Category Archives: Service

Counseling and Art Therapy students go to South Dakota on service learning trip

Written by Katherine Jackson, assistant professor, Counseling and Art Therapy department

photo 8From June 21 – 27, 2015, graduate students, alumnae, one undergraduate student, a few community members and three faculty members journeyed to Eagle Butte, South Dakota, to work with Lakota Sioux youth at the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) which is located on the Cheyenne River Native American Reservation.

Graduate students in the Counseling and Art Therapy program had suggested about a year ago that we do a service learning trip with impoverished and at risk populations in our own country, and we discovered a wonderful opportunity at Cheyenne River Youth Project. CRYP was founded in the 1980s to help give youth and teens a place to congregate where they could enjoy healthy snacks, activities and socialize. CRYP was a big success from the start, and soon after opening they were able to secure grants and funding to build a new center that could accommodate almost all of the youth in and around the Eagle Butte area. At present, CRYP serves hundreds of children, providing sports, art, tutoring, a youth run coffee shop, a sustainable organic garden, a graffiti art park and a healthy eating program which offers whole food meals every evening for any child in the community.

The Coordinator of Volunteer Service, Tammy Eagle Hunter, explained the philosophy at CRYP, which is “Don’t feel sorry for us and try to help, but rather join with us and together we will make things better.” This statement, although simple, sums up the attitude at CRYP. Everyone is encouraged to help side-by-side with the Lakota Sioux to maintain the community, work with the kids and pitch in wherever needed.

While we were there, we workphoto 4ed on cleaning, landscaping, gardening and organizing the center in the morning. In the afternoons, 30-40 youth arrived to participate in art therapy, nature activities, games, yoga and loving care from the Ursuline group. We provided support, care and lots of fun. Not only did the kids get to do art therapy and create many beautiful art creations, but they got their first taste of yoga. Yoga was a hit with many of the kids because it was so different than anything they had ever experienced.

While we were at the center, we learned first hand how alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, low socioeconomic status and poor dietary habits affect this vulnerable population. Many of the children got their only meal of the day at the CRYP center and endured parental neglect and abuse at home. Despite these hardships, the resiliency of these Lakota Sioux children is remarkable. The children embraced us with open arms and hearts, and we found a welcome home away from home at the center and in the reservation.

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We were fortunate enough to have a Lakota artisan, a bead worker, and a native storyteller and dancer work with us for an afternoon. We learned that the Lakota language is an oral language and thus is almost extinct. The Lakota people are attempting to put the language in written form to help preserve it and also to maintain important Lakota traditions. For example, in Lakota there is no word that means war, and this peaceful tradition is built right into rituals and community gatherings. Most quarrels are handled by compromise, with harmony being a prized value in the population.

One week did not seem like enough time to fully visit and get to know the people at the CRYP center and on the Cheyenne River Reservation. We are hopeful that we can return next year and make it an annual service learning trip to help the Lakota Sioux youth and continue to forge and build relationships with both the CRYP and the Cheyenne River Reservation.

 

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.

Sneak peek >> Summer 2014 Issue

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Art Therapy and Counseling graduate student finalist for the EXPYS ‘Best Intern Award’

Elizabeth Bailey-Grincrus & Natalie Jernigan

Elizabeth Bailey-Grincrus & Natalie Jernigan

On March 27, 2014, the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (NOCH) and Cleveland Business Connects (CBC) presented The Expys, honoring students, employers and internship programs in Northeast Ohio.

Elizabeth Bailey-Grincius, Ursuline Art Therapy and Counseling graduate student, was nominated as a finalist in the category of the 2014 EXPYS Best Intern award. Bailey-Grincius is currently completing her internship at the Centers for Families and Children in Cleveland, Ohio. She was nominated by her site supervisor, Natalie Jernigan. Bailey-Grincius has been an outstanding student and the ATC department is extremely proud of her achievement.

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Sister Henrietta, CSA: An Example of Giving

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By Timothy K. Kinsella, Ph.D., head of the History Department and Director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program at Ursuline College. 

Sister Henrietta, CSA (1902-1983), serves as a wonderful example of an individual going outside of herself, in this case to help the invisible poor in the Hough area, an inner city neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side. Prior to her work in Hough, she had already developed intellectual and administrative skills through her past positions in hospital work, and combined them with her heart’s yearning of service to the poor.

Marie Gorris, Sister Henrietta’s baptismal name, entered the Sisters of Charity in 1925 shortly after receiving an R.N .degree from Canton’s Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. She then worked at Mercy Hospital and Timken Mercy Medical Center between 1928 and 1962. Examples of her many titles include; night supervisor, supervisor of surgery, head administrator, supervisor of construction, and fundraiser. These skills would later be of invaluable help in Hough.

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Women Watch: remembering women and children, victims of violent crimes

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The Ursuline College community will gather at 2:30 PM Monday, Mar 31 for Women Watch, an annual tribute to the women and children in Cuyahoga County who have died violently during the past year, and Sr. Joanne Marie Mascha who was murdered in a wooded area on campus by a mentally ill neighbor in 1995. Women Watch is hosted annually by the student-run Sr. Dorothy Kazel Club and Student Art Organization.

“We walk to remember those who have died violent deaths but also to remember to be nonviolent,” Ursuline Art Department professor Sr. Diane Therese Pinchot, O.S.U., M.F.A., said.

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H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: day four

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by Rhianna McChesney, Education & English Student

In today’s words of Mr. Wells Sikala, HELP’s Country Director, “Lose nothing, gain more.”

Wells spoke these little words of wisdom after he honked our truck’s horn to alert anyone who might have been walking around a particularly sharp bend in the long, narrow, maize-lined, bumpy and winding dirt road on our way to Mlambe Junior Primary School. Wells lost nothing by honking his horn like a mad man when the gain meant potentially saving someone’s life. Something about Malawi makes it easy to adopt this kind of optimistic mindset.

At Mlambe, one of Nanthomba’s local sister schools, we distributed more drawstring bags and water bottles from IFAW. Before passing out the gifts, everyone exchanged introductions with the area chiefs. It was an honor to meet the people who lead the community here. When it was time to leave, the students crowded around us. Touching their hands outreached in gratitude as we inched our way to the trucks made my heart swell with the joy of everything I have gained so far from this trip. Lose nothing, gain more.

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H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: day three

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by Maggie Stark, Art Student

Day three of sewing!

Today started fabulously with our first African Safari! Guess who saw elephants? Oh yes, this girl! Along with two families of elephants, we saw kudu (like African deer), baboons, wort hogs (yes, Pumba!), water buck, impala, vervet monkeys and a buffalo. It is the rainy season here, which means the foliage is super lush. It was quite the treat to see all that we did.

After the wild safari, we took our tin boat across the Shire river to the trucks located within the park. We all piled in the Land Cruzer heading toward Nanthomba Primary School for our after school sewing session. We passed by students on the road, and they started to sprint in excitement after us.

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Art Therapy and Counseling in Ecuador: adios amigos!

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Friday (March 14) was our last day working at ISPED Manuela Canizares elementary school in Quito, Ecuador. The day began with a special show performed by the children to thank us for working with them – and to say goodbye. The children dressed in animal costumes and sang simple songs in English on our behalf – mice, monkeys, tigers and cats lined the stage. There wasn’t a dry eye among us; we were so touched by the thoughtful gesture and the adorable kids.

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Art Therapy and Counseling in Ecuador: learning through service

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We were all excited to work again (March 13) with the children at ISPED Manuela Canizares elementary school in Quito. Today’s groups consisted of fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, as well as one group of cute four-year-olds! Our group is really hitting its stride now. Our Spanish is improving and the children all know us by name. The children are very creative and so sweet. We are starting to feel sad to leave have to leave in two days.

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