Sports - Campus Viewpoint

Sports - Campus Viewpoint

At a time when the lives of many have been dramatically disrupted and work, education, and society’s functions are in a state of constant transition, this new series from ThinkND will explore this point in history and how the work happening on Notre Dame’s campus and beyond relates to and impacts the United States and the world at large. "Sports" virtual events will be the following Thursdays:  

  • October 15, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern: Campus Viewpoint
  • October 22, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern: National Viewpoint
  • October 29, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern: Global Viewpoint
  To join the live events, register here.

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Featured Speakers:

  • Philip Bess, Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, University of Notre Dame
  • Cara Ocobock, Assistant Professor of Anthropology,  University of Notre Dame

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Philip Bess

Presented by Philip Bess

Philip Bess

Professor Philip Bess teaches graduate urban design and theory, with a particular interest in Catholic and classical humanist intellectual and artistic traditions in the context of modern American life and the contemporary culture of architecture and urban design. His areas of expertise include Sports Stadium and Urban Design.

From 1987-88 he was the director and principal designer of the NEA-and-Graham-Foundation-funded Urban Baseball Park Design Project of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR); and in Boston in August 2000 he directed and coordinated the ultimately successful “Save Fenway Park!” design charrette, from which came contemporary Fenway’s famous “Monster Seats” and other prominent renovations.

Professor Bess lectures widely, and is the author of numerous articles and three books, including “City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense About Cities and Baseball Parks” (Knothole, 1991).

“[City Baseball Magic is] the definitive text on how traditional baseball parks work inside and out, providing intimate experience of the game for spectators while working intricately with the neighborhoods around them. Bess’ central insight is simply this: On every sort of practical and psychological level, a good ballpark is inseparable from its place in a city. The two make each other.”

 Patrick Pinnell, FAIA

Learn more about Bess’s projects and research:

Cara Ocobock

Presented by Cara Ocobock

Cara Ocobock

Cara Ocobock is human biologist who explores the physiological and behavioral mechanisms necessary to cope with and adapt to extreme climates and high levels of physical activity. She is an assistant professor for Anthropology, and the Director of the Human Energetics Laboratory at Notre Dame. Her research program integrates human biology and anthropology, with a focus on the interaction between anatomy, physiology, evolution, and the environment.

Ocobock works in northern Finland, Samoa, and American Samoa with numerous collaborators at Yale and University of North Carolina-Wilmington to assess brown fat presence and activity in these populations.

Finally, Ocobock is an avid powerlifter and loves to bring anthropology to sport. She has worked with hockey players at the collegiate and semi-professional level as well as collegiate track and field athletes. Her future work will assess the impact of social networks on powerlifting performance – bridging the cultural and biological domains within what is essentially a solitary sport.

“Human biology and culture are deeply integrated; you cannot understand one without the other. We need to apply that same integrated approach to studying sports and human performance, otherwise we cannot hope to reach our full athletic potential.”

Cara Ocobock
Cara Ocobock ice fishing in Kuttura, Finland during one of her research trips. Photo Credit: Minna Turunen

Learn more about Ocobock’s research and work here:

Chris Stevens '74 (Moderator)

Presented by Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens ’74 teaches undergrads, one-year MBAs, Executive MBAs, and in ESTEEM as part of the Management Department and oversees the Inspired Leadership Initiative as its Co-Founding Director. He is a former Irish basketball player and past member of the Notre Dame Monogram Club Board of Directors. He is one of the three original developers of the Keurig Premium Coffee System and developed the brand, sales, distribution, and marketing strategies. He was also responsible for all aspects of Keurig’s corporate social responsibility practices as part of its commitment to donate at least five percent of pre-tax profits to environmental and social causes.

In the fall of 2012, Chris joined the Mendoza College of Business as a professional specialist teaching undergraduate courses. After retiring from Keurig in 2013, he began teaching M.B.A. courses in business problem-solving, change management, and entrepreneurship at Notre Dame’s South Bend and Chicago campuses. In 2017, he joined Mendoza as a full-time faculty member.

“Sports are such a critical part of our society. I am thrilled to spend an hour with three distinguished Notre Dame faculty who have made a difference in their fields of sports. I believe them sharing their perspectives on where sports are going will be enlightening for us all.”

Chris Stevens

Learn more about Stevens’ work here:

Angie Torain

Presented by Angie Torain

Angie Torain

Angie Torain is the Senior Associate Athletic Director for culture, diversity, and engagement.

Torain came to Notre Dame in 2017 as the Associate Athletics Director, Human Resources, Legal and Risk Management where she also oversaw the men’s tennis program as its sport administrator. Before that, she served as Deputy Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator at the University of the Incarnate Word since September 2015. In that role, she served as the primary advisor to the Director of Athletics, supervised the department’s NCAA reclassification to Division I, and acted as the department’s Title IX representative. Torain also assisted with the management of the department’s budget and contracts, served as human resources liaison, and acted as sport administrator for six programs.

During her tenure at the Summit League, Torain — a 1997 graduate of Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law — also served as an adjunct professor of sports law at Northern Illinois University.

Learn more about Angie Torain’s new initiatives here:

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