The University of Dayton got up close with Ohio politics Sept. 19 in hosting the first Ohio gubernatorial debate between Republican nominee Mike DeWine and Democratic nominee Richard Cordray.
Attending the event, held at Daniel J. Curran Place, were journalists and photographers from across the state, along with UD students from UD Magazine, Flyer News, and both the College Democrats and College Republicans, among other groups and organizations.
Both University students and professional press had the opportunity to be in the media room and received special access to fact check updates on the candidates throughout the debate. In addition, students had the privilege to meet both Dewine and Cordray — a rare experience for any college student.
But, as I covered the event as a student journalist, I wondered, how did the University of Dayton end up being chosen to host such an important political event? And, now that it’s over, what does hosting this event mean for UD’s reputation in the future?
Ted Bucaro, government and regional relations director at UD, talked with me after the debate to explain the behind the scenes of putting on the political event.
Bucaro explained that for years the University had sent out letters to candidates, asking them to consider the University of Dayton as a location for their debate. This year both Dewine’s and Cordray’s campaigns said yes.
“We saw some real opportunities for students,” Bucaro said when he found out the University would be hosting.
And opportunities were plentiful at the debate with students participating in every aspect of the event from laying down tape for the camera crew, to writing stories on the debate in the media room for UD Magazine and Flyer News, to watching the debate live, thanks to the generosity of the county Republicans and Democrats, who were able to spare some extra tickets.
There was also a debate watch party on the second floor, where, at any given time, 40-50 students and faculty from campus organizations such as Student Government, College Republicans, and College Democrats watched the debate as a group.
Bucaro said that is was a group effort with UD staff from the IT department, the government and regional relations department, and the media relations department to student organizations such as Vote Everywhere and Student Government all pitching in to make the debate a success.
“There’s a lot that goes into a 58-minute production,” Bucaro pointed out.
Looking to the future and what hosting this event will mean for UD’s reputation, Bucaro is optimistic.
“Intuitively, I think it’s huge. If they’re a 17-year-old and they happen to be interested in political science, and they were watching the debate, and they see what the University is capable of, they’re going to look at UD,” he said.
Basketball lover? Follower of politics? Me? Never — that was until I joined the University of Dayton Magazine staff as a student writer in July 2016.
I am now the proud holder of press credentials to the NCAA First Four tournaments and the first 2018 Ohio gubernatorial debate, held last night on the University of Dayton campus. The UD Magazine gave me the opportunity to do both, so here I am writing to you today with a few new titles to my credit: UD Magazine graduate assistant, basketball fan and informed Ohio voter.
I remember it so clearly: With pounding heart and sweating palms, I walked in to cover my first event for the magazine. However, yesterday, walking into Daniel J. Curran Place for the debate between between Democratic nominee Richard Cordray and Republican nominee and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, I felt different. I felt like I belonged.
My UD communication classes taught me how to take notes, conduct interviews and write in AP Style, but it has been my supplemental learning experience at the UD Magazine that taught me how to apply these skills and prepared me to sit amongst the full-time reporters in the press room.
My learning experience at UD, however, is not unique. UD is dedicated to having students from all years and majors included in these special opportunities. From UD Information Technology students coordinating IT to Flyer TV students running the debate clocks to UD students submitting questions for the nominees, the University ensures students are involved everywhere they can be.
And although UD has a way of making everyone feel at home, I have a few extra tips to keep students with jitters (like me) at ease during these large-scale events:
–Get there early to familiarize yourself with the event layout.
–Eat some complimentary food.
–Introduce yourself to that new face.
-Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
-And always, always eat that second cookie.
Thanks, UD, for supporting students’ passions like mine inside and outside of the classroom.
Dayton has often been referred to as “The Gem City.” But one thing people may not know is that the city has also been called the funk capital of the Midwest.
From September 12-14, the University of Dayton hosted Dayton’s very first Funk Symposium, which celebrated the history and revival of funk music in Ohio. The event included a tour of the Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center in downtown Dayton, speaking panels of funk musicians from popular bands like Heatwave and The Ohio Players and even a celebratory dance party in Kennedy Union ballroom, which sold more than 400 tickets.
Many of the speakers mentioned how funk music, though not as relevant today as it once was, should still be recognized as a vital and significant style of music — it brought us what insiders call, the groove.
“I think the funk formula is still very much at the center of pop music. It just expresses itself in different ways,” keynote speaker and associate professor of African American Studies at University of California, Los Angeles, Scot Brown, said.
Brown presented in Sears Recital Hall Wednesday night and filled the room with energy, excitement and groovy funk tunes. He noted his joy that funk music was in a state of revival, and that the distinct sounds that make the style so special are appearing in popular music today.
“There’s interest in it now, so it’s hip again. I’m listening to guitar strokes come back on radio again!” Brown said enthusiastically.
Yet while funk is making a comeback, speakers at the Introductory Roundtable: Looking Back at Funk History in Dayton reminded people of the fact that in an earlier time, Dayton was the epicenter of the funk music movement — and the competition was tough.
“Back in the day…there were quite a few groups in Dayton, Ohio. Quite a few groups. Everybody was good so, you know, in order for us to do what we had to do we had to be good, too,” Keith Harrison said, speaking on his experience as a musician in funk bands The Ohio Players, the Parliament Funk-a-delics, and the Dazz Band, for which he won a Grammy Award in 1982.
The event included panelists Keith Harrison, longtime member of the Ohio Players and University alumni Clarence Willis ’72, and producer for The Real News Network, Ericka Blout.
Other speakers at the symposium included Jesse Rae, the Funk Ambassador to Scotland, Willis “Bing” Davis from The Center for the Study of African American Art and Culture in Dayton and an array of professors from universities around the country.
The symposium successfully brought students, faculty, and people from around the city of Dayton together in celebration of an art form that is considered purely unique to this city.
“There’s a lot of music out of Dayton, but I think music that has made the most impact in the entertainment world has been funk music,” Willis said.
For seniors, the reality of the inevitable — graduating and working in the real world — is becoming more pressing with each day.
The Alumni Association took a step towards making sure students were ready for life after UD at the Alumni Networking Mixer on Sept. 7. The mixer was part of the Alumni Leadership Conference, which brings nearly70 alumni volunteers back to campus for training and University updates.
The event started off with a panel discussion followed by a mixer, where students had the chance to interact with alumni.
Discussion topics included advice on how to prepare for a career while an undergraduate, stories about facing and overcoming workplace discrimination and encouraging words on how to stay curious and motivated after graduation.
In answering the question “What final pieces of advice do you have for students?” Jen Weed ’95, Alumni Association board of directors vice president of education, drove home the point of the power of networking and connections. She challenged students to broaden their idea of what networking means and to not be afraid to ask for help from people outside their field of study.
She gave the example that if a student was interested in going to Chicago, for instance, that meeting alumni from that area would help them reach their goal.
Weed advised: “Who cares about the industry? My friends are in hiring positions all across Chicago, all across the country, in all different industries. So come talk to me. How can I help you? I encourage you, before you leave here today, to ask someone to do something for you that’s going to help advance you in your career.”
After the panel discussion, alumni gathered at tables around the room categorized by industry, including: government, technology, education, sales, healthcare, and more.
Senior environmental biology major Celia Montemurri, attended the event and said the message of staying connected with people from the UD community stuck with her.
“Engaging with alumni was a very beneficial experience. Even though there was no one present representing my field of study in particular, I gained incredible advice about how to set myself up for success in my future career,” Montemurri said. “Plus, everyone was ready and willing to connect me with friends who work in my field of interest. Who knows? One of these alum’s friends might be my future employer.”
On Friday, August 24, students breathed a sigh of relief for finally completing their first week of classes as The Center for Student Involvement hosted their annual Up the Orgs event held in Central Mall.
Accompanied by the sunshine, students gathered around their colorfully decorated tables to represent the organization they were promoting.
With 257 student organizations, ranging from Greek Life to club sports, and off campus vendors like Aveda and Skyline Chili, Up the Orgs provides a wide variety of opportunities reaching the interest of any student.
By coming to Up the Orgs “They [students] get to meet new people they wouldn’t normally meet. They also get to broaden their horizons and become a more well rounded person,” said Kayla Schneider ’18, a senior marketing major running the Love Your Melon table.
Not only is Up the Orgs a great opportunity to meet up with group members after the long summer break, but is also promoted for to first year students as a way to get to know people on campus.
Maria Difranco ’22, an early childhood education major living in Marycrest said, “I know I want to get involved in the Dayton community so I had to come to Up the Orgs. I just signed up for Pro Life Club and now I’m looking for the Drama Club.”
Over 2,200 students and dozens of faculty and staff filled RecPlex Aug. 21 as the University held its 2018 convocation welcoming the Class of 2022 to the Flyer family.
President Eric F. Spina, in his opening remarks, kept his advice simple to the new first-year students: “Invest in yourself, invest in your education, invest in others.”
Spina encouraged the class to make education the central element to the college experience as that was the main reason they were sitting in front of him at that moment.
“This is truly the time to challenge yourself, risk failure, rebound from any mistakes — and reach higher,” Spina remarked.
Senior chemical engineering student Josh Romo added to the president’s message by telling the newest class that learning should not solely be confined to the classroom, but sometimes can be taught best outside the lecture hall.
“We change the world not by our achievement in the classroom, but by who we are outside the classroom, by our individual lives,” Romo said.
Detailing key moments of his journey as a young UD student to a rising senior, Romo spoke of experiential learning outside the classroom that have helped shape his view on his life and the world. He urged the newcomers to take advantage of opportunities to grow both inside and outside the classroom, because of how it helped him grow as a person.
“[These moments] have broadened my perspective, changed the way I learn, the way I understand, the way I live and the way I love,” he said. “I love academia not because of what I have learned, but because where it has taken me and how it has challenged by life.”
Following key note speaker Josh Heyne, professor in the School of Engineering, all new students stood up and recited the honor code, solidifying their commitment by pinning their very first UD pin on one another.
The Class of 2022, comes from 39 states and 18 countries, and also has the highest standardized test scores and high school GPAs. It is the second-largest class in school history, following the class of 2021.
At the University of Dayton our library is not a normal library, it’s a cool library.
Roesch Library, also lovingly known as “Club Roesch” by students, is a staple on campus with many resources to offer. But each year library staff ask how they can improve and expose new students to all the library has to offer. So the event “Roeschella” was started in 2016 in collaboration with New Student Orientation to introduce first years to the campus library.
The event, held on Aug. 20 this year, is a play-on-words with the music and arts festival Coachella and allows incoming students to participate in games and giveaways.
Stations include themes like “Leisure Reads for the Weekend” showcasing leisure books and Kindles available for checkout, and “Blink-456” taking students on a virtual reality tour of the soon-to-be-renovated fourth, fifth, and sixth floors.
“I definitely will be using the library a lot this year,” said Erika Moeller, an incoming communication major from Pittsburgh. “I like the concept of quieter floors as you go up and how there are therapy dogs and free food during finals week – I didn’t expect a college library to have this stuff.”
First year discover arts major Alec Bertok from Cincinnati agrees. “Today I learned there are more resources available than I thought,” he said. “The amount of help Roesch offers is impressive.”
Incoming first years moved in Friday, August 17 with New Student Orientation starting the next day. NSO activities run through the Aug. 21.
Celebrated humorist Erma Bombeck ’49 made the foibles of everyday family life her beat. “My idea of housework,” she infamously wrote, “is to sweep the room with a glance.”
That’s why she might get a kick out of the essays in Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now…Before We Forget, a nostalgic, humorous look at life through the ages.
“The stories in this book reflect a philosophy she always believed: If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it,” daughter Betsy Bombeck writes in the preface.
As the founder and director of the University of Dayton’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, I’ve encouraged writers for years to find the courage to put their words down on paper, even publish a book.
Yet when prolific author Allia Zobel Nolan approached me about collaborating on a book, I worried about whether we could find the time and discipline to solicit essays, edit the pieces and publish an anthology, all within six months. With the ink barely dry on the first copies, we introduced the book in April at the spring workshop, with half the essayists in attendance for a book signing. Last week, we launched the ebook. Part of the proceeds benefits the workshop’s endowment fund.
One of the contributors has written eight books. Others have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other national and regional publications. A few, like Fritzy Dean, an 82-year-old great grandmother, have never seen their work published in a book.
“Erma Bombeck put women’s humor on the map,” said Nolan, a former senior editor for Reader’s Digest, who has written more than 175 books herself and shepherded this book from concept to creation. “She was to housewives what Spock was to babies. She held up a mirror to her life, burst out laughing, then sat down and chronicled it for millions to enjoy. We hope this book makes readers feel the same way.”
From the beach to bookstores to bars, readers have posted photos of where they’re reading Laugh Out Loud. One was spotted at a “Leprechaun Crossing” outside Dublin; another at the Motor City Comic Con in Michigan. The oldest reader: 93. The youngest: a toddler.
“When humor goes,” Erma wrote, “there goes civilization.”
The sea of windows that ran along room 505 in Kettering Labs offered a welcoming light to the guests who came to discover just what was inside that copper chest.
On Friday, July 27 students, faculty and staff of the University of Dayton patiently waited as Scott Segalewitz, associate dean for experiential learning and student success, and Kevin Pierson, senior lab manager for the Kettering Labs Makerspace, thoughtfully removed each item from a time capsule discovered in what is believed to have been the dean of engineering’s office in the late 1960s.
Eddy Rojas, the current dean of the School of Engineering, greeted the crowd. “We have an interesting activity at the School of Engineering at the University of Dayton today. We were doing some renovations of our building and we came across what we believe to be a time capsule from the day the building was probably built, which is close to 50 years ago,” Rojas said, to both the people in the crowd and those watching the event unfold on Facebook Live.
But the time capsule almost didn’t make it to the ceremony. Julie Motz, senior lab manager for electrical and computer engineering, found it in a trash pile and decided to take a closer look.
The hidden treasures that made their home inside the rusty, metal box included an old newspaper, maps of campus, brochures, an engraving of the chapel, a photo of Father Raymond A. Roesch S.M. performing a ground breaking for Kettering Labs on campus and other various UD related documents.
Among the crowd was Bob Wolff, who worked as an engineering professor at UD around the time the capsule was placed in its resting place over 50 years ago.
“I thought it was great . . . it was very interesting and brought back a lot of memories. The people, the things,” Wolff said.
Wolff graduated from UD in 1958 and started teaching manufacturing, mechanical engineering and technical report writing soon after.
Kelly Mofield, director of communication for the School of Engineering, stated all the materials create a nice snapshot of UD engineering in that time period.
“It gives us some much needed historical context for the building that we didn’t have before,” she said.
The University plans to digitize the photos, letters and small brochures for future use and then turn everything over to the University archivist for permanent storage. The items in the time capsule will go into protective sleeves and be shown at the fall faculty and staff meeting on Aug. 17.
High school juniors, seniors and rising college freshman from all over the country convened at UD for a two-week long summer camp to learn more about leadership and entrepreneurship. Their efforts culminated in the creation of projects which they presented to a panel of judges in late June.
During the two workshops, Leadership 101 and Entrepreneurship 101, students were tasked with finding a solution to a problem they found in their local community.
April Mescher, business director at the Center of Leadership, helped organize the event and said that students chose problems that had personal significance in their lives.
“These projects come from a place of experience and passion,” she said.
For example, one participant, Makayla Funkhouser wanted to help her sister Jessica, who is deaf. Because Makayla’s school does not have an interpreter on campus, Jessica has to go to a different school.
Makayla’s solution was to start a sign language club which she hopes will eventually lead to her school hiring an interpreter for students with hearing impairments. Her presentation included teaching the audience a variety of signs.
“My favorite sign is the sign for ‘I love you’” Makayla said, demonstrating by holding up her pinkie, index finger and thumb. “My grandma even has it tattooed on her ankle.”
During the camp, students stayed in Founders Hall while attending classes on-campus. They also visited local businesses, worked with the Institute for Applied Creativity (IACT) on campus, and attended a Dayton Dragons baseball game.
Meredith Mecozzi, another participant, felt empowered by the end of the workshop. “This is the first time I received an assignment and walked away with a plan,” she said. “I learned I need to take on more leadership roles.”