Friendships endure, but few are endowed.
The women of 321 Kiefaber St. celebrated both this June.
“That year living off campus was life-changing,” said Ann Rice Mullen ’66 of 1965-66, when nine women lived and grew together. Last year, the friends awarded the first 321 Scholarship to a UD student in acknowledgment of the impact UD had on their lives.
The women all lived in Marycrest the first year it opened, and they found one another through housing assignments and friendships.
When it came to their senior year, they discovered a cute white house with a wide front porch and a landlord willing to rent it — advertised for five or six women — to all nine friends who couldn’t bear to live apart. And he charged them the advertised price: $45 per month per woman.
“How did the nine of us live in one house with one bathroom?” asked Jessica Prendergast Krueger ’66 when the women reunited on campus during Reunion Weekend 2016.
It was a learning experience for them all. There was the old wringer washing machine in the basement, a fourth bedroom that was really just a closet, and Friday night house meetings for divvying up the chores. For senior prom, they made a schedule that gave every woman 15 minutes in the bathroom.
“Somebody was ready two hours early and someone was ready at the last minute, and it all worked out,” said Ann Hurley Testa ’66.
Mullen’s mom could not believe the arrangement. “If you are friends after this year, you’ll be friends for life,” she told her daughter.
In recent years, the women have reunited at the Jersey Shore and in Florida. At the reunion in Dayton they remembered housemate Ellen McGarvey Sodnicar ’66, who died in 1990, through sharing stories. Pat Wetzel Kuss ’66 recollected how Sodnicar talked a Marianist brother with an airplane into flying the two women home to Indianapolis — and then into allowing her to take the controls.
“We all grew up together, from innocent little girls,” Karen Sikorski Guszkowski ’66 said, throwing a sideways glance to her friends, “into fine young women.”
Housemates Lexie Shanley Jumper ’66 and Janice Maezer Norton ’66 nodded in agreement.
While the women and their husbands reminisced, senior Abbey Saurine was 8,000 miles away in Zambia, benefiting from their friendship. At the suggestion of one of the husbands, the housemates endowed the 321 Scholarship fund through cash donations and charitable gift annuities to honor their friendship and support the education of a female student committed to service.
Saurine was the scholarship’s first recipient. She is a Catholic religion education major, a Chaminade Scholar, a Campus Ministry volunteer and an assistant in the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.
Last summer, she joined a service-immersion trip visiting the Marianist brothers in Lusaka and the Sisters of Charity in Lubwe. In Lubwe, she and her fellow Flyers presented scholarships to students and money to their teachers to repair and equip the schools.
“We built relationships and learned about the power of relationships,” Saurine said.
She said she was especially excited to receive the scholarship from a household of nine women; this fall, she’s living with 10 women in the Marianist faith community at 1903 Trinity Ave.
The women of 321 say that while friendships endure, so do the lessons they learned at UD. The women continue to give back in their communities through their churches, groups and mission projects.
Said Jean Gilles Fredericks ’66, “We just value our friendship so much. We are who we are because of our time together.”1 Comment
We remember the lives and contributions of faculty members who have passed away. Thanks to those who responded to a call from the UD Magazine for their remembrances. Please add your comments and sympathies below.
Dan Miller, 3-30-17, professor emeritus of sociology
“Dan was a scholar in every sense of the word. Conversations with Dan included a magical mix of wit, wisdom and esoteric references of popular culture. Students would flock to his classes as he didn’t just teach sociology — he taught students how to live.” — Leslie Picca, department chair of sociology
Father Christopher Conlon, S.M. 3-26-17, former director of Campus Ministry and lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies
“I knew Chris on a very personal level. We studied at UD as young Marianists. We then had the good fortune of being assigned to Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland. Many years later we rejoined at UD and spent many years together. During that time, Chris was always the loyal and supportive friend. My immediate and extended family fell in love with him. He said our family Christmas Mass for over 20 years. I will always remember and miss him.” — Myron Achbach ’58, retired director of admission
“Chris was a gift to this department. He had vision for Church and ministry that was enlivened and faith filled. He encouraged collaboration in the Marianist Spirit and risk-taking in ministry. He was a champion for students and their roles in ministry. He appreciated diversity of expression in faith and challenged the Campus Ministry team – and others to do the same. He was a fabulous photographer and spent his later years of ministry gracing us with homemade cards that were a testament to the Glory of God he encountered on his travels. He loved and was beloved by his family. He inspired and supported me on a personal and professional level. He knew the challenges of leadership and affirmed many of us as we grew into and beyond those challenges. Heaven is rejoicing now that Chris is among them telling stories and taking pictures. And those of us behind are praying in gratitude to have been blessed by God through knowing him.” — Crystal Sullivan, director of Campus Ministry
“Fr. Chris has been dearly missed ever since he moved to California. We were blessed to have him work with us in the SBA. I always enjoyed his wit and warm smile. I especially remember him from the 6:00pm Sunday mass at the Chapel. His sermons were laced with life lessons with warm heartedness, humor and wisdom, leaving you with a thoughtful message. He just brightened your day! Heaven just got brighter with his presence!”—Teresa Wehmeyer, senior administrative assistant, Marianist Educational Associate, department of accounting
“Fr. Chris was such a lovely man and oh so Irish! He always had a twinkle in his eye especially when he was telling a “blarney” joke. He helped me personally through some difficult times in my life and gave me such caring and understanding advice. He was part of the School of Engineering Breakaway committee (and founder of it!) and was so instrumental in bringing faculty and staff together in the SoE. I had such fun times with Fr. Chris and his laughter was infectious. He was one of those people that brightened a room when he walked into it. I loved that man dearly and admired him so much. He was so strong in his faith and in being a Marianist. One of his passions was photography and he was quite good at it. I still have cards that he sent me with one of his photos on the front. I will cherish them and they will bring me comfort as I grieve for this great man.” — Margaret “Peg” Mount, senior administrative assistant, Marianist Educational Associate, engineering management, systems and technology department
“We are blessed by memories of working with Fr. Chris. We planned and executed several annual SBA Prayer Services together, and on behalf of the SBA, I playfully “fought” over him with Engineering to snag him for other events in the School. What a pleasure he was to work with! I have missed him for a long time, and am thankful he is at peace.” — Jeanne Zeek ’08, ’14, Senior Administrative Assistant for Assurance of Learning and Marketing, Marianist Educational Associate, School of Business Administration
“Fr. Chris will be dearly missed by the School of Engineering. He was a bright light, who graced us with his wisdom, great sense of humor, caring and compassion and his excellent skills as a photographer.” — Margaret Pinnell, associate dean for Faculty and Staff Development; associate professor, department of mechanical and aerospace engineering
Father Francois Rossier S.M. 3-2-17 Executive director of International Marian Research Institute
“François was dedicated to the mission of IMRI of making Mary more known, loved and served. He cared deeply about IMRI’s work and its students. He was a lovely person. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and work with him. He was kind and thoughtful.” — Kathleen Webb, dean of University libraries.
“Fr. Rossier was very interested in connecting with the University community beyond the IMRI. He cared deeply about the mission and identity of our Marianist and Catholic university.” — Rev. James Fitz, S.M., University of Dayton vice president for mission and rector.
David W. Ahern 12-26-16 Professor emeritus of political science
“David was a wonderful colleague and teacher, and a terrific friend with a delightful sense of humor and an engaging conversational style.”— John Geiger, former University provost
“He loved to rib folks he liked about any number of issues ranging from their driving habits to choices of restaurants. Dave was generous to a fault — in my case, he offered me his home while he was traveling, provided I would take care of his belligerent cat.” — Rick Ghere, associate professor of political science
David had a delightfully sharp sense of humor. He was a creative and innovative educator, developing simulations and computer-facilitated learning well before inquiry-based models of learning became more common in higher education. Former students are still quick to remember fondly their time in Ruritania. He also provided valuable leadership for the department of political science over many years.” — Jason Pierce, dean of College of Arts and Sciences
Father Joseph Patrick Tedesco, S.M. 12-2-16 Professor of psychology
“Father Tedesco was an adjunct member of the UD Department of Psychology from 1996 to 2011, and for the fall semester of 2015 when he was back in Dayton on sabbatical. He taught many courses including intro, abnormal, developmental, personality, tests and measurements, and his all-time favorite, sports psychology. He was very beloved by his students and admired by other faculty. Father ‘Teddy,’ as he was affectionately known, was also my teaching mentor when I first came to the department in 2007. He was a natural born teacher and standup comedian. He was also a licensed professional clinical counselor and a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology. His dissertation research was on performance enhancement. He also received the honor of being inducted in the Ohio Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2006. Father Teddy was also my formation mentor when I first joined the Marianists. We lived together in the Alumni Hall Marianist Community from 2008 to 2010. He helped shape me into the Marianist I am today. He taught me volumes about generosity and self-giving by his example. Father Teddy and I were also co-advisers together for the Greek Fraternity on campus, Beta Theta Pi. He said this made us ‘double brothers.’ He was my truly my best Marianist friend. We all and will miss him terribly. He deeply touched many lives as a priest, teacher and friend.
“May his good and great memory be for us a blessing!” —Brother Thomas Farnsworth, S.M., professor in the department of psychology
“Early in my career at UD, I was assigned to teach in the department’s Summer Intensive Physics Program, which was instituted by Joe. This program offered students the opportunity to complete the two semester algebra-based physics sequence, both lecture and laboratory, in a total of 7 weeks during the summer. Participants were fully immersed in physics, meeting 6 days a week, all day and into the evenings. Because it was a unique offering at the time, students from a number of institutions around the country enrolled, and although the course was very demanding of the student’s time, students always reviewed the experience as productive and valuable.
Joe was a constant member of the Physics golf team that played in the annual Jim La Vance Memorial Golf Tournament. It was great to be able to spend a morning playing golf with Joe, who was an avid golfer. As skilled as he was, he enjoyed playing with those of us with questionable skills. We looked forward to fielding a team every year and spending the time with colleagues outside of the department.” —John Erdei, associate professor and chair of department of physics
“Takis had a passion for regenerative medicine and, in particular, limb regeneration that will transform the lives of those who have suffered from such life-changing injuries. His work on regeneration was a very significant scientific breakthrough. Takis’ loss is a major blow to UD and the research community as a whole.” —Khalid Lafdi, professor of chemical and materials engineering
“Takis was an inspiration. The department’s current research success was built around Takis’ efforts and spirit; he was one of a very few scientists who could make research sing. I think many of us saw that his best days were ahead of him, which makes his passing all the more difficult. He will be sorely missed.”—Mark Nielsen, professor and chair of the department of biology
“No words to describe Professor Tsonis. He was a special person. My Godfather. He had a foresight that very few could understand. He was men of his own kind. Scientist of a caliber not less then a noble laureate. If someday I have to give title of father of tissue regeneration-I will be glad to nominate his name. He could have achieved, and contributed lot more than what he had. His hypothesis has always worked. His imagination was beyond limits. His power to read patterns was nothing less than a God Gift. I am sad that he passed away, and left me like this. Hope whereever he is he is in peace, and solitude because that is what he was searching for in his last two years of life. God Bless my Mento. Dr. Panagiotis A. Tsonis. Amin!”—Abijeet Mehta, doctoral candidate in department of biology
“Dr. Rowe encouraged us to stretch our intellects. I vividly recall him handing me a copy of Nature with the advice that, even as an undergraduate, I should be aware of cutting-edge research. Though he was academically demanding, he was also warm and hospitable. He once invited a group of us out to his farm to look at the Andromeda Galaxy without the light pollution of the city. Of course, Dr. Rowe had a bonfire, drink, and an evening of storytelling waiting for us. He will be dearly missed.” —Kaitlin Moredock DiNapoli ’08
“John contributed a great deal to our department during his decades at UD. He developed both our business ethics courses and our philosophy of law courses, coordinating with the schools of law and business. A constant learner, he taught a wide variety of courses including medieval philosophy, Islamic philosophy, philosophy of art, logic, and philosophy of language, and served as a docent at the Dayton Art Institute for many years. John was effusive and outgoing, and loved teaching, food, drink and friends. He will be missed by his colleagues in the department of philosophy and elsewhere on campus.” —Rebecca Wisnant, associate professor of philosophy
“Dr. Quinn was a renaissance figure in many ways and wanted students to feel connections with hands-on experience. For example, what would it be like to do our taxes based on Roman numerals, and how did we shift to the numbers that we use today? Dr. Quinn created UD’s PHL 365: Islamic Philosophy and Culture course to introduce students to the wider web of geometric structures in Muslim art and architecture. He wanted students to embrace the Islamic rebirth of math and science that led directly to our use Arabic numbers and algebra today, with all the efficiency that this has brought in its wake.
“The University of Tehran invited him to speak more than once on Islamic philosophy. During these visits, Dr. Quinn assembled a remarkable collection of beautiful illuminated manuscript pages, which he often shared with students.
“Dr. Quinn was a trailblazer at UD in establishing PHL 313: Business Ethics and keeping it up to date. He would consistently receive top awards for papers at academic conferences on business ethics.
“With his law degree, Dr. Quinn would often give colleagues and students legal advice free of charge.” —John Inglis, professor and chair of the department of philosophy
“John Quinn was one of my professors when I attended graduate school in philosophy at UD in the 1980s. He possessed an appetite for knowledge. He studied law, art, philosophy, business and whatever peaked his curiosity. In many ways he was a true Renaissance man. He volunteered as a docent for the Dayton Art Institute. He created the now popular course in Business Ethics. John was generous with his time. Over the years, he dealt with health issues with great courage, humor and dignity. This is how he faced his death. I am glad to have been his student, his colleague and his friend.” —Bill Marvin ’91, lecturer in the department of philosophy
“Dr. Watras was an amazing faculty member who inspired education majors at UD for decades. He would start every class with a little joke to draw us all into the moment, but he didn’t have to. He had our attention the moment he would softly say, “Good afternoon.” Like every other member of the Dayton family he cared for his students. I wasn’t the best scholar, but his genuine nature always made me feel like my contribution to the conversation mattered. He had a way of making every student feel as bright and unique as one of his bow ties.” —Michael Fletcher Skelton ’12
“I had Dr. Watras freshman year at UD. He was an excellent professor who truly cared about all of his students and wanted them to learn and grow to become wonderful educators. I will always remember his corny jokes and custom bow ties that he wore daily made by his wife. He is definitely a professor I will never forget!” —Anne Nestor ’12
“I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Geary as a professor during my time at UD. I took his introductory audit course and distinctly remember it being one my favorite classes due to his enthusiasm and practical experience with the subject. Dr. Geary didn’t just simply teach what the textbook said, but instead taught by providing real-life situations that made the topics both interesting and relatable. Dr. Geary truly cared about his students and their well being and I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from him.” —Anita Shankar ’11
For Patricia Russell, innovation comes in all forms. Not only has she taken risks professionally, starting her own consulting firm after a successful chemical engineering career, but her methods as a consultant concentrate on changing individual perspectives.
During her time as an undergraduate, Russell recorded a great deal of firsts. She helped found Minority Engineers for Advancement and was both the first woman from the Bahamas and the first African-American woman to graduate from the University with a chemical engineering degree.
After getting her master’s in chemical engineering and working in the field for several years, she discovered a different path.
“I loved chemical engineering — I liked the analytics and the numbers,” she said. “But while working as a chemical engineer, I discovered the type of work I really belonged in. It was always about people.”
Sixteen years ago, she made the leap. By starting The Russell Consulting Group, Russell was able to pursue the work she loved. Her firm works with companies, primarily in health care and higher education, to improve productivity and create a great place to work.
“A lot of consultants work on changing behavior, hoping that will impact results,” she said. “I focus on shifting thinking, on identifying thought patterns behind behaviors, on mastering ego to transform cultures.”
Russell’s engineering background has continued to serve her well, giving her firm a competitive edge.
“The strategic-thinking skills I learned help me survive the ups and downs of consulting work,” she said. “If you don’t have that strategic or critical-thinking talent, it’s almost impossible to adapt your business model.”1 Comment
In 2012, Robert Boeke and his wife, Rita, traveled to Haiti to teach a three-week math and English course. They didn’t intend to visit the island more than once. But in August 2014, they returned to facilitate a seminar that helped Haitian students plan for their futures.
Originally, the Boekes went to Haiti at the suggestion of Father Medard Laz, with whom they started a Catholic parish in Inverness, Illinois, in the 1980s. When Father Laz later became involved in a project in Haiti, he informed Bob Boeke that his math background would be a help at the University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse (UNOGA) in Jeremie.
Upon arriving in Haiti, the Boekes realized almost immediately that their students had trouble envisioning the future in their work.
“We were concerned that university graduates in agronomy and business management would be hampered in their ability to start businesses, plan plantings and bring about change in Haiti,” Bob Boeke said.
He and his math educator colleague Mercedes McGowen planned a two-week seminar to stimulate multiple areas of the brain and help students become well-rounded independent leaders and thinkers.
After the Boekes returned to the U.S., the Divergent Thinking Seminar was approved by the UNOGA administration for Aug. 18-29, 2014.
UNOGA will continue to offer the seminar, after sending three Haitian employees to stay with the Boekes for a two-week training on presenting the material. Following the training, the Boekes plan to have daily Skype sessions with the teachers for support.
“Perhaps the most important ongoing result of the seminar is that the students have a sense of empowerment. They are talking among themselves and others about believing that they can change Haiti,” Bob Boeke said.No Comments
Pat Glaser Shea grew up privileged. “I had a family that loved me and parents who valued education,” Shea explained.
The daughter of a steel worker in West Virginia, Shea has been the CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, the largest provider of domestic violence services in the state, for 10 years and sees the absence of such privilege every day.
In 1984, the UD marketing graduate settled in Nashville, Tennessee, and began to volunteer at the YWCA, where she saw firsthand the effects of violence and abuse on women and girls. “When women and girls aren’t able to live up to their potential due to abuse, we all lose out,” said Shea.
After a 20-year career in health care, Shea now focuses on ending gender violence by locating root causes. “We have been missing 50 percent of the population, thus half of the equation,” said Shea. “It is time to involve men, to invite good men to be part of the solution.”
Shea has become an outspoken advocate for engaging men in the effort to end violence against women and girls. In March 2015, she gave the TEDxNashville talk, “Violence Against Women: The End Begins with Men.”
In her talk, Shea states there are three things everyone can do: know the facts and elevate the issue, as violence against women is an epidemic; work to change our culture that belittles and devalues women and girls; and teach boys that loving and respecting women and girls is part of healthy masculinity. Shea said, “When women are valued and safe, we are able to be better mothers, sisters, daughters and partners. Everybody benefits.”No Comments
Some might say that Legos are toys meant only for the hands of children. Rafe Donahue would respectfully disagree.
Donahue, now senior director of statistics at Wright Medical in Franklin, Tennessee, used the popular building blocks to construct a structure iconic to UD’s campus: In 2014, Donahue built a miniature Lego model of the Chapel of Immaculate Conception. [Watch the video.]
“A couple of weeks after I had started building it, Paul Elloe in UD’s math department called me,” Rafe said. “He asked if I wanted to come to UD and give a speech, so I thought I’d also present the model while I was there.”
After graduating with a degree in mathematics from UD, Rafe went on to receive a doctorate in statistics from Colorado State University. To complete his Lego masterpieces, he needed to translate his knowledge of numbers and equations into the field of Lego architecture.
Rafe had an admiration of the chapel’s structure, inspiring his build. “Once I finished it, I immediately wanted to build more, so I made two more copies after giving one to the math department. One is with my sister, and the other I carry to Lego shows around the country.”
Donahue is grateful he was able to present UD with something to exemplify his appreciation of the school.
“I wanted to present all the amazing professors I had at UD with a gift that was really meaningful, something important and beautiful on that campus.”
Two models are currently displayed on campus: one in O’Reilly Hall, in the office of Maura Donahue, Rafe’s sister and director of budget and operations for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the original model, outside the mathematics office in the Science Center.No Comments