Vice president of student affairs reflects on time at Saint Mary’s

first_imgVice president of student affairs Karen Johnson began her work at Saint Mary’s in 2006, after spending 20 years as the dean of students at a Catholic university in Texas. Although she was initially hesitant to apply, Johnson said her interview made the decision to work at Saint Mary’s clear. “When I came for the interview, it was sort of like what students say — they came on campus and they just knew this is the place they needed to be — and for me, I just knew this was the place I needed to be,” Johnson said.After 12 years of service at Saint Mary’s, Johnson is retiring effective Saturday.Johnson said the opportunity to work at an all-women’s college was a big draw for her initially.“The thing is I was most struck when I first came here and heard the student body president speak at orientation, and how confident she was and how well-prepared she was,” Johnson said. “And I said, ‘Wow, these are women that are going to do something.’”Prior to coming to Saint Mary’s, Johnson said she had only worked at co-ed institutions. Due to this experience, she found there to be a difference in the attitude students had toward one another. “Women tend to take care of each other and reach out to each other,” Johnson said. “I mean there’s always bullying and little stuff going on — little, teeny stuff — but in the end, they tend to take care of each other and they tend to want everybody around them to be successful, and they pull people along with them to be successful.”Working with all women lends to having to pay more attention to women’s issues. Johnson said one of her highlights of working at Saint Mary’s was the work she did with sexual assault — and specifically, securing a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to open the Belle’s Against Violence Office in 2009. “Working on all the Title IX and sexual violence things were really important for Saint Mary’s at the time that it happened and I felt really good about that,” Johnson said.Another project Johnson said she is proud of is the completion of the Angela Athletic and Wellness Facility, which required large amounts of additional fundraising to come to completion. “When we started out we talked about $14 million, and when we got it done it was $26 million,” Johnson said. “And you know, the College was able to raise the funds for that, but being able to put everything in there that we wanted to put in there.”Johnson started the College parent Facebook pages during her tenure at Saint Mary’s, and has enjoyed the opportunity to be up-to-date on the concerns of parents and their daughters, she said. “It really keeps me on top of what the parents are thinking about,” Johnson said. “I can be one step ahead of them, and they also tell me how their daughters are feeling and what’s going on.”Although she has made a lot of improvements, Johnson said there have also been some challenges along the way, mental health being one of them. “The mental health issues that we deal with on campus have become more of a challenge over the years as I’ve been working in this field,” Johnson said. “Students come to us with more issues, but they’re also more used to getting help, which is a good thing.”President Jan Cervelli said in an email that Johnson has been an asset to the College community, and especially to students. “Karen provided Saint Mary’s with exemplary service in her role as vice president for student affairs,” Cervelli said. “She continually improved processes and policies, helped to increase support for students and worked to develop a wide range of programs and activities to boost student well-being and overall satisfaction. Her contributions have made tremendous positive impact on Saint Mary’s students’ quality of life, and we owe her a debt of gratitude as well as congratulations on her successful tenure with the College.”Johnson also spoke of the progression during her time at Saint Mary’s. “We’re much more progressive in how we help young women prepare for the world beyond helping them prepare for the workplace. … We’re just a better college overall over the last 12 years,” Johnson said. “It’s been constant growth and development as opposed to just sitting still in one place.”This “constant growth” is necessary to the College community as the world continues to change, Johnson said. “We have to change,” Johnson said. “We have to keep moving forward and we have to keep evolving as time changes.”“Given what’s happening in the world today and the climate about women today, we have to be in the forefront of saying what’s right for women and how we are helping women grow and develop,” Johnson said. “Because, you know, even today I listened to some things in Congress that were being said and I’m thinking, ‘No, it’s time for women to run the world. And if any women are going to run the world, it needs to be the women from Saint Mary’s.’”After her retirement, Johnson said she plans to take time to explore different activities. She also plans to attend the class of 2019’s Commencement. “I’ll be around for a while and I promised some seniors I’d come back to commencement, and I am just going to do some things that are fun that I want to do. …  I’m just going to take some time and see what happens,” Johnson said.Johnson said she looks forward to seeing the impact Saint Mary’s women have on the world. “I love the students at Saint Mary’s, and they’re great young women,” Johnson said. “I’m going to miss everybody here, especially the students. But I know they’ll be in good hands and be well taken care of. But, I expect big things from the women here. I want to read about [them] all.” As for students, Johnson said she hopes the memory left behind is of her desire to help the community. “I hope that people remember when I helped them, as opposed to maybe when they got in trouble or something,” Johnson said. “But I hope people know I’m here to help them, and that’s what I did.”While Johnson said she did not initially plan to spend 12 years at Saint Mary’s, she thoroughly enjoyed her time here. “When I look back now, I can’t imagine what else I would have done with my life,” Johnson said. “And, I have absolutely no regrets about being in student affairs and working with students every day. It’s been the best part of my life.”Tags: Angela Athletic and Wellness Facility, BAVO, Karen Johnson, retirement, vice president of student affairslast_img read more

Watch Lea Michele Join Kristin Chenoweth for a Wicked Duet

first_imgIt’s Monday before noon; have you had a good cry yet? Kristin Chenoweth, after being inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame on June 21, performed at the concert venue a familiar Broadway tune alongside a familiar face: Wicked’s “For Good,” joined by Glee costar Lea Michele. Before singing, Michele revealed just how far back her love for Chenoweth goes: “I watched her Tony performance from Good Man, Charlie Brown over and over again in my living room. I sang the whole song last night—I still remember it.” Us too, Lea. Side note: we’re also obsessed with how into it the pianist is toward the end. Check out the duet below! Star Files View Comments Lea Michele Kristin Chenowethlast_img read more

Necropsy Performed on Euthanized Moriches Bay Whale

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Marine biologists performed a necropsy Monday on a humpback whale in the hopes of learning why the mammal had become stranded on a Moriches Bay sandbar last week before it was euthanized, officials said.Experts determined that the whale was female, 29.5-feet long and weighed approximately 15 tons, but results of tests performed on its remains will not be available for weeks, officials said. The tests were conducted after scientists used a crane to lift the whale onto a barge, which shipped the carcass to Cupsogue Beach County Park on Sunday—the same day that community members held a vigil for the whale, which some people believe should have been saved, not euthanized.“We hope to learn more about what caused this whale to strand,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a statement.The case was the third whale incident on Long Island this year. Two dead whales washed up this spring, and at least a half dozen did so last year. Officials noted that it’s not unusual to see whales off the coasts of LI, but spotting whales in the bay are rare.Local residents had named the whale Morey—after Moriches Bay— after it got stuck on a sandbar Nov. 20. They bemoaned the fact that law enforcement threatened them with arrest if they approached the humpback, which is a federally protected species. The nonprofit Riverhead Foundation for Marine Conservation and Preservation said it had tried to free the whale the same day that it was stranded but failed.Observers say the incident should be a wake-up call.“Outraged local citizens have created a petition with nearly 2,000 signatures so far calling on New York’s federal, state and local elected officials to properly train volunteers to rescue beached whales when they become stranded in locally patrolled waters,” the Citizens Campaign for the Environment said in a statement.When NOAA experts arrived Wednesday, agency officials and a team of veterinarians determined that the mammal was in such poor health that it could not be saved and needed to be put down. Plans to free the whale were subsequently scrapped because experts believed that the weakened whale would just become stranded again, officials said last week.Humpback whales can grow up to 60-feet long, weigh 25-to-40 tons, and live 50 years, according to NOAA. They are threatened by getting entangled in fishing gear, struck by ships, harassed by whale-watching boats, detrimental changes to their habitat, and illegal hunting. These whales were removed from the endangered species list this year.The Riverhead Foundation urges anyone who finds marine wildlife stranded on the beach to call its hotline: 631-369-9829.last_img read more

Batesville Economic Development meeting canceled

first_imgBatesville, IN —The Economic Development Commission meeting scheduled for Friday, July 17 at 8 a.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room has been canceled.last_img

Poe’s Perspective: Pro sports have a role to play in queer safety

first_imgMany people like to tell us that the gay rights movement is over, that things are better now, that there’s no more fighting to be done. That’s a lie. Just because we earned our marriage rights doesn’t mean that we aren’t at risk, that we aren’t struggling for our lives on a daily basis. Children are still sent to conversion camps. Trans people still can’t serve their country in the military. Queer people of every shape, size and color are still beaten and left to die. As a white, straight-passing woman, I know that there’s privilege in the extent of my fear. I know that I can hide behind my sorority sweatshirts and avoid the type of surface-level violence — both emotional and physical — that assaults queer-presenting people of color on a daily basis. I’m privileged because my sexuality is a non-issue with my friends and family, and because I’ve never been at physical risk due to my appearance. The gay pride movement is not over. We have to fight like hell everywhere and that includes in sports. Some might say that a Pride Night is a political motion, or simply a public relations stunt. It’s neither of those things. More than any organized religion, sport is the most powerful faith in America. It is worshipped and cherished in every state, in every city. It is our common language. It defines how many of us see ourselves. And when teams take the time to lift up the queer community, to celebrate us, to love us, they slowly teach our country how to do the same. But then, news broke yesterday of the hospitalization of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. Early Tuesday morning, Smollett was attacked by two men in Chicago. He was beaten and throttled around the neck with a rope. His attackers poured bleach on his bare skin while calling him a “n——” and a “faggot.” It was one of many similar events hosted throughout the league, as the NBA slowly adopts a more vocal stance on gay pride. Most importantly, it looked like a hell of a lot of fun, at least from the eyes of Wall, who posted approximately 30 Instagram stories documenting his excitement from the sidelines, tossing T-shirts into the crowd and cheering on players whose names he didn’t even know. Julia Poe is a senior writing about her personal connection to sports. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs weekly on Thursdays. Mostly, it reminds you that you’re different, you’re part of the “other” and that people hate you for your otherness. Still. Fifty years after Stonewall, four years after Obergefell v. Hodges. That hate burns on. My experiences with the isolation and shame of homophobia are a watered-down version of what many others face. And I’m aware that the attack on Smollett had as much to do with the color of his skin, that it was an intersectional hatred that led these two men to commit this crime. But this attack makes clear why it is vital for sports leagues to continue to advocate for the queer community. There aren’t words to describe the feeling that gripped my gut as I read that news report the first time, the second time, the third and fourth and fifth. I wanted to puke. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. That’s the weird thing about homophobia — it makes you feel as if you’re split in two. It makes you want to curl into yourself and lash out, to go back into the closet and to pin rainbow patches to every single item you own. It makes you wish you weren’t gay. It makes you wish that everyone was gay. I had the idea to write about NBA Pride last Wednesday, when the Brooklyn Nets hosted Emmy Award-winning choreographer Travis Wall at their third annual Pride Night. The evening tied into New York’s yearlong celebration and remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots — a seminal moment in the gay pride movement. It is beautiful that owners in the MLS, NHL and NBA understand this truth (I pray that soon the NFL will follow, although I recognize that might be a far-off pipe dream). Perhaps they don’t see the full depth, or see it only as a politically correct gesture. That doesn’t matter to me. Each Pride Night, from here on out, will help build a safer future for the queer community — a future where we will accept as fact that love is love and that people are people, all deserving of respect and safety, no matter their color or sexuality. That’s what I wanted to write about this week — the joy of seeing one of the top two leagues in American professional sports create a special event specifically to lift up and embrace the queer community. It was supposed to be a fun, happy column about love, grace and acceptance. This was supposed to be a fun column.last_img read more

New support for clubs to involve BAME communities in golf

first_img13 Nov 2017 New support for clubs to involve BAME communities in golf Tags: BAME, Birmingham, Diversity, MyTime Active Golf clubs across England are being offered new support to encourage more people from diverse ethnic communities to get involved in the game.It is the result of a two-year project in Birmingham, run by England Golf and course operator Mytime Active, to discover how to involve Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in golf.The project successfully attracted 140 people from a range of backgrounds to take a six-week beginner course and now, with the support of Sporting Equals, a toolkit has been created to help clubs engage with local communities to grow the game.It’s part of the England Golf strategy to create a healthy future for golf by encouraging clubs to offer what their existing and potential customers want. Chief Executive Nick Pink said: “Our aim is to be customer focused. We want clubs to respond to the needs of all players and encouraging minority ethnic communities is an area with huge potential for growth in the sport.”England Golf is committed to showing that golf is a game for all, to encouraging clubs to offer inclusive programmes which appeal to their local community, and to challenge perceptions by using diverse imagery to portray golf.The Birmingham project centred on three courses: Hilltop Golf Course, Pype Hayes Golf Course and Hatchford Brook Golf Centre. Jason Stanton, Operations Director of Mytime Active remarked: “Over 40% of Birmingham’s population is from a non-white background and Mytime Active operates seven golf courses across the city, making us ideally placed to engage with the local population.“The three courses we chose for the project already had links with the local community and we were able to build on these to develop relationships and discover how to involve more people from BAME groups in golf.”The project involved local community groups and leaders and looked at everything from the make-up of the communities to the image of the game and the barriers to playing.These included the usual difficulties, such as time and money, as well as cultural restrictions. For example, a group of Bangladeshi Muslim women were keen to learn but needed a female-only session, taught by a male golf pro with a female assistant, and a relaxed dress code so that they could wear headscarves and saris.With these barriers overcome, 15 women completed the six-week course, with 12 others attending for between three and five sessions. There are plans to include more golf opportunities in the summer programme at their community centre.The project first offered golf at trial and taster sessions in the community before signposting the six-week beginner courses at the golf centres. Encouragingly, the average age of the 140 participants was 32, compared to the national average of 46; and 35% were women, compared to the national average of 15%. The largest ethnic group was from a Bangladeshi background, with 32 participants, followed by 30 with a Pakistani background.The project was supported by Sporting Equals, which promotes greater involvement in sport and physical activity by the BAME population. The organisation provided advice and insight and eight members of the West Midlands staff went even further, by taking part in golf activities in their lunch breaks.They also modelled for pictures to promote and market the project. Their images help to dispel stereotypes by reflecting the local community and portraying the mixed group in casual, comfortable clothing – and having fun.They later went to play nine holes at Hatchford Brook and regional officer Dan Allen commented: “Golf was not an accessible sport in the area where I work and live. There were no role models that align themselves to the community groups I surround myself in, therefore I have struggled to play. However, the offer from Mytime Active to participate with my colleagues really appealed and gave me the pathway to get into the sport. Knowing the basics of the technique of how to hit the ball from these lessons has given me the confidence to go to a golf course and not look stupid – which was a definite barrier!”Sporting Equals Chief Executive, Arun Kang, urges clubs to reach out to and welcome customers from diverse backgrounds. He says: “Golf is an inspiring sport which has produced some great champions from a range of backgrounds; however, there still remains a worrying shortage of BAME engagement.”Image copyright Leaderboard Photographylast_img read more

Lacey-Area Military and Families Recognized for Commitment, Sacrifice

first_imgSubmitted by The Landing at Hawk’s Prairie 11 year old Sarah Bamesberger was the grand prize winner at The Landing at Hawks Prairie’s Military Appreciation Day.For the second consecutive year, The Landing at Hawks Prairie shopping center in Lacey played host recently to a special celebration at which Lacey-area military families from Joint Base Lewis-McChord were treated to an afternoon of free hot dogs and refreshments, face painting, giveaways from center tenants and children’s games and activities.The highlight of the July 25 event was 11-year-old Sarah Bamesberger winning the grand prize in a raffle conducted by the Hawks Prairie owner, Cimmarusti Holdings LLC/Lucia Properties.Sarah, the youngest of five children, moved from Kentucky to Fort Lewis just one month prior to the event. Her father has served in the Army for 18 years and the family has lived in Texas, Missouri, Alaska, Georgia and South Korea prior to Kentucky and now Washington.“We saw the sign in front of Navy Federal and I told my Mom we had to come,” said Sarah, who won a $50 Domino’s gift certificate, a $100 gift card to Pho Hoa’, a free haircut from Jack and Jill’s, a free massage and facial from Hand and Stone Spa, and a stuffed animal and free yogurt from Menchie’s. All of these stores are tenants at The Landing at Hawks Prairie.Despite being the big winner, Sarah said that wasn’t the highlight of her day, but rather, “our favorite was the snow cones.”Attendance this year was twice what it was at the inaugural event in 2014, and in addition to the participation of nearly all of the center tenants, the event was supported by radio station KAYO, Rutledge Farm train cars, Costco, the Lacey Fire Department, and Kidz n’ Motion.The River Ridge High School Taiko Band entertained guests.“We also had the River Ridge Taiko Band there to entertain our guests, and we served more than 1,000 hot dogs, in addition to all of the other treats,” said center owner Larry Cimmarusti. “Everyone loved the 40 foot obstacle course and the face painting – it was a great military family turnout and we can’t wait to do it again next year!”“We consider this to be a small gesture of our immense appreciation for these selfless, modern-day heroes,” said owner Ralph Cimmarusti. “In our minds, we can never do enough to thank the brave members of our military for the sacrifices they make to protect and preserve our freedoms,”Brothers Ralph and Larry Cimmarusti, who currently own and operate the Original Roadhouse Grill restaurants in Oregon and California, have a two decade-plus history of staging fundraisers on behalf of the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.“It is our responsibility as members of the local communities we are part of to honor the memories of officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting those communities, and here in Lacey we wanted to create an event to pay tribute to the brave service men and women, and their families, who are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord,” said Ralph Cimmarusti.Lacey Firefighters came out to honor local military soldiers and their families.“This event is just our way of recognizing these service men and women, and their families, to whom we owe so much,” said Larry Cimmarusti. “It’s just one way for us to say ‘thank you.’”In addition to Domino’s, Hand and Stone, Jack and Jill’s, Menchie’s and Pho Hoa’, other Hawks Prairie tenants participating in the event included Red Robin, Comfort Dental, Navy Federal Credit Union, Kiddie Academy, Mattress Depot, LA Fitness, Total Nutrition, Sprint, Game Stop, Tan Republic, America’s Best and the Military Recruitment office.Located in the heart of the Puget Sound region, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is the Defense Department’s premiere military installation on the West Coast. JBLM provides world-class installation support to more than 40,000 active, Guard and Reserve Service members and about 15,000 civilian workers. The base supports 60,000 family members who live on and outside the base, and nearly 30,000 military retirees living within 50 miles. Facebook34Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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