Photo Credit: Google Images

Musings on Online Teaching and Learning

I taught my first “online” class 17 years ago—yes, 17! This is what my teaching world was like:
Computers were largely desktops, with relatively small screens. Someone I knew had a new-fangled piece of hardware: a laptop—I wondered what it was and how one used it, to say nothing of wondering whether my lap was large enough to accommodate it.

  • I was still getting used to using a mouse.
  • I had a wired connection to the Internet in my office, which mostly worked—slowly.
  • At home I prayed—hard—every time I tried to use a dial-up connection to access the Internet, and when I was using that, no one else in the house could use the phone and we obviously couldn’t receive any calls (and had no voicemail!).
  • I had no Learning Management System, so I conducted my course mainly using email; a major accomplishment was learning how to attach a document (in God-knows-what format, since there were tons of them around and good luck if someone sent you a document in a format different from what you were using).
  • As you may have surmised from the above, there was really no multimedia to speak of (my course featured documents, not images or videos), and no social media, either.
  • By the way: although I didn’t have a mobile computer, I had a “mobile” phone. It was permanently installed in my car, I considered it a security feature since I drove alone at night fairly often, and all it could do was make/receive phone calls!
  • My students’ learning world mirrored my own. They too struggled with dicey, dial-up connections at home, if they even had them. Most students had computers and decent Internet access only at their workplaces, which meant they relied on benevolent employers to let them use their companies’ resources to complete their assignments.

Gradually online environments began to improve. I remember how excited I was when instant messaging was created. I also remember very clearly using it for the first time when I noticed one of my students was online and I messaged her. She didn’t answer, and later she told me that she practically fell off her chair at work when the message came through—the long arm of her professor, reaching out to tap her on the shoulder when she least expected it! She was too flustered to respond. For the record I think what I said was “hi.”

Once Learning Management Systems were created, then the pace of improvements picked up dramatically. Being able to have a method of storing all course materials in one place for students’ easy access, coupled with the array of online learning resources (Images! Films! Music!) readily available, translated into an environment so dramatically changed that it’s stunning, really, to think that only 17 years have passed.

Here at Ursuline College, where we value collaboration so highly, advances in technology that support social interaction online are particularly important. When I taught years ago, interaction was exclusively a dialogue between the individual student and me. There were no tools at all to enable my students to work with each other online. If they wanted to submit a research paper on which they had all worked, they could either get together face to face to write the paper (which somewhat defeated the purpose of taking an online class), or, if they all had the same word-processing program, they could send around the file and then get together to discuss the changes.

Currently, the various types of social media, coupled with ubiquitous mobile devices, make online collaboration easy and fun, too. Students can readily work in teams, either in real time or not, just as many of them are already accustomed to doing on the job.

For professors, the major problem these days is selecting which technology will enhance learning the most—which one, out of so many choices, will enable their online courses to be truly excellent. For students, knowing which resources to use in doing their research or completing their assignments is enormously difficult because of the vast arsenal of information they are able to access—not all of which is high quality, to say the least.

In reflecting back on nearly two decades of online teaching, I feel much as I imagine people who grew up with horse and buggies must have felt on switching to automobiles—the environment is that much altered and that much better!

JoAnne Podis, Ph.D. is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ursuline College.


College in CLE: Coventry

Coventry – 6.8 miles away, 15 minutes on a good day.

We’ve been in school for a little over 8 weeks nows.. but have you hit up this eclectic hot spot during the day? It’s true, our campus partakes in a mass exodus every Thursday night to Coventry. We all whip out our bandeaus and crop tops and off to City & East we go! But, did you know that there’s more to Coventry!? LOTS MORE!

This half mile strip consists of loads of healthy / vegetarian / & ethnic eats, coffee shops, bookstores, lounges and pubs, vintage record stores, a toy store, bohemian / hippie-esque boutiques and a variety of hipster / American-made / and vintage clothing shops!

A not so comprehensive list of Coventry:

Tasty Eats: 

Tommy’s – Wonderful for the vegan or vegetarian.. My personal favorite is their falafel, milkshakes, or smoothies. (Meat options are available to those carnivores.)

Dave’s Cosmic Subs – Rock N Roll + Graffiti from floor to ceiling. I always, always get Dave’s Famous Italian Sausage. Bring a Sharpie to leave your mark (it’s A-Okay with Dave).

Bodega – Want to finally wear that little black dress? Perfect for this chic restaurant and lounge! Definitely check out their website for daily specials – I had a 3 course meal with a beverage for $30 once!

BD’s Mongolian BBQ – Definitely an exciting and Interactive Stir Fry. If you like egg, add that to your bowl & watch the cooks do some pretty creative ways to crack it on their giant frying table – without using their hands! Also, if you bring your Ursuline ID it’s $10.99 for all you can eat!

Other restaurants include: High Thai’d, The Doghouse, Jimmy Johns, Tree Country Bistro, Chipotle, Hunan Coventry, Grums Sub Shop, The Inn on Coventry, Phoenix Cafe, and Pacific East.


Passport to Peru – Step inside another world almost! You’ll be mind blown by all the awesome and totally out-of-the-norm threads, jewelry, shoes, cable-knit alpaca scarves, bags and more. I bought my mama a pair of brightly colored, wool muk-luk slippers for $12!

Avalon Exchange – Buy, Sell, or Trade your clothes and accessories to always update your style. You’ll never know what you will find in this gem of a store. I fancy their awesome array of sunglasses and top hats!

Big Fun Toy Store – A whirlwind of colors when you first walk in. You can spend hours checking out their vintage toys and collector’s items… along with odds & ends clothing, humor items, bumper stickers, stick on mustaches, crazy hats and lots more. I always end up grabbing a few fun props from around the store and hopping in the photo booth! It’s the best part, in my opinion.

Record Revolution – Mix of vinyls, vintage clothing, jewelry (body jewelry too), posters, incense, band t-shirts, CDs, and much more. Their outside display case is definitely something to look out for!

Other places to shop include: City Buddha, American Apparel, Attenson’s Antique & Books, Next, Utrecht, Sunshine Too, The Exchange, Mac’s Backs and Coventry Cats.

So there you go, this is Coventry in a very short wrap up. Go explore! Also, please feel free to leave a comment about any cool places you stumble across!







Egypt Goes To The Polls For Parliamentary Elections

You Gotta Fight for Your Right!

American citizens have the right to vote; it says so in the Constitution, doesn’t it?

Not so fast …

You may be surprised to know that there is no explicit statement of a right to vote in the Constitution (In fact, in May of this year, Democratic Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment, in a bill co-sponsored by fellow Democrat Keith Ellison of Minnesota, making the right the right to vote explicit)—we have only statements prohibiting certain practices or restrictions that interfere with one’s ability to cast a vote (i.e. poll taxes, which were designed to disenfranchise the poor, or disenfranchisement based on sex or race). Thus, the history of voting rights in the United States has been a process of expansion through negation—usually through federal action, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that supersedes voting laws otherwise left to state discretion, and dictates to the states conditions under which they may not interfere with access to the vote.

Who knew? (many people, it turns out, but not as many you’d think—or as many as should know). Voting is one important way in which adult citizens can officially register their positions and opinions on various matters, from choosing government officials, to funding of school s, to support of local social services. Elections such as the one today, focused largely on issues of local interest and impact (school levies, etc.), tend to have anemic voter turnout, because not much seems to be at stake as with a national election. I urge everyone to exercise your voting voice—especially in light of our Ursuline mission—to make an official declaration of your values and your vision for your community, your state, and ultimately, your country. It’s cliché to say so (OK, thank you Captain Obvious!), but when so many have risked their lives to gain and to defend access to the vote, when there are so many places in the world in which free, fair and open elections, access to the vote, and self-determination are merely dreams, it seems irresponsible and even immoral to waste the opportunity.

It’s easy to get discouraged about, even fearful of speaking out, in the face of social or familial pressure, financial concerns, government stalemate, (and myriad other factors) and to feel that your voice/vote doesn’t matter, that it will have no impact, or that it might “make trouble” for you. But the fact that “right” to vote doesn’t technically exist in our Constitution makes it all the more precious and necessary to use. I am inspired by the images here of people waiting in long lines to vote, to brave all kinds of threats and dire conditions, and by the joyful face of a young Iraqi woman triumphantly holding up her purple-inked finger after casting her vote. So vote and make your voice heard!

Egypt Goes To The Polls For Parliamentary Elections

Cairo, Egypt, parliamentary election. November
28, 2011.

Voters in Grand Rapids 11-6-12

Voters wait in line at Harrison Park Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Mich. Tuesday, November 6, 2012


photo credit: google images

Well Done Sister Suffragette!

We all remember the movie Mary Poppins, but do you remember why Mary Poppins had a job as a nanny for the Banks family?  Mrs. Banks needed help with her children because she was a member of Emmeline Pankhurst‘s suffragette movement and was dedicated to working for women’s equality and the right to vote.

In celebration of election day, here are the lyrics and a clip of Mrs. Banks singing “Sister Suffragette.”

We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats
And dauntless crusaders for woman’s votes
Though we adore men individually
We agree that as a group they’re rather stupid!

Cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done, Sister Suffragette!”

From Kensington to Billingsgate
One hears the restless cries!
From ev’ry corner of the land:
“Womankind, arise!”
Political equality and equal rights with men!
Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!

No more the meek and mild subservients we!
We’re fighting for our rights, militantly!
Never you fear!

So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!”


An Ohio Historic Marker celebrating Victoria Claflin Woodhull stands in front of the Homer Public Library.

Did you know? First woman candidate for the U.S. Presidency was from Ohio

An Ohio Historic Marker celebrating Victoria Claflin Woodhull stands in front of the Homer Public Library.

An Ohio Historic Marker celebrating Victoria Claflin Woodhull stands in front of the Homer Public Library.

Who would have guessed that the first woman to run for the U.S. Presidency (1872), a nationally known campaigner for women’s suffrage and social justice, was born in the tiny community of Homer, Ohio?

Probably very few until the people of Homer had the foresight to erect an official Ohio Historic Marker in front of their library, reminding us of Victoria Claflin Woodhull and her commitment to women’s rights.




The main intersection in Homer, Licking County, Ohio

The main intersection in Homer, Licking County, Ohio

Homer, Ohio:  It’s a sleepy little place at the crossroads of two secondary rural highways and the Otter Run Fork of the Licking River, not far from where I was born and raised.  In just a few minutes, you can drive through this unincorporated community in Licking County, past the post office and the handful of clapboard commercial buildings at the intersection.  You might glance at the old brick school building that sits back a bit from the highway and, as you near the edge of town, you can see the United Methodist Church, an ancient cemetery, and the modern library where the historical society meets regularly.  This is, and was, quintessential Ohio farm country.


Victoria and her sister Tennessee were born in Homer, respectively in 1838 and 1845, to Roxanna and Reuben Buckman Claflin. Local legends abound about the Claflin family – that they were poverty-stricken, that the children only sporadically attended school, that Roxanna was a clairvoyant, that Buck burned down his own gristmill to collect insurance money, and that the family was semi-nomadic, using the children to sell homemade patent medicines, practice faith healing, and tell fortunes as part of their travelling medicine show.


Also according to local legend, community members “encouraged” the Claflins to leave Homer by raising funds at a benefit so that the family could join Buck who had been run out of town for alleged insurance fraud.  Can’t you just picture those scenes?  Do you think the fundraiser was held in the old town hall?  Or the church?


VictoriaInPrintWhatever the circumstances of her childhood in this minuscule town and what sounds to be an unusual family, Victoria rose above hardship to follow the courage of her convictions, some of which were considered exceptionally radical in the 19th century.  Many of her achievements were, and are, truly inspirational.





Victoria’s achievements (SOME of them):

  • First woman to run for the U.S. Presidency (1872) representing the Equal Rights Party (She lost to Ohioan and Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant.  After all, the amendment granting women the right to vote would not be ratified for another 48 years!)
  • First American woman to address Congress (1871)
  • As two of the first women stockbrokers in history, she and her sister Tennessee Claflin opened Woodhull, Claflin and Company on Wall Street in 1870 with the backing of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • Published the very successful Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly newspaper promoting a plethora of social justice issues
  • Leading membership in the National American Woman Suffrage Association and International Workingman’s Association


Victoria’s advocacy:

  • Woman suffrage
  • Equal educational opportunity for women (how keenly must she have felt her lack of it?)
  • Women’s right to control their own health decisions, including birth control
  • Labor reform including an 8-hour workday
  • Divorce law reform
  • Free love (can’t you just hear the consternation of the people of post-Civil War Ohio over that?)


Homer, Licking County, Ohio

Homer, Licking County, Ohio

So, the next time you drive through a tiny little burg, or across a lonely countryside, and see an Ohio Historical Marker, take a moment to stop and read it.  Who knows what rich, complex heritage it will reveal about a place that may seem quiet and unassuming?  I always appreciate the inspiration these marker stories provide, as well as the commitment of the community members who did the research, writing, and fundraising to bring you an important message about their/our heritage.



Like to know more about Homer, Ohio?  Visit the Homer Public Library at


Like to know more about Victoria Claflin Woodhull?  Visit the:

National Women’s History Museum at

National Women’s Hall of Fame at

New York Times obituary at

Ohioana Library Association at

Ohio Center for the Book at

Ohio History Central at

Ohio Memory at

Remarkable Ohio at

Women Working, 1800-1930, Harvard University Library Open Collections Program, at


Our own Ursuline College Besse Library for access to published biographies.

Two smiling women stand outdoors and hold signs reading "Vote Baby Vote" and "Voting is People Power," c. 1970. (Photo by Gabriel Hackett /Getty Images)

How Women Vote

In 1920, women in the United States were granted the right to vote through the 19th Amendment. The names of the Suffragists who worked tirelessly and at their own peril are well known – Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, among others. What might be surprising is that there was oppositional movement known as Anti-Suffragism comprised of women and men in the United States and Britain that opposed the expansion of voting rights for women. They included both conservatives, who favored the “Angel in the House” view of women, and liberals, who sought a full revolution and new form of government.

Two smiling women stand outdoors and hold signs reading "Vote Baby Vote" and "Voting is People Power," c. 1970. (Photo by Gabriel Hackett /Getty Images)

Two smiling women stand outdoors and hold signs reading “Vote Baby Vote” and “Voting is People Power,” c. 1970. (Photo by Gabriel Hackett /Getty Images)

The reasoning of the anti-suffragist campaign is worth exploring.  They espoused certain explanations of why women should not enter the political realm as voters.  Here are some of those tenets with my commentary:

– The spheres of men and women are different. (More so a century ago, but isn’t diversity of perspective important in choosing elected officials?)

– Voting could introduce political differences into domestic life.  (Certainly, a difference in political opinion could prove problematic in marriages, or it could add extra spice as in the marriage of James Carville, a noted Democratic political commentator and strategist, and Mary Matalin, Republican political consultant.)

– Women are “debarred by nature and circumstances from the average political knowledge and experience open to men” and therefore the female vote would weaken the country.  (Ignoring the phrase “debarred by nature”, this begs the question, If only women could find a way to gain such political knowledge? – oh yeah, women can READ.)

Because adult women outnumbered adult men, women would be the overpowering majority at the polls.  (WOO-HOO!)

In 2013, many Americans will take for granted the right to vote and fail to exercise that vote, thereby validating the Anti-Suffragist movement of a century ago.  Women not only vote on the first Tuesday in November, they vote every day.  There are 80 million mothers in the United States.  They vote with their feet, with their spending power, and with their children in mind.   It is not a coincidence that the social and educational reform movements of the 20th Century gained ground after 1920, when politicians had to pay attention to a new class of voters. – women, who by “nature and circumstances” have both the knowledge and political acumen to strengthen our country and our world.

Anne Murphy Brown, J.D. is the Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Studies Program. 

Ursuline Historic Preservation students Heather Fisher, Rachael Toth, and Mary Ogle visited Union Chapel when Rachael decided to adopt the structure for her National Register nomination project and her M.A. thesis.

Equal Rights for All! Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny!

The readers of the weekly Geauga Republican may have been surprised when they opened their November 13, 1872, edition and saw the above headlines in bold print.  This was one of the opening local salvos in what became a national campaign for women’s right to vote.  It was a battle fought over several centuries, not only in Congress and state capitols, but also on our main streets and in our backyards here in Northeastern Ohio.  These grassroots initiatives were just as vital as national efforts to ensure the 1920 ratification of our 19th Amendment granting women suffrage.

Union Chapel in South Newbury, Geauga County, Ohio, bears silent witness to the struggle and commitment of local women to gain this most basic of our rights.  The structure, also known locally as the “freedom of speech chapel” and “cradle of women’s rights” chapel, is now on the National Register of Historic Places because of considerable research and bureaucratic navigational efforts by Rachael Toth during her years as a graduate student in Ursuline’s Historic Preservation program.

Ursuline’s Historic Preservation students Rachael Toth, Heather Fisher, and Mary Ogle collect acorns from the Centennial Oak in South Newbury.

Ursuline’s Historic Preservation students Rachael Toth, Heather Fisher, and Mary Ogle collect acorns from the Centennial Oak in South Newbury.

Ursuline Historic Preservation students Heather Fisher, Rachael Toth, and Mary Ogle visited Union Chapel when Rachael decided to adopt the structure for her National Register nomination project and her M.A. thesis.

Ursuline Historic Preservation students Heather Fisher, Rachael Toth, and Mary Ogle visited Union Chapel when Rachael decided to adopt the structure for her National Register nomination project and her M.A. thesis.

Built ca. 1858 and dedicated to free speech by local community members, Union Chapel became the home of the Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club, an organization that reached across Northeastern Ohio for membership and message.

Mother/daughter team activists Ruth and Ellen Munn as well as Dr. Julia Green met with others in theNortheastern Ohio Health and Dress Reform Association to discuss the “knotty problem” of suffrage, as the Geauga Democrat referred to it on October 18, 1871. And they had attempted to vote, an incident the Geauga Democrat had recorded in its 18 October 1871 edition, saying:

Election in this place passed off quietly, although there was a

considerable excitement in consequence of nine ladies having

the independence and moral courage to present themselves at

the polls, and demand their right to vote.

This may have been the first time women attempted to vote in Newbury, but it was not the last and the local newspapers recorded each attempt, especially when the intrepid suffragists braved Geauga’s slush and snow.

On November 13, 1872, the Geauga Republican noted that

Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, fourteen women

citizens presented themselves at the polls in this town yesterday,

and asked the privilege of exercising their right of suffrage.

And on April 16, 1873, the editor of the Geauga Republican reported,

At the recent election … notwithstanding the almost impassable

condition of the roads, fourteen women were present to indicate

their desire to exercise their natural and inalienable right to

franchise  [vote]…. many more, who were unable to attend manifested

their interest in the cause by signing and sending in, by friends,

ballots to be deposited in the box.  The judges were courteous

and gentlemanly…. declining to receive the proffered votes.

After all, women had not been granted the right to vote in the original Constitution or any of the subsequent amendments.  So how could the judges accept those votes?

Can you imagine the conversations at afternoon tea and after church and perhaps even over the back fences as the women hung their wash out to dry in the summer sun?  Something more must be done.  But what?

The Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club was the result and on January 21, 1874, the Geauga Republican published an article on the clubs’ January 12 founding at Union Chapel, complete with a constitution that called for the members to use newspaper articles, tracts, lectures, discussions, and “all legitimate instrumentalities, to aid in placing woman on a pecuniary, social, and political equality with a man.”

Julia moved to Newbury, Ohio, at the age of 14, having been born in nearby Mantua.  She was a founding member and corresponding secretary of the Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club.  Dr. Greene died in 1925 and is buried in Welton Cemetery in Burton, Ohio.These women had learned from earlier generations and other social reform movements about the power of marshalling forces and spreading the word.  On July 15, the Geauga Republican reported that the suffragists held their first Suffrage Convention with inspirational and educational elements supplied by Sarah B. Chase, M.D., of Cleveland and General Alvin C. Voris of Akron as well as rousing celebration music provided by the Newbury Glee Club and the Mantua Cornet Band.

In celebration of our nation’s 100 year birthday, on July 4, 1876, the club members planted a white oak, today known as the Centennial Oak, across from the chapel, burying under its roots a time capsule with copies of their constitution, list of founding members, and initial minutes.

These suffragists continued to publish articles and minutes in the newspapers, to send members to other organizations to promote collaborations, and to host speakers, even such national figures as Susan B. Anthony.  On March 14, 1879, the Geauga Leader reported

We were highly entertained recently by a lecture of Susan B. Anthony

on woman suffrage…. Union Hall [Chapel] was crowded both evenings by

intelligent audiences, who listened for two hours each evening with

close attention.  The work she has done here must make a lasting

impression, and we fondly hope will awaken many to serious action

in the reforms which are so needed.

The work of the Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club must, indeed, have made an impression.  On November 8, 1917, the Geauga County Record cited that 1320 had voted in favor of suffrage with only 908 against in an article entitled “County Declares in Favor of Suffrage.”

A few years later, on August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment, prohibiting any U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex, was ratified.   And in 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day” to commemorate that achievement and build awareness of continuing efforts for full equality for women.

Those awareness initiatives must continue, even though women will celebrate a century of voting privileges in 2020.  (Not so far away, is it?  And won’t it lend itself to all sorts of phrases along the lines of “hindsight being 20-20….?”).

Daughter of local reformer Ruth Munn, Ellen Munn was a founding member and recording secretary of both the Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club and the Northern Ohio Women’s Dress Reform Movement.  A well-known Bloomer girl, she is reputed to have regularly worn bloomers under her dress, protesting against the confinement of women’s fashions. Historic preservation efforts will help, on both national and local fronts.  The Women’s Rights National Historic Park, operated by the National Park Service in Seneca Falls, New York, preserves the story and place of the first Women’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls in 1848.  And here at home, the Geauga Park District is building on the work provided by our own Rachael Toth to preserve and interpret the efforts of the reformers who headquartered in South Newbury’s Union Chapel.

And so Election Day looms before us.  We now have the ability to influence our communities by actively using our voting privileges.  But this first Tuesday in November should also be recognized as an opportune moment to reflect on the importance of our right to vote and to remember those who fought to achieve and guarantee that all citizens could participate in this way in their own self-government.

Ellen Munn  (1833-1908)

Daughter of local reformer Ruth Munn, Ellen Munn was a founding member and recording secretary of both the Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club and the Northern Ohio Women’s Dress Reform Movement.  A well-known Bloomer girl, she is reputed to have regularly worn bloomers under her dress, protesting against the confinement of women’s fashions.

Dr. Julia Green  (8 May 1847 – 26 March 1925)

Julia moved to Newbury, Ohio, at the age of 14, having been born in nearby Mantua.  After graduating from the Cleveland Homeopathic College, she practiced medicine and married Apollos D. Green.  She was a founding member and corresponding secretary of the Newbury Woman Suffrage Political Club.  Dr. Green died in 1925 and is buried in Welton Cemetery in Burton, Ohio.

Bari Oyler Stith, Ph.D., is the Director of Historic Preservation at Ursuline College.

Fannie Lou Hamer. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Voting can be a pain.

Many of you are eligible to vote in this upcoming election. Voting can be a pain. You might have to wake up early, drive to the polling place, find a place to park, go into the booth and see unknown names running for equally unknown offices. Furthermore what difference can one vote possibly make?

Maybe a broader context will help think about this voting idea. Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil right worker from Mississippi, participated in the so-called Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964. She was arrested and beaten several times for trying to register black voters in Mississippi, many too scared to register because of feared reprisals by klan members.

Fannie Lou Hamer. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Fannie Lou Hamer. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Three young men (James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner), also involved in registering black voters in Mississippi, went missing and later found murdered–by klan members. One of the state’s senators, James Eastland, told President Lyndon Johnson that these men purposely went missing as part of a large publicity stunt to gain attention for their voter registration efforts.

Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. Photo Credit: Google Images.

Voting can be a pain – even the voter registration process.

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

women's suffrage

Women and the Right to Vote

women's suffrageAlice Paul is one of my personal heroes. She dedicated her life to establishing equal rights and led some of the most crucial political achievements in history for women.  If you haven’t seen Iron Jawed Angels, the HBO movie starring Hilary Swank as Paul, you should drop everything and do so immediately.  It is a brilliant film that reminds us of the incredible struggle for women’s right to vote and the sacrifices of the Suffragettes.

The film details Paul’s strategy, personal sacrifice, and willingness to put her life on the line for women’s suffrage.   I often stop and wonder, “what would I put my life on the line for?”  What would you?

Today, we take for granted that we have the right to vote and have forgotten the torture – and I mean that literally – that women experienced simply because they demanded that right.  Many of us find our selves too busy to show up for the vote or unconcerned about issues we think do not affect us (believe me, every issue does affect us!).  I can only imagine Paul’s response to such complacency.

As we prepare to head to the polls on November 5th, while some women wont show up; others will be refused the right to vote.  New controversial photo ID laws in Texas and Pennsylvania discriminate against minorities and low-income voters.  Women are surely one of the affected groups – if married or divorced a different last name on identification could keep them from casting their ballots.

Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center told TIME that “A full 34% of women don’t have documents proving citizenship with their current name on it.  Why do we have such strict limitations on what kinds of documents people can have when they need to vote?”  These are important questions, and although we may think the fight for voting rights is over, there is much work to be done.

When you are considering whether or not you should vote on November 5th, take time to remember that the women before you fought – nearly to the death – so you would have this right.  Recognize that there are women in our country who will be denied their right to vote based on discriminatory laws.  And, of course, acknowledge that women around the world continue to struggle for their human rights of which voting is surely one.  Cast your ballot in their honor and consider how you might act against continued injustice against women and other oppressed groups.    While we may not put our lives on the line, we can certainly continue to work for justice.

Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D. is Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College.

Michlle Klim

Athletics Update: Arrows Persevere in Fall Season

These are exciting times in the athletic department as the fall seasons are wrapping up and the winter teams like basketball, bowling and swimming are just beginning their journeys.

This Saturday (Nov. 2), the soccer team will host Trevecca Nazarene University at 1:00 p.m. in the opening round of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championships. The Arrows earned the right to host the game after beating TNU 3-0 on Saturday (Oct. 26) at Nordonia High School in what capped a crazy week for the program.

Because of the late October snow storm that pelted Northeast Ohio, the Arrows were forced to play their final two “home” games on back-to-back days at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva before the regular season finale at Nordonia High School in Macedonia.

After finishing the regular season with a record of 10-7-1 and 5-5 in conference play, UC earned the fourth-seed in the eight-team postseason tournament. A win on Saturday would propel the Arrows into the semifinal round which would be held on Thursday (Nov. 7) at the campus of the highest remaining seed.

Fans that can’t make Saturday’s quarterfinal game can listen live on the Ursuline College Sports Network.


The volleyball team is still about three weeks out from the G-MAC Championships but the Arrows already have 15 wins to their name, eight more than they had all of last season. It’s pretty amazing to think about when you remember the team is yet to play a true home game.

Head coach Donna Day brought in a tremendous recruiting class that was extremely talented and has really lifted the program. She’ll need to bring in another good group next year as the program will lose five seniors to graduation. On Saturday (Nov. 2), seniors Molly Sabolsky, Lauren Sharnsky, Alex Leister, Maureen Kelly and Ashley Reinhart will play in their final “home” matches and will be honored in a pre-game ‘Senior Day’ ceremony.

The ‘Senior Day’ match will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at Laurel School’s Lyman Circle Campus in Shaker Heights. Fans that can’t make that contest (or Friday’s 6:00 p.m. match against Kentucky Wesleyan College) can listen live on the Ursuline College Sports Network or check out the Pizzazz on the Circle Live Stats.

Alex Leister

Alex Leister


The Ursuline College cross country team had a terrific showing and took third place in the nine-team field at the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships, held last Saturday (Oct. 26) at Cedarville University’s Elvin R. King Cross Country Course. Ursuline was led by the conference’s ‘Freshman of the Year’ Michelle Klim and fellow all-conference performers Nicole Burlinson and Melissa Klim.

Michelle Klim was named the ‘Freshman of the Year’ by virtue of being the first rookie across the finish line. She took third in the field of 68 student-athletes with a time of 23:03.10, an improvement from the 23:18.38 she ran on the same course three weeks ago at the All-Ohio Championships.

Burlinson was one spot behind Michelle Klim as she finished in 23:47.20 – more than 38 seconds quicker than her All-Ohio showing. By placing in the top-10, Burlinson was named to the All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference first team. Last year, she earned second team all-conference honors after taking 13th overall.

Melissa Klim narrowly missed a spot on the all-conference first team but still picked up second team honors by finishing 11th. Her time of 24:09.10 was just behind Cedarville’s Kristin Lamaan (24:08.60) but was still an improvement from the 25:08.57 she turned in at the beginning of the month.

For comparison’s sake, last year Cedarville had 10 finishers complete the race before Ursuline’s first student-athlete crossed the finish line. This year, Cedarville’s Alex Archambault repeated as the individual champion (22:32.30) but UC had two more runners finish before CU’s next placer who took eighth overall.


Michlle Klim

Michlle Klim


The golf team’s championship season is in the spring but this fall, Ursuline finished in the top-five in three of its four tournaments. Sophomore Eadaoin Cronin was named the first ‘Women’s Golf Athlete of the Month’ for her efforts in September.

A good litmus test for the program came at the Ohio Valley University Invitational (Sep. 28-29) when four of the five G-MAC programs competed and UC shot the lowest of all the conference programs.

Like golf, lacrosse crowns a champion in the spring but head coach Ed Karasek saw his program end fall ball on a high note with a perfect four-for-four showing at the Baldwin Wallace University Fall Tournament. UC won all four of its half-hour contests against the host Yellow Jackets, Lourdes University, Walsh University and Georgetown (Ky.) College.

We’ll have more updates on the winter and spring sports when the time comes, but if the fall is any indication, we’re in for a great year in athletics!