Upcoming Recruiting Events

Graduate Open House
 
Are you interested in pursuing a graduate degree, but still in the process of researching schools and programs? If so, please join us for the DePaul University spring graduate open house. Faculty and staff representatives will be available to talk to you about specifics of each program and answer any questions that you may have.

Programs in the following colleges will be represented:

College of Communication
College of Computing and Digital Media
College of Law
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
School of Education
School for New Learning
School of Public Service

For more information about the Open House please call 773-325-8363 or email us at gradevents@depaul.edu.
 
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Time: 5:00 PM — 7:00 PM
Location: Lincoln Park Campus
Student Center, Room 120
2250 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
To register for this event please go to www.depaul.edu/gradopenhouse.
 
 
Interdisciplinary Studies and Liberal Studies Graduate Information Session
 
Please join us to learn more about DePaul University’s graduate programs in Liberal Studies (MALS) and Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS). These programs are designed for working and returning adults who seek to enrich their personal and/or professional lives by taking courses in multiple fields in small, effective learning communities.
 
At this session, you will have the opportunity to learn more about degree requirements, the admission process and how the programs are particularly well-suited for the changing economic climate.

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011
Time: 6:00 PM — 7:30 PM
Location: Lincoln Park Campus
Welcome Center, Room 101
2400 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
 
To register for this event please go to www.depaul.edu/malsidsevents.
 
 

Springtime at CIE: Upcoming Events

The DePaul Center for Interreligious Engagement brings DePaul students and faculty as well as the wider community together to explore the requirements of building communities across religious boundaries. The work of the Center engages the religious dimension of pluralism, conflict and peacebuilding in multiple contexts. Please join the Center for Interreligious Engagement (CIE) this spring for several amazing events! See below for event information.

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Sustainability, Interreligious Engagement & DePaul: Writing an Ecological Manifesto
Tues. May 3 , 2011
6:30-8:00
Cortelyou Commons
2324 N. Fremont St.
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus

What does it mean when we use the word “sustainability” to talk about the ecological, social and spiritual dimensions of our life as a university community? How should sustainability be defined in the context the DePaul, and in light of how we choose to define it, what must be done?  Join the Center for Interreligious Engagement as we inaugurate a new series with the goal of producing an Ecological Manifesto for DePaul.  Leading the discussion will be three compelling thinkers – a scientist, an artist and a historian – who will invite us into a conversation across the boundaries that too often separate disciplines, identities and experiences. Co-Sponsored by the Office of Mission and Values

The Scientist: Liam Heneghan, Department of Environmental Science
The Artist: Phyllis Griffin, The Theatre School
The Historian: Karen Scott, Department of Catholic Studies + History
The Ethicist: David Wellman, Department of Religious Studies (Moderator)

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Complex Identities: Latina Narratives at the Crossroads of Scholarship and Faith
Wed, May 4th, 2011
6:30-8:00 pm
The Museum Space, DePaul University
Lincoln Park Campus
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.

This panel explores the diverse personal histories of three female scholars working in the field of religious studies or theology.  All three have significant family ties to Latin America, and all three come out of different faith traditions (Judaism, Protestantism, and Catholicism). What continuities — and discontinuities — do they see between their own sense of cultural identity, religious orientation, and current scholarship?  How do their different experiences speak to the complexity of “Latina” identity?  Come hear their remarkable stories to find out. Co-sponsored by Women and Gender Studies.

Participants:
Ana Bedard (Loyola University Chicago)
Nancy Bedford (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)
Frida Kerner Furman  (DePaul University)
 
Moderator:
Christopher Tirres (DePaul University)

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Meditation and Interreligious Engagement: Intro to Meditative Practices
Monday, May 23rd
6:30-8:00 pm
Cortelyou Commons
2324 N. Fremont St.
DePaul University, Lincoln Park Campus

What are the physical requirements of cultivating a meditation practice?  How do movement and posture convey intention and set the foundation for the practice of deep meditation?  Join us for an evening engaging some of the practical requirements of meditation with a Zen Buddhist and a Hindu Priest as we explore how Zen meditation and Integral Yoga provide paths to silence, centering and health.

Meditation Leaders:
Ron Kidd: Shimer College, Lincoln Park Zen
Maureen Dolan: DePaul University

Theaster Gates: An artist’s attempt to revitalize his blighted neighborhood

Neighborhood revitalization gets artist’s touch

Theaster Gates is pushing for positive change in Chicago’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, and using art as his medium. (Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune / April 4, 2011)

Dawn Turner Trice

April 18, 2011

By the time Theaster Gates received an interdisciplinary master’s degree in urban planning, religious studies and ceramics in 2006, he already knew it would be difficult to find the perfect job combining all three of his passions.

About a decade ago, he worked in Seattle as an urban planner for a Christian mission that had a housing program in a struggling community. But he said he ran into roadblocks when he tried to place residents who weren’t “born again” into the church’s housing units.

From 2001 to 2005, he worked for the Chicago Transit Authority as an arts planner and had some success creating opportunities for artists to show their work on the trains.

“But there were assignments given to me that I had no control over, like stopping a bus route to a certain neighborhood,” said Gates, 37. “There was only so much fighting that I could do, and it became a bad fit.”

Now he believes he’s found a much better fit in Dorchester Projects, which he conceived as a way to revitalize his blighted South Dorchester Avenue block in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Over the last five years, he has been purchasing and rehabbing abandoned buildings with the help of a small group of artists and architects. So far, he has redeveloped four buildings.

And, with his nonprofit Rebuild Foundation, he has turned the buildings into affordable housing for artists, or artists’ colonies.

But the buildings’ uses don’t stop there. Gates harvests items that he uncovers during the rehab process — such as molding, cabinetry, floor joists and old windows — to create his own art, some of which will be on exhibit beginning April 30 at the Kavi Gupta Gallery in the West Loop.

So, how does his religious training come into play? Gates said Dorchester Projects allows him to make a difference in communities that on the surface appear to have little to offer.

“It’s the idea of thinking of things that have been abandoned as sacred space and objects, and using art to reimagine what’s been desacralized,” said Gates, who grew up on the West Side. “I would call it harnessing the life of the place, and I think that’s transformative. I’m always asking, what can you do with the building’s guts that would help redeem it to some higher use than demolition?”

Gates works for the University of Chicago as the director of arts program development in the provost’s office. He’s finishing up a yearlong fellowship at Harvard University‘s Graduate School of Design.

Dorchester Projects began about five years ago when Gates moved to Grand Crossing to be closer to the university and to have a space where he could create art. He made his home in a 1,200-square-foot former deli/candy store, which he rehabbed using salvaged wood and recycled stone.

As the economy and housing market began to tank in 2008, one building after another on his block was foreclosed on and abandoned. He said the depressed prices made it easier for him to purchase the properties.

“When I first moved to 69th and Dorchester, people were like, ‘You need a dog and a gun,'” Gates said. “There was such stigma, and hardly anybody could see the value in being here. But I’d never felt so safe. I began to wonder, ‘What can I do to destigmatize the place?'”

In two of Gates’ buildings, he has archived a collection of classic books, record albums from the now-closed Dr. Wax music store and glass-lantern slides from the U. of C. He said he’s hoping to find artists who will be inspired to create something using the material.

He also hopes to encourage more neighbors to see the neighborhood’s potential.

“I want to be able to say, ‘Can we plant some trees? Can we start a block club? Can we start talking to the young brothers who may need our wisdom?'” he said. “I go to places like Wicker Park, and it has amenities. I’m saying Grand Crossing has cultural assets that others can benefit from as well.”

Gates is pursuing a project with the Chicago Housing Authority in which he would help convert a group of abandoned low-rises near 70th Street and Stony Island Avenue into an artist community for CHA residents who have an interest in the arts.

He said, ultimately, he believes an artist can play a major role in neighborhood redevelopment.

“Most of the time, artists come into communities and create these trendy places that help with gentrification,” he said. “But as an artist and urban planner, I truly believe, ‘Why not build something beautiful in a blighted place?’ It may have a ways to go. But eventually, it’ll get there.”

dtrice@tribune.com

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

A great story about what can be accomplished with an interdisciplinary degree.