ “continued improvements and diversification,” the press release said.“Back in the beginning of the spring semester, we started having conversations on a visiting celebrity chef series and being able to bring someone onto campus,” NDFS director Chris Abayasinghe said. “With this week leading into the last day of classes … we thought this was the perfect time to do it.”Fans of Thai food like freshman Matt Williams are excited about the initiative to bring quality and variety to the dining halls.“I think it’s really cool that they’re spicing things up and bringing in new options to the dining hall,” Williams said. “I come to North most of the time, so I feel like there’s more variety here than there is at South, so I feel South in particular could use some spritzing up. But yeah, more options would be good, especially ethnic foods so I can’t complain about that.”Besides satisfying the palates of those familiar with the cuisine, Abayasinghe said he also wants to target those who have had limited or no exposure to Thai food.“Thai food has some strong universal tones — you have certain curry flavors, fresh basil, ginger — a lot of common ingredients you see throughout many cultures’ cuisine,” Abayasinghe said. “When we think about authenticity, which I think is really what the Notre Dame student is keen on … having a premier chef here to train our staff, I think, will go a long way to our students in terms of acceptance and satisfaction for a meal.”According to the Office of Sustainability website, more than 11,000 meals are served daily at the two dining halls. Although the special menu was designed with practicability in mind, Abayasinghe emphasized the attention to detail “down to the specific brand of fish sauce [Tila] wanted.”“We worked closely with Chef Jet and his team to identify menus that would have both a complexity of taste as well as an easily executable menu for the amount of customers we feed every night,” Abayasinghe said.Abayasinghe said the performance could serve as a model for future events.“The menu items that we will feature will also help us gauge student interest and specific items for us to schedule for future menus,” he said. “The quickest gauge is based on how much of one product we make.”In addition to overseeing the preparation and serving of the food, Tila will train staff on the “significant differences” in cooking different cuisines, such as layering spices and timing to balance flavor and texture, Abayasinghe said.“As we think about the Food Network and its universal appeal to people of various age demographics, inviting [the] chef here is both an opportunity for him for that one-on-one contact with our students and also an opportunity for us to focus on cutting-edge culinary techniques,” he said.According to a NDFS press release from January, Notre Dame was ranked ninth in Niche’s 2015 rankings of best campus food, based on a survey of 64,000 students.For those without meal plans, tickets to the Chef Jet event will be available at the dining hall entrances for $16 for adults and $8 for children aged 6 to 12. Children aged 5 and under are free.Tags: Celebrity, Celebrity Chef, Jet Tila, NDFS, Notre Dame Food Services, Thai, Thailand
For the eighth year, the College will host an Academic Skills and Strategies Workshop series, which aims to teach students effective study techniques and methods.Senior Fiona Van Antwerp said she implemented many of the strategies she learned through the Academic Skills and Strategies program. Accordingly, she has noticed a significant difference in the quality of her work.“I learned so many important skills about how to study and compile information and how to budget my time and how to ask the right questions,” Van Antwerp said.The series is run by the director of the Office for Student Success, Diane Fox, who said she hopes the program helps students to not only learn the proper skills and techniques for earning the best grades possible, but also to maintain academic consistency throughout the semester.“There are five topics offered in this year’s series,” she said. “All workshops are 30 minutes long, and each topic is offered at least three different times so that students may choose a time that is most convenient with their schedules.”Fox said her goal is to always find new information and strategies tailored to the different personalities of each student, since creating a personal study plan can be a new skill for students seeking ways to improve their performance.Van Antwerp said she discovers something new in each workshop.“Every workshop is drastically different, so the information and techniques you acquire from one workshop isn’t necessarily the same as what you learned the last time,” she said. “Sometimes I’ve experienced that I even pick up on the same concept differently each time.”Van Antwerp said these workshops benefit students from all majors, so she hopes everyone will give them a chance.“I would encourage all students to attend because everybody learns things differently, which is what makes these workshops so unique, as it caters to all types of learning styles,” she said.Fox said most times students are too shy or embarrassed to ask for help and guidance in their academics or to admit that they are struggling.“When a person asks for help, they do so out of strength rather than weakness,” she said. “To take the initiative and ask for help shows that you are dedicated to your success and dedicated to your own well-being.”Fox said she facilitates a study tables program that requires students to sign in and do homework or study in designated areas on campus for at least four hours per week between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.“A key part of this program is to allow for a space where students are able to come and assign a particular time of the day to do work,” Fox said. Fox said the comprehensive goal of these programs is not only to instill academic skills, but also life skills that can be carried with students throughout their lives and future careers. “It teaches you responsibility for yourself because we have to empower ourselves to learn to advocate for ourselves so that we can take care of ourselves,” Fox said. “The sooner we realize and achieve these goals, the happier we’re going to be, and the more successful we will be too.”Tags: Academic Skills and Strategies Workshop, office for student success, Study tables
The Saint Mary’s department of dance will present its annual spring dance showcase Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 21, with showings at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Little Theatre. This year’s colorful performance is entitled “Dance Kaleidoscope,” and will be an exhibition of technically proficient student dancers performing a variety of dance styles. Professor Laurie Lowry said in an email the performance was inspired by the way a kaleidoscope offers an endless array of shifting colors and diverse patterns. “For dance, it is a blending of movement phrases and creating a variety of patterns that can be manipulated to create an interesting visual palate,” she said. Last year’s dance performance sought inspiration from the visual arts, such as famous works of art. This year, Lowry said the dance department wanted the “freedom to select a wide variety of styles” for “Dance Kaleidoscope.”Professor Michele Kriner said in an email that this year’s dance performance seeks to spotlight the unique abilities and techniques each dancer possesses. “This year there are many more solos and small group dances than in the past,” she said. “With a small company possessing such advanced technique, it was essential to allow them to shine.”Organizing the preliminary aspects of “Dance Kaleidoscope” was the most difficult part of choreographing a dance performance of this caliber, Lowry said. “I think getting started is the most difficult stage,” she said. “Once in the studio and with the dancers, miracles happen and creativity takes over. Working with other artists, choreographers, lighting designers and costume designers open new perspectives and ideas on one’s own work.”Every year, Kriner said the show becomes a balancing act, but through hard work and dedication everyone involved is able to pull together an amazing performance. “Balancing rehearsals with class schedules, breaks and personal issues can be a challenge,” she said. “This company is so professional in its dedication and perseverance that they overcame that challenge.”Lowry said more students should take dance classes because they are “a great way to get in shape” and have fun, too. “[Dance] will bring pleasure to [students’] lives and give them a break from their daily activities,” she said. For those who appreciate dance but are not ready to take a class themselves, Lowry said she recommends attending “Dance Kaleidoscope” as the performance is sure to enlighten and entertain all those in attendance.“Dance and the arts bring joy to our lives,” she said. “It enriches our lives and addresses the situations we experience.” Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone and in person via the Moreau Center Box Office. Tags: Dance, Dance Kaleidoscope, Laurie Lowry, Michele Kriner, Saint Mary’s Dance Department, spring showcase
Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the print edition of The Observer on Jan. 16. Saint Mary’s alumna Kelly Grier, from the class of ’91, will deliver the class of 2019 commencement address in May, the College announced in a press release Wednesday morning. Grier is the EY US financial services firm chairman and managing partner, and managing partner of EY Americas. She will also be receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree at commencement Saturday, May 18. Grier was elected last year to a four-year term, making her “the first woman to lead the giant accounting and professional services firm in the Americas,” according to the release. Grier has spent the last 28 years at EY and now leads more than 72,000 people in 31 countries, the release said.“As a Saint Mary’s alumna, it’s an honor and a privilege to be chosen to deliver the commencement address to the class of 2019,” Grier said in the release. “I’m inspired and encouraged by these bright young women, who will no doubt have a significant impact on our future working world.”Grier, who studied accounting during her time at Saint Mary’s, also has been a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the release said. Grier was also recognized by the World Economic Forum as a “Young Global Leader” in the past, and was named to Fortune Magazine’s 2018 Most Powerful Women in Business list, according to release.“Kelly Grier’s career accomplishments speak for themselves, and she has excelled as a leader,” Saint Mary’s Interim President Nancy Nekvasil said in the release. “The example of her life and work is a powerful message in itself, and we’re thrilled that the class of 2019 will have the opportunity to draw inspiration from Kelly as they embark on their careers. It is always such a privilege to invite alumnae back to campus, and having the opportunity to also celebrate an alumna who has made a difference with her life is a true joy.”Saint Mary’s will also be awarding an honorary degree to Sister Maureen Grady, a senior lecturer with the department of nursing science. Grady has a nursing degree from Loyola University Chicago, and in 2015 was given its Spirit of Ignatius Award, recognizing her commitment to the school’s mission, “Care of the Person.” Grady also has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Christian Theological Seminary, the release said.“Sister Maureen embodies compassion and courage,” Nekvasil said in the release. “Her ability to connect with people on a personal level while addressing complex issues, whether an individual’s health or a community’s scars of war, represents the highest ideals we strive for at Saint Mary’s. There are few people I know who have the gift of welcoming anyone and everyone into their sphere like Sister Maureen.”According to the release, Grady also spent 20 years in war zones in the Middle East as chief operating officer for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. In her role there, Grady worked with war victims and supported the restoration of various social services in Lebanon and Syria. For her efforts, Grady was granted Lebanese citizenship and given the National Order of the Cedar Officer badge. The Holy See also awarded her with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal in recognition of her devotion to the Catholic Church.Tags: 2019 Commencement, EY, Kelly Grier, Saint Mary’s Commencement
MGN Stock Image.ELLICOTT – A Frewsburg man was charged for allegedly driving while his ability was impaired by drugs following a traffic stop this week on Route 60 near Jamestown.New York State Police say 35-year-old Steven Moller was pulled over on Route 60 Sunday after troopers allegedly observed him make a traffic violation.After failing several standardized field sobriety tests, troopers say Moller was placed under arrest.The man was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown where a blood sample was secured. Moller was then evaluated by a New York State Police Drug Recognition Expert and determined to be under the influence of Marijuana.Troopers say Moller was processed, issued tickets and released. He is scheduled to appear in the Town of Ellicott Court on a later date. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),I think it’s so dumb to get pulled over for pot I have a dwai driving while ability impaired from pot charge now and they took my License and everything and I have to pay a lot of money to get it back because of it I just think it’s ridiculous and stupid marijuana does not affect you in that way I haven’t legally now and it’s almost totally legal here I just don’t get it
“I love playing the villain, but it’s also nice to be one of the few people in the show who gets laughs. The audience needs a reprieve from all the crying! Keala [Settle, as Mme. Thenardier] and I seem to blend very well; we know when it’s OK to go over the top.” Hometown: Born and raised in Canada’s Ottawa Valley; now based in Toronto “My wife is an actress, Elizabeth Saunders. We met doing a horrible piece of poo, but I always say if that dodgy script wasn’t out there, our daughters [now 17 and 14] wouldn’t exist. Separations can be tricky, but there’s an understanding of what the other is going through.” “I wanted to be a carpenter when I was young, but there was a waiting list for carpentry school when I was finishing high school. My friends said, ‘Go to Hollywood!’ They seemed to think I was funny, so I applied to theater arts school—and here I am on Broadway.” “I’m standing in the hallway of my [NYC apartment] building on the 41st floor looking down at Ramin [Karimloo] doing yoga on a seventh floor rooftop patio. He’s doing downward dog as we speak. I just do ‘Dog Eat Dog,’ my song in the show.” View Comments “People are obsessed with this show. I had never seen it, so I wondered why, but there’s something about the story of this man [Jean Valjean] trying to do the right thing. It tugs the heart and touches on something deep within. People come from all over the world to see it, again and again.” Stage Cred: Saunders made his Broadway debut in 2008 juggling dozens of characters in the hit thriller The 39 Steps. At home in Canada, his credits include The Lord of the Rings, Spamalot and Beauty and the Beast, as well as two seasons with the Stratford Festival. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016 Related Shows Les Miserables “I look at plays as a recipe. Each one takes many different ingredients, and it helps to know what ingredient you are. I’m lucky because there are parts out there for character actors like me. I’m the burst of flavor when you’re eating the meal.” Age: 51 Current Role: Scheming innkeeper Thenardier, the self-proclaimed “master of the house” and comic relief in Les Miserables.
View Comments Star Files Related Shows Wait, do we spy Aaron Tveit in a New York City rehearsal room? No, sadly, he isn’t rehearsing for a new Broadway show—he’s cheering on the new touring cast of Kinky Boots! The Graceland star stopped by to see his old pal, Catch Me If You Can choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who also is the director and choreographer of Kinky Boots. But wait, two more special visitors stopped by to say hello to Mitchell, musical supervisor Stephen Oremus, Steven Booth, Kyle Taylor Parker and the touring cast: Original Tony-winning Kinky Boots headliner Billy Porter and Tony-nominated star Stark Sands! Check out these photos posted by Mitchell on Twitter, then see Kinky Boots on the road beginning September 4, 2014 at the Smith Center in Las Vegas. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 7, 2019 Stark Sands Kinky Boots Aaron Tveit
My good-luck charm “Susie’s bracelets. I play with them onstage when I’m nervous.” My favorite thing in my dressing room “Nothing screams ‘Broadway’ like Kate Jennings Grant’s kimono.” The crew member who saves my ass “Matthew, who races up the stairs to hand me my iPod before my first entrance every night. I always forget it!” Selfie right before I go on stage My view from the stage “This is what the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre looks like before the house opens.” My favorite co-star “My dressing room mate, the fabulous Kate Jennings Grant!” My favorite spot in the theater “I love hanging out backstage, behind the house where the trees are.” My favorite post-show snack “Candy from our dressing room candy drawer.” My must-have pre-show item “The amazing honey ginger tea with cayenne pepper that our lovely stage management team makes every night.” My favorite costume piece “My ‘Creature of the Night’ t-shirt.” Related Shows View Comments The Country House star Sarah Steele is giving us an all-access pass! In the heartfelt and humorous new play by Donald Margulies, The Good Wife star and Spanglish alum plays Susie Keegan, the precocious granddaughter of theater legend Anna Patterson (Blythe Danner). We asked Steele to snap a few photos of her favorite things backstage at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Check out the delicious tea she sips before she takes the stage, her favorite crew member and more below, then see the MTC’s The Country House on Broadway through November 23rd! Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 23, 2014 The Country House
View Comments Megan Hilty Let her be your star indeed! Smash standout Megan Hilty will once again play a Broadway actress on the small screen. The new mom has signed on as the lead in the pilot of Judah Miller’s untitled comedy for ABC.The show follows Hilty as a flamboyant Tony-winning diva adjusting to being a suburban mom. She is forced outside her comfort zone when she realizes her son is more into sports than show tunes—he’s a natural-born competitive athlete. (The horror!)Besides her role on Smash (in which she had Bernadette Peters playing her Tony-winning mom), Hilty is known for starring on Broadway as Glinda in Wicked and Doralee in 9 to 5 as well as TV’s Sean Saves the World.Miller, the writer and executive producer of the project, knows all about Broadway stars; he’s married to Hairspray Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur. Star Files