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TORCH event sparks discussion on social injustice

11:36 AM  Jan 23rd, 2017
by Julia Hall ’18

“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.”

 

 

 

 

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Passion to give back

12:23 PM  Jan 19th, 2017
by Shannon Shelton Miller and Joey Gardner '18

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.

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Beyond the dream

8:15 PM  Jan 17th, 2017
by Teri Rizvi

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.”

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“Litany of Loreto” depicts prayers to Mother Mary

8:30 AM  Jan 11th, 2017
by Meagan Pant

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.

 

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Our moment in history

11:42 AM  Jan 10th, 2017
by Teri Rizvi

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.”

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Masters of energy

10:12 AM  Jan 6th, 2017
by Shawn Robinson

Two University of Dayton graduate students received $50,000 each to work in a U.S. Department of Energy program with researchers at Emerson’s Helix Innovation Center on the University of Dayton campus.

Kefan Huang, in the renewable and clean energy program, is focused on enhancing Department of Energy software to better distribute heating, ventilation and air conditioning loads in light commercial buildings and residences using renewable energy power systems. Optimizing energy loads in real time will reduce energy costs.

Electrical engineering student Ashish Gogia is attempting to achieve a zero-energy smart home with green technologies and storage and energy management systems.

Both are using The Helix as a laboratory for their work in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Building Technologies Program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

The Building Technologies Office works with universities through the Building-Grid Integration Research and Development Innovators Program to improve the efficiency of buildings and increase renewable energy generation, leading to more efficient buildings and cleaner generation of electricity.

“This is yet another example of the University’s partnership with Emerson providing a real-world laboratory for our students and helping secure funding like this to continue their work,” said Kevin Hallinan, a professor in the University’s renewable and clean energy master’s program who is overseeing the students’ projects.

The University of Dayton School of Engineering graduate programs are ranked 65th nationally — tied with Brown University and ahead of schools like the University of North Carolina, Syracuse University and the Rochester Institute of Technology — according to U.S. News & World Report. The University ranks second among Catholic universities and third in Ohio.

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Fly home before the new year

4:38 PM  Dec 28th, 2016
by Shannon Shelton Miller

Flyer Faithful can enjoy the final two days of 2016 with their favorite squads at UD Arena when the men’s and women’s basketball teams take the court for home games Dec. 30 and 31.

The men’s basketball team returns from its Christmas break to begin Atlantic 10 conference play with a 6 p.m. tipoff against La Salle, Friday, Dec. 30. The Flyers are 9-3 at the end of non-conference play, with their most recent victory coming Dec. 23 against VMI. Dayton has won seven of its last eight non-conference games.

The women’s basketball team will be returning from the Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville, Va., where they were scheduled to face Liberty and Virginia Dec. 28 and 29. The Flyers will host Massachusetts 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, to start their A-10 Conference campaign. Dayton was 5-6 entering the Cavalier Classic, coming off a 2-0 performance in the Florida Sunshine Classic in Winter Park, Florida, shortly before Christmas. In that tournament, the Flyers beat Texas A&M and Old Dominion.

With both games taking place during a long holiday weekend, the teams’ brief return home to UD Arena provides a great opportunity for local fans to check in with the Flyers before they go back on the road. The men’s team opens 2017 by heading to Olean, N.Y., to face St. Bonaventure, Tuesday, Jan. 3, and the women’s team follows with a trip to St. Bonaventure Wednesday, Jan. 4.

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Marketing success

12:32 PM  Dec 27th, 2016
by Meagan Pant

Three University of Dayton students brought together people’s love for ice cream and Instagram to secure a place in a global marketing competition hosted by Unilever.

Seniors John Seals, Colleen Sullivan and Lauren Wolford won a spot among the top 10 U.S. teams, and will compete in the North American leg of the company’s Unigame, hosted in New Jersey this January.

The competition challenges college students to find creative solutions for how the multinational company can reach digital customers. See their entry video here.

The students’ idea centers on the Talenti brand of gelatos and sorbettos with a “Pints for a Purpose” campaign. It asks customers to reuse Talenti’s clear plastic jars in a new way, and then share their idea on social media.

“This contest has given us the opportunity to create an idea, bring it to life, and see it through all the way to the end,” said Sullivan, a native of Long Island, New York. “It was awesome to see what started as a small group assignment transform into something that a lot of people are noticing.”

The students said the competition gives them a chance to apply what they learned in the classroom. They could win $7,000 and travel to London to compete in the final round.

“The talent of our business school students is consistently reflected in their work,” said Irene Dickey, marketing lecturer and mentor to the students. “This competition was an optional activity and these team members successfully synchronized their skills, and through intense preparations delivered an amazing and strategic product to Unilever.”

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New Nativity mingles art, faith, science, symbolism

10:53 AM  Dec 20th, 2016
by Maureen Schlangen

In a new Nativity scene inside the main entrance of the 1700 South Patterson Building on the University of Dayton’s River Campus, a Dayton-area teacher and a UD Research Institute IT systems administrator blend faith, art, science and symbolism.

The “Tensegrity Nativity,” which the artists say was inspired by the Holy Spirit, features at its center the Holy Family, sculpted of cement around a constructed frame by Huber Heights elementary school teacher Andrew Brownfield ’96. Around it is an assembly of five 12-foot struts, all supported without touching in a network of knotted cords using a concept known as “tensegrity,” popularized in the 1950s by artist Kenneth Snelson and architect-inventor Buckminster Fuller.

Dan Hart of Centerville, who has worked at UDRI since 2014, designed the tensegrity component to represent the five pillars of the Marianist charism — faith, Mary, community, inclusivity and mission — all mutually supportive of one another just like the components of the structure.

The Nativity, Hart said, was a way to give thanks for a workplace where people are free to express their faith.

“My first day at UDRI was Dec. 1, 2014,” he said. “I walked in the front door, and I thought, ‘Oh, that’s pretty neat. They have a Nativity scene.’ Then I walked into the next office, and there was another one, even more beautiful than the first.”

The Nativity scenes he saw that day were part of the Marian Library’s annual At the Manger exhibit, which features different selections each year from its collection of more than 3,500 crèches. Hart and Marian Library curatorial assistant Michele Devitt, who helps coordinate At the Manger, started sharing ideas, and soon Hart brought Brownfield, a longtime friend, into the project.

“Andrew’s beautiful sculpture of the Holy Family can stand alone,” Hart said. “The pillars are actually cardboard tubes used for shipping carpet like you see on those big rolls at Home Depot. … They were the longest thing I could find that were light enough.”

The parachute cord connecting the tubes provides the tension and compression necessary for the structure to stand, he said.

Visitors can view “Tensegrity Nativity” through Dec. 29 during the 1700 South Patterson Building’s public hours, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding Dec. 23-26).

At the Manger is open at University of Dayton’s Roesch Library 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 8 (closed Dec. 23-26, Dec. 30-31, and Jan. 1-2). For information, see go.udayton.edu/manger.

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Marshmallow messes and Christmas buddies

3:52 PM  Dec 15th, 2016
by Danielle Damon '18

Editor’s note: Danielle Damon ’18 is a student writer for the University of Dayton Magazine. She participated in Christmas on Campus 2016 and partnered up with a buddy for the evening. The night had special meaning for all involved, and she writes here, her personal experience of the holiday event.

Inside a Humanities classroom, we found an empty corner desk. She dumped the contents of a brown paper bag, immediately eating the candy before remembering to build the gingerbread house first. Marshmallow fluff provided as adhesive covered more of her face and hands than the gingerbread itself. I cringed at the mess, but also didn’t mind. Because what I found in that classroom was not just a mess, but a reminder of the importance of the holiday spirit.

Delicate snowflakes fell that night. A red, sparkly face-painted nose guided me through UD’s campus, which was shimmering from the reflections bouncing off the new, white ground cover. How fitting it was that the sky chose that night— Dec. 8 — to create its first flurries of the season to provide a perfect Christmas on Campus.

Earlier in the night, before the buddies arrived, UD students gathered on KU Field. My friend Kelly Delisio and I, who shared a buddy, were among the crowd. We each held a gift, covered in red, white and green Christmas motifs, with eager anticipation.

I shivered from the cold and my hands shook with the excitement for my buddy to arrive. Our conversations were filled with questions of wonder. What would our buddy be like, would he or she like their gift and what if they didn’t show up?

A sigh of relief came over me when I saw my second-grade buddy hopping off the bus. Her name was Quamya Jackson and it was so early in the night, the Christmas tree was not yet lit.

She pretended to be quiet as we scurried to the Humanities building to take shelter from the effects of Mr. Jack Frost’s work that evening. She opened her present and immediately put on her new hat without even asking for help. Her gratitude for a simple gift was apparent.

She burst out giggling.

“I wish it would snow only when it was warm out,” Quamya told us, but she quickly conceded to battling the bitter frost, as long as it meant she could experience a night of spirited, holiday happiness.  We realized something special then. This was her night.

Quamya was sugar overloaded by 6 p.m. and had already met her favorite reindeer – Dasher – before overcoming her long-standing fear of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Providing me a lesson in confidence, she marched right up to get her picture taken with the famous Disney mice and quickly ran back to our sides, prepared as always for the next activity.

In Kennedy Union, as kids ran through a box maze over and over again, I talked with other UD students about their buddies. Each one took pride in the funny things their buddy said, while also practicing parenting skills by holding everything for their buddy, hot cocoa and all.

While reminiscing on the night’s memories, the buses began to warm. We walked Quamya to her bus where she confessed, “I don’t even know your names, because I can’t tell which one is which!”

A comment Kelly and I hear often, we provided one last reminder of our names before saying goodbye. But we didn’t mind, as we knew the memories we made would not be forgotten as she ran home to tell her family about her Christmas celebration. We know, because nothing but years stood between us and her, as we ran home to do the same.

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