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ray fitz 2014 outlined

How to lead and love — Ask Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. ’64

3:21 PM  Mar 20th, 2015
by Thomas M. Columbus

Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M. ’64, former president and current Ferree Professor of Social Justice, answers questions from college presidents (Pestello of Saint Louis, Ploeger of Chaminade and Curran of Dayton), fellow Marianists (one being his brother) and a grad (Keneally) whose career includes being UD student government vice president 1989-90 as well as the 42nd premier of New South Wales, Australia.

 

Questions and answers not appearing in the magazine are listed first.

Statistics show that global inequality is worsening with 85 people holding more wealth than half the population.  What is your view on how to address this and achieve greater equality?
—ANN HUDOCK ’90, WASHINGTON, D.C.

I have a partial answer that has comes from my efforts to address the injustice of poverty. I strongly believe everyone has the right to basics of life – health, education, opportunities to work, etc.  In advancing justice it is important to appreciate that all of us have contributed, directly or indirectly, to the injustice and at the same time appreciate that we all have gifts that can contribute to advancing justice.  One part of the solution, for me, is educating our community so that all can participate in conversations of public deliberation that advance justice.  Without a partnership of solidarity based on love of neighbor that brings together all impacted by poverty there can be no justice.

Is there a connection between your education as an engineer and your work for social justice?
FATHER CHRIS WITTMANN, S.M. ’83, DAYTON

Father William Ferree, S.M., who wrote The Act of Social Justice, greatly influenced my early formation as a Marianist.  To state Ferree’s insight in an overly simple way – “Injustice occurs because the institutions are poorly designed and organized for the common good, i.e., for the flourishing of all people and groups.  Advancing justice requires mobilizing people to design and implement a new configuration of institutions so that there is a better realization of the common good.”  As engineers we are taught the skills of design; we are not always taught skills of engaging people in the conversations necessary to advance justice.

How did your sense of mission guide you during your tenure as president of UD?
—FATHER MARTY SOLMA, S.M. ’71, ST. LOUIS
I was attracted to the Marianists by their mission of educating leaders. In conversations over the years we developed the phrase “learn, lead and serve,” as shorthand for our mission. I sought to get our UD community excited about educating servant-leaders who integrate knowledge to
advance justice in our society.

How has your work with the Fitz Center influenced your thought on what makes a “complete” professional?
—BROTHER BERNARD J. PLOEGER, S.M. ’71, HONOLULU
I have used the phrase “complete professional” to describe a person with competence in a discipline or professional field, a deep understanding of what it means to be human, and the ability to engage in positive change in society. In recent years we talked about this as “educating for practical wisdom.” I have come to believe that a complete professional must learn to see injustice and work to advance justice, especially in collaboration with those at the margins of society.

What has been the most challenging aspect of leadership for you?
—FRED PESTELLO, ST. LOUIS
It has been to engage people in constructive conversations that moved us toward greater realization of our mission as Catholic
and Marianist. That requires creating opportunities for all to appreciate how our mission was meaningful to our tasks of learning and scholarship. It also requires the skills of listening, of formulating our ideas so others could understand them, and of having the courage to engage different, even conflicting, perspectives to forge a constructive consensus. That was the most challenging — and most fulfilling — aspect of leadership.

What’s it like to be a former president?
—DAN CURRAN, DAYTON
That will be the second-best job you will ever have. As president, I was blessed with an ability to develop consensus around important issues. I used this ability to engage some faculty in exploring the important role of Catholic social teaching in our curriculum and in challenging our community to be concerned about
the youth and our families in our high-poverty neighborhoods. Also, when asked, lend your wisdom to the new president. Expect to work about as hard as you are now; you will just have fewer issues to keep you up at night.

Many students vote in an election for the first time when they are at the University. What advice would you give them?
—KRISTINA KERSCHER KENEALLY ’91, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
In working with students, I have been guided by the statement of the American Bishops and Vatican Council’s document Church in the Modern World. As citizens, we have a responsibility to participate thoughtfully in elections and in public life. In the Catholic tradition this participation must be guided by a well-informed and critical conscience. In my own experience and in conversations with students, the options we have in voting are never clear-cut. Each candidate has some strengths and some deficits in promoting the common good. Politics is the art of the possible. I ask students to examine the candidate’s positions on a variety of critical life issues, abortion, poverty reduction, war and peace, etc. and then make a prudential judgment of which candidate has the greater possibility of promoting the common good.

What did you learn from your family that has helped you in your ministry?
—FATHER JAMES FITZ, S.M. ’68, DAYTON
From Dad, I learned “to keep promises and to be resilient.” From Mom, I learned “to see with my heart.” Both of them have shaped my work of advancing justice. There is a picture of Mom and Dad on the wall in front of my desk reminding me to keep faithful to their lessons.

For our next issue, ask your questions of Matt Dunn ’91, who professionally serves as executive director of the Montgomery County (Ohio) Arts and Cultural District and whose volunteer work includes serving on the national leadership council for Marianist laity in the United States. Email your questions to magazine@udayton.edu.

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hidden treasure football

Rising stars

3:24 PM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Tom Corcoran '13

In a small walk-in closet tucked behind office space, University Archivist Jennifer Brancato stores some of UD’s oldest — and quirkiest — treasures. Without setting foot in the space, she can tell you which shelf, cabinet or box each artifact calls home. She just wishes she could tell you what they all are.

Take, for example, a 12-by-13-by-17-inch set of wooden risers bearing 39 smiling (albeit photographed) student-athlete faces. Commemorative gift? Planning tool? Child’s toy? Like many other archive items, this one didn’t come with instructions.

“We identify what we can — old photos, concert tickets and other UD material that was either found or donated,” Brancato said. “We keep very detailed records now, but going back several decades, that practice wasn’t as common, and we don’t have any records.”

This set of bleachers included. Emblazoned with the UD seal on either side, each level holds individual wooden figurines with painted-on football uniforms (red jerseys, yellow pants and blue knee-socks) and glued-on headshots. Each player’s name was carefully printed and adhered in front of every figure. According to the Division of Athletics, the model could be an early predecessor to today’s media guide, which includes a roster, photos and brief player biographies.

While its creator is unknown, the players represented on these wooden steps aren’t, representing some of the University’s brightest sports stars: Tony Furst ’40, Larry Knorr ’40, Ralph Niehaus ’39, Jack Padley ’40. Once giants of the Flyer gridiron, all four have since been inducted into the UD Athletic Hall of Fame.

The figurines perched next to the team boasted equally giant reputations (indeed, in this model, they stand nearly three times the size of the players). One is assistant coach Joe Holsinger, and another is Louis Tschudi ’34, also a member of the UD Athletic Hall of Fame. The most recognizable face belongs to Harry Baujan, a.k.a. the “Blonde Beast,” UD football’s legendary coach and College Football Hall of Fame member.

Baujan served as head football coach from 1923 to 1946 and as director of athletics from 1947 to 1964. He is credited with growing the football program from relative obscurity to national prominence, and Baujan Field was named in his honor in 1961. Now home to the men’s and women’s soccer teams, the space hosted the Flyer football squad until the construction of Welcome Stadium in 1974.

Individual honors aside, the 1938 UD football team collectively has a special place in University sports history, as it captured the Buckeye Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship title with a 7-2 record. This would be Baujan’s second, and final, championship title as a head coach; the previous one occurred in 1933 when the Flyers captured the Ohio Athletic Conference title.

Was this model used by Coach Baujan as a more colorful, creative way to manage his team roster? Did a Flyers superfan craft it to celebrate the championship season of ’38? Maybe it was the work of a few football pranksters aiming for a laugh. While its origin may remain buried, the history of UD football — and its legends — hasn’t.

Well played.

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boats

How Boats Work

9:51 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Erin Callahan '15

A book by Mary McCulley Umstot ’79.

Despite its classification as a children’s book, Mary McCulley Umstot ’79 describes it as “a nautical book for all ages.” Watercolor illustrations and rhyming lines take readers on a tour aboard Teka III, with Arnold the Anchor as their guide. Umstot found inspiration in her 33 years of boating experience and wanted to teach readers not only what boats are, but what they do. “Children could be around boats all the time, but hopefully this will create a greater appreciation for those
experiences.”

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city management

City Management Snapshots: On the Run

9:48 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Erin Callahan '15

A book by Dan Hobbs ’68.

A behind-the-scenes look at city management, taken from the 44 years Dan Hobbs ’68 spent as a public administrator in 11 jurisdictions, highlight this memoir, written under the pen name Ben Leiter. Vignettes recall memories of murder, drug running, betrayal and scandal. Hobbs described the book as a way to finally “let it all out” after his retirement. “This is the way it really is,” he said. “I hope readers have a greater appreciation for city managers, for the work they do and the pressures they work under. I credit UD with strengthening my sense of social justice.”

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polish

American Originals: Northwest Ohio’s Polish Community at Home, Work, Worship, and Play

9:46 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Erin Callahan '15

A book by Margaret Zotkiewicz-Dramczyk ’83.

American Originals explores the Polish-American lifestyle with each chapter, including one written by Margaret Zotkiewicz-Dramczyk ’83 outlining the history and culture of Polish polka music through personal interviews and musician testimonies. Zotkiewicz-Dramczyk grew up in north Dayton’s Polish community and later discovered the rich Polish culture in Toledo, Ohio; now, she’s determined to preserve it. “Polish culture and music is much like a folk oral tradition: If someone doesn’t write it down, and the folks who lived it die off, it’s gone.”

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federales

Federales

9:42 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Erin Callahan '15

A book by Chris Irvin ’06.

Chris Irvin ’06 has kept his eye on Mexico in the news. When he heard about Mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta’s death in 2012, the idea for his novel, Federales, began to grow. The fictional story describes a federal agent who is appointed to look after a politician, a character based on Gorrostieta, and her campaign efforts against the Mexican drug cartel. “My aim was to tell a character-driven story that gets at the heart of the struggle in Mexico,” he said. “People can get an understanding of Gorrostieta’s story while also enjoying it as a short novella.”

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forgiveness

Forgive-me-nots

9:40 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Erin Callahan '15

Forgive, forget: it’s a choice most of us face throughout our lives. The church teaches on the power of forgiveness; seminars and self-help books have focused on the subject; Google brings up millions of hits. But that’s just the process of learning how to forgive. Alan Demmitt, associate professor in counselor education and human services, wants to know if there’s more to it.

Demmitt discusses the concept in his Integrated Approaches to Clinical Counseling course, geared toward students preparing to become mental health counselors. He’s been conducting his own research for the past two years on how forgiveness, or lack thereof, affects mental health — and our daily lives. Though psychology major Michaela Eames ’15 hasn’t taken his course, she’s taken interest in his research. “This isn’t an area I’ve seen much about, so I find it really interesting,” she said.

While most of us aren’t mental health experts, avoiding a grudge could be as easy as following these steps and considering the questions Demmitt poses through his research.

1. Look beyond the books. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the reference guide mental health counselors use to diagnose mental illnesses like depression or anxiety. However, there may be additional factors to consider. “Things you won’t see in there are bitterness, resentment or a lack of forgiveness, but there are many people struggling with those issues, and it could lead to depression, anxiety or fractured relationships,” Demmitt said. Taking those negative feelings into account could help individuals pinpoint — and solve — the problem.

2. Consider your values. Whether you practice a religion or not, certain values could influence your approach to forgiveness, Demmitt said. As part of his research, he interviewed a group of 10 clergy of different faiths about how they apply their religious practices to forgiveness. He’s transcribing the results and plans to next interview individuals without a faith tradition. Eames wonders if research could also address one of her observations: “Forgiveness is innate in
everyone, whereas faith is not.”

3. Establish a forgiving spirit. Demmitt devotes a portion of his research to how people prepare for forgiveness. “I’m focusing on what people do to be ready to forgive when a situation arises,” he said. “How do they go about cultivating this sense of forgiveness in their lives?” Eames calls it “stabilized forgiveness”: finding its origin and learning how to keep it going to prevent a grudge from interfering with
your life.

4. Keep it up. It’s easier to accomplish something than it is to maintain it, Demmitt said, like losing 5 pounds versus keeping it off. “Are there habits and practices people engage in on a daily or weekly basis to keep a forgiving spirit about them?” his research asks. Like the religious figures Demmitt interviewed, following a certain faith tradition or another moral code can contribute to maintaining the forgiving spirit you establish. While Demmitt has not yet reached a conclusion in his research, Eames contends that addressing the process — and the topic itself — is an important first step in helping people live happier lives.

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rudy with towel color low

Pittsburgh

9:38 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Tom Corcoran '13

Nestled between the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers is a town that some call “America’s most livable city” or “the Steel City.” For 1,880 University of Dayton alumni, this hidden gem and gateway to the Midwest is simply called “home.”

The alumni presence in Pittsburgh has boomed in the last decade due to a resurgence in industry and a rise in job creation. Chris Webb ’95, leader of the city’s alumni community, moved his family there four years ago for a position with U.S. Steel.

“The people in Pittsburgh are great,” he said. “When we moved here, the first thing I did was reach out to the UD alumni community to connect with people, and we were welcomed with open arms.”

One of the unique aspects of the Pittsburgh area is an immeasurable and undefined quality that combines big-city resources with a small-town feel. Similar to the spirit on UD’s campus, community is a big part of the Pittsburgh way of life.

“There’s just something special about UD and the connection you feel with people from UD no matter what year they graduated,” Webb said. “Pittsburgh has a very similar community feel to it, and I think that is attractive to a lot of UD alumni.”

The other common thread that makes UD graduates feel right at home is Pittsburghers’ obsession with their sports teams. Each summer, Webb and the rest of the alumni community organize a trip to take in a Pirates baseball game at PNC Park, one of the nation’s premier ballparks. While cheering for the Black and Gold is fun, the alumni community makes sure to stay true to its Red and Blue roots.

During the basketball team’s Elite Eight run in 2014, Webb said, the alumni community had several watch parties to collectively cheer on the Flyers. It is Pittsburgh’s proximity to one of UD’s biggest rivals, however, that allowed Webb and the rest of the community to start a new annual tradition when the Flyers come to town.

“It started last year, when UD came to town to play Duquesne,” Webb said. “We rented out the Blue Line Grille across the street from the Consol Energy Center, where the game was played, to have a big party for all the alumni in the area and anyone else in town for the game. We had a huge turnout because we put our ‘UD Alumni Community’ sign in the front window of the restaurant — Flyer fans just started swarming in.”

As they say, birds of a feather flock together — and so do the Flyer Faithful.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT ROOTING FOR THE FLYERS AT UD ARENA, WHICH PITTSBURGH SPORTS STADIUM IS YOUR FAVORITE?
PNC PARK, because you have a beautiful view of the Pittsburgh skyline, and every seat has a fantastic view of the game.” —Jennifer Huber Kirschler ’89

“For me, there is nothing better than taking my 6-year-old granddaughter to PNC PARK by the river on a sunny Sunday afternoon.” —Thomas Fox ’70

PNC PARK is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the U.S., and I’m a season ticket holder at HEINZ FIELD. The CONSOL ENERGY CENTER is also a great venue (and I’m not a huge hockey fan).” —James Bernauer ’70

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blank page

Blank page

9:35 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Michelle Tedford '94

Depending on your profession, ablank page could be a wonderful thing — full of possibilities, ready for you to make your mark.

For an editor, it’s the stuff of nightmares — ones with hairy spiders, chainsaw-wielding madmen and red pens that have all run out of ink.

So, I almost hate to ask, but did you see the blank pages in this issue, Pages 30-35? No? Thank goodness.

And thank a student. I did.

We employ 13 students — writers, photographers and a social media intern — for contributions that go beyond simply completing assignments and filling holes. In this issue, senior Ian Moran drove under threat of snowmageddon to Columbus, Ohio, to photograph a couple who will make bicycle dreams come true (Page 56). Our graduate assistant Tom Corcoran ’13 channeled his experience on UD’s football team to uncover mysterious figures from the Flyers’ 1938 squad (Page 61). To find their work, just look for bylines followed by the student’s graduation year. They leave their marks everywhere, including proofreading these pages.

Last summer, my assignment to senior Erin Callahan was to poke her head into every academic office and ferret out people and programs for potential stories. She returned from civil engineering with a name: Pete Ogonek. What started as a 500-word student profile blossomed into her feature “Rowing Machine,” starting on Page 30. Not only does she tell a good tale, but she also filled a very large hole left when the editors decided a previously scheduled feature just wasn’t ripe enough to run.

I barely had time to panic about a blank page when Erin filled it with a story of determination and excellence.

I’d like to think this entire magazine shows just that. The traits are often found in those we interview and photograph, in the stories we tell and the University we love. But our staff — both professional and student — demonstrate determination and excellence every day. A favorite part of my job is working with these students, feeding off their energy and teaching them what I love most about this craft. Our working relationship is not perfect; there are frustrations over missed deadlines, killed stories, or the obstinate use of the serial comma. But when I page through the final product, and know all that has gone into it, I am very, very proud.

I hope you are, too.

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good works 1 parker

Repeating history; celebrating life

9:32 AM  Mar 19th, 2015
by Audrey Starr

Social studies teacher Justin Parker ’14 arrives in his classroom each morning. By the end of the day, he will have seen 107 students sitting in front of him; but he also has the spirit of former social studies teachers behind him.

For Parker, a first-year teacher at Dayton Early College Academy, such a career was a goal set during his own high school years after a charity ballgame gave him a new perspective — and a Flyer connection.

“I had a particular teacher in high school that I wanted to model myself after,” said Parker, who attended Solon High School near Cleveland. That teacher oversaw an annual dodgeball tournament in memory of Solon social studies teacher David Yates, a 1981 UD graduate who died in 2000 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“Every year, my teacher shared memories of Yates and how those experiences impacted his life,” Parker said. “Without ever meeting Mr. Yates, I learned how selfless he was as an educator and as a person. I did my best during my own time at UD to emulate those character traits.”

A magna cum laude graduate and Dayton Civic Scholars participant, Parker was also a recipient of the University’s David Thomas Yates Scholarship. A history major, Yates was president of the honorary history society and received the Dean Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Award of Excellence, given to the outstanding senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. Established in 2000 by Yates’ family, the scholarship has since been awarded 14 times to service-minded students training for teaching careers — students like Corinne Smyth Gries ’04, the scholarship’s first recipient. Today, she teaches education at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.

“UD challenged me to look beyond the classroom and use my education to give back to others,” Gries said. “It was helpful and comforting to know that through the Yates scholarship, someone else was giving back and supporting my education. Earning the scholarship showed me that UD is a community that cares about the future generations of Flyers.”

Parker agreed. “The Yates scholarship held a very special meaning in my life,” he said. “My hope is to make an impact on the students I teach in the same way past teachers impacted me.”

—–

good works 2 connorWhen Philadelphians Mark Connor ’81 and his wife, Miriam Crivaro, prepared to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in 2014, they knew it should be special.

So, they held a joint celebration with Crivaro’s parents, who were celebrating 60 years of marriage. They hired the West Chester Swing Kings, a 19-piece big band, and enjoyed a hot-and-cold buffet from Carlino’s Specialty Foods. And they encouraged guests to send gifts — but not the kind wrapped in pretty paper.

Instead, the couple asked attendees to give to the David Thomas Yates Scholarship at the University of Dayton.

“David Yates ’81 was my roommate for three years at UD, my best friend for nearly 23 years, the brother I never had, and one of my groomsmen,” Connor wrote in his anniversary invitation. “At UD, Dave taught me — a clueless hick from upstate New York — how to study and, by example, showed me there was nothing wrong with having a work ethic and striving for perfection. Dave inspired me to become an A student. I owe Dave for not only my academic achievements but also for my subsequent professional success.”

The duo met in Founders Hall and roomed together as the first residents of 361 E. Stewart St. in the newly built Garden Apartments. Yates helped Connor learn to study, and Connor, a security guard for Marycrest Hall and Campus South,
introduced Yates to new faces. Senior year, they shared the Dean Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Award of Excellence, the first time the honor was ever split.

“For two years before his death, Dave attended an annual Yates 5K Run/Walk in Solon, Ohio, that raised funds for ALS patients and their families,” Connor said. “The theme was ‘Celebrate Life,’ and that’s what we wanted to do with our anniversary. I miss Dave, but I’m grateful our paths crossed when we were young men at our beloved UD.”

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