Quips and Quotes: Learning in a Time of Crisis

Author: Sarah Cahalan '14

Editor's Note: As soon as I graduated from Notre Dame, I realized that I never took proper advantage of one of the biggest perks of being at a university: all those lectures. You may not be able to pop by DeBart 101 every week to listen to experts opine about cell biology or geopolitics, but, in this new series, we're bringing the lecture hall to you. Our editors will scour the campus for one presentation per week to attend and share with our readers, reporting back with a quote and a few highlights from the latest event in the life of the mind. 

"As hard as the relief and recovery was, it was the easy part. The hard question is, 'How do we rebuild?'" — Gilberto Marxuach '88

In our Winter 2017-18 issue, we told the story of Sagrado Corazón, a Catholic university in Puerto Rico that became a recovery hub for its students and its city in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Last week, three representatives of the school — its president, Marxuach; Gabriel Paizy, director of the Ferré Rangel School of Communications; and film professor Sonia Fritz — came to campus to discuss all that has happened since the storm.


"Learning in a Time of Crisis: Stories from the University of Sagrado Corazón after Hurricane Maria," held on October 22 in Jenkins Nanovic Halls, covered everything from the campus cleanup in the week after the storm to Maria's ongoing effects on the university today.


According to the panelists, the hurricane has forced Sagrado to change for the better in a variety of ways. The school has moved to a more community-based curriculum to continue the partnerships made in the wake of the storm, and student services have expanded significantly to aid students in their mental and emotional wellbeing as well as their academic success. 


The lecture was the latest in the "Listening to Puerto Rico" series, Notre Dame's collaborative effort with the University of Michigan to increase public awareness of ongoing recovery efforts across the island. To learn more, visit listeningtopuertorico.org.


Sarah Cahalan is an associate editor of this magazine.