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McCormick reflects on plans for Campus Ministry

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first_imgIn the past several years, Fr. Pete McCormick has become one of the most recognizable figures on campus.He was formerly the rector of Keough Hall, a DJ at Legends and director of Campus Ministry’s freshman retreat program. Currently, he’s finishing an MBA in the Mendoza College of Business and serving as chaplain to the men’s basketball team. All of his past roles have a common theme, he said — connecting him with students and giving him a better sense of student needs, which he plans to use in his role as the new director of Campus Ministry.“I’ve had the benefit of working with students in all that I’ve done, so from my perspective, the focus of the director of Campus Ministry is really to be thinking about students first,” he said. “I really hope to be able to use that mindset as a way to give back. This office and the opportunities that I have are wasted if they’re not used every day to think about how we can care for students better.”McCormick said he sees Campus Ministry’s mission as a three-part process: first, an invitation, then a “content-rich place of formation” and finally, a mechanism for leading people to prayer.“I think that Campus Ministry should be a place that constantly invites people into what we are doing,” he said. “It shouldn’t be seen as exclusive or as a club, but a place that is welcoming to all.“And once people are here and feel comfortable, we can teach them about the things that matter most. I think all too often on campus and in our lives, we spend a lot of time talking about things that are important but are not necessarily what’s going on in the depth of our minds and hearts. We want to be a place where folks can ask hard questions about their lives and what they hope to be about.”The liturgical and folk choirs are one area where Campus Ministry has historically done well, he said, as are leadership development programs such as Anchor and Compass. This semester, Campus Ministry is beginning a spirituality study to evaluate current programming and brainstorm improvements for the future.“We need to know, what are we doing that’s good, what are we doing that’s not so good and what are we doing that could possibly be discontinued?” McCormick said. “Starting now, we’re going to do a benchmarking episode where we look at other universities to see what they’re doing and also begin to look in high schools to see what our future students look like now. We’re going to get some good information from those that are here, but I’m also interested in hearing about what the class of 2022 looks like so we can start to come up with new and creative ways to begin to build new opportunities.”He cited the relatively new pilgrimage program as an example of pre-planning done well — in the past few years, it’s become “one of the most exciting things that we’re doing,” sending students to Hawaii, the Holy Land, France, Mexico and beyond.“To think that four years ago, five years ago, we weren’t doing pilgrimages at all makes me think about what the next step will be now,” he said. “It’s always driving in the same direction though, as an invitation, a deepening of formation and a leading to prayer.”Ideally, Campus Ministry’s boundaries would blur fluidly with those of the Center for Social Concerns and other faith-based action opportunities on campus, he said.“You have to have both a spiritual and social component,” McCormick said. “If we’re not giving people the opportunity to actually practice their faith, then in my mind we’re not doing our jobs.“I just think that you can’t keep faith contained all in one self, so certainly we’re going to provide opportunities for retreats and reflection and the enhancement of knowledge, but yet my sincere hope is that students will take what they’re doing out into campus or to their halls, giving it back in different ways.”McCormick said the director of Campus Ministry position has been a dream of his for a while, inspired partially by his mentor and predecessor in the office, Fr. Jim King. McCormick will finish his MBA in May and continue as basketball chaplain, but he said he’s leaving many possibilities open about the future of Campus Ministry.“I’ve learned that things that are worth doing oftentimes require a little bit of risk,” he said. “Sometimes we’re tempted to play it safe, to stay in our comfort zones. My approach to Campus Ministry is going to be to have a little bit of risk that we enter into with our programming, a little bit of risk when it comes to our invitation to formation.“I just think that leaving that space open to a bit of risk is where God finds his way in. And it’s too tempting to be controlling to our own environments, but it makes it really difficult for the Holy Spirit to work if we have no interest in trying something new.”Despite a new office and a staff of 30 working under him, McCormick said he sees this role as a chance to continue what he’s always done — working with students and getting out in the community.“I’ve got great people who are working here, so I’m excited to go out and see the retreats. I’m excited to go and listen to a concert. I’m excited to go hear confessions for people on a pilgrimage or whatever the case may be,” he said. “It’s really going to come down to getting invested in the people that are here, and that’s going to lead to all different sorts of possibilities.”Tags: Campus Ministry, Faith, Fr. Pete, servicelast_img read more

Darren Criss Discusses Penning Lea Michele’s Glee Swan Song

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first_imgDarren Criss may play a singer/song stylist/rock goddess in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but did you know he’s also that in real life? Well, two of those, at least. Earlier this year, the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner penned Lea Michele’s swan song for the Glee series finale. Take a look at this video from Deadline as Criss discusses the genesis of the track, titled “This Time,” from sheepishly asking Ryan Murphy about writing original material for the show to hearing Michele bring the song to life. While Glee may be over, you can catch Criss in all his glittery glory as Hedwig at the Belasco Theatre through July 19. View Comments Related Shows Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Darren Crisslast_img read more

Olympic Colors in Flowers

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first_img The community project from the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games offers individuals,organizations and businesses a list of plants chosen to reflect the distinctive “Look of the Games.” The plants will help people create and display the Quilt of Leaves colors for the 1996 Olympic GamesJuly 19 to Aug. 4. You may not be competing in next summer’s Olympic Games, but you can still show your truecolors as part of the Quiltscape program, said Paul Thomas, a horticulturist with the University ofGeorgia Extension Service. “The Quiltscape program gives everyone a chance to be part of the event and look like it,” he said.”You can use approved plants that are a part of the venues throughout the Games. “You can spruce up your town square, your church and school grounds, your home flower gardenor your office window box using the Quiltscape plant list,” he said. ACOG has released the “Look of the Games” plant list in the Olympic colors: blue, gold, green,purple and red. The Olympic committee worked with Extension specialists, UGA horticulture faculty, commercialdesigners and landscapers to prepare a list of plants to match the colors of the games. Plants were chosen for both sun and shade, tall and short, dry to moist growing conditions and heattolerance for Georgia’s infamous August weather. “The group went through thousands of plants and selected those that are in bloom in August andare heat-tolerant and low-risk,” Thomas said. “The listed plants should look good under most weather conditions,” he said. “ACOG wantedplants that would look good two weeks before the Games and at least a week after.” The list includes Georgia favorites such as ageratum, coleus, zinnia, butterfly bush, crape myrtle,hosta, impatiens and caladium. It also has black-eyed Susan, Christmas fern, elephant ear, crimsonfountain grass and many others. Commercial nurseries and garden centers plan to carry these selected plants to help homeownersand businesses take part in the Quiltscape program, which will officially begin in January. “These plants will be available,” Thomas said, “But if you know you’ll need a large order, Irecommend reserving your plants with your local nursery now. “Get a soil test done, decide what to do to your site and buy plants and supplies early,” he said.”With so many people involved, there may be shortages of plants and other materials like fertilizer,soil amendments, lime or pine straw.” Even with a tested plant list and the best intentions, growing flowers in August in Georgia won’t beeasy. “It’s important to know how you plan to water your plants,” Thomas said. “If it rains, no problem.But if it’s dry, you need to plan to irrigate or water early in the morning, not while visitors areadmiring your handiwork.” To make sure the plants flower on schedule, consider buying one-gallon plants rather than thesmaller bedding plants, Thomas said. “They may cost more, but they have a larger root system,” he said. “If we have our typical hot, dryAugust, small plants just won’t make it.” For a brochure on the Quiltscape program, contact ACOG, Quiltscape Program, 250 WilliamsStreet, Suite 6000, P. O. Box 1996, Atlanta, GA 30301-1996. Your county Extension agent also has the Quiltscape plant list and brochures about growingperennials and annuals for next summer or any time.last_img read more

An Intelligent Frog

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first_imgNot long ago I wrote about how to make a pond for tree frogs so they could breedwithout the predation and competition of larger frogs.Since then I’ve learned a few things about how to make such a pond. I learned much ofit from a particularly intelligent green frog.I had two little plastic ponds, each about a yard across, set flush with the ground inthe front yard. A young bullfrog moved into one. Grey tree frogs colonized the other untilthis particular green frog moved in.When he showed up, the tree frogs disappeared. So one day I caught the green frog andcarried him over to the pond with the bullfrog.He seemed to sense danger and didn’t linger long. Two days later he reappeared in theother pond. He must have hopped 15 yards across the lawn and through the weeds.This quickly became an experiment. I would put the green frog back in pond No. 1 and hewould move back to pond No. 2, which he saw as his pond.At first the transfer took one or two days. I never saw the frog make this trip. Withpractice he covered the route faster. Obviously he could find pond No. 2, which hecouldn’t see.I started raising pond No. 2 on a support of bricks and stones. My goal in thebeginning was to find out how high a pond’s edge had to be to admit the tree frogs andexclude green frogs.Green frogs aren’t made for climbing. Each time I would raise the level the tree frogswould move back.And then the green frog would somehow get back in. Every time the green frog got in andspawned, the tree frogs would give up and leave.Today the pond is set on pillars of stones at about 20 inches above the ground. And thegreen frog and his girlfriend are its only residents, along with their current crop oftadpoles.How do they get in? I wondered.So one Saturday morning I caught the green frog and carefully put him on the groundwhere I could watch him. Then I retreated to the deck with a cup of coffee to observe.After about two minutes, the green frog hopped toward the pond and disappeared into thesurrounding thicket. After several minutes’ rest, he began to clumsily climb the pile ofrocks.He struggled, fell back and tried again. About two-thirds of the way up, he took refugein a crevice for about 15 minutes. Then he reemerged to go up over the top and into hispond.He’s still there today, king of his little pond.Clearly this frog remembers where his pond is and can get in even though he can’t seethe water from the ground. I also found that the rockpile makes a structure with idealhiding places.I think I could exclude green frogs by making a smooth-sided barrier instead of therocks. But I’ve decided I like this intelligent frog.What can we learn from this? One idea is the concept of home range. Once established,most animals have an area they know. They learn its feeding and hiding places. Animalswith a known territory live much longer than those traveling through an unfamiliar place.If you’re making a backyard wildlife habitat, try making ponds. Several little oneswill increase the diversity of residents.Elevated ponds will favor certain kinds of frogs. Add structures like rockpiles toprovide hiding places. If you make the habitat good enough, your transients will establishthemselves and stay.last_img read more

JTF-Bravo Brings Medical Care to Honduran Villagers

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first_img There is no easy way to travel in and out of the municipality of Duyure, Honduras. No roads are paved within an hour and a half of town, and the existing dirt roads weave up and down through mountainous terrain. Factor in Honduras’ rainy season, which spans May through October, and driving the dirt roads becomes nearly impossible. This remoteness is exactly why the Honduran Ministry of Health selected Duyure as a site for a Medical Civic Assistance Program, a medical clinic conducted July 20 by Honduran health care providers, the Honduran military and Joint Task Force-Bravo. During the MEDCAP, medical personnel treated 435 Duyure citizens in need of care. The patients received preventive health briefings, visited nurses for screening, and then got the opportunity to meet with a doctor, see a dentist and receive medications. For the residents of the Duyure region, this was a rare opportunity to see doctors and receive professional medical attention. “From here, the closest location for emergency care is Choluteca – about two hours away by road,” said Dr. Carlos Duron, a liaison officer in JTF-Bravo’s Medical Element. “Today we were able to provide treatment for most of the conditions we saw. We had some patients with acute problems, and we were able to work with the Ministry of Health to get them proper care.” The MEDCAP was a result of months of cooperation and planning by the Honduran Ministry of Health, the Honduran military, JTF-Bravo and local volunteers. Fourteen members of JTF-Bravo’s Medical Element supported the MEDCAP, with transportation provided by two Blackhawk helicopters from JTF-Bravo’s 1-228th Aviation Regiment. “We had everyone – Airmen, Soldiers, civilians – pitching in and working together on this mission,” said Maj. Saundeth Williams, the mission officer-in-charge and MEDEL’s chief of preventive medicine. “Our presence showed the Duyure people that we are here to help, and they were very appreciative.” JTF-Bravo, based out of Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, conducts humanitarian assistance operations throughout Central America. The next medical assistance program is scheduled to take place Aug. 10-13 in the Mosquitia region of Honduras. Caption: By Dialogo August 03, 2010last_img read more

Fostering happy, motivated employees through a culture of learning

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first_img continue reading » The modern workforce has changed a lot. Simply offering good pay and competitive benefits is no longer enough to attract and retain good employees. Today’s workers want to work for an organization that nurtures their professional development and growth. In fact, studies show that employees who are given the opportunity to learn and grow within their roles are far more likely to be engaged in their work and far less likely to leave their organization.In other words, building a culture that fosters and rewards learning opportunities for your employees can result in happier, more loyal, and harder working employees throughout your organization – from frontline and back office staff to upper management.While establishing a “learning culture” can seem daunting, it is by no means an impossible task. Solidifying this enterprise-wide transformation will take some time and focus, but there are things you can start doing right away to make steps toward this cultural shift.Credit unions and other organizations that have developed and sustained a successful learning culture demonstrate a clear commitment to four key elements: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: The unsurprising rise of populism

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first_imgFirst, the abuse of social media to distort public thinking is a major problem. The inability to distinguish fake news from real and the levelling of credibility between major news sites and fringe has led to miseducation on a massive scale. Sikorski argued that the Brexit Leave campaign issued “a billion ads with a tsunami of fake news”. That may be a controversial statement but what is less so is that, as he pointed out, the downside of social media is the anonymous targeting of individuals whose views are not agreed with. Such activities would be condemned in the real world, and Sikorski argues that they should be regulated, as people need to have educated views based on facts, not lies. Joseph Mariathasan considers Radek Sikorski’s keynote speech at this year’s IPE Conference in BerlinPoland has had the most successful 25 years in the last 400, declared Radek Sikorski, Poland’s former foreign minister in his keynote address at the IPE Conference & Awards in Berlin. As he pointed out, average salaries were now close to 70% of the EU average, and its GINI coefficient is dropping, indicating a more equal distribution of wealth.Yet, despite the huge improvement in living standards and opportunities, Poland has also been in the first wave of European countries electing populist governments. Sikorski raised some profound issues that are worth debating, whether one agrees with them or not. He sees a commonality behind the factors leading to the current political situations in Poland, Brexit and Donald Trump’s election at president in the US.Sikorski argues there are three key factors underlying all three phenomena and that have created vulnerabilities that need to be fixed. Radek Sikorski addresses the audience at this year’s IPE Conference in BerlinSikorski’s second point was the perception of a loss of control. In Poland, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s promise to allow a million refugees into her country caused consternation, as, under the Schengen rules, they can move anywhere. As Sikorski pointed out, Poland is the most ethnically homogeneous country in Europe. Sikorski argued that controlling who lives in your territory is a legal right and is not racism. Yet against that, he did not address the question of how Europe should have reacted to a refugee and humanitarian crisis on its borders.Finally, Sikorski raised the issue that the public perception of capitalism is that it is unfair. The rewards are not given as a function of ability in a just manner.Restoring confidence in ‘capitalism’ is certainly a worthy objective, but Sikorski’s proposed solutions, I fear, are only a very small part of any solution.He focused on three things: First, tax havens and a need to prevent EU citizens and companies from having accounts in tax havens; and second, banking bonuses based on the amount of loans bankers make. As he pointed out, Poland’s first wave of foreign debts were not paid back in full but had to be replaced by Brady bonds. Despite the losses for investors, the bankers who made the loans got paid their bonuses. And third, transparency of ownership. Thirty-five percent of London property, argued Sikorski, is foreign owned, and, as a result, areas of London are empty, with property being seen just as a safe store of value for foreign investors.Few would dispute the issues on capitalism Sikorski raises. But there are many other even more important issues he failed to mention – most notably perhaps, Thomas Picketty’s thesis in his best-selling book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ that, as the rate of capital return in developed economies is persistently greater than the rate of economic growth, it will unduly reward the owners of capital rather than labour.Income inequality in OECD countries is at its highest level for the past half century. The average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10% across the OECD, up from seven times 25 years ago. Given that, is it so surprising we see the rise of populist movements across the world?Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPElast_img read more

Highlights of the Week

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first_imgInterreg’s Largest Ever Project Gets Green Light MarineEnergy.biz has compiled the top news from marine energy industry from October 14 – October 20, 2019. DMEC Talks Renewables at Europort CorPower’s Man Scoops Up EIT Venture Awardcenter_img InTER Project Hits Milestone with Marinus Platform Launch Marine Energy in The Run for Scottish Green Energy Prizeslast_img

Turkish Owner Orders Tanker Duo in South Korea

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first_imgTurkish shipowner Yasa has placed an order for two tankers in South Korea, according to shipbrokers.Namely, the company signed shipbuilding agreements for the 158,000 dwt tanker duo with Daehan Shipbuilding Corporation in early November.According to a report from Intermodal, the company would pay around USD 61 million per unit.The Suezmax tankers, that would feature a length of 274 meters and a beam of 48 meters, are scheduled for delivery in January 2022.The units would reportedly be equipped with scrubbers.World Maritime News Stafflast_img

Reds on right financial path – Ayre

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first_img Press Association But with turnover increasing by nine per cent to £206.1m and external debt down by 29 per cent to £45.1m – courtesy of an interest-free, inter-company loan from owners Fenway Sports Group – Ayre is upbeat about their future performance. This year’s finances will be boosted by a huge new television deal while the club, second in the Barclays Premier League table and six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, are on course to qualify for the Champions League – participation in which brings in an estimated £20m minimum. “These results demonstrate that the financial health of the club continues to make good progress as we continue our journey to transform the club on and off the pitch,” Ayre told the Liverpool Echo. “Over the past four or five years revenue has been consistently increasing from around £170m in 2009 to over £200m today – and external debt has decreased significantly to less than £50m. “With a hugely supportive ownership group, we have taken a measured approach to bring back financial stability to this great club by ensuring it is properly structured on and off the pitch.” The club have signed a number of significant sponsorship deals in the current season, which will only continue to bolster commercial revenues which rose to £97.7million in the year to May 2013, up from £63.9million. “These financial results are now up to 18 months old and we have continued to make further progress since this reporting period,” Ayre added. “Our strong links remain with our existing partners, signing new deals with Standard Chartered, Garuda Indonesia and Carlsberg, and we have recently announced five new partnerships which endorses the global appeal of the LFC brand.” Figures released for trading up to the end of May 2013 show the Reds made a loss after tax of £49.8m. The previous year the deficit was £40.5m, but that was for a 10-month period as the club re-aligned their accounting period with the football season. Ayre also praised the leadership of FSG, led by principal owner John Henry, which has seen external debt reduced by nearly £200million since they bought the club in October 2010. “With a hugely supportive ownership group we have taken a measured approach to bring back financial stability to this great club by ensuring it is properly structured on and off the pitch,” said Ayre. “During the period (of the most recent accounts), we signed six new players including Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Joe Allen, and we extended seven players’ contracts which included Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Martin Kelly, Lucas Leiva and Raheem Sterling – adding depth and strength to the squad while continuing to develop young talent. “In addition, nine players were transferred out and eight players were loaned out. “We have also seen good progress being made regarding a proposed stadium expansion at Anfield. “Given where Liverpool Football Club was only a few years ago, the progress that has been made since FSG acquired the club has brought back much-needed stability with an ambitious vision which everyone is focused on.” Liverpool made a near-£50million loss in their last financial year but managing director Ian Ayre insists the club are heading in the right direction with reduced debts and record turnover.last_img read more