Recent News from Campuses

Star Tribune features class that uses ‘The Wire’ to explore race and politics

St. Olaf Campus News - 6 hours 26 min ago

St. Olaf political science professor Joshua Anderson teaches a class that uses the HBO series ‘The Wire’ to explore race and politics in America. Photo by Star Tribune photographer Elizabeth Flores.

The HBO drama The Wire is “a fictional television show that, despite going off the air eight years ago, is proving its relevance today in classrooms around the country, including at St. Olaf College,” notes a Star Tribune story that profiles a class taught by political science professor Joshua Anderson.

The class uses The Wire — a critically acclaimed series that dives deep into issues of urban life, focusing on drugs and gangs, education and media, and, most centrally, law enforcement — to explore race and politics in America.

“The ever-presence of police brutality in The Wire gives some very timely and very realistic material for thinking about problems of policing in the United States,” Anderson tells the Star Tribune. “But what I like about The Wire is that it is fictional, and I think that takes some of the emotional stakes out of the conversation about race.”

The paper notes that since the series wrapped in 2008, “it has become a companion piece to courses on everything from poverty to ethics, in classrooms from Harvard to the University of California, Berkeley.”

The St. Olaf class, which meets daily for four weeks in January, requires students to watch the first three seasons of the series — about two episodes per night for homework, plus accompanying readings.

St. Olaf student Emnet Shibre ’16 says the show has helped her realize how complex issues like officer-involved shootings can be.

“Something that watching The Wire has done for me is give me more sympathy for the situations that officers find themselves in,” she says.

Gravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction

Carleton College Campus News - 7 hours 7 min ago

LIGO opens new window on the universe with observation of gravitational waves from colliding black holes; Carleton professor, students part of collaboration to make groundbreaking discovery.

Alumni in Action: John A. Nett ’42†

John A. Nett ’42†

Coach, athlete
Hometown: Winona, Minn.
Major: Economics

John Nett’s collegiate athletic skills earned him attention and accolades, as well as a career he loved coaching at a high school. Nett played the end position on the Saint Mary’s football team for four years, and he was named all-conference his sophomore, junior and senior years. In 1943, he was signed by the New York Giants, but was unable to complete his career due to military enlistment. A multi-sport athlete, Nett also played basketball for four years, lettering three times, and was a member of the Saint Mary’s team which won the state title in 1940. He began his coaching career at Winona Cotter High School in 1946 coaching football, basketball and baseball. In 1951, his coaching career was interrupted during the Korean conflict. In 1977, Nett coached the Cotter Ramblers to a Minnesota state championship. He was inducted into the Saint Mary’s University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.

Read more Alumni in Action stories.

Haley Coller ’16: Relationships + Internships = Career

Gustavus Campus News - 8 hours 43 min ago

After four years at Gustavus, Haley Coller ’16 is ready to take on the finance world at Goldman Sachs.

Senior public accounting and political science major Haley Coller has taken advantage of all that Gustavus Adolphus College has to offer. And when she graduates this spring, she’s ready to take on the world. The Bloomington, Minn. native will spend several months backpacking across Europe before beginning her career in asset management at Goldman Sachs in New York City.

Described by her professors as an intelligent and inquisitive leader, Coller grew up in a single-parent household as a middle child with two brothers. At the age of 10, she joined Big Brother Big Sister and was paired with mentor Deirdre Ryan.

“She was initially very shy,” Ryan recalled, “but during subsequent meetings I got to know the athletic, happy, good-humored, and stubborn sides of Haley.”

Coller points to the relationship with Ryan and access to other Big Brother Big Sister resources as being key to her college search and decision. As a senior at Bloomington Kennedy High School, she applied to 26 colleges and universities. “I had no idea what I was doing,” Coller said. “I’d always dreamed of going to college, but I knew I’d need help to make it happen.”

After narrowing her options to the University of California, San Diego; the University of Denver; and Gustavus, Coller eventually decided to be a Gustie after experiencing the warmth of the people on campus. “I felt like I mattered here,” she said.

At Gustavus, Coller threw herself headlong into campus life. During her time “on the hill” she’s been a Gustie Greeter, president of the Model UN, treasurer for the Pan-Afrikan Student Organization, and a member of the accounting club. After benefiting from her relationship with Ryan, Coller has become a mentor herself, serving as a peer career advisor, vice president of business education for Gustavus Women in Leadership, and a member of the mentoring club.

“She’s extroverted, bright, and fearless,” economics and management professor Kathi Tunheim said.

After being exposed to the National Association of Black Accountants’ Accounting Careers Awareness Program (ACAP) in high school, Coller maintained relationships that led to an internship with “Big Four” auditing firm Ernst & Young (EY) after her sophomore year at Gustavus. During her summer at EY in Minneapolis, she rotated through the assurance, tax, and advisory arms of the business. The in-depth experience exposed Coller to audit work, business technology, international tax law, and the professional expectations of a successful multinational firm. She also worked on a weekly intern newsletter and helped to develop and organize ACAP for the next generation of students. “EY has a great culture and the internship was a wonderful experience,” Coller said.

The next summer, Coller found an internship a bit farther from home – at Goldman Sachs in New York City. For the first time, she was truly on her own. She found summer housing in Union Square near New York University and jumped headfirst into the fast-paced world of asset management. “I knew no one. All of the other interns were from Ivy League and top East Coast schools,” recalled Coller, who was Minnesota’s only representative in the program.

She quickly set to work to prove that she belonged. Though Coller downplays her motivation to succeed, Ryan wasn’t surprised to see the Gustie thrive. “Haley has a driven focus around owning her own destiny, seeking to understand what’s needed to achieve her goals, and planning and executing to meet those needs,” Ryan said. Tunheim agrees. “She’s results-oriented and can assess and diagnose the situation and read people quickly before stepping up to lead,” the professor explained.

In addition to her daily assignments with the asset management team, Coller also worked on projects with interns from across the globe to explore business process modeling. Every day she took pages of notes and reviewed them each night. “You need to be a sponge and ask the right questions,” Coller said.

Her hard work paid off when she was offered a full-time position with the financial giant at the end of her internship. After considering her options and weighing a few different opportunities, Coller accepted the job and will head back to New York City in January 2017 after her trip to Europe.

As Coller reflects on four years at Gustavus, she’s thankful for the well-rounded experience she had on campus. “The inquisitive nature that I developed through a liberal arts education really helped me prepare for the next step. I might be in a class that I didn’t know anything about, but I had to take the right notes and take time to learn the processes and ask the right questions,” she said. “Gustavus provided me a platform that prepared me to network, interview, and perform at a Fortune 500 company.”

“In today’s marketplace our students need liberal arts experience coupled with hands-on professional experience,” Tunheim added.

With her future plans secured, Coller hopes to enjoy every minute of her last semester on campus by continuing to cultivate relationships with friends and professors. She also took a moment to offer advice for other Gusties: “Not every school has faculty and staff who are willing to go beyond the scope of the curriculum to assist their students, but Gustavus is different. Take advantage of their knowledge and connections. Numbers, formulas, and calculations are valuable assets to know in business, but ultimately what makes the difference in corporate America are the impressions you make on your employer and the ability to build rapport with clients.”

After watching the young lady grow throughout her four years at Gustavus, Tunheim is excited to see what the future holds. “Life is about continuous learning and improvement,” she said. “I hope that Haley leaves Gustavus understanding that the choices she’s made and the relationships she’s built have been good ones.”


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin

First MBA cohort graduates from St. Kate’s

St. Kate's Campus News - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 4:00pm
The inaugural MBA class, of 18 early- to mid-career professionals, was feted at a Degree Completion Ceremony last week. More »

Where are they now? Andrew Yori

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 2:40pm

Former Saint Mary’s men’s soccer player Andrew “Roo” Yori graduated with a degree in biology in 1999. He was selected as the Outstanding Male Senior during his time at Saint Mary’s. Yori has worked with homeless dogs for more than a decade, even going as far as to create his own foundation, Wallace the Pit Bull Foundation, where he is the founder and CEO. He has been featured in local, national, and international media outlets for his work and accomplishments with adopted dogs. He and his dog, Wallace the Pit Bull, became national and international Frisbee dog team champions, which led to a bestselling novel “Wallace” by New York Times Best Selling author Jim Gorant.

Yori currently resides in Rochester, Minn., and is a clinical lab technologist in the Next Generation Sequencing lab at the Mayo Clinic.

Q: You started the Wallace the Pit Bull Foundation.Tell me about Wallace’s story and what led you to start the foundation?

AY: Wallace was a shelter dog that was being targeted for euthanasia. Clara and I adopted him and discovered he really liked to catch Frisbees. We found out there were competitions for the activity, so we started to compete. Within a few years, Wallace was a national and world champion. Wallace was often the only pit bull at the competition back then, so it was cool to show people he was a dog just like all the rest of them. Wallace passed away in 2013, but gathered a lot of fans over the years. Considering there are still millions of dogs living in shelters across the country, I wanted to leverage Wallace’s audience to continue to help those in need. We started the Wallace the Pit Bull Foundation to continue to promote adoption and responsible dog ownership as well as to keep Wallace’s name and story going for years to come.

Q: What were the steps you took to start the foundation?

AY: The big thing to starting the foundation was getting through the paperwork. Fortunately, I had some friends that had been through the process before and were able to help me out. We recently launched a new website, and now we’re starting to build a volunteer base to help deal with all the daily activities. I’m excited, and really looking forward to growing the organization.

Q: I see you currently are involved in CrossFit and Hammer Race. What is Hammer Race and what made you get involved in that type of fitness?

AY: The Hammer Race is an obstacle race where each racer needs to carry a minimum 8-pound sledgehammer throughout the course. And yes, you do get used to it. My friend, Joshua Grenell, came up with the idea. Adam Waters, Josh Weigel, and myself joined him in the business venture to help make it happen. It’s a pretty awesome race that takes some people by surprise, but they also surprise themselves when they cross the finish line and can hold their hammers high with a sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s CrossFit, the Hammer Race or whatever, I think it’s good to challenge yourself. The more things you can expose yourself to, the better you become and the better you can handle other challenges that come into your life. It empowers people and tends to carry over into other aspects of their lives, so I love being able to offer that opportunity to those interested.

Q: Any advice for current student-athletes at Saint Mary’s?

AY: If you expect to perform on game day, put in the work off the field. This applies to everything, not just sports. We’re exposed to so much today through social media. We see people posting all of their successes, and it often seems like it all happens so easily. What we don’t see typically is the minimum 5-10 years of work they put in before becoming an “overnight success.” What we don’t see are the failures that occur which teach them how to capitalize on the opportunities when they present themselves. So don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Train, experiment, fail, learn—so when your “game days” come, you’ll be ready.
For more information about Wallace the Pit Bull and the Hammer Race, visit:

MCAD Announces Master of Fine Arts Open Studio Night 2016

MCAD News - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 12:39pm

PDF Version of Press Release

The Master of Fine Arts Candidates at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design invite you to an evening of creativity and celebration at Open Studio Night 2016. Check out work by the newest generation of emerging talent, meet the artists, get a behind-the-scenes look at their studios, and rub elbows with others in Minnesota’s creative community. Candidates in MCAD’s interdisciplinary MFA program explore a vast array of ideas through a multitude of media including animation, comic arts, drawing, design, fiber arts, filmmaking, installation, interactive media, painting, paper and book arts, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and sound. There’s something intriguing for everyone.

Wed, 2016-02-10 - Fri, 2017-02-17

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MCA’s Music Division students plan free public performances

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 11:33am

The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) is home to more than 50 private music lesson students and three youth jazz combos: the Duke, Dizzy, and Miles Combos. A number of MCA private music students and combos will entertain audiences at two upcoming performances that are both free and open to the public.

The first performance will feature The Duke Jazz Combo and a variety of private music lesson musicians 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Figliulo Recital Hall, located in the Saint Mary’s Performance Center.

Jazz enthusiasts will not want to miss the last opportunity of the school year to hear all three jazz combos play 4 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Jefferson Pub & Grill. This event is sure to be a packed house.

MCA Music Division programs are made possible by the Slaggie Family Foundation, the Hiawatha Education Foundation, and by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. For more information about MCA visit: or call 507-453-5500.

A Busy Autumn at the Linnaeus Arboretum

Gustavus Campus News - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 10:00am

By Torin Anderson ’18 and Sophia Warwick ’18

A scarecrow welcomed visitors to Linnaeus Arboretum’s annual Fall Fest.

Gustavus Adolphus College’s Linnaeus Arboretum, or the “Arb” as students like to call it, is a well-maintained, diverse landscape that serves as a symbol for peace and serenity. Students are able to interact with the arboretum in many ways, fulfilling spiritual, social, and academic purposes. Students can be found venturing out to find places to meditate and relax, or to observe nature for a particular course they may be taking. The opportunities for academic research are endless, due to the fact that there are over 144 different types of trees and shrubs, together representing the three main ecosystems of Minnesota. Through these 125 acres, students of all ages are able to explore not only themselves, but the world around them.

Fall Events

The arboretum attracts not only students, but the public as well. Many of the citizens of Saint Peter, Mankato, and the surrounding towns love to drive up “on the hill” to see what the arboretum has to offer. This has led to many events being held at the Arb, including one of the biggest events of the fall, Nature, A Walking Play, which took place over Homecoming weekend. This play was designed to be extremely interactive, where the audience followed the professional actors from scene to scene for the entirety of the performance, therefore becoming immersed in the nature around them. This production was on tour throughout the Midwest, and performed at multiple campuses including through the University of Minnesota and Grinnell College. Over 400 people attended the Linnaeus Arboretum event and attendance was made up of people from students as well as residents of many communities in southern Minnesota.

Along with plays, the arboretum hosted its annual “Fall Fest.” This event attracted around 1,000 people from all over the community. Held over Family Weekend, this event aimed to promote family fun for all ages, including hay rides, live music, multiple crafts and activities, and lots of fall-themed treats. Additionally, Linnaeus Arboretum organized Halloween activities in a way that everyone could do something to their liking. For example, the Jack-O-Lantern Night Hike was open to the public and was an event where children and their families were encouraged to carve pumpkins and enjoy cider by the fire. The same evvening it went on to host a haunting “Arb Scare” event. This spooky hike attracted mostly high school and college students and encouraged them to test their fears and explore the “haunted forest.”

In addition to social events, the arboretum is also home to a variety of educational programs. Elementary schools have used the arboretum in a variety of different ways, including field trips and other educational activities. For Gustavus students, the arboretum serves as a research hub. A variety of courses use it for projects and hands-on experience through observations. Some classes, like Interpreting Landscapes, do not meet in a classroom, but instead use the arboretum as their meeting space.

Gus the Lion hugs a fan at Fall Fest in the Linnaeus Arboretum.

Always Growing

There are many changes taking place in the arboretum. Director Scott Moeller has been working to facilitate a variety of updates to the infrastructure of the arboretum. Due to the concern over the invasive species growing around the perimeter of the arboretum (a threat to naturally-occurring vegetation), parts of the landscape have been in the process of being cut down, in hopes that indigenous nature will reclaim the space. Additionally, hikers will soon notice the new signs to be posted on the trails, a way to help those who are less familiar with the paths find their way around and learn more about the nature around them.

As for the future, Moeller has high hopes and expectations. The arboretum has acted as an interface between the surrounding community and the Gustavus community, and Moeller hopes this connection will continue to grow. He hopes that more collaboration will be available in the future to help strengthen the environmental educational opportunities open to students of all ages. “Environmental education is so important, and is only going to become more important as the future unfolds,” Moeller explained.

After a productive fall full of both educational and social opportunities, Moeller is excited for the spring, “You can’t help people be nature lovers without getting people out there. That may be all it takes to send someone down the path of environmental stewardship,” he said.



Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin

Primp and Cheap Chic

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 8:45am

Michele Henry and her business partner, Wesley Uthus, didn’t know it at the time, but the events of Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, would be a harbinger of great things to come.

That evening marked the grand opening party of Primp, the duo’s “cheap chic boutique” for women and the first brick-and-mortar retail venture for both.

Three weeks earlier Henry and Uthus had swathed the tall plate-glass windows of their shop on the corner of Selby and Dale in St. Paul in brown paper to give them privacy while they painted the interior.

When they peeled off the paper at 5 p.m. on the day of their opening party their jaws dropped at the frightening yet thrilling spectacle: A long trail of anxious women wrapped around the block, the end out of Henry and Uthus’ line of sight.

“That’s when we both looked at each other and we just knew … this is going to be crazy,” Henry said.

By the end of the four-hour event, nearly every item on the floor had been sold.

Because they hadn’t set up their Wi-Fi connection yet – “We thought we could casually ease in,” Henry said – Uthus and her husband had to run next door to use the Internet and have new stock overnighted so customers would be able to “Primp” themselves the following day.

Five years later, and now with 55 employees, business is still crazy … and lucrative. Having expanded at a rate of just over one store per year – with locations in south Minneapolis, Woodbury, St. Louis Park, Excelsior and White Bear Lake, and a warehouse in northeast Minneapolis – Henry and Uthus were in the midst of opening their seventh location in Rochester last fall.

Thrifty at heart

Henry and Uthus’ unintentional tactic may have reeled in the initial batch of customers, but it’s their collective eye for fashion and hometown-girl savviness for the Midwest approach to shopping that accounts for Primp’s loyal, and growing, clientele.

“I know some people go crazy over designer handbags, but who has $2,000 to spend on a bag? We created Primp to fill the void on the flip side. Someone might lust over a designer dress for $4,800, but we can find her something she’ll love for $48,” said Henry, a Mahtomedi native. Furthermore, she and Uthus give their shoppers credit for being smart. “A lot of our customers could buy that $4,800 dress but they choose not to. It’s a very Midwestern way of thinking,” she added.

Henry, whose most frequently asked question is “How much is it?” attributes Primp’s success to their “100 percent organic” expansion strategy. The pair opened their flagship store with just $16,000 – $8,000 a piece from their personal savings – and have been able to open each successive store with the profits of the shop before it. Not an unimpressive feat considering their first modest sales goal: to sell 11 dresses a day. Henry estimated that, these days, on a busy day, one store might sell 11 dresses in an hour.

The pair stretched their dollars by enlisting friends and family to help with the build-out. Most of the décor, even the mannequins, was purchased through Craigslist and at Goodwill, and repurposed. Uthus’ college roommate, an interior designer, designed the space.

Henry swelled with the pride of a bleeding-heart bargain shopper when she divulged that – though they could comfortably afford contractors after the success of the Selby-Dale shop – “to this day I am on Craigslist looking for deals for our next build-out.” Last week she found a cash wrap counter for $300, which she and Uthus painted and used in their Rochester store.

A ‘whirlwind’ decade

Henry, 31, said Primp’s swift rise to success was “such a whirlwind” that her pre-Primp days seem like a “past life ago.”

A self-professed tomboy who also loves to gussy herself up in “bodycon” dresses, Henry’s first job, astoundingly, was working in construction for her father, who owned a pool business. She began at 16 and worked seasonally throughout her time at St. Thomas. Just four years after operating a Bobcat in the dusty summer heat for the last time, she and Uthus opened Primp.

From today’s standpoint, it’s even harder for her to grasp that it was only six years ago that she met Uthus, whom she can’t imagine running a business without. A mutual friend introduced the two based on their shared background in fashion. Henry’s is in apparel design and fashion merchandising (through St. Catherine University via the ACTC exchange program) with a minor in business, while Uthus studied fashion at the University of Minnesota.

The two first met for coffee at the Purple Onion Cafe in Minneapolis, Henry remembered, just “to chat and swap war stories about trying to start apparel design businesses.” (Right out of school Henry had tried her hand at producing and selling a whole-sale clothing line to retailers, but “it didn’t take. The recession was on the horizon and I didn’t have the funds to mass produce my designs,” she said.)

Henry recently had quit her sales job at a small boutique in St. Paul to assess her career path. Bartending provided easy cash to pay her bills and have a more flexible work schedule. Meanwhile, she bought a screen printer on Craigslist when she saw an opportunity to market T-shirts to University of Minnesota students, particularly sororities, fraternities and student groups.

Tapping into her entrepreneurial spirit, she visited the university’s website and sent informational emails to every president and vice president of every student group on campus, garnering enough business to keep her busy.

Cheap chic takes root

She and Uthus hit it off so well that by the end of their three-hour coffee klatch, they’d decided to go into business together.

Uthus recalled that there was nothing formal about their business decision. “It was more like we just wanted to design together and it naturally led to a business over time,” she said.

Having met their kindred spirit in fashion, they wasted little time. The next day Henry and Uthus met again to shop for fabric, where they found beautiful leather hides. On the spot, they solidified their plan to design wallets and handbags together.

“We were both really struggling to figure out how we were going to utilize our fashion design degrees in the Twin Cities. When Michele and I got together, design was fun and exciting again, and I hadn’t felt that way in a long time,” Uthus said.

Within just a few months, they sold their handbags to Midwest retailers, and during that period they noticed a shift in the market. “Some of these higher-end retailers were just not as busy because of the recession,” Henry said. “So, we decided to create a ‘boutique-like setting with lower-price-point items and amazing customer service.’”

Tantamount to their business plan, Henry said, was driving home the “amazing customer service” aspect of an upscale boutique experience, even though nothing on their shelves would exceed $100. The lowest priced item? Eight-dollar earrings.

To that end, they got to work, but in this instance they designed not clothing, but a diva-worthy, in-store pampering experience for their shoppers. The luxurious, and free, treatment comes complete with a stylist who pulls outfits while the customer relaxes on a couch with wine or beer, and even her dog if she wishes – all locations are dog-friendly except for Excelsior.

Like high-end boutiques, their stores offer a wide selection of clothing and carry just six of each item (two apiece in sizes small, medium and large) as well as accessories and shoes. The effect on the floor plan is decidedly bright, open and urban chic.

Although Henry can’t spend as much time in store as she used to, she tries to visit each one on a rotational basis as often as she can, because the boutique experience is also about community. Shortly after opening the Excelsior shop, that part of Primp’s mission sunk in deeper when two women in their early 20s walked in looking for bright pink dresses.

“They were the sweetest girls,” Henry remembered. “As time went on, I kept hearing them say, ‘She would love this. She would like that,’” as one held up a scarf or shirt for the other to inspect. “I asked who they were talking about and they told me their mother loved bright pink, and they were looking for dresses to wear to her funeral.”

Henry spent an hour and a half with the girls. In their time of sadness, “they were shopping and laughing together, knowing their mother would love all these pieces. It was a touching thing to be a part of,” she said.

She and the staff made sure the girls had matching nail polish.

What’s next?

Henry and Uthus’ success also meant that both finally had time to take a breather from merchandising to dive back into their love for fashion design. In the past two years, they’ve come out with two lines sold only at Primp: Local Love, screen-printed T-shirts and necklaces that pay homage to the Twin Cities and Midwest, and Henry + Martin, a women’s clothing line featuring longer hemlines – their response to the on-trend micro-skirts they were seeing a lot of at market.

Their biggest year yet was 2014, in which Primp doubled in size from three to six locations. Does Henry think of herself as a success yet?

“It’s hard to say because I’m always going to be thinking and planning for what’s next,” she said. “Right now the great test for us is seeing if Rochester gets its legs. From there the goal is to keep on expanding.”

Read more from St. Thomas magazine.

Chamber Singers to perform in New York and New England

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 4:20pm


WINONA, Minn. — The Chamber Singers of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will perform in New England and New York City as part of their 2016 Concert Tour. The 28-voice select ensemble is directed by Dr. Patrick M. O’Shea, associate professor of music.

Tour performances will include the following liturgies and concerts:

  • St. Francis Xavier Parish, La Grange, Ill., Saturday, Feb. 21, Mass at 5 p.m.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City, Tuesday, Feb. 23, Concert at 4 p.m.
  • De La Salle Christian Brothers Center, Narragansett, R.I., Wednesday, Feb. 24, Concert at 7 p.m.
  • Ponaganset High School, North Scituate, R.I., Friday, Feb. 26, Concert at 7 p.m.
  • Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., Saturday, Feb. 27, Concert jointly with Three Rivers Chorus, 7:30 p.m.
  • Cathedral of St. Paul, Worcester, Mass., Sunday, Feb. 28, Mass at 10:15 a.m. (Live television broadcast)

All concerts are free and open to the public, and guests are, of course, welcome at the various liturgies. Repertoire will include a cappella works by Palestrina, Russell Woollen, René Clausen, Herbert Howells, David Mooney, and Salamone Rossi.

Upon their return, the Chamber Singers will present a free “Homecoming Concert” at the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels, 7th and Vila streets in Winona, on Thursday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call 507-457-1598.

Art from Riverway students now on display at Valéncia Arts Center

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 3:41pm


WINONA, Minn. — Galleria Valéncia at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, located at 10th and Vila streets, is filled with a variety of vibrant and unique pieces of artwork created by students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade who are attending the Riverway Learning Community in Winona.

“Our artists in focus were Georgia O’Keefe and Paul Klee, and students used multiple materials to create work inspired by them,” art instructor Brianna Haupt said. “Students learn about art in their individual classrooms but also have the opportunity to take “Open Art Studio” after school on Tuesdays for an hour. In “Open Art Studio,” students have structured lessons along with free-choice work where they can choose the materials that they want to explore.”

This gallery exhibit is free and open to the public through Feb. 29 during regular office hours and while classes are in session. Visitors are encouraged to sign the guestbook, so that the young artists know who attended the show. For more information about Riverway Learning Community, visit or for more information about Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts visit:

The next exhibit in Galleria Valéncia will feature the National PTA Reflections Art Program contestants. This year’s theme is “Let your Imaginations Soar.”

Faculty member’s urban photography garners recognition

St. Olaf Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 3:06pm

David Schalliol

Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City, published last fall by Princeton University Press, features photos by St. Olaf College Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology David Schalliol. The book — and Schalliol — are gaining recognition for their portrayal of affordable housing.

Slate and Fast Company both have focused on Schalliol’s photography in the book. “At baby showers, sewing classes, and bingo sessions,” writes Jordan Teicher in Slate, “[Schalliol] captured a side of affordable subsidized housing that many New Yorkers rarely see: one that is functional, positive, and social.”

“The images I produced for the project don’t gloss over problems but reflect a sense that this is ‘home’ even with all of the complications,” Schalliol told Fast Company. An exhibition related to the book will open in Harlem this week.

In addition, Chicago’s WGN Radio has interviewed Schalliol about his online gallery of Chicago buildings slated for demolition.

Alumnus shares keys to happiness

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 1:08pm

Executive leadership coach Chuck Bolton ’80 returned to his alma mater and shared keys to success and happiness with students, staff, and faculty as part of the university’s 2015-16 leadership series.

As Saint Mary’s community members, mostly student-athletes and coaches, gathered to hear Bolton speak on Feb. 4-5, many were curious about this former student-athlete and how he was going to teach attendees how to be happy and successful. Bolton, who grew up in the Chicago area, is a longtime executive in the healthcare industry, a sought-after leadership coach, and best-selling author.

Bolton shared life lessons and tips from his new book, “The Reinvented Me: Five Steps to Happiness in a Crazy Busy World.”

Insights from his personal journey, he says, helped him achieve success and happiness. And, as Bolton shared through storytelling during his talks, life wasn’t always easy. As a young boy the left-handed pitcher loved playing catch with his father … until his father died suddenly of a heart attack. After his father’s death, Bolton felt hopeless, until his mother began playing catch with him. “That game of catch healed the holes in our hearts,” Bolton said. He explained that this simple act of his mother inspired him to feel hope again.

Bolton developed a great love for baseball in his youth and he carried that love to the pitcher’s mound for the Saint Mary’s baseball team. From there, he had a successful career as a medical sales representative, human resource executive, and eventually became a best-selling author, CEO coach, and speaker at places such as Harvard Business School.

His message was clear: the majority of Americans are not very happy. In order to work toward feeling happiness, we must consciously work on different things every day, such as our mindset, our energy level, and being attentive to our various relationships. Bolton stressed that with the growing use of technology in our daily lives, it is becoming harder to avoid distractions and get meaningful work done. In order to avoid distractions, Bolton suggested setting aside things like social media and email for an hour a day to get more work done. He also suggested that we write down five things we are grateful for each day, which would allow us to reflect on what we have to be thankful for.

Bolton’s message resonated with many. “In the busyness of daily college life, it can be easy to focus on everything that isn’t going right instead of what I have to be thankful for,” sophomore Hannah Emeott said. “This presentation made me realize that I needed to be more grateful for all the opportunities college has given me.”

His message also changed some perspectives. “I really enjoyed Bolton’s talk today,” junior Kassie Lien said. “I am a pessimist, but it was nice to hear different strategies on how to find happiness, which made me think about how I could work on changing my mindset.”

During an interactive session for Saint Mary’s student-athletes, Bolton spoke about the importance of happiness and how it can help student-athletes develop leadership skills and experience more success in their sport, their academics, and their lives. Students were instructed to write down things like the reasons why they get out of bed, their “one true sentence” about themselves, and their values.

“Being a student-athlete means trying to find a balance between school, sports, and friends, which can be difficult at times,” junior hockey player Mike Mezzano said. “Chuck Bolton gave a lot of great tips on things we can do every day to find that balance.”

“I really enjoyed the steps Bolton gave on how to be a better and happier leader for our teams,” said junior swimmer Grace Van Beest. “His presentation reminded me that happiness is one of the most important aspects of our lives.”

Many people felt the same way. Bolton’s presentations gave people the chance to reflect on what they can do to feel happiness in their everyday lives. After all, as Chuck Bolton said, “Happiness is not something you earn, it is your birthright.”

Bolton’s two-day visit to his alma mater in Winona was sponsored by Saint Mary’s Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Turning a Hug Into a Business

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:01pm

On New Year’s Day 2014, Mary MacCarthy ’96 M.B.A. settled into a chair in her bedroom with a pad of paper and a pen to write the next chapter of her life. She began by taking stock of “everything I’m good at, everything I care about.”

After three decades working the corporate life, the latter part in the medical device industry, “I thought, ‘I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. This is it. I’m turning 50. I’m going for it,’” MacCarthy recalled of that day nearly a year ago.

Her short list of future career qualities was fairly simple: Improve society by bringing joy or providing comfort, employ creatives and create a culture that meets the needs of its employees not only financially but also with “inspiration, flexibility, color and light.” She also would strive to make enough money to sustain her two children (now grown, with the youngest starting university next year) and give herself an adequate retirement.

Within four months she launched Glorious Hugs, LLC, a social entrepreneurial venture with the initial goal of alleviating loneliness in senior citizens through care packages filled with original art and poetry and other goodies that spark joy. Recently she expanded her reach to college students.

The name was inspired by her beloved 97-year-old grandma Gloria, who died last month.

Poetry from a Glorious Hugs Care Pacakge.

Artful packages that spark joy

MacCarthy summed up her business as “part of a larger picture. The theme is that you may think you’re alone but you’re not. There are people out there who care about you.”

With a degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, MacCarthy’s childhood dream was to become a psychologist and “bring hope to the depressed and lonely.” That sensibility is present in her decision to gear her efforts toward “anyone who needs a hug.” Seniors and college students, she feels, are particularly prone to loneliness and depression because of their unique life circumstances – whether losing some of their independence and nearing the end of life, or living away from home and experiencing independence for the first time.

“Glorious Hugs is about building connections and helping with socialization,” MacCarthy said, remarking on how each item in every care package works in harmony to bring a smile to recipients and, hopefully, spark engagement and conversation.

Every package includes original poetry by a Twin Cities writer; artwork by local artisans, including the customer’s choice of small paintings, glass art, jewelry, mugs and pillowcases; gluten-free cookies; a customizable greeting card; and things meant to awaken the child in us, such as bubbles, coloring pages and stickers.

MacCarthy’s past career – particularly growing clinical evidence that suggests depression and lack of optimism are linked to cardiovascular disease – served as the impetus to make her care packages art based.

“Art can be therapeutic, not just creating it but considering it, engaging with it, having conversations about it,” she said. “Depression is primarily managed through pharma now, so I thought here’s an opportunity to use art in a new way to alleviate loneliness.”

MacCarthy’s generous spirit extends to the artists, whom she pays competitively for their original art, using her own funds to purchase every piece – and storing the “huge” inventory in an empty guest room in her Dellwood home.

When her business grows enough to support outsourcing she plans to hire people from the developmentally disabled community to package the boxes. (MacCarthy and her daughter currently do it all themselves.)

Back story

The path she took to reach Glorious Hugs was not a typical one, she said, but in retrospect she sees how she followed “a natural flow.”

MacCarthy honed her business acumen through the MBA program at St. Thomas a short time after working in human resources at NPR – her first job after college. Knowing she would be entrepreneur someday, she took a venture class and learned how to write a business plan and how to pitch to investors.

Last year she returned to the university’s Small Business Development Center in the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship where she applied for and was granted consulting service free of charge – assistance the center has been offering for 40 years. MacCarthy continues to receive expert advice from Brian Abraham, Ph.D., associate dean of the school.

“There’s a lot of power in aligning your passion with your job,” MacCarthy said as she looked back on leaving her consulting job at Cardiovascular Systems late last year.

Her past work in the packaging industry at 3M afforded her expertise and networking connections in creating the easy-to-open design and the hexagonal, “huggable” shape of the packages. Her vast experience working in the cardiovascular device business at Medtronic led her to her last full-time job at Cardiovascular Systems. There, because it is a smaller corporation, she was able to do “a little bit of everything,” including ethnographic market research – a project that heavily influenced what would become the driving force behind Glorious Hugs.

The research took MacCarthy to Philadelphia, where she spent ample time in the homes of patients with peripheral artery disease – a serious health condition that affects vascularization in the legs and toes, limiting mobility and independence.

“Meeting these people on their own turf … their loneliness was so palpable,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that we could keep all these people alive, we could keep the toes on their feet, but yet they were so sad. They were happy to just talk about their disease because they didn’t have anybody who understood their pain, and we did because we saw it all the time.”

Rewriting her story

Among the handmade art available for purchase is a colorfully painted wood block. An inspirational quote by Marcel Proust adorns it. It reads, “You are living your story today and every day.” MacCarthy collaborated with the artist, as she does with all of her artist-vendors, in its creation.

She selected the quote because she believes it will resonate with college students. But she hopes it will have an even more profound resonance with seniors: “We tend not to buy things for seniors, and this sends the message that if you’re still alive, you’re still writing your story. You’re still in the game,” she said.

Although she admitted that starting her own business was one of the scariest things she has ever done, she never forgets that she also is still in the game, writing her own story.

“I always felt like there was something more I could do, I just didn’t know what it was until this,” she said. “No one can replace me in what I’m doing now.”

Her enthusiasm has garnered her numerous PR opportunities, which she pursues with zeal. “People tell me I have such great energy and so much passion,” MacCarthy said. “I never expected to be interviewed by Belinda Jensen on KARE-11,” or that Bill George (a former CEO of Medtronic) would retweet her launch to his 29,000 followers. A self-described introvert, the everyday process of promoting Glorious Hugs has shown her she’s a much better storyteller than she thought she was.

“People like a good story,” MacCarthy said. “Especially when you’re doing something you truly care about.”

Recently MacCarthy was pleasantly astonished to receive in the mail her own product – a stamped postcard – sent from a senior who received a Glorious Hugs care package from a family member. “She didn’t send it to her daughter to say, ‘thank you.’ She sent it to me to tell me she appreciated what I am doing!” MacCarthy said. “There’s so much pain in the world. I’m happy that I can offset some of that.”

Care packages may be purchased on Glorious Hugs and at the St. Thomas Campus Store.

Saint Mary’s Page Series to present folk band Solas

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 11:24am


WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University’s Page Series welcomes Irish-American folk band Solas Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Page Theatre.

Hailed by National Public Radio’s The Thistle and Shamrock as “Irish America’s most influential band,” Solas has been entertaining audiences since 1996. Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, compelling and topical originals and covers, and unparalleled musicianship, Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward. Their 20th anniversary “All These Years” tour celebrates their remarkable past while demonstrating why the group continues to be one of the most popular and exciting Celtic groups of the past two decades.

The New York Times has lauded Solas for their “unbridled vitality,” and the Boston Globe declared them to be “the finest Celtic ensemble this country has ever produced.” Founding members Seamus Eagan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals) anchor the tour. They are joined by Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Mick McAuley (button accordion, vocals), and their newest member, Moira Smiley (vocals, banjo).

In addition to the concert, Horan will also lead a workshop with the Winona Fiddlers during Solas’ time in Winona. The classically trained Horan has previously performed with Cherish the Ladies and has taught violin and fiddle extensively, most recently at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Tickets for the Page Series performance are $27 for adults, and $24 for students and senior citizens. For more information or to order, visit, call 507-457-1715, or visit the Performance Center Box Office (noon-6 p.m., weekdays).

Horan’s fiddle workshop is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional support for Page Series education and outreach activities comes from the Xcel Energy Foundation.

The Birth of Intercollegiate Basketball

Hamline University Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
On February 9, 1895, Hamline University hosted the first-ever intercollegiate basketball game in the country.

Major Decisions

Hamline University Campus News - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
Deciding on a major can be a stressful prospect for undergraduate students, but Hamline has extraordinary resources, classes, faculty, and staff to help them through the process.

Fraase Named MIAC Player Of The Week

Concordia College Campus News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 11:00pm
Concordia senior guard Tom Fraase capped a very eventful 48 hours by being named the MIAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week.

Capitol Pathways helps St. Kate’s student land dream internship

St. Kate's Campus News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 2:25pm
Nou Khang ’16 starts work this week at the Minnesota Secretary of State office, thanks to the Citizen League’s internship program for students of color. More »
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