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.


Tips For My First College Class

These tips will always help whether it’s for the first class of your college career or the first class of the semester.

My most important tip is to always be on time, professors always look to see who comes in late and some even take away points if the same student keeps showing up late.I always try to show up earlier, at least ten minutes so I can prepare myself for the class. If I know I won’t be able to show up for a class, I email the professor just to let them know ahead of time.

Another tip I have is to check the syllabus the night before the class just to double check if anything is due or if I should have read something important that I missed. This always helps me especially when the class has a lot of assignments due in the semester.

Whenever I get the syllabus, I always write all the exams and assignments for each class in my planner so that I know exactly which class to focus on and when. I always try to stay organized with my notes by having a binder for the class, especially when I know the professor uses power point hand outs.

Zaneta, Nursing 2015

#UCStyleFiles Fall in Love!

If you missed Fall Fashion week, don’t fret! I have you covered for Fall 2013 style trends.

Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2013

Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2013

Pantone’s top 10 colors for fall includes the color of the year, emerald. These dramatic jewel tones exude drama and luxury, while the earthy neutrals bring balance and warmth.

As for trends, leather in contrast with soft drapey sweaters, sleek military style blazers and jackets are a necessary staple in your fall wardrobe. Below is some runway inspo from Fall Fashion Week:

Color Wonder! Pantone's "Vivacious" as seen on the runway in Costello Tagliapietra's fashion show.

Color Wonder! Pantone’s “Vivacious” as seen on the runway in Costello Tagliapietra’s fashion show.

NY Fashion Week photo via: Glamour Expect LOTS of Leather

NY Fashion Week photo via: Glamour
Expect LOTS of Leather

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013: earth tones abound!

Kenneth Cole Fall 2013: earth tones abound!

Rebecca Minkoff's oversized coat is another essential piece for fall.

Rebecca Minkoff’s oversized coat is another essential piece for fall.

Even if you’re not dressing for the runway, it’s easy to create these designer looks for fall on a college student’s budget. Can’t wait to see you on the UC Concrete Catwalk ;)

Had to have it! My Free People textured vegan leather skirt, $59 at Tj Maxx

Had to have it! My Free People textured vegan leather skirt, $59 at Tj Maxx

My Alex and Ani "Cute" wire bangle was another amazing fall find at TJ Maxx for $19.

My Alex and Ani “Cute” wire bangle was another amazing fall find at TJ Maxx for $19.

Free People Bees Knees Tunic $52.80 at Nordstroms

Free People Bees Knees Tunic $52.80 at Nordstroms

Transition into fall in this eggplant colored "Sweet Lace Top," $17.80 at Forever 21

Transition into fall in this eggplant colored “Sweet Lace Top,” $17.80 at Forever 21

Perfect for balancing fall jewel tones, this Chiffon top can be worn with leather or knits. $17.95, H&M.

Perfect for balancing fall jewel tones, this Chiffon top can be worn with leather or knits. $17.95, H&M.

Sleek and stylish, this stunning jacket brings you runway style for only $59.95 at H&M.

Sleek and stylish, this stunning jacket brings you runway style for only $59.95 at H&M.

Southwestern-Inspired Utility Jacket, $34.80, Forever 21.

Southwestern-Inspired Utility Jacket, $34.80, Forever 21.

You'll look chic in Forever 21's "Open Military Jacket," $32.80.

You’ll look chic in Forever 21’s “Open Military Jacket,” $32.80.


Forever 21 calls this their “City-Chic Layer Sweater” and it just that! $24.80


Tangerine Dream: Colored denim is a great way to get your daily dose of Pantone color. $15.99, Forever 21.

Tangerine Dream: Colored denim is a great way to get your daily dose of Pantone color. $15.99, Forever 21.

Team “Nursulines” Participate in The Dirty Girl Mud Run

Early in the morning of July 20, 2013, before we even knew about the tornado that had ripped through our campus just a few hours earlier, six faculty and staff from Ursuline College started driving toward an off-roading course in Garrettsville, Ohio in the drizzling rain. We had been planning this outing for months.  Five of us in Nursing had formed a walking team on the Arrows Walking Club in the fall of 2012 and later, on a whim, signed up for a 5K called the Dirty Girl Mud Run. I will confess here and now that it was my idea, and that the only way I (Patti Stephens) was able to convince Betsy Beach Mosgo, Christine Wynd, Kathy Rogers, and Becky Mitchell to go along with me was to ensure them that 1) we did not have to run the course (we would walk it) and 2) there was a detour option around every obstacle.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is similar to other obstacle course runs that have become popular in recent years, with one main difference:  the goal is not competition, but team-work. This event is also only open to women, and a portion of registration fees are donated to support the early detection of breast and ovarian cancer (see below or visitgodirtygirl.com for more information).  For these reasons, I thought it would be a perfect activity for a walking team from a women’s college! We also invited others in the Arrows Walking Club to register with us, and were thrilled when Sue Kramer from the Registrar’s Office decided to join our team, which we had dubbed “Nursulines.”

Dirty Girl Mud Run Finish Line

Dirty Girl Mud Run Finish Line

Several of us started driving that morning at approximately 6:45 a.m. and soon received the text message alerts about the tornado at the school. This is mainly what we discussed while driving and meeting in the parking area before our heat of the event began. There was a steady drizzle, which didn’t dampen our spirits nearly as much as it drenched our custom-made nurse caps and fuzzy pink mustaches, nearly all of which were gone by the time we reached the finish line!

Because of the record rainfall this summer, the course, which is normally for Jeeps and other off-road vehicles, was much wetter than usual. The water obstacles, aptly dubbed “H2OMG,”were much deeper than normal and we helped each other through them in various ways, such as sending a scout ahead to announce the location of particularly large, jagged, or slippery rocks. We also held on to each other for balance throughout many portions of the course. At this point, Christine Wynd could be heard asking, “Whose idea was this again?”

There were horizontal and vertical rope obstacles, mud pits, steep hills, inflatable tubes to crawl through, and giant slides. Amazingly, we all made it through the course with only minor scrapes and bruises, plus a few cases of whiplash from the last giant inflatable slide.  Not every team member attempted every obstacle, but no one had to do an obstacle alone. Kathy Rogers commented that the “feeling of bonding” due to the “common goal” was what made this event exciting for her.   I, too, was surprised by how much we had to depend on each other to get through the course. I had envisioned a fun event which would be a nice team-building activity; I had not realized how hard we would have to work not only individually but collectively to get through all of the various obstacles.  Becky Mitchell’s rope-climbing research paid off as she coached us on how to get up the vertical rope ladders, and watching the teams ahead of us helped us strategize how to cross the vertical rope obstacle as well.  The ropes weren’t the most challenging obstacles, however; the “Utopian Tubes” challenge, which consisted of crawling on hands and knees in the dark through knee-deep mud full of stones (and who knows what else) was painful both physically and mentally!

After our triumphant celebration at the finish line (see photo of us covered in mud), several of us stopped by the campus on our way home to view the damage from the tornado. Sue Kramer waxed philosophical about the parallel between the way the tornado spread nature all over the campus that day and the way our Dirty Girl Mud Run team ended up covered “in nature” (as neurotic TV detective Monk would say). To carry the analogy one step further, I saw how our walking team had to work together to overcome the physical obstacles which blocked our path on the course; similarly, our Ursuline Community will need to work together to overcome the obstacles that mother nature imposed on us during the tornado. Betsy Beach reminded us repeatedly that the Dirty Girl Mud Run  was “not a nature walk” and later commented that “facing challenges and overcoming obstacles is the Ursuline way,” which is also a great thing to remember at this difficult time of recovery from the tornado.

With the joint goal of empowering women to lead healthy lifestyles, Dirty Girl and Bright Pink will urge the hundreds of thousands of women who participate annually in Dirty Girl events to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health.

Dirty Girl is a for-profit company that believes strongly in the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer, in educating women about health and in supporting cancer victims and survivors. Dirty Girl will be contributing $250,000 to Bright Pink in 2013 to further this mission.

Dirty Girl Mud Run also provides free registrations to cancer survivors who want to muck it up in the mud at one of the 60 events across the county.

Dirty Girl is honored to have Bright Pink as an official charity partner and we look forward to sharing in their mission by encouraging this critical mass of women to understand the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of breast and ovarian cancer.

#UCStyleFiles Share What You Wear

Buried Alive in Clothes...

Buried Alive in Clothes…Yes that’s Cher Horowitz
Image via weheartit.com

While serving as the 2012-2013 president of Fashion Focus, I wanted to make sure that our club would have the opportunity to take part in a very special project that is very dear to my heart. My love of fashion plays such a huge part in my life, I’ve chosen to base my career around it so I can share my passion for style with others. And by default, I am an avid collector of beautiful things, and I wasn’t the only member of Fashion Focus who finds herself buried alive in clothes with an overflowing walk-in closet, or dorm for that matter. We could definitely work with that!

Fortunately, I knew of an organization that would be the perfect fit for Fashion Focus as well as a solution to my overflowing closet, “Share What You Wear.” “Share What You Wear,” is a non-profit charity program at Orange High School which began after Orange High School Students Zoe Baris and Samantha Zabell volunteered at the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland Designer Dress Days. Zoe and Samantha were inspired to do something meaningful and helpful for others. Zoe and Samantha decided that donating their new and gently worn clothing for children from newborn to age 18 would fill an important need for kinship families in the Cleveland community. Six years later, Zoe and Samantha have done just that, leaving an even bigger legacy which continues to grow each and every year. Samantha and Zoe are truly girls after my own heart. To Zoe, what is most rewarding about this experience has been “to see my vision turn into something that has surpassed my wildest expectations, from collecting tens of thousands of items to helping thousands of children and getting the entire community involved, it has truly been a dream,” she says.

Zoe states, "It truly has been a dream"

Zoe states, “It truly has been a dream”

After the collection of the clothing throughout the school year, the “Share What You Wear” event in August is hosted with the help of student volunteers. This event gives local families in need and (the children in their care) a chance to experience what can easily be described as a “dream” shopping trip. Back to school shopping was (secretly) a favorite part of my childhood and almost something to have easily taken for granted. Over the years “Share What You Wear” has continued to evolve. Zoe explains,  “It started out in a barn where each child was allowed a certain number of items that were “bought” with Share What You Wear bucks, to now allowing each child to leave with unlimited amounts of anything they want. The first 4 years the items were organized in my basement until the final August event, and now everything is housed in a warehouse provided by NCJW to accommodate all of the clothes, a result of the incredible involvement of the community.”

Children delight in the incredible selection of books

Children delight in the incredible selection of books

A Dream Come True: A large party hall is transformed into a trendy "back to school" boutique

A Dream Come True: A large party hall is transformed into a trendy “back to school” boutique


SWYW definitely covered all of the back to school essentials!


All Smiles: Zoe's dream touches the lives of many in the community

All Smiles: Zoe’s dream touches the lives of many in the community

Zoe and the legacy of “Share What You Wear” have a bright future ahead of them. So what does the future hold for “SWYW” and co-founder Zoe Baris? Zoe assures us that “the future is so bright and endless for SWYW.” According to Zoe, the success of SWYW will continue for years to come because “There is no limit to the amount of people it can help and the amount of good it brings to the community.” As far as Zoe, her future is just as bright. Zoe reveals, “I plan on using the same skills that I have built upon since SWYW; my creativity, entrepreneurial skills, my background in business, and my desire to give back to create an amazing future. I have one semester left in the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and I plan on learning as much as I can and meeting as many people I can to help me fulfill my dreams.”


This year, Orange High School Senior, Jordan Davis took charge and helped organize the 2013 “Share What You Wear” event. (Click here to read about Jordan’s successful clothing drive at Orange High School). As a 2009 graduate of Orange High School myself and a native of Pepper Pike, Ohio, there was no hesitation for me to ask how Fashion Focus and I could help!

Our very stylish SWYW flyer!

Our very stylish SWYW flyer!

The countless, endless boxes of clothes

The countless, endless boxes of clothes

Fashion Focus was able to organize a campus wide clothing driving starting on April 1st, ending the last week of classes. We also were able to lend a hand to help Jordan fold, sort, and box the clothing for pickup, and help set up for distribution event this week at the Tudor Arms Double Tree hotel. And the rewards of this experience are endless. It’s such an amazing feeling to have contributed to this amazing program and to see the end result of Zoe and Jordan’s hard work. I feel so lucky to gotten to know these incredible friends of mine. <3 SO PROUD!

An Amazing journey continues for Zoe, 6 years later!

An Amazing journey continues for Zoe, 6 years later!

Want to learn more about Zoe Baris and Share What You Wear? Click below to view a collection of articles




RA Advice: Preparing for Dorm Life

Move-in day is fast approaching. Faced with the daunting task of stuffing one’s life into a suitcase, many students — especially freshmen — may be nervous about packing for dorm life. Rest at ease with some advice from our own Resident Assistants.

“Communicate with your roommate ahead of time so you know what commodities the other is bringing.” -Rhianna McChesney, AYA Integrated Language Arts & English

“Bring what you think you will need, but definitely be prepared to send some things back home as you will have limited space.” – Natalie Huggins, Language Arts & Math Education 

“I would advise to freshmen to pack lightly and only bring what you need because you are going to end up sending some stuff back with your parents! Also you will get most of your items that you want while you are here.This happened to me my freshmen year! I would make an agreement with my roommate on who is bringing what to avoid from bringing two TVs since there is only one cable source. I would bring a mini fridge and surge protectors because you can not have extension cords in the dorms(fire hazard). Lastly! Less is more! Good luck and see you at move in day!” -Keith Reeves, Fashion 

“Bring a positive attitude! Our goal in the halls is to have fun!” -Kelsie Kirchartz, Nursing 

Gym Gone but Spirit Isn’t

Greetings from room 110 of the Dauby Science Center, the lab turned makeshift office to 11 members of the Ursuline College athletic department after a tornado hit the College’s campus on July 20th. The 110 mile per hour winds caused an external wall of the Matthew J. O’Brien Athletic Center to collapse and destroyed part of the roof. Offices were packed up and sent to storage while the building is assessed to see if – or when – it’s safe to return.

The tornado came just eight days after the school received a final stamp of approval from the NCAA and was welcomed as an active Division II institution.

Much is still unknown. How much will insurance cover? When will the athletic facility begin to be re-built and what will it look like? Where we will practice on a day-to-day basis?

These questions have been discussed by the administration as they have worked around the clock while demonstrating tremendous leadership and resiliency. Hathaway Brown has already agreed to host the volleyball matches that were scheduled to take place in the O’Brien Center and only basketball needs a permanent home for games. Vans have been purchased to safely transport student-athletes to and from practice destinations and modular units are on the way to replace the offices and training room that are no longer functioning.

The rest of the answers will come. Maybe not as quickly as we would like, but the answers will come.

What we do know for certain is that we were lucky the tornado hit in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. Just 10 hours earlier, our campus was home to the Blue Streak All-Sports Camp and dozens of children were running around. We thank God that no one was harmed.

We know that eventually we will restore our campus and it will be a reminder of what we can do when we all come together. As is the case in athletics, a little bit of effort goes a very long way. We will get this building up and running again, piece by piece.

We know that we are being looked after. Many schools and community centers in the area have reached out to inquire about how they may help us get back on our feet.

We know that we are loved. The outpouring of support we received post-tornado has been very much appreciated. Perhaps not every single e-mail, text message, Tweet or voicemail expressing well-wishes was responded to, but the message was received and we are grateful for the support.

We know that people have an eye on Ursuline. Media outlets across the country published stories about the tornado damage and as a result, website traffic and social media hits have skyrocketed. People want to know what Ursuline is about.

What we are about is adapting to the times, making something out of nothing. The conditions are not ideal, but we will make this work. We will meet the challenges head on. We will do the best with what we have and take that principle with us in all that we do. We will not make excuses.

We are a place of higher learning, but now this community is about teaching as we will be an example of how to respond to adversity.

Librarian Mingles with Romance Authors

Amanda Flower at the conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Amanda Flower at the conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Amanda Flower at the conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Amanda Flower at the conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

I’m a UC librarian by day and a writer by night with four published novels to my name and three more coming in September of this year. In the summer, I spend a lot of my time off from the library writing my novels, traveling on book tours, and attending writing conferences. This summer was no exception, and I attended the Romance Writers of American Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, one of the largest writing conferences in the country.

The conference ran Wednesday, July 17-Saturday, July 20. The official start of the conference was the “Readers for Life” literacy signing. Five hundred authors from all over the United States and the world signed their novels. I was privileged to be one of those authors, along with some of the biggest names in Romance fiction, like Nora Roberts. The publishers donated the novels for the signing and the money from the sales went to organizations that support literacy. This year the signing raised over $52,000.

The rest of the conference was broken into workshops where both published authors and aspiring authors could learn something new about the craft of writing, publicity, or managing their writing business. The workshops were informative and fun. However for me, the best part of the conference was hanging out with my writer friends and meeting other authors.

I took time out of the conference during the day to visit the attractions in Atlanta, including the Georgia Aquarium and The World of Coca-Cola.

You can see more photos on my author blog or my Facebook page.

-Amanda Flower, Head of Bibliographic Services.

After the Lecture: Damage From the Wind

When I teach Calculus, I teach a section in which the area between two functions is calculated. Later, the volume between two three dimensional shapes is calculated using similar techniques. For example, one might take a cube and imagine the volume left if the shape if an ice cream “scoop” of a spherical shape is removed from one side of that cube. I found myself thinking of this particular problem last weekend when I looked at photographs of what had been, until last weekend, the gym at Ursuline College.

After a week of oppressive heat, a storm blew through our part of Ohio last weekend, bringing strong wind and heavy rain that flooded many basements on our street. As I reminded myself of the benefits of not having an actual basement in my split-level home, I discovered an e-mail from my dean talking about wind damage that was found throughout campus, damage that had blown off a wall of our gym. With images of branches blown around our own back yard, I assumed that there were such branches strewn about the campus, and that the problem could be taken care of by a few workers who would pick up the branches quickly and repair a wall to the gym, which I assumed was simply an outer façade that had been torn off. It was not until I received another note from her later that day talking about classes being cancelled for the weekend that I began to suspect that things were worse than I had imagined. But even that did not prepare me for the images on the nightly news of the damage that had been done to the campus by a tornado that had touched down in the midst of the storm. The wall that was torn from the gym was not an outer façade, but an entire wall that had crumbled after part of the roof had been lifted by the wind. The hardwood floors were open to the sun and rain, and basketball hoops swung in the wind. Much of the roof was gone, and what was left of the walls on either side of the gym looked like they had been damaged by a bomb.

Immediately after showing pictures of our idyllic campus contrasted with the damage done by the tornado, the news showed an interview with our president, Sister Diana Stano, who said the only good thing that could be said; “no one was injured.” It was amazing to realize that all that damage had been done and no one was hurt. Indeed, many of the college’s neighbors who had been touched by the tornado had escaped with less damage than could have occurred. Huge trees had been uprooted, but none of them harmed anyone in the homes they had stood near, and property damage was much less than one would have expected. Referring to our Roman Catholic roots, one woman on the news even said that she felt that the tornado had “picked up a prayer at Ursuline.” that had protected the neighborhood.

This was the first tornado that my daughter has had any direct personal knowledge of, and she was scared to hear that a tornado had struck so close to her own home. I cringed when I remembered that we told her only a few weeks ago that the tornados in Oklahoma were far away, and that she was safe here. Alas, she is starting to really realize that such promises made by her parents are not promises that can be kept. Scary things happen everywhere, and as she grows, she will become more aware of this truth.

As I have found myself doing many times in her short life, I held her extra tight that night when I wished her good night, and once again wished that I could protect her from all that is bad and scary in the world. As I did, I thought of the other parents whose children had not been so lucky; the parents of the children in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, and those who sent their healthy children to school one day in Chardon, Ohio and in Newtown, Connecticut. And yes, I was reminded of the parents of Tryvon Martin in Florida, whose child would never come get to come home. I am once again reminded that, in parenting, there are many things beyond my control, and that there are limits to the degree that I can protect my daughter from all of the scary things that blow thorough this world.

This blog post was written by Rosemarie Emanuele, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics at Ursuline College.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/mama-phd/math-geek-mom-damage-wind#ixzz2bC3qktFo
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