Notre Dame students recently launched the Hub, a new online academic networking site created to facilitate intellectual discussion across various disciplines. The Hub is completely user-generated, depending on contributions from Notre Dame students, faculty and staff. The site consists of three main areas: “Commons,” which is a place for users to share personal experiences and get involved, “Think Tank,” which acts a platform for discussion on local, national and global issues and “Showcase,” which allows users to post some of their best research or artwork. Notre Dame is one of the first universities in the country to support such a site, Co-Editor-in-Chiefs Kirsten Adam and Paul Baranay, both juniors, said. Adam and Baranay said with the Hub, they hope to redirect some of the energy that students exhibit on the Internet to a more professional, intellectual arena. “Students are already used to talking about their lives online with social networking. Moving that into a Notre Dame-focused place like the Hub is a … natural direction,” Baranay said. Adam said that unlike Facebook and Twitter profiles, which are generally hidden from employers, profiles on the Hub are something students should put forward. “It’s a very professional environment. It’s something you tell [future employers] about, not that you try to hide,” Adam said. “You can update your profile to be a mini resume online — it becomes a living document.” Adam said the Hub is also about getting advice from others in the Notre Dame community and addressing communication issues between students in different colleges. “It’s been a really interdisciplinary project,” she said. “We’re sponsored by CUSE, and pulling in money from [various] academic departments.” Baranay said other universities have networking sites similar to the Hub, but theirs are based on more of a social model. The Hub’s focus is much more academic. “CUNY [The City University of New York] has a site called the CUNY Commons, which is not as specific as the Hub,” he said. “In terms of prestigious universities, Notre Dame is the first one pushing towards this [kind of thing].” Adam and Baranay began actively working on the Hub last May. They met with senior Cristin O’Connor over the summer, who was developing the site’s layout and design. “In terms of the architecture — that was mostly done by OIT-affiliated students,” Baranay said. Baranay said former professor of Anthropology Daniel Lende originally came up with the idea for blogs spotlighting research and academic engagements at Notre Dame. Lende then contacted Cecilia Lucero, assistant director of Undergraduate Research in the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE). Lucero got in touch with Adam and Baranay, who have been working on the project ever since. Lucero is the current advisor for the Hub. “We have a big mix of people on the editorial team,” Baranay said. “Everyone has different interests, which is [what we wanted].” Besides Adam, Baranay and Lucero, the Hub team includes freshman Chris Moore, sophomore Eric Huang, juniors Rosie Conover and Amanda Jonovski, and seniors Annette Ruth, Cristin O’Connor and Dan Jacobs, who is also the photo editor at The Observer. The Hub itself is public, but in order to post entries or comments, a Notre Dame ID is required. Barany said right now they are focusing on reaching out to undergraduates, faculty and staff but including alumni is a long-term goal. “We’ve had a really positive response,” Adam said. “It’s a new way to engage in the discussions we’re already engaging in, but in a more public way.” Baranay agreed. “The Hub is about pushing yourself beyond what your familiar with, doing something more,” he said. A launch party will take place today from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Dooley Room of LaFortune Student Center. Free Jimmy John’s sandwiches, T-shirts and books will be provided. Check out the newly launched website at thehub.nd.edu
Chinese ambassadors discussed the current state of foreign policy and China’s relationship with other parts of the world on Wednesday at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.Close ties · Former Chinese Ambassador to Canada and Turkey Mei Ping describes the evolving relationship between China and the U.S. — Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanThe USC U.S.-China Institute hosted three prominent diplomats from China: former ambassador to Nigeria and Sweden Lu Fengding, former ambassador to Turkey and Canada Mei Ping and Zhou Gang, who served as the ambassador to Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and India.The ambassadors discussed the betterment of the major bilateral relationship between the United States and China.The connection is particularly monetary in terms of scale: together, both the United States and China occupy one-third of the world’s economy and one-fifth of the world’s international trade.“There is a need to explore ways that yield a new type of a major power relationship with the United States,” Mei said. “The old relationship was full of rivalry, which has led to world wars and one cold war. China wants to break this old type of relationship in order to construct a new relationship featured by mutual cooperation.”The primary goal of the three former Chinese ambassadors’ trip was to continue China’s public diplomacy. The ambassadors said they wanted to strengthen mutual understanding between Americans and Chinese.The ambassadors said they wanted to improve relations between the two countries by focusing on economic, environmental and political issues because the world is a more interdependent place.“We are here to exchange ideas and questions, especially the question about the means and ways to further improve our relationship,” Lu said. “The two sides are very interested in trying to look at what kind of relationship we should manage, and how to further proceed it in a better, open-minded and objective way.”Students who attended the discussion were interested in hearing about environmental , economical and political issues from the ambassadors’ perspectives.“All of these are very familiar issues, and it was interesting to see it from the Chinese perspective,” said Anja Kong, a freshman majoring in international relations (global business).Charlene Tran, a sophomore majoring in business administration and international relations (global business) found the discussion to be a learning experience.“Hearing from [the ambassadors] has actually opened my ears as to how I should look at issues differently,” Tran said. “It’s quite interesting to see and understand the Chinese perspective about their relationship with us.”The ambassadors placed an especially strong emphasis on the importance of exchange students, especially between the United States and China.USC enrolls more international students than any university in the country, and the ambassadors believe the growing number of USC students from China only enhances the learning environment.“We think the exchange of students is very important for the future of our students,” Lu said. “Our future relations have a very good foundation to live from.”The bonds developed among students from all parts of the world will have an impact that lasts past college, Zhou said.“We hope this kind of dialogue of public diplomacy will help strengthen mutual respect and understanding among Chinese and American people, especially under the younger generation,” Zhou said.