Counseling and Art Therapy Takes on Zimbabwe

Values. Voice. Vision. The Ursuline College mantra is on most of the College’s marketing material. It is, then, crucial for those ideals to become part of the curriculum in every discipline. For the Counseling and Art Therapy Department, it’s even more important to incorporate values into their work, to give voice to those that don’t have one and to have a vision for the future. This past January, the Counseling and Art Therapy Department was able to connect with Rebekah Chilcote ’07, who is currently in Zimbabwe for three years working with Youth With a Mission (YWAM). Assistant Professor Katherine Jackson was able to organize a trip for the Counseling Art Therapy Department to put their skills to the test.

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That’s why a group of 15 Ursuline College students, faculty, and alumnae traveled to Zimbabwe on January 2 of this year. The group consisted of nine undergraduate students, two faculty members (Katherine Jackson and Megan Seaman) who are assistant professors in the Counseling and Art Therapy Department, three alumnae, and one husband of a student. Due to the grueling 23-hour travel time, the trip took place from December 29 through January 12; however, only 10 of those days were actually spent in Zimbabwe.

The group lived and worked at the Peniel Centre, an orphanage for children that are victims of HIV/AIDS as well physical and sexual abuse, which is run by Gideon and Jennifer Chisamba, along with their son, X, and his wife, Privilege. Very camp-like in appearance, the orphanage is not much, with thatched roof huts, cold well-water only, and outdoor cooking over big pots. The trip was an immersion experience for the group of Ursuline College representatives, due to the fact that they ate and lived with the children of the orphanage.

Luckily for the Ursuline College students, alumnae and faculty, a good portion of the students in Zimbabwe could speak a bit of English, as all schools in Zimbabwe are English-speaking. The children at Peniel Centre took part in mental health counseling and art therapy, and, as YWAM is a nondenominational Christian organization, they were taught that they are “royalty of God,” so they got to make crowns, and draw pictures of castles and the houses they want when they grow up. Other art projects for the children included masks, puppets and meaningful jewelry, such as friendship bracelets.

Of course, the mission of the trip wasn’t simply to do art projects with the children. It was to help them, and care for them and about them. According to the professors along on the trip, “We tried to bring love, that’s all you really can do.”

“The experience impacted both the children and us in a great way,” Jackson and Seaman said, adding that “we did more than what we thoughts we could do.” According to the professors, everyone on the trip adapted well and rose to the occasion, even the students that had never been out of the country before.

Overall, the trip changed all of the participants. “We grew to love the children, and we felt that we touched them,” Said Jackson. In addition, they learned that the basic human experience is the same, in that everyone wants the same things: love, a purpose and solid relationships. The College group also realized that everyone is connected. The professors added, “If someone is hurting in Zimbabwe, it hurts us here, it affects everyone. It is not us or them, this or that, and although that may be human nature, you must try not to think that way.

Chilcote will be in Africa for three years, which lends the Counseling and Art Therapy Department a chance to build a bridge and maintain it to the children in Africa that they have worked with on this trip.

The Department is going on another trip June 20-27 to the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, where they will be working with Native American children from both the Lakota and Sioux tribes on the expression arts, including drama, fine arts and participating in an art show.

In addition, the Counseling and Art Therapy Department is also hosting a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal from May 23 through June 2, 2016. The trip is a partnership with United Planet, a non-profit organization, which plans and facilitates humanitarian and mission work around the world. The Nepal trip will include working with women and children that have been victims of physical and sexual abuse. While this trip will have an art component, it will be very specific to mental health and counseling; therefore, those going on the trip must have a high competency in mental health work. This is a chance to use not just art skills, but also counseling skills. The deadline to sign up for the trip is in September 2015, and there will be more information coming soon. Up to 30 people will be accepted to go, and the cost for the trip will be $5,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRANCES PAYNE BOLTON’S “PLACE” IN PRESERVATION

For Women's History month, celebrate Ohioan Frances Payne Bolton, historic preservation and environmental conservation advocate.

For Women’s History month, celebrate Ohioan Frances Payne Bolton, historic preservation and environmental conservation advocate.

Meghan O’Connor of the National Trust for Historic Preservation recently reported “only 8% of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places embody underrepresented communities, including women.”[i]

Women, however, are approximately half the nation’s population. Further, they have historically been integral in promoting preservation of historic sites at the national level as well as state and local levels.

American women have historically asked questions about their role, their “place,” in American society as well as American history. We would do well to also ask with increasing vigor about women’s “place” in preservation and at historic sites. These are the most noticeable, nonverbal cues about our cultural values and legacy that we can offer to our population.

And so, in the spirit of introducing one woman’s “place” in preservation, I ask: What do former Ohio Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton and our first President George Washington have in common besides public service in national politics?

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Reflection of Blessing Ceremony

 

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“May this oil of gladness strengthen and bless you as you begin your ministry of nursing.”

These positive words were said to us, the sophomore nursing class, right before our hands were blessed. I felt that the blessing ceremony was powerful because it confirmed the calling God placed upon my life. It made me feel special because I was chosen to care for those in need. In addition, the service was moving because our hands were blessed with God’s loving gifts. It joined us all together and was nice to see the faculty members come and support us on our big day. Each clinical instructor blessed us with words of strength and encouragement, inspirational videos were shown, and touching songs were played. It was truly an honor to be part of Ursuline’s blessing ceremony.         Read More

Plastic packaging and writing for sustainable change

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By Alyssa Adamowski, senior Ursuline College nursing student

Lately I’ve been noticing the amount of plastic and other materials used for packaging. Everything we buy comes in a package: food, electronics, clothes, and the majority of other products. Most of this plastic isn’t recyclable. According to the World Watch Institute, humans produce 1.3 billion tons of garbage per year, most of which ends up in landfills. Most of this packaging is unnecessary. But more importantly, why can’t all packaging just be recyclable? Why does my new printer need three pounds worth of packaging? Why does my toothpaste bottle need to come in a shiny unrecyclable box?

Over the past few months I’ve been collecting a list of everything I buy and seeing whether or not the packaging is recyclable. If it’s not I try to abstain from buying it, but I’ve come across problems. Toothpaste, for example, comes in a bottle and a box; is the box really necessary? The box doesn’t contribute to the sterility and cleanliness of the paste! But, I can’t live without toothpaste.

So, I wrote to Colgate and other companies asking them why their packaging isn’t recyclable. Not only have I written to corporations, I’ve written my congressmen asking them to pass a law requiring all businesses to only use recyclable packaging. Well, Colgate was the first to write me back! I found out that the plastic toothpaste bottle is recyclable but the cardboard box is not. They are working on making more of their products and packaging more environmentally friendly. They also sent me a coupon for my interest in their products!

I encourage you to write to your congressmen and tell them to vote for environmental change. Write to corporations and tell them you want them to revamp their products. The more people they hear from the more change we can make! Encourage your friends and family too!

Read more on this topic here.

2015: become a solutionary.

 

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Resolutions are like bad boyfriends.

Everyone knows you have one. Your friends and family are just simply biding their time until you break the news. Then, they politely comfort you when it comes to a halt, even though you were daydreaming of reaching that one-year mark. Resolutions are like bad boyfriends.

Fortunately, there is more to a New Year then one-month gym memberships and fat-free salad dressing. After I woke on Jan. 1, completely missing the ball drop and also my opportunity to form solid resolutions for 2015, I recognized that the New Year is no more a chance for me to make a change than any of the other 364 days. More than that, I have an opportunity each day to put emphasis on the things I believe in – the things I also believe need the most change.

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Art Therapy and Counseling students and faculty launch 2015 with service

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Follow along with Art Therapy and Counseling students and faculty on their journey through South Africa and at an orphanage in Zimbabwe via photos on the College’s Facebook >> facebook.com/UrsulineCollege.

#AllWeWantforChristmasIsYou

Dancing Around College with an iPod – Christmas Edition from Maggie Stark on Vimeo.

The Admission Team would like to dedicate this song to all of our prospective students! Watching this video is sure to make you fall in love with UC students & bring some holiday cheer to your day!

Spreading cheer: Ursuline serves women and children at Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center holiday event

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The Marketing Department represented the College last night at the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center‘s annual Twinkle Shop, an event for families living at the agency’s shelter to shop for holiday gifts for one another, have a delicious meal and play like crazy. The Marketing gals took photos of each family with Santa and ran a craft table. Moms and their children decorated frames to display their new photos!

Thanks for having us, DVCAC! For more information about the Center, visit dvcac.org.

Be a Part of #GivingTuesday!

giving tuesday2Today, Ursuline College is joining a national day of generosity, #GivingTuesday. It is a day when you can make a big impact on helping students to achieve their educational and career goals by emphasizing the whole person and providing personalized attention within a liberal arts higher educational environment.

Give small – please consider donating $10 to your college and alma mater, Ursuline College. Donate here.

Progress. Campus continues to transform

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Ursuline College is excited to announce that the construction of two new campus buildings, the Center for the Creative and Healing Arts and Sciences and the athletic center, is on schedule to be completed and dedicated on June 10, 2015. This project is the College’s largest undertaking in more than 40 years.

The Center for the Creative and Healing Arts and Sciences will house the Art Therapy and Counseling Department and The Breen School of Nursing’s undergraduate and graduate programs. The building is comprised of 22,000 square feet of classrooms, labs, and conference and meeting space equipped with the latest educational technology.

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