By: Grace Gorman – Staff Writer
This summer, University of Dayton students had the opportunity to be a part of a challenge team to question their outlook on UD. The students’ goal was to create an interactive installation of art, technology, business and the human condition.
The internship provided much more than just a final installation at ArtStreet. The team was given two challenges projected as a cross-discipline effort to approach problems with a new perspective. The first: a community-building project to solve the transportation and communication problems between downtown Dayton and its surrounding areas. Its purpose was to connect places, people and events to make Dayton a more appealing place for millennials to visit and stay.
The second was a technology commercialization or transfer challenge where an idea was presented from an Air Force Base-affiliate, and the team would attempt to produce it. The goal was to refine the idea for a personal proximity sensor and make a prototype.
For the challenge, they created an ArtStreet installation that showed Dayton reimagined in 2050, and the process that would be necessary to achieve this vision. The installation had eight separate scenes, showing happiness, health, creativity, education or a combination between two of them to demonstrate how the students imagined a new and improved Dayton. The process took the team 11 weeks to complete.
Thirteen students of different majors, interests and ideas all came together to share ideas on how to create a new and improved Dayton.
“The interns were meant to be selected from a diverse sample of the UD population, and I was asked to represent the legal side,” pre-law student Gurjot Kaur said.
The other students involved were Andrew Harbach, Andrew Arnett, Matt Geraci, Christopher Lippiello, Jacqueline Zondlo, Josephine O’Connell, Kelsey Mills, Nick Schlueter, Kerilynn Martz, Rose Defluri , Elise Welch and Madisson Baron-Galbavi. The students chosen applied through emails sent from their academic departments.
Kaur explained that the magic behind this specific internship was that it was completed solely by the students as opposed to under the control of a supervisor. The creative control and ability to take initiative not only provided the students with the valuable experience of an internship, but allowed the team to create an independent project.
“My experience was somewhat similar to a program I participated in during grade school called Destination ImagiNation (DI). It too offered diverse team dynamics that focused on unique and creative solutions to technical and artistic challenges,” Martz said.
An important addition to this summer program was the partners and individuals in the community that the team was able to work with.
As University of Dayton students, many of us don’t leave the confines of our campus, and for a good reason: our campus has all we need. However, through this process, the students involved realized there is more in Dayton than the university, and with this challenge, they were able to experience the culture and history of the city that is just blocks from us.
“This experience changed my experience not only at UD but in the city of Dayton itself. The internship forced me to explore the city, to learn about the people, hear their stories and understand their desires for this place that they call home. I was able to go out into the community and discover all of the hidden ‘gems’ that so many people don’t know about,” said senior graphic design major and Flyer News Art Director Mills.
“As a UD student, I now have an incredible desire for other UD students to experience this city in the way that I was able to… I would love to see more students take initiative to find out what this amazing place has to offer.” Kaur agreed. “It was completely unique, in that I’ve never had an opportunity like this, and I probably never will again.”
This internship changed the way these thirteen students who participated in the pilot viewed Dayton and hope the program will continue next summer. Changes will be made to the program through the feedback given by this year’s interns.
“I received were a renewed sense of teamwork and diversity as well as how talk and work respectfully win other individuals,” Martz said. “Another result was getting to know a great group of people that will still be at UD when we return. The best result was the overall experience of diverse thought on challenges to generate ideas for creative solutions to real world, local community problems.”