They beat breast cancer, only to be battered by side effects of treatment. Assistant professor Mary Fisher is helping survivors thrive with research and clinical practices to keep their bodies in motion — and their quality of life soaring.
As co-chair of her 50-year class reunion committee, Joanne Daley ’57 stood out among her peers at Reunion Weekend 2007, buzzing around Kennedy Union and greeting her fellow Flyers with a warm hello.
Colorful scarves and hats hid the vestiges of her chemotherapy treatment. She remembers the sheer exhaustion she felt as she worked to fulfill the Reunion Weekend duties she had accepted months before a Stage II breast cancer diagnosis. A tumor in her left breast was triple negative, a type that tends to grow and spread aggressively. Daley says her doctors “threw everything they could at it,” providing a standard of care that sent her cancer into remission and extended her life.
On March 19, 2015, Daley, now 80, celebrated eight years of being cancer-free. A scar marking the spot where tissue was removed remains a permanent reminder of what she endured eight years ago; a compression sleeve on her left arm, swollen to double the size of her right, symbolizes the continuing physical restrictions she manages as a result of her treatment.
Daley’s story is one Mary Fisher has heard countless times in her career as a physical therapist and assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy: A breast cancer survivor completes radiation or chemotherapy, only to notice debilitating physical limitations, usually in the arm and shoulders, that weren’t present before.
“The survival rate for breast cancer is nearly 90 percent,” Fisher says. “After breast cancer treatment, we should be able to help these women return to the same level of quality of life they had before their diagnosis.”
That vision guides Fisher’s research as she works to raise awareness among survivors, their doctors and loved ones that the fight against breast cancer can continue, in a different arena, long after the cure.
MOVEMENT AFTER SURVIVAL
Three months after Daley’s surgery in March 2007, she developed lymphedema, a painful condition in which fluid fails to drain from body tissues, leading to swelling in the arm or leg. Removal of lymph nodes from around the armpit, called axillary nodes, is a common risk factor, and close to 60 percent of breast cancer survivors report symptoms of lymphedema after completing cancer treatment.
“It’s a pain in the butt — you can quote me on that,” Daley says.
The swelling in her hand and arm make gardening, one of her favorite hobbies, range from uncomfortable to painful. Washing dishes becomes a struggle with a swollen hand, as does the simple task of holding food in place to cut it. Trips to buy clothes become exercises in frustration, as Daley struggles to slide coat sleeves over her left arm. She must buy two sets of gloves to make a pair to fit differently sized hands.
As common as such complaints are, doctors and other health care professionals are usually more focused on keeping cancer at bay. The rest of the patient’s physical state isn’t often part of post-treatment conversation.
Because of her interest in physical therapy, however, Fisher listened to these survivors.
“While I was in graduate school, I had a conversation with a colleague who had breast cancer many years before, and she said to me, ‘You know, Mary, I’m still having trouble with my arm five years later,’” Fisher says. “That got me looking into this and thinking about it, and I began to read the literature and find out what kind of problems women who have had breast cancer treatments face.”
Among her findings is that not all regain full arm function even six years after undergoing surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. She is also finding that early intervention with exercise and physical therapy can help women recover fully.
It’s an easy solution in theory, but there’s another catch. By the time most women begin noticing signs of lymphedema, it’s too late for them to return to full function. Other limitations can be overcome through physical therapy and exercise.
Since 2007, Fisher has participated in multiple local and national studies to first confirm, and later, to determine best practices to address arm function limitations among breast cancer survivors. Her initial findings have encouraged her to promote prospective surveillance — the practice of monitoring an affected group after a medical event to observe pattern development — and early intervention efforts to improve survivors’ physical capabilities and prevent long-term functional limitations.
She considers prospective surveillance a paradigm shift in addressing the needs of all cancer survivors after treatment — a change Fisher says will improve the quality of life for men and women long after they’ve overcome cancer.
STUDIES IN MOTION
Until the late 20th century, breast cancer diagnoses were often delivered behind a veil of shame and secrecy, with women quickly given mastectomies to remove the affected breasts, often without fully informed consent.
Breast cancer advocacy emerged in the 1970s when women began to talk more openly about their diagnoses and push for more involvement in their treatment. Prominent women like Shirley Temple Black, the former child star and U.S. ambassador, and First Lady Betty Ford lent their voices to the cause. Women began pushing for research, more sensitive medical care and treatment options that didn’t result in mastectomy as a matter of course.
Nearly 40 years later, it’s clear such advocacy and awareness has worked. The long-term outlook for breast cancer survivors in the United States has never been better — in 2013, the National Institutes of Health reported a 90.5 percent survival rate five years after diagnosis, up from the 75 percent for women diagnosed between 1975 and 1977. Lumpectomy and radiation therapy, rather than mastectomy, are now the standard of care for early-stage breast cancer.
Because most survivors now live decades after their initial diagnoses, post-treatment complaints are emerging with greater frequency. As a physical therapist, Fisher began noticing a common trend among those who visited her for arm limitations. Quite a few had completed post-lumpectomy treatment in the past few months, or perhaps the past year or two, and complained of arm pain or limited function. Sometimes lymph nodes had been removed; in other cases, they had not.
“I can tell you this story over and over again,” Fisher says. “Even if she didn’t develop lymphedema, she can barely move her arm.”
Fisher wanted to know how long the problems persisted after cancer treatment. While completing her doctorate in rehabilitation sciences at the University of Kentucky, she began studying arm function in long-term breast cancer survivors. Her 24 years of clinical practice as a physical therapist at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton also influenced her research.
Her dissertation findings confirmed that breast cancer survivors had limited motion compared to women who hadn’t had breast cancer. This was especially true for left-handed women who had cancer on their right sides, and for right-handed women who had cancer on the left sides. Survivors also reported a slightly lower quality of life and slightly higher arm disability than women who hadn’t had breast cancer.
Fisher then had to rule out other possibilities for decreased long-term arm mobility before attributing the change to cancer treatment. Perhaps the physical issues were simply part of the normal aging process? Or were other factors involved? Those questions hadn’t adequately been addressed, she says.
To find out, she began conducting studies at UD in 2011 using healthy controls — 79 women who’d never had breast cancer or a shoulder injury or surgery — and compared them to 50 women who’d had breast cancer and treatments more than a year in the past. She put them through a series of tests, timing them as they picked up light objects and placed them on a shelf, similar to an everyday activity like putting groceries in a pantry.
The survivors had more disability and less arm function than the healthy controls, regardless of age, she found.
In January 2013, Fisher joined a National Institutes of Health team working with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington, D.C. The group has been collecting data since 2004 on the arm function of most women diagnosed with breast cancer who have received services at Walter Reed.
The study examined 150 women after breast cancer treatment. The group measured the women’s arm functions at the study’s start and at regular intervals thereafter — one, three, six, nine, 18, 24, 36 and 60 months out. The following year, the group began collecting data on healthy control subjects for comparison.
Researchers used a tool called a perometer to measure changes in limb volume, such as swelling in an arm. Their results showed that even a 5- to 10-percent increase in limb size was not reversible. But there was also good news. Prospective surveillance alerted health care providers to increases of less than 5 percent in limb volume. Patients and providers then employed aggressive management, and patients showed less disability long term.
“At the first hint of preclinical lymphedema, which is a 3-percent difference in arm volume from the pretreatment measure, they’ll put a (compression) sleeve on the patient, teach her how to do manual lymph drainage and start an exercise program,” Fisher says. “They’ve found it very effective in often reversing lymphedema.”
The NIH team is now working to develop more sensitive tools to measure arm function and standard tests of muscular endurance for post-treatment evaluations, as none currently exist.
Limited arm function might be of less concern to survivors than the cancer itself, but Fisher believes cancer treatment shouldn’t rob women of what they enjoyed doing before their diagnoses, such as gardening, in Daley’s case.
“Ultimately, if arm function is impaired, quality of life is often diminished,” Fisher says. “That’s what we’re trying to address.”
STOPPING BEFORE IT STARTS
In 2010, Terri Baldasare, a former annual fund employee at UD, was more than a year out from the surgery that removed a cancerous lump in her breast. She traveled to South Carolina for a vacation and noticed her hand had swollen significantly after a day playing golf.
Baldasare, a Beavercreek, Ohio, resident and friend of Fisher’s, was aware of the potential physical changes she could encounter after surgery, but she thought she had avoided them.
“A year and a half [later] … you just never know,” she says.
Lymphedema was the diagnosis. As part of her ongoing treatment, Baldasare, 66, now has to wear a protective sleeve, which compresses her arm to reduce swelling and promote lymph drainage.
Fisher notes that lymphedema can develop at any point after treatment, even 20 years later.
Although Baldasare is managing her lymphedema through physical therapy and exercise, earlier examinations and treatment could have identified and prevented the swelling. Fisher says Baldasare’s experience is common — by the time a woman notices swelling in her hands or arms, the condition is often irreversible, making prospective surveillance crucial.
Although lymphedema might be among the more painful conditions a survivor can experience, patients who don’t develop the disorder could still find themselves struggling with arm pain. Fisher says some women move their arms and shoulders differently to avoid pain after surgery, a practice that ultimately worsens their condition and requires neuromuscular retraining through physical therapy. A typical course of treatment can be four to six weeks of motion and strength training; that can increase to two to three months for lymphedema sufferers.
Avoiding arm dysfunction altogether is Fisher’s ultimate goal for breast cancer survivors, but research shows that exercise and physical therapy can help mitigate existing limitations. She reviewed past studies from other researchers that debunked old myths, such as one suggesting that strength training was harmful for women after cancer treatment.
In fact, it has been shown to reduce swelling and pain.
Establishing the importance of physical activity provided another piece to the puzzle. Fisher’s next move would be testing other exercise practices to learn what could help women avoid or manage issues resulting from arm restrictions.
In 2013, Fisher received a University grant to study the possible beneficial effects of yoga for breast cancer-related lymphedema. Results of a seven-person pilot study indicated that yoga was a safe exercise.
Fisher continued the study in fall 2014, gaining funding from UD for studies examining yoga practice among women with lymphedema.
One study primarily examined yoga and arm volume, while the other looked at yoga’s effects on arm volume, along with balance and range of motion, in affected women.
Participants entered an eight-week yoga program. Devon Schmidt, an instructor at Day Yoga Studio on Brown Street near UD’s campus, led two classes each week, and participants completed a third at home with a video. Some participants wore compression sleeves during the classes, and Schmidt modified poses as needed based on physical capabilities. Some did arm and shoulder stretches while holding on to a chair. Schmidt modified popular positions like the triangle, a standing pose that opens the chest and shoulders while stretching legs and hips, by placing blocks on the floor for participants who couldn’t stretch their arms that far.
UD students pursuing their doctorates in physical therapy helped find participants and record data before, during and after the yoga class.
“It was amazing to hear their individual stories,” says Meghann Ford, a 2015 physical therapy graduate who worked with Fisher. “There were 10- to 15-year survivors, and women who were just going through another round of radiation. They were strangers when they first started, but by the time they finished, they were hugging, sharing stories and planning ways to meet after the class was over.”
For the first study, Ford and other students measured six participants’ arm volume, self-reported arm function, self-reported quality of life and hand grip strength. With the second study, which also included six participants, measurements for shoulder range of motion and balance were added, while hand grip strength was not measured.
Data was taken at the beginning and end of the yoga class, and for the second study, again at one month after the final class.
Results showed a significant decrease in arm volume after eight weeks, but no changes in the other measurements taken in the first study. With the second study, data showed a decrease in arm volume, an increase in arm flexion (raising arms straight up), an increase in quality of life and improved balance. Self-reported arm function showed improvement that wasn’t considered statistically significant, but quite significant from a clinical, or practical, perspective.
Daley, the octogenarian survivor, was a believer. “When I went to clean my flower beds that night in my garden after going to yoga class, I didn’t hurt as badly,” she says.
Schmidt wasn’t involved in data collection, but watching and listening to feedback from study participants also confirmed to her that yoga, notably the poses that involved stretching the arms and shoulders, had proven beneficial.
“I was actually surprised that they progressed so quickly,” Schmidt says. “I saw them improve as they progressed through the course, and some of them didn’t need modifications at all by the end of the eight weeks.”
Schmidt says some participants have continued to take classes at her studio, enrolling in courses open to the public and doing modifications as needed.
Fisher’s study also showed the importance of maintaining an exercise regimen. Gains made during the class were not maintained by the time the one-month follow-up date arrived, data showed.
Daley says she noticed three months later how much worse she felt because she hadn’t continued her classes. During the summer, she decided to change that and enrolled in a weekly yoga class for cancer patients and survivors at Kettering Medical Center.
“It’s very basic, but it’s certainly been helpful,” she says.
LIFE IN FULL
Fisher’s long-term goals are simple: make the recovery from breast cancer treatment as effective as possible so survivors can return to the life they had before diagnosis. This, she says, requires a multipronged approach to find the most effective treatments, educate health care providers about prospective surveillance and make care accessible to all.
The UD studies address the first goal of figuring out what works best for breast cancer survivors’ arm functions. Fisher has seven publications and presentations scheduled for 2015, and four of her doctoral students — Ford, Minna Cho, Olivia Morris and Karissa Feucht — presented a poster at the National Lymphedema Network’s 11th International Conference in Washington, D.C., in September 2014. They also presented at the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in Indianapolis in February 2015.
The topic, “Effects of Yoga on Arm Volume, Quality of Life, Self-reported Arm Function, Shoulder Motion, and Balance in Women with Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema,” received a Graduate Student Showcase Award in Physical Therapy at UD. All DPT students are required to participate in research projects.
“I had never really been into research before this, but the experience really opened my eyes to being a part of research studies in the future,” says Ford, who’s now working at a skilled nursing facility in Springboro, Ohio. “This opportunity has opened a lot of doors for the four of us.”
Fisher is already beginning work on a study quantifying arm activity of women who had breast cancer on their non-dominant side. Her dissertation findings suggested that women with cancer on the side of their lesser-used arm experienced more long-term issues. She’ll now see if women with cancer in their non-dominant arm use that arm less than women who haven’t had cancer, effectively slowing recovery.
First, she is collecting data. Women who have had cancer and healthy women serving as controls are given activity monitors to wear on both arms for one week, and data from the two groups will be compared. Fisher has recruited 22 of 30 participants, and her study will continue through the end of the year.
Although studies are progressing, another paradigm shift might be required to fulfill Fisher’s other goals. Health care providers will need to encourage women to be acutely aware of potential physical changes after cancer treatment and immediately refer those women to physical therapy. University programs should educate students in health care fields about physical side effects so they can incorporate that knowledge in their future practices. Greater publicity — like this article — also increases awareness of lymphedema and other issues among those going through treatment and survivors.
Then there’s the issue of accessibility. Certain types of physical therapy could be out of reach for many lower-income women. Distance and lack of transportation could prohibit some from participating in physical therapy or exercise programs. Compression sleeves, a crucial element in lymphedema treatment, are costly and not often covered by insurance. Financial barriers prohibit survivors from managing their limitations effectively and prevent them from participating in everyday activities — whether they be jobs or hobbies.
Surviving breast cancer is a victory worth celebrating. After defeating it, survivors should be able to thrive as well.
Shannon Miller’s mother, Jennifer, is a breast cancer survivor. She has been cancer-free for 10 years.No Comments
Phil Warth ’69 believes that if you know your neighbor, you will want to be friends. “To not know them is to misunderstand them,” he said.
Warth is the founder of Facilitated Growth, a New York-based private equity firm, and chairs the board of First Nonprofit Foundation. Warth has succeeded professionally in terrain where nonprofits meet entrepreneurship. Now he wants future UD students to succeed where their education meets public issues — and the world. He and his wife, Cynthia, have established a $1 million charitable trust at UD. It will fund critical thinking for evaluating public problems and policies and the expansion of geopolitical studies.
“I think understanding one another makes people less likely to support the notion of war and makes governments less likely to explore that,” he said.
Warth has come to know others in a variety of ways. He has served as a city planner, as president of America’s Second Harvest, the Nation’s Food Bank Network (now Feeding America) and as president and CEO of First Nonprofit Insurance Co.
He said UD helped him develop critical thinking skills, which he calls a “necessary component of getting to the truth of things.”
He said he also values UD’s close-knit campus, so the trust also will assist with renovations of Kennedy Union. “It’s THE gathering place on campus,” he said, “and it’s important for it to be comfortable and desirable.”No Comments
During my first year as president, I drove to Salyersville, Ky., where students have spent the last 50 summers living among the people.
As we sat on the porch of a 1930s farmhouse, we talked about their volunteer experiences in Appalachia and the impending war in Iraq. Cars passed by, often with a honk of the horn or a shout of “Hey, Dayton!” Later, we joined hands and prayed for the families of Salyersville, our University and for peace in the world.
For us, porches are an enduring symbol. They represent the Marianist sense of hospitality and openness to the world around us. From the porch, our students step out into the world — to study, conduct research and use their community-building skills to serve others while they discover their true selves.
Learning from young people in a place far from campus — it’s how I started my presidency, and it’s how I also spent part of this summer, the start of the final year of my presidency. I joined 21 students in the historic Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, Italy, on their first day of an interdisciplinary course taught by art historian Roger Crum, paleontologist Dan Goldman and medievalist Bobbi Sutherland.
I offered a sociological perspective while my colleagues talked about the significance of this ancient public square from their disciplines. We then sent the students off in four directions to bring back artifacts illustrating what they had just learned. They returned with a holy card, a flower, a stone and even a piece of fruit masterfully interpreted — all to communicate that all knowledge is connected.
We provide students with an education that connects their majors to the world they will enter upon graduation. This summer, more than 400 students earned credit or participated in service opportunities in 17 countries. They studied automotive engineering in eastern Germany, psychology in Paris and peacebuilding in Kosovo. In a remote village in Zambia, students volunteered in schools and hospitals. Doctoral students in physical therapy taught classes at Nanjing Medical University in China, while other students studied at our China Institute in Suzhou.
From Salyersville to Suzhou, we are connected by the bonds of knowledge, by the bonds of community.No Comments
You’re no goldfish — and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
If you were, you’d have an attention span of 9 seconds. In three seconds, you’d swim off and miss the most important part of this story. So here it is: Thank you.
If you’re still reading this, you’re no typical human, either. Our species now registers an attention span of just 8 seconds. In our hyper-connected world, every ding, flicker and vibration remind us more of where we aren’t than where we are.
Maybe that’s why a publication rooted in place holds such appeal.
Seven years ago, we redesigned our beloved tabloid into the University of Dayton Magazine with a mission to engage, educate and entertain all those in our Flyer family. Our mission remains, but with this issue we offer you an update to both design and content, based on the feedback you’ve given us in reader surveys and magazine letters.
Here’s what you’ll find:
Youth: We’ve picked cleaner and larger fonts to help go easy on the eyes and make you feel 10 years younger, especially in Class Notes [Page 49].
Wealth: Hidden Treasure is one of our most popular features. We’ve given it more space to highlight the rich art that accompanies the stories [Page 20].
Love: It’s the heart of the Marianist spirit, and it’s a gift you share widely — even when confined to 140 characters. MainStream highlights your voices — and a whole lotta hearts [Page 7].
Time: More short pieces, graphics and quick hits give you ways to connect with the UD community [The Alumni, Page 43].
Knowledge: Continued access to UD experts, like professor Mary Fisher and her research to help our loved ones who’ve had breast cancer [Page 36].
Beauty: We’ve made more space for photographs, ones that welcome you in and bring you back [View Finder, Page 13, and “Guided by Faith,” Page 22].
In a world flashing for attention, you’ve told us that more than half of you spend more than a half hour with each issue. Fifty-nine percent of you read beyond your class year and read most of Class Notes. Sixty-four percent of you read all or most of the features. Even our most recent alumni — those 25 years and under — prefer to read their UD stories by holding paper in their hands.
We know your time is precious to you, and we’re humbled that you’ve chosen to share some of it with us. Thank you. And keep letting us know what you think.No Comments
On what ministries are the Marianists worldwide focusing?
We asked that question of Father Manuel Cortés, S.M., superior general of the Society of Mary. His answer:
In all countries where we are present, Marianists focus on our ministries of education, understood as the formation of the whole person, according to the perfect human model, Jesus. Since the days of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, we have considered this the service the Lord asked of us: to form human persons in the way that Mary formed Jesus as a human being. We call ourselves “Marianists” because we are called to continue the educational mission of Mary in our Church and in our world. Inspired and accompanied by Mary, our vocation is to form others to become brothers and sisters of Jesus, as well as brothers and sisters of each other.
As Marianists, we are open to any type of ministry that may serve to form persons. In addition to our educational institutions, we are committed to other ministries that exercise an important educational influence — such as parishes; programs promoting social justice; adult formation; faith communities; and attending to those excluded from educational systems owing to social, economic or other circumstances.
Chaminade, deeply touched by an era of great change, that of the French Revolution, understood people’s need to be educated, to receive the formation needed to avoid being swallowed up by the turmoil of great cultural change. We are living through a similar period, a time of perhaps even more profound change. Pope Benedict XVI characterized it as an “educational emergency,” and Pope
Francis has not ceased calling for the dedication of all possible resources to address this clear need in the area of education. In light of this, Marianists cannot but feel spurred on in our mission. We hope that the Lord will give us vocations to be able to continue to develop in this area.
The educational emergency of our age appears most acutely in the poorest societies and among those marginalized in the richer societies. The “good life” of those who live in opulence increasingly leaves behind victims condemned to poverty and hunger. We Christians cannot remain indifferent to the cry of the poor, as Pope Francis has repeated so often. Since the 1950s, the Marianists have responded to this call by founding communities and works in poor countries and marginalized areas. We are present in 33 countries. In 18 of these, we have been present only since the last half of the 20th century, with the great majority of these having a high level of poverty.
Our Marianist focus, therefore, remains faithful to our founder’s vision but also very much in conformity with the needs of today’s world. Our ministry remains deeply rooted in Marianist tradition and spirituality and very much alive in active mission.No Comments
Less than 75 miles east of Dayton, alumni in Columbus, Ohio, often feel just a few steps away from UD’s back porch. With nearly 10,000 Flyers roaming the capital’s streets, intentional reunions are easy — and random sightings aren’t uncommon.
We often hear of random run-ins between Flyers out and about. What’s the most recent encounter you’ve had with a fellow Flyer, and where were you?
“We have five lawyers in our suite of offices [at Cline Mann Law], and four are UD law grads. The fifth is an Ohio State law grad — but his son went to UD for undergraduate school. UD is taking over the universe! At least my universe.”
—William Mann ’79
“I run into Rob Ryan ’93 about every other week at a random restaurant in Grandview, Ohio. It’s never planned; just random bumping into.”
—Jeff Mattingly ’92
“I meet Flyer folks in airports, the grocery store, waiting for a train, sitting in a watering hole — pretty much somewhere, anywhere in the world.”
—John H. Heller ’78
Columbus Alumni By the Numbers
Total Alumni: 9,116
Arts & Sciences: 1,992
Every consumer decision can be your vote for freedom — or your support of slavery.
RosaLia Stadler takes her choices seriously. A junior political science and human rights major, she has researched slavery used in creating consumer products.
The International Labor Organization reports that 20.9 million workers are coerced and trapped in jobs worldwide. They could be picking your coffee, sewing your clothes or packaging your produce. Lies and intimidation could be keeping them in low-paying jobs or unsafe conditions. In other cases, it’s barbed wire and shackles.
Stadler is researching whether consumers are willing to pay more for slave-free products. She’s also changing her consumer habits to make the best shopping choices possible. Here are her tips.
1. Educate yourself. For Stadler, it began in high school when her father had her watch the movie Taken. “This really happens?” she asked about the plot: kidnappers abducting girls for the sex trade. The answer is yes, even in Ohio. She recommends the Polaris Project for issue and advocacy information and Abolition Ohio, a UD-started organization created to stir society’s conscience about all forms of slavery.
2. Look for the green label. Fair Trade USA certifies products to help you choose those made by companies supporting sustainable livelihoods for workers and the environment. Stadler purchases only fair-trade coffee. Grocery shopping does take longer when you’re on the hunt. “You have to look for the green label,” she says. “It’s not on every box of cereal or vegetable.”
3. Google it. When training for a half-marathon, Stadler knew she needed better choices for her running shoes. So she Googled “ethically made tennis shoes.” Her research led her to choose Mizuno Wave Inspire.
4. Think local. It’s hard to know the worker history of clothing you pull off the rack. Unless the manufacturer specifically labels its products, it is best to fall back on what you know. “I try to buy made-in-America clothes, and I thrift shop a lot,” she says. She also buys local produce.
5. Shop at a fair trade store. Stadler has one in her hometown of Akron, Ohio. There, she buys gifts — which also help educate the recipient. “I wear three bracelets to remind me of what I’m so passionate about,” she says. “One made in Nepal supports women’s education; a second was a gift and equals a month’s worth of water in Ethiopia; and the third I bought in Dayton to support the Polaris Project.”No Comments
An album by Chris Yakopcic ’09.
A musician’s life vacillates from hours of solitary work to roars of au-dience appreciation. Blues writer and guitarist Chris Yakopcic heard quite a roar earlier this year at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. He was one of 10 finalists in the solo competition, performing four tunes, including “Sweet Time Blues.” Yakopcic plays fingerstyle acoustic guitar, drawing from both Delta and Piedmont blues. His first CD, Done Found My Freedom ’fore My Technique, will be followed this fall by a new release. Yakopcic plays several venues in the Dayton region; he can most often be found at Dayton’s Tumbleweed Connection and always at chrisyakopcicmusic.com.No Comments
A film by Glenn Gebhard ’72.
The United States has just restored relations with Cuba, but Glenn Gebhard has visited and filmed documentaries there for nearly two decades. Gebhard studied Spanish at UD. “I was interested in what a socialist country looked like,” he said. This year’s Cuba: The Forgotten Revolution is the fourth Cuba film by Gebhard, professor of film production at Loyola Marymount University. He worked with UD history professor Juan Santamarina on 2006’s Lifetime of Passion, which looks at people in Cuba and in the exile community in Miami. The other titles are Dreaming a New Cuba and Crossing Borders: A Cuban Returns.No Comments
A book by Patricia Skalka ’68.
When Patricia Skalka stepped through the Flyer News doorway, she knew she was walking into life as a writer. Now she’s stepped away from nonfiction to create mysteries set in Door County, Wisconsin. Her protagonist, Dave Cubiak, is a displaced former Chicago homicide detective. Critics have praised Skalka for details that convey a sharp sense of place. They also admire the puzzles of her mysteries and her treatment of characters. Her first mystery, Death Stalks Door County, was published in 2014. Her second book, Death at Gills Rock, was published earlier this year, and the third is in the works.No Comments