Young Alums Being Awesome

Posted on April 12, 2013 in Young Alum's Stories by young-alumni-blog

Alum Blog Post

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard of young alums embarking on some pretty unique endeavors. They’re interesting and inspiring, and I had to pass along their stories.

The Musician: If you’ve watched Late Night with Jimmy Fallon recently (love that guy), you may have noticed an appearance by singer/songwriter, Kat Quinn ’10. Quinn was one of the audience members chosen to participate in a Battle of the Instant Songwriters. Three people are chosen to write a song just before the show tapes. They then perform their original song on Late Night.

Quinn’s song, “Clouds Are People Too,” is adorably entertaining. Her talents extend beyond on-the-spot songwriting though. Quinn majored in Literature and Peace Studies and minored in Latin American Studies at Notre Dame. She moved to Nashville after graduation and then relocated to New York City. Here, she produced her debut EP, Exhale. She also contributed the song “Luck and Angels” to the two disc Notre Dame Spirit CD that came out in 2012. Learn more about her here.

The Volunteers: Shannon Crotty ’12 and Katie McCabe ’11 are big TOMS fans. Not just “I wear TOMS because they’re cute and make me feel good about myself” fans (like the rest of us), but “travel to a third world country on a TOMS Giving Trip” fans. Both Crotty and McCabe have applied to be one of 50 volunteers to go on a TOMS Giving Trip to help distribute shoes to those in need.

Crotty was inspired to attend the trip after working with disadvantaged children in Komga, South Africa as a part of ND’s Summer Service Learning Program. McCabe wanted to contribute to TOMS in a “more impactful way” after she researched the many causes the company supports. Learn more about them here. Whether or not they attend this trip depends on how many votes they receive–help them out! Vote for Crotty here and McCabe here.

The Bachelor: For all you Bachelor/Bachelorette junkies out there (I’m looking at you, my Rome roommates from Junior year), you’ll be interested to hear about Michael Garofola ’02. Garofola, who is a federal prosecutor in South Florida, is allegedly competing on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette. He will be up against two dozen other men looking to win the love of Desiree Hartsock.

Garofola attended Fordham Law School and is described by one colleague as “a clean-cut Alpha Male.” If he does turn up on The Bachelorette, let’s hope Desiree is a Notre Dame fan. Read Garofola’s story here.

The Documentary Filmmaker: Scion just announced the winners of their Motivate program, and Class of 2012 members will see a familiar name on the list. Will Thwaites ’12 took home honors for his documentary  about Get on the Bus, a California nonprofit that brings children and their caregivers/guardians to visit their parents in prison.

Thwaites will receive a Scion vehicle, Scion accessories, $10,000 and career mentoring. Read more about the Motivate program here.

As usual, our alums continue to surprise and inspire me. If you have a story to share about what you’re currently up to or how another young alum is contributing to the world, please let me know!

Happy National Walking Day

Posted on April 3, 2013 in Uncategorized by young-alumni-blog

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

Today is the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day. This is incredibly convenient because today also marks the start of the Alumni Association’s Spring Step Challenge. As a self-confessed exercise addict, I, along with NDAA social media maven, Josh, are heading up this challenge.

With the arrival of spring (weather update: it has been sunny in the Bend for the last three days. Unheard of), the Alumni Association figured it would be a great time to get in shape. And what is more motivating than a little friendly competition? Maybe a hot fudge sundae, but that is beside the point. The office has been split into 5 teams, elected team captains, chosen team names, and every employee has received a pedometer. For the next six weeks, everyone will keep track of their daily step totals (10,000 steps is thought to be a healthy goal).

If I don’t count my daily run (let’s just assume I didn’t exercise today), my pedometer would only be at about 1,000 steps. It’s 2:50 PM. That’s a little scary. Americans’ increasingly sedentary lifestyle is also pretty scary. I don’t know about you but one of the biggest adjustments I had to make to the working world was sitting at a desk all day. What is the deal?

In high school, we had physical education, we played sports, we at least walked from class to class. In college, we had much more free time. Not only did we walk from building to building across campus, but we had two free gyms within walking distance, intramurals galore and a 5k race on campus nearly every weekend. Suddenly, we graduate, and we’re expected to sit at a computer for 8+ hours a day. Seems a little unhealthy. Why does becoming a grown-up mean sacrificing our activity level? I maintain that we can find a happy medium. Bloomberg Businessweek offers some tips on how to stay healthier at the office.

So join us here at the NDAA in our fitness challenge, get out there in the nice weather at lunch and walk around, take advantage of the longer days and do a run after work, ride your bike instead of driving or make the effort to walk across the office rather than sending an email to your coworker. You could even try and implement healthier policies at your own office. Here are some companies that inspire with their healthy practices.

To thine own health be true

Spring Updates

Posted on March 22, 2013 in ND News by young-alumni-blog

Regular Action

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

The title of this post is misleading. Yes, I’m about to make a remark about South Bend weather. Who else will update you on the Bend’s bipolar climate? While usually a winter lover, I’ve had enough. It is supposedly “officially spring,” but this week was characterized by high winds, below freezing temps and shocker of shocks, snow. For all you living in warm climates right now, yes, I resent you. Oh wait, the sun just came out.

On to more important topics. If you’ve been on Facebook in the past couple days, you know that the Mendoza College of Business was once again ranked #1 on Bloomberg Business Week’s “Best Undergraduate Business School” rankings. Nothing amuses me more than the proud social media posts when these rankings come out. So bold. So earnest. All those years of being told that smart kids aren’t cool and don’t know how to have fun and that ND is just a bunch of nerds—vindication! Did you go to the #1 undergrad business school? Because I did. Some of my favorites:

“Four years running! Here’s to four more!”

“Tell everyone, then tell them to hire me”

“”I wonder what ND’s business school was ranked this year?” -Said no one facebook friends with anyone in the business school, ever. (four years=forever)”

“Proud to be 1RISH”

Like I said, we’re so cool. All jokes aside, this is a great accomplishment and something to be proud of. As a Mendoza grad, I took part in the bragging. I’ll admit it. Read the full story here.

In other news, the Morris Inn is still under construction, but man are those construction workers diligent–often working late into the evening by the light of a giant spotlight. And that ND flag waving from the top of the crane? Tugs at the heartstrings. I have a front row seat as the construction zone is conveniently located outside my window. I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert on the project. So allow me to show you just what the newly completed Inn (set to open in August 2013) will look like with this sweet virtual tour. (Note: I did not create this virtual tour despite my expert status)

Finally, for all you who know ND hopefuls out there, you can now tell them that all regular action decisions are in the mail. I hear the University sends them out this week so they arrive before Easter (wouldn’t want to ruin Easter weekend with a rejection–makes sense). As per usual, ND went above and beyond in announcing this on their Facebook page by making this charming little graphic. Check it at the top of this post. You can almost hear Our Lady proclaiming “Everyone! I declare that the regular decision letters are. in. the. mail. Brace yourselves”

It’s pronounced Ber-GOAL-io, but you can call me Francis

Posted on March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized by young-alumni-blog

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

Earlier today, I attended a special Mass for our new Pope at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize this was a special mass–I was going because it was one of my Lenten promises. Once I got there, I was happy to be a part of the celebration though. The Catholic Church has a new leader, and that is a big deal. Whether you are Catholic or not, the decisions of the Church have far reaching effects and the potential to do a lot of good.

At the beginning of mass, the priest apologized for not being able to tell us anything more about the new pontiff as he had not met him personally. So to the vast media coverage we go for more information! Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio hails from Buenos Aires (when I told my mother this, she asked somewhat indignantly “don’t they get the Olympics too?” No, Mom, no. That would be Rio de Janeiro) and as such, is the first ever South American pope. He is also the first non-European pontiff in nearly 1,200 years, the first Jesuit to ever lead the Roman Catholic Church, and the first to choose the name Francis (I’m not sure why–who doesn’t like the animal-loving Saint Francis?).

Praising Cardinal Bergoglio’s history as an advocate for the poor, President Obama sent him this message soon after he was elected: “As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than 2,000 years — that in each other we see the face of God.” Another president, Father John Jenkins had this to say: ““We at Notre Dame join the Church in rejoicing in the election of Pope Francis…read more

600 Years of Precedent, Broken

Posted on March 4, 2013 in Uncategorized by young-alumni-blog

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world on February 11, 2013 when he announced he would be resigning from the papacy. He cited advanced age and declining health as the reasons for his resignation. Though, the fact remains that his reign was riddled with scandal and he leaves a troubled Catholic Church. Judging from papal history, these sort of things are never as cut and dry as they’re made out to be.

So what does this mean for the church? Who will the next Pope be? And is the church at the crossroads that many are saying it is? While we wait for the white smoke to rise above St. Peter’s, check out what Notre Dame  faculty members have to say about the transition here.

Didn’t get that white smoke reference? Perhaps you want to study up on your conclave rules. If you’re like me, all your knowledge of this intricate Catholic ritual comes from reading The Da Vinci Code (hey, at least it doesn’t come from watching the movie). In preparation for the upcoming conclave, check out its history and explanation here.

And for an overview of the resignation, potential papal candidates and the Catholic Church’s current issues (one of which is better engaging young people–that’s us!), check out this New York Times article “Successor to Benedict Will Lead a Church at a Crossroads.”

New York Fashion Week

Posted on February 22, 2013 in Guest Post by young-alumni-blog

Arienne Thompson '04 is pictured

By Arienne Thompson ’04

Another New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but before I make it sound all easy-breezy, let me break down my experience for you this season by the numbers:

5:30 a.m.: Time my alarm went off to wake me for my cab to Union Station for a 7:30 Amtrak — on a Saturday.

1: Number of friends who had to ditch Sunday brunch plans because she was coming down with the flu.

A jillion: Number of people who told me they felt like they were coming down with the flu during NYFW. Yuck.

1: Number of leashed cats that walked the runway at the Tracy Reese show. Yes, really.

70: The street number of one of my favorite hotels in New York: 70 Park Avenue, where everybody knows my name — and they’re always glad I came.

5 p.m.: The time their daily, complimentary wine happy hour for guests begins.

12: Hours I worked on Feb. 10 after a full day of covering shows and a full night of writing the Grammys fashion page.

A model is pictured during New York Fashion Week

14: Shows I covered in 4 days, including Diane von Furstenburg, Tory Burch, Vera Wang and Kate Middleton’s favorite, Jenny Packham.

65: NYFW-related tweets I posted over the course of 96 hours.

7: Blocks I walked after being stuck in rush-hour traffic, exiting my cab, and rushing into Tory Burch’s 9 am show at the posh Pierre Hotel.

2: Times I was forced to get lunch from Chipotle because I literally didn’t have time for anything else.

9:45 p.m.: Time of dinner reservations at Chelsea hotspot Buddakan where I dined with my sister Amelia   Thompson ‘08 and a friend.

12:30 a.m.: Time we finished dinner and called it a night. Only in New York…

3: Shows where I sat front-row: Christian Siriano, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch.

0: Gross, slushy, icy puddles I stepped in. Hooray!

8 minutes: Longest wait for a taxi in the cold.

12-ish: NYFW parties and lounges I was invited to.

1: NYFW party I had time to attend.

2: Colors vying for attention in my fashion bestie David Yi’s pink-and-purple hair.

3,411: Words I wrote in my coverage of NYFW for USA Today.

Countless: Hugs and air kisses doled out to all of my fashion friends, most of whom I only see during NYFW.

Arienne Thompson ’04 lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area where she is an entertainment reporter for  USA Today.

Alumni Encounters

Posted on February 6, 2013 in Young Alum's Stories by young-alumni-blog

Elle Metz

Young Alumni Programs Manager

One of the perks of my position as Young Alum Program Manager (along with being able to see the dome from my window) is interacting with so many young alumni. People expect ND alums to be successful–that’s not news. And we are. Alums go on to pursue any number of prosperous career paths. Lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, accountants, engineers, consultants, architects, teachers.

What many outside the Notre Dame Family fail to realize, though, is how alums are successful in less conventional and visible ways. A lot of our young alums devote themselves to service for a few years after graduation, others make a special effort to serve their new community as they once devoted themselves to Notre Dame, still others take chances to pursue their art.

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with three young alums that exemplify the courage Notre Dame grads show in contributing to the world. The first two, Brian Powers ’12 and Nick Gunty ’12, make up the musical duo Frances Luke Accord. They recorded their first album with the Barefoot Truth’s Children’s Choir in Kkindu Village, Uganda. And the proceeds from the album are paying for the children’s education. Read their story here 

The third alum I spoke with was Michael McDonald ’09, who has devoted himself to an NGO in Kenya. There, he writes books on social justice. Their topics range from AIDS orphanages to school reform, and they are helping shape the future of Kenya in the best way. Look for his story coming soon! These alums remind me, and hopefully you, the enormous potential we all have to influence and inspire in a positive way. With our ND education as a base, we can strive for more than the conventional definition of “success.”

Inaugural Post

Posted on January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized by young-alumni-blog

The Inauguration…of a BlogThe Inauguration

Welcome to the ND Young Alumni Blog! Considering today marks the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, I figured I would go along with our nation’s current theme and begin this blog. New year, new beginnings, new forms of communication. As young alums, we communicate differently. We’re wired in, tech savvy, social media savants and all-around internet fiends. We’re used to sending and receiving information quickly and easily. We expect to connect to our alma mater in a similar fashion. As your Young Alumni Program Manager, I’m here to facilitate this connection, and this blog is one method. Here, will live posts about young-alum-specific topics ranging from ND updates to job search advice to guests posts by your peers. Whatever you want to read about, let me know! Here’s to staying better connected! Go Irish

Elle Metz ’12

Young Alumni Program Manager

(574) 631-7877