Tag Archives: Education

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.


Fridays with B&B: educate a woman


A weekly conversation between your campus Marketing gals Brittney & Becca. TGIF! 

Becca: Did you see Tina Fey is producing a new show about women’s college’s?
Britt: Yeah, I heard, read a little about it. There’s not much info out about the show yet. I can’t wait to watch. Anything Tina Fey does turns to gold.
Becca: All we know is that it’s about a women’s college that goes co-ed. And it’s a comedy. But, you’re right, it will be gold.
Britt: “That’s gold, Jerry! It’s gold!” Did I tell you Ursuline received a tweet from Chatham University in Pittsburg? There is talk of the college going co-ed, so a student reached out for our support against it.

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H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: last day


Final thoughts from the H.E.L.P. Malawi Ursuline College team: Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer, Rhianna McChesney, Taylor Bruno, Maggie Stark and Molly Sabolsky.

Tiffany Mushrush Mentzer. As I sit in the Dulles Airport waiting for our final flight back to Cleveland, I can’t imagine a better trip with Maggie, Molly, Rhianna, Taylor and the entire H.E.L.P. Malawi team. It may have been my third trip, but each visit gets better and better with new and exciting experiences. I was able to visit the local secondary school this time where I saw the four students, Felia, Mary, Ramek and Stand, who we taught sewing to on our first trip in 2011. Such a special moment to reconnect with them! H.E.L.P. and Ursuline have such an important mission to educate and I am so proud to be a part of both organizations.

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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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Taylor Bruno

Q&A with the H.E.L.P. Malawi Team: Taylor Bruno

Taylor Bruno is a Psychology major set to graduate in 2016.

What inspired you to go on the H.E.L.P. trip?
Maggie (Stark) gave me information about the trip in the spring of last year and I’ve been so excited ever since!

What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I hope to gain insight of what its like to live in another country and to appreciate everything I have at home. I also hope to learn from the children and capture the beauty of Malawi.

What are you most excited about?
To see the elephants, monkeys and hopefully a lion. To help the children so they can have a successful future, to gain a new perspective and to see the African sunrise and sunset!

Thinking about Ursuline’s motto, Values, Voice & Vision, how will it represent you on the journey?
I will present my values by working hard to help those in need and having a positive attitude throughout the entire journey. I will present my voice by sharing things with the children in the village and trying to teach them new things. I will gain a new vision of what it is like to live in a completely different area and culture.

What’s your favorite African animal?
All of them!

What are 3 words that come to mind when you think about Africa?
Elephants. Monkeys. Safari.

Taylor Bruno

Taylor Bruno

Rhianna McChesney

Q&A with the H.E.L.P. Malawi Team: Rhianna McChesney

Rhianna McChesney is an Education and English major and Resident Assistant set to gradate in 2016.

What inspired you to go on the H.E.L.P. trip?
I was inspired to go on the trip because what we’ll be doing in Malawi is what I want to do for the rest of my life: teach!

What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I hope to learn how to be a better teacher on a global standard and to improve my sewing skills!

What are you most excited about?
I am most excited about working with children who so desperately want to learn.

Thinking about Ursuline’s motto, Values, Voice & Vision, how will it represent you on the journey?
Ursuline’s motto will represent me on the journey through my value of service, using my voice when I return home to share what I learned and my vision of education for everyone worldwide.

What’s your favorite African animal?
My favorite African animal is the giraffe.

What are 3 words that come to mind when you think about Africa?
Three words that come to mind when I think of Africa are sunrise, hot, need.

Rhianna McChesney

Rhianna McChesney


Supporting the Sciences: A Grant Writer’s Perspective

When I was asked to write a blog post about Chemistry, I immediately said “yes.” And then I thought, “What did I get myself into?” Technically, I was a “science” major; social science, that is. The thing is, I have a deep respect for scientists, especially women scientists.

My work in the Ursuline College Development Office writing grants gives me a broad view of collaborations and strategies that honor the mission and values of Ursuline College. I am currently working with Ursuline’s Dean of Arts and Sciences, Beth Kavran, to seek funding opportunities to best support our students with new NMR Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, an atomic absorption spectrometer and high performance liquid chromatograph. She has also helped me to more clearly understand Ursuline’s continual journey to positively impact Chemistry students at Ursuline: including its rich history of educating women in Chemistry and its exciting future for incoming Chemistry majors.

Ursuline College Chemistry Alumna Erin Childers '11

Ursuline College Chemistry Alumna Erin Childers ’11

While speaking with Dean Kavran, I learned that in 2010 the Chemistry major was re-established on campus, after a hiatus of thirty-four years. In 2010, the Department did not have all the necessary equipment to offer upper-level chemistry classes or student designed research projects. Although an alternative temporary solution was developed in collaboration with Cleveland State University, the permanent solution is just around the corner! The college will soon break ground for a new academic building, the Center of Creative and Healing Arts. This building (expected to be completed by the fall of 2015) will house a new, innovative chemistry laboratory created for students to maximize their research and a full Chemistry major.

Great News! Hedy Mulhausen, a Chemistry alumna who valued her experience and chemistry degree she received at Ursuline in 1962, established an endowed scholarship estimated at 1.5 million dollars. I recently had a meeting with a potential collaborative institutional partner and Dean Kavran. The potential partnering program has an excellent reputation in helping first-generation, low–income students, who are interested in Math and Science, graduate from high school. The scholarship, along with the new academic building, and new community collaborations make a compelling reason to stay tuned to Chemistry at Ursuline. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I have enjoyed sharing some of the progress developing with Ursuline’s Chemistry department.

Jimeka Holloway is a Grant Writer for the Office of Development at Ursuline College.

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.

Skype the Boss.

I know it seems unconventional to have a boss/mentor who lives and works in Chicago, especially when you work and live in Cleveland, but Amanda makes it work.  She is always available and happy to Skype or text. Today we had our first of many weekly video conference meetings.  Brynne, Sabira, and myself were updated about the activities and expectations of the upcoming week. At this time, the group is most concerned with recruiting more youth liaisons, and so Brynne is preparing to go speak with students at Glenville high school before the school year ends.

At this time I’m only working on creating the entrance questionnaire for the youth liaisons, or at least I would be if my account login was working properly.  But the most important news of the meeting came from knowing that the Peer Education division that i intern for, made the front page of the Plain Dealer on may 28th.


I feel so proud to know that I’m apart of a division that is helping to make my city a healthier place to live in.

-Sharita Hill