Category Archives: Ursuline College

Renee Peoples Dennison pictured with her teammates and their coaches.

Renee Peoples Dennison, a senior in Ursuline College’s Breen School of Nursing, represented the College in the Clinic Solutions – Mini Case Competition, hosted by the Cleveland Clinic.

According to Peoples Dennison, the competition was comprised of five teams. Both undergraduate and graduate students served on each team. Peoples Dennison’s team included students from Cleveland State University, Ohio University and Kent State University.

The case for the competition was the integration of Akron General Hospital and its network into the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare System.

“As the only nursing student in my group, I was really able to bring some solid recommendations to the table,” said Peoples Dennison.

The competition consisted of two rounds of judging – one preliminary round and one final round in which the three final teams presented their plans to the President/CEO of Akron General Health System and other executive board members of the Cleveland Clinic via a live video stream.

Peoples Dennison said that her team was one of the three teams in the finals, and they won second place, which netted them $750 per undergraduate student or $900 per graduate student on the team.

“It was an amazing opportunity to network, innovate and collaborate with other students as well as influential members of the healthcare world. I felt confident as the only nursing student in my team. I encourage other Ursuline students to participate in this program,” Peoples Dennison said of the experience.

The Clinic Solutions program is hosted by the Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with collaboration from the Cleveland Clinic’s Strategy Office, along with local minority professional organizations. Clinic Solutions is a think tank session for undergraduate and graduate/professional students, designed to foster innovation and the exchange of information on challenges and opportunities in healthcare. This competition is an opportunity for students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds to compete for scholarship dollars awarded at the end of two rounds of judged competition.


Campus Celebrity: Anna Schumm!

Welcome to our brand new feature: Campus Celebrity! Each month, we’ll be featuring a student or member of the faculty or staff as our Campus Celebrity on Voices and on our social media. Say hello to our very first Campus Celebrity: Anna Schumm!

Hometown: Findlay, Ohioanna schumm CC

Major: Fashion Design & Fashion Merchandising

Year: Second Year

What is your favorite place on campus?

I love spending time in the Student Affairs Center! It’s an uplifting environment and a great place to gain relationships with faculty members and students that pass through.

Which student organizations are you involved in?

I’m the treasurer for Programming Board, a Resident Assistant, a general member of Founder’s Week, and an assistant in the office of Student Activities.

What is one thing people might not know about you?

I am a connoisseur of bread. My personal favorite: butter flake rolls topped with poppy seeds. 

What is your favorite meal in the food court?

Mashed potato bowl. It makes me feel like I’m having a home-cooked meal!

How does it feel to be nominated as a Campus Celebrity?

Surprised! I am thankful that somebody took the time to recognize my efforts on campus. I’m appreciative of all of the people who help me on a daily basis whether it is a fellow classmate, professor, or faculty member.

If you could give one piece of advice to other Ursuline students, what would it be?

Get involved! This is the best way to meet new people, build your resume, and use your talents to become a part of the Ursuline community.

What do you love most about Ursuline?

Definitely the small class sizes! As a fashion major, it’s really valuable to have personal attention from professors as I work to tailor my craft. In a large classroom setting, I would not be able get the attention I’m able to get here at Ursuline.


To nominate someone as a future Campus Celebrity, fill out this form!

Sewing Her Way to the Top

Written by Hannah Barucky, junior fashion major

School is a big coDSC_5269mmitment. Suddenly, you’ve given up free time, brain space, and sleep to get assignments in on time. You’ve got to work harder, sacrifice money and energy, and be invested to do well. Is it worth it?

My decision to return to school after a two year hiatus was considered carefully and weighed against a lot of different factors. I had tested college for almost two years after high school and come out the other end with the only real difference showing in my bank account. When I discovered Ursuline and began to consider diving back into the undergraduate process, it was with a clear focus and shining goal at the other end.

As a fashion design major, I’m gaining completely invaluable knowledge that will carry me further into the world of entertainment: whether that means film, TV, or theater.

I plan to continue my work in an industry I’ve fallen in love with, but I can only do that through my training I gain every time I step on campus. I inadvertently fell for a future that is laden with uncertainties, each gig its own challenge, and every day choosing to jump off the next cliff. School is extremely important to prepare me to be ready to take those leaps.


Being prepared for a competitive field gives me drive, and inspires me in every project I tackle in school. I attempt to see every little seam as a test of how I work under pressure, and each project as valuable pieces for my portfolio that can—and will—get me a foot in the right doors down the road, or whenever those opportunities come.

The Synod – Conclusion

Written by Rick Squier, UCAP student

     Our visit to the Synod was a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness how the church is attempting to reunite culture and doctrine. Reading the interviews of Cardinals and Bishops online, and then actually meeting some of them, and talking to them about their words was surreal. In addition to the prelates of the synod, Father and I were also introduced to authors, reporters, and theologians who are significant leaders in Catholic circles. All of the people we met, whether their position is to report for the church, or elect the successor of Peter, they were very gracious with their time and words.


     As we heard varying points of view on how the church will recognize different relationships, it gives hope that there is an openness to those the various situations. Some bishops called for minimal change, while others were suggesting a significant shift from the way we recognize familial situations. Even though there isn’t consistency amongst all bishops, the fact that this Synod was formed to address issues of inclusion, shows that there is a genuine attempt to grow the church. This process gives hope for the future of the church and how it recognizes the message of Christ.

     Our Synod experience was only possible because of Bishop Murry’s invitation to spend time with him in the second week of the Synod. From unfettered access to areas of the St. Peter’s Basilica, and Vatican, to introductions to high-level decision makers of the church, this experience was only possible because of the bisjop of Youngstown . The entire experience was humbling as this Director of Faith Formation from a parish in Ohio, had the opportunity to meet leaders of the Catholic Church from around the world. Who knows what God has in store for us?

Synod on the Family, Part 2

By Rick Squier

Bishop Murry said that the Pope has been at all of the general sessions of the Synod, and was surprised in how approachable he is. He said the Pope attends the mid-session coffee breaks the same as everybody else. Bishop Murry said that several times he would be having coffee, look up, and there was the Pope wandering through the room. The image is one that the Bishop happily shared with us.

Bishop Murray and Pope Francis

Wednesday was certainly memorable. Father and I met Bishop Murry in the morning and got a private tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. It is an incredible place to wander through when it’s empty. We then celebrated Mass in the Clementine Chapel in the Necropolis, below the Basilica. The Clementine Chapel is the closest chapel to the burial chamber of St. Peter. The holiness of the space gave the prayers for our parish families a deeper emotional effect for me.

The Clementine Chapel

During a break at the Synod, Bishop Murry gave Father and I a tour of the North American Pontifical College. From the roof of the facility, we saw what must be the best view of Rome.
I can’t imagine having a better tour guide of any of the locations we visited.

Please pray for the Synod Fathers, and the direction they take the church

An Ursuline Student at the Synod of the Family

Rick Squier, a student in UCAP, is on a fabulous adventure to the Vatican this week as a guest of Father Ferraro, an attendee to the Synod of the Family. Follow along here as we get more information about his daily adventures. Here’s the first installment, from Monday, October 12:

After an uneventful, but very long flight to Rome, Father Ferraro and I found that our luggage ended up in Germany instead of Rome. Moments like this make you realize that the toothbrush and underwear in your luggage may have been a better choice for your carryon than the four bike magazines, and textbooks that you lugged through three airports. But, we are in Rome, and wearing the same clothes for more than two days means little in comparison to IMG_3658witnessing the potential that presents itself to the church with the Synod on the Family.

Monday was a spectacularly beautifully sunny day in Rome.  We saw Bishops from all over the world wandering around the Vatican area as we made our first pass through St. Peter Square. We met Bishop Murry, and in talking to him it is quite apparent why he was asked to be a Synod Father. He has such a wonderfully pastoral sense, and understanding about what it means to be a family, and the blessings and challenges that come with it. Bishop Murry addressed the synod on Saturday, in what they refer to as an intervention. The three minute intervention offers each of the 268 bishops of the Synod, an opportunity to present their view on the blessing and challenges for today’s families. Bishop Murry said that the text of his intervention will be posted on the diocesan website in the next couple days, when it is we will copy it onto our site (St. Joan of Arc Church, Streetsboro, OH) as well.


About the Synod on the Family: This meeting, formally called the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, is taking place in the Vatican from October 4, 2015 through October 25, 2015. This year, the Synod is focused on the vocation and mission of the family in both the Church and the world.


How do we preserve the contributions of rural women?

Farm Bureau Women set up their Dairy Bar booth at the Hartford Fair in Licking County, 1956.

Farm Bureau Women set up their Dairy Bar booth at the Hartford Fair in Licking County, 1956.

October 15 is the International Day of Rural Women, an initiative of the United Nations to recognize “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” [1]


According to the United Nations, rural women make up over 25% of the world’s current population.  Imagine how much larger that percentage must have been in past centuries when the majority of Americans were rural residents instead of urban dwellers.[2]


Such large numbers suggest a substantial cultural heritage, much of which is lost or masked to us because of lack of source material.  As noted historian Joan Jensen pointed out in her landmark work, With These Hands:  Women Working on the Land, “illiteracy, long and exhausting work hours, scarcity of uninterrupted leisure, and the absence of practical need for written communication–all affected the amount of written material that has come down to us.” [3]


This also begs the question – what about the stories and lessons embedded in rural women’s material culture – their objects and their built environment?  Given the dearth of archival sources, these become increasingly important in research and interpretation.  What happens to the physical remains of rural women’s heritage as agriculture continues to modernize and mechanize around the world and as farmland is gobbled up for development?  As the tools and buildings and cultural landscape disappear, so do the connections between their contributions and our current struggles.

How do we interpret the heritage of rural women when their places disappear?

How do we interpret the heritage of rural women when their places disappear?

As Jensen revealed in Loosening the Bonds: Mid-Atlantic Farm Women, 1750-1850, rural women’s economic role in pre-industrial America was far more substantial than usually credited.  That study and subsequent revelation required study of material culture such as butter churns and dairy facilities because of limited archival sources.


So as we talk about rural women today, let’s also turn our attention to exploring their historic place in society and encourage methods such as National Register nominations, marker programs, and museum/archives collection strategies, to preserve their own struggles and contributions so that we may benefit from lessons learned and be inspired.


As Jensen has said “My study of rural women has helped me when I am tired because then I think how hard they worked and for such long hours. Remembering those women and saying to myself ‘Come on Jensen,’ I can continue at the task before me.” [4]


Like to know more?   Explore



[3] Jensen, Joan M. With These Hands: Women Working on the Land. Women’s Lives Women’s Work. Old Westbury, NY: Feminist Press, 1981, p. xviii.

[4] <a href=””>Jensen, Joan M. (1934–) – U.S. Western, Women’s, and Rural History</a>


Education Classes at Ursuline – Teaching Life Skills and Leadership

Our major of the month for August is Education. To learn more about the Education Unit at Ursuline College, we interviewed the co-directors of the Education Unit, Dr. Mary Jo Cherry and Dr. Jim Connell. Cherry and Connell both shared valuable information about why being an education major at Ursuline is so special.

What are some things that you learn in an education class that help you for the rest of your life?

Jim Connell: I guess I would start by saying that you really do get in touch with who you are and who you are going to be. We emphasize that quite a bit – it is important, if you’re going to be an effective leader, to really know yourself. That’s just essential. You deepen the understanding of yourself so that you can be an effective leader.

Mary Jo Cherry: And I would say that’s probably similar in teacher education.

If you were talking to people that had a negative image of people in education or education majors in general, what would you want those people to know about education majors?

Mary Jo Cherry: I would say, speaking for undergrad, they are very dedicated and they want to work with kids. They are very hard working. A lot of our undergrad education majors are athletes, and a lot of them work full-time or part-time. You can’t be in this major and not be dedicated. They don’t get many electives, if any at all. It’s not for the faint of heart. These students, in addition to their coursework on campus, they’re out in the schools from their very first semester. As an example, the special education majors, before they even get to student teaching, have clocked a minimum of 365 additional hours. They’re really dedicated and they’re committed to doing what’s best for kids.

Jim Connell: I would go in a couple directions there also. Mary Jo ended with discussing hours. In both of our field courses, we exceed the minimum you see at some other institutions. If someone has a negative image, I’m not so sure that I can change that. But, what I can tell them is that the people who are in education operate out of a high sense of commitment and a strong sense of personal satisfaction from what they do. They really do enjoy it.

Mary Jo Cherry: The other thing I can mention is that our graduates see themselves in a profession, and they see themselves giving back as part of their professional responsibility. Our undergraduate advisory board has some of our undergrad graduates, but we also have educational administration graduates, who just happen to end up on our board because someone nominated them. They are absolutely wonderful. Educators are by and large a very committed group. They see themselves not only as working in the profession but also giving back. There’s a wonderful sense of community.

Any tips for current education students, future education majors, or recent graduates of Ursuline’s programs?

Mary Jo Cherry: I always say get as much experience around the children you want to teach as you can, so age level, developmental level. So for my students, I usually say it doesn’t matter what you do with them, just be sure you want to do this. Get as much experience as you can. The other thing I say is be willing to move where the jobs are. If you’re in a position to move, there are teaching jobs all over the country. I suggest that they be open to charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, and public schools, because you need to get your foot in the door and you need experience. If you’re always doing what you truly believe is the best for children, you won’t be hurting anybody.

Jim Connell: I think I would go a different way. I simply say to people that you want to look around and pick a program that has success and a network. We work to make sure people are in a place that they can get jobs, and we help them network at all times. Look for not just the beginning of the program, but the end.

Mary Jo Cherry: We really do work as much as possible with individuals, as opposed to a group of people in a class. The whole institution, not just our unit, not just our programs, walks the talk. We are really here for you, and you are not a number. There are at least three students who are currently in the educational administration graduate program that went through our teacher education undergraduate program.

I want the students to know a little bit more about you. What is your favorite part of teaching education classes?

Mary Jo Cherry: It’s the students I teach. That’s it. I love being with the students, and it’s energizing, it’s fun, and I just enjoy it.

Jim Connell: Mary Jo was talking about enthusiasm. I always present the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I can be excited about teaching curriculum development, but it’s making the students enthusiastic about it that’s the key. It’s getting the students excited about what they’re learning.

Mary Jo Cherry: We do our administrative duties, but we only do it because we can still teach. I bring stickers, and pencils for every occasion. And I love sharing stories. I warn them that anything they say in class, I’ll have a story about it.


Two Years and Two Buildings Later

It’s hard to believe that July 20th marks two years since a tornado struck campus, causing damage to campus building rooftops, uprooting trees and destroying the College’s gymnasium. After many months of clean-up and planning, construction began on thtbt 2e Sr. Diana Stano Athletic Center. A modern structure, the new center will house the Seidman gymnasium, a fitness and training center and offices for the athletic staff. Not quite ready for occupancy just yet, the building will soon become the campus hub for returning and new Ursuline Arrows. They will likely be ecstatic about their new facilities spending much time over the past two years traveling for training and competition while the center was being built.


Much like the Arrows have done in successful competition, the Ursuline community rallied together to make the center a reality. The College community is grateful to those who have supported the construction through donations and those who have worked countless hours to make the architect’s drawings a reality.


In addition to the new Sr. Diana Stano Athletic Center, there was another building affected by the tornado. In fact, the new Parker Hannifin Center for the Creative and Healing Arts & Sciences was delayed in the construction process due to the tornado. Thankfully, the building is now almost complete, and will be ready for the Breen School of Nursing graduate students and the Counseling and Art Therapy students to begin classes there in the fall.













Ursuline College’s Eastern Bluebird Trail

Written by Sarah Preston, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Summertime is a quiet time here on campus with many of the students and faculty away for summer break, but it’s also a time bursting with new life, bird life. June and July have produced many Mallard ducklings dabbling in Lake Elissa and a family of KilPhoto 1ldeer chicks running around on their too-long legs. Multiple broods of Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds have hatched and fledged from the nest boxes placed all over campus last year by the Ornithology class.

It all began when my chemistry colleague, Mary Kay Deley, and I decided to take Glenn Hanniford’s Ornithology course for fun in spring 2014. Mary Kay has her own bluebird nest boxes in her yard and has been a volunteer bluebird trail monitor for the Holden Arboretum. She recognized Ursuline’s campus, with its expanses of short grass bordered by wooded areas, as perfect Eastern Bluebird habitat and suggested that we create our own bluebird trail.

The project became a collaboration between the biology department, chemistry department, and facilities and maintenance. One of the lab periods was used to build the nest boxes. Wally Bursic, from maintenance, cut the wood, provided the power tools, and assisted with assembly. Each of the 18 students in the course had the opportunity to build her own bluebird nest box and we proudly put our names on them.

We placed 14 nest boxes in pairs around the campus and eagerly waited to see who would move into them. After the students leave for the summer, the boxes are monitored by Ursuline faculty and staff volunteers who remove the nests of the non-native, invasive House Sparrows to keep their population in check and record species, number of eggs and young, and approximate age of the young for each nest box.

DSC_0206It’s exciting to monitor the nest boxes because you never know what you’re going to find when you open the box. Sometimes it’s empty. Occasionally a messy House Sparrow nest needs to be removed. Often it contains the Tree Swallow eggs or young and the parents will protect the nest, swooping down on the monitor causing her to don the ridiculous umbrella hat. A few nest boxes contain the stick nests of House Wrens, which for some reason include hairy, black spiders, which have been known to make a monitor (who shall remain nameless) scream. Every now and then we open a box and find what we’ve been hoping for, the pale blue eggs of the Eastern Bluebird in a neat nest of pine needles, and we rejoice.

Although most of our nest boxes have been occupied by other beneficial species, we have had moderate success attracting Eastern Bluebirds to our boxes. Last year one nest box, #9, successfully produced 4 Eastern Bluebird fledglings. This summer that same box had another brood of four, most likely produced by the same pair of bluebirds since they are known to return year after year to the same nesting site. With the donation of additional boxes this year, we placed six more boxes in three new locations. It was one of these new boxes that housed a second bluebird family this year; they fledged three chicks within the past two weeks and just laid two more eggs, which, if they successfully hatch and fledge, will bring our Eastern Bluebird fledgling total up to nine for 2015.