Faces Without Places
December 16, 2013
Xavier University Newswire
Xavier students participate in OTR celebration
December 11, 2013
CINCINNATI – OTRAGLOW, (http://www.otraglow.com), an annual community celebration of lighted window displays in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, got an extra boost this week from Xavier students.
This friendly holiday competition hosts over 30 entries in three categories: business, residential, and nonprofit, that each creates a holiday and Over-the-Rhine themed window display in their office storefront or home.
The event is designed to celebrate the holiday season and Over-the-Rhine’s rich and diverse history. Official judging began Dec 1st and ended Dec 6th with an awards ceremony honoring the top picks in each category and one grand prize winner.
Eigel Center Director Sean Rhiney serves as one of the event’s organizers in partnership with the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, Urban Sites, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Rhiney, Art Academy Director of Student Services, Galen Crawford, and Mayerson High School Service Learning Director Clare Blankemeyer were able to leverage the event by partnering their students with neighborhood nonprofits.
Rhiney notes that “many of the neighborhood’s nonprofits allocate most of their resources to working with clients during the busy season of need. We recognized this as an opportunity for our students to share their time and talent, build community, learn the nonprofit’s story and celebrate the holiday season in solidarity.” Xavier, the Art Academy, and Mayerson adopted four nonprofit storefronts and collaborated on the theme and design with their partners.
Xavier University answered the call by designing and decorating two storefronts.
Art faculty member Jonathan Gibson and students from his 2D Design class were matched with Art Beyond Boundaries, a Main street gallery where local and regional artists with disabilities display, market, and sell their artwork. Gibson says his team worked with Art Beyond Boundaries to generate a set of colors inspired by Over-the-Rhine and Christmas.
"We used paper garlands that combine rugged greens, brick reds, and shimmering gold’s in a way that shows both the unity and diversity of this community. The colored lights in the window of the gallery windows slowly change how the colors are perceived,” Gibson said.
Rhiney says that Xavier’s Community-Engaged Fellows also got into the competition by adopting the office storefront of nonprofit housing advocate, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH), at 114 W. 14th Street.
Senior Community-Engaged Fellow Emily Boutilier, a BFA in art education candidate, designed a theme that was executed by CEF seniors Meghan Marth and Kelly Schmidt along with OTRCH resident engagement coordinator, Sophia Cunningham.
The window is titled “Welcome Home: A Light in the Window.” Boutilier said the window’s theme evolved out of OTRCH’s ongoing mission to connect residents with affordable housing options.
“What most inspired me about OTR Community Housing is their determination to make Over-the-Rhine a welcoming, engaged, and inclusive community. They accomplish this by developing and managing resident centered, affordable housing in Over-the-Rhine. When I thought of what makes a home welcoming, especially during the holidays and winter months, I thought of a 'light in the window.' An illuminated window signals to those looking in from the outside that a person, couple, or family calls that place home, and that their home is warm and inviting.”
For more information, please contact Sean Rhiney, Director of the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning at email@example.com
Courtesy of Sean Rhiney
Shopping local for holidays
BuyCincy four-day event draws attention to small businesses
Nov. 21, 2013
Historians Against Slavery Conference
Kelly Schmidt participated in the Historians Against Slavery Conference hosted in October 2013 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. http://www.historiansagainstslavery.org/. Kelly had the opportunity to present her paper entitled "Hardship in the Promised Land: Evaluating Public History’s Portrayal of the Obstacles to Freedom and Abolition in Cincinnati,” written for her Atlantic Slavery Seminar, Spring 2013.
Kelly’s paper drew upon her knowledge of the public presentation of Cincinnati’s historical relationship with slavery in local venues (most notably the Freedom Center) to argue that local public history institutions focus too positively on Cincinnati as a harbor of freedom and a center of the Underground Railroad and the abolition movement, while ignoring racial tensions and proslavery rioting in the city. Kelly proposed that local organizations should portray a narrative that complicates Cincinnati’s relationship with slavery, in order to enhance understanding of the difficulties to end it and increase admiration for those who struggled to surmount these obstacles. Kelly had the opportunity to present a version of this argument while participating in the panel discussion.
YouTube video – “Steven Learns Banjo”
Music Resource Center
Ideas, innovation and inspiration abound at Xavier
TEDx event channeling local leaders
CINCINNATI - Judging by the claps and cheers in the audience, Xavier University’s event that aimed to ignite passion and inspire minds succeeded.
About 100 people filled a room at the university’s Cintas Center for TEDx Xavier University on April 17th. They heard and learned from performers, professors and students during the four hour event full of ideas worth spreading.
What is TEDx?
Technology, entertainment and design conferences started in California in 1990 and have united people in cities across the country ever since.
Wednesday’s TEDx is the second Xavier has held. Cincinnati has had a TEDx delegation for two years, said TEDx Cincinnati Organizer Jami Edelheit.
“Basically what it is, it’s spreading ideas, it doesn’t just relate to (technology, entertainment and design,” she said. “It’s bringing the most innovative, creative people together. It’s sharing ideas in a short format.” At Xavier’s event the importance of generosity, surprises and moving past failure were discussed. The ideas were shared across different mediums, including speaking, performance and music.
About 50 student volunteers organized the event, with student Nicholas Turon leading the group.
Who shared at TEDx?
From students to a Capella singing groups, the stage lit up with local leaders talking about what Cincinnatians can do to make a difference.
Jason Hauer, of The Garage Group, spoke about the importance of business innovation, no matter how big or small, coming from company leaders.
“If a company wants to drive innovation and be more entrepreneurial it has to start from the top leaders,” Hauer explained. “And it’s really, really critical that top leaders at organizations start recognizing that it is up to them to create the environment. It’s not going to happen sustainably if the top leader doesn’t set a vision and enact it.”
Students also took the stage, including Xavier singing groups AcaBellas and 8vb.
The performers weren’t the only Musketeers with a message. Xavier student Owen Raisch approached the audience, challenging them to tear down the wall between society and youth.
Raisch is part of the Greater Cincinnati Independent Business Alliance and works with fellow students to get the word out about local businesses. “I was asked to do this from the group of students I’ve been working with, I think they like what I’ve been doing with Xavier to put on these classes where we engage local businesses,” he explained. "Kids, a lot of the time, die down. But what I’ve seen from this, it’s not all of them. A lot of them are all over it.”
Meghan Marth named Newman Civic Fellow
Cincinnati Enquirer, March 26, 2013
Presidents of universities across the country nominated 181 college student leaders for the 2013 class of Newman Civic Fellows.
These students demonstrate personal commitment to creating lasting change for betterment of their communities. Through service, community-based research, and advocacy, the members of the 2013 class are making the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves and the root causes of some of the most pressing social issues.
One of the winners is a student at Xavier University. Meghan Marth of Symmes Township, a junior in the Politics, Philosophy and the Public Honors Program at Xavier University, sees access to education as a global issue.
Her involvement with Unified for UNIFAT began in high school where she helped raise more than $60,000 in four years to pay expenses for 120 children to attend the Upper Nile Institute for Appropriate Technology (UNIFAT) in the war-torn region of Uganda.
Marth supports the education of Northern Ugandan students by empowering their American counterparts through public policy advocacy and fundraising. Following trips to the UNIFAT School in Gulu during the summers of 2008 and 2010, Marth formed and led the first chapter at Xavier University in 2011 and serves on the board of directors for the non-profit.
As the recipient of a four year Community-Engaged Fellowship at Xavier, Marth continues to immerse herself abroad and domestically through her weekly service commitment. She embodies the Ignatian tenet of cura personalis and strives to be of service for others in all ways.
As a Newman Civic Fellow, Marth will join a network of Fellows around the country. Together Fellows will leverage an even greater capacity for service and change, and will continue to set examples for their classmates and others.
“Meghan is emblematic of our next generation of community service practitioners,” said Sean Rhiney, Director of Xavier’s Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning. “Her passion and focus on access to education for youth has both international and domestic outcomes, from Uganda to Ohio. She will make the most of her inclusion in this important Fellowship community.”
CiNBA hosts networking event for Cincinnati independent businesses
On March 27th, the Greater Cincinnati Independent Business Alliance is hosting a workshop that will focus on the unseen benefits of nurturing and supporting local independent businesses.
“This event provides a unique opportunity to explore the beneficial impact an independent business alliance can provide Cincinnati and the community,” says Owen Raisch, CiNBA’s founder.
CiNBA was started in March 2012 Raisch after visited the American Independent Business Alliance’s national conference. Since then, Raisch has been working with businesses around Xavier University, including Betta’s Italian Oven, Betta’s Café Cornetti, Center City Collision, Baxter’s Fast Wheels, Listermann Brewing, Kleen Print Products, Cincinnati Cash Mob, and Beans and Grapes.
All of CiNBA’s members except Center City Collision worked with Xavier students to assess business models and develop their businesses. Over 60 students were involved in classes that range from an MBA management project to undergraduate graphic design courses.
CiNBA is the recipient of a Fuel Cincinnati grant that funded Raisch’s trip to the AIBA conference, and paid for CiNBA’s first year of membership to the organization.
“The grant and membership to AIBA provided startup support and promotional materials that were critical to the current level of CiNBA’s development,” says Raisch. “I’m very appreciative of Fuel’s support. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
The workshop will feature a presentation by Jeff Milchen, founder and director of the first International Business Alliance. The free event will be held at Beans and Grapes in Pleasant Ridge at 8:15 a.m. Contact Raisch at 937-402-6596 for more information.
Xavier Students Michael Murray, Emily Boutilier, and Caroline Lee, with Florence McCray of People Inspire Progress.
Xavier University’s Community Engaged Fellows helped a nonprofit participate in a neighborhood window display celebration
November 20, 2012
OTRaglow (http://www.otraglow.com) kicked off a week's worth of holiday events in Over-the-Rhine on Nov 30, 2012.
More than 40 competitors in three categories – business, residential and nonprofit – registered their holiday- and OTR themed window displays in this first year competition.
Official judging began December 1 and runs through Friday, December 7, 2012. Competition organizers recognized that many nonprofits allocate most of their resources to working with their clients during this busy season, and offered them the opportunity to be adopted by student teams to build community, share their story, and celebrate the holiday season together.
The Art Academy, located in Over-the-Rhine, and Xavier University, designed and decorated three storefronts for local nonprofits Power Inspires Progress, the Contact Center, and Homeless Partnership.
Xavier’s Community-Engaged Fellows got into the competition by adopting Power Inspires Progress www.powerinspiresprogress.com, and their Venice on Vine restaurant storefront at 1301 Vine Street. Fellow Emily Boutilier, a junior art education major from Sycamore Township, designed a theme that was executed by junior Caroline Lee and sophomore Michael Murray, also Fellows.
Xavier senior Sean Luke, living in the Over-the-Rhine as part of the Urban Service Learning Semester and volunteering at Venice, helped facilitate the collaboration and get Venice’s trainees involved in creating the display.
The window is titled “Under the Rialto Bridge” and surrounds the famous Italian landmark with a collage of past and present photos of Over-the-Rhine and of current and past PIP trainees.
Boutilier took inspiration from her study abroad experience this summer in Italy, and found a meaningful connection between the country that gives the restaurant its name as well as the important opportunity that Power Inspires Progress offers women in its innovative job training program.
“We chose to depict the Rialto Bridge not only because of its location in Venice, but also because it represents the mission of Venice on Vine (and PIP). PIP helps inner city adults bridge the gap between a life they had and a life they envision themselves having in the future,” Boutilier said.
Xavier’s Community-Engaged Fellowship was established in 1989 to reward incoming freshmen who excelled in service and sought engagement as part of their undergraduate experience.
Recipients must perform 10 hours of service each week during their college careers, while serving as role models for other students and promoting Jesuit ideals on campus. When introduced, the Fellowship was groundbreaking – few schools rewarded such commitment.
In 1991, “CBS Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt, featured the program, interviewing Fellows and the organizations and individuals they served. The Fellowship has continued to grow a culture of engagement on Xavier’s campus as well as impact surrounding communities with thousands of hours of service. Fellows are recognized by the University as student leaders and alumni of this important program have gone on to successful careers in government, nonprofit, academic, and private sector pursuits.
The Eigel Center oversees the program and connects community partners and projects. The OTRaglow community celebration is presented by the Over-the-Rhine Foundation, OTR Chamber of Commerce, and Urban Sites.
For more information, please contact Sean Rhiney, Director of the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uganda Educator has Special Ally in Xavier Student
A Pioneering Educator from Uganda, speaking tonight at Xavier University, has a major ally in Cincinnati. Aditimo Odongkara, in her 70’s and founder of the northern Uganda school called the Upper Nile Institute for Appropriate Technology (UNIFAT), will be among friends while telling the work of her 25 year old elementary school.
Her host is Xavier Sophomore Meghan Marth, who met Odongkara five years ago when Marth was a student at Sycamore High School and had been moved to action after seeing the film “Invisible Children.” It detailed the atrocities committed against the children during Uganda’s civil war. An estimated 30,000 children were abducted and forced to fight or become sex slaves in the Lord’s Resistance Army. Untold thousands have died, and as many as 1.7 million people have been displaced.
Marth continued at Xavier an organization she was involved with in high school, Unified for UNIFAT. She helped raise more than $45,000 in four years to pay expenses for 120 children at the School in the war torn region of Uganda, whose border to the north is Sudan.
“Unified for UNIFAT is a nonprofit organization founded by students for students,” said Marth, recognized in 2010 by the Prudential Spirit Community Awards as one of Ohio’s top two youth volunteers. “We are dedicated to financially and emotionally supporting the children of UNIFAT Primary Scholl in Gulu, northern Uganda.
UNIFAT school’s motto is ‘Learning for Love and Understanding,’ and we firmly believe that education begins the pathway to peace, which in turn is the solution to poverty.
Marth is president of the Xavier based organization, a Community-Engaged Fellow, and in the Philosophy, Politics, and the Public Honors Program at Xavier. The presentation tonight is sponsored by Xavier’s Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning.
“Xavier is proud to share this important conversation with our campus and community,” said Sean Rhiney, Eigel Center Director. “Meghan is doing important work as a Fellow to further raise awareness and funds for the school, which accomplishes great things, all while surrounded by civil war.”