It’s not every day that UD students get to enjoy food and conversation with alumni from around the country.
This past weekend, UD alumni from 34 chapters — from California to Puerto Rico — came together for the fifth annual Alumni Leadership Conference, where Alumni Association members, day10 executive committee members and alumni chapter leaders gather to share ideas about building relationships with alumni around the country.
As part of the conference, representatives choose a food item from their chapter location and serve the dishes to current students, an event dubbed the Alumni Food Court.
Jessica Gonzalez, a ’96 grad and UD’s associate director of volunteer engagement for alumni relations, helped serve with the Puerto Rico chapter, which chose empanadas as their offering.
“The Alumni Food Court is important because we want to reach out to current students to show them that there is life after UD — that they can stay involved,” she said.
The weekend also marks important transitions, like that of outgoing Boston chapter president Julie Kumor ’97 to incoming president Megan Lachman ’08.
Kumor said she reached out to the Boston alumni chapter when she first moved to the city more than 10 years ago. After four years as the chapter’s leader, she’s happy to pass the torch to a fellow Flyer.
“It’s great to see everyone who came out and I’m excited to take the reigns as president,” said Lachman, who served Krispy Kreme donuts alongside Kumor at the Food Court.
Find out more about UD alumni chapters and ways to get involved.No Comments
“Those were the good ol’ days — look at our world now.”
We’ve all said this phrase at one time or another. When we look around us and see the state of the world today — environmental concerns, poverty, terrorist attacks — it’s easy to convince ourselves that the human race is headed downhill.
Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, begs to differ.
“I’m not saying it’s all going to be happily ever after. But for the most part, the long-term prognosis is extremely good,” said Haidt.
As the first speaker in the 2013-14 UD Speaker Series, “Human Rights: A Global Challenge,” Haidt spoke to a packed KU Ballroom last week on the evolution of morality and why — in spite of the tragedy that seems to permeate our day-to-day lives — the future of humanity isn’t as bleak as we think it is.
In his talk, Haidt used video clips of chimpanzees and humans to explain that humans are unique in our ability to share intentions: We have evolved as a species, he said, to work together towards a common goal. As time has gone on, we have become better at being group members.
Religion, Haidt said, has played a key role in this development. The basic principles of any religion — giving up certain things for the good of the group, participating in events that bind people together — have fostered the moral evolution of humanity thus far, and will continue to do so in the future.
At a time when the future of humanity looks uncertain, Haidt’s speech provided audience members with a refreshing look at the modern world.
“’What a long, strange trip it’s been,’ all 14 billion years. But the future is a hopeful one,” Haidt said.
For more on the UD Speaker Series and a full schedule of events, visit their website.No Comments
While most students are focused on their classes, earning their way to graduation and a degree, another kind of achievement is at work on campus. Here in Humanities Plaza, a squirrel stretches for an acorn to stow away for a winter snack.
9-18-13 by Larry Burgess
Twirling the silver batons are (at left) Gretchen Ricketts, a junior psychology and criminal justice major from Madison, Ind., and Megan Althaus, a senior graphic design major from Sidney, Ohio. The two are twirlers with the UD marching band. Under the direction of Missy Townsend, they run through a routine before the band arrives for afternoon practice at the field near College Park Center.
9-18-13 by Larry Burgess
Students in a foundation photography class work in a College Park Center darkroom. They expose and develop images for an upcoming assignment.
9-17-13 Ian Moran ’15No Comments
The athletics strength and conditioning department recently acquired an elliptical bicycle for use in athletic training. Katrina Steinhauser is the first person to take a test ride on the ElliptiGO bicycle, pedaling it along Frericks Way. Katrina, a senior theater and communications major from Circleville, Ohio, was a little afraid at first, but liked the smooth ride. “It’s like running, on a bike,” she said.
9-17-13 by Larry Burgess
Hampers, plastic drums and pans? This odd combination includes just a few of the materials Beth Hart’s Engineering 103 class repurposed, in teams, to create an innovative human-powered washing machine for future University of Dayton Summer Appalachia Program (UDSAP) members.
UDSAP is a nine-week summer program where students live in community and conduct relational service in Salyersville, Ky. (Read more about the 2013 trip.)
“Since I’ve been in this position, it has been a passion of mine to make the school of engineering aware of how they can incorporate service into their education,” said Hart.
The project was open-ended. Brother Tom Pieper, UDSAP adviser and mentor, told the class about a few of the program’s needs, one being a washing machine that could clean two beach towels, at minimum, without any electricity. Three teams — each with at least one education major — took up the challenge.
Hart opened the class to education majors, she said, because of her passion for equipping future teachers with the skills needed to share engineering knowledge with future generations of students.
“The education majors were amazing in their contributions to the projects,” Hart said. “The outcomes proved the idea that diversity of background elevates the learning in the class.”
The teams only had a $50 budget and six 1 ½-hour classes.
“The limited budget made things more difficult,” Hart said. “The students had to be creative and adapt certain materials to meet their needs. One team repurposed a team member’s laundry hamper.”
For most teams, it was difficult to maintain their vision of a washing machine but stay within the budget.
“The major turning point in this project was when our group realized that the point of the project was simplicity and efficiency rather than complexity,” said Hannah Mayer, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.
Hart is hopeful her students will keep the lessons learned in her class close at hand throughout their more technical ones. “They all were very impressed with what they could do with a limited amount of time and money. That’s what I try to do: empower them. You don’t need much to make a difference,” Hart said.
Mayer certainly didn’t miss Hart’s message. “This project taught me the importance of each step in the design process. I learned that even though our original plan didn’t work, you shouldn’t give up,” she said. “Your imagination knows no limits, as long as you remember the possibilities are endless.”
While UDSAP-goers may have to continue taking most of their laundry to the laundromat at the end of each week, at least they can count on clean towels after swimming or taking a shower.
“That’s the neatest part about this project,” Hart said. UD students created something their peers are actually going to use.”No Comments
Father Jim Fitz, S.M., turns a page of the Saint John’s Bible to the reading of the day at the noon Mass being said for the Feast of Marie Thérèse in the chapel. Today’s celebration marks the first time at UD this Bible was used in a Mass. Students and faculty gathered today to celebrate the life of Marie Thérèse De Lamourous. (Read more about the Saint John’s Bible exhibit at Roesch Library.)
09-13-13 by Ian Moran ’15No Comments
Today’s weather was wet, which caused me to think of something. Ever notice that during a class change, when it’s raining, we curve our umbrellas downward to keep the rain off us? Then, did you ever notice how plants’ leaves tend to curve upward to catch the raindrops and keep them? It must be the difference between a temporary inconvenience and a matter of survival.
9-12-13 by Larry Burgess
Despite a summer of service spent in Salyersville, Ky., University of Dayton students still felt connected to their campus home through their front porch.
Fourteen UD students opted for sleeping bags instead of full-sized beds as members of UD’s Summer Appalachia Program (UDSAP).
“We slept on our front porch almost every night,” said Danny Gregus, a senior biochemistry major. Not even rain could interrupt this community-oriented tradition. “If it rained we would all sleep in the living room, on couches and scattered on the floor.”
During their stay, UD students offered various programs to the Appalachian community including a day camp for kids, a teen center and visits to a local nursing home.
Each student was given a job while in Appalachia. Sophomore mechanical engineering major Andrew Eckrich was one of two directors of nursing home activities and led a program for nursing home residents in celebration of the Fourth of July.
“We brought streamers and miniature American flags to decorate the wheelchairs and paraded the residents around the nursing home singing ‘America the Beautiful’ and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’” he said.
The Appalachian teens involved in the teen center program were given a taste of where the UD students were from. “We took them on a trip to Dayton, Ohio, to show them our home and what a college environment is like,” said Kathryn Kinsel, a senior psychology major. “We wanted them to dream a little.”
In the afternoons, Flyers had free time to visit with the families of the teens and children who took part in their programs.
“The Saylersville community is very friendly and often invited us into their homes,” said Gregus. Family visits were perhaps the most eye-opening part of the trip. “Their pace of life is much slower,” Eckrich said. “They are more open to conversation and are genuinely interested in hearing your story.”
Flyers stayed in a house with a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms. The house came equipped with running water but no indoor bathroom, shower or electricity.
Living conditions enabled the students to live more simply. “We had a lot more time to focus on people,” said Eckrich.
The students’ food supply came from home, too: UD’s student neighborhood. Students collected non-perishable food items from their classmates during spring move-out.
Because of UDSAP, the students now have a much broader, yet more personal, outlook on poverty. “The poor have a face now,” Kinsel said. “The poor have a name.”No Comments