Why the GEMnasium?

Growth - Education - Mindset

The GEMnasium is a collaborative hands-on ‘test lab’ that provides spaces for UD students, faculty, staff and regional partners to prototype new teaching and learning models for servant-leadership and social innovation. This integrated learning community is driven by cross-University “transdisciplinary faculties” that encourage a ‘fail fast, fail forward’ mindset around humanity-centered growth.

This shared space is the University’s first step towards becoming the first institution in the country in which every student will take at least one course on innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking. Through an experimental process that is mutually beneficial to community partners, more opportunities for undergraduate research and experiential learning is cultivated. This is accomplished through active efforts of teaching, researching and partnering with the core ethos of the University at mind:

  • Learn (Teaching) Prepare servant-leaders through comprehensive academic and residential curricula and extraordinary experiential learning opportunities.
  • Lead (Researching) Perform research that leads to deeper understanding, address critical issues, and supports economic growth.
  • Serve (Partnering) Engage in mutually beneficial partnerships to strengthen our communities in Dayton and around the world.

Our Approach to the Opioid Epidemic

The GEMnasium’s pilot focus will be the application of experimental, transdisciplinary approaches to disrupting the generational pattern of addiction expectancy within Dayton’s youth community. Many adults with substance abuse disorders were abused or neglected during childhood.

When children who are victims of maltreatment become adults, they tend to repeat a dysfunctional cycle and often lack mature characteristics: the ability to trust, to make healthy partner choices, to manage stress constructively, and to nurture themselves and others (Magura and Laudet, 1996). Research shows that childhood maltreatment has developmental, behavioral, and emotional consequences that continue into adolescence and adulthood. Researchers are now examining childhood abuse and neglect as an indicator of the potential for substance abuse (Feig, 1998; Felitti et al., 1998; Whitfield, 1998).

Applying a Learn/Lead/Serve approach to such an ambiguous and extended mission will begin the innovative application of certain resiliency factors helping many children avoid the cycle of addiction. This is not about compounding the amazing strategies to confront opioid addiction occurring in our city in 2018 but to develop a deep, tangible strategy for confronting the horrific patterns that will certainly keep our next generation of great thinkers, innovators and educators from impacting our city and region in 2028 and beyond.

Key Components

Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Sustainable Cities and Communities

The United Nations Global Goals (also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs) are a set of 17 broad goals to transform the human experience and the health of the planet by 2030. The mission of the GEMnasium's pilot pays special attention to application of SDG(s) across research and application:

  • Exercise physiology, health and nutrition partnerships and experimental immersions
  • Exploration of applied mindfulness practices and models of meditative “play” and “making”
  • Special focus placed on children affected by addiction and new education approaches for continued, positive mental and emotional growth
  • Sustainable, small footprint living communities integrated with health-wellness organizations

A Collective of Educators

All of the faculty involved in this pilot project are committed to examining complex real-world issues from transdisciplinary perspectives, in a way that engages us with the ways of knowing and doing associated with other disciplines. This team of collaborative educators will continue to grow as the GEMnasium evolves.

Participating Courses and Faculty, Spring 2018:
HSS 428 Health and Sport Science Research Capstone (Anne Crecelius)
IET 323 Project Management (Philip Appiah-Kubi and Becky Blust)
MEE 460 Engineering Analysis (Kevin Hallinan)
UDI 372 ACT II: Innovative Practice Through Creative Confidence (Brian LaDuca)
UDI 393 Semester of Service mini course (Castel Sweet)
THR 352 Applied Theatre (Jerome Yorke and Michelle Hayford)
EDT 453 Literacy in Early Childhood (Jackie Arnold)
EDT 436 EAS Capstone (Connie Bowman)
REL 367 Christian Ethics and Health Care (Jana Bennett)

Additional Partners:
Lori Erion, Families of Addicts
Susie LaDuca, Nutritionist
Andrew White, Indigo Life Media/Indigo Life Network
Lauren White, Indigo Life Media/Indigo Life Network
Chris Wire, Real Art Design Group/IACT Innovator-in- Residence

Upcoming Events

Apr27

GEMnasium Summit Slam

7 a.m. — 9 a.m.

GEMnasium Summit Slam Schedule - Friday 4/27

11:00 - 12:00
SEE 460 - Engineering Analysis (Hallinan)
Skit, followed by Large Poster Presentation #1

REL 367 - Christian Ethics and Health Care (Bennett)
Prototype and Poster presentation #1

11:00 - 11:30
UDI 372 - ACT II: Innovative Practice Through Creative Confidence (LaDuca)
Canva Pitches with Innovation Deliverables
Featuring GEM CITY SANCTUARY concept and 4 other ideas to be announced

11:30 - 12:15
IET 323 Project Management (Appiah-Kubi, Blust)
Team Project Presentations

11:30 - 12:30
HSS 428 - Health and Sport Science Research Capstone (Crecelius)
Poster Presentations

12:00 - 12:30
THR 352 - Applied Theatre (Yorke, Hayford)
HIJACKED Video Presentation and Dialog

UDI 372 - ACT II: Innovative Practice Through Creative Confidence (LaDuca)
Canva Pitches with Innovation Deliverables
Featuring CONFRONTING CURRICULUM, REDEMPTION, and AFFECTED BY NATURE concepts and 3 other ideas to be announced

12:00 - 1:00
UDI 393 - Semester of Service (Sweet)
Student Presentations

SEE 460 - Engineering Analysis (Hallinan)
Skit, followed by Large Poster Presentation #2

12:15 - 1:00
The Kitchen Table Talk hosted by Dr. Jacqualine Arnold (Teachers Ed)
One student from each GEMnasium course will share their experiences this semester inside the GEM, focusing on addiction

EDT 436 - Education and Allied Studies Capstone (Bowman)
Trifold Board Presentations

12:20 - 1:00
REL 367 - Christian Ethics and Health Care (Bennett)
Prototype and Poster presentation #2

12:30 - 1:00
UDI 372 - ACT II: Innovative Practice Through Creative Confidence (LaDuca)
Canva Pitches with Innovation Deliverables
Featuring HABITS FOR CHANGE and YOUTH VRT (VIRTUAL REALITY THERAPY) concepts

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Contact Us

Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation (IACT) at ArtStreet

ArtStreet is located on the 300 block of Kiefaber St. 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2620

937-229-5101