College’s teams place in global math contest

first_imgTwo teams of Saint Mary’s women proved the College has a competitive math department when they were recognized at the “The Mathematical Contest in Modeling,” held by the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP). The teams competed from Feb. 18 through Feb. 22 on campus over and submitted their answers online.The results of the international contest were recently announced, and both of the teams representing Saint Mary’s received recognition.The rankings for the competition are Outstanding Winner, Finalist, Meritorious Winner, Honorable Mention, Successful Participant and Unsuccessful Participant, respectively.Senior Mary Zahm and juniors Emily Gore and Ashley Crish were each recognized as a “Meritorious Winner.” Only about 19 percent of teams received this honor this year, Zahm said.She said this was only the third time Saint Mary’s students have been awarded this title since they began competing in this contest. The last time a team received this recognition was in 1998.“Most participants receive a standing of either Successful Participant or Honorable Mention, so to receive the ranking of Meritorious is quite an honor,” Zahm said.Zahm said the contest began when COMAP posted two mathematical questions on its Web site Friday evening, and the teams were given until 8 p.m. the following Monday to send in their answers.“It was largely a team effort,” Zahm said. “One of the main contributions I made was making a trip to the library to pick up some print sources and crunching some of the numbers using our mathematical model. We all helped contribute to the brain work and the writing of the report, and all of our work was done while we were together.”Juniors Meg Griffin and Grace McClurkin and senior Renee Wolbert were designated “Successful Participants.”The students spent the six weeks leading up to the weekend in a course taught by an advisor, Saint Mary’s math professor Bogdan Vajiac.“In this course our advisor, Bogdan Vajiac, reviewed with us various techniques and mathematical topics that might come up in the problems,” Zahm said.Vajiac said he was impressed by his students’ accomplishments.“This competition is international, with more than 2,500 teams participating from all over the world — more than 400 from the U.S.,” Vajiac said. “We are very proud of our students.”Zahm said it was a large effort, but paid off in the end.“It’s a lot of time and effort over one weekend, but I think that I would definitely give it another shot,” Zahm said. “It was certainly rewarding in the end.”last_img read more

Former biology prof. dies at 92

first_imgJulian Pleasants, associate professor emeritus of biological sciences at Notre Dame, died Sept. 17 at the age of 92, according to a University press release. Pleasants graduated from Notre Dame in 1939 and began working at LOBUND, the University’s germ-free research center, in 1944, according to the press release issued Thursday. He earned his doctorate in microbiology from Notre Dame in 1966, and worked in germ-free research for the rest of his career. In addition to his work teaching and researching at Notre Dame, Pleasants worked throughout his life as a Catholic social activist and peace activist. He joined the Catholic Worker movement at the end of the Great Depression. In 1941, he helped create South Bend’s first Catholic Worker house of hospitality to serve meals made from Notre Dame’s dining hall leftovers to unemployed men. As a member of the Catholic Worker movement he joined a community of Catholic social activists, which included Catholic writer and editor Eugene Geissler and Notre Dame professor Willis Nutting. He began to correspond with his future wife, Mary Jane Brady, when she was editor of “Life and Home” magazine. They married in 1948. In 1949, Pleasants, his wife and other members of the Notre Dame theology program, in which he studied for a master’s degree, purchased an 80-acre farm in Granger to live in a communal, religious setting and work closely with the land. He and his wife raised seven children in that community. The Pleasants were also founding members of Little Flower Catholic Church. Pleasants, his family and other members of the community sought to integrate faith, Catholic liturgy, social justice and the importance of life into their lifestyles. He was a volunteer at South Bend’s Logan Center and a founding member of Friends of l’Arche, both of which serve the developmentally disabled. Pleasants died at the Sanctuary at Holy Cross. He is survived by three daughters, four sons and 17 grandchildren. There will be a visitation today from 5 to 7 p.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, both at Little Flower Catholic Church on 54191 Ironwood Rd. Contributions in Pleasants’ memory can be made to the Logan Center or Little Flower Catholic Church.last_img read more

Super Bowl ads utilize social media outlets

first_imgThis year, advertisements for the Super Bowl XLVI will captivate audiences around the country in a new way. Professor Robert Williams, assistant professor of marketing at Saint Mary’s College, said this year’s advertisements will be interactive with the use of social media. “Social media has been the game changer for Super Bowl ads,” Williams said. “The companies will receive quick feedback to the ads this way.” Williams said companies are trying increase their accessibility to consumers. Some will use the “AdMeter,” an application on Facebook, to track the receptiveness of viewers to company ads, he said. Williams said companies use this information in preparations and designs for future ads and products. Due to these changes, the cost of running advertisements during the Super Bowl has increased by 16.7 percent since last year, he said. “It will cost $3.5 million dollars for one 30-second spot to run during the Super Bowl this year,” Williams said. The rising cost in running time, however, demonstrates strength in the United States’ economy, he said. “For 46 years, the prices of Super Bowl ads have increased and decreased, it is based on how well the economy is doing during that year,” Williams said. Williams said social media may also help the Super Bowl and its advertisements become international. As more countries become interested in the sport, they will also be entertained by its advertisements. “For example, if the Super Bowl goes international, beer companies will show beer in company names which American viewers will recognize, such as Miller Light,” Williams said. Williams said companies are already getting feedback by viewers on their websites. Due to companies’ use of social media, however, viewers may ignore advertisements during the actual game after watching them weeks in advance, he said.last_img read more

ND encourages liberal arts education

first_imgWhile technology jobs dominate the top 10 of U.S. News’ list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2013, Notre Dame continues to emphasize the value of a liberal arts education. Notre Dame requires students to complete 14 liberal arts courses in different disciplines in order to graduate, according to the University website. In 2010, there were 2,333 students enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters. The College of Engineering enrolled 937 students the same year.    Dean Peter Kilpatrick of the College of Engineering said technology education and the liberal arts do not need to be mutually exclusive. He said a liberal arts background benefits engineers because it is important they can analyze, think creatively and develop designs. Engineers with such skills are in a unique position to shape public policy, Kilpatrick said. “We should have more senators and congressmen and presidents who are engineers, not just lawyers,” he said. “I think engineers very much need an appreciation for the social impact of the work that they do in terms of building infrastructure.” Students outside the College of Engineering should be exposed to quantitative analysis, Kilpatrick said. He said several departments within the College of Arts and Letters are starting to introduce these concepts. “A lot of the engineering students that go into analytics jobs could just as easily be business students who are properly skilled in analytics or even Arts and Letters students who take coursework in quantifying things, data analytics, that sort of thing,” Kilpatrick said. Dean John McGreevy of the College of Arts and Letters agreed students with liberal arts majors could work in technological fields. “A company like Google is hiring lots of people to design programs and applications coming from a liberal arts background because they want the creativity or the ability to think across cultures that they associate with a liberal arts background,” McGreevy said. A liberal arts background enables students to address life’s big questions, McGreevy said. He said the abilities to write, speak and analyze data prepare students for leadership roles. “It’s not just about obtaining skills, although skills are important,” he said. “It’s also what kind of society should we have, how do we think about inequality, how do we think about human dignity, how do we think about the environment, does God exist. We want our students who are going to become leaders to be engaged in that conversation.” Kilpatrick said each of the University’s academic departments should interact more closely with other disciplines to enrich all programs. “People in civil engineering who are deeply interested in the beauty of the built infrastructure might find ways to interact much more closely with architecture, with industrial design,” he said. “You could do that, presumably, for virtually every discipline.” The nation needs more engineers, Kilpatrick said. He said many more college students in China major in engineering or engineering technology than do in the United States. “We’re going to run the risk of them out-producing the [United States] … and that could mean problems for our economy,” Kilpatrick said. “We won’t have the command over the market in technological products that maybe we enjoyed in the last part of the 20th century.” Kilpatrick said Notre Dame is working to ensure students who want to study engineering can complete the coursework. Interest in engineering is also growing, he said. “We need to be careful that we don’t retain such a high percentage that we don’t enable students to figure out, ‘Do I really love engineering, or am I doing this for the job?” Kilpatrick said. “We really want students to discern properly, ‘What’s your vocation as a person?’” Kilpatrick said the University should modernize its general education requirements. “I think we want to continue to have an emphasis on the human sciences … but I think we need to refresh it and think about how do we best equip students for the 21st century,” he said. “We live in times that are very different from even 20 years ago.” Kilpatrick said he suggests instituting an introduction to technology literacy course so students become informed enough to enter the public dialogue about technological issues. “There are really important decisions that our government is making that the majority of our country can’t weigh in on because they don’t know enough,” Kilpatrick said. McGreevy said although he does not see a need for a technology literacy course, he anticipates the University will soon reexamine its core requirements. “Our core requirements haven’t changed in quite a while … and they’re there for good reasons,” McGreevy said. “It’s always good to be looking at them and thinking through what set of requirements make most sense at the current moment for a great Catholic university.” The University aims to prepare students for more than just their first jobs, McGreevy said. “It’s a lifetime investment, we hope, in developing those writing and reading and speaking skills,” he said. McGreevy said although skepticism about the value of a liberal arts education exists, he is more convinced than ever of its value. “Our experience at Notre Dame tells us that liberal arts students get jobs and they get good jobs,” he said. “But even more important, the investment that our students make in becoming better writers, better speakers, better able to analyze data, prepares them for their careers over the long haul and indeed prepares them, we hope, to be better citizens, better people, better capacity to make a real contribution to society.” Contact Marisa Iati at [email protected]last_img read more

Annual Old 2 Gold sale raises funds

first_imgBeginning next week, Notre Dame students can raise funds for more than 40 local charities by donating gently used furniture, clothing, books and other items to be sold in the annual Old 2 Gold sale. Marty Ogren, associate director of warehouse, delivery and transportation, said the collection period for items is May 6 to May 20. There will be designated areas outside each residence hall for gently-used items in working condition. According to the Old 2 Gold website, the sale will take place the morning of June 15 in Notre Dame Stadium.   Although the sale is in its ninth year, it still requires months of planning, Ogren said.  “We have several meetings to coordinate the PR for the sale, both to students who donate items and to the public who come and purchase items [and] meetings to instruct our campus teams as to their many roles. … This is a one-day event that we spend four months preparing for,” Ogren said.  Ogren said it is difficult to make a rough estimate of the number of items that have been donated over the past nine years.  “Tons of stuff would not be an exaggeration,” he said.  Ogren said last year’s sale raised $54,000 and the highest amount of money raised in the sale’s history was $73,000. The money the sale raises directly benefits the local community. One hundred percent of funds raised at the sale go to the agencies that volunteer to work the event,” Ogren said.  Each year, we support approximately 45 to 50 agencies. The agencies include Busy Hands of Michiana, Campfire River Bend Council and Hope Ministries, among others.” Donating items is more sustainable than throwing them out, Ogren said. “Over the years, tons of items have been redistributed instead of ending up in a landfill,” Ogren said.  Ogren said Old 2 Gold is an important fundraiser for local agencies that volunteer at the sale. “This sale gives local agencies the opportunity to earn funds for their groups,” he said. “For some of these agencies, this is the only fundraiser they participate in and have come to depend on our event to accomplish their good works.” The sale also benefits the families that shop for items, Ogren said. “Because our prices are so low, many families are able to purchase items they otherwise would not be able to afford,” he said. “[It’s] really a win-win.”  Ogren said the contributions of Notre Dame students are what make the Old 2 Gold sale successful every yeat.   “This is a huge project and event,” Ogren said.  “It requires a lot of work and coordination, but it helps so many people who really need our help. If it wasn’t for the generosity of the Notre Dame student body, this would not be possible.” Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]last_img read more

Speaker highlights the importance of affordable housing

first_imgAnthony Jowid, COO and a Principal of Allied Argenta, spoke Friday on the future of affordable housing in the U.S., in the final installment of the Ten Years Hence speaker series sponsored by the O’Brien-Smith Leadership Program.Jowid said Allied Argenta, a real estate development company which acquires, renovates and manages apartments throughout the western United States, works to address the lack of affordable housing in the country.“There is one affordable and available unit for every 100 households that need that unit,” Jowid said. “There’s about 11.5 million households that need this and about 100,000 available units. That’s a very huge gap.”While the company is focused on improving the living standards for its low income housing tenants, it also adheres to a triple bottom line policy, which promotes social and environmental development while maintaining profitability.“You can think of it as people, planet, profit, the three pillars of sustainability,” he said. “So although we are mission driven, we also are a for-profit company, so we are interested in making money.”Jowid said in the affordable housing industry, the developer-owners undertake all aspects of the project.“The developer-owners take all the risks,” Jowid said. “We actually do the construction, we build the project, and we asset manage the project and are responsible to ensure that the place is a good place and sustainable.”Jowid said the quality of affordable housing has improved since the government handed over development projects to the private, public and non-profit sectors.“Before, you had the government taking out taxpayer dollars and using that money to build and to manage affordable housing,” Jowid said. “They’ve realized that the private sectors are better at this than they are.”In addition to being run by the private sector, affordable housing is now funded by a tax credit-based program known as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), Jowid said.“These tax credits are awarded to states by the government, and these tax credits are used as the equity,” he said. “Basically what the government has allowed investors to do is lower their tax liability by investing in these companies.”Jowid said Allied Argenta invests millions of dollars per housing development to ensure that the buildings not only meet basic standards but are also energy efficient.“In our homes, we install energy efficient windows, doors, HVACs, water systems, roofs — all the things that allow there to be greater energy efficiency and sustainability,” Jowid said. “Not only is it good for the environment, it’s good for the tenants living in the apartments.”Jowid said high quality affordable housing provides social programs for tenants to build a strong sense of community.“There are service coordinators onsite providing opportunities for financial planning, after-school and athletic programs, to ensure that they are happy and healthy environment,” Jowid said.The common misconception is affordable housing recipients do not contribute to the economy, but Jowid said the majority of tenants have jobs.“Most of these tenants do work,” he said. “They are earning income. They are paying for their housing units. But because they make a small amount of money, they’re paying a lower amount for their rent.”Jowid said governmental reform to the current housing system will provide homes to those who have traditionally struggled to secure housing, including victims of domestic abuse.“There are housing reforms that are taking place to protect the people who are living in these communities, to ensure that these people can have access to these communities and can remain in them,” he said.Tags: affordable housing, Allied Argenta, Anthony Jowid, O’Brien-Smith Leadership Program, Ten Years Hencelast_img read more

Neuroscience club to host First Annual Notre Dame ALS Walk

first_imgLittle more than a year after videos of people soaking themselves with ice water flooded Facebook feeds for the “ALS ice-bucket challenge,” the Neuroscience Club will hold the first annual Notre Dame ALS Walk on Saturday, in conjunction with the College of Science.All proceeds from the walk will support ALS programs and research, social service chair of the Neuroscience Club junior Chris Ferari said.Janice Chung | The Observer Ferari, who helped promote and organize the event, said the goal of the walk is to raise awareness for the disease on campus and “make people aware that we want this to be something we’re going to do every year.”“[We want] to get it on everyone’s radar and say, ‘This is something that we want to continue to do. ALS isn’t going away, so we want to continue to raise awareness past just this year,’” he said.Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the New York Yankees baseball player diagnosed with the disease in 1939, is a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord,” according to the ALS Association’s website.The website says patients living with ALS have an average life expectancy of about two to five years following diagnosis.Sean Kassen, the director for academic advancement in the College of Science, said the rarity and severity of ALS make walks like the upcoming one at Notre Dame important in raising awareness and generating interest in research for the disease, which is sometimes overlooked in favor of more prevalent diseases.“ALS is a tough disease to get. It is a scary disease. It is a devastating disease; there is no cure,” Kassen said. “And still there’s not a lot of research that is out there on the direct causes, and hence the potential way to cure it.“ … ALS is a [disease] that largely I would still say people don’t understand, and by doing a walk like this it brings it front and center. It brings more awareness first and foremost.”Besides raising awareness, Ferari said he hopes the walk will encourage ALS research at Notre Dame, where there are currently few people actively involved in ALS or ALS-related research.Among the few at Notre Dame whose research is relevant to ALS is biochemistry Ph.D. candidate Tiffany Snow. Snow currently studies the NMDA receptor in the brain, which she said has been associated with Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol dependence, strokes and ALS.“The receptor I’m working on, very little is known about how it’s behaving and why it behaves in certain ways, and especially – what’s more interesting – how and why it behaves under neurological stress or some sort of disorder,” Snow said.“This receptor – because it’s in a lot of neurons in the brain and a lot of important areas of the brain – when something goes wrong in it, it’s seen in a lot of different disorders,” she said.To support her research, Snow received an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year.“I think while it might seem inconsequential to look at a certain receptor – just one receptor or maybe one part of that receptor – it’s looking at the little things like that that will answer bigger questions that will affect thousands and tens of thousands of people, potentially, in a lifetime,” Snow said.Although this weekend’s walk is the first of its kind to occur on campus, it is not the first ALS walk to have a Notre Dame connection.Les McCarthy, a Notre Dame parent and member of the Notre Dame Club of Mid-Hudson Valley, helped organize a walk through the Mid-Hudson Valley club in 2009 following the loss of one of its members, Notre Dame Ph.D. class of 1970 alumnus Gus Raspitha, to the disease.“When we lost him in the spring of 2009, we decided we really should do something to raise awareness,” McCarthy said. “So our club held this first walk Nov. 15 of ’09, of which there were 55 of us walking.”The Hudson Valley Walk to Defeat ALS has taken place every fall since its inception in 2009, and during that time it has grown from 55 individual walkers raising nearly $5,000 in 2009 to 147 walk teams raising more than $346,000 in 2014. In total, the walk has raised more than $1 million to benefit support services, awareness and research for ALS.Since they began the Hudson Valley ALS walk, members of the Notre Dame Club of Mid-Hudson Valley have been in contact with various people at Notre Dame about the prospect of holding an on-campus walk, Kassen said.“They’ve been very big supporters of our efforts here with rare disease research, and [McCarthy] has always suggested that we try to do an ALS walk,” Kassen said. “And so once this new [neuroscience] club came up we talked together … I knew this is something he was very passionate about, and so we came to the conclusion that we potentially could do this [event]. And that’s when I presented the idea to the Neuroscience Club.”From there, the Neuroscience Club undertook organizing the walk, which Ferari said he hopes will become the club’s “signature event.”This weekend’s walk will span a distance of 2.7 miles, with a stop at the Grotto for a short prayer. Registration is $10 per person, and snacks and coffee will be available to participants before the walk.Ferari said participants are also encouraged to wear costumes in the spirit of Halloween.So far, Kassen said, the event has generated significant interest.“Every time you do an event for the first time, a lot of it is you’re trying to get people to show up, you’re going to learn sort of on the fly, you have to do all your due diligence ahead of time, you have to make sure all the paperwork is done appropriately and that the correct people at the University know about it,” Kassen said. “ … To me, [the walk] has already been a win. People are already signing up and they want to attend.”Looking toward the future, McCarthy said he hopes the walk will have a real impact in stimulating advances in the field of ALS research.“Where will this take us on campus?” he asked. “Only time will tell, but if history teaches us anything, it could be the start of something big. It’s my desire that the luck and the skill of the Irish just might be what can make a significant contribution to solving this mystery.”Tags: ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, neuroscience clublast_img read more

University hosts Shakespeare conferences

first_imgThe Shakespeare at Notre Dame program will host its second “Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice” conference from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27.The conference will bring together professionals in both the study and performance of Shakespeare, as well as social justice-directed performance programs, to explore the effect of Shakespeare and theatre in general towards social reform.“We’re holding two big conferences,” Scott Jackson, executive director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame, said. “The first is ‘Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice,’ which is in effect the second Shakespeare in prisons conference. We held the first one here in November of 2013. [And] that rolls right into … the 26th annual Shakespeare Theatre Association Conference, which rotates venues every year.”Jackson said the first “Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice” conference came about as the result of the combined efforts of himself, the president of the Shakespeare Association of America, Mario DiGangi, Notre Dame film, television and theatre professor Peter Holland and the founder of the Shakespeare Behind Bars program, Curt Tofteland.“A few years ago [we] got together and said, ‘There’s never been a forum for prison arts and community arts practitioners to come together and talk about the populations they work in with and the work that’s being performed,’” Jackson said, “We wanted to break that silo of isolation from practitioner to practitioner. … We raised some money, and we thought that we’d have 25 or 30 practitioners attend … from the United States, and I had to close registration at 66 because so many people responded. We had people from every corner of the States, we had people attending from South Africa, Australia, Wales, Northern Ireland, England.”The conference in 2013 at Notre Dame was an “incredible experience” for participants, Jackson said, as they shared ideas, resources and stories of individual experiences.“At the end we created what’s called the Shakespeare in Prisons Network as a resource for advocates for this type of work, not only in prisons but also in communities that are marginalized or that are often overlooked by traditional arts and cultural organizations. And that’s become a pretty powerful voice in the movement,” he said. “The timing, as you can imagine, is pretty fortuitous with all the talk about criminal justice reform and everything else, and it’s pretty incredible for Notre Dame to be situated at the center of that conversation right now.”The Shakespeare Behind Bars program, according to its website, offers “theatrical encounters with personal and social issues to incarcerated and post-incarcerated adults and juveniles, allowing them to develop life skills that will ensure their successful reintegration into society.” While national recidivism rates hover around 60 percent, the recidivism rates of inmates who experience the Shakespeare Behind Bars program are 5.1 percent, according to its website.Jackson said Notre Dame’s collaboration with Shakespeare Behind Bars and hosting of the “Shakespeare In Prisons: In Practice” conference “[shows] what makes Notre Dame special in the world of Shakespeare performance and study. We’re unique from the standpoint that we really bridge this divide between the study and academic pursuits of Shakespeare and the performance and practice of Shakespeare. What sets us even further apart from that is the fact that we are at Notre Dame, and we found a way to connect the broader social justice mission of Notre Dame into our own program.“All of that speaks to a larger commitment to looking at Shakespeare specifically, and the theatre arts more broadly, as a catalyst for positive social change,” Jackson said, “When you’re on stage with someone, all socio-economic, racial, cultural, any sort of societal divides banish between us, and it’s the great equalizer that way. And not only does it do that but it allows us to embody a character and relate and have compassion for that character’s individual existence, the struggles and problems and conflicts that they have in their own lives, and justify them to ourselves internally. So we come out of that with a more well-rounded, compassionate viewpoint on life itself.”This year’s conference is part of a larger initiative celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and his subsequent legacy, Jackson said. “He died in 1616 and this year … will be the world’s largest Shakespeare celebration in history. And Notre Dame is playing a major international role in kicking off these celebrations.”According to Jackson and the Shakespeare at Notre Dame website, the “Shakespeare in Prison: In Practice” conference will be comprised of morning panel sessions followed by afternoon performance workshops.“At the first prisons conference (there were) so many people in the room that we just ended up having panel discussions,” Jackson said, “I made a promise to those delegates that the second prisons conference would be more practically based in terms of approaches to the incarcerated and non-traditional populations, so that’s why the name of this conference is ‘Shakespeare in Prisons: In Practice.’”Attendees will take part in one of four tracks as part of afternoon workshops. The first, “Including the Excluded,” will be taught by Tom Magill, from the Educational Shakespeare Company in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and will explore working with the mentally ill. A second, “A Taste of the Work of the Actor’s Gang Prison Project,” will be taught by Sabra Williams and Donna Jo Thorndale, members of the California-based theatre group The Actors’ Gang, and will center around working with the incarcerated. A third, “Story Into Song,” will be taught by Ozivell Ecford and Meade Palidofsky from Chicago’s Storycatchers Theatre, and will focus on working with incarcerated juveniles. Finally, the fourth track, “The Bard and the Brain,” will be taught by Nancy and Bill Watson, from the Milwaukee-based program Feast of Crispian, and will center on working with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.“I’m really excited about both the potential of these programs around the world strengthening Notre Dame’s place as an advocate for these works and as an active partner in engaging the social justice mission of Notre Dame to the performing arts,” Jackson said.Tags: Shakespeare NDlast_img read more

Law student Travis McElmurry dies

first_imgFirst-year law student Travis McElmurry, 30, died in his off-campus residence where he was found Sunday night, according to a University press release.St. Joseph County coroner Michael McGann said the cause of McElmurry’s death is unknown at this time, though he saw no signs of foul play or other unnatural causes. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning.“As a university community, we mourn Travis’ passing,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “Our prayers are with his family and many friends. May God grant them consolation in this time of sorrow, and may Notre Dame, Our Lady, watch over them.”McElmurry was from Granada Hills, California, and received his undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University, according to the release.In an email sent to students Monday morning, Vice President of Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding said the University Counseling Center (UCC) and Campus Ministry resources are available to all members of the Notre Dame community, even during spring break.A campus memorial mass will be announced and held soon, according to the email.Updated Monday at 5:25 p.m.Tags: Law student, travis mcelmurrylast_img read more