DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry > Scholarships, Grants & Awards > Vincentian Endowment Fund > Recent Awards

Recent Awards

" enhance the Catholic and Vincentian identity of the university."

The recently funded projects and their directors include:

Catholic Identity Category

The Beni Hassan in Late Antiquity Project – Documenting the Fragile Cultural Heritage of Coptic Monasticism in Middle Egypt - $2660 - Scott Bucking, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Department of History: The site of Beni Hassan is located on the east bank of the Nile in Middle Egypt and is an Ancient Egyptian burial site, built for senior officials around 2000 BC. Coptic monks repurposed these ancient monuments for living and worship around 500 AD.  This ongoing project, which began in 2014, studies the Beni Hassan site, using both archaeology and epigraphy to examine how Coptic monasticism shaped the eremitic way of life and modern day rituals of Catholic prayer. More specifically, this project looks into how Coptic monks used their environment as a medium for prayer and, in turn, how that environment influenced their prayer practices.
“Five” – A Five-Volume Book of Poems - $5000 – Richard Jones, Ph.D., Professor, Department of English: Five is a compilation of five new individual books of poetry: "Flight to Madrid," "Italy," "Paris," "London," and "Emphasis on the Almost.” Each individual book in Five is unique in form and style, yet the voice of the narrator is consistent throughout. In these five books, themes of love, loss, brokenness, and redemption are woven through each poem and each collection. On every page attention is paid to the sacred found within the mundane, thus paying homage to the holiness of the world which too often goes unseen or unpraised. The five individual books collected here ask to be seen as a single work of art that examines and tests the spiritual life. Five will be published in Spring/Summer 2018. 

Community Service Category

Community Lead (Pb) Health Fair - $5,000 – James Montgomery, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Health Science: Exposure to lead can result in growth, behavioral, and developmental delays, particularly among young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no safe exposure level of lead. The rate of lead poisoning in south- and west-side communities of color are up to six times higher than the city average, and lead levels in some of those communities have been measured to be 20 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable level for children's play lots. Preventing exposure before it occurs is the most important step in addressing lead as an environmental toxin. In May 2017, the Department of Health Sciences will host a health fair in an underserved, low-income community in Chicago in order to test residential soil and water, educate the community on lead exposure, and collect data on lead exposure to map patterns and trends. Additionally, this health fair serves as a pilot project to inform similar, future health fairs. 

Mindfulness Mother Support Group - $4972 - lu-Luen Jeng, Staff Therapist: Studies have shown how stress can lead to ineffective parenting strategies and negatively influence parental warmth, which can increase a child’s problem behaviors and result in ineffective interactions with a child. An essential part of DePaul Family and Community Services’ (DFCS) work with children is to empower their parents to help make lasting change within those children. Studies have proven mindfulness interventions increase awareness and improve emotion regulation strategies, as well as decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. To help parents better cope with stress, DFCS will launch a program to help parents develop mindfulness skills and enhanced coping strategies.

“Engage Earth” Feature Documentary and the Creation of an Educational Art Project for Under-Served Communities in Chicago- $6500 – James Choi, Instructor, CDM School of Cinematic Arts:Engage Earth is a large-scale art education event created by world renowned artist, Denise Milan, and is based on her work with the “Language of Stones” – a metaphor for human beings as precious stones, with human beings’ being capable of self-transformation as a precious stone transforms with the passage of time. This event takes place in Heliopolis, an underserved community in Sao Paulo, Brazil and one of the largest favelas (slums) in the Americas. In its seventh year, the art education project is a three month long after-school program that closes with a spectacle of art, music, and performances enacted by 1,200 children, their teachers, and community leaders. This feature documentary film on Denise Milan and Engage Earth shows how this program gives the community of Heliopolis an outlet of expression and creates a sense of hope and possibility. 

A.T.T.E.S.T (Assessments Tailored to Expose Students’ Talents)- $3788 – Samantha Reaves, Graduate Student, College of Health and Sciences, Clinical Psychology: DePaul Family and Community Services (DFCS) will provide on-site psychological assessment services to one of its longest standing school collaborations, Manierre Elementary School, which serves approximately 350 students – 18% of which are diverse learners and 89% are considered low-income. By providing services on-site DFCS can serve families who otherwise may not receive services due to transportation issues and time, which are common barriers to treatment. These on-site assessments will determine the students’ strengths and weaknesses in major domains such as cognitive, academic, adaptive, and socioemotional.
Northern Uganda Health Care Development Collaboration$5030 – James Walker, Adjunct Faculty, Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies/PhilosophyAtyia Patrick Kasagara, Olanya Denish, and Oyoo Benson are three Ugandan clinicians who, along with three other medically trained Ugandan citizens, started a community-based nonprofit organization called the Northern Uganda Medical Mission (NUMEM) in 2012. Their formative years were spent living within the midst of the brutal civil war between the LRA and the Ugandan government. All three had endured personal hardship as a result of this war, yet rather than allowing hardship to defeat them, they used it to motivate them to heal their homeland. The university’s partnership with NUMEM will bring the experiences, stories, and possibility for long-term collaborative action with these individuals to the DePaul community. Olanya and Oyoo will be visiting the university to share their stories and educate the DePaul community on crucial issues concerning international aid and development work in potential conflict zones.

Diversity Initiative Category

CHA Program in Documentary Filmmaking – Outreach Project - $6,500 – Liliane Calfee, Adjunct Faculty, College of Computing and Digital Media: Partnering with Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), the College of Computing & Digital Media taught sixteen high school girls from Chicago's most at-risk neighborhoods documentary filmmaking skills during a six-week program in Summer 2016. Working alongside DePaul faculty and film student mentors, those girls conceptualized and executed four distinct films. This program gave the girls a voice and demonstrated how young women can employ media in positive ways and advocate for social change. The program will continue next year, but it will be bolstered by a community outreach initiative to coordinate screenings of the four documentaries and to produce and distribute a behind-the-scenes video that would promote the program to potential partner organizations and Chicago-area youth.
Olympia-$5000 – Gregory Dixon, Media Production Specialist, Media Production & Training: This feature film follows Olympia, a young woman of color on the cusp of 30, as she questions what it means to be an adult. To Olympia, the traditional milestones of adulthood - starting a stable career, buying a home, marriage – have become more and more unachievable or undesirable. As she reflects on her life, Olympia navigates her own version of adulthood. This is a story of courage, of perseverance, of love in the face of change. This is a coming-of-adulthood story. Olympia will make its festival debut at various film festivals throughout the country.

University Ministry Category

White Rose - $4000 – Jarret Fisher, Graduate Student, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, MBA- Management: Genocide is happening as you read these words in the Central African Republic, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.To continue to educate our diverse community about genocides, the university will partake in Yom Hashoah on April 24, 2017 – a day that commemorates the approximately eleven million humans who perished in the Holocaust. 3,000 white roses will be distributed at both the Lincoln Park and Loop campuses, followed by a screening of “The Search for the White Rose” and a Holocaust survivor to share their story. This event honors the bravery of the White Rose, a non-violent, intellectual resistance group comprised of five Christian German students and a professor from the University of Munich who wrote and distributed leaflets that denounced the Nazi regime. The group was turned into the Gestapo, and three of the five group members were executed.

Vincentian Heritage Category

The Story of the Little School Under the “L” - $10,000 - Brother Mark Elder, C.M., Instructor/Muralist, Art, Media and Design: Artwork, replicas of the pillars that hold up the L, depict different time periods of DePaul University’s history. These model pillars will be worked on by art students over the next four years, with each year producing a group of four columns. The groups of columns tell the DePaul story, describing events and individuals that played a key role in shaping the DePaul narrative. 
Comparing Missions – Jesuit and Vincentian Missions in the Italian Countryside (XVII-XIX Centuries) - $5000 – Emanuele Colombo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Catholic StudiesJesuit missions utilized theatricals, the use of images, and the emotional engagement of the people through processions and penitential exercises. The Vincentian missions, on the other hand, were generally longer and emphasized instruction. While acknowledging that the Jesuit approach was powerful because it moved people, the Vincentians valued simplicity in their form and tone of the homily, which they believed was a more durable approach. By analyzing Jesuit and Vincentian archives in Rome and Naples, this project will compare and follow the evolution of both orders’ missionary approaches in two geographical areas that were important to both orders (Rome and Naples) during three different periods. 
The Many Faces of Vincent de Paul – 19th Century French Romanticism and the Sacred$10,000 – Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Director and Chief Curator, Art Museum: This collection of artwork will be exhibited at DePaul Art Museum from January 26-April 2, 2017. Guest-curated by Rev. Edward R. Udovic, CM, Ph.D., this special exhibition of 19th-century sculptures, holy cards, textiles, decorative arts and prints from the university’s collection will explore how Romanticism influenced the iconographic representations of Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), at the dawn of the modern era.