Why I Walk: A Personal Tie to Heart Health

By Jaclyn Hugg

On September 26, the DePaul Women’s Network (DWN) will join a host of other campus and community teams participating in the American Heart Association (AHA) 2014 Downtown Chicago Heart Walk. With the overwhelming prevalence of cardiovascular disease among adult Americans (it’s the No. 1 killer in our country), this event’s mission is two-fold: 1) to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, and 2) to raise funds to aid AHA’s efforts to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Last year, I walked with the DWN team and had a great experience. Not only was the weather picture-perfect, but the chance to informally network with successful, empowering women (at all levels of the institution) for nearly two hours proved to be beneficial. Moreover, my participation brought about reflection on my personal tie to the cause—the reason I walk. The Heart Walk is special to me because when I was nine years old, my grandmother (who was then only 59) survived a heart attack and subsequent triple-bypass surgery. Two and a half years later, she had another heart attack, for which she was treated via angioplasty. With no history of drinking, smoking or obesity, my grandmother’s heart disease was attributed namely to family medical history/genetics (her father passed away at the age of 59 from a massive heart attack).

DWN Director Jaclyn Hugg and her grandmother.
DWN Director Jaclyn Hugg and her grandmother.

Fast-forward 21 years, and last October, she celebrated her 80th birthday—a milestone that may have never been possible without the life-saving drugs, medical treatment, follow-up care, and daily exercise and nutrition plan that she has maintained. I feel incredibly blessed to have had an additional 20+ years with my grandmother, as I know many of those who suffer a heart attack or stroke do not have such positive outcomes.

With knowledge of my family’s medical history, as well as the risk factors associated with these types of diseases, I do my best to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet. Additionally, I find value in donating to causes like the AHA, as I know that even $25 can make a difference.

If you join DWN, or any other team, at this month’s Heart Walk, I hope your experience is just as favorable as mine has been. As you take each step, remember to enjoy the scenery and the company of your fellow walkers. Please also take some time to ponder why you walk.

Click here to sign up to walk with DWN’s 2014 Heart Walk Team!

To learn more about the warning signs of heart, stroke and cardiac arrest, visit the AHA’s website.

For more specific information—including risk factors, health living tips, survivor stories and more—targeting women, visit the AHA’s Go Red for Women website.

Jaclyn Hugg serve as DWN’s Director of Service & Outreach and is Assistant Director of Advising for the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University.

DWN Faculty Panel Reveals Lessons for All Working Women

On April 25, the DePaul Women’s Network hosted “Faculty Service Opportunities and Career Development Panel.” DWN Communications Team Member Laura Durnell recaps and reflects upon what participating in the event taught her.

Laura Durnell

Right before the DePaul Women’s Network’s final event of the 2013-2014 year, The Atlantic published an article called “The Confidence Gap.” In the article, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman presented evidence that showed women in the workforce shortchanging themselves through not pursuing opportunities or broadcasting accomplishments simply because of a lack of self-assurance.

DWN’s event reflected the issues mentioned in the article. “Twenty percent of full professors are women,” said panelist and English Professor Anne Clark Bartlett, who also serves as Special Assistant to the Provost for Innovation and Academic Planning. This revelation regarding women in academia also relates to the number of women in the workforce outside the Ivory Tower who do not often pursue or hold positions of leadership.

Even though this panel was specifically marketed to full-time faculty on the tenure track and focused on the role service plays in tenure decisions, much of the advice presented also applies to adjunct faculty, DePaul staff and all women in the workforce. Overall, the panelists provided advice and suggestions about taking initiative, strategically planning activities, and being thoughtful with time commitments regarding work advancement—all activities that would not only help build careers in and outside academia, but also build confidence.

During the panel, the accomplished and inspiring panelists used those effective strategies to discuss the role service plays in tenure decisions. The panelists also shared their stories and advice about the best way to plan and participate in service. Roxanne Owens from the College of Education, who now serves as Chair for the Department of Teacher Education, said she has served on some committees she didn’t want to, but serving allowed her to get her name out to her department and DePaul.

“But don’t be a martyr [with volunteering],” Owens warned. “Yet if you agree to serve on a committee, show up!”

Mona Shattell from the College of Nursing, who is now Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, said service has given her opportunities to serve on committees outside of her nursing field and to better get to know DePaul and its students. For example, she served as the faculty advisor to the DePaul Women’s A Cappella Chorus.
When she started on the tenure track, Shattell said she looked at her career goals and didn’t join a service opportunity unless it matched her goals, emphasizing, “It helped me write my narrative and align my service.”

Like Shattell, Bartlett made her service align with her goals. Until she received tenure, Bartlett devoted most of her service within her research concentration of medieval literature, specifically medieval women’s literature. During her early years on the tenure track, Bartlett organized conference panels in her field, participated in professional organizations, and spent the rest of her energy and time on research and teaching. Once she became an associate professor, Bartlett began serving on university committees, including a stint as the Faculty Council President. However, Bartlett believes a lot of service early in a professor’s career can be “a disaster. Service opportunities are always going to be there.”

Slightly disagreeing with Bartlett, Judy Bundra from the College of Music, who is also Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, encouraged professors on the tenure track to grab the service opportunities that are available and to pick ones that have a wide impact. “To not do any committees university-wide is not wise,” said Bundra. Since her adjunct days, Bundra has risen to the rank of associate professor and served as a Faculty Council representative and department dean.

Maggie Oppenheimer from the Economics Department in the College of Business echoed other panelists in stressing the importance of making contacts within one’s own field as well as at DePaul. “Get on conference programs or organizations,” Oppenheimer said. Through her service inside and outside DePaul, Bundra said she “got her name out” as well as DePaul’s.

Regarding collegiality and reputation, all of the panelists advised not just signing up for service but truly fulfilling the responsibility of serving. “It’s not in the handbook, but being a good colleague and doing your share is important,” Oppenheimer said. Current Faculty Council Chair and College of Communication Professor Michaela Winchatz agreed, mentioning the frustration regarding the noticeable absence of others when the same people repeatedly volunteer and other faculty lay low.

As important as service is, Owens cautioned tenure-track faculty members from using service as a way to avoid research. In a post-panel email, Owens wrote, “I believe people need to contribute to the university, their college, their department and their professional community through service activities—but they also need to be aware of when they are overcommitting themselves to service as a way to avoid something they might struggle with a bit more (such as writing).”

Finally, one such piece of advice that any academic and professional can embrace came from Shattell via Twitter: “Keep your CV not only up-to-date but up to the minute!”

Read more about the Twitter conversation during the panel in our Storify recap.

Laura Durnell is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is an adjunct in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse Department at DePaul University.

Share Your Soles

Are you excited to “Share Your Soles”? Get ready to kickoff your shoes at the next DWN service event on April 1st to help a great nonprofit that collects shoes for those in need. Check out the details below.

When Can I Donate?

DWN is kicking off this year-round service event on April 1st.

How and What Do I Donate?

Donate ANY type of shoe. Just drop it in the bin and “Share Your Soles” with us by snapping a picture to tweet us @DPWomensNetwork with the hashtag #shareyoursoles or post on our Facebook page.

Share Your Soles

Where to Donate?

Lincoln Park Campus
Ray Meyer Fitness & Recreation Center
2235 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
The bin is directly to your left as you enter The Ray

Share Your Soles

Loop Campus*
DePaul Center 11th Floor
Directly in front of room 11004
Student Center Office

*Drop- off for Loop location available April-May 2014

Interested in reading about this awesome organization?

Find out more: http://shareyoursoles.org


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.

New Year, New Service Opportunities

Post by Clarissa Fidler (DWN Communications Team Member)

The start of a new year provides a wonderful opportunity to recommit to making service a regular part of our lives. DWN is committed to connecting its members and the community with meaningful service opportunities. In the true spirit of service embodied by St. Louise de Marillac, we understand the importance of identifying various means for meeting the needs of those around us.

If you’re looking for a way to give back in the coming months, consider volunteering with Marillac St. Vincent Family Services.

Next month, Marillac St. Vincent Family Services will host their annual Fleur de Lis Ball on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom. This is the organization’s biggest event of the year, and they rely heavily on the support of volunteers both before and during the event. All proceeds from the event fund the organization’s programs and services that help children, teens, seniors and families in the Chicago community.

Several volunteers are needed to help set up the event during the day on both Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22. A large number of volunteers are also needed to help during the ball on Saturday from 4 p.m. until midnight. Event volunteers will assist with registration, greeting, silent auction, live auction, raffle sales, check-out and take down. Please note that not everyone is required to stay until midnight, but all volunteers must arrive by 4 p.m.

If you’re interested in volunteering or have any questions, please contact Katy Murphy, Assistant Director of Development for Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, by email at kmurphy@svdpc.org or by phone at (312) 278-4220.

Be sure to check back for new volunteer opportunities posted here on the DWN blog and our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)!

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.

Marillac Center Event