Recent News from Campuses

President Linda Hanson Honored for Leadership

Hamline University Campus News - 37 min 22 sec ago
Hamline President Linda N. Hanson will be honored as an exceptional leader at the first-ever Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders event.

CSB/SJU to Compete in National Outdoor Challenge

Get outdoors. Win awesome gear. Help the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University be the National Outdoor Champion. The competition runs from Saturday, Sept. 27 through Saturday, Nov. 22.

Area employers invited to career fair at Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:17am
WINONA, Minn. — Regional employers are invited to showcase their organizations at the first Saint Mary’s University career fair. The fair, to be held 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in the Toner Student Center, is open to all Saint Mary’s students and alumni who are exploring career options or looking for internship [&hellip

MAED student receives Mildred Speranza Award

St. Kate's Campus News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 9:38am
Iowa Catholic schoolteacher and Master of Arts in Education student Abigail Morales ’16 was awarded the first Mildred Speranza Award. More »

State Health Commissioner to speak on campus

St. Kate's Campus News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 9:24am
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger will be on campus Tuesday, Sept. 23. More »

Opus Magnum: The Violence Spills Off the Field

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 8:59am

In a commentary published today in the Star Tribune, professor Christopher Michaelson says the NFL must holistically examine if on-field practices translate to recklessness elsewhere.

A couple of years ago, when the weight of evidence had tipped to the point that no reasonable party could any longer deny the seriousness of brain injuries that American football players inflicted upon each other, I made a semi-serious prediction: Within a generation, the National Football League (NFL) would become the National Flag Football League (NFFL). Only such a radical change to the rules of the game could reduce the concussion problem to a tolerable rate and save the league from its own violence.

We did not suddenly discover then that football was often harmful to the long-term well-being of its practitioners. Retired players, many in failing physical and mental health, had for years been appealing to the league to provide better care and coverage for injuries sustained. However, as an entertained public, we conveniently ignored the crisis until several players, including a presumptive future Hall of Famer, killed themselves for reasons apparently connected to degenerative brain disease.

Nor are recent stories about violence of football players toward nonplayers — particularly, punching women and giving children a whooping — the first signs of such trouble. Once again, it’s the players’ stature, recency bias, frequency effect and vivid narratives — on film, in photographs and in other media — that have shocked us into the inability to deny the inhumane violence of America’s most popular professional sports league. Should it surprise us that exceptionally large, strong and fast men — who have been trained, exhorted and rewarded since childhood to annihilate one another on the field — have difficulty restraining these impulses off the field? In retrospect, my NFFL prediction unfortunately neglected a larger problem of violence among football players toward others, not just toward one another.

“Wait a moment,” you might object. “Don’t judge the sport and the rest of its upstanding citizen-players by the actions of a few.” And rightly so: According to New York Times analysis of a USA Today “database of arrests, charges and citations of NFL players for anything more serious than a traffic citation,” on average fully 39 out of 40 players have had clean records in any given year since 2000. (Anecdotal evidence suggests that were traffic citations included, the offense rate would accelerate faster than the exotic sports cars in which many players have been caught speeding, but that could be unfair speculation.) Ironically, 2014 has been a good year, on track to be the cleanest since the data have been collected.

Still, over time, it’s hard to defend a 2.5 percent annual arrest rate (even higher for the Minnesota Vikings), and it’s also not easy to determine how low that rate must go to be tolerable. Experience suggests that the number of those caught is probably small relative to those committing similar offenses who have gotten away with them. Expertise suggests the need to shine a light on leadership, the ones responsible for league discipline who are also doing the training, exhorting and rewarding — who seem to reverse course faster than the league’s best running back when the team needs him, or when allegedly nonexistent evidence resurfaces.

There remain divided opinions as to whether the commissioner was justified in suspending coaches who permitted a “bounty” program aimed at taking out opposing teams’ critical players. What else have those leaders done to restrict hitting to clean, safe, on-field contact? Even as they have put new rules in place increasing protections for so-called “defenseless” players, regulators seem unable to keep pace with the speed and strength of the modern player.

Of greater concern is that they have not even begun systematically to examine holistically whether the on-field behaviors they champion translate into off-field recklessness. If NFL leadership fails to make that connection and render changes to the sport’s culture of violence, then the banner of flag football may get the call to save the league even sooner than I once predicted.

Christopher Michaelson is an associate professor of ethics and business law in the Opus College of Business.

Depth of Field: ‘A Day at St. Thomas’ in 1924

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 8:00am

A wake-up call by bugle, military drills, dorm inspection, church service, breakfast and a checkup from the campus doctor, all before classes start at 8:30 a.m. 

While this is drastically different from the life of a current St. Thomas student, it was the morning routine for St. Thomas Military Academy students who lived on campus in 1924. The daily routine of  the cadets was filmed and documented in the spring of 1924 for a recruitment video titled “A Day at St. Thomas.” The video shows students going through their morning routine before going to class and takes the viewer through Ireland Hall, the Chapel, the Infirmary and classrooms.

After it was filmed in the early 1920s, the video was stored and forgotten until it was rediscovered over 30 years later. Harry Webb, who was the head of the audio-visual department at the time, uncovered the film in 1955 in Albertus Magnus Hall, now known as the John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.  The video offers a unique view of what life was like at St. Thomas nearly a century ago. The surviving reel of the original film is still preserved in University of St. Thomas Archives.

Scheibel Invited to White House for AmeriCorps Ceremony

Hamline University Campus News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:00am
Jim Scheibel, honorary professor of practice in the School of Business, was invited to the White House last week for AmeriCorps' 20th year anniversary celebration.

Journey to Sustainability

Concordia College Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:00pm
The opening plenary speaker for the 2014 symposium laid out challenges and promises of achieving sustainability.

‘Taking Action to Reimagine Education’ Is Topic of St. Thomas’ Inaugural TEDx Program Oct. 15

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 4:34pm

Nine diverse presenters in the field of education will share their thoughts on the topic of “Taking Action to Reimagine Education” at a TEDx event that will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The St. Thomas College of Education, Leadership and Counseling is hosting the TEDx evening filled with engaging and inspiring six-minute talks from individuals on how they would take action to reimagine education. These talks will focus on ideas in the classroom and in the community and range from the scientific to fostering creativity.

The event, which will include music and refreshments, is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, and for more information, visit tedxuniversityofstthomas.com .

Registration opens at noon Thursday, Sept. 18.

Offering their insights that night will be:

  • Kasim AbdurRazzaq, a native of St. Paul, conducts community and organization dialogues on race and power.
  • Adam Katz, a special education teacher, is working on his academic behavior strategist license.
  • Dr. Bill Keilty, with a master’s in gifted education and doctorate in educational leadership, developed the unique Lighthouse Program in Spring Lake Park Schools.
  • Dr. J. Roxanne Prichard, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, teaches and studies the topic of sleep and health.
  • Tom Rademacher, a high school English teacher at the FAIR School in Minneapolis, is this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year.
  • Cordell Steiner, a fifth grader at the Matoska International Elementary School in White Bear Lake, will share his ideas about using technology and games to personalize education.
  • Catherine Thimmesh, an award-winning children’s book author, will talk about creativity in the classroom.
  • Dr. Artika Tyner, an author and CELC faculty member, trains graduate students to serve as social engineers.
  • Charles Vickers, is principal at St. Peter Claver in St. Paul.

 About TEDx

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The Oct. 15 event is called TEDxUniversityofStThomas, where x = independently organized TED event. At the TEDxUniversityofStThomas event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including the one at St. Thomas, are self-organized.

About TED

TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still,showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.

TED was first held in Monterey, California, in 1984. In 2001, Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation acquired TED from its founder, Richard Saul. In recent years, TED has expanded to include an international conference, TEDGlobal; media initiatives, including TED Talks and TED.com; and the TED Prize.

Award-winning Poet and Musician Stephen Kampa ’05 to Appear

Carleton College Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 3:37pm

Award-winning poet and musician Stephen Kampa, a member of the Carleton Class of 2005, will appear at the College on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum. Kampa will read from and sign copies of his poetry collections, which will be available for purchase at the event.

Economics Professor Stephen Strand to Present Annual Argument and Inquiry Seminar Convocation

Carleton College Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 3:34pm

Designed to stimulate student reflection on the nature of liberal arts and a liberal arts approach to learning, this year’s annual Argument and Inquiry Seminar Convocation will be presented by Carleton College professor of economics, Stephen Strand. Entitled “Either Appear As You Are, Or Be As You Appear,” Strand’s presentation will highlight the ways which scholars ask questions, discover and evaluation information, and effectively and ethically construct arguments.

This event takes places Friday, Sept. 26 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel and is free and open to the public. His presentation will also be recorded and archived for listening online atgo.carleton.edu/convo/.

Keating Steps Down From St. Thomas Faculty

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:46am

Father Michael Keating, a full-time faculty member in the Department of Catholic Studies at St. Thomas since 2005, has informed the university of his decision to resign from St. Thomas. Keating asked the university to share his resignation letter with the community today:

“After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community.”

President Julie Sullivan thanked Keating for his years of service to the university.

Constitution Day panel presentation planned for Sept. 17 at Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:50am
WINONA, Minn. — A Constitution Day panel presentation titled “Immigration Law & Politics” will be held Wednesday, Sept. 17, at Saint Mary’s University. The event, free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. Panelists will include: [&hellip

Rochester Center hosts open house Sept. 25

Saint Mary's University Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:33am
ROCHESTER, Minnesota—Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will host an Open House from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 25 at its Rochester Center. All are invited to attend the event but especially individuals who are interested in pursuing bachelor’s degree completion or advanced degrees offered in Rochester. “We have programs for anyone looking [&hellip

Arrrr You Afraid of the Dark? Neuroscience, Pirates May Illuminate Why

University of St. Thomas Campus News - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 8:01am

Pirates. Those fearsome, fearless swashbucklers from days of yore earned a reputation for taming the dark. In this light, they might help us understand better why we feel anxiety, according to a St. Thomas study by recent graduates Megan Coffman and Grace Vo, and Dr. Sarah Hankerson of St. Thomas’ Psychology Department. Their project, “Correlates of Anxiety in a Dark-Induced Environment,” examines why are we afraid of the dark through the lens of neuroscience.

The project drew its inspiration from a 2007 episode of MythBusters, which tested a theory that pirates wore eye patches in daylight to help them see in the dark.

“This is a test to see if fear of the dark stems from an inability to see or if it’s something else,” Hankerson said. “Those who wear the eye patch should have better vision. That’s supposedly why pirates wore a patch, so one eye could see in the dark.”

Vo ’13, a medical scribe in the Emergency Department of St. John’s Hospital and Hennepin County Medical Center, and Coffman, who graduated in May and now studies speech-language pathology at St. Cloud State University, presented a poster of the project at the Midwest Psychological Association Conference, held last May in Chicago. They plan to submit their findings to a scientific journal.

Six St. Thomas undergraduates – Alex Beaulier, Nina Elder, Jon Gall, Ben Gervais, Taylor Jorgenson-Rathke and Avi Manda – assisted Coffman and Vo, who served as co-leads on the project. “Most people don’t realize how much literature research you need to back up experiments before you’re ready to write,” Elder said.

Coffman and Vo enlisted 70 St. Thomas undergraduates to solve a Fisher-Price puzzle – designed for toddlers – in a small, sterile and (some might find) eerie room in the basement of the John R. Roach Center. Vo jokingly called it “the rat-training room.” Half of their test subjects wore an eye patch for 20 minutes before venturing into the completely darkened room. The other group did not.

Before entering the room, they plastered each student with a jumble of electrodes, which the team used to measure physiological responses, including heart rate, pulse and electrodermal activity (perspiration), as well as respiration via a chest strap not unlike a Polar heart-rate monitor used by runners. They monitored all activity just outside the room in real-time via a laptop loaded with specialized software. Each participant sucked on a cotton swab before and after solving the puzzle; Coffman and Vo later tested the saliva samples for changes in levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, and testosterone, a hormone they linked to sense of control.

Students entered the darkened room blindfolded. After removing the covering, they were tasked with first locating the table containing the puzzle; solving the puzzle, which had them sliding six different shapes into their corresponding slots; then finding their way back to the door. Not surprisingly, the “pirates,” or the students with one dark-adjusted eye, completed the test overwhelming faster than those who did not wear the patch, as they were able to see the room as if it were dimly lit though the room was sealed from light.

After completing the puzzle, both groups rated their anxiety during the experiment in a series of questions based on the Zung Anxiety Scale, one of a few standard surveys used by psychologists to measure anxiety.

The results? The less visible, more intangible of their measurements – the hormones cortisol and testosterone – provided the most illumination. The “pirate” students experienced marked declines in cortisol from pre- to post-puzzle, meaning they felt less anxiety immediately after completing the puzzle versus while they waited – bedecked with eye patch – to begin. The results of the testosterone samples weren’t as striking, but “there was a trend,” Vo noted: “Testosterone levels didn’t show significance between conditions, but they appeared to increase more in those who wore the eye patch, showing that dark adaptation may increase the body’s hormonal measure of control.”

Although the heart and respiration rates of the non-eye-patch-wearing bunch didn’t rise as they predicted, both groups experienced increased sweating while in the dark, a result they didn’t expect. Though scientific results can only take researchers so far into the human mind, Coffman surmised that this sole indication of the eye-patched group’s rise in anxiety during the study was “possibly attributed to the dark room. Even though they were ‘prepared,’ there is still an innate fear of the dark.

She added, “Dr. Hankerson always talks about how, evolution-wise, things relate. In prehistoric times, humans lived under the threat of night-time attacks by predators. Darkness delivered all these scary variables to early humans, and maybe that’s why we’re afraid of the dark. It’s a hypothesis, but it could explain why our heightened anxiety with the dark remains with us today.

Alas, whether our fear of the dark is more frightening than walking the plank, remains to be seen.

Carleton Dean of Students Wagner Announces Retirement

Carleton College Campus News - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 2:40pm

Hudlin Wagner, vice president for student development and dean of students at Carleton College, has announced her retirement, effective at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Wagner, who arrived at Carleton as associate dean of students in 1990, has served in her current role since 2005.

Platten, Fok are recipients of Saint John's highest alumni honor

The Fr. Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to two members of Class of 1974; Blake Elliott '03 to receive Bob Basten Excellence in Leadership Award.

Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture fall lecture to feature Catholic scholar

Kristin Heyer, a Catholic scholar on immigration, will present the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture fall lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6.

Clemens Lecture to feature Peruvian scholar

Javier Iguiñiz will be the keynote speaker of the 26th Clemens Lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater at Saint John's University.
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