The current chair of the department of sociology at Notre Dame, Sarah Mustillo, will serve as the next dean of the College of Arts and Letters, the University announced in a press release Wednesday. Mustillo will take over the position from John McGreevy — who served as dean of the college for 10 years — July 1.A Notre Dame alumna, Mustillo earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and gender studies, graduating from the University in 1996, according to the press release. She continued her education at Duke University, gaining master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology.Mustillo returned to Notre Dame as a faculty member in 2014, and became chair of the department of sociology in 2016. Her research focuses on topics including statistics, social epidemiology, medical sociology and social psychology, according to the press release.University President Fr. John Jenkins commended Mustillo for her scholarship and commitment to Notre Dame’s mission.“Throughout her career, Sarah has proven herself to be an accomplished scholar and skilled administrator,” he said in the press release. “Since returning to Notre Dame, she has shown character, selflessness, sound judgment and commitment to our distinctive Catholic mission through her service as department chair and on numerous committees and advisory boards. Sarah’s global perspective and focus on integrated learning and knowledge make her an ideal candidate to lead the College of Arts and Letters.”University provost Thomas G. Burish said in the press release that Mustillo’s combination of passion and extensive experience make her the right person for the job.“Sarah is a gifted leader, teacher and researcher who will bring to this position a deep understanding of the college and its mission, as well as a compelling vision for its future,” he said. “The search committee members were uniformly impressed with her deep commitment to providing our students with a world-class education that integrates a strong Catholic liberal arts foundation with state-of-the-art analytical tools and methods and a global perspective.”According to the release, Mustillo hopes to further promote the scholarship of graduate students and expand upon the success of undergraduate programs.“I am honored and delighted to be offered this challenging new role and to work with some of the very brightest scholars and dedicated academic professionals in the country and indeed the world,” she said in the release. “I am exceedingly grateful for the trust being placed in me, and I look forward to working alongside students, faculty and colleagues across the college and University as we advance academic excellence and our distinctive scholarly mission at our nation’s premier Catholic research university.”Tags: chair of sociology, College of Arts and Letters, dean, John McGreevy, Sarah Mustillo, sociology
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Betty Buckley may be known for her incredible Broadway belt, but don’t expect her to knock out “Memory” on her new album, Ghostlight. Instead, she takes on a haunting, almost ethereal sound on a set list that includes standards such as “Blue Skies,” “Comin Back to Me” and “This Nearly Was Mine.” Take a look below at an in-depth documentary on the making of the album. In it, the Tony winner recounts her long history with friend and producer T Bone Burnett, just what exactly “crime jazz” is, and why she considers herself an “undercover heart surgeon.” Also look out for a truly magical moment at the 9:50 mark. Ghostlight is now available on iTunes, and signed copies of the Limited Edition Art Box are also on sale via the Broadway Cares Online Store. View Comments
People’s United Bank,People’s United Financial, Inc (Nasdaq: PBCT) today announced net income of $24.9 million, or $0.07 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to $26.8 million, or $0.08 per share, for the third quarter of 2009, and $33.7 million, or $0.10 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008. Fourth quarter 2009 earnings reflect a 3.19 percent net interest margin, unchanged from the third quarter of 2009, despite continued pressure associated with the historically low interest rate environment and the company’s asset sensitive balance sheet, and a modest increase in non-interest expenses. For the year ended December 31, 2009, net income totaled $101.2 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to $137.8 million, or $0.42 per share, for 2008. People’s is the parent company of Chittenden Bank.Included in fourth quarter 2009 results are system conversion and merger-related expenses totaling $4.5 million (included in non-interest expense). After taxes, these expenses reduced 2009 fourth quarter net income by $3.1 million, or $0.01 per share. Excluding the effect of these expenses, net income would have been $28.0 million, or $0.08 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2009.The Board of Directors of People’s United Financial declared a $0.1525 per share quarterly dividend, payable February 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on February 1, 2010. Based on the closing stock price on January 20, 2010, the dividend yield on People’s United Financial common stock is 3.7 percent.”Our pending acquisition of Financial Federal reflects our strategic focus on expansion through opportunistic acquisitions,” stated Philip R. Sherringham, President and Chief Executive Officer. “At the same time, we remain committed to organic growth throughout our franchise. Our performance during 2009 reflects continued growth in our core loan portfolios as well as deposits in spite of a clearly very challenging economic environment. Year-over-year core commercial and home equity lending portfolios increased five percent and deposits grew eight percent. In addition, the pillars of our financial position strong asset quality and prudent management of our excess capital have served us well in these challenging times.”Sherringham added, “We feel our asset quality has held up very well on both a relative and absolute basis through the recent recessionary cycle and continue to believe that most of the bad news is substantially behind us. The strength of our capital and liquidity, asset quality and earnings, as well as the fact that our balance sheet remains funded almost entirely by deposits and stockholders’ equity, continue to set us apart from most in the industry.””On an operating basis, excluding system conversion and merger-related costs, earnings were $28 million, or 8 cents per share this quarter,” said Paul D. Burner, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “Significant drivers of the company’s performance this quarter were a stable net interest margin, modest loan growth across our strategic lending businesses, and lower net loan charge-offs. In spite of a 19 basis point reduction in our cost of deposits, the net interest margin was unchanged from the third quarter due to the combined effects of a 15 basis point decline in the yield on average earning assets and a 6 percent annualized increase in average deposits.”Commenting on asset quality, Burner stated, “Non-performing loans decreased $7 million this quarter, a further sign of what we believe is stabilization across the loan portfolio. Our continued modest level of net loan charge-offs in this current economic environment remains a testament to our disciplined underwriting standards.”Fourth quarter net loan charge-offs totaled $13.6 million compared to $16.0 million in the third quarter of 2009. Net loan charge-offs as a percent of average loans on an annualized basis were 0.38 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to 0.44 percent in this year’s third quarter. For the full year, net loan charge-offs as a percent of average loans were 0.29 percent compared to 0.10 percent in 2008. The level of the allowance for loan losses is unchanged from September 30, 2009.At December 31, 2009, non-performing loans totaled $168.8 million and the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans was 1.19 percent, compared to $175.7 million and 1.23 percent, respectively, at September 30, 2009. Non-performing assets totaled $205.6 million at December 31, 2009, a $12.9 million increase from September 30, 2009. Non-performing assets equaled 1.44 percent of total loans, REO and repossessed assets at December 31, 2009 compared to 1.35 percent at September 30, 2009. At December 31, 2009, the allowance for loan losses as a percentage of total loans was 1.21 percent and as a percentage of non-performing loans was 102 percent, compared to 1.21 percent and 98 percent, respectively, at September 30, 2009.For the fourth quarter of 2009, return on average tangible assets was 0.51 percent and return on average tangible stockholders’ equity was 2.8 percent, compared to 0.55 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively, for the third quarter of 2009. At December 31, 2009, People’s United Financial’s tangible equity ratio stood at 18.2 percent.Conference CallOn January 22, 2010, at 11 a.m., Eastern Time, People’s United Financial will host a conference call to discuss this earnings announcement. The call may be heard through www.peoples.com(link is external) by selecting “Investor Relations” in the “About People’s” section on the home page, and then selecting “Conference Calls” in the “News and Events” section. Additional materials relating to the call may also be accessed at People’s United Bank’s web site. The call will be archived on the web site and available for approximately 90 days.Selected Financial TermsIn addition to evaluating People’s United Financial’s results of operations in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), management routinely supplements this evaluation with an analysis of certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as the efficiency and tangible equity ratios, and tangible book value per share. Management believes these non-GAAP financial measures provide information useful to investors in understanding People’s United Financial’s underlying operating performance and trends, and facilitates comparisons with the performance of other banks and thrifts. Further, the efficiency ratio is used by management in its assessment of financial performance specifically as it relates to non-interest expense control, while the tangible equity ratio and tangible book value per share are used to analyze the relative strength of People’s United Financial’s capital position.The efficiency ratio, which represents an approximate measure of the cost required by People’s United Financial to generate a dollar of revenue, is the ratio of (i) total non-interest expense (excluding goodwill impairment charges, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles and fair value adjustments, losses on real estate assets and nonrecurring expenses) (the numerator) to (ii) net interest income on a fully taxable equivalent basis (excluding fair value adjustments) plus total non-interest income (including the fully taxable equivalent adjustment on bank-owned life insurance income, and excluding gains and losses on sales of assets, other than residential mortgage loans, and nonrecurring income) (the denominator). People’s United Financial generally considers an item of income or expense to be nonrecurring if it is not similar to an item of income or expense of a type incurred within the last two years and is not similar to an item of income or expense of a type reasonably expected to be incurred within the following two years.The tangible equity ratio is the ratio of (i) tangible stockholders’ equity (total stockholders’ equity less goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles) (the numerator) to (ii) tangible assets (total assets less goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles) (the denominator). Tangible book value per share is calculated by dividing tangible stockholders’ equity by common shares outstanding (total common shares issued, less common shares classified as treasury shares and unallocated ESOP common shares).Source: BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Jan. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —
“Sleep in, sleep in…you can do it!” I tell myself while squeezing my eyes shut and trying not to awaken too many muscles.My girlfriends will be calling shortly to tell me what time I have to get up. There are no children, the dog has been barricaded back in the house after a 6:40 wakeup call, and it’s now 7:40. The new shower tile needs to be sealed if I want to shower tomorrow and the yoga books need reading. I wonder when today that I’ll once again attempt meditating, writing in my journal about it, and then there’s the daily yoga I‘m supposed to be doing to transform myself to higher spirituality and flexibility. My hamstring aches as I loll in the bed fighting angst.By 8:15 a.m. the phone rings from a riding buddy. She sounds chipper and asks if she’s wakened me. I can’t deny it, even though the words of denial are already forming against the guilty pleasure. I hear her children screaming in the background. She’s probably waited two hours to make this call.“I dreamed I was marrying Caroline,” I confess to her, and I am happy to be laughing first thing when I wake up. In fact, Caroline was in a fuchsia dress with a black lace Victorian collar when I was gratefully awoken. Not that I don’t love Caroline…but we really were getting married.“I can be ready in thirty minutes,” I foolishly tell her. I have not yet seen my bike. When I finally do see my bike, it’s within minutes of Laura pulling up ready to go, yet frazzled and with her young child who will be dropped off with a friend. I have breakfast in my belly and everything is packed in the truck, except my bike. I grab it off the hook as sand and dried mud drop off of it in clumps. The chain looks more like a chain stay because it is solid. The rear tire is flat. I brush it off with a wire brush and throw the lube into my bag. I change the tire and am determined to patch the old tube after locating its slow leak. However, it disappears across the yard while I’m putting on the new tube, the puppy leaving several more punctures. I return the wheel back to the dropouts and as the disk brake slips into the caliper, the brake pads drop out into the gravel. I say a few choice words. Laura looks like she’s had a rough morning. It’s almost 10.I dig the brake pads out of the gravel and see there is absolutely nothing left on them. I now begin tearing the house up looking for the brake pads I’ve been seeing laying around the house. It’s like the game Memory. I remember seeing them somewhere in the open, but have moved them several times. They are not together. I miraculously find them, and we head out. The babysitter is not only awesome to take care of all the kids for the day, but he also puts my brake pads in for me in half the time it would have taken me to cuss over it. Just as we are ready to take off, Laura’s son crashes his bike on the street. Hard. His helmet is cracked. It takes until 11 for us to calm both he and his mom down enough to determine she can still go for a ride. Doing a four-hour ride is no longer an option.On the way to Mills River, the sky gets darker. It begins to drizzle on the highway, the darkest part of the cloud hovering over Pilot Rock, where we are headed. Neither of us can believe it. We continue on, calling little Miss Chipper who has patiently waited for us all this time. We choose a shorter ride, lamenting over the rain. It’s too hot for rain jackets, which is both good and bad.Once we are riding in the woods, it’s as if our stresses have melted from our brains. There is nobody who needs us emergently. Our suffering is purely physical, but we don’t even notice, because that’s the easy kind. *See more from Bettina through her blog, Spinning My Wheels!
Paddlers plunge down the narrows section of the Green River in the epic Green River Race each November.High noon. First Saturday in November.Those six words will raise the heart rate of any class V kayaker in the Southeast. The Green River Narrows Race continues to be the most competitive and challenging paddling race in the country.I have competed in the past eight Green Races, and it never gets any less intimidating or intense. My relationship with this river began when I was 15, on my first run of the Green River Narrows. As I stepped out of my boat at the takeout that day, I knew that I had just achieved a milestone in my paddling career.I participated in my first Green Race a year later and started paddling and training with some of my kayaking idols, includng Tommy Hilleke and Andrew Holcombe. At one memorable run, I jumped into the starting gate in front of all of the superstars. As I set my watch and prepared to take off, Tommy Hilleke, six-time winner of the Green Race, yelled at me, “I’m giving you ten seconds!” There is nothing quite like the knowledge of one of the world’s best that close behind you to keep you motivated on a practice run.The river has a way of humbling anyone who becomes complacent with its power. A few years ago, I made the mistake of paddling the river for a timed race lap after a brutal Crossfit gym workout. My body was already spent, but my desire to train as hard as possible for the race prevailed. As I approached the midway rapid, Go Left and Die, I realized that I had nothing left, but I kept paddling through the rapid. I entered the rapid’s first drop, misjudged my angle, and suddenly I was flailing off the cascade in completely the wrong place. I slammed into the rock, flipped, and entered the spin cycle that every kayaker dreads. Go Left is notorious for holding paddlers for severe beatings if they don’t stick the line, and this experience is exacerbated when you are lactic, exhausted, and your lungs are screaming.As I gasped for oxygen, I did barrel rolls, backflips, and cartwheels, desperately trying to escape the hole. As the beating intensified, I realized that it was time to surrender. I let go of my paddle while upside down in the maelstrom, pulled my sprayskirt, and swam out of my boat, deep into the chaos. Everything got dark around me, and I was slammed to the bottom of the river. I rounded a big boulder underwater, and finally popped up 40 feet downstream of the rapid, too weak to do anything but float. A friend pulled me to safety above the next rapid.We never found my boat that day. It stayed pinned underwater, and pieces of it were recovered downstream during the following weeks as the river pounded it to shreds. The three-mile hike out of the gorge that day was a lonely, demoralizing slog. As fear and self-doubt overtook me, I didn’t know if I had it in me to jump back in and race three weeks later.Fortunately, the Green Race paddling community epitomizes camaraderie. As race day approached, my paddling friends rallied behind me and helped me to work through my reservations about bombing into that gorge once again, with 1,000 spectators watching. My next lap down the river was with paddling legend and two-time Green Race winner, Andrew Holcombe. Even though I was a fellow competitor, Andrew gladly shared some experimental race lines with me. Flying down the river close behind him enabled me to push the negative thoughts aside. I was making progress, but Go Left continued to haunt my consciousness.Even after hundreds of practice runs, race day is always full of queasy nervous energy. It doesn’t matter how smooth I was yesterday, or how I placed last year, or how bad my swim was. It is just me, a river, and a clock. One run per year is what I get. I start one minute behind the person in front of me, and one minute in front of the person behind me. That is my slot in which I put everything that I know and am capable of on the table. It is the perfect test of physical endurance, skill, and mental fortitude.I had been thinking about Go Left all morning, but I forced myself to visualize only good lines as the start timer counts down: 3…2…1…0. I heard my friends cheering as I took off from the starting line, but my focus was downstream. Breath, heartbeat, whitewater. There was nothing else in the world. The energy and noise of the starting line was quickly replaced by the quiet of the river.It is often said that the Green Race is won in these easier early rapids and lost in the crux rapids downstream, Go Left and Die and Gorilla. The challenge is always balancing your fatigue with the fact that the most difficult race moves are at the end of the course. It is the ragged edge of control, and sometimes the best paddlers are the ones in the most danger, because they are putting every last energy reserve into their run.Whitewater is a funny thing, because confidence is absolutely mandatory. If you hesitate the slightest bit at a crucial time, a class V rapid will toss you off line. As I approached Go Left, I commited myself completely to the moment and set my angle for the main drop.Two powerful strokes, and my kayak slid across the face of the seven-foot cascade, around the hydraulic that beat the living daylights out of me, and out of the exit slot to safety. Relief and adrenaline flooded my body.My reprieve was short-lived, however, as the toughest rapid of the Green Race, Gorilla, waited just downstream. I was gasping for air between the rapids.Despite my tunnel vision on the whitewater ahead, I caught a quick glimpse of the entire side of the gorge engulfed with spectators. The roar of the rapids was matched by the roar of the crowd.I charged into the 30-foot waterfall, experiencing complete lactic fatigue. But I also felt another powerful force of nature: the positive energy from my friends and family on the bank. As I flew off the launch pad of the beast, I embraced the clarity that only comes in such moments: the realization that we are all in this together, that we owe everything to everyone, and that shared experience is the only catalyst of a life worth living.I bounced safely out of the Gorilla’s grasp, and, as if on cue, the final four rapids were bathed in sunshine. Moments later, I was sitting on the finish line rock trying to catch my breath. After one of the more intense gut checks of my paddling career, I was elated to be finished and in a respectable fourth place position.Battling personal demons. Pushing self-imposed limits. Developing lifelong friends through shared experiences. These are things that we all strive for in life, and they happen every single year, to every single paddler who dares to paddle the Green River.
Lawyer advertising rule changes draw few comments Lawyer advertising rule changes draw few comments Gary Blankenship Senior Editor After nearly two years of study by the Advertising Task Force, a detailed report to the Board of Governors, and spirited debate both by the task force and by board members, the Supreme Court asked Florida lawyers for their comments on proposed revisions to the Bar’s advertising rules.Those proposed changes include requiring Bar approval of all radio and TV ads before they are aired.When the January 31 comment deadline passed, the court received only three responses — and two were from members of the task force.Tampa attorney and former task force member Bill Wagner submitted extensive comments covering several issues. Tim Chinaris, a former Bar ethics counsel who also once chaired the Bar Professional Ethics Committee, addressed the ad screening issue and several other matters. Tampa attorney and former task force member W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr., addressed only rules on lawyers’ Web sites and content.The Board of Governors retained existing rules on lawyers’ Web sites while a special committee continues to study that highly technical issue. Those rules provide that Web sites are subject to general advertising regulations, except for the prohibition against characterizing the quality of legal services provided by the lawyer or law firm and the prohibition against advertising past results. Ebsary says that goes too far.“In 2006, in order to constitutionally further restrict free speech, there must be a substantial interest in addressing a likely harm,” Ebsary wrote in his comments to the court. “In the amendment process before this Court, there is no record of harm. There is no record of a complaint by a consumer or potential consumer of legal services. Consequently, there is no substantial interest, and thus no legal basis for restricting protected commercial speech.”Chinaris also mentioned Web sites, but in connection with proposed Rule 4-7.1(b), which covers non-Bar members whose ads appear in Florida and requires that those ads conform to Bar rules. Chinaris said that rule should not be adopted because it did not specify that the use of a Web site by itself would fall under the rule.On the prior screening requirement for TV and radio ads, Chinaris noted the Bar cited a high rate of rule violations for submitted electronic ads. However, he said, the rate was nearly identical for Yellow Pages and other print ads, and significantly higher for direct mail ads, but the Bar was not proposing a similar restriction on those forms of ads.He suggested the court give the Bar’s recently established Statewide Grievance Committee, which handles violations of ad rules, more time before considering a rules change.On other matters, Chinaris said the court should do away with rule restrictions preventing lawyers from mentioning past results or using testimonials from clients.He urged the court, though, to support a change requiring that lawyers using direct mail solicitations state in the letter where they obtained the information that caused the lawyer to send the letter.Wagner argued the task force’s review was flawed in that it assumed that advertising regulations as conceived by the Bar more than 15 years ago are still working. The panel should have conducted a more in-depth look at how lawyers advertise today, realizing a lot of lawyer advertising now is done as “marketing.”“[S]uch regulation of advertising should be limited to accomplishing certain goals,” Wagner wrote. “Those goals, in summary, should be (1) to enhance the ability of the public to obtain useful information about the availability of legal services and the cost of such services, (2) prohibit the dissemination of false or misleading advertising, and (3) protect and enhance the public’s respect for the legal system.”In the prescreening of electronic ads, Wagner agreed more regulation is needed for what he called “spot” radio and TV ads that are mostly intended to boost a lawyer or law firm’s name recognition.Wagner wrote that he did not mean to “suggest that the only solution for the problem is a complete ban on spot television and radio advertising is needed, although that should at least be considered. Instead the undersigned suggests that in exchange for a lawyer electing to use spot advertising to gain name recognition, rather than convey a significant amount of usable information, the lawyer would be required to include a significant amount of information advancing the public’s respect for and faith in the justice system.”But he said the issue needed more study, which would only happen if the court indicated its interest in such an alternative.The comments, as well as the Bar’s filing seeking the rule amendments, can be found on the Supreme Court’s Web site. Refer to case no. SC05-2194. The Bar’s filing may also be found on the Bar’s Web site at floridabar.org, on the Advertising Task Force page. March 1, 2006 Regular News
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Three years after it reported a data breach that compromised customer data at its stores, retailer Eddie Bauer may end up paying about $10 million in a proposed settlement with Waterloo, Iowa-based Veridian Credit Union and other affected financial institutions, according to court documents.Under the settlement agreement, which still awaits court approval, the retailer would pay up to $2.8 million for claims related to compromised cards. It would also pay up to $2 million for settlement administration and attorneys’ fees, as well as $5 million in injunctive relief, which includes the cost of implementing and maintaining an information security program that complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.“Eddie Bauer denies all material allegations of the complaint,” the proposed agreement noted. “Eddie Bauer specifically disputes that it is liable in any way for the third-party criminal cyber-attack and that plaintiff and putative class members are entitled to any relief from Eddie Bauer. Nevertheless, given the risks, uncertainties, burden and expense of continued litigation, which is in addition to assessments from payment card brands, Eddie Bauer has agreed to settle the litigation on the terms as set forth in this settlement, subject to court approval.”
continue reading » We come into the end of 2020 with historically low interest rates, historically high equities, historically tight credit markets and more serious questions than we’ve faced since World War II! The only thing that I feel comfortable predicting overall is that volatility will be heightened and probably extreme.The two biggest concerns for the economy are COVID-19 and the November presidential election. These concerns bring these questions:Will the pandemic worsen as we head into cooler months and flu season, again shutting down the economy and society, or will there be a vaccine available by early 2021 to begin to unwind the damage done?Who will win the Presidency in November, and will the loser accept the outcome?The COVID-19 pandemic continues to press down on society. When it first broke out, the White House and Congress came together and passed a historic fiscal stimulus and relief package, while the Fed unleashed monetary stimulus of biblical proportions. Unemployment skyrocketed; businesses failed at record rates; municipal finances were ruined; and the national economy essentially shut down. However, the fiscal and monetary policy support at least partially blunted what would be depression-like effects to society, such as housing and food insecurity, loan defaults and repossession of assets. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
ENDWELL (WBNG) — With all of the difficult news in the world lately, it’s nice to be able to serve up a positive story. The cookies were given to people both selected by the volunteers and at random. Some of the people who received cookies include postal workers, nurses, and even Phelps’ granddaughter’s first grade teacher. All of the cookies were accompanied by a note asking people to share the euphoria, and spread some joy to the people they love as well. “I also love the expressions on people’s faces when they see it, when they taste it,” she told 12 News Friday. “Just sharing it, sharing the euphoria, that’s what it’s really all about.” As the owner of a bakery, she decided to add her own special charm. Phelps decided to make 63 pounds of chocolate chip cookies, and helped by an army of volunteers, gave them all away across the Southern Tier. The owner of Baked Euphoria in Endwell started out by baking some chocolate chip cookies, but ended up finding a whole lot more. Bonni Phelps says she was inspired by people giving back to the community by doing things like making masks or buying lunch for healthcare workers. Phelps said she just wanted to help spread some joy in her community.
That goal has now made a difference in the lives of young kids from all over. Montalvo says she has had up to 45 kids in a Zoom class at once. Montalvo teaches two sessions, five days a week to what started with local kids, mainly kids from Binghamton, Vestal like the Broome County area. “I have so kids who are newly three years old and then I have some kids that are ready for kindergarten so within my lessons I just try and make sure there is something for everyone,” she says “I’ve been using the Zoom format for a very long time and I thought why not let me try this,” says Montalvo. Montalvo started with a simple goal, She said she uses a curriculum that centers around review and keeping the learning process alive and well at home. “That first day the girl from South Africa, she’s in my older group, introduced herself I started to tear up because I couldn’t believe that it had reached this far,” she says. She says, “Establish a place where they feel safe, where they feel loved and feel like they belong somewhere.” The group has now grown to not only kids throughout the country but throughout the world. She has kids from Hawaii, Columbia and South Africa. “It really is a pleasure and a blessing to be able to do this for families,” Montalvo says. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Ashley Montalvo is one of the Center Directors for Family Enrichment Network. When schools were officially put on hold due to the coronavirus, she wanted to help out. Montalvo turned that panic into an idea: Ashley’s Virtual Classroom. It’s an online learning tool for kids in preschool all the way up to third grade. “It made me panic a little bit and I just thought of all the kids from my school, who school is a safe haven for them,” Montalvo told 12 News. “Like” Jacob Seus on Facebook and “Follow” him on Twitter.