‘A community of learners’

UD Stander Symposium celebrates community and education

By Emma Jarman
Photo: University of Dayton students perform at the Schuster Center in 2012 during the Stander Symposium; photos courtesy University of Dayton 

The Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium means many different things to many different people. For some University of Dayton students, it’s a day to showcase their studies and achievements in academic research. For other students, it’s a day off classes, to be treated as a mid-week Saturday and celebrated as such. For community members, the symposium may be a bit of a mystery.

By definition, the Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium is an alternate day of learning – hence the no classes – organized to celebrate academic successes by both undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Dayton. According to the event’s official website, “The Stander Symposium represents the Marianist tradition of education through community and is the principal campus-wide event in which faculty and students actualize our mission to be a ‘community of learners.’” This year’s symposium will be held Wednesday, April 17.

The goals of the day are simple:

1. To give students community recognition for their academic achievements, particularly in the arts.

2. To give faculty members recognition for their mentorship of said students.

3. To celebrate and continue the Marianist tradition of education through community and, reciprocally, engaging students into becoming a community of learners.

Student and faculty preparation for the event began way back at the end of January when they began to submit their proposals for posters and presentations. The deadline to submit a proposal was March 8, and participants have been hard at work ever since, putting the final touches on their projects, desperately trying to encompass an entire body of work on a 3-foot by 4-foot piece of poster board.

“Both faculty and students are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations at the symposium,” said David Darrow and Linda Hartley, Stander co-chairs. “Proposals can include research presentations, visual arts displays, performances, panel sessions, discussions, course culmination presentations or any other format that helps display student scholarship or creative endeavor.”

Obviously, the Stander Symposium is not just about poster boards and research projects. Another aspect of the communal nature of education promoted by the University of Dayton is the “Celebration of the Arts.” Always the night before presentation day, the Celebration of the Arts this year will be held at the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton, and will feature the University of Dayton’s own performing arts group, Monday, April 8 at 8 p.m. Student artwork will be on display in the Wintergarden and Lucy Simon, the two-time Grammy winning composer of “The Secret Garden” will give a speech. Tickets to Monday night’s show are free and UD students can get them at the Kennedy Union box office while the general public can acquire them at Ticket Center Stage (937.228.3630, ticketcenterstage.com). Also, Tuesday is the Mass of the Holy Spirit shortly after noon in the Immaculate Conception Chapel – another event on campus and open to the public. Parking can be a challenge, but the Chapel is beautiful, particularly if they have the ambiance enhancers (read: fog machines) pumping pre-sermon, like in the most recent UD television commercial.

The Stander Symposium is a free event, open to the public, who are invited to peruse the aisles of poster presentations or attend the keynote address, this year delivered by Sir Ken Robinson, known for his TED talk about how education kills creativity. If you believe a college degree isn’t worth anything and university professors look at their bodies solely as a way of transport for their enormously important heads and would like to discuss it in an academic setting, this address may be for you. Check it out Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the RecPlex on UD’s campus.

Another aspect of Stander that conjoins the university with the Dayton community this year is a community forum concerning the ways in which higher education can help us create the society we want. Presented by students from an honors political science course – Democracy, Deliberation and Education – three questions will be asked of the UD and greater Dayton communities: Are you concerned about the rising cost of higher education? Is higher education effectively preparing students for the future? How do our colleges and universities benefit society as a whole? Background materials will be provided to anyone interested in sharing their ideas at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Roesch Library April 17. The registration deadline for the forum is April 12, but if you register by April 2 you’ll be entered into a drawing to win Brown Street gift cards.

The closing visual arts exhibition and reception, the culminating event of the “Celebration of the Arts,” will be an open-studio event showcasing student exhibitions, workshops and Hovarth Exhibition awards. Tickets are not required for this free event and access will be open to the space in Gallery 249 in College Park Center.

The Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium is a long-standing tradition at the University of Dayton and in the greater Dayton community. It is an opportunity for university students to check in on each other, and for community members to get a peek at the fascinating research, project work and artistic efforts taking place right in their backyard. UD may be a private school, but their Marianist traditions of community and service bind them impenetrably to the city of Dayton, and through events like this, that relationship is felt.

For more information on the event and all registration visit www.udayton.edu/provost/stander.

Reach DCP freelance writer Emma Jarman at EmmaJarman@daytoncitypaper.com

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