Among haphazard stacks of pillows and a box brimming with popular board games, University of Dayton students gather outside the Marianist community on Kiefaber Street to join hands in prayer before departing for a summer in Appalachia.
The day’s warmth matches the heartfelt spirit of the words shared.
“Dear God, thank you for these beautiful people, this beautiful day, this beautiful opportunity,” one student says, head bowed.
For half a century, students have lived among the people of Salyersville, Ky., during the summers. It’s a tiny, rich-in-spirit slice of Appalachia just 227 miles away from campus but worlds apart in way of life. For 18 years, Bro. Tom Pieper, S.M., a campus minister affectionately known as “BT,” has accompanied the volunteers.
The students will run a free day camp and teen center and volunteer at a nursing home during a summer where they will live simply and learn more than they ever imagined about themselves. They’ll share a dilapidated 1930s farmhouse without TVs, cell phones and computers.
“May you all embrace the simple things. Conversation, jumping in the lake — all that we take for granted,” prays Mary Niebler, associate director of the Center for Social Concern, before the 14 students leave in four vans filled with donated food and clothing.
At the University of Dayton, “community” is part of the DNA. But for Brad Gerberick, of Delphos, Ohio, there’s no place like Salyersville to experience most deeply what community means.
“Everyone is so open and loving. When you roll up to a house in a van, all the kids run over and give you a huge hug. It’s wonderful,” says Gerberick, who’s returning to Salyersville to help orient this summer’s group of volunteers, including his brother, Eric, a sophomore.
Inspired by his time in Salyersville, Gerberick, a recent chemical engineering graduate, is volunteering for a year of service through the Christian Appalachian Program, starting in August.
Most students say the opportunity to serve others convinced them to apply for the summer immersion program. “I’m going sight unseen, but I’m always ready for a new experience,” says Jonathan Higgins, a senior music major from Indianapolis. “I try to lead a life of service.”
Adds Danielle Kearns, a senior civil engineering major from Cincinnati: “It’s my last chance to do something like this. I’ve been down several times to visit, I’m comfortable with the kids, and I’ve enjoyed every second I was there.”
When he was a student, Tom Schmidt ’01 was sitting on his Lawnview porch when alumni walked up, wanting to see the time capsule they had left inside the house. Together they looked through its contents, which included old Flyer News issues and a Milano’s menu. What stuck with Schmidt was that a part of these alumni remained in the house long after they had graduated.
This year, he and his wife, Jessica, a former UD employee, got their turn to be part of the UD legacy. Their names were among those on a banner buried in the foundation of the new “I Love UD” house. Schmidt said, “To know that we’re a part of the house, literally and figuratively, is cool.”
On May 15, thanks to more than 800 gifts and 1200 votes on the location, color and design of the house, concrete was poured on the 400-block of Stonemill. It buried a 4-foot by 8-foot banner in the foundation that holds the names of donors who gave $25 or more to the project. Melanie Henterly, marketing and communications coordinator in the Office of Advancement, believed that the campaign was able to emphasize the importance of every gift, no matter the size. All gifts allow this university to do great things, she said. They are the foundation.
The “I Love UD” house is part of a $17 million investment by the University during the next two years to accommodate a growing student population and strong student demand for University-owned housing. It will be energy efficient and is slated to be the first LEED Gold-certified house in the student neighborhood, meeting the requirements of the National Green Build Standard. The five-bedroom house is scheduled to be completed by fall, ready to take in five students for the next school year.
Since 1964, Kennedy Union’s Boll Theatre has faithfully played its part supporting UD’s drama program.
Now this summer, instead of staging the usual children’s play, it will temporarily close its doors as the Theatre Department focuses on much-needed updates.
“We’re hitting the reset button, basically, for the summer,” said Matt Evans, lecturer in the Theatre Department and technical director of Boll Theatre.
On top of the usual summer cleaning and reorganizing, many larger projects are planned. They include painting, installing flooring for the stage and the scene shop, fixing the lighting, upgrading the rigging, and changing the curtains.They also will add more safety equipment, including a fall-restraint system for student employees.
The biggest project, no doubt, will be replacing the pit elevator. This elevator moves materials and equipment from the loading dock, on the ground level, to the stage, 14 feet above. The pit itself is used for musicians during a performance to stay out of the audience’s view while the performers can still see the conductor.
The elevator requires many safety and legal steps to be sure it is up to code. Though it is too early to predict when entire project will be finished, Evans doesn’t anticipate any complications. He does think the elevator replacement will take longer.
Evans expects all other improvements to be finished in August, ready to perform for the new school year.
An urban campus needs some good urban art.
That was the idea behind the 2015 1World Celebration that filled ArtStreet April 24. Breakdancers whirled and popped and locked outside as bands blasted in the Creator Space.
A freestyle rap improv “Synergy Cypher” led by Dayton’s Black Epoch and a live graffiti experience were also a part of this year’s celebration, themed “Hip-hop in the Community.”
Senior Mae Tunney decided to go because some classes allowed students to earn extra credit. But she stayed because of the experience. “This type of music is a change from what we hear at UD, and we also got to see some really cool hip-hop dancers and poetry.”
Junior Tiara Jackson was excited to see this program at UD. “This event is definitely unique from others on campus because you can see different forms of art that connect different cultures together,” she said. “It’s also a connection to what’s going on in the Dayton area.”
The Dayton Human Relations Council collaborated in the presentation of 1World, and one individual community connection at the celebration was Jay Martinez, an artist with Metaphorically Speaking. He’s worked directly with the council’s initiative: “Speak. Be Heard. Be Considered.”
When Martinez isn’t performing, he helps run a high school anti-teen violence program and slam competition. “It’s important for people to speak out about what they find important because you never know who you are going to impact,” he said.
1World was a success on both as entertainment and impact.
“Never have I had the privilege of being part of such a positive message through the elements of hip-hop,” said Brian LaDuca, director of ArtStreet. “1World brought together diversity of culture, ages and artistry around the topics of gun violence and community engagement through dance, to rhyme to knowledge.
“1World 2015 was an inspirational night of community and campus in action.”
–– Photos by Andrew Yedlick ’16
Law professor John Terzano earned an award for peace that started with war.
Today, the U.S. Navy veteran who served two tours in the Vietnam War is spending the 40th anniversary of the end of the war in the country where he fought — and that he continues to fight for.
Terzano, associate professor of academic success and director of academic success and bar passage, first returned to Vietnam in 1981. He saw the physical and environmental destruction left by the war, including the lingering impact of landmines and Agent Orange.
“It changed our lives,” he said of four service members who made the trip. “We think of Vietnam as a war; Vietnam is a country. Its people have hopes and dreams.
Since that first trip, Terzano and his colleagues successfully petitioned for the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam. That allowed them to offer a clinic to help landmine victims receive care and prosthetics.
They worked with the U.S. government on a moratorium on the use of landmines, and the push grew into an international campaign. In 1997, 122 nations signed an international treaty banning landmines. The organization he helped co-found, Veterans for America (formerly known as Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation), shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
He has spent his professional life giving a voice to the voiceless and working on issues important to him. When he closed his most recent organization in D.C., he looked toward a teaching position at a place where social justice holds similar importance. “I have stood on numerous shoulders to achieve some of the things in my life … but I’m also at a point where my shoulders are strong enough to support some of them [the new generation of justice workers],” he said.
Before he left for Vietnam last Friday, he said he was happy to go back and see old friends and colleagues and see how the program he helped start continues to do extraordinary work.
“Seeing a smile on a little child’s face when she gets a new limb,” he said, “… is more gratifying than all the accolades from government.”
Students: After emptying your cabinets, closets and corners of your dorm room and house of unwanted items, consider donating them — not dumping them.
That’s the message of UD’s annual spring food and clothing drive, with donation bins through May 4 in residence halls and collection sites at marked houses throughout the student neighborhood. Despite the event’s name, donors can give much more than food and clothing. Items eligible for donation include furniture, clothing and shoes, electronics, household items, books, nonperishable and unopened food, personal items, and cleaning supplies.
The yearly drive is a collaborative effort between several campus partners, neighborhood fellows and more than 30 student volunteers from the UDSAP program, the St. Vincent de Paul Club and the REAL Dayton team, as well as individual volunteers.
Some of the food donated will feed the group of UDSAP students while they live and serve in eastern Kentucky this summer. The remaining items will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul of Dayton and Catholic Social Services Refugee Resettlement to support homeless men, women and children.
Brother Brandon Paluch, S.M., said in previous years the entire ground-floor meeting room in Virginia W. Kettering has been completely filled and overflowing, and he anticipates the same outcome for this year.
“The amount of items that have been donated in the past has been almost overwhelming,” he said. “These are all items that won’t go in the dumpster, but rather to children and families in Dayton.”
In the last 50 years, Edward Evans’ UD class ring managed to travel 2,900 miles without him. How? He has no idea, but he has it back, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.
Before this winter, the last time he had seen his ring was in the mid-’60s. He sold siding and roofing for Montgomery Ward in Valley Stream on Long Island, New York, where he took off the ring to wash his hands. He went back for it later, but the ring was gone.
Fast forward to this January, when Gina Zappariello-Illescas wrote to UD. She wanted to return a class ring with a green stone and engraved “Edward R. Evans.” She found it in a box while cleaning out her deceased mother-in-law’s garage. “She has no connection to the school, and no one remembers a Mr. Evans,” she wrote.
It took some hunting to find Evans, who came to UD in 1958 but left after two years to join the Army. While at the Army Pictoral Center in New York, Evans learned the film trade. His career in television took him around the world, from the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, to the D.C. inauguration of George H.W. Bush. He received awards for his coverage of California wildfires and the riots after the Rodney King beating.
Evans now lives in Oxnard, California. The ring — in the box, in the garage — was found five hours north in San Francisco.
“My guess is that someone took it and wore it as their own,” said Zappariello-Illescas, who called Evans to give him the good news. She was happy to mail it to its rightful owner; he was overjoyed to receive it.
“It looks like it’s been worn, not by me; it was almost new when I lost it,” Evans said. “I’ll wear it for a while, look at it, get used to it and tell people about it.”
Even though he and she were unable to decipher the ring’s mysterious road from one coast to the other, it’s still a great story to tell.
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Kennedy Union stocked its kitchens with food from all over the region for two special events.
The first was a Friends of Asia reception in Torch Lounge, sponsored by the Center for International Programs and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Intended for the UD community to meet students, faculty and staff with an interest in or affiliation to Asia, its languages and cultures, from rice to cinnamon balls, there was something for everyone to savor.
“Just try it,” exclaimed a high school student to his friend on an Upward Bound college tour. “You never know if you will like it until you try.”
“It’s hot, but I can’t stop eating it!” the friend cried back. “I don’t know what it is, but I like it.”
Freshman Bradley Petrella also stopped by the event purely to pick up some food, but ended up stopping at all the booths. “I definitely came to check out some good food, but got a helping of history, too,” he said. As an international studies major, Petrella appreciates these types of events and stops by whenever he has some free time.
One day later, the dining hall staff prepared a feast for the Asian and Pacific American Heritage Celebration Dinner.
Manager Todd Zwayer was given a menu and worked with his team to develop recipes that would be appealing to students but also look good and hold better sitting on steam tables.
“I definitely did my research,” Zwayer said. “We picked recipes that were authentic but also not too intimidating for college students to try.”
Senior Hailey Kwon’s favorite part of the event was the chance to try new food. “I generally come to these every month because it’s cheaper than usual and you never know what you are going to get.”
College is reserved for exploring your passions and finding a career, and the UD experience offers plenty of opportunities for students to combine their passions with their schoolwork. Take, for example, senior psychology major Nolan McNulty, who had the chance to combine one of his passions — music — with his career aspirations in organizational psychology.
Required to complete a thesis for the honors program, the Brighton, Michigan, native saw the culmination of his honor’s thesis last week as he presented a poster April 15 at the Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium.
“My project looked at the effect of music on mood in the workplace. I’ve played guitar for over a decade and have a real passion for music, and I have a strong interest in workplace atmosphere and organizational psychology, so I saw this as a great opportunity to combine them all for my thesis,” McNulty said.
For his experiment, McNulty chose to collect his data by analyzing employees at ArtStreet Café.
“I exposed student workers to music and non-music conditions and assessed their affect (mood) using the Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale (PANAS),” he said. “I decided to use classical music because it brings about the most consistent esthetic responses, which allowed for employees to respond better to the music they were exposed to.”
While he was unable to conclude that music is able to alter the mood of workers, McNulty can still take away the notion that music makes the workplace more pleasant. Even more importantly, this research project provided a great experience to help guide him in his future career.
“I’ll be working after graduation as an associate consultant for a management consulting firm called Root Inc. that specializes in executing a company’s strategy through their people, so this was a great experience” he said.
While several students prepared their projects and presentations for the 2015 Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium, a group of graphic design students handled their marketing and promotion.
Kathy Kargl, visual communication design lecturer, assigned her Graphic Design I classes a final project: Promote an assigned Stander event, get people’s attention and encourage them to attend. The students deployed eye-catching tactics of guerilla graphic design, using unconventional and unexpected ways to advertise.
Senior Amalia Emma promoted the event, “The Changing World of Work,” and placed vinyl stickers on the floor of the library elevators. Her tagline was, “Are you drowning in debt?” and the photography on her posters, stickers and table tents featured senior Megan Gannon floating in a pool.
Another senior, Bonnie Steensen, marketed for the “Human Rights Campaign Video Project” with a crossword puzzle theme and the tagline, “Human rights abuse is right in front of you, can you see it?” On her poster, she created a crossword puzzle with highlighted words like food deserts and human trafficking. She then placed incomplete crossword puzzles on tables in the library that offered students an easy, yet informational study break.
Senior Jacob Hansen’s project advertised the “UD Business Plan Competition” with bright yellow and black vinyl stickers placed on windows in Miriam Hall where many business students pass throughout the day. His posters and table tents reflected the same design and color scheme, which attracted attention across campus.
The students collaborated with Andrea Wade, academic events coordinator, as well as students and project mentors – their clients, essentially – to create successful results.
“The project was a fantastic way to get ready for designing in the real world,” Hansen said. “Talking to clients, designing a consistent brand and managing a budget was a great experience.”