Lights. Color. Celebration.
This is what the Diwali: Festival of Lights is all about.
In addition to setting off fireworks and lighting candles, this ancient Hindu religious festival also signifies the victor of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.
Manjhunath Ayyampudur of the University’s Indian Student Association began the event by welcoming everyone and playing a presentation on the origins of Diwali. After, attendees were encouraged to get moving to folk and traditional Indian dances. Following the impromptu dance party, visitors were able to watch professionals display their years of practice in the art of Indian dance.
“For me, the chance to learn more about a different culture is the most important aspect of this event, and why we host it,” Ayyampudur said. “For students, this is an opportunity to see traditional dances, learn about a religion that they’re probably unfamiliar with, and eat some new types of food.”
After the presentations, attendees were invited to sit down at a table to enjoy a meal with some new friends. There were over 20 varieties of dishes that included chicken, lamb and vegetables.
Bollywood music filled the RecPlex after guest’s stomachs were nicely stuffed, and dance and singing performances went late into the night. For graduate student Katrina Staker, this was an event not to be missed.
“I learned about this event through friends and attended last year, and then over the summer, I had a chance to visit India and learn all about the culture firsthand. I so appreciate having both opportunities to socialize and grow,” she said.
It’s no secret that Italy is well known for its delicious cuisine. Thanks to Andria Chiodo, professor emerita of Italian, and Patricia Dolan, former professor of nutrition and dietetics, through UD’s Continuing Education program, participants can experience it firsthand.
“A Taste of Italy,” a program that in October completed its second annual trip, was developed by Chiodo and Dolan after similar educational travel programs offered at UD.
“The Continuing Education program has sponsored noncredit educational travel programs since 1984, with the concept of a themed travel program for “older” adults that would be both educational and enjoyable,” Chiodo says. “It began with one language professor joining with one music professor. The combined insight of two professors gives participants an insight into the culture not easily found on commercial trips.”
Chiodo and Dolan led a group of 14 participants through a tour that included stops in Turin, Florence and Sorrento. Along the way, the group visited local attractions and, most importantly, sampled the cuisine.
“The three cities perfectly represent the diverse culture — and cuisine — of the different parts of Italy,” Chiodo says. “We got a taste of the birthplace of the ‘slow food movement’ in Turin, visited wonderful vineyards in the countryside near Florence, and ate the delicious seafood and cheese native to Sorrento.”
The program allowed participants a semi-structured schedule that allowed for free time and exploration, but also included several cooking classes at esteemed culinary schools and the chance to make their own ice cream and mozzarella.
While now both retired, Chiodo and Dolan are always excited to share their knowledge with others — and another chance to visit Italy.
“As recently retired faculty, we enjoy sharing our passion for our disciplines with others, and hope to offer participants an enjoyable learning experience,” Chiodo said.
To learn more about the educational travel programs offered at UD, visit the website.
After a week of events ranging from a solar cooking contest to a film screening of DamNation at ArtStreet, Sustainability Week 2014 culminated in the Sustainability Summit to celebrate green initiatives in Dayton and around the world.
As the first of its kind on UD’s campus, the conference featured local vendors as well as talks by educators, business leaders and representatives of the Marianist community. While the conference highlighted the region’s achievements in sustainable practices, speakers acknowledged that both our region and our world still have a long way to go. But the movement is gathering momentum.
The University’s partnership with Emerson Climate Technologies, featured at the summit, continues to strengthen UD’s commitment to sustainability. The company’s global innovation center, to be located at the corner of Main and Stewart streets, will follow a legacy of employing UD students and graduates in its partnership with the University. Students, faculty and other summit attendees enjoyed a presentation outlining the new building’s design and future initiatives. The center is slated to open in spring 2016.
Other presentations throughout the day featured a panel of international students in “Cultural Perspectives on Food,” sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs; Jake Flaherty of Urban Apothecaries in “Vitamisery: Responsibility in an Unregulated Vitamin Industry;” Dr. John Fagan of Earth OpenSource in “The Ethics and Science of GMOs,” among several other speakers at the summit.
Jeanne Holcomb, assistant professor of sociology, anthropology, and social Work; Sister Leanne Jablonski, professor of religious studies; and Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant wrapped up the day with a panel discussion on the importance of sustainability within the Marianist charism.
“It’s not always easy to determine the common good,” Misleh said. “But as Marianists, it’s our job to view the situation with a ray of hope. We can start by working toward the ‘common slightly better.’”
Anything is possible in New York City — especially when visiting University of Dayton alumni.
Over students’ mid-term break, Oct. 8-12, 13 finance and economics students were selected to attend UD’s first-ever UD2NYC trip to tour places like investment firms, the Federal Reserve Bank and the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Similar to the UD2DC program, which visits the nation’s capital, students had the opportunity to meet with prominent alumni in relevant fields and experience the culture and atmosphere of one of America’s largest cities.
Chris Bendel ’16 was one of the selected students. Beside the opportunities the trip provided, he was excited to see a Broadway show with the rest of the crew.
“We were there for two full days, jam-packed with visits to different firms,” he said. “We woke up 5:30 a.m. and didn’t stop until 9:30 p.m.”
Finance and economics professor Trevor Collier and Senior Director of Development for Advancement Todd Imwalle carefully planned UD2NYC. Bendel said their dedication and preparation was evident in the execution of the itinerary and tight scheduling.
“If we missed one turn, we would have missed an appointment. We were flying through the subways,” he said. “The week before our trip, they took the time to fly to New York and go through our itinerary step by step to figure out what we had to do to meet our deadlines.”
Not only were the leaders of the trip passionate about the students’ exposure to the city, but every firm had an alumni connection.
You could tell the UD grads really care about the future of UD students,” Bendel said. “They go that extra step, they want to help us out and get our foot in the door, if that’s where you want to be.”
As a self-proclaimed “planner,” Bendel admitted the trip gave him a new perspective on the city and careers in finance and economics.
“When you’re talking with recent alumni, it’s really fascinating to hear their stories, their individual career paths,” he said. “I talked to one person who graduated in ’96, and he lived on my street at UD. Networking is sometimes kind of forced, but this trip really wasn’t because we all have this Dayton connection.”
Junior Mark Dues handed the visitor a bust of a red devil.
“You can see the detail,” he said, fingering the unholy flesh 3-D printed out of cornstarch plastic.
Last night, Dues welcomed visitors to a preview of the Proto BuildBar on East First Street in downtown Dayton. The computer engineering major will soon be helping customers design and print their own 3-D creations, or solder together everything from a circuit board speaker to their own Arduino invention.
At an earlier preview, he helped a young boy design his first 3-D model. The best part, Dues said, was “the shock and awe moment on his face. He was really fascinated with it. It helped me want to teach something since he was so excited.”
Proto is the brainchild of Chris Wire, founder of Real Art, a design firm known for invention marketing and fun, like the world’s largest claw game.
Dues, clad in a mechanics-style shirt and jeans, is already having fun. As one of two college students on the Proto team, he was answering questions, grabbing pre-printed samples for visitors to touch and demonstrating the 3-D hand scanner for those interested in memorializing their faces in orange plastic.
He said he got the part-time job thanks to the 3-D modeling experience he received as a co-op student with Crown Equipment Corp. There, he once waited two months for a prototype to be fashioned before he could hold it in his hands. “Here,” he said, motioning to the nearly dozen printers buzzing and whirring out colored spindles of plastic, “it’s 12 hours, max.”
Dues won’t be fabricating manufacturing parts, but he will be introducing the curious of all ages to the technology’s accessibility — and to its unlimited possibilities — in a setting with food and drink to pass the time while you print.
When was the last time you felt close to the natural world? Do you remember the last time you smelled a flower, or took care of a wounded animal, or prepared your dinner from homegrown vegetables?
According to Joel Salatin, a Virginia farmer and author of numerous books on sustainable agriculture, the way we eat has distanced us from nature — and our entire world has suffered because of it.
“Today, we are spectators in life. We play fantasy games instead of experiencing real, physical sensations. But this isn’t normal — we aren’t going to be able to disconnect ourselves from the Earth,” Salatin said.
As the keynote speaker of UD’s Sustainability Week 2014, Salatin spoke to a packed Sears Recital Hall Wednesday evening. Salatin challenged students to consider what we lose when we sacrifice ecosystems for the mass production of food.
“There’s an amazing self-empowerment that comes from participating in nature’s bounty. But when you don’t use something, you get scared of it because you don’t understand it. We’re so far removed from our food sources that we no longer understand them,” Salatin said.
Animals crammed into dark, stuffy corrals; vast fields of genetically modified corn and soybeans ridden with pesticides; and packaged foods with ingredient names we can’t pronounce are just a few of Salatin’s criticisms of industrial agriculture.
Is there any hope for us to reconnect with the Earth?
For Salatin, the answer lies in redefining what we consider “normal” — and it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
“Restoring ecology will restore sanity. We can wake up in the morning and become aware of the seasons. We can restore the naturally integrated food system instead of the segregated food system of industrial agriculture. Yes, we can damage, but we can also use that knowledge to heal,” Salatin said.
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. They’re classics; and through Nov. 9, they’re on display at the University of Dayton, along with dozens more of the same caliber.
Halfway through the University’s Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress Rose Rare Books Exhibit, Daniel DeSimone ’74 of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., spoke Oct. 16 on “Why Stuart Rose’s Collection of Rare Books Matters in the Age of Digital Surrogates.”
DeSimone prompted the audience to think not just about the text of a book, but about single letters within that text. “What may seem trivial to some readers is actually a huge part of understanding the history and thought behind artistic and literary treasures of the world,” he said.
DeSimone described Rose’s collection as “a rare and amazing opportunity” for students to reach beyond the text and focus on how older documents are a supplemental part of our history and the human consciousness.
As Rose lent his collection to UD for lessons and students to walk through, DeSimone paralleled Henry Clay Folger doing the same thing with the Folger Library in 1932. Stuart and Folger both built a collection of rare valuables, one-of-a-kind items, and regifted them to the nation.
While the population seems to be moving into the digital era, DeSimone asked the audience to think more about books.
“To me, the book is the perfect object,” DeSimone said. “There is a history about the book itself through the binding, the type, the paper used. It’s a sensitivity the humanities is about.”
As DeSimone ended his lecture, he urged the audience to look deeper than what the eye can see: “Don’t judge a book by its content; there is information that is inherent in the object.”
You don’t have to think like a historian to understand that an explanation of what our world is like today often lies in our past.
UD Sustainability Week began Monday with a splash. Students and community members filled ArtStreet Studio B for a film screening of DamNation, a documentary about the environmental activist movement against damming rivers, with pizza, prizes and a panel discussion afterwards.
As a collaboration between the Rivers Institute and the Sustainability Club, the film and discussion addressed an issue that hits particularly close to home. In the midst of plans to remove several dams on the Great Miami River in the heart of downtown Dayton, DamNation challenged students to think differently about the environmental impacts of obstructing the natural flow of our rivers.
According to the film, the era of dam building began with the implementation of the Reclamation Act of 1902, through which the government built many dams in the American West in order to irrigate the naturally arid land. Today, over 75,000 dams exist in the United States—equivalent to one every year since Thomas Jefferson was president.
The environmental devastation caused by dams might not seem obvious at first. But because they disconnect rivers and prevent flow of sediment, oxygen and the migration of species, they can cause great harm to entire watersheds — a fact that has shifted focus away from dam building, and instead, towards dam removal.
Panelists Jeffrey Kavanaugh of the UD Biology Department, Eric Dahlstrom of Five Rivers MetroParks, and Sarah Hippensteel Hall of the Miami Conservancy District discussed the film’s relevance to our own Great Miami River and its tributaries.
“There’s a different conversation going on in the Miami Valley, even within just a few miles from Dayton. There are dams coming out. They were built for specific functions, but they aren’t serving those functions anymore,” Kavanaugh said.
“The way we respect our rivers has changed,” Dahlstrom added.
For more on Sustainability Week 2014, follow UDQuickly’s coverage and visit www.udayton.edu/students/sustainabilityweek.
It took a trip in the pouring rain, led by an energetic eight-year-old, to get a group of UD students out of their bubble.
Every year, UD offers Fall BreakOut trips as a way to “break out” of the campus bubble and do something that can enhance students’ college experiences and their lives.
This year was no different. Students could choose to visit Camden, New Jersey, Lewis County, Kentucky, Detroit or Salyersville, Kentucky. Attendants of the Salyersville trip took part in the Appalachia Immersion, and had “the experience of a lifetime.”
“I didn’t really know what to expect before going,” said Alex Gaskins, a fifth-year engineering major. “I was just looking to understand God’s creations in a new way.”
During their stay, Gaskins and others were introduced to families in the Appalachian community, visited a nursing home where they played Bingo and cards with residents, and attended Mass at a local church. Students also received a warm welcome from local artist Tom Whitaker.
“Tom explained that poverty wasn’t really the issue among the people who lived there,” said Mary-Kate Beck, a senior marketing major. “He said people with all the money in the world still struggle with certain personal matters. It was their sense of community they prided themselves on.”
It was evident to Gaskins and Beck they could make a difference — no matter how small — and that the families could impact them as well.
“It makes you realize how much we have, and how they still get by on how little they have,” Beck observed. “They use each other for support, and that’s all they seem to really need.”
Gaskins was impacted most by someone rather unexpected: an eight-year-old boy named Cruz.
“He took me to the woods in the pouring rain to show me his fort,” he said. “Even though I was cold and drenched from head to toe, he was so excited. I got to share in something unique to him, and that was really special.”
If you build it, they will need to eat.
With more campus departments taking up residence in Fitz Hall (formerly College Park Center), a need to fuel the masses came along with the increased foot traffic. The Brown Street Bistro was born.
At its initial opening Oct. 13, supervisors and student employees greeted visitors with warm smiles, free samples and detailed descriptions of their offerings.
Under the operation of Virginia W. Kettering Hall, the Bistro will offer fresh, made-to-order deli sandwiches and salads, homemade soup, various grab-and-go items and coffee, along with other beverages and desserts. Customers can also choose to mix and match a half sandwich, half salad, or a cup of soup for a pick-two combo.
The Bistro can be found on the 5th floor, directly accessible from the elevator, and will be open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It also features a seating area with booths and conventional tables and chairs.
Fitz Hall today is home to such departments as art and design and music and the School of Education and Health Sciences. Many students responded positively to the news of a new dining spot opening in the primary location of their classes.
“When I heard that we were getting a place to eat here, I just thought, ‘Finally!’” junior graphic design major Alexa Indriolo said. “I appreciated the vegetarian and build-your-own sandwich and salad options. Since it’s open so early, I plan to go in the mornings before class as often as I can.”
Staff members are also enjoying the new dining space. Shannon Miller, assistant director of communications and a professor in the Department of Health and Sports Science, grabbed lunch conveniently after her class.
“I recommend the spinach salad,” she said.
For more information, visit udayton.edu/diningservices.