first_imgPost-competition support to implement the innovative ideas It’s official. It’s been a year since the creation of Dell Technologies. Last week, we celebrated our official anniversary on September 7th. This week, we’re celebrating together as a giant global team. In that spirit, several Dell team members have offered up their take on the last 365 days of change and transformation–read them below and keep checking back in for new stories!Mike Scully, Sr. Advisor Project/Program Mgmt – IT,DellThis past year was like a career theme park ride, nothing short of amazing! I celebrated my fifth anniversary with the company, the first time I reached that milestone with any company in my career. While it was five years, this last year the company was being reinvented daily, which meant so many twists and turns, changes, highs and lows. While “Day One” launch day was such a fun celebration and coming together of two very different companies, the journey of integrating and merging teams and departments is what has brought the most excitement. I made an early choice to embrace the change, take on the challenges and be very intentional about remaining positive.Instead of remaining in a safe or comfortable space or being protective of what I knew at the time, I ran full force into the changes that were happening. I used self-teaching tools like our intranet so I could collaborate better with my new colleagues, found new and innovative ways to improve project communications, championed the changes happening and helped others navigate those challenges. I was one of the first on the Legacy EMC side to receive a “Value Champion” award in the new company; but I didn’t stop there, I pushed into joining the actual Dell Champions program, helping others learn and harness the excitement of being part of Team Dell. And finally I decided to do my own “go big” and jumped in with both feet and took on a brand new role with a team that was entirely Legacy Dell, joining the Global Portfolio Management Office, which is part of IT in the office of the CIO. This was not only my biggest challenge but also a great example of how I won big! I have greatly enjoyed joining this new team. This first year as a new combined company has been a tremendously exciting ride and I cant wait to see where we go next because at Dell we are making anything possible!Mike Cote, President and CEO, SecureworksThis was an exciting year for Secureworks. Just a few months after becoming a publicly traded company, we joined the Dell Technologies family of companies with its formation in September 2016.For more than 17 years, Secureworks has focused exclusively on helping organizations navigate security challenges and mitigate risk when adopting new technologies. Our aim is to build relationships, and earn the trust and confidence of our clients while we ensure they have the right security protections, visibility and expertise at their disposal.The collection of capabilities within Dell Technologies offers tremendous opportunity, and with that comes an equally significant obligation to help protect our clients and ensure that security is a top priority in all we do. We can be certain that threat actors also recognize the expanding attack surface with the “Internet of Things,” and security will remain a top challenge businesses face as they adopt cloud and implement strategies for digital transformation.Secureworks’ platform architecture is vendor-neutral and today we monitor and process security events for clients with RSA and VMware security devices. We look forward to further collaboration across the Dell Technologies family to bring the best, integrated solutions to our customers.  We are convinced that the leading and complementary security capabilities within VMware, RSA and Secureworks provide unmatched solutions for our clients.Happy first anniversary Dell Technologies!I am excited about our future and look forward to celebrating our second year together.Jennifer Gruninger, Sr. Advisor, Marketing Technology, DellMy highlight of the past year was when our Employee Resource Group (ERG) GenNext/GenNext North America in partnership with Dell’s internal Marketing University and the Graduate Engagement Program hosted an event (pictured here) in Round Rock, Texas, called “Creating a Path to Professional Success” featuring speakers Jennifer Saavedra and Anne Grady with more than 110 team members in attendance.Gilles Philippe, Canadian Marketing Manager, Channels, DellAs they say, everything is connected and you have to love it when a plan comes together.Two large companies consolidating invariably resulted in change to the account coverage of our customers. Change in account coverage is generally not desirable. During this period of change our valued channel partners, not only continued with consistent account coverage to customers, they now represent an extensive portfolio from both Dell and EMC. Many said it couldn’t be done. Putting together two large channel programs, with the best elements of both, in just a few short months. Not only was it launched globally, the first half of our fiscal year was a resounding success in NPS, eNPS, marketshare and financial results (our four key measurements). It reminds me of a duck paddling on water – smooth up top, lots of action below the surface. Not without issues, but always moving forward. It’s been an extraordinary year working and winning together. Look how far we’ve come. Now buckle up, because we just got started.Rodrigo Gazzaneo, Executive Briefing Center Director, Silicon Valley, DellIt was finally “Day One” then. September 7 is a national holiday in Brazil, so we took some rest to see what was coming. We had just delivered a great customer program at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but it was full of disclaimers because of the upcoming date. I had been with the company for 16 years and we had tremendous success with the Dell and EMC past alliance around CLARiiON family years ago. This time we were looking forward to meeting old colleagues again and getting to know new people.Our office in Rio was selected one of the venues for the global “Dell-ebration” day on September 14. We had a big party with Brazilian-style barbecue (the real churrasco!) and I remember I was lucky to win one of the social media prizes during the day.Fast forward one year and a lot has changed. I am getting ready for our Dell-ebration again, but this time it will be in Santa Clara, California. We will be opening our new Customer Solutions and Executive Briefing Center on September 12 and I couldn’t be more excited.The new Center is located in the in heart of Silicon Valley, taking advantage of the huge innovation ecosystem. Besides the Customer Solutions and Executive Briefing Center, we will share the building with the Dell Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Lab and Dell Networking engineering. Moreover, the Silicon Valley is home to VMware and Pivotal, two of the most strategic members of the Dell Technologies family. Here, we will be able to help our customers and partners realize their potential by successfully overcoming their challenges with the four transformations.Dell Technologies is the biggest startup of world. Only one year old and so much to accomplish, so many opportunities, so much we can execute in the spirit of “better together” and “going big to win big.”Adolfo Escalante, Client Tech Support Specialist, DellI am proud to be coordinating the Emergency Brigade for Dell Costa Rica (pictured left), and in the past year we have been improving, getting people trained at the National Fire Department Academy on how to control Fire and medical incidents. We have built a better communication channel so we can provide a better service to the site. We have collaborated to get the site re-certified in the recent International Organization for Standardization (ISO) audit, and we keep on pushing to get better every day, especially now that we are moving to a new building. The sky is the limit!Mohammed Hammad, Sr. Analyst, Business Operations, DellThe official beginning of Dell Technologies was a moment of pride for me that my company was elevated from being a PC manufacturer to stand strong in today’s global market as the world’s second-largest tech company.I started preparing myself for more responsibility from day one of the announcement as I realized the enormous opportunity ahead for us and our customers. The bigger vision of Dell Technologies that has brought in a wave of optimism amongst our team members globally–we see more opportunities for career growth and advancement.As I started working towards my next role in Dell Technologies and found myself a mentor, I upskilled myself by meeting people from different organizations within the company, trying to understand their new idea of success with Dell Technologies.Now I am complete part of Dell Technologies, where I feel proud of what I do, I play a vital role in our organization. I support our business tools to ensure there is no interruption in business so that our employees give their best service to our valued customers and thus I align my goal with my org and so with Michael and team.I strongly echo Michael Dell’s idea of being an entrepreneur. In my role I consider my area of work as my own business. I am passionate and committed to give my 100 percent in collective success of organization to grow and thrive. My next goal? Coffee with Michael, soon!Giacomo Ravo, Sr Advisor, Supply Chain, DellMy highlight moment of the first year at Dell Technologies was the GameChangers global innovation competition.In June Justin Cammack and I, along with the GenNext Biz Dev core team, hosted the final event for the GameChangers global innovation competition at Dell. This year we had more than 650 global participants and successfully integrated Dell and EMC employee resource groups (ERGs). Three of the finalist teams came from Legacy EMC teams. Three came from Russia (winning team), one from Israel, North Carolina, and Central Texas and had the opportunity to present their ideas to our leaders. The leadership team at Dell, encouraged by Michael Dell, is very supportive to Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and helped us put together a great event.The judges at the final event were: Chief Commercial Officer Marius Haas, Chief Customer Officer Karen Quintos, Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition Marie Moynihan, and Vice President of Product Strategy and Innovation Neil Hand.Along with the competition, we created more valuable opportunities for participants: University classes on Design Thinking, Marketing, Finance, and Presentation Skills Vandana Bellur, Sr. Advisor, Project/Program Management, DellThis past year has been memorable for me on so many fronts! I can recall the excitement of Bangalore being one of the sites to have the live employee celebrations and that I got to be one of the live bloggers of the event! With my awesome photographers Badarinath R and Raghu V, we captured some amazing photos!Work wise, I got promoted and moved into a new team in April! Yay! From the Employer Branding team in Talent Acquisition to moving into the Business as a University Relations program manager for Bobbi Dangerfield’s org, the journey has been great. I managed the summer internship at Bangalore and was delighted to hear such great feedback on the program from the interns. I am really proud of the best-in-class programs we have which not only fulfills their academic requirement but also helps them in overall career development.From on-boarding, networking sessions, executive leader talks, and even participating in a Legacy of Good activity, these interns truly got to experience our winning culture.Looking forward to many more exciting things at Dell! Mentoring by category sponsors and Network of Influencers (this is a group of Directors from several organizations that have supported us throughout the competition) Networking and collaboration across organizations It’s always inspiring to see the level of engagement at every level of the company during the competition. Several research reports show that employees involved in ERGs have higher level of engagement with the companies they work for and higher Net Promoter Score (NPS) than average. It is exciting to contribute positively to the internal NPS and create great opportunities for our team members.Thanks to all organizing team members: Francesco Tuzzolino, Natomi Blair, Pradeep Venkataraman, Marina Martinez, Lionel Shiwala, Adrian Ionescu, Phillip S. Rasy, and Maria Chronis.Lupita Garcia Esquivel, Sr Advisor Management Services Consultant, RHR, DellWow, it has been a year already? Time went fast! But I probably felt it this way, because I have been enjoying every piece of it, and when this happens, you don’t realize that a year has already passed by. During this last year, many wonderful things have happened. First, I was invited to join a new team, Management Services, which is part of the Regional Human Resources organization. At the beginning I admit, I had some uncertainty asking myself, who will my leader be, who will my peers be and if we would get along well with them, what was the new role going to look like, would I like it, etc.I was overthinking it until I stopped myself and decided to embrace the change, see the bright side and be part of this transformation that was making history. I changed my thoughts, left my fears and said to myself, wow! New team? I get the opportunity to have a broader network. New leader? I get the opportunity to see other perspectives of guidance, more lessons to come, more new opportunities, more knowledge and so on. I decided to be part of this change, to be a role model, so I started making the first moves and reached out to my peers, setting one-on-one meetings, asking how could I help them, or just offering my support if anything was needed. I have to say, that I was surprised with the quick turnaround and the supportive, fun, creative team we have become into today, and the great leader who has guided us along this way.I am so happy to have been part of this integration, and now to be called the second-largest IT company in the industry. This is huge! It fills me with pride and inspiration, and encourages me to continue “Going Big and Winning Big” every day at what I do. We have made quite a journey in our new role as Management Services, focusing in the moments that matter for our leaders, providing consultation and helping them continue enhancing their skills by positively impacting their teams. And believe me, being able to do this is why I love what I do, to have the opportunity to positively influence others is how we continue to win constantly. Helping others to grow and thrive is how we live our Culture Code (see video below), because we say what we do, and not only for our customers externally, but for our leaders and team members who day to day excel at what they do. They are our brand internally and externally. They keep this company moving. They put on the T-shirt and make things happen, to become the company we are today, and continue having the power to do more! Thank you Dell Technologies for this fantastic year, I am ready and excited for the future! Are you?David Goulden, President, Dell EMCIt’s remarkable to reflect on the last year, and just how much we have accomplished coming together as one company – Dell Technologies – and what we’ve made possible for our customers as Dell EMC. The depth and breadth of our portfolio is unmatched, with a set of solutions and services that are proving to be critical in our customers’ journey to Digital Transformation through IT Transformation.  Bringing together seven companies into one powerful organization that is #1 in just about every market play is simply incredible.  We should all take a moment to reflect on that fact alone – and be proud.And yet, despite these milestones, in some ways it feels like we’re just beginning.  We have an even bigger opportunity ahead as we continue to accelerate innovation that not only transforms our customers’ IT infrastructure, but transforms our own business and enables the realization of our own vision to drive human progress through technology.I’ve also been incredibly inspired by the talent and teamwork born from the combination of our organizations.  We’ll continue to embrace the ingenuity, drive and leadership that defines our Culture Code, and is at the core of our commitment to deliver the world’s highest-quality IT infrastructure portfolio backed an exceptional customer experience at every touchpoint – from product to sales, supply chain and services.Alexandre Xavier, IT Product Owner, DellOn August of 2016 the Dell Vocal Group started its rehearsals and now, almost together with Dell Technologies, we are also commemorating our one year too!  Then, it was a wonderful year for us since we were able to consolidate the idea of having such group at Dell and as part of the team work, we were able to be known by our colleagues and leadership, delivering good musical moments to the Eldorado do Sul site, in Brazil.The group started by initiative of some IT folks in Brazil, Alexandre Passos, Alexandre Xavier and Renata Milani that started to discuss their passion by music, more specifically by Choral music in which most of them had some experience already, and from these small talks, we put together the project and started to look for the company support.With that idea in mind so, that group of people started to work to make it happen. The first step was to submit the idea to the CIO People group, a group within the Dell IT organization responsible to apply the company people strategy in IT that didn’t hesitate to support the idea. After that, they started by sharing their wish with others to see how many people would have the same interest, applying a survey to all Brazil IT folks and discussing with the site leadership about the advantages of this kind of group in companies, sharing benefits, investment needs, logistics needs, etc.Around August of 2016, the Dell Vocal Group received the approval to go ahead from the site leadership (Giovanna Muller and Gabriela Stangl were essential to make it happen). So, the group hired a choral conductor, booked a room and had our first rehearsal with around 10 people. After some discussions, with a balance from many and different music styles, the first songs were chosen.The work done so far is proving the alignment of this kind of initiative with Dell’s values of “Winning Together,” when a team get together towards to a goal and make it happen, “Innovation,” when disrupting the daily technical IT activities to stop by one hour and sing, “Results,” when establishing a goal, training and executing with good results and even “Integrity,” when working with people from different teams with respect, sense of team and proud to show the others the result of a work.The group nowadays is divided in four voices, Soprano, Contralto, Tenor and Bass. The current composition is:Sopranos: Irene Pitrofski (Bea), Marcela Bairros, Lai Chin (Christina Lai), Paula Fleck, Juliana PereiraContraltos: Renata Milani, Liliana Prieto Diaz, Mary Parissi, Caroline Silveira, Silvia Oliveira, Laura Mattos Flach, Maria SouzaTenors: Alan Cafruni Gularte, Mauricio Costa, Lucas Timm Florao, Igor Kimieciki, Joao Flach Da Silva, Marcelo Schiling, Marcelo SalcedoBasses: Alexandre Xavier, Jose  Escobar, Andre Queiroz, Eduardo Scriccolast_img read more

first_imgDell EMC and VMWare co-sponsored the 2019 I Wish event in Ireland and impacted 6,000 students.Photo Credit: @CWITirl / CWITIreland[1] McKinsey & Co, 2015[2] Microsoft Study, 2018[3] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018[4] Microsoft Study, 2018 Dell’s India team empowers young women, such as Gangamma (pictured here), to gain technology skills and also address basic life needs, such as clean sanitation and drinking water. Dell’s China team has impacted 50,000 female university students to consider STEM careers. Students engage in a Dell virtual reality experience at the 2019 SheTech Explorer Day in Utah. In 2012, the United Nations established International Day of the Girl Child. The 2019 theme is “GirlForce: unscripted and unstoppable” and celebrates the achievements by, with and for girls.At Dell Technologies, we believe that girls are unstoppable and our social impact strategy includes a wide-reaching focus on improving lives and advancing opportunities for youth. Empowering girls (and women) is critical to business and workforce success—companies with top gender diversity are 21% more likely to have financial returns above industry peers.[1] However, we realize that we still have a long way to go before girls can achieve true parity in STEM fields: When asked to describe a typical scientist, engineer, mathematician, or computer programmer, 30% percent of girls say that they envision a man in these roles.[2] In high-tech jobs, women account for only 18% of software developers, applications and systems software roles and 4.2% of computer network architects.[3]Despite the clear gap for girls in STEM fields, I do believe, at Dell Technologies, we are making significant strides. I am inspired by Dell team members around the world who provide young women the skills, experiences and examples to fulfill their highest potential and have a tangible impact on the world. I want to highlight a few examples of our team member impact:In the United States, Dell sponsors the Utah SheTech Explorer Day, which engages 2,400 young women attendees. At the 2019 event, 40+ Dell team members volunteered 150+ hours to mentor, teach and introduce girls to Dell’s technology capabilities. In Massachusetts, Dell teams hosted young women from Girls Who Code, Girls Inc and Science Club for Girls to participate in hands-on workshops on topics, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Design Thinking, Cybersecurity and Data Visualization as well as the opportunity to hear from passionate young women STEM professionals.In China, the team sponsors the Women in Technology (WIT) Forum on Campus. This program encourages female university students to pursue academic and professional development in STEM fields. Since its launch, more than 50,000 female students have benefited and many have joined Dell Technologies as intern and full-time employees.In India, Dell’s youth learning program provides technology access and digital literacy training. It has directly impacted 150,000 students, 40% of whom are girls. In addition to training, the team also ensures girls have a safe and healthy environment. One inspiring story is that of Gangamma, who had previously dropped out of school due to lack of clean water, sanitation facilities and technology resources at her school. Since Dell’s involvement, Gangamma has returned to school, is thriving in her courses, plays competitive sports and aims to be a school teacher one day so that she can inspire the next generation of students.In Ireland, Dell EMC and VMware co-sponsored the 2019 I WISH conference, which reached 6,000 young female students in Dublin and Cork. I WISH is an initiative to inspire, encourage and motivate young female students to pursue STEM careers.The work of global Dell teams to advance girls is unquestionably inspiring. But, it is also absolutely necessary if we expect to change STEM industry diversity. Research shows a direct correlation between STEM exposure in girls and their STEM professional ambitions—74% of middle school girls who participate in STEM clubs and activities are likely to study computer science in high school versus 48% of those who do not. Girls who engage in STEM activities in high school are 2.5 times more likely to want to continue studying computer science in college.[4]We have a societal and corporate responsibility to ensure that girls have the same opportunities to learn, grow and have a “seat at the table”, particularly in STEM fields where they continue to be underrepresented. Today and every day, let’s share our skills with and mentorship for girls so that they may be a force for our future.Show Your Support – #MarchForSisterhood CampaignThe #MarchForSisterhood campaign is a ‘digital march’ inviting girls (and their allies) to stand up for what matters to them. The campaign was created by 100+ members of Girls Who Code, one of Dell’s strategic STEM nonprofit partners. Read more here.Pledging to take part in this campaign takes less than five minutes. To engage, create a short 30-second video about your passion and post it on social media on Oct. 11 using the hashtag #MarchForSisterhood – be sure to retweet and share videos from fellow supporters! While this is called a “march,” it’s also fine to just stand and speak to the camera. High school girls in the U.S. gain skills in key technologies, such as data visualization. Dell’s Women In Action (WIA) group hosted Girls Who Code members at the U.S. Massachusetts corporate campus.last_img read more

first_imgNotre Dame announced the cancellation of in-person classes and closing of residence halls through a school-wide email on Wednesday.The University published a series of letters detailing regulations and suggestions for on-campus students, students currently abroad, faculty, staff and parents. The series of decisions responded to the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States and more than 100 colleges closing their campuses, including Indiana University, Purdue, Northwestern, Duke and Harvard.Following the University’s announcement, the Department of Health confirmed the first case of coronavirus in St. Joseph County. Previously, there had been 10 cases confirmed in Indiana. Many students are satisfied with the school’s decision. “Notre Dame did the right thing,” senior Erin Shang said. “Many students travel in the U.S. or abroad during the break, and there is a potential risk of spreading coronavirus on campus. Closing the campus definitely decreases such risk.”Shang said she thought the policy was flexible. “The school doesn’t totally shut down,” she said. “Students who can’t return home can still remain on campus, and many departments are still operating.” According to the announcement, students are encouraged to stay or return home after spring break. However, some international students face difficulties going home.Junior Jiadai Li, who is originally from China, said she plans to stay in her dorm, Flaherty Hall. “It’s unrealistic to [be] going home,” Li said. “We don’t know the certain restart time of in-person classes, and I may not able to re-enter America because of the travel ban. The situation of the epidemic is still serious in China.”Residence halls will close Tuesday at noon. The Office of Residential Life will contact students who may be unable to return home, and they could be approved to remain on campus, according to the announcement email from the Division of Student Affairs.Miranda Ma, senior advisor for Asia of Notre Dame International, sent a message to a Chinese student chat group: “All international students (Non-American Citizenship or Green Card Holders) will receive an email from the Office of Residential Life and you will be approved to stay on campus.”Apart from residence halls, Fischer Graduate Residences will remain open, and all residents are permitted to stay until the end of their leases, according to the Division of Student Affairs letter.Off-campus residences are not affected by the campus closures. Most offices and departments serving students will continue to operate, including North Dining Hall, University Health Services and University Counseling Center.However, some departments may be closed or limited, leaving staff members concerned about their pay. When she received the email from the Office of the President at noon Wednesday, Faith Thomas, a staff member working at Duncan Student Center, began to worry about her job. “This is my only job,” Thomas said. “If the restaurants [at Duncan] close because the school closes, how can I get my salary? What am I going to do?”Later in the afternoon, associate vice president for human resources Robert McQuade sent a letter to Notre Dame staff.“All full-time and part-time regular employees will continue to receive the regular pay and benefits for work hours for which they are normally scheduled,” McQuade said in the letter. “This will apply even if their department goes to limited staffing or they are not able to work due to organizational decisions.”Changes to the University class schedule begin with an extra week before courses move to online-only, extending spring break until March 23. All in-person classes will be replaced with online courses or other alternative options from March 23 through at least April 13, according to the University announcement.However, the extension of break does not intend to encourage students to travel domestically or abroad, Emily Saavedra, international and graduate programs administrative assistant at the Law School, said.“The extension of break and online courses are the reaction to a global emergency and all the students should also take action on it, that is self-quarantine when it’s needed and social distancing,” Saavedra said. “If you go party in a foreign country right now and the outbreak starts, you may not be able to come back. In this case, we can’t guarantee the extension of the online course and other special-time accommodations particularly for you.”According to the Division of Student Affairs, students who have traveled to any country rated as a CDC Level 3 travel advisory — currently China, South Korea, Iran and Italy — are required to self-quarantine and self-monitor their temperature for 14 days before coming onto campus.While the campus is mostly closed, education and research continue. However, students and faculty have voiced concern about the potential difficulties of classes being conducted online.“The interaction and discussion between students on class may be affected,” law student Joseph Pog said. “In the classroom, students’ interactions are direct and immediate, which helps us to think more and learn more, but it may not be effective on the online course.”Pog said it’s understandable that the online course is the best solution in the current circumstance.“The professors should also be trained about how to deliver the online courses well,” he said.Students studying in labs or studios are especially concerned about online courses.“A lot of my classes are discussion or experiment-based,” junior ACMS and economics major Mitchell Larson said. “[Online classes] means I’m losing out on that education.”Notre Dame is working on the support of teaching transition. In a letter to faculty, Provost Tom Burish said a team supported by ND Learning and the Office of Information Technologies had been collecting and organizing a set of online resources to help with the transition to online instruction.“We recognize that these steps, while necessary, are disruptive and that delivering instruction remotely poses unique challenges for many courses and programs,” Burish said in the letter. “[But] we continue to provide our students with the best possible educational experience at Notre Dame under extraordinary circumstances.”The petitioner: “We international students face more vulnerable status”Before Notre Dame decided to close campus due to the coronavirus, more than 100 other colleges had already done so. Seeing other colleges close campuses one after another, some students began to worry about safety when students returned to campus from all over the country and world after spring break.A petition to transition Notre Dame to remote learning was initiated online Tuesday and obtained more than 300 signatures as of Wednesday evening. “We strongly petition the University to consider shifting all classes online for at least 14 days right after the break,” the petition said.Erin Shang, one of the initiators, said the reason for launching the petition was because many students at Notre Dame didn’t take the coronavirus epidemic seriously enough. “Some friends made fun of me when I canceled my spring break plans because of coronavirus,” Shang said. “They were like, ‘Dude, why are you so uptight? This is just a flu. You gotta live your life.’” Shang said she also worried about the potential risk after the break, and she sent an “emotional email” to Erin Hoffmann Harding, “begging her to take some measures.” “However, I just got a very automatic and robotic response from her saying, ‘We’re dealing with this situation and finding solutions, please rest and we’ll be praying for you,’” Shang said. “It was at that moment that I realized one person’s voice wasn’t enough. I should bring more people to speak out.”A large part of the signatures drive from student originally from China, Shang said. Having grown up in Beijing, she said her own thought process about the coronavirus could be different from that of other students.“Many domestic students don’t think it’s serious because they don’t know how bad it could be,” she said. “They don’t know the medical system could run out of resources and the number of cases could just keep piling up.”There are still domestic students who are concerned about the outbreak of coronavirus, including Larson, who is from Wisconsin.“My grandparents live near me, and I am worried that they could potentially catch it, as they are a vulnerable population,” Larson said.International students are concerned not only about how coronavirus is impacting their own countries but also the risks it poses for them in the United States.“I can’t afford to get sick in the United States,” Shang said. “I don’t know if the health insurance will pay for everything. I don’t know how much it will cost if we use emergency serves, especially ambulances. We just have more financial concerns to worry about. … My parents can’t reach us because of the travel ban, and they will be worried sick if I get sick. The worst scenario, if we die here, our parents will never be able to see us again.”Domestic students don’t have these concerns, Shang said, as they have more options of insurances and their family is right here, but international students don’t necessarily have the same luxuries.“Sometimes I feel powerless,” she said.Shang called the petition a way for international students and all members of the University community to empower themselves. “Besides speaking out as a student from the Chinese community and the international community, the petition is also for all the members of the Notre Dame community,” Shang said. “I just hope the University can create a safe and healthy environment.”When she learned Notre Dame decided to close the campus, Shang said she felt better about the situation.“I’m really touched by the school,” Shang said. “I’m finally in relief.” Managing Editor Natalie Weber and Associate News Editor Serena Zacharias contributed to this report.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, online courses, petition, Student reactionslast_img read more

first_imgPhotos by Joe ScorsoneOn November 1, 2014, residents of Asheville, N.C., awoke to a chilly surprise: snow. For most folks in town, the Saturday snowfall was an opportunity to sleep late and recover from some Halloween revelry the night before. But for about 200 hardier souls, it was race day. The weather conditions were just another obstacle these runners would need to overcome in climbing 3,000 feet up a narrow, rugged 18-mile trail. When the starting gun sounded, more than a few runners let rip whoops of joy: They were looking forward to what lay ahead.Welcome to the Shut In Ridge Trail Run.A 35-Year TraditionThe origins of the Shut In date back to December 13, 1980, when some 64 intrepid men and women assembled to clamor over rocks, roots, and fallen leaves as they followed the trail of the same name originally blazed by George Vanderbilt that led from his home, Biltmore, to his hunting lodge up on Mount Pisgah. Runners have continued that tradition now for 35 years, making Shut In one of the oldest continuous-running races in the region.It’s also one of the most mysterious. People tend to learn about the race purely by word of mouth. Capped at 225 runners, Shut In has a sniff of exclusivity to it. Registration filled up in just four days in 2014, which is saying something because would-be runners need to fill in applications by hand and snail-mail them in, along with a check and a self-addressed envelope. Bibs are then awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis (though return runners are given priority), and lucky runners are notified by mail if they made the cut.There’s also the perception that completing the race is something like undertaking a Herculean task. If you’re at a craft brewery in the Asheville area and share the news that you ran Shut In, well, you’re pretty much guaranteed to impress even non-runners in earshot.Tim Epley, the former girl’s basketball coach at TC Roberson high school, was the one who originally dreamed up the idea of racing up Vanderbilt’s mountain path. Back in the late 1970s, Epley worked for the National Park Service as part of its Youth Conservation Corps, which put students to work during the summer building and restoring trails. After the Blue Ridge Parkway was built, park rangers were interested in adding trails that hikers could access via the new scenic byway. Epley’s crew’s job was to restore the Shut In Trail, which was named for the abundant rhododendron and mountain laurel shrubs that encase many sections of the trail.During lunch breaks, Epley would run through the woods for fun. “I would rather run trails than anywhere else,” says Epley, now 62, who retired from running in 1985 due to recurring issues with plantar fasciitis. “And I realized that the Shut In was a special place.”Epley was part of a group of about a dozen running aficionados who gathered every Wednesday at Frank’s Pizza to swap tales over cheesy slices and beer after running. One night, Epley brought up the idea of organizing a race on the trail he had been working on. “I thought we could maybe bill it as the Pikes Peak of the East,” Epley recalls. “It was a good trail to run, but I also thought it would be a great spectator race. People could leapfrog the runners at the different overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway and follow the entire race.”Runners climb steadily higher as the course hugs the ridgelines, doing their best to hop over sole-stabbing rocks and to maintain their balance as they skid over fallen leaves. Runners also crisscross the parkway several times, where they can meet up with support crews and enjoy spectacular vistas. While there are dips and downhills here and there, especially a steep spiraling descent that follows the apex of Ferrin Knob, which stands at 4,010 feet high, runners find the air becomes steadily thinner as they make their way up to the finish line at the base of Mount Pisgah, which sits at a cool 5,000 feet.Aside from knee scrapes, twisted ankles, and a few cases of mild hypothermia, Shut In runners over the years have avoided any major injuries. That fact speaks to both the kinds of runners the race attracts and the preparation they put into getting ready to tackle it.“You have to train for it,” says Norman Blair, the owner of Jus’ Running in Asheville and the race director for the past seven years. “Anybody can come off the couch and run a 5K. But a mile on the trail is not the same as running a mile on the road. It’s a lot longer and harder. If you can finish Shut In, it’s an achievement.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPHOTO BY JOE SCORSONEShut In runners also need to beat two time cut-offs along the route or face getting their race number pulled. “We can’t stop someone from running,” says Blair, “but we also don’t want to be waiting until midnight for someone to finish.” Blair says race organizers have also pulled runners off the trail over the years if they looked dazed or disoriented.Blair, who was a professional road racer before he bought Jus’ Running in 2002, ran Shut In himself ten times between 1988 and 1999. And while he acknowledges how challenging Shut In can be, he also thinks part of the appeal of the race is that runners don’t have to be elite to finish it. “It’s very accessible to the average person,” he says. “It’s held at a good time of year to run a long race. And because of how steep the trail is at points, you can actually walk faster than you can run. That’s why it’s an everyman and everywoman kind of race.”That combination of accessibility combined with a challenge helps explain why Shut In lures runners of all kinds who seek to push themselves to beyond their normal limits.Case in point: When Jenn Beck, 37, broke her ankle in a mountain biking accident a few years ago, she fell into a kind of depression as she was forced to lie around and wait for her body to heal. It was then that she vowed to run Shut In, something she considered to be an appropriately badass achievement to celebrate her recovery. When she eventually ran, and finished, the race in 2013, she told herself: “Now I’m in the big boy’s club.”There’s Something Addictive About ItOne of the race’s distinctive characteristics is the fact that so many people run it more than once. David Culp, for example, ran it 15 times—including once, in 1985, when he also served as race director.Michael Byer Jr. ran the race 10 times, five of them alongside his father, Mike Byer Sr., who owns an eponymous auto and truck repair shop in Asheville. “I lived for the challenge,” says Byer, Jr. “It was a way to keep your fitness in check. There was also a real sense of camaraderie among the runners who came back every year.”P1010937_FIXNo one has run every race over the years—though a few have come close. R.C. Cutler holds the distinction of running the first 25 iterations of the race—a streak he began at the age of 46. Others like Garry Sherman, 64; Keith Wood, 65; and Jim Clabuesch, 49, have all run it more than 20 times.The race has seen plenty of repeat champions as well, such as Adam Pinkston, Shiloh Meilke, and Jay Curwen. Curwen, now 48, first ran the course in 1984 as a seventeen-year-old high schooler, when he finished in 19th place. He would eventually win the race four times. Meilke ran his first Shut In in 2004, finishing 13th, before winning the race each of the next five years. His sister, Meadow Tarves, has also run the race several times—and won the women’s division in 2006, placing 11th overall. Then there’s Pinkston, who ran the race eight times, winning seven of them, including in 1984 when he ran with legendary speed and style: His fellow runners all but gawked at his punk-rock-style pink Mohawk as he sped away from them up the trail at a record-setting pace.But the current record holder for most Shut-In finishes is Chris Campbell, 50, who, if all goes well, will toe the starting line for his 30th stab at the Shut In in 2015.Campbell, who makes the 6.5-hour trek down from his home in Virginia to run Shut In, says he never intended to run the race as many times as he has. But it’s become something of a holiday for him, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, an event he looks forward to all year long.“It’s a chance to see if I’m still up for the challenge,” says Campbell. Campbell drove down to Asheville to run his first Shut In in 1984 while a student at Virginia Tech and a member of its track team.Campbell felt strong throughout his first crack at the race. He trailed only the leader, Pinkston, until he hit a pivotal point in the course some 15.5 miles in that begins after runners cross Route 151. That’s where the trail climbs some 1,000 feet of elevation over two miles at a 20 percent grade to finish up at the base of Mount Pisgah. “Those last two miles were definitely the hardest thing I had ever pushed myself through,” says Campbell, who finished in fifth place with a time of 2:40.24. “I remember being overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment that was so much greater than finishing a 5K or 10K, and I knew I had to come back and try again with better training.” Indeed, that final climb up to Mount Pisgah, which is as challenging mentally as it is physically, has always played a key role in the finish to the race. “I’ve won the race walking those final two miles and I have been beaten running them,” says Jay Curwen.While Campbell never won Shut In—he’s finished in the top 20 18 times—he came close in 1990. He remembers feeling strong as he crossed Route 151 and attacked the final climb like he never had before. Then, as he came around the last turn, which is actually part of a short but seriously steep descent toward the end, he looked up to see Roland Randall crossing the finish line. What he didn’t see, however, was that a new set of steps had been built into the hill. He instantly tripped and literally somersaulted across the finish line three seconds later, capping off the closest finish in Shut In history.Shut In runners have faced rain, sleet, and plenty of snow over the years. But the race was cut short only once, in 1991, thanks to a blizzard that blew some two feet of snow into the mountains—forcing Jim Curwen (Jay’s dad), the race director that year, to pull runners off the course after just 13 miles at the Stony Bald Overlook. “You could say I had the fastest winning time in Shut In history,” says Jay Curwen, who hit the overlook in 1:28:14.Last year, with the entire parkway closed due to the snow and ice encrusting it, race director Norman Blair had every reason to postpone the race. But this was Shut In. So Blair made the decision to press on with the race, only with a wrinkle: once runners reached Route 151, they would head downhill from there for four miles, for a total of about 20 miles, rather than finishing up on Mount Pisgah at the traditional 17.8 mile marker.While the downhill miles on the pavement were icy and steep—punishing the quads of the 184 runners who completed the race—it was still easier than finishing the traditional two-mile uphill climb, says Campbell. “We were lucky we got the race in at all,” he says.Over the years, the course route has actually seen some changes, which has created something of a debate around who owns the most impressive time among Shut In winners. Is it Adam Pinkston’s time of 2:11:35 on the original course, which was shorter but also trickier than today’s course? Or is it Shiloh Meilke’s time of 2:16:55 on the current and longer course, which he set in 2006? Aptly enough, Pinkston held the record on the newer route until Meilke first broke it in 2005—while sporting a pink Mohawk like Pinkston had in his own record-breaking run some twenty years earlier.The Future of the Shut In: Hopefully More of the SameIf there is a word that best describes Shut In it might be “tradition.” For as much as Asheville has changed over the past 35 years, so much of Shut In has stayed the same. The top finishers each year receive stained-glass trophies similar to those that were handed out back in 1980. As a nod to history, and unlike just about every other race out there, only those who finish the race receive (cotton) long-sleeve t-shirts. And there’s that archaic registration system—something Norman Blair admits he gets complaints about.Sure he could put everything online, says Blair. He’s even thought about advertising the race in national publications like Runners’ World like they did in the early years. But then registration would fill up in 10 minutes like other races in the area do. “I like the way we do it now,” says Blair. “You have to read and follow directions instead of just pushing a button. You have to try harder if you want to run Shut In.”Another thing that won’t change about Shut In is the size of the field—which will always be limited due to the permits issued by the parkway and forest services. That means that, as long as the permits get issued, running the Shut In each year will remain a special and unique accomplishment.“If you asked me back in 1980 if I thought the race would become as popular as it is,” says Tim Epley, “I would say yes. While I didn’t think they would have to eventually turn people away, I knew that if someone is serious about running, they want to say: ‘I ran Shut In.’”last_img read more

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Kyrah Klika’s family went through financial hardships when she was in high school, and she later struggled to work her way through college.Now, the Chippewa Falls Vice President at $1.2 billion asset WESTconsin Credit Union in Menomonie, Wis., is assisting those who face similar challenges by bringing awareness to poverty in the community and promoting affordable credit union services.“I wanted to bring light to this because we see poverty everywhere. It does describe some of our membership—those who we run into every day at the grocery store. Those are people who are living and working around us,” Klika tells the CUNA News Podcast. continue reading »last_img

first_imgThe chief executive of Denmark’s Industriens Pension has predicted that market returns will be lower in 2018 and volatility higher, after a buoyant 2017 for international financial markets.The pension fund, which covers the Nordic country’s industrial sector workers, reported an 8.2% return on its total investment portfolio for 2017 in preliminary financial results for the year. This amounted to DKK12.2bn (€1.64bn) in absolute terms.Last year’s result was boosted mainly by listed equities, with infrastructure and real estate generating 8.8% and 8.1% respectively, according to the data published.Laila Mortensen, chief executive of Industriens Pension, said: “The development of financial markets in 2017 was marked by a high level of global growth and continued very easy monetary policy.” Laila Mortensen, CEO, IndustriensShe added that slightly lower returns and greater fluctuations could be expected in 2018 compared to last year, when the markets were unusually stable and rose for most of the year.Market developments last year had contributed to securing a high return on equities and other risk assets, Mortensen said.“But it should also be mentioned that the return on stable, unlisted investments such as infrastructure and property has been very gratifying,” she added.Foreign listed shares, in which Industriens Pension has DKK33.8bn invested, produced a 15.3% return last year, topped by the return on domestic listed shares of 18.9%.The pension fund has DKK11bn in Danish listed equities.Government bonds generated 1.3%, and investment-grade corporate bonds produced 4.4%.Private equity, in which the pension fund has invested DKK16.5bn of its portfolio, returned 10.3%.Mortensen said the pension fund had generated an average annual return of 9.5% over the course of the past decade.Industriens Pension’s total assets under management rose to DKK165bn at the end of last year, from DKK157bn reported at the end of 2016.last_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts Pirlo not out to copy anyone after Juventus’ comfortable opening win Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Ings not interested in leaving Saints, Southampton manager says Paris Saint-Germain will line up a move to bring Pep Guardiola to the Parc des Princes to replace Thomas Tuchel, according to reports. Tuchel is believed to have fallen out with star men Kylian Mbappe and Neymar and a soured relationship will intensify the pressure on his position. The report goes on to add that should Guardiola swap Manchester for Paris, his former midfielder at Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez, could join him as his assistant. Guardiola’s current contract in Manchester  runs until the summer of 2021. But the break clause in his contract, which he has denied the existence of, allows him to depart at the end of this season. City are enduring an underwhelming defence of their Premier League title and find themselves 14 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, sat in third. But City officials are confident that, despite an underwhelming season to date which has seen City fall a hefty 14 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, Guardiola will honour his deal. Only last month Guardiola, 48, said he was “open” to a new contract. This season is his fourth at City. Previously, Guardiola spent four years at Barcelona, winning La Liga three times and the Champions League twice. After a break he joined Bayern Munich, where he spent three years, winning the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons. After succeeding Manuel Pellegrini in 2016, Guardiola led City to back-to-back Premier League titles after finishing third in his first year.Tags: Kylian MbappeManchester CityPep GuardiolaPremier Leaguelast_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts Club’s server collapses over ticket demand for first Bundesliga game in 11 years Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Granit Xhaka has agreed terms with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, according to the Arsenal midfielder’s agent. Sky Germany reported last week that Hertha head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was eager to sign Xhaka in January, and Sky Sports News understands talks between the two clubs are continuing. It is understood Arsenal are looking to recoup as much of the £35m they paid Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016, but Xhaka’s agent José Noguera is hopeful a move can be concluded. Noguera said: “Look, I say it frankly and honestly: we agree with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin. We told Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sports director Edu – as well as the new trainer Mikel Arteta. ” He added: “Arsenal was informed about all the steps, the player and Hertha are clear. It is only about the transfer fee of the clubs.” Xhaka started new head coach Arteta’s first game in charge, a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth on Boxing Day. Arteta, who was previously assistant manager at Manchester City, even recommended his former club sign Xhaka before he moved to Arsenal. However, the Swiss international looks set for a move away from the Emirates after a controversial few months which included being stripped as club captain for gesturing towards and swearing at fans while being booed off against Crystal Palace. Hertha currently sit 12th in the Bundesliga, just four points off the relegation play-off place. Arteta said the attitude of his Arsenal players was “spot on” after they fought back to salvage a draw at Bournemouth on his managerial debut. He said: “I’m very pleased with some of the things I’ve seen in terms of attitude, character, the passion we showed, and the fight and the spirit the team showed. “[It was] spot on, probably better than I expected over 90 minutes. “A lot of things that happened in the game we prepared, I think they understood them and they tried to take them on board and we liked the final product at the end. “I was worried what would have happened if we conceded a goal, and we did, and I was very pleased with the character they showed, how they came in at half-time, their faces, their reactions, how much they wanted it. “Because normally when they are in this process and you concede a goal, belief goes down and a lot of things that have happened in the past can come back. “And it didn’t happen, it happened completely the opposite side and that’s a real positive to take on board.”Tags: ArsenalBundesligaGranit XhakaHertha BerlinJurgen Klinsmannlast_img read more

first_imgRelatedPosts Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Chelsea sink Brighton to make winning start Chelsea have reportedly identified Queens Park Rangers midfielder Eberechi Eze as a potential addition during the January transfer window. With their transfer ban having previously been lifted, Chelsea are free to make new signings at the midway point of the campaign, armed with funds raised from the sales of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. While Frank Lampard is said to be eyeing established world-class players, it appears that the Blues are also considering moves for prospects who they feel have the potential to make the step-up at Stamford Bridge. According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea hold an interest in Eze after the playmaker’s impressive performances for QPR in the Championship. The 21-year-old has contributed nine goals and four assists this season, leading to the youngster being regarded as one of the top talents outside of the Premier League. Eze has just over 18 months remaining on his contract at Loftus Road.Tags: Alvaro MorataChelseaEbere EzeEden Hazardlast_img read more

first_img…Arsenal’s Wenger to soon reveal his future after lossBy Ian ChadbandLONDON,(Reuters)-Chelsea continued their seemingly irresistible surge towards regaining the Premier League title as a late Gary Cahill goal saw them snatch a 2-1 win at Stoke City on Saturday to move a provisional 13 points clear at the top.The latest triumph for Antonio Conte’s unstoppable charges came after London rivals Arsenal’s season continued to unravel with a third straight 3-1 away league defeat, this time at West Bromwich Albion.The Gunners’ fourth loss in five league games raised further questions about the future of under-pressure manager Arsene Wenger, who announced intriguingly afterwards: “I know what I will do. You will soon know”.Conte had been without the in-form Eden Hazard through injury for what always promised to be an awkward fixture for Chelsea at Stoke and, just as they had recently held Manchester City at home, the Potters again made life difficult.Willian put the leaders ahead after 13 minutes thanks to a blunder by Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant but Jon Walters equalised with a penalty before halftime after being fouled by Cahill.The England defender made amends in the 87th minute with a deserved winner and, after Phil Bardsley had been sent off for Stoke in added time, Conte celebrated with his staff on the touchline as Chelsea moved on to 69 points, leaving all the pressure on their nearest pursuers who play on Sunday.Second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who host Southampton, and third-placed Manchester City, who welcome fourth-placed Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium, now both have to win just to get back within 10 points of the leaders.WENGER PROTESTSArsenal’s defeat came amid more protests from some of the more vociferous of the Gunners’ faithful about Wenger as the manager acknowledged that his side were in the middle of “a unique bad patch” in his two-decade managerial reign.After dismal defending saw West Brom’s Craig Dawson head home twice from corners in a convincing win for Tony Pulis’s men, Wenger told reporters: “We lose game after game at the moment and that for me is much more important than my future.”Yet as the debates about his prospects became ever louder — one airplane trailed a banner over the ground that declared “Wenger Out” while another trumpeted “In Arsene We Trust” — the Frenchman said he would clarify his future soon.His team, though, now look in serious jeopardy of not enjoying a 20th successive season of Champions League football in 2017-18 — and if Manchester United win at Middlesbrough on Sunday, Arsenal, currently fifth on 50 points, will drop to sixth, two points behind Jose Mourinho’s men.Basement club Sunderland were held 0-0 at home to poor travellers Burnley, while third-bottom Hull City were trounced 4-0 by Everton, for whom league-leading scorer Romelu Lukaku scored twice in added time, taking his season’s tally to 21.The Belgian became the first Toffees’ striker to hit 20 league goals in a season, since Gary Lineker 31 years ago, though his goals were bitter-sweet for Everton fans who know he could leave after this week rejecting a new contract offer.Leicester City’s remarkable resurgence under new manager Craig Shakespeare continued with a fourth successive win under his stewardship since Claudio Ranieri’s sacking.The champions won 3-2 at West Ham United with first-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth and Jamie Vardy for their first league success away from home all season.Shakespeare, the first Premier League manager to oversee a side scoring three goals in his first three matches in charge, was “intensely proud” of the results his players had gleaned.Like Leicester, Crystal Palace eased their worries with a third straight win, 1-0 at home to Watford through Troy Deeney’s own goal, suggesting master escapologist Sam Allardyce can maintain his record of never suffering a Premier League relegation.After Swansea City’s recent revival under Paul Clement was checked with a 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth in the late game, the bottom five teams are now Sunderland on 20 points, Middlesbrough 22, Hull 24, Swansea 27 and Crystal Palace 28.last_img read more