Given what Danielle Green ’99 has endured in her life, a 19-mile bicycle ride on closed roads from midtown Manhattan to Coney Island pales in comparison. But the Purple Heart recipient who lost much of her left arm after a 2004 grenade attack while serving in Iraq was a little worried about hills, The New York Times reported in July, as she prepared for the Soldier Ride organized by the Wounded Warrior Project. After her recovery, with a prosthetic arm and hook, Green felt alienated but found a supportive community in a Soldier Ride. “Every time I fell down, there was somebody there to pick me up,” she told the Times. “I found my purpose sometime during that first ride.” Green went on to earn two master’s degrees and became a therapist for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Now the former Fighting Irish basketball player serves as a spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Project. And during the rides, she’s a leader of the cycling pack of veterans who never leave a rider behind. “We start together, we ride together, we finish together,” Green said. . . .
Chris Ban ’05 and Taylor Clagett ’08 each became Jeopardy! champions and donated their winnings in honor of relatives who died last year of brain cancer. Clagett won three episodes in July, earning a total of $32,800 to benefit the Taylor Anne Foundation in honor of his niece who passed away in 2022 of brain cancer. Ban’s brother, Michael, also died of the disease in 2022. They were rowing teammates at North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pennsylvania, and the $13,000 Ban won will go toward a new boathouse for the school named in Michael’s honor. During his brother’s illness, Chris Ban would send Michael pictures of The Jungle Book, a childhood favorite. On the episode Chris won in June, the correct response to the final clue was “Rudyard Kipling,” the author of the book they loved. . . .
In April the Robert J. Collier Trophy went to the James Webb Space Telescope industry team for “revolutionizing the field of astrophysics” by commissioning and operating the observatory launched in 2021 that offers an unprecedented view of the universe. Engineer Tom Harkins ’08 was among the recipients of the National Aeronautic Association’s prestigious award, which dates to 1911. Past winners include the Apollo 11 crew that landed on the moon in 1969. Greg Principato’78, president and CEO of the NAA, presented the award. . . .
The Washington Post instituted a new “Post Grad” column and newsletter focusing on the ins and outs of life after college, including “managing finances, seeking fulfilling work, navigating relationships and finding tech-life balance.” This summer, Notre Dame’s Renee Yaseen ’22 became the paper’s inaugural Post Grad intern. Her work began appearing in July, including a column about the benefits of intergenerational friendships. Yaseen focused on conversations with her friend and former Snite Museum director, the late Dean Porter. . . .
Sociologist William Turner ’74Ph.D., Roots author Alex Haley said, “knows more about Black people in the mountains of the South than anyone in the world.” Turner’s 2021 book, The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns, received the Kentucky Historical Society’s Governor’s Award in June. A panel of scholars chose The Harlan Renaissance for the biennial honor. . . .
The WNBA All-Star Game in July could have been confused for a scrimmage of former Fighting Irish players. Jewell Loyd, Jackie Young and Arike Ogunbowale ’19 were three of the game’s 10 starters selected in a vote by fans, media and fellow players, giving Notre Dame the most representation of any college program. Loyd, a Seattle Storm guard, scored 31 points, including a record 10 3-pointers, to earn MVP honors. . . .
On August 1, Badia Ahad ’00M.A., ’04Ph.D., a scholar of African American literature and culture, took over as dean at Oxford College of Emory University. Formerly the vice provost for faculty affairs at Loyola University Chicago, the English professor now oversees about 1,000 first- and second-year students at Emory’s liberal arts-focused campus. Ahad directed Loyola’s core curriculum, and her books include Freud Upside Down: African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture and, most recently, Afro-Nostalgia: Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture. In her new role, Ahad wants to foster “an academic experience that not only cultivates intellectual rigor and curiosity, but also helps students find their own sense of purpose and how that purpose is going to serve others.”