Ursuline educators from all over the United States and the world learned from each other and got a sense of the size of the Ursuline community at the Global Education Conference taking place at The College of New Rochelle June 15 to 20.
"It's been very insightful," said Brandon Dougherty, a teacher attending the conference with colleagues from the Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, Delaware. Meeting a lot of people from different cultures has been invigorating, he said, "just the impression of the vastness of the Ursuline network."
"We are proud to be part of this important network," said President Judith Huntington, who welcomed the attendees. "What a wonderful opportunity ... to share thoughts and ideas on how to advance Ursuline education around the world."
The conference, with the theme of "Global Education in the Ursuline Spirit," is the first event of its kind organized by Ursuline Educational Services, which seeks to connect institutions sponsored or affiliated with Ursuline congregations in the United States and Canada.
It seeks to establish collaborative relationships, celebrate common heritage and values, and share wisdom about 21st-century education. It has drawn participants from the U.S., Canada, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and elsewhere.
Shu Fen Chang, Assistant Professor at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, and five colleagues traveled from Taiwan to attend the conference. "The various speeches have been inspiring," she said, but the first presentation, "Redeeming Administration," by Ann Garrido, has made the biggest impression so far.
Most discussions about school administrators focus on leadership," Chang said. Garrido, on the other hand, stressed the importance of the spirituality of educational leaders. Garrido, who has written a book on the topic, seeks to show administrators how to experience their administrative work as part of the Church ministry.
Attendees had plenty of lively discussions after each talk, and have visited local Ursuline institutions -- the Academy of Mount St. Urusula, and The Ursuline School. Participants also have the opportunity to travel to the city, which is exciting for Chang, who is in New York for the first time.
Judy Wimberg, Director of Ursuline Educational Services, said the proximity to New York is one of the reasons the conference is being held at the College. "We know that when people come to the United States, New York is a port of entry," she said. "Plus, it's an exciting place to come."
About 150 people are taking part in the conference, with about 100 coming from outside the country. "It's gone extremely well," Wimberg said.
Other presentations in Maura Ballroom discussed the importance of faculty culture, the value of a liberal arts education, insights from Saint Angela Merici, Ursulines at the United Nations, and more.