Tag Archives: Academics

Dying young: the Birmingham bombings

Photo Credit: Google Images

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

Addie May Collins (age 14)
Carole Robertson (age 14)

Cynthia Wesley (age 14)
Denise McNair (age 11)

For many of us, these names are unknown. They are the four young African-American girls killed, with twenty-two others injured, in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama on September 15, 1963. This bombing took place only eighteen days after Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in Washington D.C. and at the very beginning of integration efforts in Birmingham.

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Nursing Professor and Graduate Student Receive Top Awards from OAAPN

Graduate student Amy Megery and professor Dr. Laura Goliat from the Breen School of Nursing recently received awards from the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (OAAPN), two out of seven awards given by the organization nationwide.

The OAAPN held its 23rd Annual Statewide Conference at the Hilton Inn Polaris this past October in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s conference was the largest in the organization’s history with over 600 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) attending.

Each year at the conference, the OAAPN recognizes four outstanding APRN students across the state who promote leadership and seek to make a positive difference in the healthcare field. This year, Megery, an Ursuline College graduate nursing student, was chosen as one of the 2013 scholarship award recipients. Recipients were given a $1,500 award to advance the professional development of APRN’s. Candidates selected have demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting the values and philosophy of the organization and are seen as a positive representative for APRNs in the future.

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A MOOC Made for a Librarian

If you are not familiar, MOOC stands for Massive Online Open Course. MOOCs emerged in recent years as a way for large numbers of students to have access to the same learning opportunities as those who attend prestigious universities. The courses are offered online for free from institutions across the U.S. and around the world. Class sizes are unlimited and cover a wide range of topics from science to humanities to technology. Courses are non-credit, but offer a certificate of completion for students who complete all the required tasks.

I was curious about the offerings, so when I recently looked into the courses starting soon one stood out to me immediately. It was titled “Plagues, Witches and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction”. What better title to reel in the librarians of the world! The video introduction on the Coursera Web site hooked me from the start. This course would focus on the history of the genre, and include readings from novels inspired by the Salem Witch Trials, The Plague, Typhoid Mary, Chinese ghost marriages, and the life of Ovid.

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Since the course I took was literature based, students were linked to online versions of texts that are in the public domain and therefore freely reproduced. Also, students quickly made use of their local libraries to snap up copies of the novels for the course (thank you, OhioLINK!). This is where I think the self-paced format is very effective for students at different levels. Those who had already some background knowledge could spend more time on the supplemental readings and students with less time or inclination had the option to focus on the core readings. Discussion forums buzzed with conversation regarding the readings, book recommendations, and questions for guest lecturers.

This course included guest video lectures from authors whose novels we read in full for the course. The authors who participated happened to all be women (a point that did not go unnoticed in the discussion forums) and wrote on widely varied topics. Historical fiction is a research-based genre so it was fascinating to hear about the detailed work that went into creating a plausible narrative in addition to creating engaging characters. Through this course I was exposed to books that I never would have read and frankly would have missed out on some of my favorite books to date.

One last aspect of participation in this course that struck me was the global reach. Our professor was particularly impressed by this also. In his closing lecture, he shared the fact that 20,000 students from dozens of countries all over the world signed up for the course, sharing thoughts and reactions, questions and conversation. I was surprised to find so many people around the world shared my interest in this genre. I would definitely participate in another MOOC. In fact, next I am considering a course on Andy Warhol!

Celia Halkovich is a Technical Services Librarian at Ursuline College’s Ralph M. Besse Library

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Travels to France

Traveling to France was a dream come true for me. I had such a fabulous time that, the Lord willing, this will not be my last trip to the fantastic French land. I remember anticipating the trip, listening to French for Dummies and meeting a French tutor in preparation for the trip of a lifetime.  I have to say that the country of France did not disappoint.

The architecture of France is everywhere. As we traveled on the Metro, I marveled at the frescoes that covered the ceiling of the railcar. The magical scenes of horses and men displayed stories that a writer’s pen could compose a novel.  The ceiling was full of choreographed works of art of ancient times.

The Seine River was named appropriately for after traveling on the river cruise there were not many Parisian sights that I had not seen. The Eiffel Tower, the Musee D’Orsay and the Notre Dame Cathedral were the fabulous sights that I snapped with my camera as we journeyed down the river. The beauty of the bridges, the artistic figures of men, animals and the intricate detail of the objects were astounding.

The variety of cafes and restaurants gave me an opportunity to sample and to enjoy many different types of food. I was surprised by the variety of cakes that were available for breakfast.  The French people enjoy a number of sweet, delectable desserts from breakfast until dinner.  The hot chocolate at Angelina’s was the best that I have ever tasted.  The French culture has taught me to really delight in food.   It is important to take the time to taste, feel and savor the texture and flavor of the food.  In the United States, we are so busy that we live in a Styrofoam world, from to-go boxes to disposable coffee cups with lids; we neglect the importance of sitting down, taking a breath, enjoying our food and fellowshipping with others.

The visit to Claude Monet’s home and gardens was the most beautiful part of the trip.  I was reminded of special times that I spent with my grandma picking and planting flowers every year.  I savored the aroma of the many varieties of flowers. The pond was a body of still water that completed the peaceful scene.  As I think about Claude Monet, I try to imagine him as he was surrounded by mounds of flowers as he tried to decide which flowers to paint first.

Claude Monet’s home displayed his love for art with frame after frame of paintings and artwork covering every wall in the home.  The early twentieth century stove, the wash basin and other late nineteenth, early twentieth century items helped me to envision a time of simple living that included people spending quality time with each other and delighting in loving one another and not focusing on things the way that many people do today.  The many pieces of Japanese art surprised me.  As I was walking through the home, other visitors were discussing Monet’s fondness of Japanese art and how this art influenced his paintings.  Even though Monet had cataracts in his later years, he continued to paint and although the work was not as defined as his previous works, the outline of what he was painting is apparent and the colors are still vibrant.

The beauty of Monet’s home and garden added to the intriguing nature of France.  While the gardens represented life, the travel to the Omaha and Utah beaches were also a reminder of life.  Without the courage of the soldiers to come together on D-Day, I may not be here today.  If Hitler had continued his tyranny, my ancestors and many others who did not meet the narrow criteria of who was considered a perfect person would not have survived.  I am thankful to my grandfather and countless others who served in the military during World War II who fought for our freedom.  I learned a number of remarkable historical facts from our guide, Nigel, and from touring the museum.  If was fascinating viewing the items that were used eighty years ago such as clothing, supplies medications, weapons and phones, radios and telegraphs that were used to communicate.

The time in Paris included spending moments in a town with a vibrant night life.  Whether it was Saturday or Tuesday night, Parisians fill the streets and restaurants enjoying good food, good music and good company.  I would love to go back to France and spend a month touring the museums, walking along the river and breathing in the fresh air while standing on the countryside.  The trip to France has modified my thinking, increased my focus on what is important and helped me to stop and smell and appreciate the roses, to revel in the time spent with friends and to bask in the glory of nature that the Lord graces mankind with day after day.

April Braden, Student

2013 AOCC group pix

Art Therapy and Counseling (ATC) Faculty and Students Co-present at the All Ohio Counselors Conference

It was a histo2013 AOCC blog pptrical day for the art therapy and counseling faculty and students! It was the first time for us to present together at the All Ohio Counselors Conference in Columbus, Ohio. This took place on November 7, 2013. Presenters included two current ATC graduate students, Claire Whiteman, Mary Cassidy, and ATC alumni Steve Macek, M.A., an art therapist and professional counselor at University Hospital of Cleveland. Also presenting were ATC faculty Katherine Jackson, Ph.D. and myself (DoHee Kim-Appel, Ph.D)–along with Jonathan Appel, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Tiffin University (TU) and TU student Erin Snapp.

Our joint research team presented empirical results of a year-long research project that 2013 AOCC group pixhas been investigating links between creativity and mental health. The title of the presentation was “The Relationship Between Measures of Creativity and Mental Health Measures.”

The aim of the study presented was to determine the extent to which multidimensional mental health measures predict measures of creativity as assessed by a measure of creative personality and an inventory of creative behaviors. The study also examined the interrelationships between mental health, personality measures, demographic variables, and measures of creativity. The research found that overall better mental health (emotional stability and low psychoticism, low autistic tendencies) appears associated with creative personality, but increased levels of anxiety, obsessive compulsive and somatization were associated with actual creative activity. Another major finding of the study was that there was a strong association between the mental health symptom measure of somatization and creativity across measures of creativity. Implications of this research for counseling and psychotherapy were also discussed at the presentation. The research strongly suggested that expressive therapies can and should be integrated within a clinical counseling practice. The research team is currently preparing the research for publication.

I appreciated Gail Rule-Hoffman’s (ATC program director) supportive attendance and her leadership throughout the conference.

DoHee Kim-Appel, Ph.D.is Associate Professor for Art Therapy and Counseling at Ursuline College.

Photo Credit: Google Images

Affordable Care Act Breakdown Part II: The Disadvantages

Much controversy surrounds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). There is no doubt that this legislation will have will have wide-ranging implications for all Americans. The Act, which was designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve access to healthcare, offers some advantages (which we looked at yesterday) and disadvantages.

Disadvantages of the PPACA include:

Recent research predicts that the implementation of the PPACA, coupled with the nation’s aging population, could lead to a shortage of 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025. However, the role of the Advanced Practice Nurse could effectively be expanded to address this shortage.

• Pharmaceutical companies will pay an extra $84.8 billion in fees over the next ten years to pay for closing the “donut hole” in Medicare. This could raise drug costs if they pass these fees on to consumers.

• Americans who don’t pay for insurance and don’t qualify for Medicaid will be assessed a tax of $95 (or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher) in 2014. The tax will increase to $325 (or 2 percent of income) in 2015, and $695 (or 2.5 percent of income) in 2016. Individuals with annual incomes above $200,000 and couples with incomes above $250,000 will be required to pay higher taxes to help cover costs of the program. Starting in 2014, income tax deduction of medical expenses must exceed 10 percent of income, rather than today’s 7.5 percent of income. Additionally, Medicare tax will be used to fund implementation of the PPACA legislation.

• The cost of the PPACA on small business is predicted to be significant; some analysts forecast that in order to financially survive, 80 percent of small business will be forced to drop current health insurance plans within three years following PPACA’s 2014 implementation (NFIB, 2011). The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) also asserts that the PPACA promotes incentives for businesses to reduce their workforce. Associated costs to adequately monitor and comply with new regulations of the PPACA are substantial, and may result in greater overhead to those companies with small profit margins. Tax deductions equal to a 28% subsidy for employer contributions to Medicare-eligible retiree prescription drug plans has been eliminated.

• Certain provisions of the PPACA limit the ability of employees to use flexible spending and health savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription. Employee contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts will be limited to $2,500. It is believed that by capping these tax-free dollars to $2,500, approximately 24 billion dollars in tax revenue will be generated to pay for the PPACA legislation.

The controversy associated with the implementation of the PPACA is significant; however, this country must address overwhelming healthcare costs and quality issues. Health insurance premiums have grown four times faster than wages over the past eight years. Quality and safety issues are paramount. Whether the PPACA is the answer to the healthcare crisis in America is yet to be seen.

Patricia A. Sharpnack DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for Student Nurses of Ursuline College (SNUC) at the Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing. 

Photo Credit: Google Images

Affordable Care Act Breakdown Part 1: The Benefits

Much controversy surrounds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). There is no doubt that this legislation will have will have wide-ranging implications for all Americans. The Act, which was designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve access to healthcare, offers some advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of the PPACA include:

• Thirty-two million Americans who would not have been covered by health insurance either now have coverage or will be able to acquire coverage in 2014. This includes:
o 3.1 million Americans ages 19 through 25 who may be added to their parents’ plans.
o Patients with pre-existing conditions who will no longer be able to be denied coverage by insurance companies. An added benefit to the consumer is that insurance companies will no longer be able to drop insurance plan members once they get sick.
o Individuals who are unable to afford the cost of health insurance. Will be added to state Medicaid program.

• The passage of the PPACA will help facilitate the ability to secure health insurance in the state insurance exchange programs that will ensure coverage for ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health, vision and dental care.

• While there is debate on this issue, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the cost of healthcare could be reduced. Since the PPACA ensures that 95 percent of the public are insured, preventative healthcare will be more accessible and may reduce costs of waiting until an illness has progressed.

• The PPACA is supposed to eliminate the Medicare “donut-hole” gap in coverage by 2020. Presently, basic Medicare Part D coverage does the following:
o An individual covered by Medicare pays out-of-pocket for monthly Part D premiums all year. The Medicare recipient is responsible for 100% of your drug costs until the $310 deductible is attained. After reaching the deductible, the individual pays 25% of the cost of the medications, while Part D plan pays the rest, until the total spent reaches $2,800.
o Once this limit is attained, the Medicare recipient has hit the coverage gap referred to as the “donut hole,” and is responsible for the full cost of medications until the total spent reaches the yearly out-of-pocket spending limit of $4,550, at which point the cost is reduced to approximately 5 percent.

• Improved incentives for primary care providers and hospitals that provide for high quality care will be offered. Comparative effectiveness research might also assist in reducing healthcare costs by only approving effective approaches to treating conditions.

Check back tomorrow for a breakdown of the disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act.

Patricia A. Sharpnack DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for Student Nurses of Ursuline College (SNUC) at the Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing. 

Photo Credit: Google Images

Musings on Online Teaching and Learning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Women Vote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Equal Rights for All! Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

considerable excitement in consequence of nine ladies having

the independence and moral courage to present themselves at

the polls, and demand their right to vote.

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

On November 13, 1872, the Geauga Republican noted that

Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, fourteen women

citizens presented themselves at the polls in this town yesterday,

and asked the privilege of exercising their right of suffrage.

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

At the recent election … notwithstanding the almost impassable

condition of the roads, fourteen women were present to indicate

their desire to exercise their natural and inalienable right to

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

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

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

and gentlemanly…. declining to receive the proffered votes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

intelligent audiences, who listened for two hours each evening with

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

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

in the reforms which are so needed.

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

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

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

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

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

Ellen Munn  (1833-1908)

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

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

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

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