April 2013

Stang Symposium Addresses Social Justice

Chaminade Julienne seniors will present their work implementing projects to address social justice issues at the Sister Dorothy Stang Symposium. This event is open to the public Thursday, May 2 and begins at 6:30 p.m. in the CJ library. A reception will follow at 8 p.m.

This annual global issues and social justice symposium is named in honor of graduate and martyr Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, ‘49. The focus of this year’s event surrounds the piloting of the cross-curricular Senior Capstone Project. Guests will choose to attend three of seven break-out sessions covering the following senior projects:

Senior Projects

Thomas Cox and Elizabeth Rosencrantz

One year after a school wide initiative to raise awareness about the global issue of human trafficking, specifically in regards to the sex trade, our project aims to further awareness in the community of not only the sex trade, but the labor side of trafficking as well, encompassing the globalization of modern day slavery. We worked with organizations in Dayton to understand the magnitude of the issue as well as what can be done to work against the problem. We created a short film to present findings, raise awareness, and identify the organizations and efforts in order to inspire others to work for change on a local, national, or global level.

Kathryn Marshall

My primary focus was access to music for the elderly citizens in retirement facilities. Through discussion with a music therapist, as well as outside research and personal experience I became more aware of the importance of music. The project consisted of CJ’s Brass Quartet playing at retirement communities throughout the Dayton area, including 10 Wilmington Place and Mercy Siena.

Carly Meixner

For my project about options for women in unplanned pregnancies, I created a vlog (video blog) series. I plan to post the vlogs on YouTube. By making these vlogs accessible to anyone on the Internet, they can help people who I could never meet personally, and they can continue to help people even after this project is done.

Shaylynn Green, Mikaela Hadaway, and Maria Wade

We surveyed classmates about bullying and researched its causes and effects, and what can be done to prevent it in schools. We gathered information into one source and with the help of fellow senior, Jacob Wells, we created a video of our findings. We shared this video and research with many CJ religion classes, and gave a presentation to students at St. Albert the Great. We also sold “Bullying Awareness” t-shirts to students at CJ to wear May 2 — a day dedicated to raising awareness about bullying across the nation.

Matthaus Ayers and Emily Shira

Our project idea was a “Shanty Town” school event to increase homelessness awareness and education on the issue. The Shanty Town put homelessness into perspective through simulations of real life poverty and assigned identities of impoverished people for the students. We hope the education and experience we provided will stimulate interest and concern for the issue of homelessness locally and nationally.

Gretchen Bruggeman and Clare Geraghty

After spending time researching homelessness, we focused on the impact of homelessness on children. We conducted interviews with kids and parents facing this issue. We created a website to spread awareness for the voices of children in poverty who are unheard. We presented our findings at Emily and Matthaus’ Shanty Town.

Jamel Sanders

Throughout the world, there are people who are not as physically able as others. Paraplegics are not blessed with the physical ability that most people take for granted. Seeing paraplegics and disabled children, people tend to feel a sense of sympathy, but rarely socialize with them. I planned a field day for the mentally or physically disabled people in our community. The goal was to show them that being active can be fun and good for their health.

Please consider joining us for this night of student-led actvities!

Expanding the Classroom: English

Every day, CJ teachers are finding ways to expand the classroom for the benefit of students and colleagues. Through class trips, co-curricular competitions and clubs, guest presentations, professional development opportunities and more, faculty and staff are broadening horizons and pushing boundaries on the educational experience.

Take a closer look at what the English department is doing:

Contests present a challenging way for students to creatively take what they’ve learned in class and use those skills to more fully express themselves. A myriad of these opportunities, both internally and externally, are presented by the department's faculty members to CJ students and area youngsters alike. While the results are often less important than what can be learned in the process, here’s a look at how some of these different competitions have shaped up so far this school year:

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Five students earned regional recognition for their submissions in early February.
Poetry Out Loud recitation contest: School-wide winner Rachel Strahorn ‘14 repeated as champion and placed fourth in the state competition this March.
Max May Memorial Holocaust Writing Contest: CJ students swept the top three places in the high school division and two honorable mention spots. Students were recognized at a Yom Hashoah observance in April.
Sinclair Community College Creative Writing Contest: Jasiris Tapia ‘13 took first place in the poetry category and Laura Bullock ‘15 took first in the short story category in this area-wide high school contest. The girls received cash prizes in April.
In addition, teacher Jim Brooks hosts his own in-house writing contest and also collaborates with area Catholic elementary schools each year to host competitions for students in grades 7-8 and 5-6. Winners and their teachers are honored at two separate Writing Awards ceremonies in the spring. Brooks also reaches out to young students and fellow educators by taking his creative writing classes on teaching field trips to two area schools, hosting a youth summer writing camp, and organizing an idea-sharing workshop for junior high teachers.

Department chair Molly Bardine has been leading the charge to make assignments and class projects engaging and relevant beyond the context of the classroom. In March, she and teacher Greg Mueller attended the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) conference in Columbus with fellow educators from around the state. There, Bardine was invited to present her research and case study on how to integrate today’s technology with the time-tested senior research paper. As part of this presentation, Bardine shared how students taking her upper-level Writing and Research course were tasked with creating Web pages to correspond with their final papers on global issues (find links to the students’ work). Bardine’s innovative teaching technique was the focus of a story in the spring issue of Vision and her presentation was summarized in the spring OCTELA newsletter.

Bardine has also been working in concert with Kelli Kinear, director of ministry and service, and Sr. Nicole Trahan, religion teacher, to lead the implementation of a new Senior Capstone Project. This cross-curricular initiative will be the focus of presentations at this year’s Sr. Stang Symposium on Thursday, May 2. This event is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. in the CJ auditorium.

And just recently, AP students put the finishing touches on their fun “And the Oscar Goes to...” class project. Groups were tasked with writing proposals to Universal Studios for a production of Shakespeare’s 1590’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Below, watch a "south-of-the-border" style interpretation of a scene from Act III!

Three annual English offerings in the course catalog include stipulations that students produce a publication for the school community: Graphic Communications, Print Media and Creative Writing. The former two courses are taught by Greg Mueller and result in a yearly iteration of the CJ yearbook and monthly issues of the official student newspaper, The Ludlow Street Journal. New this year, the Journal is designed in a larger 11-by-17 inch format and printed on actual newsprint.

Students taking Creative Writing with Jim Brooks sponsor and produce In Our Minds, a highly anticipated anthology of student writing and artwork. Brooks said the class has also recently been “given the go-ahead” to produce and sell a Hinky-Pinky book of rhymes, which is expected to be released in November 2013.

Posted April 25, 2013



CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Don Bretl

Where do you begin when asked to find a solution to the perpetual need for clean drinking water, a problem facing more than one billion people around the world? For Procter & Gamble, the answer lies in principles of chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Learn more about what STEMM professionals at the Cincinnati-based company are doing to combat this global issue during homeroom periods Tuesday, April 30. Guest presenter Don Bretl, a mechanical engineer with P&G, will discuss the research, development and production behind his company's Pur water filtration packets.

Bretl holds an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin and has worked over 15 years for several P&G businesses. He is currently part of the corporate research and development team as a modeling and simulation section manager. This role allowed Bretl to help develop the Pur water filtration packet to support the company’s signature Children’s Safe Drinking Water program. The program provides low-cost, easy-to-use powdered water treatment technology to people in need.

“Modeling and simulation is about describing physics and chemistry phenomena with many mathematical equations, and then using computers (sometimes very large ones) to solve these many equations,” Bretl described in an email. “Think ‘virtual engineering’ of P&G products and systems to make our products.”

The West Chester resident is the inventor on nine patents related to water purification and wearable therapeutic thermal pads. In 2008, he started the UC Simulation Center with the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, where P&G professionals work with UC students to solve real-world problems using modeling and simulation.

In his free time, Bretl enjoys coaching FIRST robotics teams and athletics, and currently serves as the athletic booster president for his parish, St John the Evangelist Catholic Church. He and his wife have two sons in grades 8 and 9.


Once Upon A Mattress Opens April 26

The Chaminade Julienne Performing Arts department presents Once Upon A Mattress, opening this Friday at 505 S. Ludlow St.

Songs, romance and comedy bring this zany royal courtship to life in CJ’s auditorium. This Rogers & Hammerstein musical production is a wild and melodic take on the fairy tale classic: “The Princess and The Pea.” Was it actually the pea that caused the princess sleepless nights? Join us for this musical adventure to learn if everyone lives “happily ever after.”  View cast list > 

Show times (doors open a half hour before the curtain opens):

  • Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m.

Tickets (available at the door):

  • Adults: $10
  • Students: $8
  • K-8: $5

7th Graders Celebrate Earth Day at CJ

More than 200 area 7th graders from six elementary schools celebrated Earth Day (observed April 22) and 2013 National Environmental Education Week at Chaminade Julienne.

On April 17, CJ student leaders known as Eagle Ambassadors hosted an Environmental Science and Energy Fair—sponsored by the CJ STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) program—from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the Student Conditioning Center. Students and science teachers from Catholic grade schools Bishop Leibold, Mother Brunner, St. Albert, St. Christopher, St. Luke and St. Peter began the day together with a special prayer before breaking out into small groups. Guests then explored today’s most popular sources of renewable and nonrenewable energy, and were treated to a pizza lunch before heading back to school.

“If kids understand energy and learn how its production can affect our environment, they’ll realize the importance of efficiently using resources such as electricity,” said Jeff Teuscher of Dayton Power & Light. He brought along DP&L’s electric Chevrolet Equinox to help illuminate the morning’s lessons on energy.

“Compared to gasoline, electricity costs about one-third less to generate the same amount of power in an electric car,” Teuscher said. The braking systems of electric cars are designed to harness and regenerate electricity for the battery, he told students.

Other activities at the fair included festival-style, energy-themed games provided by the Ohio Energy Project and a hands-on experiment related to the class of 2013’s Social Justice Project. As part of class-wide religion service requirements, all seniors must participate in a service project that impacts the global community. This year, students decided to get behind the Sisters of Notre Dame’s photovoltaic and clean water project, whereby Procter & Gamble Pur water filtration packets are being distributed worldwide in conjunction with the Cincinnati-based company’s Children's Safe Drinking Water program. Students stirred in the packet's contents and watched as murky brown water turned clear in about five minutes.

The inspiration for Eagle Ambassadors to teach energy efficiency to elementary students came in late February after a handful of CJ students attended DP&L’s annual spring Energy Fair hosted at the University of Dayton.


Vega Rocks on the Road to Nationals

For Vega, the road to the International Championships of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) in New York City began locally with fun media appearances and an impromptu performance.

The CJ septet qualified for its first trip to the ICHSA in late February and will compete under the bright lights in the Big Apple on April 19 at 7 p.m. EST against 10 of the best high school a cappella teams in the United States. Before departing on the 1,200 mile round-trip, the Eagles made a few stops around town to tune up for their national debut.

On April 11, radio host Jeff Stevens invited all seven members to the WMMX station on Pine Street in the Oregon District for an appearance on the Mix 107.7 Morning Show. The group performed their version of the 2008 Britney Spears pop hit, ‘Circus,’ live in studio (listen below). Still amped up on their way back to school, the students gave a repeat performance to workers and patrons at a nearby restaurant during a brief stop for breakfast.

The following week, WDTN’s midday show Living Dayton featured Vega live on set and in costume with host Shaun Kraisman, choir director Joe Whatley and performing arts chair Debi Schutt. The group’s award-winning vocal percussionist Daniel Jackson treated viewers to a unique beat-box demonstration, showcasing his drum-mimicking techniques and signature snarl.

The septet from Chaminade Julienne came away with no awards, but made a terrific showing at the ICHSA National Championships. Vega's trip to NYC will conclude with time for sightseeing and a special luncheon reception for CJ alumni in the New York area on Saturday, April 20.

After their return from nationals, members of Vega will hit the road again and travel to Nashville, Tenn. for a May 4 audition to be on NBC’s fourth season of The Sing Off. The group’s next public performance will be Thursday, May 16 at the free Picnic with the Pops concert presented by the CJ performing arts department. RSVP today to reserve seating!

Sr. Stang, Sustainability and Service

With Earth Day just on the horizon, a group of environmentally-conscious volunteers put forth their efforts to better the planet by dedicating a tree planting service project to the memory of Julienne graduate and martyr Sr. Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, ‘49, alongside members of her family.

About a dozen volunteers joined together the morning of Saturday, March 23 to help reforest Carriage Hill Metropark in Huber Heights. The project was co-sponsored by the Weavers of Justice and the Dayton Catholic Social Action Office in conjunction with the Five Rivers Metropark’s “Seedling Saturdays” initiative.

The Following in the Footsteps of Sr. Dorothy project began with a prayer service that called to mind how Sr. Dorothy taught the people of Anapu, Brazil about sustainability and reforestation of lands. Volunteers then worked to plant hardwood trees with the gol of repopulating Ohio woods, which have been ravaged by a species of exotic beetle known as the emerald ash borer.

Those involved included CJ students and Sr. Stang's family members: Barb Richardson, sister; Angela Richardson Mason ‘81, niece; and Cole Mason ‘16 and Riley Mason ‘18, grandnephews (pictured above).

"My Aunt Dorothy would have loved planting with us and talking to the students. It makes me smile every time I think about her," said Angela Mason, who works as an administrative assistant in the office of student services.

Following in the Footsteps of Sr. Dorothy was featured in the spring issue of Vision, CJ's alumni magazine, and is the subject of a story in The Catholic Telegraph.

STEMM Idols from Five Rivers MetroParks

The week leading up to Earth Day, observed April 22, has long been reserved for celebrating environmental education and awareness. The CJ STEMM program is kicking off the week’s activities on the corner of Franklin and Ludlow with two guest presenters from one of Ohio's premier public park systems, Five Rivers MetroParks.

All students are invited to join guests Bob Butts and Elyse Dean of Wegerzyn Gardens during homeroom periods Tuesday, April 16 to learn more about some of the summer volunteer opportunities available there.

According to its Web site, Wegerzyn Gardens -- located about 10 minutes north of CJ off Siebenthaler Avenue -- provides patrons with outdoor “learning experiences in gardening, horticulture, the environment, and urban land stewardship of the River Corridor.” The month's first CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presentation will focus on the organization’s Garden Experience Mentor (GEM) program.

GEM volunteers work and play with kids and families in the Children’s Discovery Garden to explore, share and introduce others to the joys of nature and gardening. The program begins with training dates in May and shifts run through the fall season. No prior gardening experience is necessary to become involved.

For more information about becoming a GEM, students are encouraged to attend the April 16 STEMM Idol session or visit the Wegerzyn Gardens volunteer page at www.metroparks.org.

City of Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell and the Board of County Commissioners in Montgomery County recently proclaimed April 2013 as Five Rivers MetroParks Month. The 19-facility park system, which was created on April 8, 1963 and known then as the Montgomery County Park District, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this spring. Visit www.metroparks.org/history to learn more.

Guest Don Bretl, a mechanical engineer with Procter & Gamble, will speak with CJ students during all homeroom periods Tuesday, April 30 about the research, development and production of his company's Pur water filtration packets. As part of P&G's Children's Safe Drinking Water program -- which has garnered the support of the Sisters of Notre Dame and the CJ Senior Justice Project -- packets are being distributed to people in need across the world.