Tag Archives: Academics

Sewing Her Way to the Top

Written by Hannah Barucky, junior fashion major

School is a big coDSC_5269mmitment. Suddenly, you’ve given up free time, brain space, and sleep to get assignments in on time. You’ve got to work harder, sacrifice money and energy, and be invested to do well. Is it worth it?

My decision to return to school after a two year hiatus was considered carefully and weighed against a lot of different factors. I had tested college for almost two years after high school and come out the other end with the only real difference showing in my bank account. When I discovered Ursuline and began to consider diving back into the undergraduate process, it was with a clear focus and shining goal at the other end.

As a fashion design major, I’m gaining completely invaluable knowledge that will carry me further into the world of entertainment: whether that means film, TV, or theater.

I plan to continue my work in an industry I’ve fallen in love with, but I can only do that through my training I gain every time I step on campus. I inadvertently fell for a future that is laden with uncertainties, each gig its own challenge, and every day choosing to jump off the next cliff. School is extremely important to prepare me to be ready to take those leaps.

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Being prepared for a competitive field gives me drive, and inspires me in every project I tackle in school. I attempt to see every little seam as a test of how I work under pressure, and each project as valuable pieces for my portfolio that can—and will—get me a foot in the right doors down the road, or whenever those opportunities come.

Education Classes at Ursuline – Teaching Life Skills and Leadership

Our major of the month for August is Education. To learn more about the Education Unit at Ursuline College, we interviewed the co-directors of the Education Unit, Dr. Mary Jo Cherry and Dr. Jim Connell. Cherry and Connell both shared valuable information about why being an education major at Ursuline is so special.

What are some things that you learn in an education class that help you for the rest of your life?

Jim Connell: I guess I would start by saying that you really do get in touch with who you are and who you are going to be. We emphasize that quite a bit – it is important, if you’re going to be an effective leader, to really know yourself. That’s just essential. You deepen the understanding of yourself so that you can be an effective leader.

Mary Jo Cherry: And I would say that’s probably similar in teacher education.

If you were talking to people that had a negative image of people in education or education majors in general, what would you want those people to know about education majors?

Mary Jo Cherry: I would say, speaking for undergrad, they are very dedicated and they want to work with kids. They are very hard working. A lot of our undergrad education majors are athletes, and a lot of them work full-time or part-time. You can’t be in this major and not be dedicated. They don’t get many electives, if any at all. It’s not for the faint of heart. These students, in addition to their coursework on campus, they’re out in the schools from their very first semester. As an example, the special education majors, before they even get to student teaching, have clocked a minimum of 365 additional hours. They’re really dedicated and they’re committed to doing what’s best for kids.

Jim Connell: I would go in a couple directions there also. Mary Jo ended with discussing hours. In both of our field courses, we exceed the minimum you see at some other institutions. If someone has a negative image, I’m not so sure that I can change that. But, what I can tell them is that the people who are in education operate out of a high sense of commitment and a strong sense of personal satisfaction from what they do. They really do enjoy it.

Mary Jo Cherry: The other thing I can mention is that our graduates see themselves in a profession, and they see themselves giving back as part of their professional responsibility. Our undergraduate advisory board has some of our undergrad graduates, but we also have educational administration graduates, who just happen to end up on our board because someone nominated them. They are absolutely wonderful. Educators are by and large a very committed group. They see themselves not only as working in the profession but also giving back. There’s a wonderful sense of community.

Any tips for current education students, future education majors, or recent graduates of Ursuline’s programs?

Mary Jo Cherry: I always say get as much experience around the children you want to teach as you can, so age level, developmental level. So for my students, I usually say it doesn’t matter what you do with them, just be sure you want to do this. Get as much experience as you can. The other thing I say is be willing to move where the jobs are. If you’re in a position to move, there are teaching jobs all over the country. I suggest that they be open to charter schools, private schools, parochial schools, and public schools, because you need to get your foot in the door and you need experience. If you’re always doing what you truly believe is the best for children, you won’t be hurting anybody.

Jim Connell: I think I would go a different way. I simply say to people that you want to look around and pick a program that has success and a network. We work to make sure people are in a place that they can get jobs, and we help them network at all times. Look for not just the beginning of the program, but the end.

Mary Jo Cherry: We really do work as much as possible with individuals, as opposed to a group of people in a class. The whole institution, not just our unit, not just our programs, walks the talk. We are really here for you, and you are not a number. There are at least three students who are currently in the educational administration graduate program that went through our teacher education undergraduate program.

I want the students to know a little bit more about you. What is your favorite part of teaching education classes?

Mary Jo Cherry: It’s the students I teach. That’s it. I love being with the students, and it’s energizing, it’s fun, and I just enjoy it.

Jim Connell: Mary Jo was talking about enthusiasm. I always present the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” I can be excited about teaching curriculum development, but it’s making the students enthusiastic about it that’s the key. It’s getting the students excited about what they’re learning.

Mary Jo Cherry: We do our administrative duties, but we only do it because we can still teach. I bring stickers, and pencils for every occasion. And I love sharing stories. I warn them that anything they say in class, I’ll have a story about it.

 

Ursuline College’s Eastern Bluebird Trail

Written by Sarah Preston, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Summertime is a quiet time here on campus with many of the students and faculty away for summer break, but it’s also a time bursting with new life, bird life. June and July have produced many Mallard ducklings dabbling in Lake Elissa and a family of KilPhoto 1ldeer chicks running around on their too-long legs. Multiple broods of Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds have hatched and fledged from the nest boxes placed all over campus last year by the Ornithology class.

It all began when my chemistry colleague, Mary Kay Deley, and I decided to take Glenn Hanniford’s Ornithology course for fun in spring 2014. Mary Kay has her own bluebird nest boxes in her yard and has been a volunteer bluebird trail monitor for the Holden Arboretum. She recognized Ursuline’s campus, with its expanses of short grass bordered by wooded areas, as perfect Eastern Bluebird habitat and suggested that we create our own bluebird trail.

The project became a collaboration between the biology department, chemistry department, and facilities and maintenance. One of the lab periods was used to build the nest boxes. Wally Bursic, from maintenance, cut the wood, provided the power tools, and assisted with assembly. Each of the 18 students in the course had the opportunity to build her own bluebird nest box and we proudly put our names on them.

We placed 14 nest boxes in pairs around the campus and eagerly waited to see who would move into them. After the students leave for the summer, the boxes are monitored by Ursuline faculty and staff volunteers who remove the nests of the non-native, invasive House Sparrows to keep their population in check and record species, number of eggs and young, and approximate age of the young for each nest box.

DSC_0206It’s exciting to monitor the nest boxes because you never know what you’re going to find when you open the box. Sometimes it’s empty. Occasionally a messy House Sparrow nest needs to be removed. Often it contains the Tree Swallow eggs or young and the parents will protect the nest, swooping down on the monitor causing her to don the ridiculous umbrella hat. A few nest boxes contain the stick nests of House Wrens, which for some reason include hairy, black spiders, which have been known to make a monitor (who shall remain nameless) scream. Every now and then we open a box and find what we’ve been hoping for, the pale blue eggs of the Eastern Bluebird in a neat nest of pine needles, and we rejoice.

Although most of our nest boxes have been occupied by other beneficial species, we have had moderate success attracting Eastern Bluebirds to our boxes. Last year one nest box, #9, successfully produced 4 Eastern Bluebird fledglings. This summer that same box had another brood of four, most likely produced by the same pair of bluebirds since they are known to return year after year to the same nesting site. With the donation of additional boxes this year, we placed six more boxes in three new locations. It was one of these new boxes that housed a second bluebird family this year; they fledged three chicks within the past two weeks and just laid two more eggs, which, if they successfully hatch and fledge, will bring our Eastern Bluebird fledgling total up to nine for 2015.

Counseling and Art Therapy students go to South Dakota on service learning trip

Written by Katherine Jackson, assistant professor, Counseling and Art Therapy department

photo 8From June 21 – 27, 2015, graduate students, alumnae, one undergraduate student, a few community members and three faculty members journeyed to Eagle Butte, South Dakota, to work with Lakota Sioux youth at the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP) which is located on the Cheyenne River Native American Reservation.

Graduate students in the Counseling and Art Therapy program had suggested about a year ago that we do a service learning trip with impoverished and at risk populations in our own country, and we discovered a wonderful opportunity at Cheyenne River Youth Project. CRYP was founded in the 1980s to help give youth and teens a place to congregate where they could enjoy healthy snacks, activities and socialize. CRYP was a big success from the start, and soon after opening they were able to secure grants and funding to build a new center that could accommodate almost all of the youth in and around the Eagle Butte area. At present, CRYP serves hundreds of children, providing sports, art, tutoring, a youth run coffee shop, a sustainable organic garden, a graffiti art park and a healthy eating program which offers whole food meals every evening for any child in the community.

The Coordinator of Volunteer Service, Tammy Eagle Hunter, explained the philosophy at CRYP, which is “Don’t feel sorry for us and try to help, but rather join with us and together we will make things better.” This statement, although simple, sums up the attitude at CRYP. Everyone is encouraged to help side-by-side with the Lakota Sioux to maintain the community, work with the kids and pitch in wherever needed.

While we were there, we workphoto 4ed on cleaning, landscaping, gardening and organizing the center in the morning. In the afternoons, 30-40 youth arrived to participate in art therapy, nature activities, games, yoga and loving care from the Ursuline group. We provided support, care and lots of fun. Not only did the kids get to do art therapy and create many beautiful art creations, but they got their first taste of yoga. Yoga was a hit with many of the kids because it was so different than anything they had ever experienced.

While we were at the center, we learned first hand how alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, low socioeconomic status and poor dietary habits affect this vulnerable population. Many of the children got their only meal of the day at the CRYP center and endured parental neglect and abuse at home. Despite these hardships, the resiliency of these Lakota Sioux children is remarkable. The children embraced us with open arms and hearts, and we found a welcome home away from home at the center and in the reservation.

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We were fortunate enough to have a Lakota artisan, a bead worker, and a native storyteller and dancer work with us for an afternoon. We learned that the Lakota language is an oral language and thus is almost extinct. The Lakota people are attempting to put the language in written form to help preserve it and also to maintain important Lakota traditions. For example, in Lakota there is no word that means war, and this peaceful tradition is built right into rituals and community gatherings. Most quarrels are handled by compromise, with harmony being a prized value in the population.

One week did not seem like enough time to fully visit and get to know the people at the CRYP center and on the Cheyenne River Reservation. We are hopeful that we can return next year and make it an annual service learning trip to help the Lakota Sioux youth and continue to forge and build relationships with both the CRYP and the Cheyenne River Reservation.

 

Update. College holds beam signing ceremony for construction of the Center for Creative and Healing Arts

1r1eZvDqWdyRpHBhClZWJF_6AScBOM5rAHoz_gyS0qg,FYyg0VZOe7eodw0X3ifqtWU8B1QbYaWWeJ9jdd89uKcUrsuline College continues tradition by hosting a beam signing ceremony for the new Center for Creative and Healing Arts. Ursuline is also constructing an athletic center on campus. The construction of the two buildings is the College’s largest project in over 40 years.

The Center for the Creative and Healing Arts and Sciences will house the Art Therapy and Counseling department and The Breen School of Nursing’s undergraduate and graduate programs. The building is comprised of 22,000 square feet of classrooms, labs and conference and meeting space equipped with the latest technologies in education.

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Tradition. Sophomore nursing students take part in ‘Blessing of the Hands’ ceremony

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Every year sophomore nursing students take part in a traditional ceremony called the Blessing of the Hands. This blessing ceremony is a beautiful experience and valuable to students as they embark on their first clinical rotations. As a daughter of an Ursuline alumna, my mother, a registered nurse has learned through this experience to value the importance of empathy, compassion, strength and responsibility and has been guided by God to use her hands to heal those that suffer. Ursuline College, the only school in the region that holds this ceremony, wants this unique tradition to “touch the heart through the hands”. Through this ceremony, students will learn the importance of compassion and care toward patients and reflect on their upcoming responsibilities.

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Professor and Department Chair Laura Hammel Selected for PRSA Esteemed College of Fellows

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The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)’s Board of Directors has approved the recommendation of Dr. Laura R. Hammel for acceptance to the organization’s prestigious College of Fellows.

The College of Fellows, founded in 1989, is a community of more than 300 senior PRSA members who have advanced the public relations profession and distinguished themselves through their experience and leadership in the public relations industry. Admission is open to public relations practitioners or educators with 20 years’ experience or more, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. College of Fellows members also must exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other practitioners or educators.

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Ursuline College recognizes individuals for years of service

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From left to right: Sr. Ann Kelly, Ginny Folisi, Marty Kane and Mary Alice Saunders 

The College community thanks Sr. Ann Kelly, Ginny Folisi, Marty Kane and Mary Alice Saunders for their dedication and congratulates them on their retirement in 2014.

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Professor and Chair of Religious Studies selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities summer scholar

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Natalie Kertes-Weaver, Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Ursuline College, has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 30 seminars and institutes supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment is a federal agency that, each summer, supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions, so that faculty can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Kertes-Weaver will participate in a seminar or institute entitled “Representations of the ‘Other’: Jews in Medieval England.” The five-week program will be held at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies (England) and directed by Professor Irven M. Resnick.

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Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies serves as panelist at United Nations’ 58th Commission on the Status of Women

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Originally posted on businesswire.com

In their continuing efforts to promote awareness of issues facing mothers worldwide, American Mothers, Inc.® will host two panels at the upcoming session of the United Nations’ 58th Commission on the Status of Women. “The Feminization of Poverty” and “Women and HIV” will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York on March 11, 2014.

American Mothers, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization seeking to honor mothers and represent mothers’ issues, holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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