Courier Campus News

Students with Post-it notes on headA Better Way to Study

Jen Fishovitz, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry at Saint Mary’s noticed the ways her students were struggling with learning the amino acids in her Biochemistry course and wanted to provide them with a better way to study the material. She adapted the popular “Heads Up” charades game into a study tool for her students. Her adaptation of the game and analysis of the new study tool was published in an article in the Journal of Chemical Education. Read more here.


Professor at table with old manuscriptsEnglish Professor Leads Digital Archive Project

Sarah Noonan, PhD, assistant professor of English, is leading an effort to digitize early manuscripts dating back to 1200 AD. As co-principal investigator on a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, Noonan and colleagues at Indiana University Bloomington and Loyola University Chicago will work with a consortium of 18 other higher-learning institutions across the Midwest to digitize and catalogue 78 books and 406 medieval manuscript fragments over the next three years. Read more here.


Hispanic Heritage Month LogoCelebrating Our Hispanic Heritage

The College celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month which recognizes the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the US. The 30-day span ran from September 15 to October 15.

A flag ceremony with students and faculty kicked off the month, followed by an immigration prayer service, a celebration dinner, and movie nights, among others. Colorful table displays throughout campus also highlighted Latin culture and artifacts. Virtual sessions throughout the month included reflections by several Saint Mary’s alumnae, as well as a lecture by celebrated Cuban authors Carlos Aguilera and José Manuel Prieto. Contributions of our LatinX students, faculty, and alumnae were also highlighted on social media and our website. Read more here. 


Our Tobacco-Free/Smoke-Free Campus

On November 19, Saint Mary’s officially became a tobacco free and smoke free campus. In collaboration with the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s adopted this policy as part of a national movement among students, faculty, and administrators to address smoking and tobacco use at college campuses throughout the United States.Saint Mary’s was one of 48 colleges and universities to be awarded a grant from Truth Initiative® to adopt a 100 percent tobacco-free/smoke-free campus policy. In conjunction with the grant, the College has ongoing resources for students, faculty, and staff who wish to quit using tobacco products.

Athletic Director Julie Schroeder-Biek ’88, Nurse Practitioner Kathryn Wojcik, and student leaders Noel Keen ’20 and Addie Bobosky ’21 led the initiative, originally scheduled to begin May 20 but delayed due to the pandemic.


Portrait of Patrick PierceAlumna Joins Political Science Professor to Adapt Public Policy Course

Social media has changed the political atmosphere and it was a Facebook post that has inspired a new alumnae/faculty collaboration. Pat Pierce, PhD, professor emeritus of political science, and alumna Michelle Abi-Yaghi ’06 have adapted Pierce’s American Public Policy course to discuss the ways the policy-making process has changed.

The weekly Zoom class garnered the interest of more than 90 alumnae who work in various levels of government and public service and continues to meet regularly. Read more here.


Portrait of Phillip HicksHUST Faculty Publishes Memoir

Philip Hicks, PhD, Bruno Schlessinger Endowed Chair in Humanistic Studies, recently released his memoir Old Notre Dame: Paul Fenlon, Sorin Hall & Me published by Corby Books.

As a young Notre Dame student Hicks was captivated by Paul Fenlon, the last “bachelor don” at Notre Dame, who lived in Sorin Hall as an unmarried layman. Hicks’ fascination with Fenlon developed into a close friendship that shaped him into the scholar and professor he became. Read more here.


Girls on Guard

Over 50 alumnae and many of their daughters joined Maire Dempsey ’99 for a virtual self-defense class in September. Dempsey is a Circuit Court Judge and is certified as a women’s self-defense instructor. She has taught self defense to hundreds of women over the last 12 years and has a black belt in karate, a third-degree brown belt in Modern Arnis (a Filipino stick fighting art), and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This is the second year the accomplished graduate has offered the course to her fellow alumnae. While COVID-19 made an in-person class impossible, women from all over the world were able to join the demonstrations online instead.