By Sarah Tinoco
On Tuesday Sept. 23, the Dominican University community will gather to participate in the 5th annual Caritas Veritas Symposium. On break from all classes, students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sessions, presentations and dialogues.
This year’s theme, “Caritas et Varitas in Community,” will focus on the sophomore liberal arts and sciences seminar theme of exploring love and truth in community.
Claire Noonan, vice president for Mission and Ministry, said, “The theme gives Dominican University the opportunity to reflect on the quality of our own life as a community, on the foundational values that sustain and enliven us, and on our aspirations for ourselves and our world.”
Dominican students, faculty and other scholars from the higher education community will present speeches, papers and panel discussions at the symposium that focus on the exploration of personal identity, membership, diversity and inequality within the Dominican and neighboring communities, as well as communities abroad.
“The purpose of the symposium is multilayered,” Noonan said, “But [I hope] we strengthen the university’s self-understanding [of] our shared mission and our foundational Catholic, Dominican identity, and that we come to know one another better—as scholars, learners, and perhaps even friends.”
Senior political science and psychology major Suzana Tesla said, “I value the symposium because it’s a [day] where people of different interests can come together to exchange a variety of ideas and create connections that allow them to continue discussing these topics even after all the presentations are completed.”
Tesla will be participating in two presentations at the symposium. The first, “Inequality in the Global Community,” will include a panel of students who participated in service trips to Haiti and Guatemala. “The main [idea] is to expose people to the inequalities and economic disparities that occur in developing countries,” Tesla said. “While we may be aware of these things due to the media, it’s definitely different when you hear about these things from people that have personally gone there and see or experienced it.”
A group of students who participated in Dominican’s summer study abroad trip to China will give a presentation entitled, “Communities Crossing The Globe: Similarities and Differences, The China Experience.” Tesla said, “We talk about our experiences with local Chinese students and address how the Chinese culture and laws not only impact its people but also affect many of the visitors.”
The symposium will conclude with an academic convocation, where President Donna Carroll will address the Dominican community. Faculty and staff will present awards to recent Dominican graduates recognized as “Young Mazzuchelli Models” and they will also present President Carroll with the Sr. Mary Clemente Davlin Diversity Leadership Award.
The convocation will conclude with the presentation of the Bradford O’Neill Medallion for Social Justice, which will be awarded to Ana Garcia-Ashley, executive directior of the Gamaliel Foundation.