When senior Sofia Carozza first arrived on campus, she knew she wanted to take as many risks as she could, especially if those risks scared her. This journey is what led her to shave her head for The Bald and the Beautiful, join Women’s Boxing and participate in Show Some Skin, among other activities.It also may have led her into some of her accomplishments. Carozza was named valedictorian for the class of 2019 and in December she was named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship. In the fall, Carozza will head to University of Cambridge in England to pursue a Ph.D.“The only thing I knew I wanted to do when I got here was take as many risks as I could,” she said. “Basically anytime I heard something that someone else was doing and my first reaction was, ‘Oh, that scares me,’ that meant I had to do it.”A self-described nerd, Carozza said she has always been interested in mental health and how the brain works, partially due to her own experiences with mental illness. This interest took form at Notre Dame as she chose to major in neuroscience and behavior with a supplementary theology minor as well as a minor in philosophy, politics and economics.“I’ve always been fascinated by the human person and human behavior in particular,” Carozza said. “During high school I suffered from mental illness, … and several people who are dear to me either experienced trauma in their childhood or suffered from mental illness. So, it was really a way for me to look at the way that biology interacts with human experience to make us into who we are and to come to terms with the fact that who we are today is a product of our experience over a lifetime.”Carozza is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, a Glynn Family Honors Scholar and a de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture Sorin Fellow, but she said her community involvement has made the biggest impact in her life at Notre Dame. Carozza has spent her summers dedicated to the cause, tutoring children with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders in Paraguay, researching effects of stress on the brain and implementing ideas of community-based change in South Bend and beyond. “I do some work with the juvenile justice center, and I’ve been involved with the Catholic Worker, and I’ve volunteered for several community organizations that do mental health related stuff for early childhood development stuff,” she said. “Those relationships with community members have really transformed the way that I think about my education and the potential and the responsibility that I have to put it in the service of other people, not just in some abstract future, but right now.”Carozza is a South Bend native and has lived there her whole life. Still, Carozza didn’t see herself coming to Notre Dame. During decision season she was choosing between two schools — Harvard and Notre Dame. She said she chose Notre Dame because of the care she saw professors take with their jobs and their students. “I went abroad my junior year of high school,” Carozza said. “After getting back, I was pretty sure that I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t in South Bend because I had experienced more of a cosmopolitan city life, and I really wanted to pop the bubble a little bit. But it was over the course of my senior year when I realized that the things that were most meaningful to me were the relationships I had with really caring mentors and experiences that really helped me grow as a person. “When I came here to visit, I was really blown away by the mission of the University and how that’s enacted on a personal level — that the professors are really here because they care about us and that students are looked at as their whole person. [They’re helped] to develop into who they’re called to be and how they’re called to serve the world.”Looking forward, Carozza said she would love to return to Notre Dame’s campus to teach.“I’d love to be back here at Notre Dame,” she said. “I love this community, and I think that the role of a professor in my life has been absolutely transformative — to have mentors who can educate me as a scholar, but also accompany me as a person to my fulfillment.”For right now, however, Carozza said she is taking some time off.“This summer I’m going backpacking some places. I’m going to pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and then I’m going to be spending the rest of the summer working on a farm in northern Colorado,” Carozza said. “I’m so excited to just be immersed in silence. I do best when I’m alone in a place that’s beautiful and I can read and write, so that’s my happy place.”There were times she questioned her decision to attend Notre Dame during her first couple years, Carozza said. But by now she knows she made the right choice. “Really reflecting on everything that’s happened to these past four years and all of the relationships that I’ve grown to have, I cannot imagine having made a different choice precisely because I’m a very different person than I was in high school. I’ve grown and been formed a lot, and I have a deep faith now and an awareness of who I am and what I’m called to do,” Carozza said. “Honestly I can’t imagine it having come as easily at a place other than Notre Dame.”Tags: 2019 commencement address, Commencement 2019, Marshall Scholarship, Notre Dame valedictorian, Sofia Carozza
Press Association O’Gara won 128 caps for Ireland, toured with the British and Irish Lions on three occasions and won two Heineken Cup titles with Munster in a glittering 16-year career. The 36-year-old turned down the offer of a contract extension with Munster to join Racing where he will work as a specialist kicking coach to, among others, Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton. “I have ambitions in the years ahead to coach at a high level and, with this in mind, I can confirm now that I will be joining Racing Metro’s coaching staff in July,” O’Gara wrote in a column for the Irish Examiner. The French club have confirmed a galaxy of new playing recruits with Sexton, who replaced O’Gara in the Ireland team, Jamie Roberts, Dan Lydiate, Brian Mujati and Soane Tonga’uiha among 14 new signings. O’Gara won the RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam with Ireland in 2009 and he is Munster’s most decorated player. A statement released by the Irish province said: “Munster’s most decorated player, O’Gara’s been capped 240 times in a career that began in August 1997 and saw him steer Munster to Irish Interprovincial, Celtic League, Celtic Cup, Magners League and two Heineken cup titles in which time he scored a record 2,625 points, including 1,365 Heineken Cup points to become the all-time leading points scorer in that competition, a feat unlikely to be surpassed.” Irish Rugby Football Union chief executive Philip Browne paid tribute to O’Gara as an “iconic figure” and singled out the drop-goal that won Ireland the Grand Slam as arguably the finest of all his contributions to the game. “The news that Ronan O’Gara has decided to retire from playing draws to a close an incredible career in which he established himself as an iconic figure in Irish rugby over the past decade or so,” Browne said in a statement. “His arrival on the international scene will be forever remembered for that wonderful image of Ronan and his long-time scrum-half partner, Peter Stringer, on their international debut, being shepherded by Mick Galwey as they emotionally lined up for the national anthem. “Ronan’s career since then has been stellar and marked by his extraordinary ability to deliver, time and again, for Ireland and Munster. His drop goal to seal Ireland’s Grand Slam victory at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff being arguably his finest hour. “Irish rugby will undoubtedly miss his extraordinary talents but it is pleasing to see him continue his career within the game. We thank him for his total commitment and professionalism and wish him, his wife Jessica and family every good fortune into the future.” Ireland and Munster fly-half Ronan O’Gara has announced his playing retirement in order to take up a coaching role with Racing Metro.
CAF big prize. PHOTO via @CAF_OnlineKampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), Moses Hassim Magogo will be one of the invited guests to grace the 2019 CAF Awards taking place on Tuesday night in Egypt.It will be the first time Magogo attends a CAF function after serving a two months FIFA suspension related to the resale of 2014 tickets. The suspension ended on December 10th, 2019.Magogo who is also an executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will attend the ceremony at the Albatros Citadel Sahl Hasheesh, Hurghada together with ex-Ugandan international Jean Sseninde. The former England based professional and now involved with women football has also been invited by CAF.All CAF executive members led by the President Ahmad Ahmad and all 54 Presidents of Football Federations in Africa are expected to grace the ceremony. The event will celebrate African footballers and officials who have distinguished themselves during 2019.There will also be several new award categories in recognition of exceptional contributions to African football and inspiring individuals. Four-time winner of the African Player of the Year Award Samuel Eto’o Fils as host of the ceremony.The reigning African Player of the Year Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and his teammate at Liverpool in England Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Algeria’s Riyad Mehrez (Manchester City) have been shortlisted for the top Award.Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango and other players from the Council of East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) region who had been shortlisted earlier did not make the final list.Shortlists for different categoriesAfrican Football of the Year– Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool)– Riyad Mehrez (Algeria/Manchester City)– Sadio Mané (Senegal/ Liverpool)African Women’s Player of the Year– Ajara Nchout (Cameroon/Vålerenga)– Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria/FC Barcelona)– Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa/Beijing BG Phoenix)African Women’s National Team of the Year– South Africa– Nigeria– CameroonAfrican Men’s National Team of the Year – Algeria– Senegal– MadagascarAfrican Women’s Coach of the Year– Alain Djeumfa (Cameroon)– Desiree Ellis (South Africa)– Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)African Youth Player of the Year– Achraf Hakimi (Morocco/Borussia Dortmund)– Samuel Chukwueze (Nigeria/Villarreal)– Victor Osimhen (Nigeria/Lille OSC)Africa’s Men’s Coach of the Year– Aliou Cissé (Senegal National Team)– Djamel Belmadi (Algeria National Team) – Moïne Chaâbani (Espérance Sportive de Tunis)African Inter clubs Player of the Year– Tarek Hamed (Egypt/Zamalek)– Youcef Belaili (Algeria/Espérance Sportive de Tunis/Al Ahli KSA)– Anice Badri (Tunisia/Espérance Sportive de Tunis)*****URNShare on: WhatsApp