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Shining STARS

11:25 AM  Sep 22nd, 2014
by Tom Corcoran '14

If you’ve ever wondered — as many students often do — what UD professors do when they’re not teaching classes or grading papers, the fifth annual STARS Symposium, hosted Thursday, Sept. 18, in the Science Center auditorium, has your answer.

The day began with a touching tribute to the late Peter Powers, professor of physics and electro-optics, who lost his battle with cancer last spring. His former colleagues took turns to stand up and tell stories about Powers, calling him a “great collaborator, great mentor and a great colleague.” Mickey McCabe, vice president for research and executive director of the University of Dayton Research Institute, framed it most poignantly when he said, “Peter was a contributor to all facets of life. Peter was STARS.”

Professors from a wide variety of disciplines boiled down their vast amount of research to short, 20-minute lecture-style presentations. The audience, consisting mostly of colleagues and students, eagerly awaited the discussion periods following each presentation for the opportunity to ask questions and probe deeper into the research.

The symposium gave the unique opportunity for the UD community to learn about the massive amount of research that is performed on a daily basis.

Quantum tunneling theory; alternative aviation fuels; color image processing; value of board room diversity in an organization. No matter the topic, one consistent message was clearly conveyed through every presentation: a strong sense of intellectual curiosity pervades every discipline at UD.

Whether it was comparing the perceptions versus the realities of local environmental protection agencies or understanding the connection between assertiveness and fear in cases of abusive supervision in the workplace, it is evident that UD possesses a desire for innovation, research and scholarship that can never be satisfied.

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Learning library

10:10 AM  
by Erin Callahan '15

Like any library, Roesch Library is full of resources. Among thousands of books, study spaces and research databases, more educational tools can be found in the library’s galleries.

The Roesch gallery resides on the first floor, while the Creche Museum and the Marian Library special exhibition gallery reside on the seventh floor. These spaces offer several exhibits throughout the year that showcase available resources for classroom and curriculum use.

“Our first floor gallery is available to and used by campus departments and University faculty and staff,” said Jane Dunwoodie, assistant to the dean of University Libraries. “Most often, the exhibits curated by the UD Libraries center around our collections – those of the libraries and University Archives – in an effort to make the campus and wider Dayton community aware of the variety of resources available in our collections.”

The current Marian Library exhibit, Mothers of the Bible (pictured above) by Ginny Baughman, displays several works of art colorfully illustrating the word of Scripture. Illustrated works include the Mary series, the Eden series, Mrs. Noah, and other mothers as mentioned in the Bible. The opening reception Sept. 5 drew about three dozen attendees.

Other recent exhibits include the archives of Robert Koepnick, as well as the Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress rare books exhibit, a collaborative effort between local collector Stuart Rose, UD faculty, the staff of the UD Libraries and numerous students, Dunwoodie said.

UD student and alumni works have also passed through the Roesch gallery, usually during the summer when alumni return for Reunion Weekend, she said.

Additionally, the annual At the Manger exhibit displays over 100 nativities from the Marian Library collection during the winter holiday season. This tradition began in the Roesch Gallery in 2009.

Library exhibits run for up to eight consecutive weeks, varying upon anticipated audience, cost of design and implementation.

For more information on gallery exhibits, visit http://udayton.co/BPJ.

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Big gift, global good

1:35 PM  Sep 19th, 2014
by Michelle Tedford

At the announcement, there was a gasp from the crowd followed by a long ovation — sustained clapping for the new Hanley Sustainability Institute.

The campus community gathered in the Central Mall to hear of the $12.5 million gift from George Hanley ’77 and Amanda Hanley to support the University’s goal to become a national leader in sustainability education. It is the largest single gift in University history.

Students like senior Saehan Lenzen, a mechanical engineering major with both a minor in sustainability and a concentration in energy systems, were excited for the opportunities the gift brings. “There’s so much passion for sustainability, and now we have the support for what we need to do,” she said.

President Daniel Curran said the gift is an investment in the future of our planet from a couple who is passionate about environmental protection and the common good.

“The Hanleys believe students, no matter their major, need to think more critically about how we create a sustainable world,” he said. “It’s about how we work together to shape a better future for future generations, as well as our own.”

Initial plans for the institute include developing an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in sustainability; creating an urban agriculture demonstration project with community partners in Dayton; establishing Hanley Research Fellows and Hanley Scholars-in-Residence to support student and faculty research; and inaugurating the Hanley Conference on Sustainability Education. The goal is for the University to become the top-rated Catholic university on the STARS list for sustainability in higher education.

The Hanleys took the podium to express their support for good work already achieved by the University community.

“My time here has affected … my life in so many ways,” George Hanley said. “This gift is about the students, about providing the students, faculty and staff with the resources to solve the problems our world faces but also to take advantage of the opportunities.” According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the global market in energy-efficient technologies is expected to nearly triple to $2.2 trillion by 2020.

Said Curran, “Sustainability is really a philosophy that stems from our Catholic, Marianist mission. It’s about how we protect the poor and vulnerable in our world. It’s about respecting human dignity. It’s about promoting the common good. In this respect the new Hanley Sustainability Institute complements our commitments in human rights research and education.”

Amid all the jubilation, there was a bit of regret. Michael Ising, a mechanical engineering major, will graduate in May. “We’re all senior-ish,” he said, motioning around the table to his friends, “and now we all want to come back.”

Lenzen just may, for a graduate degree. “This pushes me toward staying longer,” she said. Just think of what we can do now, she added.

Read more about the institute here.

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An image of Keigo Hirakawa he no doubt could have made much better using his research on enhancing images for television, photos, digital cameras and projectors.

Seeing colorful STARS

4:38 PM  Sep 18th, 2014
by Michelle Tedford

We’re expecting a raiding party from Apple any day now.

Keigo Hirakawa, they are coming for you.

At today’s STARS symposium, the engineering professor joined colleagues from across the University in condensing years of research and reams of data into 20-minute bites to be consumed by a hungry audience whose members dine at tables of many disciplines.

The results were insightful and, in Hirakawa’s case, colorful.

His innovation improves what our visual filter, the eye, sees by manipulating color arrangement and intensity. To demonstrate, he flashed on the board two images of St. Joseph Hall — one with a traditional pixel arrangement, and one using his method.

“Which do you prefer?” he asked, throwing his arms wide with exuberance for opportunities to improve imagery in what he sees as the sweet spot of colored pixel research.

It was contagious.

Joe Haus talked of climbing mountains in his theoretical search for a new way to harness energy, which challenges how low — or small — you can go.

Michelle Pautz likened local environmental regulators to the Lilliputians, illuminating an oft-maligned group of workers.

Christian Kiewitz, in a smart suit and maroon tie, stepped beside his PowerPoint presentation, lifted his fists and let loose a “whee-hee.” The reason for his enthusiasm? His hypotheses regarding abusive supervisors and workers’ fearful silence proved correct. (The celebration was for the research, not the bad bosses.)

At STARS each year, faculty and researchers share what makes them excited and give us perspective on why we should be excited, too. It could be cleaner jet fuels, or more fulfilled sophomores, or insights into Alzheimer’s disease, or many, many more opportunities.

It could also be because we have a community that celebrates their excitement enough to spend part of a beautiful day with them in a darkened auditorium.

And if there are future celebrations, you know we’ll be there, too. Said Hirakawa, “If Apple calls me about this technology for the iPhone 7, I’ll retire from UD.” Whee-hee.

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Photo by Jed Gerlach '15

Impact on intellect

12:07 PM  Sep 17th, 2014
by Caroline McCormack '16

Friday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m. in Kennedy Union’s Boll Theatre, Michael Carter, professor of history, welcomed a full room of students and faculty for the University’s 2014 Marianist Award recognition ceremony. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Thérèse-Anne Druart, professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of America.

The annual Marianist Award, established in 1950 and revived in 1986, honors a Roman Catholic whose work has made an impact on intellectual life. This year, Druart received the award for her work on Islamic traditions and their connections to the Catholic faith.

Dr. John Inglis, professor and chair of the department of philosophy, introduced the Belgium born-and-raised honoree by describing her as a “wonderful and warm person, but also a critical thinker.”

As Druart stood up to give her lecture, “What has Baghdad to do with Rome? Or Arabic Philosophy with Faith?,” she looked into the eyes of the audience. “This award is a great honor that warms my heart, but also overwhelms me,” she said.

Druart spoke about how her faith led her to study Baghdad. With no Middle Eastern background, and coming from a home with a strict Roman Catholic mother and a father who was against religion as a whole, Druart said she had to trust the road upon which God was leading her.

She was presented at the end of her lecture with a stipend of $5,000 and a piece of Marian-themed watercolor art titled “Mary Teaches.” The artwork of Mary teaching exemplifies how Druart has impacted the lives of her students through sharing her stories and lessons of faith.

Halle Specht ’16 attended the lecture as part of her History of U.S. Religion class, taught by Carter. Although the award ceremony was an opportunity to gain extra credit for her class, she took something else from the event.

“Attending the ceremony taught me that two parties who work with each other accomplish more than what someone accomplishes on their own,” Specht said. “Faith and intellect go far when used together.”

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Re-dedication of Kennedy Union 50th anniversary.

That ’60s show

11:19 AM  Sep 13th, 2014
by Shannon Shelton Miller

Clad in loud tie-dye T-shirts, staff and students celebrating the milestone anniversary of Kennedy Union buzzed around the building in preparation for Friday’s big event as Motown music piped through the speakers in Torch Lounge.

More than 50 years ago, UD began constructing a place on campus to serve as a gathering space for students. Then, history intervened to give that place a name that reflected the University’s Catholic heritage and the growing desire of young people to make an impact on their world.

Speakers recalled that history Friday, Sept. 12, as faculty, staff, students and alumni in town for the annual Alumni Leadership Conference gathered outside the steps of Kennedy Union to celebrate the building’s 50th anniversary.

President Daniel J. Curran told the story of the construction of a yet-to-be-named student union at the time of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination Nov. 22, 1963. As the nation grieved, UD students began to organize in support of naming the new union in honor of Kennedy, the nation’s first Catholic president.

The students made their voices heard, and their new home on campus bore the late president’s name. It opened September 1964.

“So many generations of students have seen this as their living room, or home away from home,” Curran said. “It’s just a great place for students to gather, have a meal and socialize. The same thing was happening 50 years ago. This was the gathering place.”

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OMA lunch

Eat, relate, repeat

1:04 PM  Sep 10th, 2014
by Caroline Glynn ’15

As a university that prides itself on its diverse student body, UD’s Office of Multicultural Affairs makes sure the needs of all students are met on campus, from places to connect with peers to leadership opportunities — or, even just good food.

The OMA kicked off the year with a luncheon in Alumni Hall to encourage students to mingle with one another and become acquainted with OMA staff. Marina Mancuso ’17 said the luncheon is just a small part of what the OMA gives back to students.

“The OMA provides a safe place to connect with students who experience similar problems. These meetings help us to relate to one another and also find resources and opportunities on campus. Last year, the OMA sponsored a leadership-building retreat, which was a great experience,” Mancuso said.

Incoming first-year multicultural students had the opportunity to participate in Transitions, an early move-in program sponsored by the OMA that introduces students to on-campus support services and resources. With the fall semester now in full swing, OMA’s annual leadership retreat is set to take place in mid-November.

According to Ieesha Ramsey, the OMA’s academic success specialist for School of Business Administration students, the OMA plays an integral part in the University’s cultural diversity.

“The OMA provides another layer of support for minority students and provides programming for everyone to learn about themselves and others,” Ramsey said.

OMA Day will take place Sept. 15, followed by different cultural heritage months throughout the year, including Hispanic, Black Catholic, and Native American history months. For more information on OMA programming, visit their website.

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Peter-Powers_full

Remembering a research pioneer

12:21 PM  
by Caroline Glynn ’15

The fifth annual STARS Symposium will pay tribute to one of its original star speakers. This year, the symposium — which stands for Spotlight on Technology, Arts, Research and Scholarship — is dedicated to Dr. Peter Powers, professor of physics and electro-optics, who passed away last spring after a long battle with cancer. It is scheduled for Sept. 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Science Center Auditorium.

In honor of the late professor, the symposium will begin with presentations by Drs. Michael O’Hare and Perry Yaney, among other faculty who worked closely with Powers.

“The purpose of STARS is to celebrate the research and scholarship at the University that builds bridges across campus. Peter Powers was a master of that type of teamwork, and was a consummate team player,” said Mary Connolly, who helped coordinate the memorial presentation.

Powers was awarded the University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2004 and the University of Dayton Alumni Award in Scholarship in 2007. As one of the first STARS speakers at the event in 2009, Powers went on to join the planning committee for the annual event in its second year.

This year, STARS will continue to celebrate interdisciplinary scholarship, featuring faculty from various departments across campus, including Dr. Michelle Pautz, political science; Dr. Joel Warm, UDRI; and Dr. Carl Chen, economics and finance.

For more information on this year’s STARS Symposium, view the online brochure here or visit the symposium’s Facebook page.

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Taking it back

3:21 PM  Sep 9th, 2014
by Michelle Friman '15

When first-years — or any college students for that matter — hear the words “free food,” they come running.

Although everyone was welcome at the UD Bookstore’s First-Year Night: Party Like It’s 1997, the target audience was the incoming Class of 2018.

The majority of students who participated in this event were drawn into the store by the booming music that included the biggest hits of the ’90s. As Catie McBride ’18 put it, “It is so easy to walk up to an event and find out about it because everyone is so friendly.” In other words: UD is a community, everywhere.

For a lot of students, this is their first chance to be away from home and on their own. Fortunately, the overwhelming response from first-year students is that the first week of college was not too intimidating because everyone is in the same situation and is looking to make new friends.

The Bookstore wanted to make it a little easier for students to feel comfortable on campus, so they arranged this throwback night. Some of the key attractions at the event were the photo booth, Day Air Credit Union prize wheel and a table of sugary sweets that reminded attendees of simpler days.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of students making a beeline for the grub, the DJ would periodically pause the music for a little bit of ’90s trivia. A variety of questions were asked, with most revolving around sitcoms and cartoons. One of the harder questions was, “What is the occupation of each character on Friends?” Immediately, you heard all the students and staff start to whisper about whether or not we ever knew what Chandler Bing’s job was.

While some students heard about the event from Twitter or Facebook, others simply stumbled upon the event because they live in Marianist Hall and heard the words “free food” or needed to pick up some last-minute books. Whether students were first-years or not, everyone was welcome to relive the decade, which saw the birth of all our new Flyers.

Welcome to your new home in the 2010s.

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HellcatMaggie2014

Rock steady

1:24 PM  Sep 2nd, 2014
by Molly Blake '96

Hellcat Maggie’s band members have a name for the very moment when the last note of the last song is played at the end of the annual Lou Loncar Children’s Fund concert.

One minute, the seven-member band is performing Lenny Kravitz covers, Jovi, Journey, and even their own ballad, ”Flower,” followed by a final song — this year, it was “Paradise City” by Guns N Roses. The next, they collectively realize the night is over and they won’t play together again for a solid year.

“We call it the Hellcat Hangover,” says Tom Loncar, Maggie’s guitarist.

Loncar and fellow 1996 grads Paul Brown, Dan Volz, Steve Sanpietro, Jess Dixon Lyke alongside 1997 grads Rex Bacon and John Rovnan converged on suburban Cleveland in late June for the fourth annual Lou Loncar Children’s Fund show that, this year, drew a record crowd and a record financial haul.

The LLCF concert started as a benefit for Lou Loncar’s family following the UD football standout’s sudden death in 2009. Gradually, the band chose to expand the scope of beneficiaries to include a sick neighborhood kid, a high school football program and this year, a young father battling brain cancer. It was an organic change that Loncar says “would have made my brother really proud.”

Loncar’s extended family, neighbors, and UD grads like Michelle Demarchi Raclaw ’96 come year after year, for a musical trip down memory lane.

“They play a song and I’m instantly back on Kiefaber Street,” Raclaw says. “There’s a lot of nostalgia.”

Others see it as a way to connect with friends and do something good at the same time.

Drummer and vocalist Steve Sanpietro, a father of two boys, says “getting to jump behind the kit with the band for the first time in 17 years was fantastic.”

“The best part, however, is that the night benefits someone else.”

More than $6,000 was raised this year, a record-setting amount that Loncar hopes to surpass next year.

In fact, the band is already hard at work tweaking the set list for LLCF 2015 and they’re hoping to play the class of 1996’s 20th reunion in 2016.

Hellcat hangover, indeed.

Molly Blake is a freelance writer and fellow class of 1996 grad. She’s holding out hope that Hellcat will play Neil Diamond one of these years.

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