It’s hard to recall a week like this for Flyer athletes in recent memory.
Capacity crowds of 2,400 will see UD (32-1), Michigan State (19-13), Kentucky (22-9) and Lipscomb (20-11) battle at the Frericks Center this weekend in the Dayton subregional of the NCAA volleyball tournament. The winner advances to the Sweet 16 in Madison, Wis.
The women’s basketball team up-ended Cincinnati for the first time in seven years, 69-53, in their home opener last night. The 5-2 Flyers take on Akron 2 p.m. Sunday at UD Arena.
On Wednesday, the men’s basketball team overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Miami at Millet Hall 63-62. They take on undefeated Holy Cross 7 p.m. Saturday in Worcester, Mass.
Safety Brandon Cramer was named the top scholar/football player in the nation Thursday when he was named the 2007 ESPN The Magazine University Division Academic All-America of the Year.
The senior premed major is also among 15 finalists for the Draddy Trophy, often called the academic Heisman. He leaves Monday for the awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Dec. 4.
Cramer’s team takes on Albany (8-3) in the Gridiron Classic at Welcome Stadium on Saturday in a match-up of the champions of the Pioneer League and the Northeast Conference.
And, the schedule doesn’t let up for these scholar-athletes anytime soon. Next week, it’s the last week of classes and Christmas on Campus. The week after, it’s finals.
The cookies at 3 Evanston won over my taste buds, but the men of 235 Irving stole my heart.
As a judge in last night’s Christmas on Campus house decorating contest, I was treated like royalty. The chocolate was hot. The Evanston sugar cookies were homemade, cut as Christmas trees topped with green icing. The men of 229 Stonemill — in Santa hats and Red Scare T-shirts — offered us seats for a hearty “Feliz Navidad” performance. At 225 Irving, four women danced to Charlie Brown music inside a giant snow globe. 409 College Park was high society with a Nutcracker reenactment complete with ballerina in tutu and tights (brrr). And 460 Kiefaber blinded us with 15,000 lights synchronized to music.
But at 235 Irving, the seniors nailed this year’s theme, “Believe.” They handed out golden tickets and played music from Polar Express. We walked along a train track of lights past blue-light mountains to the backyard and its two-story tree in lights. They read a poem that mourned their last year at UD but professed how learning, leading and serving can make it feel like Christmas all year long. On the porch hung stockings with sayings: “We can make a difference.” “We can reduce poverty.” And they had lots of hot chocolate.
With 24 entries, it was a hard decision. I can’t tell you who won; I’ve been sworn to secrecy until Dec. 7.
But you can try to get it out of me. Did I mention I like chocolate?
UD students might hear “I’ve seen you before” from the children greeting them at Christmas on Campus this year.
At a Tuesday meeting, UD students smiled for pictures that their children can access through a new Web site.
Tattered postcards read and re-read by Dayton school children were the only introduction in past years. “This new method will help the children form more of a bond before they come to campus,” said Chrissy Quilter, Christmas on Campus co-coordinator.
The children might be shy when they first arrive to Christmas on Campus, learned more than 400 first-time “adopters.” Kneeling down and looking at the child eye-to-eye will relax the child. Seeing Santa and eating a couple of cookies will help, too.
Students took a stand — or a lie down — against genocide in Darfur Wednesday.
Darfur die-inThe Dayton chapter of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur held a “die-in” in Humanities Plaza to protest the genocide in Sudan. About 35 students lay on the ground with the goal of generating awareness about the 450,000 lives that have been lost in that country since 2003.
“In the past we have said, ‘Never again,’” said UD STAND co-president Lauren Etzkorn. “It upsets me that it can be going on and no one who has power is stopping it.” In addition to raising awareness, the organization raised $1,144 in donations and T-shirt sales.
As Santa readies the sleigh and checks his list, he might want to pay a bit more attention this year to the kinds of toys he’s putting in the sack. Elf-made toys may have avoided any recall lists, but millions of other toys have been recalled.
He might also want to talk to UD psychology Professor Keri Brown Kirschman, a pediatric injury specialist, who studied the easy availability of recalled toys on Web auction sites like eBay. KOMO-TV consumer reporter Herb Weisbaum in Seattle did just that and reported on Kirschman’s research and the dangers that lurk online. The Seattle station is just one of many national news outlets who have turned to Kirschman for expert commentary during the last several months.
Juan Williams, who divides his time between the airwaves of NPR and Fox News, offered some biting words for fellow journalists when he came to campus for a Diversity Lecture Series talk Nov. 13.
”Is the American media creating a sense of community or destroying a sense of community? Too often what we are seeing is a media that dramatizes. We have to look in the mirror, but sometimes it’s a funhouse mirror,” he told a standing-room-only crowd in the Kennedy Union ballroom. ”Too often we think of reporters as those who come on the battlefield and ask the wounded why they’re not dead.”
Earlier in the day, Williams challenged Dayton Early College Academy students to walk away from the stereotypes of rap music and conversed one on one with UD students about Iraq, Iran and the upcoming presidential election. But he devoted his public address to the changing role of American journalism: ”We’ve gone from Walter Cronkite and broadcasting to narrowcasting,” he complained. ”The media reaffirm existing opinions rather than challenge us.”
And the entertainment factor often outweighs the news factor. ”When I ask people where they get their news, they say Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey. You notice I haven’t mentioned a journalist yet? We know enough about Britney Spears’ thighs. It’s time to move on.”
Carolyn Woo grew up in Hong Kong under the direction of Catholic nuns, serving as missionaries, who left an indelible impression on her academically and spiritually.
“For me, Catholicism and quality education always went together; there is no separation,” Woo said. “I never forgot why the sisters would give up their quality of life to improve the quality of life of some people in a faraway land.”
Now the dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, she gave a lecture on “Making the Mission Real” to UD School of Business Administration staff and faculty last Thursday in O’Leary Auditorium. Woo addressed what it means to have a business school at a Catholic university.
“A Catholic university is a place where God is real, not in quotation marks,” she said. “I don’t see faith and quality as a trade-off.”
A UFO sat atop College Park Center Friday and will remain there to bring space closer to students and faculty.
Professors Peter Powers, physics, and Brother Don. Klco, S.M., biology, hosted an open house for UFO — UD Flyer Observatory — to showcase the Meade LX200R telescope with a 12-inch lens capable of 200x magnification, or twice the power needed to see Saturn’s rings. “It’s a smart telescope,” Klco said. “Once you align it, it’s programmed to find all sorts of things.”
They purchased the telescope, a cart and additional eyepieces using a $6,000 grant from the Learning Teaching Center. The UFO space includes a warming room for cold nights and a classroom for two courses, Descriptive Astronomy and Stargazing 101.
Sunset brought cloud cover but not before students got amazing views — through a solar filter — of our own star (photo by Hillary Hopkins ’09).
Artists who explore watersheds in Tibet and create pastureland atop skyscrapers in Germany focused discussion on Dayton’s dominant environmental feature, the Great Miami River, during a Nov. 1 lecture.
“Sears Recital Hall was packed; students laughed, listened and stayed,” said Judith Huacuja, associate professor of art history.
The San Diego artists Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison spoke as part of the UD Arts Series. “We accomplished the goal of bringing together many groups around the common themes of the environment and the river,” Huacuja said.
The Harrisons see an intimate connection between humans and their environment. “Someone told me, ‘The first time I made love it was in a meadow like that,'” said Helen Mayer Harrison in reference to the installation “Future Garden Part I” in Bonn, Germany.
Through six days of class presentations and workshops, the Harrisons aimed to be a catalyst for local river projects. They discussed the Little Miami River as a source of pollution and the Great Miami River’s role as a social and economic divider.
“They had a critical mass of attention focused on the river as economic revitalization,” said Huacuja, who noted plans for future collaborations between environmental artists and students.
In connecting his worldwide travels to local environmental issues, Newton Harrison told the students, “I think you have to begin with a bigger vision than Dayton itself.”
When he’s not finishing massive amounts of homework or camping out in Kettering Labs, junior mechanical engineering major Nick Fahringer is speeding off to his passion, endurance dirt bike racing. Fahringer, a national champion competitor, tears through more than 70 miles in a single race. Forget race tracks; Fahringer speeds over mountains and deserts and naviagtes through the forest to the finish.
He has even competed in the rugged, Red Bull-sponsored competition Last Man Standing, where just finishing is admirable. The race starts with riders speeding over clay, sand and soils, through water and over steep mountains for more than 40 miles. Next challenge? Round two. The entire course repeated, in reverse, at night.
He says endurance racing isn’t just about speed. It’s about skill, mental ability and most of all a passion to ride … and keep riding. He’ll compete in the last race of the season Nov. 4 in Maplesville, Ala.