Ten of Notre Dame’s most exciting and engaging professors shared the impact of their work in the first “ND Thinks Big” event Thursday evening in the Mendoza College of Business. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) and The Hub, a student-run website which promotes academic engagement online about issues in the Notre Dame community. Paul Barany, co-chair of “ND Thinks Big,” said students chose the nine professors and one administrator who spoke at the discussion. Mike Collins, the distinct voice of Notre Dame Stadium, served as host and moderator for the event as well. “The editors of The Hub got together and picked the different speakers to invite,” Baranay said. “We knew we wanted someone from each of the five colleges and one from the administration; we knew we wanted older and younger people who are experienced and people who are up-and-coming.” Lou Nanni, Vice President of University Relations, opened the presentation with a speech titled “To Dream Big, Remember Where You Came From.” The talk reflected on the history of the founding of Notre Dame. Jessica Hellmann, professor of the biological sciences, said the need to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere was imperative in combating climate change. She also said students should each reevaluate their view of nature and their interactions with it. Economics professor Michael Mogavero addressed the 10 major mistakes universities make in implementing strategic plans. The most important mistake to fix was the failure to build a campus community with fundamental trust between faculty, students and staff, he said. Corey Angst, assistant professor in the Department of Management in the Mendoza College of Business, said the pilot program for Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab use in classes was highly successful. The program was introduced to certain Notre Dame courses in the fall of 2011. Angst said his entire class was completely paperless and promoted environmental-friendly education. All books, tests and homework were completed electronically, he said. Aaron Striegel, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, discussed the benefits of video games in rehabilitation. The ability to measure rehabilitative progress in patients is often limited by the high cost of effective medical instruments, he said. As a solution, medical trainers can monitor the recovery of their patients by having them play gaming systems such as the Wii and the “Cloud” virtual computing system. Peter Garnavich, professor of physics, delivered his speech, “The Revolution Continues,” which traced the history of human understanding of Earth’s location in the universe through the discoveries of Copernicus and Edwin Hubble. “Earth is located in the suburbs,” Garnavich said. “We are the South Bend to the Chicago in the galactic universe.” The event was recorded and will be made available online at The Hub website.
The Institute for Church Life (ICL) at the University of Notre Dame has launched Camino, an online faith formation program for Latino Catholics.Camino Program Director Esther Terry has developed Camino from its early stages, she said.“The program has been in the works for a long time and the pilot phase started in 2012,” Terry said. “The pilot phase started with just one course that was adapted from a course that we have in English.”According to its website, Camino is an online program of Catholic theology courses designed by University professors and leaders in Latino ministry. A facilitator, who must have a master’s degree in theology, instructs the course, which can last anywhere from four to seven weeks.Camino stems from Notre Dame’s Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP), a program developed in the early 1990s that aimed to provide high quality theology courses at affordable prices.“For a long time people had been taking these courses in English, and they had been receiving requests for courses in Spanish,” Terry said.On Camino’s website, Notre Dame professor of theology Fr. Virgil Alizondo said Camino is “a great way to use media and technology to give learning opportunities beyond the University.”The STEP program worked in collaboration with the SouthEast Pastoral Institute in Miami (SEPI) to develop Camino. Various dioceses are also involved with advertising the program to potential participants.“The people that take our courses are typically catechists, readers [and] serve in the music ministry,” Terry said. “[They] usually have some position in their parish and they want to have ongoing faith formation.”Terry said the program prides itself in the flexibility and accessibility of its courses. She said many of Camino’s participants live in rural areas or other places where learning resources in their native language are limited.“I think the flexibility of hours for taking an online course and the quality of what we are able to deliver in places where it would be very difficult for them to have this formation experience makes [this program] very important,” Terry said.Terry said she enjoys contributing to Camino.“It’s been so exciting to see people engage Scripture and engage the Catechism and see the sense of wonder and excitement that they have and how dignified they feel to be taking an online course with Notre Dame,” Terry said.Terry said her hope for Camino and other theological programs like it is that the intellectual resources at Notre Dame and other partners and affiliates are made available to an even more diverse group of people.“We want to share those resources with people in the pews, your average Catholics, and help them to see the beauty and the joy of our Catholic faith so that they can share that with others,” Terry said.Tags: Camino, Hispanic Catholics, ICL, Institute for Church Life, SEPI, SouthEast Pastoral Institute in Miami, STEP