Feature Image

A Professor’s Balancing Act

As students, we’ve all faced the challenge of balancing school and sports, school and friends, school and sleep…you get the idea. However, rarely do we think about our professors undergoing a similar experience.

Notre Dame Marketing Professor, Kevin Bradford, opens up about struggles early in his career to find the balance. Learning from the past, he admits that now he has it right.  Family and work take priority in his life.

Click HERE for the full story.

Professor Kevin Bradford always makes time for his 4-year old son, Zachary.

Professor Kevin Bradford always makes time for his 4-year old son, Zachary.

Pasquerilla West Hall Celebrates Seniors

On Sunday, April 28, the girls of Pasquerilla West Hall gathered as a community to celebrate the dorm’s graduating senior class with a mass at the grotto.

Each year, the dorm plans a mass to honor the graduating PW girls, and this year co-coordinators of the event, Lindsey Marugg and Hannah Reiser, wanted to create a more unique experience by moving it to the grotto.

“We started thinking about the senior mass back in the fall semester and knew we wanted to make it something special. When we started to formally make our plans in February, we decided that the grotto would be the perfect spot,” Marugg said.

With the support of PW rector, Mary Jane Hahner, Marugg and Reiser began working with the Basilica and university operations to ensure a mass could be relocated from a dorm chapel to an outdoor grotto setting.

“Once the location was confirmed, the next step was for us to choose a priest to say the mass,” Marugg said. “Fr. Pete McCormick immediately came to mind. He is known for giving such great homilies and for being an inspiration to students so we wanted the best for this occasion.”

At the mass, Fr. Pete expressed to the seniors that although the journey ahead of them may seem “scary” he views it as an “incredible opportunity to grow and do great things.”

In their four years at Notre Dame, the 101 PW Hall seniors have accomplished great things, and with the community gathered together Sr. Mary Jane Hahner awarded four outstanding girls.

The first recognition was for the Office of Student Affairs Citation of Merit Award, specifically given to a senior resident of the dorm who exemplifies service to the hall.  RA, Lindsey Marugg, received this honor.

“It means a lot to me to receive this award going through the entirety of living in PW from freshman year to being an RA this year, really coming full circle,” Marugg said.

The second award was the Hall Spirit Award. The ND Alumni Association created this award in 1989, and the residents of each hall vote for one member of their dorm community who they recognize as embodying the spirit of Notre Dame and making the dorm a better place to live. RA, Sara Bega, won the award for PW this year.

“I couldn’t have imagined anyone else winning the award for Hall Spirit,” Senior, Megan Buckingham said. “I remember all the way back to freshman year when she would be the girl leading our dorm in cheers at the pep rallies in the fall.  Her energy and enthusiasm made us all have a great experience living in PW.”

The third award, The Distinguished Woman Award, was given to a senior resident of the dorm who throughout her time in the hall showed great visibility and leadership in the dorm community.  RA, Hannah Reiser, received this honor.

“I’m lucky to not only call Hannah my classmate, but also one of my best friends. She totally deserves this award because she is so reliable and always there to help or to be a friend to everyone in the dorm,” Marugg said.

To conclude the awards ceremony, Sr. Mary Jane Hahner presented the PW Tara Deutsch Award. Deutsch was a member of the Class of 1993, but died suddenly of heart disease in her senior year.  Each year the recipient of this award is chosen based on her dedication to friendship, concern for others, and commitment to service and learning. Aoibheann Thinnes received the honor this year.

“I was completely surprised to receive it, but very honored especially at the PW senior mass with all my friends who have been here with me all for years. It was just very special,” Thinnes said.

Friendship was one of the main themes throughout the mass, and Senior RA, Jasmine Johnson spoke of that in her reflection speech after communion.

“Over the past four years we’ve provided sisterly experiences such as advice about which shoes to wear and even emotional support of the ups and downs of everyday experiences.  I’m sure my fellow seniors will agree with me when I say that the memories and friends made in PW will not easily be forgot, and for good reason,” Johnson said.

The Senior Mass was filled with love, friendship, and celebration, encompassing what life is like in Pasquerilla West Hall.

To learn more about the PW Senior Mass, visit the following links…

Photo Gallery: To view captions of each photo please click “show info” in top right corner of slideshow.

Audio: Senior, RA, and Co-Coordinator of the mass, Lindsey Marugg, discusses the mass more in-depth. 

Video: Visually experience how the PW Hall community celebrated the seniors at mass on Sunday, April 28.

A Glimpse into the Life of Professor Emily Block

Emily Block is a Management Professor at the University of Notre Dame. She, admittedly, considers herself “different” from her fellow professors, and students agree. I sat down to uncover what makes her unique. Listen into the podcast by clicking HERE!

Emily with her boyfriend, Chris. Photo courtesy of Emily Block.

Emily with her boyfriend, Chris. Photo courtesy of Emily Block.










Can’t get enough of Emily Block’s story? Check out my photo project on her as well!


‘Professors Are People Too’

“I have the best job in the entire world,” Notre Dame Management Professor Block (or ‘Emily’ as she prefers her undergrad students to call her) enthusiastically explains. But what exactly does her ‘job’ entail? Students see professors as their teachers who lecture for an hour and a half and grade papers.  However, there is so much more to it than that. Spend five minutes with Emily, and you will know that she has an incredible story to tell and a life that is truly one of a kind.

Click HERE to view a photo gallery capturing the life of Emily Block.

In case of technical difficulties, view the photo set below.

This spring semester, Professor Block teaches Strategic Human Resource Management to undergraduate business students. Her students describe her teaching style as ‘unique’ because she uses Prezi for all of her in-class presentations and she is overly enthusiastic about the material.


With a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD from the University of Illinois, Emily Block has set herself apart as a renowned business scholar. She is on track to get tenure in 2 and a half years.

“My undergrads are freakin phenomenal” Emily explains, and she loves helping them learn and grow.


Aside from the typical classroom lecture format, Professor Block is teaching a brand new discussion-based class, Business on the Frontlines, for MBA students. Through this course, she can share her main intellectual passion with students – how business can be a force for good in society, particularly in war-torn areas. As Emily explains, “This class is the love of my life right now.”


Emily loves to travel. Walking into her office, one is immediate drawn to all of the canvas prints on the wall that she takes from her world adventures. She talks about her job giving her the freedom to do anything, and she takes advantage of all opportunities she can to see the world.


Dressed-down from the typical “classroom Emily,” she sits at her desk and scrolls through thousands of Facebook photos blended with her personal and research life.


Emily reflects on this picture from her spring break trip to Africa that she took with a group of MBA students. Emily has studied and visited Africa for her research and has a deep connection to the place.


Emily’s desk reflects the side of her life that students don’t see in the classroom. She has framed pictures of her with her 3-year long boyfriend, Chris.


To fit her upbeat, enthusiastic personality, Emily drives a Mini Cooper everywhere she goes.

“I believe it’s my responsibility to show students I’m a real person,” Emily says as she fills up her Let’s Spoon cup with Cake Batter frozen yogurt. Talking with Emily feels like talking to a best friend, a real person.


Free-spirited Emily has no idea what her life has in store for her, but she’s excited for the ride. Though she travels the world, she will always be a Canadian girl at heart.

Meet the Cake Ball

Do you like cake? Icing? Chocolate? How about all of those things put together into one tiny edible bite?

Sound too perfect to be true? Well, let me introduce you to the cake ball!

Christmas Cake Balls. Source: Kristen Stoutenburgh

Christmas Cake Balls. Source: Kristen Stoutenburgh

The basic idea of the cake ball involves baking a cake, mixing it with icing once it is removed from the oven, rolling it into balls, and dipping it into chocolate candy coating.

I first heard of this genius idea from my friend, Sarah, during my sophomore year of high school. Not only did cake balls taste unlike any dessert I had ever had, but they were also perfectly bit-sized treats that solved the inconvenience of needing a plate and fork to eat cake.

Birthdays, graduations, holidays, or simply an after school snack – I found an excuse to make cake balls for every occasion and I began experimenting with the recipe. I would dye to cake pink for Valentines Day, add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, and put decorations on top of them for Easter.

Follow this basic recipe below and add your own personal touch to it, and you will become an instant best friend to anyone who tries your delicious creation! Also check out the Bakerella blog for ideas on how to take your cake balls to the next level!


Everyone loves Cake Balls!


1 – Box of Cake Mix (any kind you like, I usually use Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow)

1 – Tub of Frosting (usually vanilla – I use Betty Crocker vanilla)

1 – Package of Chocolate Almond Bark

1 – Package of Sprinkles

Baking Instructions: 

1) Bake the boxed cake mix following recipe on box

2) As soon as you remove it from the oven, crumble it into a bowl while it is still warm

3) Mix in the tub of icing with the crumbled cake (to make somewhat of a dough)

4) Freeze the mixture for about an hour or until firm enough to roll into balls

5) Once they are shaped into balls, put them back in the freezer for a couple minutes while melting the almond bark

6) Dip the rolled balls into almond bark (I usually use a fork or spoon)

7) Put on some cute sprinkles and enjoy!

The Turtle Club encourages a lifetime of fun and friendship

Have fun. Be nice to everyone. Think about turtles once in a while.

These are the three rules of the Turtle Club, and on February 12, 2013, I was inducted as a member.

So you might be asking yourself, what exactly is this Turtle Club?

The genius behind its operations at Notre Dame is marketing professor, John Weber, more commonly known by his Turtle Club nickname, Weebs.

Each semester, his new students have the opportunity to enter the renowned Turtle Club, which entitles them to come to Turtle Club events that he regularly plans.

So far this spring, he has invited students and class speakers to Legends with him after lectures, coordinated a Friday night bowling outing, and ventured into a snow tubing event.

Each person who attends an event whether a student, a waiter serving the table or a recruiter who spoke in class gets formally inducted into the club. This process involves making the three promises, learning the secret handshake while wearing a turtle hat, telling a fun tale of one sort or another — from which one’s new Turtle Club nick name typically evolves, receiving a membership card, and, finally, signing the Turtle Club ledger.

Wimby inducts new member, Crazy Train, into Turtle Club with secret handshake.

Wimby inducts new member, Crazy Train, into Turtle Club with secret handshake.

The fun doesn’t stop there. In fact, all of these events are characterized by goofy shenanigans and turtle-related activities including turtle talk, when everyone at the table speaks as loudly as they can in garbled language, turtle touch, a hand motion done by slapping the table, turtle tales, where everyone goes around and tells a story, and turtle limbo, when the group dances around the room.

While these events have the reputation for being a room full of craziness and laughter, the Turtle Club means so much more than that.

Weebs explains that one of the goals of the Turtle Club is to help socialize students and encourage them to “break out of their shell.” He talks about how important it is not only in the field of marketing, but also in life to be able to engage and interact with others, and the Turtle Club provides the ideal platform for this.

Students recognize the value behind the Turtle Club, as well.

Senior, Erin Laughlin, creator of turtle touch, also added, “While it largely involves getting together for social gatherings, and perhaps getting a free beer from time to time, it is more than that. It is a community, an extended family, if you will, where you can talk about anything you would like. The Turtle Club is a way to strengthen your old friendships and create new ones. It helps your confidence, your interpersonal skills, and overall relationships.”

This is exactly what Weebs had hoped students would gain from the experience.

With the goal of acquiring 3 billion members, the Turtle Club relies on chief officers, Jack, 9, and Mia, 7, the initial founders of the organization, to steer its efforts.

Turtle Club Co-Presidents, Jack and Mia

Turtle Club Co-Presidents, Jack and Mia

In 2009, while in the playhouse grandpa Weebs built for them at the family lake cottage, the idea for the Turtle Club was born.  Weebs would take his grandchildren out for an afternoon of exciting turtle hunting where they would catch and name turtles then let them go a couple days later.

This activity inspired the formation of the Turtle Club. Jack and Mia presented Weebs with the Turtle Club charter one day, and he made it into a formal certificate, appointing them as the leaders.

Students first became involved in 2010 when he invited seven to the lake for a turtle hunting adventure. From there the rest is history.

I, Crazy Train, am proud to be a Turtle Club member.  Along with my fellow Turtle Club family, I will always remember to live life by having fun, being nice to everyone, and, of course, thinking about turtles once in a while.

Turtle Club Membership Certificate

Borrowing from the Old to Create the New

After 96 pages of journalism history reading in the past week, I’m starting to gain a better understanding of the factors that shaped the news industry as we know it today.

Daly puts it best, “The truth about the New Journalism…is that it actually had roots in the old journalism.” Although he is referring to the New Journalism of the 1960s, this statement applies to modern times.

Let me take you through a couple clear examples from Chapters 9, 10, and 11 of Covering America that preview the state of the news industry today.

Creating a “Huge Appetite for the Latest News”

In the early 20th century, the public was accustomed to waiting for the daily paper each morning to hear the news of the day; that is until the radio came along. This new medium that enabled listeners to hear news around the clock created what Daly calls a “huge appetite for the latest news” (258).

This concept only further proved to be true when the television became a household staple several years later. In fact, by 1963, networks live broadcasted John Kennedy’s funeral. Viewers “attended a funeral via television” (318). It does not get more immediate than that.

Source: theverge.com

Source: theverge.com

In our generation, we see this similar sentiment of wanting news NOW, which explains the success of Twitter.  There are 6.8 Billion people on the planet, and 4 Billion of them use a mobile phone. Furthermore, 91% of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach 24/7. Delivering news immediately to a mobile phone via Twitter is exactly what the public wants and we see the roots of this mentality dating back to the radio.

The Television Giant

“Everything about television was bigger. There were bigger audiences, bigger profits, bigger potential and impact, bigger egos and salaries, bigger problems, scandals, and regrets” Daly explained (289).

I think it is safe to say the same holds true today.

Consider sports on television. It’s a TV network and advertiser’s dream to broadcast the Super Bowl, bringing in over 100 million viewers. Notre Dame’s rights fees contract with NBC is estimated to be $15 million annually. While the money wasn’t as extreme in the 1960s, it set the precedent for the big business of television.

Also, we see the foundation for television journalists in 1968 with the creation of 60 Minutes. This set the stage for reporters being present in every piece on camera – asking questions, getting answers, busting frauds, and righting wrongs (346).

A relevant example of this is the Manti Te’o story from earlier this semester. Journalists like ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap and independent talk show host, Katie Couric, were praised for their interrogation of Manti Te’o.  Reporters play an integral role in the news media and started to gain recognition for their efforts as early as the 1960s.

Culture of Innovation

The “New Journalism,” as Daly calls it, rose to the scene in the mid-1960s and it encouraged a culture of innovation that has remained with the news industry.

Writers accommodated for the complaint about news becoming boring by changing their style. Truman Capote created the “nonfiction novel” and journalists began to express feelings in their stories, becoming more subjective and entertaining.

We see this creative and innovative reporting style in today’s news industry. For example, The Washington Post recently used a multimedia format to track a cycling story and add more life to it. Unique writing and story presentation captivates readers, and journalists discovered this decades ago.

Amplifying a Message

During the dynamic era covered in these three chapters, social issues arose, such as the Civil Rights Movement, and the news media had the ability to amplify the message as well as propel it to national attention (314).

We see this today, recently with the gun violence issue as instigated by the Newtown attacks. This topic has been brought up more by the mainstream media and has required the government to respond.

As we know well today, the news media is a strong force for social change, and many of the journalistic values we employ originate from the past.

The Power of a Great Brand – Consistency

Let me start by saying, I am a Marketing major and I believe in the power of a great brand.

Source: buildingabrandonline.com

For an organization, an effective brand can give consumers a sense of trust and security, which creates returns for the company such as consumer loyalty and positive word of mouth.

This same reciprocal relationship can be established through a personal brand, especially for a journalist whose job is to serve the public.

Reporters should take Debora Wenger’s article, “Branding when you’re a brand new journalist” into further consideration and realize the value of a personal brand.

As the article advises, creating social media accounts to promote yourself and establish credibility is a good strategy.

One overarching theme among all the tips she suggests is maintaining consistency among how you present yourself including profile picture and name.

How would you like it if your favorite brand, say Nike, had a swoosh as its Facebook logo, a shoe as its Twitter picture, and a Portland skyline as its Pinterest image? Odds are you wouldn’t. It would be confusing.

The same holds true for a journalist’s brand. Be yourself, be engaging, be consistent.  Your brand will become trusted, liked, and ultimately sustainable.

Out-“smarting” Traditional News Reporting

Source: Yahoo!

As we have read thus far in Covering America, technological and social change cause major disruptions in the news industry. For example, when telephones became commonplace, reporters would venture into the field to gather notes then call headquarters and dictate the information collected. Someone else, known as the “rewrite man,” would convert the details into a story and have it ready for a timely piece to run in the paper (Daly, 116). This became the new expectation journalists.

Nowadays, however, with the rise of smartphones, how reporters disseminate news to the public is changing.  No longer do reporters need an intermediary to write the report, they can do it themselves on their devices.

Learning the complete functionality of the latest smartphone technology has taken time for journalists, and Poynter published a thorough article entitled “5 ways journalists can use smartphones for reporting” to assist in the learning curve.

Author Genevieve Belmaker outlines the following 5 uses for smartphones:

1)    Record and file audio clips

2)    Shoot videos when action strikes

3)    Capture photos discretely

4)    Live remote reporting

5)    Filing copy on deadline

Among these 5 concepts, I found several common implications that reflect the future of news.

A reporter is expected to deliver more than just words about a given story.

To fully experience a story, reader want more than text, they want hear and see it unfold. With smartphones, a reporter has the means to deliver all of that by recording video and audio clips as well as snapping photos. As more and more reporters use this in their stories, the more readers come to expect a multi-faceted story.

A reporter is required to post news immediately.

The idea of a “legman” and a “rewrite man” is completely antiquated.  Live remote reporting has altered the time frame by which reporters communicate the news.  The public wants to be informed throughout the entire news gathering process, and smartphones provide the technology to do so.

A reporter is always on the job.

Most people carry their smartphones with them everywhere, especially reporters. Regardless of whether or not a reporter has a specific assignment to cover, if news breaks out, that reporter is responsible for capturing as many details as possible on his or her smartphone and relaying that to the public.

Smartphones have transformed reporting into a one-person job as compared to an army of reporters, photographers, and cameramen needed to provide comprehensive coverage of a story.

Interested in the Future of News, follow #NDJED on Twitter for articles related to the subject.

5 Ways Facebook Can Interact with News Readers

The nature of Facebook lies in social interaction – people-to-people and organization-to-people. News organizations are no exception to this truth; in fact, employing Facebook to reach readers serves as a sustainable strategy for growth in the industry.

The following list details the top five ways news organizations can most effectively use Facebook to capture the public’s interest and attention.

1) Comment Box

Facebook not only allows for readers’ comments on a story, but also encourages an open forum of discussion regarding daily news posts.  This is an incredibly powerful tool for news organizations to be able to gauge reader reactions to stories as well as enable them to actively interact with the news.

Take the Wall Street Journal, for example, 626 people liked this post, 81 commented, and 169 shared it. This conveys the power of Facebook’s community functionality.

Source: Wall Street Journal Facebook

Source: Wall Street Journal Facebook

2) Polls and Questions

Posting polls and questions requires readers to express their opinions and participate in the news.  Once a person has voted he or she is compelled back to the site to see how his or her response compares to others. This establishes a sense of reader loyalty to the news source.

ESPN has mastered the art of polling and questions on Facebook.  The post below had 23,489 comments, 3,686 likes, and 255 shares.

Source: ESPN Facebook

Source: ESPN Facebook

3) Visual Display & Interactive Graphics

Facebook is a visually appealing interface that is conducive to pictures and infographics. Conveying the news in a visual format attracts readers as it breaks up mass amounts of text and allows for greater understanding.

The Washington Post uses this strategy frequently in the form of maps as displayed here.

Source: The Washington Post Facebook

Source: The Washington Post Facebook

4) Photo Albums

Facebook’s greatest, most sustainable asset is sharing pictures. Friends log onto Facebook to look at other friend’s pictures. As the cliché goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the news world this is especially true.

USA Today is especially adept at posting photos directly to its timeline as well as creating Facebook albums. Its signature album is “In the news this week” as shown below.

Picture 2

Source: USA Today Facebook

5) Promotions

News sources can also use Facebook to entice readers to become more loyal to their brand by offering discounted offerings and promotions. This can reward readers who interact with the news organization on Facebook. The New York Times employs this strategy.


Source: The New York Times Facebook

Source: The New York Times Facebook

The above examples of effective Facebook usage by news organizations are only a sampling of techniques newspapers follow on the social network.  Follow the link here for a list of the top 25 newspapers on Facebook.