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Reza Aslan Delivers Abrahamic Center Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Reza AslanInternationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions Dr. Reza Aslan delivered the 2011 Abrahamic Center Distinguished Lecture on the topic of Islamophobia in America in the Regina Auditorium on Nov. 3.

Dr. Aslan is the author of the international bestseller “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam,” which has been named by Blackwell Publishers as one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of “How to Win a Cosmic War,” a contributing editor to The Daily Beast, and a member of many prominent foreign relations and policy councils.

Dr. Aslan is also the editor of “Tablet and Pen,” a literary anthology that uses the arts to bridge the gap of understanding between East and West. He appears regularly in the media, as a guest on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “The Colbert Report” and other high profile outlets.

In his talk titled “Ten Years Later: Fighting Islamophobia and Understanding Muslims,” Dr. Aslan addressed a swell of rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. He sidestepped the division of “us” versus “them” and delivered a timely presentation on strengthening U.S.-Muslim relations.

Dr. Aslan’s talk spoke to the heart of the Abrahamic Center’s mission of placing interfaith respect, tolerance and social justice at the core of the college experience at Notre Dame. The Center is devoted to developing such programs, which foster mutual respect among all peoples, and celebrate religious, racial and cultural diversity, for the College and the Greater Cleveland community.

Notre Dame Catches Falcon Fever During Homecoming

HomecomingStudents, alumni and friends of Notre Dame College caught “Falcon Fever” during this year’s homecoming celebrations from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. From the Alumni & Friends Clambake & Cookout to the Falcon Football game and tailgating to the Alumni Reunion Brunch, the weekend offered something for everybody.

Even though the clambake and cookout took place on a rainy Friday night, the 70s party band Disco Inferno brought Saturday Night Fever to the tent in front of the Regina Auditorium. Alumni, friends and students enjoyed the music, the fabulous food and a silent auction.

On Saturday, alumni had “Breakfast with the Brains,” as they dined with current professors and engaged in a conversation with Chief Information Officer Deb Sheren on the state of education at the College. They then headed to Korb Field, where they picked up their pom-poms for a pre-game tailgating party and to cheer the Falcon football team to a 34-16 victory over Central State.

The weekend ended with Mass in Christ the King Chapel and the Alumni Reunion Brunch in the Great Room, which celebrated the graduating classes ending in “1” and “6.”   

To view photos of this year's homecoming celebrations, visit www.flickr.com/photos/notredamecollege/sets/72157627832505114.

Marching Band Sets Tone at Browns Game

Marching BandThe Notre Dame College Marching Band had the privilege to provide halftime entertainment during the Cleveland Browns’ NFL season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at Browns Stadium on Sept. 11.

Honoring the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the band performed its 2011-12 program “American Sketches,” a snapshot of music that helped found the nation. The band also played a few tunes for Notre Dame students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the College during a pre-game tailgate party in front of the stadium.

“I am so proud of the band’s performance on 9/11,” Director of Bands Bill Neater said. “This band came together in just three short weeks and performed in front of a huge hometown crowd. Their performance was inspirational and I was so proud to be a part of that day.”

To watch a video of the band’s day at Cleveland Browns Stadium, visit www.youtube.com/NotreDameFalcons.

“SPS 1” Celebrates Program Launch

SPS 1Notre Dame’s newest graduate program – a Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies (SPS) – officially launched this summer. The inaugural class of eight students known as “SPS 1” came to campus on Aug. 18 for on-site, practical exercises and to celebrate the program launch.

The students come from as far as Serbia with diverse backgrounds that include experience in the military, law enforcement and intelligence fields. They hope to take their careers to the next level with a master’s from Notre Dame.

The hybrid program consists of online classes in addition to three strategic weekend visits to campus. Classes include homeland security, terrorism and counterterrorism, strategic leadership, biodefense and strategic intelligence. Within the graduate program, Notre Dame also offers graduate certificates in biodefense and science/technology analysis, transnational threat analysis, terrorism and critical infrastructure threat analysis, and strategic intelligence.

During their first visit to campus, the “SPS 1” students participated in several leadership exercises, examined the Khobar Towers Bombing and Cuban Missile Crisis case studies, and conducted a site visit to the Cleveland Clinic Global Security Office.

“This cohort will always be very special,” said Dr. John Hatzadony, the director of the Graduate Program in Security Policy Studies. “They will be leaders in a program of leaders and life-long learners, in public and private, domestic and international security.”

Become a Five O’clock Falcon!

Five O'clock FalconsWant to connect with local Notre Dame College alumni? Here’s your chance! Join your classmates for “Five O'clock Falcons – NDC in Your Neighborhood,” a new networking initiative sponsored by Notre Dame’s Alumni Relations Office.

Once a month, the College hosts a happy hour at a local establishment in Northeast Ohio for alumni to connect with each other and their alma mater. Each happy hour location offers discounted drink specials and complimentary appetizers.

For updates on times and locations, regularly visit www.NotreDameCollege.edu/alumni/five-oclock-falcons.

What are you waiting for? Become a Five O’clock Falcon!

Kids Lose Training Wheels at NDC

Lose the Training WheelsLose The Training Wheels, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization, brought its innovative style of teaching children with disabilities how to ride a bicycle to Notre Dame College for five days in August.

Local volunteers, most of them members of the Notre Dame community, taught 29 children with disabilities how to ride a conventional bike. They provided each camper with approximately one hour of instruction each day using a series of adapted bikes and techniques. At the end of the camp, 25 of the 29 kids were able to pedal through the Murphy Gymnasium without any assistance.

“We are still loving the memory of the week,” said Megan McMahon, a parent advocate who partnered with the College to bring the camp to Notre Dame. “Thank you for giving us the opportunity, NDC.”

To view a video about the Lose the Training Wheels camp, visit www.youtube.com/NotreDameCollege.

Art on the NDC Circle

Art on the NDC CircleThe picturesque Notre Dame campus was the stage for the College’s first juried arts show, Art on the NDC Circle, this summer. Local artists exhibited and sold paintings, ceramics and jewelry at NDC’s Quinlivan Circle in front of the Administration Building on June 25 and 26.

The event was presented in collaboration with the City of South Euclid and was part of a weekend celebrating the arts that included a Cleveland Shakespeare Festival presentation on the evening of June 25.

Teresa Yondo won first place in the art show with her ceramics and sculptural art.

Notre Dame Names New Nursing Chair

Dr. Beth L. KaskelDr. Beth L. Kaskel has been named the new chair of Notre Dame College’s nursing division, replacing Dr. Diane Jedlicka who retired last year.

Dr. Kaskel comes to Notre Dame from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where she served as associate professor of nursing since 2006. She previously worked as nursing program director and associate professor at Ohio Northern University, assistant professor at James A. Rhodes State College, as well as program/regional director of geriatric partial hospitalization programs at Richland Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio.

“When Diane Jedlicka announced she was stepping down, we knew we had a monumental task at hand in finding a replacement,” Provost Dr. Mary Breckenridge said of the appointment.

“After an exhaustive search and interview process, we are delighted to have attracted the caliber of nursing professional that we found in Beth Kaskel. Her unique set of skills, experiences and credentials are a perfect match for guiding the division forward upon the solid base Diane built up over the last five years.”

Sr. Helen Burdenski Retires from Notre Dame College

Dr. Andrew P. Roth and Sr. Helen BurdenskiProfessor of Marketing Sr. Helen Burdenski, SND ’62 retired this summer after 38 years of teaching at Notre Dame College. Colleagues and former students celebrated Sr. Helen’s retirement with a reception in the College’s Great Room on May 6.

Over the many years she has taught at Notre Dame, Sr. Helen has touched the lives of countless alumni, many of whom shared their memories of Sr. Helen in reflections that were presented to her during the reception. The College also honored Sr. Helen during the annual honors convocation, where she received the Professor Emeritus Award.

Falcons One Step Closer to DII Membership

Falcon FootballNotre Dame College has been approved for provisional status in the NCAA membership process, which advances Falcon athletic programs one step closer to becoming a full-fledged NCAA Division II member in time for the 2012-13 academic year.

The College initiated application for NCAA membership in 2008 and has since been following a prescribed timeline for full DII membership. Year three in that timeline (2011-12) is known as a provisional year, which requires NDC to drop its NAIA membership as it meets all NCAA legislation. The NCAA administers athletic programs for more than 400,000 student-athletes competing in three divisions at over 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Central America.

“Becoming a provisional member of the NCAA is another exciting step for Notre Dame College and its student-athletes,” said Dr. Andrew P. Roth, president of Notre Dame College. “Working within the NCAA value-structure will enhance the intercollegiate experience for all of our student-athletes.”