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UC Tour of Italy: Final Day in Venice

We reached Venice early afternoon yesterday and quickly headed out to see the city of water. We visited Venice’s Saint Mark’s Square and the inside of the cathedral. We all had the afternoon and evening to ourselves, many of the group headed to 6 PM mass.

Our early morning start had us heading out to meet our local guide, Katarina, who took us all over to show us much of Venice. Many of us took this time to also see where the good shopping stops would be when we had some free time after the tour. Venice is a special place to end our tour together, there is no where like it in the world.

Tonight we have our farewell dinner and thank our wonderful guide, Enrica, for her tremendous help, guidance, humor and drive to get us all through the 17-day tour. It has been an amazing journey with alumnae, friends of the College and some new friends to the College. We can’t wait to tell you all about our experiences.

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Advocacy and Empowerment through Art

Art Therapy and Counseling Students Send Sock Monkey Delegation to South Africa

A section of the Art Therapy and Counseling elective course Advocacy & Empowerment through Art: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care recently introduced students to the role of craftivism and its possibilities to empower vulnerable populations, as well as promote important social causes and issues through making things by hand.

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Betsy Greer, Crafitvist Pioneer states,  “Craftivism is the practice of engaged creativity, especially regarding political or social causes. By using their creative energy to help make the world a better place, craftivists help bring about positive change via personalized activism. Craftivism allows practitioners to customize their particular skills to address particular causes.”  (“Craftivism.” Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice, 2007). Craftivism can take on many handmade forms, including radical needlepointing, crosstiching, knitting, fiber arts, yarnbombing, and more.
A craftivism initiative explored further in this course included the volunteer-run organization Operation Sock Monkey (OSM).  OSM collaborates with humanitarian organizations that provide laughter, hope, and healing to communities around the world affected by disease, disaster and social/political turmoil through providing handmade sock monkeys to

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communities in need of a smile.  Students in Advocacy & Empowerment through Art became operatives and craftivists for an OSM mission by learning how to sew handmade sock monkeys and then donated these “delegates” to OSM as one of their course requirements.
OSM Headquarters in Vancouver Canada assigned our group of delegates to travel to Cape Town, South Africa as part of the Sinovuyo Caring Families Project with Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSW).  “Sinovuyo is focused on the highest‐risk families with children ages 3 to 8 years:caregivers affected by HIV/AIDS or domestic violence. The program aims to help parents and caregivers develop nurturing relationships with their children, prevent and reduce abusive parenting, while coping with stress from HIV/AIDS, poverty, and violence” (OSM website).  Sock monkeys areused in storytelling and activities that promote parent/child communication and bonding.

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This group of eager sock monkeys look forward to helping families served by the Sinovuyo Project.  A job well done by all the art therapy and counseling students with their first successful Operative Mission!  I hope this experience inspires lots more sock monkey making & craftivism in the future!
Save the date! Ursuline’s Art Therapy and Counseling Program Holiday Happening for students and alumni December 14 will include the opportunity to make another group of sock monkey delegates to be donated towards a future OSM mission effort.
Sources:
Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice: http://www.sagepub.com/refbooks/Book228028
Operation Sock Monkey: http://www.operationsockmonkey.com
Sinovuyo Caring Familes Project- Clowns Without Borders: http://cwbsa.org/sinovuyo
How to Make a Sock Monkey [VIDEO]: http://vimeo.com/28869273
The blog post was written by Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, CTC-S,  Adjunct Professor for Art Therapy and Counseling at Ursuline College.
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UC Tour of Italy: Florence

We had a day jam-packed in Florence with a visit to see the statue of David, Florence Cathedral, political center, Uffizi Gallery (for some) and plenty of time for shopping. As soon as we stepped foot in Florence you could smell the leather.

Our first stop was to see the statue of David, it was spectacular. When I walked into the room my eyes were quickly drawn to the enormous statue of David and its complete perfection. It was incredible to think that it was completely sculpted out of one, 6 ton piece of marble.

We soon headed over to the Florence Cathedral, where we turned the corner and it appeared in all it’s beauty. The marble was white, gray and pink hues, each color accenting the other. Due to the incredible detail on the outside of the cathedral, the inside was very modest, but still beautiful.

Almost 1/2 the group met after a quick lunch break to see the Uffizi Gallery. The building itself was a masterpiece, but numerous masterpieces here hung on the walls and placed on pedestals. Even the views for the windows to see the Ponte Vecchio were special. It took most of us a while to get through the museum but when we headed out, we shopped and enjoyed a special gelato called the ‘cream coffee’, basically it is vanilla gelato with espresso put over top of it. It was worth ever bite…one alum said it was worth the trip to taste it.

Tonight is our last night in Tuscany and we head to Venice for two nights.

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Abbey, Maggie, Danielle, Gabrielle , Danielle Lister-Sanchez and John Tonegato after the river boat cruise on the Seine River.

Photos from France: Jewish-Christian Tour

Currently, twenty-three students, faculty, staff and friends of Ursuline College are on a Jewish-Christian tour of France. Of the twenty-three travelers, eight are Jewish (five children of Holocaust survivors) and fifteen are Christian. Several have traveled before to Poland, Israel, Italy, France and Eastern Europe. You can follow the Ursuline College Jewish-Christian Tour of France through their photos.
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College in CLE: Little Italy

Have you ever asked yourself, what is college in Cleveland like? The Marketing Department recently went on a road trip to find out. Our goal is to showcase Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio area – on a  student’s budget. During the trip, we planned to spend about $50 ($25 a piece for two people).

After Chagrin Falls, we headed to Little Italy, also known as Murray Hill or The Hill. Little Italy, Cleveland’s east side historic neighborhood has long been a hub for Italian American culture. Known for it’s food and art galleries, the area has maintained it’s heritage since 1895.

Check out our notes and photos from our afternoon in Little Italy!

3 PM – Fuel Coffee Bar

Fuel Coffee Bar was created with college students in mind. Stop in for the relaxing atmosphere to hang out with friends or set up on the study bar equipped with multiple power sources for all your electronic needs. 

3:30 PM – 5PM: Exploring Little Italy

10 Other Must Sees in Little Italy: 
1. Presti’s Bakery
2. Museum of Contemporary Art
3. Mama Santa’s
4. Tony Brush Park
5. Holy Rosary Church
6. The Little Italy Heritage Museum
7. Corbo’s Bakery
8. Juma Gallery
9.  La Trattoria
10. “Set in Stone” Walking Tour

Our next stop was dinner in Ohio City. Ciao!

LittleItalyweb LittleItalyweb2

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UC Tour of Italy: Perugia & Siena

We have spent two wonderful days in Tuscany with visits to Perugia & Siena. Visits to cathedrals, chocolate shops, museums & delicious trattorias. Here are some wonderful photos from the visits.

Perugia

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Siena

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And an little Ursuline in our Villa Lecchi

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photo credit: google images

Social Media Taking Over The Role of Publicist

What do you do when you’re a well-known media figure (with apparently no publicist or babysitter) and you accidentally post an embarrassing almost-nude photo of yourself all over the Internet? Well you delete it of course…only to realize that whatever ends up on the Internet will forever be immortalized, sorry Geraldo Rivera.

When Geraldo posted his nearly nude “selfie” on July 21, 2013 it seemed that nothing really had been done to his “image” as a media personality except for several –thousand- people criticizing his body and how creepy he was on Twitter. That was up until today when the story hit that his “selfie” had some unusual consequences in the form of cancelled events. That one photo was the reason that Duquesne University cancelled Geraldo’s appearance at the school due to the fact that the photo was “inappropriate and inconsistent” with the Catholic school’s values. Funny to think that a simple photo can ruin everything, but it sadly is true and it’s happening more than ever in today’s society of social media and instant gratification.

We are currently living in an age where everyone is acting as his or her own publicist in a way. Individuals  are creating versions of themselves on the World Wide Web and not thoroughly thinking about the consequences. It has even been said that when job hunting, employers will not only Google but look up their potential employees on Facebook as well as Twitter to see how they truly portray themselves. We all need to take a moment to step back and realize that we are venturing into the marketing realm for ourselves as a brand whether we would like to see it that way or not.

So why is Geraldo Rivera relevant to this? Because he is us! He is every person who has posted something whether in writing or in photo form on the Internet only to regret it and realize that there are no “take-backs” online. So next time we decide to post that photo of us having a wild drunk fun night, let’s step back and realize that today the biggest thing we are marketing is ourselves (which is a huge deal considering the job market –or rather lack thereof!) and only we can act as our own reps. Value yourself as a brand and human being. Keep some things private, mystery is good!

And all I can think is THIS GUY IS 70!? Perhaps it’s time to focus on other things Twitterverse…

Author Bio: Gabrielle Banzhaf is a designer, maker, mother, gardener and caretaker living in Lakewood, OH with her son and partner. She graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a BFA in Fiber & Material Studies and is currently pursuing a BA from Ursuline College in Public Relations & Marketing Communications. She enjoys spending time on her porch swing, splashing around with her little one, working in her wood shop & obsessing over Game of Thrones.

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UC Tour of Italy: Assisi

A wonderful day is Assisi was had by the group. Here are some photos from the day, Chapel of Saint Francis, Mary of the Angels Chapel and Deruta ceramics.

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The “Ohio Collective” Presents in Oxford, England!

After London, the time for the conference and presentation at Mansfield College (University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.) finally arrived. The paper presentations would be based off joint research project which was developed between Ursuline College and Tiffin University. The research examined the relationships between creativity and mental health/mental illness. Members of the project team who presented in Oxford included UC professor, DoHee Kim-Appel, Ph.D., UC Art Therapy and Counseling graduate students, Claire Whiteman, Mary Cassidy, & Rebecca Stanic, Tiffin University professor Jonathan Appel, Ph.D., and undergraduate behavioral sciences student Erin Snapp.

Oxford proved to be a relaxed and calm setting in contrast to the helter skelter (Beatles pun intended!) of London.

Both my husband and I agreed that there can be no place more inspiring to an academic than Oxford. The pastoral settings among the ancient gothic architecture –left us truly breathless. Just strolling in the surroundings that once held Lewis Carroll, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, Percy Bysshe Shelley, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, John Wycliffe, John Wesley, Stephen Hawking, Edwin Hubble, as well as heads of state (26 British prime ministers have attended Oxford) gave us the momentary illusion of being more enlightened!

We even made sure we even visited the famous “Eagle and the Child” public house—which was a gathering place for “The Inklings,” which was an Oxford writers’ group that included C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and Hugo Dyson. It is from here that the writers read and discussed various works, including their manuscripts.

University of Oxford!

Although its exact date of origin is not completely know, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096 making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world! The University of Oxford is actually over 30 or so semi-autonomous colleges, which made for quite a diversity of place. (http://www.ox.ac.uk/visitors_friends/visiting_the_university/index.html)

The conference itself was held on the beautiful campus of Mansfield College (The main building was designed by architect Basil Champneys, and built between 1887-1890. It houses the main college library, the law library and the theology library). One could not think a more perfect setting for an intentionally intimate conference (just 25 or so papers out of 100 submitted were accepted).

International and Inter-Disciplinary

The conference was sponsored by Inter-Disciplinary.Net, which is “a forum for the exchange and interaction of ideas, research and points of view that bear on a wide range of issues of concern and interest in the contemporary world”. The organization goals are to” promote and sponsor inter- and multi-disciplinary encounters by bringing people together from differing contexts, disciplines, professions, and vocations, with the aim to engender and nurture engagements that cross the boundaries of intellectual work.”  This group also hopes that its “projects, conferences and publishing activities are creative and novel, and they evolve constantly as we seek out and foster emergentdevelopments.” http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/  Dr. Rob Fisher is the Network Founder and Network Leader. His great vision is apparent through the well run experience.

Conference participants were educators and scholars from various countries including, Scotland, UK, Poland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, Montreal, Italy, and the United States. There were psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, a feminist art historian, a medicalanthropologist, a philosopher, an attorney, several literature professors, and several additional professionals.

There was a collective feeling among us that the conference organizers were achieving their goals, and we were very impressed with the design and intent of the conference. It was truly fantastic to have cross national and cross-disciplinary discussions. It was very gratifying to see all the students treated as peers by both the organizers and attendees. The ideas and discussion (both formal and informal) were some of the best professional experiences we ever had. Special appreciate goes to conference facilitator Gonzalo Araoz—for his wit and support. He stood as a shining role model for us and our students.

We (Dr. Dohee Kim-Appel and husband Dr. Jonathan Appel) on the first day presented a paper entitled: “Non-Rational States of Consciousness: Understanding and Counseling ‘Madness’.”

The research team (which came to be dubbed “The Ohio Collective” at the conference) jointly presented the paper, “Creativity, Critique, and Cutting Edge: Creativity and Madness.” Each member of the team took a research area of the topic and presented on it– and opened the topic for further discussion. All the students presented with skill and grace. As our students presented extremely well — Jonathan and I were elated. The experience confirmed the reason why we wanted to be educators. Feedback from the participants regarding our students was overwhelming. We all seem to recognize that learning comes in many forms. I was proud to be part of the “Ohio Collective” in Oxford!

The blog post was written by DoHee Kim-Appel, Ph.D. Associate Professor for Art Therapy and Counseling at Ursuline College. 

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UC Tour of Italy: Onto Orvieto

Day One: Orvieto was about a 2 hour delightful drive from Rome. The weather was perfect and the town is perched on a hill like a fortress. The medieval town is full of charm. When we arrived, we quickly checked in and went for a quick walk to see the cathedral as the sun was setting. It is the perfect time to see it, the sun shines directly on the face of the building with the beautiful stone, frescos and gold trims.

We then headed to Zeppelin where we met Chef Lorenzo who taught us all how to make pasta and eat the Etruscan way. The 6 course meal was delicious and I think we all rolled back to the hotel.

Day Two: Chef Lorenzo and my husband had a wonderful time during dinner and we were invited to his farm. We did not see the inside of the cathedral with the tour (everyone said it was beautiful and Sunday mass was truly special), but we headed out with Lorenzo to his farm to see how he cultivates grapes for wine & olives. He also put us to work – we planted 6 bay leaf trees with him. It was an experience we will never forget.

We met back with the group to see the caves under Orvieto. Each home had a cave for a particular use, whether it be for water, olive oil or safety during World War II. There are over 1,000 caves under the city and they believe more are to be found.

We headed out for dinner where we soon realized that this small medieval village comes alive at night, even Sunday night. The streets were busy with travelers, locals and lots of families.

Off to Assisi tomorrow!

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