TLHE (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) Conference (June 2015)
Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio
Ursuline College Presenters: Mary Frances 'Mimi' Pipino, Ph.D., Adrianne 'Addie' Hopes, M.F.A. and Samantha Syracuse, M.A.
Abstract: Common Book, (Un)Common Reactions: Inviting Controversial Dialogue in the First-Year Seminar
Like many colleges and universities, Ursuline College instituted a common book for incoming students in the fall of 2013. The selection for the 2014-2015 academic year was Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, a memoir by Portia de Rossi, charting her struggles with body image, eating disorders, and coming to terms with her sexual identity. The book was required reading in all Ursuline Studies Program Stage I anchor courses, and each student enrolled in one of those classes was given the book as a gift upon arrival.
The Ursuline Studies Program (USP) is our core curriculum; its philosophy and structure are rooted in Ursuline's Catholic, women's focused mission and identity, and in the work done in Women's Ways of Knowing. Stage I "anchor" courses focus on the themes of identity, voice, meaning and education, and the book choices so far have been based on those considerations. The book selection is done each spring by the faculty who teach the Stage I anchor courses; faculty and staff across the college are also invited to participate, and interested members given copies of the book so that the reading becomes a truly common experience across the campus.
This year's selection presented both tremendous opportunities to tap into our mission and identity, and some serious challenges. The memoir's frank examination of the standards surrounding female beauty, the expectations for feminine behavior and appearance, the processes self-knowledge and acceptance, the pitfalls of celebrity culture, and the exploration of sexual identity creates tremendous opportunities for meaningful discussion of issues likely to be relevant to UC's students. At the same time, members of the campus community expressed concerns about the potential for this subject matter to spark traumatic reactions from some students, as well as its perceived challenge to conservative Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
In this presentation, the Director of the Ursuline Studies Program will present an overview of the USP and the role of the Common Book Initiative; two Stage I instructors will then present their experiences of the unique pedagogical challenges and opportunities Unbearable Lightness presented in their US 101 seminars, as well as the specific strategies and assignments they developed to meet them.
March is National Women's History Month (2015)
The National Women's History Project Theme: Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives
Ursuline College Presents:
A Panel Discussion on Human Trafficking
Monday, March 23
Klyn Hall (Ursuline Educational Center)
Free and Open to the Public
Human trafficking is a devastating practice that destroys the lives of some the most vulnerable and marginalized persons in our society. Although most of our panelists have been working on the issue of human trafficking for years, it's only recently that the general public has realized that trafficking is a local human rights issue, not just a problem in faraway countries. Come not only to learn more about this injustice, but also ways to help end it. The panelists will be sharing both general and practical information about trafficking, and highlighting local initiatives and efforts to combat it.
Christen DuVernay - Director of Programs at the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio
Dr. Mary Ellen Dale - Clinical Director: Bellefaire JCB Homeless & Missing Youth Programs
Sr. Anne Victory - The Collaborative to End Human Trafficking
Teresa Stafford - Project Star at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
Elaine Geller - National Council of Jewish Women, Cleveland Section
Theresa Johnson - Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
A dessert reception to follow the panel discussion.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Mimi Pipino at email@example.com or 440-646-8112.
The event is sponsored by WEAV (Women's Education, Advocacy and Value) and The Ursuline Studies Program
Banned Books Week 'READ-OUT' (2014)
Panelists from Puerto Rico, Serbia, Ukraine, India, Jamaica and Nigeria will gather to discuss challenges and issues in the lives of women and girls all over the world, as well as initiatives for hope and change. Members of the community are welcome to Ursuline College to celebrate Women's History Month and be inspired by the words and work of some terrific women from around the world.
Monday, March 31, 6 - 8:30 PM
NEW LOCATION: KLYN HALL Mullen Little Theater (Mullen 114)
The event is free and open to the public. A dessert reception to follow the panel discussion.
For more information, please contact Mary Frances Pipino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440 646 8112.
Speakers (from left to right): Usha Muralidhar (India), Michele Steele-Jordan (Jamaica), Ifeoma Ezepue (Africa), Ulyana Shramovyat (Ukraine), Ljiljana Bobinac (Serbia/the former Yugoslavia) and Elizabeth Ramos-Torres (Puerto Rico).
Banned Books Week 'READ-OUT' (September 2013)
The 2013 Banned Books Week 'READ-OUT' created a lot of buzz on campus and across the greater Cleveland area for Ursuline College. Articles appeared on Cleveland.com both before and after the event. 'Captain Underpants' created a lot of excitement. Lori White-Sanders, UC Graduate Assistant (aka Captain Underpants) served as the catalyst for the coverage. Her performance was featured in electronic media and newsprint; Sun News Chagrin/Solon - front page, Sun News local and the Cleveland Plain Dealer - page A6. Joan Rusek, Sun News reporter crafted a noteworthy article after interviewing Dr. 'Mimi' Pipino, Director of the Ursuline Studies Program and Marisa Dean, student reader. In case you missed it, check out the following link http://s.cleveland.com/0MR56Ym, take a look at the pictures on Facebook and the blog,Thirteen Reasons Why the Beloved Captain Underpants is Looking for Alaska.
Common Book Initiative (August 2013)
Dr. Mimi Pipino, Director of the Ursuline Studies Program introduced the common book initiative to begin the 2013-2014 academic year. This initiative was mainly designed for the traditional and transfer freshmen as a meaningful introduction to the core curriculum at USP Stage I level and the beginning of the Ursuline Experience. After sharing the idea with her peers, it was decided to expand the audience. Thus, the entire Ursuline community was invited to participate in the journey of Sultana in Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson. All participants were given a complimentary copy of the book.
As with everything free, there is always a catch! A community book club setting, time set aside to "Chew and Chat," will be scheduled at different times and locations during the fall semester. The sessions, co-sponsored by Residence Life, Student Affairs and the Office of Multicultural Affairs are designed to open opportunities to have really important discussions outside of the classroom, so that students can develop connections between classroom and out-of-classroom experience. It also gives opportunity to connect different parts of campus life through a common focus (and obviously we have many ways to do that alreadyâ€”this is just one more).
The book also serves to welcome new students to the campus community and to remind them why they are here (that is, a book as a symbol of their education). And in UC's case, by featuring books written by women and/or that focus on women's experience, we emphasize our commitment to our women-focused mission.
"A fascinating look at the lifestyles of the rich and Saudi." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Absolutely riveting and profoundly sad..." -- People
"Another page turner." -- Publishers Weekly
"Fascinating...one is compelled to read just one more page, one more chapter once one has started this Arabian nightmare." -- Oxford Review
"Must reading for anyone interested in human rights..." -- USA Today
CLA+ Collegiate Learning Assessment/CAE Council for Aid to Education (August 2013)
CLA has been part of the Ursuline Studies core curriculum for traditional age â€˜new' freshmen since 2005. Students are tested in their freshmen and senior year in the following areas: writing, analytical thinking, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and problem solving skills. College graduates continue to face seemingly insurmountable skill demands upon entering the workplace. CLA realizes skill demands for today's student took a quantum leap compared to a few decades ago. After some extensive research, CLA introduced a more robust assessment program, "CLA+, teach-learn-assess, fostering 21st century critical thinkers". Ursuline Studies will introduce CLA+ to the new freshmen this fall. We will continue to use the results to better align the Ursuline Studies core curriculum to help our students share their values, voice and vision on the journey to the ever changing workplace.
USA Today contacted Dr. Mary Frances â€˜Mimi' Pipino, Ursuline Studies Director for her insight on the CLA+ program and how it is being used at Ursuline College. Click on the following link to read what she shared with USA Today.
2012 Teacher Excellence Award (November 2012)
In Dr. Timothy Kinsella's 22 years of teaching at Ursuline, the College's mission as a values-based institution has always been at the forefront of his educational philosophy. Dr. Kinsella not only directs the College's Master's in Liberal Studies program but he also teaches in the history department and in the Ursuline Studies Program.
Dr. Kinsella's students say "He is approachable, supportive and challenges his students to perform to the best of their abilities. He also strives to help students to develop critical thinking skills while learning about fundamental questions concerning human existence and the world of nature."
Critique-An-Argument Faculty Workshop (November 2012)
In response to concerns that our students have difficulty on the Critique-An-Argument portion of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, Ursuline College held a writing instruction workshop focusing on improving students' abilities to "break" an argument. Led by Fred Wright and Mimi Pipino, the "CLA Critique-An-Argument Workshop" was held on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
Banned Books Week 'READ OUT' (October 3, 2012)
"The celebration of Banned Books Week (September 30 - October 6) is significant for several reasons: first, it reminds us of the profound power literature has to move us, please our senses, unsettle us, present us with uncomfortable truths, or impart knowledge that changes the way we see the world. Second, it calls us to remember the core values of our cultureâ€”freedom of expression, the gift of independent thought, and tolerance of and respect for different points of view. Third, it forces us to deliberate the paradox inherent in those values, when freedom to speak out (or in this case to write) clashes with the moral sensibilities and beliefs of others. But this tension also drives our democracy and makes social change possible, and if we ever lose it, we will lose ourselves," said Mary Frances Pipino, Ph.D. director of the Ursuline Studies Program.
Thousands of individuals and institutions across the United States will participate in Banned Books Week this year. It has grown into a premier literary event and a national awareness and advocacy campaign around censorship.
Click here to watch a video of the event.
US401 UC, Culminating Seminar - "Women Speak Out: Changing the World!" (Spring 2012)
US 401 is the interdisciplinary capstone course that focuses on the themes of Values and Social Responsibility. In "Women Speak Out: Changing the World!" students identify how values and action intersect as they learn about the history of women activists in the U.S. After examining contemporary women's issues from a global perspective, Dr. Beth Johnson's students competed for a donation to â€˜their' activist organization. Kate Klancher, Erin Riola, Shana Porter and Lisa Franklin submitted the winning entry on behalf of The Fistula Foundation.
The foundation replied:
"I want to thank you and your students for remembering those still waiting to be healed. I know you feel the same as I do, that no woman should have to suffer a life of shame and isolation simply for trying to bring a baby into the world. Ursuline College gives its students the lifetime gift of knowledge, and vision of how they impact the world they live in. We love your power point from the student presentationâ€¦ and would like to use it to help encourage support. I think some of the people who gather friends in their homes would be interested in having it to show." Sharon Howe, Director of Donor Relations, March 5, 2012
"You Are What You Say" by Rachel Neal and Jasmine Comstock, Ursuline Studies 102, Introductory Seminar (Spring 2012)
At Ursuline College, we believe that knowledge is both personal and empowering and we encourage students to actively participate in both teaching and learning. In the Stage I Ursuline Studies courses, students focus on four main themes: education, identity, meaning and voice. To encourage collaboration and build on student strengths, Sr. Susan Mary Rathbun asked students in her US 102 to lead discussions on reading assignments. Jasmine Comstock and Rachel Neal created this power point presentation to go along with essays from their Norton Mix anthology. Using Robin Lakoff's "You Are What You Say" and William Lutz's "The World of Doublespeak," Jasmine and Rachel creatively used their voices to engage classmates with questions, classroom activities and supplemental materials from YouTube. Their work increased peer participation and resulted in everyone having a better understanding of â€˜voice'.
"The End" by Lauren Hollis, Ursuline Studies 351, Introduction to Culture II (Spring 2012)
Pamela McVay, Lauren's instructor for US 351 (Introduction to Culture), comments, "In US 351 Introduction to Culture, my students are required to write a poem that demonstrates their understanding of the Baroque aesthetic. Describing the meaning of life in seventeen short lines, in "The End" she borrows George Herbert's technical feat of choosing line lengths to illustrate her main point before we read a word."
Faculty Critical Thinking/Writing Workshop (Spring 2012)
In response to a faculty request, Ursuline College held a writing instruction workshop focusing on fostering critical thinking in students. In the workshop, 26 participants from across the campus explored such questions as "What is critical thinking?", "How can I get my students to think critically?", and "Can writing assignments foster critical thinking?" The "Critical Thinking/Critical Writing" workshop was held on Monday, January 9, 2012.
Liberal Arts in the Job Market
AAC&U News, June/July 2011