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Harvard Institute of Politics announces fall fellows

first_imgFormer Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel joins the 2016 class as a visiting fellowCambridge, Mass. – Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, today announced the selection of the 2016 IOP fall resident and visiting fellows.“We have an extraordinary class of Fellows. They are the perfect guides to lead our students through the fascinating terrain of this election year,” said Harvard Institute of Politics Director Maggie Williams. The fellows program is central to the Institute’s dual commitment to encourage student interest in public life and to increase interaction between the academic and political communities. Over the course of an academic semester, resident fellows interact with students, develop and lead weekly study groups and participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community. Visiting fellows join the Institute for a shorter period and maximize their time meeting with students, faculty and Harvard research center staff.The full list of fellows and their biographies can be found at the link below. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Father Ted’s Fun Run to benefit local students

first_imgHoping to create opportunities for low-income and underserved prospective students, Notre Dame Upward Bound hopes that many will run this Sunday in order to help local students attend college. The third annual Father Ted’s Fun Run/Walk will take place Sunday at the Jordan Hall of Science at 3:30 p.m. Participants can either take part in a one-mile walk or a five- or 10- kilometer run.All proceeds from the event will go to Notre Dame Upward Bound, a program from the University’s Department of Education whose mission is to help local students from low-income backgrounds be the first in their family to attend college.“Upward Bound provides support and resources to students who have the potential to go to college but are often viewed as the least likely to succeed,” Alyssia Coates, director of Notre Dame Upward Bound, said. “We have a 100 percent success rate at graduating our students from high school and getting them into college.”Upward Bound is part of the Federal TRIO Programs that were established under President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 60s. Notre Dame President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh was a member of the committee that created TRIO and Upward Bound.“Fr. Ted was instrumental in creating the Upward Bound program and bringing it to campus. That’s why the Fun Run is named after him,” Coates said. “He has always had a great interest in the program and in making sure these students from low-income families have the opportunity to obtain higher education.”“We wanted to honor Fr. Ted’s dedication to the program by naming this event after him,” Upward Bound administrative assistant Deb Wisler said.The program enrolls students during their freshman year of high school and continues to support them throughout their high school years by “keeping them on track, providing tutoring from Notre Dame students, academic advising and having enrichment programming,” Wisler said.The program is completely free of cost for students and then helps to provide them scholarships once they are enrolled in college.The students, however, struggle to afford books and other items that are not covered by tuition one they’re enrolled in college. The Fun Run was developed three years ago to specifically address this issue. Fifteen students will benefit from its proceeds this year.“This fundraiser is geared solely to our graduating high school seniors,” Wisler said. “The students are very involved in the event. They go to friends and family to get sponsorships and they will walk or run at the event.”The students that are members of the program value the opportunity that has been presented to them courtesy of Upward Bound.“I work with these kids and they are incredibly bright and so motivated — a lot more than a lot of the kids that I went to high school with,” senior Erin Robey, a Fun Run organizer, said. “I think that it’s really good that they’re really trying to get involved in their futures and it’s a pleasure to help them out.”The Fun Run has grown and developed since it began two years ago and organizers are hoping for a larger turnout this year as more and more community members have become aware of the event.“Last year we had 200 participants and raised almost $9000 for our students,” Wisler said. “We’re hoping to increase by 100 participants this year.”The event aims to facilitate the relationship between Notre Dame and the South Bend community, especially since “there is such a disparity between the Notre Dame community and the community that is two minutes away,” Robey said.Wisler said Upward Bound and the Fun Run help to “serve as a bridge” between Notre Dame and South Bend and Coates believes both communities are trying to achieve the same goal.“We’re all looking to find out what resources are available so we can work together and be a collaborative community,” Coates said. “We need to unite and make sure the citizens in our community are developing into the citizens that we all want them to be.”last_img read more

A Motorcycle Rally in a Pandemic? ‘We Kind of Knew What Was Going to Happen’

first_img– Advertisement – “I don’t understand why he went to Sturgis and didn’t take Covid seriously,” said Jon Esmay, a friend who had not spoken with Mr. Aguirre in a few months. “Mostly I’m just angry that someone who talked to or saw him more often didn’t get him to the ER. I’m angry that I didn’t talk to him more often.”Dustin Van Balen, who considered Mr. Aguirre to be like an adopted brother, said he had been trying to piece together a timeline using Mr. Aguirre’s phone. But he said they might never have answers.“Not knowing is the hardest part,” he said.Mark Walker reported from Sturgis, and Jack Healy from Denver. After the crowds streamed home like some huge exhalation, coronavirus cases tied to the rally began popping up as far away as New Hampshire. Infection numbers climbed in the Dakotas and in the neighboring states of Wyoming and Nebraska, where thousands of residents had returned from Sturgis.In all, cases spread to more than 20 states and at least 300 people — including revelers’ families and co-workers who never set foot in South Dakota, according to state health officials. Twin sisters who had worked at a bike-washing stand in Sturgis tested positive. So did a local paramedic. And a motorcycle mechanic’s family in Rapid City. “I said back in March, do you want me to build a wall around Sturgis or a wall around South Dakota, because that is the only way we could have stopped them,” Mayor Mark Carstensen of Sturgis said.The backlash came quickly. After the rally concluded, city officials were flooded with death threats day and night by phone, email and mail. Some called the rally a declaration of freedom and went home with T-shirts declaring, “Screw Covid I Went to Sturgis.” But others in deeply conservative South Dakota now say it recklessly helped seed a new wave of cases raging out of control in the state.Family members who stayed away are angry at relatives who attended and brought the virus home. Sturgis council members who approved the rally have been bombarded with death threats. And health experts and politicians are still fighting over how many cases Sturgis may have caused across the country. STURGIS, S.D. — Albert Aguirre was amped as he and a buddy skimmed across the South Dakota plains, heading to join 460,000 bikers for a motorcycle rally shaping up to be a Woodstock of unmasked, uninhibited coronavirus defiance.“Sit tight Sturgis,” Mr. Aguirre, 40, posted on Facebook on Aug. 7 as he snapped a photo of the sun sifting through the clouds. “We’re almost there!”- Advertisement – The illnesses cut rifts among friends and families. In the rural panhandle of western Nebraska, Heather Edwards watched with frustration after a cousin who had worked at the rally tested positive and then shrugged off the seriousness because she had a mild case. A woman in Sioux Falls, S.D., seethed after her sister returned home from Sturgis, went to a wedding with a pasta buffet and tested positive the next day.Heidi Morgan, a conservative Republican who lives in the Black Hills, said some friends from Nebraska who attended Sturgis got sick after returning home. They refused to get tested out of a belief that the rally’s opponents wanted to use higher infection numbers as a political weapon.“There’s that feeling of, ‘We’re not going to add to the numbers,’” said Ms. Morgan, who said her family had taken the pandemic seriously, guided by their Baptist faith in putting others’ welfare first. “I’m trying to convince them that’s not true.”‘Not Knowing Is the Hardest Part’Mr. Aguirre was found dead at home on Sept. 10. The officers who moved his body wore gowns and protective gear because of the coronavirus risk, according to Chief Matt Betzen of the Vermillion Police Department. A posthumous test for the virus came back positive, according to the county coroner. In Rapid City, Holly Sortland had feared the virus would find her family, especially her 15-year-old son who has a heart defect. Her husband was a motorcycle mechanic in Sturgis, and though he wore a mask and tried to stay away from the rally crowds, a co-worker had been going maskless to the bars. Five people at his bike shop tested positive.“We kind of knew what was going to happen,” Ms. Sortland said. “I’ve never seen him so sick.”By mid-August, Ms. Sortland said, her husband was running a 101-degree fever and shed about 10 pounds. When she got flowers for her birthday, she realized that she could not smell them — a symptom that she, too, had Covid-19. A positive coronavirus test confirmed it. A contact tracer with the South Dakota Department of Health called the family to ask where her husband worked, but he worried about getting into trouble with his boss given the stigma that swirls around the virus, Ms. Sortland said. When she talked with the tracer, she said, she was not asked about her family contacts or where she had shopped.To date, the Health Department has reported 125 coronavirus cases among state residents who attended the rally. Derrick Haskins, a department spokesman, said the agency only conducts contact tracing on South Dakota residents.The Minnesota Department of Health in September connected 74 cases to the rally — 51 people who attended and 23 others who came into contact with them later. A man in his 60s who attended the rally contracted the virus and died. He is the only rallygoer whose death has been attributed to the coronavirus.“It is very challenging to trace the infections that attendees may have spread after they returned from Sturgis,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease epidemiology at the Minnesota Department of Health. “We were able to link several infections at a Minnesota wedding to someone who had gone to Sturgis but we were not able to definitively state there was a direct link. The web just becomes too complicated.” Health officials said a lack of contact tracing and the sheer scale of the event have made it impossible to know how many people were infected directly or indirectly because of Sturgis.“We don’t know if we’ll ever know the full extent,” said Dr. Benjamin C. Aaker, president of the South Dakota State Medical Association. “These people go home and get sick with coronavirus. They don’t have any way of knowing whether they picked it up at the rally or back in California.”Mr. Aguirre’s friends said they would likely never know whether he got sick at Sturgis, at a bar or restaurant in his hometown as college students returned, or somewhere else altogether.But friends said that by early September, Mr. Aguirre — a big guy and fiercely loyal friend who loved cooking and the Wu-Tang Clan — had been sick for more than a week and was struggling to breathe and eat. He called a local clinic but worried he could not afford to go to a hospital because he did not have insurance, according to friends and the chief of the Vermillion Police Department. In response, the city scrubbed its website of all personal contact information and replaced it with a generic phone line. The death threats ramped up another notch after a study suggested the event resulted in an estimated 250,000 coronavirus infections across the country.Mike Bachand, a City Council member, was among those who received death threats for his vote to host the event. The messages continue to come in, he said.Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip, which is outside the city limits of Sturgis and is used as a campground by motorcyclists during the rally, said he could not rationally see how the event could end up being a superspreader event and was skeptical of some of the cases being linked back to the event. Mr. Woodruff said he did not know of anyone who contracted the virus at the campgrounds. Democrats and some conservatives in South Dakota say the rally turned their state into a petri dish. They say Sturgis and other mass gatherings like President Trump’s Fourth of July rally, the state fair and an early-September Mustang car rally in Sturgis helped send the state’s infection rate soaring to one of the highest in the nation. The state is averaging about 1,100 cases a day, compared with fewer than 100 in much of August and September.But other conservatives accuse the news media and Democrats of inflating case counts and exaggerating the rally’s toll to smear its bikers. They said the number of infections was negligible compared with the thousands who attended, and pointed out that many rallygoers spent the week outdoors, camping and zooming through Spearfish Canyon and the Badlands.‘I’ve Never Seen Him So Sick’Back home, quietly, people were getting sick. And health departments in different states were struggling to trace where they had gotten sick or who else they might have infected on long road trips that spanned hundreds of miles. A month later, back home in the college town of Vermillion, S.D., Mr. Aguirre was so sick he could barely take a shower. He had not been tested but told friends that it had to be Covid-19.Infectious-disease experts had warned about the dangers of cramming thousands of revelers into the Black Hills of South Dakota at the height of a pandemic. But it was the 80th anniversary of the annual Sturgis rally, and bikers were coming no matter what. South Dakota’s Republican governor, a vocal opponent of lockdowns, gave her blessing, local leaders set aside their misgivings, and thousands of people from every state in the nation rolled down Sturgis’s Main Street.- Advertisement – In the aftermath, hundreds of people have gotten sick and Sturgis has become a rumbling symbol of America’s bitter divisions over the coronavirus, even now, as cases continue to surge, surpassing more than 121,000 daily infections on Thursday, and the nation’s death toll crosses 235,000. South Dakota’s Health Department has not connected any deaths to the rally, and Mr. Aguirre’s friends said they have been struggling to get answers or information about how and where he got sick, and wondering whether they could have helped. In North Dakota, the Health Department traced 30 cases back to the event, said Nicole Peske, a spokeswoman for the agency. That number, she added, does not include any secondary coronavirus cases that may have resulted if someone contracted the virus from someone who was at the rally.Ms. Peske said the agency was still investigating the cases linked to the event. “Hanging in there?” a friend, Dan Herrera, texted Mr. Aguirre on Sept. 5.“About to get in the shower and see how much energy that uses,” Mr. Aguirre replied.“Good luck.”Three days later, Mr. Herrera texted Mr. Aguirre to check in.This time, there was no answer.‘Do You Want Me to Build a Wall Around Sturgis?’Like every year, banners strung across Main Street proclaimed, “Welcome Harley Riders.” Downtown was blocked off for motorcycle parking. And despite rising case counts and growing criticism, Gov. Kristi Noem told Fox News in August that the state was handling the virus and glad to host the rally. “We hope people come,” she said.But behind the scenes, many in the 7,000-person city of Sturgis were on edge.Three City Council members wanted to call it off, but they changed their votes at the last minute after several large concert venues, including the Buffalo Chip campground and Rushmore Photo and Gifts, sent letters threatening legal action against the city. Sixty percent of residents who answered a city-sponsored survey wanted to postpone the rally, but city officials said they were boxed in. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Welcome back! Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick check in for Donegal holiday

first_imgDonegal is welcoming some A-List guests this week as Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick visit the county on a summer getaway. The Hollywood actors have checked into to their holiday home in the quiet village of Kilcar this week.Today’s weather may not be ideal for adventures on the Wild Atlantic Way, but the star couple and their three children have been treating themselves to some shopping in Donegal Town. SJP, Matthew, their son James (15) and twin daughters Marion and Tabitha (9) were spotted in the Diamond in the heart of Donegal Town today.Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica also checked into Instagram with a snap from the coastline close to their Kilcar hideaway.The famous family have not been seen in Donegal since 2015, but they often heap praise on the beautiful county and declare their desire to return for more Irish escapes.Matthew has close family links to the area, as his father’s family hails from Kilcar and he often visited as a child. Sarah Jessica has previously said that Donegal ‘feels like home’.“We would be delighted to decamp to Ireland. Move the children, put them in school there, have tea every day, a proper fry. It’s just an exquisite, beautiful, relaxing, wonderful place for ourselves and for our children,” SJP said.The family are enjoying a number of holiday breaks in Europe this year. Just last week they were vacationing in the idyllic Portofino on the Italian Riviera.Now that Donegal is the Coolest Place, and Kilcar is hosting its own Fleadh next week, the family are sure to have another idyllic break in their home away from home.Welcome back! Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick check in for Donegal holiday was last modified: August 2nd, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:matthew brodericksarah jessica parkerlast_img read more