It took me awhile to write this, and it is not because I am a senior in my last week of classes struggling to hold back the Senioritis. I am just fighting to find the words to describe a place I love so much, a place that has become my home.
I have moved around quite a bit in my life, the last time being the middle of my junior year of high school where I moved from Buffalo, NY to Springfield, Ill. In the midst of trying to hold back my adolescent angst (sorry Mom and Dad), I was looking for a college that would bring me the feeling of home I desperately wanted. That is when the University of Dayton came into my life.
It was not always easy, especially as years went on. The classes were not a walk in the park, the organizations took up more time than my agenda had room for and, man, did I miss my dog. But, at the end of the week I knew I could take a deep breath, smile and still enjoy the small moments UD gave me. Moments that have now come to make my heart hurt knowing it might not be the same.
From laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks at the ridiculous jokes my roommates would crack to going to class and analyzing Shakespeare’s works while also eating homemade cupcakes provided by my favorite professor; each and every memory has stuck with me.
My parents gave me another home through UD. I do not think they will understand the level of gratitude I have for them for giving me the opportunity to attend our university. They helped provide me my college education. Little did they know I received a community and laugh-out-loud memories in the process. Can you say “Package deal?”
As the days dwindle toward graduation, and I pack up my belongings, I want to say thank you to those who helped me find my home. It took me 22 years to get here, but it has been one heck of a ride.
I had been warned that this day would come, but I willfully chose to pretend that it wouldn’t. Graduation always seemed forever away, even as the years, months, weeks dwindled.
Now here I sit, facing down my last few days of undergraduate classes ever, finishing up my final undergraduate papers ever and praying the forecasted rain will stay far away on my last weekend at UD (definitely not ever).
It’s a strange feeling knowing that the institution and the people who helped shape me the last four years are now telling me it’s time to leave. I’m not the same girl who moved into Marycrest just days before her 18th birthday–and that’s a good thing.
My professors, advisors and mentors have challenged my ideas, forced me to expand my thoughts and, at times, fully ejected me from my comfort zone. Sometimes I went willingly and sometimes I dug my heels in until the last minute, but each time I learned and I grew.
And for that, I can only say, “Thank you.”
Thank you for having confidence in me, even and especially when I was unsure of myself.
Thank you for never letting me rest in comfort, but for always pushing me forward.
Thank you for the hours you spent lecturing, leading discussions, meeting on-on-one, grading papers, responding to emails…the list goes on and on.
Thank you for inspiring me anew each day by your own examples of leadership, passion and commitment to community.
I will miss this wonderful place and all the beautiful people that I’ve met. But I will enter into the world knowing that UD has prepared me for whatever I may encounter.
With summer fast approaching, UD’s School of Engineering is making plans to expand its curriculum for students and faculty through the SURE program, or Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. SURE will provide on-campus, summer research opportunities for undergraduate engineering students. One of the program’s goals is to prevent students from having to choose between a paid summer internship and an unpaid research experience, so students will be hired on an hourly basis and receive a stipend for their work.
“We want to incentivize students and faculty to work together,” said Dr. Eddy Rojas, Dean of the School of Engineering. “We hope to encourage students to participate in these research programs and then go on to graduate school.”
Faculty members already have their research programs for the summer and have received grants from third-party funding agencies. However, in many cases, they don’t receive the funding to hire undergraduate students.
“Grants usually only allow for graduate students,” Rojas said. “UD wants to provide funding at the school level for faculty to be able to hire undergraduate students during the summer.”
The faculty members have to apply for funding from UD, which is awarded on a competitive level, and will choose the students they wish to do research with. The projects will take place on campus, so students chosen for the program will live in Dayton over the summer and work in UD’s research labs.
“SURE is different from other research programs in the way that the research is happening on campus,” Rojas said. “SURE focuses on providing more learning opportunities on campus, while other programs, such as ETHOS International, focus on experiences abroad.”
The School of Engineering works hard to ensure its students’ success both in the classroom and in the field – “SURE is our latest effort to guarantee the school has a variety of ways to get students engaged.”
Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., best captured the pulse in the Frericks Center, teeming with nearly 700 faculty and staff who gathered to celebrate Daniel J. Curran’s presidency.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work that’s been done. It brings great joy to my heart,” said Fitz, the longest-serving president in school history, during an April 28 luncheon that featured heartfelt tributes, prayers of gratitude, a blessing and an upbeat Swazi love song performed by the World Music Choir.
In a humorous moment, Fitz inducted Curran into “the exclusive order of president emeriti,” warned him of a disorder called “the presidential stress syndrome” and offered a tongue-in-cheek therapeutic program.
“If you walk across the plaza and see a paver out of place, our therapeutic program says, ‘No, you cannot call Beth Keyes (vice president for facilities and campus operations),’” he said to laughter. “If the stock market falls 100 points, you will be trained that you are not to call Andy Horner (vice president for finance).”
As past president of the Academic Senate, Carissa Krane praised Curran for his commitment to academic excellence and collaborative approach. “Even during the recession of 2008-2009, the University continued to prioritize the academic mission by recruiting and competitively hiring top-tier faculty scholars who are leaders in their fields of expertise,” she said, noting the faculty grew by nearly 20 percent during Curran’s presidency.
“This strategic investment in growing the faculty,” she said, “has elevated the national and international research profile and prestige of the University of Dayton.”
In a deeply personal moment, Daria-Yvonne Graham recalled growing up in a house whose back yard was connected to Welcome Stadium and UD Arena.
“With the expansion of the University of Dayton’s community, I now have a clearer understanding of my own citizenship where I used to feel as if I was just an observer, as a little girl looking out of her window only able to watch and listen,” said Graham, director of student leadership programs and an alumnae. “As the invisible gates have shifted from Brown Street to China, I am part of a worldwide community that continues to share the values of a Catholic and Marianist education.
“I do so not as a spectator, but as one who belongs in this community.”
Beth Keyes said Curran’s presidency will stand out for the remarkable transformation of campus — from the renovation of every residence hall to the acquisition and development of the former NCR Corp.’s acreage and headquarters.
“He inspires all of us to do things out of our comfort zones,” she said. “When I asked each of my colleagues on the President’s Cabinet to give me one word to describe what Dan’s leadership has meant to them, they said this: transformative, innovative, community-builder, bold, visionary, enterprising, engaging, tireless, unexpected, original, nimble and assuring.”
Tom Lasley, former dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences, said Curran met the challenges of the times during his 14-year tenure by saying “yes” without hesitation. He pointed to the establishment of the Dayton Early College Academy, the foray into health fields with the doctor of physical therapy program and the commitment to regional economic development and institutional branding.
“Dan has exhibited strategic courage,” he said.
“All of us, with a grateful heart, say thank you.”
The outside air felt every bit of the 35 degrees written on the temperature card posted outside the multi-story house in Springfield, so visitors were happy to step inside and escape the January chill.
The house was warm, yet comfortable. From the living room to the kitchen and the bedrooms upstairs, no location felt too toasty or frigid. The flat screen TV and comfy couch beckoned, and guests wanted to stick around for a while.
Instead, they moved on to the next laboratory.
This exercise didn’t take place in January, and the house isn’t a cozy Springfield abode — it’s a model that serves as one of five “laboratories” at The Helix Innovation Center, the state-of-the-art Emerson Climate Technologies research facility located on UD’s campus. The Helix celebrated its grand opening Wednesday, April 27, opening its doors to business and community leaders and selected UD faculty, staff and students.
“We need a place to explore ideas,” said University President Daniel J. Curran, who spoke about opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborative experiences for UD faculty and students. “We need a place to ask the big questions.”
UD students, faculty and engineers at Emerson hope to find those answers at The Helix. The 40,000 square-foot center contains a fully functioning and furnished home, a model supermarket, a light commercial environment, a commercial kitchen and a data center. In these simulated environments, researchers can work to engineer solutions to industry-related challenges consumers might not consider when they head to the store to buy a gallon of milk or rush inside their homes after a cold winter day. Through The Helix, University students and faculty will collaborate with Emerson engineers and industry leaders to gain real-world experience developing innovations in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.
Some of those questions will require exploring methods to provide efficient heating and cooling using environmentally friendly practices, topics that relate to UD’s interdisciplinary focus on sustainability and the work of the Hanley Sustainability Institute. How can a supermarket in South Florida, South America or Southeast Asia remain cool enough to keep food safe while minimizing harm to the greater environment? Can newly built homes in cold climates keep residents warm during a blizzard and keep energy consumption low at the same time?
Thanks to the engineers’ attention to detail, each simulated environment looks like it was pulled straight from the pages of a modern design magazine. Visitors joked about doing their grocery shopping before leaving, and taking their food to the simulated house to cook and eat.
If the guests had come a day earlier, they might have sweated in the outdoor heat with the laboratory exterior cranked up to 85 degrees to mimic an average July day in Miami. The engineers tested air conditioning that day to make sure Emerson products work just as well to cool off an average American home as they do to heat it.
“We’re a proud partner of this University in this endeavor,” said Dave Farr, Emerson chairman and CEO. “It’s really exciting to see where business and the community can get together to create something unique to solve the world’s problems. This is pure innovation the way it should be done, just like the great Wright brothers did in this community with the aircraft industry many years ago. Pure innovation, pure heart and soul and hard work.”
Celebration of the Arts takes months of preparation. Originally started by University of Dayton President Dan Curran 14 years ago, the evening includes both an extensive live performance of student music and theatre groups, as well as art installations in the lobby of the Schuster Center.
Mary Miller ‘16, a graphic design major from Akron, OH, was one of the five designers chosen by the Department of Art and Design to create an installation for this year’s event.
After looking at her portfolio with her professor Kathy Kargl, the two decided she could benefit from taking on a branding project.
“Most people think of a brand as meaning a logo. But it’s really anything that’s an asset that could be used to explain the identity of a company or a person,” Miller said.
Miller had already been contacted by friend Chris Barnett about picking colors and creating a logo for his woodworking company, so she expanded the project into a full brand for her installation.
In the end, the brand included Barnett Woodworking buttons, business cards, an engraved sign that could be hung at the front of Barnett’s store, and a brochure that shares his personal story–which Miller explains is important in depicting the true homemade style of his work.
Miller said it was rewarding to see her work finally displayed in the Wintergarden of the Schuster, and to speak with her design advisor John Clarke at the reception.
“He got choked up when talking to us five designers. We could tell he was proud of us.”
Another person who commented on Miller’s work was Dr. Dan, who said he was impressed by her design aesthetic.
Since 2008, The UD Sales Team has been traveling the country, giving its members the opportunity to improve their sales abilities through national sales competitions. The team goes to several competitions throughout the year, where they are required to stimulate sales scenarios in front of a group of corporate sponsors, who then judge each student’s performance.
“The thing I like best about being on the team is coming up with creative ways to show the value of our product in the sale situation,” said Mitchell Fowler, a senior marketing major. Fowler has been involved with the sales team since spring 2015, when he was chosen to be an alternate for the National Collegiate Sales Competition (NCSC) team along with fellow senior, Caroline Crabtree.
“We then moved up the ranks to senior competitors at two competitions this year, including the National Collegiate Sales Competition in Kennesaw, Georgia,”said Crabtree, a senior communication management major.
At this year’s NCSC, UD placed 17th out 67 teams. Dr. Riley Dugan, an associate marketing professor, serves as the main coach for a number of the team’s national competitions. “UD has one of the top sales teams in the U.S., largely because of its many outstanding members,” Dugan said. “My favorite part of being involved with the team is working with such motivated students.”
The members practice for hours on their own in order to do well in the competitions, and, in-turn, be successful in their internships and post-graduate careers.
“I find the competitions to be beneficial primarily because of the training and networking,” Crabtree said. “Role playing has allowed me to feel comfortable and confident in the sales process, and I know it will enable me to excel in my future career.”
There are 8,305 miles between Dayton and Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, Africa. Although the distance both physically and culturally can seem daunting, UD’s chapter of Determined to Develop hopes to bridge the gap.
A rising organization on campus, the club is a local support for Determined to Develop itself, a non-profit founded in 2009 by UD alumn Matt Maroon ’06. The group implements in-country projects for Malawian health, education, and general community wellbeing.
Raising awareness is a major goal for the UD chapter, as well as a central focus in hosting the Malawi Cup. Taking place April 10th on ArtStreet, the event featured fair trade goods, food, and ten student teams competing in a three-station relay.
Each station had a meaning: the first, blindfolded fishing in a small “kiddie pool” simulates the night fishing some children do to help the household, sometimes to the detriment of their studies. The second, biking in a traditional Malawian skirt or “chitenje,” highlights the bike’s importance in transportation as well as the skill needed to ride in such a garment.
The last stage of the relay featured a soccer shoot-out signifying the sport’s popularity with Malawi’s youth.
“It took approximately since last October to fully plan this,” says junior Rosalia Stadler, an executive member of the on-campus organization. It took a full team as well as outside involvement: “We worked with Domino’s, Jimmy Johns, Peace on Fifth, and Green Leaf Printing company to make the event successful.”
Their hard work paid off: competing students helped raise $600, all of which will fund the planting of a sustainable woodlot and self-irrigated garden at Determined to Develop’s newly founded high school. A big win not only for the victors, but for everyone involved.
Thursday evening in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Professor Suki Kwon prepared to teach her intimate audience about Asian tea cultures with various teacups, bowls, teabags and spoons of different colors and sizes. Having a cup of tea might seem like a casual beverage of choice or a chance to ease a sore throat; however, considering the wide array of Kwon’s utensils and tools, it was clear that this was no laid-back affair.
“I’m really excited to have this opportunity, to be able to learn about different cultures,” said Sarrah Miller, a sophomore teacher education major, as Kwon setup her materials. “I’m always interested in learning about different countries and their practices.”
Kwon, an associate professor in the department of art and design, has been doing the tea ceremony since 2007 through various organizations on campus, such as Roesch Library and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“I typically introduce diverse tea cultures of China, Korea and Japan, and demonstrate tea ceremonies while discussing the spiritual and health benefits of drinking tea,” said Kwon.
Kwon began the ceremony by discussing the diverse backgrounds and habits of the three tea cultures. As she spoke, her young son sat beside her, frequently offering up comments and playing with the tea utensils.
After teaching her audience a little bit about Asian tea cultures, she meticulously brewed three batches of tea; first, a subtle green tea, then a more fermented green tea, and finally, a red pu-erh tea. Her son distributed the cups to the audience, walking slowly and eyes never wavering from the cups, incredibly careful not to drop them. He was a hit with the audience, repeatedly garnering laughs from his spectators.
“Every single movement has to be perfect,” Kwon said, echoing the spirit of the highly-refined Japanese tea ceremony. “I may never have this chance again, and must serve you with my whole heart.”
From April 19-21, UD will introduce a new, interdisciplinary tradition: an Academic Research Colloquium, ARC, put on by the School of Engineering. ARC will take place at the new Helix Innovation Center on West Stewart Street, an Emerson Climate Technologies research facility that opened in 2016.
“We chose 14 Ph.D. students from top research universities in the country, and four from right here at UD, all of whom had to apply,” said Dr. Eddy Rojas, dean of the school of engineering. “The main goal of the colloquium is to proactively recruit a more diverse faculty for the school of engineering.”
UD received close to 60 applications for ARC, which then had to be whittled down to a field of 18. These 18 students are at a time in their education where they will be looking for faculty positions, and so the colloquium was designed to recruit these students once they have received their doctorate in the next year or so.
“The students will present their various research studies, but will also participate in activities that are going to be helpful for their career development,” Rojas said. “They’ll learn how to properly interview for faculty positions, how to write research grants, all those valuable skills that will help benefit them down the road.”
The school of engineering plans on continuing ARC on an annual basis with the hopes of going across all areas of engineering. Each year will present a different topic, with this year encompassing “Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental Engineering.” Rojas also hopes that ARC will heighten the reputation of UD to be among the top research universities in the U.S.
“These students are going to go back to their schools and tell everybody about their experience,” Rojas said. “We want it to be a great, top-notch experience for them.”