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  • Home / Student Life / Women's Center

    Student Life

    Women's Center

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    Women's Center

    Welcoming Space. Supportive Environment. Women’s Resource Hub.


    The Ursuline College Women’s Center empowers and engages students, faculty, and staff in two significant ways:

    • The Center provides services and resources to address women’s needs and promote their personal and career development.
    • The Center serves as a platform for women’s leadership development to impact the broader community.

    Co-directed by Dr. Jessica Headley, Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Art Therapy Department, and Amy Lechko, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, the Center sponsors personal and professional workshops for faculty, staff, and students on topics such as self-compassion, professional branding, and motherhood. 

    Speaker Series

    Stars Among Us is a speaker series that brings respected women leaders from the local community to campus to engage students in thought-provoking discussions on women’s leadership. Experiences shared by featured speakers, representing a range of backgrounds, aim to foster connection, inspiration, and change.

    Global Perspectives is a bi-annual event that brings renowned speakers to campus to raise awareness about present-day social justice issues. This inspirational event aims to offer attendees opportunities to learn, reflect, and be more intentional about their service to others.

    2020 Women’s Center Research Grant Awardees

    As part of the Women Center’s initiative to support research and scholarship among undergraduate and graduate students at Ursuline College, the Advisory Board launched the 2020 Student Research Grant opportunity.

    Candace Ressler
    Graduate Student, Counseling & Art Therapy
    Candace is conducting a study on the benefits of displaying artwork in an exhibit among adults with severe and persistent mental health issues. She is currently interviewing participants to learn more about their experiences. Her findings will help counselors and art therapists understand the effects of sharing artwork and provide recommendations for future clinical practice. Candace hopes to share her research with the art therapy community once completed.

    Mike Boyce
    Graduate Student, Counseling & Art Therapy
    Mike conducted a study on the use of art with the homeless population. He found that participants in the study drew on interpersonal strengths, self-efficacy, and the healing aspects of the arts to explore extreme adversity in their lives. His study supports research on the utility of illustration in helping vulnerable populations explore their inner strength and resilience. Mike presented his findings with Dr. Jessica Headley, LPCC-S at the 2020 Annual Buckeye Art Therapy Symposium and is working toward submitting his research for peer-review publication.

    Choozee Hena Manocha
    Graduate Student, Counseling & Art Therapy
    Choozee is conducting a study on the promotion of communication, connection, and empowerment with Indian-American families through the use of art-making. She is currently in the process of gathering her data, and hopes to find that art-making and family processing encourages the overall holistic wellness of the family members, including their interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. Hena presented her literature review on culturally appropriate art-making with Indian-American families at the 2020 Annual Buckeye Art Therapy Symposium with Professor Melissa Hladek, LPC, ATR-BC. She aims to apply these findings to her future research with other minorities in the United States, and to encourage further multicultural enlightenment in the field.

    Jackie Fry
    Graduate Student, Counseling & Art Therapy
    Jackie conducted a study on women’s experiences as targets of gaslighting in intimate partner relationships. Gaslighting is a form of relational abuse where a perpetrator uses mind-manipulating strategies to undermine a target’s sense of self and reality. She found that all participants experienced significant distress (such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation) and engaged in various healing activities (such as spending time in nature, making art, and reconnecting with others) after their gaslighting experience. Findings from this study provide counselors and art therapists a richer understanding of what gaslighting looks like and how to heal from it. Jackie plans to share her research with the art therapy community.

    Nadia Grabowski, McKenna Lemaster, & Marissa Narkham
    2020 Psychology Alumnae
    Nadia, McKenna, and Marissa conducted a study on assertiveness in relation to the halo effect. The halo effect refers to the cognitive bias that results from the incorrect association of attributes or characteristics to individuals from previous positive acknowledgment. Participants read social scenarios with fictitious people and their personality traits and then were asked to rate their desirability on a Likert Scale ranging from 1 (least desirable) to 5 (most desirable). Their research found that the type of scenario and the interaction of setting and scenario were significant.

    McKenna Yvette Hankins
    Graduate Student, Counseling & Art Therapy
    McKenna conducted a study on microaggressions experienced by Black women in the counseling profession. Racial microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color. Although she found that microaggressions caused her participants to feel vulnerable, bullied and even questioned their skill set, her findings also presented the participants' resiliency. Her study has implications for ways to create more affirmative environments for Black women counselors. McKenna plans to share her research with the art therapy community as well as her Art Truck. The Art Truck is a soon to be non-profit organization that utilizes multimedia outlets within underprivileged communities in the greater Cleveland area.

    2019-2020 Women’s Center Advisory Board

    Amy Lechko, Co-Director & Associate Dean Student Affairs
    Jessica Headley, Co-Director & Assistant Professor, Counseling & Art Therapy Department
    Samantha Pfeiffer, Doctoral Intern, Counseling & Art Therapy Department
    Megan Seaman, Assistant Professor in the Counseling & Art Therapy Department
    Connie Beal, Assistant Professor, Graduate Nursing Program
    Ashley Badders, Professor, Undergraduate Nursing Program
    Jamia Thomas, Coordinator of BSN Enrollment, Nursing Department
    Molly Carroll, Intranet Administrator & EIT Coordinator
    Paula Fitzgerald, Director of Campus Ministry
    Gina DeMart-Kraus, Director of Housing and Residence Life
    Taylor Norris, undergraduate, Nursing Program
    Nadia Grabowski, undergraduate student, Psychology Program
    Shannon Franko, Alumna, Psychology Program
    Angelica Hanon, graduate student, Counseling & Art Therapy Department

    To learn more about the Center and connect with available resources and opportunities, please stop by Pilla 212 or email the directors at