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Alum named U.S. Ambassador

first_imgGeneva to Quebec City, Lisbon to Maputo, Rabat, Geneva, Port-au-Prince and Guayaquil. Ambassador Douglas Griffiths, a member of the Class of 1986, has traveled the world as a part of the United States Foreign Service corps, representing U.S. interests abroad. President Barack Obama appointed Griffiths to his current post as American ambassador to Mozambique in March of this year. Griffiths said his skill set allowed him to contribute to the advancement of U.S. interests in global health, refugee and migration affairs, but of all his time in the corps two periods stand out. “I was fortunate to work on the South Africa desk at the State Department just after Nelson Mandela’s election and during the transition to democracy. I had front row seats for an exhilarating moment in history and had the honor of working closely with an inspiring group of South Africans,” Griffiths said. “Serving as Deputy Chief of Mission and acting Ambassador in Haiti during its own return to democracy was another high note.” “Although my family was evacuated due to violence and instability, it was a privilege to lead a dedicated group of Haitians and Americans at the Embassy who brought essential services to the Haitian people in difficult conditions.” From 2006 to 2009, Griffiths served as the principal officer at the consulate general in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and since 2009 Griffiths has been the deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva.  Griffiths said this time in Geneva was formative and allowed him to explore his interests in international humanitarian development. “It was particularly rewarding to advance U.S. interests in global health, refugee and migration affairs and economic development,” Griffiths said.  “I enjoy the challenge of multilateral diplomacy, negotiating complex agreements with a constantly changing constellation of interlocutors.” January will mark his 25th year in the Foreign Service, but his desire to serve others originated much earlier, Griffiths said. “I studied government at Notre Dame and spent a year in Angers, [France], so Notre Dame gave me great formal preparation for the Foreign Service. … Notre Dame’s emphasis on service very much guided my career choice,” Griffiths said. “I learned of the Foreign Service through a dorm-mate who was registering to take the Foreign Service exam. … Diplomacy has been a perfect match for me, I love changing jobs every two to three years as we rotate around the world.” As American Ambassador in Mozambique, Griffiths said he works to build a prosperous, stable and democratic Mozambique “I lead an embassy of over 100 American and Mozambican colleagues joined by almost 200 Peace Corps volunteers,” Griffiths said. “We have an ambitious development cooperation program in Mozambique and we are making impressive strides in fostering economic growth, reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS, stimulating rural development and improving education. “Mozambique has had a decade of impressive economic growth, therefore we are working hard to improve the prospects for American companies here, leading to job creation in both countries.” The goal for the American Embassy in Mozambique is to help the people recover from a long war waged to win independence from Portugal and a brutal civil war, Griffiths said.   “With enormous reserves of coal and natural gas, Mozambique is on the brink of significant economic development. … Our goal is to help Mozambique invest those resources productively in their people,” Griffiths said.  “Despite economic growth and investment development in the major cities, human development indicators remain very low.  We’re collaborating closely with Mozambican officials and private and faith-based organizations to ensure that economic growth translates into improved living standards.” Griffiths said the collaboration with American partners is particularly strong, because all involved parties want to attract American companies to Mozambique to create jobs in both countries. Griffiths is based in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo.  He mostly interacts with senior government officials, business people, opinion leaders and other representatives of civil society.  Communicating with community leaders is very easy because the embassy-workers and national partners all speak Portuguese, Griffiths said. “It is easy to form strong partnerships,” Griffiths said.  “However, when traveling up country only the most educated people speak fluent Portuguese, so we depend on local partners to communicate in the 13 main indigenous languages.  My wife Alicia has started studying Shangana, the dominate language in Southern Mozambique.  I’ll start in the new year, once I’m finished shaking off the vestiges of Spanish from my Portuguese.” Griffiths said he also makes an effort to travel to the development cooperative sites so that he can see the results of decisions for himself. “Last month I drove north to visit some of our aid projects,” Griffiths said.  “At every site we were greeted with songs of celebration … with relatively small investments we are transforming lives and communities.  I feel very fortunate to see these tangible contributions of American foreign assistance and to feel the gratitude of our partners.” His family has assimilated into the country very easily, Griffiths said.   “The climate is just about perfect, and the capital Maputo is charming.  Mozambique is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and spectacular savannahs,” Griffiths said.  “Our two teenaged daughters, true global nomads, are delighted to be back in an area where community service can be an important part of our lives.” Contact Nicole Michels at [email protected]last_img read more

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Le Mans celebrates Feast of the Annunciation with 24-hour adoration

first_imgA 24-hour adoration for the Feast of the Annunciation began last night in Holy Spirit Chapel, Le Mans Hall at Saint Mary’s and will continue until 6 p.m. this evening.Freshman Julie Weilbaker engendered this event and said  students from Notre Dame and Holy Cross are welcome to join in prayer to commemorate the Annunciation.“God truly is so good to us and gives Mary to each of us to be the mother of us all,” Weilbaker said. “This is a chance for us to reciprocate that gift and invite the other campuses to come to Jesus here at Saint Mary’s. I always love to be able to celebrate the feast with as many people as possible.”Weilbaker said Annunciation is the highest Marian feast day, for it celebrates Mary’s acceptance of God’s plan to give her a son.“Human history centers around this moment when God became man, out of pure love for us,” Weilbaker said. “Our only response can be to adore Him and love Him as best we can. Jesus is constantly calling to us, waiting for us to give Him even the slightest glance and return the love that He gives to us every moment of our lives.”The adoration itself will allow students to do just that, as Weilbaker said it involves a variety of prayers and songs in honor of Mary. According to Weilbaker, each hour will begin with a different prayer, including the four mysteries of the rosary, litanies to Mary and meditations.“We wanted to incorporate some of our Holy Cross traditions by including one of the meditations written by Fr. Basil Moreau and a few poems to the Blessed Virgin written by Sr. Madeleva [Wolff],” Weilbaker said. “When we celebrate the Annunciation and honor Mary, she gives that glory to God, and it is magnified.”Weilbaker said her past participation in 24-hour adorations at her home parish, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, led her to suggest this idea to Campus Ministry. She encourages peers who wish to set up similar events to pray for Mary’s intercession and to remain persistent.“The idea just kind of came to me as I was walking out of the chapel,” Weilbaker said. “It seemed like such a simple but profound way to honor Our Lady, the patroness of our school. I just went to our chaplain Fr. John Pearson and mentioned the idea to him, and he was very willing to help me as much as possible to make sure that it happened.”Pearson said he encourages students to become involved with Campus ministry so they can share their ideas with faith.“Campus Ministry is open to proposals that are appropriate and that we have the resources to meet,” Pearson said. “Students proposed this opportunity and worked hard to make it happen.”He said students should attend the 24-hour adoration to celebrate Mary’s commitment to God and to relate to her on a spiritual level.“It took the assent of a woman even younger than our students to make possible the incarnation,” Pearson said. “That makes it a feast especially attractive to young women growing in their faith.”Tags: Adoration, Feast of the Annunciation, Holy Spirit Chapellast_img read more

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Saint Mary’s speaker addresses intimacy and dating

first_imgKerry Cronin, the associate director of The Lonergan Institute at Boston College, spoke at Saint Mary’s on Monday about the search for the other and the meaning of intimacy.Cronin said that she was invited to Saint Mary’s to speak about sexuality in the dating and hookup culture on college campuses nationwide, through a Catholic lense.Cronin said she sends her own students on dating assignments and uses the assignments as practices of intimacy and vulnerability then asks them to write reflections about their experience. “Within the reflections, there were really important themes about intimacy; however, there tended to be a bit of a gender divide,” Cronin said. Cronin said that when it comes to being intimate, it can be challenging. She said the reflections she received were full of regret for not being more open when they had the opportunity to create intimacy.“We have very few ideas about how to go about finding intimacy,” Cronin said.Even though it can be hard to find, Cronin said people have examples of intimacy within relationships throughout their lives in their relationships with family, friends, significant others and God.Cronin said she defines intimacy as a certain type of closeness between two people in any relationship.  “Intimacy is a type of closeness in which much of ourselves, both hidden and not, are clearly expressed and are received by another person,” she said. “It is where many parts of ourselves are being seen and are allowed to be articulated and valued.”Cronin said people also must treat the other person the same way in order for intimacy to come about. “We must be where we can see, allow and value all parts of the other,” she said. “What is stopping us from intimacy is our inability to let the other person be other.”In order to achieve full intimacy, Cronin said that we must be aware of the high and low frequencies of intimacy. High frequency is the fast paced, new intimacy that overlooks the flaws and annoyances of a person one loves. She said the low frequency intimacy comes when everything has calmed down and a person sees the flaws of the other but loves them anyway.“American culture makes us addicts of intensity: We only want the rush of intensity,” she said. “[However,] intimacy often has long stretches of road.”Cronin said that intimacy is possible to achieve with anyone if people open their eyes to others.“Intimacy is the ability to see who is right in front of us and to let ourselves be seen.”Tags: intimacy, love, relationships, SMClast_img read more

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Student athletes reflect on College careers

first_imgFour Saint Mary’s senior athletes spoke Thursday about their experiences with sports and their growth at Saint Mary’s, as part of the “Why We Play” series. Ali Mahoney, a golfer for all four years she has been at Saint Mary’s, said she started playing golf when she was four years old, but never planned on playing in college. Still, Mahoney had always wanted to come to Saint Mary’s, she said, and the Division III team seemed like a good fit. “I knew I wanted to be part of this tradition,” she said. “Division III would allow me to play and allow me to have all the other experiences I wanted.” Mahoney said she could not imagine not being a student athlete. “There is nothing I love more than being able to wear a french cross on my hat,” Mahoney said. “I was able to continue playing a sport I love at an institution I love.”Aspen Davis has played basketball all four years — despite a series of injuries that frequently kept her from the court. She said her fondest memory is the first game this past season, when she finally made it past her injuries. “It was the first time since my senior year of high school I felt like I was where I was supposed to be,” Davis said. “[It] felt almost as natural as breathing. … Basketball has made me a better person and has given me a countless number of things I am forever going to be grateful for.”Caitlyn Migawa said softball has always been a part of her.“I played because it was my first love,” she said. After four years on the Saint Mary’s team, Migawa is now also a full-time student teacher.“How can I have practically a full-time job while playing a sport? The answer is simple: I love it,” Migawa said. “For the two hours I have that ball in my hand I feel no worries. I feel no stress, I am not tired. I don’t think of any students, or any work or anything else. Deep down I play for one reason — I play because it is who I am.”Lacrosse player Shannen Weyer said she already knew she wanted to come to school at Saint Mary’s, and the new lacrosse team sealed the deal for her. “Playing lacrosse here has given me so many opportunities and has entirely changed my college career,” she said.As she finishes out her final season, Weyer said her team is the main reason she has loved the sport so much during her time at Saint Mary’s. “I made friends that I will have forever,” she said. “This team has come so far since my very first year, and I feel unbelievably honored to have been part it for the past four years.”Tags: SMC Basketball, SMC Golf, SMC Lacrosse, SMC Softball, student athletelast_img read more

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SMC alumna receives Fulbright Grant to teach English in Mongolia

first_imgSaint Mary’s class of 2016 alumna Eleanor Jones was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship Tuesday. Jones, who majored in global studies during her time at the College, received the English Teaching Assistant Fulbright Grant in Mongolia.According to a College press release, Jones is one of 1,900 U.S. citizens to travel abroad for the 2017-2018 school year through this program. She is also the ninth Saint Mary’s students to receive this scholarship since 1965.“I will be working at the Mongolian University of Life Sciences as an English Teaching Assistant,” Jones said in an email. “I still can’t believe that I received the grant.”According to the press release, Jones graduated manga cum laude in 2016. She received the Outstanding Senior Award from the Saint Mary’s Alumnae Association. During her time at Saint Mary’s, she led a food recovery program which donated unused food from the dining hall to the Center for the Homeless in South Bend and partnered with Dining Services to start a composting program.Jones said she worked closely with Dr. Laura Elder, the College’s Fulbright Advisor, to complete the application, which consists of a personal essay, a purpose of grant statement and academic transcripts.Jones said Saint Mary’s offered an abundance of intercultural experiences, which helped her on her path.“During my time at Saint Mary’s there were many opportunities to practice intercultural competency: the Intercultural Leadership Portfolio Program, my study abroad experience in South Africa, participation in the SUSI Program, working in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership office, and, of course, my global studies coursework,” she said. “The experiences were what inspired me to apply for the Fulbright and, I believe, helped in my success in being awarded a grant.“I really appreciate all the professors who have supported me throughout my time at Saint Mary’s and their continued support after my graduation.”Jones said she has been in South Africa since August volunteering with the Open Arms Home for Children.“It has been a wonderful learning experience,” she said. “I feel so fortunate to be able to continue traveling and learning about new cultures through this Fulbright.” Tags: Eleanor Jones, fulbright grants, Mongolialast_img read more

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Local County Chamber Of Commerce Holding Special Meeting For Businesses

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Image.JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is holding a special meeting Monday afternoon to help local businesses learn more about resources available to them during the novel Coronavirus outbreak.  The meeting will take place from 3:30 to 4 p.m. via LogMeIn’s GoToMeeting platform. Local businesses can also dial into the meeting by calling 1 (408) 650-3123 using the access code 410-709-597.Last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo mandated that all non-essential businesses decrease their internal workforce by 100% in an effort to help stop the spread of the virus.Since then, the state has called on local businesses to help aid the virus fight in any way they can. Cuomo called on health care professionals, schools of public health or medicine, and PPE product providers and manufacturers to come forward to support the state’s response.A statewide disaster declaration has been approved which allows eligible small businesses to apply for Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Businesses can get free assistance to prepare EIDL applications online.The County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency has also established an Emergency Working Capital Loan Program.There are also a variety of resources emerging that could be useful to local business’s employees. Various questions have been posed regarding how to help employees apply for unemployment insurance as well as questions regarding shared work. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce has setup a special webpage to answer those questions.last_img read more

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Pandemic Highlights Big Box Stores’ Ability To Pivot

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN Image.NEW YORK — Late last year, Best Buy began testing curbside pickup at select stores as a way to respond to customer needs.But that was then.The pandemic accelerated the company’s plans and what was supposed to take months instead took just 48 hours, with Best Buy rolling out curbside pickup at nearly all of its 1,000 locations in late March as customers sought to minimize contagion by ordering online and pulling up to stores to collect their purchases.That made all the difference, enabling Best Buy to retain 81% of last year’s sales in the first quarter even with its stores closed to shoppers, according to the company’s earnings release Thursday. “There are scenarios we plan for as business leaders, and then there are events that simply do not have a playbook,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry told analysts Thursday. “This is one of those times.”It’s the latest example of how big box stores like Best Buy as well as Target, Walmart and others were able to capitalize on their digital expertise and stay relevant during the pandemic. As a result, they thrived during the fiscal first quarter.Meanwhile, Macy’s and other mall-based clothing chains like Victoria’s Secret struggled to adapt. Macy’s sales were down 45% and the company says it could have a loss of at least $1 billion in the quarter. In contrast to Best Buy, it took Macy’s nine weeks starting in late March to introduce curbside pickup at 300 stores, or about 40% of all of its stores.To be sure, Macy’s sells clothing and other merchandise that shoppers aren’t necessarily clamoring for in the middle of a pandemic while Best Buy offers items like computers and other electronics that suddenly became indispensable as more people began working from home. Macy’s was also quicker to offer curbside pickup compared with its department store peers.Still, it shows how the pandemic is deepening the divide between big box stores and mall-based clothing chains. UBS predicts 100,000 store closings by 2025. Already, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Stages Stores and J.C. Penney have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the last month. Victoria’s Secret said that it will be closing 250 stores — about a quarter of its fleet — in the next few months.“The divide was already widening between the big box operators and mall-based retailers,” said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics. “The pandemic is now pushing it to the brink.”Perkins said big box retailers have it in their “DNA to adjust quickly and were very early to adapt online early on their business.”“Department stores conversely have been very slow to change,” he said. “Their business model has deteriorated.”Perkins said that so far non-mall based stores are on track to post first-quarter earnings drop of 20.5%. That compares to mall-based chains, which are seeing earnings down more than three-fold, according to his roster of 103 retailers.Walmart and Target, both of which were considered essential and were allowed to stay open because they carried items like toilet paper and groceries, reported soaring online sales and strong store sales while using their stores as distribution hubs.Target’s CEO Brian Cornell said its stores were directly involved in supplying goods for 80% of online sales. Same-day services such as curbside pickup nearly tripled. Walmart, meanwhile, used about 2,500 stores to ship online orders. Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison credited its recent move to revamp its outdated online site months ago to move quickly to curbside pickup at its stores.Analysts are closely watching shoppers’ behavior and their willingness to go back to the stores that are reopening.TJX Cos., which operates T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods and Marshalls and is usually one of the retail darlings, took a beating because it was forced to temporarily close its stores and its fledgling online business. But the company sees “strong initial” sales from the stores that have reopened, and analysts believe the chain will bounce back. Its online site is now live.Kohl’s said this week that sales had slumped more than 40% and it lost money in its first quarter. But its CEO Michelle Gass believes the chain will fare better than its peers since most of its stores are at strip centers. So far, it’s reopened about 50% of its 1,100 stores across the country.Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said sales at the stores that have reopened have been “moderately higher than anticipated.” Earlier this month, he expected the reopened stores would generate less than 20% of their typical activity in the beginning stages.Macy’s has acknowledged that it will emerge from the pandemic a smaller company. It began to reopen its stores early this month and about 190 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s locations were operating in one form or another as of this week. It expects another 80 Macy’s stores to open for Memorial Day weekend and most of its stores, including its flagship stores in Manhattan, to open in mid-June.Sales, the New York department store said in a preliminary report could plummet to around $3 billion from the $5.5 billion in sales booked just a year ago. It said it would likely swing to a quarterly loss of between $905,000 and $1.1 billion. It reported a steady uptick in its online business in April, but only partially offset the loss of store sales.Macy’s had a profit of $203 million in last year’s first quarter, which ended on May 2.The company will release more details about its quarterly performance early next month.last_img read more

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Chautauqua County Jobless Rate Rises Slightly To 11.2 Percent

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) ALBANY — New York State’s unemployment rate continued to rise and was up slightly in Chautauqua County, but remained lower locally than in April.The latest available numbers for the county are for June. The county rate was 15.7 percent in April, 10.9 percent in May and ticked up slightly in the latest numbers, up to 11.2 percent.New York’s unemployment rate reached 15.9 percent in July even as the private sector added jobs last month, the state Department of Labor reported.The state saw an increase of 244,200 jobs, a 3.6% increase in July. But issues remains as the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession lingers across the economy. Unemployment outside of New York City saw an increase from June to July, growing from 12.2 percent to 13.1 percent.last_img read more

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Man Dies In Cattaragus County Crash

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) WNY News Now Stock Image.LITTLE VALLEY – A 44-year-old Cattaragus man died during a crash on Route 353 in Little Valley Saturday evening.The Cattaragus County Sheriff’s Office says the man, who was not identified, lost control of his 2020 Dodge Challenger just after 6:30 p.m.Deputies say the man then hit a guard rail before swerving into the oncoming lane, striking a vehicle.The Challenger then exited the roadway and crashed into a nearby field. Deputies say the man was pronounced dead at the scene and no other injuries were reported in the crash.The Little Valley Fire Department and Seneca EMS assisted at the scene.last_img read more

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Loot Celebrates a Naughty Opening Night Off-Broadway

first_img Directed by Jesse Berger, the cast of Loot includes Rebecca Brooksher as Fay, Eric Martin Brown as Meadows, Jarlath Conroy as McLeavy, Ryan Garbayo as Dennis, Rocco Sisto as Truscott and Nick Westrate as Hal. The McLeavy’s are in mourning, but young Hal and his partner-in-crime need someplace to stash their loot. When Scotland Yard’s finest comes sniffing about, no one escapes suspicion, from the naughty nurse to dear old gardening dad. And where did Mrs. McLeavy’s body go? Orton’s wicked stew of Oscar Wilde and Kafka is sexy, sharp-witted, and shocking. Beware of sticky fingers off-Broadway, because the revival of Joe Orton’s dark comedy Loot opens January 16. Presented by Red Bull Theater, the dark British satire will play a limited engagement at the Lucille Lortel Theater through February 9. Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 9, 2014 Related Shows Loot View Commentslast_img read more

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