Last weekend was commencement. Over a few years, my colleagues and I get to watch these astounding students as they come to us and then grow immensely. We walk with them for a time, then say goodbye, and we return to the starting point, but always changed. Being in higher education is truly a wonderful profession, and a privilege.
If you really want to know what’s happening in the ongoing life of Rosary College, I must again recommend that you follow our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RCASdu. If you did that, you’d learn about the many, many things that have been happening with our students, faculty and staff over the last couple of weeks and months. I won’t try to repeat all of it here.
One of our recently retired faculty members, Robert Faltynek, came all the way from Washington, D.C. to participate in commencement because he wanted to be there for his students. That’s him in the middle with his hat off. His behavior is so typically Dominican, and my other colleagues display similar qualities in so many wonderful ways.
I’m so proud of what our students achieve. Here are just a couple of the most recent examples:
- Diane Mercadante, class of 2000, is graduating from Catholic Theological Union with a MA in Theology, Spirituality and Scripture, May, 2012. Diane is the Director of Pastoral Ministry at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, IL.
- Kristina Snyder, a Dominican Graduate from 2008, just graduated with a Maters of Science Degree for a Pathologists’ Assistant from Roselyn Franklin and has landed a job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Halina Bednarz has been accepted to Rush University, Master’s in Occupational Therapy program.
- Monica Ignas has been accepted to Midwestern University, Master’s in Occupational Therapy program.
- Natalie Waksmanski (Class of 2012, joint engineering program student in civil engineering) was accepted into Illinois Institute of Technology’s Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering and will begin her studies this fall.
- Angelina Myers (Class of 2010, a former Golden Apple Scholar) was accepted into Northeastern University’s M.S. program in Mathematics and will being her studies this summer. Since her graduation in 2010, Angelina has been teaching at Whitney Young Magnet High School. She will continue to teach there and is attending graduate school part-time.
- Anna Walenski was accepted to the Dominican School of Theology and Philosophy, in California.
- Three recent Dominican graduates–Mackenzie Brooks, Drew Carson, and Mike Hernandez — presented a poster in St. Louis, April 26-28, at the Consilience Conference: Evolution in Biology, the Human Sciences, and the Humanities. Their poster, “Literary Drosophila: A Fiction Science Project,” won the award for Best Poster in the Humanities.
- At the Driehaus Fashion Excellence fashion show, Laura Lanzerotte received the second place award (and a $2,500 prize), and she been chosen as one of five finalists in the Stanley Paul Red Carpet Competition.
- John Ponitikis will start a Ph.D. program in chemistry at University of Illinois at Chicago in the fall.
- Elizabeth Dunn will be attending Ball State University this fall studying Organizational and Professional Communication Development.
- Gabrielle Pryce will be attending Kings College London in the fall.
- Amanda Emery, a former undergrad at Dominican, will be graduating medical school this year and starting her residency at University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
- Nicole Gentile, another recent grad, is doing her residency at the Mayo Clinic.
- Josh Johnson, one of our painting seniors, was accepted to the MFA in Painting Program at American University in Washington DC.
- Omar Camara defended his Ph.D. dissertation recently at the University of St. Andrews.
- Here’s a blog from recent graduate Katy Farkus exploring her experience as a teacher in Korea.
The list goes on.
Also at commencement, undergraduate and Mulroy Award recipient John Pontikis gave a wonderful talk, and said this:
What’s Dominican about Dominican is its wonderful balance between having extensive resources for research and creative investigations and a community that allows every student to have an opportunity for such learning experiences…. In learning how not to be afraid to voice new ideas, to disagree with what is “known” and believed, how to imagine difference, experiment with new possibilities, and just be a good Dominican — our soon to be alma mater has given us the tools for life long success — now we just have to run with it!
My faculty colleague, Rebecca Pliske, recipient of this year’s Rosary College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Leadership and Teaching Award also spoke, and said this:
1) Wake up each day and thank your God that you are alive. Fortunately, most of us will not have repeated near-death experiences like my father had as a bombardier in WWII. But, we all have many things for which we should be grateful. I believe a deep sense of gratitude will motivate you to make the most of each day.
2) Learn from your mistakes.
- Pay attention to what you could do differently in the future.
- By engaging in deliberate reflection, you will make it more likely that your actions will lead to positive outcomes for yourself, and for others.
Graduates: My colleagues and I have done our best to help you acquire the knowledge and skills you need to be successful. Now we want you to work with other members of your generation to create a more just and humane world.
It’s been a good year. Here comes summer, with lots of interesting courses, study abroad programs in El Salvador, China and Florence, our Blues and the Spirit Symposium, our Colloquium for Dominican colleges and universities, and so much more.
It’s spring break and I’m up to my eyeballs in Excel spread sheets. Yes, it’s budget time. About 700 line items. So much fun. But as they said in The Right Stuff, no bucks, no Buck Rogers. Or, put your money where your mouth is. Or: Show! Me! The! Money! The dollars need to be allocated in the best interests of our students and our educational mission and that’s never a given, never going to “just happen.” So it’s tedious but also something I care about deeply and something that takes the concentrated effort of a week without classes and the usual busyness.
But in between all of that, I’ve been following the exploits of three of our Rosary College sponsored groups who are out and about over the break.
First, our post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies students are in Ecuador volunteering with MEDLIFE, which is “a network of medical professionals, motivated students and trained staff who work together with communities in need to deliver better access to Medicine, Education and Development.” Here’s our students’ blog. When you get there, be sure to scroll down to the tooth brushing video. It’s adorable. Meanwhile, they’re doing wonderful work. Here’s a picture of my colleague Dr. Lance Wilson with one of the children at one of the clinics.
A second group of students is in Haiti on our newest service learning study abroad program. “In partnership with Matthew 25 House, St. Joseph Home for Boys, Wings of Hope and Mother Teresa’s Home for Children, our students serve with the people of Haiti, while learning about their social, cultural, historical, economic, political, and religious reality.” I can’t wait to hear about their experiences. Email reports say all’s well and it’s a very powerful experience.
A third group, all faculty and staff this time, are involved in a study tour in Cuba all week. This trip is co-sponsored in Cuba by FLACSO-CUBA, the University of Havana and the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP/AMISTUR).
The goals of the trip are threefold:
1) foster academic ties between Dominican University, FLACSO-CUBA, and the University of Havana;
2) evaluate the current Cuba program offered to undergraduate students; and
3) learn about Cuban history, the contemporary political and economic system, the cultural landscape, and social institutions from the perspective of Cuban academics.
I’ve gotten emails reporting that my colleagues are learning so much, and I look forward to hearing about their insights and experiences, and seeing some of the ways their learning further “internationalizes” our curriculum to the benefit of our students.
So it’s back to the budget. But I’m so happy to be connecting all week with our students, faculty and staff. They’re Buck Rogers.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Or 984 in this case. Here’s our newly minted vision statement for undergraduate education:
A Vision for Undergraduate Education
Steeped in Dominican Ethos, Liberal Learning
through Foundations, Breadth, Depth and Integration
for Responsible Global Citizenship
We educate one student at a time in the company of others, each unique yet all distinctly Dominican. In dialogue with a Dominican ethos, our students grow as liberal learners through creative and rigorous study marked by solid foundations, disciplinary breadth and depth, and ongoing integration as they aspire to become ethically responsible global citizens. Each student develops an emerging sense of personal and professional vocation through a variety of means, including thoughtful interaction with courses, professors and other students, and intensive advising and mentoring. We encourage students to participate in internships, study away (international and domestic), community-based learning, and undergraduate research, scholarship and creative investigations. Diverse insights coalesce in each student’s distinctive educational trajectory, purpose and plan, as we inspire students to discern the big picture and name their place within it — to stand somewhere and to stand for something, conscientiously positioned in relationship to the world.
Dominican ethos describes the distinctive character of our university’s culture. It includes an environment of Caritas et Veritas, in which we contemplate the meaning of existence and strive collaboratively for a more just and humane world. It understands that study is at once contemplative and communal. It unites reflection and dialogue as we collaborate in the search for truth. It enables students to develop a sense of care and responsibility for oneself, one’s community, and the wider creation. It fosters trust, tolerance, mutual accountability, and belonging. Students enter into conversation with a Catholic intellectual tradition that affirms the compatibility of faith and reason, a universe marked by both intelligibility and mystery, the sacredness of all creation, the dignity of every living being, and concern for the common good. They acquire basic knowledge about Christianity in its various dimensions, and how it interacts with secular and other religious beliefs, practices and worldviews.
Upon graduation, students educated at Dominican University possess character, knowledge and skills to take informed, ethical action in the world and to influence others for the good.
Foundations are the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for further learning. They are generally cultivated during the first year, and they are continually developed and built upon in later academic work. In alphabetical order, these are:
- Communication. Effective communication is purposeful expression that increases knowledge, fosters understanding, and/or promotes change in attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.
- Computer applications. Effective use of computer applications includes efficient resolution of real-world problems, recognition of tasks that can be solved using these applications, demonstration of confidence in students’ ability to use these tools, and preparation to continue learning to use new and updated applications to support students’ work and interests.
- Critical thinking. Critical thinking is a habit of mind animated by a spirit of inquiry and characterized by the rigorous exploration, analysis and evaluation of diverse issues, ideas, artifacts, data, and events in order to formulate an opinion or conclusion.
- Cultural knowledge. Students develop the willingness to engage diverse dimensions of human experience and understand with empathy other cultures. Students demonstrate the ability to interact with a diverse contemporary America and the world, in relation to differences that include but are not limited to: race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical and intellectual abilities, and ways of knowing.
- Information literacy. Information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, and use information responsibly and effectively.
- Quantitative reasoning. Students develop competency and comfort in working with numerical information. Individuals with strong quantitative reasoning skills possess the ability to conceptualize problems in terms of quantitative dimensions, and to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations. They understand and can create arguments supported by quantitative evidence and they can clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of forms (using words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc., as appropriate).
- Reading. Students develop competency in understanding and interpreting written and visual works.
- Research fundamentals. Students develop competency in defining open-ended problems and in identifying tools for answering research questions. Students recognize different modes of inquiry and their limitations before choosing appropriate strategies for investigation.
Dominican University traditionally recognizes distinct areas of study and diverse ways of knowing necessary for students to engage in informed conversations of genuine breadth, both within and beyond the university. Students are enabled to appreciate the content and methods of diverse fields of study, recognize different ways of knowing and creating knowledge, and demonstrate understanding of disciplinary concepts and approaches, specifically in fine arts, history, literature, natural sciences, philosophy, social sciences, and theology.
Dominican students develop competence in and an in-depth understanding of one or more academic disciplines. After completing significant coursework in a particular field of study, students will have developed a body of work that demonstrates substantial domain knowledge and a growing awareness of the underlying structures of an academic discipline. Additionally, they will have had extensive practice in applying disciplinary principles, perspectives and discourse to diverse problems and in adopting a critical stance to evidence and argument.
Integrative learning is the practice of making meaningful wholes — that is, synthesizing knowledge across academic boundaries; connecting personal, academic, work, and community experiences; and evaluating and reflecting on their own learning. This enables students to develop increasingly complex frameworks for future learning and action in multiple communities.
The distinctively Dominican global citizen is conscientiously positioned in relationship to the world from within and across cultural, geographic, linguistic, physical, political, religious, racial, ethnic, gender-based and socio-economic borders. Shaped by a growing understanding of this relational identity, Dominican students become global citizens through study, experience, practice, and reflection. They embrace globally responsible attitudes, develop a critical understanding of global interconnectedness, and act ethically to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world.
What a week. So many good things, everywhere, all at once, swirling around my mind on a Friday afternoon.
I went to a Noteworthy Choir Shining Stars Pop Concert and it was so much fun, but I had to apologize to a cell phone talker/walker, for finding myself singing unintentionally but nonetheless quite badly, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” on the post-concert walk from Recital Hall to parking garage. In any case, I can’t wait to hear the choir next time, at their Christmas Concert on December 5th.
I went to a fascinating talk on “Unmasking the Ethnic Roots of the African Diaspora: A Scientist’s View,” sponsored by our Black World Studies program.
We’re in the middle of Founder’s Week, which celebrates the life and accomplishments of Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, O.P., who founded the Sinsinawa Dominican order. My colleagues in University Ministry outdid themselves this time with a YouTube video that just cracked me up. It’s here. Enjoy. Then have a Dos Equis. Or not.
The kick-off to Founder’s week was our Lund-Gill Lecture by Eboo Patel, which was superb and played to a packed house. If you have some time, it’s worth hearing, here.
After his talk our incredible Better Together students facilitated an interfaith after-party and “speedfaithing” session that was really great fun and most interesting.
Our terrific Recipe Box Café continues its tradition of culinary and community delights. Here’s a sample. For the real thing you need to get to the Parmer Hall Atrium. Yum.
The Chicago Tribune ran a nice story on our Service Learning programs. Here it is and they included this photo from our Cuernavaca program.
That’s MaDonna Thelen, our super-director, under the green baseball cap.
I went to an opening at our O’Connor Art Gallery of the exhibition “Cosmic Commentaries,” which was quite extraordinary.
Finally, here’s a message I received a little earlier today from our athletics department:
For the second time in as many years, the Dominican University men’s soccer team and women’s volleyball teams will host their respective Northern Athletics Conference (NAC) Tournament Championships on the same day. Both teams were crowned NAC regular season champs, running through their conference opponents with unblemished records (men’s soccer 11-0-0 and women’s volleyball 12-0) and have earned the right to host their respective conference championships by knocking off their foes in the semifinals of the tournaments.
Go Stars! They play tomorrow.
Meanwhile, stay Dominican, my friend, and may yours be the most interesting life in the world.
As promised, here are the comments from Jeff Batres and Sarah Gromek — our two outstanding student speakers at the recent Endowed Scholarship Lunch. Enjoy!
Good afternoon fellow members of the Dominican University community.
It is an honor to be able to be up here and share with you all a little bit about my life and experiences here at Dominican University. I am a senior student majoring in psychology and minoring in corporate communications. I transferred here as sophomore back in 2009, and since then I have been proud to call Dominican my school. I have never before been a part of a community that made me feel so welcomed, supported, and cherished. I chose Dominican, because I valued the student-faculty collaboration and the small class sizes. More importantly, I thought it was vital to find a university that’s values closely aligned with mine. To pursue truth, to give compassionate service, and to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world: That is exactly what I feel a university should strive for. Dominican does not just educate students; Dominican helps them discover how to be an active global citizen aimed at making a difference in the world. This is far and beyond what most schools do.
Throughout my three years here at Dominican, I have always done all I could to get the most out of my education: to make it as intellectually rewarding as possible and to ensure that I was more prepared for graduate school. Since early in my high school career, I have aspired to be a psychologist. The psychology faculty, much like the entire faculty here at Dominican, is very interested and supportive in the academic and personal development of their students. I was able to be a research assistant for Dr. Tina Ritzler’s study on racial privilege and discrimination. Currently, I am conducting an independent research project with the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Pliske. Dominican is full of opportunities and resources that help you shine as a student, discover your passion, and help you in nurturing that passion, whatever it may be.
We are all here today to honor and give thanks to the generous Alumni who have financially supported deserving students in reaching their educational goals. The cost of an education is not by any means a cheap investment, but I view it as one that will definitely provide rewarding outcomes. I want to extend my personal gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Dittus for the Harriet and Joseph Kern Scholarship. A thank you as well to Mr. and Mrs. Meyer, who could not be with us today, for the Class of 1946 Scholarship. I have been working part-time as a nursing assistant with Advocate Health Care for over four years now in order to help make some financial contributions to my tuition. With two private loans, several federal loans, and a part-time job, I work hard to be able to attend Dominican. Generous donors like, Mr. and Mrs. Dittus, help lessen the financial toll a college education will have on a student. During these very difficult economic times, I am truly fortunate and blessed to have your financial support. Thank you very much.
Let’s us all forever keep in our hearts the warm and generous acts of others, and let us remember to pay-it-forward for what we have done for ourselves dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Thank you and take care.
Hello everyone it is an honor to be here today.
My name is Sarah Gromek and I am from a small rural town in Michigan called Yale. I live with my parents and my ninety year old Grandpa. Growing up, my family life revolved around raising the farm animal, the alpaca. When I turned six years old, I began learning to care for, train and show alpacas. Caring for alpacas has taught me to be responsible and dedicated. I have worked hard achieving high ideals and goals for myself. The one goal I set for myself and achieved was to maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA all during high school. I have the same goal now. I chose Dominican University because I was sent a booklet with the “I can” in Dominican highlighted. This caught my eye and as I read the motto of the university I fell in love. What Dominican stands for is what I believe in.
As I begin my sophomore year at Dominican University, I have made the decision to major in Corporate Communications with a double minor in Photography and Social Justice & Civic Engagement. After college graduation I wish to obtain a masters degree and would love to find employment with the organization People to People International. I have traveled with this organization and it has changed my life. Their motto of “creating peace through understanding” is how I see myself helping other students expand their horizons. I believe it is important in today’s world for individuals to learn and experience other cultures to create a more just and humane world.
During one of my travels with People to People I went to Costa Rica. I had many great memories from this trip but one in particular was painting school houses for children of the Meluku tribe. I find it personally rewarding to give of my time and talents. Last winter break I had the opportunity to travel to Cuernavaca, Mexico through Dominican University. I met a little girl named Vania and tried to speak to her in my poor Spanish. Even though communicating with her was difficult I soon realized that smiling is the universal language because it comes from the heart. At some point during my time at Dominican University I wish to study abroad in Ireland to have a deeper understanding of my family’s culture. I would also love to travel to Haiti through the university this spring break to help orphaned children. I plan to continue my education both in and outside of the classroom.
When I first realized I was awarded the scholarship I was at a loss for words. I was very touched. This award will help me set my college financial worries at ease. This scholarship will go directly towards helping pay for the rise in tuition. I thank you again Mrs. Morency for your generosity in awarding me this scholarship. It means so much to me that people care about my future and are willing to help me achieve my dreams.
I hope to, as Gandhi says, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Today was the 16th annual Endowed Scholarship Lunch. It connects donors with students who have received these scholarships, along with their families. The best talks were from two students, who promised to send me their remarks so I could include them in this space later. Meanwhile I was also asked to give a talk and here’s what I said:
It’s extraordinarily exciting to hear from President Carroll that we awarded over 150 endowed scholarships this year. But we have nearly 2,000 undergraduates. So we need more help for more students. And what I would say to our donors here today is that we are in the wonderful position of being able to point to your generosity, to the difference you are making, so that new donors who aren’t here yet can be inspired by your good example. You make it possible for others to follow your lead, and so you make it possible for even more students’ dreams to come true. I want to thank you so much for your support and your trust in what we are trying to accomplish here at Dominican University. What are we trying to accomplish?
My faculty colleagues and I talk about this all the time, and we’ve been involved more recently in some really intensive and wonderful conversations. It’s still a work in progress, but here’s where I’d say we are right now. Many of these words come directly from various faculty colleagues who have been crucial participants in our discussions.
Dominican is a place where undergraduates grow as liberal learners whose skills, knowledge, abilities, and habits of mind are developed, applied, and integrated through a distinctly Dominican course of study characterized by breadth and depth of inquiry that prepares graduates to be ethically responsible global citizens.
We develop students’ foundational abilities essential for further learning: Communication (written, oral and visual), computer applications, critical thinking, cultural knowledge, information literacy, quantitative reasoning, reading, and research fundamentals.
We provide opportunities for intellectual conversations of genuine breadth, both within and beyond the university, as students engage in varied fields of study, recognize different ways of knowing and creating knowledge, and demonstrate an understanding of disciplinary concepts and approaches.
Especially through a chosen major field, students study in depth, and they develop a high level of knowledge within a field of study, as well as disciplinary research skills, which are brilliantly on display all over this building every year on the first Wednesday of April in our Exposition of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Investigations.
But foundations, breadth and depth are not enough. We want students to be integrative thinkers. Integrative learning is the practice of making connections among experiences, skills, and knowledge; transferring ideas and abilities across contexts within and beyond the curriculum; reflecting on one’s learning over time; developing increasingly complex frameworks for future learning and action; and sharing learning with others.
One example of integrative thinking is in our LAS Seminar program, where students explore and consider enduring questions, compose informed, well-reasoned responses to these questions, contribute their ideas for collective consideration, and reconsider their own ideas in light of the beliefs of others. Moving into the future, students will be practiced in the art of raising and answering questions that matter, questions like: What are the key influences on a person’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development? How does “the self” interact with a community? What are the causes and effects of inequality among and within groups? What does it mean to live in a diverse community? What is the place of work in the life of the individual in society? What part does making a living play in making a life? What does it mean to be good, to lead a good life? How does one reconcile self-interest with a sense of social responsibility?
These studies in foundations, breadth, depth and integration are shaped by and conducted in dialogue with a distinctively Dominican ethos, which assumes the harmony of faith and reason in a universe marked by both intelligibility and mystery, is faithful to the gospel of justice and liberation, and engages the Catholic intellectual tradition, which recognizes the sacredness of all creation, the dignity of every person, and the common good. It understands that study is at once contemplative and communal; it unites reflection and dialogue as we collaborate in the search for truth. It enables students to become moral and spiritual stewards of self, community, and the wider creation.
In these ways we prepare students to be global citizens who are knowingly positioned in relationship to the world from within and across cultural, geographic, linguistic, physical, political, religious and socio-economic borders. Shaped by a deep understanding of this relational identity, Dominican students become global citizens through study, experience and reflection. They embrace globally responsible attitudes; they acquire critically interconnected knowledge and skills; and they act ethically to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world.
The cumulative effect of a Dominican education should be that students possess knowledge, character, and skills to take informed, ethical action in the world and to influence others for the good.
Students, it’s a big responsibility. You are among a very small percentage of Dominican students who receive endowed scholarships currently. You set the tone, you set the example, you show what’s possible and by doing all that, you can make it possible for others. So I want to thank you, and I want to challenge you. Keep working hard. Cultivate your curiosity. And don’t be afraid to be a dweeb.
It was mentioned that I write a blog featured on the Dominican website but so do a few of our current students. And I loved what fellow blogger Hannah Minks wrote just a couple of days ago. After recounting how she had just shared the podium with our Lund-Gill Chair and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core Eboo Patel at one of the Chicago Ideas Week events, Hannah went on to write this:
I am working on 193,801,984 things at the moment. I have a couple papers due Friday, a research paper to be worked on continuously for theology, another for philosophy, a few interfaith events to plan, a capstone paper to be thinking about—the life of a student is a busy one! You know what? I love it, though. We’re at a really exciting place in our lives. It is our job to learn as much as possible and to share it with our peers. Sometimes I get frustrated at how unpopular of a notion that seems. It’s so neat, though! Being a scholar is our first and foremost responsibility at this juncture and we have so many resources at our disposal, we have great faculty and staff to support us, it’s awesome. Call me a dweeb, but I feel this is a great time in life. You know what else? We pay so much for it; let’s milk the experience for all its worth, and there’s so much worth here! I hope people aren’t doing this just for a piece of paper; that would be such a sad affair.
Does every student share that sentiment? Perhaps not, but our job is to inspire them and to lead by example. So let’s recommit to doing that, to helping all of our students to get the most out of this precious four year window of opportunity that is college, where they get to find out what they love, what they’re good at, what the world needs from them, and figure out how to turn that dream into a vocation, and to turn that vocation into an action plan, so they can take those next steps they’re truly meant to take.
Like some of our recent grads.
- Like Fanny Martinez, who just started graduate work at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.
- Like Tim Lazicki, who just started medical school at Midwestern University.
- Like Grant Newman, who just started the painting program at the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University.
- Like Thu Ha Pham, who just started the Pastoral Counseling program at Boston College.
- Like Rachael Restko, who just started the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at Belmont University in Nashville.
- Like Michelle Calvert, who just started Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Education Program after spending a year as a Dominican Volunteer in Atlanta.
- Like Kendall Moore, who just started medical school at Rosalind-Franklin University.
- Like Amanda Bohne, who just started the English PhD program at Notre Dame.
- Like Zach Maher, who just started a master’s program in security and intelligence studies at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
- Or like Annie Hussey, who is marketing and communications coordinator at Global Handmade Hope, a fair trade company in Park Ridge.
- Or like Zlatan Hodzic, who works at the Chicago Board of Trade.
- Or like Roslyn Anderson, who teaches third grade at St. Bernardine School in Forest Park.
- Or like Tracy Williams, who is a medical ambassador for the American Cancer Society.
- Or like Dr. Nicole Gentile. This Rosary alum of just a few years ago finished medical school and is now doing her residency at the Mayo Clinic.
Dweebs with dreams. They will make a difference. Who knows what our current endowed scholarship recipients will do? I can hardly wait to find out. But one thing I’m pretty sure of is this: They will carry with them the spirit of generosity they have experienced at Dominican, in large part through our wonderful donors. They will steep themselves in those habits of mind and heart that continue to make us all so proudly Dominican.
Last week Dominican hosted a “Hunger Banquet,” which is an educational experience that dramatically simulates the disparity of food resources in the world. Each participant is placed randomly in a low (50% of participants), middle (35%) or high (15%) income group, and given a persona and story to identify with. Over 200 people participated from Dominican, as well as from Concordia University, neighbor school down the block, and from the wider community. It was a consciousness-heightening experience and it gave people lots of options for taking action for the common good by engaging in local and global efforts to address hunger. It’s linked as well with a wonderful community gardens project.
This week the Rosary College conference room is host to drop-offs for donations to “Welcome to America! Packs” being donated to new refugees being resettled in Chicago neighborhoods. Each pack contains essential household items. Students involved in this initiative are learning about how war and poverty contribute to the world-wide refugee crisis, and developing relationships with refugee families. We’re doing this in partnership with a wonderful organization, Exodus World Service. It’s a phenomenal learning experience and a chance for ours students to deepen their understanding of what it means to be globally positioned and ethically responsible.
Both activities are part of the work of our new Interfaith Cooperation Committee.
Tomorrow we host the ACCA Scholarship of Pedagogy Symposium, a wonderful conference of teachers from across the Chicago area, coming together to talk about why they love teaching and how they inspire students. I love participating in these kinds of events. I learn a lot and am reminded of how much passion, knowledge, and deep commitment it takes to be a university faculty member. My own students remind me about that every Tuesday and Thursday as well! It’s hard work but work worth doing. If you click on the link above you’ll see the program and the exciting variety of topics we’ll be addressing.
It’s a busy but wonderful semester. The banquet continues!