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.

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Inside Higher Ed

#UCStyleFiles DIY Chandelier!

Photo Via Pinterest

Photo Via Pinterest


I firmly believe that no room is complete without a chandelier, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor space. How perfect would a chandelier be in your garden, or YOUR dorm?! I recently found a great tutorial from the Dollar Store Craft blog on how to fashion a chandelier from affordable household items. (Click on the link above for this amazing tutorial and other awesome and affordable projects!)

This is what you’ll need:

* Mardi Gras style beaded necklaces (from the dollar store or party store)

* Jewelry wire

* Hot glue

* Scissors

* Metallic spray paint

* Plastic Crystals, glass beads, etc.


Photo via Dollar Store Crafts tutorial

Photo via Dollar Store Crafts tutorial

Step #1: Begin by attaching the beaded necklaces to the wire basket with the jewelry wire.

Step #2: Once the entire “bowl” is completely adorned with the beaded strands, continue on to attach the beads to hanging part of the chandelier.

Step #3: To secure the beads, Dollar Store Crafts hints to loop the chain link through the hook to support the weight of the beads.

Step #4: In a ventilated work space, spray paint your chandelier in your desired color. Be sure to wear a mask and protective eye wear!*

Tip from Dollar Store Crafts: loop the chain links through the hook to secure the beads

Tip from Dollar Store Crafts: loop the chain links through the hook to secure the beads

And this is how my chandelier turned out:


MY version!


A continuing process: I find myself adding to my chandelier every so often!


How gorgeous does my chandelier look in our apple tree?

How gorgeous does my chandelier look in our apple tree?




The Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund

“Do not be discouraged and confused about the     future.  Even though troubles and anxieties will come, these sorrows     will pass into joy.  Hold this for certain, that you will never be     abandoned in your needs.”

-St. Angela Merici


Dear Alumnae & Friends of Ursuline College,

As many of you know, Ursuline’s campus was affected by a tornado in the early morning of July 20.  The College was incredibly blessed that there was neither loss of life or injury.  The O’Brien Athletic Center was hit the most severe damage, where the exterior wall of the gym collapsed.  Additional damage occurred to the Dauby Science Center and the Besse Library with minor damage to an entrance in Pilla and the Mullen roof.  A large number of mature trees were uprooted or destroyed and various other areas of campus were impacted.

I am grateful for the outpour of heartfelt messages, prayers and offers of  assistance.  Through your encouragement I feel the strength of the College community.  I believe that together we will rebuild our campus to an even more vibrant state.  Because of the confidence and support of each of you, Ursuline was able to get through this crisis with dignity and grace.  Ursuline is a small community, but the College has a mighty heart and spirit that not even a tornado can dampen.

The Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund has been set up to help in our rebuilding efforts.  If you would like to contribute to the fund through the College’s website visit Rebuilding Fund or send a check made out to Ursuline College Rebuilding Fund.  If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Gladstone, Ursuline’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement at or 440 646 8355.

May God Bless You,

Sister Diana Stano, O.S.U., Ph. D. ’68

#UCstylefiles: An Evening of Art and Fashion

Fox_25“From Botticelli to Pollack. The history of art is the mechanics of Fashion and Branding: it is the marketing, presentation, selling, and licensing of a product or idea that is relevant and desirable in its time period.”

What could be better than an evening of art and fashion? An evening of art, fashion, and the opportunity to make networking connections in Cleveland’s fashion industry! Last night I attended this incredible FGI (Fashion Group International) event at the Cleveland Museum of Art and met some amazing people and mingled with some good friends and my favorite fashion professors! The event featured an exclusive fall fashion trend presentation from Saks Fifth Avenue. (I LOVED everything I saw!), a presentation on fashion designer and FGI member Ali Rahimi of Ali Rahimi for Mon Atelier from John Barle, and a private guided tour of the museum from the Director of Art Studies at Virginia Marti College of Art and Design, Patrick Melnick. NOTE: We also shook hands with the likes of someone with connections to iconic model Twiggy!


SO what fall trends should you be on the look out for? Expect to see lots of leather, from laser-cut leather dresses to leather leggings, moto jackets, and your classic leather pant. Classic cashmere also took a sleek feminine edge with flattering draping, paired with destroyed denim. Below are some photos courtesy of local blogger Karen Yannacio Morse of GlamKaren. Be sure to check out her blog, she is so amazing!


Photo Cred: Karen Y. Morse


Photo Cred: Karen Y. Morse

Stay tuned for more! -xoxo


After the Lecture: In the View of the Korean Mountains

After experiencing the hustle and bustle of Korean cities—it was now time for country-side travels. My husband and I first decided to venture to the Southwest part of South Korea. We took a surprisingly comfortable five-hour bus ride through the mountain-cradled picturesque country-side towards Haenam County, Jeonnam Province. Beside the natural beauty of the destination—we had made arrangements for a week-end “temple stay” at Daeheungsa Temple – a Buddhist Temple nestled within a remote national park. Daeheungsa is located on Duryun Mountain, in the southernmost area of Korea, and is the head temple for the 22nd District of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. The exact date that the temple was founded is unknown, but historians are certain that the temple has stood since the Three-Kingdom period of ancient Korea (4th-9th centuries CE). The Temple Stay program is an educational and a cultural experience program designed to enhance the understanding of Korean spirituality and Korean culture. A typical temple stay program entails overnight stays at a Buddhist temple, and experiential participation in such Buddhist rituals as yebul (ceremonial service), chamseon (meditation), and barugongyang (monastic meal). We were given very comfortable living quarters (with traditional floor beddings) as well as traditional clothing. We had very welcoming and helpful guides, including much individual attention from the Head Education Monk. He provided many formal and informal discussions of Korean Buddhists’ life, culture, and spirituality. Possible future collaboration of Korean to English text translations even discussed.

After the temple stay, we also made arrangements to stay nearby at what has been described as one of the “first” Korean “Inns”. This “Inn” was nothing like what we think of in America as an Inn. In Korea, these overnight places are called a “Yeogwan”.  Yeogwans are a traditional Korean housing structure, with heated floors and in this case a stunning natural view. Traditional Korean meals are also served for a low fee. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of fresh fish and vegetables with a scenic view of the mountains. Nothing could have been a more perfect way to end this country side-trip.

Later, after returning to Seoul, we also did a day tour to the DMZ in the Northern-most part of South Korea.  The DMZ area is near the border of North Korea and is a place of great contradictions. It is a very peaceful and an exquisite natural area of a renewed nature preserve. Since no large structures–urban or military are allowed there—it has abundant natural and wild life. Many animal and plant species– once nearly extinct —have returned in this quiet undisturbed setting. But in this beautiful stillness there are also signs of great tensions. There are many Army checkpoints, restrictions, and watchful armed observations by military soldiers. As we ventured our glances into the vast distance mountains of North Korea—one can’t help but feel the pain of past losses and pray for a future peace.

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

After the Lecture: Is this blessed sip of life not enough?

Dave matthewsIf you are a Dave Matthews Band fan like me, you certainly noticed the news this week that fans stopped to help a man who had a bike with a flat tire on their way to a DMB concert and found that the person was Dave Matthews.  The fans placed his bike on their bike rack and gave Dave Matthews a ride to his own concert.  Being the gracious person that he is, Dave showed his gratitude with front row seats, back stages passes, a meeting with the band, dinner, and of course, a shout out during the concert.  Jealous?  I am!

The Dave Matthews Band has become iconic in the world of rock. Although there have been long breaks between album releases, the band tours year after year, and their fan base continues to grow. Beyond the unique beat and brilliant tones produced by this eclectic band, the lyrical focus and continued grappling with life’s mysteries is a significant draw for the listener.

A continuous theme found in the music is the idea that focusing on the afterlife, or what is beyond us, has left humanity failing to recognize the sacred that is in the here and now. We are so preoccupied with trying to attain what comes after this physical life that we fail to notice all that surrounds us in the present. In the song “Don’t Burn the Pig,” DMB poses the question, “Is this blessed sip of life not enough?” Without debating the existence of a life beyond the physical world, these lyrics have demanded that we take notice of the beauty in our daily lives and experience God as God is present.

I can’t help but think of Catholic Imagination when I hear this song which views creation as sacramental. Creation in all its forms reveals something about God and thus brings God among us. Consequently, this life is “blessed” and should be embraced as such. Too often we waste away our days in search of something that should remain a mystery and fail to recognize the divine that permeates our everyday lives. The music of DMB acknowledges this calling its listeners to realize and be conscious of the sacred in all its forms and to have gratitude for all that is experienced in this “blessed sip of life.”

Gina Messina-Dysert, Ph.D. is a theologian, ethicist, and Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Ursuline College.

#UCstylefiles Dorm Art Edition


Fall Fashion 2012 by UC Students Susan Hayley Fox, Kianna Coggins, and Candice Avery

As many of you know, I love the art of window display design! Four our group project, Kianna Coggins and Candice Avery and I created this display in Dauby to illustrate the style and color trends for Fall 2013 for Professor Jennifer Knaus’s Visual Merchandise/Display Class.   I created the “fall leaves” by cutting up paper towel tubes and gluing them onto poster boards with tree branches.

I loved making this display so much that I’m going to dedicate this post to an easy craft project you can do to make easy and affordable dorm art that looks like it belongs in the windows of Anthropologie.

This is What You’ll Need:  *Paper towel tubes *Hot glue and a Hot glue gun *Scissors *Acrylic Paint


Begin by cutting the tube into small sections

Glue cardboard pieces together

Glue cardboard pieces together

Paint, and Voila!

Paint, and Voila!

Step #1: Using your hands, form the cut sections into “circles” and “ovals” for the center and petal pieces.

Step #2: Build your sculpture by hot gluing the card board pieces into place building outwards of the center “circle”

Step #3: Paint the cardboard and allow cardboard to dry.

Step #4: (Optional) for added durability, spray sculpture with shellac, or paint on Modge Podge, or a similar decoupage product.

Tada! Use a Command Hook product to hang your sculpture for a damage-free hold!

After the Lecture: Urgent NYC – The Protest

On June 22, 2013 people from all over the world attended a historic protest for pets in New York City. you might ask what could New York City possibly be doing with pets to attract the attention of people in England, New Zealand, Australia, and a philosophy professor from Ursuline College.  The fact is that the Animal Control policies in NYC are outrageous. Hundreds of perfectly healthy, happy dogs and cats are held in areas where the public cannot see them and are killed regularly. Demand by a volunteer organization, Urgent NYC, have forced changes into these policies and these volunteers, including myself, have saved over 16,000 dogs and 11,000 cats since the beginning of the Urgent program. We still say that this is not good enough.

The goals of this protest were to demand that the mass killing of pets in NYC stop immediately and that city leaders  implement no kill policies for shelter pets, to demand that shelters are built in Queens and the Bronx, to demand a repeal of breed based dogs bans in the city and an end to the targeting of some breeds for death, and, finally, to demand a criminal investigation into the practices of the ACC officers who work inside of the existing shelters in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

This protest is the first of its kind because of the kinds of demands that were made as well as because individual pets who fell victim to the shelter rules were honored. Another important difference this protest made was to change the image of protesters. When many people think of protesters they think of the young people who did much of the protesting during the 1960’s. Kate Riviello, the founder of New York Animal Rights Alliance, believes that it is important to update the ideas about protesters to meet the current conditions and to change the way that protesters are thought of. To that end many protesters wore protest T-shirts with dress pants or with red suits. Kate believes that stereotypes of protesters often keep many people from taking us seriously and from joining in for causes that they otherwise would join.

While our demands have not been met the protest was still a success because it was very well attended and because we raised awareness of the plight of shelter pets in New York City. More people have joined in the effort to save the pets and more and more pressure is being put on Mayor Bloomberg to keep his campaign promises to the pets in the Bronx and Queens. In any case, everyone knows that the world is watching.

After the Lecture: The City Life in Korea

Given that my family lives in Seoul, South Korea—we had much time to explore the city. Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of more than 10 million, it is one of the largest cities in the developed world.  The Seoul Capital Area, which includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, is the world’s second largest metropolitan area with over 25.6 million people, and is home to over half of South Koreans along with 632,000 international residents [1].  Situated on the Han River, Seoul’s history stretches back more than 2,000 years when it was founded in 18 BC by Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It continued as the capital of South Korea under the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Empire. The Seoul metropolitan area contains four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by mountains, the tallest being Mt. Bukhan, the world’s most visited national park [2].

We were able to venture many of my old haunts as well as some new corners of this extensive (and continually updated) immense city. One of the highlights was an evening boat tour along the Han River—which flows through the center of the city. The view offered from the river was a stunning and shimmering panorama of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. The experience was animated with the sights of colors, the sounds of laughter, and the smells of Korean barbecues. No city seems more alive than Seoul in the summer.

We also had a chance to spend a day in the Southern Port city of Busan.  Busan is South Korea’s second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of approximately 3.6 million [3]. The Metropolitan area (includes adjacent cities of Gimhae and Yangsan) has a population of over 4.5 million, and when including nearby Ulsan, and the South Gyeongsang region—the area has over 8 million population in the metropolitan area [4]. The area also has Korea’s largest beach and Korea’s longest river, the Nakdong River. Busan is the largest port city in South Korea and the world’s fifth busiest seaports.  Busan also offers one the world’s best seafood markets, and includes many Korean fish favorites of all types. We also got to experience the ocean shoreline vistas from atop an open air bus, and we sampled the Korean street sweet treats in the bustling shopping district. From Busan we able to rapidly travel back to Seoul via one of the world’s fastest “bullet trains.” City Life is Korea holds many charms.


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