Identity & Inclusion: When Difference Makes the Difference

DWN President Joy Boggs
Joy Boggs, DWN President 2013-14

Happy Black History Month!

I am old enough to remember when celebrating Black History was limited to the third week in February. Despite the limitations, Black History was a special time at Mark T. Skinner School. Preparations for our weeklong celebration would begin in January with MLK Day (Illinois was the first state to adopt the day as a state holiday). We were never taught the “I Have a Dream” speech; instead, we studied The Movement as a textbook in transformation. We learned how to step beyond the limits of circumstances into new fields of action. What I remember and cherish most about those days was how teachers, administrators, and staff set aside hierarchy and title to hold open an intergenerational dialogue with us students. They created a context for us to embrace our difference as a power instead of a handicap.

Something similar is about to happen on our DePaul campus on Tuesday, February 25. You may heard or seen the invitation to the Diversity Forum on February. For the first time ever in the history of our university, all five affinity groups (DPUBLC, LEAD, ELEVATE, and the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network), are coming together to open up a dialogue between faculty and staff about what it means to be a member of the DePaul family. The forum, “Identity & Inclusion: When Difference Makes the Difference,” will feature opening comments by DePaul’s president, the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., followed by a keynote address delivered by Patricia Arredondo, president of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

The opening reception will be followed by concurrent sessions that will focus on:

  • Identity development through social media
  • Religious diversity in the workplace
  • Constructing allyship across identity lines
  • Vincentian personalism for the classroom

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to participate in a conversation for transformation. The forum, which is free and open to DePaul faculty and staff, runs 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the Lincoln Park Student Center. Space is limited, so please register by February 19.

We can’t wait to see you!


Joy Boggs is President of DePaul Women’s Network for 2013-14 and is Business Manager for the Office of the General Counsel at DePaul University.

A Simple Loving Act of Service

A version of this post, written by Jaclyn Hugg (DWN Communications Team Member), was originally published on A Whispered Wish.

Fill-in-the-blank, would you? The world needs more _______.

…think about it

Okay, got it?

What did you say?

Depending on when presented with this challenge, I’m almost certain I would complete it differently each time because, let’s face it, the world needs a lot. The world needs more DREAMERS. The world needs more DOERS. The world needs more PUPPIES (I just made you say “awh”, didn’t I?). But really…who doesn’t love a warm, fluffy, cuddly little canine? I digress.

If you ask, Hannah Brencher, Founder and Creative Director of “More Love Letters” (MLL), she would likely say (and I quote her website), “The world needs more LOVE  – “pure, old-fashioned, never goes out of style love. Ridiculous, oozing, cannot pack this thang into 140-characters kind of love. Fearless, bold, unstoppable love.”

Image courtesy of Jaclyn Hugg

I first heard about MLL through a website I visit almost daily called Positively Positive. This movement, aimed at lifting the spirits of complete strangers through the art of letter writing, called to my affinity for what I call “real mail” – you know…like cards, postcards, and letters people send via The United States Postal Service. My interested was piqued!

While perusing the MLL site and viewing Brencher’s TED talk, I learned that her individual effort – to write 400 love letters over the course of one year, bloomed into something that now has national and international attention and involvement. And those interested in participating in MLL’s quest have several options:  they may 1) write and leave letters in random places for unsuspecting recipients to find, 2) write letters for Love Letter Bundles, and/or 3) nominate someone for a Love Letter Bundle.

With the nation’s (arguably) most romantic day quickly approaching, I’d invite you to join me in this simple act of service. If you do nothing else between now and February 14th, would you please write one love letter? It doesn’t have to be fancy – just a quick note of encouragement for someone you know, or perhaps a complete stranger that stumbles upon your words. In doing so, you might offer the recipient just what they need, just what their world needs.

Jaclyn Hugg is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is Assistant Director of Advising for the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.

How to Make the Most Out of Career Opportunities

On Jan. 29, the DePaul Women’s Network hosted a career panel with staff at various levels from around the university. Here, DWN Communications Team Member Clarissa Fidler relates lessons from the event.

Just ask. Be honest. Challenge yourself. Be confident.

Fantastic insight and advice abounded at DWN’s career panel, “Making the Most Out of Career Opportunities,” held at the Lincoln Park Campus on Wednesday, January 29.

Four panelists, who serve in diverse roles across the university, shared their professional journeys and milestones, while offering advice about career development. They stressed the importance of asking for more responsibility, taking personal inventory of your desires and commitments, and not being deterred by a non-linear career path. The panel was well attended by DePaul staff members and received extensive praise both in person and on Twitter.

Emily Meisenzahl, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, had this to say about the event: “I loved it. It was helpful and gave me several tips to get more involved with DePaul and network better across departments. DWN did a great job choosing panelists as well as the topics. Very impressed! ”

Our panelists included:

  • Brian Cicirello, Instructional Technology Consultant, Office of Mission and Values
  • Mary McGuinness, Director of Workplace Learning and Performance within Human Resources
  • Samuel D. Morgan, Academic Advisor/Assistant Director of Credentialing, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Lauren Paez, Associate Director of Academic Advising, College of Science and Health, Office of Advising and Student Services

To see more of what our panelists and attendees had to say, check out our event Storify.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, hashtag: #DWNevent. The event was also recorded and will soon be available to download on iTunes U.

(Also: If you’re a DePaul graduate looking for more career and professional development tips, be sure to check out DePaul’s annual Career Week, coming up Feb. 9-15!)

Jobs Panel
DePaul staff members speak at DWN’s jobs panel.

Clarissa Fidler is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is a department assistant for the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse at DePaul University.