Professor researches doll marketing

first_imgNotre Dame marketing professor John F. Sherry, Jr. received the 2011 William R. Davidson Honorable Mention Award from the “Journal of Retailing,” where his article on the American Girl Company appeared in 2009. Sherry’s article is titled, “Why Are Themed Brand Stores so Powerful? Retail Brand Ideology at American Girl Place.” Sherry and five other college professors wrote the article after observing customers at American Girl Place in Chicago, Sherry said. Sherry said the most interesting aspect of the project was being admitted into the female world of American Girl Place. The Journal of Retailing is a marketing journal that publishes four issues annually. One article each year receives the Award for Best Paper and one receives the Honorable Mention Award, Sherry said. Sherry and his colleagues will receive a plaque at the American Marketing Association Winter Educators’ Conference in Boston later this month. Sherry said he chose to research American Girl because he wanted to study a retail company that caters to females. “I had studied a number of other retail outlets that were more masculine in character, places like Niketown and ESPN Zone,” Sherry said. “Most of them that I studied before were male-oriented, and it struck me as a good idea to try to understand a female counterpart.” Sherry and the other researchers studied consumers’ relationships with American Girl Place by observing customers at the store. “I’m an anthropologist by training, so the research I do is called ethnographic research,” Sherry said. “What that means is you collect participant observations, a lot of video-taping and photography. The idea is to actually be present when the consumers are using the services so you can catch them in the act.” The researchers focused on how consumers co-create their experiences with the American Girl brand, Sherry said. “Marketers create a product, but they don’t control all the meanings associated with it; they don’t control the behaviors the consumers engage in,” Sherry said. “We’re interested in what the consumers do with the brand to create that brand. The [marketing] field is still trying to understand what makes for an iconic brand.” In addition to writing the journal article, the researchers also created a film in order to produce multiple ways to understand American Girl Place. Sherry said working with researchers of different ages and ethnicities was also exciting because they brought different perspectives on the problem. The other researchers are from Loyola University and DePaul University in Chicago, York University in Canada and Bocconi University in Italy. Sherry has taught at the University of Florida, Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium, Chulalongkorn University Bangkok in Thailand and Northwestern University. He has been the Raymond W. & Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Marketing at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame since 2005.last_img read more

Roll Call honors fallen heroes

first_imgNotre Dame joined more than 170 colleges and universities nationwide on Friday to simultaneously take part in the National Roll Call, honoring servicemen and women who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. Capt. Clarence Earl Carter, professor of naval sciences, said he was honored to take part in the memorial. “The flag that we have and the country we have exist because of the service of those who were in uniform before us dating back to the American Revolution,” Carter said. “God willing, we will continue to have young men and women make the commitment to stand watch on our great country. I’m grateful to have my own chance to stand the watch.” Notre Dame’s Veteran’s Day memorial started at 4 p.m. Thursday when Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets and midshipmen began standing watch over the Clarke Memorial Fountain, better known as “Stonehenge,” for 24 hours, honoring those who served before them. Members of the Notre Dame and South Bend communities gathered around the fountain at 8:30 a.m. Friday to honor those who lost their lives in the armed forces. The names of about 6,300 American servicemen and women killed were read by 62 members of the Notre Dame community, 31 of whom were members of the University’s Navy, Army and Air Force ROTC units. The list would take nearly eight hours to read. At 2 p.m. Friday, a nationwide minute of silence was observed. University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh spoke at a memorial service Friday evening and said he considers the ROTC cadets and midshipmen at Notre Dame the “best of the best.” “No group here at Notre Dame fills me with greater pride than the group that stands here before me,” Hesburgh said. “There is no way on earth that I can thank you for your dedication to God and Country.” One of his proudest accomplishments as president of the University, Hesburgh said, was overseeing the building of the War Memorial. Hesburgh said he is proud of what these cadets and midshipmen are doing for the United States. “All I can say is you come from a great tradition,” he said. “I am so proud of all of you and what you are doing with your lives that I have a hard time keeping the tears back.” John Hargrove, a Notre Dame alumnus and Vietnam War veteran, was visiting the area and came to campus to remember his friends. “I lost a few friends and classmates in Vietnam and I wanted to come today to pay my respects,” he said. Former Indiana Governor and 1968 Notre Dame graduate Joe Kernan said he was honored to speak on campus on Veteran’s Day. Kernan is a veteran of the Vietnam War and spent 11 months as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down over North Vietnam. “This is a day of remembering and reflecting,” he said. “I think all of us in this time reflect upon members of our family.” Kernan said his father, grandfather and uncles all served in the armed forces and that is he does not reflect on his own service on Veteran’s Day, but rather the service of family members. “I don’t think about it as it pertains to me, I think about how it pertains to my friends and family who served,” he said. “I think about my friends and colleagues who didn’t come home. It’s like Memorial Day, time to think about them.” Kernan told the story of three different servicemen: John Herringer Jr., Robin Yackley and Mike McCormick, who were all killed in service and missing in action. Their remains were eventually recovered by the United States Armed Forces, Kernan said. Herringer was killed during World War II and both Yackley and McCormick lost their lives in Vietnam, he said. “The reason that they came home is because our government cares,” Kernan said. “Our military cares, and not only cares, but is willing to make the commitment to do whatever is necessary to make sure our men and women come back home. To not leave anyone on the field, to not let them be forgotten.”last_img read more

Candidates compete for nomination

first_imgAlthough the 2012 presidential election is still a year away, primary season is in full swing as GOP candidates battle for the Republican nomination and the chance to defeat incumbent President Barack Obama. American Studies Professor Robert Schmuhl said it is normal to see a number of candidates battle it out early in the election season, as they try to win their party’s nomination. “The party that doesn’t occupy the White House usually has several competing candidates at the beginning of the primary and caucus season,” Schmuhl said. “That’s nothing new.” Sixteen candidates have officially declared their intent to run for the Republican nomination. The most recent polls show former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, as the current GOP favorite. “Mitt Romney has the advantage of having run for the nomination in 2008 and ready access to campaign money,” Schmuhl said. “For some reason, though, about three-quarters of Republicans remain lukewarm toward him. He needs to do well in the early states, or he runs the risk of rejection.” Other candidates continue to rise and fall in the polls. Most recently, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared at the top of the GOP radar after he secured the coveted endorsement of the New Hampshire Union Leader, a prominent newspaper. Vincent Muñoz, associate professor of Political Science, attributed Gingrich’s recent success to his debate skills. “Gingrich seems to have momentum right now on account of his very good debate performances,” Muñoz said. “Whether he can keep that momentum, however, with increased media scrutiny given his personal baggage is an open question.” Rick Perry, governor of Texas, fell out of favor recently after poor debate showings. African American businessman Herman Cain is deciding whether or not to stay in the race amid sexual harassment allegations. Michelle Bachman, the Tea Party candidate, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Hunstman and others are having trouble gaining enough support to become the frontrunner in the race. “Republicans are passionate about defeating Barack Obama, but there isn’t the same passionate intensity in support of a particular GOP candidate to do it,” Schmuhl said. “Whether that develops after the primaries and caucuses is a key question. It could be a ‘hold-your-nose’ election — with both major parties having standard bearers about whom there’s little excitement.” Since the Civil War, incumbent presidents have been reelected 73 percent of the time. Those who have lost, however, have shared Obama’s lower than 50 percent approval rating 13 months prior to the election, a New York Times analysis on Gallup polls reported in January. “Incumbents usually have an advantage, but the economic realities could offset incumbency for Obama,” Schmuhl said. With jobs and economic growth as two main issues in the 2012 election, less than a third of voters think a second Obama term will help improve the state of the nation, an October Quinnipiac poll showed. Despite news outlets’ constant coverage of personal scandals, debate slip-ups and political indifference, both Schmuhl and Muñoz said it was too soon to make predictions. “I don’t think most voters have actually started to pay attention to the GOP candidates yet,” Muñoz said. “The Republicans have already had six different figures at the top of one poll over the course of this year.” The last three midterm elections were change elections, which makes this primary season even more significant, Schmuhl said. “It’s a volatile and unsettled time, and many Americans think our politics are broken and in need of repair,” Schmuhl said.last_img read more

Gong Fu club aims to increase interest in martial arts

first_imgStep, step, pivot, kick, and giving back to the community are the newest movements of Notre Dame. The Gong Fu club, started by graduate student Erik Blair last semester, is expanding martial arts beyond the workout room walls. “Very few people in the Midwest practice Gong Fu, commonly known as Kung Fu, so this club represents an attempt to drum up interest for the practice here on campus,” Blair said. Blair said he decided to start the club after meeting with several students from Bethel College, Saint Mary’s College and Notre Dame who shared his love for the martial arts. “I’ve spoken with several students and professors from the area who practice Gong Fu, and most of them are affiliated with the ROTC program on campus,” Blair said. “I was in the Navy for several years before I began my doctorate, so with this common thread, we decided to … share our love for Gong Fu.” Blair, who passed the test for his black belt in front of the highest teacher of Gong Fu, said he hopes the club’s members will eventually achieve the same feat in order to create a group that is self-sustaining. “Ideally, our young group will have 10 members committed to the goal of reaching the level of black belt in their study,” Blair said. “I would like them to advance in the art as much as possible because I definitely want to get the club to a point where it is self sustaining.” Blair said he will be hosting his teacher as a guest sensei to come and train with the club at the end of March. But Blair said he hopes his students will gain something beyond physical strength. Instead, he wants the club to enhance members’ minds. “There’s a sort of a mindset that comes with Gong Fu, and a responsibility that comes with it,” he said. “The Gong Fu that we practice is valid for self defense, and when I train people, I train them to think about it as a defensive tool only.  It’s not for offensive purposes.  I try my best to get them thinking about avoiding trouble rather than seeking it.  That sort of training helps people to start thinking about their words and actions to avoid an engagement.” Blair said he also wants the club to serve as a social outlet for his students. “[We’re] launching a Kung Fu Movie Night series in February,” he said. “This will be a periodic screening of some of the best Kung Fu movies of the past 20 years, including Ip Man, The Matrix and Kung Fu Panda. I also hope to fit in some more obscure gems such as Twin Warriors and Kung Fu Hustle, or maybe Fist of Legend. This is an opportunity to involve more people in the club, to have [a] more social opportunity for members to interact apart from practice and training and to promote the appreciation of Kung Fu on campus.” In addition, Blair said he hopes the club can give back to the community that has welcomed it. “We are going to the Healthwin Nursing Home to perform a demonstration there with some martial arts techniques,” Blair said. “We’re also going to be going there on a regular basis to help with their Saturday Bingo sessions.” Students currently in the group said they have been satisfied with the activities of the club thus far. “I have always been interested in studying Gong Fu, and this group has finally given me that opportunity,” Chad Stevenson, a graduate student majoring in electrical engineering, said.  “I knew Erik [before joining the group], and his workouts emphasize the fundamentals of applicable self-defense.” Blair said the group will meet regularly throughout the week so that group members may build on the skills developed from previous meetings. “The group will meet on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, with the two sessions later in the week scheduled so that students can easily fit our group into their busy schedules,” Blair said.  Above all, Blair said he wants students to realize that despite the shape they are in, most people can participate in martial arts. “Everyone, regardless of ability, is welcome to attend our meetings and experience a Gong Fu workout,” he said. “It’s not just an exoteric thing.”last_img read more

Law student to run London marathon

first_imgWhile many Notre Dame students make final preparations for the Holy Half Marathon this weekend, one Notre Dame law student across the pond prepares for another, much longer run. Second year law student Beth Scarola plans to run the London Marathon next month to raise money and awareness for the International Justice Mission (IJM), a cause she said she strongly supports. Scarola, who is studying abroad in London this semester, said she wanted to get back into running this year.  After learning she would be in London, she began searching for an organization that would sponsor her participation in the marathon. “I came across the International Justice Mission and read their mission statement, which was all about human rights and trafficking,” Scarola said. According to the IJM’s mission statement, the organization is “a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.” IJM’s lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure “immediate victim rescue and aftercare.” The IJM also aims to prosecute perpetrators and monitor the integrity of local public justice systems. “It was really cool to me because these were lawyers globally who were fighting to help,” Scarola said. Scarola said she felt the organization’s mission paralleled the Notre Dame Law School’s mission, which strives to prepare “a different kind of lawyer.” The London Marathon allows charities to apply for ballots, which are used to sponsor runners. “I approached the organization with the hope of attaining their one ballot,” Scarola said.  “I was interviewed, and was offered the ballot.” Scarola said she believes her time at the University, both as an undergraduate and later as a law student, has fostered a yearning to utilize her talents for the greater good. “Being a different kind of lawyer meant using my talents to help people,” Scarola said.  “I was really inspired by the attorneys that work for the International Justice Mission that spend their entire careers utilizing their talents to fight these atrocities.” Scarola, who plans to raise $6,500 for the organization, said the IJM embraced the Notre Dame Law School’s mission statement as well as her background doing human rights work in the Dominican Republic. Although Scarola plans to practice healthcare law, she said she the opportunity to raise money for a just cause is still relevant to her. “This cause is very near and dear to my heart,” Scarola said.  “I’m not going to stop fighting for it, even if that means just running a marathon as opposed to being able to dedicate my entire career to fighting these atrocities.”last_img read more

Library hosts book club

first_img Contact Rebecca O’Neil at [email protected] Cushwa-Leighton Library has united reading and research with its launch of a discussion series titled “Let’s Talk About it: Muslim Journals.” The book club’s first meeting took place on the top floor of the library on Wednesday. Roughly 25 members of the South Bend-Mishawaka community gathered to reflect on “When Asia Was The World,” a book by Stewart Gordon. Saint Mary’s Assistant Professor of Global Studies Laura Elder, a seasoned traveler and inter-cultural and religious researcher, acted as the book club’s “local tour guide,” honing in on Gordon’s global perspective.  “Great ideas come to you in libraries,” Elder said. “Why not talk about them here too?” The new series, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA), aims to promote mutual understanding and respect between persons. Suzanne Hinnefeld, a collection development librarian in Cushwa-Leighton, said the groups’ initiative, “Bridging Cultures Muslim Journeys,” revolves around American Stories, historical connections, reflections, pathways and perspectives. After receiving a different grant from the NEH last year, Hinnefeld said the library was encouraged to apply for a second grant, which included a collection of 25 books, five films and a subscription to the database Oxford Islamic Studies Online. “The library saw the opportunity presented by the National Endowment for the Humanities as a way to strengthen the library’s collection in preparation for the new major in Global Studies as well as a way to reach out to the broader South Bend-Mishawaka community to gather and have discussions on Islamic themes,” Hinnefeld said. She said one of the initiative’s programs is called the Bookshelf, a website developed by the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. There, Hinnefeld said the general public has access to various multimedia resources “intended to enhance understanding of ideas.”  “The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies and Islamic studies,” Hinnefeld said. Ultimately, Hinnefeld said ALA aims to foster interest in diversification. The association’s website says the program focuses on the “civility in democracy; religious pluralism in the United States; the Muslim-majority societies and the humanities; U.S. history in global perspective; Asian cultural traditions on the Pacific Rim; the role of women in war and peace; cultural encounters between China and the U.S.; the influence of the American west on European culture and the history of relations between China and Africa.”last_img read more

Saint Mary’s supports ‘harassment-free community’

first_imgAfter race-related graffiti was found on campus, Saint Mary’s affirmed its mission to foster an inclusive atmosphere, according to an email College President Jan Cervelli sent to the community Nov. 21.In the email, Cervelli said students should vocalize opposition to injustice they may encounter on campus.“Hate- and bias-related incidents, including race-related graffiti that occurred on campus this past weekend, are an affliction that undermines the mission of higher education,” Cervelli said. “For the vast majority of Saint Mary’s faculty, staff, students and administrators who detest such behavior, our community needs your help. Please speak out against injustice, racism and bigotry, and, especially, reach out to support those among us who suffer from their effects to remind them of their place as valued members of the Saint Mary’s family.”A Saint Mary’s education emphasizes the importance of interacting with individuals of different backgrounds and life experiences, Cervelli said in the email.“We all share the obligation to uphold Saint Mary’s mission ‘to bring together women of different nations, cultures and races,’” she said. “To do so successfully requires respectful engagement with each other. Such diversity enhances the educational experience for all students, instilling a deeper sense of understanding of all people and putting into practice a central tenet of the Catholic character … respect for the dignity of all people.”Cervelli said the College will respond to instances of racism in a timely fashion to preserve an inclusive campus environment, as outlined in Saint Mary’s policy prohibiting discriminatory harassment against students.“Saint Mary’s is also committed to providing an environment free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation,” Cervelli said. “As such, Saint Mary’s does not tolerate, and specifically prohibits, any kind of unlawful discrimination or harassment by a member of the College community. Saint Mary’s takes prompt and appropriate action to address such conduct and to end a hostile environment if one has been created.”Tags: Discrimination, Harassment, harassment-free community, President Jan Cervelli, Racismlast_img read more

Garth Brooks announces Notre Dame Stadium concert date

first_imgCountry musician Garth Brooks announced Monday he will be performing at Notre Dame Stadium on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in a press release sent to local media. The concert falls on the second Saturday of the mid-term break, according to the Office of the Registrar’s calendar.Brooks has been awarded the CMA Entertainer of the Year award six times and currently holds the title, the release said. The RIAA-certified musician is “the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history” and has been inducted into several halls of fame. He announced his plan to perform at Notre Dame in a July press conference, marking the first-ever concert at Notre Dame Stadium.Ticket sales will open Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. and seats will cost $98.95. Each person can purchase up to eight tickets for “in-the-round staging,” according to the release, and the concert will be sponsored by Amazon Music. Tickets will be available by visiting www.ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks or by calling Ticketmaster Express at 1-866-448-7849 or 1-800-745-3000.Tags: Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks Concert, Notre Dame Stadiumlast_img read more

Fall semester updates: What you need to know

first_imgThe Observer has reported on numerous announcements from administrators across the tri-campus community regarding the reopening of the campuses for the 2020 fall semester. Here are some of the most important statements, all in one place:Ben Testani | The Observer Jenkins condemns ICE restrictions – July 9Highlights: Notre Dame would file a brief in support of a lawsuit by Harvard and the MIT to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) decision to expel international students who attend universities exclusively online for the fall semester.Saint Mary’s details safety plans for fall semester – July 9Highlights: All Belles will be required to complete an online training course which covers the newly established health and safety guidelines. In addition, all students attending in-person classes will be required to complete a COVID-19 test, and will undergo a daily “wellness check.”Big Ten goes conference-only – July 9Highlights: Notre Dame’s football schedule shortens as the Big Ten conference announces it will implement a conference-only schedule for fall sports, including football. As a result, ND’s game with Wisconsin has been canceled.Students to be mailed coronavirus tests – July 8Highlights: Notre Dame students are being required to take an at-home coronavirus test prior to arrival on campus. Specimen collection will be staggered depending on when students plan to arrive on campus, and by July 15, all students will be notified by when they must complete their test.Holy Cross outlines safety precautions for fall semester – July 2Highlights: Holy Cross will follow Notre Dame’s lead in much of the coronavirus precautions. Additionally, all students will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test within ten days of going back to campus.University releases plans for coronavirus testing – June 29Highlights: All Notre Dame students who reside outside of St. Joseph County, as well as St. Joseph County residents who will live in Notre Dame residence halls will undergo free COVID-19 testing prior to the start of fall semester. The University is also putting together a COVID-19 Response Unit to oversee testing during the year.Notre Dame announces plans to still host presidential debate – June 24Highlights: The first debate will proceed Sept. 29 with significant modifications in light of the pandemic. Only a fraction of the expected visitors will be able to attend.Erin Hoffmann Harding outlines policies and procedures for this fall – June 22Highlights: Dates for Welcome Week, changes to dining hall meals, new meal plans and quarantine sites are announced.Holy Cross sets move-in date – June 17Highlights: Returning college students will move in Aug. 9, one day prior to the beginning of the fall semester. First year students will move in Aug. 7-8.Saint Mary’s move-in – June 12 Highlights: The Belles will move in over the course of 6 days, with students to registering for 2-hour time slots.Jenkins announces health, safety protocols for reopening campus in the fall – June 9Highlights: Guidance on classroom seating, daily health checks and a tentative schedule is discussed.University cancels study abroad – June 8Highlights: Students who are no longer going abroad will be able to live off campus or participate in an on-campus housing lottery.Notre Dame announces plan to bring football players back to campus – June 5Highlights: Football players can return to campus as soon as June 8, with voluntary workouts slated to begin June 22. Every player will be living in the Morris Inn. A football player later tested positive for COVID-19 after returning.Tri-campus community announces start to fall semester – Late MayHighlights: All three schools announced classes would begin for the fall semester on Aug. 10, and would conclude before Thanksgiving for a shortened semester.Tags: 2020 fall semester, coronavirus, tri-campus communitylast_img read more

Wegmans Requiring Customers To Wear Face Masks In Cooperation With State Order

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 File Image.JAMESTOWN – To comply with Governor Cuomo’s executive order, Wegmans will require all customers to wear a cloth face covering.Such cloth face coverings include a fabric mask, scarf, or bandana over their mouth while shopping at any of the New York State stores.“Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we work through these trying times together,” the company said in a message to customers.last_img