My Take on the Caritas Veritas Symposium
Each year Dominican University hosts a campus-wide symposium filled with sessions featuring paper presentations, panel presentations, round-table discussions, workshops, debates and original creative works that strive to pursue truth, give compassionate service and to participate in the creation of a more just and human world. This happens to be Dominican’s mission.
In the past I had to attend at least one session for different classes, but this year I choose to go regardless of a homework assignment. I appreciate the tradition of the symposium and the way it showcases the Truth and Love that makes Dominican special. This year’s theme was to explore the questions of being and becoming, of meaning and calling and of mindfulness and wonder.
The day started with a beautiful opening plenary with a call to prayer and reflection by Chad Rohman, professor of English and director of core curriculum. The day also included a great lunch with table settings and dessert. Yum!
I went to two different sessions which I enjoyed for different reasons. The first was presented by Jamie Visser, who compiled a short documentary interviewing the Sisters of Dominican. These women have each inspired students at Dominican and have set an example for the loving spirit that makes Dominican so special. I couldn’t help but to cry as I saw the appreciation on each sister’s face for Jamie’s beautiful way of creating a permanent legacy for these strong and wise women who have done so much for Dominican University and the community.
Next I went to a session on Dante’s semiotics of love by three students: Molly Mcgrail, Cody Mueller, and Concetta Stanfa. It was interesting to see how, when translated, the information in literature can be misinterpreted and how it can be better analyzed in its original language. It was great to see how students can be recognized outside the classroom by presenting their work at the symposium.
These were only two examples. However, talking with friends, I heard of many other interesting and insightful sessions—there were more than 40 in total given by students, faculty and staff. The day ended with the academic convocation and the presentation of the Sister Mary Clemente Davlin, OP Diversity Leadership Award to Professor Kathy Heskin, who told a beautiful story about her first time as the professor for a class on Indian spirituality and the Bradford O’Neill Medallion for Social Justice to Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, who made a call for better health care in America. Overall the symposium is a tradition that I cannot wait to experience again next year. So proudly Dominican!