Ken Hackett, former president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will receive the 2012 Laetare Medal during the May 20 Commencement Ceremony, the University announced Sunday. The Medal, established at Notre Dame in 1883, is the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. It is awarded annually to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity,” according to a University press release. University President Fr. John Jenkins praised Hackett’s compassion and strong commitment to worldwide outreach throughout his tenure at CRS. “Ken Hackett has responded to a Gospel imperative with his entire career,” Jenkins said in the press release. “His direction of the Catholic Church’s outreach to the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and unsheltered of the world has blended administrative acumen with genuine compassion in a unique and exemplary way.” After serving CRS in various capacities since 1972, including a stint as its regional director for Africa and in several posts throughout Africa and Asia, Hackett was appointed president of CRS in 1993, according to the press release. He held the position for 18 years until his retirement in December. Hackett was succeeded by Carolyn Woo, former dean of the Mendoza College of Business. Hackett, a native of West Roxbury, Mass., became interested in international service when he enrolled in the Peace Corps following his graduation from Boston College in 1968 because he said “it seemed like an interesting thing to do.” Hackett’s experiences living in a Catholic mission and working in an agricultural cooperative project in rural Ghana demonstrated the “actual impact of American food aid on the health and well-being of very poor kids in a very isolated part of a West African country,” he said in the press release. After completing his Peace Corps assignment, he continued his commitment to service by beginning his CRS career in Sierra Leone, where he administered both a maternal and child health program and a nationwide leprosy control program. While serving as CRS regional director for Africa, Hackett addressed the agency’s response to the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 and supervised CRS operations in East Africa during the Somalian crisis of the 1990s, according to the press release. During his tenure as the agency’s sixth president, Hackett oversaw the redoubling of CRS efforts to engage the American Catholic community in worldwide service work by reaching out to Catholic organizations, dioceses, parishes, and colleges and universities throughout the country. CRS also incorporated lay people into its board of directors under Hackett’s supervision. The organization, one of the world’s most effective and efficient in global relief and development, now operates in more than 100 countries with a staff of nearly 5,000, according to the press release. In addition to his service as CRS president, Hackett also served as the North America president of Caritas Internationalis, the coalition of humanitarian agencies of the Catholic Church. He continues to serve as an adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as a board member of the Vatican Pontifical Commission Cor Unum. Hackett was awarded an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 2007. He also holds honorary degrees from Boston College, Cabrini College, University of Great Falls, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Mount St. Mary’s University, New York Medical College, Siena College, University of San Diego, Santa Clara University, Villanova University and Walsh University. The Laetare Medal is named in celebration of Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent and the day Notre Dame announces its recipient each year. The 2011 Medal was jointly awarded to Sr. Joan McConnon and Sr. Mary Scullion, founders of Project H.O.M.E. Previous recipients include President John F. Kennedy, Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and jazz composer Dave Brubeck.
Mar 26, 2009North Korea reports H5N1 prevention strategiesNorth Korea yesterday said its nationalized approach to preventing avian influenza has helped it avoid outbreaks and infections, despite the circulation of the H5N1 virus in other nations, Korea News Service (KNS) reported yesterday. North Korea has conducted bird surveillance in winter migration areas, developed rapid detection systems, educated the public and medical workers about how to prevent the disease, and set up medical checkpoints in densely populated areas to monitor and treat people who are sick. The nation also said it would continue its close contacts with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.[Mar 25 KNS report]Group helps Nigeria with avian flu fightA nongovernmental organization has launched an intensive program to prevent avian influenza in Nigeria, AllAfrica.com reported today. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is aiming its behavioral-change messages at migrant poultry workers, traders, and transporters in states that have been hit by the virus, which include Anambra, Borno, Kano, and Lagos.[IOM Web site]Hearing reveals leaky roof problem at PCA plantA leaky roof at the Peanut Corporation of America’s plant in Blakely, Ga., might have introduced or spread Salmonella contamination that sparked the recent national outbreak, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported yesterday. A recent bankruptcy hearing revealed that the company had spent $60,000 fixing the roof in August 2008. A former plant worker told the AJC that the roof leaked so profusely that employees had to move products around to keep them from getting wet. In 2007, an internal investigation conducted by ConAgra of its Sylvester, Ga., plant found that moisture from a leaky roof and a faulty sprinkler system might have triggered the growth of Salmonella at the facility, which led to a national outbreak involving peanut butter that sickened 425 people in 44 states.Africa’s cases of meningococcal disease riseAfrica’s “meningitis belt,” an area that includes northern Nigeria and Niger, has recorded 24,868 suspected cases of meningococcal disease, including 1,513 deaths, since Jan 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement yesterday. Cerebrospinal fluid testing has revealed that the predominant strain is Neisseria meningitides serogroup A. The WHO said 2.3 million doses of polysaccharide vaccine have been released to Nigeria and 1.9 million to Niger.[Feb 25 WHO statement]USDA unveils new-media toolsThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today launched news- and recall-related RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, a Twitter feed, and new bookmarking capabilities to allow people to share food safety content on social networking sites and Web pages. In a news release today, the USDA said the tools will expand the reach of its educational materials and connect with audiences it might not otherwise reach.[Mar 26 USDA press release]
By the way, the exact number of renters who have used HBOR’s credit line so far is a business secret, but as we unofficially find out, a total of about 50 renters used this credit line to finance the work of private renters. More on that in the attachment. Source: Novi List / Cover photo: Apartment Pinja, Cres / Booking.com An education in tourism was held on the island of Cres so that Cres renters could better prepare for the upcoming season and new tourist trends, which are jointly organized by the Cres Tourist Board and the Cres Landlords Association. Namely, it is HBOR’s credit line for renters, in which the Ministry of Tourism subsidizes one percentage point of interest, so that renters can get a loan with an interest rate of two percent per year and a one-year grace period. However, according to the proposal of the mayor of Cres, the city would join this credit line and subsidize the remaining two percent, which would make loans for Cres renters interest-free. Vesna Bartolović, head of HBOR’s regional office for Primorje and Gorski kotar, who presented the new credit line of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Renato Kraljev, a well-known Croatian chef, spoke about the formation of menus based on indigenous dishes and groceries and Nedo Pinezić, the first man of family accommodation in Croatia. RELATED NEWS: HOW MANY RENTERS HAVE USED THE CREDIT LINE TO FINANCE THE WORK OF PRIVATE RENTERS? The news that resonated from the workshop was the proposal of the mayor of Cres, Kristijan Jurjak, to include Cres with a subsidy for loans to renters, which would provide Cres renters with interest-free loans to raise the quality of accommodation, writes Novi List.