Common Dialog Day Oct. 9

Paul Elie, Author of “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” Is Keynote Speaker

Common Dialog Day - October 9, 2007

Paul Elie, author of “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” is the keynote speaker during this year’s Common Dialog Day, scheduled for Oct. 9 on the campus of Siena Heights University.


Common Dialog Day is a Siena Heights tradition that allows for a day of discussion, debate and reflection. There are no classes during this day, and students are encouraged to participate with faculty, staff, alumni and administration to discuss different topics.


Elie is scheduled to speak from 1-2:15 p.m. in Francoeur Theatre. There are numerous “breakout sessions” occurring around campus during the day, with Mass at 10:30 a.m. in Lumen Ecclesiae Chapel. The day will conclude with Elie conducting a book signing in Dominican Hall at 3:45 p.m.


The public is invited to attend and participate in the day's activities.


Schedule of Events

8:15 – 9:00 a.m.

Opening Celebration (DH Lobby)



9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions:


“Personal Recollections: Anecdotes of Life in the Music Business”

(PAC 117)  Mike Lorenz


“Sounds of Hope with PeaceSong

(DH 114)  Evan Gutierrez, Zade Dirani and Marco Godoy

Join these international musicians in exploring the place where arts, culture, and peace dialogue intersect.


 “Dominican Preaching in Action Conference for College Students”

(DH 202)  Tom Puszczewicz


“An International Journey of Discovery”

(DH 203)  Jennifer Hanson

Prejudice, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, self-realization and the sights and sounds of 35 countries, 3 continents: Jennifer Hanson shares her stories of a life overseas.


“Where Stories Intersect”

(DH 204)  Saleem Peeradina and Nancy Seligmann

You are the place where stories meet.  Your story can intersect with other stories.  Discussion is based on Peeradina’s and Seligmann’s recently published memoirs. 


“Have you Heard the One About…?”

(DH 205)  Fr. Tom Helfrich and Pat Schnapp, RSM

Hear some stories and tell one yourself.


“African-American Astronaut Ronald E. McNair Made it to Graduate School and You Can Too:  Find Out How” 

(301 SHH)  Patricia Wallace


“Preparing Now For a Life of Moral Activism and Social Justice” 

(SCI 21)  Leo Butler ‘75

African-American alumnus Leo Butler ’75 of Providence, RI, has a message for all at Siena, especially students of color. 


“From Centerfielder to University Professor”

(SCI 23)  Bob Gordon

“When I was 17 I wanted to be a professional baseball player.  Then I ran into Jim Kaat's fastball.  University professor worked out much better."


“From M.S.P. to Ph.D.: How a Trooper’s Tragedy Turns to University Teaching”

(SCI 24)  Danielle Teunion-Smith


“Caring … An Essential Human Interaction”

(SCI 25)  Sue Idczak

As a professor and a nurse, Sue knows how to connect with people through caring interactions. Her story, from childhood through professional life, will teach you how to care as you connect to people in your own life.


“Life Lessons Through Sport: What You Can Learn From Our Sport Experiences”

(SCI 131)  Adam Martin, Nicci Smith, Donte Perkins, Steve McQuinn, and Mary Beth Leibold



10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Mass of the Holy Spirit (Lumen Ecclesiae Chapel)



11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.




1:00  – 2:15 p.m.

Keynote Address (Francoeur Theater)

“The Life You Save May Be Your Own”

Guest Speaker:  Paul Elie

Author, “The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage”



2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions:


“The Life You Save May Be Your Own”

(DH, Rueckert Auditorium)  Paul Elie

Continued discussion on the themes introduced in the keynote address.


“What Does Harry Potter ‘Preach’? Some Reactions to the J.K. Rowling Series” 

(DH 114)  Dan McVeigh

A panel of three SHU students will discuss the now completed Potter series.


“Dominican Preaching in Action Conference for College Students” 

(DH 202)  Tom Puszczewicz


“Prisoner Reentry”

(DH 203)  Bob Fultz and Monica Robbins


 “Civil Disobedience: Exploring the Methods of the Civil Rights Movement”

(DH 205)  Julieanna Frost

Techniques successfully used by the U.S. Civil Right Movement may offer a guide for promoting modern peaceful activism today.


“The Gift of Change”

(SCI 42)  Peggy Motsch, Mary Ellen Youngblood, OP, Mollie Monroe, Annie Kingsley, Betsy Kerr, Jenny Kavan.

This presentation will provide an opportunity for participants to share their stories of how change and impermanence has affected their lives and the gifts they have received.


“Pilgrimming As a Way of Life”

(SCI 45)  Jeanne Lefebvre, OP


“Dialogues With Your Imagination:  Telling Your Story Through Poetry”

(SCI 23)  Gail Ryder

Be ready to participate! Some fun poetry exercises (no jumping around) will stimulate your creativity and give direction to your imagination as you tell your unique story.


“Building Together:  How a Week in Mississippi Touched Our Lives”

(SCI 25)  Habitat for Humanity


“Bottled Water:  To Buy or Not to Buy”

(SCI 131)  Environmental Science students

A life cycle analysis and case study.



3:45 p.m.

Closing Celebration (DH Lobby)


Book Signing with Paul Elie,

Author of  The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage



Meet Siena


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Alyssa Fausneaucht

Sport Management Major, Women's Golf; Adrian Campus

Faculty & Staff

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Gail A. Ryder

Associate Professor of Humanities


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Gabrielle Davis, '85

Philosophy Graduate; Attorney and Educator; Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate