Alumni describe involvement with service group

first_imgAttending an information session can change a life.Entering her senior year at Notre Dame, Victoria Ryan (‘15) knew she wanted to participate in a year of post-graduate service, but was unsure of her long-term plans. She attended the career fair and the service fair, but it was not until she chanced upon an information session about the Passionist Volunteers International (PVI) that she decided what to do immediately following graduation. Photo Courtesy of Katherine Merritt Katherine Merritt (’14), center, with two of the students she worked with through the service organization PVI for a year after her graduation. PVI offers recent graduates the opportunity to volunteer in Jamaica.“I just so happened to hear about an information session for a program that was year-long, living in community in Jamaica, and I only even went to the information session because it was at the perfect time in my schedule — it was right when I knew I’d be leaving dinner and I’d be leaving for the library,” she said.At the information session, she met Fr. Lucian Clark, the director of PVI.“I really loved talking to him and hearing everything he had to say about Jamaica and his passion for the program and the work that they were doing in Jamaica,” Ryan said. “I didn’t really stop thinking about it.”A month later, she learned she had been accepted into the program. While in Jamaica, Ryan worked at various sites, including a health clinic, a preschool and a home for orphaned boys.For Ryan, serving as a nurse’s aide at the health clinic helped her discern her career path.“Career-wise, the clinic was phenomenal,” she said. “I’m planning on attending an accelerated bachelor’s of nursing program, starting in May, so that really helped me decide what I wanted to do and really sparked my interest in global health, which I think is what I want to do long term.”According to Passionist Volunteer International’s website, the program was founded in 2003 and is currently based in Mandeville, Jamaica. Ross Boyle, assistant vocations director at PVI, visited campus Monday and Tuesday to discuss the program with Notre Dame students. Boyle said the program usually consists of a group of six to eight volunteers each year.Boyle explained PVI is run by the Passionists, a Catholic religious order with a special focus on serving the marginalized, whom they term “the crucified of today.”“Every year, we send a group of volunteers to go work for just a few weeks over 12 months,” he said. “The whole goal of the program is we work with the crucified of today. … Truthfully, the crucified of today can really be anyone. The idea of the cross, Christ crucified, is one that can kind of be anyone who bears a cross.”Before arriving in Jamaica, volunteers do not know which mission sites they will serve. However, Boyle said, this practice allows PVI to match individual volunteers with the tasks best suited to their interests and skills.“Our program really gets to know who you are and we spend three weeks with you in the country to figure out what your strengths are, to figure out what you like doing, what you hate doing [and] what areas of your life you want to grow in,” he said.Katherine Merritt (‘14), who studied science business at Notre Dame, was assigned to work in a health clinic and teach classes at an elementary school. In particular, she said she enjoyed getting to know the Jamaican people at each of her sites.“I worked in a small community clinic, so eventually we kind of started to get to know everyone,” she said. “The nurses I worked with started to become really good friends with all the patients that we were with as well. It’s just kind of different in that it’s a lot more relational and everyone is very community-based.”Ross McCauley (‘13) began support groups for HIV/AIDS patients and mothers of children with disabilities while serving with PVI. Now in medical school, McCauley said his experiences with the organization have helped him to better empathize with patients and led him to contemplate how to best serve the poor.“I think coming from a point of privilege in life, it’s hard to know how to approach some of the problems I saw, just in terms of abject poverty and things like starvation and lack of basic needs — how to approach that with sensitivity and the right motives,” he said. “It is very difficult and it is something I struggle with, even in the South Bend community I now work in.“It’s something I think we should all be aware of and think about, especially as people lucky enough to attend Notre Dame — how best to kind of inject our skills and interests in this world without being offensive or making the problems worse.”Tags: Alumni, Health care, Jamaica, Passionist Volunteers International, Post-graduate servicelast_img read more

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Syracuse’s upset bid against No. 2 Clarkson falls short after defensive meltdown

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 9, 2012 at 11:41 am Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ For 55 minutes Syracuse went toe-to-toe with the No. 2 team in the country.The Orange won more faceoffs, took more shots and largely contained Clarkson’s star-studded first line led by Jaime Lee Rattray and Carly Mercer. SU firmly took the game to its bigger, stronger opponents.But a five-minute defensive breakdown gave Clarkson (15-3-0, 7-1-0 ECAC) two goals and a mountainous three-goal lead with 15 minutes to play. A comeback nearly took the game to overtime, yet SU (9-8-1, 4-1-1 CHA) came up short for the second night in a row in a 5-4 loss at Tennity Ice Pavilion on Saturday.“I think it bears down to playing the whole 60 minutes and we could’ve come out with the win,” captain Holly Carrie-Mattimoe said.The five minutes that doomed the Orange began with a turnover by Kaillie Goodnough. Christine Lambert ended the play skating past Goodnough from the point and calmly tossing the puck over SU goaltender Jenesica Drinkwater.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA minute later Mercer picked up the puck just inside the right faceoff circle and slid a soft drive between Drinkwater’s legs for the 5-2 lead.Head coach Paul Flanagan called timeout and pulled the junior goalie for freshman Julie Bengis.“I think we needed the timeout just to understand that we’d been playing well,” Flanagan said. “That’s a couple bad breaks and we were right in that game. There’s nothing really, anything too special other than just ‘One at a time, let’s go to work here, protect Julie and you’ve all been on teams that have come back and won these kinds of games.’”The break worked. Two minutes later, SU’s Melissa Piacentini caught Clarkson netminder Erica Howe, stole the puck from behind the net and passed it to Shiann Darkangelo for an easy goal.There was no ignoring the fatigue that had set in for the Orange. Shifts got shorter and Flanagan even sent out reserve forwards Emily Auerbacher and Marianne Thomaris to spell his tired regulars with eight minutes left.The Orange fought every battle for possession, though, winning the vast majority. The attack just lacked an edge. And while Clarkson noticeably slowed down too, the Golden Knights looked destined for a quiet last 10 minutes.But Margot Scharfe’s goal with 1:16 remaining ensured the closing moments of the game would be anything but calm. Bengis skated off for Piacentini with one minute left and the Orange largely locked the puck around the Clarkson goal.“We had a lot of chances,” Goodnough said. “We could’ve put that one away with a W, but it just didn’t go our way I guess.”When Clarkson called a timeout with 17.1 second left in the game up 5-4, a sense of fear emanated from the visitors bench for the first time since the second period. The Orange’s last-ditch empty-net effort was ultimately unsuccessful, but SU was just one goal away from taking the nation’s elite to overtime.The Orange skated off for first intermission with a 2-1 lead and failed to score on five shots on two power plays in the second period. Clarkson was not so forgiving, having buried a power-play goal 14 seconds into a five-on-four at the beginning of the second.Nicole Renault, Caitlin Roach and Carrie-Mattimoe moved the puck efficiently against the Clarkson defense for long stretches of play, giving chances to Darkangelo and Carrie-Mattimoe, but each attempt failed to find the back of the net.The misses were especially painful after Clarkson blew the game open early in the third, leaving the Orange to take heart in the scare it gave the Golden Knights but winless on the last weekend of the semester.“I think it’s sucky in a way that we could’ve beat them but it’s also good because we know we can beat them and they’re second in the nation right now,” Goodnough said. “We just got to work hard while we’re on break and come back ready to finish up the season here.” Commentslast_img read more

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