#UCStyleFiles FYFW Edition


NYFW attendees  Image via Pinterest

NYFW attendees
Image via Pinterest

Hello Lovelies! New York Fashion Week Spring 2014 kicked off last Thursday with the announcement of Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report:

Pantone's Spring 2014 Color Report

Pantone’s Spring 2014 Color Report

New York Fashion Week continues through this week and the list of my favorite runway looks continues. Spring trends (as seen on the runway) include stripes, abstract prints, knee-length skirts, sheer fabrics, an homagé to street style, elongated silhouettes, and feminine florals.  Below are some favorite looks as seen on the runway.

Bright colors and bold graphics for Nicole Miller's Spring 2014 collection Image via Pinterest

Bright colors and bold graphics for Nicole Miller’s Spring 2014 collection
Image via Pinterest

A simple sheath makes a chic statement by Nonoo

A simple sheath makes a chic statement by Nonoo

Tadashi Shoji

Color in motion: Pantone’s “Violet Tuplip” as seen on the runway in this Tadashi Shoji dress

Kate Spade's Spring 2014 Collection is a fan favorite

Kate Spade’s Spring 2014 Collection is a fan favorite

Not ready to give up the edgy look of fall 2013? Herve Ledger carries the look into spring!

Not ready to give up the edgy look of fall 2013? Herve Ledger carries the look into spring!


Prabal Gurung utilizes Pantone's Freesia yellow in this stunning piece

Prabal Gurung utilizes Pantone’s Freesia yellow in this cutting edge look.

As shown by Jason Wu: Your staple piece for spring is a long waist coat

As shown by Jason Wu: Your staple piece for spring is a long waist coat

Stay tuned for more #NYFW coverage as Fashion Week continues!


Family Fun Festival Highlights – September 7, 2013

Butta’s Blog


This is quite a year already! There is so much going on that I can’t even get my thoughts together to write this blog. I have been thrown into my senior year of nursing school and just this week, my last year as an Ursuline College swimmer has begun. It honestly doesn’t feel real.

This summer I kept myself busy working at a restaurant and bar in the Willoughby area and attempting to stay in top shape. Let me tell you, working nights and getting motivation to work out in the mornings isn’t easy!

I’m sure everyone has heard about the tornado tragedy so finding a pool this summer was difficult. Therefore, most of my summer workouts consisted of dry-land training. I have been lifting weights to gain some strength in the water and I also participated in CrossFit, which I love, to add endurance.

I was also lucky enough to go on a few trips to Mexico with my family over the summer to celebrate my last summer as a college student! (Again, CRAZY to think). Since classes have started, I have really enjoyed getting back into a set schedule but not so much all of the work. The nursing instructors are so great this year and seem to be as excited as the students to get into the real world and make a difference in the nursing world.

Swimming has also started! Coach Katz has had us utilizing the campus grounds for training until we begin in the water at Beachwood High School starting September 9th. Until then, we have been running miles around campus and doing other exercises. Let me just say … swimmers are notorious for their running abilities – or lack thereof. Coach Katz has also had us getting in the competitive spirit by having inner-team Ultimate Frisbee games on the new lacrosse field. It’s actually quite the workout!

We are all sore and cannot wait to get into the water. The countdown begins for our first meet which is October 12th. We may have a small team but we have the school spirit and definitely some girls to watch out for! This will be a great year, no doubt.

Personally, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped the school during this chaotic time. Our athletic director and coaches have been working really hard to make sure all of the student-athletes get the most out of their seasons and Ursuline athletics will only come out of this with more strength and spirit than before!

Until next time, GO ARROWS!

Allie Butta, Ursuline ’14

Captain of the 2013-14 UC swimming team

#UCStyleFiles Senior Words of Wisdom


One of the most influential courses for a student nearing graduation is Professor May Beard’s FH 452 Senior Symposium class. The course is designed so that students learn advice from various guest speakers in the industry, gain experience in constructing a proper resume and cover letter, and participating in a speed interview event.
With graduation approaching in December, I thought I would reflect on some words of wisdom from this past year’s guest speakers:
1.) I LOVE every area of fashion and I want to pursue, or at the very least give EVERYTHING a try. However, I was given a word of caution about this from the lovely Frechye Bush (our local FGI President and a favorite mentor of mine!) Frenchye admitted that she had the same exuberance I have, she wanted to do EVERYTHING. While there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, you do at some point need to narrow it down a bit. The reason being is that what if you’re approaching a mentor and you tell them your lofty ideas for your career path and they too do not know where to start to guide you? If you write down your top 10 ideas and then narrow it down to your top 3 you can visually see how to incorporate your top 10 ideas into a focused top 3. Real life example: I found myself facing the dilemma of not being able to narrow down what I want to focus on for grad school. To make a long story short, I came up my top 3 ideas (Fashion, Journalism, and Advertising/PR), talked it out with another trusted mentor, and my top 3 ideas became one CONCISE, FOCUSED idea! (Shout out to Anne-Marie Gurko for getting me on the right track!)

2.) I owe this awesome idea to Frenchye: for those who are very visual like I am, sometimes it helps to physically compose a plan for your future and outline the steps necessary to execute your plan.

3.) Another important lesson is from Devin Vandermaas (Founder of The Factory 2.0) : college is an important time to network!  I’ve met some of the most amazing and influential people in the world wide and local fashion industry through Fashion Group International! Making as many connections as you can and having an “arsenal” of mentors is a necessary and ongoing part of life that might as well begin now. Devin also asserts that we should never be afraid to ask for advice when we need it.

4) We shouldn’t sweat it if we lack in the quantity of experience in the work field, because quality is far more important. Another guest speaker advised us to do whatever we think we needed to do to get necessary experience, such as taking on a workshop experience in Paris if you think that will give you the upper edge, or perfecting a seemingly unprofessional accent a la “Working Girl”–but each person has their own unique vision, level of taste, experiences, etc. and because we are uniquely individuals, that’s what we bring to a company. Never lose confidence in yourself no matter what you might think you’re competition has going for them.

5.) Are you currently in the process of lining up an internship? Some advice from an Ursuline Graduate, Stacy Piotrkowski: if you haven’t heard back from company you’re interning with, DO get in touch with them! To make a long story short, because Stacy followed up when she didn’t get a call back, she DID secure her internship with Seventeen Magazine!

6.) Lastly (there are SO many important lessons, this isn’t actually the last) if your boss has you “pushing a dumpling cart” at an office party, or running an errand to Mood on a rainy day in the city, you CAN speak up for yourself and politely suggest to your boss that your services would be better used doing something else besides being a “gopher.” A word of caution while making a suggestion like this is that you should remember to be RESPECTFUL and COURTEOUS to your boss :)

Recognizing Women’s Contributions on Labor Day

c052bca63dbe374667b78946e1c33526Labor Day was established as a federal holiday in 1894 with the purpose of celebrating both the social and economic contributions of those who work.   Certainly every worker must be recognized for her or his contributions, but it is also a time to consider the undervalued work of women.

We all recognize the image of Rosie the Riveter, the US cultural icon representing women who took on factory work during WWII keeping the economy alive.  Rosie inspired a social movement that helped the number of women substantially increase in numbers in the workforce and has become a feminist symbol of women’s economic power.  Today, women are 50% of the workforce and a recent study shows that 4 in 10 mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in their families.

This said, women continue to be underpaid and their work often goes unrecognized.  Although the Equal Pay Act was passed 50 years ago, the gender wage gap continues. While Hilary Clinton did make 18 million cracks, women continue to face the glass ceiling.  There is a serious gender leadership gap with women serving in only 14.3% of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies in 2012.

Beyond the unjust treatment of women in relation to pay and leadership, there is also a serious gender gap in work division in the home.  We generally refuse to acknowledge the work of women in the home as having any value and particularly ignore the role of woman as mother.

In The Feminine Economy and Economic Man, Burggraf questions whether women, any more than men, would sign on for the following job description:

Wanted:  Parents willing to bear, rear, and educate children for the next generation of Social Security taxpayers, and to carry on the American culture of learning and progress.  Quality children preferred.  Large commitment of time required.  At least one parent must work a double shift and/or sacrifice tenure and upward mobility in the job market. Salary:  $0.  Pension benefits:  $0.  Profits and dividends:  $0.

Recent studies show that 75% of mothers have joined the workforce, and thus are pulling double duty; they not only sign on for no pay and no recognition for their gendered role in the home, they also participate in a workforce that undervalues their contributions.  So, on Labor Day, when you are celebrating the contributions of all workers who allow us to flourish as a society, may I so humbly suggest that you also consider the undervalued work of women and the work that still needs to be done.

Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D. is Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College and National Chair of Education for American Mothers, Inc.

After the Lecture: Women in Labor

As we approach our annual Labor Day celebration, we prepare to honor the contributions workers have made to the social, political, cultural and economic strength of the United States.

For many women, of course, “labor” has a dual meaning . . . and these dual meanings are a source of endless debate, handwringing, scrutiny and guilt-inducing diatribes as we (“we” meaning women in general, and our society as a whole) collectively agonize over the role of women (especially women who are mothers) as workers in and out of the home. Often, it is no longer the issue of “choice” to work outside of the home (and the reality is that for many women of color, and women of marginal economic status, it NEVER was a choice), as recession and the increase in households headed by women, or in which women are the primary breadwinners, make such work a necessity. But the conversations with respect to the intersection of women’s work as mothers and household managers, and women’s work as doctors/lawyers/journalists/   teachers/nurses/engineers/servers/managers/and so on continue to rage (and enrage) many of us.

The fact is, women’s place in the workforce outside of their home-work is not going to change. The genie’s out of the bottle . . .the horse is out of the barn . . .you can’t unring that bell . . . pick your cliché. The real challenge is the ongoing work of recognizing the social and institutional barriers to balancing work and family (rather than making individuals feel  it’s simply their personal failure), undoing essentialist ideas of what constitutes “men’s” work and “women’s” work, of the artificial division of labor by gender, of ideas such as dads are “babysitting” their children when left alone with them, while moms are . . . doing what they are supposed to be doing—being moms.

There is a reason that across cultures, across space and time, that formal education has excluded or been withheld from the marginalized—the poor, the dark-skinned, the female: it is the recognition of the powerful and transformative qualities and the significant economic, social, and political opportunities that education offers. Ursuline College was founded on and dedicated to the proposition that the access to education is the best way to empower women and encourage their growth as leaders.

Sheryl Sandberg’s observations in Lean In about the need for women to develop skills of advocacy, voice, and negotiation— which includes ability to problem solve, to analyze and synthesize information, and to communicate effectively—aligns well with the learning outcomes of our curriculum. But our institution takes that one better—we inculcate a sense of social responsibility and examination of values as essential to producing truly well-educated graduates, ones prepared to take their place in the world not just as workers, but workers who make a difference. And while some may be reluctant to acknowledge it, the “f” word is applicable here . . .yes, feminist values have been, are, and always will be aligned with justice, equality, and advocacy—for self and for others, for all workers and for all those who seek work and cannot secure it. And commitment to and action informed by those values will ultimately make the question “Should women work outside the home?” as incomprehensible as “Are you sure the earth is round?”

This post was written by Mary Frances Pipino, Ph.D., Director of the Ursuline Studies Program. 

#UCStyleFiles: DIY Manicure


Ever wanted to have endless manicure possibilities literally at your fingertips? How about without having to leave campus? Get ready for an (easy) new way to celebrate this upcoming #manicuremonday !

This is what you’ll need:

*Your desired nail art image shrunken down to size–I used my Microsoft Word to adjust the size

* Nude or light colored nail polish–I used Essie Sand Tropez

* Nail polish in a coordinating accent color

* Clear polish or topcoat

* Rubbing alcohol, or water

* A LASER printer, dot matrix printers will NOT work!


Step #1 Scale and print your image using a laser printer

Step #2: Doing one transfer at a time, allow the printout to soak in water or rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds

Step #2: Doing one transfer at a time, allow the printout to soak in water or rubbing alcohol for 30 seconds

Step #3: After the printout has soaked in water (or alcohol) press on to nails to transfer

Step #3: After the printout has soaked in water (or alcohol) press on to (painted) nail to transfer

Step #4: Seal transferred image with a coat of clear nail polish and voila!

Step #4: Seal transferred image with a coat of clear nail polish and voila!



Something for Everyone – Even Preservationists and Historians! – at Our Great Geauga County Fair


Our fair, with its inspiring and sometimes comedic history, is distinguished in Ohio preservation circles because it:

The Ohio Historic Marker  is unveiled at the Great Geauga County Fair.

Unveiling the Ohio Historic Marker awarded to the Great Geauga County Fair by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission.


1.  is one of only 10 historic sites in our state chosen for an Ohio Historic Marker for its importance to our agricultural development by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission.


Domestic Arts Hall (1889) at the Great Geauga County Fair.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places




2.  has 2 buildings, the Domestic Arts Hall (1889) and the Flower Hall (1890), listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Domestic Arts Hall (1889) at the Great Geauga County Fair. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

 The Burton Interurban train station that became the Great Geauga County Fair Office.

3.  includes a fair office housed in an old interurban train         station, skillfully adapted for reuse after it was moved from across the street to the current fairgrounds.

The Burton Interurban train station that became the Great Geauga County Fair Office.

4.  is organized by what is likely Geauga County’s oldest, existing organization – now called the Geauga Agricultural Society

Fairgoers are so used to watching the livestock, eating pie at the Grange, slurping down Tex’s lemonade, riding the rides, and seeing the shows that it is easy to forget that this is a time-honored institution with a rich heritage and a very important, longstanding mission.

The first recognized “modern” county fair was held in 1810 on the square in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  It was the brainchild of Elkanah Watson and the Berkshire Agricultural Society.  Watson clearly intended that his agricultural fair and cattle show would:


1.  promote agricultural improvements and pride in farming

2.  provide a holiday of the harvest, celebrating the variety of agriculture

3.  include pleasure and profit (material AND intellectual) for  all ages, every class, and both sexes.


Something for everyone, as a publicist would coin for a fair slogan decades later.

It was this tradition of agricultural education and celebration for all that our early New England pioneers packed into their cultural baggage and then transplanted in their new communities in what was then known as Connecticut’s Western Reserve and became northeastern Ohio.

Lewis Hunt of Massachusetts was one such pioneer who settled in Huntsburg (yep, named after his father Eben), Geauga County, Ohio, in 1817.  He was liberally educated, well travelled in England and Europe, and well connected in Massachusetts’ horticultural community.  Even as he planted his apple trees and travelled the county selling his produce, he spread the word to his friends and customers about Elkanah Watson’s new county fair.

In a heroic effort to establish the Geauga Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, prominent citizens from all over Geauga County travelled by horseback and wagon to CHARDON on FEBRUARY 10, 1823,  (CAN YOU IMAGINE RIDING HORSES AND DRIVING WAGONS TO THE SNOW CAPITAL OF OHIO IN FEBRUARY????  WHAT DETERMINATION!) for an organizational meeting.

The resulting first Geauga Cattle Fair and Show was held on Oct. 23, 1823, in Chardon.  Railpens were constructed on the square to hold the livestock and the smaller productions were on exhibition in the small Courthouse, located on what is now Water Street.

Thirteen premiums were awarded – 6 to women in the “feminine arts” and 7 to men for livestock.  They were:

$10 for best bull

$8 for best heifer

$6 each for buck, best ewe, and best piece of woolen cloth

$5 each for second best bull and best piece of bleached linen

$4 each for best table linen and best grass bonnet

$3 each for second best buck, second best ewe, and second best piece of woolen cloth

$2 for second best straw bonnet

From 1840 through 1854 the location of the fair alternated between the communities of Chardon and Burton until a spirited competition for a permanent fairgrounds developed between those two villages and the township of Claridon, with each offering acreage and support.


Burton won and the permanent fairgrounds that we know and love today was established initially on eleven acres leased from H.H. Ford where it grew in size and influence.  By 1863 the Geauga County Fair boasted 285 premiums awarded in 48 classes, many housed in small exhibition buildings that have not survived.  This, in spite of the contention by the reporter for the Jeffersonian Democrat, that the 1863 fair was not “as good as usual, [but] was as good as could be expected, under the circumstances.”

1863? Fair not as good as usual?  Under what circumstances?

You might be surprised to learn that in a listing of three reasons why the fair was NOT as good as usual, a recent drought and the movement of the date of the fair from the end of the harvest in October to early September managed to outrank the Civil War, which we happened to be in the midst of fighting.  Our Fair has ALWAYS been a priority to Geaugans.

The fair, however, continued to grow, requiring more acreage, more track for horse races, and more buildings.  The Domestic Arts Hall was erected in 1889 with the Flower Hall following in 1890.  Both are still in use today.

In 1913, a reporter from the Geauga Republican claimed that the 82nd annual fair was “the same old Fair in some of the same old ways that we have always known, of course, but, bless your soul, it will always be the same in those ways, for some things never change to a casual observer.  There will always be the livestock, sheep, swine, grain, fruit, and vegetables, exhibits of fancy work and culinary products, side attractions, catch-penny devices, etc., and the special events.  That’s why we go and it wouldn’t be a County Fair without the exhibit and attractions mentioned.  It is the same old time-honored institution we have always known.”



Those words ring true even today, in 2013.  The Great Geauga County Fair remains an educational and celebratory institution with a big, beautiful, bronze Ohio Historical Marker and an architectural heritage to remind us of its past and continuing importance in Ohio agriculture.

At the 4-H Horse barn at the East Show Ring at the Great Geauga County Fair

At the 4-H Horse barn at the East Show Ring at the Great Geauga County Fair

— Bari Oyler Stith, Ph.D., is Director of the Historic Preservation program at Ursuline College and proud to be a Geaugan.

Selected Bibliography

Geauga Republican, 27 August 1850.  Microfilm.  Geauga Public Library. Chardon, Ohio.

Geauga Republican, 17 September 1913. Microfilm.  Geauga Public Library. Chardon, Ohio.

History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts. New York: J.B. Beers and Company, 1885.

Jeffersonian Democrat, 3 July 1863.  Microfilm.  Geauga Public Library. Chardon, Ohio.

Jones, Robert Leslie. History of Agriculture in Ohio to 1880. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1983.

Neely, Wayne Caldwell. The Agricultural Fair. New York: Columbia University Press, 1935.

Painesville Telegraph, editions: 19 February 1823, 24 April 1823; 13 August 1823; 15 October 1823; 8 April 1824, 29 January 1825; 16 January 1826; 26 January 1827.  Microfilm.  Morley Library. Painesville, Ohio.

“Report of the Geauga County Agricultural Society” presented by Seabury Ford to the Ohio House of Representatives, 1838, doc. #85.  Western Reserve Historical Society.  Cleveland, Ohio.

Wells, J.C.  “The Old Agricultural Society: A History of the Geauga County Fair.” 1898.  Typescript. Burton Library.  Burton, Ohio.



Welcome Week & Fall Orientation 2013

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

suffrageToday is the 93rd anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote.  Thanks to the incredible and fearless work of women’s advocates such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, and many others, today women not only have the right to vote, but are having conversations about how to “Lean In” while demonstrating leadership that is changing the world.

Women today have made great strides and are contributing to our global community in a way that was unimaginable a century ago.  Women outpace men in higher education, make up nearly half of the workforce, and hold half of middle management position.  This said, we have a long ways to go.  We continue to have debates about women’s rights and exactly what that means.  Our discussions on reproductive justice, equal pay for equal work, and work/family balance demand ongoing evaluation of the ways women persist to endure injustice.  Violence against women continues to be a serious concern in every culture and women’s rights are violated everyday around the world.

We must celebrate the achievements of our foresisters and forebrothers who risked everything so that women today can push forward in the ongoing pursuit for justice.  Celebrating Women’s Equality Day is an opportunity to acknowledge their sacrifices, honor their successes, and embrace their spirits.  But we mustn’t settle for a society that has accepted the ongoing marginalization of women.  Rather, we must be inspired by the example of those who have worked for justice and continue to model their courage.

If you are looking for some inspiration today and need a reminder of what Women’s Equality Day is all about, consider watching Iron Jawed Angels, an HBO film about the suffrage movement and the triumphs of women who put their lives on the line for the right to vote.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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