Tag: Clarke News

Clarke University announces new president, Dr. Thom D. Chesney

On February 26th, Sister Joanne Burrows announced Dr. Thom D. Chesney as the new president of Clarke University. Burrows, who has been the president of Clarke University since 2006, announced she was going to be retiring from her position in July of 2018. Her announcement sparked a nationwide search and concluded with a unanimous vote from the Board of Trustees, electing Chesney as the 16th president of the university.

Thom Chesney photo

via Clarke University

According to a biography issued by Clarke University, Dr. Thom Chesney previously held the position of president at Brookhaven College of Dallas, TX. He also maintained a number of administrative positions at other surrounding universities and colleges around Texas. Among these are The University of Texas (UT) at Dallas, vice president of academic affairs and provost of Collin College, and additional faculty and administrative roles at UT Dallas, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Texas Wesleyan University, and Whitman College. Chesney earned a doctor of philosophy in English literature, a master of arts in creative writing, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

His background has been a positive point of discussion among many members of the Clarke community. Some students have expressed excitement about his involvement in liberal arts programs. The press release issue by Clarke University also revealed that Chesney’s wife, Noelle, is also deeply involved in the arts—holding a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance.

Hannah Ingles, a junior at Clarke who is currently studying Graphic Design, said, “I think his leadership has the potential to bring about some exciting opportunities for some of the arts programs at Clarke. I’m really excited to see what changes he makes in promoting programs like mine. I hope he’ll be an advocate for the fine arts—all of them.”

In Chesney’s time at Brookhaven, he attempted to encourage student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Additionally, according to Clarke University’s press release announcing his appointment, Chesney has also been a reliable and active member of his community. He served on the board of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, which named him 2014 Citizen of the Year, and also took part in a number of other community programs.

Dr. Thom Chesney, along with his wife, Noelle, and two kids, Drew and Ellen, will be joining the Clarke community July 15th. Sister Joanne has stated that there are a few things she wants to complete before making her departure this summer, but is overall happy to pass the torch to Dr. Thom Chesney.

 

by Dane Shaull

 

The Impact of College Athletics at Clarke

A student body is a critical aspect to any university. Without students, a university has no way to sustain itself– and for smaller schools like Clarke University, students are of an even greater importance. The student body here at Clarke is made up of nearly 70% athletes according to the university’s website, suggesting that Clarke needs to market themselves primarily to athletes and attract them to the athletic programs at Clarke. This year, Clarke finished a construction project on two new practice fields that football, soccer, and lacrosse all use.

These two fields have jump-started the four-million dollar project for athletic facilities on the Clarke campus, according to Athletic Director Curt Long. The new turf fields, just finished this August, are great recruiting tools for Clarke Athletics. Additional upgrades to Clarke’s sports facilities include a weight room, fitness area, and locker rooms constructed on the ground level of the Kehl Center. Various athletic programs are available, including volleyball, soccer, golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, lacrosse, track and field, and soccer.

So how does Clarke University actually manage to reach athletic students not only across the U.S. but internationally as well? For Kevin Hunley, a senior baseball player, Clarke jumped onto the starting right fielder’s radar when Dan Spain, the head baseball coach, sent him an email. Inside the correspondence, Spain said exactly what Kevin wanted to hear from a potential college.

Being from a large city where his high school actually had more students than Clarke University, Kevin said, “Coming to a school like this was different. As a high schooler you always see college as some new massive experience. Although Clarke may lack the student population, they make up for it in other ways.” Kevin was attracted to Clarke’s smaller size and, through the encouragement of Coach Spain, decided to experience Clarke and all it had to offer.

While explaining the differences in between his hometown of Glendale, Arizona and Dubuque, Kevin also stated, “There are kids everywhere in the U.S. looking for a place to continue their dream.” All it took for Kevin to commit the next four years of his life to this university was an encouraging email from Coach Spain. Kevin believes the west coast has many students just like him waiting for an email like that from an encouraging coach offering an enticing place to play.

In regards to his academic. He stated, “They really want you to succeed and are willing to work with you. The professors want you to be successful and try to help in any way they can.”

Senior pitcher Chelsea Fogarty has attended Clarke University all four years of college. Chelsea was recruited by a coach that is no longer in employment at Clarke. She spoke about this coach recruiting her starting in her sophomore year of high school.

The persistence of this coach and the fact that, “he made me feel important” encouraged her to become part of the Clarke Pride. She visited three times before verbally committing. Chelsea said, “Other schools had my attention, including Tennessee and a Division Two college in southern Illinois.” The coach that began recruiting her was her main reason for attending. In addition, the nursing program, the friendly Dubuque community, and being close to home helped seal the deal.

Clarke’s athletic teams have been more successful in the past few years, promoting Clarke in an even more positive way. “Athletics here at Clarke are a major component to the success of the university. With more success, we’re going to draw more attention from future athletes,” stated Chelsea. Being in the north, Clarke does present some cold temperatures for athletics. The baseball and softball fields are located 20 minutes from campus, which can be a strain for some students.

Chelsea stressed the pain it can be to drive 20 minutes off campus to a practice field, and with some students not having cars, they can run into difficulty with carpooling and transportation at times.

The student athletes appear to support each other well and the school spirit and comradery seem to overcome even the coldest of temperatures and distance to fields. Both Clarke athletes talked about the connection they felt to the coaches recruiting them. Relationships and connections appear to be a convincing component for athletic recruitment at Clarke University according to senior soccer player Trevor Kennedy, a men’s soccer player at Clarke. Clarke University and the wider area of Dubuque both offer a strong sense of connection and community, drawing student athletes from many corners of the U.S. and abroad.

 

By Austin Mettica

Fall Into Art 2018!

On Friday, October 5th, a wide variety of art students from nearly every department showcased their work at the Smokestack in downtown Dubuque. The event, entitled Fall Into Art, is an annual art show that strives to present the newest or most coveted work done by those pursuing art majors and minors. From graphic design to abstract sculpture, the pieces being shown illustrate a number of ideas and concepts. 

IMG_2911.jpg

Clarke President Joanne Burrows and Professor Jessie Rebik observe student work displayed at the Smokestack.

Hannah Ingles, a junior graphic design major at Clarke, displayed a redesign of a vintage matchbox cover. The project was originally assigned as a means of challenging students to re-conceptualize and modernize old outdated advertisements. Hannah’s work, which depicted the brand Scissor Safety Matches, featured a number of textures and detailed, Victorian era ornamentation. 

Ingles Redesign-02

Piece by Hannah Ingles

In addition to a number of printed graphic design pieces, a series of full body drawings were displayed, having been completed in a life drawing class from the 2018 spring semester. Charlotte Rodewald, a junior graphic design major, presented a depiction of a skeleton, showing her ability to accurately portray different perspectives of the human body. 

“The assignment really helped me understand how the body moved,” said Rodewald of her piece. “It’s so important to understand where certain bones and muscles are [as an artist].” 

If you want to see new student work, keep an eye out for art department events around campus. From December 5th to February 28th, sophomore and junior art students will be having their review, exhibiting their pieces in the Quigley Gallery at Clarke University. 

To keep up to date on any events hosted by the Clarke Art Department, click here

 

 

Feelings of Neglect Among Pride

Is Clarke University considering anything and everything for its athletics? Some students on campus, specifically student athletes, feel as though their respective sports are being overlooked by administration, thus, making them feel unimportant.

Decorated teams like Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field all been competing off campus since each of their inaugural seasons. Baseball competes at A.J. Spiegel Park in Peosta which is about a 20-minute drive. Softball competes at Veteran’s Memorial Park which is a 7-minute drive, and Track and Field have never even had home field advantage as they are always on the road. These teams, along with two Lacrosse teams, two Golf teams, two soccer teams, and potentially our new football team will have to share one indoor facility throughout the year, the Gantz Center, which is also a 7-minute drive from campus. Clarke does not provide transportation to these off-campus facilities.

Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field have been exceptionally successful in the past few years; however, a number of student-athletes feel as though they have nothing to show for it.

Clarke-University-1024x458

Photo Credit: College Consensus 

Campus is changing, and some concerns are coming to light. There is little word from the administration regarding what exactly these new facilities are going to look like. Students can visibly see the plethora of space there is on campus, and that there is a lot of room for possible facilities for sports that seem to have been forgotten.

In a conversation with All-American baseball player, Michael Lopez, a junior from Rancho Cucamonga, California, he expresses his discontent with the current facilities stating, “I feel like our team is consistently successful, however we still get the short end of the stick having to drive 20 minutes to practice every day. A lot of us are from far away states and don’t have cars at our disposal.”

Lopez continues with expressing frustration stating, “It just sucks because student-athletes work as hard as we can to represent Clarke and what has Clarke done for us? Now that they are taking trees down, I can see that there is definitely room on campus for a baseball field or even an Avila type facility which is a full length make-shift football field, soccer field, softball field, and baseball field…I know I am not alone by saying there is room for this type of facility at Clarke.”

Clarke softball players also express their frustration and feelings of neglect. Ally Renforth explains the softball field is less than conducive for competition and practice, “…we have to haul all of our equipment from Gantz to [Veteran’s Memorial Park] to the school. It’s a constant struggle having to chase down equipment.”

Renforth continues to express her frustrations with the actual field, “We play at a community field. Kids ride their bikes across it and even run onto our field during practice. We have to put up a fence in order for our field to be regulation, we have an extremely small dugout for our team, and we have a scoreboard with broken pegs for plastic numbers that fall off. In all of my four years of college softball we are the only team I’ve seen with less than satisfactory facilities like ours.”

Renforth continues to state, “don’t get me wrong, we are content with the facilities that we have, but now that Clarke is making new facilities for a team that doesn’t even exist yet, it kind of hurts feeling as though we have been totally forgotten about.”

In closing with Lopez he expressed, “Clarke is doing a lot of things right, but they are also doing a lot wrong. The university should be caring thoughtfully about their current students and student-athletes because we are the best chance they have at generating donors. Instead, most of us are unhappy and envy schools like Georgia Gwinnett, University of Dubuque and the facilities that many teams in our conference have. I understand sports aren’t everything in life, but Clarke is wasting the chance to bring a championship culture across all sports to campus.”

Personally being affected by this, it seems like Clarke is jumping the gun on some of the decisions they make. This article is not meant to be taken offensively. I think Coach Regalado is doing a great job recruiting a team and getting the Clarke community excited about football. Administration is doing a great job in supporting football on the Clarke campus. The soccer and lacrosse teams are all equally deserving of benefiting from these future facilities. All of these things aside, it still doesn’t hide the fact that current student-athletes feel neglected for a shiny new object when they have put in the blood, sweat, and tears in order to make their sports worthy of respect.

 

By: Jamie Deering

#ClarkeToo

Since the social media campaign spark in October 2017, the #MeToo movement hits close to home with members of the Clarke community. They hope Clarkies will participate in the upcoming “Denim Day” on April 26th.

The #MeToo movement spread across the United States when actor Harvey Weinstein was accused by several women in Hollywood of sexual assault. Within hours, women were posting on their social media accounts “#MeToo,” showing that they too are survivors, and support the awareness of sexual abuse. For some Clarke University students, faculty, and staff, the media outburst ignited conversation of just how often sexual assault happens.

Picture1.jpgTriston King, Assistant Director of Engagement and Intercultural Programs at Clarke University, says it is time to take action on such a prevalent issue in today’s society. “If you are looking at the #MeToo campaign as a shift in culture, as something where people look at this and say, ‘Oh my gosh! Today forty women that I know on my Facebook feed posted this.’ Think about that. Think about how many women you have on your profile. Think about the ratio of women you have who actively post and that you pay attention to.”  This was a personal driving force for King. He suggests that the real way to make a cultural shift is to raise awareness for the issue.

Renee Dionisio, student, had similar ideas as King. Together, they decided to sit at a table in Clarke’s atrium and start the conversation in late November. Dionisio sat at the table with small pieces of paper and a box, prompting members of the Clarke community to write either #MeToo or #IHave. “A lot of people did not know what it was, so I had to explain it to them. I could tell they were uncomfortable to even write #MeToo or even #IHave.” The table was set up for two weeks. Dionisio recalls, “It was hard until one person came and wrote #MeToo. She told me her story and was very wide open with it.” For her, this moment and an encounter she had with a faculty member put things into perspective.

metoo-2859980_1920After the fourteen days were up, the slips were posted on a wall in the Fabiano conference room at Clarke. In the end, about forty slips were turned in and hung on the wall. A majority of these slips read #MeToo, and about a third of those had stories attached to them. A conversation took place at 7 p.m. on November 20 in the conference room.

King says that these were posted on the conference room wall for two reasons. Firstly, King said it gave those survivors a voice that they deserve. He told members of the Clarke community, “We want you to feel completely free to write down everything and anything that happened to you.” This allowed students to write anonymously so they would not have to hold back any details. It also gave other students an opportunity to see just how many people are affected by this issue in just the Clarke community.

“In the moment is where we want change,” King states. He suggests to the people who are in fear of coming forward to, first, remove yourself from the situation. However, King insists that you must do something about it in order to create change. “If you know something is happening but you are afraid to say anything, call someone you trust. Call campus security. Call the police. Do whatever you feel is necessary.” Dionisio also wants to remind students that even if you are unsure, there will be consequences to those perpetrators.

Dionisio and King also would like to let the Clarke community know about the upcoming “Denim Day” on April 26. Students are encouraged to wear denim to show support and solidarity for those who are survivors of sexual violence.

Clarke students are encouraged to also use the support systems on and off campus. Both the counseling center and campus ministry are not required to report cases of sexual violence, however, resident advisors, student employees, and faculty members are mandatory reporters. The Riverview Center is also a great source for students who want to talk with people who share the same experiences or discuss policies of sexual misconduct. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, the number for the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline is 888-557-0310.

By Emily Boge

Zoey Weber: Saving Lives in Texas

zoeySummer of 2017 seems like a distant memory now, doesn’t it? We’ve already been back in school for a few weeks and loaded with homework. But some of us worked hard all summer too, furthering our education for our future careers. I’ll admit I enjoyed many days with my toes dipped in the pool and soaking up the sun. My dear friend, Zoey Weber, a student of the class of 2018, was busy saving lives. She made the move to Texas this summer to further her nursing skills and training with a summer internship. Let’s take a look at what she has to say about her experience.

She told me how growing up in Dubuque area and being familiar with the resources around her gave her the opportunity to work at Finley Hospital as a tech in the Family Birthing Suites since high school. She loves the environment she works in and plans to be a labor and delivery nurse at a larger hospital in Texas after graduation. Her dream is to continue her education and become a midwife.

Zoey loves Dubuque, however, she personally feels she would gain more experience in a big city like Dallas or San Antonio. The state of Texas is very dear to her heart. In hopes of pursuing this dream, Zoey applied for multiple nursing internships for the summer of 2017 in Texas. After a little bit of the waiting game, she received a call from St. Luke’s Hospital offering her an interview for a nursing internship. Zoey made the journey to Texas and had a successful interview. She got the internship! The internship was nine weeks long at CHI in St. Luke’s Hospital, which is considered the largest medical center in the United States. She split her time working with a nurse preceptor on the surgical floor and working in the ICU during the second half of the internship.

The excitement, nerves, and readiness for this new adventure filled her. Immediately she began looking for apartments or places to stay. The scary part for her was that she didn’t know many people in Texas and realized she was really her my own making adult decisions. Perhaps she didn’t find the nicest place of them all to stay, but thankfully her best friend gave me a care package with scorpion spray to ward off any creepy crawlers who might want a place to stay in Zoey’s apartment.

Another new experience and somewhat of a challenge for Zoey was the public transportation. The hospital did not have parking for its employees, which meant she would be taking the public train system to and from work. Although public transportation is beneficial, she witnessed some interesting events on the train rides that she does not want to see again.

Maybe there were a few setbacks and things to adjust to, but the internship provided Zoey with such a life-changing education and experience. Who knew one could learn so much over the course of nine weeks? Because she worked in labor and delivery back home, she felt nervous being placed in the oncology unit for the first half of the internship. This hospital, being a medical center, has many trials and many basics that she will need for a career. Zoey expressed how she felt so lucky to be able to learn in this setting. She got to place IVs every day, drew the entire floors lab work every morning, did lots of dressing changes, and much more.

The absolute craziest moment of this internship was when one of Zoey’s patient’s heart stopped while she was alone with the patient! Zoey calmly called a code to get help, but still needed to resuscitate the man with the help of two other CNAs while they waited for the doctor to arrive. They had the patient back to life before the doctor arrived, and it was the most intense moment of Zoey’s nursing career thus far.

Her internship also took a change of course this summer. She planned on moving to the ICU for the second half of the internship, but due to matters out of her control, she instead got offered a position with the rapid response team within the hospital. They assist when there are patients who have heart attacks, strokes, and need resuscitation. So, needless to say, many more intense and educational experiences are now under her belt from the time with the rapid response team.

Zoey is beyond grateful for the experiences she had in Texas at St. Luke’s this summer and learned so much. Now she feels so prepared to do her ER and ICU clinicals with the nursing program at Clarke this fall. There were both trials and tribulations, but she would do this again in a heartbeat. Zoey looks forward to her senior year as a nursing student, and she’s excited to move to Texas after graduation and work as a full-time nurse down south.

Clarke University is proud to have students like Zoey Weber. I am proud to call her my friend.

Unfortunately, right after Zoey returned home from the beautiful state of Texas, Hurricane Harvey hit. It was shocking that the place she lived in all summer and grew to love very much was now under water and mass destruction. If you are interested, please click the link below to donate to the hurricane relief in Texas. Thank you.

https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey

 

By: Megan Kane