ND grad competes for acting award

first_imgTyler Langdon, a 2008 Notre Dame graduate, hopes that winning a 2010 Yahoo Hollywood Movie Award will jumpstart his acting career. Langdon is currently one of 10 nominees for Yahoo’s Hollywood Discover Award, in which aspiring actors submit monologues for voters to view and vote on the Hollywood Movie Award website. “The award is for up-and-coming talent in Hollywood,” Langdon said. A resident of Dillon Hall while at Notre Dame, Langdon studied business and thought his performing career was over. “I did a lot of acting before I came to Notre Dame.” Langdon said, “I absolutely loved speech, but as fun as it was, I had to be practical, so I went to business school.” However, Langdon couldn’t shake the acting bug. After graduation, he moved to California to attend a management program through Hillstone Restaurant Group. “All the servers and cooks in the restaurant were actors and they were always talking about auditions and roles they had,” Langdon said. “Everything I had done before rushed back.” Langdon decided to pursue his dream and quit his restaurant job after two months to begin auditioning for acting roles. “It takes a very long time to make it in this industry,” he said. “Most actors you recognize have been doing this for seven or eight years.” Even though his career has not followed a traditional path, Langdon said his parents support his decision to try and make it in the acting business. “My parents always support whatever I do that makes me happy as long as it brings respect to myself and my family,” Langdon said. “They just don’t want me to compromise myself for Hollywood.” His film credits include roles in “Pushing Daisies” and “The Pacific,” according to his website. He also hosted two different shows about Thai food. Langdon eventually hopes to act on a sitcom and work in both comedic and dramatic films. “I love the comedy on ‘The Office’ and ‘30 Rock,’ with more subtle humor and good writing and natural actors,” he said. Langdon recently landed a role for an upcoming movie about a man suffering from social anxiety disorder and his relationship with a female friend who studies his disorder for her graduate work. “He’s just a really dynamic character,” Langdon said. The transition from acting on stage and for speech competitions was different and a challenge for Langdon. “The speech and debate gave me confidence, but it’s just so big,” Langdon said, “Acting teachers kept telling me to relax my face and think and play my emotions.” Langdon hopes that someday he could work with Leonardo DiCaprio, his favorite actor. “He’s a fantastic actor and has had some amazing roles,” Langdon said. While still in the restaurant business, DiCaprio came into the restaurant Langdon managed and the servers sent him out on the floor acting like a bus boy so he could see him. “I was nervous just cleaning the table next to him,” Langdon said. Online voting for the Yahoo Hollywood Movie Awards started on Oct. 5 and closes Thursday.last_img read more

Kroc Institute fellow discusses Arab Spring research

first_imgWill Moore, a visiting research fellow at the Kroc Institute and Florida State University professor of political science, addressed the shortcomings of popular perspectives on the events of the Arab Spring. He revisited the dissent and revolutions in the Middle East on Tuesday during the lecture “Dissent, Repression and Outcomes of the Arab Spring.” “Conventional Arab Spring narratives are unpersuasive because they don’t focus on outcomes,” he said. “These narratives also have a very strong ‘blame the victim’ approach, which is ahistorical.” Moore said there should be a focus on the behavior and interactions of dissidents and states. He discussed 24 instances of mass protests in four different countries — Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Syria — since 1990 and said it was significant that only one of those protests resulted in a victory for the dissidents. “Unless you start paying attention to the interaction of states and dissidents, you can’t understand the outcomes,” he said. Moore outlined the research methodology and theoretical approach for his current project, which will supply the content for an eventual book on the subject. “I don’t yet have the answers to the questions I’m addressing. I’m going to be laying out how I’ve designed a research project,” he said. Eventually, the project will include case studies for every country in the entire Middle East and North Africa, as well as further analyses for the period of 1990 to 2011, Moore said. Currently, he is focused on 10 countries in particular and only has access to data from 1990 to 2004. “During this time and in all of these countries, dissidents and states are interacting. In every single one of these 10 nations, there is a long history of people challenging government and government responding in kind,” Moore said. During the lecture, Moore displayed a graph of dissident and state activity in each of the 10 countries and pointed out that some, such as Tunisia, stood out as having less dissident activity. The data came from a database of news reports, he said. “Something I have to consider is whether there is less news coverage or actually less dissident activity,” he said. Moore said he intends to evaluate the behavior of two actors, the state and the dissidents, along a Hostility-Cooperation Continuum. He said the continuum shows how one side responds to the behavior of the other and how both the desire to stay in power and the influence of constituents are important in determining this behavior. “If you’re halfway up the hostility scale, my people want me slightly … more hostile than you,” Moore said. Moore said the continuum allows him to estimate the average behavior when the other actor does nothing. For example, the state will be very cooperative on average when the dissidents do nothing. He said he can also estimate the average responsiveness to surprise for each actor, though his calculations do not differentiate between hostile and cooperative responses to surprises. Moore said his current data reveals interesting patterns, but he has not analyzed the set thoroughly enough to draw any conclusions. “I haven’t delved into how much I can trust these particular estimates,” he said. “I’m showing you a flavor of what I’m going to be able to do,” Moore said his project might not lead to the kind of results he hopes for, but he believes it addresses something existing literature is missing. “Does this project that I’ve launched give me any leverage? It’s possible I’ll strike out,” he said. “I’ve argued existing scholarship ignores behavior and limits our ability to understand and answer important questions. The missing objective of inquiry is the behavior of dissidents and states.”last_img read more

Club advocates civil liberty

first_imgLimited government, liberty and free trade are the basic goals of the College Libertarians at Notre Dame. “The first step is education and logical discourse,” according to senior Todd Velianski, president of the club. This fall, the club will run voter registration drives with College Republicans and College Democrats, said sophomore Nick Frecker, club treasurer. “We dispense and discuss literature dealing with civil rights, libertarian philosophy and current issues,” Frecker said. “We have a shipment of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ books coming in.” Frecker and Velianski will campaign on the behalf of the Libertarian presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, and host debate watches in LaFortune Ballroom. “I consider myself fiscally responsible, socially tolerant and an avid lover of liberty,” said Frecker. “I believe people have the right to effectively do what they see fit, as long as their actions don’t infringe on the rights of others.” The views of the party seem to resonate with many students on campus, Frecker said. “Last year at the ‘Holy Votes’ debate, they had representatives from all parties and the applause for all three were equal,” he said. “The ideas of libertarianism are very popular among young people, but [many] are trapped in the two-party er of two evils.” Velianski said he hopes students stay informed for the election process. “Students here will go on to take key roles in the formation of society, in business, politics, religion and technology, and to be good citizens they must be well educated on current events and varying political philosophies,” he said. Velianski said he fears what Mitt Romney’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate will mean to the Libertarian party. “With the nomination of a New England progressive like Romney … I don’t know where the Libertarian votes will go,” Velianski said. “[But] the movement is becoming something that both major parties can’t afford to ignore if they wish to maintain electoral domination.” Dissatisfaction with the Republican and Democratic parties led Velianski to the Libertarian party, he said. He said libertarianism is a philosophy based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you would have them do to you. “Libertarianism is the belief that the individual knows how to live his life better than a government official knows how to,” Velianski said. “The greatest problem in society and at Notre Dame is the belief that the rules of morality do not apply to the government.” Velianski said he is unfazed by those who think voting libertarian is essentially the same as throwing a vote away, due to the party’s relatively small size. “[What they] fail to realize is that Obama’s and Romney’s policies on social issues are largely the same,” Velianski said. “The only vote I can cast with a good conscience is a vote for the party whose integrity has not been corrupted. I vote Libertarian so I can sleep at night.”   Contact Meghan Thomassen at [email protected]last_img read more

Catechists awarded Medal

first_img The University will present the medal to Harrington, Sr. Susanne Gallagher and Fr. James McCarthy at the University Commencement ceremony this May. The medal, established at Notre Dame in 1883, is the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. It is awarded annually to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity,” according to a University press release. Harrington said the Laetare Medal will bring much-needed recognition to their organization, which provides religious education for parishioners with intellectual disabilities. “Our work is very hidden because not too many people pay that much attention to people with disabilities,” Harrington said. “The fact that someone thought we were doing a good job just blew us away. … That’s very affirming for us.” McCarthy, a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, first conceived the idea for SPRED in 1960 when he read letters from parents expressing their difficulty in finding ministries for their children with intellectual disabilities, Harrington said. He began working on the project in his off time, and in 1963 Harrington joined McCarthy when he requested a member of her congregation, the Society of Helpers, for assistance. “Theology for people with intellectual disabilities was very bleak, you teach them their prayers and that was about it,” Harrington said. “So many had a capacity, but you had to figure out a different way.” The pair began to work with Catechist volunteers to implement a more contemplative and liturgical approach to religious education better suited to people with these disabilities, Harrington said. She said they based the approach off the prior research and practice of French priests from Lyons, France and Quebec, Canada. “We didn’t know how to introduce [the method] to the [United States],” Harrington said. “We started working in rooms with one-way viewing mirrors. The volunteer catechists could observe us working, then do the same thing.” Gallagher, a member of the Sisters of Providence, joined the organization in 1967 to design a Montessori environment for the groups. With the environment, syllabus and observational teaching method in place, SPRED began multiplying its centers across the United States the following year, Harrington said. Today the Chicago SPRED center has trained volunteers for 156 parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago, 15 other dioceses in the country and parishes in Australia, South Africa, Scotland and other English-speaking nations. “What [the Catechists] are really looking for is the basic mentality or basic attitude toward people with intellectual disabilities that is very respectful but can go outside the box to figure out ways to include them in worship settings,” Harrington said. The SPRED groups in each parish function with six “friends,” or people with disabilities, and six sponsors, the volunteer catechists. Each group has a parish chairperson who is accountable to the parish priest. In this way, Harrington said SPRED is very parish-based and parish-operated. She, McCarthy and Gallagher serve as resource people for the individual groups. Harrington said SPRED also offers continual training at its center, where catechists can continue to observe teaching methods and discuss difficulties they are experiencing. “It’s a very trim, decentralized operation,” Harrington said. “We can keep it moving well and quickly because it is decentralized.” The sponsors at each parish meet once per week, Harrington said. During the first week they prepare a syllabus for the second week, when they put on a two-hour class for their friends. At the third week’s session, the catechists reflect on the previous class and ways they can improve it for the following week, when the friends attend class again. The goal of the sessions is four-fold, Harrington said. The catechists aim to instill within the individuals a sense of the sacred, a sense of Christ, a sense of the Father and a sense of the Spirit as living within the Church. “We’re not working with heavy duty concepts, we’re dealing with much more intuitive and contemplative aspects,” Harrington said. “We use a lot of the arts, like music, gestures, silence, to illustrate points.” To aid parents of the intellectually disabled, Harrington said the volunteers try to educate their children to a level where they are able to participate in a normal worship setting. “Some families are afraid to bring their children to Church because they have been treated disrespectfully there,” she said. “The child is not prepared, and the assembly is not prepared.” SPRED works to overcome that, Harrington said. In addition to preparing the disabled individuals for worship, she said many parishes have installed several liturgies throughout the year that may appeal to those who are intellectually disabled. Although some people have criticized the process as too labor-intensive, Harrington said the method has proven successful. “There’s no other way to do a good job for people with intellectual disabilities,” she said. “Families are very happy. [The individuals] come in as little children, and they’re still with us in their 20s and 30s.” Other critics claim the organization is wasting its time attempting to teach people with disabilities, Harrington said. She said fortunately, not all within the Church view it that way. In a press release, University President Fr. John Jenkins praised SPRED’s commitment to educating people with disabilities. “Insisting that a developmental disability neither tempers Christ’s invitation nor restricts one’s right to respond, they have ushered countless people to their rightful place at the Eucharistic table,” Jenkins said. Being awarded the 2013 Laetare Medal allows SPRED to demonstrate the fruits of its efforts to others, Harrington said. “We see there’s a real person inside, and they really respond,” she said. “Not in a way a regular child would, but in their own way.” The three founders of the Special Religious Education Development Network (SPRED) were shocked to find out they were this year’s recipients of the Laetare Medal, Sr. Mary Therese Harrington said.last_img read more

Professor lectures on Latinos

first_imgDr. David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the University of California Los Angeles, addressed the implications of the United States’ increasing Latino population Monday in McKenna Hall.   In a lecture titled “Young Latinidad and the Future of America,” Hayes-Bautista said the growing percentage of Latinos in the United States is inevitable and beneficial. “In Texas and in California and in New Mexico, over 50 percent of the babies born are Latino,” he said. “This is the norm.”   Latinos are also a sizable minority in other states, such as Illinois and New York, Hayes-Bautista said. “As a whole, the state will work more, work more hours per week, use less welfare, have fewer heart attacks, have fewer cancers, have fewer strokes [as the Latino population grows],” he said. Hayes-Bautista said his research shows these statistical shifts are largely due to cultural differences between Latinos and other Americans. “Latinos have the highest labor force participation of any group in the country and are far more likely to start a business,” he said. “Latinos have historically very low welfare utilization rates.” Despite their potential positive impact on the United States, the media portrays Latinos mostly negatively, Hayes-Bautista said. “If you go home and watch the 11 o’clock news, what’s it likely to be?,” Hayes-Bautista said. “Gangs, illegal immigration, teenage moms.” This portrayal differs largely from present Latino realities and history, Hayes-Bautista said. North America contained early Latino settlements whose people participated in past wars and helped finance the American Revolution, he said.    “Because of Latinos, because of the values,  because of the families, because of the faith, we have always been building this country since 80 years before [the settlement of Jamestown, Va.],” he said. “Latinos have been helping to defend the freedoms of this country since 1776.” November’s elections clearly indicate present-day Latinos will have a similarly-profound impact on the United States, Hayes-Bautista said. “The Latino electorate stepped forward and changed the course of this nation’s history by causing the re-election of President Obama,” he said. “Not because of President Obama, but because Latinos made the difference.”last_img read more

SUB consults students, anticipates spring

first_imgSenior Kaitlyn Keelin, executive director of the Student Union Board (SUB), said the group strongly emphasized consulting students to determine the organization’s offerings this semester. “We’ve been focusing on getting more student input and collecting a lot of data so that we can plan events that students want to see on campus,” Keelin said. SUB’s most-attended event of the semester was Comedy on the Quad, in which comedian Jim Gaffigan drew approximately 4,000 students to his performance on South Quad, Keelin said. She said other popular SUB events included a presentation by “Breaking Bad” star R.J. Mitte, a Legends stand-up comedy performance by SNL’s Nasim Pedrad and a Legends concert featuring Eric Hutchinson. Keelin said SUB’s biggest challenge was a lack of participation in the Purdue Ticket Lottery. She said SUB purchased the tickets from the Athletic Department at face value last spring, so they lost out when reduced-price tickets became widely available from other sources, such as StubHub. The final SUB event of the semester, Stress Relievers, will take place Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Notre Dame Room and the ballroom of the LaFortune Student Center, Keelin said. The event will feature free food, energy drinks and massages, she said. Keelin said the spring semester will feature several large-scale events, including the Collegiate Jazz Festival, the Notre Dame Literary Festival, the Holy Half, The SUB Concert and AnTostal week.  Next semester, SUB will also distribute frequent moviegoer passes that enable students who regularly attend SUB movies to earn free admission, Keelin said.  Keelin said the spring’s kick-off event will be a fireside talk and a networking reception with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Grade: B+ SUB brought some interesting acts to campus so far, but the money they lost in the Purdue Ticket Lottery may affect next semester’s programming. Contact Christian Myers at [email protected]last_img read more

1st Source Bank to replace NDFCU in LaFortune

first_imgOn-campus banking options are set to look different for students and staff next year, with changes in the LaFortune Student Center and ATMs around campus.A branch of 1st Source Bank will replace the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union (NDFCU) branch currently housed in LaFortune. An announcement of the change was sent to all students and staff via email Thursday.Sophomore Drew Carmona, the student government representative on the evaluation committee responsible for the decision, said the University chose 1st Source from an initial pool of 13 financial institutions.“We put a lot of thought into what was best for the University and what was best for our students and staff,” Carmona said. “We selected 1st Source as the new campus branch bank partner because 1st Source has the ability to offer flexible solutions that best meet our unique needs.“We wanted a financial institution that could meet the needs of the University’s cashiering services, as well as offer quality services and consumer banking.”Carmona said, as the new partner bank, 1st Source will take over several duties formerly performed by NDFCU.“1st Source is going to administer various functions, like student account payments, department deposits, event/start-up cash and cashing checks,” he said.The transition likely will be completed over the summer, Carmona said. The new 1st Source branch will open July 1, and there will also be several 1st Source ATMs around campus.Carmona said students are free to do their personal banking with any financial institution. He said the main office of NDFCU on Moreau Drive will remain open and there will still be several NDFCU ATMs around campus to serve those who have accounts with NDFCU.“If anyone has an account with NDFCU, they can keep it. They can still bank with them,” Carmona said.Carmona said the evaluation committee also reviewed results from a student-banking survey conducted in the fall and found most students do their banking with large, national banks. The University plans to add ATMs for some of these banks, in addition to the other campus banking changes.“We’re looking into expanding our ATM offerings to fulfill the needs of as many students and employees as possible.” Carmona said. “We are reaching out to a few national banks to see if they would be willing to place an ATM on campus to service consumers who already have accounts with them, to help minimize bank fees — such as ATM withdrawal fees. That’s something very important to our students.”The process behind these decisions began in October 2013 with the formation of the evaluation committee, led by Procurement Services and composed of representatives from Treasury Services, the Controller’s Office, Human Resources, the Student Activities Office and student government.After establishing the committee, members sent a request for proposal to 13 banking institutions, Carmona said. The committee used the proposals to narrow the group down to a few finalists and heard a presentation from each of them in January.Tags: Bankinglast_img read more

Wendy’s CEO lectures on brand relevance

first_imgThe Wendy’s Company President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emil Brolick spoke Friday in the first installment of the annual “Boardroom Insights” lecture series sponsored by the Mendoza College of Business.With nearly three decades of experience, Brolick has done work that includes marketing, brand leadership and product development in companies such as Yum, A&W, Long John Silver’s, Taco Bell and The Wendy’s Company. His lecture Friday explored the idea of “brand relevance” and ways in which the actions of brand leaders affect a brand’s ability to obtain and maintain relevance in a changing world.Consumers are exposed to thousands of brands, Brolick said. There often is a stark dichotomy between well-positioned and poorly positioned brands. In order for a brand to qualify as well positioned, Brolick said it must have particular characteristics.“First of all, it ought to be unique,” he said. “Secondly, it ought to be defensible from the competition, and thirdly, it ought to be profitable.”Brolick said brand leaders should act conscientiously in positioning their brand by considering the effects of everything they do and by striving to create and uphold a good brand name.“One of the things you are going to want to think about as an individual is, is your brand something that is being actively positioned and thought about in a very constructive and authentic kind of way, or are you kind of being positioned by default?” Brolick said.To illustrate the difference between well-positioned brands and brands positioned by default, Brolick discussed the personal brands of Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, Lou Holtz, Steve Jobs and Brian Kelly. While Warren Buffett conscientiously formed his personal brand, Brolick said Steve Jobs likely was positioned by default, as evidenced by his reputed aggressive personality.Once a company or individual commits to a focus on brand relevance, Brolick said they must keep themselves open to change and adaptation and avoid the “tyranny of incrementalism.” Brand leaders must be willing to set new and different goals for themselves, Brolick said.“Change is inevitable,” he said. “There is no doubt. And today, it is going faster and faster, but you have to somehow figure out how to change, how to evolve, how to grow, but still be grounded and be the same person. Brands have to do this all the time.”Although Blockbuster failed to adapt to the changes that occurred when Netflix started up, Brolick said the Disney brand has changed tremendously since the creation of Disneyland. ABC News, Marvel Comics, Touchstone pictures, Disney Cruiselines and Pixar are evidence of the growth of Disney as a brand, he said.“Did [the Disney] brand change, or did the leadership in the people behind this brand change?” he said. “… This is a key thing: People are the difference in organizations.”Brolick said he credits the people within organization as the ultimate source of differentiation between brands. The “journey of growth” for brands and individuals depends on the personal experiences, personal education and personal observations of brand leaders, Brolick said. The power or weakness of a brand depends on individuals’ abilities to take advantage of these three steps in their journey.“Have as many fabulous experiences as you can in your life and your career,” he said. “All the time when someone says ‘Emil, we’re thinking about this for you,’ I say ‘I am in.’ It is a new experience; I can get excited about this; I want to do this; I want to demonstrate that I can make a difference. I am in.”Brolick closed the lecture with a Michelangelo quote: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”“We are all very fortunate to have been somehow part of a university like this,” he said. “And I truly believe that God expects the most from those that he has given the most, and He has given all of us an awful lot.”Tags: Boardroom Insights, brands, Emil Brolick, leaders, Mendoza, The Wendy’s Companylast_img read more

Clorox CEO rallies for ethical leaders

first_imgChairman and CEO of the Clorox Company Don Knauss addressed a crowd via web feed at the Jordan Auditorium at the Mendoza College of Business on Thursday evening in a lecture entitled “Leadership Traits,” which focused on his extensive business experience and the underlying principles of successful leadership.“Leadership is a hackneyed word, but it truly means rallying people for a better future,” Knauss said.Knauss said there is a dichotomy between thought leadership and people leadership, but both are crucial to success. He emphasized creating loyalty within organizations because employees are the most important constituency of a company. Knauss said his own efforts at Clorox, such as personal lunches with low-level employees, rewarding long term employees and making all employees eligible for bonuses, represented the achievement of his leadership goals.Knauss also said these leadership efforts produced tangible results. In 2006, 15 percent of Clorox’s brands won blind consumer tests 60 percent of the time, a benchmark of individual brand success. Today, 60 percent of its brands meet this goal and 80 percent are either ranked first or second in their respective categories. Knauss said he was especially proud of the results within his company.“Everyone got a seat at the table” Knauss said.Knauss expanded on his leadership paradigm, and said, “the most invaluable leadership traits are integrity, curiosity, optimism, compassion and humility.”He said leaders from Marie Curie to Margaret Thatcher to Cesar Chavez embodied these aforementioned traits. Integrity, Knauss said, is aligned with honesty, trust and strength of character.Knauss said curiosity creates a safe environment for debate and true optimism combined with the ability to face reality will make faith successful. Describing compassion’s importance, Knauss said, “life is not fair, but you must use your power to make it fair.” Knauss said humility creates a feeling of approachability in any organization.Following Knauss’s presentation, Knauss answered questions about how his military experience affected his leadership and how he implemented his people-focused vision on a daily basis. Knauss said students in the audience must remain true to their values because “everything you do communicates.”The lecture was part of the Berges Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Religious Values in Business and Institute for Ethical Business Worldwide. The series showcases business executives speaking about ethics.Tags: Berges Lecture Series, business ethics, Clorox, Don Knauss, leadershiplast_img read more

Students explore racial achievement gap in U.S.

first_imgThis year’s first Soup and Substance lecture, presented by student-led initiative Take Ten, explored the educational achievement gap in minority students with a discussion titled, “Soup and Substance: The Racial Achievement Gap in the U.S.”Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns provides opportunities for discussion of important social justice issues while also providing food at Soup and Substance.At the discussion, members of Take Ten, a group dedicated to educating young students about methods of conflict resolution, examined the nuances of the racial achievement gap, particularly the socioeconomic factors and institutionalized racism that can lower academic achievement.Abby Balmert, a sophomore and member of Take Ten, said several studies demonstrate how poverty and lack of school resources are present at early stages of childhood, and these effects carry over to affect later academic achievement.“In America, not only does the racial achievement gap start before students even enter school, but over time, it gets more extreme,” Balmert said.Senior Megan Fuerst said scholars debate whether “racial achievement gap” is the correct term. Many educators and researchers argue it still implies inherent intellectual differences between minority students and affluent white students, as opposed to emphasizing the widespread poverty minority students face.“Some people say that racial achievement gap is sort of a misnomer and more of a poverty factor,” Fuerst said. “However, the influence of [racial] stereotypes that scholars have divided into direct influences and single influences is still important.”Fuerst said that, although the term racial achievement gap might be misinterpreted, the effect of institutionalized racism should not be ignored, as racism remains a prominent part of the debate over the educational achievement gap.“What’s most important to remember is that while many people would attribute it directly to income level and socioeconomic status, there’s so many more nuances to it than that,” Fuerst said.Senior Kwame Nuako said the racial achievement gap first became prevalent with the advent of eugenics and standardized testing. Nuako said developers of standardized tests during the early 20th century developed tests in order to “weed out” students who were deemed less capable, specifically minority students, immigrants and poor students.Nuako said that, although some of the racial biases of standardized testing are not as explicit today, ideas of “inherent differences in intelligence between certain minorities,” such as African Americans and Latinos, persist.Nuako said the racial achievement gap is an issue that demands greater awareness and discussion. He said partnerships between educators and the community are important in order to develop solutions.“I think it’s great to explore this topic because growing up, you realize it’s such a pervasive issue no matter what background you come from,” Nuako said. “I think it’s good, no matter your background, to explore this topic. There’s a lot of incorrect information out there, and once you actually get to analyze this critically, you can start to analyze these problems. As Notre Dame students, we have the ability to make a difference.”Tags: abby balmert, Center for Social Concerns, kwame nuako, megan fuerst, notre dame center for social concerns, soup and substance lecture, soup and substance the racial achievement in the U.S., take tenlast_img read more