Category Archives: Ursuline College

March 8 is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month.

Since the first United Nations celebration in 1975, International Women’s Day has emerged increasingly as a focal point for reflection on the progress made, changes still needed, and celebration of courage and accomplishments around the globe.  By 1980, it had spawned a National Women’s History Week in the United States that evolved, in 1987, into March becoming Women’s History Month through Congressional resolution and Presidential proclamation.

As we know at Ursuline, collaboration can be powerful and International Women’s Day with events at the U.N. and around the globe as well as Women’s History Month are meant to serve as rallying points as we acknowledge the impact we can have when we work together.

That is not to say that individual effort is not equally powerful. There are countless examples of women who worked individually for the greater good and it is important for us to acknowledge and pass on their legacy as part of this larger collaborative effort.

hunter_janeOne such individual was Jane Edna Hunter of Cleveland who battled immense personal, professional, and historic challenges to become an advocate for women and African-Americans.

This young South Carolinian was the daughter of slaves-turned-sharecroppers and was forced into domestic service at the age of 10, then into an arranged marriage.  Even after she received nursing training she encountered extreme prejudice when northern doctors refused to hire her because she was a southern black nurse.  When she moved to Cleveland during the Great Migration, she encountered housing discrimination and was forced to seek shelter in a brothel.

DoorwayPWAIn spite of overwhelming challenges, Hunter turned her entrepreneurial skills to the problem of appropriate housing for single women.  In 1912 she became a local “mother of modern social work” when she founded the Phillis Wheatley Association, which would become the single largest private social service agency in Cleveland as well as the largest residence for single African-American women in the nation.  It is still active today.

Recognizing the increasingly important role that the law played in parity and accomplishment, Hunter managed to graduate from (Cleveland) Marshall Law School and passed the Ohio Bar in 1925 to become a practicing attorney.

Understanding the importance of individual effort combined with collaboration, she helped found the Women’s Civic League of Cleveland, and rose to the vice presidency in both the National Association for Colored Women and NAACP.

It’s a rag to riches story of sorts, if you consider riches analogous to accomplishment and contribution, that takes place during a Great Depression and two world wars.

Tolliveras Hunter (1)You can hear her story for yourself when Sherrie Tolliver of “Women in History” presents a first person living history interpretation of Jane Edna Hunter.   This FREE presentation is sponsored by Ursuline Studies 351 in celebration of Women’s History Month.

When:  Tuesday March 22 from noon-1 p.m.

Where:  Little Theatre, Mullen Building, Ursuline College

Join us for inspiration from a real-life local S/Hero!


Swans Visit Ursuline’s Lake Elissa

trumpeter swans 2

Resident pair of Trumpeter Swans at Sandy Ridge Reservation in North Ridgeville, OH, spring 2015 Photo by Adam Preston

Post by Ursuline’s Interim Dean of Arts & Sciences, Sarah Preston, Ph.D.

On February 4, 2016 Ursuline was visited by a pair of swans. I happened to notice them just before 3pm as I looked out my office window. I immediately grabbed my office neighbor, Sr. Elaine Berkopec, who grabbed her binoculars and came to look. No one I talked to remembers ever seeing swans here before.

For most people a swan is a swan and they are content to simply leave it at that. For others, a swan sighting has spiritual significance. Sr. Diane Therese Pinchot informed me that in Native American culture the swan as a totem animal represents intuition, femininity and calm in the midst of change.   For me, as a birder and scientist, I needed to know what kind of swans they were. There are four species of swans that can be found in North America: Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan, Tundra Swan, and Whooper Swan. Whooper Swans are only found in Alaska, so they can be ruled out. Tundra Swans migrate through Ohio in large numbers in the spring and fall. Trumpeter Swans, once nearly extinct in the 1930s due to hunting and the draining of marshes, have rebounded thanks to reintroduction programs and the conservation of wetlands including Ohio’s own Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

It is fairly easy to distinguish the Mute Swan from the other two possibilities. Their beaks are mostly orange, while the Tundra and Trumpeter Swans have a black beak with a small yellow spot near the eye and a completely black beak, respectively. The Mute Swan is also the only one of the three species with a graceful, curved neck. Mute Swans, not native to North America, were introduced from Europe as domestic pond dwellers and descendants of escapees have established breeding populations. An aggressive species, the Mute Swan is considered to be invasive and competes with native swans for nest sites. The eradication of Mute Swans from certain areas in Ohio is the source of much controversy. I can attest to the Mute Swan’s hostile nature since, growing up, my family briefly bred Mute Swans and, while they were nesting and raising the cygnets, you couldn’t go anywhere near the pond without a broom for protection.

Tundra Swans

Tundra Swans with cygnets at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor, OH, Nov. 2015 Photo by Sarah Preston

Looking at our visitors with binoculars, I could tell that the beaks were black with no orange and the necks were straight. This means that they were native, wild swans! My first instinct was to ID them as Trumpeter Swans since I did not see any yellow near the eye, but as any good scientist knows, a lack of evidence is not really conclusive. So later that night, I posted the best picture that June Gracyk took to the “Facebook Bird ID Group of the World” and asked for the experts to weigh in. James Coe commented, “That’s a tough photo, but from what I can make out of the beak size and shape, and the position of the eye, relative to the beak, I’d say they are Tundra. A better photo would surely be more definitive.”

The next morning I had intended to bring my camera in the hopes of getting a better picture of them, if they were still there, but I had completely forgotten about it until I was running on the treadmill in the fitness room facing the lake. They must have been on the far side because I didn’t see them for a while and then suddenly there they were: taking off, flying directly over the building. So the ID will remain a mystery and I’m not going to agonize over it too much. There’s a reason why there’s a Trumpeter/Tundra Swan entry on and that’s what I’ll end up reporting them as.


Campus Celebrity: Tiffany Wallace

Our Campus Celebrity for the month of December is Tiffany Wallace, the director of student activities!

Tiffany Wallace

What is your favorite thing about being part of the Ursuline College community?

The students!!!!!!! It is incredible to see them learn, develop and grow through learning experiences in the classroom, campus activities and leadership opportunities

What is your favorite place on campus?

I would probably have to say Pilla not only because of the students, but because I enjoy the food!

What is one thing people might not know about you?

Let’s see… I do not like being called Tiff amongst my colleagues, but I do love to change the name of others. For example, my student worker’s name is Anna and I call her Anna Canna. I love it! I secretly think she does too. If you change my name to something besides Tiffany or Tiff I will definitely answer.

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

Such an honor. I wonder who did this? Someone selected me? Who, me? Not me!

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

Get Involved! Have Fun! Leave Your Legacy!


Know someone on campus that needs to be recognized for all they do? Nominate them as a Campus Celebrity using this form!


By Gail, Graduate Student, Historic Preservation

Nottingham United Methodist Church is at the heart of this Cleveland-area neighborhood. It's many additionsrecall the expansion of the population in the 19th and early 20th centuries even as conditions in the surrounding neighborhood suggest population loss and significant cultural change in its recent history.

Nottingham United Methodist Church is at the heart of this Cleveland-area neighborhood. It’s many additionsrecall the expansion of the population in the 19th and early 20th centuries even as conditions in the surrounding neighborhood suggest population loss and significant cultural change in its recent history.

Often when we think of historic preservation what comes to mind are beautifully preserved house museums or quaint villages where every building around a central square is on the National Register [of Historic Places].  However, a field study trip to Cleveland’s Nottingham neighborhood, one of its oldest, opened a window to a very different way of thinking about the preservation of our built environment.

Nottingham, located between Lake Shore Boulevard and Euclid Avenue west from E. 200th Street, is recognized as a distinct historic place – there are signs posted that read “Welcome to Nottingham” – but much of it is not a place of preserved structures, historical markers or upscale businesses.  Rather, it is a mosaic of nineteenth and early twentieth-century houses and small buildings in various states of use or abandon, some well- maintained, some in disrepair.

There are old brick streets and asphalt. There are quiet corners with large trees and the noise of St Clair Avenue.  There are remnants of its railroad-connected history for those who are interested and know where to look.

An early community school, built in brick that suggests a level of socio-economic prosperity in the neighborhood, has been adapted into a commercial structure but has lost some of its architectural integrity in the transition.

An early community school, built in brick that suggests a level of socio-economic prosperity in the neighborhood, has been adapted into a commercial structure but has lost some of its architectural integrity in the transition.

For others, it is a place to just survive day-to-day – the neighborhood does not exhibit wealth. Nottingham is layers of history and interconnected, mostly untold stories.

Walking Nottingham I wonder about how to preserve and tell the stories anywhere of those who are usually not remembered because they do not control the wealth or the dominant narratives – how to preserve their stories without changing them into something to be co-opted by those in control.


Community Weaving Project makes art accessible to everyone

Is there a better way to show the powerful benefits of art than to create a giant project that anyone and everyone can participate in?

Ursuline College’s undergraduate art therapy department did just that at the Founders’ Week Open House and for several days after, by setting up their first community weaving project. On the third floor of the Parker Hannifin Center, there was a large loom set up, with myriad different color strips of fabric woven through the strings. Nearby, a table sat covered in baskets of fabric strips and markers, waiting for the next passerby. Everyone was invited to take a strip of fabric, write down a hope, a dream, a wish or a prayer on it, and weave it into the colorful tapestry.

The objective of the project is to create a beautiful piece of community art – something that is accessible to everyone, to which anyone can contribute. The accessibility to the community is what makes this art special – it is a living, breathing piece that you can touch, manipulate, and change.

When chatting with the students of Jennifer Schwartz’s, MAAT, ATR-BC, Art Therapy 101 course as they participated in adding to the project, they all agreed that it made them feel like part of something bigger. Several students went on to add that weaving in a piece of fabric made them feel relaxed and peaceful.

“The hope is to have the project displayed either here on campus in the art therapy department or somewhere in the community that people can see it and be reminded that they are part of a bigger web. We had so many participants from both the campus and greater community, and we want everyone to be reminded of that,” said Schwartz.


Ursuline Student succeeds in Cleveland Clinic Mini-Case Competition

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