February 2010

Stang Murals Unveiled

Three years in the making, the Sister Dorothy Stang Murals were finally unveiled as part of CJ's annual social justice and global issues forum, now named the Stang Symposium held on February 24.

The murals depict Sister Dorothy's life and mission based on the Beatitudes. A few years back, mural moderator and CJ religion teacher, Mick Mominee, had requested to borrow photos of Sister Dorothy that the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur had in their archives. After looking through the album of over 300 photos, each student chose a picture as inspiration for his or her section of the mural.

"I just saw one of the pictures of all of these people walking down a hill, all going to Sister Dorothy's funeral," said senior Nola Lee. "They were walking down a hill carrying items. My theme was thirsting for justice."

Lee was impressed by how many came to the special unveiling for faculty and staff members. "It was exciting to see all of the teachers there looking at it. It was really cool."

"The murals are gorgeous, but now it's a little sad that the project is done. We had so much fun together [painting the murals]," she said. "We spent so much time doing this. I have new friends now."

Though the last drops of paint are drying, the artists are talking about plans to help create an online mural gallery on the CJ Web site and they hope to have a few more receptions for public viewings of the murals.

Artists who were involved with the creation of the murals are: Cora Harrison '10, Nola Lee '10, Boris Mugisha '10, Romeo Kwihangana '10, Sarah Shanks '10, Erin Wilson, Cedric Ntwali '10, Monica Baker '09, Nikki Crowell.

Stang Symposium

CJ hosted its second global issues and social justice symposium on February 24—an event now re-named the “Stang Symposium.” The event was held in tribute to Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN who was murdered in Para, Brazil on February 12, 2005 for her life’s work centered around social justice and conservation.

“We gather today because of Sister Dorothy. We gather today because her life inspires us to look beyond our own life experiences and into the experiences of others,” said Molly Bardine, symposium coordinator and CJ English teacher. “We gather to explore social issues with the same eyes of faith that Sister Dorothy had so her spirit can take root in our lives.”

Dayton Daily News journalist Mary McCarty delivered the keynote speech portraying her own passion for Sister Dorothy, and explained what compels her to research and write about important global issues on a daily basis. She cited as a pinnacle moment in her career, the day that she was present when the guilty verdict came in for those responsible for Sister Stang’s murder.

“There was pandemonium, sheer joy, dancing in the rain,” she recalled. “It made you feel how much they were oppressed and how much they appreciated Sister Dorothy. It makes me passionate about my work--telling stories like this, and shining a light on issues like this.”

This year’s symposium was led by students who presented topics relating to inequity and oppression including children and war, human trafficking, and the education of girls. After students presented their research, their topics were opened for discussion among their peers. Bardine challenged them to take the discussions further and asked, “What do we do from here? In what ways can we take action as a school?”

“This is all about celebrating what we can do at school,” she said. “It’s a collective dream—whether it’s going on a mission trip, involvement with junior service, thinking about global issues through research, or when you cultivate a perception of global justice.”

As a final component of the event, students who painted the Sister Dorothy Stang Murals were on hand to discuss their inspiration and passionate connection they have with Sister Stang in creating their segments of the murals—all based on the Beatitudes. The murals, located in a community gathering room at CJ, took three years to finish and were officially unveiled just prior to the symposium.

Senior Nola Lee said that initially, she and fellow mural artists viewed over 300 photos that were loaned to them from the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. “I just saw one of the pictures that I liked.”

She created her mural from a photo of mourners traveling down a hill to attend Sister Stang’s funeral. “There were so many of them. It was very humbling,” she said.

Jumpin' to Give Blood

If one pint of blood saves three lives, then the CJ community donated enough of this precious liquid to save 210 lives during its annual blood drive, “Jumpin’ to Give Blood,” sponsored by student council.

“We had close to 90 people try and donate blood, and the Community Blood Center was able to collect over 70 pints,” said Angela Ruffolo, student council moderator.

Regular donor Katie Beyoglides ‘10 was glad to add her contribution to the CJ count. “This helps other people. It is good for me and for them.”

First-time donor Sam Auriccuio ’11 expected the experience to be more painful than what it was. “It felt good to know that I could save lives by donating blood. It’s my first time. I’d love to do it again. It really wasn’t that bad.”

David Kelly, blood drive coordinator for Community Blood Center, said that the Center relies on area high schools to help provide blood to hospitals.

“We serve 24 hospitals and provide 100% of blood needs. Every day we need to get about 350 donations through the door. When we have a high school, it’s a great audience and they love to help.”

“This was a very good drive,” he said. “These are dedicated students and very responsible. It’s part of the value system the school promotes.”

Kelly also expressed his appreciation for the CJ students who spend time at the Center to share their thoughts about giving blood. “Students participate in our focus group so we know how to better reach the high schools community. They donate not only blood, but time.”

Ruffolo also her appreciation to those who donated food, drink and treats to those who gave blood. Those who supported this year’s drive included students, parents, faculty and staff members, Dominos, Ashley’s Bakery, Fox’s Pizza, Dewey’s Pizza, Dorothy Lane Market, Pie Pizzeria and Cousin Vinney’s. “We appreciate them all,” Ruffolo said.

Engineering a "Bot" Competitor

Students in Project Lead the Way POE class have been working diligently and having fun in anticipation of the upcoming face-off against area high schools and colleges. From different concepts to a final design, students have been encouraged to think outside of the box to invent a robot to battle in the competition. The design that seems to be sticking with the students is a wedge design.

Elizabeth Wirrig '11 took notes on the dimensions of the robot as well as drew a scaled design on paper. Students then uploaded the dimensions in a computer aided design program or CAD before beginning their construction of the bot. According to teammate Justin Overman '10, "Our initial design was a pyramid shape for the robot,” but the group agreed upon the simple wedge design which they judged to be more effective.

Categories that the battle bots will be judged on at the competition in Upper Valley include aggression, control, and damage. Students plan to incorporate all these factors into their latest design and are eager to enter their Eagle bot into the ring.

POE and Introduction to Engineering classes are a part of the STEMM program at Chaminade Julienne. As their instructor, Bob Young oversees the students' project, but requires them to take all parts of the work in to their own hands—he's on hand to offer advice, but from start to end, it is the students' project. This is the second year he has taught this class, and the first time CJ's students will have an entry in competition.

Young believes that one of the main benefits to the program is that students learn time management skills because of their other curricular and post-curricular involvements. “Students benefit from meeting deadlines, working hands-on, and learning about time management,” he said.

The class itself offers students considering majors in college like industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and other science and math-based fields the opportunity to work on smaller projects with the benefit of a collaborative atmosphere. In addition to the battle bot project, Joseph Sculpski '10, is working on his dark and light marble sorter, which according to Scupski, “uses light cells and gates separate the marbles.”

Stang Mural Ready for Unveiling

The Sister Dorothy Stang SNDdeN Memorial Mural Project will be unveiled later this month in conjunction with CJ's global issues and social justice symposium--now named the Stang Symposium in Sister Dorothy's honor. The symposium had originally been scheduled for February 10, two days before the fifth anniversary of her death, but the school closed on that day due to weather.

The project is three years in the making according to the mural project moderator, Mick Mominee, CJ religion teacher. Most of the students who initatiated the artwork are now putting final touches on it this week in preparation for its public reveal. Students based their artwork on the themes of the Beatitudes.

Dayton Daily News journalist Mary McCarty will deliver the Stang Symposium keynote address portraying her passion for Sister Dorothy, and explain what compels her to research and write about important global issues on a daily basis. Following McCarty’s introduction, students will attend break-out sessions conducted by students prepared to discuss their ideas and research relating to inequity and oppression.

Their topics will cover:

  • why they believe educating girls is essential to successfully combating poverty and violence, enough so that they are spending their free time to raise awareness and support to provide educations to young impoverished girls in Belize. “Project Senida” is the students’ own initiative stemming from a trip they took last summer to the country;
  • their research involving the tragic issues of human trafficking, children and war; and
  • their inspiration and passionate connection they have with Sister Stang in creating the Sister Dorothy Stang murals, a three-year work in progress now ready to be unveiled at this year’s symposium.

Sophomores Test Drive Leadership

Sophomore students explored new ways of thinking about decision-making and leadership at the team-building workshop, Learning To Lead. Participants were nominated by teachers and administrators to attend the day-long conference conducted by national speaker Ted Weise. The workshop's goal is to teach students how to be leaders, work as a productive members of a team, and instill confidence, energy and commitment.

"It was a great feeling to know that my teachers saw leadership qualities in me and I really wanted to go into the conference and learn how to excel those qualities," said Adrianne Marx '12.  "I wasn't quite sure how the day would go but everything turned out amazing and everyone had a great time.

"We all learned how to stay positive, take action, and work together. I truly hope everyone keeps in mind what they learned and that we use the skills we that we learned to be leaders to not only make CJ a better place, but to be leaders for life."

Wally Fisher '12 also thought it was "pretty outstanding" to be nominated to attend the event. "I know this is a good thing that says that there are an unlimited number of ways that you can be a leader in this world. It's our job to learn how to do that and then go out there."

Fisher admits he was excited about a day of missing classes and having fun, but says that the day turned into something much greater than that. "There were a couple of people here that I did not know before today. Now we are working together and having fun together. I will be looking for them and saying 'hi' when I see them in the hall."