Recent News from Campuses

Swedish Poet Aase Berg Coming to Gustavus as Artist-in-Residence

Gustavus Campus News - 1 hour 25 min ago

Aase Berg

The Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Scandinavian Studies will welcome Swedish poet Aase Berg to campus on Monday, April 20 for a week-long stay as the College’s Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence for 2015.

As part of her stay on campus, Berg will give a lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 in the Melva Lind Interpretive Center titled, “To Lose Control over the Words.” Copies of the four titles of Berg’s poetry that have been translated into English will be on sale at the event, which is free and open to the public. Berg and her English-language translator, poet Johannes Göransson, will also present a talk titled, “New Swedish Poetry” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23 at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. This event is also free and open to the public.

Berg emerged as a poet as part of the Surrealist Group in Stockholm, which published collections of poetry and prose in the late 1980s. Her first book, Hos rådjur (With Deer), was published in Sweden in 1996. Since then she has published Mörk materia (Dark Matter), Forsla fett (Transfer Fat), Uppland (Uppland) and Loss (Loss). Her first book to appear in English, Remainland: Selected Poems, was published by Action Books in 2004. She is considered one of the most influential and unique poets in Sweden, earning her translations into English and various European languages as well. She is also active as an editor and critic, serving as editor of one of Sweden’s most-prominent literary journals BLM (Bonniers Litterära Magasin), and as a cultural critic for the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

In addition to annually holding a public lecture as part of the program, the annual Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence also visits classes and engages with students and community members during their week-long stay on campus. This year Berg’s visit is tied to the special topics seminar “Nordic Poetry,” and she will also visit Swedish language courses as well as courses on creative writing in the Department of English during her stay on campus.

The Out of Scandinavia Artist-in-Residence program was initiated in 1989 to serve the Gustavus community and beyond. The program’s specific goals are to enhance the College’s academic program, to foster and develop stronger cultural ties with the Nordic countries, and to showcase Scandinavian art and artists to American audiences.

Questions about Berg’s visit or the Out of Scandinavia program can be directed to Assistant Professor in Scandinavian Studies Kjerstin Moody at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas

His Holiness Pope Francis Receives Final Volume of The Saint John’s Bible at the Vatican

The final volume of the limited, full-sized fine art edition of The Saint John’s Bible was presented to His Holiness Pope Francis today by the Papal Foundation and Saint John’s University.

‘American Heart’ at Global Leadership Event

St. Kate's Campus News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:19am
Filmmaker Chris Newberry addresses healthcare and refugee lives in film and campus visit April 21. More »

Dr. Rob Krueger Named to Prestigious Thrivent Fellows Program

Concordia University Campus News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:51am

Concordia University mathematics professor Dr. Rob Krueger was recently named to the prestigious Thrivent Fellows Program, a rigorous 12-month executive fellowship for the purpose of developing the leadership capacity of the colleges and universities of the Lutheran Church.

Krueger, who began teaching at Concordia in 2001, has been the Chair of the Department of Mathematics since 2005. He earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics (1998) and M.S. in Mathematics (1995) from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) and received a B.S. Ed., in Mathematics from Concordia University, Nebraska (Seward) in 1993.

Sponsored by the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Concordia University System of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the Congregational and Synodical Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the purpose of the Fellows Program is to identify, encourage, develop, and equip high capacity leaders for leadership roles in Lutheran colleges and universities.

Candidates were selected based on their dedication to the mission and distinctiveness of Lutheran colleges, seminaries and universities, a strong record of service to these institutions, a clear potential for top-level leadership, and on their vocational calls to lead these important institutions.

Through intensive retreats, seminars, and executive coaching, Fellows will gain increased knowledge and understanding of Lutheran traditions and values, stronger awareness of their own leadership capacities, thorough knowledge of key management and financial issues in these complex enterprises, discernment of personal and professional goals that will equip them to fulfill their callings, a plan for professional growth, and an expanded network of relationships with other Lutheran higher education leaders.   

Rockcastle Awarded

Hamline University Campus News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:00am
Creative Writing Programs Director Mary Rockcastle wins Kay Sexton Award which recognizes individuals who have shown dedication and work in fostering books, reading, and literary activity.

Chamber Orchestra to perform April 26

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:20pm

Winona, Minn. – The Saint Mary’s Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. David Leung, will perform “A Tribute to Arvo Pärt” 3 p.m. Sunday, April 26. The event will feature guest cellist Dr. Ka-Wai Yu from Indiana Wesleyan University and will be held in Figliulo Recital Hall.

The mystical Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is loved by many around the world for his hallmark of great beauty, meditative quality, and simplicity. Performances will include his “Fratres for Strings and Percussion,” as well as “Concerto in G minor for Cello and Strings” by Antonio Vivaldi; “Rumanian Folk Dances” by Béla Bartok; and “Keyboard Concerto in G minor” by J.S. Bach. Also featured will be the talents of two Saint Mary’s piano students, Destiny Dux and Hongdou Ge.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available online at or at the box office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Saint Mary’s welcomes guest cellist Ka-Wai Yu April 22

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:13pm

Winona, Minn. – Saint Mary’s University welcomes guest artist and cellist Ka-Wai Yu for a special performance Wednesday, April 22, in Saint Mary’s Figliulo Recital Hall.

Originally from Hong Kong, Yu is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, and music educator. He has given solo and chamber performances at major concert halls in Canada, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. He is the cellist of the Ensemble Finesse with clarinetist Darren Ho and pianist Mischa Ngan. He also plays baroque cello and viola da gamba in the period-instrument ensemble La Réunion Musicale, and has played in Concerto Urbano and the Viol Consort of Champaign-Urbana.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors and are available at the Saint Mary’s Box Office, 507-457-1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at

Minneapolis College of Art and Design Announces 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition

MCAD News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 4:15pm

PDF Version of Press Release

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is pleased to present the culminating exhibition of graduating master of fine arts candidates.

Thu, 2015-04-16 - Mon, 2018-04-16

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MCAD Announces 3rd Annual Art Auction

MCAD News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 2:41pm

PDF Version of Press Release

Christie’s Signs on as a Lead Sponsor and Auctioneer

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), already nationally known for hosting the largest college art sale in America, announces The Auction at MCAD, now in its third year.

Thu, 2015-04-16 - Mon, 2018-04-16

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Using research to help put students on right career path

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 12:12pm

When Sean Olson was in college, he switched his major three times by the end of his sophomore year. Now, as interim director of admissions and outreach at North Hennepin Community College, his goal is to save future students from going through similar experiences.

As he nears the end of his studies in the M.A. in Educational Leadership program at Saint Mary’s, he will focus his capstone research on how the timing and effectiveness of providing career information might affect students who are trying to narrow down their majors.

“I wish somebody had helped me decide the major I wanted,” Olson said. “I started as a pre-engineering major and then switched to a secondary math education major. I switched again to a management and marketing double-major in my sophomore year. I was all over the map.”

Now, Olson is doing his best to try and set up North Hennepin students to complete their studies as efficiently as possible.

“A lot of the students at North Hennepin come in undecided,” Olson said. “The college is trying to figure out more efficient ways to share outcomes. Which majors do what? Which ones are easily transferrable? There are ways to share that information that are easier to digest.”

Olson is looking at the barriers and gaps in how career information gets to students, and the potential anxiety and nervousness students experience during the career-choosing process. He’s focused on preventing students from hastily selecting a major that isn’t right for them and, as a result, completing a bachelor’s degree several years behind schedule.

“My literature research confirmed a lot of things about student needs and career information,” Olson said. “Are we trying to force students to go down a career path when they’re not ready? Were they underprepared or anxious, and did that result in picking the wrong major? Or do they just need more time to learn who they are? If they start down the wrong path, they’re going to make inefficient choices with the courses they select.”

As Olson makes progress in his capstone research, he’s already using his findings to work with his colleagues at North Hennepin in determining how to respond to student needs.

“Even before my research is completed, I’m starting to see progress in finding out what students are truly interested in,” Olson said. “We’re working with our academic departments to listen to what is in demand, and then consider developing a new program. For example, if a large group of students are interested in social work, that would indicate that we need to offer that sort of program.”

Olson has also discovered gaps in high school counseling options across Minnesota. Many high schools have just one counselor available, and many are overworked. There’s a general lack of counselors across the state, resulting in many students slipping through the cracks and not receiving proper one-on-one advice.

“High school counselors are sometimes so overwhelmed that they don’t get time to appropriately guide students,” Olson said. “A lot of students start college guessing what they want to study. We need to help make up for whatever they may have missed in high school.”

As most of Olson’s peers in community college administration have already acquired a master’s degree, he’s happy that he waited until now to pursue one. He values the work experience that he gained from working both at four-year and two-year institutions, and he sees this new degree as another qualification to keep climbing the higher education ladder.

“I thought about enrolling in the M.A. in Educational Leadership for a couple years, but I wanted to wait until I had real-world experience to bring to the program,” Olson said. “My leadership experiences are now supplemented by best-practice training and knowledge from my graduate coursework.

“I hope that my master’s degree can help me advance as a director of admission and eventually a dean of enrollment,” Olson said. “I want to help students make the right academic decisions for a long time.”

Tommie Traditions: Studying Abroad

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 11:35am

There are countless ways students at St. Thomas find out about studying abroad. Whether discussing a fellow student’s experience over a meal at Scooters, or as a prospective student visiting campus, conversations about study abroad pop up all over.

St. Thomas’ strategic plan also articulated a goal of emphasizing globalization, which should help further a well-established tradition of valuing international education at the university. Part of the strategic plan’s emphasis will undoubtedly be the continuation of students going abroad, a benchmark aspect of a St. Thomas educational experience and overall view of its role in preparing global citizens. It’s an element that is as healthy as it has ever been, consistently placing the school near the top of national rankings for percentages of student participation.

St. Thomas did not always have such a strong emphasis on study abroad; like many characteristics of the university, it has evolved over time. Several key figures were seminal in that evolution, helping turn the idea of studying abroad from something only for the “wealthy few” and foreign language speakers to something everyone should have the chance to take part in.

Photo by Nadine Thibault, London. London Business Semester, Fall 2013. “Drury Lane.”

One here, one there

World War II was tragic on many levels, but part of its legacy was a renewed commitment to peace around the globe. To prevent such conflicts from happening again, citizens worldwide believed they would benefit from better knowing and understanding one another. Studying abroad was intrinsically tied to this pursuit. It was to this end that, in 1946, President Harry Truman signed into law the Fulbright Program, the first major support structure by the U.S. government of scholarship abroad.

Paul Koutny, an Austrian who survived a Nazi prison camp, received a Fulbright scholarship to study in America in 1949. He spent that year at St. Thomas, an experience so profound he dedicated his life to creating similar opportunities for Americans all over the world: In 1951 he co-founded what is now the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), an organization that has helped nearly 90,000 students study abroad. An annual scholarship from 1958 graduates of the IES Vienna program helps St. Thomas students study abroad to this day.

Despite such roots, St. Thomas students’ own experiences with study abroad post-World War II were far from expansive. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, most studying abroad was facilitated on an exchange basis by individual faculty, with a majority based around the study of foreign languages. No formal programs at St. Thomas coordinated students going abroad.

Foreign Studies Center

German professor Dr. Paul Schons was an active faculty member in these kinds of exchange. In 1973 he formally began investigating ways to open up more opportunities abroad for St. Thomas students. That investigation led to the creation of the Foreign Studies Center (FSC) in 1974 (PDF), which was housed at that point in the Foreign Languages Department. From then on Schons dedicated increasing time to advancing the agenda of the FSC; raising the number of students studying abroad to 30 by 1980 was one of his initial goals.

That goal soon changed to 100, and in 1980-81, 93 students studied abroad, 45 of them over the January Interim period. Schons advanced several other objectives for the FSC’s, including establishing relationships with programs other universities already were offering abroad, many of which continue to this day. Schons also led St. Thomas to join the Upper Midwest Association for International Education (UMAIE), which helped expand enrollment over January as more students took advantage of a growing menu of options for short-term courses. Throughout this period St. Thomas maintained a policy of providing financial aid for students gone for at least one semester, a rare commitment among large universities that still continues.

Photo by Natalie Mathias, Atacama Desert, Chile. CIEE Liberal Arts-Santiago, Chile.

A big step forward

After the FSC saw growth throughout the 1970s, Schons led an investigation in 1981 at the behest of St. Thomas’ new dean, John Nemo, on what the school might do to expand its international efforts (PDF). In his report, Schons articulated why he felt studying abroad was so valuable:

“I believe the overall purpose of the College of St. Thomas study abroad programs ought to be the provision of a variety of means to awaken students to the reality of other peoples, lifestyles and social value structures. Exposure to other languages is and should continue to be a significant part of the education gained in a foreign study program. It is most likely that the United States will continue to be involved increasingly economically, politically and socially with various other cultures around the world. It strikes me as extremely important to provide this means to elevate our students above xenophobic reactions to other peoples.”

Included in his report were 40 recommendations, ranging from requesting that administrators stress the importance of studying abroad in meetings, to raises of $500 to faculty already working with programs abroad. The National Association of Foreign Student Advisors acted as an outside consultant to St. Thomas soon after Schons’ report, and in 1983 his leadership helped secure the creation of the school’s International Education Center (IEC). Dr. Sarah Stevenson was hired as its director (PDF), signaling the university’s first dedication of a full-time professional to international education.

Stevenson and a secretary, Ruth Hennessey, worked in small house on Grand Avenue.

“It was out there on the edge of campus and I thought, ‘We’re out here on the edge of nowhere,’” said Stevenson, who led international education at Gustavus Adolphus College before arriving at St. Thomas. “The dean assured me that every student would come right by us because it was on the way from campus to Davanni’s.”

Arguably the biggest challenge early on, Stevenson said, was to convince faculty and students studying abroad was a good idea.

“Faculty felt (study abroad) was for the wealthy few and weren’t terribly supportive of the idea. We had to do a lot of public relations,” she said. “There were a lot of studies coming out and we were trying to promote the concept on a national basis that this was important for our country, for political, economic, cultural reasons. We needed a population that was better trained, better informed about the world.”

Throughout the 1980s St. Thomas students became more involved in co-sponsored programs, including with professional third-party groups that facilitated enrollment in foreign universities. In 1986 the IEC also began to develop and administer St. Thomas’ own short-term programs, an appeal that grew for those who didn’t want to study abroad for a full semester.

“I do think the curriculum had a lot to do with (the growing popularity of J-Term courses abroad at St. Thomas.) Our students didn’t have as many electives as other traditional liberal arts schools,” Stevenson said. “Our students are very focused on graduating on time … January (programs provided) an easy way to get an international experience that you knew you could count toward your graduation requirements.”

Stevenson said a growing reputation of positive experiences helped too.

“Also, in the early years (the J-Term courses) weren’t as academically challenging. Not that they didn’t learn … but it wasn’t as much the traditional exam, papers,” she added. “As the January Term courses changed on campus, the J-Term courses changed overseas as well. By the time they became more traditional courses … the tradition was well enough established that it didn’t scare students away.”

Stevenson herself took advantage of an opportunity abroad in 1990, spending a year in Japan. When she returned, much like Schons before her, she advocated for yet another expansion of St. Thomas’ international efforts.

Photo by Lauren Buchholz, Wadi Rum, Jordan. “Camel Games.”

A changing culture

Slow but steady growth continued throughout the early 1990s; it was later in the decade that things took a major jump forward at St. Thomas. Stevenson’s advocacy helped lead to the creation of a task force that, in 1995, implemented a Five Year Internationalization Plan. Well beyond the scope of just study abroad, this plan oversaw a vast expansion of international education offerings and programs, and addressed the overall attitude on campus toward international learning. Included was the addition of a coordinator for international admissions, an ELS Languages Services program and the creation of an international programs matrix that centralized St. Thomas’ efforts.

More than anything, the plan signaled a cultural shift throughout the university.

“That period is the real springboard,” said Sarah Spencer, St. Thomas’ current director of Study Abroad, International Education. “You had not just study abroad, but a huge number of internationally focused things going on.”

Included in that five-year growth was the creation in 1995 of the first semester abroad course by St. Thomas, the London Business Semester, which soon was followed by Don Briel founding the Catholic Studies program in Rome in 1998. Both programs continue today.

The turn of the century also saw the beginning of a dramatic uptick in St. Thomas faculty-led J-Term courses.

“As more faculty members became involved themselves, that did change their attitudes about the value of studying abroad,” Stevenson said.

Photo by Lisa Northenscold, Rome. Catholic Studies, Fall 2013. “Shadows of Rome.”

Upward and outward

The decade-plus since then has seen a continued understanding of that value, reflected in the hundreds – sometimes more than 1,000 – St. Thomas students who go abroad each year. That tradition continues building through new, improved experiences: from the guarantee to incoming students they will have an opportunity to study abroad no matter their major, to helping them articulate the value of their time abroad in personal and career development.

“To take that foundation we had and really help it grow, it has been very exciting,” Stevenson said. “You certainly knew you were doing something wonderful for students’ education. That was the best part of it.”

Similar to the five-year internationalization plan of 20 years ago, St. Thomas’ new strategic plan has formed a vision of increasing the university’s global engagement. It is difficult now to forecast the many opportunities that may come out of this renewed focus and set of goals, but if the history of study abroad offers any clues, it is this: “You need all of these factors of our university in play for global engagement to work and stick,” Spencer said. “We had Sarah Stevenson; dedicated leadership; a great plan; administrative support of that plan under (then-president) Father (Dennis) Dease; and faculty, staff and students across campus working together. It truly took the community to create this progress, and we continue to experience it first hand today.”

Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity Names Administration Building in Honor of Former Rector Father Charles Froehle

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 8:24am

The administration building of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas has been named in honor of the late Father Charles L. Froehle, a parish priest who also served the seminary for 25 years as a professor, dean and rector.

Father Charles Froehle

The seminary’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to name the building in February. Following its Thursday, April 30, meeting, the board will dedicate a “Father Charles Froehle Administration Building” plaque that will be installed at the entrance to the building’s main conference room.

Archbishop John Nienstedt, chair of the seminary’s board, will lead the dedication and blessing of the plaque.

Froehle, a native of St. Cloud, died at age 77 on Jan. 6 following a lengthy illness. He graduated from the Saint Paul Seminary and was ordained in 1963. Five years later, after completing a doctorate in theology in Rome, he returned to the seminary, where he initially served as professor of sacramental theology, dean of studies and vice rector.

In 1980 he was appointed rector and was one of the major architects – along with Monsignor Terrence Murphy and Dr. Charles Keffer from St. Thomas and Archbishop John Roach from the archdiocese – of the 1987 affiliation of the seminary with the then College of St. Thomas. That year he became the vice president of St. Thomas for the School of Divinity.

In the years immediately following the affiliation, Froehle directed a $9.1 million capital campaign to design and build the seminary’s new administration building and residence hall, and to renovate St. Mary’s Chapel. The seminary campus, established in 1894, is at the western end of Summit Avenue and overlooks the Mississippi River valley.

After retiring as rector of the seminary in 1993, he served as pastor of the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Buffalo from 1994 to 2001 and of Our Lady of Lourdes in Minneapolis from 2001 until 2012. When he left the seminary in 1993, St. Thomas awarded him an honorary doctorate. A citation that accompanied the degree described Froehle’s “remarkable expertise, sensitivity and patience in dialogue with all those who had stake in this new School of Divinity.”

“Father Froehle’s was a quiet, gentle presence at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity,” said Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, the seminary’s rector since 2005. “He realized his call as a priest was to preach, teach and sanctify. He gave noble witness to the call in the many years he spent himself forming the hearts of scores of good men, after the heart of the shepherd.”

Dr. Vic Klimoski, a former academic dean of the seminary, said, “Father Froehle was masterful in guiding discussions about the new administration building by reminding us that our decisions were about the larger good of the seminary and its mission, not our particular preferences. As in all aspects of his leadership as rector, mission trumped everything else.”

“Father Froehle was a man who saw the gifts and talents of others and encouraged them to develop and use those gifts,” added Janet Gould, executive assistant to the rector and another colleague of Froehle. “It was quite a fine quality in a man who was charged with forming leaders for the church.”

The School of Divinity today enrolls men who are studying for the priesthood and lay men and women preparing for service in the church.

Tree Dedicated in Remembrance of Jolicoeur

Concordia College Campus News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 11:00pm
A newly planted burr oak along Eighth Street was dedicated April 14 in remembrance of Concordia’s 10th president, the late Pamela M. Jolicoeur.

68 CSB and SJU students to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa April 22

The public is invited to attend the ceremony at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, at Alumnae Hall, Haehn Campus Center, College of Saint Benedict.

Seventh Annual Relay For Life Starts Friday

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 8:06am

The cadence of pounding feet looping around a track was the only company Dr. Gordon Klatt ’64 had during his 24-hour solo relay in Tacoma, Washington, in 1985. Alternating between walking and running laps, Klatt traveled 83 miles around the track and raised $27,000 in donations from family and friends in what would become the 30-year-old-and-counting Relay For Life.

This year’s event, which will take place April 17-18, is the seventh annual Relay For Life at St. Thomas. Approximately 500 people, made up of students, faculty, alumni and family members of participants, are expected to partake in the relay. The coordinators of Relay For Life encourage anyone to attend the event, whether or not their lives have been touched by cancer. It will last 6 p.m.-4 a.m in the AARC field house.

The money raised at the event goes to American Cancer Society programs, including cancer research, cancer patient housing and transportation, and a 24-hour support hotline.

Klatt, the founder of Relay For Life and a recipient of the 2012 St. Thomas Day Humanitarian Award, died Aug. 3, 2014, after battling stomach cancer. Caity Kubicek ’15, president of St. Thomas’ Colleges Against Cancer, said Klatt “started the fight for more birthdays.” Klatt gave the opening speech at St. Thomas’ Relay For Life in 2013 and led participants around the first lap, which is dedicated to cancer survivors.

“Having Gordy personally inspire students at St. Thomas to continue the fight was very touching,” Kubicek said. She added that Relay For Life plays a slideshow each year to honor those who lost the battle to cancer or in support of those still fighting it within the St. Thomas community. Klatt will be honored in this year’s slideshow.

Kubicek, who became involved with Relay For Life in honor of her late grandmother, said planning an event that celebrates and remembers survivors and fights against cancer fulfills the flame inside her to make the world a better place.

The planning for the 2015 Relay For Life took nine months, and the event has an “Around the World” theme. Activities representing each continent will be held every hour. Participants can get henna tattoos, receive free food from Subway, Toppers Pizza and KIND Healthy Snacks, participate in a photo booth and cake walk, and see performances by Duniya Drum & Dance ensemble and magician Matt Dunn.

Traditional activities such as a silent auction, survivor dinner and luminaria ceremony also will be included.

Rahel Lemma ’16, vice president of Colleges Against Cancer, said the goal of Relay For Life is to show cancer patients that everyone is in the fight together.

“We celebrate the survivors, remember those who have lost their battle with cancer and fight back by making a commitment to help save lives,” Lemma said.

Laura Tormanen ’17, Colleges Against Cancer president elect, said the luminaria ceremony is her favorite part of the event. “During this time of the night, we turn off all of the lights and place glow sticks in the luminara bags bordering the entire track,” Tormanen said. “Each bag is decorated by a participant in honor or memory of a loved one. The sight of the massive amount of glowing bags really tugs at your heartstrings.

“It is truly an inspiring event that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime,” Tormanen said.

Students team up to study ant behavior

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 8:13pm

Mae Yang ’15 and Aleah Bingham ’15 learned a lot about the common, western thatching ant after six months of intensive study—including that they bite.

Bingham, a Biology major and Chemistry and Environmental Biology minor from Eden Prairie, and Yang, an Environmental Biology major and Zoology minor from Minneapolis, paired up on a multidisciplinary thesis this past year.

The pair decided to study this particular species of ant for a variety of reasons, including that it gave them a reason to combine their knowledge of biology and chemistry; it gave them a reason to continue working closely with Dr. Moni Berg-Binder of the Biology Department and Dr. Jaime Mueller of the Chemistry Department; and simply because ants are cool.

“I chose to work with ants because it’s very unique how their community is structured,” Yang said. “They are so complex even though they are so little.” Bingham added, “With their interesting social structures, each individual has a role to play in their colony.”

Last fall, the two collected their specimens at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, where Dr. Berg-Binder knew of active mounds as she used the same species for her doctoral research. But that’s where the similarities of their studies ended.

Ants use chemical communication extensively, including to help them determine “friend” or “foe” or (nestmate vs. non-nestmate). Bingham and Yang investigated the role that diet plays on the external chemical signature of the ants. They geared their research based on a paper they found detailing a study on a different species of ants. The results found that different diets changed the ants’ cuticle (or covering) and, in turn, changed how they interacted with different ant colonies.

The pair chose to feed their ants crickets, which have their own unique chemical signatures. Yang fed different ant colonies one diet to determine whether they would recognize each other more as friends. Bingham split up one colony of ants and fed them different diets (crickets vs. eggs) to see if they would become more aggressive toward each other.

Bingham’s work was more about nestmate recognition, and Yang’s was more about changing chemical signatures.

Although they still have much data to analyze, the two say they did not find a highly significant change in the behavioral tendencies of their subjects. In fact, they say with a laugh, they found the ants far more aggressive toward their researchers than each other.

But both Bingham and Yang say they found a lot of satisfaction in the process of their research. That, and they found a lot more respect for ants. “

“I really think that it’s great that we have opportunities to do research with our professors,” Bingham said. “It’s a lot of work, but by the end of the project, you really feel like you’ve done something worthwhile.”

“Saint Mary’s has been great experience for me,” Yang added. “Working on this thesis has really helped me understand and appreciate the value of research. The trials I have overcome this year have really enabled me to become a better critical thinker. Also, being able to do research with Dr. Berg-Binder and Dr. Mueller has been really inspiring. I have gained so much from their guidance and patience. It’s these interactions with the professors on campus that make the difference.”

CAPTION: Aleah Bingham and Mae Yang work on the GC-MS while researching western thatching ants.

Amie Goblirsch ’16 to Take Part in Archaeological Project in Portugal

Gustavus Campus News - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 4:05pm

Amie Goblirsch ’16 in Gaeta, Italy during her semester study abroad experience in the spring of 2014.

Every college student looks forward to the summer for one reason or another, whether its reuniting with family and friends, going on vacation, or completing an internship. For Gustavus Adolphus College junior Amie Goblirsch, this summer will be about taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime archaeological dig overseas, thanks to a unique gift from a Gustavus alumna.

Goblirsch will travel to Redondo, Portugal this summer to participate in the Santa Susana Archaeological Project. The project, which is approaching its third season, is attempting to excavate an ancient Roman villa. The opportunity for a Gustavus classics major to participate in the project came to be thanks to a generous offer from Gustavus alumna and classics major Emily Kehm Smith ’06 and her husband Austin. Goblirsch, who is the current president of Eta Sigma Phi, the Gustavus chapter of a national classics honor society, was selected by the department.

“I am extremely excited to have this opportunity. When I first heard the news I literally could not sit still for the rest of the day,” Goblirsch said. “I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate in this excavation. This isn’t something every undergraduate has a chance to do and because of the cost usually associated with these digs, it is something I never thought I would be able to do.”

The site of the excavation holds a villa complex important to the understanding of the processes of colonization and settlement in this particular corner of what was the Roman Empire. Preliminary work at the site suggests a rich artifact assemblage dating from the 1st century C.E. through the 5th century C.E. Goblirsch and other field school students will receive instruction in surveying techniques, the handling and processing of artifacts, and the recording of exposed areas and features. She will also have an opportunity to work with a fellow Gustie in Betsy Bevis ’00, who is a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University and one of the project’s supervisors.

“Currently I am hoping to attend graduate school for archaeology after Gustavus, which is one of the reasons why I am so excited to have this opportunity,” Goblirsch said. “Not only will it give me valuable field experience, but it will also give me a feel for what a career in archaeology might be like.”

Goblirsch says that she decided to study classics at Gustavus because it had everything she wanted to study—language, history, poetry, and music—combined into one major. She has also been impressed with the quality of the faculty in the department.

“Classics challenges you every day and teaches you to think critically and analyze the world around you. I just think it is an extremely interesting period of history that is still very relevant to the world around us today,” she said. “The faculty in the classics department is one of the biggest reasons that my academic experience at Gustavus has been as great as it has been. On top of being active scholars, they are excellent professors and always go above and beyond for their students. The expertise and insight they bring to every class is invigorating and really motivates students to want to engage with the material. I am thankful to all of them for all the guidance each of them has given me along the way.”

In addition to her academic work in the classroom, Goblirsch plays the trumpet in the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, the Adolphus Jazz Ensemble, and the Frost Jazz Combo. She also plays on the women’s rugby team and is one of five Gustavus students participating in a collaborative research project under the guidance of Professor Eric Dugdale called the Homer Multitext Project, which seeks to present the textual transmission of the Iliad and Odyssey in a historical framework.

More information about the Santa Susana Archaeological Project is available online at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas

A Thousand Stories at St. Thomas’ Libraries

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:53pm

“Oh, I’m here multiple times a day. I like to get my work done here. I’m definitely more focused while I’m in the library.”
– Freshman Grace Winker, second floor O’Shaughnessy-Frey

The University of St. Thomas’ libraries are many things to many people. They are where all the books you need for class or research are. They are the quiet places you need to focus and study. They are the not-so-quiet places you need to focus and study. They are – as St. Thomas O’Shaughnessy-Frey director Dan Gjelten has heard them described – “the heart of the university.”

“I’ll typically study here because there are less distractions … not at home. There’s laundry there.”
– Teaching license student Alison Rubbelke, second floor Charles J. Keffer

St. Thomas houses four separate and distinct libraries, two each on its campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis. In St. Paul, O’Shaughnessy-Frey towers above the lower quad on north campus, while Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library sits above The Grotto, just south of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity on south campus. In Minneapolis, the Schoenecker Law Library and Charles J. Keffer Library are both on the downtown campus, across 11th Avenue from each other.

“The first semester is the learning curve, and you notice the people who are more successful are spending more time here. That becomes the expectation.”
  –1L student Josh Damberg, lower level Schoenecker

All told the libraries host tens of thousands of visitors per school year, many of them dedicated, repeat customers. The reasons they choose to come – and where exactly they go to in each library, often with remarkable consistency – vary greatly, but all contribute to the tradition of scholarship and learning so beloved in academia.

“It’s quiet. Very quiet. Undergraduates haven’t totally discovered this place in some ways. It’s a nice place to get away. Solitude and a quiet time for reflection and writing are essential, and you get it here.”
– Theology professor Paul J. Wojda, Tier 3 Ireland


Over the last two-plus decades, Gjelten has overseen many changes at O’Shaughnessy-Frey, the main undergraduate library. When he started in 1991 a strict no food or drink policy was in place; now, a coffee shop on the first floor buzzes with customers. Years ago students needed to go next door to O’Shaughnessy Educational Center to use computers; in 2004 dozens of desktop units were brought into the southwest corner of the first floor. Bright, lightweight furniture, the likes the library had never had before, also was moved in.

“I like to have a quieter place to study. I can’t do the student center or T’s.”
– Junior Willie Faust, lower level O’Shaughnessy-Frey

In the lower levels, more computers sit alongside tables students use for both individual and group study. In the higher levels individual work is the norm, with the third and fourth floors designated quiet spaces.

“I feel like people here look for the quiet, and that’s why they come to the third floor. I’m a senior, and this has been my escape place to come. It’s refreshing to get out of your room and have somewhere else to work hard.”
– Senior Kaitlin Becker, third floor O’Shaughnessy-Frey

Private study rooms can be used on almost every level.

“I’m pretty much always on the second floor. The higher you go the quieter it is, so this is kind of in the middle. And, you don’t have to climb as many flights of stairs.”
  – Senior Andrew Luedtke, second floor O’Shaughnessy-Frey

O’Shaughnessy-Frey’s six floors offer a wide range of options, which is exactly the way Gjelten wants it.

“There are parts of the library that are like a church; it’s the same as it always has been, always will be that way, the same things have happened. But what all do people want from the library? Do they want that sacred aspect? This new, colorful, lightweight and playful style? I have come to decide it’s got to be both. When you start talking with students some like that part, some like that part, some want to sit right down by the coffee shop as people come by all day long. Others go to the fourth floor where presumably it’s quiet … and isolate themselves up there.

“All said, this is where learning is designed to happen. To the point we can design it to happen and facilitate it happening, that’s where we’ll be successful.”
– Director Dan Gjelten, second floor O’Shaughnessy-Frey

Nearly 60,000 people pass through the doors of O’Shaughnessy-Frey each month, meaning people pass in and out of the doors with 2,000 different each day.

“It’s a great place to study late @ night … Lots of services … A place to escape the madness of campus, a.k.a. it’s too busy everywhere else … A tasty beverage and enough stairs to burn it off … Knowledge … VHS tapes from 1982 … The best library and reference staff in the world … Sleep.”
– Anonymous answers to the prompt, “What can you get at the library that you can’t get anywhere else?”, first floor O’Shaughnessy-Frey

Busy library, busy people

“We’re small, but we can do pretty much anything people want us to do.”
– Research and Instructional Librarian Merrie Davidson, second floor Charles J. Keffer

On the second floor of Opus Hall in Minneapolis, the Charles J. Keffer Library supports the College of Business and the College of Applied Professional Studies. That means most student visitors are returning to school for a higher degree or certificate, which equals a higher rate of traffic in the late afternoon and evening.

“I like having some quiet, but having some background noise is nice. This is a good combination of both.”
– Law student John Fandrey, second floor Charles J. Keffer

Although its square-footage pales in comparison to O’Shaughnessy-Frey or Ireland libraries, Charles J. Keffer shares the resources of St. Thomas’ entire library system and quickly can get students what they need online or in print. The library houses a large collection of children’s literature on its main floor, along with 34 computers on a lit second floor with natural light pouring through large windows. A silent study area downstairs sits adjacent to several deep stacks of books.

“The computers are very useful to me. I can search for all my materials, check my emails, and save many files onto the system. If I have a presentation in the classroom I know I can find my folder in the system easily. It’s very useful.”
– ESL student Yu Zhang, second floor Charles J. Keffer

A theological gem

“It has these great, intellectual tomes, all these great pieces from a rich history of Catholic intellectual tradition.”
– Philosophy professor Tim Paul, lower level Ireland

The graduate theology library of both St. Thomas and the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity, the Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library has a long and storied history. Its collection originally started in large part with donations from Archbishop John Ireland’s personal collection back into the late 19th century; the building that stands today was completed in 1950.

“It’s close to the science building, so in between math classes it’s convenient for me. It’s usually easier here to find a quiet spot than anywhere else.”
– Junior Katie Wefvat, main floor Ireland

One of the country’s preeminent theological libraries, Ireland works with both St. Thomas and the larger archdiocese community. Theological scholars travel from around the country to use some of Ireland’s rare resources, and it provides an excellent home base for students and professors from both St. Thomas and the Saint Paul Seminary.

“It’s really conducive to studying. With our schedule at the seminary we have to be that much more intentional with our time; that’s one of my biggest reasons for coming here.”
– Pre-theology two student Tim Cone, main floor Ireland

Library employees long have made an effort to draw more people to Ireland, which boasts the most consistently quiet atmosphere of all St. Thomas’ libraries.

“We have three or four faculty members who I think just come in their pajamas and stay. They want to keep it secret, but we don’t want to keep it secret. We’re proud of it and proud of St. Thomas.”
– Director Curt Le May, main floor Ireland

A place for students

Across 11th Avenue in Minneapolis from Charles J. Keffer sits the St. Thomas School of Law and its library, Schoenecker. Up a flight of stairs from the school’s main atrium is the library’s entrance and main floor, an open, well-lit expanse of carpet, tables and books that law students flock to for their work.

“It’s a great place to go between classes. I try to get most of my work done here and go home with as little as possible.”
– 1L law student Dan Lenhardt, second floor Schoenecker

Boasting four levels, Schoenecker’s second floor is the only one not designated as a “quiet space.” Many study rooms surround the outside ring of the second floor, offering prime meeting spaces for students to work together.

“Part of the appeal is definitely social. A lot of our work is in groups, so this is where you meet people.”
– 1L law student Josh Damberg, lower level Schoenecker

Similar rooms surround the other three levels; students in the main sections of each floor can work at large tables or tables with dividers. Power outlets and Internet jacks are in abundance on the tables of all four levels.

“I love the library, especially the third floor. There’s hardly anyone that comes up here so I’m usually totally alone. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but working like that has always been best for me.”
– 1L law student Alyssa Wojack, third floor Schoenecker

While Schoenecker doesn’t house a massive book collection directly on its premise (there are many book stacks on every level), its membership in the Minnesota Law School Consortium (with the University of Minnesota Law School and Mitchell | Hamline Law School) gives it access to a vast set of legal resources.

“I get here at 7 a.m. and there are already people in here working, and when we close at night there are people working in here … Not everyone is a library user, but the ones that are tend to be heavy users.”
– Research librarian Megan McNevin, second floor Schoenecker

Technological advances push the evolution of libraries’ roles at a university, and the limitless reasons why people visit and where they go in each of St. Thomas’ libraries change. For Gjelten, Le May and others who work hard to make sure St. Thomas’ libraries are the best they can be, the hope is one thing will never change: People always will want to use the library.

CSB/SJU announce Student Employees/Team of the Year awards

Amanda Tate, Nicholas Maher and the student grounds team at CSB have been named Student Employees/Team of the Year at CSB and SJU. The winners were announced April 14.

Extending the Link wins NATAS – Upper Midwest Regional Student Production Award

The CSB/SJU documentary group took home the award April 12 for their 2014 film, ‘Ger Kler: A Journey of Untold Strength,’ in the college non-fiction category.
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