Student government changes hands

first_imgWhen outgoing student body president Grant Schmidt and vice president Cynthia Weber entered office a year ago, the duo was determined to enact initiatives to make student government relevant to the student body.“We didn’t take on personal preferences,” Schmidt said. “Students were constantly giving us feedback. It made our jobs a lot easier.”The administration soon found the best way to find out what students cared about was not through formal student surveys, but just by talking to students.“A lot of it is informal,” Weber said. “If you want to get the real opinions of students, you just need to be a real student.”From large programs ranging from the restructuring of commencement and the introduction of Transpo Route 7A to small things like having baskets of mints outside the dining halls, Schmidt and Weber said they attempted to focus their agenda on improving everyday student life at the University.“The student body at Notre Dame is on its toes,” Weber said. “They care about everything.”Weber said by taking care of the everyday essentials of student life, student government was able to boost its credibility in tackling worldwide social justice issues through programs such as the Global Water Initiative.“Things like Transpo, which did get a lot of exposure, allowed us to use the support for other programs,” Schmidt said.Schmidt, who described his administration as “responsive,” said he was forced to tackle issues that arose at the last minute, such as improving off-campus safety after two Holy Cross students were abducted in September and sponsoring aid initiatives following the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.Another goal of the Schmidt-Weber administration was to improve student government’s relations with the University administration.“Student government is right now and hopefully will be consulted before every major decision,” he said.Schmidt said there were not any major initiatives he wished his administration could have tackled, although he said he wished the changes in du Lac, the student handbook, had been enacted during his term and the University had not chosen to move the pep rallies to Irish Green.In addition, Weber said student government needed to become more involved in the academic side of the University in the long term.When asked what advice they had for the incoming administration of sophomores Catherine Soler and Andrew Bell, Schmidt and Weber said the focus needs to be on the students.“Be present and energetic, and love the honor of serving the students at Notre Dame,” Weber said.Furthermore, Weber said the pair should continue to foster close ties with the administration but also stand up for what is needed.“The ability to respectfully disagree is key,” she said.Schmidt said the pair should also be aware of the complicated dynamics of community relations in the city of South Bend.“We currently have a very good footing with the city of South Bend,” he said. “But community relations is not something that just stops.”Ultimately, Schmidt and Weber feel their time in student government has been productive and personally fulfilling.“We wanted to be present throughout Notre Dame,” Schmidt said. “And we feel we positively changed the brand of student government.”Schmidt, who is a senior, plans to attend law school next year, while Weber, a junior, said she wants to focus on her studies and become “informally involved in the University.”“It really has been a privilege to serve in student government, especially at Notre Dame,” Schmidt said.last_img read more

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Best Turkey Trot Runs for Thanksgiving in the Blue Ridge

first_imgWith Halloween long gone and most of the leaves already red-brown on the ground, November is suddenly here and it’s only a short time before the most bountiful holiday of the American calendar year.But one side dish that has become as unique a part of the Thanksgiving celebration as cranberry sauce and the Macy’s Day parade is the Turkey Trot.Depending on your location, a Turkey Trot can range anywhere from a brisk 5K to an all-out marathon. But what all these races have in common is that they are held on Thanksgiving with the goals of both raising money for charity and burning last minute calories before the big meal.Here are six top Turkey Trots happening Thanksgiving morning throughout the Blue Ridge.Boar’s Head Turkey Trotboars-head-turkey-trot 2If you’re a central Virginia resident, you can work up a Thanksgiving day appetite by joining the Boar’s Head Turkey Trot. In true Charlottesville tradition, the Boar’s Head Inn hosts the University town’s 33rd annual Turkey Trot to raise money for UVA Children’s Hospital new Battle Building complex. The one 5K race can be run or walked and begins at 9:00 am, racers are encouraged to arrive by 8:15 am. The course circles through the beautiful Ednam forest. This year the top five male and female racers will be recognized and the top male and female overall will be awarded a fully cooked turkey prepared by the Old Mill Room at the Boar’s Head Inn.Richmond 10K Turkey TrotLooping around the campus of the University of Richmond, the Richmond Turkey Trot 10K will run from 9-11am on November 27th (Thanksgiving Day). The race is a city favorite and sells out at its 1600 participant limit. The course can be challenging, running mostly on hilly streets with about a ½ mile on trail by the campus’ lake. There is a free kids run before the main race at 8:30. All participating runners receive their own Turkey Trot t-shirt while first, second, and third place earn $75, $50, and $35 gift certificates. Additionally, the top male and female earn $50. The last day of registration is November 26th. If interested register here.ChattanoogaLocal Chattanoogan Health Club, the Sportsbarn, is hosting a four-race Turkey Trot extravaganza at the Sportsbarn’s East location on Lee Highway. The pre-feast races all begin Thanksgiving morning: the One Mile Fun Run (every Turkey Trot has one of these) and 6/10 mile Kiddie-K run start at 8:30am, the three mile walk starts at 8:45 am (canines welcomed) and the 8K starts at 9:00 am. Cheaper pre-registration ends at noon the day before but participants cans still enter the day of the race for a slightly higher price ($15). The proceeds will benefit the Kidney Foundation of Chattanooga and donations are encouraged.Lynchburgturkey-trotThe Turkey Trot worth running Thanksgiving morning in Lynchburg begins downtown at the intersections of 8th and Main Street in front of the Wells Fargo. The races offered are a 5k, Fun Walk course beginning at 9:00 am and the Youth One Mile Course at 8:00 am. Registration will continue until thirty minutes before the race but prices will rise as Thanksgiving nears. All participants will receive a Turkey Trot race shirt and winners are awarded their very own smoked Turkey. The Trot is sponsored by Wells Fargo and proceeds will benefit the programs of Virginia nonprofit, Humankind, which provide and promote residential health care, early childhood development, Mental Health Services, Economic Empowerment, Safe and Healthy Living,RoanokeStarting at the Suntrust Plaza, the Drumstick Dash is a 5K race that begins Thanksgiving morning at 9:00 a.m. and winds through downtown Roanoke. The Dash is sure to put families in the spirit of giving, permitting racers of all ages to participate in one of four categories: runner, walker, baby in stroller, and dog on leash. Rain or shine the Dash will go on, awarding the top three overall male and female as well as the top three male and female in the 40 and over division and 14 and under division. Proceeds provide food, shelter, and clothing to the 350-plus people serviced by Rescue Mission Ministries, Roanoke.AshevilleOn Thanksgiving morning in Asheville, expect a busy Pack Square Park for the cities Jus’ Runnin 5K Turkey Trot & Gobble Wobble 1 Mile Fun Run. This will be the 5k Trots 14th year. The event is sponsored by Earth Fare and a portion of the proceeds will be given to the MANNA Food Bank. The Fun Run begins at 8:30 a.m. while the Trot starts at 9:15 a.m. sharp. Both races begin and end at Pack Square Park.–David Hollerith is a freelance writer, Virginian, and outdoorsman currently residing and writing in Nashville, Tenn.last_img read more

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Smith: Kohl continues to shape Wisconsin’s basketball landscape

first_imgWhat’s the first thing you would do with $550 million? Travel the world? Pay off your student loans? Buy sodas for everyone? Odds are saving an NBA franchise would be near the bottom of that list. But for Senator Herb Kohl, it was a no-brainer. The man who has been at the forefront of basketball philanthropy in the state of Wisconsin for more than three decades made his latest move to ensure that the NBA stays in Milwaukee.Kohl, the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks since 1985, announced the sale of Wisconsin’s NBA franchise last week to hedge fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million.After months of speculation about a potential sale of the Bucks, Kohl wound up selling the Milwaukee franchise for more than 30 times his initial investment of $18 million three decades ago.But as Kohl has demonstrated during his entire tenure as the Bucks’ owner, owning the team wasn’t about the money, it’s always been about keeping basketball in Wisconsin and in the city of Milwaukee. That is why he bought the team and that is why he sold the team.“Being part of the effort to bring the NBA franchise here originally and then keeping it here has been a big part of my adult life,” Kohl said in a press conference Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. “I have owned the Bucks for more than 29 years and our fans, our business partners and my colleagues at the Bucks have been on my mind and in my heart everyday. So I hope you understand why this process was and is so important to me and why I was not going to make a move unless I was convinced that it was the right one.”With first-year NBA commissioner Adam Silver threatening to move the Bucks to Seattle if plans for a new arena were not in place by 2017, Kohl felt the pressure to bring in new investors or potentially new majority owners for the franchise. He found that in Edens and Lasry. But to ensure that new era of the Bucks got off on the right foot and their roots stayed firmly planted in Milwaukee, Kohl took part of his wealth and donated $100 million to be put toward a new facility for the organization.That’s right, after selling the franchise, the first thing the former senator did was stick $100 million right back into it. But it was for the good of basketball in the state of Wisconsin. Without it, Milwaukee’s chances at securing a new arena would be much more bleak.Of course this isn’t the first time Kohl has made a generous donation in the name of basketball. No, it’s no coincidence that the University of Wisconsin’s basketball arena is named the Kohl Center. The Wisconsin alum donated $25 million for the construction of the basketball arena that would be named in his honor.The difference this time is that the cost is four times as high and there won’t be a Kohl Center South, as his name will not be attached to the new arena. He won’t allow it.“They said they wanted to name (the Kohl Center) after me; I said, ‘Fine.’ Here it’s different,” Kohl told the Milwaukee Business Journal. “I’m making a pure gift. There’s no return from it financially.”“If they named it after me, they would be forgoing naming rights money. And I wouldn’t do that because they need that money. So, no, it’s not going to be.”While the moves Kohl made during his time as owner to the Bucks may have left some fans scratching their heads, or worse, it cannot be denied that without Kohl the landscape of basketball in Wisconsin would much different. The Bucks may have moved to Seattle, Las Vegas or Louisville, Ky., a long time ago and the Kohl Center wouldn’t exist.Sure, the Bucks were terrible this year, were named as the least valuable franchise in the NBA by Forbes earlier this year and were last in attendance this season. OK, it sounds a little bad when I write it all out for you, but the Bucks are important to Milwaukee and to Wisconsin. The franchise owns a rich tradition that others could only dream about. With names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson and Ray Allen once donning a Milwaukee uniform, the Bucks have and will mean a lot to this state.So, while Kohl’s generosity may fall on deaf ears at a time when the Milwaukee Bucks’ popularity isn’t exactly skyrocketing, it doesn’t diminish what he has done for the franchise and for the state. So here’s to you, Senator Kohl, it’s been a hell of a ride.last_img read more

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News BMW Unveils the Vision DC Roadster Electric Bike

first_imgSource: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles A Glimpse of the Future Through the Lensof the Past Typically an announcement from everyone’s favorite Bavarianpurveyor of motorrader will be heard far and wide. This time however,the hills were silent as BMW unveiled its Vision DC Roadster, a new entry intothe electric motorcycle market.  The electric gear had to fit in the same space as its ICE predecessorsBMW motorcycles are unmistakable in their design. The prominentcylinders of their signature flat twin boxer motor create one of motorcycling’smost recognizable profiles. In 1923, design director Max Friz was presentedwith a motor that left the rear cylinder prone to overheating. Incorporating adesign that moved the cylinders outward and into the windstream provedsuccessful for cooling and the subsequent R32 model debuted the now iconiclook. More than 90 years of company heritage tied to that verycomponent had to be reimagined for the zero emissions combination of electricmotor and battery. How could the Vision DC Roadster remain recognizable as aBMW motorcycle while replacing one of it’s more identifiable components? Something Borrowed, Something GlowingBorrowing a page from Friz’ playbook, the Vision DC Roadster’sdynamic outward cooling elements maximize airflow to cooling ribs andintegrated ventilators. Completing the visual, a cylinder-shaped electric motorthat resides below the battery system incorporates a reimagined version of theperineal shaft drive. Still looking like a BMWThe profile features a streetfighter style with a low front andshort, high rear. A flat, finely-wrought tubular structure spans where the tankwould reside and integrates a high seat. The chassis is dominated by a largebattery, housed in machined aluminum and angled slightly along with the coolingelements to create a visually dynamic movement. The cooling elements move outslightly when the motor is started. In a nod to models of the past, the color concept is dark withan exposed universal shaft and Duolever fork. White lines accent familiar triangular frame features, which just sohappen fluoresce in darkness. The hallmark lighting design is instantly recognizableas a BMW motorcycle whether day or night. A U-shaped daytime running light sitslow while two LED lenses make up the high and low beam. The taillights areintegrated into the aluminum carrier forming a C-shape. Special Metzler tiresutilize five fluorescent elements, each about the size of a postage stamp toconvey dynamics in motion while increasing visibility for added safety in darkconditions. The Vision DC is designed to do everything a gas bike would doBMW Motorrad doesn’t expect its riders to show up to the futurein the same old riding gear, no sir. An all-new two-piece suit providesprotection while integrating light functions and connectivity. It consists of alight jacket with iridescent coloring and black pants featuring invisibly sewn-inprotectors. While not everyone may be looking for a “modern, emotional fashionstatement,” perhaps the integrated rucksack, which attaches via a magnet, willtip the scales.What are the chances we’ll see a Vision DC Roadster in the US? They may be one in a million, but as the great Lloyd Christmas once asked—“So you’re saying there’s a chance?” The Roadster rollslast_img read more

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Research team to investigate how blood flow influences formation of plaque

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Aug 30 2018Atherosclerosis-;the narrowing of arteries due to plaque buildup-;is the underlying reason for the majority of strokes and heart attacks. When atherosclerosis occurs in the arteries that carry blood to the heart muscle, it is called coronary artery disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans.Biomedical Engineering Professor Rita Alevriadou has spent most of her career, which spans two decades, on cardiovascular disease. Her current research on the effects of blood flow on our artery walls recently earned attention and funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).While much about atherosclerosis is unknown, most medical researchers agree that it begins with damage to the endothelium, the arteries’ smooth interior surface. Damage to the layer of endothelial cells leads to the formation of plaque, made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances and cells in the blood. High blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, cigarette smoking and diabetes are often cited as the most common causes of the damage.But in an effort to better understand the disease’s initiation and progression, Alevriadou and her research team want to go with the flow. More precisely, how the flow of blood in our arteries, also known as hemodynamics, contributes to the endothelial damage.Decades ago, according to Alevriadou, bioengineering pioneers discovered that plaques develop on the inner walls of curvatures and the outer wall of artery bifurcations-;or forks. Since then, Alevriadou and other researchers around the world have focused on how blood flow in these arterial locations affects the function of endothelial cells.”My research is focused on the very initial event, when the endothelial cells start to lose their normal function and respond to damage,” she said. “If we understand these initial effects and keep the endothelial cells healthy, we can delay the progression of cardiovascular disease.”Alevriadou’s team is particularly interested in the inner workings of endothelial cells-;called intracellular signaling-;when they are exposed to different types of blood flow, specifically pulsatile and oscillatory. Pulsatile flow is in rhythm with the heartbeat, occurs in the straight parts of arteries and is characterized by high mean flow rates. Oscillatory flow occurs in arterial curvatures and bifurcations and is characterized by low-;close to zero-;mean flow rates.”We know that the areas in arteries that develop atherosclerosis are the ones that are exposed to a certain flow profile, specifically oscillatory flow, or oscillatory shear stress,” Alevriadou said.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustIn the lab, the research team cultures human or bovine endothelial cells on slides, which are then inserted into perfusion chambers. A pump propels cultured media through the chambers, mimicking blood flow over the cells. Under the microscope, they observe in real-time how intracellular components behave, especially the mitochondria, the cell’s power plant.A $1.8 million, four-year NIH grant will fund their investigation of calcium transport in and out of the mitochondria as the potential origin of endothelial dysfunction and damage that can initiate and propagate atherosclerosis.Alevriadou’s collaborator is University of Texas Health San Antonio Endowed Professor of Medicine Dr. Madesh Muniswamy. A mitochondrial calcium expert, he provided endothelial cell lines and transgenic mouse models enabling focus on the calcium channel called mitochondrial calcium uni­porter (MCU), which allows calcium to go into the mitochondria. The regular function of cells depends heavily on calcium and how it responds to different stimuli acting upon the cells. In this case, the stimulus acting upon the endothelial cells is blood flow or shear stress.”In the literature, the majority of research is on cell responses to chemical stimuli,” Alevriadou said. “That’s where bioengineers separate ourselves from biologists and biochemists. We study cell responses to mechanical or electrical stimuli.”The team has hypothesized that under oscillatory shear stress, the MCU may not operate as intended, leading to cell dysfunction, which may contribute to atherosclerotic disease.”When the mitochondria are dysfunctional, they create a lot of free radicals that damage cellular components leading to cell dysfunction or apoptosis,” she added.By mimicking artery hemodynamics, Alevriadou hopes to discover mechanochemical phenomena related to calcium in the mitochondria that may lead to better drugs or treatments for cardiovascular diseases.”I believe the NIH wants to see innovative ideas, especially those that come from collaborative efforts between engineering and medicine,” she said. “Our initial goal is to identify a critical target, then discover and test small molecules that might modify the activity of the MCU.”​ Source:https://news.osu.edu/research-to-examine-how-blood-flow-influences-plaque-buildup/last_img read more

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