The 845 miles standing between Dayton and Boston did not intimidate junior marketing major Evan Rawbon.
As vice president of professional affairs for UD’s Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), a professional business fraternity, Rawbon coordinated a networking trip to Boston over spring break. From Feb. 27 to March 3, a group of 19 business students traveled with Rawbon.
“I pitched going to Boston because I thought it was a place that doesn’t have a big DSP alumni base,” Rawbon said. “I wanted to get our name out there and tell Boston-based companies what we do so when we graduate having DSP on our resumes will help us stand out.”
As a Cleveland native with no Boston connections, Rawbon secured tours by cold calling and reaching out to employers and recruiters on LinkedIn.
After nearly two months of planning, the group visited companies including: Smartsheet, TripAdvisor, HubSpot, AMP Agency, Boston Celtics and The Boston Beer Company.
Professionals talked about the ups and downs of their career paths, providing insight into what students should be looking for in post-graduation positions. Students were prompted to consider what size, culture and region fits their personality and work ethic best. Rawbon recalled the group being asked if they want to “make a big impact in a small pond” or work for a larger company where there is more opportunity for growth?
“Hearing first-hand from individuals from all types of fields was very helpful, as we are currently sorting out what we want to do for future work,” said Katie Hamor, junior marketing and management information systems major. “It was time well spent as I came back feeling confident and eager for my future in business.”
Gaining professional advice does not stop in Boston, however, as Rawbon is currently planning a “mini trip” to visit companies in Cleveland next month.
DSP began at New York University in 1907 and formed its UD chapter in 1963. In the past, UD DSP members have traveled to Washington D.C., New York City and Dallas to build their professional network.
Women and Gender Studies celebrated its 40th anniversary this year and a panel of students spoke on the program’s importance in a March event that coincided with Women’s History Month.
The academic program officially launched in 1978, when issues of gender divide and female empowerment were beginning to be discussed on college campuses.
Students and program director Denise James shared how the program has affected their education and vision of feminism.
“Studying WGS gives me the language to talk about systems of oppression and inequality and gives me the tools to combat these systems. It’s helped me be a better agent of change,” Elisabeth Spector, a double major in sociology and women and gender studies, told the audience.
While James is proud of what she has achieved as the program director thus far, she hopes to expand interest and participation in later years. She communicates that there are ways to apply the major outside of college, both personally and professionally.
“Students can have experiences in gender studies and also be fit for public service arrangements and other professional opportunities. We are changing the major to meet those demands,” James said.
The University offers both a major and minor in women’s and gender studies. The program focuses on the experiences and perspectives of women and considers how gender intersects with other factors, such as race and class, to shape our lives. Nearly 60 University of Dayton faculty members teach courses for women’s and gender studies credit.
To learn more about the major, visit https://bit.ly/2hTP1YA
After 19 years of teaching at the University of Dayton, Joe Castellano, professor in the School of Business Administration, is retiring on May 15.
Castellano joined the business school in 1999 after retiring from teaching at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. Though, after that, he said he wanted to “reload and begin a second career.” Castellano expressed that UD gave him the opportunity to do just that.
The highlight of that second career, Castellano said, was the opportunity to team teach. The experience allowed him to create relationships with his fellow faculty, including Saul Young, associate professor in operations management who passed away from cancer in 2006.
“Saul became not only a trusted professional colleague but also a best friend,” Castellano said. “I think about him often and still miss him.”
Other team-teaching opportunities included a course called Business as a Calling collaborating with Bro. Victor Forlani S.M.,and Critical Thinking: Role and Purpose for Accounting Professionals with colleague Courtney Stangel. Each course allowed Castellano to express his passion for business while sharing his wisdom with students alongside professional colleagues.
“Both Bro. Victor and I believed that choosing a career in one of the business professions should be considered as much of a vocation or calling as someone choosing a career in one of the helping professions,” Castellano said. “We focused our efforts not only on helping students see how they might improve their places of work but also on the importance of integrating their spiritual life.”
Castellano’s own calling to pursue business started early 一 he had always wanted to be an accountant. What he didn’t realize until he was a graduate assistant at Saint Louis University is how much he loved to teach. He taught a class once for a professor who was ill and fell in love with it. As he put it, “the rest was history.”
Though his retirement from teaching at the university setting is fast approaching, Castellano is not hanging up his hat on business and accounting altogether.
He will continue his writing and research, collaborating with Lucian Zelazny, professor of accounting, to look at the intersection of psychology and performance management.
He will also continue to serve on three different boards of advisors, as well as continue his service as a facilitator with Aileron and teaching with the UD Leadership program.
“These activities, along with golf and my wife, children and grandchildren will keep me busy,” Castellano said.
From the moment they enter the arena, the Texas Southern University Tigers cheer squad is all business.
They mingle with one another in front of the stands, wearing matching gray and purple warm-ups and pristine white gym shoes.
“We usually try to be among the first people on the scene, and we are always professional. Coach tells us there’s eyes on us at all times, even when we don’t know it,” Jamia Smith, a sophomore on the squad, said.
The women regard the opportunity to represent their school as an honor, one that they wouldn’t trade in for anything else.
“You would think a bunch of 20-somethings would want to be on spring break trips instead of here – but we really do want to be here. We like being around each other,” Kennedy Torres, a freshman participating in her first NCAA tournament, said.
Traveling with the team means spending lots of time away from their families back home. Luckily, the women have found a second family in the student body at TSU.
“We don’t get overlooked. The team looks out for us and we look out for them, so anytime that we have the opportunity to be here for our team, we will,” Smith said.
And the support extends beyond the walls of the UD Arena. Not all TSU fans could fly out to Dayton to show their support, so a viewing party is being held back on campus. Smith describes how the student center is decked out in blown-up headshots of the players.
With the support comes a humble confidence. The cheerleaders boast of the players’ talent and look forward to the upcoming days of travel.
“But no matter what happens … we have each other’s back. We always bleed maroon and gray,” Smith said, lining up with her TSU family for tipoff.
The Tigers outscored opponent North Carolina Central University 64-46 to advance in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
James Stitt ‘73 and his wife, Carol, heard at 6 p.m. Sunday that their hometown team, St. Bonaventure, was coming to the UD Arena for the NCAA tournament’s #FirstFour.
The couple was defrosting in South Carolina from the New York cold and was preparing to fly home to Olean, New York.
But as self-proclaimed “basketball geeks” and lovers of the Flyers and Bonnies, their travel plans quickly changed and they were re-routed to Dayton for the Monday night game.
“We were coming to Dayton in a month anyway, so we just came early,” James Stitt said while sitting in UD Arena and taking in the second night of tournament play.
James Stitt is a trustee of St. Bonaventure and was planning on meeting with UD’s Flyer Enterprises to discuss student-run businesses, but in the name of basketball the meeting was moved up to coincide with Stitt’s new travel plans and the St. Bonaventure vs. UCLA game.
As the Bonnies are A-10 opponents of the Flyers, it is not often the New York State team receives cheers from the UD Arena stands. But on Tuesday, March 13, the atmosphere was different.
“Last night was a home court for us; it felt just like the Reilly Center,” Carol Stitt said.
St. Bonaventure won its first NCAA tournament game in 48 years last night, and the Stitts believe they owe part of the victory to UD.
“Thank you, UD students and fans, for the tournament support,” James Stitt said. Carol Stitt agreed: “UD gave us a home team advantage.”
Beaming with Bruin pride and matching sweatshirts, Lucy and Jesse Perez made their way to UD Arena to watch their alma mater UCLA play St. Bonaventure in the second #FirstFour game Tuesday. Next week marks the couple’s 53rd wedding anniversary.
The couple met as students at UCLA while living in the newly established coed dorm on campus in the early 1960s. After graduation, they stayed in Los Angeles along the beach, until they moved to Dayton 40 years ago.
“Once our friends heard we left the beach to live in Dayton, they sent us sympathy cards in the mail,” laughed Lucy. “We absolutely love Dayton, we refuse to leave.”
After they settled in Dayton and Jesse began his job with National Cash Register, the duo made it a priority to see their basketball team live in action as much as possible. The last time the Perezes saw UCLA live in the NCAA tournament live was when they played Missouri in 1995 in Boise, Idaho. UCLA went on to win the national title that year.
This year marks the first time UCLA has played in Dayton, so it was almost meant to be, despite the final score. St. Bonaventure beat UCLA in a 65-58 win.
Sports management students from the University of Dayton spent their Tuesday afternoon taking part in a #FirstFour media tour at UD Arena. As credentialed participants, the students attended Syracuse’s press conference, which featured players Tyus Battle and Frank Howard and head coach Jim Boeheim.
Shannon Miller, associate director of news and internal communications at UD, encouraged the students to ask questions. They might be students, but that day, they were members of the media, she reminded them. Miller initiated the student site visit opportunity during the 2016 #FirstFour.
The press conference kicked off with the first round of questions for the players. Seasoned journalists hit the ground running by asking questions about the team’s strategy for the upcoming game.
Then it was Boeheim’s turn to take the stage for the head coach’s press conference. The students took advantage of their opportunity and asked the Hall of Fame coach some questions.
Their curiosities included challenges the team would face when playing Arizona State on Wednesday and Boeheim’s opinion on playing a team coached by a player he tried to recruit to Syracuse — Bobby Hurley, who went on to become a star at Duke and win two NCAA titles. The students also asked Boeheim how this team’s dynamic differed from past teams and the status of injured players before the big game.
In years past, Miller didn’t remember any students asking questions.
Marcos Ledesma, a sophomore sports management major from Puerto Rico, was the first of four students in the group to ask Boeheim a question. Initially, he was hesitant and almost backed out.
“I was super nervous to ask Coach Boeheim a question, but then one of my classmates sitting next to me bumped me and told me to do it,” said Ledesma. “It was awesome to interview him, he’s such a legend in basketball. I came here last year to watch the games but to be on the other side this year is an amazing experience.”
Beyond offering its arena, the University of Dayton extends all that it can to make visiting basketball teams in the #FirstFour feel at home. That includes contributing UD’s Flyer Pep Band, which filled in for LIU Brooklyn’s band as the team played against Radford tonight, March 13, in the opening game of the NCAA tournament.
Though the Flyer Pep Band — the self-described “best pep band in the land” — was just hired yesterday to play for LIU Brooklyn, its members came to the court dressed in LIU Brooklyn black ready to give it their all.
“There’s a certain amount of respect that you give to the other team,” said Seth Adams, first-year mellophone player, in a Blackbird Nation shirt. “You give it 100 percent. We’re doing stuff that we would usually do for Dayton.”
That includes playing a familiar roster of pop tunes to keep the crowd engaged during game breaks.
While the Flyer Pep Band does what it can to support a team whose band is unable to travel, the rules are slightly different than if it was playing for a UD home game. Musicians aren’t allowed, for example, to stand up during play. UD’s pep band is also used to being the only band on its home court. During the tournament, however, bands from the rival teams must trade off having the spotlight.
For senior Abby Lisjak, piccolo player, the opportunity to do something different is an interesting change of pace.
“It’s fun to follow our team, but these are teams we don’t get to see very often, so it’s exciting to see them,” Lisjak said.
Adams’ pride is set in Dayton, but he said it’s still a great opportunity to play for an expanded audience. And in the end, for him, it’s all about basketball.
“I love coming to the games and watching these guys play,” Adams said.
For the University of Dayton, too, these March Madness games are all about basketball.
Camaraderie. Resilience. Teamwork.
Radford Highlanders head coach Mike Jones attributes his team’s success to these qualities.
The 16th-seeded Highlanders found out Sunday night they would be playing in the #FirstFour of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Jones described the past 24 hours as a whirlwind of packing, preparation and a particularly raucous bus ride from Virginia to Dayton.
“I know a lot of coaches say this, but we have a terrific group of young men who I have loved coaching this year. It hasn’t always been peaches and cream, but I’ll tell you what, they got closer and more connected as the year went on,” Jones said, speaking of his team with dignity and pride.
The Highlanders, who went 12-6 in the Big South Conference this season, were ranked seventh in the preseason polls, and they viewed the low ranking as a challenge, rather than a defeat.
“Coach used to put ‘seventh place’ in the locker room, just put ‘seventh’ everywhere … every day that just motivated us to be better,” said guard Carlik Jones, a freshman from Cincinnati.
Coach Jones recognizes that part of what makes his team so special is its ability to be individuals and express themselves. The team has found an ideal balance between focus and fun, which has motivated the players to keep getting better.
“We went through a lot of adversity. I am just really happy that these guys became champions. It’s something that will link them for the rest of their lives,” Jones said.
I have never been able to appreciate the grandeur of sports and am ashamed to say that I have only been to one UD basketball game. But my respect and appreciation for sports changed when I covered the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship #FirstFour open team practice on Monday, March 12, at UD Arena.
Although the games had not yet begun, March Madness was drawing people from all over the Dayton area and country to watch the teams practicing during open gym sessions.
While the crowds were not nearly as impressive as those during games, there were enough fans to give the teams an audible audience.
Alumni, UD fans, out-of-state visitors and families could make a day out of the whole experience, whether rooting for their favorite team or simply because they love the game.
Talking to spectators, snapping photos, listening in on press conferences and simply getting to be in the same room as all the teams made me realize the importance of the First Four to the city of Dayton and made me feel lucky for getting to be a part of it.
Being on the inside of such a massive event gave me newfound respect for the sport and made me proud to be a living in Dayton, where the beginning to men’s championship basketball begins.