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The traveling scarf

10:40 AM  Feb 22nd, 2017
by Julia Hall ’18

The purple and gold threads weave together both the fabric of a traveling scarf and the women on UD’s campus. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf is in full swing this spring semester — taking place from Feb. 13-March 30.

The University of Dayton’s Women’s Center modeled the event after The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie and novel.  The office hopes that the exchanges will foster a closeness and connectedness with women on campus.

“It is almost like despite that we all have these differences there is something that connects us even if it is as simple as a piece of fabric,” Margaret Murray, the Women’s Center program coordinator, said.

Participants are encouraged to schedule the exchange of the scarf over a cup of coffee or with a simple smile.

Lisa Rismiller, a past director of the Women’s Center and current associate secretary of the board of trustees, and senior psychology major Nichole Hamburg exchanged the scarf and shared personal stories during their meeting.

Hamberg said the garment exchange was perfect for women.

“I just think we like to trade clothes a lot,” Hamburg said. “We do not care about ownership. We just care about sharing it.”

After the hand off, participants are urged to write short reflections regarding their “scarf day” experience.

Christina Smith, director of Residence Life, exchanged the scarf over lunch with first-year business major Jennifer Conrad where they discussed the life and experiences of the scarf.

Smith could only imagine the stories that would pour out as she pondered out loud the possibility “If the scarf could talk, right?”


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New sorority on campus

3:26 PM  Feb 20th, 2017
by Danielle Damon ’18

At UD the names of seven sororities buzz around campus. However this semester after an eight-year hiatus, Sigma Kappa Sorority will return to become the eighth chapter on UD’s campus.

From 1996-2004 the Kappa Gamma chapter of Sigma Kappa was active at UD before leaving due to low membership.

“Unfortunately, the chapter membership never flourished,” said Melinda Mettler, director of extension at Sigma Kappa Sorority national headquarters. “In 2004, the tough decision was made to assume dormant status in hopes of returning to the University of Dayton when the time was right.”

Mettler believes it is now the time for Sigma Kappa to re-establish its partnership with UD.

“I see a lot of parallels between Sigma Kappa and UD,” said Dana Finley, a senior leadership consultant for Sigma Kappa. “I really resonate with the sense of authenticity here . . . I think the type of people at UD are friendly and welcoming and I see us as a good fit for this campus because of that.”

Sigma Kappa will offer a different type of Greek life experience to UD women by allowing members to have leadership roles right away and to start their own philanthropy event on campus involving their national partner, the Alzheimer’s Association.

Since UD’s formal recruitment process ended Feb. 3, a total of 988 women at UD wear Greek letters.

Sigma Kappa looks forward to seeing the number of Greek women at UD grow and is hosting its own recruitment process Feb. 22-26.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about or joining Sigma Kappa at UD can follow SKDayton on social media, visit www.lovesigmakappa.com or e-mail dayton@sigmakappa.org.

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Bold. Imaginative. Distinctive.

5:18 PM  Feb 17th, 2017
by Teri Rizvi

Eric Spina has been doing a lot of listening these days.

The University of Dayton’s president criss-crossed the state this week before coming home to meet with 80 community leaders on a “listening tour” designed to generate and test creative ideas for shaping the University’s future 20 years on the horizon.

“Being bold is in our DNA. Now is our time to be bold,” he told 80 Cincinnati alumni at the Kenwood Country Club Feb. 16. “I’m here to listen to you about the University we want to create together.”

In sessions in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton, Spina asked participants for their feedback on six potential strategic aspirations  — from striving to be known as “the premier Catholic university for leadership development in civic engagement, community building and social innovation” to achieving national leadership in such growing research areas as environmental sustainability and energy.

Before hitting Ohio’s major cities, he visited alumni communities coast to coast and held a Facebook Live event in Dayton Spina will go live on Facebook again at 6 p.m., Feb. 22, to talk to alumni about their aspirations for UD’s future.

“I’ve learned that the heart of the University of Dayton, the community spirit, is here in spades. In being bold, we’ll build on our Catholic, Marianist core,” Spina told Cincinnati alumni before asking, “Which of these strategic directions resonate with you? Which are critically important? Is there something not on here? We want to be bold, imaginative, distinctive.”

Alumni in this session expressed support for greater experiential learning and leadership development opportunities for students, but shared concerns about affordability and diversity.

“Those are two existential threats,” Spina acknowledged. “It would be very easy for us to slip into being a university only for the wealthy. We’re also not where we need to be from the boardroom to the student body in terms of diversity. We need to prepare students for a world where other people are different from them. For me, this is a very high priority.”

A mechanical and aerospace engineer by training, Spina said he believes the University of Dayton can become nationally recognized in a range of scholarly and applied research fields.

“We’re ninth in the nation among private, comprehensive, research universities without a medical school in the amount of research we do,” he said, noting last year’s record $117.6 million in sponsored research contracts. “We can take it to the next level and move more technology (from the labs) to the marketplace.”

Spina, who became UD’s 19th president last summer, said he’s spent the last seven months learning the University’s story and its values. In all, 2,700 alumni, faculty, staff, students, trustees, supporters and community leaders have weighed in on the University’s emerging strategic vision that will lay the foundation for a major fundraising campaign and guide future curriculum, facilities and research endeavors.

As he’s done in group gatherings, Spina closed the evening’s conversation by sharing red-and-blue “friendship bracelets” personalized with an image of the chapel and the words, “Learn. Lead. Serve.” in bold white type.

“This reminds me what we’re about. It reminds me I’m connected to you,” he said.


Behind the scenes with MPG

11:50 AM  Feb 14th, 2017
by Gita Balakrishnan

Mike Kurtz directs volunteer library docent Ann Persensky to look into the camera as she describes the Mirror of Hope exhibit on display in Roesch Library.  He adjusts the lighting and stands in various positions to achieve the right angle.

He stops again. Examines how Persensky is standing, and tells her to use gestures and movement as she describes the intricate pieces of the display; he wants to add depth and action into his multimedia piece.

Take two.

For over 25 years, the University’s Media Production Group has been producing high-end videos to share the campus stories with audiences worldwide. Kurtz is the group’s executive producer and director.

Along with the expertise of video editor Brian Mills and associate video producer Brigham Fisher, MPG is able to produce around 150 in-depth videos each year, showing the different ways the University makes positive impacts in the world.

Created in 1988, MPG captures the sights and sounds made on campus that reflect the true quality of a UD education.  For example, click here to see how engineering students are learning.  Learn how we make progress in human rights or see how our faculty are breaking ground in new research.

Kurtz enjoys being able to share the achievements happening on campus.

“There are so many great stories at the University with our alumni and our students. Our goal is to tell those stories so that alumni and prospective students can get an idea of why our university is so great,” Kurtz said.

Click on the link to see how the  Mirror of Hope video MPG worked on turned out.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel.

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NYC trip helps launch student careers

9:00 AM  
by Courtney Mocklow ’17

For many of the students who attended, the art and design department’s trip to New York City this past October wasn’t just a chance to tour art studios and museums – it was an opportunity to investigate a possible career.

“As a New Yorker from Long Island, I plan on moving back home after graduation and pursuing a graphic design career in New York City,” said Jackie Meares ’17. “I went on the trip to get a preview of what it will be like to work in the graphic design industry in Manhattan.”

For one student in particular, the dream has become a reality. Danny Martin, who graduated in December, landed a New York City summer internship after touring one of the downtown studios during the fall trip.

“Our last visit was to a design firm called SpotCo, which does the designs for a ton of Broadway posters,” Martin said. “I ended up interning there the summer after my junior year, and it launched my career. I’m working at Disney now, and that happened just because I decided to go to NYC.”

Jeffrey Jones, a professor in the Department of Art and Design, started the trip eight years ago. Over the years, his students have been welcomed by several big names including Hugo McCloud, Cordy Ryman and Mark Zimmermann.

Jayne Whitaker, another professor in the art and design department, started accompanying Jones and the students on the trip six years ago, helping schedule tours at various studios, galleries and museums throughout the city.

“We set up visits with fine artists, photographers, ad agencies and design firms so that the students can meet an artist and hear about their work and processes,” Whitaker said. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to learn.”

These tours and visits proved invaluable for the students. Megan Bollheimer ’17 was one such attendee grateful for the chance to meet professional artists and learn about their work.

“As a young designer, it’s helpful to see how a designer or artist works and to understand their design process,” Bollheimer said. “These designers were once just like me in their undergrad studies, which is a great reminder to always hustle and do good work. It’ll get you far.”

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Civic engagement with Beyond the Ballot

1:45 PM  Feb 10th, 2017
by Julia Hall ’18

Post-election season, the student ambassadors of Vote Everywhere have initiated a new, three-part lecture series called Beyond the Ballot, running Feb. 15, March 8, and March 22. The series will feature speakers from the political science department as well as the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.

Three political science majors function as the UD ambassadors for Vote Everywhere: Katherine Liming ’18, Margaret Schaller ’17, and Nick Hancart ’17. Vote Everywhere is a grassroots campaign initiated and run by the Andrew Goodman Foundation. With a bipartisan philosophy, the group organizes programming to encourage increased civic engagement among college students.

“We are a pretty disenfranchised population, regardless of our race or our gender. The government isn’t reaching out to us because [they think] we are young and naïve and stupid,” Liming said.

Despite the dilemma of being green, young adults have been exceptionally engaged in politics in the last year.

Liming believes the lecture series should be attended by all students majoring in government or interested in the subject since they are intended to provide students with an outline of how to be well informed, politically vocal and how to be heard.

Beyond the Ballot was primarily conceived by the desires of young adults wanting to be impactful in today’s political climate.

“How can you protest effectively? How can you contact your representatives effectively? It is really hard. I do not want people just shouting into an abyss,” Liming commented.

The first lecture, “Messaging in the Media,” will focus on differentiating between opinion and fact in the news. The event will be held from 7-8 p.m. in Marianist Hall 218.

Liming hopes the lecture series will provide students with concrete information that they can trust, as opposed to getting information from social media sites.

The two lectures scheduled to follow, “Outreach to Officials” and “People, Protest, and Petition,” will focus on vocalizing well-researched, well-informed opinions, effectively.




Speaker series: Race and the nation

9:48 AM  Feb 2nd, 2017
by Julia Hall ’17

William Jelani Cobb, a professor of journalism at Columbia University and a staff writer for The New Yorker, spoke to an overflowing room of students, faculty and community members Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative speaker event on campus.

Cobb captivated the room with personal stories, historic references, profound statements, and explicit examples addressing racism in the United States.

He began by telling a story of a coincidental moment from his coverage of the Dylan Roof trial. While on an unrelated business trip in California, he met a man from Charleston, N.C. who was personally affected by the shooting. Cobb explained how the meeting demonstrated that issues of race do not exist within isolated pockets, but permeate every corner of the nation. This concept became the main fixture of his speech.

“We cannot understand America without understanding race,” Cobb said.

As a specialist in the areas of post-Civil War African-American history and twentieth century politics, Cobb traced racism back to the creation of the country. He used the example that the Constitutional Convention, “copy-edited black freedom out of the Constitution.” This historical context translated into wide-eyed, quick-pen reactions from the audience.

As Cobb continued, he gradually transitioned to his hard-hitting point: racism’s presence in modern society. Topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement, voting complexities and incarceration were discussed at length.

In one example, Cobb identified what he calls the “new caste system through incarceration.” Further, he emphasized the oppressive implications surrounding the geography of prisons.

 While many weighty subjects regarding racial injustices pervaded Cobb’s speech, he remained hopeful, especially when he referenced the predecessors of the Civil Rights movement. Cobb noted, “we are indebted” to those who came before us who did “the heavy moral lifting.”

On progress, Cobb suggested that it does not inevitably continue to move forward: it is cyclical.

“Progress doesn’t just happen,” Cobb said. “It happens by people doing things.”  

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Father Chaminade Mass celebration

10:20 AM  Jan 30th, 2017
by Erin Frey ’18

In the midst of the French Revolution, the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade stood in solidarity with those being persecuted and proclaimed that his politics were the politics of Mother Mary. As a Roman Catholic priest in 1790, Chaminade opposed the secularization of the clergy. He vowed to love the Son and have unwavering faith. His mission gave rise to the Marianist family.

On Monday, Jan. 23, the University community gathered to recognize and honor the death anniversary of Father Chaminade. President Eric Spina, along with faculty, staff, community members and students, sang songs dedicated to Mary and later listened to stories about her victorious spirit.

The Gospel of John demonstrated Jesus’ ability to perform miracles. In 2:1-11, Jesus attends a wedding where the wine runs out. When Mary comes to Jesus, he tells her to have faith.  With unwavering trust, she tells the disciples, “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary never lost faith in Jesus, and neither did Chaminade, a lesson instructive for today’s students.

Senior Tommy Tappel is a member of the Chaminade Scholars program, which educates students to grow in their faith and understanding of what they are called to do. “The Chaminade Scholars take after Father Chaminade’s desire to follow in Mary’s ‘yes’ to God’s call to vocation,” he said.

The Mass closed with “Go to the World,” a song that proclaims, “Go struggle, bless and pray; The nights of tears give way to joyful day.” Chaminade reminds us to look to Mary when we are weary and follow his call to live as Jesus did.

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TORCH event sparks discussion on social injustice

11:36 AM  Jan 23rd, 2017
by Julia Hall ’18

“Sing instead of talk, dance instead of walk,” Samuel Dorf, assistant professor of musicology, proclaimed on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Raising the T.O.R.C.H. in Honor of Dr. King event on campus. Dorf’s words discussing the power of art in political and social movements resonated in the Kennedy Union ballroom and in the ears of students and faculty.

Raising the T.O.R.C.H in Honor of Dr. King was UD’s rendition of a campaign, #J18, to embrace campus teaching, organizing and resisting unjust policies and agendas that hinder the safety and equality of many inhabitants of our nation by utilizing nonviolent, yet powerful examples, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The intention: to stir discussion and to equip students and faculty with the interdisciplinary tools they need to face injustices.

“As an academic community, as in intellectual community, we have a certain responsibility to be outward-facing, to reflect, to teach, and to comment on things like our society, our culture, our politics,” stated Joel Pruce, assistant professor and coordinator of the T.O.R.C.H event.

Centered on the work of King, the event linked UD with college campuses across the U.S., including UCLA, Columbia University, and Texas State University, which celebrated through similar educational events.

“I care about working for justice. I am involved in stuff, but I am always wondering what I can do next?,” said Bradley Petrella, a junior international studies and Spanish double major, in reaction to T.O.R.C.H.

With speakers hailing from many departments, discussion topics ranged from the intersection of Christianity and social struggle to significant parallels between Mahatma Gandhi and King’s methods of civil disobedience to the meaning behind Beyoncé’s recent album, Lemonade.

“We are in considerable positions of privilege here. We have freedom,” Pruce said. “We are protected by academic freedom in this community to speak freely, to comment, and to be provocative and to teach. And, so, to use that that privilege and position and freedom to focus on controversy and crisis.”





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Passion to give back

12:23 PM  Jan 19th, 2017
by Shannon Shelton Miller and Joey Gardner '18

Brandon Mayforth is forever grateful to a dedicated doctor at Dayton Children’s Hospital who never stopped searching for the cause of a mystery illness that threatened to end his life.

“I’m here because of Dayton Children’s,” Mayforth, a sport management senior, told a group of classmates during his presentation for HSS 358, Sales and Fundraising in Sports. “Dayton Children’s never gave up, even after other larger, more well known hospitals did.”

Mayforth’s presentation about his rare intestinal disease and the Dayton Children’s gastroenterologist who diagnosed it took place during a philanthropy “tournament” that concludes the course each semester. Students select a community organization they want to support and deliver a presentation to classmates, a panel of judges and sport management professor Peter Titlebaum about their choice. The top finishers earn money donated in their name to their chosen cause. Mayforth, the fall 2016 overall winner, won $500 for Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Close to $1,000 went to four community organizations this year, thanks to the students and the University of Dayton’s Gary Mioli Leadership in Community Fund. The fund honors Gary Mioli ’79, who dedicated his professional life to leading young people both on and off the football field as a teacher and coach in Park Ridge, N.J. In 2014, at the start of football season, he died unexpectedly at the age of 57.

In spring 2016, the Sport Management program in the Department of Health and Sport Science, along with Mioli’s family, friends, former classmates and students, established a platform at his alma mater to honor his legacy of service. They started the fund through the University’s Division of Advancement, providing a fundraising vehicle to give students the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in their communities by becoming advocates for 501(c) 3 organizations whose service holds personal meaning.

The fund has an initial goal of raising $100,000 by 2020.

The Mioli fund was designed with a classroom component in mind, and the philanthropy tournament helps students hone their sales and fundraising skills while contributing to a good cause in Mioli’s honor.

From 18 candidates in the fall 2016 class, Mayforth and juniors John Brown, Katy Doder, and Molly Metress were named finalists. Brown, who finished second, won $250 for Mission Partners Guatemala. Doder advocated for the Alzheimer’s Association and Metress for the ALS Foundation, both of which received $100 donations.

Mayforth captured the top prize by sharing his personal connection to Dayton Children’s. As a sixth grader, Mayforth began experiencing significant stomach distress a family doctor couldn’t treat. There were no warning signs or symptoms to alert anyone to the issue.

Mayforth’s family went to Dayton Children’s and met with gastroenterologist Adam Mezoff, who ran a battery of tests to determine the cause of Mayforth’s illness.

“I would just wake up one night and the pain was there,” Mayforth told the class. “It would last 2-3 months, and in the worst case, it lasted five months. No medicine could help it.”

After months of pain, his symptoms would disappear just as quickly as they arrived. But they’d inevitably return, leading to more lengthy episodes of extreme stomach pain. Mayforth said he often couldn’t sleep, sometimes staying up for 48 hours doubled over in pain, and missed significant amounts of school.

While Mezoff remained determined to research and find a solution after all tests came back negative, Mayforth visited three of the largest hospitals in Ohio for treatment, all to no avail. But Mezoff, now chief medical officer and vice president at Dayton Children’s, kept working, and eventually found the answer by examining a past test for a different result.

Mezoff discovered Mayforth had superior mesenteric artery syndrome, a disease in which one’s arteries compress the intestines. Only 400 cases have ever been reported, putting Mayforth in rare company. In extreme cases, if not caught and treated, patients could starve to death.

Mayforth got the diagnosis during his first year at UD, a time period in which he carried a 1.67 grade-point average and landed on academic probation. After receiving treatment, he was able to attend class regularly and study without pain. He has since made the honor roll and is on track to graduate.

“My personal experiences with Dayton Children’s gave me the passion to want to give back, as a way of thanking them for all they have done for me,” Mayforth said. “I think it’s important to have these kind of resources available and keep them well funded, because you can’t predict when you, or someone you know, will need a place like Dayton Children’s.”

And thanks to the University of Dayton, the Sport Management program and the Mioli Fund, Mayforth found a way to show his appreciation, and help other children who walk through the hospital’s doors.

For more information about Gary Mioli, the Mioli Fund and contribution information, click here.

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