ServingSociety

The Evolution of Leadership

by Nathan Dorer
RPI, ‘18

Brother Angel Roman (California State University - Dominguez Hills) speaking

Brother Angel Roman (California State University - Dominguez Hills) speaking

Brother Angel Roman (California State University - Dominguez Hills, ‘20) found his passion for leadership in the form of community advocacy.

Through his roles in the campus Peace Club and the professional society Pro World Life, Roman found himself in communities focused on bringing about social change.

However, Roman found himself questioning why so much of the leadership community was targeted towards Higher Education and working professionals.

In an effort to make the empowerment of leadership platforms available to a more general public, Roman created the conference Evolution of Leadership, with the mission of awakening motivation and inspiration within demographics that have typically not been represented in leadership conferences.

Evolution of Leadership provides attendees with skills to become managers and business owners, as well as opportunities to connect with industry leaders. Through this, Roman hopes that he can empower people to achieve their personal goals.

Roman credits Phi Kappa Theta with much of his inspiration for Evolution of Leadership; he currently serves as Vice President of his chapter, and stated that his experience in the Fraternity has challenged his leadership in a way that it had never been challenged before.

Phi Kappa Theta has been key in his development of a mindset of continuous self improvement, and he has worked to extend that mindset toward the community at the Dominguez Hills colony.

His role within the house demands that he target his leadership to allow people to achieve their highest potential, and has contributed to his personal development as a student and a professional. “I’m more organized as a person,” Roman said, “I wake up every morning and reflect on what needs to happen in the next day.”

For Roman, the Fraternity comes as an entity that allows members to achieve their best.

In the future, Roman hopes that Phi Kappa Theta will allow him the resources and opportunities to develop Evolution of Leadership into a larger entity with an even broader scope of impact.

Synagogue Receives Help From Duquesne University Phi Kaps

From left to right, Jake Nowark of Phi Kappa Theta, Greg Falvo of Sigma Nu and Nick Vottero of Phi Kappa Theta helped sell Pittsburgh Strong bracelets in the Student Union. Taylor Carr/Staff Photographer

From left to right, Jake Nowark of Phi Kappa Theta, Greg Falvo of Sigma Nu and Nick Vottero of Phi Kappa Theta helped sell Pittsburgh Strong bracelets in the Student Union. Taylor Carr/Staff Photographer

Borrowed from THE DUQUESNE DUKE
November 8th, 2018
Kellen Stepler, Staff Writer for The Duquesne Duke

It has been a little over a week since the Tree of Life shooting in Squirrel Hill, but support from the Pittsburgh community – and be- yond – has been abundant.

Groups and organizations on Duquesne’s campus are supporting the Tree of Life synagogue after the shooting in any way they can. The Mary Pappert School of Music donated proceeds from a concert to the synagogue, Duquesne sorority Alpha Sigma Tau (AST) donated leftover budget funds and Duquesne fraternities Phi Kappa Theta and Sigma Nu are selling Pittsburgh Strong bracelets to support the synagogue.

On Friday, Nov. 2, ticket sales from the concert, The Music of Billy Stray- horn, were donated to the synagogue. The concert featured the Duquesne Jazz Ensemble, directed by Mike Tomaro; Jazz Workshop, directed by Jeff Bush and Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kelley Krepin DeFade. Jane Cubbison, office manager of the school of music, and Steve Groves, manager of musical events, came up with the idea to make the concert a benefit for the synagogue. Billy Strayhorn, one of “Pitts- burgh’s greatest musical icons” according to Tomaro, was raised in Braddock and then Homewood from the age of five.

Seth Beckman, dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music, thought making the previously-scheduled concert a benefit for the synagogue was “a wonderful idea, especially considering that Billy Strayhorn – an internationally prominent musician who had a tremendous impact on his (and future) generations – was a native Pittsburgher known for bringing people together through his artistry.”

Beckman hoped that the concert could be a place for our community to come together and celebrate life through music.

Music is considered a universal language that, regardless of one’s own background, has the power to convey what words alone cannot do in any language.

“We hope that our musical offerings lift the spirits of those who have been directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy,” Beckman said.

The Duquesne Jazz Ensemble performed during the concert, The Music of Billy Stray- horn, on Friday, Nov. 2, which donated its proceeds to the Tree of Life synagogue. Olivia Higgins/Staff Photographer

The Duquesne Jazz Ensemble performed during the concert, The Music of Billy Stray- horn, on Friday, Nov. 2, which donated its proceeds to the Tree of Life synagogue. Olivia Higgins/Staff Photographer

“It is a proven fact the music has healing powers and so our concert seemed to be a great way to assist in this process,” Tomaro said.

Additionally, Duquesne Greek Life took action to support the Tree of Life synagogue and those affected by the shooting.

AST announced its efforts to help during its annual Miss Duquesne Pageant on Saturday, Nov. 3, which benefits the Make- A-Wish Foundation.

“Even though our philanthropy is Make-A-Wish, we did not feel right ignoring a cause that was so close to home. Many girls thought that we should contribute in some way to the Tree of Life synagogue to help this community,” said Kacie Flannigan, AST director of philanthropy and co-chair of the Miss Duquesne Pageant. “Bringing light to these victims is very important because this is our city, and we wanted to help in any way we could.”

Fraternities Phi Kappa Theta and Sigma Nu began selling black-and- yellow Pittsburgh Strong bracelets from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, and will continue to do so through Friday, Nov. 9 on the third floor of the Union. The bracelets cost two dollars.

In addition to these dates, the bracelets will be sold on Nov. 10, during the men’s football and basketball game and on Nov. 12 at the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader.

Jake Nowark, philanthropy chair of Phi Kappa Theta, and his roommate, Zach Laros of Sigma Nu, came together with the idea to create a joint effort between the two fraternities.

Nicolas Jozefczyk, president of Phi Kappa Theta and A&E writer for The Duke, said, “The idea to raise money after this tragedy seemed only natural.”

Nowark said that the goal of the fundraiser is “to raise money and awareness for this tragedy among Duquesne’s campus, and it has turned into something more than we ever thought it would.”

“We hope to raise over $300 as a tangible goal, but more than that we hope to aid in creating a culture of brother and sisterhood to the point where people know that there is always someone to help them in their time of need,” Alex Burns, president of Sigma Nu, said.

A larger event is in the works for the future. David DeFelice, president of Duquesne’s Jewish Student Organization (JSO), is currently planning an event tentatively set for March 18, 2019, that will tackle the issue of anti-Semitism and the First Amendment.

“We will ask questions like, what is hate speech? What can be censored? And what can we do to stop anti-Semitism, while maintaining free speech?” DeFelice said. “We will have representatives from the ADL, Jewish Federation and a few academics on constitutional law.”

DeFelice adds that while the Jewish community in Pittsburgh is already rather close-knit, he thinks that this event will bring them even closer.

“Our Duquesne community will continue to rely on one another and help the larger community heal in any way we can,” DeFelice said.

The Jewish Law Students Associa- tion and the JSO co-hosted a candle- light vigil in remembrance of the victims on Wednesday, Nov. 7, on A-Walk, followed by a dinner in the campus ministry.

Supporting others through events like this is just another part of Duquesne’s mission.

“Our institution and Spiritan Fathers have always valued community and community engagement. This is as true today as it was when our institution was founded,” Beckman said. “Our new university strategic plan reinforces this fact as well, detailing an imperative that stresses the significance of deepening authentic alliances throughout our community — including other faith-based entities.”

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Download a PDF of the THE DUQUESNE DUKE

The Long Road Home

Remains of Phi Kap Fighter Pilot Laid To Rest After Fifty Years

by Gene Ney
Slippery Rock University, ‘90

U.S. Air Force pilot David T. Dinan III (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘65).

U.S. Air Force pilot David T. Dinan III (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘65).

It was on St. Patrick’s Day of 1969 that David Thomas Dinan, III (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘65) lost his life serving our country in the Vietnam war. A native of Nutley, New Jersey, David was born in January of 1944. He was educated and graduated from Seton Hall Prep in 1961. According to his brother Charles, who currently resides in McMurray, Pennsylvania, “he was both athletic and intelligent.” David excelled in science, and, following his graduation from Seton Hall Prep, he applied and was accepted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at M.I.T., he majored in Physics.

As a young student at M.I.T., David attended a rush event at the Phi Kappa Theta chapter on his campus which was chartered in 1919. According to one of his brothers, Frank Russo ‘64, “Dave was a quiet, thoughtful, solid, sober, devout young Catholic man, perhaps more so than the rest of us.” An outstanding student, and a loyal brother, David graduated from M.I.T. and enlisted in the Air Force in 1966.

Just as he had excelled in school, athletics and the fraternity, David quickly rose within the ranks of the Air Force. He became a First Lieutenant and was awarded two medals. Those medals were the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Purple Heart for injuries he suffered serving our country. He was a member of the 34th Tactical Fighting Squadron.

On that very fateful day, March 17, 1969, David and another pilot were on a mission flying over northern Laos. His F-105 had been hit by an enemy attack, and he radioed in a distress message. To avoid a crash, he ejected himself from the plane with his parachute which landed in trees in a remote area. Unfortunately, the parachute tore on tree limbs and David tragically dropped to his death on the jungle floor. His plane subsequently crashed and burned.

A search and rescue team arrived, found the wreckage, the parachute and David’s remains, but had to evacuate given enemy fire. Unfortunately, neither David’s body, or any of the debris from the wreckage were ever recovered. As a man of 25, who was engaged to be married, this was an extremely tragic way to die. According to his brother Charles, “We anticipated his remains to be returned a week or two after he went down,” but that never happened.

Retired Col. Ed Sykes, one of David’s roommates at the Korat Royal Air Force Base in Thailand, and David’s biological brothers began lobbying for his remains to be located and returned for proper burial. Through their efforts and those of Leland Sorenson, who was a member of the original search and rescue mission who had identified the remains back in 1969, the group returned to Laos in March of 2014, 45 years after David’s plane crashed and burned. On the third day of their mission near Ban Khap in the Xiangkoang Province, they discovered David’s plastic identification card. In June of 2016, an excavating crew was sent to the area where they collected his remains which were positively identified on August 7, 2017.

David’s remains were flown from Laos to Hawaii, and then to Washington, D.C., where he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery on April 25th of this year. David was one of 600 Americans who disappeared or were lost during the Vietnam War in Laos. A total of 1,597 Americans are still unaccounted for from that war.

According to Frank Russo ’64, “When I heard that David had been killed over there, my initial reaction was of great sadness, that such a good and gentle soul, with so many gifts, should have been lost in such a place.” David now rests in peace at Arlington National Cemetery with many other Phi Kaps including our late President, John F. Kennedy.

Main Image: Above: The remains of U.S. Air Force pilot David T. Dinan III (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ‘65), of Nutley, killed in the Vietnam War, proceed through Arlington National Cemetery on April 25, 2018.

History And Lessons Along The Way

by Kyle Bueno
Bridgwater State University, ‘18

Brotherhood (n): An association, society, or community of people linked by a common interest, religion, or trade.

Phi Kappa Theta – Love, Brotherhood, God.

Brother Kyle Bueno (Bridgewater State University, ‘18) (center).

Brother Kyle Bueno (Bridgewater State University, ‘18) (center).

Those were the three words that united myself and my brothers together to form this brotherhood. As I write this on the 5:57pm commuter train out of South Station, Boston, MA, and heading to Middleborough/Lakeville, I begin to reflect on the good, the bad, and ugly times from my chapter. I am fortunate enough to have ended my collegiate experience on a good note and kept the faith for better days ahead.

The experiences I am about to write to you all have helped shaped me into the man I am today. It has made me realize I need these traits in order to not only be a good brother, but a gentleman. Honesty (even if it may sting), Integrity, Loyalty, Respect, and Compassion.

I begin the journey of my Greek Life experience as a second semester freshman. At first, I was hesitant about seeing what other fraternities had to even offer as I was thinking about how the movie Animal House depicted all Greek members as 24/7 partiers. That was not the college experience I wanted to have. But, nevertheless, my best friend from high school Jacob Bolarinho (past sage of Sigma Pi), encouraged me to join him and keep an open mind. So, I did, and I am beyond grateful to take that giant step out of my comfort zone.

Now, not to say the other organizations weren’t welcoming, because I have some amazing friends from other fraternities, but I felt more included in Phi Kappa Theta because the men whom recruited me were involved in various facets of campus; from Student Government Association, to Residence Life and Housing, to even working on campus. I wanted to be involved as much as possible. To this day, I do not regret my decision to join this amazing organization.

Kyle Bueno helping build a house in Connecticut. Spring 2017.

Kyle Bueno helping build a house in Connecticut. Spring 2017.

At my first chapter, I was feeling mixed emotions. I was so excited for the unknown, but nervous as hell, praying I wouldn’t get hazed or see anything like Animal House. I let those fears subside and looked for ways as a new member to get involved. I knew I always had an interest in service, so I ran for Community Service Chair and won the position. In hindsight, I couldn’t even imagine seeing that position springboard me into serving as Vice President of Social Development and later on as President.

Serving as Community Service Chair for the chapter had in no way prepared me for what was to come as Vice President of Social Development. It is still known as one of the biggest positions in the chapter as it oversees Philanthropy, Social, Community Service, Public Relations, and Risk Management. Yes, Risk Management. When I started, I had no idea how to talk to brothers who would do things that broke FIPG rules. One of the biggest areas needing improvement was social media.

Our social media was so horrendous that it became a mini part of a larger conversation we had as a chapter at Fireside. Which, as a second year, I absolutely regretted. Up till Junior year, our Fireside events would always be viewed as shouting matches between brothers. It would bring our morale way down and I mean, waaaay down. I realized a central part of what was missing was brothers understanding each other. We needed to speak with each other as brothers, not as Presidents or Vice Presidents, just brothers. It was at this point I realized Phi Kap wasn’t what was told to me at recruitment, but I wanted to do something about changing it.

I would be lying to you if I only wrote about all the good times I had as President of this organization. There were really tough moments I, and brothers on the E-board serving alongside me, had to experience. I also was working as a Resident Assistant, part-time at the information desk and serving as Student Trustee. It was a lot on my plate, making me realize the importance of self-care (which I’ll explain later). But I am proud of the work our chapter made in making it better than in years past.

We were able to fill our calendar with an abundance of events from brotherhood, to philanthropy, and socials. We even made Fireside enjoyable. However, I came to a point during my tenure when I wanted to just give up. It was during the summer before entering my senior year where we were going to hold our annual Quo Vadis retreat. During that planned day, a torrential downpour hit our campsite and I decided to cancel the event altogether. The next day, however, turned out to be amazing outside; sunny and hot. I was so disappointed with myself because I felt I let the chapter down.

So, I did not realize how my careless attitude brought negative energy towards the chapter. Morale was low, brothers were forming clichés, rumors were even spreading. In order to help tackle this, with the help of Executive Vice President, Robert Riggs, CAE (RPI, ’02), we decided to create an in chapter brotherhood event. We set up chairs in a circle and talked to each other about our feelings, aspirations in life, etc.

Brother Kyle Bueno (Bridgewater State University, ‘18) participates in the interactive storytelling/portrait shoot project to unify his campus. Spring 2017.

Brother Kyle Bueno (Bridgewater State University, ‘18) participates in the interactive storytelling/portrait shoot project to unify his campus. Spring 2017.

It was at this moment I felt I needed to get something off my chest and explain what was on my mind. I felt comfortable enough to come out to the chapter. It was the first time I ever spoke about it to anyone. It was because of this constant weight, and the other positions I had on campus, I did not have time to reflect on my own life. It was so nice to just take it off my chest and what was going on in my mind.

I learned a big part of leading is being honest with myself, to others around me, and having integrity. It was because of this, I, alongside the E-board, noticed a change and carried through strong towards the end of the semester.

Some people may ask themselves, “is there anything I would have done differently in college”? For me, the answer is no. It was because of all these experiences during my 4 years at Bridgewater State University, I am the person I am today. I realized I am a better friend, person, and brother because of the experiences I have dealt with and, in return, volunteer my time back as a Performance Coach for chapters in the Northeast.

I realized how important it is to not stretch yourself too thin and to stay humble. For those reading, I hope you too can love yourself as much as I can, are loyal to your brothers, friends, and family, and lead as REAL gentlemen should, with honesty and integrity. TBIS.

Main Image: Kyle Bueno during a service project to Cambodia. Spring 2018.