“[My team and I] do everything we can to use our imagery and art to bend history,” James Balog, a decorated photographer and climate change researcher, announced to a full-house Oct. 17 in Kennedy Union Ballroom.
Balog uses a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology to pair science with photographs and show the impact humans have on the environment. He also uses art to be a spokesman on climate change and shared his message at UD as part of the annual Speaker Series and Sustainability Week programming, co-sponsored by the Hanley Sustainability Institute and the Provost Office.
In addition to authoring eight books, Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) – the largest photographic study of glaciers – and was featured in the 2012 Emmy award-winning documentary “Chasing Ice.”
Balog’s speech was charged with passion as he shared a slide show which included before and after pictures showing the contrast of what earth structures looked like decades ago compared to now— what he refers to as natural tectonics vs. “human tectonics.”
He shared time-lapsed images of earth’s temperatures which became more red, indicating increased warmth over time.
Balog warned the audience that, “Yes, there is natural variation in climate like there is natural variation in the weather, but we are in an unnatural cycle right now.”
He explained that earth’s rising carbon dioxide levels, and in turn temperatures, have created four-times more and six-times bigger forest fires. Balog also said glaciers are reacting to temperature changes by retreating faster than natural.
A final video featured snow-capped glaciers that Balog photographed around the world, but at the end of the film, Balog noted all that was shown has since melted and no longer exists.
“Climate change is not a question of belief. I think there is climate change, I don’t believe there is climate change,” Balog stated. “That is based on the evidence.”
In 2009, Balog served as a U.S./ NASA representative at Copenhagen on the topic. Today, he continues this same policy work with countless organizations.
“Every single one of you can use your voice to alter the course of history,” Balog says. “Pay attention to the subject because we love ourselves, we love our family and we have respect for the people that will come after us.”
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Dayton Fire Department lieutenant Tyler McCoy said, recalling the famous Benjamin Franklin quote during the University’s Smokeout and Safety Street Fair Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The offices of student development, public safety and environmental health and safety teamed up with local partners to help educate students about the importance of fire safety and prevention, and provide resources in case of fire emergencies in the student neighborhood.
An ambulance, police car, fire truck and S.W.A.T. vehicle overtook Lawnview Street while smoke seeped from a house at 118 Lawnview and from the barbecue set up at ArtStreet Amphitheater serving hot dogs and burgers. Students escaped the smoke-filled house and learned how to put out live fires by properly operating a fire extinguisher.
Students also asked questions of the Dayton police and fire departments while learning from representatives at pop-up tables that lined the street. Organizations spoke about their mission and handed out pamphlets regarding fire safety practices.
The student-run Emergency Medical Services and Red Cross Club set up a table, while other booths put faces to names for on-campus faculty and staff resources such as Campus Ministry and Green Dot. Tables like the one from the Federal Emergency Management Agency introduced new resources to students.
Jody Pradelski, FEMA Region 5 Chicago preparation liaison, said her organization was excited to hear about the UD smokeout because FEMA is encouraging other universities to hold similar events. Pradelski stressed the importance of college students becoming a “prepared culture,” in terms of fire safety, and sharing their knowledge with their families and housemates.
Students stopped by on their way to and from class to mingle with the various organizations and explore the emergency vehicles, while munching on the free ice cream, chips, hot dogs and burgers.
But Sister Linda Lee Jackson, F.M.I., faith development coordinator of the student neighborhood, reminded students of the seriousness and importance of becoming educated and aware of what is going on in their neighborhood.
“Have fun, but be safe and be where your feet are,” Jackson said.
The University’s Army ROTC program is one of the oldest and most enduring in the country. The program is celebrating its 100-year anniversary throughout this academic year, as the “Fighting Flyers” battalion was founded in 1917.
On Tuesday, Oct. 11, students in the Military Science I class had their first opportunity to rappel down the side of O’Reilly Hall, home to the ROTC department. The rappelling demonstration was part of the centennial celebration.
Sophomore Madeline Seiller from Mason, Ohio explained how the rappelling gets the cadets involved.
“It peaks their interest,” said the pre-medicine major. “It’s an action activity and it’s fun.”
Most UD students graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps as Second Lieutenants. Many UD cadets focus on engineering, infantry or medicine branches of the army, Seiller said.
“I have so much respect for all those who went before me,” said Seiller. “In these 100 years, we’ve turned out so many great cadets.”
Major Jeffrey Rosenberg, the ROTC department chair, said that the first and second year cadet students conduct rappelling to build confidence, develop team building and learn about themselves.
“The 100-year milestone is a significant contribution,” said Rosenberg. “We are providing leaders for the nation. We want to recognize that milestone, and continue for another 100 years.”
Watch here as a student performs the rappeling exercise during the centennial celebrations.
UD alumnae and sisters Eileen Trauth ’72 and Suzanne Trauth ’71 depict the contemporary problems women in the information technology field face through a staged reading of the play they co-wrote called iDream.
Women are significantly underrepresented in the IT field and the production seeks to shed light on those barriers including being marginalized for gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
“The story is fun. It is about three high school girls confronting their future,” explained Suzanne. “They really don’t know anything about information technology. It’s fun to see their look at the IT world.”
The sisters point out that the play isn’t only about women, though. “The purpose of writing the play was to start a conversation about the barriers that hold people back and how they can overcome them,” said Eileen, who has more than 15 years of research on the underrepresentation of women in the computer field.
They both decided the best way to share their research was through theatre.
“I could write about this, and write an academic article for other professors. But we don’t reach the parents, the teachers, and the young people themselves in this way,” said Eileen. “We also wanted to reach out beyond that and talk to ‘regular people.’ Theatre is the best way to convey these messages to people.”
The sisters collaborated by having Suzanne write the play based off the research conducted by Eileen. They both co-wrote the play thereafter.
The performance begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Black Box Theatre inside Fitz Hall. Tickets are $12 for the public, or $8 with a UD ID.
The staged reading will be followed by a talk-back and reception with the playwrights and the cast, which includes Karen Spina, wife of University President Eric Spina; Lawrence Burnley, vice president for diversity and inclusion; Camilo Pérez-Bustillo, executive director of the Human Rights Center; University students; and community members from Hope Road Youth and Community Theatre. The production is directed by Michelle Hayford, and design is by students in the engineering for the performing arts class.
Despite the closure of KU Food Court later this fall, on-the-go students will soon be able to grab a bite without stepping foot inside a dining hall. Starting Oct. 11, the University’s new food truck, Rudy on the Run, will be ready to serve campus with quick and tasty dining choices.
“Dining Services has talked about having a food truck for the last three or four years,” said Douglas Lemaster, the associate director for Dining Services, “but we really needed another option for students due to the upcoming KU renovations.”
There has been extensive testing and design work done on the truck by UDIT, UD Marketing, Dining Services and local businesses to ensure its readiness for serving the college community.
“This is the first time Dining Services has needed such technological capabilities, so this is new ground for all of us,” Lemasters said.
Rudy on the Run will have a diverse selection of food choices, such as vegan burgers, Gouda grilled cheeses, Asian chicken wraps and breakfast sandwiches. It will only accept credit cards, meal plans, or Flyer Express, but not cash.
The truck will only be open from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. its first few weeks of operation, and from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday in November and December. However, next semester, the truck will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. All year long, it will be parked in Humanities Plaza.
Despite the truck’s immediate need because of KU’s coming renovations, Lemaster is already thinking of future plans.
“We’re going to gradually tweak the menu to better fit our customers’ desires,” said Lemaster. “We’re really going to decide in the coming year how Rudy will be utilized in the long term.”
In his first 100 days as the University of Dayton’s 19th president, Eric Spina has launched an ambitious VisionUD strategic visioning process and posted more than 150 Instagram photos of himself in action — from visiting alumni communities in Chicago and Los Angeles to paddling down the Great Miami River on a Sunday afternoon with the president’s emissaries.
Spina took a moment this week to reflect on his opening days, his leadership style and his vision for the future.
Best moment: When Karen and I walked into a full chapel at the 12:30 p.m. Mass on my first official day, we really felt welcomed to the community. This was a visible manifestation of who we are as a university. Catholic, Marianist, welcoming. When Father Kip Stander, S.M., offered a blessing over us, it was emotional and powerful.
Biggest surprise: I’m impressed by the selflessness of the students, time and time again. They’re not here thinking about how to get rich; they are here at UD to gain an education to prepare them to do something positive in the world, in their communities, for their families, for humankind. It’s humbling. And inspiring.
Challenge of being the new guy on campus: I want to be everywhere, absorbing everything on campus, but I usually end up missing four or five places I’d like to be on any given day.
One word that comes to mind when describing the UD community: Connectedness. The subtext is love.
On his leadership style: I think of myself as someone who’s a listener, is collaborative and provides a rationale for decisions. One of my favorite books is Chris Lowney’s Heroic Leadership, which looks at how the Jesuits developed a culture of leadership. The book’s four principles — self-awareness, ingenuity, love and heroism — resonate with me. It’s not personal heroism. As a Catholic, Marianist university, we prepare students to make a positive difference in the world. That’s heroic.
On what UD will look like in 20 years: In some ways, the same. Our values, our mission, are constant. In other ways, dramatically different. Our approach to teaching, learning and research, our venues and our footprint will be completely revolutionized, yet our Catholic, Marianist philosophy of education will remain at our core.
On how he’s spending his 100th day: Karen and I will spend it on UD’s campus with a wonderful mentor and friend, Tom Blumer, the retired senior vice president at Corning who served on Syracuse’s engineering advisory board. We’ll go to the football game and walk around campus. When Karen was eight months pregnant with our first child, he gave me some direct, personal advice that I took to heart: “Make sure you’re there for every softball game, every dance recital.” And I was, except for one Halloween. He taught me you can do big jobs but still be there for your family.
In American history, there have been various books challenged by parents, libraries and schools, many of them classic children’s tales. Roesch Library is taking a stand against these censorship attempts with its new exhibit, Storytime Censored, a display of 15 rare editions of popular children’s, teens and young-adult books that have been challenged and banned in our modern era.
“The exhibit informs us about the attempts that have been made to censor stories, and allows us to see these stories in a different light,” said Katy Kelly, the Communications and Outreach Librarian. “For example, as someone comes across The Wizard of Oz in the exhibit and sees that it was challenged for depicting women in strong leadership roles, they might appreciate the book in a new way.”
The exhibition upholds the American Library Association’s argument that only parents have the right to restrict their own children’s library resources. In 1982, the ALA launched their Banned Books Week, which sheds public light on book challenges and bans. Storytime Censored also features selections from the Rose Rare Book Collection, created by Stuart and Mimi Rose of the Dayton area.
“We wanted to showcase selections from the wonderful book collection of Stuart and Mimi Rose,” Kelly said. “We thought the ALA’s Banned Books Week tradition would be a thought-provoking prompt to begin exploring books and their roles in our lives and society.”
The exhibition is open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Storytime Censored will close Nov. 13.
“Ten years ago I was confronted with a question that changed my life.”
Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig began his remarks to the members of the School of Law Leadership Honors Program on Sept. 21 without understatement.
Discussion at the first event in this year’s Honors Roundtable Series flowed forward from this fundamental question: how are you able to make change in the face of a corrupt system–not as an academic in an isolated field, but as a citizen?
It was a question that spurred an investigation that Lessig brands “a ten year project to understand our system, and ultimately to try to wrestle back our representative democracy.”
In its first year at the University of Dayton, the Leadership Honors Program is intended to provide resources and further leadership training for its students in order to embolden the next generation of successful, civic-minded law professionals.
Its first speaker, Professor Lessig grappled with the need for reform of money’s role in politics; he posited that “competition, usually good, can produce a bad outcome” when Congressional representatives are trapped “on the treadmill”–fixated on funding the next campaign in order to keep the job, rather than performing the job itself.
Attendee and LHP cohort member Brooke Poling, one of a number of students to contribute during the discussion, reflected on Lessig’s evidence, anecdotes, and musings.
“This has given me so much to think about. I feel challenged about what I thought and what I should do in our political system; the discussion was very beneficial.”
With the Leadership Honors Program’s goals in mind, “challenged” may be the perfect word:
Lessig’s work invokes larger inquiries in line with the School’s emphasis on cultivating civically responsible lawyers–as well as citizen leaders.
They walked 3,000 miles over eight months to fight for what they believed in.
Hispanic Heritage Month began Sept. 15 and UD students, faculty and staff gathered for the first film in a three-part series.
The documentary, “American DREAMers,” followed six dreamers – young and undocumented immigrants – and one legal citizen who marched, staged nation-wide sit-ins and brought the country’s attention to immigration and deportation policies.
“We’re walking across the country, but there are so many people walking across the borders,” a protester in the film said. “Someone in our family will be deported within the next year,” another added.
The group marched cross-country to Washington, D.C. calling for change, but today the fight continues for many Hispanics that desire long-term solutions.
The film series is sponsored by University Libraries, Welcome Dayton and the Dayton Human Relations Council. For the first screening, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley introduced the film to a packed crowd in the Roesch Library Collab.
Joshua Ward, civil rights specialist at the City of Dayton Human Relations Council, educated students about the work Dayton does “to influence and ensure a fair culture” before he introduced Mayor Whaley.
Welcome Dayton and Community-Police Relations are initiatives housed under the HRC’s roof that focus on welcoming immigrants and are dedicated to building trust and mutual understanding within the Dayton community.
Mayor Whaley continued the conversation and said, “we live the belief that we are a welcoming and inclusive city no matter what.”
After film, viewers engaged in a discussion to reflect on the powerful messages received.
Students left charged with a greater understanding to recognize the importance of the national and local initiatives working toward an inclusive community and the importance of celebrating Hispanic heritage.
The series and discussion continues on Oct. 13, in the Roesch Library Collab at 6:30 p.m.
Professor Lawrence Lessig is scared.
Fear seems to be a common emotion in today’s political climate, during such a turbulent election cycle. But Lessig’s fear stems from a far deeper schism in the system.
Lessig, a Harvard professor and a past presidential candidate, was the second speaker for the UD Speaker Series on Sept. 21, titled “The Importance of the First Presidential Debate”. His speech was both an exploration and explanation of the disparity between the actions of the current political system and the desires of the general population, or “most people.”
He calls it “the frustration that both the left and the right have with… the distance they feel between them and what their government stands for.”
Lessig points to the groundswell of support this cycle for “outsider” candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders among them, as evidence.
The heart of this issue can be encapsulated in a quote Lessig shared by Boss Tweed: “I don’t care who does the electing… as long as I do the nominating.” Lessig, appropriately, calls it “Tweedism.”
Tweedism revolves around money: campaigns, as they are currently run, require money to win. Those who fund the campaigns control the winners–those funders, therefore, are able to act as filters determining the options of everyone else when we arrive at the polls.
To make his point, Lessig pulled up graphs intended to display the relationship between preference of the common American and the responsiveness of Congress–a flat line. Two previous graphs, mapping the same relationship but for “relevant funders” (those who contribute at least $5,200) and for special interest groups, showed a close relation.
So, what can be done?
To Lessig, this presidential race offers a chance for leaders to stand up and combat the establishment, combat the existing corruption, in an explicit and effective way. He focuses explicitly on Hillary Clinton, who has voiced support for steps limiting the role of campaign funding.
The final question he left at his speech: working from an establishment from which she has benefited, can she step away?
“I am 100% certain that she must if this election is not to be the extraordinary tragedy that it seems to be playing out to be.”