Professor emeritus dies at 89

first_imgJaime Juan José Bellalta, professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, died March 20 at his home in Brookline, Mass. He was 89 years old. A native of Santiago, Chile, Bellalta joined the architecture faculty at Notre Dame in 1976 after teaching architecture and urban design at his alma mater, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, from 1968 to 1975. His wife, the late Esmée Bellalta, was also a member of the Notre Dame faculty. Throughout his career as an architect, researcher and professor, Bellalta was especially focused on the design and development of affordable and low-income housing. His interest in this area of work stemmed from his commitments to Catholic faith and social justice, according to a University press release. After studying at the Pontificia Universidad Católica, Bellalta also studied at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the University of London. He also practiced privately during those years and served as director of Chile’s National Urban Renewal Agency and as executive director of the Academy of Christian Humanism. Bellalta’s award-winning design for the Benedictine monastery in Las Condes, Santiago, is one of Chile’s National Historic Architectural Monuments. Bellalta is survived by 10 children, 28 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A Mass in his memory will be celebrated today at 9:30 a.m. in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to the Holy Cross Missions, P.O. Box 543, Notre Dame, IN, 46556.last_img read more

Women’s Boxing Club emphasizes service

first_imgThe Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Club trains women to fight – and to serve. Through their annual Baraka Bouts tournament, club members raise money to send to two schools in Uganda, team co-president Katherine Leach said. “Baraka means blessing in Swahili, and we have had a longstanding relationship with the Holy Cross missions in Uganda through Bengal Bouts,” Leach said. “We donate the money we raise to two schools in Uganda.” Team co-captain Ragan Todd said the club has a dual focus, a fact many students are not aware of. “We really want to emphasize that this is not just an athletic club, but a service club as well,” Todd said. “A lot of girls started out getting into it because they thought it would be a great workout, but sending money over is a huge part.” To qualify for the upcoming two-day tournament that begins Nov. 5, women must complete physical training with the team and meet a fundraising requirement, Leach said. “We have a minimum of $250 fundraising each year per girl, which includes a variety of methods: selling tickets, placing ads in our program [and] things on our own,” Leach said. Leach said the team also raises money through participation in the Power 24 Hour, the club’s signature fundraising event. “We also have our newly instated Power 24 Hour – last year was our first year [running the event for 24 hours instead of one hour] and we more than doubled what we did in any previous year … we will be running it again this Friday,” she said. During the event, the team solicits donations by exercising together, Todd said. “We have girls out in front of South Dining Hall in shifts doing pushups, jumping jacks and sit ups … raising money and collecting donations from people,” Todd said. The Power 24 Hour attracts a lot of attention, Todd said. “We try to do it on home football weekends to target the alumni … trying to get donations from college students probably is not going to be as successful as getting donations from people who have graduated and come back to campus,” Todd said. “Usually we see a lot of curiosity and confusion and then when they find out what it is a lot of incredulous looks; it’s fun to be able to explain [our mission] to people who don’t know what we’re doing.” The club raised a total of $20,000 last year, its highest total ever. “$20,000 is a huge thing, even bigger for the communities we help,” Leach said. “I just remember how much it means to each individual student and to each school as a whole … being able to remain a highly respected institution, to give these kids the resources that they need so that they can stay in school, to not have to make kids commute impossible distances so that they can support themselves.” Leach said the club focuses intensely on maintaining its charitable purpose. “We try to make sure the girls are reminded for why we do these things – just this week we had Fr. Alobo with Holy Cross who has worked over there [talk to the team] about his experience,” Leach said. “He thanked them for their participation and encouraged them in their efforts … we also have captains who have visited the schools talk.” Fr. Leonard Olobo, director of the Holy Cross Mission Center, was born in Uganda and served as the district steward in East Africa for the Center for Social Concerns from 2003 to 2009. Leach said she hopes to see the club continue growing in size and strength. “We hope to increase the amount of participation in the club – this will be our tenth Baraka Bouts year, and just the fact that we made it this long and that the club still seems to be growing year by year is huge,” Leach said. “The amount of boxing and technical skill the girls have is incredible and keeps increasing, just as the donation amounts keep increasing.”last_img read more

Event promotes safe driving

first_img “Women’s Health brought the idea to SGA, and we felt that it was a great idea,” she said. “We think the texting while driving simulation is especially worthwhile because it is something that is gaining more attention across the country.” The event, co-sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and Women’s Health, Saint Mary’s health services center, is intended to increase awareness about drunk driving and texting while driving. Parsons said that while there is no set speaker or planned discussion, students are able to stop by the “Arrive Alive” at any point during the afternoon to participate in the simulator, ask questions or get more information about UNITE. She expects students to gain a new level of respect for the importance of not taking part in risky driving behaviors and the simulator is an effective way to help spread this message. “[SGA] hopes that students learn of the consequences that can come from drinking and driving as well as texting while driving,” she said. “I think anytime you allow students to physically participate in something, the message is better understood.” “As college students, it is always important to remind students of the dangers of drinking and driving.” “I think texting while driving is especially important for students to understand the consequences of because it is a more recent problem with the increase in technology over the last decade,” senior student body president Maureen Parsons said. “People are now tweeting, using Facebook and emailing while driving. It is important for students to understand what can happen and the risks of texting and driving. “With the simulation, student will be able to truly experience what it feels like and what can happen drinking and driving or texting while driving,” Parsons said. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 3,000 people were killed as a result of drivers sending text messages while behind the wheel in 2010. In the same year, more than 10,000 people were killed due to drivers getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, the equivalent of one crash every 51 minutes. These statistics lead Women’s Health and Parsons to bring “Arrive Alive” to campus. The event will feature a car simulation to help participants to get an idea of what it is physically like to drive while drunk or texting. The presenting company, UNITE, is a top health and wellness organization in the country. UNITE visits schools and universities to educate students of all ages across the nation about the risks of distracted driving. Parsons said she is thankful to Women’s Health for bringing the concept to SGA’s attention. Students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to experience distracted driving firsthand at the “Arrive Alive” present Tuesday at the Student Center atrium. “Arrive Alive” will take place Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Student Center atrium.last_img read more

Second fire in almost three months hits College

first_imgFor the second time in less than three months, Moreau Hall on Saint Mary’s campus caught fire Sunday night. Saint Mary’s Security and Notre Dame Fire Department were alerted of a fire in the O’Laughlin Auditorium on Sunday night at 10:59 p.m., according to a press release from director of media relations Gwen O’Brien. “Security officers were the first to respond to the alarm and found the curtains at stage left on fire,” the press release stated. “The sprinkling system above the curtains was working and a security officer used a fire extinguisher to further contain the fire.” When the Notre Dame Fire Department arrived at the scene, they found the curtains were still on fire, according to the release. “Clay Fire Territory and the South Bend Fire Department also responded to the call,” the release stated. “No one was in the auditorium when security and the fire crews arrived. The cause of the fire is under investigation.” The College notified students of the fire around 7 a.m. Monday via text, email and phone call with an automated voice recording. The messages also let students know that classes in Moreau were cancelled for the day. Senior Mariah Niedbalski learned of the fire through social media before she had heard from the College. “Around midnight I saw a friends Facebook status saying ‘I survived the great Moreau fire, again?’” Niedbalski said. “Our school didn’t send out an ’emergency alert’ until 7:45 a.m. the next day. It’s just not safe that our security doesn’t alert us when something as major as a building being on fire happens.” Niedbalski called Saint Mary’s Security around 2 a.m. to see if classes would still be held in Moreau on Monday. “They told me that they did not know how bad the fire was but said we probably wouldn’t be allowed in the building today,” Niedbalski said. “Which is odd seeing that they are security and should know these things right away.” Once Niedbalski knew her classes would be cancelled for the day, she said she knew the damage was minor. “All my classes are in Moreau on Mondays but my professors didn’t seem too worried since the fire started in O’Laughlin and not any of the classrooms,” Niedbalski said. A building that houses multiple majors, Moreau is a central location for many students and professors on campus. Colleen Fitzpatrick, a communication studies professor whose office is located in the basement of Moreau Hall, said she fortunately did not need to enter the building Monday morning. “I was surprised that it has happened twice in only a year,” Fitzpatrick said. “I was notified around 7 a.m. just like the students. The emergency system is up and running, which is always a good sign. I’m hopeful that everything is okay since I have not been in the building yet.” Senior Emily Caltrider, who lives in the Opus Apartments on campus, was still awake when she and her roommates heard sirens coming towards the College. “We figured there was an accident on 933, but then we saw that the fire trucks were on campus and heading towards Holy Cross,” Caltrider said. “We initially thought it was Holy Cross on fire. We were curious as to what was happening, and since we had all lived in Holy Cross the past three years we hopped into the car to see if we could get on the Avenue to check it out.” Caltrider and her roommates were able to make it to the Avenue where they saw several lights. Once closer to the buildings, Caltrider said she realized it was Moreau that had caught on fire. “Fire trucks surrounded the building and the doors in the back were opened with smoke spilling out,” she said. “The fire in Moreau is an unfortunate event for the Saint Mary’s community. It is sad that this is the second fire in that building this year, and that more precautions in preventing such an incident from happening weren’t taken the first time that this happened.” Caltrider, like many other students, faculty and staff as well as the rest of the community, said she is curious to find out what actually caused the fire and what certain precautions could have been taken to avoid this incident from occurring. “I feel for all the [Saint Mary’s] students that have made memories over the years performing on that stage,” Caltrider said. “We hope that Tostal will still be able to take place this spring.”last_img read more

Landscapers decorate for the holidays

first_imgChristmas starts in October for Notre Dame Landscaping Services, the group in charge of the majority of outdoor decorations on campus. Pat McCauslin, manager of Landscaping Services, said it takes a three-person crew three weeks to install the lights on the large trees near the Main Building, the Debartolo Performing Arts Center, the fire station, the Grotto and Carroll Hall before wintry weather settles in South Bend. “You never know when it’s going to snow,” he said. “… Once it starts snowing, our focus turns to snow removal and you have to stop putting lights up. So that’s why we start early.” Landscaping crew members Ron Rosander, Tammy Bergl and Brian Anders have already put up thousands of lights around campus, McCauslin said. “The fire station tree, if you see that at night, it’s really gorgeous,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many thousands of lights are on that tree. I know the tree at the Grotto that we decorate behind the crèche – that has close to 3,000 lights on it. “We really like to pack lights on, really pack them on a tree, so they have a nice effect.” In recent years, McCauslin said Landscaping Services has adopted more environment-friendly Christmas decorations. “Our focus now is going more with the sustainable LED lights,” he said. “We’re about 90 percent [LED] now with all the lighting we do.” For the buildings on campus, the Campus Work Control Center carpenter shop handles most of the decorations, Tanner Andrysiak, superintendent of the shop, said. The shop adorns the indoor Christmas trees and makes the wreaths and garlands, he said. The group has received orders for decorations from 13 residence halls and is in charge of decorations in Bond Hall, Hagar Hall, O’Shaughnessy Hall, Jordan Hall of Science and the Stepan Chemistry Center. ‘Normally if they’re on a roof, the kids aren’t allowed to [put decorations there], and I believe they’re not allowed to use ladders anymore either,” Andrysiak said. “… In O’Shaughnessy, it was a 17 ft. tree, and we had to decorate from the top down to where they could reach from the ground. They weren’t allowed to get on ladders to finish.” Andrysiak said two carpenters install all of these decorations, mostly during the first week of December, including the 10-ft tall O’Neill Hall “O” and the complicated Dillon Hall light show. The crew will also set up the nativity scene at the Grotto, he said.  “I think last year I had four carpenters ont[the nativity scene]. It takes four guys about half a day to put it together, four to six hours,” he said Andrysiak said the nativity scene is his favorite of the campus decorations his crew installs, and that it take four members approximately five hours to assemble. Andrysiak said the carpenter shop does most of the same decorations each year, and McCauslin said landscaping services also carries out the same tasks from year to year. “The folks that do it have been here for 20 plus years,” he said. Contact Tori Roeck at [email protected]last_img read more

Professor appointed to White House council

first_imgThe Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) provides President Barack Obama with guidance on both foreign and domestic economic policy and helps inform White House policy decisions, and this year, the CEA includes a Notre Dame professor. Professor Abigail Wozniak, an associate professor of economics, began a one-year term as a senior economist at the CEA in July and said the position allows her to apply her academic interests and knowledge to tangible problems and solutions.“It’s a chance to answer questions that people need answered,” Wozniak said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to being able to use the training that I have in a way that helps the public interest.”Wozniak is not able to take press requests during her term for the CEA, but William Evans, chair of the economics department, said Wozniak has completed a broad range of research projects during her time at Notre Dame, with a specific focus on labor economics.In the past few years, Wozniak has taught courses on labor economics and the development of the American labor force. Dating back to 2005, when she began teaching at Notre Dame, Wozniak’s courses included “Principles of Microeconomics and Migration, Education and Assimilation: Three Forces that Built America.” She also teaches graduate-level economics classes.Evans said Wozniak’s position speaks to the high level of respect she commands as an economist.“I think the fact that she’s gotten a job with this sort of visibility indicates what the profession thinks of her,” he said. “There are a lot of really great economists who have had these staff positions at the same point in her career, so I think it’s a great opportunity for her. It’s indicative of what the profession thinks of her work, to have such a high-level and visible position.”Evans also said Wozniak’s position highlights the excellent work of the Notre Dame’s economics department, which he said is “relatively young,” growing from 11 faculty members when he arrived in 2007 to nearly 25 currently.“We want the profession at large to understand the good things that are going on here, and this is one way we get to publicize that,” he said.Kevin Rinz, a graduate economics student who also worked as a staff economist at the CEA from July 2013 until July 2014, said the work at the CEA differs vastly from an academic setting.“You spend a lot of time in meetings, on conference calls, writing memos, creating presentations, analyzing data and reading papers, but which of those things you do in a given day and the topics you cover vary substantially and are subject to change on very short notice,” he said. “The Council itself is composed of three people — the chairman and two members. The members help the chairman lead the organization. When CEA gets a request from another part of the White House or starts a new project of its own, one of the members usually works with the senior economists with relevant expertise to decide what direction CEA’s work will take. The senior economists and junior staff [including staff economists, research economists and research assistants] then carry out the analysis and report back to the member.”Rinz said the members then take requests to the chairman, who gives further direction until the project is complete. He also said CEA staff are free to pursue research topics that interest them and take them to the members and chairman.Evans said he hopes Wozniak’s experience at the CEA will help create a unique and innovative classroom experience when she returns in July 2015.“It would be nice to parlay this into some policy-based courses that students can benefit from,” he said. “But we’ll see, that’s going to be up to [Wozniak]. It’s a very different experience from teaching.”Rinz said working with the CEA can enhance academic research in a variety of  ways.“Since CEA’s focus is very broad and academics tend to focus on fairly narrow fields, you have to learn about a lot of topics in which you didn’t necessarily have pre-existing expertise when you work at CEA,” Rinz said. “This can help you discover new areas in which you would like to do research when you return to academia.“Also, perhaps more importantly for researchers interested in public policy, working at CEA shows you what issues policymakers consider important, how they think about them and what kind of evidence they find persuasive. This can be useful if you want policymakers to pay attention to your future research.”Tags: Council of Economic Advisers, economics, White Houselast_img read more

Washington Post journalist reflects on career

first_imgWil Haygood, biographer and journalist for The Washington Post, spoke in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium on Tuesday evening about his work in journalism and about his books, including the award-winning “The Butler: A Witness to History,” which was released concurrently with the critically-acclaimed film of the same name.Rosie Biehl | The Observer Haygood, who is visiting campus as a journalist-in-residence of the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy, said he was shocked to find that no one had told the story of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served eight presidents, before he did. Haygood said he knew he had to retell the life story of such an interesting man.“I asked Allen if anyone had ever written a story about him. He looked me and said, ‘If you think I’m worthy I believe you’d be the first.’ It hurt me deeply that he didn’t consider his own life worthy of retelling,” Haygood said. “I had no idea how much the story would resonate with readers, but I knew I had a story that would excite me. I knew it was a story that I wanted to write.”Haygood described his intense desire to write as a reporter and the obstacles he faced just getting his foot in the door.“I didn’t have enough experience when I started out to be a full-time reporter so I decided to take a test to be a copy editor and I was hired,” Haygood said. “I was at that position for a year and a half, but I fiercely wanted to write.“So on my days off I used to go around town and talk to people and find stories. So after that time I had over 100 unpaid stories published in order to have some clips to send to other editors.”Haygood said he saw his writing career as a natural progression from his career has a journalist and that the two work together to help him in both pursuits.“A lot of the authors that I had admired had their roots in newspapers,” he said. “I was used to writing 3,000 word articles, and about 45 of those would be about the length of a book. I knew that if I wanted to write books that I would have the skills and the training.“I wanted to have my journalism lead to something else, and books just started calling me and grabbing my interest.”Haygood said for him, writing has always been about telling good stories and getting them to people in a medium that is unlike any other.“I think I’ve always wanted to write, to bring a picture to the page without a picture,” he said. “The best novels can make you see and visualize a whole world without any pictures. That’s what I want to do with my writing.”Tags: Gallivan Program, Journalism Ethics & Democracy, The Butler, The Washington Post, Wil Haygoodlast_img read more

Panel contemplates culture of violence in sports

first_imgThree panelists, Connie Adams, director of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) at Saint Mary’s, Jordan Allison, a doctoral psychology intern at Notre Dame and Duke Preston, director of Football Player Development and Engagement at Notre Dame hosted a discussion Wednesday titled “Beyond the NFL: Unpacking a Culture of Violence.”The dinner and discussion, held in Remick Commons of Carole Sandner Hall, aimed to create a dialogue and address the issues of domestic abuse in today’s society. The panel covered several topics ranging from abuse seen in the media and sports, such as the Ray Rice incident, and also the cyclical pattern and causes of abusive relationships.“A lot of times athletics mandates power physically … there’s a great pressure on athletes to give the impression that they’re powerful and always in control,” Preston said.Preston was a former NFL player for the Buffalo Bills, the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. During the discussion, he provided personal insight on his experience as a professional athlete and the power and influence that came with the career.“In that environment [of the NFL] you have people at every turn trying to exhibit their dominance, worth and value,” Preston said. “I always thought I was pretty humble in my playing career, but I can remember walking around my house after a five-year NFL career … and I remember thinking I wonder if my wife still thinks I’m as important as I was.”Adams, who has a background specifically in social work and violence, talked about the complexities behind an abusive relationship.“When we’re talking about any kind of relationship that’s abusive, we’re really looking at the imbalance of power and control in that relationship,” Adams said.Adams said the development of abuse in a relationship is gradual, and many times, it begins with a subtle exertion of power in the beginning.Allison used his professional experience to talk about the diagnostic treatment of abusers, as well as the psychological factors that come into play in an abusive relationship.“With each escalation, there’s a transitional honeymoon phase where [the couple] is going back into that cycle where they try to make amends and go back to normal,” Allison said.Allison dismissed assertions that since more abuse cases are made public, these statistics are indicative of men becoming more abusive. Allison said more cases are made public simply because more women have the courage to come forward.“As we become more literate and well-versed we’ll have more women coming forward,” Allison said. “This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen beforehand, but there weren’t as many [resources] back then.”Preston said a ripple effect occurs as more people come forward and inspire other people to share their stories.“Up until 1990 or so … there was almost a courtesy that public figures didn’t air their dirty laundry in the media,” Preston said. “The exposure to issues like this is a helpful thing, and I think it gives people the courage to come forward.”Tags: BAVO, Beyond the NFL: Unpacking a Culture of Violence, Connie Adams, domestic abuse, Duke Preston, Jordan Allison, NFL Emmet Farnan Duke Preston, a former NFL player, speaks on the culture of violence that is perpetuated in the NFL.last_img read more

Professor examines ethical issues related to global health crisis

first_imgThana Cristina de Campos, adjunct professor of law at the University of Ottawa, spoke on the ethical issues and responsibilities surrounding the global health crisis in Nanovic Hall on Wednesday.Specifically, she discussed forging a new intellectual path to understanding the ethics of the health justice system, striving to find a solution to the most neglected diseases in the world, including Malaria, Zika and Ebola. “I would like to investigate the ethical responsibilities that we have,” De Campos said. Katelyn Valley | The Observer Thana Cristina de Campos, adjunct professor law at the University of Ottawa, lectures about ethical issues facing the pharmaceutical industry in the wake of the global health crisis Wednesday in Nanovic Hall.To do this, she explicated a chapter of her newly published book, titled “The Global Health Crisis: Ethical Responsibilities.” In summarizing her book, she examined the major problems surrounding a long-term solution to the global health crisis. “The problem is two-fold,” de Campo said. “There is an inaccessibility to medical knowledge, and there is an inaccessibility to medical treatment.” Based on this two-sided problem, de Campo questions who holds the largest responsibility for this health crisis. She scrutinized pharmaceutical companies and their property rights. “In the context of the global health crisis, certain responsibilities lie only on pharmaceutical companies … because they are the owners of a special type of property,” de Campos said. The property she refers to is intellectual property, or the medical knowledge, pharmaceutical companies own, but fail to disclose to the public. She proposed that these rights to intellectual property must be altered in order to absolve neglected diseases around the world. “The right to private property pharmaceutical companies hold is limited when tasked with solving this crisis,” de Campo said. In proving this point, De Campo analyzed property rights on a theoretical level, which she translated into concrete terms in order to prove why pharmaceutical companies have an ethical responsibility to disclose certain pieces of vital information about their medical knowledge. “I will begin by exploring the purpose of intellectual property rights and exceptions to these rights,” de Campo said. She accomplishes this by analyzing three diverse schools of thought. By highlighting the views of Thomas Aquinas, John Locke and Robert Nozick, she sets forth three highly regarded, yet alternate, stances about the rights and limitations of property ownership. “While these three intellectual views of property rights differ, I have found a common ground in all of their proposals,” de Campo said. All three perspectives settle on the common agreement that the only exception to releasing an individual’s right of property comes with a catastrophic event that could propagate a need for communal access to this property. “All three arguments agree that a catastrophe could lead to an exception of holding individual property rights,” de Campo said.Utilizing this common ground, de Campo claimed that there are exceptions to pharmaceutical property rights, specifically in the case of a catastrophe. “Certain pharmaceutical property rights are limited in the case of certain public health properties,” de Campo said. “These limitations are shaped by their ethical duty,” de Campo said. Studying events that have been labeled as “catastrophic” in the past, de Campo cites the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, as well as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, both resulting in thousands of deaths. “With 2 million deaths, the global health crisis also must qualify as a catastrophe,” de Campo said.De Campo argued that because the global health crisis is a catastrophe, pharmaceutical companies have an ethical responsibility to share their intellectual property and medical knowledge of these diseases. “In the context of this common ground, this means the companies need to disclose only those medical patents vital to controlling or absolving the global health crisis,” de Campo said. She refined her appeal to the pharmaceutical industry by defining their duties for world health as limited and very specific. “I’m not arguing that we should have all access to all medical knowledge, all medical innovation or research … rather that its specific nature helps a specialized portion of the world’s population,” de Campo said.last_img read more

Students participate in the Bald and the Beautiful

first_imgNotre Dame’s campus hosts an abundance of fundraisers over the course of the academic year — the Bald and the Beautiful may be one of the most well-known of these fundraisers. This annual, three-day event involves participants shaving their heads in solidarity with cancer patients, donating hair or getting colorful hair extensions in support of those with cancer.Participants decide to donate or shave off their hair for various reasons — some have family members affected by cancer, have been donating hair all of their lives or simply feel compelled to support the cause.Sophomore Sara Berumen said she decided to donate hair because her mother had breast cancer while she was in high school.“I had always wanted to donate, but there was never a well-trusted organization in my city,” Berumen, who donated a foot of hair, said.Sophomore Veronica Perez donated two feet of hair last year and additionally shaved her head for the fundraiser. She was inspired by other women on her Ultimate Frisbee team, who had done the same the year before.“I had donated my hair several times before — to make wigs for cancer patients — but never shaved my head entirely,” Perez said.However, many women that decide to shave their heads are not met with full support in their communities or families, and Perez faced similar pushback when she made the decision to shave her head.“In Guam, women really value their hair — it’s a huge part of beauty in Asian and Pacific Island culture,” she said. “My parents kept saying, ‘Your hair is so beautiful’ and ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ up until the day I shaved my head. But I didn’t feel an attachment to my hair like they did.”Despite some adversity, Perez said she does not regret her decision — and while many people consider shaving her head to be a bold move, she said she disagrees.“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. My hair can be used for better things,” Perez said. “And I can grow it back, no problem.”Perez raised around $1600 for the fundraiser last year. Money raised by the event are split between St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which is a national organization that funds pediatric cancer research, and the Pediatric Cancer wing of Beacon Children’s Hospital in South Bend. The event raised over $20,000 last year, and is hoping to reach $25,000 in donations this year, Perez said.“Personally, I don’t think donating my hair made a huge impact on the cancer fight — one foot of hair isn’t going to change the world,” Berumen said. “But on the whole, the event really does make a change because it raises awareness, and money — not just hair — is donated as a result.”Perez said participating in the event is well-worth it.“Some people definitely look at you strangely when you have a shaved head, but I didn’t really care,” Perez said. “The people who shave their heads don’t care about other people’s opinions. Their whole mindset is into it.”And now that she has short hair, Perez intends to keep it.“The only reason I would ever grow my hair out again is because I’m too lazy to get haircuts every month,” Perez said. “Having short hair is really pretty convenient.”Tags: Bald and the Beautiful, Beacon Children’s Hospital, Notre Dame the bald and the beautiful, st. baldrick’s foundation, St. Baldricks, the bald and the beautifullast_img read more