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Words of Wisdom: Dr. Carol Zuegner

Dr. Carol Zuegner from the Journalism Department.

Dr. Carol Zuegner from the Journalism Department. Photo credit: Don Doll, S.J.

When I first met Dr. Zuegner, or Carol, as her upperclassmen journalism students affectionately call her, I was a sophomore in a 12-passenger van on my way to Washington, D.C. We were both heading to the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice with thirty or so other students, faculty, Jesuits and staff from the Center for Service and Justice. Carol as a faculty participant, myself as a student leader of the trip. Ours was just one of three large passenger vans braving the 20 hour trek to D.C.

To make things even more interesting, I was sick. I was about halfway through a bad cold and doing everything I could to not cough every two minutes. Trying to sleep in a van is hard enough as it is, but sleeping in a van when you’re sick is near-impossible. That first night on the road, Carol was sitting beside me, I barely knew her, having not taken a class from her yet, but she offered me her pillow. That small gesture, combined with the animated stories she told me about the CU Backpacking Trip she’s a part of through the journalism department, stood out to me and made me excited to take a class from her.

Since then, I’ve been fortunate to take both International Communications and Social Media with Carol, I’ve worked with her on communications projects for the Institute of Public Leadership in Omaha, I’ve worked at the Omaha World-Herald with her, and I’ve even attended one last IFTJ with her before I graduate. In all the ways I know Carol, she is warm, funny and has an energy for incorporating social justice into journalism and media, something I love.

I love visiting Carol’s office, where our interview took place, because it’s a room filled with a few of the usual professor things–bookcases filled with books, a desk, computer, etc.–as well as fun artifacts like a nun wearing boxing gloves, a cartoon-style picture of Super Man and a sock monkey puppet. Meeting with her feels more like sitting down with a friend to chat.

It took Carol very little time to come up with her words of wisdom for me: “Do what you can, where you are.”

I couldn’t help but smile when I heard the phrase. It’s one I’ve heard several times in the classes I’ve had with Carol.

“It comes from Teddy Roosevelt, of all people,” Carol said. “You know, he’s not like Mother Teresa or Gandhi, but those words have just always resonated with me, especially since getting involved with  CU Backpack.”

The CU Backpack Trip is a summer study abroad option where students spend a few weeks in a different country, or sometimes, a different state (like Alaska) and put together a documentary based on some kind of social justice issue present there. The program is a collaboration between the Creighton Theology and Journalism departments. Along with the hours of prep and work before and after the trip, the countless interviews, filming, editing and media things participants do, they also get in-depth experience and education about an important problem facing a particular society.

Backpack helped Carol realize that doing small things really can make a difference. Partaking in the trips, she shared, has truly changed her life.

Other words of wisdom from Carol:

“Take a risk. Do something out of your comfort zone. CU Backpack Journalism was definitely out of my comfort zone.”

“Every human life has value. It sounds so simplistic, but when you go to different parts of the world and the country, even, you realize that that’s not always taken into account.”

Carol’s words seem to strike at something important to both life as a journalist, which she definitely has experience with, as well as life in general. It’s certainly uplifting talking with her. If you don’t know her, I encourage you to get to know her. She’s great!

Fun facts: Carol has been at teaching at Creighton since 1997. If she could be any flavor of ice cream, she would be Butter Pecan.

Words of Wisdom is a blog series started by Student Coordinator Anna Ferguson, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. Each blog is an interview that poses the question to various faculty, staff, Jesuits and friends: If you had to give words of wisdom to someone, or if there was one phrase or sentence you think people should live by, would would that be?

 

 

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

 

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Weekly Update February 20-27

Friday, February 20

Spring Career & Internship Fair
Career Fairs are the easiest way for recruiters and students to meet face-to-face and discuss students’ goals and information to reach those goals in the corporations, organizations, available internships, graduate volunteer and full-time positions represented at the fair. The fair will be held in the Harper Center, 4th Floor Ballroom from 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm . Please contact Cheri Jackson with any questions.

February 20

Graduate Student Government Food Drive
A Food Drive hosted by the Graduate Student Government. Proceeds will benefit the Open Door Mission’s Feed Omaha Now drive. Along with the Lydia House the Open Door Mission provides 2,000 meal every day to those who are hungry and homeless in the Heartland. Help support this great organization by donating some of your non-perishable food items and dropping them off at one of our boxes located across campus. Boxes located in Harper, Skutt Student Center, Creighton Hall, Criss II, and Hixson Lied.

Saturday, February 21

International Student Association Banquet
The International Student Association Annual Banquet is the most significant annual event that furthers ISA’s objective of celebrating the diversity and promoting the rich heritage of international world at Creighton University. During the banquet there will be food from all around the world and many cultural performances. This is annually a great chance for students and faculty at Creighton to exchange different cultures represented on campus, fostering our ever growing diversity on campus. The event will be held in the Harper Center, Ballroom from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Please contact Prem Vichienwanitchkul with any questions.

February 21

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation services to people who make less than $53,000 a year. This service is offered by IRS-certified volunteers to students and the community. Please bring all relevant tax documents when you come. The dates and times are located below. This event will take place from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the Harper Center 3023 and on Sunday March 1st. For more information, please contact Fang Zheng or Brian Kuehner.

Tuesday, February 24

Post-Grad Volunteering- Financial Fitness Workshop
Perhaps you’ve wondered about the following when thinking about post-graduate volunteering:“What do I do about my loans during my volunteer year? Is there a difference between deferment, forbearance, and income-based repayments?” “What is public service loan forgiveness? Is this a good option for me?” “I heard that faith based programs no longer get the Segal Americorps Education Award. Is that true?” “At my program I know my room and board will be covered, but how am I supposed to survive on $100 a month?” Dean Obenauer from Creighton’s Financial Aid Office and Jeff Peak from the CCSJ are teaming up for a Financial Fitness Workshop to provide answers to these questions and more. Don’t let your desire to do a post-graduate volunteer program be derailed by questions about finances. Space is limited. Don’t miss out. It will be from 5:00-6:00pm in CCSJ (Harper 2067). Please RSVP to Jeff Peak.

February 24

Justice for Sale Documentary
Justice for Sale follows the young, courageous Congolese human rights lawyer Claudine Tsongo who refuses to accept that justice is indeed “For Sale” in her country. When she investigates the case of a soldier convicted of rape, she becomes convinced his trial was unfair and uncovers a system where the basic principles of law are ignored—and when the system fails, everyone becomes a victim. The documentary not only provides a glimpse into the failings of the Congolese judicial system but also raises questions about the role of the international community and non-governmental organizations in reforming it. Does their financial support cause justice to be for sale? And who pays the price? The film will be shown in the Office of Multicultural Affairs in Harper at 6:00pm.

Friday, February 27

A Certain Grace: Ignatian Spirituality Through the Eyes of Women
Lunch with Sr. Julia Prinz, VDMF. Sr. Prinz, a faculty member of the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA, and director of the Women of Wisdom and Action initiative at the School. Sr. Prinz is also the Provincial of the US branch of her religious community, Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity which was founded in 1963. Lunch will be served at the event. It will take place in the Skutt Student Center, East Ballroom from 11:30 am – 12:45 pm. Please contact Maureen Waldron with any questions.

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, March 4

Cold Toes Warm Hearts
Cold Toes Warm Hearts is a drive to raise money for the biggest homeless shelter in Nebraska, the Siena-Francis House. Swanson Hall at Creighton University encourages you to build solidarity by giving you a perspective of our increasing homeless population. On March 4, please join us in going barefoot (or wearing sandals) throughout the day. There will be a Hospitality Room in the Swanson Lobby with food and drinks for those who have generously donated to our cause. A donation of $5 will purchase you a pin that guarantees you access to the Hospitality Room, though any donation will be graciously accepted. The event will take place throughout the day, with the hospitality room in Swanson Hall from 7:30 am – 4:30 pm Donations can be made at the Swanson front desk. If you would like to learn more about Siena-Francis House you can visit their website. Please contact Katie Breedlove with any question

Sunday, March 22

Hand in Hand
Campus Ministry is in need of 150 CU students to serve as Partners: Two-to-one or one-to-one companions for the Guests who will join us for Hand in Hand. It’s an exciting opportunity to give of yourself personally and touch someone’s life. What is a partner? A CU student who is matched with one of our guests from the Omaha community that has a developmental disability to share an afternoon at the Hand-In-Hand Event. Together they get to enjoy games, crafts, bingo, food,and even some karaoke! Be part of the fun as we welcome Omaha-area adults with developmental disabilities for an afternoon of food, fun and being together! Click here for more information.

Events to be included in the Weekly Update must be received by the Wednesday of the week prior to the event. All events should relate to service or justice and should include name, date, time, and a short description. The selection of events is limited by space and the discretion of the CCSJ. Please, send to ccsj@creighton.edu with “Weekly Update” in the subject line.

A 20 minute training on Creighton’s Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is now required of all student doing community service with our office or on your own. Please click here to find an upcoming training that works for you.

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Dorothy Stang: Sustainable Justice

RachaelSchwartz_Bio_Pic

CCSJ Student Coordinator Rachael Schwartz reflecting on Dorothy Stang

In honor of Dorothy Stang’s life and martyrdom (remembered on on February 12), Student Coordinator Rachael Schwartz reflects on Dorothy’s commitment to sustainable justice.

Dorothy Stang is a woman all justice workers and people should strive to be like.  She decided to devote her life to God as a sister of Notre Dame de Namur.  When I read her story, I was impressed by both her versatility, as well as her persistence.

Originally wanting to do missionary work in China, Dorothy found herself traveling to Brazil to do charitable works there instead.  The Amazon Rainforest is the lungs for the earth and also home to some twenty million people.  Dorothy was angry to see it constantly pillaged and becoming destroyed by ranchers and other exploiters.  She took it upon herself to protect these lands.

As a result, Dorothy was put on the “kill list” for environmentalists and advocates for the forest.  Two men gunned her down as she was their prime target. Dorothy was chosen to be killed because she put together self-sustaining programs in communities committed to their own independence and the sustenance of the rainforest.

Dorothy worked for justice until she was literally taken from this earth; that is what I strive to do. To be so selfless is amazing and I cannot begin to know where to start.  However, instead of getting overwhelmed, I will start with a single act for justice every day and gradually increase it.  No person is too small to make a difference.

 

 

Rachael Schwartz
CCSJ Student Coordinator
Class of 2017

 

 

 

The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.

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Seeds: The Service & Justice Trips Story

This Fall Break the CCSJ sent photo journalism senior Nico Sandi and Graduate Assistant Mike Rios on a trip to get footage of our students at their host sites across the country. The two had the chance to interview participants, community partners, and program alumni alike and have put together a mini-documentary about the Service & Justice Trips in hopes to tell the story of the program and its impact over the years.

The full mini-documentary, featured below, premiered on campus on February 22nd bringing over 100 participants, alumni, and supporters together to celebrate this program and its lasting impact.

A 2 minute Seeds trailer:

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Videos from IFTJ 2014

You can watch all of the speeches and presentations from the most recent Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8gmypLzMXIIGRgHDiv7csMICH3RGhdi_

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Weekly Update: February 6-13

Friday, February 6

Ignatian Retreat for Faculty in the Health Professions
This is a silent retreat in the Ignatian tradition that will be held at the CU Retreat Center in Griswold, IA. Fr. Larry Gillick, SJ and Fr. Greg Carlson will be leading this retreat, with brief presentations throughout the weekend. Meals and housing provided. Participants are required to attend the full retreat. Contact your school Chaplain if you are interested in attending. The retreat will take place at the Creighton University Retreat Center in Griswold, Iowa from Friday at 6:00pm through Sunday at 1:00pm. Please contact Diane Jorgensen with any questions.

Saturday, February 7

Catholicism in Dialogue: Relating to Other Believers
The Legacy of Vatican II continues with a lecture on: Unitatis Redintegratio, the decree on Ecumenism. The keynote speakers are Dr. Steven R. Harmon – Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Dr. William G. Rusch – Yale Divinity School, and Fr. John Crossin, OSFS – Secretariat for Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. These speakers will address the importance of the document in spurring a vision for ecumenism within their denominations and Christianity as a whole. After lunch the speakers will be joined by local ecumenical leaders for conversation and Q&A. These panelists are Gary Eller (Westminster Presbyterian), Jane Florence (First United Methodist) and Scott Jones (First Central Congregational Church). All lectures are free and open to the public. A complimentary lunch is provided. The event will take place in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom from 8:30am – 3:00pm. To learn more, please visit the website or contact Carol Krajicek with any questions.

February 7

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation services to people who make less than $53,000 a year. This service is offered by IRS-certified volunteers to students and the community. Please bring all relevant tax documents when you come. The dates and times are located below. This event will take place from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the Harper Center Ballroom. For more information, please contact Fang Zheng or Brian Kuehner.

Tuesday, February 10

Spirit Plus Lent: The History of CU’s Courageous Students & The DePorres Club
From 1947 to 1960 an interracial group of Creighton students, led by Fr. John Marcoe, S.J., worked for justice in the earliest days of the Civil Rights Movement. Author, Matthew Holland, traces the club’s evolution and tells the story in his new book “Ahead of Their Time.” The event will take place in the Skutt Student Center, Room 105 from 12:00-1:15pm. Lunch will be served. Please contact Maureen Waldron with any questions.

Friday, February 13

CCSJ’s Annual Soup Luncheon and Auctions
This Friday, February 13, is our Annual Soup Luncheon and Auctions to support the Service and Justice Trips program. The silent auction will begin at 11 am (Ends at 12:00 pm), lunch will be served at 11:30 am, and the Oral Auction begins at 12:10 pm. Click here to check out the silent and oral auction items. Tickets & Reservations: A limited number of individual tickets are available for $20 each. Check with your area to see if they have a table and open seats Please contact Wendy Maliszewski with questions about tables and individual tickets.

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, February, 17

Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha DePorres Club- Book Club
In the 1940s and 1950s Omaha was sometimes called the “Birmingham of the North” because of the racial discrimination its minority citizens faced. Fr. John Marcoe, S.J., a Jesuit priest at Creighton, inspired a group of students to start a club to do something about civil rights – many years before the Civil Rights movement really began. The DePorres Club was an interracial group of young people who used non-violent methods to confront and change discriminatory policies in stores, factories and businesses who refused to serve minorities. The riveting story has been told in a new book Ahead of Their Time: The Story of the Omaha DePorres Club by Omaha author Matt Holland, whose father was the student leader of the club. The book will be discussed at either breakfast or lunch three Tuesdays in Lent: February 17 and March 3 and 17. Breakfast groups meet in Harper 3027 from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Lunch groups meet in Skutt Student Center Ballroom East from 11:30 – 12:45. To confirm your place for all three gatherings of the Breakfast group, register here by Wednesday, Feb. 11. To confirm for all three gatherings of the Lunch group, register here by Wednesday, Feb. 11. The books will be available at the Creighton Book Store on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Thursday, February, 19

Symposium on Religion and Identity
This symposium will bring together scholars from Creighton and around the country to address the many ways in which religion and identity interact, whether it be the formation of a specific religious identity, or the many ways in which religion contributes to or is shaped by Identity. The symposium will take place in the Harper Center, Room 3029 from 8:30am-5:30pm. Please contact Colleen Hastings with any questions.

Events to be included in the Weekly Update must be received by the Wednesday of the week prior to the event. All events should relate to service or justice and should include name, date, time, and a short description. The selection of events is limited by space and the discretion of the CCSJ. Please, send to ccsj@creighton.edu with “Weekly Update” in the subject line.

A 20 minute training on Creighton’s Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy is now required of all student doing community service with our office or on your own. Please click here to find an upcoming training that works for you.

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