RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Dominican students learn about food policy and sustainability

Posted on

University Minister Matt Palkert and nine Dominican students spent four days – October 20 to October 23 – learning about the impact food has on communities through working with organizations in Chicago and Dubuque, Iowa.

Through a variety of experiences gathered together into one alternative break immersion experience named “Healthy Food, Healthy Communities,” students learned more about food policy and sustainability.

The group first visited the Eco Justice Collaborative in Chicago Thursday, Oct. 20, where they learned about the politics of climate change and food justice, or the system of getting food. On Friday, they reviewed the green initiatives in which Dominican is involved and brought the last of the Priory Garden’s produce from the 2011 season to the Oak Park food pantry and then went to Urban Habitat’s garden at Northside College Prep to learn more about urban farming.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Senior Spencer Campbell, a student leader for the trip, described Urban Habitat as “an oasis in the city.” “It was helpful to see other students passionate about caring for the environment and the community,” he said.

The group then traveled to New Hope Farm, a Catholic Worker Farm outside of Dubuque, Iowa and worked for most of Saturday morning doing farm chores. That afternoon and evening, they learned more about the Catholic Worker movement and agricultural work.

“All of us at Dominican live for a more just world, but [the people at the Catholic Worker Farm] take it to an extreme, and I think it’s a good experience for Dominican students to see people so radically committed to it,” Palkert said.

Campbell, an environmental management major, said he went because of his interest in environmental issues. “I wanted to see the stewardship and commitment to sustainability and agriculture firsthand.” He also said he had a revelation while on the trip. “I learned that the best way to lead is to be more of a mentor than an administrator; it’s best to lead by example.”

This was the first alternative break immersion experience for sophomore Andrea Dietz, a nutrition and dietetics major. “It was wonderful to see that it’s possible to live as sustainably as I would like,” she said. Dietz said the people at the farm lived so simply that they were under the tax bracket, which she said enables them to not pay taxes to a government that endorses actions and policies they may not support. “And yet, they had plenty to eat and had beds to spare,” she said.

One student, sophomore and math education major Willa Skeehan, said her goals were altered. “Now I think I want to live in a rural community center…my service experiences will have an impact on me now and when I become a teacher.”

“Some students’ worldviews were radically changed by this experience; some asked if they need to live differently at home,” Palkert said. “They are taking what they learned, living it, and trying to educate others.”

University Ministry and the Office of Service Learning are planning a service trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico this January. The department is also planning two immersions for spring break in 2012: Works of Mercy in Kansas City, Mo. and Welcoming the Stranger in Atlanta. Applications for the spring break trips are due January 18.

Mary Stroka, Editor-in-chief


Dominican Dismantles Greenville

Posted on

The Dominican University Stars trounced the Greenville Panthers 4 – 0 in the first of the team’s appearances in the 2011 NCAA Championship Friday, Nov. 11. The Stars dominated in the first half, forcing the Greenville keeper to make eight saves in the half and adding a goal in the 24th minute. Freshman forward Logan Marvin sent the ball over the goal line with the Greenville keeper scrambling to try to clear it off the line. The Stars looked sharp – maintaining possession and limiting the Panthers to just two shots in the first half on a chilly afternoon.

After the halftime break things looked like they could go differently. The Panthers came out of the half with guns blazing, showing better possession and looking more dangerous in the attacking third. Freshman forward Ryan Ybarra would change once again putting momentum back in the Stars’ hands in the 68th minute, when he cut in from the flank, beat two Greenville defenders and launched the ball into the back of the net to top off a tremendous solo effort.

It would be only eight minutes until the next Dominican goal put the game beyond doubt. Senior midfielder and forward Edwin Lagunas was taken down roughly at the top of the 18-yard box, setting up a dangerous free kick opportunity. Junior defender Andy Lynch seized the opportunity and sent a tricky shot to the near post and into the back of the net for Dominican’s third goal of the day.

Senior midfielder and forward Lio Tovar completed the goal glut in the 82nd minute, ripping a bouncing ball in the box into the goal to complete a three goal run in the course of 15 minutes. With a 4-0 lead after 82 minutes victory was all but assured – all the Stars had to do was weather some late desperate Greenville attacks. The Stars did well, and sophomore goalkeeper Dan Cimicata made a save in each half to earn his eighth shutout of the 2011 season.

The Stars go on to play Hope College on Nov. 12. Dominican beat Hope 2-0 on Sept. 9 and hopes to repeat the performance at the West Campus Field.

Serek Hahn, Staff Writer

Our Lady of Guadalupe unites generations

Posted on


In 1531, Juan Diego, a 57-year-old peasant, was on his way to church in central Mexico. Suddenly, he heard birds singing and music playing. A woman’s voice called out to him. It was the apparition of the Virgin Mary, and she had a message for him.

“I will hear your pain and respond,” she said.

Thus began the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The story and its resulting image would become one of the most important religious symbols of Mexico and a powerful female icon of Mexican culture.

Jeanette Rodriguez, chair of the department of theology and religious studies at Seattle University, spent several years studying Our Lady of Guadalupe and the unifying role the image of the beautiful, brown-skinned woman has played in the lives of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

She delivered the annual Mazzuchelli Lecture Nov. 8 to a full house in Martin Recital Hall at Dominican University. Her talk, “Resistance, Faith and Social Change,” was in honor of the Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli, who founded the Sinsinawa Dominicans in 1847.

“We are a culture of stories,” Rodriguez said, “and the stories are passed from one generation to the next to help provide strength and tie together families and neighbors.”

Rodriguez, who received a doctorate in religion from the University of California at Berkeley, began by defining cultural memory as “historical memories that are so overwhelmingly significant they become imperative for their [the people’s] survival.” This was the case with Our Lady of Guadalupe, she said.

She said the name Guadalupe means “the one who comes from the region of light on the wings of an eagle.”

According to the story, Rodriguez said, the apparition appeared to Juan Diego near Tepayac Hill not far from what is now Mexico City. Mary told Diego to go and tell the bishop what he had seen, but the bishop was skeptical.

Disappointed, Diego returned to the hill. The Virgin Mary appeared again and told him to climb higher and pick Castilian roses and place them into his tilma, a poncho-like cape commonly worn at the time. When Diego brought the roses to the bishop to prove his sighting of the apparition, the Virgin Mary’s image was printed on the tilma.

The painting has been displayed in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City for nearly 500 years. Each day, hundreds come to view Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the basilica has become one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world.

“If you examine the image closely,” Rodriguez said, “one of her eyes is lighter than the other. The “eye that is alive” has the reflected image of 22 people, upside down and reversed,” she said.

“One of her hands is long and light,” Rodriguez said, “and the other is short and dark. This represents a true mestizo, which is a person of Spanish and native American Indian blood,” she added.

The religious and cultural icon of Mexico has influence far beyond the nation’s borders. In Mexican-American neighborhoods in Chicago and throughout the U.S., statues or paintings of Our Lady of Guadalupe have a sacred place in many homes, and Rodriguez explained why.

Mexicans who come and assimilate into the American culture need not worry about the adjustment because, “no matter how hard they fall they will never hit the floor because Our Lady of Guadalupe will catch them,” Rodriguez said.

Agata Kubinska, Contributing Writer

Lund-Gill lecture urges students to mobilize for interfaith cooperation

Posted on

The Chicago based Interfaith Youth Core founder and executive director, Eboo Patel, urged students on Nov. 1 to mobilize for interfaith cooperation during the annual Lund-Gill lecture in the Rosary Chapel.

“Twenty-first century religion can be a bubble of isolation, it can be a barrier of division, it can be a bottle of destruction or it can be a bridge of cooperation,” Patel, this year’s Lund-Gill Chair, said. “Those of us who seek to advance the bridge have to be proud and have to be proactive.”

Patel argued that a cooperation of interfaith literacy in the United States serves as a means to create smaller communities of peace to serve as role models for the world.

Patel, recalling an era of anti-Catholicism before and up to John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign, described the negative religious attitudes of the nation. The question presented — “What would you think, if the only thing you knew about Islam is 9/11, if the only thing you knew about Catholicism are the headlines over the past ten years?”— harnessed the thought-provoking ideas Patel related to the formation of negative attitudes.

“Appreciative knowledge and positive relationships open up peoples’ attitudes and as people have a more open attitude towards other religious traditions and religious communities they seek more positive knowledge, they seek more proactive and appreciative relationships,” Patel said.

After his lecture, he answered Donna Carol’s question which asked, “why college students?” Patel said college students have the most energy and motivation to inspire others to participate in interfaith cooperation.

In 2010, Dominican entered into a formal, multi-year partnership with Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core. The goal of this partnership is to advance a culture of interfaith cooperation and understanding on campus.

Flu shots still very important

Posted on


Flu shots are being administered in the Wellness Center for students as well as faculty and staff, but the urgency to get the flu shot doesn’t seem as great this fall compared with the onset of recent flu seasons.

“Every year we promote flu shots in the fall. Certainly the year H1N1 (swine flu) hit, there was a huge amount of attention paid to flu shots, and that year we had two flu shots to administer,” said Elizabeth Ritzman, director of the Wellness Center at Dominican University.

A falloff in the incidence of swine flu across the country and continued myths about getting sick from the shots may be keeping students from lining up to get theirs this semester. Ritzman said, “We’ve given about 140 shots, but it’s still early.”

“Although there is no longer a national threat of swine flu, this does not lessen the importance of receiving a flu shot,” she said. College students may be surprised to learn that they are just as much at risk for exposure to the flu as the elderly and the children, who have weakened immune systems.

“Because of the influx of people in the classroom, college students are exposed to germs, bacterial infections and viruses they may not have fought off before,” Ritzman said. “College students also stress their immune system with sleep deprivation as well as overworking, overplaying and partying.”

“In addition to not getting enough sleep,” she said, “college students also suffer from dehydration and stress, which can put students in the high-risk category for getting the flu. Anyone who spends their day in close proximity with many other people should get a flu shot.”

“Students who work with children in child care or classroom settings are likely to experience greater exposure to flu and colds since children shed the germs, causing these illnesses more than adults,” Ritzman said.

Students typically have a tight schedule, but it only takes a few minutes to get the flu shot, and walk-ins are welcomed for students’ convenience.  “College students really don’t have a week to spare in their semester in order to recover from the flu,” Ritzman said.

Flu shots are available for students and faculty in the Wellness Center for $15. They are also available at local pharmacies such as Walgreen’s and CVS.

“I would recommend it especially if you live at a dorm or with other roommates,” said Myram Farshid, a Walgreen’s pharmacist. “Some patients are at higher risk such as adults 50 years older or patients who have medical conditions like asthma or diabetes, but it is recommended for everyone to get it.”

She said the final decision is, of course, always up to the patient.

Curt Horrigan, a clinical pharmacist at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Ill., said, “Students, because of close proximity to other people, need to be among the first group of people to be immunized, along with healthcare workers, and those working around children.”

The Wellness Center’s Ritzman wants students to know they can’t get sick from the flu shot. “Some students think the flu shot makes you sick… it’s a myth,” she said. “It takes up to six weeks for that flu shot to teach your immune system to protect you from the flu. If you are exposed just prior to getting the shot or within that ‘build up’ phase, then yes, you can still get sick.”

And for those of us who hate getting stabbed by needles? “We even have a few of the super tiny, pain-free needles,” Ritzman said.

Kinga Kasprzyk, Contributing Writer

The Fashion File

Posted on

What outfit did you pick for today?
Danielle: The dress is made by Prairie Underground, an American company that uses organic cotton. Also, Grey Memoi tights with thigh high socks, hunter boots and a fair-trade Indonesian scarf.


Alex: I’m wearing a DJ scratcher icon graphic tee, fitted jeans and high-top sneakers along with a leather jacket.

Why did you choose this outfit?
Danielle: Well, for one, it was really cold outside but I still wanted to wear a dress. This dress had sleeves and the cotton is thicker so it kept me warm. It was raining out so that’s why I was wearing hunters and it was just an all-around ugly day outside so I wanted to wear something more “cheery.”
Alex: I chose this outfit today for comfort and for the trendy look of this leather jacket.

Describe your overall style.
Danielle: I do not really think I have a distinct style because I wear something based on how I feel that day, but in general I would say eclectic, bohemian or retro.
Alex: Choosing this outfit depicts not just the style I prefer but the type of personality I have. This hip-hop and urban influence with a hint of retro shows the confident and sociable side of me.
What are your favorite clothing stores to shop at?
Danielle: I find myself shopping at a lot more thrift stores that have one-of-a-kind items. Urban Outfitters, Free People and Von Maur have great sales racks. Also, I search my aunt’s closet for hand-me-downs.
Alex: Favorite stores to shop are H&M, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Uprize (a skateboarding shop).

What is your favorite item of clothing or accessory?
Danielle: It’s too hard to choose but if I could narrow it down it would be socks, tights and sweaters. They are like candy – you can never have too many of them.
Alex: My favorite item would be my shoes. I love sneakers! I’m a hip-hop dancer and shoes play an important role in the dance community, it shows the kind of attitude you give on stage!

Who or what influences your fashion choices?
Danielle: There is not a specific “who” that influences my fashion. But as I flip through magazines I am always drawn to outfits that are completely one color, mostly neutrals like grey, black and cream. I like doing this because it’s easy to get that chic look if I want to do a monochromatic outfit or to pair it with the unique colorful things I find in thrift stores.
Alex: Some influences are from runway shows, celebrities and even my peers. Keeping up with trends is a must or you would be left behind!

Any fashion or style tips you would like to offer?
Danielle: When buying clothes, try to buy something that you know you could make at least two or three outfits with something you already own, unless it is a special occasion item or a must-have.  But really just wear whatever makes you feel good about yourself. That’s the beauty of clothes; they make the real you shine through.
Alex:  Guys should have a jacket, duffel coat or pea coat in their closet for the winter and also a pair of leather boots with the side zip – still hot!

Jenna Ramiro, Staff Writer

Scientist helps African-Americans trace ancestry through DNA testing

Posted on

Imagine not knowing where your family comes from and where your bloodline originated. This is the plight of numerous African Americans today. Many have no records that indicate where their ancestors resided. But Dr. Rick Kittles, Scientific Director of African Ancestry, Inc., found one way to map out African-American’s familial histories: DNA testing.

On Nov. 4, Kittles spoke about his research at Dominican during the 5th Annual African Heritage Lecture, presented by Dominican’s Elders’ Council. Kittles is known for his research that focuses on the studies of population history through genealogy. He uses DNA to trace the ancestry of African Americans, as well as the history of disease in patients’ families.

During his lecture Kittles spoke about how DNA testing can trace originality to ethnic groups and ancestry. He explained how we get DNA from both of our parents and that Y chromosomes are only from males, and if no male children are born in a family, then the Y chromosome is not passed on to future generations.

Kittles discussed how our DNA affects our susceptibility to disease. Kittles said that genealogy allows you to learn about yourself, your identity and your ancestry and that it helps answer questions of origin and break that barrier.

He also spoke about mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on through women. Men receive it but do not pass it on because it is located inside the tail of sperm. As there is a constant mutation in DNA, Kittles and his team compare nucleotides looking for changes and substitutions. They can trace back up to 80,000 years; the older the strand, the more common it is. According to Kittles, there have not been many ancestral disease findings, as many don’t date back very far.

Kittles talked about working with Oprah, who thought she was originally kin to the Zulu tribe of South Africa, which was why she funded a school there. But after working with Oprah, Kittles found through DNA testing that she is actually from a very specific part of Liberia.

The work of Dr. Kittles and his team can be life-changing. Kittles says that if someone is raised to believe one thing and finds out they actually originate from elsewhere, it impacts their lives emotionally: they need to reconcile who they are and who they thought they were.

Katherine Kulpa, Editor-in-chief