Recent News from Campuses
Hamline University Campus News - Sat, 03/08/2014 - 1:00am
Hamline forensic science students and a faculty member were featured in a story on KARE 11 News that illustrated the physical evidence a person leaves behind in a given day and how forensic scientists might collect and examine those clues.
St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:37am
Professionals in health care and those who are caregivers are invited to an event of renewal and resiliency. More »
University of St. Thomas Campus News - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:31am
The festival begins with visit to campus by noted author Anthony Doerr on Wednesday, March 12.
The University of St. Thomas Sacred Arts Festival, an annual series of events focusing on artistic traditions that explore humanity’s understanding of the divine, will feature six events this year that will be held in in March, April and May.
The festival, which began at St. Thomas in 1980, traditionally presents a broad range of artistic forms. The theme of this year’s festival is “wonder,” the beginning of wisdom and worship.
All events are free and open to the public and will be held on the university’s St. Paul campus. They are:
Botanical Art in All Its Wonder, an exhibition of finely detailed botanical art created by seven regional artists, is on display through May 24. Their works can be viewed in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center lobby gallery on the university’s St. Paul campus. A reception with the artists will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 26.
A goal of the exhibition is to look at the variety of styles and media that can be used to portray the world of flora. Media used in the 50-plus works include painting, drawing, print-making and fused glass. Some of the artists worked outdoors, and some in studios, but each piece required many hours of labor.
Public Reading by Author Anthony Doerr, the Sacred Arts Festival visiting writer, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 12, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center.
Doerr is the author of The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, Memory Wall, and the forthcoming novel All the Light We Cannot See, which will be published in May.
His fiction has won a long list of national and international prizes, including four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, the 2010 Story Prize, which is considered the most prestigious prize in the United States for a collection of short stories, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is the largest prize in the world for a single short story.
Organ Concert by László Fassang will be held at 8:15 p.m. Monday, March 31, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.
A native of Budapest, Fassang has won several prizes at major international organ competitions since 2002. He studied organ at the Paris Conservatory and currently teaches organ and improvisation at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where recently he was appointed assistant professor of organ. His performances are especially interesting because his improvisational style incorporates jazz and folk music influences.
A “Song of Wonder” concert, featuring music and poetry in the Carnatic (South Indian) and Judeo-Spanish traditions, will be performed by vocalists Nirmala Rajaseker and David Jordan Harris at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Rajeseker and Harris will be joined by a trio of distinguished instrumentalists: Carnatic percussion master Thanjavur Muruga Boopathi from Chennai, India, percussionist Mick LaBriola, and ’ud player David Burk.
Highlights of the concert will include excerpts from the oldest existing piece of notated Jewish music; improvisational performances by Rajaseker on the veena; ancient Tamil Sangam poetry; Judeo-Spanish and Hebrew chants from traditional Jewish communities in Bosnia, Turkey and Morocco; and new musical arrangements.
The concert is co-sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a joint enterprise of St. Thomas and St. John’s University, Collegeville.
The St. Thomas Alumni Choir Spring Concert will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 27, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The choir is a mixed vocal ensemble composed of St. Thomas alumni, young and old, who perform both sacred and secular music from contemporary and historic composers.
Choral Concert of Mozart’s Mass in C, the “Coronation Mass,” performed by the St. Thomas Concert Choir and Liturgical Choir, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Conducted by Angela Broeker and Aaron Brown, the choirs will be accompanied by professional orchestral musicians from the Twin Cities. In addition to the joyous, 1779 “Coronation Mass,” the afternoon’s program will include short, sacred selections from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods.
A schedule of this year’s Sacred Arts Festival events can be found here.
Hamline University Campus News - Fri, 03/07/2014 - 1:00am
Three Hamline students received the Gates Millennium Scholarship which provides academic opportunities to remarkable minority students who would most benefit from the award.
St. Kate's Campus News - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 11:43am
Advanced palliative care competencies will help practitioners develop deeper understandings. More »
St. Kate's Campus News - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 9:50am
A St. Kate's hockey player won the award named for the University's late athletic director. More »
Concordia University Campus News - Thu, 03/06/2014 - 5:09am
Dr. David Mennicke, professor of music at Concordia University since 1989 and a recognized leader in the field of choral music, will deliver the annual Poehler Lecture on Faith and Learning, Thursday, March 20 at 7 p.m., in the Graebner Memoral Chapel.
The title of Mennicke's presentation is "When in our Music God is Glorified": Trinitarion Reflections on Music, Faith and Learning. The event is free and open to the public.
The Poehler Lecture Series is an annual event designed to explore how students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Business and Organizational Leadership and the College of Vocation and Ministry have connected their Christian faith with their academic discipline. Speakers are selected based on excellence in their academic discipline and the maturity of their Christian faith.
Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 03/05/2014 - 4:15pm
Participating in music ensembles at Gustavus Adolphus College involves much more than simply making music – it can have life-changing effects. Ensembles at Gustavus are often described by students as families that form a special bond and grow together in pursuit of producing magical sounds for others to enjoy.
The 68-member Gustavus Adolphus College Wind Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Douglas Nimmo, recently returned from a 16-day, five-country Eastern European concert tour from Jan. 22 to Feb. 7. After an intense few weeks of classes, rehearsals, and private practice, the ensemble embarked on a life-changing journey to Eastern Europe.
The group performed a total of seven concerts in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Austria, each with unique opportunities to connect with the local people.
“Every concert was exciting because they each provided new challenges and new audiences. The people were so engaged in our music. We could see and feel how interested, attentive, and responsive they were to our performances,” junior flute player Ann Stevens ’15 said. “During the tour, we made deep and profound connections to the people of Eastern Europe through the power of music.”
One such connection was formed through a prayer service for the people of Ukraine after the ensemble’s concert in Kety, Poland.
“As a part of that small service, we were told that they wanted to recite the Lord’s Prayer in English and in Polish simultaneously, for those that were interested,” senior trumpet player Nick Mason ’14 said. “In that instance, the members of the ensemble from America and the congregation from Kety, Poland were linked by something that was much greater than the differences that separated us.”
One of the highlights of the tour for many of the orchestra members was a three-day homestay experience with families associated with the local music school in Pomaz, Hungary. There was some apprehension among students due to the language barrier, however the homestay turned out to be one of the most enlightening experiences of the trip for many ensemble members.
“My host family was very sweet and didn’t speak much English, but that was the most fun part because I’ve never been in that situation before and I felt I learned a lot by living with them,” sophomore percussionist Nicole McKinney ’16 said.
At the end of the homestay experience, the ensemble members came away with new friends and “honorary” family members.
“There was a lot of worry about cultural differences, language barriers, and finding common interests,” Mason said. “At the end of the three nights together, everyone was sharing a story of some sort as to how amazing their family was and how much fun they all had. It was quite a remarkable difference to see and to personally feel.”
Other highlights for members of the ensemble included the unforgettable experience of visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp and the opportunity to explore the local towns and learn about the culture during down time.
“After returning from this trip, I have a renewed sense of confidence and ability to adapt to adverse situations. This trip really let me explore not only what it meant for me to be in Europe, but also, on the larger scale, what it meant to be an American student in a foreign land,” Mason said.
The concert tour was an exciting chance for the Wind Orchestra to exhibit its musical skills abroad, but many members also found that their experiences in Europe relate directly to their college experiences back home at Gustavus.
“This tour enhanced my overall appreciation for music and for this band,” McKinney said. “We became much closer as an ensemble and that makes our regular rehearsals back at Gustavus even more fun. I felt like I had a lot of good friends at Gustavus already, but after this tour I feel much closer to this school and even more proud to be a Gustie.”
“Throughout our tour, I noticed how the orchestra truly became a family. After rehearsing and touring together for five weeks, our relationships grew significantly stronger as did our collective relationship to the music,” Stevens said. “The shared experience of this tour will forever bind us together, and the art of music is what made that possible. I feel so grateful and blessed for this once in a lifetime experience and for the friendships I’ve made within my Gustavus Wind Orchestra family,” Stevens said.
Following their return home, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra presented its home concert on Saturday Feb. 15 in Christ Chape. The 2014 Eastern European tour marked Nimmo’s last concert tour as conductor of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, a position he has held since 1987, as he will be retiring at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.
“Dr. Nimmo is an outstanding conductor and teacher who loves what he does. He is a genuine, caring, and thoughtful professor who fully supports all of his students,” Stevens said. “His passion and love of music and teaching is inspirational. In rehearsal, he never stops asking for more from us and he has motivated us to never give up on the music. I have learned so much about music and life from Dr. Nimmo that I will carry with me for years to come.”
Mason echoed Stevens’ comments about Nimmo adding, “At this point, it is really hard for me to imagine Gustavus and the Gustavus Wind Orchestra without the contributions of Dr. Nimmo. He always pushes the ensemble members to keep growing and to seek out new experiences in music that make it worth studying regardless of your major. That is a special aspect of music at Gustavus that Dr. Nimmo has personified for as long as I have known him.”
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas
Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/05/2014 - 12:42pm
Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 03/05/2014 - 9:43am
Hamline music student and composer collaborates with a professional choir to transform her composition.
New class explored real-world applications of art in the health field, the relationship of creativity to health, and served as a prerequisite for a valuable internship opportunity at Shriners Children’s Hospital.
In the latest episode of The Piper Report, reporter Taylor Williams gives us an inside look into the creation of the new Piper logo, a recap of what happened on campus to celebrate Black History Month, Taylor Werdel talks to us about Student Leadership Selection, and finally sports reporter Zack Lameyer gives us his regular Sports Update.
University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 03/04/2014 - 7:00pm
In fall 1956, I was 18 years old and attending the then all-male College of St. Thomas. My freshman class was composed of recent high school graduates as well as a number of Korean War veterans. These young men were in their 20s and had seen the world. They had experienced the horrors of war – fear, destruction, deaths and dismemberment. I admired them with their heavy beards and crew cut hair; they were older, more mature and not given to suffer fools gladly.
Every Friday at 9 a.m. the freshmen class, which consisted of approximately 500 students, was required to attend an hour-long convocation in the small auditorium – an obligation that was obeyed with less than little enthusiasm. No one wanted to be there; however, what occurred one beautiful autumn morning is something that I will never forget.
The speaker’s topic for the day was “The Evils of Smoking,” a topic no one talked about in the 1950s when everyone on television and in the movies smoked and when magazines and billboards extolled the pleasures (and sexiness) of cigarettes. His opening remarks were greeted with hooting and hollering, which grew louder and louder as younger and older disaffected student voices united in a loud, defiant chorus. Then out came the cigarettes and smoke started to fill the auditorium. Not participating – but not objecting either – I stared in wide-eyed fascination.
The speaker tried to continue but it was impossible to hear what he was saying. He stopped and began again, but the noise grew even louder.
Apparently someone left the auditorium to alert the administration because within minutes the head disciplinarian of the college, the dean of students, arrived. Father Vashro, a balding, gruff man with a hardnosed reputation, ascended the stage and attempted to quiet the crowd. He shouted and gestured at us but the noise grew louder and the smoking continued unabated. After several minutes, a defeated Vashro left fuming and frustrated.
A few moments went by. It was a mob scene the likes of which I had never witnessed in the relatively quiet of Stillwater where I grew up. No one moved from their seats, but the catcalls and the smoking continued. I was frozen in place – waiting, watching and wondering what would happen next.
Then, as if out of nowhere, a small, short-haired young man in the black robe of a priest appeared. I recognized him as Father James Shannon, president of the college. Shannon walked to the center of the stage and stopped, looking out at the crowd. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t get behind the speaker’s podium. He just stood there for what seemed like an eternity.
The noise gradually began to recede. Still he made no effort to speak. Finally, it became eerily quiet and still in the room. At last, in a low but steady voice that you had to strain to hear; Shannon said, “Gentlemen, and I know that you are gentlemen, this man has an important message and deserves your respect. You will give him your undivided attention. Thank you.”
And with that, he turned, stepped off the stage and left the auditorium.
The speaker was as stunned as the crowd. He tried to start again but had difficulty getting his voice. The audience remained silent until he finished his shortened message, said “thank you,” and walked out.
When I walked out of the auditorium that crisp fall morning, I knew I had witnessed something very special; something I would remember the rest of my life. This man of the cloth, with the full authority of this all-male Catholic college behind him, had not threatened to invoke a higher power or to bring down the wrath of the college on his unruly students. He had simply asked for nothing more than common courtesy and respect.
These first-year students, many of whom had witnessed the unspeakable atrocities of war and who could not have cared less about the “evils of smoking” or what God or the college could do to them, had listened and understood his appeal for human respect. The power of that message had transformed an unruly mob into a group of silent, chastised young men.
No recriminations, no further mention that I recall, was made of the incident by the college. Even my other 18-year-old friends did not say much about it afterward, but I bet they remember it as vividly as I do.
I still tear up when I think about the power of that message and what it was able to accomplish that day through the appeal of a diminutive cleric in a black cassock who had only to remind us of the importance of individual dignity and common humanity.
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University News - Tue, 03/04/2014 - 1:00pm
The Rev. Paul Haidostian will present "Religious Diversity in the Middle East Today: A Blessing or a Curse?" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 24, in Quad 264, SJU.
Concordia College Campus News - Tue, 03/04/2014 - 12:00am
Concordia women's basketball players and coaching staff were ecstatic after finding out they earned one of the 21 at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament.
St. Kate's Campus News - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 3:02pm
Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership students graduating this spring will present their theses and projects to the local community. More »
Saint Mary's University Campus News - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 2:50pm
University of St. Thomas Campus News - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 1:01pm
When senior music business majors Courtney Wosick and Paige Norris submitted their idea for a mobile music-book rebinding service to the Fowler Business Concept Challenge, they didn’t expect to gain entry let alone take third runner-up and “best presentation” honors at the annual competition.
“We kind of felt like the underdogs because everybody was either a business or entrepreneurship student. We figured that just putting together our submission would be a good learning experience and thought, ‘This will be fun.’ Then we got the call that we got in,” Norris said.
Her partner, Wosick, agreed: “I knew we had a good idea and that we had a good strategy, but I assumed that the entrepreneurship majors would be chosen. I was ecstatic and felt honored when I heard the news that we made it. Since we were the outsiders we definitely felt quite a bit of pressure. We knew we needed to represent our department well so we worked day and night for about two weeks straight perfecting our business concept and presentation. We wanted to make the Music Department proud and to show the rest of campus what we could do.”
St. Thomas music business professor Steve Cole, however, believes music and entrepreneurship are a natural combination, though the two disciplines are seldom linked. “Musicians are always on the edge of success and failure, and we become accustomed to that kind of pressure. We’re accustomed to taking risks, knowing that we’re always vulnerable. But we do it anyway. And that’s a hallmark of great entrepreneurs,” he said.
Perfect-bound books hit the wrong note
Norris and Wosick’s concept, a service they dubbed PlayFlat, takes music books – which customarily are published perfect-bound (pages and cover glued together at the spine) – and replaces the binding with spiral binding so the book lies flat and stays open, allowing musicians to easily turn the pages and keep their place.
“We saw in ourselves and other musicians this struggle to have their books stay open on stands, but the glue binding doesn’t allow for it,” said Norris, who has been a vocalist since she was 6 years old. “You have to either weight them down or break the binding or get some sort of clip, which is not a very good alternative.”
Norris and Wosick’s idea is to perform the service themselves out of a van. “The turnkey of our service is to have a van – like a mobile bindery – that would allow us to go from location to location binding large collections of music books inside the van and/or taking our equipment into the school,” Norris explained.
“Having our equipment (commercial cutter binding equipment, consumables and a worktable) in a van, being able to go to studios that have hundreds of books and do as many books on site means the customer wouldn’t have to bring their books to Kinkos, explain what they want, wait, come back … . We offer an all-in-one service without hassle.”
Norris believes the concept is a feasible goal: “The profit margin is pretty good, so it could work. Fingers crossed. Even if we do it in our spare time in one of our basements as a hobby,” she said. ”We’ll can charge between five and six dollars per book, and it costs between 15 and 30 cents to do a book. We can do 50 books in an hour, so that’s a pretty good turnaround rate.”
In their research, they took a music book to Kinko’s to be spiral bound. The results were disappointing and reinforced to them the need for a service like PlayFlat. “They ended up cutting part of the music off, which renders the book unusable,” Norris recalled. “I mean the book no longer had any value, which is disappointing because music books are expensive. So we thought with these materials, which are similar to places like Kinko’s, and with our experience with music and musical texts, we could find a way to rebind them spirally that wouldn’t damage the books.”
Their concept also provides options for labeling the book spines at a small surcharge.
The pair have in mind to tap Twin Cities’ schools initially – Norris noted that ACTC schools alone employ 156 music faculty. If all goes well, they will consider expanding their reach geographically and to private studios, then possibly delving into secondary markets, including cookbooks and even chemistry books.
A musical match
In addition to their Powerpoint presentation, Norris and Wosick performed their own self-described “spoofy, Saturday Night Live-inspired” version of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Their performance – Norris on vocals; Wosick, guitar – earned praise, and “best presentation” honors, from the judges for being the first group in the challenge’s history to sing.
They asked Dr. Jay Ebben (for whose class, “Entrepreneurial Financial Resource Management,” they were required to submit to Fowler) for permission to perform live as part of their presentation as neither had ever presented a business concept in a high-caliber setting. They worried they wouldn’t be taken seriously. Fortunately, Ebben loved the idea and encouraged them to pursue it.
“We both get very nervous talking in front of people, and it was very nerve wracking having to present in front of CEOs of companies. These are people who have invented billion-dollar concepts; it’s really intimidating. So we decided to start our presentation with something we know right off the bat to calm our nerves,” Norris said.
Woscik attributes their effectiveness as a team to their complementary strengths and weaknesses. She also noted that “the process taught us what it meant to work as a team and how to collaborate ideas. I think the greatest part about PlayFlat is that we are the target market. As musicians we deal with this problem on a daily basis and really understand our customer base as well as the scope of the issue.”
Prior to the Fowler challenge, Norris and Wosick took advantage of another opportunity to shake off some of their jitters. The pair, at Cole’s invitation, presented – and performed – their pitch to one of his classes in advance of the real competition, held this past October, for which they received an enthusiastic thumbs up from the crowd.
Norris and Wosick hope to bring PlayFlat to fruition after graduation.
Hamline University Campus News - Mon, 03/03/2014 - 1:00am
Hamline University, already a leader in study abroad opportunities among Minnesota’s private colleges, was selected to join the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help increase the national number of students who study abroad.