Mike Kurtz directs volunteer library docent Ann Persensky to look into the camera as she describes the Mirror of Hope exhibit on display in Roesch Library. He adjusts the lighting and stands in various positions to achieve the right angle.
He stops again. Examines how Persensky is standing, and tells her to use gestures and movement as she describes the intricate pieces of the display; he wants to add depth and action into his multimedia piece.
For over 25 years, the University’s Media Production Group has been producing high-end videos to share the campus stories with audiences worldwide. Kurtz is the group’s executive producer and director.
Along with the expertise of video editor Brian Mills and associate video producer Brigham Fisher, MPG is able to produce around 150 in-depth videos each year, showing the different ways the University makes positive impacts in the world.
Created in 1988, MPG captures the sights and sounds made on campus that reflect the true quality of a UD education. For example, click here to see how engineering students are learning. Learn how we make progress in human rights or see how our faculty are breaking ground in new research.
Kurtz enjoys being able to share the achievements happening on campus.
“There are so many great stories at the University with our alumni and our students. Our goal is to tell those stories so that alumni and prospective students can get an idea of why our university is so great,” Kurtz said.
Click on the link to see how the Mirror of Hope video MPG worked on turned out.
And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel.
For many of the students who attended, the art and design department’s trip to New York City this past October wasn’t just a chance to tour art studios and museums – it was an opportunity to investigate a possible career.
“As a New Yorker from Long Island, I plan on moving back home after graduation and pursuing a graphic design career in New York City,” said Jackie Meares ’17. “I went on the trip to get a preview of what it will be like to work in the graphic design industry in Manhattan.”
For one student in particular, the dream has become a reality. Danny Martin, who graduated in December, landed a New York City summer internship after touring one of the downtown studios during the fall trip.
“Our last visit was to a design firm called SpotCo, which does the designs for a ton of Broadway posters,” Martin said. “I ended up interning there the summer after my junior year, and it launched my career. I’m working at Disney now, and that happened just because I decided to go to NYC.”
Jeffrey Jones, a professor in the Department of Art and Design, started the trip eight years ago. Over the years, his students have been welcomed by several big names including Hugo McCloud, Cordy Ryman and Mark Zimmermann.
Jayne Whitaker, another professor in the art and design department, started accompanying Jones and the students on the trip six years ago, helping schedule tours at various studios, galleries and museums throughout the city.
“We set up visits with fine artists, photographers, ad agencies and design firms so that the students can meet an artist and hear about their work and processes,” Whitaker said. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to learn.”
These tours and visits proved invaluable for the students. Megan Bollheimer ’17 was one such attendee grateful for the chance to meet professional artists and learn about their work.
“As a young designer, it’s helpful to see how a designer or artist works and to understand their design process,” Bollheimer said. “These designers were once just like me in their undergrad studies, which is a great reminder to always hustle and do good work. It’ll get you far.”
Post-election season, the student ambassadors of Vote Everywhere have initiated a new, three-part lecture series called Beyond the Ballot, running Feb. 15, March 8, and March 22. The series will feature speakers from the political science department as well as the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.
Three political science majors function as the UD ambassadors for Vote Everywhere: Katherine Liming ’18, Margaret Schaller ’17, and Nick Hancart ’17. Vote Everywhere is a grassroots campaign initiated and run by the Andrew Goodman Foundation. With a bipartisan philosophy, the group organizes programming to encourage increased civic engagement among college students.
“We are a pretty disenfranchised population, regardless of our race or our gender. The government isn’t reaching out to us because [they think] we are young and naïve and stupid,” Liming said.
Despite the dilemma of being green, young adults have been exceptionally engaged in politics in the last year.
Liming believes the lecture series should be attended by all students majoring in government or interested in the subject since they are intended to provide students with an outline of how to be well informed, politically vocal and how to be heard.
Beyond the Ballot was primarily conceived by the desires of young adults wanting to be impactful in today’s political climate.
“How can you protest effectively? How can you contact your representatives effectively? It is really hard. I do not want people just shouting into an abyss,” Liming commented.
The first lecture, “Messaging in the Media,” will focus on differentiating between opinion and fact in the news. The event will be held from 7-8 p.m. in Marianist Hall 218.
Liming hopes the lecture series will provide students with concrete information that they can trust, as opposed to getting information from social media sites.
The two lectures scheduled to follow, “Outreach to Officials” and “People, Protest, and Petition,” will focus on vocalizing well-researched, well-informed opinions, effectively.
William Jelani Cobb, a professor of journalism at Columbia University and a staff writer for The New Yorker, spoke to an overflowing room of students, faculty and community members Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative speaker event on campus.
Cobb captivated the room with personal stories, historic references, profound statements, and explicit examples addressing racism in the United States.
He began by telling a story of a coincidental moment from his coverage of the Dylan Roof trial. While on an unrelated business trip in California, he met a man from Charleston, N.C. who was personally affected by the shooting. Cobb explained how the meeting demonstrated that issues of race do not exist within isolated pockets, but permeate every corner of the nation. This concept became the main fixture of his speech.
“We cannot understand America without understanding race,” Cobb said.
As a specialist in the areas of post-Civil War African-American history and twentieth century politics, Cobb traced racism back to the creation of the country. He used the example that the Constitutional Convention, “copy-edited black freedom out of the Constitution.” This historical context translated into wide-eyed, quick-pen reactions from the audience.
As Cobb continued, he gradually transitioned to his hard-hitting point: racism’s presence in modern society. Topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement, voting complexities and incarceration were discussed at length.
In one example, Cobb identified what he calls the “new caste system through incarceration.” Further, he emphasized the oppressive implications surrounding the geography of prisons.
While many weighty subjects regarding racial injustices pervaded Cobb’s speech, he remained hopeful, especially when he referenced the predecessors of the Civil Rights movement. Cobb noted, “we are indebted” to those who came before us who did “the heavy moral lifting.”
On progress, Cobb suggested that it does not inevitably continue to move forward: it is cyclical.
“Progress doesn’t just happen,” Cobb said. “It happens by people doing things.”
In the midst of the French Revolution, the Blessed William Joseph Chaminade stood in solidarity with those being persecuted and proclaimed that his politics were the politics of Mother Mary. As a Roman Catholic priest in 1790, Chaminade opposed the secularization of the clergy. He vowed to love the Son and have unwavering faith. His mission gave rise to the Marianist family.
On Monday, Jan. 23, the University community gathered to recognize and honor the death anniversary of Father Chaminade. President Eric Spina, along with faculty, staff, community members and students, sang songs dedicated to Mary and later listened to stories about her victorious spirit.
The Gospel of John demonstrated Jesus’ ability to perform miracles. In 2:1-11, Jesus attends a wedding where the wine runs out. When Mary comes to Jesus, he tells her to have faith. With unwavering trust, she tells the disciples, “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary never lost faith in Jesus, and neither did Chaminade, a lesson instructive for today’s students.
Senior Tommy Tappel is a member of the Chaminade Scholars program, which educates students to grow in their faith and understanding of what they are called to do. “The Chaminade Scholars take after Father Chaminade’s desire to follow in Mary’s ‘yes’ to God’s call to vocation,” he said.
The Mass closed with “Go to the World,” a song that proclaims, “Go struggle, bless and pray; The nights of tears give way to joyful day.” Chaminade reminds us to look to Mary when we are weary and follow his call to live as Jesus did.
“Sing instead of talk, dance instead of walk,” Samuel Dorf, assistant professor of musicology, proclaimed on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Raising the T.O.R.C.H. in Honor of Dr. King event on campus. Dorf’s words discussing the power of art in political and social movements resonated in the Kennedy Union ballroom and in the ears of students and faculty.
Raising the T.O.R.C.H in Honor of Dr. King was UD’s rendition of a campaign, #J18, to embrace campus teaching, organizing and resisting unjust policies and agendas that hinder the safety and equality of many inhabitants of our nation by utilizing nonviolent, yet powerful examples, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The intention: to stir discussion and to equip students and faculty with the interdisciplinary tools they need to face injustices.
“As an academic community, as in intellectual community, we have a certain responsibility to be outward-facing, to reflect, to teach, and to comment on things like our society, our culture, our politics,” stated Joel Pruce, assistant professor and coordinator of the T.O.R.C.H event.
Centered on the work of King, the event linked UD with college campuses across the U.S., including UCLA, Columbia University, and Texas State University, which celebrated through similar educational events.
“I care about working for justice. I am involved in stuff, but I am always wondering what I can do next?,” said Bradley Petrella, a junior international studies and Spanish double major, in reaction to T.O.R.C.H.
With speakers hailing from many departments, discussion topics ranged from the intersection of Christianity and social struggle to significant parallels between Mahatma Gandhi and King’s methods of civil disobedience to the meaning behind Beyoncé’s recent album, Lemonade.
“We are in considerable positions of privilege here. We have freedom,” Pruce said. “We are protected by academic freedom in this community to speak freely, to comment, and to be provocative and to teach. And, so, to use that that privilege and position and freedom to focus on controversy and crisis.”
Brandon Mayforth is forever grateful to a dedicated doctor at Dayton Children’s Hospital who never stopped searching for the cause of a mystery illness that threatened to end his life.
“I’m here because of Dayton Children’s,” Mayforth, a sport management senior, told a group of classmates during his presentation for HSS 358, Sales and Fundraising in Sports. “Dayton Children’s never gave up, even after other larger, more well known hospitals did.”
Mayforth’s presentation about his rare intestinal disease and the Dayton Children’s gastroenterologist who diagnosed it took place during a philanthropy “tournament” that concludes the course each semester. Students select a community organization they want to support and deliver a presentation to classmates, a panel of judges and sport management professor Peter Titlebaum about their choice. The top finishers earn money donated in their name to their chosen cause. Mayforth, the fall 2016 overall winner, won $500 for Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Close to $1,000 went to four community organizations this year, thanks to the students and the University of Dayton’s Gary Mioli Leadership in Community Fund. The fund honors Gary Mioli ’79, who dedicated his professional life to leading young people both on and off the football field as a teacher and coach in Park Ridge, N.J. In 2014, at the start of football season, he died unexpectedly at the age of 57.
In spring 2016, the Sport Management program in the Department of Health and Sport Science, along with Mioli’s family, friends, former classmates and students, established a platform at his alma mater to honor his legacy of service. They started the fund through the University’s Division of Advancement, providing a fundraising vehicle to give students the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in their communities by becoming advocates for 501(c) 3 organizations whose service holds personal meaning.
The fund has an initial goal of raising $100,000 by 2020.
The Mioli fund was designed with a classroom component in mind, and the philanthropy tournament helps students hone their sales and fundraising skills while contributing to a good cause in Mioli’s honor.
From 18 candidates in the fall 2016 class, Mayforth and juniors John Brown, Katy Doder, and Molly Metress were named finalists. Brown, who finished second, won $250 for Mission Partners Guatemala. Doder advocated for the Alzheimer’s Association and Metress for the ALS Foundation, both of which received $100 donations.
Mayforth captured the top prize by sharing his personal connection to Dayton Children’s. As a sixth grader, Mayforth began experiencing significant stomach distress a family doctor couldn’t treat. There were no warning signs or symptoms to alert anyone to the issue.
Mayforth’s family went to Dayton Children’s and met with gastroenterologist Adam Mezoff, who ran a battery of tests to determine the cause of Mayforth’s illness.
“I would just wake up one night and the pain was there,” Mayforth told the class. “It would last 2-3 months, and in the worst case, it lasted five months. No medicine could help it.”
After months of pain, his symptoms would disappear just as quickly as they arrived. But they’d inevitably return, leading to more lengthy episodes of extreme stomach pain. Mayforth said he often couldn’t sleep, sometimes staying up for 48 hours doubled over in pain, and missed significant amounts of school.
While Mezoff remained determined to research and find a solution after all tests came back negative, Mayforth visited three of the largest hospitals in Ohio for treatment, all to no avail. But Mezoff, now chief medical officer and vice president at Dayton Children’s, kept working, and eventually found the answer by examining a past test for a different result.
Mezoff discovered Mayforth had superior mesenteric artery syndrome, a disease in which one’s arteries compress the intestines. Only 400 cases have ever been reported, putting Mayforth in rare company. In extreme cases, if not caught and treated, patients could starve to death.
Mayforth got the diagnosis during his first year at UD, a time period in which he carried a 1.67 grade-point average and landed on academic probation. After receiving treatment, he was able to attend class regularly and study without pain. He has since made the honor roll and is on track to graduate.
“My personal experiences with Dayton Children’s gave me the passion to want to give back, as a way of thanking them for all they have done for me,” Mayforth said. “I think it’s important to have these kind of resources available and keep them well funded, because you can’t predict when you, or someone you know, will need a place like Dayton Children’s.”
And thanks to the University of Dayton, the Sport Management program and the Mioli Fund, Mayforth found a way to show his appreciation, and help other children who walk through the hospital’s doors.
For more information about Gary Mioli, the Mioli Fund and contribution information, click here.
In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a crowd in the University of Dayton Fieldhouse about the state of race relations in America, his commitment to nonviolence and the power of unconditional love. King’s response to the question of how far the nation has come in race relations rings as true today as more than half a century ago.
“On the one hand I must affirm that we have come a long, long way in the struggle to make civil rights a reality for all of God’s children. But on the other hand, I must say that we still have a long, long way to go before the problem is solved,” said Lawrence Burnley, vice president for diversity and inclusion, repeating the civil rights leader’s words in an eloquent keynote address at today’s annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. prayer breakfast.
“I am deeply concerned that we are swiftly moving once again from a period of racial and other forms of social justice progress to a period characterized by the progression of policies and practices concerned only with the protection and reproduction of massive material wealth, power and privilege for the few at the expense of the many,” Burnley told the capacity crowd in the Kennedy Union ballroom, offering numerous examples throughout history where progress in race relations has taken a step backwards. “Early signs seem to indicate that we are about to enter into a period of our nation’s history unlike anything we’ve seen for decades.”
Burnley, an ordained minister who has served as the chief diversity officer at two other higher education institutions and taught African-American history, challenged students, faculty and staff to study King’s life and legacy and continue “forward movement for the cause of justice.”
Too many people remember King as “a dreamer and visionary,” rather than “a doer, a mover, a man of action,” Burnley observed. “The power of remembering and honoring this man is in our understanding of what Dr. King was willing to give in order to make his dream and vision a reality,” he said. “Driven by the power of love, he was willing to challenge every policy, tradition, practice, assumption, habit, law or piece of legislation that functioned to deny the dignity of every human being.”
University of Dayton President Eric Spina set the stage for Burnley’s talk with personal reflections. “Some might ask why is it so important for us as a nation and as a university community to pause and honor this singular man?” he said.
“For one, young people didn’t live through the turmoil, the injustice, and the pain of the civil rights era and only know Rev. King through the lens of history books and yearly commemorations. Other people have forgotten the gross inequities and blatant discrimination that stained the fabric of our country in the 1950s and ‘60s. Still others don’t want to hear that injustice even as it echoes today.”
When Spina walks by the Martin Luther King memorial on the lawn outside Albert Emanuel Hall, he said he hears “the echo of Dr. King’s words: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’
“That memorial is a visible reminder of our commitment to social justice,” he said. “It’s a powerful reminder of our challenge: to bring people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives together in community to work for justice for all.”
An upcoming exhibit at the University will feature engravings by renowned Augsburg artist Josef Sebastian Klauber from a rare 18th century book.
“Litany of Loreto in Images” runs Jan. 24 to March 10 in the Marian Library gallery, located on the seventh floor of Roesch Library. The exhibit is free and open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Each image depicts a litany, or special prayer to Mary, mother of Christ, according to the Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., Marian Library director of research, art and special projects. The images are related to a famous Marian shrine housed in Loreto, Italy.
The 44 engravings illustrate the invocations of the famous Litany of Loreto with symbols from the Old Testament, classical culture and the history of Christian spirituality. Named after the Italian Marian sanctuary, the litany is not only a cherished spiritual treasure, but also a concise theology of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The exhibit is “one of the attempts to we make to reach into our own treasures” housed in the Marian Library collection, Roten said. The library holds the largest repository in the world of books, artwork and artifacts devoted to Mary.
For more information, call 937-229-4214 or visit udayton.edu/imri/art for a schedule, directions and parking details.
If the University of Dayton is to thrive in an era of increased competition for students, research funding and private support, it has to be agile.
That’s one of the early overriding themes in draft reports from five working groups charged with developing an aspirational strategic vision that peers 20 years into the future. More than 2,000 people provided input, and another 1,700 participated in a Facebook Live event.
“We heard a lot of discussion about the need for greater institutional agility — from flexible workloads to flexible learning spaces,” Provost Paul Benson told a standing-room-only classroom filled with faculty and staff interested in learning the high-level recommendations of the strategic visioning committee’s working groups. For the full reports and a short overview, click here.
Both Benson and MPA Director Michelle Pautz, co-leaders of the yearlong visioning exercise, cautioned those gathered at the Jan. 6 drop-in session that the recommendations are preliminary and input is still being sought through a variety of channels, including emails, surveys, alumni gatherings and a board of trustees’ retreat. Another drop-in session is slated for 3-4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 12, in Kennedy Union 310 for the campus community to hear an update and offer input.
“This is just one snapshot in time,” Benson said. “President (Eric) Spina is not looking for good things to do, great things to do or even important things to do. He’s looking for ideas that will truly differentiate the University of Dayton, be genuinely innovative and will enable us to achieve national or international excellence. He wants to develop an aspirational vision that builds on our strengths and assets, reflects our mission and is bold.”
A few of the emerging themes and recommendations, all still under active discussion and will be thinned, refined and strengthened in the next few months:
• Recognition as a global leader for the way social justice weaves throughout the campus culture, curriculum and lives of graduates.
• A deep commitment to inclusivity and access to education that is anchored in socio-economic diversity and will lead to broad representation among traditionally marginalized populations.
• A requirement that all undergraduates graduate with at least one experiential learning immersion that develops global and intercultural competencies and helps them discern their calling in life.
• An expansion of UD’s footprint to other cities and the development of deeper, more visible and reciprocal partnerships in the Dayton region.
• Leadership in a small number of multi-disciplinary research domains from among such areas as sustainability, human rights, innovation and technology, human health and wellness, and Marian studies.
• Recognition as a model campus laboratory for sustainable practices, research and experiential learning.
Acknowledging that the working groups cannot accurately predict the way technology or other innovations will shape the culture and economy in two decades, Benson stressed the value of nimbleness in all areas — from curriculum and learning spaces to research and civic and global engagement.
“We don’t know where the jobs will be in 25 years,” he said. “We need to give students a very broad and creative tool set. That’s why institutional flexibility is so important.”
Spina said he’s encouraged by the ideas shared during the strategic visioning process: “It is clear that the broad set of strategic visioning listening sessions and workshops this fall — conducted from Dayton to D.C. and from Los Angeles to New York City — have queued up a number intriguing possibilities. While there is more work to do to achieve the bold aspirational vision that is the objective, this foundational work clearly positions the University of Dayton for success.”